Monday, October 02, 2006



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...


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?



Anonymous said...

What a first class efoort that was. I only hope the new one lives up to the same standard. Best of luck mate.

Anonymous said...

Hear, Hear

Anonymous said...

sack the lot of em