Archive for the 'Mistress Irene' Category

21
Jul
09

mr monkey calls it a day

'Mr Monkey calls it a day so he can go home'

'Mr Monkey calls it a day so he can return home to enjoy his retirement'

It’s been nearly a year since Mr Monkey burst on to the local political scene with the redesigned version of Mr Monkey’s Blog

.. and what a year it’s been.

This chimp had no idea of the effect his blog would have on politicians of all parties and senior council officers or the impact it would have on local politcs.

Mr Monkey quickly built up a following amongst local bloggers and within weeks, Mr Monkey’s Blog established itself as South Tyneside’s premier blog, much to the annoyance of some.

There have been many highlights during the last 12 months but Mr Monkey’s favourites are:-

  • Ending councillor David Potts political career before it started by getting him deselected as the Tory candidate to fight Alistair Darling.
  • Ensuring that the people of Washington East and Houghton knew what a devious and scheming individual Ed Malcom was. This played a major part  in his failure to become their prospective member of Parliament.
  • Exposing council leader Iain Malcolm as an election fraudster.
  • Knowing that Irene Lucas, the Chief Executive of South Tyneside Council could not control, manipulate or stop Mr Monkey and that his blog was the worst thing that happened to her in her local government career.
  • Knowing that every politician feared being exposed on Mr Monkey’s Blog and despite what they said, knowing that everyone of them read it daily.
  • Exposing Ed Malcolm’s long term affair with his ‘granny’, aka councillor Punchion
  • ‘Outing’ Iain Malcolm.
  • Continually thwarting the attempts of senior council officials to stop Mr Monkey’s Blog and reveal the identity of Mr Monkey.
  • Frustrating South Tyneside’s most self opinionated blogger, the Fat Mackem Hobitt.
  • Exposing Papa John Szymanski, editor of the local Malcolm Fanzine, aka the Shields Gazette as a Labour groupie, freeloader and that he sold his soul to Labour for the price of a sausage roll.
  • Knowing that all the pseudonyms Mr Monkey has used will be around for years to come.

After achieving every goal Mr Monkey set himself – in record time – this chimp has decided to give his victims an early birthday present – Mr Monkey is going to call it a day on Thursday 30th July.

Mr Monkey has spent the last couple of months agonising over whether or not to retire and after talking it over with a few wiser chimps, he’s decided to take their advice and return to the jungle to enjoy his retirement and spend more time with his family.

Although Mr Monkey has decided to call it a day, he hasn’t yet made up his mind about whether to leave Mr Monkey’s Blog on the internet for future generations to enjoy or whether to remove it forever – that decision will be made on International Primate Day.

Make sure you stop by on Tuesday 1st September .. when all will be revealed.

25
Jun
09

south tyneside council guilty of discrimination

Many of council’s male employees are set to get an early Christmas present after South Tyneside Council was found guilty of discriminating against male employees in low paid jobs .

As a result of yesterday’s landmark ruling more than 12,000 men across the UK won the right to bring equal pay claims against their employers and the bill for these discriminatory practices will run into hundreds of millions of pounds.

In a test case, 300 men working as care assistants, caretakers, drivers and leisure attendants lodged discrimination claims against South Tyneside, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough Borough Councils.

Their claim was based on what they say are discriminatory bonuses paid to male workers in better paid jobs, such as gardeners and refuse collectors.

The men lodged their claims at the same time as those by women in low-paid jobs who were also claiming that the bonuses were discriminatory. The women succeeded in their claims and were offered financial settlements but the men had not and continued to be paid less both than the better paid men, and also the women.

The Employment Appeal Tribunal ruled that the men should have been offered the same back pay as the women.

Mr Justice Underhill, president of the tribunal, said: “The case where men and women do the same job but receive different rates of pay is the paradigm of the kind of situation which the Act was intended to prevent: how would it seem if – unusually, but not impossibly – the roles were reversed and the ‘piggyback’ claimants were not men but women?”

After the ruling, Yvette Genn, a barrister who specialises in equal pay law said: “This is an important decision as it demonstrates that equal pay laws can be applied not only by women who compare themselves with men, but also by men who are comparing themselves with better paid men. Even though women historically have received lower pay than their male counterparts, it is too often forgotten that the law applies equally to men as it does to women.”

Mr Monkey reckons local solicitors will be inundated with claims for equal pay by men who have worked for or are still working for South Tyneside Council – they’ve got nothing to lose especially as any legal fees they incur will have to be picked by the council.

IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A CLAIM IT’S WORTH TALKING TO A SOLICITOR AS WELL AS THE UNION – REMEMBER UNION OFFICIALS ARE VERY FRIENDLY WITH COUNCILLORS AND COUNCIL OFFICERS AND MAY NOT PUT YOUR INTERESTS FIRST.

It seems that the council’s chief executive, Irene Lucas knew the writing was on the wall and is jumping ship before the chickens come home to roost .

11
Mar
09

is the council trying to cover up what local people really think?

Last autumn South Tyneside Council was ordered to carry out a PLACE SURVEY by the government and it seems that senior council officers and don’t like the results.

South Tyneside like all other councils were required to undertake a Place Survey in their area between September and December 2008 and every 2 years thereafter.

The survey is designed to measure how residents experience life in South Tyneside, what they think about the place and their satisfaction with a range of local public services. It also provides information for 18 of the national performance indicators that all local councils are measured against.

The survey was a random postal survey and in order to ensure the results were reliable the council needed 1,100 completed questionnaires. The results are then weighted to reflect the profile of the population in each council area.

South Tyneside Council is facing a severe rap on the knuckles for delaying the publication of the national survey into council services. The surevy was due for national publication about 10 days ago, with the best performers getting slaps on the back and the kudos that goes with it – something that council leader Iain Malcolm, aka Miss Piggy and his chief executive, Irene Lucas, aka the Dominatrix keep ramming down the publics throat.

However, South Tyneside Council, seems to have taken thier ball home because they haven’t been able to manipulate the results to suit their own agenda and spin the truth about what people really think.

Senior officers and members have deliberately tried to sabotage the process in an attempt to keep the details of the survey secret and are trying to clog up the system by raising multiple queries on the results with the Audit Commission, as the national results make South Tyneside look very bad.

These queries have been spurious in the extreme, but have resulted in the Audit Commission delaying the publication due to a threat from South Tyneside to take it to a ministerial level – Mr Monkey can’t help wondering who that King Street loving shopaholic could be?

Senior officers and members are running scared of being found out for what they really are and for being held to account for their negligence in mismanaging the borough?

Perhaps Miss Piggy would like to tell this chimp when he can expect to read about this in the Shields Labour Gazetteer?

10
Mar
09

ticking boxes gets council 4 stars

Last week the Audit Commission, the people who monitor councils, announced the results of the latest Comprehensive Performance Assessment (CPA) of Local Authorities and awarded South Tyneside Council 4-stars council, which means that the council has been judged “Excellent.”

But, alas, CPA is not the panacea which Miss Piggy and the Dominatrix are claiming. In fact, CPA is being abolished at the end of this month, to be replaced by something better. Being graded “Excellent” in a flawed process is better than being graded “Poor.” But the process is flawed, and the the Labour council shouldn’t get carried away.

As the title suggests, Comprehensive Performance Assessment is a comprehensive way of assessing services. But the way that it does so is very much to do with performance statistics, which can mean the targeting of resources to meet targets and tick boxes rather than to respond to what resdients on the street actually want. It’s a flaw which has long been evident yet never been properly corrected.

This is evident in South Tyneside where, for instance, Neighbourhood Services score very highly. The department’s staff do their job well and do indeed hit their targets. But whilst the Audit Commission might judge that there’s success, Mr Monkey wonders if they’d have the same view if they actually lived in the borough and had to deal with litter un-swept, graffiti un-cleaned, and roads un-repaired? Mr Monkey doubt’s it.

These problems aren’t to do with bad staff, there to do with mis-directed money and the result of local people being ignored – CPA doesn’t have anything to say about that.

CPA has always lacked enough emphasis on service user satisfaction, relaying on tightly-worded tri-annual surveys rather than mystery shopping or the experience of councillors. The process has also been far too heavily weighted to national priorities at the expense of local ones, and has put adherence to government wish lists ahead of proper local scrutiny.

09
Mar
09

the audit commission gives council top marks for losing £10 million

'Rewarding failure'

'Rewarding failure'

Council leader Iain Malcolm Miss Piggy and the borough’s Dominatrix, Irene Lucas might want to put their celebrations on hold following last week’s announcement by the Audit Commission that South Tyneside Council is rated a 4 star authority.

Mr Monkey has learned that the Audit Commission and it’s inspectors have become a laughing stock after they announced that Cambridge City Council won top marks for sound financial management and value for money – despite investing £9 million in Icelandic banks and a potential loss of £618,000 on Cambridge Folk Festival ticket sales.

The top score of four marks was awarded by the Audit Commission for the council’s use of resources and it was one of the 13 top performers in the country.

The award focused on strategic financial management, sound governance, effective financial reporting and giving taxpayers value for money.

Council leader Cllr Ian Nimmo-Smith said: “The Audit Commission is aware of the financial issues in relation to the Icelandic deposits, which affect many councils, and the Folk Festival tickets. I can’t say to what extent they have been taken into account.”

He added: “I’m very pleased the successful way which we run things in Cambridge has been recognised by the Audit Commission. This endorses the recent survey results that showed that residents in Cambridge rated the city council as providing value for- money services at a higher level than other districts in the county.”

At the recent budget setting meeting, Cllr Lewis Herbert, Labour group leader, likened the Liberal Democrats’ management of council finances to a “road crash” with Cllr Nimmo- Smith at the wheel.

He said the Icelandic investment and Folk Festival losses, after an internet ticket sales company went into liquidation, were “self-inflicted”. He said he was surprised the council still received a four-star rating.

He added: “Losing £9 million in Icelandic investments and over £1 million in interest and the Folk Festival tickets represents a shocking failure of the council’s control systems.”

For the second year running, the finance and value for money element of the inspection gave the county council the top score of four.

Cllr John Reynolds, cabinet member for corporate services, said: “I am delighted that our inspection found that the way we manage our budget and spend council taxpayers’ money is of the highest order. We continue to work within an extremely tight financial climate but this score shows we are among the best councils in the country when it comes to financial management.”

These weaknesses are now most evident. For a Council to be declared “excellent” in the same week that it cuts services and raises taxes, and in the same year that it slashes staff pay, is crazy.

The Council have released a special issue of their staff newsletter to congratulate everyone on the achievement.

At the top of the list of high performing services are the Revenues and Benefits service, who deal with Council Tax payments and the administration of benefits to the needy. They too have received a top 4 star rating and yet a mixture of bad laws, bad government and crazy local decision making has seen many of the staff in that department lose a crushingly large proportion of their salary this year.

There’s nothing about this in the congratulatory press releases issued by the Council, the Audit Commission and the government.

Mr Monkey can’t help wondering what South Tyneside is hiding?

05
Mar
09

a 4* star con

'Another stage managed picture - but was the inspection?'

'Another stage managed picture - but was the inspection?'

Miss Piggy aka, council leader Iain Malcolm and the borough’s dominatrix, aka council chief executive Irene Lucas are no doubt celebrating their apparent success at being awarded 4* star status following the CPA inspection.

There’s bound to be loads of back slapping and self congratulation and no doubt Miss Piggy will arrange a few freebies for his little piglets at the the public’s expense of course.

Apparently the Audit Commission doesn’t give stars for hospitality at the tax payers expense – if it did Mr Monkey reckons South Tyneside council would be the only authority in the UK with a 7 star rating.

Mr Monkey will be posting an alternative view to the arse licking version in today’s Gazette Malcolm Fanzine and bloggers can be certain it will contain a few home truths.

Keep an eye on Mr Monkeys Blog for what promises to be an interesting post.

20
Feb
09

Twat of the week

'Casanova shares the Twat of The Week award with the Audit Commission'

'Casanova shares the Twat of The Week award with the Audit Commission'

This week Mr Monkey has taken the unusual step of splitting the The Twat of The Week award between two worthy winners – councillor Michael Clare and the Audit Commission

Bloggers will know that South Tyneside Council loves picking up worthless awards and accolades and then force feeding the public a diet of shit by telling us all how good they are.

Apparently council services are regularly audited by the Audit Commission so that government can check on performance and value for money.

Some people believe the Audit Commission is a toothless wonder that’s in the pocket of government and reguarly fails to detect poor financial management and bad practise.

Here in South Tyneside, it was the Audit Commission who failed to spot an £11 million plus black hole in the council finances and then couldn’t explain why they had signed off the council’s accounts.

Today Mr Monkey has learned that this inept organisation has revealed that South Tyneside has among the ‘best pavements’ in the region and the second best in North East England.

Mr Monkey reckons the inspectors that visited the borough must have been blind. Either that or The Dominatrix, aka Irene Lucas the chief executive of South Tyneside Council stage managed the visit?

This chimp reckons there’s no way the inspectors would have reached this conclusion by wandering round the streets of Horsley Hill, Biddick Hall, Jarrow, Hebburn, Whiteleas or Simonside and Rekendyke.

But what’s really depressing about this latest ‘award’ con is that councillor Michael Clare actually believes the shite being spewed out by the council’s press office.

Cum on Casanova (more of this later) everyone except the fuckwits in the cabinet and chief executive’s office knows that the borough’s pavements are in a terrible state – just ask the council’s insurance company who are increasingly being asked to pick up the tab when people sue!




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