YE DAMNED CHRONICLES OF SCAMALOT #5

YE DAMNED CHRONICLES OF SCAMALOT, BOOK FIVE
Verses 17-21: Ye Sorcerer Coven of Empica and their labours

xvii. The whistleblowing of Property Guardian Company CAMELOT’s neglect and intimidation, and their public exposure as money-grabbing slum lords, hath led it to employ a PR coven of dark side mages under the shunned name of Empica, a sorcerous circle of fiends that issueth every full moon with their train of bats and wolves from the very heart of foul corruption and evil wizardry in this afflicted realm, Canary Wharf in London.

xviii. So the witches and wizards of Empica signed the pact with Scamalot in blood, swearing to deflect difficult questions and cast glamour spells over Scamalot’s failings by presenting it instead as some kind of housing ‘charity’ dedicated to solving the housing crisis, rather than its reality as a profit sucking slum landlord living off the backs of people faced with homelessness. Yet alas ye Canary Wharf PR sorcerors of Empica, despite their pact in securing Scamalot’s already damned souls for eternal torment, turned out to also be a bunch of half arsed con-artists (much like their employers) and not much up to ye task in hand.

xix. Empica’s first labour was to make a proclamation to the people of Bristol. But is was just a cunning spell to put us to sleep dreaming of happy Guardiantenants, Camelot housing the homeless out of the kindness of their hearts and revolting peasants ruining everything by demanding their rights as tenants (see ye Empica spell parchment attached).

xx. Empica’s second labour was to find a Camelot Guardian-Tenant who was ‘happy’ living in the foul conditions and get them on TV. This was no easy task with the peasants in open revolt. After scouring the hills and dales of Bristol, Empica’s witches and wizards found a Guardian-Tenant who could be bewitched.  A BBC TV interview was then aired on Points West with the ‘happy Guardian-Tenant’ sitting next to PAUL LLOYD (ye disgraced and crooked Regional Manager of Scam-a-lot in the South-West), explaining how he loved living at Coombe EPH in Westbury-on-Trym. However, the white witches of THE BRISTOLIAN smashed the Empica spell, as it turns out the ‘happy Guardian-Tenant’ was not actually living at BCC Coombe EPH in Westbury-on-Trym at all.Instead, he had been kidnapped by Empica/Camelot from a non-BCC property in central Bristol. A ‘put up job’ about as flimsy as Camelot’s reputation in these times of greed and lying.

xxi. And so it was that the white witches of THE BRISTOLIAN were easily able to disarm and safely expose Empica and their shoddy, third-rate PR spells to public scorn and ridicule.

More verses of this woeful tale of wickedness shall be recounted in Ye Chronicles of Scamalot, Books Six to Twelve, run exclusively in THE BRISTOLIAN.

GUARDIAN SCHEME PROVIDES HOMES AND PROTECTS PROPERTIES

A scheme in Bristol that allows “Property Guardians” to live cheaply in temporarily unused properties provides homes for 70 people and protects around 10 buildings from damage and squatters.

Camelot Europe, which operates similar systems in cities across Europe, says everyone benefits from the Bristol properties being used for housing on temporary licences.

Paul Lloyd, South West regional director for Camelot Europe said: “Contrary to recent claims by a small number of people there is no ‘scandal’ over this type of scheme, which has been running successfully for many years in Bristol and throughout the UK and Europe.

“The vast majority of those living in properties across Bristol are happy to have accommodation at low cost on the understanding that they may have to leave at short notice when decisions are made on the future of those buildings.

“Among our clients are Bristol City Council and at the former Broomhill Elderly People’s Home in Brislington some guardians are challenging a legal notice to leave. This will be decided by the courts. Our case is that we have served the notices properly as those currently in the Broomhill property were there as licensees and guardians of the property.

“Bristol city council want to demolish the property to build vitally needed affordable housing and we hope they can progress with that as soon as possible. Broomhill was occupied by guardians longer than was initially expected as the council was deciding on the building’s future

“The licensee status of guardians is vital for the system to work and licensees benefit by paying around 50% or under of local market rate so it is win-win as it protects the properties for the owners and provides short-term cheap living accommodation for those who need it.

“We want to reassure those living in other properties that we will continue to operate in the same way. Having property guardians allows organisations like Bristol city council to protect their properties while at the same time enabling people who need cheap accommodation for a short while to find a temporary home.”

ENDS

Issued on behalf of Camelot Europe by Empica. For further information contact Martin Powell (01275) 394400.

REES AND BRADSHAW: A WARNING FOR THE FUTURE

It’s been announced today that the council is withdrawing its plan to build a 4.5m wide road through Victoria Park for the benefit of posh cycle lobbyists in West Bristol.

This is the article we intended to publish in the next issue of The BRISTOLIAN on the issue. We leave it here as a warning to the Reverend Rees, and his idiot cabinet sidekick for transport, Mark “BEAR” Bradshaw, and any other Labour Party vandal who think they can fuck with our open space.

Try it and we will make you pay …

VICTORIA PARK: DIRECT AND TO THE POINT

There’s dark mutterings about “direct action” emerging from Windmill Hill and Totterdown if the Rev Rees, Mark “BEAR” Bradshaw and the cycle lobby fanatics running their transport department go ahead with their plan to build a road for cyclists through Victoria Park.

The economics of this are pretty straightforward. How much extra money is the Rev Rees prepared to throw at a pointless £500k cycling project to secure it? Five per cent? Ten Per cent? £50k doesn’t go far in repairs and security these days does it? Metrobus has reputedly spent more than £1m securing their Stapleton allotments site from protestors.

And remember, while the £500k for the road may come from central government, Rees will have to find any overspend on the project from his own shot-to-fuck council budgets. So if Rees wants to take the piss out of local residents; local residents can easily take the piss back and hit him where it really hurts – in the wallet.

To the barricades park lovers!

YE DAMNED CHRONICLES OF SCAMALOT #4

YE DAMNED CHRONICLES OF SCAMALOT, BOOK FOUR
Verses 13-16: Ye Disgruntled or Fraudulent Retainers of Scamalot

xiii. It is written that odious Property Guardian Company CAMELOT hath a long roll of employees that they either ditched or who left of their own accord – many of these discharges occurring during their six month probationary period.

xiv. The pattern seemeth to be that anyone with knowledge of housing or EH regulations and who brought the serious problems in Scamalot properties to their managers’ attention were “released” from their retainer duties forthwith.

xv. However, a Scamalot employee named Daniel St. Quintin who defrauded not only many Guardian-Tenants of their rent for his own personal gain, but also his employers of their full share under his criminal scheme of diverting every fourth rent payment into his own account, was quietly allowed to resign in order to stop any adverse publicity for the company. So a fraudster and thief was thus set free by Scamalot with his honour intact, no doubt to carry on with his criminal activities in another realm!

xvi. And yea, this same rogue knight hath since been promoted to Senior Consultant at Bristol employment agency Beach Baker Employment, wherein he now manages investment, assets and corporate real estate, all with the blessing of his former overlords.

More verses of this woeful tale of wickedness shall be recounted in Ye Chronicles of Scamalot, Books Five to Twelve, run exclusively in THE BRISTOLIAN

YE DAMNED CHRONICLES OF SCAMALOT #3

YE DAMNED CHRONICLES OF SCAMALOT, BOOK THREE
Verses 10-12: How BCC and Scamalot Exploiteth Ye Loopholes in HSE Law

x. It is written that Bristol City Council regulates the renting and use of private properties for ye purposes of Environmental Health. But in order to maintain independent EH regulation for public buildings, BCC properties must instead be monitored by the national government-run Health & Safety Executive.

xi. But lo! If a BCC property is handed over to the “care” of a Property Guardian company such as CAMELOTthen it shall be regulateth only by BCC, forming a clear conflict of interests!

xii. This accursed loophole is one of the reasons why Broomhill EPH with its multiple guardian-tenant occupants living in dangerous squalor did not have to undergo any HMO license checks for three years. So the BCC officers responsible merely turned a blind eye to ye brigandage and neglect of Scamalot!

More verses of this woeful tale of wickedness shall be recounted in Ye Chronicles of Scamalot, Books Four to Twelve, run exclusively in THE BRISTOLIAN

YE DAMNED CHRONICLES OF SCAMALOT #2

YE DAMNED CHRONICLES OF SCAMALOT, BOOK TWO
Verses 6-9: Deny, Ye Art Such A Liar

6. As has been written, it happened that Bristol City Council Environmental Health inspectors were dispatched to inspect Speedwell Fire Station, yet another council-owned building entrusted to ye accursed property guardian company CAMELOT. Herein the inspectors found plagues of rats and other vermin, fire hazards, electric shocks from the water supply, a lack of hot water, an insecure building and many, many other failings of Scamalot’s “care” too numerous to chronicle here.

7. And lo! At this moment the Speedwell guardian-tenants formed into a guild and bravely swore to withhold ye rack-rent from SCAMALOT until the slum landlords had implemented all the recommendations ordered by Environmental Health.

8. It is written that Scamalot then proceeded to fiddle, dawdle and procrastinate, eventually deciding to largely ignore the recommendations. And on the third day Mark “prize wanker” Hurley, ye South West Guardian Manager at Scamalot Europe, arose from the dead and quoth to one guardian-tenant that “Bristol City Council Environmental Health are now completely content – so ye lowly serfs should now pay your rent!” (see ye transcript, preserved for eternity by the white magick of ye BRISTOLIAN coven)

9. Yet ye guardian-tenant wisely contacted Bristol City Council Environmental Health and found out this was a complete porky (see ye aforementioned transcript). So despite the bad publicity and wrath, temporal and divine that cometh down on Scamalot like ye plagues of Egypt, they art still and will ever be outright liars.

More verses of this woeful tale of wickedness shall be recounted in Ye Chronicles of Scam-a-lot, Books Three to Twelve, run exclusively in THE BRISTOLIAN

 

Extracts of Phone Conversations

Guardian-Tenant calls Camelot’s Guardian Manager, Mark Hurley to find out if they have completed all the recommendations made by BCC Environmental Health team:

Guardian-Tenant: You said that you got the ‘thumbs up’ from the Council that everything else was done?

Mark Hurley (Camelot): As far as I am aware, yes.

 Guardian-Tenant: From the environmental health, yeh?

Mark Hurley (Camelot): Yes, Correct.

Guardian-Tenant: OK, Cool. So what’s been done to fix the fire door?

Mark Hurley (Camelot): I don’t know mate. I haven’t been there. One of the maintenance people reported back to me. Why, what’s the issue?

Guardian-Tenant: Well the fire door still looks exactly the same.

Mark Hurley (Camelot): I believe it was the Council that came and fixed that.

Guardian-tenant: Right I know that it was [Guardian-Tenant] who nailed a little piece of ply over the window that had broken.

Mark Hurley (Camelot): Right.

Guardian-tenant: I don’t think anyone else has done anything that I can see. Anyway it just looks the same.

Mark Hurley (Camelot): OK.

Guardian-tenant: I was just wondering if you could tell me what the electrical faults were that have been fixed. You know from getting the electrical shocks and stuff.

Mark Hurley (Camelot): I can’t tell you cos I don’t know.

Guardian-tenant: Oh right…OK. I just wanted to be sure that the electrical things had been sorted. I didn’t want to get any more electric shocks.

 Mark Hurley (Camelot): Understandable.

Guardian-tenant: And like with the rats…there is still like a big hole in the actual kitchen door where the rats can come and go quite freely.

 Mark Hurley (Camelot): Bristol City Council vermin control were there yesterday. They’re all over it. As I said to you mate, it’s quite simply, you know its been reported back to us…rats are going to be attracted to food lying around. You gotta keep the place clean. So that’s part of the problem. They’re all over it at the minute, the Council, they’re sorting it out.

Guardian-tenant: Umm, right Ok. I just wanted to check everything had been done right before I paid anything.

Mark Hurley (Camelot): That’s right. Hang on a second I will see if I can get hold of Kate.

Kate Biernat (Property Manager, Camelot): Hello. Hi. Basically all the issues that you raised have been dealt with.

A few minutes later, phone call to Bristol City Council Environmental Health Team (BCC EHT):

 Guardian-tenant: I’m just calling up regarding an inspection you did. It was on a Camelot property. It’s the Old Fire Station at Speedwell.

BCC EHT: Oh, yes.

Guardian-tenant: So I have just been speaking to our property manager and he says the Council have given Camelot the ‘thumbs up’ that the property is now up to standards.

BCC EHT: I can answer that quite quickly. Your question…the answer would be NO, we haven’t given the ‘thumbs up’.

YE DAMNED CHRONICLES OF SCAM-A-LOT #1

YE DAMNED CHRONICLES OF SCAM-A-LOT, BOOK ONE
Verses 1-5: Blood Meridian

1. As is recounted in the ancient tomes of Frawd and Skandol, foul property guardian company CAMELOT was entrusted by evil robber baron Lord Red Pants to ‘protect’ seven empty properties. And in 2015, Scam-a-lot then attempted to evict its guardian tenants at Broomhill EPH to make way for an UNLAWFUL SUB-LET to ‘Blood’ Meridian, an employment agency. Yet lo, ye peasants revolted and refused to go quietly, contacting Councillor Mike Woolacott and Kerry McCarthy MP, whilst also requesting an FOI to see the Broomhill contract between BCC and Scam-a-lot.

2. Thus BCC called a halt to this process, and the guardians remained in place. However, Scam-a lot simply brought Meridian to Brentry EPH, another BCC property entrusted to its care. And herein, after evicting the existing residents through INTIMIDATION by Meridian gang masters, it installed successive relays of more than 30 migrant workers, each being forced to pay £90 a week cash-in-hand for sub-standard accommodation! Yet when Meridian was questioned about why it had abandoned its plans for Broomhill, it failed to mention any BCC intervention – and simply stated that Broomhill was a ‘shithole’ – ie. unfit even for its minimum wage work gangs.

3. And lo, ‘Blood’ Meridian became a single ‘property guardian’ on the premises! This entry of a private company as a fictitious individual paying a ‘fee’ is the only written record for the masses of short term contract-workers moved through Brentry over the past year – while their labour was sucked dry by Blood Meridian.

4. And the shocked angels in the firmament around City Hall do now chant in multitudes across the heavens: “Surely it is not legal for Scam-a-lot to sub-let Brentry EPH to a ‘single guardian’ that is in reality an employment company, and in which to house its legions of underpaid workers? Does this foul deed not breach Scam-a-lot’s contract with BCC? And fie, fie, and thrice fie, why didst not BCC intervene when Scam-a-lot did this a second time? Are BCC happy for their properties to be used by blood-sucking parasite gang masters???”

5. And it is further written that PAUL LLOYD, ye disgraced and crooked Regional Manager of Scam-a-lot in the South-West, even claimeth that he “never visits Brentry” and has no idea what is going on there!

More verses of this woeful tale of wickedness shall be recounted in Ye Chronicles of Scam-a-lot, Books Two to Twelve, run exclusively in THE BRISTOLIAN

ROTTEN COMRADES by -The Dwarf

Bristol Unison in action

A certain UNISON branch secretary was spotted lurking in the depths of City Hall last autumn.

UNITE reps – having been tipped off that devious shenanigans were in the offing from their opposite numbers in UNISON – were posted at strategic locations to intercept and follow him. The ensuing sneaking around was likened to something that might be achieved by Japan’s finest ninja assassins. Others likened it to a chase scene from Benny Hill.

Regardless, the upshot of it was that UNITE managed to find the location of a secret meeting with the Mayor. A meeting that they had every right to attend but the invites to which the UNISON branch secretary had mysteriously forgotten to send to UNITE! The branch secretary had a duty as “employee side secretary” to invite all the attendees but had conveniently forgotten to do so when an important discussion was to take place.

A discussion concerning the fate of thousands of employees and many services that might face cuts. It has been alleged that said secretary wanted time alone with the mayor to finesse things to his union’s advantage. It’s now being reported to us that shortly after this shoddy episode, the UNISON branch secretary now no longer holds the post of employee side secretary.The post is instead held by UNITE.

It’s also has been reported that UNISON is now finding it difficult to arrange meetings with the mayor. Strange, because the mayor seems to be meeting every Tom, Dick and Harry that asks. Only last week the mayor met with a couple of commies from an anti-austerity group that were hanging around trying to sell a few copies of the Morning Star. They were whisked inside and afterwards said the meeting had been “quite productive”.

SCAM-A-LOT IN COURT: “A device not a scam”?

Paul LLoyd: his job title doesn’t always describe what he does?

Fascinating day at the BRISTOL CIVIL AND FAMILY JUSTICE CENTRE today as Scam-a-Lot, Bristol City Council’s partner and dodgy property guardian company at the centre of multiple housing scandals in the city, ineptly tried to prove the tenants of various Bristol City Council properties under their control weren’t tenants at all.

Scam-a-Lot’s barrister, Elizabeth Fitzgerald’s, opening gambit was to explain to the poor judge, Euan Ambrose, that Scam-a-Lot in Bristol is not one company but two entirely separate ones! The first, CAMELOT PROPERTY MANAGEMENT LTD, apparently had a deal with Bristol City Council to protect and secure various empty properties for them for a fee and had the right of possession to the building.

The second company, CAMELOT GUARDIAN MANAGEMENT LTD, meanwhile, had an arrangement with various licensees, including the defendant, to occupy the building in exchange for a licence fee. This company, however, had no authorised possession of the building.

Scam-a-Lot’s barrister then explained that the legal status of the defendant as either a tenant or a licensee was a matter that sat entirely with CAMELOT GUARDIAN MANAGEMENT LTD. So regardless of the outcome of the case, their other company Camelot Property Management Ltd had the right to IMMEDIATE POSSESSION of the building without the tenant/licensee defendant as this company had no legal or contractual obligation to them.

The visibly bemused judge explained that he thought he had turned up in his court to rule on the fairly NARROW POINT of whether the defendant was a licensee or a tenant and wondered aloud whether Camelot’s baroque internal management arrangements were relevant to the case? He appeared no less bemused when Camelot’s brief helpfully explained to him that these arrangements were “A DEVICE BUT NOT A SCAM“!

Rather neatly setting the tone for the first witness Paul Lloyd who described himself as the Regional DIrector of Camelot Property Management Ltd. Although he did later admit that job titles “DON’T ALWAYS DESCRIBE WHAT WE DO“!

Under cross-examination Paul identified various personnel who had signed documents and correspondence to licensees as being employed by CAMELOT PROPERTY MANAGEMENT LTD, which slightly contradicted Scam-a-Lot’s QC’s earlier claim that licensees were managed by ANOTHER COMPANY altogether.

LLoyd was also slightly vague about THE SOURCE of documents regarding the defendant he had presented to the court. Many of which had different content and different dates to the documents apparently handed to the defendant by Scam-a-Lot over the years, which the defendant had separately presented to the court.

“My documents may have come off the system,” explained LLoyd. “Or they may have come from a file. I can’t remember. It was a long a time ago.”

“It was only six months ago,” the judge politely interjected.

“Did you retrieve the documents yourself?” the defendant’s barrister enquired.

“Possibly some of them. I may have asked others to retrieve some of them. I travel a lot,” a flummoxed Lloyd explained. “The intern gave me the emails.”

Indeed, these mysterious documents might have fallen out of Lloyd’s BACKSIDE during a particularly unpleasant LARGE SHIT for all the sense we could make of where he managed to obtain an entirely different set of documents to the ones given to the defendant by Scam-a-Lot over the years.

This FIASCO over documents reached peak farce with the cross examination of Lloyd by the defendant’s barrister about the defendant’s TERMS AND CONDITIONS document that he was given by Scam-a-Lot in 2014.

Scam-a-Lot’s document presented to the court by Lloyd was dated 2016 and contained a different set of terms and conditions to the defendant’s document dated 2014. Why could this be?

Who knows? Because Scam-a-Lot’s barrister leapt up when this question was raised and quickly shoved yet another document under Judge Euan’s nose. “These are the correct terms and conditions,” she announced.

“I see,” said Euan. “And are they different to the one’s the defendant has?”

“Yes,” she replied, “but only the frontsheet.”

So that’s all right then. As Judge Euan pondered THREE different documents purporting to be the defendant’s terms and conditions as a licensee with Scam-a-Lo set before him.

What strange webs Scam-a-Lot weave.

The case was adjourned until 8 February (possibly while Judge Euan recovers from his migraine).

VICTORIA PARK PLANNING: FUNNY BUSINESS

Dick Ed: road builder-in-chief

There’s some FUNNY BUSINESS going on with the Bristol City Council’s planning application to itself to build an inane cycle superhighway through Victoria Park.

The application appears to be a joint effort between Sustrans and the council’s Sustainable Transport Team headed up by “DICK” Ed Plowden, a career civil servant. Although many of us struggle to tell the difference between the local civil engineering outfit for cycling and Dick Ed’s department.

When Dick Ed’s minions originally uploaded the planning documents for their road on 28 November for comment by the public prior to a planning decision later this month, there were NO REPORTS relating to the impact on the ecology or biodiversity of Victoria Park. However, this was rectified last Thursday when these documents miraculously appeared.

Even more miraculously, the date listed for the uploading of these the documents that only appeared on 6 January was November 28. Creating the impression that the documents had been available to the public for SIX WEEKS when they hadn’t. How has this sleight-of-hand been allowed to happen and who authorised MISLEADING THE PUBLIC and a quasi-statutory planning committee in this way?

Naturally Bristol Sutrancity Council responded ‘NO‘ to “Section 13 Biodiversity and Geological Conservation” on their application form as to whether there is a reasonable likelihood of [biodiversity] being affected adversely. Although, due to some CONVENIENT OVERSIGHTS, this isn’t really borne out by their limited (and late) report.

Hall: long term prat

“Dick” Ed Plowden the man responsible for making this application arrived in Bristol as a lower middle manager for John Prescott’s HOPELESS Government Office of the South West (GOSW). A bizarre provincial civil service outpost based at Temple Quay that mainly served as a  repository for lower ranking civil servants who couldn’t really make the grade in London. Another alumni of the department is the Green Party’s Red Trouser fan-in-chief, Darren “TAMMANY” Hall.

In those days Plowden’s specialism was in CRIME REDUCTION. Then he waltzed into a senior transport manager role at Bristol City Council, apparently thanks to his experience of making a stately cycle commute to work from his large suburban pile in Knowle every day.

Judging by his approach to planning applications, former crime fighter, Dick Ed, isn’t much interested in reducing crimes in low-level local government corruption. In fact he’s helping create it!

HIPSTERS FOR CENSORSHIP

Undertaking the simple task of “redefining local media as we know it,” THE BRISTOL CABLE is the city’s latest local ‘alternative’ newspaper run out of (where else?) Stokes Croft, the city’s thriving cultural quarter especially for the wealthy interfering do-gooder who knows what’s best for everyone.

Allegedly run as a DEMOCRATIC COOPERATIVE “where people participate in strategic decisions”, the Cable is hugely popular with wishy-washy social liberals in West Bristol, while boring the pants off the rest of us.

However, their 1,400 fee-paying members appear to have had LITTLE SAY in the cooperative’s hasty attempt to join the IMPRESS press regulator. The organisation that has just been recognised by the government’s Press Regulation Panel as the country’s new newspaper regulator despite having no support whatsoever from the actual newspaper industry.

IMPRESS is funded to the tune of £3.8m by MAX MOSELEY, fascist Oswald Moseley’s son and the notorious user of, er, non-Nazi themed “Aryan” prostitutes with fake German accents. Moseley is a character so honest, classy and reliable, a High Court announced in 2008 he had NO REPUTATION to defend in a libel action!

Meanwhile a lot of supporters of IMPRESS and their Hacked Off! lobbyist arm appear to be wealthy male celebs whose main interest is keeping any unfortunate accidents regarding COCAINE and PROSTITUTES out of the press. Although the Cable have told their members, “IMPRESS was set up by a group of LIBERAL MEDIA FIGURES led by journalist Jonathan Heawood”. Neatly forgetting to mention Moseley’s involvement

Recognition of IMPRESS by the Press Regulation Panel opens the door to STATE REGULATION of newspapers in the UK. While any publication that doesn’t sign up to this shitty little celeb-led compromise, will have to pay the costs in any libel action whether they win or lose (and the costs tend to outweigh the damages at least ten fold).

In other words, TELLING THE TRUTH in newspapers could cost you millions unless you sign up to a series of rules agreed between the state and an organisation funded by an unwholesome right wing creep.

No newspaper or serious national publication has joined IMPRESS. They view it as a vehicle for GOVERNMENT INTERFERENCE in the press that openly undermines free speech and is incompatible with British democratic values. While most of the media would also not touch Max Moseley with a barge pole-lengthed copy of the Bristol Cable.

Private Eye already has rejected joining IMPRESS outright. While not even the house journal of Tuscan social liberalism and wholesale state interference in our lives, The Guardian, is up for it either.

Is signing 1,400 badly briefed members up for state censorship of the newspapers really the kind of “reinvention” of the media we need?