Tag Archives: Austerity

BRISTOL HASN’T GOT A HOMELESS PROBLEM. IT’S GOT A HOUSING DEPARTMENT MANAGEMENT PROBLEM

Bristol Labour’s new housing boss, Paul “Wolfie” Smith lets slip a few very INTERESTING FACTS in a piece of shameless self-promotion he’s written for the Guardian:

“Bristol has a real problem with homelessness, with more than 300 households in temporary accommodation at a net cost to the council tax payer of £800,000 a year; at the same time 550 council homes are empty, losing rent of £2m and £700,000 in council tax. “

Er, sorry, come again? We’ve been handing around a £1,000 a month to private sector temporary housing ‘specialists’ for each homeless family – at a cost he alleges of £800k but is likely to be much  more  – while leaving 550 council homes they could live in sat EMPTY?

Council homes that could generate almost £3m in income to the city. That’s lots of money and housing stock that we could be using to house the homeless ourselves. Instead our money’s being handed over to DODGY LOCAL BUSINESSMEN to provide a revolting, anti-human homeless service while our own housing resources are left to ROT.

Wolfie’s wrong. This city hasn’t got a homeless problem. It’s got a HOUSING MANAGEMENT PROBLEM. What the fuck is going on at Bristol City Council’s housing department? Wolfie offers us half an explanation:

“six years of austerity, service cuts, redundancies and restructures, all of which have destroyed both morale and provision”

It’s not just morale and provision that’s been destroyed, however. The concept of a social housing department that’s there to serve the public and provide support to the vulnerable has been PULVERISED.

The city’s senior housing bosses – strategic director, Alison “Three Jobs” Comley and service directors, Nick “Drooper” Hooper and Mary “Contrary” Ryan – have obsessively focused – for over six years now – on delivering Tory policies of AUSTERITY, CUTS and PRIVATISATION at the expense of their actual jobs of delivering a housing service to the public.

We’ve had these three fucking idiots systematically SACKING, DOWNGRADING and DESKILLING their workforce for over eight years now while introducing a GORMLESS CORPORATE CULTURE of privatisation, outsourcing, constant restructuring, regular office moves, ‘agile working’, management consulting, ‘demand management’, half-arsed techno solutions, useless software and IT fixes and any other PASSING MANAGEMENT FAD a well paid consultant can pass off on this trio of useful idiots.

These three bosses haven’t bothered running a housing department in the traditional sense for years. They’ve been implementing a right wing, ANTI-PUBLIC SECTOR ideology. DOWNGRADING a vital public service to the point where it’s barely viable. Try phoning (0117 922 2200) Drooper Hooper’s housing department and see if you can even get to speak to a human being.

All three need to QUIT or be SACKED. We need normal housing bosses in our housing department who can quickly provide homes fit to occupy and get families into these homes. It’s not difficult and it’s what a housing department should do. Leaving council homes EMPTY while stuffing the pockets of local businessmen with large amounts of public cash for shit housing is nothing short of a criminal enterprise.

The current housing management needs to go and go now. They’ve fucked up our city up and now they need to fuck off.

CUT THE POLICE

Things have got so bad even the OLD BILL are having to face cuts to services, just like the rest of us. Senior coppers have been on my radio bemoaning the fact that the days of the “BOBBY ON THE BEAT” are over (I’m feeling a bit safer already).

Don’t fret too much though. There will always be enough of them to kick your head in if you have the audacity to COMPLAIN about the system we are living under.

Just try demonstrating against poverty, the dismantling of our health service or bombing some corner of the world and loads of Old Bill will turn up, armed to the teeth ready to do you some real damage. All on fucking OVERTIME of course.

Not even Thatcher cut the thin blue line. Politicians need someone to defend their right to take the piss. However, the Old Bill have come up with a CUNNING PLAN to try to cover their budget cuts and it involves you.

One young man contacted the Bristolian about a fine. He was caught parking where he was not supposed to. He put his hands up – to save getting tasered – and accepted an on-the-spot fine. The copper assured him it would only be £100, roughly a month’s child benefit.

A few days later he got a bill for £400. This amounted to the original fine, £200 court costs and £100 ‘VICTIM SURCHARGE’. So yellow fucking lines are victims now are they?

Since he had not been anywhere near a COURT and had accepted his guilt, he did the rational thing and contacted the Avon and Somerset Police to explain their mistake. Only to be told they were sending the bailiffs around.

He explained that he lived with his Mum and Dad so then they demanded his car! They couldn’t have that either. It was on finance and therefore still owned by the garage.

Once the Old Bill had finished trying to mug the distraught teenager, they admitted that he had the RIGHT TO APPEAL. This is ongoing.

Avid readers of The Bristolian will remember that in some parts of Bristol – the poor parts basically – VICTIMS have to investigate their own burglaries and criminal damage. Plod will arrive, give you a crime number and blithely tell you to keep your eyes peeled and let them know if you find out anything.

They’re obviously far too busy seizing people’s property to pay for fines for misdemeanours to worry about burglary. Just try pleading not guilty these days, and see how much that will cost you. But that’s another story.

Have you been a victim of this type of state mugging? Drop us a line on one of the contact addresses and we will deal with it in confidence.

POOR SUFFER CULTURE BOOST

Carnival revellers dressed as clowns pedal on the clowns parade in Sesimbra village February 11, 2013.  REUTERS/Jose Manuel Ribeiro (PORTUGAL - Tags: SOCIETY) - RTR3DNM6

No austerity for clowns in Bristol

Looks like Mayor Luvvie-Dahling and his yes-man sidekick, Cabinet Member for freebies and junketing, Simon “Spend” Cook, have not heard of austerity when it comes to spending money on vital services such as juggling, street entertainers, circus performers, artisan cheese markets and local drama productions.

While environment and waste, planning services, highways and transport, housing services and social care have been hit with cuts of up to 33 per cent to budgets over the last year, the council’s culture budget has shot up 33 per cent from £36.156m to £47.891m!

Isn’t it nice to see Mayor Nepotism and Simon Spend not only looking after their friends and improving their personal ‘international profiles’ but they’re also keeping plenty of freebie tickets for themselves rolling in.
What better way to spend public money is there?