Author Archives: thebristolblogger

“THESE ARE WEAK MEN AND I SAY NO”

“A cowardly power play against a random council estate mum”

SEND spy victim Jen Smith made a statement today to Bristol City Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Management Board. As she finished she looked the council’s new underqualified and over-promoted chief exec, Stephen “Preening” Peacock in the eye, the statement speaks for itself:

Will Peacock manage to get a grip on an issue that his predecessor Mike “Billie Jean” Jackson failed to? Or will our latest Chief Executive chump let the SEND spying issue spiral further out of the control of the council?

Is he just another useless senior council boss: all fat wallet and no morals?

Bristol council hit by housing management strikes over unsustainable workload

Thursday 20 October 2022

Unite members walk out over terrible working conditions

Around 50 housing officers and team leaders, responsible for managing Bristol council’s 27,000 tenancies, will strike from tomorrow (Friday 21 Octoberto Monday 24 October over unsustainable workloads.

The workers, members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, are angry that Bristol council is refusing to act even though the extra work is causing high rates of stress and anxiety. They are calling on the council to reduce workloads and allocate additional resources.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Our members have had enough of the intolerable demands that they are being subjected to. Levels of stress and anxiety have rocketed. 

“The workers are absolutely right to take a stand against these unsustainable workloads and they have Unite’s full backing during these strikes. Bristol council needs to act now.”

The workers have seen a 64 per cent increase in the number of cases involving vulnerable tenants over the last year, which has placed them under enormous strain.

Unite said the council’s senior management have continually failed to accept or even acknowledge this reality and the need for the service to adapt.

Unite regional officer Joseph Murphy said: “Instead of working with front-line housing staff to properly prioritise workloads, the council’s senior managers have failed to act.    

“Bristol council’s housing department is in crisis.  The leadership must reduce workloads and provide the resources necessary for it to function properly.” 

A housing officer, who is remaining anonymous to prevent repercussions from the council, said: “The reduction in services due to austerity has significantly increased our workloads. We feel like support workers sometimes rather than housing officers. We are a broken service with a broken staff.”

ENDS

For media enquires ONLY contact Unite communications officer Ryan Fletcher on 07849 090215.

Email: ryan.fletcher@unitetheunion.org 

Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1 Instagram: unitetheunion

Web: unitetheunion.org

THE HISTORY WOMAN

carly-heath

Bristol City Council’s night-time economy advisor, Carly “Luther King” Heath, who the council pays a cool £50k to to lobby themselves on behalf of Business West, recently had a stab at some local history.

While trying to promote on Twitter the Reverend Rees’s doomed bargain basement bid to host Eurovision, the self-styled ‘Nighttime Czar’ breezily announced to Eurovision dissenters that “Bristol was built on a can do attitude.”

Er, Bristol was actually built on the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Is the nightime guru suggesting getting rich off chattel slavery shows a can-do attitude?

Great to see Carly’s learned the Business West way, hasn’t got a tin ear at all and is perfectly tuned into local race and history issues.

COUNCIL’S ESTATE MANAGEMENT TEAM STRIKE ACTION LATEST

Senior Unite bureaucrats on manoeuvres with workers’ sellout Slo’ Kev Slocombe as strike date looms over Rees’s bullying culture at City Hall

This just in from Unison Bristol:

Increased pressure on delivery for the Estates Management team (your housing officers) has been coming from the political level. Pressure, in turn, from tenants and associated tenants’ groups has led to a stressed-out team, run-ragged with extra work piled on an already impossible workload.

Impossible targets, a terrible consultation regime and staff not being believed has led to a ballot for strike action supported by both Unite and UNISON.

Yesterday, Unite with a big-wig from Unite head office met with Kevin Slocombe (from the mayor’s office). Management stated in writing that they were representing Unite only and didn’t want anyone else (ie, Unison) coming.

We have, up until this point, maintained a single-status approach when bargaining with the employer so if this alliance is only one-way we will abandon joint-working and go it alone with everything else in the council.

We have already made this decision about joint-working at Bristol Waste (subsequent to this announcement by Unite) but it will take a while to disentangle ourselves at Bristol City Council. Lay stewards from all unions work well together and it will take time and some getting used to.

In the meantime we are arranging a meeting with Kevin and management but without any big-wigs.

We were uneasy joining a meeting with union political officers and politicians – what has politics got to do with management stressing their staff out? – but there you go.

At the moment strike action is tabled for 21 October for both Unite and UNISON unless the members decide to accept whatever comes out of these meetings.

Bristol Branch Unison 13 10 2022

ANGEL OF DEATH FUNERAL WATCH

Hoyle
“The Venturers gave me this one for being a good racist”

Who was this leading the service at Westminster Abbey for the Queen’s funeral? Step forward Dr David “Overseer” Hoyle, Dean of Westminster Abbey and formerly Dean of Bristol Cathedral.

A man who unapologetically organised ceremonies for schoolchildren celebrating Edward Colston at Bristol Cathedral until 2017. Hoyle even declined to stop doing this when he met with activists from Counter Colston in 2016, flanked by the, then, Merchant Venturer John “Ignoble” Savage who styled himself a ‘Canon’ of Bristol Cathedral. 

Hoyle and his Merchant Venturer friends’ excuse for continuing to run weird occult ceremonies celebrating one of the architects of the slave trade in a christian cathedral was that they were not ‘celebrating’ Colston. Even though Colston Girls’ School who attended Hoyles’ ceremonies every year always described Hoyles’ sicko event as ‘a celebration’.

Just the man to run the Queen’s funeral then.

GREENWASH!

24 - 7 Nat west

It’s the first of its kind in the regional press,” gushes Bristol 24/7 as they appoint a ‘Climate and Sustainability Editor’. This new post is part-funded by a grant from, er, Nat West Bank who get to put their name all over any climate and sustainability articles in the online rag.

Paul Edwards, chair of NatWest’s South-West board explains with a straight face, “Tackling climate change is one of the biggest challenges of our time and the urgency for action has never been greater than now. As one of the UK’s biggest banks and the largest lender to business, we have both the ability and the responsibility to take a leading role in that fight.”

Can anyone confirm if this is the same Nat West bank that has lent almost £3billion to the North Sea oil industry since the Paris Agreement in 2015?

TOM RENHARD: NOTICE

Renhard-Red-Telephone-Box

It’s been brought to our attention that the Reverend’s cabinet member for Housing Delivery, Tom “Plasticine Man” Renhard doesn’t like to hear mention of daddy, Ian Renhard.

Turns out Plasticine Man, who famously condemned Western Slopes campaigners from Knowle West as “posh NIMBYS“, is no stranger to a luxury middle class lifestyle himself. As daddy was managing director of multinational building firm, Interserve Construction ltd.

Plasticine Man, we’re told, is especially sensitive about this as it appears that daddy funded his son’s education – including a pricey stint in the US – by constructing, among other things, prisons! Some might say ‘how apt’. Renhard senior even lists a number of his former directorships of private prison companies at Companies House.

However, rest assured, this is not something you’ll be reading about in the city’s snooty snorefest community rag, The Bristol Cable, as Plasticine Man’s partner happens to be a director  there!

How convenient for the city’s incompetent Labour administration.

CUTS NEWS

Rees  Ted Talk
Look! Man in a shirt from Top Man doing a Ted talk.

Not much information emerging from the Rev Rees on the scale of cuts in public services he’s proposing over the next year*. Instead the inane egoist seems to be focussing his PR efforts on boasting about how many ‘hits’ his ridiculous Canadian TED Talk is getting on Youtube and his fantasy plan for an underground network in Bristol.

What we do know is that of the £11.7m of savings planned for delivery in 2021/22, only 46% were achieved.Leaving around £5.5m to be brought forward to this year. We also know around £29m of ‘efficiencies’ and ‘transformations’ were announced in this year’s budget. That’s a total of about £34.5m cuts to be made to public services this year then.

But what will be cut? Council documents, carefully hidden from view, have identified “six key areas for service reviews”. They are: property and capital; be more business-like and secure more external resource; improving efficiencies; digital transformation; reducing the need for direct services and, er, redesigning, reducing, or stopping services.

Property appears on these cuts lists every year and delivers nothing; the council being “more businesslike” is a hollow joke and that last time they tried digital transformation it delivered a £30m deficit senior bosses tried to hide from the mayor and public.

It’s therefore likely all the cuts will come from “improving efficiencies”, euphemism for staff cuts; reducing the need for direct services, which means trying to stop the public accessing services they’re entitled to (see SEND) and redesigning, reducing, or stopping services, which means scrapping services altogether.

So the Reverend’s plan is to fire staff, bully council taxpayers into not taking up services and cut anything else that’s not nailed down to save £34.5m

No wonder he wants you to look the other way at his stupid TED Talk.

*Since this article was published Bristol City Council has published a press release acknowledging they may need to make £31.1m next year. What they didn’t mention was an annex to a finance report to cabinet that suggested these cuts might be as much as £87.6m!

BILLIE JEAN TAKES A BOW

Mike Jackson 2

So it’s farewell, then, to Bristol City Council Chief Exec Mike “Billie Jean” Jackson. He’s off to the London Boroughs of Wandsworth and Richmond upon Thames to become their joint chief exec trousering £300k pa, the largest local authority salary in the country.

And what a legacy he leaves behind. £60m pissed up the wall on Bristol Energy; a £50m overspend on the Colston Hall; censures from the ombudsman for not bothering to reply to correspondence; a SEND service OFSTED say parents have lost trust in and a gobsmacking unlawful spying operation of parents with SEND children. Lucky old London managing to headhunt this useless money wasting fucker.

Before he left, Billie Jean delivered to indifferent staff the benefit of his wisdom. “I’m an economist by training,” he chuntered, “and specialised in economic geography. I started my local government career as an economic development officer in Birmingham. I’m fascinated by places – what makes the character of a place, why some places succeed economically and others struggle. And most importantly, trying to work out how best to improve the life chances of people who live in that place.”

Well, we’re no economists Mike, but we reckon that some places succeed because you spend £100m on a concert hall at the drop of a hat for them while other places that are far poorer get fuck all. If you want to improve the life chances of people who live in that poor place spend the £100m there you thick twat.

‘Place shaper’ my arse.

COUNCIL BOSSES ARE CONFIRMED AS NAZIS

Deranged defamation case backfires

BCC  Nazi Logo

Remember last year when the council’s useless pillock of a Director of Workforce, John “Bedwetter” Walsh, and his ludicrous arselickin’ sidekick, Facilities boss, David Martin “Bore-Mann”, threatened to sue Councillor Gary “Meathead” Hopkins and Councillor Richard “Bunter” Eddy for defamation after they said what they thought at a council meeting?

Bunter described comments by Bedwetter and Bore-Man at a HR meeting to discuss the outsourcing of council cleaners and security to Bristol Waste as “worthy of Dr Goebbels and the Third Reich”! While Meathead waded in telling them “I don’t believe a word of what’s been presented to us by the management side.”

Months later, with the Reverend safely re-elected, Bedwetter and Bore-Mann suddenly announced, to much hilarity, that they were suing this pair of robust critics of the Reverend for defamation.

Legal letters had been dispatched we were solemnly informed.Then we heard, er, absolutely nothing.

Until a recent article in the Nazi Post explaining Bunter might be sued again for comparing women’s rights campaigners to “fascists”during the recent debate about keeping Bristol’s strip clubs open.

Tucked in at the end of this article, was an explanation of what happened to that last libel action: “Both members denied any wrongdoing and the matter is understood to have been resolved recently by agreement with no further action.”

No sign of a retraction. No sign of an apology. No sign of damages. No sign that Bristol City Council bosses aren’t Nazis. Looks like it’s perfectly OK to call council bosses Nazis then.

What a result!