Tag Archives: Acorn

BOARD NEWS

A home. How many will we get for £160million?

Bristol City Council has very, very quietly released limited membership details of its BRISTOL HOMES BOARD, tasked with spending a headline figure of £160m of our money to resolve the city’s housing crisis.

Naturally the equaliser, the Reverend Rees, has opted for a 75 per cent male, all-white board (except himself) stuffed with incompetent TIME-SERVERS and serial QUANGOCRATS to spend this large wedge of public money.

Alongside the Reverend and his sidekick, Labour housing boss, Paul “Wolfie” Smith, you’ll find Alison “THREE JOBS” Comley, a senior city council boss and direct subordinate of Rees and Smith, hardly best placed to speak truth to power. Especially as she’s up to her neck in the council’s £30m unlawful budget scandal and is yet to be cleared.

Alison is joined by luminaries such as Stephen “What Crisis?”Teagle from Galliford Try Partnerships, a front for the corporate that runs house builders, LINDEN HOMES. Last year, Linden saw profits rise 21 per cent to £74.3m while its average house cost a mere £338,000. The company also boasts to shareholders that it has a LANDBANK of 14,250 plots. Doesn’t sound much like a crisis for them does it?

Also on the board is Knightstone Housing Association boss Nick Horne “Blower”. He was last seen sat on his useless lazy arse as a board member for West of England LOCAL ENTERPRISE PARTNERSHIP (LEP) while, directly under his nose, BAE sold their Filton Airfield land to YTL Homes UK. YTL is run by Colin “Tory Boy” Skellett who also happened to be the Chair of er, the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership! This blatant CONFLICT OF INTEREST clearly passed Nick by, even though the LEP was given a key role in marketing and developing the airfield for sale with the public money he was overseeing!

Nick also waved through TWO PAYMENTS from the LEP to board member George Ferguson’s Beer Factory and Bristol Brewing Company totalling £62k. A further £92k was paid to a company owned by one of Ferguson’s political donors, Alasdair “Sorearse” Sawday. What were these handouts for? Who knows? Because NO MINUTES exist of these board decisions and no documents indicating Ferguson’s interests were ever published by Horne’s LEP!

Also getting rewarded for serial incompetence and moving across from the useless board of the LEP to oversee millions of pounds of our money for housing in Bristol is Business West bigwig James “Licker” Durie.  Not only is he unlikely to raise any difficult questions about any handouts to wealthy locals, he’s also a notorious salaried lackey for the MERCHANT VENTURERS.

Making up the numbers on the Rev’s quietly appointed board are a couple of posh public schoolboys turned voluntary sector luvvies – David “HAPPY CAMPER” Ingerslev from multi-million homeless charity St Mungos and the CEO of Elim Housing Association, Alistair “HEAD BOY” Allender. No doubt Head Boy can bring his street-level experience from Birkenhead School, “a top performing independent day school for boys and girls aged 3 months to 18” and Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge where he studied Natural Sciences to bear?

Further INEFFECTUAL luvvie input on our Homes Board will be supplied by Bevis Watts “The Fuck”, Managing Director of Triodos Bank. He’s a serial quangocrat who boasts the pie, booze and cash giveaway to the wealthy that was the board of the Green Capital, Bristol 2015 Ltd, on his CV!

Adding a healthy dose of surrealism to the whole affair, the board also has a ‘Head of Multi-Channel Fulfilment’ at the table – Debbie “Fulfil Me” Franklin from the Andrews Property Group, a local LETTINGS AGENCY, no less. Career bureaucrat David “The Loaf” Warburton from the Homes and Community Agency quango is also along for the £160m public money ride

The small amount of hope we can invest in this board lies with the final two members. Geraldine Winkler, a housing solicitor with the Avon & Bristol Law Centre and Tom Renhard, a member of tenants union ACORN. He also sits on the board of the Avon Pension Fund for some random reason and we note with concern that Renhard was funded by local authority bosses’ union UNISON to help him get on to this pension board. It’s unclear, too, whether Renhard was a personal appointment by the Vicar or whether he was chosen directly by Acorn members.

As always, it’s just as interesting to note who ISN’T on the committee – seasoned troublemakers or gobshites known to be prepared to stand up to a committee of pie-munching land dealing wankers who forget to keep minutes. And It’s further worth noting that there was no sign of a competitive application process to join this board disbursing £160m of our cash. Instead membership is entirely courtesy of the political PATRONAGE of the Reverend Mayor Rees well away from any scrutiny by councillors and public.

The last “PUBLIC MEETING” of this board took place on 29 June. Despite being “public”, no reports were issued and the board was, instead, treated to a series of Max Wide “Boy” style verbal briefings and crappy Powerpoint presentations that will never be seen again. Already, we have to ask, are these board members doing their jobs properly?

There may be trouble ahead …

GREEDY GREEN EVICTS TENANT

Another greedy green

Looks like yet another Green Party councillor’s PUBLIC pronouncements on housing don’t quite match his PRIVATE arrangements.

An irate ACORN tenants union member calls to tell us that the Green Party Councillor for Southville, Bristol Pound bigwig and er, ACORN tenants union member Stephen “Daddy” Clarke, has EVICTED a tenant from one of his numerous local buy-to-let investments after the tenant told him that his rent increase of 28 per cent was unaffordable!

The evicted tenant had been sharing with Daddy Clarke’s daughter, Katie “Snowflake” Finnegan-Clarke, a self-styled ‘SOCIAL JUSTICE CONSULTANT‘ who’s main contribution to progressive causes is ‘being around when the media arrive’ we’re told. Snowflake originally advertised daddy’s house as “LOW RENT in line with local housing allowance so people on a low income can afford to live here.”

At £292 per month plus £60 towards bills, the idea seemed to be about building a stable and secure home for people on low incomes. However towards the end of the tenant’s six month contract they received an email from Ms Finnegan-Clarke advising them of CHANGES to the rent.

Snowflake explained that daddy wanted to INCREASE the rent so each room was rented at the same price as THE REST of his properties in Bedminster and Totterdown. This would be £382 every four weeks. Snowflake claimed she had been trying to negotiate with daddy but “without a huge amount of luck”. So the rent would be increasing to £375 a month (excluding bills) from 27 June. “In-line with comparable properties in Easton,” she claimed.

When asked why the rent was being increased, Snowflake explained that daddy, who bought the property on a buy-to-let mortgage, was affected by changes in tax law to TOP RATE taxpaying landlords. This meant the poor dear could no longer put his mortgage repayments against his business expenses and Daddy didn’t want to ‘LOSE MONEY‘ … On a property which had only gone up £100,000 since he purchased it five years ago!

The tenant complained that the rent rise was not something they could AFFORD and Ms Finnegan-Clarke told them to negotiate directly with Daddy Clarke. However, the following Monday an email arrived from Snowflake.

“As  I labored to make clear in the room advert, in our initial skype interview and during our face-to-face interview, the lodgers agreement was only supposed to last six months in order to give us (and now me) the flexibility required and was reflected in the LOW RENT.

“The HOUSE DYNAMICS haven’t been working for me, and you do not seem happy in the house either, so I would like to formally end the extended lodgers agreement. Please accept this email as WRITTEN NOTICE of the end of your Lodger Agreement at Hinton Road, Bristol.”

And with that Clarke and his social justice warrior daughter –  who does lots of ‘work’ to raise awareness about issues of gender and race – evicted the tenant because the “house dynamics” were wrong.

MAYORAL ELECTION: HUSTINGS FARCE

The absolute fiasco of SECRET and CLOSED hustings featuring only carefully selected candidates from the establishment political parties continues to blight the mayoral elections.

We have already reported in The BRISTOLIAN how BUSINESS WEST invited just the Tories, Labour and George Ferguson to some very hush-hush hustings at their Leigh Court Mansion in March where, no doubt, the Merchant Venturers issued their orders to candidates.

We also reported how, at least, one hustings on housing run by crappy homeless charity, ST MUNGOS, was kept secret to keep independent candidates and their opinions out of the way and tricky questions at bay.

Now we’ve uncovered a whole series of hustings where independent candidates, UKIP and TUSC (Trade Union and Socialist Colaition) have been DELIBERATELY EXCLUDED by the organisers.

Among these was a hustings instigated by the TUC at the Unite Union HQ, Tony Benn House, on Victoria Street in early April. This turned into a major humiliation for the TUC, however, when the excluded candidates organised a PROTEST outside Tony Benn House (pictured).

tu protest web

“Who made the TUC gatekeepers of democracy”

Surely this protest marks a significant NEW LOW in this city’s fine trade union tradition? And maybe it’s something the union bureaucrats and bosses responsible need to think long and hard about. Once ordinary people are protesting about you isn’t it time you carefully considered your position?

Especially after the TUC’s shitty little BIASED and MANIPULATED hustings only managed to attract about 30 people from a trade union membership in the tens of thousands in Bristol. Are these self-appointed trade union bosses in touch with anyone in the city outside their FRIENDS in the local Labour Party?

On the plus side, it seems the teachers union, the NUT, learned from the TUC’s huge EMBARRASSMENT and avoided a further HUMILIATING protest against trade unions. They hurriedly arranged invites for ALL the candidates for their hustings at Tony Benn House a few weeks later.

Not so, however, from other so-called progressive organisations in the city who seem desperate to control any political debate and EXCLUDE any troublesome views that might fall to the left of Labour’s right wing candidate Marvin “Luther” Rees.

Hustings organised by the CREATIVE YOUTH NETWORK for young people; VOSCUR for community and voluntary organisations; ACORN, the direct action tenants organisation and even hustings on disabilities organised jointly by The National Autistic Society, Royal National Institute for the Blind, Mencap and the Bristol Centre for Deaf People all EXCLUDED legitimate mayoral candidates.

In the case of the disability hustings, it’s nothing short of extraordinary that organisations supposedly dedicated to preventing exclusion should OPENLY EXCLUDE people! The other organisations involved are, mainly, thinly disguised LABOUR SUPPORTERS obviously petrified of giving a platform to any of the many left wing critics of Marvin “Luther” Rees among the mayoral candidates.

Mayor Loser’s supporters appear to have been getting in on this act too. A hustings at the Analphoney art gallery organised by the RIDICULOUS POSH BOYS running the POINTLESS Bristol Pound project also FAILED to invite most candidates because there wasn’t “enough time”. Although it looked more like a last ditch effort to keep the wheels on Mayor Massive Defeat’s car crash campaign by banning all his more open and aggressive critics.

Welcome to progressive politics in Bristol where dissent will be quietly suppressed and democracy overlooked due to time constraints.

GREEN IDIOT WATCH

Clueless, interfering councillor supports high rents in Bedminster and low rents in Redfield.

                                            Telford.acorn

Decent homes for everyone, but not for Bedminster.

GORMLESS Green councillor, ROB “BEMMIE BOY” TELFORD, Sir Gus Hoyty-Toyty’s Ashley Ward mini-me, has been practising u-turns.

For some reason, back in March, Bemmie Boy took it upon himself to comment on the controversial proposed 15 storey high tower block development at ST KATHERINE’S PLACE at the top of East Street in Bedminster, some TWO MILES from his leafy ward.

“I think the scheme would have a detrimental effect on a lot of the local character, with surrounding trees blocked out from many vistas. The buildings are simply too high and block many other vistas,” pronounced the resident of, er, ST WERBURGHS in a formal letter about the application.

But not only is Bemmie Boy interfering in South Bristol where he’s not wanted, he can’t make up his mind up either. Five months later, just before the planning meeting, he wrote formally again: “Having MET WITH THE ARCHITECTS of this scheme and discussed some of the contentious issues surrounding it, I would like to withdraw my previous objection to this planning application,” he announced.

Why the architects were meeting with the councillor for Ashley to discuss a development miles away in Bedminster isn’t clear.

And neither is it clear why the Bemmie Boy’s Ashley Ward colleague SIR GUS HOYTY-TOYTY also waded into this SOUTH BRISTOL PLANNING ISSUE on the Bristol 24/7 news site with one of his semi-literate internet hissy fits aimed at local, south Bristol Lib Dems who are unhappy with this risible, though highly profitable, scheme that will deliver luxury flats and absolutely No AFFORDABLE HOUSING.

Why have this pair developed such a passionate interest in a multi-million pound property development on the other side of town all of a sudden?

Meanwhile Bemmie Boy, while promoting luxury private developments with high rents for the wealthy in Bedminster, is also fighting “to end rip-off tenancy fees and insecure renting”.
in EAST BRISTOL. Again, an area some two miles from his ward.

Bemmie Boy was spotted in July joining a protest in Redfield organised by the Easton based Association of Community Organisations for Reform Now (ACORN) against estate agent Holbrook Moran and their ripping off of private tenants.

We wonder whether Bemmie Boy informed his fellow protestors about his support for luxury
private developments in South Bristol?