Monthly Archives: January 2015

#walrustrial: CITY COUNCIL DISASTER PENDING …

‘No’, Councillor Gary Hopkins, watercolour & crayon, 2013, guriben

‘No’, Councillor Gary Hopkins, watercolour & crayon, 2013, guriben

More extraordinary scenes at BRISTOL MAGISTRATES COURT on Monday when the legendary #walrustrial recommenced after a Christmas break.

The trial, ostensibly a prosecution of a short let home – the MANSION HOUSE on Knowle Road, Totterdown – for noise pollution, has turned into something of a forensic analysis of the conduct of the city council’s environmental health department and especially the malign influence Councillor Gary “FUCKBUCKET” Hopkins seems to be able to exert over their work.

Monday saw more bad news for the council when an EXPERT WITNESS for the defence on noise pollution took the stand and DEMOLISHED the council’s utterly crap evidence based on lost log books and zero sound recordings.

This was followed by a BIZARRE summing up from the council’s barrister – paid handsomely by you, dear reader – in which she accused Andrew Forsey of the Mansion House of writing the BRISTOLIAN!

This is obviously a pile of evidence-free bullshit, which shows just how WEAK the council’s case is if they have to focus a prosecution for noise pollution on YER LOCAL SMITER rather than any evidence of, er … Actual noise!

The council barrister then went on to distance herself from her own star witness, Mansion House next door neighbour and RACIST Jonathan Ross. And then finished with a flourish by privately accusing the defence of “VINDICTIVENESS” after it transpired that an anonymous complaint had been made to the NSPCC and social services regarding Ross’s racist language towards a child.

Nice to see the city council speculating on the identity of ANONYMOUS complainants in respect of child SAFEGUARDING allegations don’t you think?

The magistrates then adjourned for three hours to consider a verdict only to return and announce they were unable to reach one and were therefore adjourning the court until 9 FEBRUARY.

Presumably buying themselves some time to work out a way to find the defendants GUILTY despite a key prosecution witness, council boss Mark Curtis admitting under oath that the whole prosecution was in fact a VENDETTA against the defendants and there being no evidence of noise pollution at the Mansion House at all!

Watch this space …

MARKET FARCES: WELCOME TO THE THIRD YEAR

The Markets FileJust two and a half years after serious issues were first raised by staff and over two years since any investigation was cynically SPIKED by council facilities boss Tony Harvey, the city council’s AUDIT COMMITTEE has finally woken up and requested a report into the crackpot finances at their Markets Service.

The committee requested the report in September although nothing appeared at their November meeting. Presumably it will appear at their meeting in January then? Unless more INEXPLICABLE DELAYS occur.

What’s the harm in a few more months of dodgy council bosses pissing about after over thirty months out in the long grass anyway? We note the report will be presented to the committee by the council’s overpromoted bog cleaner (surely senior facilities manager? Ed.) CHARLIE “DIRTBUSTER” HARDING.

Surely not the same Dirtbuster Harding we find listed as the chair of a recruitment panel for a wholly unnecessary Markets Service reorganisation devised on the back of an envelope by former Facilities boss Tony Harding back in the summer of 2012 right in the middle of a major audit investigation?

Indeed it is one and the same. Dirtbuster was even joined on this BIZARRE reorganisation and recruitment escapade by his old mate, Markets boss Steve Morris. Presumably taking some time away from DELETING £32k from his dodgy departmental accounts in the middle of the audit investigation that he didn’t bother cooperating with?

Morris, incidentally, was also at the centre of serious MISCONDUCT allegations by the very people he was interviewing. And according to our extensive files, Harding’s panel conveniently failed to reappoint any Markets Service complainants and whistleblowers to their own jobs. Who’d have guessed that?

Although the gormless duo, along with their idiot boss Harvey, later had to fork out PUBLIC MONEY in compensation to these same staff to avoid ending up at an employment tribunal and having to explain away their transparently bent recruitment process.

 It’ll be interesting to see if any of these facts make it into Dirtbuster’s independent report won’t it?

MYSTERY OF THE MISSING BOATS

What happened to hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of FERRY BOATS owned by the original Bristol Ferry Boat company after it went tits up within days of its 42 per cent shareholder “UNCLE” GEORGE FERGUSON taking office as mayor?

According to a report presented by Bristol City Council officers to their Place Scrutiny Commission in October, the boats were SOLD to the first of the so-called ‘Phoenix’ ferry companies set up in the wake of the collapse, Ferryboats of Bristol Ltd.

This short-lived private company was set up in January 2013 by a former director of Uncle George’s failed ferry company, IAN “BUNGLE” BUNGARD, and ran ferries around the docks until it was wound up in May 2013 when another company, the Bristol Community Ferry Boat Company, took over the routes and, apparently, the ferries.

However, we’ve seen the closing balance sheet for Bungard’s Ferryboats of Bristol Ltd and it only ever had £2 worth of assets held in cash throughout its short existence. There’s no sign of any ferry boats at all.

However, we do know, from the liquidators report, that the boats were sold by the liquidators “by private treaty’ for £171k in December 2012. The question is to who? And how did they then end up at this new community co-operative ferry operation run by ‘THE FRIENDS OF GEORGE’, the Bristol Community Ferry Boat Company?

A further mystery surrounds the disappearance and reappearance of at least one of the ferry boats, ‘THE ELIZABETH’. In June 2012 the boat was listed in audited accounts supplied to Bristol City Council as an asset of Fergie’s collapsed Bristol Ferry Boat Company.

So how come the boat is now registered at Ferguson’s address at THE TOBACCO FACTORY and is up for sale for £15k? This invites obvious questions such as how did this asset of the collapsed Bristol Ferry Boat Company end up in George’s possession?

And if it was an asset of the original Ferry Boat Company, that Fergie was a 42 per cent shareholder in, why was the boat not sold and the monies used to pay creditors as bankruptcy law requires?