Category Archives: » SUBJECT:

COUNCIL ENERGY FIRM ABOUT TO BELLYFLOP?

The smell of FAILURE hangs heavy in the air around BRISTOL ENERGY, Bristol City Council’s energy reselling business set-up at great expense with public money.

Despite the council’s best efforts to keep the financial performance of the year old company TOP SECRET, it’s widely known that the company’s original business plan has FAILED.

“The energy market is showing significant price volatility,” is the current form of words being deployed by council bosses for this deplorable state of affairs. While, behind CLOSED DOORS, large sums of our money are being conjured up and another business plan hastily cobbled together by a secret committee, safely hidden away from anyone who might call it like it really is.

We also understand that council bosses have been FORCED to set up an Audit and Remuneration Committee for the firm. Although many might say this kind of basic financial oversight committee should have been in place before the company began trading.

Strenuous efforts are also being made by the Mayor’s office to avoid consolidating the company accounts into the Council’s accounts for 2016/17. As a wholly-owned subsidiary of the council, it’s standard accounting practice that their wholly-owned energy company’s accounts are PUBLISHED alongside the council’s in its annual reports. Hardly ideal if you’re trying to hide losses into six or, even, seven figures from the public!

Meanwhile, the architect of this UNDERPERFORMING SHAMBLES, council Service Manager, Bill Edrich, has been instructed by the Rev Rees to ensure an “orderly exit strategy” forms part of the company’s new business plan.

Watch this space.

SELLING OUT, CASHING IN

It’s not taken long for Labour councillors in Bristol to get their feet under the table and use their large new majority on the council to begin the enormous political challenge of, er, lining up LUCRATIVE CONTRACTS and work for their employers!

 Please step forward Craig “MR CRAPITA” Cheney, a junior employee of hellish public sector contractors and serial outsourcing cock-up artists CAPITA. He currently masquerades part time as ‘Cabinet Member for Finance, Governance and Performance’, wandering aimlessly around the Counts Louse accompanied by a chorus of whispers of “this one’s totally out of his depth isn’t he”?

 But now it looks like Mr Crapita has taken his first key decision. To appoint a new Treasury consultancy team from, er, CAPITA!

The Treasury team basically takes decisions around borrowing and investments at the council. Although why a private firm at a further COST to us now needs to do this work rather than the council’s highly paid “EXPERT” in-house finance bosses is not made clear by Mr Crapita, who is yet to publicise his self-serving, private sector career-enhancing decision.

Meanwhile on 24 November at the Counts Louse, the Rev Rees PERSONALLY HOSTED ‘The Big Conversation: Development by Bristol City Council’.

“Help shape the future development of Bristol,” gushed the publicity, squarely aimed at big money CORPORATE DEVELOPMENT INTERESTS who were promised ACCESS to not only the Rev Rees but the opportunity to “Join Cabinet Lead for Homes and communities Councillor Paul Smith; Cabinet Lead for Place Councillor Helen Holland; and Cabinet member for Transport, Councillor Mark Bradshaw.”

Among the agenda items was ‘De-risking the development process and the role of planning’. Presumably the aim being to simplify things for corporates wanting to BUILD SHIT quick for a FAST BUCK in Bristol? However, what really caught the eye about this event, held at the Counts Louse with Bristol Labour politicians and Bristol City Council bosses in attendance was that it wasn’t organised by Bristol City Council.

Instead, THIS INVITATION-ONLY EVENT to meet influential senior Labour politicians and council bosses for “TABLE DISCUSSIONS” was organised by a corporate lobbying firm, JBP. Who happen to specialise in … Wait for it … “complex planning and construction projects in retail, house building and major infrastructure development.”

How terribly cosy for all involved. Even more so when you realise that the JBP employee who organised the event at the council was one Nicola “LA LA” Beech. La La, when she’s not shilling for corporate development interests, also happens to be a LABOUR COUNCILLOR for St George Central!

It’s a small world isn’t it?

BRISTOL UNISON ELECTION: BACKSIDE BLASTS ROBBO

PANIC is breaking out at the South West regional branch of Unison following the hasty RESIGNATION of their Bristol Branch Secretary, Steve “Backside” Crawshaw after he was exposed in The BRISTOLIAN cutting a SECRET DEAL with the Rev Rees to help smoothly deliver controversial staff cuts at Bristol City Council with a minimum of trade union opposition.

Backside actively tried to make his sleazy deal with the Reverend while joint trade union Employee Side Secretary at the council, crudely EXCLUDING the council’s other trade unions and his own membership from these secret discussions. So it’s hardly surprising everybody’s lost faith in him and he’s slithering back to his protected £30k plus sinecure in the council’s bent property department.

An ELECTION is now underway for a new Bristol Branch Secretary, which pits a traditional left winger -Tom “RED ROBBO” Merchant, who wants to openly OPPOSE the Reverend’s stupid and brutal £110m Tory cuts programme – against a right winger, Jane “Wet” Carter – who wants to focus the branch’s attention on a load of middle class EQUALITIES bollocks for the next few years.

The election – and the simple choice it offers between traditional trade unionism or a load of useless liberal shite – appears to have thrown Backside’s Labour Party handlers at Unison’s regional office in Wine Street into something of a meltdown. So they INSTRUCTED Backside to urgently email out to members “in a personal capacity” to support the useless but Labour and Reverend-friendly Wet Carter.

Hapless neo-liberal jerk, Backside, has COMPLIED with his Labour Party handlers instructions to the letter. Because an absurd email, listing all the skills he believes a union branch secretary requires, arrived in Unison members’ inboxes. Accompanied by Backside’s view that Wet Carter “embodies, and can demonstrate, all these characteristics”. (Fancy that!)

Backside selflessly reveals his views on Red Robbo in his email too. “I cannot strongly discern the qualities listed above in Tom Merchant,” sniffily explains this inadequate sell out who has had to QUIT after conduct so DISREPUTABLE it’s resulted in local trade unionists’ total loss of confidence in him.

Backside finally advises his Bristol members, “to use your vote wisely and advise other members accordingly”. We concur with Backside entirely. Use that vote wisely Unison members. Do you want an ACTUAL TRADE UNIONIST fighting for your job and the services you run or a right wing APOLOGIST for huge cuts who will help make you redundant and trash local public services while creating a first draft transgender bathroom policy?

The choice is all yours comrades …

 

That email in full:

FROM: Steve Crawshaw
SENT: 27 January 2017 15:40
TO: Steve Crawshaw
SUBJECT: Branch Secretary Election – Bristol UNISON

Dear UNISON member

As you may know, I am stepping down as Branch Secretary after 3 years in the post as I have been asked to return to my substantive role in the council. There will now be an election for the role, and two candidates are standing. I am writing to you in a personal capacity to set out my views as to the merits of the candidates in terms of their
suitability for the role.

The position of Branch Secretary requires specific personal characteristics. In my view these are: sound judgement, resilience to stress, empathy, critical thinking and determination. As well as being the lead negotiator in the branch, they are also a manager and employer of a team four staff, so strong management skills are necessary. They need to be able to marshal an argument and communicate clearly. They need to think be able to think strategically, but also be prepared to pick apart a document in detail and respond to complex proposals intelligently. Importantly, they need to work with activists, members, employees and regional officers as part of a cohesive team. The branch secretary needs to understand and accept the organising principles in UNISON, where we empower members rather than service and put equalities at the heart of our practice.

In my view, only one candidate, Jane Carter embodies, and can demonstrate, all these characteristics. I will not repeat the text of her election address, but I can endorse all of what she says in it. She has a track record of running a large branch and I have been impressed with all the work she has done in our branch.

Unfortunately I cannot strongly discern the qualities listed above in Tom Merchant.

Bristol UNISON is the largest trade union branch in the South West and the largest union in the council. I believe we have a good reputation with members, employers and in the region. It is important that we maintain this to protect our members’ jobs and T&C’s. Having a strong and competent leader is a vital part of this, so I would encourage you to use your vote wisely and advise other members accordingly. The ballot materials will be sent shortly.

Kind Regards

Steve Crawshaw

ROTTEN COMRADES by -The Dwarf

Bristol Unison in action

A certain UNISON branch secretary was spotted lurking in the depths of City Hall last autumn.

UNITE reps – having been tipped off that devious shenanigans were in the offing from their opposite numbers in UNISON – were posted at strategic locations to intercept and follow him. The ensuing sneaking around was likened to something that might be achieved by Japan’s finest ninja assassins. Others likened it to a chase scene from Benny Hill.

Regardless, the upshot of it was that UNITE managed to find the location of a secret meeting with the Mayor. A meeting that they had every right to attend but the invites to which the UNISON branch secretary had mysteriously forgotten to send to UNITE! The branch secretary had a duty as “employee side secretary” to invite all the attendees but had conveniently forgotten to do so when an important discussion was to take place.

A discussion concerning the fate of thousands of employees and many services that might face cuts. It has been alleged that said secretary wanted time alone with the mayor to finesse things to his union’s advantage. It’s now being reported to us that shortly after this shoddy episode, the UNISON branch secretary now no longer holds the post of employee side secretary.The post is instead held by UNITE.

It’s also has been reported that UNISON is now finding it difficult to arrange meetings with the mayor. Strange, because the mayor seems to be meeting every Tom, Dick and Harry that asks. Only last week the mayor met with a couple of commies from an anti-austerity group that were hanging around trying to sell a few copies of the Morning Star. They were whisked inside and afterwards said the meeting had been “quite productive”.

SICK COUNCILLORS PUT PARK ON ROAD TO RUIN

jon-wellington-1462720144

SPADstic and Lazy in happier times before they decided to fuck up one of the city’s parks and become objects of mass derision

We have an early entrant for our IDLE SELF-PUBLICIST COUNCILLOR of the year award. Please step forward Labour’s councillor for Windmill Hill, “Lazy” Lucy Whittle.

LIVID RESIDENTS of Windmill Hill and Totterdown – fuming over her and her politically ambitious colleague Jon “SPADstic” Wellington’s top secret plan to build a bloody great ROAD through their beloved Victoria Park – were desperately emailing Lazy Lucy in December only to be greeted by an out of office message.

“Thank you for contacting me, I am currently on SICK LEAVE but expect to be able to return to work within a few weeks, hopefully at the end of December,” bleated Lucy.

Fair enough. We all get ill and can’t work. But wait! What should pop through residents’ doors in late December/early January but a copy of the South Bristol Voice newspaper featuring a ‘Your councillors’ column written by none other than LAZY LUCY, merrily wittering away, without a care in the world, about the awfulness of the cuts she’ll be voting to implement this year.

What type of STRANGE ILLNESS is this that afflicted Lazy Lucy over the Christmas holidays? Too ill to reply to residents’ emails but well enough to write an article promoting herself and taking advantage of free PR in the local freesheet? Truly, an extraordinary condition.

Lazy Lucy and sidekick, SPADstic, may be trying to avoid residents after they supported a SECRET three month public consultation by cycling and concrete charity, Sustrans, into the so-called ‘Filwood Quietway’ through Victoria Park.

This is basically a plan – going to a planning committee next week – for a FIVE METRE WIDE ROAD for cyclists to SPEED through the park on. And, despite Lazy and SPADstic’s comprehensive three month consultation over the summer, virtually no residents knew anything about it!

Unless, that is, they happened to wander into a BICYLE REPAIR GAZEBO in Victoria Park on the afternoon of Wednesday 31 August or they were invited to a few mysterious PRIVATE, invitation-only meetings with the mendacious pair of Labour councillors and Sustrans’ posh engagement manager, Anais “Nincompoop “Leger-Smith.

To add INSULT TO INJURY, Lazy Lucy even used her South Bristol Voice PR column in October to discuss her road-through-the-park plan in vague terms, telling residents, “we are really interested in what the community thinks. So do let us know your thoughts,” a week after the consultation CLOSED!

Lazy Lucy also gave the road Labour’s SUPPORT in her column, telling residents, “[SPADstic and I] see this as an improvement to Bristol’s cycling infrastructure that will bring benefits to communities along its route.”

Now SPADstic, apparently alone and abandoned by sickly Lazy Lucy, and desperate to salvage his six-month car crash career is attempting a REVERSE FERRET at the kind of furious speeds cyclists will soon be doing across his local park.

As hundreds of objections pour in from residents – as they finally find out about the road SPADstic forgot to tell them about – SPADstick is desperately issuing VAGUE and PISS WEAK promises to support the residents he deliberately sidelined and ignored during the three month consultation.

Too little; too late we say. Why did Lazy Lucy and SPADstic DELIBERATELY allow this plan get to a planning committee before telling residents? And why – if their consultation with Anais NIncompoop from cycling’s concrete kings – has been such a comprehensive listening exercise, are HUNDREDS of residents and every community group and school in the area UP IN ARMS about it?

The plan needs to go back to the drawing board and these idiot councillors need to apologise to their residents for their appalling conduct and start doing their jobs properly. Or else.

BRISTOLIAN PUBLISHER DEMANDS TO BE SUED!

Steve Norman has written to all of Bristol City Councillors today demanding that they take LEGAL ACTION against him immediately for “revealing the truth about their relationship with Camelot and Meridian,” our bent council’s close business partners.

Camelot and Meridian are the CROOKS housing vulnerable people and migrants in inadequate conditions in rat infested council properties that don’t meet the council’s own basic standards of safety. Unusually, these buildings have been handed to the businesses FREE OF CHARGE by council property boss Robert “Spunkface” Orrett.

Steve has once again openly published and distributed the statement, banned yesterday from the Full Council for for being – according to council officers – “DEFAMATORY“.

We continue to await word from the idiot Rev Rees and his legal eagles or the wankers at Camelot that they are taking action against our open publication and distribution of this DEFAMATORY MATERIAL, however.

Is there a problem of some sort? Like, perhaps, everything the statement says is true? This might also explain why council officers REFUSED yesterday to let the resident change their statement and remove any allegedly defamatory clauses the officers cared to identify? (Thus far these legal pro’s have identified ZERO defamatory clauses to anyone)

It’s a cover-up!

Steve’s email is below:

From: steven norman
Sent: 14 December 2016 09:38
To: Mayor and all councillors
Subject: RE: WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

BCC have threatened legal action against anyone revealing the truth about their relationship with Camelot+Meridian, i’m sharing this! So has any ONE OF YOU GOT THE COURAGE TO ASK WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE OR WILL YOU ALL DO YOUR NORMAL TRAIT AND BURY YOUR HEADS  LIKE  OSTRICHES OUTSIDE THE BIG HOUSE ON THE GREEN?

MESSAGE FOR THE GREAT LEGAL EAGLES OF BRISTOL CITY COUNCIL SUE ME COME AND GIVE IT A GO LETS SHOW THE PEOPLE OF BRISTOL THE TRUTH  :)

Address For Service Of Papers Mr Stephen Kenneth James Norman, Antona Court, Antona Drive Bristol BS11 9RL

“I am a resident/property guardian at Broomhill EPH, owned by Bristol city council (BCC) and formerly an elderly persons home. Currently and for the past 3 years, while I have been living here, it was leased to Camelot property management LTD, a private company, providing a short-term security solution, by renting rooms within what would otherwise be vacant properties.

However, Is it appropriate for Bristol City council to have dealings with Camelot property management? Camelot property management entered into a contract with Bristol city council in September 2013. There have been between 5 and 20 guardians living at Broomhill EPH since then. Against the law, with the knowledge of some within Bristol City Council, Camelot operated Broomhill, without a HMO license for 3 years (needed when more than 5 unrelated people live there. Broomhill is a large HMO having many rooms and over 3 story’s). After the eventual visit by the councils EHO and subsequent improvement notice, no works were done, up to the expiry of the improvement notice and yet Camelot were allowed to operate without a HMO license from November 2013 until November 2016. The property has never met the requirements of such a license and even now after the license was granted, there is an improvement notice issued for substantial works to make the property up to the required standards. This notice has now run out and no works were carried out, until a week ago, when strip lighting was installed, so we are still living in dangerous and substandard housing conditions, with no heating, fire safety measures, or hot water.

The members of the public living there as property guardians have suffered numerous incidents of harassment, including physical, verbal and racial abuse at the Hands of Camelot staff members. Illegal fines have been issued for sums of money with no legal binding and pressure has been applied for guardians to pay these or be issued with notice to leave properties. In addition to this Camelot have committed multiple breaches of their contract agreement with Bristol city council. Failing to supply hot water, removing showers, not maintaining the fire alarm system, removing fire doors and lighting to name just a few.

In my license agreement with Camelot I have paid council tax for over 3 years. I, personally have been informed by the council tax office, that there is no liability nor account, for any council tax to be collected for Broomhill EPH, as it is still a council tax exempt property. Should all guardians who lived at the property over the past 3 years receive this money back, as the property is still exempt for council tax? So why does Bristol city council have any dealings with such an unscrupulous, negligent, potentially fraudulent and therefore criminal company, with a flagrant disregard for their tenants welfare? After all, Hackney Council in London terminated its contract with Camelot in 2015 in similar circumstances.

Clearly regarding not issuing the mandatory license for an HMO, a department within Bristol city council have been in collusion with Camelot for not enforcing their own regulations and therefore the law. In the last 6 months we have discovered that Camelot in another Camelot run BCC property has used forced illegal evictions, with 4 Camelot employees removing a woman from a property late at night in her night clothes, being permitted to take her medication from the fridge, but none of her other property. Another Camelot run BCC property has been sublet to a third party (Meridian), housing as many as 40 of their workers with no agreement/contract in place whatsoever, collecting their rent in cash per person weekly. Other properties have unresolved issues with rat infestations. Also there are several allegations of criminal acts carried out by Camelot staff contrary to the protection from eviction act 1977, due to be heard in court early 2017. In light of this information we would like to know what Bristol city’s response to this is?

We would like to request BCC recognize Camelot ‘guardians’ as council tenants and not licensees. We also would like BCC to acknowledge that some of their workers wrongfully colluded with Camelot property management, particularly over the HMO license. It is up to BCC whether they re-house all residents currently, in their Camelot-run BCC properties, with decent accommodation and legal contracts.

Please can I have a full written response to this statement?”

THE STATEMENT THEY DON’T WANT YOU TO READ:

The Rev Rees – just back from kowtowing to the anti-free speech human rights abusers of the Chinese Communist Party – today banned a voice of the voiceless from his own council chamber in Bristol and then stood idly by while his security goons assaulted the speaker for complaining!

Our self-styled ‘mayor for equality’ silenced one of the ‘the unequal’ he’s supposed to be standing up for and instead sided with his bent property department run by sleazeball Robert “Spunkface” Orrett and a dodgy business bleeding our public assets dry. Maybe they’re the people he really works for?

The ‘Buy-to-Let’ Mayor prevented a tenant from the council’s former Broomhill Elderly People’s Home delivering a statement regarding the conduct of the council’s business partner, Camelot, who are running the home as a lucrative residential letting scam (Bristolian passim).The company have possession of at least SIX Bristol City Council empty commercial properties and are renting rooms to vulnerable Bristolians in all of them.

Do the Rev Rees and his useless new head of legal not want us to know the truth about the Dickensian conditions they expect us to live in? Why else would they conspire to declare that the statement was ‘defamatory’ and could not be read out in his council chamber?

Well, bollocks to that. Here’s the statement in full. As usual, we invite the Christian hypocrite Rees and his useless shower of lying legal cunts to initiate proceedings forthwith …

I am a resident/property guardian at Broomhill EPH, owned by Bristol city council (BCC) and formerly an elderly persons home. Currently and for the past 3 years, while I have been living here, it was leased to Camelot property management ltd, a private company, providing a short-term security solution, by renting rooms within what would otherwise be vacant properties.

However, Is it appropriate for Bristol City council to have dealings with Camelot property management? Camelot property management entered into a contract with Bristol city council in September 2013. There have been between 5 and 20 guardians living at Broomhill EPH since then. Against the law, with the knowledge of some within Bristol City Council, Camelot operated Broomhill, without a HMO license for 3 years (needed when more than 5 unrelated people live there. Broomhill is a large HMO having many rooms and over 3 storeys). After the eventual visit by the councils EHO and subsequent improvement notice, no works were done, up to the expiry of the improvement notice and yet Camelot were allowed to operate without a HMO license from November 2013 until November 2016. The property has never met the requirements of such a license and even now after the license was granted, there is an improvement notice issued for substantial works to make the property up to the required standards. This notice has now run out and no works were carried out, until a week ago, when strip lighting was installed, so we are still living in dangerous and substandard housing conditions, with no heating, fire safety measures, or hot water.

The members of the public living there as property guardians have suffered numerous incidents of harassment, including physical, verbal and racial abuse at the Hands of Camelot staff members. Illegal fines have been issued for sums of money with no legal binding and pressure has been applied for guardians to pay these or be issued with notice to leave properties. In addition to this Camelot have committed multiple breaches of their contract agreement with Bristol city council. Failing to supply hot water, removing showers, not maintaining the fire alarm system, removing fire doors and lighting to name just a few.

In my license agreement with Camelot I have paid council tax for over 3 years. I, personally have been informed by the council tax office, that there is no liability nor account, for any council tax to be collected for Broomhill EPH, as it is still a council tax exempt property. Should all guardians who lived at the property over the past 3 years receive this money back, as the property is still exempt for council tax? So why does Bristol city council have any dealings with such an unscrupulous, negligent, potentially fraudulent and therefore criminal company, with a flagrant disregard for their tenants welfare? After all, Hackney Council in London terminated its contract with Camelot in 2015 in similar circumstances.

Clearly regarding not issuing the mandatory license for an HMO, a department within Bristol city council have been in collusion with Camelot for not enforcing their own regulations and therefore the law. In the last 6 months we have discovered that Camelot in another Camelot run BCC property has used forced illegal evictions, with 4 Camelot employees removing a woman from a property late at night in her night clothes, being permitted to take her medication from the fridge, but none of her other property. Another Camelot run BCC property has been sublet to a third party (Meridian), housing as many as 40 of their workers with no agreement/contract in place whatsoever, collecting their rent in cash per person weekly. Other properties have unresolved issues with rat infestations. Also there are several allegations of criminal acts carried out by Camelot staff contrary to the protection from eviction act 1977, due to be heard in court early 2017. In light of this information we would like to know what Bristol city’s response to this is?

We would like to request BCC recognise Camelot ‘guardians’ as council tenants and not licensees. We also would like BCC to acknowledge that some of their workers wrongfully colluded with Camelot property management, particularly over the HMO license. It is up to BCC whether they re-house all residents currently, in their Camelot-run BCC properties, with decent accommodation and legal contracts.

Please can I have a full written response to this statement?

EVICTED FOR CHRISTMAS

Landlords celebrate rent rise on Facebook ...

Landlords celebrate rent rise on Facebook …

A Lawrence Weston family with four children aged between 3 and 13 will be evicted from their home over Christmas so that a GREEDY LANDLORD can shove the rent on the property up by 15 per cent and trouser more money to spend on luxury goods.

The family have lived in the property for over FIVE YEARS and have always paid their rent on time … In fact they pay it early every month in order to ensure payment is fully cleared! They even lived through their first winter in the house for five months WITHOUT A BOILER despite repeated requests that something be done.

They also went without a replacement oven for FOUR MONTHS. While other problems have included a front window suffering from severe damp to the point that it nearly COLLAPSED; drains at the front of the house frequently overflowing and smelling and a rat problem caused by these drains. Essential work that needed to be done by the landlord has just not happened.

The house has three small bedrooms, a living room with small dining space leading into the kitchen and the family currently pay £825 a month. When the family received the NOTICE FOR POSSESSION they were told by the landlord, “I have friends moving back from London and I need the house for them.”

Landlord: more money to spend on luxury goods

Landlord: more money to spend on luxury goods

This was a lie. Instead the house is now advertised for rent room-by-room as the landlord looks to GRAB another £150 a month by renting to “professionals” or students. He’s even posted on Facebook CELEBRATING his potential windfall.

The family have been to the council as they can’t find anything in the area to rent privately and the council have told them that they CANNOT HOUSE THEM. Instead the family will have to go into emergency accommodation for at least SIX WEEKS. This is very likely to be outside of Bristol .

The oldest boy starts GCSEs early and starts his coursework now. A move would be a huge disruption to him and his ambition to become a qualified mental health professional. The other children are in school and nursery nearby in Lawrence Weston and are doing well. Dad works nearby at Nisbets and moving out of Bristol would affect his ability to get to work and his children to school.

Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year (may only apply to Bristol slum landlords)!

FILM FLAM

City office movies

A dull photo-op last month of old men in suits vacantly sat around in an open plan office while the Reverend Rees waffled aimlessly to journalists about homelessness signalled the launch of the Reverend’s big idea – THE CITY OFFICE.

The ‘BIG IDEA’ is to get bosses from business, public services and the voluntary sector together to solve the city’s problems. So 75 bosses gathered at the Counts Louse on 29 September to have their photo taken in front of the local press while pretending to listen attentively to the The Reverend as he tried to convince us all that this was all terribly exciting and the whole world was watching and waiting on his initiative with baited breath.

The City Office, itself, we were told, would be focusing on homelessness and rough sleeping to start with. However, the noticeable absence of any CASH TO SPLASH or even any new policy to launch meant we had to settle for a PR RELAUNCH of the ‘Bristol Street Aware’ campaign. An initiative started by corporate retailers in Broadmead last year to clear rough sleepers off their doorsteps by ‘signposting’ them into unpopular homeless hostels run by the charity St Mungos.

This lack of money and ideas for the homeless starkly contrasted with the Vicar’s decision five days later at his cabinet meeting to hand over £692k to a Southville-based consultancy firm to continue running the BOTTLE YARD FILM STUDIOS in Hengrove. This is the film studio that’s already receiving about £1m in public money every year according to the council’s published expenditure accounts. The studios appear especially popular with BBC producers looking for cheap, publicly subsidised deals.

The Reverend and his Cabinet decided to HAND OVER MORE PUBLIC MONEY – grabbed from a restructured loan deal relating to the shadowy Hengrove Park housing development – to the city’s creative industries despite this council owned film studio and its firm of consultants providing NO MEANINGFUL ACCOUNTS or BUSINESS PLAN to support their large financial demands on the public purse.

The Rev and his cabinet have therefore handed over money earmarked for one of the city’s most deprived areas on the basis of UNSUBSTANTIATED CLAIMS by council bosses that this studio will make a £100k surplus next year and – an even more UNLIKELY CLAIM – that it is generating £16m for the city’s economy every year.

Naturally The Reverend’s house-trained Cabinet agreed to this nonsense with no questions asked. HRH Helen of Holland, the cabinet member responsible, gushed that the EVIDENCE-FREE PIFFLE supplied by senior council bosses was “A GOOD NEWS REPORT“. While Deputy Mayor Estella “Tinkerbell” Tinknell only seemed bothered about “developing our media profile as a VIBRANT FILM AND MEDIA CITY“. Presumably regardless of the cost or the fact most of us couldn’t give a toss about “media cities,” whatever they are?

Moreover, the true cost of the council’s latest publicly funded creative industries VANITY PROJECT was carefully hidden by the Rev’s senior bosses who neglected to explain properly that a further £0.6m is also required to buy the studio’s FREEHOLD. That’s a total of £1.3m being poured in then. The same senior bosses also forgot to explain if there’s any RISK attached to their expenditure, projected to gain a paltry income of £100k a year from the studios. Is this the world’s first risk-free business?

The average whelk stall wouldn’t be run like this, let alone a MAJOR PUBLICLY FUNDED PROJECT. But who cares if we’re keeping creative industries bigwigs in the style to which they’ve become accustomed and we’re “developing our media profile as a vibrant film and media city”?

Meanwhile, as the Vicar shovels our cash into creative industries vanity projects, the homeless can make do with a grotty little PR relaunch and photo op can’t they

DAYLIGHT ROBBERY?

Day_Group web

Why would the wealthy and well-connected need planning permission to build this?

Our dear old friends Mordaunt and Ord, that pair of dubious MERCHANT VENTURERS running the BRISTOL PORT COMPANY at Avonmouth, are at it again. Pissing off the locals and paying scant attention to the law while Bristol City Council and regulators attempt to look the other way.

So step forward the DAY GROUP who Mordaunt and Ord have allowed to start building a BOTTOM ASH manufacturing plant in the port grounds without either organisation recognising the need to get, er, planning permission. Is planning permission only for the little people now?

Instead, it seems, our old friend, bent council planning officer Angelo “King Pawn” Calabrese appeared to give the Day Group the nod in August 2015 to build their POLLUTING manufacturing plant – where TOXIC remains from waste incineration will be made into asphalt blocks for road building – within yards of people’s homes. However, the King Prawn actually issued a ‘PLANNING CONTROL NOTICE’ that formally registers a change of land use, not planning permission.

Day Group and the Bristol Port Company are now relying on ‘PERMITTED DEVELOPMENT RIGHTS’. Legislation that allows ports in the UK to undertake development without planning permission on their land for the purposes of shipping or for dock-related activities such as loading, unloading or transporting goods . A manufacturing plant working with toxic material run by a third party is, of course, under NO DEFINITION a docks-related project.

And Bristol City Council have already admitted as much. In a letter sent to the Bristol Port Company on 3 September 2015, just days after apparently allowing the plant to go ahead, King Prawn’s boss Paul “HOT” Chick told the port in plain English and in no uncertain terms, “With reference to [..] ‘Permitted Development’ provisions it is clear that industrial operations ARE NOT included.”

So now, in November 2016, how come this plant with NO PLANNING PERMISSION is nearing completion on docks land? However, thanks to the persistence of Avonmouth residents the council has been forced to issue a PLANNING ENFORCEMENT NOTICE, which should result in the companies, at least, having to obtain retrospective planning permission. Although residents are demanding a STOP NOTICE from Bristol City Council and have called on the EA to SUSPEND their ongoing licensing process for the plant until the case has been decided.

Arguments for ceasing the development are sound when you consider that bottom ash is the TOXIC REMAINS of incinerated materials, which could include heavy metals such as Lead, Copper, Zinc and Barium. While batches tested in the Environment Agency’s (EA) own studies contain as many as 73 different tasty and nutritious ingredients. Why not test the EA’s claim that Bottom Ash is inert and non-hazardous by throwing a lump of it in your fishtank or by licking it?

It’ll be interesting to see, then, how the port, Day Group, the council and the Environment Agency wriggle out of this one so tthat hey can continue their mission to poison the residents of Avonmouth