Wednesday, 28 March 2007


City’s 08 cash banker

Mar 28 2007

by Nick Coligan, Liverpool Echo

PRIVATE firms could take over the running of council assets to help generate money to fund Capital of Culture.

Town hall finance director Phil Halsall suggests making “better use of existing assets” is one way of bringing in more than £22m still needed to pay for 2008.

He mentions Colomendy’s transfer to a private company and rent generated by land leased to the Liverpool One shopping district as examples of how the council is already doing this.

But Mr Halsall today told the ECHO money saved by Colomendy’s handover would not go directly towards 2008.

The council is currently investigating various ways to find its £22m contribution to Capital of Culture. No final decision will be made until June.

And the council is still likely to choose a combination of four options revealed by the ECHO earlier this month, including increased sponsorship and financial support from the government.

The options are part of a financial plan which sets out the council’s spending priorities for the next few years.

It will be discussed by councillors on Friday.

Although the Capital of Culture funding gap is mentioned, the report does not set out a solution.

Mr Halsall says: “The council is most likely to need a combination of all of these approaches and therefore all are being actively pursued.”

The council has frequently come under fire recently for not setting out exactly how it will pay for 2008.

  • READ more news from the Liverpool ECHO - click here

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    Monday, 26 March 2007


    Keep us informed on culture cash

    Mar 26 2007

    by Ian Hernon, Liverpool Echo

    ANGRY Liverpool MPs today claimed they were being left in the dark over an alleged £22m Capital of Culture shortfall.

    They accused council leader Warren Bradley of being “unreasonable” by failing to tell them how the funding gap would be sorted out.

    They said they would find it hard to push Liverpool’s case in Parliament if denied a proper briefing from director of finance Phil Halsall.

    But Cllr Bradley said they were “playing politics” with Capital of Culture and that it would soon become clear how almost £22m towards 2008 celebrations would be found.

    MPs had hoped to meet Mr Halsall today, but the meeting was cancelled as neither Cllr Bradley nor chief executive Colin Hilton could attend.

    Wavertree MP Jane Kennedy said: “We are told that the funding shortfall will be filled, but we need to know how and when so that we can properly promote Capital of Culture in Parliament.

    “We want 2008 to be a great success and we have done our best in Parliament to support it, but that is becoming increasingly difficult as we are not being kept informed.

    “I believe the council leader is acting unreasonably.”

    Garston MP Maria Eagle said: “The council leadership regards informing Liverpool MPs about what is going on as a low priority.

    “Since Liverpool was awarded this prize, the council has wanted to keep it to themselves. We are all meant to be involved.”

    A recent council budget report showed the council must find £29m in the next three months, £22m for 2008 celebrations.

    Cllr Bradley said: “ It is impossible for myself or Colin to meet today because we are away on other engagements.

    “A medium-term financial plan will soon come forward, as we have always said, setting out how we will meet our commitments.

    “It is ironic that the MPs are saying this on the morning we have announced £250,000 in community grants for 2008.”


    Sunday, 11 March 2007

    Kindertransport Children Come to Life in Liverpool

    Award-winning playwright brings to life the darkest side of European history

    Mar 9 2007

    by Philip Key, Liverpool Daily Post

    Liverpool-born writer, Diane Samuels

    BETWEEN late 1938 and September, 1939, some 10,000 Jewish refugee children were allowed out of Nazi Germany to settle in Britain. Travelling in sealed trains, they were scattered across the country and most would never see their parents again.

    What became of these children, who were involved in what became known as Kindertransport? And how did the experience affect their lives?

    That is the theme of Liverpool-born writer Diane Samuels's hit play Kindertransport, first staged in London in 1993.

    Curiously, it has never been staged in her home city, a situation corrected next week with a revival of it by the Shared Experience company, at the Liverpool Playhouse.

    Diane has since written many more dramas, produced by a number of different theatre companies, but Kindertransport remains dear to her heart.

    It was written at a time when she had just completed a radio play, was writing a children's drama for the Unicorn Theatre, where she was working as an education officer, and when she was really just starting out as a playwright.

    It was not commissioned. "I had seen a television documentary in 1989 as it was the 50th anniversary of Kindertransport. I had a friend's father who had been on it and the subject struck me as interesting.

    "I mulled over it a little bit and then started writing because I wanted to write it."

    She gave it to playwright Mark Ravenhill and asked him what he thought. He did some workshops on it at the Soho Theatre, and then passed it on to the artistic director.

    "Well, I didn't hear anything and I was going to ring when I had a call from Jack Bradley, the literary manager, to say the play had been short-listed for a Verity Bargate Award." As Diane had not entered it, she was surprised.

    It turned out that the artistic director had entered it without asking her. The play won the prize that year - 1992 - and the following year it was presented at the Soho.

    "There were people queuing round the block to see it, it went to the West End (with Diana Quick starring) and a year later it was presented off-Broadway. The rest is history."

    It has since been produced by other companies and is a favourite with amateurs. But the new production, directed by Polly Teale and with Diane Samuels very much involved, is described as a major revival.

    It is the story of Eva, who is evacuated from Nazi Germany by train and raised by an Englishwoman in Britain. Many years later, now named Evelyn, her secret past is discovered.

    For the play, Diane did essential research, interviewing many of the Kindertransport children. "They were all profoundly affected. Those who say people should just get on with life are not dealing with something and it's a way of being in denial."

    At the core of the story is the mother/daughter relationship. Eva was an only daughter and, as Evelyn, also has a single daughter - the daughter discovers the secret.

    "People who have seen the play often come up to me and tell me that their mother or father was on Kindertransport, but never talked about it, and they learned more from my play than they did from their parents.

    "Others have said it was the first time their mother has talked about the experience after seeing the play."

    She is delighted with the Shared Experience production. "The company works in a distinctive style which really suits this play," she says. "It is as if the play has come home, as if it was written for this company.

    "The play is not meant to be done straight, whatever that means. It works deep in emotional territory, unlayering the emotional psyche of the human being."

    Meanwhile, she is completing the first draft of her new play, Three Sisters on Hope Street, her reworking of Chekhov's Three Sisters, but set among the Jewish community of post-war Liverpool.

    Due to be staged by the Playhouse as part of the Liverpool Capital of Culture celebrations, it is the first commission from her home city.

  • KINDERTRANSPORT opens at the Liverpool Playhouse on Tuesday, and runs until March 17

  • Saturday, 10 March 2007


    Our lost umbrella

    Jan 9 2007

    Was there any future for the much-lamented Liverpool Overhead Railway?, asks Peter Elson on the 50th anniversary of its closure.

    by Peter Elson, Liverpool Daily Post

    A tram waits on Water Street, Liverpool, while a train passes above on the Overhead Railway

    AMID the grime and gloom, it was a twin parallel ribbon of gleaming, airborne steel striding along the edge of Liverpool's lengthy waterfront, known affectionately by all as "The Dockers' Umbrella".

    The closure of the Liverpool Overhead Railway, 50 years ago last week, prompted me to jokily write in the Daily Post that this was a psychological blow from which the city never really recovered.

    But therein was a grain of truth. The Overhead was one of Liverpool's unique features that made this great seaport so special. No other city in Britain had such a spectacular urban transport system with electric trains rattling along some 20ft up in the air above the streets.

    The LOR was a true pioneer and preceded similar networks in the US, again emphasising Liverpool's apartness as "Britain's North American city", sharing more in common with places across the Atlantic than others down the road.

    Although long gone and still much-missed, what would be the LOR's impact be today had it not been closed on December 31, 1956, when replacing its entire decking (which carried the tracks) was deemed too expensive? Would the heritage era have come to its rescue?

    Dr Adrian Jarvis, National Museum Liverpool's former port historian and author of A Portrait of the Liverpool Overhead Railway, says the system pioneered many aspects of modern railway now taken for granted.

    "Although under seven miles long, the LOR was epoch-making. It was held in profound affection here because it was so unusual and unique in the UK. It was the world's first electric overhead railway - and Manchester didn't have one.

    "By the time of closure, it was a financial liability and had been for a long time. Even back in 1913, the chairman explained its low returns because the huge growth in telephones meant fewer messenger boys using the trains."

    But the main issue dated back to the LOR's construction.

    An Overhead station in Liverpool in 1893

    "The basic problem was that the Overhead was built on the cheap, using the Hobson construction system which was an extremely clever solution, but not a particularly enduring one.

    "Its waterproof decking was part of the original parliamentary application - it had to be watertight, hence being nicknamed the Dockers' Umbrella.

    "This meant that water lay undrained on the decking, which rusted the steel. Sulphurous smoke from dock shunting engines also rotted the decking's underside. One driver told me that, when he set off, his loco's exhaust literally blasted large lumps of scale on top of him.

    "There was not only corrosion but chemical damage, with windborne grit getting into the sleepers and slowly grinding into the decking."

    Paul Bolger, local historian and author, who wrote The Dockers' Umbrella, believes that, had the LOR been preserved, it might have been useful today.

    "Had the Overhead survived as a privately-run, paying concern, it would have had to close intermediate stations and been highly truncated because of the motor car.

    "It might have had a future as part of Liverpool's rush-hour traffic park and ride, with railheads at Crosby and Dingle.

    "Built as a system for moving dock labour, the cessation of the traditional docks meant all the support industries went away.

    "The city became a huge Polo mint, with everyone housed on the periphery. Survival would have needed a patient owner not interested in profit for a long, long time, but it would have complemented Albert Dock's tourism revival very well."

    The tunnel mouth of Liverpool overhead railway in the Dingle

    The crunch came in 1956 when £2m was needed for the essential renewing of the decking. Neither its owners, Mersey Docks & Harbour Board, Liverpool City Council, nor the Ministry of Transport were interested in retaining the Overhead.

    "I believe the city is partly to blame. The Victorians and Edwardians had a reputation for building solidly," says Bolger.

    "The Overhead's life expectancy of 60 years for its cast-iron columns in Liverpool's steam and atmosphere is reasonable, but no funds were put aside by any organisation for its renewal. Yet it was so vital to the war effort and always immed- iately repaired so troop and naval personnel movements could keep going. Ten years later, it was declared sufficiently redundant to be scrapped.

    "The management of the LOR is a typical British story. We always blame WWII for bringing this country to its knees, but huge profits were made from the industrial revolution onwards.

    "Yet instead of retooling factories, our magnates were too busy gentrifying themselves and building big useless country houses. Winning the war was due to our ingenuity."

    Dr Jarvis adds: "Apart from the structural problems, the crucial weakness in the LOR's survival is that the direction of trade has altered and is no longer north-south along the waterfront.

    "Permission to recreate a new Overhead in front of the Pier Head's Three Graces doubtless would be opposed, although it predated them by 15 years."

    A British first >>>

    A British first

    THE Liverpool Overhead Railway was an ingenious solution to the problem of rapidly moving labour along a Dock Road which was already choked with goods traffic.

    Truly a British first when it was opened on February 4, 1893, by the Prime Minister, Lord Salisbury, the Overhead boasted electrically-powered multiple-unit trains elevated on stilts above the Dock Road's horse-drawn congestion.

    Besides the cargo moving workforce, the LOR was used by ship repairers and a myriad of people taking paperwork between ships, offices and the Custom House.

    Prof Peter Toyne, transport expert and former vice chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University, says: "The 50th anniversary of the LOR's closure is important for Liverpool as it was unique in Britain and indicated how go-ahead this city once was in devising rapid transport systems.

    "I hope the new Pier Head Liverpool Museum will really showcase the significant history of Liverpool's railways.

    "The Overhead would have been hugely expensive to restore and maintain, but it's an important part of British history and must be permanently commemorat-ed.

    "Otherwise, it will be simply forgotten."

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    Definitive history of Liverpool's 800 years
    Sep 12 2006

    A professor and 'honorary Scouser' has written a book to mark Liverpool's 800-year-old past - and its historical significance. Mike Chapple reports:

    Daily Post

    Prof John Belchem with the definitive history of Liverpool - Picture: TRACEY O'NEILL

    OUT of the past 800 years, five might seem a very short period indeed. But they have been very important years for the city - because, finally, after five years, the definitive history of Liverpool has been completed in time for its 800th anniversary celebrations in 2007.

    However, John Belchem - the man behind the creation of the book Liverpool 800 Culture Character and History - is philosophical about finally seeing his long-awaited, whopper-sized, paper baby delivered in the flesh.

    "When I first picked it up, it was an absolutely fabulous moment, because it was the first time I'd had a chance to look at the thing as a whole," said the Professor of History at the University of Liverpool.

    "I showed it to my wife Mary and she thought it was fantastic and other people thought it was terrific.

    "But because this has been five years in the making, with two years of my time completely devoted to it in terms of every working, waking hour, in the end I was thinking w-e-e-e-lll ... perhaps it's not bad.

    "I suppose in some ways I even felt deflated."

    He was holding the dummy of the paperback after its arrival from Slovenia where the entire run is about be printed, an irony not lost on him.

    "If we could have afforded to have it printed in Liverpool, believe me, we would have done," said Professor Belchem.

    The book should be in the shops by the end of the month.

    The only thing left to be done is the burnishing of the front cover depicting the ferries and the waterfront.

    The book contains the names of hundreds of famous Liverpudlians - everyone from John Lennon, Dixie Dean, Bessie Braddock and Ken Dodd - to the two Williams, Roscoe and Gladstone.

    "I suppose that will be one of the most controversial aspects of the book - people complaining that so-and-so's name's been left out!" said the 59-year-old Professor, who was born in the East End of London, but came to the University of Liverpool in 1979 and now considers himself "an honorary Scouser".

    At 523 pages, and weighing 1.9 kgms, even the paperback is a hefty tome, but one which, at £14.95, looks set to be the Christmas book bargain of the year.

    The £35 hardback edition is heavier still at 2.15 kgms, while the 800 numbered, limited edition copies costing £100 in its bound slip case, will tip the scales at 2.4kgms. Professor Belchem edited and also wrote an introduction to the book, which is split into six chapters.

    The first, Small Beginnings, covers the period 1207 to 1680. Prof Belchem said that this was probably the most difficult to complete and required three different people - Jenny Kermode, Janet Hollinshead and Malcolm Gretton, experts in medieval, late medieval and early modernist history, respectively.

    "The problem is that there is so little to work with from that period," said Prof Belchem, who referred to the work of an academic predecessor, Ramsay Muir, who wrote the 700th anniversary history of Liverpool 100 years ago.

    "We started off talking about Small Beginnings, while Muir began by referring to Long Centuries of Small Things, saying 'don't kid yourself that this is some venerable long romance about ancient Liverpool because that's just rubbish'.

    "Really, it was just a bloody boring insignificant place where nothing happened until the late 17th, early 18th century, then, WHAM!!! all hell breaks loose."

    Other chapters include:

    * Civic Liverpool (1680 to 1800);

    * A demographic breakdown entitled Living In the Modern City covering the 19th century to the modern day;

    * Maritime Liverpool;

    * Cosmopolitan Liverpool, which was also written by Prof Belchem and analyses immigration from the 18th century to the end of World War II;

    * City of Change and Challenge, which covers the city's history from war's end to today.

    THESE latter two also presented sensitive issues. "In Cosmopolitan, we were trying to cover so much from all the Celtic elements - the Irish, Scots, the Welsh and Manx - never mind all the European and Afro-Caribbean elements, so we tried to find as many imaginative and different ways to be as inclusive as possible," explained Prof Belchem, whose next book will be the history of Irish Liverpool, due out next year.

    With the Change and Challenge chapter, he thought it important to include author Jon Murden, who was a great expert on the city - though he was not a Liverpudlian.

    "That chapter takes us on a huge rollercoaster ride covering some very controversial topics such as Toxteth in 1981 and the reign of Militant.

    "Jon was great for this because he is not a Liverpudlian. He's someone who would not have been too involved and therefore can't be accused of being too partisan.

    "Of course, there will always be those who will say 'well, you said that about such-and-such an incident, but my auntie was there and she's told me that's not how it was!'"

    Another issue requiring meticulous work was the widespread use of images and sorting out copyright problems. The University of Liverpool and the city council, which jointly funded the book project, proved to be especially helpful in sorting these out, especially the latter's records office.

    "It meant we got access to sites not normally open to other people. They must take great credit for that.

    "For instance, one of the distinctions about the book is that it will contain illustrations that people will never have seen before. There aren't, for instance, any classic pictures of the Liver Building, because people have already seen all that done a million times before."

    What he hopes is that it will be a comprehensive reflection on one of the great individual cities of the world.

    "The main thing I really like is that it IS a city but it's NOT provincial and it's NOT English. It's not boring and it's not bland."

    He also hopes that the book's appeal will be universal.

    "I think we've struck the balance right. We were trying to produce a book which tried to please every kind of audience.

    "I wanted my academic peers to ask what is the best piece of research about Liverpool history - and they walk away reading Liverpool 800.

    "We also wanted to appeal to the general reader, which is why we've tried to write it in the most accessible style possible.

    "But we also wanted to appeal to the people who previously had never been interested in the history of the city. They don't have to read it from cover to cover. Some people might just want to look at the pictures - and the captions in themselves produce quite a good story."

    Most important of all, he hopes that the book does justice to the city - and its historical significance.

    "We used a narrative framework that looks at Liverpool as a kind of history of human geography," said Prof Belchem.

    "Physically, Liverpool once was an isolated place, not very healthily located.

    "But then, suddenly, it was realised that you could do things to transform that geography.

    "That you could build all these amazing canals and roads, and God knows what else.

    "That you could control oceans and then you could build the most incredible docks system - as solid and enduring as the pyramids. That you could control those high, wonderful tidal ranges, so that human intervention transformed the rather unfortunate geography and made this place, what was briefly, I suppose, the centre of the universe.

    "That is why," he concluded, almost triumphantly, "this book is so important."

    Friday, 9 March 2007




    Jane has highlighted to the Prime Minister that an e-petition has been created by a Liverpool F.C. fan that asks for Bob Paisley to be Knighted.
    Tony Blair has agreed he will read it with interest.

    to add your name to the petition go to e-petitions

    Jane Kennedy (Liverpool, Wavertree, Labour) Link to this | Hansard source

    Staying with Europe, did my right hon. Friend have the opportunity to watch the outstanding display of football at Anfield stadium last night? Is it not about time that we marked the memory of the late and great Bob Paisley with an honour? Will my right hon. Friend read early-day motion 1038 signed by Members of the House—both red and blue?

    Tony Blair (Prime Minister) Link to this | Hansard source

    I look forward to reading that. I did watch the match last night. Congratulations to Liverpool, who did absolutely brilliantly. Congratulations also to Chelsea—we should congratulate the blues as well as the reds on this occasion. Let us hope that we have two other teams going through as well— [Interruption.] As my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary reminds me, there is also Celtic, and we wish it good luck, too.

    Sunday, 4 March 2007

    The History Of Liverpool City Council Book ONE

    The History Of Liverpool City Council Book ONE

    Thursday, March 01, 2007

    LIVERPOOL city council has spent £377,000 on a massive advertising campaign...for re-cycling!

    The council, which has one of the worst re-cycling records in the country, has forked out a small fortune on marketing gimmicks which cannot even be re-cycled!

    Councillors were astonished this week to receive surprise 'goody bags' to their Town Hall post boxes.

    The bags, hundreds of which were sent around the city, contained a Liverpool Recycles 't' shirt, a small plastic blue wheely bin, a pencil sharpener, a rubber, a notepad, a plastic biro and a plastic cup, along with all the usual PR bump.

    These were the wonderful marketing gimmicks dreamt up by some PR company, as part of a £377,000 campaign which is aimed at promoting re-cycling in the city.

    With such little goodies there is usually at least a 100 per cent mark-up involved for the PR company which arranges them.

    But quite why all of the city's councillors need to be persuaded to start re-cycling is beyond us - since any councillor with half a brain should be at the forefront of the campaign anyway.
    We wonder did councillors notice the amount of plastic used in manufacturing these expensive little toys?

    But the little goodie bags also went to senior officers, including chief executive Colin 'Cover Up', who authorised the spending, and treasurer Phil Hasitall, aka the smiling assassin, who has just warned that the council is virtually bankrupt.

    Neither of these men apparently questioned whether these marketing gimmicks were the best use of council taxpayers money.

    A council spokesman angrily defended the use of council taxpayers money on such gimmicks.
    He said: "If we want to waste thousands of pounds on little plastic wheely bins, pencil sharpeners and rubbers, then so what?

    "That's nothing compared to the millions the city council has already wasted on contracts with McElhinney's Liverpool Direct, as the chief executive has so usefully pointed out in the past."

    Posted by Tony Parrish47 at Thursday, March 01, 2007 6 comments Links to this post

    Labels: Colin 'Cover up' Hilton, family silver, liverpoolevilcabal, The Smiling Assassin

    Wednesday, February 28, 2007

    Dear Sir,

    Contributors to the Liverpool subCulture blog have made a number of practical suggestions about the £50million cuts which the city council could make without hurting the most vulnerable in the city.

    We wanted to share their suggestions with Daily Post readers.

    Amongst the most popular are to dispense with the services of the city treasurer, the chief executive and the gaggle of highly paid senior managers, since the cash crisis is their responsibility.

    Other suggestions include getting back the £340,000 the city council paid the former chief executive Sir David Henshaw for retiring early, since he doesn't appear to have retired.

    Scrap the hospitality budget, end the posh lunches and take away the posh cars the council pays for.

    Stop paying Liverpool Direct Limited for the services they charge the Council.
    Charge for the use of the purpose built shower on the third floor of Venture Place.

    Demolish the pigeon loft at the back of the Municipal Buildings (saving £18,000)

    Get our money back from Robyn Archer.

    Scrap the neighbourhood services talking shops (controversial this one)

    Halve the quangos in the city.

    Put an immediate freeze on all performance related pay awards for senior managers, since they have obviously failed to perform.

    Suggestions are still coming in and they will all be forwarded to the current Leader of the Council, Councillor Warren Bradley in his hour of need. We would welcome any more. Perhaps DPost readers might like to make their own suggestions?

    Tony Parrish47
    Liverpool subCulture

    Posted by Tony Parrish47 at Wednesday, February 28, 2007 5 comments Links to this post

    Labels: Chas 'show me the money' Cole, Colin 'Cover up' Hilton, liverpoolevilcabal, McElhinney's Shower, PIGEONS, The Harbarrowboy, The Smiling Assassin

    Friday, February 23, 2007

    Posted by Tony Parrish47 at Friday, February 23, 2007 4 comments Links to this post

    Labels: Henshaw, Storey

    Wednesday, February 21, 2007

    My last post concerned my Freedom of Information request to find out what questions Tony Parrish (pictured, ed) asked and the council's answers.
    The council refused to comply with my request.
    I then decided - in the interests of open government - to write to the current Leader of the Council, Councillor Warren Bradley and the former leader of the Council, Councillor Mike Storey to ascertain if they could shed any further light on these matters.
    This is my letter of the 19th of January....(to be continued)

    Dear Councillor,
    Please find below a response I have received from the city council to my Freedom of Information request.
    I had asked what questions Tony Parrish had asked the council and what the council's response had been.
    As you will see from the reply, the council has been unable to respond with the information I requested.
    In my view, there are three potential explanations for this:
    1) The council's record-keeping systems and processes are so chaotic and disorganised that they simply do not know.
    2) They are trying to frustrate my enquiry because it will produce information which will only embarrass them further by revealing their consistent and repeated failure to obey the law on Freedom of Information. (Presumably they don't want the council to appear in court again.)
    3) They are trying to intimidate Mr Parrish with their 'ongoing investigation.'
    (It is also a convenient excuse for refusing to impart such information, isn't it?)
    I doubt whether 3) will work.

    However both you gentlemen should be aware of an apparent "ongoing investigation".
    1. Who authorised this?
    2. What is its justification?
    3. How much has it cost?
    4. Who does it involve?
    5. What is its purpose?
    6. When did it begin?
    7. When will it be concluded?
    I am sure that you may wish to put these and a number of other questions to the current chief executive.

    I should be interested in the answers.

    As a council taxpayer, this seems to me yet more evidence of the unacceptable activities of an officer class within the city council, who are both out of control and unaccountable, as well as lacking in judgement and common sense.

    It also raises yet again the intriguing question of
    who is actually running the city council - democratically elected politicians, or unaccountable civil servants?

    I suspect the answer is fairly clear.
    I can only presume that at the end of the day any "investigation" being conducted by the city council may eventually lead to councillors also being interviewed, leading to the possibility of further action.
    I imagine there will be many people who will be willing to provide additional information.
    Perhaps you yourselves will be able to shed further light on all these matters in order to assist Mr Hilton in his enquiries.
    In the meantime, I would like answers to my questions about Mr Parrish's questions - and the council's response.
    Perhaps you can use whatever influence you may have to try and resolve this matter?



    Posted by A.Kelly at Wednesday, February 21, 2007 5 comments Links to this post

    Labels: Bradley, Colin 'Cover up' Hilton, Freedom of Information, I'm Tony Parrish, liverpoolevilcabal, Storey

    Wednesday, February 14, 2007



    Date: 2007/01/14 Sun PM 03:53:33 GMT

    Subject: FOI request

    Dear Mr Hilton,

    Please consider this a request under the Freedom of Information Act.

    1) Please provide copies, with dates, of all requests for information received by the city council from Mr Tony Parrish under the Freedom of Information Act.

    2) Please list, and provide copies of, all of the council's responses.

    3) Please list, with dates, all complaints received by the city council from Mr Tony Parrish about the council's response.

    4) Please list, with dates, the council's responses to these complaints.

    Yours faithfully,



    Enquiries to: Wendy Twigge
    Your Ref:
    Our Ref: LA/WT/07/0733
    Date: 18 January, 2007

    A Kelly

    Dear Sir


    Thank you for your request for information made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

    With regard to the information which you seek, we are at this time unable to comply with your request.

    This information is retained by Liverpool City Council but forms part of an ongoing investigation and is, therefore, exempt by virtue of the Section 30.

    To comply with the Act we have confirmed the existence of this information to you. It would have a detrimental effect on the development of any investigation.

    This exemption requires that the public interest test be considered and in doing so it is felt that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in its disclosure. This has been considered and maintained as the investigation is ongoing and affects several other individuals as well as the public body itself. Disclosure of information at this time would be damaging to the investigation.

    When we are unable to comply with a request made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, we are required to serve you with a Section 17 Notice. Please treat this email as such a notice.

    The City Council will consider complaints about the way it has handled your request under its Have Your Say scheme. You can complete a form online on our website at or you can write to us at Liverpool Direct, FREEPOST, NWW 3400A, Liverpool, L1 3ZZ. We will then deal with your complaint within two weeks, carry out a full and fair investigation within a further month if things are not resolved, and arrange for a different senior officer to review your case within a further month if you remain unhappy.

    You may also apply to the Information Commissioner for a decision about whether the request for information has been dealt with in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

    The Information Commissioner’s website is and the address and telephone numbers are: Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House,Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF, Fax 01625 524 510, DX 20819, Telephone 01625 545 745, email: (they advise that their e-mail is not secure).

    Yours faithfully

    Wendy Twigge
    Information Manager

    Posted by A.Kelly at Wednesday, February 14, 2007 6 comments Links to this post

    Posted by Tony Parrish47 at Wednesday, February 14, 2007

    Thursday, February 08, 2007


    Here is the undynamic duo's official timetable (We have drawn attention to some events of particular interest): SEE FOR ALL THE DETAILS

    The events programme for 2007 will include the following:-

    LIVERPOOL WELCOME - Supporters Only
    This is an informal event to help kick start the MIPIM week. All Liverpool @MIPIM supporters are welcome to attend.

    Date: Monday 12th March from 19.00
    Venue: Liverpool Yacht
    Format: Informal drinks reception.
    Audience: Sponsors/Partners/Associates

    STAND BREAKFASTS - Supporters Welcome
    This is an informal continental breakfast served each morning on the Liverpool stand. An ideal way to start the day.

    Date: Daily between 9 – 10am
    Venue: Liverpool Stand
    Format: Continental breakfast
    Audience: All welcome

    MEET THE CITY - Invitation Only
    Our traditional meet the city event will once again take place on the Liverpool yacht and gives supporters the opportunity to meet and network with key representatives from the city. Attendance will be restricted to the agreed supporter allocations.

    Date: Thursday 15th March 12.00 – 14.30
    Venue: Liverpool Yacht
    Format: Buffet lunch and drinks
    Audience: Sponsors/Partners/Associates (as per allocation)

    LIVERPOOL TEAM DINNER - Invitation Only
    The Liverpool team dinner proved to be one of the highlights of MIPIM 2006 and for 2007 we will once again be dining at the excellent La Potinier du Palais. This will be a fairly informal dinner, hosted by Cllr Warren Bradley (Leader, Liverpool City Council) and Colin Hilton (Chief Executive, Liverpool City Council). Invitations will be issued according the agreed supporter allocations.

    Date: Thursday 15th March
    Venue: La Potinier du Palais 13 Square Merimee (opposite the Palais des Festivals).
    Time: 19.00 – 22.30
    Audience: Sponsors/Partners/Associates (as per allocation)

    LIVERPOOL@MORRISON’S PARTY - Restricted Access
    The Liverpool@Morrison’s party is guaranteed to be the best event in town, offering the ideal opportunity to unwind with guests at the end of a busy MIPIM week. We have once again secured private access to the street and as well as live music from the Mersey Beatles, there will be bar facilities both inside and out.

    Date: Thursday 15th March
    Venue: Morrison’s Irish Pub
    Time: 21.30 – ‘til late
    Audience: All supporters plus invited guests



    Friday, February 02, 2007

    LIVERPOOL CITY COUNCIL faces an £18 million budget deficit and is thinking about selling off the family silver to make up some dosh.
    But you can help save the city's Municipal Offices and Capital of Culture from the axeman in this our historic birthday year.

    We are appealing to all our loyal readers and to the thousands of council employees now labouring under the threat of cuts for suggestions about how the city council can save money.
    No amount is too large or too small. No idea too stupid or inspired. No cut too savage or slight. (that's enough 'no's', ed).

    We will send all your ideas to council leader Warren Bradley (if he is still there, ed). Then he will forget them. But we will have fun making the suggestions.

    You can make comments in the usual way and we will post them here (in the now time-honoured tradition, ed)

    To kick off this glorious exercise in democratic participation can we make our own suggestion about how to cut the budget deficit which has built up so unexpectedly? (You can, ed)

    OUR SUGGESTION IS THIS: Why don't the council sack the smiling assassin, Phil Halsall?
    After all he has been the sodding treasurer for the last seven years and it must be his bloody fault if the council is strapped for cash now.
    What on earth has he been doing?
    Sack Halsall and the council would save more than £300,000 a year.

    MILDRED said...
    I suggest sacking Hilton, and getting the dwarf to give back all the money he stole.Dr Dog should sell his shower to the highest bidder.In fact sack most of the AED'S they do nothing useful anyway.Stop other managers wasting money on meeting rooms posh lunches,and take away the posh cars the council pays for.Selling our heritage is not the option but as usual the people of Liverpool are the ones who suffer and the staff from the council who can't even have a decent cup of water!Cuts always affect those who most need help and cannot continue to happen, it is always the front line services who suffer, if you see the budget report you will find that once again the leaders of the council want to cut services to people who most need assistance yet they don't cut their own expenses or their overpaid salary.They will get 10% bonus for cutting services and selling our heritage.Now that would be a great saving if they cut this expenditure.One of the main areas of saving money is not to pay LDL for all the services that they provide for the Council, the services belong to the people of Liverpool, not Dr Mc, slice the payments they are giving to BT for services that we already own, we would save millions
    Friday, February 02, 2007 3:55:00 PM

    Len said...
    my suggestion is to sue Diddy for the money he blacmailed out of the city. That's another 350 grand.

    Friday, February 02, 2007 6:24:00 PM
    Jimbo said...
    My suggestion is to charge anyone using Mcilhenny's shower. Perhaps we should charge £10 a time. It would soon mount up with all the running he is doing.
    Friday, February 02, 2007 6:26:00 PM

    Tommy said...
    I suggest that the council scraps its hospitality budget so that it no longer has to pay for the thousands of sandwiches that are left to curl up all over the city. It's a waste and needless expense people can buy their own.
    Anonymous said...
    I agree - stop the butty budget!!!!

    PH and DrMce said...
    You'll never take our butty budget never!!

    Saturday, February 03, 2007 7:26:00 PM

    Anonymous said...
    give back the pooh screen ?

    Saturday, February 03, 2007 7:31:00 PM

    Anonymous said...
    Get Robbing Archer and DH and Dr Dog and the Happy Assassin to give it all back?

    Saturday, February 03, 2007 7:31:00 PM

    Anonymous said...
    Regrade all senior Council and Capital of Culture officers so that their packages are commensurate with their ability and performance (NB this could result in a positive cashflow to the Council)

    Saturday, February 03, 2007 7:32:00 PM

    Anonymous said...
    seriously scrap the neighbourhood services. they are the most expensive talking shops ever

    Sunday, February 04, 2007 12:36:00 AM

    Anonymous said...
    halve the quangos in this city.
    the butty budget and the expenses of transporting them from talking shop to talking shop will save a fortune also think of the benefit to the environment cos they won't be travelling into the city from sunny southport and wirral every day

    Sunday, February 04, 2007 12:39:00 AM

    grass roots worker said...
    i agree. put an immediate freeze on all performance related pay for senior managers. that would save an absolute fortune. what about it warren?

    Sunday, February 04, 2007 4:46:00 PM

    Posted by Tony Parrish47 at Friday, February 02, 2007

    Thursday, January 11, 2007
    Colin 'Cover Up' finally admits: "TONY PARRISH TOLD THE TRUTH

    Liverpool city council have finally admitted that Tony Parrish told the truth on his legendary liverpoolevilcabal blog.
    The admission comes in a confidential report compiled by the city council's own internal audit department and endorsed by chief executive Colin 'Cover Up' (Colin Hilton, ed)

    The 12-page report sets out to try and prove that the city council's former media chief, Matt Finnegan was the real Tony Parrish.

    Readers will recall that Finnegan had worked for the council for six years as Director of Communications before Henshaw suspended him on trumped up charges over his pension row with council leader Mike Storey.

    The internal report was leaked to the Liverpool Echo before Christmas by the city council's smiling assassin, Executive Director Phil Halsall (left) in an unsuccessful attempt to try and damage Finnegan.

    The Echo however chose not to swallow the bait and pointed out the report was littered with half-truths, speculation and conjecture, the council itself admitting that it was inconclusive.

    However, what has surprisingly been ignored is the report's description of events within the council which lead to the sudden appearance last summer of the liverpoolevilcabal blog.

    For the first time, we can reveal the circumstances in which the legendary Tony Parrish gave birth to the blog.

    And they give a fascinating insight into what was going on inside the Municipal Buildings soon after Sir Diddy (chief executive, Sir David Henshaw, ed) was made to walk the plank and retire early.

    One page of the report is headed: Access to Council Material

    It describes how five Freedom of Information email requests were made by "Tony Parrish" to the then acting chief executive Colin 'Cover Up' (Colin Hilton, ed) on 20th April last year.

    (Henshaw had departed on March 31st, ed).
    The extremely detailed questions, which were about The 08 Place, The Summer Pops and internal audit's lack of activities, requested official documents about all three. (The council has still failed to respond - a flagrant breach of the law, ed)

    But the internal report goes on:

    "One of the five emails...asked for documentation relating to the sub tenancy of The 08 Place. Although, at that time there was no evidence as to the identity of Tony Parrish, the belief was that these requests had been provoked by information provided by council sources. " (You betcha bottom dollar, ed) In an email to those involved, the chief executive (Hilton, left) stated: 'I received five requests from the same person under the Freedom of Information Act in relation to this complaint and The 08 Place. In view of the information in the requests it is reasonable for me to believe that only those directly involved could have supplied information to this third party ." (Our hero, Tony Parrish, ed)

    So, you will be asking, who were those 'directly involved'?

    Well, Colin 'Cover Up' was one.
    The now discredited and pensioned off Head of Internal Audit, Gerry Callaghan was another.

    And there were two councillors - former leader, Mike Storey and current leader, Warren Bradley. (Take your pick folks, ed)

    All four had met to consider allegations made about The 08 Place, Henshaw blackmailing the city, The Summer Pops, The Kensington One Stop Shop, etc, etc.

    (It is revealing, isn't it folks? that Hilton already appears at this point to have been more interested in trying to trace the source of the leak than properly investigating the specific allegations which had been made at such a senior level. Warren should have been warned then, ed)

    It was thus as a result of Hilton's failure to respond to lawful questions and to properly act against corruption and criminality that the liverpoolevilcabal blog was born.

    Clearly Tony Parrish was determined that the evil cabal should be publicly exposed.
    So that's when all the fun started.
    The report goes on to say:

    "A significant amount of the material on the liverpoolevilcabal website related to Council business that was not in the public domain or public knowledge. Examples not necessarily exhaustive, include:

    Allegations in relation to 08 Place, which contained detail that was only available to a handful of individuals within the city council (guess who folks? ed) including a reference (27th July 2006), to detailed documents being presented to the Chief Executive and Head of Audit. (ah-ha, as Alan Partridge would say, ed)

    The posting of 3rd July (told you they were following every word, ed) which reproduces extracts of Councillor Antrobus's account of events, referred to on the website as "Henshaw's attempted coup - by Coun Antrobus") (This was Henshaw threatening to report Storey to the Standards Board unless he quit, ed)

    The postings of 21st and 22nd July which reproduce extracts of Councillor Clark's account of events, referred to on the website as "Henshaw threatened Storey's job - shock new evidence" and "Henshaw's blackmail note". (Aaaaah, this takes us back to exciting times, ed. As the sun beat down, Tony Parrish lazed about with his laptop, sipping Chablis and detonating one grenade after another as the stunned council recoiled. It was almost Dickensian in its scope and cast of sordid characters as the seedy underbelly of Henshaw's evil cabal was revealed in all its full horror, ed. Those were the days, ed.)

    The Cream proposals for running the Summer Pops. (This was the attempted stitch-up with CMP and the Harbarrowboy, ed)

    It is reasonable to conclude that material such as this could only have emanated from Council sources" the report concludes, (with amazing insight, ed).

    Here's the thing though - what was Hilton doing about the allegations which were emanating from such senior council sources? (Bugger all - he banned the blog instead, ed)

    'Cover Up' was clearly aware of the allegations being made - particularly about Henshaw blackmailing the city council, but repeatedly failed to call in the police to investigate. Why not? (There could still be more developments on this though, watch this space, ed)
    So there you have it.

    Tony Parrish was being fed confidential information from inside the council by 'you know who', decided it should be made public and not covered up by Colin.

    The blog was born.

    And that started the city council's witch hunt against TP (banning the blog to the public, threats of writs, letters to Google, the smiling assassin's pathetic letter to the Information Commissioner, Inspector Clueless wandering around scratching his head, etc, etc)
    Oh what fun it all was.

    And there's a nice little postscript.

    The confidential report can barely disguise its disappointment when it describes how it had intended to raise all this stuff about confidential information with Mattie Finnegan (below) to: "ascertain if he could provide any information or shed any light as to the source(s)."

    (We can imagine his direct two-word response to this particular enquiry, ed)
    But he thwarted them by upping and resigning in disgust before they could question him. (Apparently Callaghan had been practising his 'hard cop, soft cop' routine in an office mirror for weeks in readiness for this confrontation, ed)
    The report concludes:

    "In the circumstances, in the absence of any further information, it is not possible to draw any conclusions as to the source of Council material used in e-mails or on the liverpoolevilcabal website."

    And we daresay that there are one or two senior people at the city council today who are gratefully breathing a huge sigh of relief.
    (We just thought you should know the truth....ed)

    Posted by Tony Parrish47 at Thursday, January 11, 2007

    Tuesday, December 19, 2006

    Oh Shit! Colin 'Cover Up' Hilton has spent £17,000 of taxpayers money on a new roof for his car!
    This is at the same time that the city council is planning to stop free school buses for 4,500 of the city's kids.
    Hilton ordered the cover up to protect his gleaming paint work from the bird shit dropped by the city's seagulls and pigeons.
    He agreed that the money should be spent on putting a roof over the free car park spaces that he and the smiling assassin Halsall, who drives a new Porsche, occupy at the rear of the Municipal Buildings in Victoria Street.
    The scandal has been highlighted by the Liverpool Daily Post (was the Echo fast asleep again, or just being consistently craven? ed) in a fantastic story today.
    Amazingly Council Leader Warren Bradley has defended the use of taxpayers money on featherbedding (ouch, ed) well paid officials like this, accusing critics like Labour's Joe Anderson of being 'mischievous.'
    (Here is another lengthy editorial aside: A word of advice Warren. Being Leader of the Council does not mean that you have to justify everything the city council does, nor defend the indefensible as in this case, whatever Hilton tells you. You keep on doing this as though you are performing some kind of public duty - whether it is over the shambles that is Culture, the whitewash over The 08 Place or The Summer Pops. You do not have to keep doing this. It is stupid. Your job is to protect and defend the public interest - that is not the same thing as the council's interests. Please grow up, act like a mature politician, be your own man and use a bit of common sense and judgement, or we will not be so kind to you in the future, ed)
    The roof has been built for the cars of highly paid senior executives such as Hilton and Halsall who already enjoy FREE car parking at the rear of the Municipal Buildings - unlike all other council employees.
    It seems they can't afford to pay for their own cars to be cleaned so they wanted a roof building instead.
    Apparently the fingers of McElhinney can be found all over the roof plan for the pooh park at the MO.
    And of course, Halsall would have had to sign off the expenditure as city treasurer.
    As Councillor Anderson remarked: "It's like something from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest".
    In the meantime these luxury loving motorists want to axe free school buses for 4,500 Liverpool children because it costs too much.
    See how the evl cabal still survives, folks?
    Disgraceful. Write to your local councillor and get the canopy torn down.

    Posted by Tony Parrish47 at Tuesday, December 19, 2006

    Monday, December 18, 2006

    Seasons Greetings to Liverpool Wavertree MP Jane Kennedy for exposing Sir Diddy's corruption to a national audience at Westminster.
    The crusading Labour MP, who earlier this year devastatingly described Henshaw as "A man in whom I have no confidence, and for whom I have no respect" has now taken her campaign to the floor of the Commons.
    She described as a "scandalous waste of money" the £2.5million bill paid by the city council to hire personal computers for Liverpool's 90 councillors from Liverpool Direct, run by Henshaw's chief hatchet man and rottweiller, 'Dr' (like Crippen, Goebbels and Faustus, ed) David McElhinney.
    And Labour Leader Joe Anderson then jumped in and gave the disgraceful deal a well-deserved good kicking too.
    Ms Kennedy pointed out to MP's and Local Government Minister, Phil Woolas:
    "a recent report by KPMG suggests 43 ways in which the council could save money on the external contracts negotiated by its former chief executive, Sir David Henshaw "
    (See how Jane cleverly fingers Henshaw as the man directly and ultimately responsible for this monumentally corrupt theft of council tax-payers money? Go Girl! ed)
    Ms Kennedy continued: "One of them commits the council to a service charge of £11,000 a year per councillor, to be paid to a company called Liverpool Direct for computers supplied to councillors."
    (If PC World charged that much this Christmas, their would be riots on Bold Street, ed)
    And Kennedy then also managed to raise the subject of the publication of the KPMG report which new chief executive Colin 'Cover Up' Hilton is, true to his name, trying to keep covered up.
    She asked our old mate Mr Woolas: "Will my hon. Friend examine the report to ensure that he and his officials know the background, and to ensure that Liverpool council tax payers receive the best services that can be provided from the significant resources that the council receives?
    Which left Mr Woolas with an open goal: "I am grateful to her for raising the important point about the KPMG survey."
    "Of course, in terms of the allocation of revenue support grant one cannot take into account such specific reports, but Liverpool is subject to the Gershon requirements, as are other authorities, and I would have thought that a consideration of that important report would be a contribution to that agenda in Liverpool."
    (In other words, pay attention to this KPMG report Liverpool city council, consider yourselves seriously reprimanded for allowing this disgraceful deal with Liverpool Direct to happen and make sure you implement all the KPMG recommendations or there will be big trouble for you, ed.)
    All of which will have made Henshaw turn in his grave with embarrassment and shame (I doubt it, ed) and cause much uncomfortable foot shuffling by McElhinney, the so-called guardian of public money Halsall, (aka the smiling assasin) and by Mr Cover Up.
    Of course a council spokesman then tried to make an ill-advised defence of this corrupt computer deal (prompted by the rottweiller's foaming at the mouth ragings) rather than have the decency and the humility to admit that the people of Liverpool had been robbed blind by McElhinney (wouldn't have happened in Matt Finnegan's day, ed).
    Which just threw a huge great pan of fat on the fire.
    But full marks to the Daily Post, Joe Anderson and most of all MP Kennedy for again having the bottle to expose Henshaw's evil bastards and refusing to be initimidated by his cabal.
    Our eternal loyalty is thus secured....

    Posted by Dandy Pat at Monday, December 18, 2006 3 comments Links to this post

    Saturday, November 25, 2006

    LABOUR Leader Joe Anderson is asking police to investigate what went on with McElhinney's Liverpool Direct Limited.
    He has written to Chief Constable Bernard Hogan Howe after the secret report by independent auditors, KPMG made 37 separate recommendations for changes in the way the city council deals with LDL.
    Chief executive, Colin 'Cover Up' Hilton has already agreed to implement all 37 recommendations, admitting that LDL has cost city council taxpayers millions of pounds.
    But he is still refusing to make the full report public.
    Anderson has asked the police to examine why no action was taken by the city council when he first raised questions about the way LDL was being run more than three years ago.
    He has specifically asked Hogan Howe to look at the circumstances surrounding the level of charges imposed by Liverpool Direct, under the direction of chief executive Dr David McElhinney (the Liverpool rottweiller).
    In particular Anderson is rightly concerned about the £200 PER INDIVIDUAL PHONE CALL charge made by LDL for handling education grant enquiries from the public.
    This astronomical fee for every single phone call was imposed after the council's utter cock-up over handling education grants.
    Interestingly enough, of course, Hilton was in charge of Education at this time. He agreed the charge.
    Anderson is also keen to discover exactly how many millions (to the nearest £100,000 would do, ed) the contract with LDL has actually cost the city council's taxpayers.
    His intervention is particularly interesting since, as well as Hilton, it also points the finger very firmly at former chief executive, Sir Diddy Henshaw and the smiling assassin, Halsall as well as former council Leader, Mike Storey.
    They were all on the same watch when McElhinney was ripping off millions from the city council.
    Why the cabalists should not be held individually accountable for the huge sums of public money lost by their incompetence, greed or corruption, (or all three, ed) is the question which no-one has yet answered, of course.
    PS The rottweiller's poodle, the highly strung Councillor Marilyn Fielding (trained observers will notice that she is also a blonde, ed) seems to have escaped everyone's attention in the LDL scandal. This is surprising since she was the Executive Member responsible. She was, of course, busily concentrating instead on making moon faces at her beloved McElhinney, who could do and say no wrong in her eyes, while he ripped off millions behind her back. Council taxpayers should send demands for their money back to Counc Marilyn Fielding, c/o Municipal Buildings, Dale Street, Liverpool.

    Posted by Tony Parrish47 at Saturday, November 25, 2006 12 comments Links to this post

    Labels: Anderson, Colin 'Cover up' Hilton, Henshaw, liverpoolevilcabal, MceLhinney, Storey, The Smiling Assassin

    Tuesday, November 21, 2006
    Whitewash at The 08 Place

    THE city council's internal report into The 08 Place has given the go-ahead for private firms to lobby senior council officers about lucrative contracts.

    The report says there is "nothing wrong" in them making such contact.

    It also admits that the thieving rottweiller, McElhinney did not tell the truth to councillors about The 08 Place contract.

    But charitably, arrogantly and unbelievably naively, it concludes:

    "there is no evidence that the statement was made knowing it to be untrue and in order to mislead."

    The report, by bald legal eagle, Michael Kenworthy reluctantly admits that it was "not good practice" for Chas Cole's CMP Entertainment to instruct council contractors about fitting out the Culture one-stop shop.

    In other words, the council now believes that a private company should not give orders to council workmen about fitting out its own offices with posher lights than normal, better carpets, more expensive decorations and fitments etc, etc. (It's certainly immensely re-assuring that the city council have now very firmly drawn the line at that unthinkable state of affairs ever possibly happening, ed. Just who the hell is in charge of this amateur outfit?)

    Drawing himself up to his full 5 foot 8 inches, Kenworthy positively oozes smug pomposity, self-importance and arrogance as he concludes: "Any reasonably (sic) minded members of the public will accept that the matter has been dealt with properly by the Council, CMP and the Audit Commission."

    (Oh no we won't, ed)
    And anyway, quite what the findings of a council report has got to do with a private company like CMP, or why the council should now be bending over backwards to defend a private company like CMP, is beyond us. (Kenworthy has typically over-reached himself, ed)
    We are ignoring the Audit Commission completely since they were fast asleep on the job when McElhinney was ripping off the council for millions on behalf of Liverpool Direct.
    Kenworthy's report is:

    * silent on McElhinney, Halsall and Cole's close relationship

    * silent on the specific allegation about them running together in the New York marathon

    * silent on Halsall's son's band appearing at the Summer Pops and of course it is also

    * silent on the amount of free car parking and the rent free period given to CMP by McElhinney as part of the deal.

    The report is also highly selective - it:

    * fails to reveal that former council leader Mike Storey presented the report to Colin Cover Up (why? ed)
    * fails to include any evidence from the city council's surveyors 20/20 (why? ed)
    * fails to detail Henshaw's secret role in covering up the terms of the deal (why? ed) and
    * fails to provide any evidence for its glib conclusions.

    In other words it is the most servile, complicit and complacent cover-up imaginable. The cabal will be laughing like drains.

    Kenworthy is either gullible or a fool. (Probably both, ed)
    He says, for example, astonishingly:

    "Given CMP's historical (sic) connection with the city's Summer Pops (he means Chas Cole's relationship with the smiling assassin, Halsall ed) and inevitable contact with senior officers of the council (two in particular, of course, Halsall and McElhinney, ed) it should not have been surprising to anyone that the lessee (CMP) should have tried to use those contacts..."

    Oh, that's okay then. Fair enough. We will keep quiet in future about private contractors trying to use their contacts with senior council officers to win a better deal. Nothing wrong with that - they should be able to wine and dine them, take them to the villa in Marbella, arrange trips to New York.

    Do they think we are all bonkers? Is Kenworthy certifiably insane?

    Kenworthy goes on to say the free parking and rent free period for The 08 Place was agreed by 20/20. He fails to explain why they actually gave completely different advice and, in emails, officially expressed surprise at the terms of the deal. Why?

    He admits that McElhinney gave the wrong information to the Select Committee about work on The 08 Place - but doesn't say McElhinney wrongly told councillors work had ceased and then failed to correct that information. (So that's ok then, McElhinney can lie all he likes in the future, too. Presumably he has not aplogised to councillors for misleading them either? ed)

    It also claims that McElhinney was 'very clear' that no works should continue on The 08 Place beyond the £900,000 figure approved by the council.

    So why did McElhinney fail to tell councillors that work was continuing beyond that amount?
    Kenworthy says there is no evidence that McElhinney acted inappropriately or had any pecuniary interest in the transaction. (What investigations did he conduct to examine that interest then? ed)

    Kenworthy finally asks us to rely on the assurances given by the Chief Executive(s) (the greedy blackmailer Henshaw and Colin Cover Up, ed).

    He must be joking.

    His report is based on ('trust me, I'm the very important Acting City Solicitor) mere assertion, with no evidence whatsoever adduced to support his conclusions. If he says it, it must be true.
    I don't think so, bald eagle.

    Crucially Kenworthy's report does not explain why the cost of The 08 Place soared from £900,000 to £1.4million. Half a million pounds of public money down the drain.

    Nor does it apologise for that massive increase.

    Nor does it explain what steps have been taken to prevent the same situation happening again.
    Nor does it call for the appropriate distance to be observed between council officers with control of lucrative contracts and the bosses of private firms.

    It is the most specious, superficial and condescending report produced by the city council in a long time.

    And it now proves, without any question, just who is really in charge of Liverpool city council.

    NB Contrary to the craven Echo's incorrect story last night, the report does not even deal with the allegations concerning Liverpool Direct Limited. (Spin gone into overdrive again, methinks, ed)

    Posted by Tony Parrish47 at Tuesday, November 21, 2006

    Thursday, November 16, 2006


    Chief executive Colin Hilton has steadfastly refused to bring anyone to justice over the mis-rule of Henshaw's evil cabal.
    But why the cover-up?
    We now know that back in March 2006, a dossier of evidence supplied by whistleblowers was presented by former leader Mike Storey to Hilton and new leader, Councillor Warren Bradley.
    This evidence concerned amongst other things, The 08 Place, The Summer Pops, the Kensington One Stop Shop and various other supplementary matter
    The Head of the council's Internal Audit department, Gerry Callaghan ran panic-stricken from that confidential meeting to tell all to Exec Director Halsall, aka the smiling assassin, who in turn alerted The Liverpool Rottweiller, McElhinney.
    So what did Hilton do in response to the serious issues which had been officially reported to him, by a senior councillor on behalf of the council whistleblowers?
    First of all he refused to take any action against Callaghan for breaching a confidential meeting and compromising an internal investigation.
    And even though he had discussed with Storey and Bradley calling in the police to investigate the allegations and concerns raised, Hilton then refused to take any further action involving the cops.
    Instead he relied on a tame internal audit report which Callaghan, under the direction of Halsall, had hastily compiled which whitewashed the whole thing.
    But Hilton did call in external auditors KPMG to mount a detailed investigation, including examining Bradley's increasing concerns about the way McElhinney had been running Liverpool Direct Limited.

    * Amongst the issues which have been repeatedly raised are the £200 cost of handling phone calls charged by McElhinney's LDL to the council's Education department.
    * The £12,000 annual cost of providing one single LDL computer to one single councillor. (This was what LDL charged to all 90 of the city's councillors, making them the most expensive computers in the universe).
    * The constant office moves which were ordered by McElhinney, shifting council staff from one building or floor to another, with crippling charges imposed for carrying out the removals.
    * Repeated double-counting of charges, fees and costs for a huge range of IT and other services.
    * Wilfully disguising the LDL pricing structure, so no-one could clearly see where all the money was going.

    (Do you think the craven Echo might have investigated any of these? ed)
    As LDL made hay with the money merry go round, Hilton allowed McElhinney to escape the council's clutches by transferring to become chief executive of the joint venture, Liverpool Direct Limited.
    Are you with us, so far? (Every step of the way, ed)
    So in other words the alarm had been loudly raised, but the householder then stood twiddling his thumbs and looking the other way, while allowing the burglar to escape with all the loot.
    Then in desperation, the legendary Tony Parrish entered the fray, chucking in his grenade of the liverpoolevilcabal blog to blow apart what Hilton was determined to keep hidden (thank you, Tony).
    This at least succeeded in forcing Bradley to ignore Hilton momentarily (while he was on holiday) and present the dossier (and further evidence) to the police.
    And then everything settled back to normal - Bradley ran out of steam, Hilton got back behind his desk and the cabalists escaped.
    It is now clear that the police are unlikely to take any action against Henshaw, Halsall or McElhinney (who are jointly and individually responsible) unless Bradley is prepared to take matters much further.
    (There now follows a lengthy ediorial aside: I have always wondered why Councillor Paul Clark's statement which showed Henshaw literally trying to blackmail the city council, could not be sent straight to the police. They would then have to talk to everyone involved and decide whether Henshaw had committed a criminal offence by demanding money with menaces. Then the whole thing would be blown open. Just a thought, ed)
    All the signs are that Bradley has given up, is now backing Hilton's 'let's stay schtum', line and will keep his head down. For a quiet life.
    So why won't Hilton hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil?
    Ever since he was appointed, Hilton has told councillors that he wants to draw a line under the mis-rule of Henshaw's evil cabal.
    "That was then, this is now," is how his public position can best be described.
    Some observers may wonder then, why Hilton could justify continuing to pursue suspended media chief, Matt Finnegan who had been framed by the cabalists for supporting the Leader? (Good question, ed)
    There are some other interesting explanations for Hilton's failure to act:
    1) Loyalty to Henshaw who appointed him as Director of Education in the first place.
    2) Loyalty to the cabalists who he had worked with for five years.
    3) He went to the same school as Chas Cole and Halsall.
    4) He did not want his first few years as chief executive to be dominated by the Henshaw mess, when Liverpool needed work.
    5) He had no affection for Storey and was glad to see him go as Leader.
    6) He had no affection for Finnegan and was glad to see him go.
    7) He wanted Bradley to know who was boss, so there would be no question of another public battle between Leader and chief executive.
    8) Taking action would only damage Liverpool and the Lib Dem administration.
    9) McElhinney and Halsall both had some serious personal dirt on Hilton, which they threatened to throw at him.
    10) Hilton is a boring technocrat who will do anything to avoid rocking the boat.
    11) Hilton is a fully-paid up member of the officer class, with little commitment to old-fashioned notions such as democracy or justice and little respect for, or understanding of, politics and politicians. Sweeping everything under the carpet is his natural inclination.
    No doubt readers will be able to offer up some of their own alternative explanations. The truth is probably that Colin has covered up for all of the above reasons.
    What is not in doubt any longer is that there was serious mis-handling by the evil cabal of millions of pounds in public money, which Liverpool could ill afford to lose.
    And no-one has been held accountable for that by Hilton, as guardian of the public purse, or by anyone else. The cabal have escaped scot-free. And in a democracy, that is not good government.


    * Hilton's failure to take action against any individuals, in particular McElhinney and Halsall, shows other council officials that they can get away with anything they like. (In fact, both McElhinney and Halsall have been rewarded for the mis-use and loss of public money). The system can therefore be abused by senior officers with impunity. What future confidence can the people of Liverpool therefore now have in Hilton's integrity, or the city council's?
    * Public administration within the city has been brought into further disrepute. Everyone knows there has been a cover-up and that the cabal perpetrated disgraceful abuses of their power and positions which cost Liverpool millions. No action has been taken as a result. (The Harbarrowboy incident when he acted as a lobbyist for Cole demonstrated Hilton's complete lack of interest in rooting out corruption).
    * Politicians like Bradley, who despises the cabal, have been seriously undermined. Bradley can hardly start critiscising quangos in the city, when he can't even put his own house in order.
    * The city council can only exist with the goodwill and support of the people of Liverpool. Even though less than a third of us vote for councillors, there is a tacit acceptance of the city council as both a civic and legal entity. However, Hilton now appears to have condoned illegality and to have turned a blind eye to the abuse of trust which went on. Ironically, his failure has given even further credibility to the campaign for an elected mayor.
    * Any moral authority which the city council possessed has been destroyed. Why should someone who has not paid their council tax, submit to a demand from Halsall's department, when his mate, McElhinney has robbed the people of Liverpool of millions of pounds? And when Halsall has connived with, conspired with and condoned all that went on?
    * Why should anyone pay their parking fine to Liverpool Direct Limited, when its boss McElhinney continues to waste huge amounts of public money to feather his own nest?
    * The organisation of the city of Liverpool is now effectively morally bankrupt.

    Ultimately this whole sorry saga can only bring greater cynicism about public life, public service, politics and politicians.

    "They are all in it for themselves," people will shake their heads and say.

    And who now will ever be able to contradict that view?

    Certainly not Colin Hilton.

    And perhaps that corrosive spread of cynicism is the biggest crime of all.

    Posted by Tony Parrish47 at Thursday, November 16, 2006 12 comments Links to this post

    Labels: Bradley, Colin 'Cover up' Hilton, Henshaw, LDL, liverpoolevilcabal, Matt Finnegan, MceLhinney, Storey, The Harbarrowboy, The Smiling Assassin

    Sunday, November 12, 2006

    HENSHAW'S rottweiller - Dr David McElhinney - is responsible for the systematic theft of public money from Liverpool for the last FIVE YEARS, it is now clear.
    Millions of pounds were involved according to the city council's new chief executive, Colin Hilton.
    Yet no action will be taken against McElhinney who continues to abuse his position as a public servant by installing a shower for his own personal use in his office.
    It is also clear that the sensational allegations made against McElhinney on Tony Parrish's liverpoolevilcabal blog about the culture one stop shop, The 08 PLace and his friend, millionaire pop promoter Chas Cole, were just the tip of the iceberg.
    They pale into insignificance compared to what has been uncovered by independent auditors, KPMG who have made 37 separate recommendations about the future conduct of council contracts with Liverpool Direct Limited, which is run by McElhinney.
    The council contracts with LDL are worth an astonishing £520 million and cover services such as all staffing matters for the city council's 19,500 employees, car parking, revenues and benefits, grants and IT.
    As chief exec of LDL, McElhinney is now in charge of all these, after quickly jumping ship from the city council when former Leader Mike Storey handed over a dossier of evidence against him.
    Although the council are refusing to make their independent report public and have only come clean about the recommendations, it is now possible to piece together what was going on under the hated McElhinney.

    * Services provided by LDL were vastly more expensive than when they were provided by the council.
    * In some cases, the difference in costs between the two organisations was "substantial".
    * McElhinney's LDL deliberately inflated the cost of providing some services.
    * There were no regular reviews of services to check that the city council was getting value for money.
    * Services provided by LDL were not subject to the same rules as council services, which are designed to prevent corruption.
    * There was a growing informal relationship between the city council and LDL, which led to eyebrows being raised and prompted questions about integrity and propriety.

    The report also calls for independent officials to be brought in to monitor the relationship between the council and LDL.
    There is also bad news for chief executive Colin 'Cover Up' Hilton (left) who allowed McElhinney to escape to LDL in March, as his boss Henshaw left.
    The report says staff should not be able to transfer to LDL within six months of leaving the council - a clear slap in the face for Hilton's mishandling of the McElhinney scandal.
    It is now clear that McEhinney has been robbing the people of Liverpool blind to feather his own nest at LDL ever since it was set up as a joint venture with BT in 2000.
    And he must have had the support of former chief executive Henshaw and the smiling assassin Halsall, who is supposed to keep an eye on taxpayers money.
    Either both members of the evil cabal were grossly incompetent - or they colluded in the theft of council taxpayers money.
    The city council should now be taking action against both over the missing millions.
    Meanwhile BT Chairman Sir Ian Bland is also under pressure to take action against McElhinney and to repay the money robbed from Liverpool by the joint venture.
    Editor's note: BT is worth £23.2 billion and last week announced half-year profits of £665million - an increase of 12 per cent.

    COMING SOON: More on the thief McElhinney and the LDL joint venture with BT.

    Posted by Tony Parrish47 at Sunday, November 12, 2006

    Friday, November 10, 2006

    LIVERPOOL Direct chief executive, David McElhinney - Henshaw's rottweiller - has been well and truly fingered in a secret and damning report into the handling of council contracts worth £520million.
    Even though independent auditors have made 37 separate recommendations about changing the future handling of LDL contracts, the hated McElhinney is to escape any disciplinary action whatsoever.
    This is even though the 37 separate recommendations are a massive indictment of McElhinney's handling of these contracts and his personal running of Liverpool Direct Limited, as chief executive.
    The council have already admitted that as a result of the LDL joint venture with BT, millions of pounds in public money has been wasted.
    And this all happened in the last five years under Henshaw's evil cabal.
    But new chief exec, Colin 'Cover up' Hilton has ensured that McElhinney will not be disciplined and that he will continue to enjoy his £150,000 executive perks, such as his notorious shower in (Misad)Venture Place, boxing freebies, expense account, hospitality at Anfield, Sarah Parr, etc.
    Cover Up is also keeping the full report secret for reasons of alleged 'commercial confidentiality' (my arse - it would be too embarrassing for Hilton to reveal all the details about what McElhinney got up to as part of Henshaw's evil regime and the hypocrite Hilton will do anything for a quiet life, ed).
    And of course, the allegations made on the legendary Liverpool evil cabal blog about the evil Henshaw, the rottweiller McElhinney and the smiling assassin Phil Halsall, (the man with his hands on the purse strings) are now all proved to be true.
    Colin Cover Up admitted:
    "With the size of the contracts involved, we could be looking at savings of millions of pounds."
    and then he had the brass neck to say:
    "There was nothing in there that warrants further investigation."
    (My arse, ed)

    So Tony Parrish has been vindicated!
    Henshaw, McElhinney and Halsall should all face legal action by the council for robbing council taxpayers.
    And the District Audior, who turned his back on all of this, should walk the plank.

    Six further recommendations have also been made about enterprise-Liverpool by auditors KPMG, the Daily Post reveals.
    But no-one is being allowed to see the detailed report, which will remain under lock and key in Hilton/Henshaw's office.


    Posted by Dandy Pat at Friday, November 10, 2006

    Monday, October 02, 2006


    Capital of Culture acting chief executive Jason HarBarrowboy should face suspension after he took part in a secret press briefing about the future of the Summer Pops.
    HarBarrowboy (another Henshaw appointment) joined millionaire pop promoter Chas Cole for the clandestine briefing which broke all council rules about competitive tendering for contracts.
    During the sensational early morning meeting, HarBarrowboy - employed by the city council on £150,000 a year - backed Cole's CMP Entertainment to run the Summer Pops in 2008.
    This is despite the fact that his employers, the city council, have yet to make a decision about who will run the event in Capital of Culture year.
    The council have decided to put the event out to competitive tendering - a process which was given the go-ahead almost eight months ago.
    But HarBarrowboy told the Daily Post that the Pops were "here to stay".

    "totally improper"

    It is, of course, totally improper for a city council employee to act as a lobbyist for a private company who are bidding for a multi-million pound city council contract.
    It is also totally improper for a city council employee to meet with a private company and be involved in a press briefing in their support.
    Especially if it was without anyone's knowledge or approval, including that of elected members.
    But that was what HarBarrowboy did.
    He had no business being within a million miles of this secret meeting, which was not held either on council property and was outside normal working hours.
    HarBarrowboy joined Cole and former Liverpool Echo deputy editor, Jon Brown, who now runs his own Public Relations company, for the meeting at Starbucks in Castle Street at 7.30 am last Friday. (We are now told the media briefing was in fact held at the Rackets Club. And of course Brown is the 'spin doctor' who now works for Cole, ed)
    The trio were meeting Echo reporter Nick Coligan to spin him obvious nonsense about future plans for the Summer Pops - including Mr Cole's claim that Madonna is being lined up for 2008.
    Harbarrowboy apparently forgot to inform Coligan that the city council was now putting the '08 Pops contract out to tender and that it might go to a completely different company.
    The 2008 Summer Pops was instead presented as a fait accomplis for Cole and CMP.
    HarBarrowboy praised the role and involvement of CMP in the Pops and gave the strong impression that they would continue to work for the city council in 2008. It was never held in any doubt.
    It is not clear whether Mr Brown, husband of Daily Post editor, Jane Wolstenholme, was representing Mr Cole or the Culture Company. (He was representing Cole, it is now clear, ed)
    Certainly his presence as Coligan's former boss had the desired effect - the 'news' about CMP's plans to bring Madonna to Liverpool were swallowed hook, line and sinker and were front-paged in the Echo and Daily Post.
    Conveniently, the coverage also successfully diverted attention away from the spiralling costs of the Summer Pops.
    The 'spin' operation seems to have been the first salvo by Cole to try and win the competitive tender - and maintain his monopoly on the money-spinner.
    So far Chas 'show me the money' Cole's running of the Summer Pops has cost the city council £2.1 million.
    Cream have meanwhile offered to stage the Summer Pops in 2008 at no cost to council taxpayers.
    It is not clear whether Harbarrowboy had the authorisation of new chief executive Colin Hilton for such a clandestine meeting with a private contractor.
    Councillors may now want to ask Mr Hilton to urgently contact the editor of the Liverpool Echo (Alastair Machray, pictured) to ask for a full transcript and notes of the meeting between his reporter Nick Coligan and Cole, HarBarrowboy and Jon Brown. Hilton should then ask Harbarrowboy these questions about the coffee conspiracy:

    * Did you take notes of, or have any other record of this meeting?
    * Was this meeting in your official diary?
    * What authorisation did you obtain from anyone for such a meeting?
    * In what capacity did you attend the press briefing about CMP's plans for 2008, when they have not been engaged by the city council?
    * Who did you tell about this press briefing?
    * What did you say to the reporter?
    * What is your relationship with Mr Cole?
    * What is your relationship with Mr Brown?
    * How many other meetings have you had involving CMP?
    * Have you had any hospitality or free tickets to concerts from CMP?
    * Have you declared it?
    * What meetings have you had with Mr Halsall in the last 12 months regarding CMP?

    Hilton may consider, depending on the answers supplied, that he has no choice but to suspend Harbarrowboy, pending a further and full investigation.

    draw your own conclusions

    Otherwise we will be left to draw our own conclusions about the all pervasive and continuing malign influence of the evil cabal.

    * Mr Hilton mislead the city's Leisure and Tourism Committee on Monday night when he said that Cream's "we'll do it for free" offer came after councillors had decided to stay with CMP for 2006. Wrong Colin. It did not. The council's Executive Board made that decision on January 6th, 2006. Cream boss James Barton submitted a detailed four-page proposal to Sir David Henshaw and HarBarrowboy at least a month earlier in November 2005, which they then ignored. But who misinformed you about the dates, Colin? It wasn't Jason, was it?

    * Madonna is asking a fee in the region of £2million to make a one-off appearance. If she were to play at the new Arena with its capacity of just 10,000 in two years time, it is likely that tickets would cost in the region of £200 each (plus inflation). Unless, of course, the concert was heavily subsidised by the city council from taxpayers money. Or millionaire Mr Cole dug deep.

    PS If anyone is in any doubt, we have now admitted Jason HarBarrowboy to the ranks of the evil cabal. Henshaw did actually once say of Harbarrowboy: "He reminds me very much of the young David Mc..." That was the kiss of death for many of us. But it looks now as though he is more than fulfilling his early promise...

    posted by Tony Parrish at 4:33 PM

    Critical Math said...

    This is explosive stuff, what an absolute scandal! Good grief, they are robbing us blind. Wonderful investigative journalism Tony, this is incendiary, shocking, systemic corruption, worse than Donnygate.
    Wednesday, August 02, 2006
    Dustman said...

    Is that Lonnie Donnygate?

    Hey, Madonna is a blonde. You don't couldn't be, but then isn't that religion she follows with the string round your wrist called cabal? perhaps we could call her as a material girl witness and have her do a turn for free at the summer pops.

    No that definitly wasn't Madonna who used to hang out in Dr Duncans with the good Doctor..that was another blondie, the one known affectionatly by senior council staff as TAPS ( thick as pig s***)
    Wednesday, August 02, 2006
    Picky Micky! said...

    This is dynamite stuff, well done TP.

    Dont let the doc go off radar though! Dustman, difficult to identify which blonde you mean as they are all TAPS!

    everyone must now bombard Hilton and co with pressure to suspend/dismiss Dr Dave, Creepy Phil and now the honorary member of the cabal, dodgy harrowboy
    Wednesday, August 02, 2006
    Anonymous said...

    Meeting right facing the town hall?! Have these people no shame or fear of being found out? Probably not.

    But they didnt count on the many eyes and ears of the TP army!
    Wednesday, August 02, 2006
    Picky Micky! said...

    TP quick question, pressure brought to bear may result in PH & JB being suspended etc.

    What can be done about Dr Deadly?

    No longer a council employee, what sanctions can colin and co bring to bear? Pressure on BT to remove him as CEO of LDL? Surely there must be some severe (hopefully!) retribution.
    Wednesday, August 02, 2006
    Anonymous said...


    At the risk of repeating myself, maybe the more proactive amongst your readers could submit requests to the Council under the Freedom of Information Act, which gives them the right to see any papers relating to this matter which Mr Hilton, "Dirty Gerry" Callaghan or anyone else might have in their possession and again, correct me if I'm wrong but doesn't the City Council have a statutory obligation to provide that information within certain prescribed timescales?
    Wednesday, August 02, 2006
    Tony Parrish said...

    Yes absolutely right. Hilton has so far ignored FOI questions I sent him about four months ago. They are supposed to respond in 20 days. I asked for all the documents. However, no harm in others asking for the same documents. Especially councillors. More difficult to ignore. As for the evil's difficult now that he is no longer an employee of the city council (This also needs exposing, ed) but letters to the boss of BT would put ptressure there. And finally, HM constabulary could ask to see the documents Mr Hilton has too. Would take a brave Chief Constable to push open the door here. But I think he might actually have it in him...
    Wednesday, August 02, 2006
    Anonymous said...

    I may be wrong but I think Dr D IS EMPLOYED by Liverpool City Council.

    LDL is a joint venture between Liverpool City Council and BT. However all the employees are seconded from either the council or BT. BT secondees are paid by BT, City Council secondess are paid by the City Council. LDL doesn't have any paid employees.

    I'm fairly certain that Dr D is still employed by the city council...............
    Wednesday, August 02, 2006
    Anonymous said...

    And further to the above Dr D DEFFO isn't on BT's books
    Wednesday, August 02, 2006
    Tony Parrish said...

    I think I may have unwittingly stumbled across one of the great and astonishing scandals about this whole sorry affair. I don't believe MCElhinney IS a city council employee. I think he arranged his parachute out of the city council years ago when he negotiated the LDL deal with BT and became chief exec. I think he was not seconded, but his employment was transferred or taken over by LDL, a completely separate entity. I know LDL employees have been seconded from the city, but I don't think he has. I think he is employed by LDL - not the city directly. Clever eh? It means he is out of range of the council's disciplinary procedures. THAT IS THE WHOLE POINT.
    I may be wrong about this, which is why I have said I only THINK this is the case. If so, apologies all round. But I THINK I am right.
    We can soon get it cleared up by councillors asking some pertinent questions, can't we? Who wants to go first?
    Wednesday, August 02, 2006
    Anonymous said...

    Paul Clark should ask first - he's a barrister.
    Wednesday, August 02, 2006
    Anonymous said...

    further to the above and the above LDL don;t have a payroll....................
    Wednesday, August 02, 2006
    jail'em said...

    All this talk of LDL makes me wonder - whatever happened to the Audit report that I believe Henshaw received (and quickly buried!) before he left office? It may have said that whilst there is some benefit to the City from Liverpool Direct Ltd's existence (nothing like as much benefit that the Thug or his girly army get!), its bloody expensive!

    It might also have said that its peculiar that LCC being one of two partners in this 'enterprise' don't seem to make anything from it but instead pay extortionate rates for basis services.

    It may have said other things too - it might have noticed how or from where DMcE gets his loot!

    Perhaps someone could request a copy (under FOI?), or dare I suggest, ask for publication of this report?
    Wednesday, August 02, 2006
    jail'em said...

    Excuse me but I'm obviously missing something - since when did concert promotion lose money? I've never been aware of promoters being a benevolent lot that do it for the love of it - from what I've seen, apart from the odd mistake, they make a packet (and Cole doesn't look any different from the rest of them). If he is that bad at it then why in god's name is he our chosen partner??

    Its surely worth the fraud squad taking a look at the books on this. It wouldn't surprise me if the 'loss' has been fabricated in some or many ways - and if it is, you can bet your shirt that some of it is ending up with the cabal. Like you've said TP, follow the money!
    Wednesday, August 02, 2006
    LD said...

    We are continually being told that Hilton is one of the good guys - now is his chance to prove it. If this story had appeared in this morning's Daily Post, he would have summoned Harborow to his office and suspended him immediately, pending an investigation. Suspension is a neutral act to allow a proper investigation. The fact that it is on the blog is neither here nor there. There is too much detail for this to be wrong. Since the blog seems to have been right about 99 per cent of the things it has reported, (Cream's free offer being the latest) it should give even more impetus to Hilton to take action. This cannot go on for ever. Come on Warren - give a lead and demand action!
    Wednesday, August 02, 2006
    Anonymous said...

    It would be utterly astonishing if McElhinney is not employed by the city council.
    Wednesday, August 02, 2006
    Intrigued teacher said...

    Surely all of this leads back to the former chief executive's door, doesn't it?
    Wednesday, August 02, 2006
    Tony Parrish said...

    I bloody hope so
    Wednesday, August 02, 2006
    Anonymous said...

    Public Interest Disclosure Act Anyone?
    Wednesday, August 02, 2006
    Anonymous said...

    Council Accounts Rights Anyone?
    Wednesday, August 02, 2006
    Anonymous said...

    holden caulfield said.......
    can anybody tell us who has their fingers in "smooth moves ltd" seems to be a lot of council staff playing musical chairs every other month !!!!!!
    Wednesday, August 02, 2006
    Anonymous said...

    2 Million for Madge- no way
    Have the cabals 10.000 relations/friends to fill the stadium for one night?
    That is if they are still in power.
    Wednesday, August 02, 2006
    Anonymous said...

    surely somone from HR&P can asnswer the Dr Dave works for.....question?!!!
    Wednesday, August 02, 2006
    Anonymous said...

    LDL has taken on a lot of extra Council services since the contract was first signed, often charging significantly more for these services than the Council paid pre LDL- but according to LDL THEY ARE NOT MAKING ANY PROFIT FROM THESE NEW ADDITIONS?

    ps..Watch out for flying pigs
    Wednesday, August 02, 2006
    Quo nunc said...

    Hey Tone

    I wonder what Richie Lewis is doing these days? I do hope he doesn't decide to put his two-penneth in (anonymously of course).
    Wednesday, August 02, 2006
    Kendo said...

    If a union asked whether it could approach staff members of LDL for a recognition ballot then I believe that the Council would have to let them know whether there are any such workers to recognise the union. That would show whether anyone IS employed by LDL. I suggest Unison (cos of Local Govt) and CWU (cos they are the main BT employee union).
    To find out whether he is employed by the council, an FOI request asking how much remuneration the position of Chief Exec of LDL is paid (not the person who holds the role - important distinction) should reveal whether it is the Council who pays it (if they do then they cannot refuse as it does not fall foul of the DPA). But, to ensure you get an answer, you can ask if the Council pays for this position.
    Wednesday, August 02, 2006
    Anonymous said...

    Does anyone else find it interesting that when he was appointed Chief Executive for the waterfront arena, Bob Prattey also predicted that Madonna would want to perform there. (press release 27.4.05). I believe that Bob came highly recommended for the job! So ask yourself, who did he know?
    Wednesday, August 02, 2006
    Anonymous said...

    HR&P here..........

    You can bet your bottom dollar he has a Liver Bird on his payslip!
    Wednesday, August 02, 2006
    Anonymous said...

    Re the above - Of course he doesn;t get a paper payslip, he stopped those to save money being washed down the drain - unlike the water from his private shower!
    Wednesday, August 02, 2006
    Anonymous said...

    Aah - naughty HR &P persons. You will be sacked tomorrow by the big boss - or even the little boss who thinks she is the big boss!
    Wednesday, August 02, 2006
    Anonymous said...

    I'm really scared now - HR&P rebel
    Wednesday, August 02, 2006
    jail'em said...

    Nice one, HR&P rebel!

    We need so many more like you!

    By the way, what's the name of this 'little boss'?
    Thursday, August 03, 2006
    Sentinel said...

    Whilst your,re at it why not look at Housing Associations and their gifted Council Houses Believe some council employees were also given jobs by them.
    Like Pigs in the trough.
    God Help the CSA. and the council tax payer.
    Thursday, August 03, 2006
    The Major said...

    Excellent site Tony

    How come it has took so long for this to come online?

    Until a few months ago I used to work for a partner company of LCC and saw first hand the complete disorganisation of LCC.

    I worked on the 08 Place and your relevations come as no surprise to me.

    May I suggest you start asking questions about the councils proposed 50 metre pool project at Picton, and who gave the go ahead for Gleesons to start work without realising that the council never owned the land. This has so far cost the tax payer of Liverpool in excess of 200K in preliminaries and there isn't even a hole in the ground.

    As for me, I had enough of handing over my hard earned to the baffoons in the council to squander so I have recently took a job in a country that was thought as corrupt, but no where near as corrupt as what I left behind.

    Keep up the excellent work mate
    Thursday, August 03, 2006
    Cllr Steve Radford said...

    Dear Blog Site

    Thanks for opening up a debate the majority of my council collleagues were too fearful to open up - bless the little dears

    The huge question must be why was Henshaw paid off rather than sacked?

    In any private company if the MD was deliberately working against the policy of the board or seeking to release persoanl e mails of hcair of borad with staff then no doubt dismissal would entail

    May we remind bloggers that only The Liberal Party opposition group had the guts to table for a formal investigation on this count : Copy of Daily Post press report as follows

    A MOVE that could determine whether two of Liverpool City Council's most senior officers will face disciplinary action is earmarked for approval at tonight's meeting of the council.

    Crucial support from members of the ruling Liberal Democrat group will be given when the minority Liberal Party seek approval for the setting up of a formal disciplinary committee to investigate the conduct of chief executive Sir David Henshaw and the council's resources director Phil Halsall.

    The investigation, if backed by a majority of the 90 councillors, will centre on the publication of e-mails written between council leader Mike Storey and the currently suspended media chief Matt Finnegan. It will determine whether the actions of the two officers constitute a serious breach of trust between senior politicians and officers.

    The e-mails were published in a dossier by Mr Halsall as part of a report claiming there was a move to see Sir David moved from office

    Cllr Hazel Williams of the Liberal group, will be introducing the topic for debate, backed by fellow-Liberal, Cllr Chris Lenton. Their leader, Cllr Steve Radford, also supports the proposal, but he is on holiday and will not be at the meeting.

    The Liberals will be urging the council to establish a formal disciplinary committee to investigate primarily the conduct of both Sir David and Mr Halsall.

    They express alarm that the council's Internal Audit Section may have acted contrary to the Data Protection Act as well as copyright regulations and council e-mail protocols.

    The Liberal councillors say the e-mails were read and copied, even though permission had not been given for their dissemination and publication.

    I still contest that the opening of the emails between press officer and Leader of Council at the time during an investigation for a totally different issues constituted trawling and therefore illegal. The fact the e mails read more like lovers letters than a professional relationship between the Leader of the Council and its Press Manager is another matter of concern, but these should not have been circulated to all councillors

    Cllr Steve Radford
    Liberal Party Group - will will be contributing more
    Thursday, August 03, 2006
    Anonymous said...

    How noble and public spirited of Steve Radford to enter the debate like a knight in shining armour. Maybe he would like to comment on his own unnatural relationship (in the political sense, obviously) with PJ Doherty and his chums at the Liverpool Motor Auction site or as seems more likely, is he going to continue spouting like the hypocritical tw*t that everyone knows him to be?

    Watch out Steve, you might get run over by a bandwagon one of these days as you desparately try to clamber on board to make personal capital out of someonre else's originality and hard work.

    Cheery pip
    Thursday, August 03, 2006
    Red till I die said...

    Now,I am no fan of Mr Radford or any other of the elected members, but at least he had the bottle to put his name on the post unlike other councillors who are posting anon, I understand.

    And it is very much in Dr Dave's interest for the attention to be diverted away by attacking others, in fact it is his main strategy!

    so lets not have a go at Mr R and co on other matters, now that this blog exisits I would suggest this is the first of many, so watch out councillors we now have a way to name and shame, beware.

    But for now, lets concentrate on the evil within (and wherever The Dark Lord is!)

    Well done rebel HR&P, dont stop now, you are vital source of info to this campaign.

    Come on everyone keep on the pressure!
    Thursday, August 03, 2006
    Tony Parrish said...

    We are just going to offer a warning shot today: If anyone attempts to use this blog to make political capital out of it, they will not succeed. And hopefully they will be treated with the contempt they deserve by the voters. This is too important for party politics. It is about democracy and the future of our city. Our aim has been all along to expose those paid employees of the city (public servants for God's sake, ed!) who have served their own interests rather than Liverpool's. We know who they are - and so do you. We are not having this campaign hijacked by anyone. If politicians want to promote themselves or their own parties - GO AND START YOUR OWN BLOG! (And we'll see how many hits they get, ed) In the meantime we would ask politicians of all parties to continue to press for action, in any way they can, against the evil cabal. Their contributions, help and support are very welcome. Here endeth the lesson.
    Thursday, August 03, 2006
    Anonymous said...

    jail'em - you never heard of the little HR&P boss Colette Hannay? Loves to think of herself as Natasha Kaplinski look alike (maybe 30 years ago - perhaps it's the effect of working with the lovely Dr D).

    Keep up the good work HR&P rebel. You've got loads of stories to tell - be brave!
    Thursday, August 03, 2006
    Culture vulture said...

    Cabal spotting: Harbarrowboy going into Millennium House today. Obviously not suspended!
    Thursday, August 03, 2006
    Incontinentia Botox said...

    'Red til I die' is right - whatever your views on Cllr Radford, he has offered to take up these questions and should be warmly encouraged to do so. Cllrs have better access to info than we do. The Liberals are just a small group but have arguably made more impact in the last year than the Labour opposition, with ten times fewer resources. Who cares if they are motivated by party politics - that's the incentive built into our gladitorial system - sadly, most of the gladiators have been gelded by the tin-pot ceasars of the cabal. Hail Radford!
    Thursday, August 03, 2006
    Walton Village Idiot said...

    Is it possible that what is going on in our little city will be repeated in the cities lined up to have their own versions of 'Liverpool Vision' in the coming future, as readers may or may not know one of the functions of 'Vision' is to determine where European funding is to be allocated, often to projects that have benefitted their associates, which in many cases purchased property at knock down prices, knowing that funding and huge rises in value of the property would be guaranteed once the culture bid was won, this was almost inevitable, the experiment that is 'Vision' is one that has pulled the wool over the eyes of scousers (or so they think) I believe that if this is allowed to go on without government investigation we will see the same faces benefiting in the next round of planned redevelopment funding for the other proposed cities around Britain, I can't remeber the 'city list' that was printed in the press a few years ago, perhaps someone can dig the list out, I'm almost sure Bradford was one on the list, it would make sense as Robbie Fowler owns over 100 houses there!!!! Perhaps Robbie has insider knowledge?
    Thursday, August 03, 2006
    Sir Joer Dwyer said...

    Friday, August 04, 2006
    Anonymous said...

    This is what the city council had to say (almost a week later):
    "Briefings were held for journalists from the Daily Post and Liverpool Echo to explain the details of a report on the 2005 Summer Pops being considered by the Culture and Leisure Select Committee.

    "At the briefings, the current promoter answered questions from journalists about his future plans for the Summer Pops, should he be successful in winning the tender to promote the event. The chief executive of the Culture Company (Jason Harborow) took no part in those discussions.

    "The contract for promoting the Summer Pops for 2007 and 2008 will be awarded by elected members and not officers. A sub-committee of members is to be set up to oversee the tendering process.

    "A brief proposal was submitted by Cream, but it was received too late to allow a full appraisal and evaluation of this new proposal to be carried out. "
    Monday, August 07, 2006
    Anonymous said...

    Interesting. Hilton first said that the Cream proposal came AFTER councillors had taken the decision to stick with CMP. Now that line appears to have changed to 'it came too late.' Which is it Colin?

    Tony Parrish47 at Monday, October 02, 2006




    Council leader Warren Bradley said that some individual councillors’ behaviour was “appalling” and not fitting of a democratic society.




    Roger: This is not a good report for us is it Warren?
    Fireman:Well Roger we’ve got to put it into perspective really haven’t we and remember where Liverpool was and that’s not thinking back 10 years. Liverpool has come an awful long way. The people of Liverpool were asking for lower Council Tax and the Liberal Democrats have delivered that and they also wanted better services and you look at the services that are now delivered by Liverpool City Council. If we look at the most vulnerable either elderly or the Children’s Services the social care we are now delivering at a level that Liverpool has never delivered before. We also look at the bread and butter your schools, your sports centres, your libraries, One Stop Shops in communities, our parks, we’ve got 13 green flag parks. It’s like a new home to me when you get an old dilapidated derelict building you’ve got to bring it up to a standard and I think Liverpool City Council under the Liberal Democrats have certainly done that and I am certain if we did a survey of people in the City do you want Liverpool City Council to sit on £20m worth of reserves or do you want the City Council delivering front line services that affect the most vulnerable and people’s lives in the City. I think that they would vote with their feet and say that we support the policies of Liverpool City Council. We’ve got to look at the financial regulations put in by Government and if you want my opinion about this Roger it is purely political.
    Roger: Well come on, you know the Audit Commission is not a political body
    Fireman: Well with respect Roger and I would beg to differ on that
    Roger: Well how can it be a political, it’s an independent organisation?
    Fireman: We can say everything is independent to a certain extent but you know you look at what we’ve got at the moment in Liverpool and we’re delivering top quality services.
    Roger: But the problem with this is that you’ve got an overall score rating of 2 which was adequate performance into 05, overall score in 06 was 2 which is adequate performance.
    This year it is down to 1 below minimum requirements inadequate performance.
    Fireman: Based around financial regulations…
    Roger: Yes I’m talking about the financial…..
    Fireman: Laid down by government. I mean that’s what you’ve got to remember. Don’t try and muddy the waters and say oh this is about Liverpool City Council and their overall performance. It’s not. You look at the issue that we’ve done about achievements. Liverpool scoring 3-4 on achievement at the moment through the Audit Commission.
    Roger: I didn’t know that.
    (EDs: Pitiful, just pitiful.)
    Fireman: And we do seem to always go to the negatives when we’re looking for something like this.
    Roger: The District Auditor was pretty negative about you wasn’t he and…
    Fireman: No, I have got to say Roger I would love to have £50m in reserves. I would also love not to have to put additions of £7m into adult social care and £2-3m into children’s social care. The facts are we have got to do that because of the pressures that are on Liverpool at the moment.
    Roger: So are other Councils….
    Fireman: I’m not willing as Leader of this Council to take away care to the most vulnerable to allow it to sit in reserve. I am not willing to do that and I will go to the stake on that the people of the City. Liverpool now is only one of a handful of Councils up and down the country that is providing moderate care to the most vulnerable people in the City. Now to give people an idea of what moderate care is that is home care. These people who’ve got no family to support them and require a visit in the morning or a visit in the evening to make sure they’re ok to help them to take the pills, to make sure that they’ve got the food. Most Councils up and down this country have removed that care. Liverpool City Council is still allowing our most vulnerable people our sort of care. Now is that wrong, is that wrong?
    Roger: Now no one would argue that’s wrong but everyone. But many people are affected by housing. Housing is really poor isn’t it. I mean you are so poor you’ve had to hand it over to a different group to run it.
    Fireman: Well with respect Roger, with respect, you’ve got to know what the Housing Corporation have done and in partnership with the Government again it’s easy to say it’s the Council, in partnership with the Government we’ve tackled head on through the Pathfinder areas of the inner core of the City some of the housing inefficiencies of the City. That hasn’t happened over the last five years that’s happened over 30 or 40 years. The problems in Norris Green in housing were prevalent 30 or 40 years ago and weren’t tackled. As an Authority we’ve challenged what wasn’t tackled and we’ve challenged it head on and I opened a couple of weeks ago with Flo Clucas and Marilyn Fielding with Cobalt Housing the first phase of Norris Green. We’ve transformed that area and its got houses for sale and social housing in Norris Green that people are seeking to live in now. We’ve got in a core Edge Hill, Kensington, Kirkdale the same issues that have been there for 30 or 40 years that we’re tackling now hand in hand with the Government. I’m not taking the credit for it and the Government isn’t. We’ve got a schools’ programme that is second to none. Liverpool’s young people are now achieving at the national average. I want it higher than national average to give new opportunity but again I’ll say I’m not going to suit accountants’ financial regulations in London and leave £millions sitting in reserve while we have still got the challenges Liverpool has got and I think people you know.
    Roger: Do you think it was a mistake to keep Council Tax down or freeze it over the past few years?
    Fireman: Well isn’t it ironic Roger how last week John Healey said how Liverpool is charging £101 a head...
    Roger: Because its inefficiencies….
    Fireman: Well we have taken £150m worth of inefficiencies out of our budget over the last 10 years. We’ve kept Council tax down which is exactly what Government policy is and is exactly what John Healey is saying. Councillor Joe Anderson is saying something completely different to the people of Liverpool that he will put taxes up to build reserves to put in reserve well again this administration this Lib Dem administration is not going to tax for the sake of taxing to leave money sitting in reserve. We will build up the reserves over a period of years and then we will be able to tackle some of the other issues that we’ve got to do. We recognise the health inequalities. To improve health inequalities we’ve got to have a real stable economy offering real opportunity and raising the aspirations in them poorer communities. You cannot do that leaving millions and millions of pounds laying in reserves and this administration will continue the robust financial management that we’ve done. We’ll carry on delivering…
    Roger: If it was that robust we wouldn’t have this problem of £20m overdrawn on Capital of Culture.
    Fireman: Roger, lets put things into hindsight. We are still delivering front line services. We are still…
    Roger: It’s about £20m overall that we’re short this year – now that’s not robust management
    Fireman: But Roger we are going through a budget setting process. Every Local Authority up and down the country is in the same process as us. I remember reading about Wirral being £50m short. Other Local Authorities. I meet the core city leaders who are £40-£50m short exactly the same as Liverpool . And let’s not forget I haven’t come on here to knock the Government I’ve come on here to say that I believe we’ve got a robust financial programme in place that is going to deal with the shortfall. We’ve delivered year on year but I’ll say again I am not going to allow millions and millions of pounds to lay in reserve. Cut front line services to the most vulnerable and then say that’s acceptable. Nor as Leader of this Council am I going to allow Council Tax to go through the roof again which will drive the inability to bring further investment into this City. While the Lib Dems have been in control we’ve brought Council Tax down, we’ve brought renewed confidence and we’ve brought real investment that will bring opportunities to the most vulnerable and I think that is the most important and I think the people of this City will stand full square with us on that. I’m proud of what we’ve delivered in this City over the last 10 years and Capital of Culture is part of that."