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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

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.

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?

‘GET THEM OUT BY THE END OF THE WEEK’: MARVIN’S MODERN SLAVERY SCANDAL

Bob Baber: highly paid to instigate a modern slavery scandal at Bristol City Council

A now bubbling-over MODERN SLAVERY scandal at the Bristol City Council property Brentry EPH run by ‘Blood’ Meridian Drivers Ltd in a (non-contractual?) sub-let with old friends Property Guardian Company CAMELOT, is currently primed to explode in our ‘zero tolerance for modern slavery’ vicar’s face.

The BRISTOLIAN has learned that 33 migrant bus-drivers and cleaners were recently served with a ONE WEEK illegal eviction notice by their employer/landlord Meridian Drivers. Presumably Meridian feared an INVESTIGATION by Avon & Somerset into the EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES at Brentry, initiated by a report to the MODERN SLAVERY HELPLINE?

This panicked attempt at eviction was stopped in its tracks by prompt action by a few workers/residents, who questioned the validity of the threat and reported it to council officials.

Contracts for work and accommodation at Brentry EPH are conspicuous by their ABSENCE. The workers (mostly for First Bus) are fleeced £85 per week CASH-IN-HAND for a room by gang master ‘Dirty’ Dave Doyle, who then splits the (tax-free?) lucre between Scamalot and Meridian. Visitors to the Brentry complex report an atmosphere of fear and intimidation on the premises, most especially when Dirty Dave makes an appearance.

In the midst of a conversation with one visitor where a worker/resident was complaining that ‘you under Camelot are being fucked.. but WE ARE BEING DOUBLE-FUCKED HERE’, Dirty Dave swaggered in and shouted ‘You shut up – I’ll DEAL WITH YOU later’.

And what are Bristol City Council, Saint Marvin and housing Tsar, Paul “Wolfie” Smith, doing about these outrageous practices on their own property? SWEET FUCK ALL apparently, unless one is to believe a quote from Dirty Dave himself, who claims that the order to quickly evict everyone before the law descended on Brentry came from the council’s Principal Portfolio Management Officer CHRIS WOODS

Woods was acting on the direct instructions of Bristol City Council’s highly paid property consultant BOB ‘BENT’ BABER of Bob Baber Associates who appears to have cut the Camelot deals for the council in the first place. Woods – once instructed by Bent Baber – then happily delivered the immortal words ‘GET THEM OUT BY THE END OF THE WEEK!’ to Dirty Dave.

 Meridian Drivers boss PAUL WATSON can be found on LinkedIn if anyone wants to ask him about the modern slavery RACKET he is running with Camelot at Bristol City Council’s Brentry EPH.

WHISTLEBLOWING WATCH

Lies, bullshit and waffle emanated from the Reverend Rees within minutes of his ‘Bundred Report’ into the council’s finances being published on 9 February. Former Audit Commission boss, Steve ‘Sticky’ Bundred, provided the Reverend with TWELVE recommendations he could implement to improve his council’s shit management.

Here’s number 8: “The incoming chief executive should be invited to consider and report on the steps needed to improve the management culture within the Council recognising that any necessary changes will take three to five years to embed. There should be an emphasis on greater openness, professionalism, delegation, mutual respect and better internal communication, but with fewer large and lengthy meetings.”

The Rev Arsecover immediately responded: “quick improvements include a recent update to our WHISTLEBLOWING POLICY to make it easier for staff to flag up concerns,” he blathered. However, a brief search on the council’s website turns up a Whistleblowing Policy last updated on 2 JUNE 2016 because “[the] scope [was] widened to include employees of LA maintained schools”.

Is last July RECENT? And how the fuck does including school staff “make it easier for staff to flag up concerns”? Is this even the recently updated version the Reverend’s referring to? Does it exist? And, if it does, how the hell is it easier for concerns to be flagged up if no one can access the bloody thing?

A further search also reveals the Rev’s new all-singing, all-dancing whistleblowing policy has been NOWHERE near a council committee or an elected representative in the last year, let alone out for public consultation or run past a trade union rep or employment lawyer who might have a few things to say.

All-in-all, the chances of this mystery document – drawn up in secret by unknown officers beyond public and democratic oversight – being fit-for-purpose must be somewhere near ZERO. But then that’s the point with whistleblowing isn’t it? Council bosses hate it and want it to fail and politicians go along with them.

How long before the Reverend has to call a large and lengthy meeting to sort this new mess from his managers out then?

AUDIT UPDATE: BUNDRED EXPOSES BENT CHIEF AUDITORS

We don’t like to say that we told you so, but … We told you so! That staggering pair of arseholes, Alison “Mullet” Mullis and Melanie “Joe” Henchy-McCarthy, Bristol City Council’s Chief Internal Auditors – who are supposed to protect our money at the council – have been EXPOSED as BENT and USELESS by the council’s ‘Bundred Report’ into its dodgy finance reporting.

According to independent investigator Steve “Sticky” Bundred, the pair of idiot auditors gave the basketcase ‘Single Change Programme’ – that was supposed to deliver £64 million worth of corporate savings to the council by March 2017 and didn’t  – a clean bill of health and a ‘GOOD‘ rating in July 2015. Although it was plainly apparent, even then, to anyone allowed to look that it wasn’t delivering the savings that it should.

While the two auditors researched their report in the summer of 2015, Sticky Bundred tells us that the man in charge of the savings, strategic director Max Wide “Boy”, had “developed SERIOUS DOUBTS about the achievability of the planned savings …   as [his] Directorate was clearly failing to deliver savings expected from investment in commercial property.”

Bundred also says, “These CONCERNS were apparently expressed by [Wide Boy] to the then City Director [Nicola “Lady Gaga” Yates] in a one to one meeting on 13 July 2015 and again in a presentation to an SLT (senior leadership team) awayday.”

Bundred further notes, “on 11 June 2015 the Service Director, HR [Richard Billingham] and the Service Director, Business Change and ICT  [Paul “Arrogant” Arrigoni] met with the then City Director [Gaga] and the Strategic Director, Business Change [Wide Boy] to express concerns that benefits from the Change Programme were “DRIFTING“.”

So how did these two audit experts and super-sleuths employed by us to protect our money miss these OBVIOUS signs of a big problem in a programme they were investigating and manage to rate it as ‘GOOD‘ to councillors on the Audit Committee instead? Who knows? Because the Reverend Rees, so far, can’t be arsed to find out and neither can his Audit Committee.

Our intrepid auditors then went on to do a further investigation, specifically into the financial benefits of the ‘Single Change Programme’ in August 2015. Their draft report was issued to Wide Boy and his Single Change managers in November 2015. This draft report correctly identified cost reductions through a high-profile redundancy scheme in 2014 had NOT BEEN ACHIEVED.

Sticky Bundred explains, “Auditors believed posts were being deleted that had been vacant for a long time so there was NO ACTUAL SAVING and when actual people were released they were often replaced by interims/contractors or casual staff. In consequence, the draft [auditors] report identified RED RISKS in several areas.”

However, by November 2015, says Sticky, the Chief Internal Auditors had allowed the bosses in charge of the underachieving ‘Single Change Programme’ [Wide Boy, Arrogant and the Change Services Manager] to REWRITE their report for them!

The honest pair of auditors then proceeded to tell councillors on the Audit Committee in January 2016 via a ‘summary’ of their full report  that the Single Change Programme was operating at an ‘ACCEPTABLE‘ level without a ‘Red Risk’ in sight! When in fact it was FAILING to the tune of £29 million as all the bosses and both Chief Internal Auditors knew perfectly well.

This is straightforward LYING to our elected representatives. Why the fuck are this pair of bent audit bosses still in post and not at the Job Centre or, even, in a police cell?

THE DIRTY THIRTY: REVEALED

THIRTY Bristol City Council bosses – all members of the ‘Change Board’, responsible for overseeing a council-wide cuts programme – deliberately withheld from councillors and the public a £30 million LOSS in the 2016 – 17 financial year.

Their actions – at the very least – are GROSS MISCONDUCT and they should all be SACKED. Not least because while they were keeping their huge financial loss from us, they were also engineering pay rises for themselves of up to TWENTY PER CENT on the basis of their exceptional ‘TALENT‘!

They may also have committed a CRIME. In what other line of work can you deliberately engage in false accounting and not have committed a serious offence?

Today we name these thirty shameless CROOKS still earning huge sums of money at our expense. And The BRISTOLIAN says THEY MUST ALL GO and GO NOW.

Membership of the change board, December 2015:

Nicola Yates
City Director

Max Wide
Strategic Director: Business Change

Alison Comley
Strategic Director: Neighbourhoods

John Readman
Strategic Director: People

Barra Mac Ruairi
Strategic Director: Place

Lucy Murray-Brown
BWP Programme Co-Director

Becky Pollard
Director of Public Health

Stephen Hilton
Service Director: Bristol Futures

Paul Arrigoni
Service Director: Business Change & ICT

Angela Clarke (Interim)
Service Director: Care & Support Children & Families

Mike Hennessey
Service Director: Care Support & Provider Services (Statutory Director of Adult Social Services) Adults

Patsy Mellor
Service Director: Citizen Services

Gillian Douglas (Interim)
Service Director: Clean and Green

Alistair Reid
Service Director: Economy

Paul Jacobs
Service Director: Education & Skills

Bill Edrich
Service Director: Energy

Julie Oldland (interim)
Service Director: Finance

Mary Ryan / Steve Barrett (job share)
Service Director: Housing Delivery

Nick Hooper
Service Director: Housing Solutions

Richard Billingham
Service Director: Human Resources

Shahzia Daya
Service Director: Legal and Democratic Services

Di Robinson
Service Director: Neighbourhoods

Zoe Willcox
Service Director: Planning

Michele Farmer
Service Director: Policy, Strategy & Communications

Robert Orrett
Service Director: Property

Netta Meadows
Service Director: Strategic Commissioning

Peter Mann
Service Director: Transport

Alison Mullis / Melanie Henchy-McCarthy (job share)
Chief Internal Auditor

Sarah Toy
Chief Resilience Officer

Dominic Murphy
Chief Service Officer for Cities of Service Programme

Got any stories about any of the DIRTY THIRTY? Contact The BRISTOLIAN:

The Bristolian
Box ‘Gurt Shush
Hydra Bookshop
34 Old Market Street
Bristol BS2 0EZ

We consider the security of our confidential sources as very important and will never reveal your identity. However, please take sensible precautions when you contact us.

THE DIRTY THIRTY

The Bundred Report, published last month, into the council’s ‘accidental’ £30 million OVERSPEND last year revealed that the council’s 30 most senior bosses WITHHELD financial information from councillors and the public. This forced councillors to set – what the Reverend Rees has called – an “ILLEGAL BUDGET”.

The report’s author – former Audit Commission boss, Steve “Sticky” Bundred – evades any questions of CRIMINALITY in his report, however. Instead he blames “a serious collective failure of leadership” for the blatant dishonesty from city council bosses. Neatly ducking the issue of whether they have committed a CRIME. A considerably more serious matter than Sticky Bundred’s weak, anaemic and blame-free “collective failure” conclusion.

Potential criminal conduct by these managers includes an apparent effort to influence the outcome of the 2016 Mayoral Election by hiding from the electorate the true financial state of Bristol City Council under Mayor No-more Redpants in the lead-up to the election. How would news that the profligate Red Trousered Buffoon had OVERSPENT by £30m have been greeted by the electorate?

While efforts to rig the election for Redpants may have FAILED, it makes the conduct no more acceptable. All those involved earn excessive pay from the public purse and are contractually obliged to report, as a matter of course, any concerns over financial mismanagement, fraud, bribery embezzlement etc. at the council . They are all therefore – at least – guilty of GROSS MISCONDUCT.

The Reverend Rees has called for a further investigation. We say there is NO NEED. The evidence of these managers’ misconduct is in the Bundred Report. The Reverend needs to ACT. Not run another investigation, which will only let these bent bosses off the hook.

We’re not interested in any “NUREMBERG DEFENCE” from these crooks and frauds that they were “only following orders”. They’re paid to THINK and ACT, not blindly follow instructions like a herd of superannuated sheep.

To assist the Reverend in firing his bent management scum, we have started the task of identifying all 30. Our results will be published TOMORROW. Rest assured we are HUNTING DOWN and will identify any more of these crooks.

We say NO MORE INVESTIGATIONS: disciplinary action and dismissal for the Dirty Thirty now!

BUNDRED REPORT: PANIC AT THE TOP?

A sense of DISARRAY and PANIC at the top of Bristol City Council is emerging as public anger and a determined effort to rid ourselves of the THIRTY bosses who hid a £30m budget black hole from the Bristolian public and their councillors in 2016 grows by the day.

The latest tactic from Bristol City Council’s CRIMINAL gang of Strategic and Service Directors – who presented a set of bent accounts to the public just prior to thieving a 20 per cent pay rise for themselves on the basis of their ‘talent’ – is to IGNORE their correspondence and AVOID replying to Freedom of Information requests.

A recent Freedom of Information request asking that the council supply the minutes of their CHANGE BOARD – where the £30 million scam was cooked-up – has been deliberately delayed. Because, claim panicking bosses, of the “COMPLEXITY” of the request.

What a load of bollocks. Retrieving files from a computer system and supplying them to the public involves no complexity whatsoever. IT’S A SIMPLE TASK. How can a £3 million a year high talent management team not be able to complete this simple task in a month and, instead, resort to weeping about the complexity of it all?

No wonder they struggle with traffic management and house building if obtaining files off a computer is too difficult for them. They are beyond PATHETIC and useless LIARS to boot.

Meanwhile, why is Shahzia “Dim” Daya – the council’s legal boss and Monitoring Officer right at the centre of the corruption scandal – IGNORING the straightforward request published below? Why’s she so bothered about involving external auditors? What could possibly be her problem with that?

From: steven norman <>
Sent: 17 February 2017 12:04
To: shahzia.daya@bristol.gov.uk
Subject: RE: RIGGING OF 2016 LOCAL & MAYORAL ELECTION BY 30 OFFICERS

Ms Daya

Perhaps someone could confirm whether Bristol City Council will be formally requesting that their external auditors conduct a Public Interest Investigation into the following:

– the 30 senior officers/Change Board that withheld information from councillors and the S151 officer that resulted in a material misstatement in the 2015 – 16 accounts and material misstatements in the budget for 2016 – 17 agreed by Full Council in February 2016.

– The Chief Internal Auditors who, in April 2015, found the Change Programme governance arrangements to be ‘good’. A perverse conclusion entirely at odds with the Bundred Report.

– The Chief Internal Auditors over a further Internal Audit report produced in November 2015 and finally published in December 2015 – ‘Change Programme: Financial Benefits Realisation” – that reported ‘acceptable’ levels of control across all areas of the Change Programme after the report was altered by the following officers – Change Services Manager, Service Director, Business Change & ICT, and Strategic Director, Business Change.

– The Chief Internal Auditors presenting the December 2015 report above to the Audit Committee in summary form and with no indication it had been substantially rewritten by officers/managers running the failing Change Programme.

Only it appears to me that an attempt was being made to rig the election by 30 officers who knowingly withheld vital and important information from elected officials and the general public

Kindest Regards

Mr Stephen Norman

If Bristol City Council’s sleazy management scum are avoiding answering these simple questions to DELIBERATELY avoid bringing in the external auditors as they are legally required to do, then they need to quit now so some bosses can come in who are prepared to OBEY THE LAW.

ST MARVIN’S-UP-THE-CREEK NEWSLETTER #4

I trust you all had a joyous Christmas and were pleasantly not unpleased to celebrate the glory of the coming of our Lord? Perfectly represented by our hugely successful best value nativity experience. Who would not agree that this was not church spend well spent on key cultural thematics? And congratulations to St Snoot-the-Privileged School for producing what was, according to our local independent website – St Marvin’s 24/7(edited by Kevin Slocombe) – “a 5 star production”.

Now a new year is upon us. Not only a time to renew your stakeholder relationship with God but the time to address the deficit in the parish accounts. Mr Hughes from Birmingham, our parish administrator, will therefore be announcing a series of exciting efficiencies over the coming months. Many designed to support a necessary step change in the resilience of our faith.

I’m especially proud to announce the first of these efficiencies. As usual, during January I shall be flying out with my family for a month’s sabbatical of poolside prayer and reflection at my mentor, the Reverend Righteous Loon’s, Florida mansion. However, this year, we will close the church and hall for this period and parish stakeholders are invited to attend St Snoot-the-Privileged School’s Renaissance Chapel facility instead.

Our temporary home will be overseen by my assistant vicar, the Rev Tinkerbell who has a series of excellent sermons lined up on culture, media and the post-Jesus agenda and how this can save the poor and ignorant on a competitive market basis during times of austerity.

This temporary efficiency closure is a huge funding win-win for St Marvin’s. As Mr Launcelot from Rachman Estates and Development on the High Street has agreed to make use of the church and hall for the month in exchange for a market resilient rate payable to the St Marvin’s Miscellaneous Provisions (Property) Trust. Mr Launcelot intends to set up an all-through 24-hour one stop shop for migrant job seekers, which sounds like a very worthy and exciting project indeed.

Could parish stakeholders also please note that Mr Launcelot is undertaking some asbestos removal work from the church roof during this period and that, for your own safety, you should not visit or enter St Marvin’s without the correct health and safety authorisation from our Property Sub Committee. We don’t want to be personally liable for any appalling accidents or law suits do we? That’s what Mr Launcelot’s for!

Some of you have noticed that our new pay-as-you-go self service tea vending solution in the vestry is not currently in active mode. This is unfortunate but Mr Hughes assures me it will not significantly impact our projected savings estimate for the current Vernal Equinox timeframe. Especially, he says, if we factor in third quarter capital draw down benefits to the Church Creative Media Fund achieved by the church roof capital transformation pathfinder. I’m sure you’ll agree this is great news and a huge relief.

Mr Hughes tells me that our self-service tea vending partner, Agresso Refreshment World, have identified an unforeseen minor malfunction in a downstream software iteration as the best likely cause. Rest assured, we have already identified spend from the Parish Land Reserve Fund to procure a competitively costed consultant from London to framework the into revenue positive.

In the meantime I’d like to welcome Daisy May – a former pupil of the parish’s OFSTED rated ‘Adequate’ comprehensive school, the Dave Spart Academy – as interim apprentice tea lady. Daisy will be joining us from February on a new flexible nil time agreement arrangement. This not only benefits Daisy while she studies self-service catering on day-release at college but maintains any parish refreshment budget uplift within the recalibrated parish finance envelope. Another win-win.

Our former tea lady, 72 year old Mrs Smith, is unable to return – despite popular demand – as she is now enjoying a flexible retirement as a full time cleaner at the Dave Spart Academy. Those of you who have stupidly repeated Ms Townsend from the Dave Spart Academy’s concerns to me that Daisy’s employment arrangements are exploitative and that Mrs Smith should never have been made redundant lack accurate context. Mr Hughes says the arrangements are reasonable and Ms Townsend is mistaken (as usual) while her continual dissent during Parish meetings is a silly and unwelcome distraction as we work to finesse our new biblical accounting practices.

As my mentor, the Texan psychotic preacher and notorious anti-communist homophobe, the Pastor Righteous Loon often has to remind recalcitant members of his congregation: “And those that would dissent should heed that we, the meek, the wealthy and the best who are the rightful keepers of the Lord’s flame, maintain a lock-up full of semi automatics purely for self defence purposes”.

Happy New Year and God bless.