Even Bristol City Council’s own external auditors, BDO, have CONDEMNED the incompetent management of Bristol Energy, the council’s laughing stock energy reselling business that started trading in 2016 and has cost us about £25million so far.
“We have NOT seen evidence that the risks and potential financial losses of this investment were fully understood by the council when the investment was made in 2015 and 2016,” say the auditors before concluding, “Bristol Energy has NOT performed in line with its original 2015 business plan.”
This business plan, signed off by Nicki “Chocolate” Beardmore, the Reverend’s golden girl senior manager on £300k a year, said they would MAKE a 12% return on investment after 5 years and 35% after 10 years. Instead, the company reported a LOSS of £3million last year and £7million this year. With 110,000 customers and an initial investment of £15.3million by Bristol City Council, this means Bristolians have SPENT £139 for each customer and then Bristol Energy has generated a further LOSS of about £70 per customer. Top work!
BDO go on to conclude that a further hurriedly rewritten business plan in 2016, which admitted NO PROFITS were in sight, was also a lot of crap. “We have some concerns that the risks around the energy company, its governance arrangements and greater than expected losses were not understood fully by the Council in the early part of 2016/17.”
The auditors are now applauding the inevitable arrival of a team of CONSULTANTS from London to pick over the bones of this CORPSE and personally cash in on the shambles. “Independent Advisors and external consultants have been commissioned to provide advice on how the governance arrangements for the Group could be improved and financial and commercial advice to optimise value in the delivery of the Council’s investment and ensure that the Council achieves the best value for money outcome,” they claim.
When are we going to get a decent, decisive politician willing to pull the plug and shut down this miserable money pit shambles devised by idiots?
Unfortunately like so many local authority initiatives the Bristol Energy wheeze was planned as a way of hoovering up European grant money up front with not enough thought given to actually running it profitably.
They haven’t ‘hoovered’ up any EU grant money, unless you know different?
According to all my foi requests all the money has come direct from Council reserves, I’m sure they’d be the first to point out that it was ‘easy come easy go’ EU money.
There was a £2.5m EIB grant to meet setup costs. These grants were supposed to be used to develop business plans / feasibility studies etc, look up the ‘ELENA’ scheme. Don’t know what it was spent on. Consultants?
Thanks, no I didn’t know that and they haven’t disclosed it in any of my FOI requests when I’ve directly asked about external grants and set up costs.
These grants come with allot of strings, I’m now fascinated what they spent it on (thanks for that!) it certainly wasn’t business plans as they don’t seem to have modelled any similar sized Energy resellers (if they had they would have realised a 35% margin was rather unrealistic)