The company currently running the city council’s businesses, Bristol Holding Ltd, delivers its final ever business plan. It arrives just before the company’s dumped on the bonfire and management of the council’s private businesses – Bristol Waste, Goram Homes and Bristol Heat Networks Ltd – is effectively handed back to the Mayor’s Office and serial business failure, the council’s Chief Exec Mike “Billie Jean” Jackson.
The most intriguing aspect of this final business plan is the lack of anything at all about Bristol Heat Networks Ltd, which is alleged to have been trading since 2020 – 21. So how’s it doing? Er, who knows? Any report on the company has been disappeared with the promise that an exempt – or secret as we call it – document will appear for councillors some time before April.
This failure to provide any kind of business planning comes just months before Bristol Heat Networks is supposed to be handed over to City Leap to be part of a joint venture with a private sector partner, currently being procured at a cost of over £7m to the council tax payer.
The apparent basketcase nature of Bristol Heat Networks is no hindrance, we’re assured by Bristol Holding, to “a successful share sale to the winning City Leap joint venture.”
Really? A company with no published finance records, assets, staffing or operational plan is no threat to the council’s latest energy venture? Even Bristol Holding is forced to admit that there are “gaps and financial and operational risks” involved.
Is this Bristol Energy all over again?