Category Archives: » SECTION:

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!

WASTED?

bristol waste

What happened to Bristol Waste managing director Tony “I Am The” Lawless and his sidekick, finance director Adam “Dumb” Henshaw? Why did both suddenly quit on July 18 and disappear without working their notice?

The story goes that last March the rubbish bosses got their business plan signed off and approved by council boss Stephen “Preening” Peacock and the Reverend Rees. That business plan was based on holding a pretty strong line on pay in order to keep another of the council’s struggling businesses solvent. 

So, when the unions decided they needed a better pay rise they bypassed Bristol Waste altogether and went straight to the Reverend and his ex-union baron sideman “Slo” Kev Slocombe. The Reverend then instructed Bristol Waste (despite having no authority to do so) that they needed to make a better pay offer despite knowing full well they didn’t have the money. to pay for it.

Eventually Bristol Waste did make an improved offer. Not good enough to satisfy what the unions wanted but high enough to mean that it was double the amount of this year’s contract increase from the Reverend. Bristol Waste would now have to eat into their reserves and implement major cuts that formed no part of March’s business plan.

Soon after the pay hike announcement Lawless and Henshaw quit. Chris Holmes was quickly transferred over from Bristol Holding to take on the finance role, and a new interim MD was headhunted and appointed.

Last we heard Bristol Workplace (the recently outsourced cleaners and security from Bristol City Council) have already seen workloads substantially increased as the company attempts to deliver more for less. 

This month the new management will be launching a public consultation. Designed to be as boring as possible, one of its objectives will be to test out ideas that sound like they will be better for the environment but, in reality, will also save BWC lots of money. The preferred option being to go to three week rubbish collections rather than the two weeks currently in operation.

General word is that the Reverend doesn’t much care what the company does as long it doesn’t go bust before the end of his term in May 2024

SEND SPYING: A READER WRITES

I am waiting with bated breath to read your article on the BCC meeting today (26th September) regarding the subject.  I trust it will highlight the fact that every time she told a lie Nancy Rollercoaster closed her eyes. 

Her reliance upon the term “I think” was also rather telling.  If she “‘thinks” something she cannot be found to have made a definitive statement and may, legally, be marginally incorrect (wrong) without having made a false statement as opposed to using the term ‘I believe’ or making a statement of fact.  “I think” implies a lack of conviction and therefore provides ‘wriggle room’ for subsequent retractions or amendments. 

The fact that so much fuss was made over the definition of systematic monitoring and surveillance as well as the identification that the ‘fact’ finding report only considered the cases of data1 and data2 only serves to enhance the smell of whitewash emanating from the Cuntz Louse. 

Asher Craig was clearly only present as a member of Marv-el-louse Marvin’s glove puppet cabinet to try and shut down criticism of the council and it was good to see that she got put firmly back in her box by the chair and Cllr Weston. 

It is clear that Marv-el-louse Marvin has his rather smelly fingers buried deeply in this issue and the matter needs fully investigating by a properly independent body. 

Regards

SEND SPYING: COUNCIL ‘FACTS’ REVEALED AS LIES

A brief check-in with Bristol City Council’s People Scrutiny Commission on Monday. A sprawling meeting with lots of questions and very few answers. 

In a lovely twist, many of the public’s questions were ignored and went unanswered on the basis that SEND management were “too busy” preparing for an OFSTED inspection next week. Because a load of tweedy school inspectors wanking over spreadsheets takes priority over elected councillors, abused SEND parents and the public, apparently.

The meeting generated a huge amount of content of variable quality so we’ll confine ourselves to a few things that grabbed our attention and leave the heavy lifting to the mainstream press who turned out in numbers for the meeting.

The first question of the day came from internet SEND scourge Chopsy aka ‘Data Subject 2’, one of the targets of the council’s SEND ‘fact finding report’ (Bristolian passim).

She rather nicely set the scene when she enquired of the council’s Deputy Head of Legal Services, Nancy “No Evil” Rollason, who cheerily admitted to authoring the daft SEND spying ‘fact-finding’ report along with an absent colleague, why she had described a public information meeting any member of the public could book on via the internet as ‘confidential’ when it wasn’t?

Cue much umming and aahing from a perplexed Ms Rollason before she eventually explained she may need to, er, “verify and correct information received from officers.”

First question complete and this much-vaunted ‘fact-finding’ report appeared to have been urgently downgraded to ‘draft’ and retitled ‘Wild claims from desperate council officers about our SEND surveillance mess’.

A further question from Chopsy enquired whether council officers had been using their personal accounts to access parents’ social media? A question that got a resounding no from Ms Rollason who was at pains to explain access to parents’ accounts was all above board and would have been carefully managed through official and accountable council channels.

An answer, unfortunately, on a direct collision course with the truth as Chopsy had already been sent information through an FoI that clearly showed a SEND manager accessing SEND parent social media accounts from their personal social media account. Here’s a screenshot:

Chopsy  Officer account

If this was a court case, the case would have been thrown out at this point and Rollason bollocked by the judge as a clueless timewaster. However, as a meeting of city councillors, they simply shambled on as though one of their senior lawyers sitting in front of them spouting bare-faced lies was business-as-usual. Which, let’s face it, it probably is.

Some questioning from Easton’s Green Councillor Barry Parsons also caught our attention. Parsons queried Rollason’s claim that any surveillance was not ‘systematic’ because it only took place on two occasions for two specific investigations.

He reeled off a series of dates contained in the report, when monitoring of parents accounts took place. A claim rebuffed by Rollason who insisted, despite evidence, that there were only two ‘specific’ occasions only when parents’ social media was accessed.

A claim rendered unbelievable by more of Chopsy’s FoI material. This includes screenshots of Tweets collected just hours after they were made rather than as part of a, later, retrospective investigation:

Chopsy  Tweets  Hours

What Parsons didn’t ask, which also may have been interesting, was, if there were two investigations, where were the investigation reports, who were the investigating officers and who commissioned the investigations? All requirements of Bristol City Council’s Investigation Policy that management and officers are obliged to follow.

There was lots and lots more at this meeting, including a brief reference to the Bristolian’s evil Twitter twin @bristol_citizen. We’ll return to this at some point as the chair of the meeting Lib Dem Tim “Little Ass Hat” Kent correctly described the account’s inclusion in an investigation document cobbled together by SEND management fuckwits as “ludicrous”.

What wasn’t included at this meeting was also instructive. No one mentioned the social media protocol produced by Rollason’s colleague Kate Burnham-Davies in May 2020, which completely contradicts Rollason’s conclusion that the surveillance undertaken of SEND parents was lawful.

Who at the council is going to tell the Emperor he’s wearing no clothes?

SEND SPYING: “SACK ‘EM” SAYS TORY

Spy medium

Papers for Bristol City Council’s People Scrutiny Commission tomorrow which will look at council legal boss Tim O’Gara’s ludicrous ‘fact-finding’ report into SEND spying have been published. These papers include questions and statements from parents.

There’s also one statement from a councillor, Tory Geoff Gollop, which is a little bit odd. The Tory, well known for arselickin’ councillors starts off saying:

Whilst the report is extremely professional and detailed and may deliver what it was instructed to, the initial brief missed the most serious concern.

Has this Tory idiot lost all leave of his senses? Are we to understand that a report full of obvious bias, containing false statements and with a conclusion at odds with the same legal team’s opinion just two years ago classifies as “extremely professional”? What would amateur look like?

However, Gollop then goes on to say:

I am concerned that we employ people who thought it was acceptable and the fact that we have no document anywhere that makes such unacceptable behaviour an issue for potential dismissal.

That’s more like it. Almost a call to sack all the revolting fuckers responsible for spying on our city’s SEND parents. Something councillors could probably demand on the basis officers haven’t followed council policy, have almost certainly broken the law and have brought the council into disrepute.

Dismissal would send a clear message wouldn’t it?

SEND SPYING: WHY DOES A ‘FACT-FINDING’ REPORT CONTAIN LIES?

Spy medium

Papers for Bristol City Council’s People Scrutiny Commission tomorrow which will look at council legal boss Tim O’Gara’s ludicrous ‘fact-finding’ report into SEND spying have been published. These papers include questions and statements from parents.

Are Bristol’s SEND technocrats conspiring against parents with SEND children? This is part of a statement from a parent to the People Scrutiny Commission on 26 September 2022.

It begins to look very much looks like SEND managers and council legal ‘investigators’ are using their shitty little internal ‘fact finding’ report to councillors to try and stitch up outspoken parents. Will they get away with it?

SENDIASS is the Special Educational Needs & Disability Information Advice & Support Service. In Bristol, this is run by Send and You. The service is funded by Bristol City Council as part of their duties in Chapter 2 of the Send Code of Practice (CoP).  

On 20 January 2022, SENDIASS contacted Bristol City Council to say that an officer of Bristol Parent Carers had posted ‘confidential’ information online regarding a co-production meeting attended by the ‘Alternative Learning Provision Team and the council and other stakeholders’. Unfortunately, no such meeting actually took place involving a BPC officer*. 

The event that did take place on that day was an informal coffee morning hosted by Send and You for any parent carer in Bristol to attend. I attended. Send and You often hold things like Send Surgeries, virtual coffee mornings and information events on topics such as exclusions, transitions, personal budgets and SEN support. I don’t make a habit of attending Send and You parent carer meetings. I did on this occasion because the specific subject of the meeting was for parent carers to find out more about Education Other Than At School (EOTAS). As I was in the process of taking Bristol City Council to tribunal for EOTAS in one of my children’s Education Health Care Plans, I attended the meeting. 

I registered on Eventbrite as a parent carer, under my own name and with my own personal email address. Being part of the Twitter Send community, I posted some of the comments being made during the public parent carer meeting, because they might have been of interest to others. According to Bristol City Council’s report, someone from Send and You saw these quoted comments in some capacity and reported them back to Bristol City Council. 

SENDIASS Staff would have known full well that this was not a co-production meeting and I was not there as part of BPC because they organised it and ran it themselves. In light of this, I went back through my Twitter account and blocked a number of Send and You staff along with some Bristol City Council and Sirona officers who had been following me. 

The service appears to have conspired with the Local Authority to say that a BPC officer had released confidential information from a co-production meeting which did not actually exist. Remembering that Send and You ‘should be impartial, confidential and accessible,’ how can a supposedly vital service heavily replied upon by Bristol families now be trusted with personal information that would be highly beneficial to the council legally at Tribunal? 

How on earth has false information found it’s way into a so-called ‘fact-finding report’ from Bristol City Council’s Head of Legal Services? is this good enough?

Is this report simply another vehicle for bent council managers to attack parents of SEND children with lies?

SEND BOSSES SHARED TWEETS WITH SCHOOLS

Spy medium

Papers for Bristol City Council’s People Scrutiny Commission tomorrow which will look at council legal boss Tim O’Gara’s ludicrous ‘fact-finding’ report into SEND spying have been published. These papers include questions and statements from parents.

Here’s a particularly disturbing statement, which suggests that the spying goes far beyond a couple of parents involved with the Bristol Parent Carer Forum. While SEND management actions go far beyond spying. They also appear to be referring ‘difficult’ parents to child protection social workers as some sort of weird disciplinary measure.

Very ugly.

I am a parent of a child with Special Educational needs. I am not an officer or volunteer of Bristol Parent Carer forum but I have experienced tweets of mine being copied and shared with other agencies.

It took me almost 2 years and cost me thousands of pounds to ensure my son was in a suitable school place – this was decided by a judge during a tribunal process, through independent reports.

During this process I was referred to social services as Bristol SEND services raised concerns that I had fabricated or induced my son’s illness. Fabricated or Induced Illness (FII) is the term used for when a parent or caregiver of someone, most commonly a child, is accused of fabricating, exaggerating or inducing the symptoms  of that person.

False FII allegations are made by people in power, such as medical professionals, social workers, teachers, the Local Authority etc and they happen more often than is known and the cases are continuing to rise by the day.

Part of the reason these allegations came about is because in May 2021, an employee of BCC sent my son’s head teacher a copy of some tweets I had made about how my son feels in school. The officers told the headteacher that, “BCC communications team…. Monitor social media for us” and that she felt the school would, “rather be aware of the situation than not”.

SEND parents know that monitoring of families is prolific, especially if we appeal decisions of shoddy EHCPs which are not fit for purpose. This SEND surveillance is not just about [Bristol Parent Carer] forum officers – the leaked emails clearly show redacted names which are likely to be other parents.

Although my eldest son is now in the correct provision and social services have no concerns and are discharging us, my younger two children are being denied referrals to the Autism team. This is in part due to the school insisting that my children are not autistic and should not be referred and being denied Human Rights to go private.

The officer that shared my tweet sought to damage my relationship with the school – which they have been totally successful in and the actions of this officer now impacts the support my children are able to access and the hellish nightmare of FII accusations over the last year. The school for example, has actively called the paediatrician to ensure the GP request of referral for autism assessments is blocked.

I urgently need to get my children help as their SEN needs have been recognised by independent professionals but I am not able to get them they help they need due to the FII allegations, yet I have support of my GP, Social Services. 

Their needs are being ignored across health and education. Surely this is disability discrimination? I feel this situation has been deliberately created due to the surveillance actions of the comms team and the officer that shared the post with the headteacher. I believe  this is some form of punishment for advocating for my eldest and for contacting the Evening Post in 2020 to share with them how awful the SEND system is. 

This is simply unacceptable and I hope my story encourages other families to share the experiences they have had and not to be scared of the threat of social services.

The People Scrutiny Commission takes place tomorrow, Monday 26 September 2022, at 10.00am. The meeting will be streamed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVGK620pizA

It may be some of the most entertaining TV you see all week. One councillor is describing it as potential ‘carnage’ for Bristol’s SEND team!