With the occupation at 44 Richmond Terrace apparently winding down, it’s time to start asking some QUESTIONS about decisions regarding the occupation taken by by Bristol City Council.
Specifically questions about what senior bosses at Bristol City Council – who have just been awarded pay rises of up to 20 PER CENT to reflect their ‘expertise’ – have been up to.
To the untrained, non-corporate eye, their decision-making over Richmond Terrace has been consistently CRAP. Why did a group of highly paid ‘strategic managers’ have no strategy whatsoever throughout this whole occupation?
Instead the bosses seem to have staggered from one short term RANDOM DECISION to the next. Either based on Service Director Nick Hooper’s well-known PERSONAL DISLIKE of occupier, Steve Norman, or they have responded to events on the ground as they happened. All the precise opposite of what we’re over-paying these clowns to do.
The fact is the bosses directly responsible – Service Directors Nick “Drooper” Hooper and Mary “Contrary” Ryan and Strategic Director Alison “Three Jobs” Comley – on a combined income of around £310k per year – have been thoroughly OUTFOUGHT, OUT THOUGHT and OUT RUN during the last six weeks by a band of Bristolian activists.
Is this trio of useless twats really the best Bristol City Council can offer to solve our housing crisis?
Here’s some of the questions that the council and its highly paid bosses need to start answering:
1. Why did the sale of 44 Richmond Terrace go ahead at all on 20 April hours after it had been occupied by protestors?
2. Why did both Bristol City Council and their auctioneers tell the buyer the house was “rumoured” to be occupied when Steve Norman had emailed housing Service Director, Nick Hooper, at noon on 20 April informing him he had occupied the house?
3. Why did no one at Bristol City Council visit and confirm if the house had been occupied or not on 20 April before proceeding with the sale?
4. Did Bristol City Council receive confirmed reports from the BBC on 20 April, prior to the auction, that the house had been occupied?
5. Why did Bristol City Council do nothing between 20 April – when the house was occupied and then sold – and 18 May – when the sale should have completed – to regain possession of the home?
6. After 18 May why did Bristol City Council not attempt to negotiate a solution to the occupation until 31 May, once they had dismally failed to evict the occupants after half an hour trying?
7. Why did Housing Service Director, Mary Ryan, visit the occupiers on 23 May claiming she was negotiating a solution with them while offering nothing?
8. Why did Bristol City Council not obtain an eviction order until 25 May, five weeks after the occupation had begun and one week after the sale should have been completed?
9. Why did the council take six days, from 25 May to 31 May, to attempt to evict the occupiers, giving the occupiers time to dig in and secure the house?
10. Why, when the council’s bailiffs visited on Tuesday 31 May, were they not aware the occupiers were on the roof of the house – and had been since Friday 27 May as reported on the BBC – and that a specialist team was required to remove the occupiers rather than the gang of thick, useless oafs they sent.
11. Despite repeated requests to Housing Service Director, Nick Hooper from April 20, why has he never supplied written evidence that Anthony Palmer was not entitled to extra housing priority as an ex-serviceman because he had left the services over five years ago?
12. Why was Anthony suddenly awarded this extra housing priority on 31 May without explanation?
13. Why was Anthony Palmer allowed to be harassed by staff from Connolly & Callaghan, the private owners of his homeless hostel, through regular checks on his whereabouts throughout the day?
14. Why was Anthony Palmer threatened with eviction if he did not stay at his shithole Connolly & Callaghan homeless hostel overnight? Is it a prison?
15. Why did housing Service Director, Nick Hooper, consistently disregard the advice of social services and health visitors in relation to the urgent housing need of Anthony Palmer?
16. Why did the details of 44 Richmond Terrace supplied on the Hollis Morgan website describe the house as requiring “complete modernisaiton” (sic) while the so-called ‘structural report’ produced by Bristol City Council on 25 May says the building has “structural damage”?
17. Who wrote the 224 word ‘structural report’ for 44 Richmond Terrace for Bristol City Council and when?
18. Was this ‘structural report’ sufficiently detailed and complete for a senior council boss to take the delegated decision to sell 44 Richmond Terrace?
19. Which manager at Bristol City Council took the decision to sell 44 Richmond Terrace?
20. Why did the council undertake renovations at 44 Richmond Terrace in the year prior to its sale?
21. Did the council offer the former tenant the opportunity to return to 44 Richmond Terrace earlier this year after the council had completed repairs and renovation?
22. Why did a council spokesman say on 25 May, “Costs to bring the property up to the standard we aspire to for council houses were estimated in excess of £35,000″ when the figure stated in the council’s own ‘structural report’ is £30,000?
23. Why had no one at the council been in touch with the buyer at any point to discuss the occupation of the home they had sold to her?
24. Why did the council tell the buyer information on the occupation was “confidential”. On what legal basis was it “confidential”?
25. Why was the buyer reliant on information regarding 44 Richmond Terrace from the media; from Richard Carey and Steve Norman occupiers at the property and from BBC Radio who had contacted her at various times? Why did the council not communicate with her?
26. Why did the council misrepresent the actual facts regarding the sale during pre-contract enquiries by the buyer?
27. Why had Marvin Rees not seen an email sent to him by the buyer on Thursday 19 May by Monday 30 May despite the sender receiving an automated acknowledgement from Marvin’s council email account? Who had seen that email and who withheld it from the mayor?
We anticipate no answers to these questions as the council, its staff and its councillors will now pour a lot of time, money and resources into defending at all costs the bent, overpaid deadbeats responsible.