In an EXCLUSIVE BRISTOLIAN interview, an Avonmouth resident lifts the lid on useless politicians, useless regulators and Merchant Venturers laughing all the way to the bank …
A brief soundbite from our on-the-spot interview at the Avonmouth protest today :
Protestor: It’s about George Ferguson not fulfilling his promises, its about the Deputy Mayor not fulfilling his promises, its about capitalism…..
Bristolian: That’s Gus Hoyt isn’t it?
Protestor: Gus Hoyt, yeah…
Bristolian: He’s a Green isn’t he, or something?
Protestor: Well he’s a turd mate really to be quite frank.
Local residents in Avonmouth today said ‘enough is enough’ after the FAILURE of Bristol City Council, millionaire mayor George Ferguson, the Environment Agency and the Bristol Port Company to sort out the appalling fly infestation in the portside village – and marched on the offices of the biomass profiteers responsible, Boomeco.
After assembling at Avonmouth Park, around SIXTY ANGRY LOCALS have been on a walkabout around the town, periodically blocking roads to get their message across, as they head towards the offices of the controversial waste recycling company Boomeco.
The invasion of flies has been traced back to POOR PRACTICES AT BOOMECO, which bundles up and trades in rubbish – quaintly rebranded ‘biomass’ or ‘refuse derived fuel’ – which is then burnt to create electricity. Further fly infestations are expected if a planned new biomass power plant is built at Avonmouth docks.
Here’s a press release from the protesters:
Residents of Avonmouth are in the process of marching on the offices of the Bristol Port Company due to their their ongoing failure to deal with a recent fly infestation caused by biomass exporters Boomeco at their facility in Avonmouth.
Local elected representatives have failed to address and alleviate this problem and now Bristol Port Company want to lease a section of land to the Day Group for the storage of incinerator bottom ash less than 500 metres from residences in Avonmouth.
The campaign is led by recent independent candidate and seasoned campaigner Stephen Norman after numerous emails to the Mayor, the Port Company and Mr Oliver Latter of Boomeco have been ignored.
Residents have become frustrated at the lack action to stop such industry being attracted by the Port Company like the proposed building of a Biomass plant at the dock.
Mr Norman says the campaign will go ‘on tour’ at chosen strategic venues causing peaceful disruption until common sense prevails.
A leaflet from the Avonmouth Dust Forum also asks local residents affected by the plague of disease-spreading flies to contact as many authorities as possible in order to get this DANGEROUS HEALTH HAZARD sorted.
More news as we get it…
The BRISTOLIAN has already broken news on how bungling managers in a desperate attempt to save money have cut services to the vulnerable.
They have lumped together elderly people suffering with dementia with adults with learning difficulties, some of whom have challenging behavior and can be violent. Then the council cut
staff. People are already being hurt and needs are not being met. The policy is absolutely nuts.
So what are they doing now? increasing staff levels? making things safe? Don’t be daft. They are offering the staff who are left redundancy!
And the poor sods who are working in these conditions are running for the exit, which will lead to more dangerous conditions for staff and service users.
DO NOT GET OLD IN THIS CITY. THEY DO NOT GIVE A FUCK.
The two muppets responsible for all this, senior social care bosses SHEENA ‘GRIM REAPER’ HUGGINS and VARETA ‘MAD DOG’ BRYAN have now turned their attention to the Bush residential. This is a home for children with learning difficulties who live at home. The service gives a break to parents who look after their children and the plans are to CUT THE SERVICE BY 50%.
If parents lose this service, some will have to put their children in residential care, costing us, the tax payer, a whole lot more than the £250K these demented managers think they are going to save.
Parents were only given a couple of hours notice of a meeting to discuss the plans while managers know full well that these caring parents find it difficult to drop everything to come to meeting.
The council are refusing to talk properly to the parents mainly because they know their plans are barking mad and dangerous but they don’t care. ‘Mad Dog’ is getting a
redundancy package of tens of thousands of pounds soon. A suitable reward for decimating
services and lives?
Don’t let them get away with it. These managers should be held fully accountable for their decisions, the cost to our city and the destroyed lives.
When will they stop? When they finally kill someone?
A reader’s impassioned plea for a cleaner Avonmouth where development benefits local residents:
Avonmouth is the DUMPING GROUND OF BRISTOL. Historically Imperial Smelting, Bristol Chemicals, Fisons, Rodia, ICI, Carbon Black and many other chemical companies have come and polluted the area with lead, sulphur and other dangerous chemicals. We had to have sirens – like the air raid sirens from the Second World War – installed to warn us to keep our windows closed. They have all been and gone now.
Now our little village is inundated with the stench that emanates from the sewage works. We have more ‘Waste Recycling Plants’ dotted around Avonmouth than is healthy. We have food waste composting plants, where the contents of all of Bristol’s little brown bins end up (together with all the fly larvae), and rubbish compacting plants that serve most if not all of Bristol. And now we have to suffer ‘biomass’ that is going to make the fly invasion even worse.
I blame Mr Ferguson and the whole of the Bristol Council. It is they that give planning permission to allow companies to operate and pollute people who live in the locality. Over the years they have tried to kill the area with chemical waste. Now we have to live like people in third world countries, with the stench of raw sewage. Blankets of dust covering the area. Explosions rattling the windows and then inundated with plagues of flies. We all pay Council Tax in and around Avonmouth, the same as the rest of the Bristol Area. WHAT DO WE GET BACK for that money?
I firmly believe it is about time the people of Avonmouth took Bristol City Council to task and asked why so many waste, recycling and biomass companies have been allowed to set up so close to habitation, and what is being done by those companies to control effluent and contamination of the local area.
On Mr Ferguson’s sale of Bristol Port: I Wonder what the value of the land is as industrial development land? I believe it is not only Bristol Port that is up for sale but also Portbury Dock. If you were to buy the equivalent amount of land to set up a port, how much would it cost? The Port Company are rightly developing the land so it makes them a good profit – but this also increases traffic servicing this growth, plus all the development that is happening in the area, like all the new warehouses and distribution centres. WHAT IS BEING DONE about all the increased heavy haulage as far as roads and increased air pollution from exhausts?
It is noted that although we have signs saying we have ‘uneven’ road surfaces as a result of heavy traffic and weather etc. Nothing seems to be being done to fix the problem.
I could carry on about all the things wrong with Avonmouth. The biggest plus for Avonmouth is the people that live here. We are a small village that has been overtaken by industry, but we are also a thriving community who care for each other, We have comparatively little crime and our children can play without being supervised all the time. We do have a lot to be grateful for because we do try and pull together. IT IS THE PEOPLE OF AVONMOUTH THAT MAKES IT A GOOD PLACE TO LIVE.
It seems the Council don’t want us to be happy together. If you don’t want to live in a third world village polluted by stench, dust, explosions, flies and everything else they can throw at us, then complain to the Environment Agency, Bristol City Council, George Ferguson, your local Member of Parliament (Lying Brigade) and the local councillors who are supposed to have your best interests at heart (if they have one).
Bristol City Council is profiting from the increased revenue from the increased development in the area – so why don’t the spend some of it trying to make the people of Avonmouth’s lives a little better? We are surrounded by industry yet pay standard Council Tax with no deduction for the pollution we have to endure. Industry around us has no thought for its close neighbours. They may employ some people from Avonmouth, but only because they enhance the companies profitability.
By Colin Coleman (Avonmouth Resident)
Official election results are here
City Council Twitter feed is
BCC Live Webcast (from midnight) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jaIwhm17tQs
10.00pm: Polls are closed!
From the Bone Blog:
AVONMOUTH LATEST: Steve Norman reports that he was able to flyer every house in the ward, turnout is up, and result expected between 12-3am.The result swill be a close call between local Tory turned ukip – SPUD MURPHY – and longtime Labour hatchet man John Bees…………both parties throwing waves of footsoldiers at it so Steve has a tough job.
10.40pm: more news on the city council election cock-up. Voters without polling cards were turned away from polling stations this morning as officers had not been supplied with full electoral registers. Wot a shambles. Can the Returning officer resign in the morning please?
10.50pm: ***BREAKING NEWS***
News emerging that City Director, Max Wide, is procuring an independent investigation into the conduct of fat boy Lib Dem Gary Hopkins. More news as we get it.
Hopkins has been spotted skulking around Knowle today with only Lib Dem loser “Steve “In A” Comer for company. No Lib Dem, including fellow ward councillor Chris Davies, will go near him!
11.05pm: Tory MP Charlotte Bacardi has been running around Avonmouth like a blue arsed fly (one of about a million currently in the area) trying to prop up her failing Green supporting candidate, Matt Melia from the “Norman Effect” and UKIP.
11.20pm: UKIP CRAP: polling 30% in results in Labour Sunderland. Rumoured to have won 2 seats in Woking.
11.35pm: BBC reporting national turnout at low to mid 30 per cent. The can’t be arsed win again.
11.50: Lib Dems on 3% down 15% in Sunderland. Ha, ha, ha wankers! May have to adjust my Bristol predictions …
12.15am: They’ve been describing Swindon as “very interesting” on the BBC!
Twitter gossip suggests UKIP could win in Brislington East!
Our so-called rival, Bristol 24/7, suggests we might get a result by 1.30am. So plenty of time for BCC to screw up yet …
12.40am: consensus apart from Labour supporters is that Labour are having an underwhelming evening. It’s all about UKIP.
12.45am: Bristol NW MP Charlotte Bacardi is at the count and exhibiting reading skills as she helps with the Avonmouth count. Presumably hers is a specific dyslexia relating to the completion of political donation forms only?
Steve Norman and entourage have been at the count over half an hour and haven”t decked anyone. This is a victory.
01.00am: Counting underway in Bristol. UKIP may take Hengrove! It’s Lab vs UKIP in Avonmouth. UKIP doing ‘OK’ in Kingsweston but possibly not good enough to win …
01.05am: Bristol West Lib Dem MP Stephen Williams and his entourage “look like the fucking Addams Family”. Their night is likely to be even more horrifying – ‘The Lib Dem Chainsaw Massacre’?
01.15am: results coming in from Birmingham. Bristol still dicking about.
01.20: Switch in Avonmouth. It looks like Tory vs UKIP. Labour’s “Bumbling” Bees “looks well pissed off”. Good.
01.30: Bristol 24/7 reports Tim Kent “may be safe”. Lid Dem meltdown not happening in Bristol. Shit, we’re a wishy-washy Lib Dem city aren’t we?
01.55: Our congenitally useless council appears unable to count ballot papers.
ITV are reporting, “there are precisely 24 tables and none are counting”!
02.00: Avonmouth, Brilington East and Hengrove “look good” for UKIP. This looks like aminor Bristolian political earthquake. Time for the left to rethink?
02.20: Bristol City Council has just confirmed “all the postal votes are in the building”. That’s the postal votes thst had to travel 2 miles from the Council House to the City Academy. It’s a shambles.
02.50: Result imminent?
03.00: that fucking gormless returning officer is blaming “technical problems in the counting of postal votes for delays”.
Right. Here’s my election intro’. Apologies for any errors but I can’t be arsed with doing too much research so I’ve just cobbled this together from the list of candidates and relied on my general knowledge. Please post any corrections to the comments.
I’ve no idea about majorities, swings and all the statistical stuff because it’s too boring for words and I really can’t be bothered to look it all up. Anyway, hopefully Paul Smith will pop along to bore us with all that stuff as the night proceeds …
My generalised predictions are: a good night for Labour; a disaster for the Lib Dems; a couple of seats for the Greens and – percentage wise – a good night for UKIP but probably no councillors. My dodgy ward predictions are below.
The wards to watch:
Avonmouth: a three way marginal between UKIP, Labour and the Tories. Plus it has the added ingredient of Steve “The Voice” Norman running as an independent. Steve’s unlikely to win but he may pull enough votes to affect the outcome. If Merchant Venturer apologist and all-round sell-out, Labour’s John Bees loses then Steve will consider it a victory and be back for more in 2016. I’ll call this for the Green voting Tory candidate, Matthew Melia.
Kingsweston: Experienced campaigner Terry Thomas running for UKIP. If they’re going to win anywhere it will be here. The other frontrunners are Tim Leaman (Lib) and Mike Thorne (Lab). Labour to win?
Southville: Greens are desperate to hold this and have brought back Charlie Bolton to fight it. Presumably Charlie wants in so that he can take up full time fagging duties at the Counts Louse for his public school friend, Mayor Fergo? Labour’s Celia Phipps is an entirely superfluous NHS middle manager. UKIP are running too. Green hold.
Knowle: Lib Dem fat tosser Gary Hopkins’ ward. He’s got to overcome a massive national swing and a considerable wave of personal hatred towards him in the ward to hang on. Seems unlikely so they’ll be champagne corks popping in Knowle tonight when Labour’s Chris Orlik romps home. UKIP are running.
Bishopston: Green target seat. They’re up against the Labour Party’s bullying social worker boss Eileen “Meanie” Means. So let’s all cheer her demise. Green gain.
Whitchurch Park: Lib Dem boss, Tim Kent’s patch. Under serious threat from a massive national swing against Lib Dems and local indifference. Up against a middle class gal from Bishopston, Alice Bouquet, just off the Labour Party’s machine politician production line. For some reason they think student politics is the way forward for a working class south Bristol ward. Whoever wins, we all lose. UKIP are running here too. Labour gain.
Redland: Independents for Bristol number one target despite the oddity Stella Perrett being their candidate. Perrett is an old Lib Dem and a former associate of Lib Dem paedo councillor John Astley and so is an odd choice for candidate. The Greens fancy this ward as they desperately triangulate ever further towards the Lib Dems (even down to having bent councillors) and the Lib Dems probably think they can hold on too. This is a test of the Lib Dem vote in their heartlands and will be a useful guide to Bristol West in the General Election next year. I’ve personally no idea who will win but I’ll say Lib Dem Hold.
And the others:
Bedminster: Labour cabinet member Mark Bradshaw’s backyard. He should hold easily.
Bishopsworth: Solid Conservative ward. IfB have local Jon Craig running. Labour gobshite Kye Dudd is running too but will come nowhere; Tory Kevin Quartley will hold.
Brislington East: Mike Wollacott for Labour will hold. UKIP running.
Brislington West: Lib Dem Peter Main has held the seat for years. Is it finally over? UKIP running. Labour unknown Rhian Greaves also running. Lib Dem hold.
Filwood: Labour’s Chris Jackson will hold this easily.
Hartcliffe: Mildly interesting as sitting Labour councillor Derek “Wanker” Pickup was deselected in favour of the youthful Naomi Rylatt. Rylatt is at least from south Bristol rather than imported from Bristol West to bore us all to death with student equalities bullshit. Labour hold.
Henbury: Labour hold for Rosalie Walker. The ward is actually held by Tory idiot Mark Weston, the former chair of the useless audit committee. He personally oversaw the disappearance of hundreds of thousands of pounds and the bullying of whistleblowers trying to expose this. Deserves to lose. Labour gain.
Hengrove: This is between Lib Dem councillor Sylvia Doubell and Labour challenger Yvonne Clapp. UKIP are running. Labour gain?
Henleaze: Lib Dem Clare Campion-Smith should hold this. Another Lib Dem heartland seat. If they lose this then Bristol West MP Stephen Williams is in trouble. UKIP are running.
Horfield: Formerly a solid Lib Dem seat. Can Chery Ann hold on to this Bristol West Lib Dem heartland seat? I haven’t got a clue. UKIP running. Lib Dem hold.
Lockleaze: Lib Dem Sean Emmett is doomed. Gill Kirk for Labour will win this. UKIP running.
Southmead: Jenny Smith, who appeared senile when I met her about 20 years ago, remains the Labour candidate and she will win. UKIP running and it will be interesting to see how they get on.
St George West: Labour’s Peter Hammond’s seat. The fact he’s been living in Manchester for at least 6 months while claiming councillor expenses seems to have passed everyone by. IfB have a candidate – Jane Westhead. Labour without Hammond will hold.
Stockwood: David Morris will hold this for the Tories
Stoke Bishop: Tory John Goulandris will hold. UKIP running.
Westbury: Tory Alastair Watson will hold. UKIP running.
Windmill Hill: Lib Dem Andrew Brown is taking over a big majority from retiring old fart Alf Havock. The hugely entertainingly named Sam Mongon is running for Labour. UKIP running too. Lib Dem hold.
And finally, with the highly public sacking and humiliation of Returning Officer and Chief Solicitor, Stephen “Lycra” McNamara last year for a general level of unbelievable incompetence, we have a new, untried Returning Officer, “God” Zilah Morris. It will be interesting to see if she can continue Lycra’s grand tradition of lost ballots, lost ballot boxes, late counts, creative arithmetic and all-round cock-up.
Early signs are promising as we’ve already had reports of polling stations with incomplete and missing electoral registers.
That should help prevent any fraud! Ho, ho!
It’s full steam ahead for ‘the Gary Hopkins anti-bully election (band)wagon’!
It just keeps on getting better. A fabulous new poster was unveiled today:
Plus a brief motorcade across College Green where some of the new posters were hand-delivered to the Counts Louse. If only all election campaigns were like this …
JUST IN! THE GARY HOPKINS ANTI-BULLY ELECTION (BAND)WAGON: THE MOVIE
Former Lib Dem councillor for Easton STEVE ‘IN A’ COMER has been in touch to complain about our recent story on that peculiarly decorated minibus seen in Knowle.
We repeat his unsubstantiated words here for your delight:
Do your really think “We’ve no idea if any of it’s true but here’s the text we’ve lovingly copied……” Counts as a disclaimer? If you claim to be journalists you should check your facts before just reproducing what some idiot with an axe to grind is saying.
Gary Hopkins does NOT own a home in Spain. He was NOT an undischarged bankrupt when he first stood for election (if he had been he would have been disqualified).
As to the planning stories, surely as a Councillor he should be representing residents complaining about an unauthorised change of use of a premises to a car wash? or is it OK to do this illegally in Knowle but not in the more affluent Gloucester Road (where a similar enforcement case is also pending).
Just think before you repeat unsubstantiated rumours word for word!
Still, good to know that Steve has lost none of his famous attention to detail since losing his seat on the council by a single vote… Apart from reading but not fully understanding the bit where we clearly state “We’ve no idea if any of it’s true”.
News reaches us from the local elections campaign trail in Kingsweston, where redoubtable Labour candidate MIKE ‘PENNYWISE’ THORNE has come up with an imaginative tactic that is certainly getting him noticed – hanging around outside school gates across the ward and handing out balloons to bemused kiddies!
Yes, in a bid to challenge a crowded field in the always hotly-contested award for most poorly-thought out idea in Bristol politics, he apparently thought this could be a vote winner.
It’s not a view shared by everyone – certainly not the principal at St. Bede’s Catholic College. She was reportedly rather MIFFED that old Pennywise hadn’t had the courtesy to tell her what he would be doing, and so had to field numerous concerned reports of “an old man handing out stuff to kids” just outside her school.
A parent who witnessed him doing the same outside the nearby Bank Leaze junior school told us that he “was using the balloons as a ploy to get parents to talk to him so he can beg for votes – the kids nag parents for a balloon so they are forced to talk to him.”
They added: “I find that a bit CREEPY – in any other situation a strange man hanging around schools would potentially be in a lot of trouble.”
Well, perhaps Pennywise is just ahead of the curve on this. Once opponents spot how well his wheeze has gone down it’s liable to get like a crowded taxi rank outside every nursery, Children’s Centre, and school in town as Bristol’s political classes jostle to target pre-teens with their tedious electioneering!
Either that or it was always a really bad idea, and someone should to have a quiet word in his shell-like…
Edited to add:
It seems like Team Pennywise doesn’t think it’s a bad idea at all, and are going to lurk round Lawrence Weston this afternoon doing it all over again!
— Darren Jones (@darrenpjones) May 21, 2014