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AVONMOUTH COUNCILLOR ENTERS WEIRD SPACE-TIME VORTEX AS LAUNDRY TRIAL DATE SET

Freedom for laundries!

Despite the express instructions of District Judge Rowe at Bristol County Court last month that they negotiate an immediate solution to ‘The Ridiculous Case of the Shuttered Laundry’ at Antona Court within two weeks, Bristol City Council’s legal and housing goons have done the EXACT OPPOSITE and made no effort whatsoever to settle the dispute.

The case, now regularly featured in the local and national press as a post-Grenfell tale of the underdog against stupid, incompetent and uncaring bureaucracy that wants you dead, will now go to FULL TRIAL on 25 September.

Council housing bosses – in their determination to maintain an iron grip on Antona Court’s shared laundry facility and to treat their social housing tenants like shit – will obviously be funded by YOU, the taxpayer, to take part in this magnificent courtroom drama attempting to prevent laundry being done between the hours of 8.00pm and 8.00am in Shirehampton.

The complainant, BBC Radio 4’s Steve “Stormin'” Norman will continue to cost you ABSOLUTELY NOTHING as he represents himself again in his hugely entertaining skirmish with the forces of arrogance, stupidity and small penises at the helm of Bristol City Council.

Meanwhile, creating an additional layer of utter CONFUSION and PARALYSIS to the affair is Avonmouth’s Labour councillor Don “Lenin” Alexander, who appears, now, to have taken up residence in his own personal parallel universe somewhere near Sea Mills.

Steve emailed Don earlier this week politely requesting his presence at the trial as a witness. “As the case is now SETTLED as far as the laundry is concerned I’d much rather use my time more profitably,” Don beamed back from his alternative space-time vortex.

Er, how can the case be settled if it’s in court on 25 September? Has the council secretly negotiated a settlement with itself behind closed doors that it’s banned from publication? Maybe the council’s sacked this irritating judge who expects them to do some work and appointed lazy sod Don and his culture of zero expectation instead? Is this a new Don/council definition of ‘settled’ that approximates to the traditional term ‘not settled’? Is Don simply OFF HIS FACE on something?  Who knows? But Don’s such consistently good value, he could be put on permanent special offer at the new Lidl in Lawrence Weston.

Meanwhile, the man running the show, The Reverend Rees – a SAD and LONELY figure at Bristol’s Labour Campaign Forum AGM this week as socialists seized control of his local party and consiged to the grave his wet-weekend third way politics of submission to the markets – tells Steve he thinks his grandmother will listen to the forthcoming Radio 4 documentary on Antona Court and its controversial laundry.

The idea of knocking some management heads together or kicking his officers and string-pullers extremely hard up their backsides until they do something involving common sense and the direct request of a District Judge is clearly way beyond this weak and feeble man (surely you mean GLOBAL LEADER indoctrinated in free market economics at Harvard, Ed).

BOG WANKING BOSS BANS BOATS FROM BOAT FEST

With just a week to go until our annual Harbour Festival, it’s time for Bristol City Council and its prize turd in human form, the Hitler of the harbour, Cap’n Tony “Ahab” Nichol, to treat some Bristol residents LIKE SHIT in order to facilitate some vacuous piece of old crap for the WEALTHY and PRIVILEGED.

This year’s victims are the 30-odd boat-owning residents of HANNOVER QUAY who have been instructed by Harbour Master Ahab, still apparently struggling with his considerable number of mental health issues, to shift their homes out of the way to the end of the harbour at Poole’s Wharf for TEN DAYS during a festival that’s supposed to celebrate, er, boats and our harbour.

We understand these residents are being uprooted so that Ahab and his tragic council management mates and hangers-on can move a SUPER YACHT on to Hannover Quay for the weekend so they can spend time aboard the vessel getting pissed and tugging each other off in style.

Perhaps they’ll be celebrating Ahab’s oversight of the dodgy repair of the Princes Street Swing Bridge? This only took him about THREE YEARS, cost MILLIONS and, we’re reliably assured, “will last about FIVE MINUTES“! Or perhaps they’ll raise a glass to Ahab’s last round of staff cuts, which created 1.25 bosses to every member of working staff accompanied by an unprecedented rise in the DEATH TOLL in his docks?

The boat owners are, of course, livid. Not least because there’s NO ELECTRICITY at Poole’s Wharf, which means the council are treating their long-term paying customers to ten days of living in the dark and eating cold food in the arse end of the harbour while they all enjoy themselves. What’s not to like?

The boat owners are also less than impressed that the consultation they were promised months ago by Bristol City Council prior to any move NEVER MATERIALISED. Instead Ahab – who only has a job because an investigation into his systematic workplace bullying practices in 2014 was called off because it took so long the investigator had retired – simply wandered down to Hannover Quay one day and INSTRUCTED the boat owners to leave or else.

Subsequent complaints to Ahab have all fallen on DEAF EARS, not least because he’s actually very, very ill and isn’t mentally capable of giving a fuck about people. But that’s only when boat owners have managed to get hold him at all. “He’s been spending a lot of time lately in the Harbour Office toilet with his prized copy of ‘Superyacht’ magazine,” we’re told.

“He’s not known around the Harbour Office as “crispy trousers” for nothing”!

BIJAN EBRAHIMI, THE IPCC AND THE DISGRACED CHIEF CONSTABLE

A warm glow of VIRTUE SIGNALLING embraces Bristol as the IPCC finally gets around to releasing their report on the Bijan Ebrahimi murder four years ago. Bijan was beaten to death and set alight by his neighbour in Broomhill, Lee James, in July 2013.

The brutal murder happened after police from Broadbury Road Police Station had IGNORED Iranian, Bijan’s, complaints of racism from his neighbours for over SEVEN YEARS. Police officers treating the life of a working class, disabled man on one of our estates with absolute contempt.

Who gives a fuck about Broomhill and the people who live there? That was the clear message from the city’s authorities in 2013, with the council and voluntary organisations also notable for a LACK OF EFFORT on behalf of Bijan when he needed them.

Police treatment of Bijan in the seven years leading up to his murder, concludes the IPCC’s Commissioner Jan Williams who fronted this remarkably slow and unincisive investigation into Avon & Somerset’s conduct, had ‘‘all the hallmarks of RACIAL BIAS‘.

While, apparently, not being actually racist, conveniently meaning nobody in the force is a racist who can be brought to book. A bizarre conclusion further borne out by Avon & Somerset’s misconduct hearings against 17 staff closely involved in the case, all of which concluded there was “NO EVIDENCE OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION” by our police.

The sense of an empty virtue signalling public relations exercise being conducted by the IPCC and Avon & Somerset is further enhanced by the VAGUE and CONTENT-FREE statements from our establishment-friendly Chief Constable, Andy “Yes Man” Hayman and the bankrupt doughnut vendor turned Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Sue Mountstevens.

Jan Williams, IPCC

Yes Man has assured the Nazi Post “that the police moved quickly to look at what they did wrong, and have already implemented changes”. Although the detail of these “changes” is conveniently WITHELD from us. We do know, however, that the “changes” didn’t consist of the firing of up to 17 RACISTS operating with impunity out of Broadbury Road Police Station in 2013.

Mountstevens was similarly vague, assuring Nazi Post readers she was “confident there would not be a repeat” and claiming, “we have learned from this and the Chief Constable and I must ensure that a tragic event like this does not happen again.” Although, yet again, any detail or explanation as to why there won’t be a repeat is mysteriously LACKING from Mountstevens statement. So what has Mountstevens LEARNED? And what has Yes Man actually done to CHANGE anything?

Inexplicable “changes” accompanied by aimless virtue signalling and bland positive public relations messaging is in STARK CONTRAST to the actions of Avon & Somerset’s former Chief Constable, Nick Gargan. Gargan, a liberal reformer, was in charge of the force in 2013 at the time of the racist murder until he was effectively SACKED in 2015 by Mountstevens with the help of, er, IPCC Commissioner Jan Williams.

Leaving public relations considerations to the establishment wankers and second-rate careerists, Gargan immediately got stuck into the CORRUPT and RACIST culture of Broadbury Road Police Station in 2013. Thanks to his actions four officers at Broadbury Road were charged with misconduct in public office and two were convicted and finally imprisoned by 2016. All four were dismissed from the force.

Gargan also had a further TWELVE police officers – including sergeants and inspectors – lined up for disciplinary action by early 2014. Indeed, so keen was Gargan to discipline the RACISTS and SCUMBAGS in his force he formally complained to the IPCC’s Jan Williams regarding the ridiculous length of time her investigation was taking as it was delaying him from taking action against racists and incompetents.

Within months of this, Gargan was SUSPENDED and being INVESTIGATED by, er, the IPCC’s Jan Williams for  ‘inappropriate behaviour towards female officers and staff’. Sixteen months later after a thorough fishing expedition and witch hunt, Williams finally trumped up some charges for Gargan around a series of PETTY and UNRELATED allegations of sharing information with his partner by email and using his work mobile phone to send personal text messages.

These charges were put before an independent disciplinary panel that found that NONE of these actions had done any harm to the force and did not justify dismissal. Indeed, the disciplinary panel confined the majority of its criticisms to the conduct of the IPCC’s Jan Williams who didn’t seem to think she had a CONFLICT OF INTEREST in conducting an investigation into someone who had formerly complained about her USELESS and painfully SLOW investigation into a major racist incident.

Gargan was found guilty of eight counts of misconduct, none of which related to the original allegations against him and the independent disciplinary panel concluded he should be issued a WARNING LETTER. At this point the thuggish Police Federation and elements within Avon and Somerset – and across policing generally – who hated Gargan’s efforts to modernise his force stepped in demanding Gargan had to go.

Nick Gargan

He was eventually FORCED OUT when our piss-weak Police and Crime Commissioner, bankrupt doughnut vendor Sue Mountstevens, sided with the old school police reactionaries and withdrew her confidence in Gargan.

With the departure of Gargan, the Ebrahimi investigation was toned down and slowed down further and the BROADBURY ROAD TWELVE Gargan had identified for the chop were LET OFF after Avon & Somerset’s disciplinary panel concluded at internal misconduct hearings that there was “no evidence of racial discrimination”! Instead Avon & Somerset officially announced a “range of outcomes” from these disciplinaries, including two officers receiving final written warnings. That’s shown the racists!

Now, a further two years later, up pops the RANCID and INCOMPETENT IPCC Commissioner Jan Williams with her empty-headed report and PR effort and we’re suddenly assured that everything at Avon & Somerset is absolutely fine now due to a series of INEXPLICABLE and CONFIDENTIAL culture changes within the force.  Meanwhile senior Avon & Somerset officers are now on the BBC rambling about “unconscious racism”. What can it all mean?

The cover-up is strong in this one …

Told you so … READ THE BRISTOLIAN’S EXPOSE OF THE IPCC, JAN WILLIAMS AND NICK GARGAN FROM 2015.

BUNDRED: GRAMMAR CLASS

OK. Here’s the Reverend’s new Chief Executive, Anna “Big Wedge” Klonowski’s long-awaited ‘Response to the Bundred Review’ going to cabinet next week.

The Bundred Review, you may recall, discovered that Bristol City Council was a financial basketcase where senior managers were running amok committing a variety of offences in order to massage our council’s accounts for their own benefit.

Many of us have been hotly anticipating clear and bold action from the Reverend and his well remunerated sidekick, Ms Big Wedge, to clear up this fiasco and nail the culprits once and for all. Alas, it looks like we may be disappointed.

One of Bundred’s many recommendations raised by Ms Big Wedge in her new report is:

“The Council should take steps to build on recent improvements in the quality of reporting and document management. Where necessary guidance should be issued, or training provided, to report authors emphasising the importance of clarity, transparency, analysis and advice (paragraph 121).”

Another is:

“Members should be less tolerant of poor quality reports than they appear to have been in the past (paragraph 120).”

OK then. Who’s gonna tell Ms Big Wedge the standard of English, grammar and syntax in her report is simply not good enough? Here’s a few random examples from the first two pages:

“To ensure that cross directorate saving proposal [sic] or proposals that covered [sic] more than one Directorate are achieved, each savings proposal has been allocated a named Strategic and Service Director lead as accountable officers.”

And:

“Further consultation will be required in respect of some areas of savings proposals and will commence when the General Elections [is there more than one?] have concluded. This has required Officers to consider further mitigations to assure delivery of the budgets in these unusual circumstances.”

And:

“In addition, Directorates will be challenged to explore alternative options for meeting the cost pressures faced within their existing resources or seek supplementary estimate [sic] to increase the directorate spending limit.”

And:

“This has now been put into implementation [sic] and should ensure there is a shared understanding and approach to council processes across the organisation that supports all Members.”

For fucks sake, “Put into implementation”? Isn’t there a word for that – ‘implemented’? Have the Reverend, Big Wedge or the council never heard of proofreading?

Meanwhile moving on to the subject of ‘clarity’. Try some of these for size:

“We have also reviewed, aligned and combined the monthly mechanisms for managers and their Service/Strategic directors to submit a holistic view of savings delivery from a financial and action focussed perspective.”

If anyone has the foggiest idea what Service/Strategic directors will be physically submitting and to who, please get in touch.

Or try this nightmare piece of prose from the depths of hell:

“Member oversight is a new element of this governance process that now includes a Delivery Executive. This involves attendance by the Mayor and Deputy Mayor (Finance, Governance and Performance) who is the chair of the new Delivery Executive. This meeting provides an opportunity to discuss the savings proposals, delivery and implementation and provides an additional challenge, enables further investigation of the detail, reviews any mitigating actions and provides a formal feedback loop to Cabinet with an overview of progress on savings delivery. Relevant Portfolio holders also attend these sessions, providing joint ownership and accountability for savings by both members and officers.”

This seems to be suggesting “member (ie, councillor) oversight” will be a matter for a “Delivery Executive”, which includes only one member out of 70 – the Deputy Mayor – plus possibly “relevant portfolio holders”. This meeting will then provide a “formal feedback loop”  to Cabinet members (although in order to be a “formal feedback loop” wouldn’t it have to return to the Delivery Executive where it came from?)

So Big Wedge’s “member oversight” stretches to around nine cabinet members if we’re generous and include those in her new-style “formal feedback loop”. The other 62 normal councillors who aren’t in the executive can presumably fuck off then?

Now try this bollocks for size:

“A one-off investment fund has been allocated to support savings related change activity across the council, this also includes funding a proportion of the change resource within the council. The resource is limited, making the threshold for allocation of this resource high, therefore promoting local ownership of service change and savings delivery, whilst mitigating against increased savings targets in future years for replenishment once this resource is fully used.”

We’ve no idea either. And what’s “mitigating against” all about? Meaning is so lost in there that it’s hard to tell whether it’s a straightforward error mistaking ‘mitigating’ for ‘militating’ or whether it’s the tautology ‘mitigating against’.

And finally (as we can’t stand any more of this half-arsed meaningless drivel):

“To ensure the achievement of long term improvements in the function, it will be necessary to take an end-to-end approach, combination of top down and bottom up initiatives, take along those involved in the execution of the operations; optimise the finance functions by removing waste and re-focus on core and value add activities.”

Excellent use of cliché, ambiguity and vague platitudes that could mean anything from Ms Big Wedge here.

Wouldn’t it all be so much simpler and provide a helluva lot more ‘clarity’ if she just fired the arseholes who fucked up the accounts in the first place and instead employed some people who can write reports competently in plain English and implement the proposed plans?

Bundred Response Recommendations FINAL-2

SHINE ON YOU CRAZY REVEREND

The smooth roll-out of one of the Rev Rees’s keynote policies is something to behold isn’t it? In his vast and creaking manifesto last year the vicar promised to, “work with businesses and voluntary partners to ensure that all schools have a BREAKFAST CLUB by 2020.”

By October, the Reverend’s breakfasting ambitions had vaulted somewhat and following his ‘State of the City Address’ the Nazi Post reported that every child would have access to a FREE BREAKFAST at school “to ensure they get off to a good start”. The Reverend also promised he would maximise uptake of the pupil premium “to provide the costs”.

By January this year, the vicar was for turning and announced in a rambling New Year message in the Nazi Post that “we will deliver on a promise to have breakfast clubs in every primary school, so no child has to start the day hungry”. Although any discussion of “costs” had miraculously DISAPPEARED.

Now news arrives from Hillcrest Primary School in Totterdown that a private business, ‘Shine‘, has won another contract with a gullible Bristol primary school to deliver ‘wraparound’ childcare services at the school. This will include a BREAKFAST CLUB and after school childcare at the school.

Shine – getting themselves off to a good start at least – will be replacing the existing locally-run breakfast club at the school after Easter and have announced they will immediately raise charges to all parents by an inflation-busting 30 PER CENT!

Any kids who might be starting the day hungry, however, aren’t even mentioned by the school or their shiny new BUSINESS PARTNER in this brave new breakfasting world. Is this the model the Reverend had in mind for his school breakfast clubs?

Shine, to squeeze a few more quid in profits from parents and to piss off any locals they may have previously overlooked, will also be setting up an afterschool club at Hillcrest in DIRECT COMPETITION with the current service run on a wing, a prayer and a shoestring by a longstanding local charity – the Totterdown Community Children’s Workshop.

And to complete this neo-Roman orgy of PRIVATE SECTOR GREED emerging from the school? A special icing on the cake for some parents: most of the school’s locally sourced music teachers – providing individual tuition to kids – have also announced to parents they will CEASE lessons after Easter!

This comes after the school tried to slap a room hire charge on these teachers, which would have resulted in a 25 PER CENT INCREASE in bills to parents for the same lesson!

Welcome to Rees’s rip-off Bristol where, maybe, for a fat fee to a well-placed business, no child starts the day hungry but parents may well end the day bankrupt …

AND THE BANDS PLAY ON

Colston Hall: no cuts

So there’s less money to buy furniture for BATTERED MUMS lucky enough to get an unfurnished shell of a home off the council; a fifth of the CHILDREN’S CENTRES designed to support our city’s most vulnerable kids will be closed down and LOCAL COUNCIL OFFICES ideal for the elderly, infirm and isolated to easily access public services from will shut their doors but fans of mainstream music and comedy can, at least, rejoice.

Because the Rev Rees, with his laser-like focus on fairness and equality, has agreed to continue handing over £1m a year for the next three years to the BRISTOL MUSIC TRUST who run the Colston Hall. Phew! Guess we’ve got to keep those FAT FEES rolling in for millionaire musicians and the rolling roster of state-subsidised BBC/Oxbridge touring comedians haven’t we?

Meanwhile those all-important CREATIVES doing all that vital and well-paid marketing work for the entertainment industry, directly subsidised by the state, can’t possibly be expected to attend a JOB CENTRE when there’s a perfectly adequate pool of undervalued underpaid childcare professionals available for the task.

Priorities eh, Reverend?

HAPPY? CLAP ALONG IF YOU ARE A MUM WITHOUT A ROOF …

No sign of public sector cuts hitting the ridiculous HAPPY CITY organisation or their new-found creative industry friends at the WATERSHED. The organisations, both receiving healthy financial support from the council tax payer for their marginal activities, ran a course in January especially for the boss class called ‘Plotting a Happier Year Ahead’.

The course, promoting UTTER DRIVEL like ‘mindfulness in work’; ‘Embedding the 5 Ways of Wellbeing’; ‘Wellness programmes’ and ‘Leaveism’, delivered PSEUDO-SCIENTIFIC JUNK for stupid well-heeled bosses to bamboozle underpaid, overworked staff with. Many, no doubt, suffering at the sharp end of the collapse in real wages, the housing crisis, the country’s ongoing multiple economic disasters and its public service failures.

Is this really how we should be spending PUBLIC MONEY and resources when the council claim they’re so skint they’re cutting our LOCAL CRISIS AND PREVENTION FUND by 55% or over £1m? This fund was there to buy food or pay utility bills for the most desperate and vulnerable in the city. It might have also helped domestic violence survivors setting up home with NOTHING after escaping an abusive relationship.

What is the Rev Rees’s planning to do for these people instead of giving out small sums of money for essential items? Maybe he’ll get Happy City and a few self-styled creatives paid on the rates to provide battered mums with some ‘wellbeing perks and rewards’ at the Watershed?

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.

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?