Another example of the Reverend Rees’s WEIRDO corporate free market Christian evangelical ideology appears with news that the CORPORATE PRIVATE SECTOR are moving into the city council’s planning department to deal with planning applications.
Corporate consultancy firm Arup, who specialise in picking up OUTSOURCED PUBLIC SECTOR work, will soon be, “processing a range of planning applications and associated work within reasonable timescales and will contribute towards housing delivery amongst other objectives.”
Will this contribution
towards housing delivery include Arup overseeing the Reverend’s major
development plans for the CUMBERLAND
BASIN? The one where the company delivering the masterplan is, er, Arup!
contract has been awarded with no political oversight or input from
The Reverend and the corporate land sales team he’s expensively assembled continue to impressively piss public money up against the wall while the rest of us are forced to tolerate austerity because “THERE’S NO MONEY”. The latest wheeze from the Reverend and his crew is another all-expenses trip to Cannes for that annual abomination, MIPIM: “the international gathering of property sharks” (surely “property professionals”? Ed).
A FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST reveals that this year’s four day jolly to the Cote D’Azure for the UNACCOUNTABLE to shift our assets to the UNPALATABLE cost council taxpayers almost £12k.
Accompanying the Reverend at our
expense was our dear old friend Colin “Head Boy” Molton, the £1,500 a
day regeneration boss without a proper contract of employment; Nuala
“Hoop” Gallagher, Director of City Growth, Investment &
Infrastructure at the council and the Reverend’s handpicked RELIGIOUS LOONEY FRIEND from his
Hotwells church for evangelical nutters, Jeremy “I’m no housing
expert” Sweetland, the Director of Bristol Housing Festival, keen on
shoving the poor into small, airless boxes to solve “the housing
The £12k bill this little lot landed us with included rooms for each delegate
at around £800 A NIGHT for three
nights and a £200 TAXI FARE to get
Head Boy from Nice Airport to Cannes following his premium £900 FLIGHT from the UK. Presumably because a man as idle and
important as Head Boy can’t possibly get a bus to save us some money?
At the conference the group served up top nosh, drinks and hospitality at a
variety of events and receptions on behalf of some very FAMILIAR INTERNATIONAL CORPORATE NAMES doing some very good
business in Bristol – YTL, Skanska and Arup. Schmoozing services were also
provided to local outfits such as Business West, property company Savills and
the Merchant Venturer front organisation, Invest in Bath and Bristol.
And the point of all this? Who knows? Any purpose and outcome of these
expensive trips is, always, shrouded in mystery and not revealed to the plebs
who foot the bill.
FACTS and FIGURES come crashing into the inbox regarding the Reverend’s recent trip to Cannes to attend the MIPIM property conference. A sort of working holiday on the Côte d’Azur where gullible local authority types can get mugged for their land by property speculators.
THREE ‘delegates’ from Bristol City Council went. The Reverend and his two current sidekicks, PR man Kevin “Don’t Mention the Private Education” Slocombe and Colin “Head Boy” Molton. Although we’re told that the Reverend’s Cabinet member for Spatial Planning and City Design Nicola “LA LA” Beech went along paid for by her employer.
And the cost of this three-day jaunt to you, dear council tax payer? A mere £9,950! Included in a busy itinerary for these selfless public servants were urgent events such as the ‘ARUP COCKTAIL PARTY‘, the ‘YTL DEVELOPMENTS DINNER‘ and the ‘BOUYGUE – LINKCITY DINNER‘!
Tough gigs but, no doubt, someone’s got to spend £10k of our money doing it!