The cost of a ‘world class’ private sector Youth Zone in south Bristol is rising.
The capital cost of building this large shed for wealthy philanthropists to pose in on open space at Inns Court was originally £8.4m with Bristol City Council paying one half, £4.2m.
Now we learn that the council will be paying a further £3.275m to build the access road and to level the site.
Philanthropic charitable partner, Onside, meanwhile, will only have to pay £600k towards this.
In terms of running the zone, once opened in 2026, the Reverend’s cabinet has now committed £400k of the measly £1m budget for youth services from 2026. Two years after the Labour Party are likely to have lost power in Bristol.
There will be, therefore, 40 per cent less youth provision in an already stretched service elsewhere in the city from 2026.
Youth workers and services not aboard the Youth Zone gravy train are not impressed.
The Bristol Beacon’s establishment bailout continues apace with the Society of Merchant Venturers giving the council’s outsourced money pit a £50k handout in January.
The luvvies did ten times better than most other charities funded by the Venturers. For instance, rape trauma victims got £4.7k; services to help people rebuild their lives following a stroke got £2k and teenagers with learning disabilities got £2k.
Maybe it helps that Bristol Music Trust, handed the Beacon for a pittance by the council, has super-wealthy Merchant Venturer and all-round shit boss, Andrew Nisbet on the board?
Richard “Wanksy” Hanks has ‘resigned’ as Bristol’s Director of Education but is officially on ‘sick leave’ for now. Allegedly, Wanksy got a bollocking by the cabinet over SEND just before his ‘resignation’
His replacement, Reena “Dolores” Bhogal-Welsh from the University of Bolton is an interim appointed outside any normal processes.
Sources say she’s “totally out of her depth” and is especially shit-scared of the Bristol Parent Carer Forum. Probably wise. They’ve seen off three of her predecessors in the last three years – Stubby Stubbersfield, Pervy Hurley and now Wanksy.
Also heading for the exit is Head of Education Psychology Vikki Jervis who, seems to have spent most of her work time on Twitter reading parents’ feeds and circulating the material around the council.
Who will be next out the revolving door before independent investigators arrive to look at the SEND spying issue?
Full speed ahead with no one left behind in Bristol’s ‘just transition’ to Net Zero!
The council’s applied for a grant of £3.3m to install 200 on trend air source heat pumps in leafy Westbury-on-Trym. A subsidy of £16,500 per Tory household!
Why this pilot has to be run in one of the city’s wealthiest suburbs isn’t very well explained by Labour’s dim Climate Change head honcho Kye “The” Dudd or his increasingly unstable boss, the Reverend.
Instead Rees explained away his loopy heating subsidy to the wealthy by telling bored councillors he was “going to be at the US embassy tomorrow to speak about a just transition”. Guess that’s one way to keep us all warm next winter.
The Greens, potentially the largest party in Bristol after next year’s elections, were also getting wet in the pants at news of Net Zero handouts to the wealthy.
West Bristol’s ridiculous national Green Party leader, Carla “Posh Princess” Denyer gushed that the scheme was a “fabulous solution”.
Here’s what the unions told a recent cabinet meeting:
“Printed newspapers and magazines were cut in all libraries in October 2022; a vacancy freeze has been in operation since August 2022 with no sign of an end.
“Currently there are 35+ vacancies across the city. The loss of hours amounts to 554.5 hours a week across the city.
“The Library service has also had five posts deleted, without any formal process or discussion with unions. Three of these posts are at the Central Library.
“These five posts amount to a loss of 137.5 more hours on top of the vacancy hours listed above. Total hours lost is therefore 592 hours a week. Due to staff shortages the standard of delivery is compromised. This is a disservice to the citizens of Bristol.
“These shortages have led to unplanned closures every day somewhere in the city since the summer.
“The lack of recruitment has also meant flexible working requests are being denied. This includes refusal of flexible retirement. The book/materials fund has been cut twice within a year and no new books have been bought since August 2022. It is unclear what the situation will be like in April 2023.”
Exactly how much does the Labour Party hate our libraries?
The appearance of a thin City Leap summary business plan for the public is another outing for a proposed ‘Strategic Heat Main’. To run from Avonmouth where UK-wide waste is burned on an industrial scale to Bristol city centre where the shiny new heat networks are being built for the shiny new people.
This pipe dream pipeline run euphemistically on ‘low carbon heat’ is currently touted to cost around £100m out of the £200m or so the private sector may invest in ‘decarbonisation’ in Bristol.
Because the best way to get to net zero is definitely to burn – in working class Avonmouth – shitloads of polluting rubbish imported from London then use the energy to cheaply power a heat network for wealthy folk in the centre.
City Leap lottery winners Ameresco took on their first project in December. An existing £1.2m entirely publicly funded plan to install an air-source heat-pump in Blaise Primary School to replace an aging gas system that can be replaced for about £0.5m.
Accompanying the low-profile news that Ameresco were taking on this year old project was a senior officer decision to up the budget by 25 per cent to £1.5m due to ‘inflation’. This is despite the project having a 35 per cent contingency built into it when it was set-up in February 2022.
This extra money will come from this year’s school maintenance budget. Bad luck if your kids’ school needs any repairs then. The money’s been earmarked for a US corporation.
Any cynic suggesting Ameresco have upped the price by 25 per cent to extract a profit would, of course, be speculating.
Plans for eight “temporary accommodation pods” for homeless people in Derby Street Car Park, Redfield have been enthusiastically waved through by councillors on the planning committee bravely tackling ‘The Housing Crisis’ by supporting any old shit for the poor.
“Each unit would be 2.7 metres high, 7.9 metres deep and 3.8 metres wide, providing a total of 24 square metres of floorspace,” explains the planning report. That’s 13 square metres below the Tories’ ungenerous 37 square metre National Space Standard for one bed accommodation then.
Planning officers dodged around this glaring issue by agreeing “the units are small” and then claiming they “offer a better alternative to the proposed residents”. Better than what isn’t stated.
Officers also said that as tenancies via the Salvation Army are limited to two years, the accommodation is temporary and space standards don’t apply. How temporary it will be remains to be seen. Especially as Bristol’s planning department appears to have no means of enforcing their own planning conditions any more.
Why fewer units couldn’t be built that met minimum National Space Standards wasn’t a matter explored by planning officers or councillors.
An article last week in the Nazi Post reporting that the council’s Independent Shareholder Advisor, Fiona Ross, had told the council they need to consider whether they should continue to badly run failing companies, produced a panicked response from Bristol Waste’s latest interim MD Ian “Not Another One” Osborne.
He immediately wrote out to Bristol Waste’s workers explaining there was no problem at the firm whatsoever and that the press had published “an exaggerated story”. Apparently by quoting precisely what the “very concerned” Independent Shareholder Advisor had written in their own report.
This included describing the basketcase waste firm as “a significant drain on scarce [council] resources in terms of time and funding”.
We’ve been told, “anyone with any sense should take notice of Fiona Ross rather than the latest plonker to be handed the top job at Bristol Waste.”
Check the MD’s message to his staff to see how desperate it’s got at the top at Bristol Waste: