Tuesday, November 28, 2006


The Storey so far: Henshaw has mounted an attempted coup d'etat against the elected Leader of the Council, Mike Storey. He has used Storey's emails to suspended media chief Matt Finnegan to try and force the Leader's resignation. Henshaw, aided and abetted by McElhinney and Halsall, has also threatened Storey's job as a headteacher in neighbouring Knowsley. The Storey continues....

Henshaw's threat to Storey's job forces the council leader to call a meeting of his school's governors who give him their complete support, he reveals.
"There then followed a very difficult period when David Henshaw withdrew sending me his diary and his correspondence...I felt very isolated in all this...I contacted the chief executive of another authority and asked for advice...He was shocked and said that 'really you should suspend David Henshaw for behaving in this way'. I felt that would be inappropriate."
Story continued to lack the killer instinct even though he pursued the idea of taking disciplinary action against his renegade chief executive.
Storey tells how he met representatives from the Employers Association in Nottingham.
"A team of their staff, after several hours of discussion, got together a proposal in which they considered that David Henshaw's activities were of a serious nature. And that this should be a disciplinary matter. They made the point jokingly, that it was easier to get rid of Her Majesty the Queen than it was a chief executive."
The Employers Association advised the council leader to set up a special disciplinary committee to 'try' Henshaw.
"It could then consider suspending David Henshaw while the matter was being investigated. They also said that if he was suspended, there would have to be a report put together on David Henshaw's activities. They were happy to send a team up to Liverpool to put that report together."
But Storey faltered.
Weakly, he preferred the option of mediation to try and bring peace to the civil war.
In looking for a way to avoid a further bloody conflict, Storey let down his loyal supporters, democracy and the people of Liverpool.
It was to be his last chance to take strong and decisive action against Henshaw, but he fluffed it.
Amazingly, the arrogant Henshaw at first refused Storey's offer of mediation, believing he had the council leader on the run.
Then the evil cabal swung into action.
City solicitor Graeme Creer, who had been appointed by Henshaw, privately told the renegade chief executive of the Lib Dem group's confidential plans to set up a disciplinary committee to prosecute him.
Henshaw then moved quickly to avoid humiliation and agree mediation, with Sir Michael Lyons brought in to act as referee.
It sealed Storey's fate.

Sunday, November 19, 2006


The Storey so far: Liverpool city council have turned down a £340,000 pension deal for Henshaw, who has announced his early retirement. Henshaw has now used emails from the Leader of the Council, Mike Storey, to blackmail the council into agreeing an even more expensive retirement deal and Storey agreeing a dishonest and humiliating press release.

Storey tells how, a month later, on 17 May, 2005, four Executive members - Councillors Clucas, Clein, Antrobus and Fielding - were asked to meet in Henshaw's office at 8 am.
"They were given no reason as to why they were to meet in his office and assumed it was for a number of different reasons," says Storey.
"Paul Clein, for example, had been trying to fix a meeting to do with the appraisal of the Executive Director for Education.
"I was not informed that this meeting was taking place. The other 5 Executive Members, some of whom were more senior, were not invited.
"At the meeting with Mr Henshaw, Mr Halsall and Mr McElhinney they were shown copies of a draft S151 report (the emails) which they read.
"At the end of the meeting they were concerned and shocked and came out of the meeting. Marilyn Felding contacted Paul Clark, (right) knowing of his legal background and told him what had happened. Paul Clarke suggested that we met."
Storey tells how he and Councillor Clark then went to Henshaw's office to read the S151 Report.
"Henshaw introduced Dr McElhinney and himself. We read through the drafts which he wanted to keep in his office. At the end, Councillor Clark said, where do we go from here - what do you want?
"David Henshaw said 'I am not prepared to speak to Councillor Storey. I will speak to you over the phone.'
"We left that meeting and met with our four colleagues and discussion carried on there. Executive members informed me that David is trying to set up meetings with them.
"Paul Clark contacted me to say that he had had a phone call with David Henshaw. Paul says his behaviour is unbelievable - David saying that I work for a Labour controlled council - how would my Governors feel - I could lose my job.
Paul made it clear that David Henshaw was threatening my professional career.
"I was at my lowest ebb, both my political career and professional cereer were being threatened. That evening, I told my wife - that if my job is on the line, as a result of what the chief executive said, then I would resign."

Sunday, November 12, 2006

THE UNTOLD STOREY (PART 2): Henshaw confronts Storey

The Storey so far: Liverpool city council have turned down a £340,000 pension deal for chief executive Sir David Henshaw, who has announced publicly that he will now be taking early retirement in March 2006. Within days of headlines about the pension dispute and his impending retirement, Henshaw suspends the council's media chief Matt Finnegan on a pretext that dates back four years. This leaves the way clear for Henshaw to try to re-build his public position.

Council leader Mike Storey was confronted by Henshaw a month later on April 21, following a Capital of Culture meeting.
Storey says:

"He informed me that as part of the investigation into Matt Finnegan, (right) they had taken his PC for examination and going through several hundred emails, had come across some emails from myself which he felt were extremely damaging and serious and we needed to think carefully how to handle this as it could be potentially dangerous, both for the city and myself.

"I felt his mood was grave and threatening. I felt he was being aggressive and intimidating. I made no comment to him about this and he suggested that I speak to one of my council colleagues, Paul Clark, who is also a barrister."

Clark then met Henshaw on Saturday April 23rd. Paul Clark's notes of the meeting recount how Henshaw "has had enough and wants to go."

Clarks (below) says: "DH (Henshaw) wants the following deal:

1) A press release has to be issued - "co-conspirators have to be stopped"

2) Wants to establish that peace has broken out.

3) MJS (Storey) to specifically call the press and to telephone Larry Nield (Daily Post journalist) and Rex Makin (Liverpool solicitor)

4) MJS to telephone Local Government Chronicle and Municipal Journal - verbalise the press release.

5) Meeting of the Appointments Panel (the council subcommittee that turned down a pension deal for Henshaw) probably after 5th May, 2005

a) DH to retire on 30th March 2006
b) Sub committee awards him from the day extra pension years
Sub committee begs CX (Henshaw) to reconsider 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)

7) DH be allowed to do other duties during the notice period and receive remuneration from those other duties.

8) Council go to market place for replacement chief executive in September.

Storey says: "I agreed to the points raised but had concern over a press release which asked the press to apologise to David. I felt that I could not say this. Henshaw...insisted on this line, or there would be no deal. I felt compelled to agree.

"The press release was issued by my office on Monday 25 April as agreed although Mr McElhinney had organised for the newscentre to issue the agreed statement as well."

So Henshaw used the discovery of Storey's emails to Finnegan to force a better pension deal for himself. This is demanding money with menaces - or blackmail.

The council Leader has now also agreed that Henshaw can retire with the pension deal which the council had already turned down. He has also left the way open for Henshaw to change his mind about retiring after apparently agreeing the sub-committee will "beg him to stay."

Storey has also agreed to a grovelling press statement which attempts to patch up their differences and pretend nothing is wrong. And Storey has agreed that Henshaw can earn extra money during his notice period and that his chief lieutenants, McElhinney and Halsall will have their pay reviewed.

All this in return for Henshaw agreeing to retire in March 2006.

NEXT: Henshaw changes his mind and mounts a coup d'etat; "his behaviour is unbelievable"; Henshaw faces disciplinary action.

Sunday, November 05, 2006


DAVID HENSHAW was "aggressive, threatening and intimidating" to the elected Leader of Liverpool city council, previously unreleased documents have disclosed.
They describe how chief executive Henshaw's relationship with Councillor Mike Storey deteriorated over the ill-fated Mersey tram.
And they reveal how the relationship worsened even further after the council turned down a huge pension deal for Henshaw.
The documents also give a shocking insight into Henshaw's personal behaviour and reveal how he used abusive and threatening language in his dealings with the council Leader.
The confidential documents are split into several different sections and give a fascinating glimpse into the battle for power behind the scenes at Liverpool Town Hall.

We shall be serialising extracts from the documents over the next few weeks so that the people of the North West will be able to judge for themselves exactly what kind of man Henshaw is.

They reveal in detail how Henshaw and senior council officals tried to mount a coup to remove the democratically elected Leader of the council. One of the council officials involved is still working for Liverpool while another, astonishingly, has been promoted!
The first part of the secret documents is headed "Circumstances leading to the publication of the so-called Draft Section 151 Report" and has been written by the former Leader Councillor Mike Storey.
It tells how Henshaw approached Storey in 2004 and infomed him that he would have to leave the council in March 2006, because pension changes meant "it wasn't financially worth his while staying."
The council's Director of Resources, Phil Halsall, (known elsewhere as 'the smiling assassin') was instructed by Henshaw to write a report detailing how to get round the pension changes involved.
But Halsall (right) failed to write the report, leaving Henshaw " quite agitated". Then in another blunder, Halsall gave Councillor Storey a copy of an entirely different report!
When finally the correct report on Henshaw's pension was presented in private to the council committee responsible in February 2005, they had three major concerns:
  • The report proposed that future pension arrangements for other senior officers should be decided just by Henshaw, Storey and Councillor Marilyn Fielding.
  • The report contained no legal implications.
  • The report contained no figures!
Storey says Henshaw met him outside the Town Hall after receiving a briefing about the private meeting from Halsall. Henshaw was "very vexed at what had happened."
Storey says: "I have to say that I felt in a very uncomfortable position. The fact that Phil Halsall had repeated verbatim, the discussion in the private meeting."
Executive Board members then agreed to Henshaw's pension being topped up (no figures were given, but it was estimated that this would be to the tune of £340,000), with only two against (current leader Warren Bradley and Education Member Paul Clein).
However the Cabinet set two conditions: "they wanted to see actual figures" (!) and they wanted Henshaw to relinquish his position as chief exec of Capital of Culture.
Storey says that the councils Executive Board again met privately to discuss Henshaw's pension and there was concern that there were still no figures available and that the entire Lib Dem group needed to discuss their response.
Storey then says: "At the Group meeting, I proposed that the augmented pension be approved. There was strong vocal opposition to this with every member of the Group bar one, saying that they could not support this. That it would set a very dangerous precedent. However, members were appreciative of his role as chief exec and the job he had done. No formal vote was taken. It was agreed that I would.....see if there were other ways of retaining David, but not with an augmented pension."
Storey then tells how at the subsequent council committee, he moved that the extra pension for Henshaw was not approved.
"At the end of the meeting, I spoke to the Executive Director for Central Services, Mr McElhinney (left, known elsewhere as 'the rottweiller'), who was clearly surprised and shocked at the decision."
Storey tells how he was then collared by reporters about the decision.
"The reporters infomed me that they had spoken to David Henshaw and he had said that in view of this decision, he would be leaving at the end of the year."

COMING NEXT: Henshaw confronts Storey about his emails and threatens his career. Storey considers resigning and disciplining Henshaw.