ST-MARVIN’S-UP-THE-CREEK PARISH NEWS #13

Lucky parishioners personally invited to the premiere of my thrilling biopic film, ‘The Reverend’s Ace: a shameless hagiography’, please note that the venue has been switched from the Church Hall due to a small completion delay in its transformation process. The film, by my German friend Ms Helga Goebbels, is an enthralling documentary about my incredible journey and features fascinating interviews with friends and family as well as focussing on my lovely new garden furniture from B&Q. See you there!

More good news, this time regarding the delayed pay-as-you-go self-service tea vending solution in the vestry. The original contract with our self-service tea vending solution partner, Agresso Refreshment World, has been formally off-tabled at a commercially confidential but highly competitive settlement rate. Now, the parish’s Interim Head of Agile, Ms Beardmore from Shropshire will initiate a smart procurement process to locate a new best value self-service tea vending solution partner.

Ms Beardmore wants an integrated solution in place by as soon as next January so that we can make efficiencies in tea delivery as soon as 2021. That is a small slippage of just four years in the delivery of this complex refreshments transformation project. Ms Beardmore also assures me that a step change in biscuit provision may be walked down the decision pathway going forward.

I have now tasked Ms Beardmore with investigating further efficiencies that prioritise elasticity in our budget envelope as it is further stretched by the Diocese’s austerity plans. One proposal is to reimagine the underused parish library, where weird old religious books gather dust, as a drive-thru communion facility for an increasing number of parishioners with less time for traditional worship but with salaries that might be better reflected in the collection plate. Ms Beardmore, with her superb customer services background, also proposes installing a 24-hour self-serve telephone communion service facility with a fully integrated credit card payment option.

Both initiatives are ideal for parents seeking an easy-pay, time efficient journey for their child into the parish’s OFSTED rated ‘excellent’ St Snoot’s Academy. We have already procured a team of digital enablement consultants from London to work up a joined-up feasibility working paper and we will embark on an innovative consultation exercise to review this exciting transformation plan soon. I shall update on this agile worship programme as it progresses.

On budget, on time and on target, the church toilets are now permanently closed. Those needing toilet facilities should try the High Street where we are inviting businesses to express an interest in providing free toilet facilities for St Marvin’s worshippers

Finally, please note that places remain available on my flagship leadership programme exclusively for dull middle managers and accountants with no personality. Spaces are limited, so get in touch quickly if you wish to join the likes of Ms Beardmore and myself as inspirational parish leaders. As my mentor, the Texan psychotic preacher and notorious anti-communist homophobe, the Pastor Righteous Loon always tells me, “promote the dull, stupid and insipid for they will always do as they’re told.”

Farewell and adieu.

The Vicar

Social Cleansing at Bristol City FC

Loyal supporters were left feeling shocked and betrayed after Bristol City announced season ticket prices for next year. Like a mirror image of Tory Britain, the most vulnerable fans, including the young and disabled, are the hardest hit, with a sickening price increase of 570% on last season.

In addition, adult tickets have risen 16%, senior citizens 17%, under-22’s 25%, and under-19’s 51%. This seems particularly hateful in light of this season’s huge financial gains from TV revenue, cup ties and a record 16,000 season tickets sold. In a further piss take of it’s most loyal fans, BCFC have given fans just 2 weeks to pay up – or they will permanently lose their seats. This is over 5 months before the new season even begins.

Many believe BCFC are attempting to ‘nudge’ parents with children into the ‘Family Area’ – way up in the gods of the Lansdown upper tier, thereby freeing up lucrative seats in the areas that provide the best views. If City win promotion to the Premier League, the club can sell those seats at a premium to corporate groups and football tourists.

The neighbourhoods of Ashton and Southville are two of the worst affected areas in terms of gentrification in the whole of Bristol. No doubt the club see this as an opportunity to entice a new breed of fan; wealthier and more middle-class, politically right-on, less prone to profanity and happy to sit down and shut up in a sanitised and sterile environment.

One fan told us: “I have sat in the same place for 42 years with three generations of my family. For us to sit in the same seats next season, we have to pay an extra £991. The club are effectively saying: move where we tell you or get an economic sanction. Now that they’re on the verge of joining the Premier League, it’s as if they don’t need us anymore. We are not wanted. How can they justify such a steep increase above inflation? This is our reward for the support we’ve given over the years? It feels like the club have put a tax on loyalty”.

City’s owner Steve Lansdown (non dom financial services shyster) – and his witless son Jon (who just happens to be Vice-Chairman) justified the prices by saying: “The club want to get more families sitting together and feel that is best in the family area”.

The board have made the cost of renewing so prohibitive for most, their message is clear: we don’t want you to pay more for your current seat – we want you gone from those sections altogether.

UNISON: THE SORRY STATE by The Dwarf

Despite being the union that campaigned for an end to tribunal fees and won. Despite being the union that strikes for hospital workers, wins equal pay claims for cleaners and tries to prevent the outsourcing of care workers everywhere except Bristol. Despite having nearly all the cuts in this round of austerity aimed at those areas only they really have members in – Bristol Unison still refuse to do anything to oppose the cuts. That is, unless Mayor Marvin asks them to go on a demonstration against his own cuts. In which case out comes the banner in what could only be described as a giant blow struck for irony.

The cuts are coming in social services, children’s services, libraries and community services. All areas that are almost exclusively Unison and all are areas where member engagement, information exchange and political activism are non-existent. Meetings with unions have been cancelled, barrack room lawyers silenced in staff meetings, management have denied a plan to outsource libraries but then put out an email about mutualisation.

Does anyone remember the battles of the past? When disabled residents and unions lobbied noisily on the ramps of the Counts Louse? Where day centres were occupied and workers broke the blockade passing them fish and chips through the windows? Where library workers struck for the right to a family life? Where have the activists gone? I’m reliably informed that Unison hasn’t enough activists to fill a Renault Espace when they once numbered in the hundreds. They’re voting with their feet comrades … Wake up and get a grip.

I was told that regional officers consider the cuts to have been democratically arrived at and that is that, nothing more can be done. We at The BRISTOLIAN reject that sort of democracy. We want an engaged, participatory democracy of mutual solidarity and so should the unions. If we don’t get it then protest and actions must rightfully take place.

But here we come to the nub of the matter and that is the risk social and industrial agitation poses to the electoral prospects of the Labour Party. Occupying day centres and striking for work-life balance is OK as long as the Liberal Democrats or an Independent is in charge but not when it’s Labour.

Last year there was a scandal at Unison’s AGM as to whether Unison should affiliate to the anti-cuts groups – a no-brainer in anyone’s world assolidarity with people against the cuts should be ingrained. A self-appointed standing orders committee, which no one knew existed because it didn’t, ruled the motion incompetent. This year, the union’s members ruled their own representatives’ incompetent over a scandalous redundancy pay cut ballot stitch-up. And this was in front of a firebrand assistant general secretary, from head office, who was so embarrassed he didn’t know where to look.

Sorry, Roger McKenzie, that you had to see the union in such a sorry state.

SCARY MONSTERS #4: The Wrecker

It came to pass that a creature of such wickedness that its only joy was in domination came into being. The Wrecker.

Having plundered the cultures of the enlightened, it created an anti-culture of secrecy and wickedness. The Wrecker was full of lust greed and avarice. Scorning spirituality, the vile creature became obsessed with material things. Its violence knew no bounds as it roamed the Earth destroying beauty and harmony.

The just people fought to survive as the Wrecker attacked their homes, families, language and culture. Whole populations were used as assets to fuel the system of greed and immorality as the Wrecker became increasingly frightened about the inevitable collapse of his cancerous ideology.

After The Wrecker had engaged in one of its most hysterical bouts of self-harm, he decided that some of his victims who he had previously forced to a foreign land would be useful elsewhere.

In the second part of the twentieth century, people from the Caribbean were encouraged to come to Great Britain to work. Many of these workers came to live in St Pauls, Bristol.

Typically, of their positive attitude, they promoted an understanding of their culture which was appreciated by the local people and fellow overseas workers. The most well known feature of this is the St Pauls Carnival. The wrecker became enraged by people working on a building of love in complete opposition to his philosophy of selfish self-obsession.

It has long been Bristol City Council policy not to house people of Afro-Caribbean origin in St Pauls and the council took over the long running and self-sufficient carnival. They have cancelled the carnival because they cannot afford to run something that’s already up and running. They now need the area and once again the needs of the victims of the wrecker are ignored.

Please help resist the Wrecker! A monster is most dangerous when it is in its death throes

AUDITORS SLAM ENERGY SHAMBLES

Even Bristol City Council’s own external auditors, BDO, have CONDEMNED the incompetent management of Bristol Energy, the council’s laughing stock energy reselling business that started trading in 2016 and has cost us about £25million so far.

“We have NOT seen evidence that the risks and potential financial losses of this investment were fully understood by the council when the investment was made in 2015 and 2016,” say the auditors before concluding, “Bristol Energy has NOT performed in line with its original 2015 business plan.”

This business plan, signed off by Nicki “Chocolate” Beardmore, the Reverend’s golden girl senior manager on £300k a year, said they would MAKE a 12% return on investment after 5 years and 35% after 10 years. Instead, the company reported a LOSS of £3million last year and £7million this year. With 110,000 customers and an initial investment of £15.3million by Bristol City Council, this means Bristolians have SPENT £139 for each customer and then Bristol Energy has generated a further LOSS of about £70 per customer. Top work!

BDO go on to conclude that a further hurriedly rewritten business plan in 2016, which admitted NO PROFITS were in sight, was also a lot of crap. “We have some concerns that the risks around the energy company, its governance arrangements and greater than expected losses were not understood fully by the Council in the early part of 2016/17.”

The auditors are now applauding the inevitable arrival of a team of CONSULTANTS from London to pick over the bones of this CORPSE and personally cash in on the shambles. “Independent Advisors and external consultants have been commissioned to provide advice on how the governance arrangements for the Group could be improved and financial and commercial advice to optimise value in the delivery of the Council’s investment and ensure that the Council achieves the best value for money outcome,” they claim.

When are we going to get a decent, decisive politician willing to pull the plug and shut down this miserable money pit shambles devised by idiots?

CITY OF SUFFERING 2018?

In a bizarre religious outburst at New Year, the Reverend Rees – who refuses to challenge Tory austerity and continues to cut essential public services at every opportunity – has told the city it should “GLORY IN SUFFERING”.

The Reverend’s New Year message, sent to Bristol City Council staff on 3 January, found him rambling on about “Bristol as a City of Hope”. “An aspiration I find compelling,” he told bemused staff before quoting something “I came across as a young man” from the BIBLE at them.

“We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope,” he explained. So that’s all right then. The Reverend Rees, with the assistance of his bible, has decided suffering is GOOD for us plebs.

So do be sure to CELEBRATE alongside the Reverend when his crappy austerity policies create further suffering this year won’t you? Although please be aware that the Reverend – with his two homes, a £65k salary and lots of foreign trips funded by us to look forward to – will NOT personally experience much of this suffering he’s so keen on.

Isn’t it time the local Labour Party stepped in and sorted this reactionary religious maniac out once and for all? It’s a basic Labour value that we COLLECTIVELY challenge and relieve suffering, not celebrate it for its supposed character building benefits to the INDIVIDUAL?

Come on Labour, deselect the deranged Thatcherite twat and give us a proper Labour mayor.

MEET THE UNION TRYING TO CON ITS MEMBERS

With all the class and integrity of a sleazy payday loan company, the Bristol Branch of Unison, which represents council workers, is BALLOTING its members.

They’re asking their members whether they want to accept the Reverend’s MEAN-SPIRITED changes to their terms and conditions. According to the council, the key changes the Reverend wants are to:

“Update the Council’s Managing Change Policy to strengthen the provisions in relation to redeployment and re-training and so reduce the need for staff to leave the Council on voluntary or compulsory redundancy. As part of these reforms, the maximum period of pay protection will be REDUCED from TWO YEARS to 12 MONTHS and the redundancy scheme will be REDUCED from TWICE to 1.5 TIMES the statutory minimum.”

However, on Unison’s website, where they’re supposed to communicate these proposals to their members and ask them to vote on them, the text has been SEVERELY CUT to say:

“Update the Council’s Managing Change Policy to strengthen the provisions in relation to redeployment and re-training and so reduce the need for staff to leave the Council on voluntary or compulsory redundancy.”

How convenient for the Reverend. The union best known for being a permanent fixture up his rectum has REMOVED the most controversial features of his proposals – and information that could cost their members a lot of money – and asked them to vote on a bland and vague proposal instead.

Unison members, don’t fall for this sleazy trade union/Labour Party STITCH-UP! Vote NO to the changes. All it will do is COST YOU MONEY – for NOTHING in return – if you get made redundant, which is increasingly likely as the Reverend  continues to deliver even more Tory cuts over the next year.

Unison members can vote here (while anyone else can view the union’s disgraceful sharp practice for themselves): http://www.unisonbristol.org.uk/bcc-consultation-proposed-changes-to-redundancy-and-pay-protection/

TAX EFFICIENT EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH

 Please step forward our favourite bureaucrat, Nicki “Chocolate” Beardmore, the hapless incompetent council boss from Shropshire who bravely fled the county in 2015 just before the local authority company she was running for Shropshire Council COLLAPSED.

Chocolate was originally drafted in to Bristol City Council in 2016 to set up Bristol Energy, the Reverend’s USELESS energy reselling business that’s posted LOSSES of over £10million since Chocolate launched it with £15million of our money. She has subsequently enjoyed a dizzying rise to become the Reverend’s number 2 and Head of Paid Service at Bristol City Council.

Naturally, such dazzling ‘talent’ deserves an EXCEPTIONAL SALARY and the Reverend’s been more than happy to oblige. Indeed we can reveal he was paying this SERIAL FAILURE £1,220 a day throughout the autumn! All conveniently routed through the council’s employment agency, Guidant, to avoid any prying eyes and allow Ms Chocolate to collect her booty tax efficiently through a private company if she so chose.

£1,220 a day works out pro rata as a salary of £317,200 a year. This is over twice the salary of the Prime Minister and puts Ms Chocolate comfortably in the top 30 highest earners in local government in the UK.

And ain’t she worth every penny we’ve been ripped off

ROTTEN COMRADES: Redundancy pay and, now, pay protection too

by Our Industrial Correspondent  -The Dwarf

I was going to talk about a multitude of issues (including management calling in the enforcement officers on their own smokers and timing staff on the bog) but today there is only really one thing on the agenda: the slashing of redundancy pay and pay protection and the unions’ inability to show any backbone whatsoever. Vote this out now!

The latest spin being applied to the redundancy pay reduction plan is that the money saved from redundancy payments could be used to give those remaining in work a pay rise. One of the union reps who told us that looked surprised when he was told that that would mean they could make even more people redundant. He had the grace to look embarrassed. Then, needing a distraction to make his getaway, he set his bow tie spinning before jumping into his tiny car, which collapsed.

But now, finally, after plenty of rumours and leaks, having consulted absolutely nobody, having absolutely no debate whatsoever, the unions are putting it to the vote. The last time we balloted over a change to terms and conditions about 45 people took part (out of thousands) and the unions used that “mandate” to agree to slash our evening and weekend pay. And lo and behold, restructures took place forcing more of our workers to work more unsociable hours. These terms and conditions protect workers and compensate them if things go wrong. Of course, none of our union reps work evenings and weekends, heaven forfend, and are confident they shall be the last people to be laid off, being so useful to the business.

My fear is that a handful of politically motivated idiots, feeling only pity for their work mates and only admiration for their betters, will fall for this, dragging us all down with them.

The details can be found on the council’s intranet – The Source – though at the time of writing it was hidden away somewhere in a dusty corner. Unison have some details here. Why not print off a hundred or so copies, roll them up and use the resulting tube in a way that would make it difficult for some of our comrades to sit down?

But remember, don’t have a go at your local shop steward. The unions are using them to take the flak. He or she is as surprised as you are by this turn of events. Give your branches and regions a call and ask them what the hell they are playing at.

Unison’s Bristol office number is 0117 353 3956.

Unite’s Bristol office number is 0117 923 0555.

Say no to this awful example of incompetent negotiation, for heaven’s sake!

The unions’ have been hopeless, is there no organisation that can come to our aid? We’ve had the Bristolian Party, is it not now time for ‘Bristolian the Union’? Now there’s a thought. Can you imagine us at the Council’s top table?