Bristol’s new overlord GEORGE FERGUSON has celebrated his favourite date in the calendar – International Women’s Day – with the announcement that the City Council is to splash out £18 million on new office space in a massive overhaul of its property portfolio which will cost £70 million.
The triple dip-defying move to 100 Temple Street near Temple Meads train station – as hinted at in the last issue of The Bristolian – is a bold strategy for the Mayor, who is slashing nearly 400 jobs, cutting the city budget by a tenth and raising Council Tax by just under 2%, yet comes at a high personal cost to His Redtrouserness according to insiders.
“The new premises on Temple Street fall within Lawrence Hill, which is the fifth most male ward in the city with only 48 percent of residents being women. Whilst it’s a marginal improvement on Council House, which falls within the 47.9% female Cabot ward, it’s certainly no Westbury, which weighs in at nearly 54% women,” reveals a source close to the SINGLETON MAYOR.
Fergo apparently spent several restless nights considering the options, pacing up and down the empty, echoing corridors of Shitty Hall in the dark like a RED-TROUSERED NAPOLEON, before deciding to bite the bullet and make the move to Redcliffe.
“We were so worried we even put a proposal to him to relocate the Mayor’s office to a special temporary annex at Badminton School,” says the source. “But selfless to the last, George insisted that we fork out half the amount we’re saving in budget cuts on a prestige office complex by a roundabout.”
The Council’s new site is currently home to global accountancy firm KPMG, with whom George’s interim Corporate Services Director Angie ‘Sacker’ Ridgwell has a long history. KPMG will be the second ‘Big Four’ auditor to be made homeless in Bristol over the past year, following the ouster of Ernst & Young from their Rupert Street offices to make way for the sparkly new Bridewell police station (refurbished at a cost of just £3.8 million).