Author Archives: thebristolblogger

ST-MARVIN’S-UP-THE-CREEK NEWSLETTER #8

I suppose I should  begin this month’s newsletter by issuing a formal welcome to our new Bishop’s Curate, The Woeshipful Right-Wing Rev Tory Bowels. As most of you may be aware by now, after the tremendous levels of publicity in some of the country’s most respected obscure theological journals, the Bishop decided that the diocese required a roving rector to uptake responsibilities for cross-Parish and whole-Diocese working. The bishop identified issues like parish land sales and development opportunities; church car parking challenges; ongoing professional development for us vicars and step change improvements to the Diocese’s financial outcomes for the focus of this work.

I personally would have preferred it if the Archidiot Lesley Mansell, one of the country’s finest practitioners of inter-faith understanding and dialogue practice with our muslim brothers, had been awarded the post. Without doubt she would have done exactly as I told her and would have been a perfect fit for St Marvin’s new medium term integrated quasi-agile management scoping exercise now entering pre-rollout. The thanks for which  goes to our superb new Parish Administrator and thought leader, Ms Klonowski from London, who continues to exceed expectations here at the Parish Office.

However, the Bishop, after an extensive consultation with worshippers across the Diocese, has selected the Rev Bowels and we must make what we can of this sub-prime appointment of an insufferable, inexperienced and theologically troubled minister. As my mentor, the Texan psychotic preacher and notorious anti-communist homophobe, the Pastor Righteous Loon sagely advises, “Suffer not and cast thy first stone at those who might pry too closely into your management of financial affairs.”

Obviously I am in personal charge and successfully in total control of all of the affairs the Rev Bowels wants to interfere with. For example, car parking issues at St Marvin’s are now officially moving toward resolution. Even if, technically, waiting times for church services have increased due to our congregational health and popularity. My increased fees and charges regime for car parking has provided a welcome financial uplift for the Church Media Fund in these financially straightened times too.

Similarly, our Property Sub-Committee, under the guidance of Mr Orrett  and Mr Baber, continues to make prudent decisions on land sell-offs and development that are benefitting the whole parish in all sorts of ways as well as offshored corporates and private investors. A “win-win” according to my business savvy parishioners. As for my training needs, my regular trips to the US to work and pray alongside my mentor, the Texan psychotic preacher and notorious anti-communist homophobe, the Pastor Righteous Loon, more than fulfil all my worldly educational needs. What can I possibly learn from this aging curate from Winterbourne?

This, however, does not in any way alter my original view, expressed to parishioners some time ago, that a Bishop’s Curate is a superb addition to the diocese and we will financially contribute to make this post a huge success. Although surely the Right-Wing Reverend Bowel’s efforts are best aimed at poorly administrated parishes in Bath or, even, his own Church of the Poison Mind in suburban South Gloucestershire?

Some of you have approached me for an update on our partnership with the Islington parish of St Jeremy-the-Hapless-Incompetent. While I’m happy to confirm that the partnership is ongoing, I see no reason to offer commentary on this arrangement at this time. Let’s instead focus on the parish of St Marvin’s and our excellent local sister parishes of St Goth’s-the-Pint-Size, St Thingy’s, St Karyn and All Tories and St Darren-the-Dunce’s. Speaking of which, with the summer coming, I’ll be able to tell you a little more about our exciting partnership religious festival programme in our next newsletter. Until then, farewell and may God continue to bless the righteous and lay serious police charges against my blasphemous enemies.

The Vicar

AVONMOUTH COUNCILLOR ENTERS WEIRD SPACE-TIME VORTEX AS LAUNDRY TRIAL DATE SET

Freedom for laundries!

Despite the express instructions of District Judge Rowe at Bristol County Court last month that they negotiate an immediate solution to ‘The Ridiculous Case of the Shuttered Laundry’ at Antona Court within two weeks, Bristol City Council’s legal and housing goons have done the EXACT OPPOSITE and made no effort whatsoever to settle the dispute.

The case, now regularly featured in the local and national press as a post-Grenfell tale of the underdog against stupid, incompetent and uncaring bureaucracy that wants you dead, will now go to FULL TRIAL on 25 September.

Council housing bosses – in their determination to maintain an iron grip on Antona Court’s shared laundry facility and to treat their social housing tenants like shit – will obviously be funded by YOU, the taxpayer, to take part in this magnificent courtroom drama attempting to prevent laundry being done between the hours of 8.00pm and 8.00am in Shirehampton.

The complainant, BBC Radio 4’s Steve “Stormin'” Norman will continue to cost you ABSOLUTELY NOTHING as he represents himself again in his hugely entertaining skirmish with the forces of arrogance, stupidity and small penises at the helm of Bristol City Council.

Meanwhile, creating an additional layer of utter CONFUSION and PARALYSIS to the affair is Avonmouth’s Labour councillor Don “Lenin” Alexander, who appears, now, to have taken up residence in his own personal parallel universe somewhere near Sea Mills.

Steve emailed Don earlier this week politely requesting his presence at the trial as a witness. “As the case is now SETTLED as far as the laundry is concerned I’d much rather use my time more profitably,” Don beamed back from his alternative space-time vortex.

Er, how can the case be settled if it’s in court on 25 September? Has the council secretly negotiated a settlement with itself behind closed doors that it’s banned from publication? Maybe the council’s sacked this irritating judge who expects them to do some work and appointed lazy sod Don and his culture of zero expectation instead? Is this a new Don/council definition of ‘settled’ that approximates to the traditional term ‘not settled’? Is Don simply OFF HIS FACE on something?  Who knows? But Don’s such consistently good value, he could be put on permanent special offer at the new Lidl in Lawrence Weston.

Meanwhile, the man running the show, The Reverend Rees – a SAD and LONELY figure at Bristol’s Labour Campaign Forum AGM this week as socialists seized control of his local party and consiged to the grave his wet-weekend third way politics of submission to the markets – tells Steve he thinks his grandmother will listen to the forthcoming Radio 4 documentary on Antona Court and its controversial laundry.

The idea of knocking some management heads together or kicking his officers and string-pullers extremely hard up their backsides until they do something involving common sense and the direct request of a District Judge is clearly way beyond this weak and feeble man (surely you mean GLOBAL LEADER indoctrinated in free market economics at Harvard, Ed).

BULLY CHENEY’S LAME SPIN MACHINE FORGETS TO TELL US THE TRUTH

Cheney: always research and clarify as he may be talking bollocks

The Reverend Rees’s rookie finance chief, Craig “Crapita” Cheney, has issued a bizarre and slightly mental statement attacking the Bristol Cable after they published an article this week claiming the Reverend was employing MORE – not less – bosses at the council on salaries of £50k a year or more.

In a meandering outburst lacking in either PRECISION or CLARITY – and obviously written by arse-covering council managers for him – Cheney fails to CONFIRM or DENY the accuracy of the Cable’s central claim. Instead he ATTACKS the paper for quoting information he personally signed off as accurate and complete and ready for public consumption.

“The MISTAKE [The Cable] made is in the READING of a table of data contained in the council’s draft annual statement of accounts,” Cheney spins with a straight face. Of course, how silly of people to read the data Cheney supplied in his accounts! That’s not what a published “table of data” is for at all is it? Cheney then cheerily slags the Cable for “not approaching the council to RESEARCH and CLARIFY the nature of that data.”

Er, why would they? Is Cheney claiming anything he publishes needs to be researched and clarified because it’s probably a load of BOLLOCKS? Is this not a little time-consuming for a council claiming to be struggling to resource basic public services and confusing for journalists who might think information provided by a local authority finance department in their Statement of Accounts is ACCURATE and COMPLETE?

Cheney’s contention is that his “table does not reflect the number of council employees who receive a basic salary of £50,000 or more per year as was reported” because it includes low paid staff who received large redundancy pay-offs last year. On the basis of this THIN CLAIM, Cheney then demands an APOLOGY from the Cable while dismally failing to publish information that does accurately “reflect the number of council employees who receive a basic salary of £50,000 or more”!

Cheney’s demand for an apology is deranged for, at least, two reasons. First, the error is down to Cheney’s own SLOPPINESS and INABILITY to present information unambiguously and accurately. For some reason, the chump has departed from the usual custom and good practice of previous years and not stated in his accounts the number of employees earning £50k or more only because they were in receipt of large payments last year for ‘loss of office’. Why?

Moreover, despite taking the time to issue his long, rambling and self-serving statement, Cheney chooses NOT to correct his schoolboy presentation errors properly. Where’s the unequivocal clarification of how many of the 222 staff listed as earning £50k plus last year are only listed due to their redundancy payments and how many are receiving a salary every year in excess of £50k? Why is Cheney so coy about providing this SIMPLE INFORMATION in his daft attempt at aggressive rebuttal?

This leads to the second reason why Cheney’s demand for an apology is ridiculous. He hasn’t REBUTTED the Cable’s main claim – that the city council is employing MORE staff on £50k a year than they were a year ago! Are they or aren’t they? Cheney must know.

The Cable needs to tell Cheney, Rees and the Labour Party bullies to fuck off and provide the FULL PICTURE they have on these salaries. Like the council has managed to do in every other year they’ve published salary information.

What’s the big secret this year?

CENSORSHIP WATCH: THE BRISTOL CABLE

 

In an unprecedented move, Bristol’s co-operatively owned indie newspaper, The Bristol Cable, has REMOVED an entirely accurate article from its website following COMPLAINTS from the Reverend Rees and his bent coterie of very shy high-earning council bosses.

The article, published YESTERDAY, drew attention to a the council’s Draft Statement of Accounts, originally highlighted by the Bristol News Facebook page last week, that the Reverend’s council was employing more people on salaries exceeding £50k a year than they were a year ago.

The Reverend failed to comment to the Cable yesterday but did tell a Full Council meeting last night that the salary figures in his Statement of Accounts were INACCURATE and MISLEADING because they included the redundancy payments received by departing bosses.

This seems UNLIKELY since the Rev’s statement doesn’t list the gross salaries and benefits of his highly paid managers but the general ‘Remuneration Band’ they fall within. A ‘Remuneration Band’ would not ordinarily include one-off redundancy payments.

And if it did, why aren’t the twenty-one high-earning bosses – who shared out £2.5MILLION between them in redundancy pay-offs last year – listed and named in the report as earning over £150k last year as the law requires?

Regardless of these facts, the Cable has pulled the article and replaced it with the following statement: ***PLEASE NOTE THIS ARTICLE IS SUBJECT TO A COMPLAINT AND UNDER REVIEW***

Why has this article been pulled? It’s based on figures published in June by the council that were signed off by their Audit Committee on 27 June. If the figures are wrong, it’s the council’s job to explain this and publicly correct them. There is absolutely NO PRECEDENT or GOOD REASON for The Cable to pull a whole article published in good faith quoting publicly available official figures. Especially when these figures are yet to be formally denied anywhere as inaccurate.

It’s also laughable that The Rev Rees has put out a call across the city for “ideas” to deal with his budget deficit. However, when an “idea” involving not paying his bosses such large sums of money for sod-all appears, he tries to ban it!

If Bristol City Council wishes to attempt to censor information that makes the mayor look like a powerless twerp, then that’s their affair. But why are the Bristol Cable making fools of themselves by being bullied into supporting the council in their efforts to censor the truth?

The Cable article, obtained from the web’s cache is published below:

331 employees are now paid an annual basic pay of between £50,000 and £124,000, compared to 216 people in the financial year of 2015/16.

At the same time as general public sector pay caps and cuts has battered the council, almost every band of executive salaries at the council has seen an increase in numbers in the past year. Of the 21 senior pay categories that changed over the year, 18 have seen increases in the number of staff receiving top salaries.

These figures include the £160,000 a year council chief executive Anna Klonowski. It also includes at least three other executives who have seen their pay packets swell over the year by around £7,000 each, taking them to well above £160,000 a year including pension contributions.

Under pressure for implementing drastic cuts, Mayor Marvin Rees, who was elected in May 2016 has challenged anti-cuts protesters to come up with solutions, rather than just criticise. Defending the council positions on cuts, Mr Rees has written: “If we do not make a saving in one area we have to make it in another area. The consequence of one person’s priority is the de-prioritisation of another person’s priority.”

Responding to this latest information, Tom Whittaker a spokesperson from Bristol People’s Assembly, a coalition of trade unions and activists, said: “Clearly there can be no justification for executive pay rises when services are being cut, when many of Bristol’s poorest residents are struggling to survive under the impact of austerity and when ordinary council workers are enduring a long pay freeze.”

Mayor Rees was asked what involvement he had in these decisions, and how it fitted with his priorities agenda. He did not respond to the request.

The figures come from the 2016/17 unaudited annual accounts published by the council, available here.

AUDIT’S IDLE HANDS STILL ON THE PAYROLL

Bristol City Council’s Audit Committee continues to impress. The committee, that’s supposed to oversee sound finance and good governance at our council, releases its annual report to councillors today for the year the Bundred Report into the council’s latest FINANCIAL SHAMBLES was published.

Among a host of serious management misconduct at Bristol City Council, Bundred’s report detailed how the Audit Committee had been thoroughly MISLED by its own Chief Internal Auditors and senior bosses about their ‘savings programme’ for 2013 – 16. Sometimes through the use of straightforward LIES to the committee and sometimes through the use of “summary reports’ that conveniently LEFT OUT any bad news or actual facts.

This resulted in councillors setting an UNLAWFUL BUDGET for 2015 – 16 that proposed the council spend £30million more than they were legally permitted. So there’s lots to tell councillors and the public in this annual report then?

Or maybe not? As the latest Labour Party mug flailing around totally out-of-his-depth as the Audit Committee Chair, Olly “Meadiocre’ Mead, has delivered a short five page report of remarkable blandness and few recommendations. Indeed, it’s such a load of shite it could only have been written for him by his BENT Internal Audit Service.

Summing up a year of revelations of outright financial CRIMINALITY from his senior staff and auditors and financial ARMAGEDDON for the rest of us, Mediaocre felt his committee needed to focus on just three problems: ‘Maintaining an apolitical/independent approach to meeting agendas and items thereon’; ‘providing robust challenge to determine the effectiveness of Council’s governance  framework’; ‘ensuring  focused meetings to maximise the Committee impact’.

If anyone can find the part of the Bundred Report criticising ‘politicised’ Audit Committee meetings and a lack of focus at their meetings – do let us know. Otherwise just assume this is a load of wind and irrelevant bollocks from a CRIMINALLY NEGLIGENT Internal Audit Service trying to cover their tracks by, er, misleading councillors (all over again).

Nothing sums up the misleading nature of this report more than the fact that NOWHERE does it mention the pretty important news that the council has appointed a new private sector Interim Chief Internal Auditor – Jonathan Idle of JR Idle Audit Services Ltd – no doubt for the standard annual six figure wedge. The appointment of this new Chief Internal Auditor hasn’t been formally announced to councillors anywhere else either.

Naturally, in order to waste even more of our money, which the Reverend Rees insists is in short supply, they’ve also KEPT their job share pair of USELESS and CORRUPT existing Chief Internal Auditors Melanie “Joe” Henchy-McCarthy and Alison “Mullet” Mullis in post. Although they’re now rebranded as just ‘Head of Internal Audit’ while being paid the same money.

In other words, the council’s response to the TOTAL FAILURE of their Audit Committee, Internal Audit and Chief Internal Auditors is to spend over £100k a year more of our money on a private sector consultant to do the jobs of pair of useless failures – who should be SACKED – who are still raking in excessive salaries they don’t deserve.

Also, NOWHERE in Mediocre’s report, is it mentioned that the Audit Committee has, for the last five years, received report after report from McCarthy and Mullet assuring councillors that finance management and risk at the council has been a story of CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT.

Until – that is – the Bundred Report appeared last year. Now we’re told by Chief Exec Big Wedge, in a separate finance report to Cabinet in May, that “the required Internal Audit Plan is not deliverable within existing resources” because of the “scale of finance improvements required”. Why is this serious AUDIT FAILURE and five year tissue of OUTRIGHT LIES from Internal Auditors not mentioned by Mediocre?

It’s also worth noting that the two ‘independent’ members of the Audit Committee –  Brenda “Wise Monkey” McClennan and Ken “Fool” Guy – who mysteriously noticed NOTHING amiss as various financial scandals engulfed the council during their extended eight year tenures  – have finally been let go.

Although – as yet – no replacements have been secured. Perhaps because if a normal member of the public sat on this committee listening to the bollocks spouted by the unholy alliance of city council senior bosses and their PATSY AUDITORS they might start asking difficult questions?

What a shambles.

BOG WANKING BOSS BANS BOATS FROM BOAT FEST

With just a week to go until our annual Harbour Festival, it’s time for Bristol City Council and its prize turd in human form, the Hitler of the harbour, Cap’n Tony “Ahab” Nichol, to treat some Bristol residents LIKE SHIT in order to facilitate some vacuous piece of old crap for the WEALTHY and PRIVILEGED.

This year’s victims are the 30-odd boat-owning residents of HANNOVER QUAY who have been instructed by Harbour Master Ahab, still apparently struggling with his considerable number of mental health issues, to shift their homes out of the way to the end of the harbour at Poole’s Wharf for TEN DAYS during a festival that’s supposed to celebrate, er, boats and our harbour.

We understand these residents are being uprooted so that Ahab and his tragic council management mates and hangers-on can move a SUPER YACHT on to Hannover Quay for the weekend so they can spend time aboard the vessel getting pissed and tugging each other off in style.

Perhaps they’ll be celebrating Ahab’s oversight of the dodgy repair of the Princes Street Swing Bridge? This only took him about THREE YEARS, cost MILLIONS and, we’re reliably assured, “will last about FIVE MINUTES“! Or perhaps they’ll raise a glass to Ahab’s last round of staff cuts, which created 1.25 bosses to every member of working staff accompanied by an unprecedented rise in the DEATH TOLL in his docks?

The boat owners are, of course, livid. Not least because there’s NO ELECTRICITY at Poole’s Wharf, which means the council are treating their long-term paying customers to ten days of living in the dark and eating cold food in the arse end of the harbour while they all enjoy themselves. What’s not to like?

The boat owners are also less than impressed that the consultation they were promised months ago by Bristol City Council prior to any move NEVER MATERIALISED. Instead Ahab – who only has a job because an investigation into his systematic workplace bullying practices in 2014 was called off because it took so long the investigator had retired – simply wandered down to Hannover Quay one day and INSTRUCTED the boat owners to leave or else.

Subsequent complaints to Ahab have all fallen on DEAF EARS, not least because he’s actually very, very ill and isn’t mentally capable of giving a fuck about people. But that’s only when boat owners have managed to get hold him at all. “He’s been spending a lot of time lately in the Harbour Office toilet with his prized copy of ‘Superyacht’ magazine,” we’re told.

“He’s not known around the Harbour Office as “crispy trousers” for nothing”!

BUNDRED: AUDITORS OFF THE HOOK?

After FIVE YEARS of reporting continuous improvement for themselves and the council’s finances to their Audit Committee, the council’s crisis-hit Internal Audit Department makes another historic U-TURN.

They are now reporting to councillors that their “required Internal Audit Plan is not deliverable within existing resources” because of the “scale of finance improvements required”. How can this be when they’ve reported nothing but fantastic IMPROVEMENTS in finance management at the council for the last five years?

Also, in a sloppy piece of DROSS that will be remarkably familiar to anyone who’s seen a child’s homework thrown together five minutes before deadline, the Rev’s Chief Exec Anna “Big Wedge” Klonowski’s meek and mild whitewash – ‘Response to Bundred Review’ (sic) – published last month, singled out the Internal Audit Department for criticism.

“We will seek to improve how reports produced by the internal / external auditor, other regulators and inspectors are dealt with and shared and continue to strengthen our approach for responding to recommendations,” she ambiguously wrote. Presumably this is the formal response after finance investigator Steve Bundred discovered, while looking at Bristol’s £30m overspend, that independent Internal Audit reports for councillors had been secretly REWRITTEN by senior bosses to make it look like they had achieved savings they hadn’t?

Big Wedge went on to say “a peer review of the Internal Audit function has been commissioned which will also embed Key Audit deliverables in Service BAU [business as usual]. Additional resource has been appointed on an interim basis to support the improvement journey.”

So basically this useless department that’s been on a five year journey of FAILURE, INCOMPETENCE and deliberately MISLEADING councillors on finance matters until exposed by Bundred will now be treated to an inclusive, blame-free advice session from fellow-professionals who they know?

Where are the heads on plates?

DORMER TRAUMA PROPERTY BOSS GETS TUTU TIRADE

RESULT! Our councillors – at last – stand up, refuse to do any favours and demand EXEMPLARY LEADERSHIP and the very highest standards of CONDUCT and INTEGRITY from their senior staff rather than the “anything goes for us” culture they’ve assiduously developed for themselves over many years.

A planning committee last night REFUSED their Property Assets boss, Rich “The Builder” Fear planning permission for his appalling and intrusive loft extension that breaks local planning regulations in Knowle.

Rich the Builder thought a PAINT JOB and a bit of FAKE ROOF added to his unlawful carbuncle – that a planning inspector has already ruled should be pulled down – would be enough to persuade a planning committee to let him keep the large-shed-plonked-on-a-roof-style extension he’s subjected his long-suffering Knowle neighbours to.

Alas not. Even shrinking violet Labour Councillor Olly “Mediocre” Mead piped up for once, telling planning officers and Fear, “You can put me in a TUTU and I’d no more resemble a ballerina than that resembles something that is appropriate for the area. It’s not reasonable to add bits of FAKE ROOF

Hear! Hear! Send in the wrecking ball and invite Fear the pisstaker to resign.

WHAT SHOULD THE BRISTOL HOMES BOARD BE LIKE THEN?

The first thing to do with leeches is to CUT THEM OFF from their blood supply. However, the leeches are everywhere, even in the brain of the host, in this case the Bristol Homes Board (BHB). So here’s some steps to make sure we get decent social housing without getting ripped off.

1. Stop talking about affordable housing. FUCK IT OFF. It’s vague nonsense manipulated by private companies. To solve the housing crisis, WE WANT SOCIAL HOUSING at rents set by the council, not housing associations, not charities, not ‘property guardian companies’, not housing activists or Green Councillor Landlords in ACORN. Our money comes back to us, not into the pockets of private companies, NGOs or so-called charities.

2. No representatives or consultants from building companies, property speculators, letting agencies or landlords anywhere near the BHB. They are NOT FIT to sit at our public table or even communicate with us. Their interests are different to ours. When (and if) we want them, we’ll ask them to tender on OUR TERMS, begging at our table for contracts like the hungry dogs they are.

3. All tendering processes rigorously monitored by NON-PARTISAN legal and construction experts who are vetted with full disclosure of any business/financial interests. If they have conflicts of interest, consultancies, dodgy connections, blah blah, kick ‘em out. The role of these ‘chosen ones’, pure as the driven snow, is to protect the people from corruption and robbery. Give ‘em a big stick.

4. All proposed public projects and bids costed by these experts. As part of the tendering process conditions and rates of exploitation of workers in participating companies MUST be declared, along with PROFIT MARGINS.

5. Anyone or company discovered doing anything DODGY before, during or after the tendering process is immediately BANNED from any future tenders and legal action must follow. Thieves who take public money, whether corporate or individuals, must be PUNISHED SEVERELY to teach all the leeches to behave.

6. Housing quality, safety and longevity is central to social housing projects. Find building experts you TRUST; give experienced leftist brickies, roofers, electricians etc. the job of monitoring quality and all on-site activities. Employ POLITICALLY MOTIVATED surveyors, engineers and architects with no private consultancies who’ll take a job to serve the public for life. FUCK OFF ANYONE ELSE. Set up training schemes so the numbers of trustworthy people increases. Create a culture of serving the public rather than leeching.

7. Make the BHB, transparent and democratically accountable (sorry Marvin). LISTEN to people who already experience social housing, tenants associations etc. FIND OUT the problems. BE CLEAR about what you will deliver from your discussions with them. Invite them to observe meetings of the BHB. INVOLVE trade unions and fuck off any company that tries to impede union organisation.

The BHB should be building QUALITY SOCIAL HOUSING for the city. Then the cardboard shit that companies build for private sale becomes a joke and hopefully a thing of the past compared to the brilliant new social housing. The BHB should consist of non-compromised experts we can trust, our political representatives, bodies representing existing social housing tenants and trade unions.

And if the leeches start squealing because it’s getting too hot for them … it’s better they burn and not us.

The Committee for Public Safety

BOARD NEWS

A home. How many will we get for £160million?

Bristol City Council has very, very quietly released limited membership details of its BRISTOL HOMES BOARD, tasked with spending a headline figure of £160m of our money to resolve the city’s housing crisis.

Naturally the equaliser, the Reverend Rees, has opted for a 75 per cent male, all-white board (except himself) stuffed with incompetent TIME-SERVERS and serial QUANGOCRATS to spend this large wedge of public money.

Alongside the Reverend and his sidekick, Labour housing boss, Paul “Wolfie” Smith, you’ll find Alison “THREE JOBS” Comley, a senior city council boss and direct subordinate of Rees and Smith, hardly best placed to speak truth to power. Especially as she’s up to her neck in the council’s £30m unlawful budget scandal and is yet to be cleared.

Alison is joined by luminaries such as Stephen “What Crisis?”Teagle from Galliford Try Partnerships, a front for the corporate that runs house builders, LINDEN HOMES. Last year, Linden saw profits rise 21 per cent to £74.3m while its average house cost a mere £338,000. The company also boasts to shareholders that it has a LANDBANK of 14,250 plots. Doesn’t sound much like a crisis for them does it?

Also on the board is Knightstone Housing Association boss Nick Horne “Blower”. He was last seen sat on his useless lazy arse as a board member for West of England LOCAL ENTERPRISE PARTNERSHIP (LEP) while, directly under his nose, BAE sold their Filton Airfield land to YTL Homes UK. YTL is run by Colin “Tory Boy” Skellett who also happened to be the Chair of er, the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership! This blatant CONFLICT OF INTEREST clearly passed Nick by, even though the LEP was given a key role in marketing and developing the airfield for sale with the public money he was overseeing!

Nick also waved through TWO PAYMENTS from the LEP to board member George Ferguson’s Beer Factory and Bristol Brewing Company totalling £62k. A further £92k was paid to a company owned by one of Ferguson’s political donors, Alasdair “Sorearse” Sawday. What were these handouts for? Who knows? Because NO MINUTES exist of these board decisions and no documents indicating Ferguson’s interests were ever published by Horne’s LEP!

Also getting rewarded for serial incompetence and moving across from the useless board of the LEP to oversee millions of pounds of our money for housing in Bristol is Business West bigwig James “Licker” Durie.  Not only is he unlikely to raise any difficult questions about any handouts to wealthy locals, he’s also a notorious salaried lackey for the MERCHANT VENTURERS.

Making up the numbers on the Rev’s quietly appointed board are a couple of posh public schoolboys turned voluntary sector luvvies – David “HAPPY CAMPER” Ingerslev from multi-million homeless charity St Mungos and the CEO of Elim Housing Association, Alistair “HEAD BOY” Allender. No doubt Head Boy can bring his street-level experience from Birkenhead School, “a top performing independent day school for boys and girls aged 3 months to 18” and Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge where he studied Natural Sciences to bear?

Further INEFFECTUAL luvvie input on our Homes Board will be supplied by Bevis Watts “The Fuck”, Managing Director of Triodos Bank. He’s a serial quangocrat who boasts the pie, booze and cash giveaway to the wealthy that was the board of the Green Capital, Bristol 2015 Ltd, on his CV!

Adding a healthy dose of surrealism to the whole affair, the board also has a ‘Head of Multi-Channel Fulfilment’ at the table – Debbie “Fulfil Me” Franklin from the Andrews Property Group, a local LETTINGS AGENCY, no less. Career bureaucrat David “The Loaf” Warburton from the Homes and Community Agency quango is also along for the £160m public money ride

The small amount of hope we can invest in this board lies with the final two members. Geraldine Winkler, a housing solicitor with the Avon & Bristol Law Centre and Tom Renhard, a member of tenants union ACORN. He also sits on the board of the Avon Pension Fund for some random reason and we note with concern that Renhard was funded by local authority bosses’ union UNISON to help him get on to this pension board. It’s unclear, too, whether Renhard was a personal appointment by the Vicar or whether he was chosen directly by Acorn members.

As always, it’s just as interesting to note who ISN’T on the committee – seasoned troublemakers or gobshites known to be prepared to stand up to a committee of pie-munching land dealing wankers who forget to keep minutes. And It’s further worth noting that there was no sign of a competitive application process to join this board disbursing £160m of our cash. Instead membership is entirely courtesy of the political PATRONAGE of the Reverend Mayor Rees well away from any scrutiny by councillors and public.

The last “PUBLIC MEETING” of this board took place on 29 June. Despite being “public”, no reports were issued and the board was, instead, treated to a series of Max Wide “Boy” style verbal briefings and crappy Powerpoint presentations that will never be seen again. Already, we have to ask, are these board members doing their jobs properly?

There may be trouble ahead …