Bootle Labour Councillor
Dowd's legacy of extravagant waste
'the lack of prudence beggars belief'-Liverpool Post
No apology, unrepentant and unreconstructed Mark Dowd sits on the Labour front bench at Sefton glowering his defiance. His colleagues protect him and rubbish every report issued that details his outrageous behavior describing them as 'tawdry and rubbish'. How much more is there to come out? When will the Labour party act .
To date we know about what the Daily Post calls:
...............'the monstrous black elephant that is Merseytravel's monolithic HQ at Mann Island' which it describes as having 'entered the realms of the extravagantly bizarre' and goes on
'This particular exercise of corporate vanity is gobbling up our money to the tune of £4m a year'
The full story of how they entered into that mega loss making deal, when they had a perfectly serviceable HQ already, needs to be told. It reveals what happens when decisions are made behind close doors with no opportunity for the proper checks and balances
Now we learn that he was responsible for pouring millions into a loss making exercise like a drunken gambler unable to break his addiction. But it was our money they were pouring down the drain.
We already knew that Dowd refused to put in place the usual opportunities for scrutiny. All issues raised by the Post, and much more besides, were unknown to most elected members
It is symbolic that he had a credit card from Merseytravel that he used for personal expenditure
They wasted Millions on buying steel rail for a tram that was never built-even though their own government indicated as much
At the last minute, and without briefing or reports they scrapped the policy of running and intergrated (rail and stock) railway despite having spent mega sums lobbying the government to be allowed to do so! (co incidentally the NUR were against the idea)
And as the Post revealed last year the Auditor was concerned that they entered into contracts without all the proper procurement procedures being undertaken
When brave individuals like Andrew Makinson challenged Dowd they got the fully Bootle Bully Boy treatment, by which I mean that (at Merseytravel's expense) top legal firm Hill Dickinson was hired.
When we raised this at Sefton Council, Dowd is a Sefton Councillor, we were treated to rants that dismissed and rubbished all the reports no matter how detailed the reports or qualified the authors. And they kept nominating Dowd to Merseytravel as a Sefton rep and used constitutional maneuvers to prevent us challenging the nomination -even though there was more than enough evidence to question the appointment. Take a look at Dowd expences
Liam Robertson, the man who finally ousted Dowd as Chair, has done a good job. Now he must rise above the tribal party loyalty that has protected Dowd for so long and establish a full independent inquiry. Nothing must be buried or covered up. The police must be be informed and given all the evidence.
Not since the days of Militant have we seen outrageous, high handed behavior like this. Like Militant he got his way because there were no proper challenge to his actions, many of them were unknown to members. The audit and the 151 procedures failed-and if this was due to the way Dowd and Scales ran the organisation-that must be fully established