ANTONA COURT: THROUGH THE KEYHOLE

keyhole-variant_318-54667More fun and games at Antona Court, the council owned residence of notorious housing activist and friend of the Bristolian, Steve “STORMIN'” Norman.

After 18 months of deranged accusations and smears emanating from the council’s housing service management pillock Nick “DROOPER” Hooper, Steve (and everyone else in the block including children) is now being subjected to camera surveillance from a PEEPING TOM weirdo resident while the council does nothing!

Last week, a female friend of Steve’s noticed – while walking through the communal hallway of Antona Court – a small CAMERA trained on her from the open LETTERBOX of one of the flats. Deciding she didn’t wish to be filmed by some sad old man, she pushed the camera back through the letterbox and went to visit Steve.

Alas, this did not go down well with the Nick “Drooper” Hooper’s new Peeping Tom SPY OPERATIVE who then proceeded to tell Steve that he would attack him with a baseball bat if his dodgy camera was touched again!

Steve, concluding that it might be better to engage with the authorities rather than beat the Peeping Tom to a finely juiced pulp, contacted Drooper’s NORTH BRISTOL ESTATES FALSE ALLEGATION UNIT to complain and they visited Antona Court last week.

Only to explain that the tenant in their view was doing NOTHING WRONG and they were happy for him to continue filming in the communal area of their flats if he wished.

Do you reckon if Steve were doing the filming that Drooper and his False Allegation Unit would be so lenient?

The council’s view also contradicts the police who have told Steve, if the council were to cooperate, they would assist in serving an ASBO on the Peeping Tom for fairly obvious reasons.

Meanwhile residents at Antona Court are voting with their feet. One grandmother is REFUSING to take her grand daughter through the hallway and past the camera. Presumably on the basis she doesn’t want some aging pervert filming her young grand daughter and retaining the footage for his personal use?

Other residents are requesting moves from the block to get away from Drooper’s freakish and anti-social SPY NETWORK.

Now the issue has now been handed to Drooper’s colleague Mary “Contrary” Ryan to resolve. Will she continue to allow the private filming of children and young women in communal areas of Antona Court or will she see sense?

Watch this space …

THE GREAT SIEGE OF RICHMOND TERRACE: SOME QUESTIONS

With the occupation at 44 Richmond Terrace apparently winding down, it’s time to start asking some QUESTIONS about decisions regarding the occupation taken by by Bristol City Council.

Specifically questions about what senior bosses at Bristol City Council – who have just been awarded pay rises of up to 20 PER CENT to reflect their ‘expertise’ – have been up to.

To the untrained, non-corporate eye, their decision-making over Richmond Terrace has been consistently CRAP. Why did a group of highly paid ‘strategic managers’ have no strategy whatsoever throughout this whole occupation?

Instead the bosses seem to have staggered from one short term RANDOM DECISION to the next. Either based on Service Director Nick Hooper’s well-known PERSONAL DISLIKE of occupier, Steve Norman, or they have responded to events on the ground as they happened. All the precise opposite of what we’re over-paying these clowns to do.

The fact is the bosses directly responsible – Service Directors Nick “Drooper” Hooper and Mary “Contrary” Ryan and Strategic Director Alison “Three Jobs” Comley – on a combined income of around £310k per year – have been thoroughly OUTFOUGHT, OUT THOUGHT and OUT RUN during the last six weeks by a band of Bristolian activists.

Is this trio of useless twats really the best Bristol City Council can offer to solve our housing crisis?

Here’s some of the questions that the council and its highly paid bosses need to start answering:

1. Why did the sale of 44 Richmond Terrace go ahead at all on 20 April hours after it had been occupied by protestors?

2. Why did both Bristol City Council and their auctioneers tell the buyer the house was “rumoured” to be occupied when Steve Norman had emailed housing Service Director, Nick Hooper, at noon on 20 April informing him he had occupied the house?

3. Why did no one at Bristol City Council visit and confirm if the house had been occupied or not on 20 April before proceeding with the sale?

4. Did Bristol City Council receive confirmed reports from the BBC on 20 April, prior to the auction, that the house had been occupied?

5. Why did Bristol City Council do nothing between 20 April – when the house was occupied and then sold – and 18 May – when the sale should have completed – to regain possession of the home?

6. After 18 May why did Bristol City Council not attempt to negotiate a solution to the occupation until 31 May, once they had dismally failed to evict the occupants after half an hour trying?

7. Why did Housing Service Director, Mary Ryan, visit the occupiers on 23 May claiming she was negotiating a solution with them while offering nothing?

8. Why did Bristol City Council not obtain an eviction order until 25 May, five weeks after the occupation had begun and one week after the sale should have been completed?

9. Why did the council take six days, from 25 May to 31 May, to attempt to evict the occupiers, giving the occupiers time to dig in and secure the house?

10. Why, when the council’s bailiffs visited on Tuesday 31 May, were they not aware the occupiers were on the roof of the house – and had been since Friday 27 May as reported on the BBC – and that a specialist team was required to remove the occupiers rather than the gang of thick, useless oafs they sent.

11. Despite repeated requests to Housing Service Director, Nick Hooper from April 20, why has he never supplied written evidence that Anthony Palmer was not entitled to extra housing priority as an ex-serviceman because he had left the services over five years ago?

12. Why was Anthony suddenly awarded this extra housing priority on 31 May without explanation?

13. Why was Anthony Palmer allowed to be harassed by staff from Connolly & Callaghan, the private owners of his homeless hostel, through regular checks on his whereabouts throughout the day?

14. Why was Anthony Palmer threatened with eviction if he did not stay at his shithole Connolly & Callaghan homeless hostel overnight? Is it a prison?

15. Why did housing Service Director, Nick Hooper, consistently disregard the advice of social services and health visitors in relation to the urgent housing need of Anthony Palmer?

16. Why did the details of 44 Richmond Terrace supplied on the Hollis Morgan website describe the house as requiring “complete modernisaiton” (sic) while the so-called ‘structural report’ produced by Bristol City Council on 25 May says the building has “structural damage”?

17. Who wrote the 224 word ‘structural report’ for 44 Richmond Terrace for Bristol City Council and when?

18. Was this ‘structural report’ sufficiently detailed and complete for a senior council boss to take the delegated decision to sell 44 Richmond Terrace?

19. Which manager at Bristol City Council took the decision to sell 44 Richmond Terrace?

20. Why did the council undertake renovations at 44 Richmond Terrace in the year prior to its sale?

21. Did the council offer the former tenant the opportunity to return to 44 Richmond Terrace earlier this year after the council had completed repairs and renovation?

22. Why did a council spokesman say on 25 May, “Costs to bring the property up to the standard we aspire to for council houses were estimated in excess of £35,000″ when the figure stated in the council’s own ‘structural report’ is £30,000?

23. Why had no one at the council been in touch with the buyer at any point to discuss the occupation of the home they had sold to her?

24. Why did the council tell the buyer information on the occupation was “confidential”. On what legal basis was it “confidential”?

25. Why was the buyer reliant on information regarding 44 Richmond Terrace from the media; from Richard Carey and Steve Norman occupiers at the property and from BBC Radio who had contacted her at various times? Why did the council not communicate with her?

26. Why did the council misrepresent the actual facts regarding the sale during pre-contract enquiries by the buyer?

27. Why had Marvin Rees not seen an email sent to him by the buyer on Thursday 19 May by Monday 30 May despite the sender receiving an automated acknowledgement from Marvin’s council email account? Who had seen that email and who withheld it from the mayor?

We anticipate no answers to these questions as the council, its staff and its councillors will now pour a lot of time, money and resources into defending at all costs the bent, overpaid deadbeats responsible.

THE GREAT SIEGE OF RICHMOND TERRACE: “MARVIN REES CAN YOU HEAR ME? YOUR BOYS TOOK A HELLUVA BEATING!”

kesWith ex-serviceman Anthony Palmer and his 18 month son, Kai, housed on Monday and news coming in that Bristol City Council have finally agreed with the buyer to cancel the sale of the house, thus keeping it in public ownership, the occupiers of 44 Richmond Terrace can claim TOTAL VICTORY.

We look forward to a homeless family moving into the house in the near future after it’s handed back to the council once repairs to damage due to the attempted eviction are completed.

Congratulations to all involved. You know who you are and what you did. Another victory for Avonmouth against the odds. No doubt more will follow.

Got a problem with Bristol City Council’s housing department? Contact your caring sharing BRISTOLIAN for no-nonsense results orientated housing advice.

BRISTOL HASN’T GOT A HOMELESS PROBLEM. IT’S GOT A HOUSING DEPARTMENT MANAGEMENT PROBLEM

Bristol Labour’s new housing boss, Paul “Wolfie” Smith lets slip a few very INTERESTING FACTS in a piece of shameless self-promotion he’s written for the Guardian:

“Bristol has a real problem with homelessness, with more than 300 households in temporary accommodation at a net cost to the council tax payer of £800,000 a year; at the same time 550 council homes are empty, losing rent of £2m and £700,000 in council tax. “

Er, sorry, come again? We’ve been handing around a £1,000 a month to private sector temporary housing ‘specialists’ for each homeless family – at a cost he alleges of £800k but is likely to be much  more  – while leaving 550 council homes they could live in sat EMPTY?

Council homes that could generate almost £3m in income to the city. That’s lots of money and housing stock that we could be using to house the homeless ourselves. Instead our money’s being handed over to DODGY LOCAL BUSINESSMEN to provide a revolting, anti-human homeless service while our own housing resources are left to ROT.

Wolfie’s wrong. This city hasn’t got a homeless problem. It’s got a HOUSING MANAGEMENT PROBLEM. What the fuck is going on at Bristol City Council’s housing department? Wolfie offers us half an explanation:

“six years of austerity, service cuts, redundancies and restructures, all of which have destroyed both morale and provision”

It’s not just morale and provision that’s been destroyed, however. The concept of a social housing department that’s there to serve the public and provide support to the vulnerable has been PULVERISED.

The city’s senior housing bosses – strategic director, Alison “Three Jobs” Comley and service directors, Nick “Drooper” Hooper and Mary “Contrary” Ryan – have obsessively focused – for over six years now – on delivering Tory policies of AUSTERITY, CUTS and PRIVATISATION at the expense of their actual jobs of delivering a housing service to the public.

We’ve had these three fucking idiots systematically SACKING, DOWNGRADING and DESKILLING their workforce for over eight years now while introducing a GORMLESS CORPORATE CULTURE of privatisation, outsourcing, constant restructuring, regular office moves, ‘agile working’, management consulting, ‘demand management’, half-arsed techno solutions, useless software and IT fixes and any other PASSING MANAGEMENT FAD a well paid consultant can pass off on this trio of useful idiots.

These three bosses haven’t bothered running a housing department in the traditional sense for years. They’ve been implementing a right wing, ANTI-PUBLIC SECTOR ideology. DOWNGRADING a vital public service to the point where it’s barely viable. Try phoning (0117 922 2200) Drooper Hooper’s housing department and see if you can even get to speak to a human being.

All three need to QUIT or be SACKED. We need normal housing bosses in our housing department who can quickly provide homes fit to occupy and get families into these homes. It’s not difficult and it’s what a housing department should do. Leaving council homes EMPTY while stuffing the pockets of local businessmen with large amounts of public cash for shit housing is nothing short of a criminal enterprise.

The current housing management needs to go and go now. They’ve fucked up our city up and now they need to fuck off.

THE GREAT SIEGE OF RICHMOND TERRACE: BELLYFLOPPING BAILIFFS SPELL END OF COUNCIL RESISTANCE

Bailiffs

Useless twats employed by senior council bosses fuck off after failing miserably

A PATHETIC attempt by the council’s bailiffs, accompanied by THREE coppers, to evict the occupiers of 44 Richmond Terrace this morning at 5.00am has resulted in a flurry of activity from Bristol City Council.

FIVE bailiffs arrived this morning at dawn at Richmond Terrace causing an unholy racket as they unsuccessfully tried to batter the door of number 44 in. Having FAILED at this pretty basic task for bailiffs, the gormless quintet then attempted to drill the lock out of the front door.

When this, too, was entirely UNSUCCESSFUL, the bailiffs beat a hasty retreat along with their cop bodyguards. Although they did successfully manage to call the occupiers and the entire street, who were by now wide awake and watching the entertainment, ‘WANKERS‘ as they departed. Classy stuff from the forces of law and order there.

To add to the general feeling of wholesale PATHETIC FAILURE for Bristol City Council, the local BBC kindly made their ludicrous bellyflopping bailiffs headline news all day!

By noon, a thoroughly DEFLATED and DEFEATED council, had made an offer of a council property to ex-serviceman Anthony Palmer and his 18 month son. This happened soon after Anthony – the original cause of the protest – was mysteriously handed the BAND ONE housing priority the occupiers have been demanding since 20 April to reflect Anthony’s ex-services status.

The latest RUMOUR is that the council are now in the process of helping the buyer of Richmond Terrace to quickly pull out of the purchase of the home that they have not wished to buy for, at least, two weeks.

The end may be in sight …

44 RICHMOND TERRACE: MIND YOUR LANGUAGE

illegalIn the cat and mouse game of political public relations, it’s sometimes worth looking at what your opponents are calling you and then asking WHY?

So this really caught our eye on Wednesday from Marvin “THE REVEREND” Rees’s PR boss, Tim “ZOMBIE” Borrett and his brain dead council communications team about the occupiers of Richmond Terrace:

“During the course of the occupation the ILLEGAL OCCUPIERS have raised a number of issues around the sale of council houses.”

What the hell is an “ILLEGAL OCCUPIER“? And what’s illegal about them? Is Zombie Borrett suggesting the people involved in this occupation are innately “ILLEGAL“? Their very existence now against the law because they’re challenging his wanky little local authority?

Are senior council bosses openly characterising the occupiers as a class of people without any rights or a voice so the public needn’t have to give a fuck about them?

Zombie’s claim is both a little bit DISTURBING and wholly UNTRUE. For starters, the occupation itself isn’t even illegal. Zombie Borrett should know this from his own council’s statement to the County Court on Wednesday.

This admitted that the police “declined to exercise their powers” under the Legal Aid and Prosecution of Offenders Act (LAPSO) 2014 because the cops didn’t accept the occupation was a criminal act. The occupation is therefore UNLAWFUL. The people involved are not “ILLEGAL” in any sense.

The problem for Zombie and Rees is that their language of ‘illegality’ directly mimics and mirrors the language the FAR RIGHT uses about migrants.

We’ve all heard talk of “ILLEGAL ALIENS” and “ILLEGAL ASYLUM SEEKERS” and we all know this language is deliberately deployed to MARGINALISE and DEHUMANISE migrants and to stir up hatred against them.

Is Zombie Borrett attempting a similar strategy to turn the public AGAINST the occupiers of 44 Richmond Terrace?

Or maybe he’s just WEAK and SLOPPY with language? After all, language and its deployment only makes up the entire content of the job he’s paid a fat wage to do. Why would he know what he’s doing with it?

This behaviour from Zombie Borrett, an over privileged little twerp from East Devon, is of little surprise. But it’s nothing short of SCANDALOUS that the Reverend Rees – within weeks of taking office – is signing off press releases using this kind of language towards his political opponents. Language that has a history of MARGINALISING and SPREADING HATRED toward a section of the public.

This DEHUMANISATION of the vulnerable and their campaigners and protestors is a dangerous game. Many of the occupiers are themselves vulnerable people living in poverty and in precarious housing conditions.

When the occupiers get an ‘accidental’ kicking from The Reverend’s bailiffs will the public turn a blind eye because the occupants have been sold to the public as “ILLEGALS“?

Marvin, the silly little prick, should know better than to be using this ugly language of the far right.

 

 

THE GREAT SIEGE OF RICHMOND TERRACE: THE BENT STRUCTURAL REPORT

Lockleaze board

Deputy Mayor Estella Tincknell (right) introduces her new council to residents

The council’s PR department, under the hapless management of  thicko public sector PR, Tim “Zombie” Borrett, has popped out from under the stone it’s been hiding beneath, taken careful aim at its own foot and fired off a comment on THE GREAT SIEGE OF RICHMOND TERRACE.

These giants of communication thundered to Bristol 24/7 on Wednesday:

“During the course of the occupation the illegal occupiers have raised a number of issues around the sale of council houses, and the condition of the house on Richmond Terrace, that we would like to address. The decision was made to take the property to auction following a structural report that revealed structural damage, which would be uneconomic for the council to repair.

“Costs to bring the property up to the standard we aspire to for council houses were estimated in excess of £35,000, which meant the council took the decision to take the property to auction in accordance with current practice.”

Unfortunately for Zombie Borrett and his brain dead gang of strategic communicators, however, someone else in the council had released this so-called “structural report” on Tuesday under Freedom of Information legislation and it casts their confident claims in a somewhat DIFFERENT LIGHT.

The so-called ‘structural report’ is a half page that runs to just 224 words. It’s on unheaded paper and is neither signed nor dated. So who produced this piece of UNDERWHELMING DROSS and when?

All the ‘report’ tells us is that ‘Carlos’ (presumably a reference to council in-house structural surveyor Carlos De Lima?) visited the property briefly at an UNKNOWN time and date and then telephoned the mystery author of the ‘structural report’ at another UNKNOWN time and date.

Carlos’s brief verbal comments – anonymously reported second hand – do NOT make a compelling case that the property is structurally unsound as the council’s PRs claim. The only identified PROBLEM is that the loft conversion – where the bathroom is located – built by the council in the first place, is “an insubstantial build” and “not a liveable space”.

This is NOT “structural damage” to the property as claimed by the council’s PR drones then. It simply means the quality of the council’s own workmanship doesn’t, apparently, meet their own standards.

A bent structural report

A bent structural report

The ‘report’ then goes on to provide a GUESSTIMATE of £30k (not £35k as claimed by the PRs) to move the bathroom and upgrade the loft space to a standard the council now requires from itself since installing a new bathroom in the loft sometime in the last six months.

How is this “uneconomic”? An investment of £30k –  in a property that will command a rent of at least £5k a year and rising over the next 20 years, while housing a family in need that would cost us £12k a year in temporary accommodation – seems reasonable.

Indeed, at this LOW PRICE quoted, you could turn this ‘structural report’s’ conclusion and Zombie Borrett’s PR claim on its head and say, “it is difficult to see the value in disposing of this property”.

It’s also revealing to look at the METADATA contained in the Microsoft Word document that the council published their ‘structural report’ in.

While it’s not possible to discern when this ‘structural report’ document was first created as the creation date is listed as 24/05/2016 15:39 – the time and date the document was uploaded to the internet – it is possible to discover some information about the CREATION of this document.

For example, we know the document was created by Peter “Mary” Quantick, a boss in the council’s housing department. If we assume he is the AUTHOR of the report, this raises the question as to why a ‘structural report’ appears to have been directly produced by a manager who also might make a decision about the property’s future based on the content of the report.

The metadata also tells us that this document has NEVER been printed at any point in its existence. This seems ODD as the report would have had to be viewed by a number of managers within the council to get the sale of the property SIGNED OFF. Did no one print a copy for this purpose?

This contrasts with some of the more LEGITIMATE looking Word documents released at the same time under FoI.

For example, the document called ‘FOI MAYOR BRIEFING NOTE1.docx’  –  a report prepared for the mayor to view – was last printed 22/03/2016 at 12:31. While the document ‘FOI PSS broad strategy Cabinet 15th July.doc’ was last printed 27/06/2003 at 16:52.

Completed Structural Report

A real structural report

To add to this overwhelming sense of DODGY CONDUCT from Mary Quantick and his team, the council’s FoI team also helpfully published a real Bristol City Council structural survey report on another property, 148 City Road. And the difference is remarkable.

This report runs to 44 pages, is on headed paper and is signed and dated 9 December 2015 by Carlos De Lima, Structural Engineer. A glance at its metadata tells us it was created on 10 12 2015 and modified on 24 05 2016 when it was published on the internet.

The CONTRAST with Mary Quantick’s half page anonymous ‘structural report’ is significant. Indeed so shit is Quantick’s report, it’s difficult to understand how he and his fellow managers could make a coherent decision regarding the sale of a PUBLIC ASSET based on it.

The decision to sell 44 Richmond Terrace is quite obviously BENT and this Mary Quantick chancer in the housing department is a fucking CROOK who should be should be DISMISSED. If Quantick doesn’t like what we have to say about him, the BENT twat is welcome to try and sue us.

Onwards and upwards!