Category Archives: QuangoLand

Our fine local ‘quasi-autonomous non-governmental organisations’, spending our money unaccountably


Politicians from across the spectrum are quick to insist that ‘Plot 6’ at Temple Meads train station – situated in the heart of the Tories’ so-called ENTERPRISE ZONE next to Brunel’s original building – is pencilled in to become a much-needed transport interchange. No, ‘onest guv!

This seems a bit strange as plans for the site have always shown Plot 6 occupied by a grotty speculative development of office blocks. And now The BRISTOLIAN learns that desperate planning bosses offered the plot to the BBC last year as a base for their operations in the city – and as part of a transparent attempt to boost the Enterprise Zone’s thin claims to be a centre for the creative industries.

Alas, the BBC declined the offer, presumably not really wanting to move to a DULL WASTELAND of office blocks and car parks.

But surely our councillors and Mayor Fergo need to have an urgent chat with Enterprise Zone boss – unelected Tory-boy Merchant Venturer Colin Skellett – and find out what his plans really are?


Round and round they go...

While the council has been dragging its feet over telling us how much Junket George’s last overseas jolly – to the 7th Sustainable Cities Conference in Geneva (see BRISTOLIAN #4.3) – has cost us, we’ve had a useful insight into the event from George’s fellow traveller, the boss of the quango Bristol Green Capital Partnership, Darren ‘Tammany’ Hall.

Gushed the SOMEWHAT EXCITABLE Tammany in an email to supporters: “Thankfully, the conference was mostly about solutions. Janez Potoznik, Director General of Environment for the EU, talked about the huge opportunities in transitioning to a circular economy.”

Excellent. Not only were they LAYING WASTE to the English language as we know it – or should that be transitioning nouns to ugly verbs? – they were literally talking about making us all go around in circles!

Perhaps someone should tell Tammany to transition his head out of his arse?


Whilst Mayor Fergo embarks on a jubilant celebratory bender to mark Bristol winning the expensive right to call itself ‘EUROPEAN GREEN CAPITAL 2015 (announced at a ceremony in the French city Nantes, which naturally George felt compelled to attend) we can hazard a guess as to his strategy for greenifying the city – unplugging anything electrical that might make working for him bearable.

Thanks to commenter Concerned for this tasty morsel:

Talking of Fergusons Tobacco Factory Bar model of low-status, low-wage and no-rights employees, I mentioned to one that his sweat dripped on the bar as i bought an overpriced pint during that rare hot spell recently. He moaned that FERGUSON DELIBERATELY DOESN’T HAVE AIR CONDITIONING IN THE BAR as it makes people thirstier, unlike his penthouse style quarters upstairs.

We look forward to George and his talented Rainbow Hotdesk Imagineering Roundtable Collective (AKA the council’s Cabinet) coming up with other similarly outside-the-box ideas to foist upon ordinary Bristolians to offset their own hot air emissions.

Kidney dialysis machines which only work if you’ve put your rubbish in the right recycling box, perhaps? Or a low impact water taxi service powered by oar-pulling children paying off their parents’ Bedroom Tax bills? Or – gasp – maybe at last the dream will be made reality…



Ian Collinson: Bristol's impartial eco-voice

Great news. Our local regional quango, the WEST OF ENGLAND PARTNERSHIP – made up of the four ‘CUBAN’ (Counties that Used to Be Avon) councils – has appointed a new CONsultant! So give a big warm Bristolian welcome to IAN COLLINSON, who’s been put in sole charge of the West of England Nature Partnership on a consultancy basis with the strapline “doing nature differently”.

And he’s not wrong there. The WEST OF ENGLAND NATURE PARTNERSHIP is one of 48 Local Nature Partnerships set up by the ConDem government. They’re supposed to safeguard local natural environments and advise local authorities and Local Enterprise Partnerships, such as the one here in Bristol running the stillborn Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone, on the environment and nature conservation. Particularly on matters arising out of major building developments…

Most of the Partnerships across the country, therefore, are being run by environmental, conservation and wildlife organisations who have the necessary experience, expertise and skills in environmental and nature conservation matters. Former Bristol City Council town planner Collinson, however, has an entirely different skillset. A brief glance of his CV reveals his experience is in large-scale corporate development!

Among the highlights of a resumé that has earned him this CONsultancy, we find the former BCC senior planning officer boasting of “delivering consents for some of Bristol’s biggest city centre regeneration schemes” such as Temple Quarter and the £255m Finzels Reach development on the old Courage Brewery site. While a further undoubted environmental highlight of Ian’s career is his work for, umm, HINKLEY POINT NUCLEAR POWER PLANT!

So be sure to keep an eye out for Ian’s highly objective and insightful environmental advice whenever any developers come calling with a new plan for the city.

After all, there’s no way he’s just a corporate developers’ patsy, is there?