LEGAL VICTORY FOR GUARDIAN-TENANTS AGAINST SCAMALOT

The BRISTOLIAN is pleased to announce that Property Guardian Company CAMELOT, who, last month, were roundly defeated in Bristol County Court by Judge Ambrose and forced to recognise guardian Greg Roynon as a tenant, have also CAPITUALTED in their second ‘licensee or tenant’ court case, accepting by implication that he is a tenant, paying costs and a £1000 in compensation as well.

Happy days reign for the fearless ex-serfs at the captured castle of BROOMHILL EPH. And the rebellion is spreading, so at Speedwell Fire Station more ex-serfs are REFUSING to pay rent until repairs are carried out, while in Wandsworth, London, another Camelot property has been CAPTURED by its guardian-tenants. Watch this space for more hacking and slaying of the Scamalot beast.

The BRISTOLIAN demands that in light of the judgement above, Bristol City Council TERMINATES its contract with CAMELOT forthwith, and recognises all existing guardians as being interim TENANTS on its property. And as regards the Camelot/Meridian sub-let at Brentry (see below), it is also OBLIGED to similarly PROTECT all Meridian employees – who are only in this situation thanks to the scandalous, immoral behaviour of all parties concerned.

*We’ve learned today that Camelot will not be appealing the judgement against  them and that one half of the scam, Camelot Property Management Ltd, have gone bankrupt! They filed for insolvency on Monday: https://m.thegazette.co.uk/notice/2744127

CALLING PEOPLE “A DISEASE” IS INCLUSIVE SAY COUNCIL LAWYERS

Members of the public who complained about our idiot Lord Mayor, Jeff “CUNT” Lovell, calling them “a disease” for attending the council budget meeting in February have received a response from a couple of the council’s useless lawyers, Pauline “Cow” Cowley and Nancy “Boy” Rollason. Is this because Lord Mayor Cunt is too much of a PUSSY to respond himself?

Cowley and Rollason – who signs off as ‘Head of Legal’ – explain that they are writing on BEHALF of the Monitoring Officer, Shahzia “DIM” Daya, who “determined the issue” before disappearing on long term SICK LEAVE!

So why’s she off sick all of a sudden? Is Dim Daya’s oversight of last year’s budget and the CRIMINALITY involved finally catching up with her? And why is her colleague now Head of Legal? Has Dim Daya been relieved of some of her duties by any chance?

Naturally Daya’s response is FARCICAL. The dim one explains that “the complaint centres on the interpretation of phrases used by Lord Mayor Jeff Lovell”. No shit Sherlock! Although it’s a pity that Daya then doesn’t bother to identify – let alone interpret – any of Cunt Lovell’s phrases before concluding he used “language that is designed to foster an INCLUSIVE atmosphere”!

The rest of the letter is a load of irrelevant CARPING from the lawyers about conduct in the public gallery at the meeting, which nobody’s complained about.

How do these overpaid fuckers get away with producing this shit?

The full correspondence is below:

Complaint to Monitoring Officer regarding Jouncillor Jeff Lovell

Date of Complaint                           24 February 2017

Name of Complainant

Allegation against                           Councillor Jeff Lovell

Nature of Allegation                        Disgraced the office

 

Outcome: The Monitoring Officer can decide either that

  • no action should be taken (with reasons) or

  • refer the matter for investigation or

  • take other action (including mediation or training).

Details: This complaint relates to the behaviour of the Councillor Jeff Lovell at Full Council meeting on 21 February 2017

Decision: No further action to be taken

Reasons for the decision:

I have viewed the web cast from 20 minutes on. The webcast shows the chair, Lord Mayor Jeff Powell managing the budget presentation by the Mayor. The complaint outlined in the email of 24 February centres on the interpretation of phrases used by Lord Mayor Jeff Lovell, acting as Chair in this meeting.

I note that prior to the alleged incident, there were a number of interruptions from the public gallery, starting at 21 minutes. These last on average half a minute. There are at least 9 interruptions which affect the delivery of the budget by the Mayor. Swearing is audible at times, although this subsided to low level heckling.

Throughout, the chair demonstrates a desire to run the meeting efficiently and with due process. He uses a tone that is polite firm and fair and uses language that is designed to foster an inclusive atmosphere. He gave repeated warnings and an explanation of the powers of the Chair.

I do appreciate that this was an emotive meeting and that people wished to protest against cuts, the outcome of which would mean changes over which they have little control.

Shahzia Daya, Interim Monitoring Officer, Bristol City Council

27 March 2017

WHISTLEBLOWING WATCH

Lies, bullshit and waffle emanated from the Reverend Rees within minutes of his ‘Bundred Report’ into the council’s finances being published on 9 February. Former Audit Commission boss, Steve ‘Sticky’ Bundred, provided the Reverend with TWELVE recommendations he could implement to improve his council’s shit management.

Here’s number 8: “The incoming chief executive should be invited to consider and report on the steps needed to improve the management culture within the Council recognising that any necessary changes will take three to five years to embed. There should be an emphasis on greater openness, professionalism, delegation, mutual respect and better internal communication, but with fewer large and lengthy meetings.”

The Rev Arsecover immediately responded: “quick improvements include a recent update to our WHISTLEBLOWING POLICY to make it easier for staff to flag up concerns,” he blathered. However, a brief search on the council’s website turns up a Whistleblowing Policy last updated on 2 JUNE 2016 because “[the] scope [was] widened to include employees of LA maintained schools”.

Is last July RECENT? And how the fuck does including school staff “make it easier for staff to flag up concerns”? Is this even the recently updated version the Reverend’s referring to? Does it exist? And, if it does, how the hell is it easier for concerns to be flagged up if no one can access the bloody thing?

A further search also reveals the Rev’s new all-singing, all-dancing whistleblowing policy has been NOWHERE near a council committee or an elected representative in the last year, let alone out for public consultation or run past a trade union rep or employment lawyer who might have a few things to say.

All-in-all, the chances of this mystery document – drawn up in secret by unknown officers beyond public and democratic oversight – being fit-for-purpose must be somewhere near ZERO. But then that’s the point with whistleblowing isn’t it? Council bosses hate it and want it to fail and politicians go along with them.

How long before the Reverend has to call a large and lengthy meeting to sort this new mess from his managers out then?

AUDIT UPDATE: BUNDRED EXPOSES BENT CHIEF AUDITORS

We don’t like to say that we told you so, but … We told you so! That staggering pair of arseholes, Alison “Mullet” Mullis and Melanie “Joe” Henchy-McCarthy, Bristol City Council’s Chief Internal Auditors – who are supposed to protect our money at the council – have been EXPOSED as BENT and USELESS by the council’s ‘Bundred Report’ into its dodgy finance reporting.

According to independent investigator Steve “Sticky” Bundred, the pair of idiot auditors gave the basketcase ‘Single Change Programme’ – that was supposed to deliver £64 million worth of corporate savings to the council by March 2017 and didn’t  – a clean bill of health and a ‘GOOD‘ rating in July 2015. Although it was plainly apparent, even then, to anyone allowed to look that it wasn’t delivering the savings that it should.

While the two auditors researched their report in the summer of 2015, Sticky Bundred tells us that the man in charge of the savings, strategic director Max Wide “Boy”, had “developed SERIOUS DOUBTS about the achievability of the planned savings …   as [his] Directorate was clearly failing to deliver savings expected from investment in commercial property.”

Bundred also says, “These CONCERNS were apparently expressed by [Wide Boy] to the then City Director [Nicola “Lady Gaga” Yates] in a one to one meeting on 13 July 2015 and again in a presentation to an SLT (senior leadership team) awayday.”

Bundred further notes, “on 11 June 2015 the Service Director, HR [Richard Billingham] and the Service Director, Business Change and ICT  [Paul “Arrogant” Arrigoni] met with the then City Director [Gaga] and the Strategic Director, Business Change [Wide Boy] to express concerns that benefits from the Change Programme were “DRIFTING“.”

So how did these two audit experts and super-sleuths employed by us to protect our money miss these OBVIOUS signs of a big problem in a programme they were investigating and manage to rate it as ‘GOOD‘ to councillors on the Audit Committee instead? Who knows? Because the Reverend Rees, so far, can’t be arsed to find out and neither can his Audit Committee.

Our intrepid auditors then went on to do a further investigation, specifically into the financial benefits of the ‘Single Change Programme’ in August 2015. Their draft report was issued to Wide Boy and his Single Change managers in November 2015. This draft report correctly identified cost reductions through a high-profile redundancy scheme in 2014 had NOT BEEN ACHIEVED.

Sticky Bundred explains, “Auditors believed posts were being deleted that had been vacant for a long time so there was NO ACTUAL SAVING and when actual people were released they were often replaced by interims/contractors or casual staff. In consequence, the draft [auditors] report identified RED RISKS in several areas.”

However, by November 2015, says Sticky, the Chief Internal Auditors had allowed the bosses in charge of the underachieving ‘Single Change Programme’ [Wide Boy, Arrogant and the Change Services Manager] to REWRITE their report for them!

The honest pair of auditors then proceeded to tell councillors on the Audit Committee in January 2016 via a ‘summary’ of their full report  that the Single Change Programme was operating at an ‘ACCEPTABLE‘ level without a ‘Red Risk’ in sight! When in fact it was FAILING to the tune of £29 million as all the bosses and both Chief Internal Auditors knew perfectly well.

This is straightforward LYING to our elected representatives. Why the fuck are this pair of bent audit bosses still in post and not at the Job Centre or, even, in a police cell?

THE DIRTY THIRTY: REVEALED

THIRTY Bristol City Council bosses – all members of the ‘Change Board’, responsible for overseeing a council-wide cuts programme – deliberately withheld from councillors and the public a £30 million LOSS in the 2016 – 17 financial year.

Their actions – at the very least – are GROSS MISCONDUCT and they should all be SACKED. Not least because while they were keeping their huge financial loss from us, they were also engineering pay rises for themselves of up to TWENTY PER CENT on the basis of their exceptional ‘TALENT‘!

They may also have committed a CRIME. In what other line of work can you deliberately engage in false accounting and not have committed a serious offence?

Today we name these thirty shameless CROOKS still earning huge sums of money at our expense. And The BRISTOLIAN says THEY MUST ALL GO and GO NOW.

Membership of the change board, December 2015:

Nicola Yates
City Director

Max Wide
Strategic Director: Business Change

Alison Comley
Strategic Director: Neighbourhoods

John Readman
Strategic Director: People

Barra Mac Ruairi
Strategic Director: Place

Lucy Murray-Brown
BWP Programme Co-Director

Becky Pollard
Director of Public Health

Stephen Hilton
Service Director: Bristol Futures

Paul Arrigoni
Service Director: Business Change & ICT

Angela Clarke (Interim)
Service Director: Care & Support Children & Families

Mike Hennessey
Service Director: Care Support & Provider Services (Statutory Director of Adult Social Services) Adults

Patsy Mellor
Service Director: Citizen Services

Gillian Douglas (Interim)
Service Director: Clean and Green

Alistair Reid
Service Director: Economy

Paul Jacobs
Service Director: Education & Skills

Bill Edrich
Service Director: Energy

Julie Oldland (interim)
Service Director: Finance

Mary Ryan / Steve Barrett (job share)
Service Director: Housing Delivery

Nick Hooper
Service Director: Housing Solutions

Richard Billingham
Service Director: Human Resources

Shahzia Daya
Service Director: Legal and Democratic Services

Di Robinson
Service Director: Neighbourhoods

Zoe Willcox
Service Director: Planning

Michele Farmer
Service Director: Policy, Strategy & Communications

Robert Orrett
Service Director: Property

Netta Meadows
Service Director: Strategic Commissioning

Peter Mann
Service Director: Transport

Alison Mullis / Melanie Henchy-McCarthy (job share)
Chief Internal Auditor

Sarah Toy
Chief Resilience Officer

Dominic Murphy
Chief Service Officer for Cities of Service Programme

Got any stories about any of the DIRTY THIRTY? Contact The BRISTOLIAN:

The Bristolian
Box ‘Gurt Shush
Hydra Bookshop
34 Old Market Street
Bristol BS2 0EZ

We consider the security of our confidential sources as very important and will never reveal your identity. However, please take sensible precautions when you contact us.

THE DIRTY THIRTY

The Bundred Report, published last month, into the council’s ‘accidental’ £30 million OVERSPEND last year revealed that the council’s 30 most senior bosses WITHHELD financial information from councillors and the public. This forced councillors to set – what the Reverend Rees has called – an “ILLEGAL BUDGET”.

The report’s author – former Audit Commission boss, Steve “Sticky” Bundred – evades any questions of CRIMINALITY in his report, however. Instead he blames “a serious collective failure of leadership” for the blatant dishonesty from city council bosses. Neatly ducking the issue of whether they have committed a CRIME. A considerably more serious matter than Sticky Bundred’s weak, anaemic and blame-free “collective failure” conclusion.

Potential criminal conduct by these managers includes an apparent effort to influence the outcome of the 2016 Mayoral Election by hiding from the electorate the true financial state of Bristol City Council under Mayor No-more Redpants in the lead-up to the election. How would news that the profligate Red Trousered Buffoon had OVERSPENT by £30m have been greeted by the electorate?

While efforts to rig the election for Redpants may have FAILED, it makes the conduct no more acceptable. All those involved earn excessive pay from the public purse and are contractually obliged to report, as a matter of course, any concerns over financial mismanagement, fraud, bribery embezzlement etc. at the council . They are all therefore – at least – guilty of GROSS MISCONDUCT.

The Reverend Rees has called for a further investigation. We say there is NO NEED. The evidence of these managers’ misconduct is in the Bundred Report. The Reverend needs to ACT. Not run another investigation, which will only let these bent bosses off the hook.

We’re not interested in any “NUREMBERG DEFENCE” from these crooks and frauds that they were “only following orders”. They’re paid to THINK and ACT, not blindly follow instructions like a herd of superannuated sheep.

To assist the Reverend in firing his bent management scum, we have started the task of identifying all 30. Our results will be published TOMORROW. Rest assured we are HUNTING DOWN and will identify any more of these crooks.

We say NO MORE INVESTIGATIONS: disciplinary action and dismissal for the Dirty Thirty now!

HARTCLIFFE HOUSING OFFICE BETRAYAL

Although the Reverend Rees and his hapless Cabinet sidekick Asher “Close-It” Craig haven’t officially announced it yet, Bristol City Council’s housing office and Citizen Service Point, Symes House, in Hartcliffe will be CLOSING on 31 March 2017.

Councillors actually voted that things like libraries, Citizen Service Points and neighbourhood partnerships would close or be wound down over the NEXT TWO YEARS. So closing the Hartcliffe office immediately doesn’t seem in the spirit of the plan.

Especially as Councillor Close-It had told both BBC Radio Bristol on 17 February and residents at a well-attended Mayoral event held at the Withywood Centre on 9 March that there would be a CONVERSATION with the local community partnership before anything happened

Councillor Close-It had even mentioned that the popular Citizen Service Point could be incorporated into the library situated in the @Symes building next door. Although efforts to contact Councillor Close-It to start that conversation have failed as she’s NOT RETURNING CALLS!

The Reverend’s cuts consultation last year provoked an impressive response from the local community in Hartcliffe. More people took part in the BS13 area than most other areas in Bristol. There was also a community petition with over 1,400 signatures asking the mayor NOT to cut services in one of the most deprived areas in Bristol.

Many people in Hartcliffe now say they feel BETRAYED by the Reverend and Councillor Close-It as they clearly haven’t lived up to the undertaking they had given to people. Instead, council bosses have been given FREE REIN to do what the hell they feel like in Hartcliffe and shut down the office without an exit strategy, a long term plan or, even, an explanation.

Another Rees policy delivery shambles.

SHINE ON YOU CRAZY REVEREND

The smooth roll-out of one of the Rev Rees’s keynote policies is something to behold isn’t it? In his vast and creaking manifesto last year the vicar promised to, “work with businesses and voluntary partners to ensure that all schools have a BREAKFAST CLUB by 2020.”

By October, the Reverend’s breakfasting ambitions had vaulted somewhat and following his ‘State of the City Address’ the Nazi Post reported that every child would have access to a FREE BREAKFAST at school “to ensure they get off to a good start”. The Reverend also promised he would maximise uptake of the pupil premium “to provide the costs”.

By January this year, the vicar was for turning and announced in a rambling New Year message in the Nazi Post that “we will deliver on a promise to have breakfast clubs in every primary school, so no child has to start the day hungry”. Although any discussion of “costs” had miraculously DISAPPEARED.

Now news arrives from Hillcrest Primary School in Totterdown that a private business, ‘Shine‘, has won another contract with a gullible Bristol primary school to deliver ‘wraparound’ childcare services at the school. This will include a BREAKFAST CLUB and after school childcare at the school.

Shine – getting themselves off to a good start at least – will be replacing the existing locally-run breakfast club at the school after Easter and have announced they will immediately raise charges to all parents by an inflation-busting 30 PER CENT!

Any kids who might be starting the day hungry, however, aren’t even mentioned by the school or their shiny new BUSINESS PARTNER in this brave new breakfasting world. Is this the model the Reverend had in mind for his school breakfast clubs?

Shine, to squeeze a few more quid in profits from parents and to piss off any locals they may have previously overlooked, will also be setting up an afterschool club at Hillcrest in DIRECT COMPETITION with the current service run on a wing, a prayer and a shoestring by a longstanding local charity – the Totterdown Community Children’s Workshop.

And to complete this neo-Roman orgy of PRIVATE SECTOR GREED emerging from the school? A special icing on the cake for some parents: most of the school’s locally sourced music teachers – providing individual tuition to kids – have also announced to parents they will CEASE lessons after Easter!

This comes after the school tried to slap a room hire charge on these teachers, which would have resulted in a 25 PER CENT INCREASE in bills to parents for the same lesson!

Welcome to Rees’s rip-off Bristol where, maybe, for a fat fee to a well-placed business, no child starts the day hungry but parents may well end the day bankrupt …

AND THE BANDS PLAY ON

Colston Hall: no cuts

So there’s less money to buy furniture for BATTERED MUMS lucky enough to get an unfurnished shell of a home off the council; a fifth of the CHILDREN’S CENTRES designed to support our city’s most vulnerable kids will be closed down and LOCAL COUNCIL OFFICES ideal for the elderly, infirm and isolated to easily access public services from will shut their doors but fans of mainstream music and comedy can, at least, rejoice.

Because the Rev Rees, with his laser-like focus on fairness and equality, has agreed to continue handing over £1m a year for the next three years to the BRISTOL MUSIC TRUST who run the Colston Hall. Phew! Guess we’ve got to keep those FAT FEES rolling in for millionaire musicians and the rolling roster of state-subsidised BBC/Oxbridge touring comedians haven’t we?

Meanwhile those all-important CREATIVES doing all that vital and well-paid marketing work for the entertainment industry, directly subsidised by the state, can’t possibly be expected to attend a JOB CENTRE when there’s a perfectly adequate pool of undervalued underpaid childcare professionals available for the task.

Priorities eh, Reverend?

HAPPY? CLAP ALONG IF YOU ARE A MUM WITHOUT A ROOF …

No sign of public sector cuts hitting the ridiculous HAPPY CITY organisation or their new-found creative industry friends at the WATERSHED. The organisations, both receiving healthy financial support from the council tax payer for their marginal activities, ran a course in January especially for the boss class called ‘Plotting a Happier Year Ahead’.

The course, promoting UTTER DRIVEL like ‘mindfulness in work’; ‘Embedding the 5 Ways of Wellbeing’; ‘Wellness programmes’ and ‘Leaveism’, delivered PSEUDO-SCIENTIFIC JUNK for stupid well-heeled bosses to bamboozle underpaid, overworked staff with. Many, no doubt, suffering at the sharp end of the collapse in real wages, the housing crisis, the country’s ongoing multiple economic disasters and its public service failures.

Is this really how we should be spending PUBLIC MONEY and resources when the council claim they’re so skint they’re cutting our LOCAL CRISIS AND PREVENTION FUND by 55% or over £1m? This fund was there to buy food or pay utility bills for the most desperate and vulnerable in the city. It might have also helped domestic violence survivors setting up home with NOTHING after escaping an abusive relationship.

What is the Rev Rees’s planning to do for these people instead of giving out small sums of money for essential items? Maybe he’ll get Happy City and a few self-styled creatives paid on the rates to provide battered mums with some ‘wellbeing perks and rewards’ at the Watershed?