Deputy Mayor procures her own firm!
More news on Deputy Mayor Asher “the Slasher” Craig’s 2024 post-council income generation plan, the Stepping Up leadership programme.
We reported a few months back that this council funded project had been quietly outsourced in March 2022 to Stepping Up Leadership CIC.
The directors are Asher the Slasher and the extraordinarily well-remunerated Stepping Up programme director Christine “Wonky” Bamford.
A partially successful Freedom of Information request, however, provides a different spin on this odd arrangement where the council is paying a Labour Cabinet member’s firm to deliver their project.
A council ‘Procurement Request Form’ dated 1 April 2022 and released by the council’s finance team shows that the council actually procured £57,500 worth of diversity leadership training from those well-known diversity in leadership professionals, er, Bristol Waste!
It seems that Bristol Waste, which has a few financial issues of its own brewing, is then somehow forwarding on the cash to Slasher’s Stepping Up Leadership CIC.
Why a council procurement team are engaging in this cloak and dagger arrangement is not clear.
Neither is the legality of an arrangement that effectively launders public money through council-owned Bristol Waste on its way to the Deputy Mayor’s private company.
We understand a complaint is now sitting with the council’s external auditor, Grant Thornton. It’ll be interesting to see what they make of the arrangement.