Monthly Archives: August 2013


Politicians from across the spectrum are quick to insist that ‘Plot 6’ at Temple Meads train station – situated in the heart of the Tories’ so-called ENTERPRISE ZONE next to Brunel’s original building – is pencilled in to become a much-needed transport interchange. No, ‘onest guv!

This seems a bit strange as plans for the site have always shown Plot 6 occupied by a grotty speculative development of office blocks. And now The BRISTOLIAN learns that desperate planning bosses offered the plot to the BBC last year as a base for their operations in the city – and as part of a transparent attempt to boost the Enterprise Zone’s thin claims to be a centre for the creative industries.

Alas, the BBC declined the offer, presumably not really wanting to move to a DULL WASTELAND of office blocks and car parks.

But surely our councillors and Mayor Fergo need to have an urgent chat with Enterprise Zone boss – unelected Tory-boy Merchant Venturer Colin Skellett – and find out what his plans really are?


Mr Shorland patrols Filton Airfield in 1990

Word reaches The BRISTOLIAN that north Bristol ‘local characters’ Tim Shorland and Tex Woodward are threatening to FRACK FILTON AIRFIELD.

The pair bought LORD OF THE MANOR titles for areas covering Henbury, Patchway, Filton and other parts of South Gloucestershire. Shorland has said that he bought his laminated back-of-a-van title in 1990 to stop the runway being turned in to a fully functioning airport, to save the area’s rural character.

In 2006 he kicked off again when BAE Systems were trying to sell off the land to be developed and turned into houses, saying the area needed to keep the runway in order to save the area’s aerospace industry. What a do-gooder! Well now that’s gone tits-up he’s threatening to frack us all…

In the last few days thousands of Bristol and South Gloucestershire residents have received mysterious letters from the Land Registry – the official body which records land ownership in the UK – informing them of ‘Lord’ Shorland’s CLAIM TO A STAKE IN THE MINERALS BENEATH THEIR HOMES!

One shocked Patchway resident told The BRISTOLIAN that “householders have received letters from the Land Registry saying Tim Shorland claims that he owns the mineral rights under our land. He told a neighbour of mine that his family has owned the land since 1066! But I understand he bought the title nearly twenty-five years ago. He’s all over the place, some elderly residents thought the letter from the Land Registry meant that the freehold they bought was illegal and this man owns their house!”

Says ‘Lord’ Shorland: “These titles do not affect ownership. People still own their house and the land. It’s only the mines and minerals under their properties we are talking about.”

Why is the Land Registry dishing out threats on behalf of ‘Lords’ Shorland and Woodward without anybody fully knowing what these two with their FELT-TIP MAP actual own? Don’t worry, though – the Chairman of Pilning & Severn Beach Parish Council Cllr Ian Roberts has been on hand to clear everything up:

“I had no idea about these letters,” he says. “This could mean fracking.”


It seems that those pesky mutterings about “unprofessional personal relationships” we mentioned in the last BRISTOLIAN might sabotage new Bristol Labour councillor HIBAQ JAMA’s political career before it gets going.

Of course, it’s never wise to brazenly have affairs with people who work for you whilst mistreating other staff members.

But then to dump your lover the moment you’re selected for a political candidacy on the grounds that they don’t match your carefully-honed public image? That just seems foolish.

Because that sort of thing tends to come back and haunt you…


Welcome to the Hoyty-Toyty World of Bristol Politics!


Bumped into our brilliant new Chief Executive Mrs Yates today while I was wandering around on the third floor trying to find something useful to do. She was at the photocopier running off a considerable amount of paperwork headed ‘GAGGING ORDER’. I asked her what she was up to as a bit of a conversational opening gambit and apparently she was just doing some early preparatory work to pop in the top drawer of her desk. Then she gave me a little grin, grabbed the paperwork and headed off to her office – sorry, I mean flexible work space.

I must say she seems very professional and efficient and she can operate a photocopier! Certainly an improvement on Mr Sims, who seemed to need a PA to switch a light on for him never mind operate a Blackberry or that iPad he was given that he thought was a clipboard for the first three weeks. I sense already that Nicola is the person to lead the new hi-tech open City Hall culture George and I are embedding. Good times!


High-level meeting with new Cabinet member, Labour’s superb Mark Bradshaw today. To be able to work alongside such a supremely gifted and able politician and first rate intellect is a privilege. Mark and I discussed very important matters relating to George’s proposed RPZ scheme that I can’t tell you about. Although we will inform the public at an appropriate time. As Mark said, car parking is far too important to discuss in public.


Had an excellent two o’clock with George today. I must say he’s in a far better mood since he went up to Harley Street to see his doctor about his anxiety issues. He’s now installed a comfy sofa in his office and he was lying on it wearing only his favourite Fairtrade silk dressing gown (red, of course) with his feet up reading Fifty Shades Of Grey! He’s also mentally firing on all cylinders again and has had yet another brilliant idea – ‘City of Cheese’

Apparently he bought a particularly ripe and vibrant brie at our first Make Sunday Special food market and he thinks Bristol Brie could be a really amazing international place-making tool for the city. I could only agree and promised – as the Cabinet lead on food – to get on it right away. I then had to leave as he needed to take his Effexor, whatever that is, and relax for a while.


Finally got in today to see Mr Mann, our transport boss, over at Brunel House. What a strange meeting. When I walked in Mr Mann was holding a small teddy bear at his face level and appeared to be having a conversation with it. “Hello Sir Gus,” he said, “this is Teddy. He helps me with policy.”

Thinking I had better change the subject sharpish, I pointed at a large green safe in the corner of the room that seemed to be wrapped in about four toughened steel chains secured by around six padlocks. “That’s where I keep the Greater Bristol Bus Network performance statistics,” explained Mr Mann. “We can’t be too careful. We don’t want them getting out to the press or public, do we?” he muttered quietly.

If nothing else, I suppose we should be impressed by Mr Mann’s commitment to information security. The rest of the meeting was about RPZs, which I can’t tell you anything about because car parking is quite rightly a top-secret issue.


Had a row today on Twitter with those horrible, nasty, beastly people at The BRISTOLIAN. They keep banging on about this missing £165,000 missing from the Market Service that I’m ultimately responsible for. It is of course all complete nonsense. As George has kindly explained to them there is no evidence of any wrongdoing at all. So come on guys, sometimes you just have to accept that £165,000 just disappears from public sector organisations without any explanation. Mankind isn’t perfect, is it? We just can’t explain everything, can we? Like how bees fly; UFOs; the Loch Ness Monster; the Bermuda Triangle; Alastair Sawday; homeopathy and David Lynch films. Some things are simply pure mystery.

Besides I’m happy to confirm that Mr Harvey, the Facilities Manager responsible for overseeing the money, has fully investigated himself and has confirmed nobody has done anything wrong. The Metropolitan Police seem to be able to investigate themselves without all this fuss. What more do these people want?

They should join UKIP with all the other racist stirrers and RPZ resisters who want to destroy mine and George’s progressive coalition for Green progress in Bristol with their relentless focusing on silly little details and small amounts of missing money rather than looking at the big canvas of Bristol George and I are busy colouring in green.


Sticky-fingered or just very careless with our cash?

Another month another bent council manager exposed at that OPEN CESS POOL that passes for our local authority…

Latest to come to our attention is PAUL COX, a manager in the council’s landscape department. Responsible for allocating 90% of the department’s work to outside contractors, Cox has just been convicted of conspiracy to defraud along with local builder ROGER LOWREY.

Their scam was simple. Lowrey inflated his fees charged to the council, Cox waved them through and the pair SPLIT THE PROFIT. It’s thought the pair ran the scam for eighteen months in 2009-11. However, what’s interesting is that the fraud wasn’t exposed by the council’s armies of auditors, handsomely remunerated senior management or their many finance bods – none of whom apparently had any idea what was going on – but by a member of staff at Lowrey’s building firm.

It seems extraordinary that Cox was able to present bent invoices for eighteen months with no one noticing doesn’t it? Where was the basic oversight? Or were our council management TURNING A BLIND EYE again?

And speaking of blind eyes, over at the council’s Markets Service – where Facilities boss TONY ‘THE TOERAG’ HARVEY has overseen the disappearance of £165,000 of licence fees – confusion reigns. Earlier this Summer HIS ROYAL GEORGENESS announced that there was “no evidence” of fraud in his Markets Service although he could offer no explanation as to what might have happened to our £165,000. Then two days later George’s LOYAL CABINET GOPHER Sir Gus Hoyty-Toyty announced that money has been STOLEN from the Markets Service safe!!!

When asked if he was calling the police about this theft of public money, Hoyty-Toyty declined to do so. This is odd, as a week later, Hoyty-Toyty put out a press release, which could have come straight out of Tory Central Office. “Our approach is one of zero tolerance, a stance which has the backing of the public,” announced the fraud-buster general in relation to council house tenancy fraud.

So it’s one rule – “zero tolerance” – for us plebs in council houses; and another rule for Sir Gus’s dodgy manager pals in suits is it?


Timmy Mallett - the intellectual power behind George Ferguson's mayoral throne?

Timmy Mallett: intellectual power behind George Ferguson’s mayoral throne?

Ever wondered what connects esteemed can-do, hands-on, low- impact city godfather George Ferguson and ‘wacky’ kids’ TV has- been TIMMY MALLETT? Well, we’ve found the man to ask…

Step forward John Miles, of the John Miles Organisation, talent spotter extraordinaire and representative to the stars. Yes, our very own Mayor has himself a SHOWBIZ AGENT!

He’s in illustrious company – JMO boasts not just Fergo and Timmy on its books, but also dead alleged kiddy-groper Terry Nutkins, audience-killing king of ‘family entertainment’ Noel Edmonds and Points West’s Alex Lovell!

How long before he’s charging for autographs?


Battle lines are being drawn in St. Werburgh’s between green-fingered local residents and sharp-suited corporate vultures over a blatant INNER CITY LAND GRAB following the announcement that the Lynmouth Road allotments will come onto the open market next month.

The one-acre parcel of land, with a guide price of £20,000, is being AUCTIONED OFF on 25th September by Clifton-based estate agent HOLLIS MORGAN. Its brochure notes that “there may be some long term development potential”, and suggests the possibility of vacant possession – which would only happen with the eviction of allotment holders. To rub salt into the wound, Hollis Morgan made the announcement just after National Allotments Week!

The Lynmouth Road site had been owned by training provider SCOUT ENTERPRISES (which readers with long memories may recall was heavily involved in compulsory workfare schemes, from Project Work through to Work Programme) before it went tits-up late last year.

Since then the ‘independent assurance, tax and advisory firm’ GRANT THORNTON has been in charge, and now its crack team of ‘recovery and reorganisation’ specialists – Richard Hicken, Nigel Morrison and Lynn Taylor – is ready to ASSET-STRIP THE ARSE OFF THE ALLOTMENTS.

Of course, this being Ashley ward, they face stern resistance from BS2’s mighty Green Party councillor duo SIR AUGUSTUS ‘THE DORK KNIGHT’ HOYTY-TOYTY and his sidekick ROB ‘BOY WONDER’ TELFORD. By “stern resistance” we do of course mean firm promises to “ensure it is referred to the relevant planning committee”, the possibility of a petition, and the submission of “strong objections” – TAKE THAT, THE MAN!

Meanwhile, the legal side of the St. Werburgh’s land grab is being handled by none other than VEALE WASBROUGH VIZARDS, the current home to baldy-headed former Bristol City Council lawyer-in-chief STEPHEN ‘MAHNA MAHNA’ MCNAMARA, and – as we may have mentioned before – best known for representing Catholic private school St. Benedict’s during a paedo priest scandal.

Whilst it isn’t known if McNamara is directly involved in this deal, he has certainly in the past been connected to what you might politely describe as ‘odd’ green-spaces-to-developers deals. One notable one also involved GEORGE FERGUSON before he bought won the Mayoralty and appointed the never-knowingly-overinformed Sir Hoyty-Toyty to become his ever-loyal Minister of Blue Peter Appeal Milk Bottle Top Collections.

So the Lynmouth Road allotment holders might be wise not to put too much faith in the likes of Hoyty-Toyty to draw a particularly deep line in the sand over their green space.



Help us track our BELOVED KING GEORGE!

It’s tricky keeping abreast of exactly where our illustrious millionaire Mayor has been JETTING OFF to – five trips in just six months this year alone, racking up an impressive 5,000 air miles already.

So please drop The BRISTOLIAN a line if you spot the Redtrousered One on an overseas FergoJaunt – our contact details are here


Fergo tells his customers to park for free!

Talking of RPZs, one thing MAYOR FERGO didn’t mention when he was belatedly trying to sell RESIDENTS’ PARKING ZONES to a sceptical Bristolian public, is how he personally benefits from permit-free parking in Southville.

Yes, his very own trendy bar/theatre the TOBACCO FACTORY actually advises its patrons to park on neighbouring streets!

Until recently, the Tobacco Factory website (archived for posterity here) stated “WE RECOMMEND ON-STREET PARKING. There are a number of residential streets off Raleigh Road…which are probably your best bet.”

Of course, since the paper issue of The BRISTOLIAN with this story in it hit the streets, it has now been HASTILY AMENDED to a slightly less controversial version (see picture below).

"Did I say 'recommend'? I, umm, meant, err..."

Now that’s joined up thinking, George!


Bristol City Council traffic bosses are using the RESIDENTS PARKING ZONE in Kingsdown to bleed money from hospital patients, visitors and staff, an internal memo reveals.

The Kingsdown RPZ has proved a HANDY CASH COW for the council, providing thousands of pounds in parking fees and fines thanks to the proximity of nearby medical facilities such as the Bristol Royal Infirmary, St Michael’s, the Children’s Hospital and the Oncology Centre.

In a document seen by The BRISTOLIAN, council traffic chiefs say:

It is likely that the Kingsdown scheme, for which we have most data, will generate more income than the future schemes will. this is because it is close to a number of key attractors such as the University and the Hospital.

And there was us thinking that hospitals were much-loved vital public services to be respected and cherished. Not at Bristol City Council. They’re an income attractor!

So mind how you park if you’re unfortunate enough to have a relative at the BRI: The ghouls will be waiting to turn your care into cash…