Saturday, October 07, 2006

Sir David Henshaw's Biography Part One

David (centre) in the 1970s with Jack Straw (left) and Alan Corbett (right).

About Sir David Henshaw

Sir David was born and educated in Liverpool, he obtained a degree at Sheffield in Public Administration, and then a Master's Degree in Social Sciences at the University of Birmingham (INLOGOV).

He is an Honorary Fellow of Liverpool John Moores University, a Fellow of Liverpool University, a former Visiting Fellow of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia, a Companion of the Chartered Management Institute, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a Trustee of the Faenol Trust, and a member of the Board of the European Institute for Urban Affairs at Liverpool John Moores University .

Sir David has recently announced his retirement from his post as Chief Executive of Liverpool City Council.

He is currently Chief Executive of Liverpool Culture Company,
a member of the board of The Mersey Partnership,
Chair of Liverpool Partnership Group,
Chair of SOLACE Enterprises,
Past President of the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives,
a former Adviser to the Prime Minister's Delivery Unit,
a Non-executive Director of the Home Secretary's National Offender Management Board (Prisons, Probation and Youth Justice in England and Wales),

an adviser to the Cabinet Office Strategy Unit,
a member of the Treasury's Public Services Productivity Panel,
and a Board member of the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council.

Henshaw of course took a £240,000 pension pay off from council taxpayers
in March this year before getting himself a nice part-time job at the
Child Support Agency on £340,000!
That's more than the head of the civil service!

He is also the part-time Chairman of the North West Regional
Strategic Health Authority

- despite the opposition of 25 North West MP's!

McElhinney escaped from the city council shortly after Henshaw went,
before he could be exposed over his management of contracts for The '08
Place in the city centre.

(More follows later).

Halsall is desperately trying to cling on to his job, after being passed
over for the position of new chief executive.

Sir David Henshaw finally confirmed his retirement as chief exec of
Liverpool city council in March 2006
- more than a year after he first announced he was going because of pension changes.
On February 14th, 2005, Henshaw had declared: *“The effect of this (the
new tax rules) means that I will have to retire from Liverpool city council by March 31 next year at the latest, and that is my current intention.*”

It's now clear that Henshaw was trying to hold the city to ranson and
using the retirement threat to try and force them to pay for his pension.

However on March 16th, 2005 Henshaw's bluff was called - the city council’s Staff appointments and Disciplinary Panel refused a pension
deal, which would have cost council taxpayers at least £250,000.

In a fit of pique that night, a furious Henshaw told the Daily Post:

*“My intention is to go at the end of March next year…I have made it
very clear I am going.”*

So what happened then? It seems that Henshaw quickly began to regret his
hasty words and the 'Henshaw quits' headlines.

So he got rid of the council's head of communications, Matt Finnegan,
who had ensured that the views of Mike Storey, the Leader of the
Council, in opposing a pension deal, were being made known.
Henshaw suspended Finnegan on trumped up disciplinary charges.

Henshaw then seized Finnegan's computer and discovered emails between
Storey and Finnegan. (Most people reckon Henshaw was secretly monitoring
the emails anyway.) The emails discussed how to make clear to the press
Storey's opposition to a pension deal.

Henshaw then used the emails to blackmail Storey into agreeing a massive
retirement and pension deal for him (see statement in separate post by
Councillor Paul Clark, a barrister).

Then a month later, Henshaw changed his mind - he saw his chance to try
and use the emails to force Storey to resign.

This plan backfired when Storey called Henshaw's bluff and the emails
were published.

Henshaw then held on to his £190,000 a year job as chief executive for
another 12 months, while banking on Storey to go.

Eventually Storey was forced to resign but to Henshaw's horror, Storey
supporter Warren Bradley became the new leader.

Bradley and every member of the city council's Cabinet then told their
chief exec that they could no longer work with him.

Time had finally run out for Henshaw - he kept his promise and quit
after a year of civil war and turmoil for Liverpool. But also pocketing
a huge pension pay off worth £340,000.

see also the accurate Daily Telegraph


Mike Storey - very nice guy,
but too timid to stand up to Henshaw - was too weak to sort out Henshaw
properly. Henshaw said Storey was 'stupid and had no guts.' Storey would
visibly shrink when confronted by one of Henshaw's rages.

Colin Hilton has had all this stuff and more. He has the documents, the
emails, the letters and the memos. He has had all the information he needs.
He has simply refused to take the appropriate action.

Hilton should have suspended McElhinney, Halsall, Louise Gray and Gerry
Callaghan for starters when he had the chance.

That would have sent a powerful signal that the days of the evil cabal
were over.

And that democratically elected city councillors were back in control.

We would then have hoped that better governance of the city, after the
evil Henshaw disaster, was more than just empty words.

But Hilton chose instead to try and hush everything up. That was a mistake.

What he, the cabalists and their apologists (step forward Councillor
Kemp, ed) also seem to fail to understand is this: despite the threats
implied in a number of emails and comments to Tony Parrish, we will not
be silenced.

The genie is out of the bottle now, Colin, and you can't put it back.
Judging by the scores of emails we have received, there is plenty more
dodgy stuff about the evil cabal.

That's why they need to be stopped now.

PS While we are loathe to censor comments from viewers, some
observations about Dr McElhinney and his personal activities have been
removed (although entirely accurate, ed).

It is not the blog's job to question McElhinney's personal morality -
although we will happily expose and question personal motives for his
professional behaviour (more to come, ed).

We realise that this a fine line to tread and that not everyone will be
happy, but we are only human, folks. We think McElhinney's personal
behaviour lowers the tone a bit (how right you are, ed).

pop promoter Chas Cole (right) was given eight months free rent at The
08 Place, worth a cool £28,933.
The astonishing handout - at council taxpayers's expense - was made by
Henshaw's evil rottweiller, Dr David McElhinney.

McElhinney scrapped a deal which had originally been agreed between an
experienced city council surveyor and Mr Cole's company, CMP Entertainment.
Instead he replaced it with another totally different deal - which was
much better for Mr Cole!

No explanation has yet been offered for why McElhinney, who had competed
with Mr Cole in the New York marathon in 2003, agreed startling changes
in the deal to make it more favourable to CMP and worse for the city
The eight-month free rental period was just one element of an amazingly
generous agreement reached between McElhinney and CMP,
of the city centre one-stop shop for Culture.

Originally, a city council surveyor had agreed that CMP, the only
private tenant, could have an initial rent-free period of three months
in The 08 Place.

But when the surveyor took early retirement from the council, the terms
of the agreement were dramatically changed - in favour of Mr Cole and
his company.

McElhinney, the Project Director, instead approved an eight month
rent-free period for CMP - at a cost of £28,933.

The 08 Place Project Manager, Louise Gray, McElhinney's close colleague,
had earlier written in an email about the proposed terms of the
agreement with CMP:

"I have copied David McElhinney in for his most we
offer three months rent free, but this would need to be agreed by David,
as the budget is tight."

Good old David (below) went far better than that - he agreed EIGHT
months rent free. No expense was to be spared for Mr Cole's plush new
offices. (Stay posted for more details soon, ed)
It was the second 'gift' made by generous McElhinney to Chas 'show me
the money'

The first had been 10 years FREE parking in the city centre, worth £16,500.
Together the total value of Dr McElhinney's astonishing 'gifts' to Mr
Cole, who runs Liverpool's Summer
is almost £45,000.

Staging the Summer Pops has so far cost the city council another
£1.7million (not including the 'gifts' to Mr Cole of course).
No explanation has yet been offered by Dr McElhinney, Mr Cole or the
city council for why such largesse was being offered so freely to CMP,
at council taxpayers expense.

But don't think that Liverpool-evil-cabal
is first with this
astonishing information, supplied by honest council employees. Oh no.

The full details of The 08 Place scandal, (this is only the tip of the
iceberg, ed) including copies of emails, letters, memo's, reports, etc,
were given in confidence to the acting city council chief executive,
Colin Hilton and the council's Head of Internal Audit, Gerry Callaghan
on Friday, March 24th, 2006 in Henshaw's bunker, in the Municipal
Buildings, in Dale Street, Liverpool.

(At what precise time, to the nearest milli-second, did this
confidential meeting take place then, clever clogs? What was the weather
like outside, what colour tie was Mr Hilton wearing and did they have
any sumptuous butties at council taxpayer's expense? ed)

Instead of immediately suspending McElhinney (and Louise Gray) in order
to enable a full investigation to proceed, Mr Hilton dithered for weeks,
then failed to take any action at all and has since sought to cover it
all up and sweep the whole mess under the carpet.
(Bad move Colin, ed)
But Mr Callaghan, the Head of the city council's now thoroughly
discredited Internal Audit department, did take some immediate action.

He dashed panic-stricken and white-faced down the corridor to instantly
blurt out all he had heard to his line manager - who happens to be
Executive Director, Mr Phillip Halsall.

Mr Halsall, known as the smiling assassin, is of course, the third
member of Liverpool's evil cabal and a close colleague and friend of Dr

He also competed with Dr McElhinney and Mr Cole in the 2003 New York

We can only speculate that Mr Halsall may then have had a quiet word
with Dr McElhinney to mark his card. (Surely not? ed)

But we have no evidence of this. (We don't need any, ed)

But entirely co-incidentally, McElhinney later submitted a request to
leave the city council and become the highly-paid chief executive of
Liverpool Direct Limited, the council's joint venture with BT. (Cue
cheers of rejoicing, Town Hall bells pealing, politicians kissing
babies, grown men hugging each other, millions weeping openly in the
streets, etc, etc, ed.)

So that's how, with one bound, the hated rottweiller McElhinney cleverly
escaped any action or further investigation. He got off scot free.

No action of course has been taken either against his willing
accomplice, Louise Gray.

And no action has been taken against Mr Callaghan (who has just
announced that he is taking early retirement next month) for breaching
confidentiality or prejudicing a potential disciplinary investigation.
Under McElhinney's direction of course, the total cost of The 08 Place -
the Capital of Culture's flagship one stop shop - spiralled from
£900,000 to £1.4million.

Now at least we know part of the reason why.

The Summer Pops has so far cost city council taxpayers an astonishing £1.7million.

Yet this public money has been handed over to millionaire promoter Chas
Cole in direct contravention of all council Standing Orders.
Contrary to all the city council's internal rules and procedures, no
formal tendering process was ever carried out for the Summer Pops.
Why ever not?

Why did former chief executive, Sir David Henshaw, allow this to happen?

Why did he consider no-one else for this work besides Chas Cole's CMP
Entertainment ?

Why did he allow the council to ignore its statutory obligation to
advertise tenders for the Summer Pops in the Supplement to the Official
Journal of the European Communities (OJEC)? (This applies where the
expected value of the contract for supplies or services is more than**
£144,371 - a fraction of the Pops money.)

And why did Executive Director Phil Halsall, (left) who is directly responsible for
the Summer Pops, fail to produce proper and regular reports into the
financial details of his arrangement with Mr Cole?

The Summer Pops have been run as a money-spinning monopoly by CMP for
the last six years - yet councillors have been repeatedly frustrated in
their attempts to get proper answers to their questions.

There are a whole host of procurement irregularities surrounding the Pops - not least that the deal was apparently privately agreed
between Mr Halsall and his wealthy friend, Chas Cole.

If that is not the case, which elected members of the council were
involved in approving this and what documentation exists?
The truth is, no one knows what Mr Halsall's friend, Chas Cole's cut of
the £1.7million has been. No-one knows how much has been spent on the
Big Top. No-one knows how much has been spent on staff salaries or
security. No one knows how much has been spent on promotion. No one
knows what the ticket agency take has been. No one knows how much the
bars and catering make. No-one knows how much the franchises have to
cough up. No one knows which concerts made money and which concerts made
a loss. No one knows why free tickets are distributed to places like
Instead councillors have been fobbed off with a typically contemptuous
'back of an envelope' report
drawn up by the smiling assassin.
And so far, his friend Mr Cole has yet to appear before councillors to
answer any questions.
Now councillors have finally insisted the Pops is put out to tender next
year. Better late than never.

Yet the Summer Pops has eaten up at least £1.7million of public money -
for the last SIX years.

So who is going to be held accountable for that?
Perhaps new chief exec, Colin Hilton will ask his tame investigators

KPMG to take a look at the Summer Pops. But don't hold your breath that
they will provide any real answers to the following questions:

* How were CMP first 'procured' by the city council?
* What council Standing Orders were observed in their procurement
and engagement?
* What written documents or proposals were submitted by CMP to the
* Who gave authority to engage CMP?
* What committee meetings of the council gave approval?
* What meetings of the council's Executive Board gave approval?
* What steps have been taken to examine any linkages between Mr
Cole, members of his family and any council officer?
* What declarations of interest have been made by any council
officer in connection with Mr Cole or the Summer Pops?
* What democratically accountable checks and balances were used to
ensure openess and transparency in the procurement process for CMP?
* What officers of the council were involved in CMP's engagement?
* How did the city council ensure that the agreement with CMP
provided best value for money for council taxpayers?
* What other proposals have been received by the city council or
Culture Company to stage the Summer Pops?
* What action, if any, has been taken as a result?
* What value for money comparisons have been made?
* What is the nature of the relationship between Mr Halsall and Mr
Cole and/or their families?

And that's just for starters....

Worried councillors are to ask searching questions about the
£1.7million cost of the Summer Pops.
They may also want to question why millionaire Chas Cole's CMP
Entertainment has such a monopoly
stranglehold on the annual waterfront event?
And why no other promoter has been able to get a look-in for the last
six years?
Could it be anything at all to do with the unusual, some might say
'improper' relationship

between millionaire Mr Cole and evil cabalists, Mr Phil Halsall and Dr
David McElhinney?
Perish the thought.
We are sure that if a top class promoter, with an existing and proven
track record, came to the city council and put forward a proposal to run
the Summer Pops, he would be given very careful consideration.
Except that's just what happened.
James Barton, boss of Cream, approached the council on behalf of a
consortium more than a year ago with just such a detailed proposal.
Cream have a world
reputation for their music events.
The Barton proposal was presented to Capital of Culture acting chief
executive Jason Harborow (aHa).
Harborow consulted both chief executive Sir David Henshaw and Executive
Director Mr Halsall (known as the smiling assassin).
And nothing happened.
The detailed proposal is still gathering dust in a draw somewhere in
Harborow's plush office in Millennium House.
This is all the more remarkable, you might think, given the Summer
Pops's lacklustre line-up of tribute bands, second rate wannabees and
ageing rockstars (what's wrong with them? ed).
And especially when the Barton proposal offered to stage the Summer Pops
entirely for FREE.
At no risk to the city council.
And at no cost to the council taxpayers of Liverpool.
The Daily Post has meanwhile reported that Mr Cole's Summer Pops has so
far cost the city of Liverpool's council taxpayers

a staggering £1.7million so far (the figure keeps on rising).
And it has made Mr Cole a very rich man.

We thought you might appreciate the letter we emailed on Friday to 89*
of Liverpool's 90 city councillors concerning the blog ban imposed by
Colin Hilton. Here it is.

Dear Councillor,

It is a great pity that the city council is preventing you from
accessing this web site:

If you were able to view it you would find out about:

* McElhinney giving ten years FREE car parking to Chas Cole at a
cost of £16,500

* McElhinney costing council taxpayers £500,000

* McElhinney lying to a Select Committee

* McElhinney and Halsall's close and improper relationship with a

* Hilton's cover up of The 08 Place scandal

* Henshaw blackmailing the city

* Henshaw threatening Storey's job as a headteacher.

There's a lot more at

But the council has decided it is not in the best interests of
councillors to see it. Employees are not allowed to see it either. Nor
is any member of the public who tries to use a council computer in a
public library - whatever happened to free speech in Liverpool?

What are they afraid of exactly? The truth?


David Henshaw demanded a huge pay-off to take early retirement more than
a year ago, according to new evidence.
He gave a list of astonishing demands to Councillor Paul Clark, a
barrister and Liverpool's Lord Mayor in 2008, who was handling
negotiations with Henshaw.
He demanded all his £260,000 pension money (which the council had
already once turned down), as well as being allowed to do other paid
work during his 9-months notice period!
He also wanted the £150,000-a-year pay of fellow evil cabal-ists
McElhinney and Halsall to be reviewed. (Presumably not downwards.)
The demands were made on April 23rd, 2005, in Henshaw's office in the
Municipal Buildings according to Councillor Clark's account.
They came after Henshaw (DH) had suspended media chief Matt Finnegan and
seized his computer to read emails from the Leader of the Council, Mike
Storey (MJS).

This is the extract from Councillor Clark's account:

DH has had enough and wants to go.
DH wants the following deal:
1) Press release has to be issued - "co-conspirators have to be stopped"
2) Wants to establish that peace has broken out
3) MJS to specifically call the press and to telephone Larry Neild
(Daily Post journalist) and Rex Makin (legendary Liverpool solicitor and
4) MJS to telephone Local Government Chronicle and Municipal Journal -
verbalise press release.
5) Meeting of the appointment panel - probably after 5th May (local
a) DH to retire on the 30th March 2006.
b) Sub-committee awards him from that day extra pension years.
c) Sub-committee begs Chief exec to re-consider and to continue working.
In the event of them being successful in persuading him to stay, the
extra pension years will be rescinded.
6) Consultants to review the pay of senior management (McElhinney and
Halsall) as part of the retention report.
7) DH will be allowed to do other duties during the notice period and to
receive remuneration from those other duties. (Surprise surprise, Ed)
8) Council go to market place for replacement chief executive in
September 2005.

DH says he wants it to be like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid start
and how much he loathes MJS. He could not work with MJS.

End of extract

This was the deal which was agreed. A month later in May 2005, Henshaw
reneged on it. He decided to stay - and tried to get rid of Storey
instead. Henshaw's greed and megalomania then plunged the city council
into open warfare and badly damaged Liverpool's emerging reputation.
Liverpool suffered another year of turmoil before the city council
finally got rid of Henshaw in March 2006.

David Henshaw threatened Mike Storey's job as a headteacher during their
struggle for power at Liverpool city council.
Henshaw twice threatened Councillor Storey, the elected Leader of the
Council, with the sack as a teacher over emails the councillor had
written to media chief, Matt Finnegan.
Henshaw was the former chief executive of Labour-run Knowsley Borough
Council where Storey, the Lib-Dem leader of Liverpool, was employed as a
successful headteacher.
The astonishing allegations against Henshaw are made in a secret account
by barrister Paul Clark, the Lord Mayor of Liverpool in 2008.
They are certain to cause shock at the Town Hall and in Whitehall
because of the astonishing tactics used by Henshaw to try and get his
own way.
Councillor Clark's account tells how in April last year, Henshaw had
first used the private emails to blackmail the city council into giving
him a huge early retirement pay-off.
But a month later, Henshaw had changed his mind about retiring - he
wanted Storey to go, not him.
Councillor Clark's account reveals how on May 17th Henshaw had first
confronted four senior councillors with the emails, demanding Storey's
(MJS) resignation as Leader.
A shocked Councillor Clark (PC) had then telephoned Henshaw (DH) to find
out what was going on.

This is the extract:

PC calls DH - 17th May 2005
No deal on offer. He is staying.
"I have spent three weeks thinking this through."
DH makes threats to MJS's school job. "Just imagine what a labour
council in knowsley would do with this."
DH says - "he is stupid."
PH and DMc (Halsall and McElhinney) has been working this through.

End of extract

Councillor Clark's then account tells how, unless the elected Leader
quit, Henshaw threatened to make an official complaint about Storey's
emails to the Standards Board, District Auditor and City Solicitor.
Councillor Clark later describes Henshaw again making threats to
Storey's livelihood.

This is the extract:

DH says " he is stupid with no guts. I can tip all this into the
political arena."
Makes further threats to school career. Also says will stop his chance
of getting a peerage. Says he will be suspended immediately and that he
has taken soundings from the standards board.
Deadline for me to come back with MJS's response or he would make the
complaint...set at 5.00 Thursday.

Chief executive Colin Hilton has given instructions for access to this
site to be blocked by the council's computer server.
Dr David McElhinney, chief exec of Liverpool Direct Limited,
enthusiastically arranged for the computer server to be interfered with.
It means that the 90 elected councillors who have council computers and
email addresses at are now all being denied access to
our blog by the new chief exec.
The astonishing gagging order also applies to all 19,500 of the city
council's employees. is the first blog in the country to be
banned in this way.

No action has been taken against any other campaigning blogs which have,
for instance, published allegations about the private lives of
Government ministers.
Liverpool-evil-cabal's only crime is to highlight matters of legitimate
public concern about the awarding of council contracts and the integrity
of former senior officers such as Sir David Henshaw, and Executive
Directiors Dr David McElhinney and Phil Halsall.

* We have exposed how greedy Henshaw tried to blackmail the city
council into a huge retirement deal.
* We have exposed how Henshaw mounted a coup d'etat to try and
remove the elected Leader of the city council, Mike Storey.
* We have highlighted serious concerns about the awarding of major
contracts at The 08 Place by Dr David McElhinney.
* We have questioned the close and improper relationships between
McElhinney and Halsall with Chas Cole, millionaire boss of CMP
promotions which runs the Summer Pops and is the only tenant at
The 08 Place.
* We have exposed the council cover-up over The 08 Place, which
breaks the law.
* And we have well and truly taken the p*** out of the music hall
joke that is Capital of Culture.

If the council seriously thinks that it can gag freedom of speech and
deny the truth to its own councillors or employees, then it is living in
cloud cuckoo land - not a democracy.

Block our way - we will get around you.

Shut us down - we will be open next day.

Gag us - and we will shout louder.

This ban is another example of the megalomania and control freakery that
the evil Henshaw was responsible for. His management style of bullying,
threats and intimidation didn't work then - and they won't work now.

We won't be gagged now Mr Hilton. This is a fight for the future of our
city. We will continue to expose the Liverpool-evil-cabal. And to
promote justice, truth and democracy.

soared by half a million pounds on The 08 Place because of unauthorised
decisions made by Henshaw's rottweiller, Dr David McElhinney (left).
The city centre One Stop Shop should have cost £900,000 to set up and
fit out.
But after McElhinney, the Project Director, personally intervened, the
costs soared to £1,422.400.00 (precisely).
Council taxpayers have now ended up picking up the tab after McElhinney
deliberately mislead members of the city council's Select Committee.
He told them that contractors had stopped working on the building. This
was a bare-faced lie. (Or he may just have got confused, poor love.)
In fact, contractors were continuing to work on the project - piling up
huge extra costs, despite having no authority or permission from the
McElhinney also failed to inform the city council's ruling Executive
Board that he had misled the Select Committee, even when it was directly
pointed out to him in an email from the Project Manager, Louise Gray.
McElhinney's actions over The 08 PLace were in clear breach of the city
council's own Standing Orders and Financial Regulations.
Ms Gray, McElhinney's close colleague, also acted against the advice of
the council's own legal team.
She continued to pay invoices on the contract even though she had been
specifically advised that she had no authority to do so.
All of this - and a lot more - has been brought to the attention of new
chief executive Colin Hilton, by senior councillors.
But Mr Hilton has failed to take any action against McElhinney or Gray
and so far the scandal has been hushed up. Until now.
So what was the extra money spent on? Stay posted....

Dr David
McElhinney and Chas Cole share more than just an interest in expensive
car parking, it seems.
Both men ran in the New York marathon in 2003 (around the same time as
McElhinney, Project Director, was negotiating the tenancy agreement with
Mr Cole over The 08 Place).
In fact there is, apparently, a picture of them both at the finishing
line. (If anyone knows how I can get my hands on this priceless photo,
please drop me a line. I will send it straight on to the police, after
putting it on the blog.)
They even caught the same plane allegedly. What a coincidence that was!
I don't know who paid for this trip. There is no suggestion it was
council taxpayers. Nor is there any evidence at all, that we have yet
seen, that Mr Cole paid for Dr McElhinney.
Nothing wrong with two close friends sharing an interest in running, of
And anyway, new chief exec Colin Hilton has had all the full details of
the two men at the New York marathon (and together at a separate dinner
engagement) and he obviously didn't see anything wrong with it. So
that's all alright then.
But both men shared another common interest of course - they are close
friends with Phil Halsall, currently an Executive Director with
Liverpool city council and the final member of Henshaw's evil cabal (how
could we ever forget you, Phil?)
Halsall has been mates with Chas Cole for years - in fact it was Halsall
(known at the city council as 'the smiling assassin') who first brought
Mr Cole and CMP to Liverpool to do the Summer Pops (which bloggers will
recall has so far cost council taxpayers £1.3 million)
How co-incidental is that?
And guess what? Mr Halsall also ran in the same New York marathon as Mr
Cole and Dr McElhinney. And he appears in the same photograph. (Anyone
would think they had all been running together!) Allegedly they all
caught the same flight. Allegedly.
It's a small world isn't it? Full of co-incidences.
See Red Kenny's informative comments below for more.
But any suggestion that the close relationship between Dr McElhinney and
Mr Cole (or Mr Halsall) led to millionaire Mr Cole being given a 10 year
FREE car parking pass by Dr MCElhinney would, of course, be totally
Because the police might have to be called in to investigate, wouldn't they?
And the whole shaky edifice that was Henshaw's regime at Liverpool would
be blown apart, wouldn't it? See The Daily Post's Council probe
£520million of contracts

It's getting interesting now, isn't it, folks? And there's more. Keep
posted for more revelations.
PS. Sue if not true.

much does it cost you to park your car in Liverpool city centre?
We only ask because it seems other people don't have to pay the same as you.
Step forward Chas Cole, millionaire boss of CMP Promotions, which runs
the Liverpool Summer Pops.
Mr Cole was given a FREE car parking pass for the city centre by Dr
David McElhinney, former Executive Director of Liverpool city council.
Nothing too unusual about that you might say.
Except that the pass is for 10 YEARS.
And the cost to council tax payers? A staggering £16,500.
McElhinney approved the free pass as part of a tenancy agreement with Mr
Cole's company, CMP promotions, for The 08 Place - the Culture Company's
one-stop shop in the city centre.
CMP is the only private tenant in the council-run premises.
McElhinney was the Project Director of The 08 Place, with his close
colleague, Louise Gray, the Project Manager.
No explanation has yet been offered for this amazing free gift to a
private company at council taxpayers expense.
However, the city council's new chief executive, Colin Hilton has been
made fully aware of these unusual circumstances for the last three
months. He was even aware of it when he became acting chief executive.
So far he has not taken any action. Perhaps it will be part of the
investigation into the council's contracts.
Readers may also recall that Chas Cole's deal with the city council to
run the Summer Pops has cost council taxpayers a cool £1.3million so
far. When last spotted, Mr Cole was driving a top of the range motor.
We shall keep you posted on other interesting circumstances concerning
The 08 Place and the personalities involved.
PS - Sue if not true.

are reproducing in full (from today's Daily Post) the Labour spokesman
for leisure and culture, Councillor Steve Rotheram's verdict on the
Culture Company (left) plans for 2007. Couldn't have put it better

"THE biggest problem the Culture Company faces is how to meet the
expectations of people in the city.
From the outset they have promised the earth: there has been a constant
chanting of the "it will be the best ever Capital of Culture" mantra.
But when you have repeatedly made such promises, people expect something
that will knock them off their chairs.
Unfortunately, the 07 announcement was more of a damp squib.
It is not that there was nothing good in it, it just didn't have that
wow factor.
In their official release they highlighted what they called six "key
events". One of those was Mathew Street Festival.
That just seems to me as if a major part of the city's existing events
calendar has just been rebranded by the Culture Company.
Other key events included a civic service at St Nicholas Parish Church
and a fireworks display.
I think people will be asking why so many resources are being thrown at
The street parties will be a big success and something that everyone
expected to see on the programme. They will create a buzz across the
city, which is just what we need to revive momentum for this.
But what else was there to really impress? There were no big headlines,
no big events that will make everyone sit up and listen. It is a bit
like winning the Lottery, thinking you have scooped the million but
instead you have got £100,000.
You are still happy, but it is just not as big or as life changing as
you originally thought it would be.
After all the hype, people are expecting the Rolling Stones in Sefton
Park but instead we got Mathew Street.
The point is that we had that already.
We were also told we would now have to wait until September until the
artistic side of the programme is unveiled.
Once again, it is part of the constant shifting of the goal posts.
People in the city just get fed up with it. It is all promises, promises
but it seems some of them are pretty empty.
The delay is obviously linked to Robyn Archer leaving, and I'm concerned
it will leave some gaps in the programme.
But I think the departure of the Antipodean diva does give us the chance
to make a fresh start, and find out what the people in the city really
want from next year's celebrations.
What I am pleased about is there are quite a lot of community-based
elements, and I think that will be where the real legacy of Capital of
Culture lies.
If we can get to the children at an early age, and get them interested,
then perhaps if something like this happens again we won't need to go
half way round the world to recruit someone to run it."

The last days of Henshaw's regime at Liverpool city council were like a
scene from the Berlin bunker.
Sir David ordered in his aide de camp Danny Clare (aHa - another Henshaw
appointment) to spend an entire weekend sifting through dozens of files
in the council's Municipal Building.
Henshaw then stood over poor Clare as he shredded literally hundreds of
documents in the great man's huge office.
Apparently there was so much shredded paper that porters were ordered to
trundle in purple wheely bins to cope with it all. (Henshaw is pictured
illustrating the size of one file of emails about Mike Storey which he
But what other secret documents were destroyed we wonder? Who did they
belong to - Henshaw or the city council? And who gave him permission to
destroy council property?
Poor Clare's reward for his loyal destruction was later to be moved to a
council backwater when Hilton assumed the role of new chief exec.
And the Berlin bunker took an even more sinister turn when an IT expert
was enlisted by McElhinney from Liverpool Direct to wipe clean the
computer hard drives of all the members of the evil cabal - Henshaw, the
Rottweiller himself and the smiling assassin, Halsall.
Goodness knows what juicy evidence was being disposed of here. We can
only speculate about the emails which passed between the evil cabal
concerning Storey, Bradley, Joe Anderson, Colin Hilton, Regeneration
Executive Director Charlie Parker (we confidently predict), Matt
Finnegan and anyone else they had conspired against.
But here's the rub. Henshaw, McElhinney and Halsall still have council
computers at home, which they have not yet wiped. These appear to have
been overlooked by the city council.
Why doesn't someone insist the council go and seize back its property -
and take a look at what is on these computers?
And as part of any investigation into contracts, and in the interests of
open government and genuine transparency, why doesn't the council take a
leaf out of Scotland Yard's book?
The Yard are using the latest American software to unearth deleted
emails from computers as part of their loans for Lords enquiry.
If it's good enough for the capital its good enough for the Capital of
And who knows what interesting stuff the council might find.
Just a suggestion of course.

Liverpool city council has been ordered to end its cover up over The 08
Place and Dr David McElhinney.
The Information Commissioner has written to the council telling them to
answer questions about The 08 Place which were submitted more than three
months ago.
They were sent to acting chief executive, Colin Hilton under the Freedom
of Information Act on April 20th.
*The city council has a legal obligation to respond to all such requests
within 20 working days. Mr Hilton has completely ignored the question.*
A complaint was then made about the council's failure to answer the
questions through the council's internal complaints procedure, Have Your
Interestingly, this is handled by Liverpool Direct Limited, which of
course is now run by Dr McElhinney.
This complaint too was also ignored by LDL. Surprisingly! Perhaps they
thought it would just go away?
Finally an official complaint was made to the Information Commissioner.
He has now written to the council telling them: "You should either
provide the information or issue a refusal notice in accordance with the
requirements of section 17 of the Freedom of Information Act or
regulation 14 of the Environmental Information regulations as appropriate."
So what is the question about The 08 Place that they don't want to answer?
Here it is in full:

*Please provide a list of, and copies of, all tender documents documents
drawn up by, and received by, the city council in connection with The 08
Please identify the council officers who were involved in the tenancy
agreement with CMP for The 08 Place, together with their titles and
specific responsibilities. Please identify the Executive Director with
overall responsibility for The 08 Place. Please provide a list (with
dates) of all meetings between officers of the city council and Mr Chas
Cole, or his representatives.
Please provide a copy of the tenancy agreement between the city council
and CMP relating to The 08 Place, together with all supporting
Please identify all those meetings involving elected Members of the City
Council, including Select Committees, which have discussed The 08 Place.
Please list (with dates) any meetings between Mr Hilton and the Leader
of the Council concerning The 08 Place.
Please provide copies of all the documents which they have considered.
Please provide a copy of all reports concerning The 08 Place.*
Now why do you think they don't want to answer these polite questions?
Perhaps a campaigning city councillor or a crusading journalist would
like to submit similar questions and we will see what response you get,
shall we? But don't hold your breath...

It's open
season on the Liverpool Culture Company now following the sacking of
Robbing Archer (another Henshaw appointment - aHa!)
Amongst those lining up to take pot-shots are comedian Ken Dodd and
playwright Willy Russell.
Doddy told the Liverpool Echo: "as taxpayers we need to know how much
money has been spent so far and on what; what we are going to spend in
the future and to whom the money is going."
He warned: "We are being kept in the dark for too long. If we don't get
a move on, all that will be left is tap dancing at the town hall or a
concert party in Calderstones Park."
And Willy Russell said "I haven't got a clue as to who is running this
bloody thing. I have had no sense of Capital of Culture being under any
effective control."
Well said both - but why has it taken so long before anyone started
demanding some answers?
Barrow boy Jason Harborow (interim chief exec and aHa!) went cap in hand
to Liverpool's creative organisations earlier this week, pleading: "bail
us out." He is being paid £150,000 a year for this! Culture Board member
Sue Woodward (aHa!)insisted it was "business as usual". God help us.
What have both been doing for the last 18 months? In particular, what
has been the contribution of the Culture Company board?
The answer of course is nothing - they are a collection of Henshaw
placemen and women who would not know how to organise a piss-up in a
brewery. They were put there for self-aggrandisement and kudos and to
watch Henshaw's back for him.
The Culture Company itself does not have a creative person anywhere near
the top of the organisation. They are all well paid marketing people who
have no affinity for the world of arts and culture (much less genuine
community engagement).
No wonder the city's creative organisations still want an artistic
director. They are terrified that CoC will be left in the hands of
someone like Harborow who doesn't know his Fellini from his Foo
Fighters. (He knows **** all really).
And the city council, convulsed by the bloody battle for control between
Henshaw and Storey took their eye off the ball for the last 18 months
and allowed Robbing and Harborow and the rest of the CoC gang to do what
they liked.
Which was precisely zilch. (In Robbing's case this was something called
'scoping' which basically means that on the rare occassions when she was
here, she went around looking at things and talking to lots of people
without actually producing anything concrete. When the wolves started
circling, she panicked and started giving jobs to her Aussie mates.)
In the meantime more than £50 million quid of council taxpayers money is
being spent on the Culture Company for no tangible result.
Time now for council leader Warren Bradley to get a firm grip on the
Culture Company and crack some heads together.
Prediction No 1 - Lewis Biggs from the Tate will be brought in to
provide some artistic direction .
Prediction No 2 - tomorrow's announcement of the artistic programme for
2007 will be pitifully short of new artistic stuff.

Liverpool solicitor E.Rex Makin is going into battle against the city
council over suspended spin chief Matt Finnegan.
Prof Makin is appearing for the defence when Finnegan faces a council
internal disciplinary hearing (otherwise known as a kangaroo court - we
wonder will they call Skippy to give evidence?).
The hearing in September may also be open to the public if Finnegan's
union, the NUJ has its way.
Ringside seats for the battle are expected to cost more than a ticket to
the Summer Pops, (which may well also figure in the evidence).
Finnegan has been suspended on pay for 18 months, since Henshaw removed
him as the council's spinmeister.
Finnegan's crime? Expressing Mike Storey's public opposition to a
£340,000 pension deal for greedy Henshaw.
Of course, Henshaw, McElhinney and Halsall had first plotted together to
trump up 'procurement irregularities'. (We will be returning in detail
to this interesting subject in later posts.)
For the meantime, let us rejoice that sexy Rexy is getting stuck into
our beloved council, polluted by Henshaw's evil cabal.
Prof Makin told the Daily Post: "My surprise is that the case is being
proceeded with at all, in the light of the new regime in place at the
city council."
The regime can't be that new then, can it Rex? Don't forget that Hilton
was aHa (another Henshaw appointment)
Miles Barter of the NUJ said: "Matt Finnegan was originally suspended
last April on trumped up charges over matters which were four years old.
Our case is that Mr Finnegan was suspended by former chief executive Sir
David Henshaw because he was doing his job in making public the Leader
of the Council's opposition to a pension deal.
"Since his suspension, Mr Finnegan has been barred from visiting any
city council premises and banned from contacting any of the city
council's 19,500 employees, any of its 90 councillors or any members of
the media. He has been placed under virtual house arrest. Suspected
terrorists have more freedom and more rights.
"We are now asking the council to take the unusual step of holding the
hearing in public so that Matt can face his accusers and clear his name.
He has nothing to hide and wants to have his say in public after 16
months enforced silence."
Mr Barter added: "The hearing in September will be about the fundamental
question of 'who runs the council'? The democratically elected Leader or
the hired chief executive?"
(I think we all know what Henshaw's answer to that will be. But is the
council be calling him as their star witness? And will we council
taxpayers have to pay the greedy one's witness expenses, including all
those posh butties?)
Mr Barter added: "The NUJ will be watching this case very closely indeed
- it has grave implications for democracy and all those press officers
in local government who work with councillors."
Can't wait.

There have been more official protests over the appointment of Henshaw
to the £40,000-a-year post as Chairman of the North West Regional
Strategic Health Authority.
Gordon Prentice, Labour MP for Pendle, (pictured left) has wrung the
highly unusual admission from Health Minister Rosie Winterton that four
official complaints about the appointment have been received by the
Health Appointments Commission.
Already 25 North West MP's, including several Government Ministers, have
signed a letter of protest about the blackmailer Henshaw being rewarded
with even more public money!
And to her great credit, Liverpool Wavertree MP Jane Kennedy (right)
resigned as a Health Minister in protest at greedy Henshaw getting the job.
We are reliably informed that Mr Prentice will not be leaving it at that
and will be pursuing the appointment further. Good for him.
It seems that 'the problem with Henshaw' is just not going away.

Labour leader Joe Anderson gets the Quote of the Year Award for his
comment on Archer's Aussie-based 'jobs for the boys' artistic programme:

"The only Australian names missing, seem to be Rolf Harris, Dame Edna
Everage and Skippy the Bush Kangaroo"

(Skippy is pictured above)
But why did it take the ECHO so long to develop a critical approach to
Liverpool's cultural matters and Archer's £150,000 a year incompetence?
Anything to do with the ECHO's sponsorship deal with the Culture Company?
Its a bit late in the day now that she has gone, isn't it?
Anyway, the ECHO can redeem itself by not letting off the hook,
Henshaw's placemen and women - the invisible members of The Culture
Company Board, who have sat on their hands in the middle of this
shambles for the last 18 months. In particular, ineffectual Chairman
Drummond Bone-Head( "who he?" - Ed) who remains totally out of his
depth. Time he went Down Under too.

We are now being asked to trust the Culture Company Board with
arrangements for Robbing's successor. They must be joking. These are the
people - all Henshaw's placemen and women - who have been sat on their
hands for the last 18 months making absolutely no ****ing contribution
to 2008, but all hoping to exploit their position to win a gong or two
from Gordon Brown in 2009. Step forward Drummond Bone-Head in particular
- weak, out of his depth, and just out for himself. What have any of
them ever done for 2008? Seriously. And they want us to trust this gang
of shysters!

Archer was paid an amazing £150,000 a year by the city council from
council taxpayers money.
She has been shown the door with at least two and half years to run on
her contract (until the end of 2008).
That means she is set to pocket an astonishing £375,000 of public money
as her bumper pay-off. Even more than greedy Henshaw got!
And my money is on her being paid the lot by ('would you buy a used car
from this man') Jason Harborow, (left) just to get rid of her quietly.
And Harborow will no doubt persuade the 'yes' men on the Capital of
Culture Board to agree to the pay-off, to avoid a messy and protracted
legal battle with Archer's lawyers Down Under.
But I doubt whether any of the papers will print this, because of their
sponsorship deals with the Culture Company. (When will it dawn that they
have bought into a pig in a poke?)
Does anyone want to try and ask some Freedom of Information questions of
Mr Hilton about the Archer departure deal? I have already got a shed
load of other ones in to him....
Pictured right are Jason Harborow, Warren Bradley, and the now retired
Sir David Henshaw (the man who appointed Robbing) who all got together
earlier this year to insist that all was well with Culture. I bet Warren
now bitterly regrets being persuaded to line up alongside these two ...

Robyn Archer has quit as the Liverpool Culture Company's Artistic
Director - thank goodness.
Known as 'Robbing' Archer, she enjoyed a £150,000 a year salary, but did
bugger all for CofC. She only arrived permanently in Liverpool from Down
Under three months ago and had already achieved a reputation for her
vanishing acts - to scout 'new talent'.
Not surprisingly she was a Henshaw appointment - he forced through her
selection two years ago, despite opposition from Mike Storey (so no
change there then).
Storey and Bradley will be delighted she is now on her way back to
Australia (interestingly another of Henshaw's watering holes).
Not sure yet if she jumped or was pushed - there have been rumours for
weeks that she would not last the course, but that was more a commentary
on her diva temperament and somewhat idiosyncratic ideas about what the
people of Liverpool would come to see in the city for 2008.
We are still waiting to hear what is actually happening in 2008 - 18
months from now.
So another huge waste of public money, instigated by Henshaw. Good
riddance - but it leaves a giant hole in the place marked Liverpool, 2008.

David Henshaw blackmailed Liverpool city council into giving him a
massive early retirement deal.
That's according to the city's deputy Lord Mayor, Councillor Paul Clark,
a senior barrister (pictured right).
His compelling inside account of the negotiations with Henshaw a year
ago, reveals the incredible power struggle at the heart of the city council.
Councillor Clark describes a meeting with Henshaw in his office on April
23, 2005.
Clark says greedy* Henshaw* demanded a huge retirement deal from the
city council worth £250,000 – or he would report council leader Mike
Storey to the Standards Board.
According to Clark, Henshaw* *threatened: *“I will proceed tomorrow to
make the complaint to the Standards Board (if no agreement).” *
The* *Henshaw deal included:

* *

* A press release falsely establishing that ‘peace has broken out’
between *Henshaw* and Councillor Storey
* Storey personally calling the press
* Extra pension years on *Henshaw’s* retirement - worth £250,000
* A council committee ‘begging’ *Henshaw* to stay
* Consultants to ‘review’ the pay of Halsall and McElhinney
* *Henshaw* to be allowed to earn /extra income/ during his six
months notice, on top of his £190,000 a year chief exec’s salary

The secret deal was then broken by Henshaw just a month later when he
finally carried out his threat and published Storey's confidential emails.
PS Sue if not true.

David Henshaw (left) tried to remove the elected leader of Liverpool
city council in a row over his pension, according to a statement by city
councillor David Antrobus, chief whip of the controlling Lib Dem group.
The statement tells what happened in May 2005, after Henshaw announced
that he was taking early retirement as chief exec because of government
pension changes.
Henshaw lured Antrobus and fellow councillors Marilyn Fielding, Paul
Clein and Flo Clucas to a meeting on Tuesday May 17th, 2005 using
various underhand pretexts and then produced a draft report which had
been secretly drawn up.
The report showed emails between the Leader of the Council, Mike Storey
and a senior council officer, Matt Finnegan, following Sir David’s
announcement in April 2005 that he was retiring.
Councillor Antrobus (pictured top right) says: “*The chief executive
made it very clear that he wished the Leader of the Council to go, if
this happened the draft report would go no further.”*
He goes on to say that Henshaw used the email report to blackmail other
councillors to sack Storey.
Antrobus says: *“DH (David Henshaw) indicated that if no action was
taken (against the Leader of the Council) the information would be sent
to the District Auditor…”
*The statement provides prima facie evidence that Henshaw hatched a
conspiracy to try and remove the democratically elected Leader of the
city council.
He used the draft report to threaten and blackmail elected Members of
the Council to get rid of their Leader.
Later Councillor Antrobus’s statement tells how the Lib Dem group were
actively trying to suspend Henshaw as chief executive.
/Events in Liverpool show that Sir David Henshaw is not fit for public
office. He engaged in subterfuge, an attempted coup, intimidation and
attempted blackmail. /
/As an unelected official he sought to remove the democratically elected
Leader of a city council from office. He abused his public position,
power and public money in pursuit of his own personal and financial
/It would be wrong if Henshaw got away with this, simply because he is
rich, well connected and powerful. It is not for public servants to try
and remove elected Leaders, or indeed any councillor, from office.
see also,7890,1490606,00.html
PS Sue if not true

News reaches
me that Henshaw's rottweiller, the hated Dr David McElhinney started
foaming at the mouth when he read on the council's own web site that
Warren Bradley had called in outside (and therefore independent)
investigators to examine all the council's contracts. The Daily Post
reported that two contracts were of particular interest - that with
Enterprise-Liverpool (never put out to tender by Henshaw) and much more
interestingly, the contracts with Liverpool Direct Limited, of which
McElhinney of course is now the well remunerated chief executive!
Henshaw's rottweiller was apparently snarling and threatening all sorts
of legal action to anyone who would listen to his barking. What has he
got to fear, we wonder? The answer of course, lies buried deep within
the LDL contract fine print (basically McElhinney and Henshaw stitched
it up, firstly so that McElhinney would have a fur-lined escape route to
LDL if things started going pear-shaped at the city council and secondly
in terms of the cost to council taxpayers - rumoured to be in the region
of an ongoing financial commitment which will cost the people of
Liverpool millions over the next six years!) Anyway Dr Dave was rabid at
the thought of external investigators being let loose on his handywork -
not least of which, of course, is the scandalous abuse of council
taxpayers money on The '08 Place for millionaire Chas Cole (promoter of
the Summer Pops). It remains to be seen if the report of KPMG will be,
firstly, ever made public and secondly, whether PC Plod ever knocks on
Dr Dave's door in Allerton and asks him about his relationship with Mr
Cole (a friend of the other member of the evil cabal, Mr Halsall) and
the alarmingly favourable contract which Dr Dave granted him. See also
the KirkbyTimes

for more on McElhinney's early days under Henshaw's tutelage at Knowsley.
PS Sue if not true

Henshaw's rottweiller (Part 2)

More interesting info today about Dr David McElhinney (please keep it
coming!) You will recall that Dr David occupied the £150,000- a-year
position of Executive Director with Liverpool city council, where he was
in charge of Central Services - Henshaw's bureaucracy and all the stuff
to do with paper clips and pens, etc, etc. He was also chief executive
of Liverpool Direct Limited, the joint venture with BT (see previous
posts) responsible for IT and One Stop Shops and the Liverpool Direct
Call Centre. Well, when Dr Dave jumped ship from the city council to
escape the wolves snapping at his heels for all his transgressions under
Henshaw, that left a big gap in his Executive Director position. New
chief exec Colin Hilton has decided that Dr Dave was so indispensable in
his role that he does not need to be replaced! So there will be no new
Exec Director for Central Services. (Pity, because I know at least one
guy who would have applied for it!) Which of course, begs the question,
what was Dr Dave doing all the time as Exec Director on £150,000 grand a
year that was so important? Answers to the blog, please!
Henshaw's rottweiller

Having escaped from the city council while the vultures where circling
overhead, Dr David McElhinney (pictured right) has now got himself a
cushy sideways move as chief exec of Liverpool Direct Limited. This
hardly exacting role pays him a cool £163,000 a year salary (plus
expenses which he signs off himself) and also enables him lots of free
time to pursue his great hobby of boxing. (He likes all the sweaty flesh
apparently). Now that his guardian and mentor Henshaw is no longer
protecting him at the city council, McElhinney is being forced to use a
bucket full of self-promotion in his role at Liverpool Direct Limited,
the joint venture between the city council and BT. Rumour has it that
the council is now so sick of the cost and inefficiency of this joint
venture that it has no intention of renewing the LDL contract (despite
McElhinney trying to stitch this up before he left the city council to
join LDL at the end of March). Which puts pressure on McElhinney to try
and get loads of extra business from other more gullible local
authorities. He has already begun a PR offensive with the media and is
trying to get mentions for LDL in all kinds of computer and IT magazines
which no one has ever heard of before. Still, Dr David still has plenty
of time to travel to Sport England headquarters in London once a month
to sit on meetings of the Amateur Boxing Association, of which he is now
Treasurer. (Are council taxpayers paying for this?). City council
employee Paul King, (who was deeply beholden to his boss McElhinney for
keeping his job when he was prosecuted for assaulting a neighbour) is
currently chief exec of the ABA (what a co-incidence.) You can keep an
eye on this partnership via ABA
. But please don't get too
depressed by all this - McElhinney will get his come-uppance one day -
he has made far too many enemies and is far too evil to escape forever.
PS Sue if not true.

David Henshaw was in fine form recently, he was speaking in Australia and gave a talk entitled 'From Beatlemania to Community mania: An example of a revolutionary local government'. This rabble rousing call to pen pushers was an 'address' to the 'Communities in Control Conference' in Melbourne on the 7th June 2004. Maybe that's why his tan is looking a little bit more orange of late. Australia is a place he has been on several occasions, Henshaw's a bit of a glutton for Globetrotting, especially when the public fund it. He has seen the inside of more aeroplanes than some of Easyjets orange attired flight staff.

Henshaw is a middle class messiah of privatisation who is willing to fly halfway round the world to put the boot into the working class, who, by and large, pay his wages. Anyone attending the speech or address he gave in Australia could be forgiven that Liverpool has now completely turned into some middle class paradise; you could almost imagine none of our pensioners were being kicked out of care homes by the thousand. Henshaw is a spin-doctor, not as nauseating as the slippery creature of Darkness Mandleson, but both there 'talents' amount to being devious, having a good selective memory and being ruthless enough to sack anyone for the 'cause' of privatisation. He is halfway between working class and middle class - the working class mostly think he is a bit of a clown and the real middle class posh types will look down upon David, yet see him as a useful tool to use, as will the rich landowners taking over Liverpool. David is prepared to act as a mouthpiece for the trendy right wing middle class 'neo conservative' types, and the posh minority who are trying to usurp our local democracy and buy off Liverpools ex council property. Henshaw does not like the working class, but is happy to split the profits on selling off the City the working class here actually built.

The following article features sections of Henshaws speech, which is almost bizarre in parts. Kirkby gets not one mention, Henshaw avoids mentioning all those, er, deals, such as Sonae, Liverpool Academy, sales of land, property and private little political cliques controlling the rest of the compliant new labour councillors. Henshaw never really had much opposition in Kirkby, and by some strange coincidence, the ones who did oppose him seemed to be elbowed to one side. Or kicked if need be. Knowsley Council deliberately fills the council seats with people who think 'principles' are some sort of shares they can cash in when the price is right. After the quotes by Henshaw is comment on the actual content and an attempt to make sense of what the real agenda is. In the speech we'll see Henshaw comment on why he thinks people who don't like are just like racists or homophobes. We'll also read about big underpants, dancing, shadows and 'feedback sessions'. This is bizarre stuff. What's even more Bizarre is that every quote from Henshaw is 100% accurate and not taken out of context.

'All power corrupts'
"You know that phrase of Lord Acton's 'All power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely?' Powerlessness, too, corrupts absolutely." David Henshaw, Communities in Control Conference Melbourne, 7th June 2004.

Power certainly corrupts, but Henshaws trying to twist that around by putting the boot into those with no power! How corrupt is someone with no power whatsoever going to actually be? If people are powerless, are they corrupt for not assuming power? In Liverpool, the old aged pensioners kicked out of care homes are powerless, are they then corrupted? Henshaws trying to deflect the accusations - corruption in Liverpool and Knowsley has seen millions of pounds of public money vanish and no-one in power asks questions anymore. It is the people with power who are charged with the safekeeping and supervision of massive amounts of regeneration grants etc. David Henshaw is trying to deflect the corruption of those with power and instead blame the powerless. It's almost a call for Scousers to become involved and vote out the corrupt. Any Liverpool Council with a majority pro working class make up of councillors with common sense, would soon tell Henshaw his wage will be cut to the same as the local street cleaners.

Henshaws Underpants
Henshaws underpants with a 'big S' on the front
"I was the new Chief Executive. I'd been in there for about a week, I'd been a Chief Executive somewhere else, so I had my underpants on outside my trousers, with a big S for Superman." David Henshaw, Communities in Control Conference Melbourne, 7th June 2004.

The thought of Henshaw walking around Council offices and workplaces with 'underpants' over the outside of his trousers, with a 'big S' for superman is a pretty unpleasant thought. Superman never had a 'big S' on the front of his underpants did he? To be honest, I was more interested in Wonder Womans neat silver shorts. Either way Kirkby Times suggests that if any employees of Liverpool City Council are accosted by a man wearing underpants with a 'big S' on them, make a citizens arrest.

"When we lead, we cast huge shadows." David Henshaw, Communities in Control Conference Melbourne, 7th June 2004.

When Henshaw was up here in Kirkby, he was a bit of a 'Rasputin' figure, his dark scheming and shadowy subterfuge and plotting led to Kirkby seeing a political dictatorship run rampant selling off every asset we had here. The darkness was literally swirling around Henshaw as Kirkby saw asset after asset sold for a song. He sold the heart of the Community. Henshaws legacy can be seen by the Sonae factory, by the Liverpool Academy built on public land and sold for a song and by the many many plots of green land now concreted over. Henshaw and his kind certainly do cast there shadows over working class communities. The only answer is to topple him; this is possible if honest working class people actually run our own councils. Once toppled, the shadows of these leaders will no longer be cast over us.

A Henshaw 'Moment'
"Janet, my co-worker, and I had one of these feedback sessions, and there was my moment. I was going to get this out, give her what for. I said, 'You could be more effective if you stopped repeating yourself.' It just came out. She sat there calmly, because we'd been trained, and said, 'Thank you for that feedback and coaching'" David Henshaw, Communities in Control Conference Melbourne, 7th June 2004.

The co -worker who got told by Henshaw to stop repeating herself may well have drawn Henshaws attention to the fact that he has likely repeated the sentence 'Capital of Culture 2008' on more than a few thousand occasions. They've even changed the logo now, this is typical of the white middle class 'new men', who seem to be a bit like some women as far as the 'change the d├ęcor' schemes go. Most men would leave the wall paper up for 10 years if it looked ok, maybe longer. A 'new man' won't. A married man has no choice! The new capital of culture logo looks like some drunken teenager has spray-painted something on a wall. It's sad really to see grown people act like this. Sadder still to see the taxpayers landed with the bills.

Henshaw dancing with the community.
Henshaw as Fred Astaire
"Now the other element in this is about how you work in local organisations and change the way you deal with things. One of the things is how you work with others. Now, I'm not going to order you do this, because health and safety rules prevent it, but I'd like a volunteer. Let's dance. When we dance, I'm leading. And that's how local government has seen its role for a very long time. Think of me as local government. Think of my partner as the community. Now, community, lead me. Ooops. Did you spot anything there?" David Henshaw, Communities in Control Conference Melbourne, 7th June 2004.

Henshaws little quaint English middle class 'new man' dinner party giggle with the audience, quoted word for word and not taken out of context. We bet a few Aussie blokes in the audience were likely thinking less than politically incorrect thoughts about his antics. "What the hells the Pom saying", may have been the reaction of the audience. The 'new man' phenomenon may not impress the average Aussie bloke, but no doubt the Aussie middle class is every bit as daft as ours here in the UK. Henshaws little mention of dancing with the community is interesting, he led us for a merry dance in Kirkby and is doing so with the working class people of Liverpool. Many in Kirkby have tangoed with Henshaw, doubtless you can imagine he may well be a mover in the middle class art form of dance; a tangoe, a waltz, some toe tapping Fred Asteir like move. Anyone daft enough to take up his offer of a dance is going to get there toes trod upon one day. You're dancing with the devil.

Taking people out of the system
The Henshaw Matrix
"I've taken 4,500 people out of the system. All took voluntary severance or early retirement, but it had to happen, because we were massively over-peopled for our business. Since then services have improved" David Henshaw, Communities in Control Conference Melbourne, 7th June 2004.

Hold on, Henshaws made people lose jobs - he's not 'taken them out of the system'. Interesting that he perhaps sees workers as just being in 'the system' and that 'taking them out the system' is some sort of favour. Almost as if he is freeing the council workers from the Matrix or the bonds of slavery or something! Sounds great, till the bills come in. As for housing repairs and other services being more efficient in Liverpool, that's' not quite true, in fact, it's pretty much completely untrue. There are local people living in B and B's because of housing shortages, even Knowsley is building up for a crisis in decent affordable rented property as we've privatised ALL the former Council Housing and sold much of it on the cheap. Liverpools housing situation is becoming a nightmare for young people who are faced with a decreasing amount of council or social housing in decent areas. Our old folks homes are sold as they lie in some care home. The homes have to be sold to pay for the care of our old folks. Liverpool City Council has created rent backlogs of months and many landlords will not even take people onboard who are on social security or welfare benefit, due to massive waiting times for rents to be paid. The council housing department is not 'over-peopled' - it is slashed to the bone. Ask the workers, ask the tenants. There version of events, as ever, differ to the official spin doctored version as put forward by Henshaw and other middle class heroes.

Hating Bureaucrats is like hating blacks or gays!
equal rights for civil servants on 130K per year
"When I was introduced I looked at you in the audience and I could see that some of you thought 'Nice suit, big bureaucrat, the enemy is in our midst.' If I'd come in looking somewhat different, would you have looked at me differently? Because what happens is that we all have prejudices. We often talk about prejudice in terms of racism and homophobia. But when you talk about me and my lot, the bureaucrats, you also talk in a prejudicial way." David Henshaw, Communities in Control Conference Melbourne, 7th June 2004.

Aaah, poor Bureaucrats , it must be difficult getting paid £130K a year then 'me and my lot' getting called greedy for earning all that money whilst shedding less sweat than a part time security guard in an ice rink. Henshaw is trying to elicit sympathy for people like himself, 'him and his lot' as he whinges. He is almost trying to make out that calling a bureaucrat names (such as fat cat or greedy bast**d) is just the same as racism or homophobia. It's political correctness being used to protect the very people messing up England. Almost a form of legislation for 'new man'. He is, we are led to believe, being picked on for wearing a dodgy designer suit and a flamboyant tie whilst carrying a £3000 laptop, paid for by the taxpayer and earning 130K for talking the sort of nonsense we are quoting from his own mouth. This claim that its as bad as 'racism or homophobia' is pathetic, and if Henshaw thinks his plight can be likened to that of a black man being called a ni**er, or a gay called a fagg**, he is away with the woods.

Everyone in the know seems to dislike bureaucrats, maybe because we sense they are devious bunch of money grabbing do nothings who have great talents at cutting services whilst accumulating fat wage rises and knighthoods off the discredited Royal freeloader Scroungers Supreme. Henshaw is almost trying to look to a future Liverpool were class prejudice against the rich freeloaders is looked upon like racism. He wants the working class to stop hating the rich and the annoying posh types. The English, especially Scousers, will always have a healthy dislike of pen pushers and bureaucrats and the super rich. Do Black people in Toxteth now sense that there history, there social and current predicament is the same as White Middle Class Bureaucrats and there struggle on FAT WAGES and the prejudice they endure? Be real. White and Black working class people in Liverpool, and the sensible middle classes, as well as Gays, will all unite in prayer if the prayer is one asking God to deliver us from the dubious leadership of Henshaw and his ilk.

Whoever writes Henshaws speeches, if he has help in his oratory endeavours, is, as we might say here in Liverpool - 'on one'. What is worrying is that this speech has actually been prepared before-hand, Henshaw could not blame it on the old Amber Nectar. Henshaw also had a slide show to perk up his address. How modern.

Kirkby Times extends our sympathy to those workers who may have had to endure the Henshaw speech and slide show. Our hearts are with you. The unspeakable horror which you have endured will, in time, be merely a bad memory. Due to the fact that normal ordinary people may be distressed if they were to view the full content of this speech, we have declined to reproduce more than a few sections.

Acknowledgement for the Henshaw quotes to the '2004 Communities in Control conference' convened by Our Community and Catholic Social Services. Melbourne Australia.

Sir David Henshaw

BA (Hons) Public Administration 1973

Sir David HenshawLiverpool is an historic city, yet looking ever forward to the future. Sir David Henshaw is helping to change the city's fortunes around and paving the way for a bigger and brighter future. Liverpool City Council has been transformed from the third worst authority in the country into a rapidly improving one, using an inspirational reform agenda that has embraced the whole city. He spoke to Caroline Reynolds, from the Alumni Office, to share his successes with other alumni.

'During my student days in the 70's, I became the first sabbatical President of the Students' Union. We appointed the first full-time administrator of the Union and moved out of an office on the 12 th floor of Owen Building to take over a pub - the Phoenix*. My time as President was extremely stimulating - it brought together many of my interests and paved the way to a career in local government. It was a great learning experience; it gave me the start in life to do the job I'm doing today and opened my eyes to everything that is possible.'

David further enhanced his education by completing an MSc at the University of Birmingham and, by coincidence, got a position at the South Yorkshire County Council in Barnsley where he was assistant corporate planning officer. He then moved to Essex County Council where he was assistant chief executive for five years.
'In 1989 I received a phone call asking me if I would be interested in a role as chief executive of the Metropolitan Borough of Knowsley in Merseyside and clerk to the Merseyside Police Authority, it was an opportunity not to be missed. I moved back to my home town of Liverpool and in December 1999 I was appointed chief executive of Liverpool City Council.

David arrived at Liverpool with a long list of challenges set by a newly elected Council under Liberal Democrat control. 'My remit was to transform the quality of council services for the people of Liverpool and to reduce costs. At that time Liverpool was third from the bottom in the league table of local authority performance and it charged the highest council tax in the country.' Working with the local council, David led the managerial agenda in cutting costs dramatically and vastly improved the quality of council services.

David's structural reforms reduced 11 departments into five major portfolios and has substantially reduced costs, saving an estimated £120 million. New technology has also made the Council easier to contact, with a network of one-stop-shops and the creation of one of the biggest call centres in local government.

'In recent years, Liverpool has changed from a council with outdated working practices and poor quality services, to a local authority which is setting new standards and which other organisations are seeking to learn from. I am pleased we are succeeding in giving our customers the best of the public and private sector, and serve as a benchmark for the future of local government. There is still a lot to do but we are well on our way.'

Liverpool 's fortunes were further enhanced after they successfully beat off stiff competition to win the European Capital of Culture 2008 title.
'We decided to go for the bid on the basis that Liverpool was back and our ambition at that point was just to be short listed. As we went on we realised our pitch and the way we ran the bid had great potential and we won it. It was a huge boost of confidence for the city and a credit to the team of six who ran the bid - a great team won a great prize. Most of all, the people of Liverpool bought into the Bid which ultimately convinced the judges.'

Liverpool 's new cultural status has aided the ongoing regeneration process of the city's infrastructure and built on the strong foundation of its cultural heritage. The pace of change is also expected to accelerate as the city moves towards its 800 th anniversary in 2007.

Last year alone the Council finalised a £750 million investment - one of the largest city centre development projects in Europe . It is estimated that over the next five years the city will benefit from investments of more than £2 billion and create thousands of new jobs. Work will begin soon on a new £10.5 million cruise liner terminal and a new conference centre, arena and exhibition centre. Plans are also underway to build a new stadium for Liverpool Football Club. 'We are re-invigorating the city, moving it towards becoming a premier European city again and have massive investment coming into the area. At the maximum point of construction we'll have something like 42 tower cranes working in the city.'

David is married with two children and still has time for his favourite past-times including football - although he isn't prepared to divulge which Liverpool team he supports! He is optimistic about the future and hopes there will be more challenges along the way. One thing that remains strong is David's fondness for Sheffield . 'Sir Bob Kerslake (Chief Executive of Sheffield City Council, Former Governor and Honorary Doctorate at Sheffield Hallam University ) and I are good colleagues and I often visit the city - I think it's a great place. My student days at Sheffield Polytechnic were a very good grounding for my career in local government.'

David puts his success down to hard work, having a belief in what you can do, making a firm commitment and working with a great crowd of people whom he has learnt a huge amount from.

In 2004, David was knighted in the Queen's Birthday Honours list. This was an immensely proud moment but one which came completely out of the blue. 'Receiving the letter from No10 was totally unexpected - I was due to play in a golf competition that day and I ended up playing like I hadn't played in years - it was fantastic'. He feels that his knighthood is very much a recognition for Liverpool , of where the city has come from and feels privileged to do the job he's doing. ' Liverpool is my home city, to actually be born and bred in the city and to be doing this job is a great opportunity. It's hugely enjoyable and if you love what you do, you're a very lucky person.'

*The Students Union moved into the former National Centre for Popular Music in February this year and has been renamed the Hallam Union Building of Sheffield (HUBS). The bar in the Union has been named Bar Phoenix after its origins. For more details about HUBS visit

Child Support Agency

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
(1) what his latest estimate is of the cost to his Department of Sir David Henshaw’s review of the Child Support Agency, broken down by (a) travel costs, (b) salary costs for Sir David Henshaw, (c) other staff costs, (d) telephone costs and (e) other costs; and if he will make a statement; [75762]

(2) whom Sir David Henshaw has interviewed to date for his review of the future of the Child Support Agency; [75763]

(3) by what date he plans to make a statement on the future of the Child Support Agency; and if he will make a statement. [75764]

Mr. Plaskitt: The redesign of child support is ongoing. Sir David Henshaw will deliver his findings to my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions before the summer recess. It is the intention to publish Sir David Henshaw’s report when a statement is made to the House.

The Henshaw redesign’s estimated total costs between February 2006 and July 2006 will be as follows:
Estimated cost (£)

Sir David Henshaw’s:



Redesign secretariat staffing


Redesign non-staff costs and publication

up to 75,000

Redesign research/consultation

Figures are rounded to the nearest £1,000.

The DWP also meets the costs of general office overheads for example accommodation, IT etc. These costs are not separately identifiable from DWP running costs.

Information on costs to this Department are not yet available. The redesign secretariat is staffed by employees from the Department for Work and Pensions and the Cabinet Office and the costs detailed are an estimate of the direct costs of Sir David Henshaw and his team for both Departments.

Sir David Henshaw’s report will contain the details of the costs incurred by this Department and representations made to him.

21 Jun 2006 : Column 1920W

Mr. Plaskitt: The extent to which mediators could be used to secure agreement between the parents on the subject of child support maintenance is clearly an area to be considered by Sir David Henshaw in his redesign. He is looking at initiatives across Government, including those in Department for Constitutional Affairs and Department for Education and Skills, with the aim of identifying scope for closer working so that all government interventions will ensure parents both take financial responsibility for their children and reach agreements that reflect the best interests of their children.

Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much he estimates the Henshaw Review into the Child Support Agency will cost. [76556]

Mr. Plaskitt [holding answer 13 June 2006]: The Henshaw redesigns estimated total costs between February 2006 and July 2006 will be as follows:
Estimated cost (£)

Sir David Henshaw’s:

Redesign secretariat staffing


Redesign non-staff costs and publication

up to 75,000

Redesign research/ consultation

Figures are rounded to the nearest £1000.

The DWP also meets the costs of general office overheads for example accommodation, IT etc. These costs are not separately identifiable from DWP running costs.

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