As ever, the Liverpool Echo lags behind the Liverpool Subculture blog in its story about Phil Halsall, director of finance at Liverpool City Council, receiving a £500,000 pay-off. The Echo is left to gormlessly recite the figures involved (http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/liverpool-news/local-news/2008/09/05/liverpool-city-council-finance-chief-in-500-000-pay-off-100252-21681124/ ):
"Phil Halsall, who earns £180,000 a year, will be seconded to one of the city's joint venture partners, Enterprise plc, in October, before taking early retirement in April.
"Mr Halsall, 50, will receive an extra five years enhancement on his pension package worth around £420,000, and a lump sum of £80,000."
Isn't it nice to know that there's at least one person out there who won't be faced with a choice this winter of heating the house or buying the food?
Halsall, of course, follows Jason Harborow in securing a handsome pay-off at the expense of Liverpool's council tax payers ("Jase" pocketed almost a quarter of a million quid at the beginning of the year. The Echo's piece concludes:
"[Halsall's] deal includes a gagging clause and precludes Mr Halsall or the council talking about its terms."
Both parties may well have adopted a Trappist vow of silence, but, rest assured, the rest of us haven't.
With the pay-off Halsall is about to enjoy I wouldn't have thought there was any reason for the gagging order; the right offer can shut the most garrulous of gobs.
Tony Parrish informs us of a few more facts about Halsall which, for some unfathomable reason, don't make it into the Echo's piece (must have been lack of space):
"[Halsall] is a mate of Chas Cole, promoter of the Summer Pops.
"He gave more than £3 million of council tax payers' money to his mate Chas for the Summer Pops, breaking all council procurement rules.
"He went on holiday to New York with his mate Chas and his other mate, the rotweiller Dr David McIlhenney while signing the fat cheques for Chas.
"He went to the same school in Southport with his mate Chas and Colin Cover-Up --talk about the old school tie!
"His mate Chas gave Hasitall's son Liam a slot for his band 'Abe' as support to Status Quo at the Summer Pops --the band have since sunk without trace."
[Then again, appearing on the same bill as Status Quo would be enough to sink any band!]
There's more in Tony's post which lifts the lid on the latest instance of civic corruption, incompetence, nepotism & mendacity which has so disfigured this supposed year of culture.