Friday, 13 June 2008




At a time when liverpool city council have to close down front line services, close elderly homes, sack homecarers, give our housing stock away, make another thousand council workers redundant and make savings of £62 Milion, Colin Hilton the man who has been charged with making these savings, spends £1/4 Million on a head hunting mission that is against the standing orders of the same Liverpool City Council, that we the people of Liverpool, pay him to uphold!

See below for the full story courtesey of LIVERPOOL SUBCULTURE

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Just when you thought it had all gone quiet....another leaked report on Colin Cover Up

Chief executive Colin Cover Up has repeatedly broken the city council's own rules to appoint squads of headhunters - at a staggering cost to council taxpayers of more than £500,000.

That's the damning conclusion of an internal audit report into the appointment of Executive recruitment agencies, which has been leaked from a meeting of Cover Up's own Executive Management Team.

And it also warns that the city council may have acted illegally in their appointment procedure for a new City Solicitor, because it broke the council's own rules.

(Illegally appointing the top legal eagle, eh? You couldn't make this stuff up! eds)

The report accuses Cover Up, aka the £250,000-a-year Mr Hilton, CBE, and his team of highly paid Executive Directors, of breaking the council's own rules in engaging agencies to fill top positions.

It tells how the city council has engaged two recruitment agencies Veredus and Gatenby Sanderson since April 2006 at a mind-boggling cost of £445,000.

Veredus were originally taken on to handle the appointment of two senior positions in the Regeneration portfolio.

The leaked report says:
"But it appears that another portfolio has used their services without following the quotation procedures. In 2006/7 a total of £208K was paid to Veredus with £39K being paid to them in 2007/8."

(What? The worst council in the country forked out a quarter of a million quid to headhunters to fill just three posts? Are they certifiably insane? eds)
The leaked report says that Gatenby Sanderson were also taken on to recruit four 'executive positions', but:

"they have been used to fill at least one additional position for which quotation procedures were not followed. Having spent £53K on Gatenby Sanderson in 2006/7, a futher £145K was spent in 2007/8."

(This is mind-blowing. Are they totally out of control and above their own law? eds)

Hilton again failed to obey proper procedures when he appointed yet another recruitment agency, Rockpools to handle the appointment of a new City Solicitor (in a failed attempt to replace Ken Unworthy - but that's another story, eds)

The cost of that has yet to emerge but easily takes the total bill past half a million smackeroos....

The picture painted by the report is of Cover Up lolloping around the Municipal Buildings doling out public money here there and everywhere, without so much as a by-your-leave.

And breaking every council rule in the book into the bargain.

Presumably the Fireman was on a freebie in Las Vegas at the time, or making a speech about how things have got so much better in the last ten years?

The council's Standing Orders say that for expenditure below £100,000, three separate quotes need to be obtained.

Hilton routinely ignored this and gave away contracts to recruitment agencies without following established rules and procedures.

We wonder how many other contracts he has given away and to whom?

The internal report says that the 'three quotes' rule must be obeyed except in emergencies, or where competitive prices cannot be obtained.

It adds:

"In such circumstances it is the Head of Corporate Procurement who decides whether the procurement can be made, not the the Chief Officer (Cover Up)."

In other words, Cover Up old fruit, you exceeded your authority well and truly - do not overstep the mark again. Shades of the evil Sir Diddy, aka Sir David Henshaw.

(Editor's Note: What should happen now, of course, is that Hilton should summon himself to his own office in the Municipal Buildings and read himself a letter, from himself, suspending himself from duty, pending an investigation into these 'procurement irregularities.'

Then, in the time honoured tradition, he should strip himself of his mobile phone, blackberry and council pass; force himself to empty all the council paper clips from the pocket of his smoking jacket and then escort himself off the premises past his open-mouthed colleagues.

He should only pause on the way out, as he passes the rottweiller McElhinney's Jaguar, to quietly advise himself "not to let this drag out, in your own interests."

Then he should ban himself from talking to any of his colleagues, speaking to the media, or visiting any council premises.

He should send himself threatening letters hand-delivered by taxi-courier to his own home late at night, summon himself for medical examinations on a whim and carry out an extraordinary campaign of harassment and attempted intimidation against himself.

If Cover Up thought any of these corporate bully-boy tactics were part of an incredible abuse of power and morally indefensible, he could always start his own blog, or something, to expose those responsible - ie, himself.

But of course, none of that could possibly happen in Liverpool. It would be utterly unthinkable.

Although it would make a suitably surreal plot for our colleague, Prof Chucklebutty.)

Meanwhile, the internal leaked report concludes:

"EMT are reminded that the Contract Standing Orders apply to all officers and must not be circumvented under any circumstances."

Interesting choice of word.

The Executive Management Team are then advised to "consider their position" (some cheeky auditor's invitation for them to resign, eds) "in relation to the City Solicitor Post given that the Contract Standing Orders have not been followed in procuring the services of Rockpools."

What all this means is that Cover Up has been astonishingly reckless with public money, wasting hundreds of thousands of pounds of council taxpayers dosh and flagrantly breaking all council rules into the bargain.

And he will brazen the whole thing out with no action being taken against him by the weak and cowardly Lib Dims. Perhaps Cover Up will, however, order a leak inquiry? He has it all to do now.

So an everyday story for the city council, then.

Memo to the city council leak machine: Thanks very much for leaking this report - it confirms our worst suspicions - and we know there is more still to come. If you would care to provide further detail about the other sensational matters mentioned in previous missives, we will be happy to reproduce them here in full for our adoring public. However, can we make a special request? The latest leak passed to us was on a single A4 sheet of paper - that's the ideal length, because we are extremely busy with other matters at the moment and we can't be arsed ploughing through the usual council report gobbledegook of 97 pages of tedium. Keep the next few leaks similarly short and snappy and to the point. You can email further leaks to, or, or Any of those will get to the right people one way or another. Ta very much.

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