LABOUR leader, Cllr Steve Foulkes has blasted Cllr Jeff Green for being “obsessed with procedures” as his Conservative counterpart continues to press over the libraries enquiry.
Cllr Green received a response from Wirral Council head of law, Bill Norman, last week detailing answers to a series of questions tabled by the Tory leader, as access to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport’s (DCMS) report remains restricted.
Bill Norman told Cllr Green the council’s QC cost £31,000 – marginally more than previously reported in the News – and answered allegations of “untruths” from council officers by saying the “exceptional obligation of confidentiality” connected to the report demanded unconventional behaviour.
Cllr Green told the News: “At my meeting with the chief executive last Wednesday, I expressed my real concern about what the culture appears to be in Wirral.
“It seems to be one of secrecy and an unwillingness to be open.”
He added there was “something rotten at the heart of Wirral”.
But Labour and Wirral council leader, Cllr Foulkes said the “reason for the confidentiality is because the report belongs to nobody else other than the secretary of state” and fears the contents could be leaked to the press.
Cllr Foulkes told the News: “He gave evidence to the enquiry, he’s part of the enquiry and he can only receive the same information as everybody else.
“I was criticised for not going to the enquiry, but I thought a public enquiry should not be flooded by politicians.
“His group flooded it with politicians and now they’re complaining because they can’t get early sight of the decision that they were part of.
“In a trial situation, you wouldn’t let the witnesses know the verdict before the jury.
“It’s just crazy, he’s obsessed with procedures rather than actual facts.”