Tag Archives: Brenda Massey

RED PANTS INVESTS IN SURREAL ESTATE

Rough SleeperBCC offers venture capitalists 3-6% profit out of its Property Fund for the homeless

Bristol’s homeless are now so thick on the ground that you can’t go past a public park without seeing shabby tents inhabited by those turfed out by housing cutbacks and ever-rising rents.

HRH Lord Ferguson’s response to this is to hand £5m into a joint property purchase fund with an organisation called Real Lettings – consisting of Resonance (a fund/asset management company), and St. Mungo’s housing association/homeless charity.

Big Society Capital, the government’s private investment fund will then invest a ‘matching’ £5m into this property fund’s purchases. These homes will then be rented out to 70-80 households of the ‘unintentionally homeless’, consisting of 80% families and 20% singles.

These new deserving poor are given no more than 2-3 years with St Mungo’s to “move up through the homelessness pathways” and earn the ‘privilege’ of renting independently in the private sector. Their progress presumably being sustained on zero-hours minimum wage jobs?

All this is contained in a public document, ‘Executive Summary of Agenda Item 7’, signed off on 3 November by HRH and rubber stamped by his ‘cabinet’: court flunky councillors Gollop (Con), Cook (LibDem), Radice (Green), and Massey (Lab). The Council’s intention – as written – is to ‘support homelessness’ (sic), by joining the Real Lettings’ national scheme as outlined above.

Much of the document is filled with cost projections, risk management tables and colourful graphs, with sub-headings such as ‘sensitivity analysis’, ‘capital appreciation’ and ‘cash yield’.

And a ‘net target return’ of 3% plus profit is anticipated for the investor, even after the Council, Resonance and St. Mungo’s have taken their cuts. It is explained that this route will be ‘significantly cheaper’ than lodging the homeless, as at present, in private B&Bs.

It is also disconcertingly stated that The Fund is an ‘unregulated collective investment scheme’, which disqualifies it from protection normally offered by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Big Society Capital is chaired by Ronald Cohen of pensions collapse fame, who along with hsome friends in 2000 disappeared with the pensions of 544 long service workers from British United Shoe Machinery (BUSM). In total, £81 million vanished from three pension funds: Dexion, BUSM, and USM Texon… All faster than you could say Abracadabra.

A comment by Ashok Kumar MP on the unresolved scandal involving Big Society Capital’s chairman is worth quoting in full: “I think these people need flogging. I feel so angry on behalf of decent upright citizens robbed of their basic human rights… These are greedy, selfish capitalists who live on the backs of others.”

But of course, having such a person at the helm investing in a local homeless fund for profit will not be bothering Lord Red Pants or his sycophantic team.

FERGO’S ‘TOP TABLE’: TOO GOOD FOR EQUALITIES!

The Equalities, Access and Inclusion team at Bristol City Council has been running various training courses for employees.

However, Mayor George Ferguson, his Cabinet and Deputy Mayor ‘Mutton’ Geoff Gollop have snootily said they “didn’t need this training” and have OPTED OUT of it.

An interesting attitude from an all- white, 70 per cent male Cabinet made up entirely of people from Bristol’s political establishment!

Presumably this is because they really do consider themselves torch-bearers for anti-racism, disabilities, anti-sexism etc – and think that BCC employees are the racists, sexists and the rest.

What will Hibaq Jama have to say about this after her recent ‘chat’ with Fergo?

GUS AGAINST THE WORLD: FROM ‘EH?’ TO RPZ

Welcome to the Hoyty-Toyty World of Bristol Politics!

MONDAY:

First meeting of the new four-strong city council Green Group and it went very well indeed. We almost fill a small corner of a Committee Room now! We covered everything from how totally opposed we are to any of the cuts we vote for, to hammering out some VERY SERIOUS POLICY POSITIONS.

First in the in-tray was the super controversial Resident Parking Zones. After some frank, open discussion and very serious debate, and with brilliant input from all our councillors, we agreed a consensus policy on the issue. Basically, on the first and third Wednesdays of each month, we are totally in favour of the Resident Parking Zones. We will meet again next week to hammer out what to do if there’s a fifth Wednesday in the month. On weekdays – except, obviously, the first and third Wednesdays – when the sun shines we are against the parking zones. On weekends, regardless of the weather, we think it should be left for the communities affected to decide.

We then had a vigorous debate about rainy days and Mondays, except – obviously – any rainy first and third Wednesdays and all days on weekends – but remain undecided.

We agreed to come back to the issue next week after George had made his mind up about it all anyway. We’ve also drawn up an EXTENSIVE COMMUNICATIONS STRATEGY on the issue to cascade to all Bristol Green Party members. It reads:

IT’S NOTHING TO DO WITH US – BLAME GEORGE.

Tried to pop in to see George afterwards but he was busy in a meeting with the very independently-minded MR PERRY FROM CLIFTON, so he asked me to come back tomorrow.

TUESDAY:

Popped back up to the third floor to see George this morning and bumped straight in to a beaming MR HOLT clutching a handful of BRISTOLIANs and shouting at me, “Have you seen it? Have you seen it? I’m in it!” I congratulated him and he skipped off to show ANGIE RIDGWELL. It must be said that being called by a girl’s name in The BRISTOLIAN may well turn out to be Peter’s crowning achievement from his time in the city.

Tried to see George but he was with Mr Perry again. Indeed Mr Perry was sitting in George’s Eames chair with his feet up on his desk while George appeared to be standing listening intently. In my opinion Mr Perry was very rude telling me to go away as they were busy running the city.

WEDNESDAY:

Tried to see George again. When I got to the third floor I could hear raised voices or, rather, a raised voice that sounded rather like Mr Perry’s. It was something to do with resident parking I think and the words “Stop dithering! Just bloody get on with it, you useless red-trousered old” something-or-other.

Mostly I could hear what they were saying, but I have never heard of a ‘STANKWAIN’ before, and it’s not in My First Illustrated Dictionary. When I tapped on George’s door he immediately opened it and shouted at me to – and even as I write this I’m blushing – “Eff-you-see-kay off and stop stalking me!”

Charming! After everything I’ve done for him. That’s the last time I iron his silk pyjamas as a favour before one of his late-night list-ticking sessions.

THURSDAY:

Decided it was time to start focusing on my new cabinet portfolio. Started with council housing today and explained in detail to the council housing boss MR PALMER how I wanted a wraparound strategy to retrofit our housing for the forthcoming environmental apocalypse in place ASAP. In the meantime I told Mr Palmer to set up a Twitter account to talk up solar panels and cavity wall insulation.

Mr Palmer said he thought his housing officers would be “thrilled” by my “creative approach” as it would make a change from all that depressing Bedroom Tax Spare Room Subsidy stuff. He also invited me to his leaving do, as he’s going next Tuesday. “Who’ll be in charge then?” I asked. He just laughed and said, “SEE YOU NEXT TUESDAY, GUS!”

FRIDAY:

Tried to find out today who’s in charge of the city’s council housing from next Tuesday. Nobody seemed very sure. Also bumped into my new Cabinet colleague MRS MASSEY in the corridor this afternoon. She was trying to find out who was now in charge of education as the excellent MRS HUDSON was also leaving. We both decided to call it a day and go to the cider bar at Eat, Drink, Bristol.

SUNDAY:

Attended the Reed Service at St Mary Redcliffe Church today. It’s a special ceremony for us councillors, and a great opportunity to dress up. Someone asked me if I was a Christian and I did my usual response of staring at the ground and shuffling about a bit before changing the subject. As it was the weekend, I just said, “I think the communities affected should decide on parking zones, don’t you?”

But George didn’t find it funny, though.

LABOUR GOES ‘HIBAQ TO BASICS’ IN LAWRENCE HILL

As the dust settles on the May local elections, Bristol Labour has been crowing about its polls success, having picked up six new councillors at the expense of the Lib Dem collapse to now make it the biggest party in Shitty Hall. Indeed, so excited are they that they’ve put aside their differences with Mayor Gorgeous and now have two senior councillors, Mark ‘Bear’ Bradshaw and Brenda Massey, in his ‘rainbow coalition’ cuts cabinet. A victory for social democracy indeed!

One of their best results came in the hard-fought, seven candidate LAWRENCE HILL election. There former Easton Lib Dem councillor Abdul Malik was beaten into an embarrassing third place by UKIP, with the Greens’ Chloe Summers coming in second from bottom with barely two hundred votes, despite earlier boasts by her pal Rob Telford that the sandal-wearers would romp home.

And who did win? Well, congratulations to Hibaq Jama, who despite FREEWHEELING through most of the campaign scooped more than half the vote to hold Lawrence Hill for Labour after Brenda Hugill stepped down (or rather, had her legs done in by party bosses).

As the city’s first elected politician of Somali origin, Jama is already something of a Bristol Labour poster girl, and given George Fergo’s fondness for dynamic young women, it seems possible he could find a special role for her despite her inexperience. Whether he manages this whilst keeping his new best chum, the anti-female genital mutilation (FGM) campaigner Nimko Ali – whose antipathy towards Bristol Labour now approaches near-legendary status – onside remains to be seen. But if there is juggling of opinionated, politically ambitious women to be done, El Fergo is not a man to shirk his reponsibilities – such was the Mayoral Vow he swore.

In the meantime, The BRISTOLIAN hopes that being in the public eye will put an end to the rumours circulating about Jama’s management style whilst working at Lawrence Hill’s education hub, the Beacon Centre.

After all, when phrases like “blasé absenteeism”, “bullying” and “unprofessional personal relationships” are being bandied around, even the brightest star starts to fade.

  • Due to an oversight in the production process the original print version of this article wrongly stated that Jama replaced Margaret Hickman – who remains Labour’s other Lawrence Hill councillor – not Brenda Hugill. The idiot responsible has been taken out the back of the milking sheds and shot.