Tag Archives: #4.6


Word reaches us that council staff are now denied access to their favourite super soaraway scandal sheet after Shitty Hall bosses BLOCKED access to The BRISTOLIAN website.

It seems that due to the constant stream of revelations about acts of incompetence, corruption and idiocy committed under Mayor Fergo’s ‘REIGN OF ERROR’, embarrassed senior BCC managers decided to pull the plug on the ‘Smiter’s site – effectively banning council workers from reading The BRISTOLIAN.

In the words of a whistleblower: “Ridiculous!”


Our blue skies imagineering property magnate, hipster entrepreneur, millionaire mayor George Ferguson is at it again.

In a recent reply to questions on Bristol City Council’s use of ZERO-HOURS CONTRACTS – where employers offer you a job but don’t actually guarantee any work – he half-heartedly explained:

In respect of contractors, I cannot give you a definitive assurance that zero hours contracts are never used.

Perhaps Mayor Fergo – or rather the lackey that writes his answers for him to read out – should be a little more inquisitive about the conduct of his council’s contractors.

Because The BRISTOLIAN is happy to give our readers a ‘definitive assurance’ that, in fact, THEY DO USE ZERO HOURS CONTRACTS.

In fact at the exact time George published his pathetically weak answer, notorious employment agency BLUE ARROW was advertising on the government’s Universal Jobmatch website for Recycling Operatives in the “Bristol area” for:

one of our large recycling clients whohave mutilipul depots all accross the South West [sic]

Blue Arrow - pimping out zero hours council jobs for May Gurney

Blue Arrow – pimping out zero hours council jobs for May Gurney

A brief phone call to Blue Arrow reveals that this particular ‘large recycling client’ is none other than MAY GURNEY – operator of waste services for the city council already mired in a blacklisting’ scandal – and confirms that it’s a zero hour contract on offer. Blue Arrow even helpfully add: “own transport is an advantage as it means that if work goes quiet at one site employer can try and get applicants into another.”

How nice. An employer running public services that might find you some work – somewhere – if you can get there – if not, you don’t get paid! Great for MISERLY BOSSES, but not such a great offer for someone trying to sign off, though…

Yet another feather in the cap for Fergo’s supposed international city of cool, don’t you think?


A reader has got in touch to tell us about the LUNACY surrounding the ‘Healthy Start’ programme, which is meant to ensure that less well-off mums can buy fruit, veg and milk.

To qualify you have to prove you’re not rich, that you claim certain benefits, and that you are either pregnant or have a young child. To do the last bit you need to get a signed note from your GP or health visitor.

Except thanks to CREEPING PRIVATISATION in the NHS, local surgeries can now charge you for this ‘service’, as our informant found out to her dismay.

The cost of a doctor’s note to claim £3.10 weekly vouchers? A whopping £30-£40.

“Outrageous!” is the polite way she put it…


Not content with trying to evict people for being too poor under Bedroom Tax provisions, now the council is placing elderly tenants with disabilities under HOUSE ARREST – and charging them full rent for the privilege.

The shocking situation has unfolded in Shirehampton’s VALERIAN CLOSE, where Bovis Homes Ltd has been building new council homes to replace old prefabs. Typically everything has not run to schedule.

Whilst all 21 properties have now been completed, the road and pathways remain untarmaced – TRAPPING RESIDENTS, several of whom cannot walk unaided, in their homes, and preventing carers from being able to properly access the houses.

Is this any way to treat our Bristolian elders?


We have some GOOD NEWS to report on this story – see the next issue of your campaigning super, soaraway scandal-sheet, The BRISTOLIAN #4.7 in mid-October!


It seems that the memo explaining how Mayor Fergo is a great feminist activist has not reached every corner of Shitty Hall, if one recent public falling out is anything to go by.

Labour’s Lawrence Hill councillor HIBAQ JAMA ended up in a toe-to-toe barney with the millionaire mayor – noted for his passionate interest in ‘women’s issues’ – after a discussion over female genital mutilation (FGM) turned notably sour.

“I can’t stand that man!” declared Jama to anyone within earshot after an argument with His Redtrouserness, whom she accused of being a “PATRONISING SEXIST”.

The situation is further complicated by Gorgeous George’s closeness to energetic FGM campaigner Nimko Ali, who has rarely been shy about her CONTEMPT for Jama and Bristol Labour.

Meanwhile, with very real concerns about Cllr Jama’s time as a manager at the Beacon Centre still swirling around, it seems some ham-fisted political hacks have been touting round an implausible Romeo and Juliet-style fiction linking her to a FAILED mayoral candidate.



What do Easton Community Centre, Burma and Colombia all have in common? None of them like trade unions and all use THREATS to stop people organising for better conditions.

A number of ECC staff are members of the IWW trade union. For some time the union has been trying to negotiate with ECC’s charity board of management – in particular on the issue of health and safety at the centre, which workers say is “FRANKLY APPALLING”.

Easton CC ‘bad bosses’ story still up on IndyMedia UK

Easton CC ‘bad bosses’ story still up on IndyMedia UK

At one meeting of the ECC board they promised to recognise the union as per the law. However, they quickly changed their minds, saying they would talk again after an asset transfer from Bristol City Council was complete…

Meanwhile the board has not managed to implement any of the proposed health and safety improvements. Instead they have SACKED a worker (a union member) for not being able to turn off a fire alarm while working on his own – which itself is a breach of the most basic of health and safety regulations!

The union, in desperation, put a post on the Bristol IndyMedia website (originally here) to highlight the situation workers there find themselves in, only for the community centre’s management to react quicker than they ever have done before – with a threat of an EXPENSIVE LEGAL ACTION

Great! Meet the charity that’s prepared to use its grant monies and public funding to gag a trade union and its own employees rather than spend money on complying with basic health and safety legislation. What the board possibly hadn’t taken into consideration is that locals concerned by these worrying developments can easily join Easton Community Association (membership forms available at the centre or on the ECC website) and put a stop to them.

As one person close to the shenanigans advised The BRISTOLIAN:

“Get stuck in and don’t let them transfer our community centre.”


Senior BCC officers implicated in sick election plot

More illuminating news about the gang of overpaid RIGHT-WING DEADBEATS Bristol City Council calls its Senior Leadership Team…

Bristol City Council employees have contacted The BRISTOLIAN to express anger and amazement after discovering that the council’s most senior and well-paid managers have been plotting to use council taxpayer cash and resources to SUPPORT THE TORY PARTY come the general election!

At a meeting in August, members of the council’s Senior Leadership Team – including City Director NICOLA YATES, the now-departed ANGIE RIDGWELL, as well as legal eagle LIAM NEVIN – openly discussed how they could help to get the Conservative-LibDem coalition government re-elected.

Also present was George Ferguson’s spin doctor PETER HOLT, who has since left Bristol City Council for the bright lights of Camden in north London. Could his recent twitter rage at The BRISTOLIAN have anything to do with his panic over us placing the Mayor’s Propaganda Minister in the room during a discussion of dubious legality?

Completing the dastardly cabal were Health supremos ALISON COMLEY and JANET MAXWELL, Neighbourhoods boss MIKE HENNESSEY, ISOBEL CATTERMOLE, who’s responsible for ‘Children, Young People & Skills’, Regeneration guru NEIL TAYLOR, and PAUL TAYLOR, who heads up the ‘Executive Office’.

ROLLCALL OF SHAME: Six figure-salaried senior officers

ROLLCALL OF SHAME: Six figure-salaried senior officers

In their own words they think it’s “important to identify some ‘QUICK WINS’ that could assist in the current Government’s election campaign, these would need to be submitted by January 2014. It was suggested that Boris Johnson’ [sic] vision be used to inform this piece of work.”

Just what relevance London’s Tory mayor Boris Johnson has for people in Bristol isn’t made clear – after all we have our own privately-educated MAYORAL BUFFOON to contend with. But what is clear is that these management muppets are brazenly breaking the law by promoting their own personal allegiances whilst in what are meant to be politically neutral roles.


‘Copy Boris, support the Conservaties’ agrees Senior Leadership Team

Matters are made worse by the fact that the government these unelected managers SECRETLY CONSPIRE to support is wrecking local government and the safety net of the welfare state.

The very things you’d think Bristol’s council officers should be protecting for its citizens.

There’s only one solution for this kind of shameless behaviour – sack these barmy bosses NOW!


The (E)X Boss Files

News comes in that our old friend ex-copper JON ‘MAD’ HOUSE has fucked up again. House, you might recall, briefly pitched up in Bristol at the height of the profligate Council House reign of gag-happy Bradford Sun Queen Jan Ormondroyd, when she anointed him as her Deputy Chief Exec on a ridiculous six-figure salary to play a DAFT TOUGH GUY enforcer role.

Alas, all Mad House ever enforced was his own speedy exit after the application of his copper’s intellect resulted in a series of blunders and embarrassments – and at least one mini-riot in Queen Square during the 2010 World Cup – too enormous for even the half-blind and braindead Sun Queen to ignore.

Jon House: NOT MISSEDArriving in Bristol in 2008 after being headhunted from corpse-looting South Yorkshire Police, House was off again in 2010 to Cardiff where the local political idiots gave him the job of Chief Executive of their city council.

Now House is making yet another fast exit after yet more COSTLY BLUNDERS – it appears his elegant new local authority staff structure, designed to save lots of money for the citizens of Cardiff, resulted in £1m extra a year to council tax payers – while his senior management team have all pocketed pay rises of up to an incredible 73%!

Just days after House was forced to throw in the towel, further ignominy for the hapless copper came when a report by the Welsh Local Government Association into his basket-case council identified “SIGNIFICANT FAILINGS dating back over years.

So where’s Mad House off to next then? Notorious consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers, of course, to advise senior local authority managers, foolish enough to pay large sums of cash for the expert advice of an officially-designated idiot on how to, err… Save money!!

The simplest way to save money might be not to employ the likes of House?


The (E)X Boss Files

ANGIE ‘PAIDWELL’ RIDGWELL the former KPMG consultant who in the space of just nine months notched up three senior job titles at Bristol City Council (Corporate Services Director, City Director and now Organisational Development Director) and pocketed a tasty SIX FIGURE SALARY off the council tax payer – is quitting at the start of November, ‘to spend more time with her money’.

Riding into town in her top-of-the-range BMW, the dazzling redhead turned many a head, not least that of Mayor ‘Gorgeous’ George Ferguson – especially when she whispered into his ear how “very effective in delivery transformation in challenging and heavily unionised environments” she was. But alas, the relationship has soured and a permanent separation now seems inevitable.

Angie Ridgwell - ZERO LOSSMs Paidwell appears to be taking her ball home after not getting the permanent City Director top job that’s gone to Hull’s Nicola ‘Lady Gaga’ Yates, and so is heading off for the glamour of central government in That There London as she becomes Director General for Finance and Corporate Services at the Department of Energy and Climate Control. This leaves Gorgeous George and our council rather redfaced and in the lurch.

For Ms Paidwell is the person running George’s “zero-based budget process” that’s been shrouded in the utmost secrecy (see The BRISTOLIAN #4.4), quite possibly because it’s COMPLETE TOSH.

So isn’t it nice to know that when this corporate accountant claptrap eventually sees the light of day in November and is introduced to George’s unbelieving staff and public, its chief architect will be gone – along with £100k of our money!

So much for accountability in public office…


Tory rat’s personal ‘fiefdom’ paid for by YOU – thanks to lax council management

Uncle Fester from ’The Addams Family‘

Uncle Fester from ’The Addams Family‘

Bristol’s city councillors voted en masse in early September to reject a retail levy on large supermarkets “preferring instead to support BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICTS” (BIDs).

Well, how about our councillors get their collective head out of their collective arse before taking these decisions?

For all has not been well in leafy and affluent Clifton Village – and the source of this trouble? None other than the Clifton Business Improvement District, where traders have been charged an extra 1.5% on top of their business rates by Bristol City Council for “improvements”.

The man originally selected to run this flagship BID was one Carl Francis ‘Uncle’ Pester, a North Somerset Conservative councillor and election agent for former Defence Secretary the noted right-wing wing-nut LIAM FOX MP – though he has had quite a few ‘issues’ with his Party…

Uncle Pester from North Somerset Conservatives

Uncle Pester from North Somerset Conservatives

Having been appointed to run the BID in January, UNCLE PESTER was never seen by traders and there was little evidence of ‘improvements’ around Clifton Village to show for the money. However, cash was handed over to the famously impoverished Catholic Church to fund Clifton Cathedral’s forthcoming 40th anniversary celebration. Traders were said to be “not happy”.

Further research on Uncle Pester reveals that just two years ago, while a North Somerset Councillor, he was subject to a liability order granted by North Somerset Magistrates for £904.69 in UNPAID COUNCIL TAX to, err… North Somerset Council. Not only that, he was also taken to court by Wessex Water and ordered to pay £825!

Meanwhile, as both President and Chair of North Somerset Conservative Association, Pester was the subject of a DISCIPLINARY PROCESS after locals raised concerns about his management. A disciplinary report from Tory HQ noted that Uncle Pester had awarded himself free office space at the Association’s HQ, and held him responsible for a dodgy minibus purchase. As the redfaced report authors put it:

“The Association has LOST CONSIDERABLE MONEY as a result.”

The report also says Pester ran the Association “in an inappropriate way treating it as his personal fiefdom” and barred him from holding office in the Tory Party for three years.

Pester DRAMATICALLY QUIT the BID post in June and the Clifton BID Board offered the explanation that “it would be inappropriate for the board to offer any explanation as it is a private and personal matter.”

So the question that needs to be asked is did Bristol City Council and its councillors have oversight over this BID and its recruitment process – and was Uncle Pester really the best candidate for the job?

We think we deserve to be told…