Tag Archives: Bristol City Council

DEFLATING MAYORAL EGO LIVE!

A seemingly harmless question from posh Green councillor Carla “The Green Princess” Denyer at Tuesday’s council meeting got the Reverend Rees in a bit of an emotional state.

The painfully liberal member for the Royal Borough of Clifton East asked the Reverend a seemingly harmless question. Was it reasonable to refuse to support the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill, a Private Members Bill currently going through Parliament, just because it was likely to fail without Tory support?

Back came a rambling response from a visibly emotional mayor: “I just anticipated this. When I see your name, my heart often sinks because it’s just the usual, kind of, you know, chess game trying to get a tweet or a blog out of the answer that feeds that line that, you know, Labour Party don’t care about the planet.”

This is despite the dull Green Princess not running a blog (unlike the Reverend) and running the most boring Twitter account imaginable! Could the Reverend’s response have anything to do with Ms Denyer’s efforts at present to become leader of the national Green party and the amount of press and attention she’s receiving locally and nationally? Press coverage that currently eclipses the thin-skinned jealous Reverend’s by a considerable amount?

It was obvious to many on Tuesday that our emotionally insecure mayor needed to constantly underline his own importance. He spent most of the meeting basically saying “Look at me. I’m a very important person” and boasting about the national and international corporate non-entities-in-suits he has been meeting with lately.

At one point he even told councillors that they lacked the integrity of the people he had had a highly important Zoom meeting with just that morning. Those people being merchant bankers and financiers. A profession popularly regarded for having, er, zero integrity.

Take cover! The Reverend’s fragile ego has crash landed in the dodgy international finance sector!

PLASTICENE MAN BAMBOOZLED BY NIMBIES

Renhard-Red-Telephone-Box

A successful council motion last night to preserve the city’s greenbelt and wildlife areas such as the Novers/Western Slopes from the Reverend’s looney housing developer mates really upset the developer-friendly Labour Group.

The Reverend, naturally, had one of his regular and embarrassing hissy fits in public at councillors after not getting his own way and being stopped from concreting over any more of our open spaces. But also joining him was our dear friend Tom “Plasticene Man” Renhard, the city’s new Cabinet member for housing, tasked with reading out crap speeches badly written for him by the Reverend’s PR sideman Kev “Slo” Slocombe.

After the Labour defeat, Plasticene Man, Labour’s latest ridiculous working class voice of the people, was heard privately dismissing campaigners, insisting that none of the Western Slopes campaigners lived locally and that they were all “posh nimbys”. 

For starters, how can you live out of an area and be a Nimby? 

COUNCILLORS CALL TIME ON CHILD ABUSE IN BRISTOL SCHOOLS

Kerry on People Scrutiny

If you’re ever looking for some visceral screen entertainment over the next few years, we suggest you take a look at Bristol City Council’s People Scrutiny Commission on Youtube. Finally, it looks like the gloves might be coming off against the council’s social care and education bosses for failures and evasions stretching back for years.

The Commission is chaired by Tim “Little Asshat” Kent who has a child with special educational needs in Bristol and has the scars on his back to show for it. He’s joined on the committee by Christine “Miss” Townsend, who has been accused in the past of being a ‘terrorist’ by local academy chain The Venturers Trust for complaining about their admission procedures, and Hartcliffe councillor Kerry “Rosie” Bailes.

Kerry has a child with special educational needs who’s been forced out of his primary school for three years now, because, as far as we can tell, his Hartcliffe school is run by some sort of Nazi freak fully backed by the council. Also on the Committee are Tim “The Ripper” Rippington who has family experience with autism and Bristol City Council ‘services’ and Geoff “Cods” Gollop who has a family member drifting around somewhere at the wrong end of the council’s adult care service.

All-in-all it looks like the focus of this committee might be on the human rights of children and service users. Rather than its usual business of blaming parents, covering up abuse and ignoring the systematic management failures of senior bosses and an embedded culture of institutional disability discrimination. An approach that bosses, for years, have tidily wrapped up in complicated bureaucracy and unfathomable technocratic jargon to give their ugly work a veneer of respectability.

The first meeting of People Scrutiny got off to a flying start with Kerry telling Hugh “Hell” Evans, the cheery, chubby Jacqui “Village” Jensen replacement as Executive Director Of Institutional Abuse (surely Executive Director of People? Ed), in relation to his ‘Building Rights: a review of Bristol’s policies and actions for people with learning disabilities and autistic people’ report:

 “This all sounds really amazing. A lot of it should already be happening. The law was changed a very long time ago and we just haven’t seen it. As public forum said, there is no accountability. You know that I’ve been in the system nearly four years now and I’ve seen no difference. It’s still very much a you’ll do as you’re told or else system and when I say or else, I mean or ,else. It is awful.”

My son was thrown into a car park at five years old. He was locked in an office for being autistic. This report talks about abuse in care homes. That’s happening in our schools under our noses. And when we complain about it, we are lied about. There is no accountability. What kind of consequences are there if none of this happens? You know it can’t go on as it is. This is our children, you know? What consequences are there? The people who abused autistic people in care homes went to prison. You know what? When are our children going to get justice. When is there going to be some consequences?”

Evans, unsurprisingly, didn’t offer Kerry a timeline on when council bosses and education ‘leaders’ might suffer any consequences for abusing children and ignoring service user’s rights. Instead a private meeting away from the public eye was offered by Education Director Alison “Burly” Hurley.

Kerry, not one to be easily distracted by useless private meetings with desperate arse-covering council bosses keen to keep a fat salary rolling into their bank account at the expense of abused children, has instead approached the Police and Crime Commissioner requesting a criminal investigation into the abuse of SEND pupils in Bristol schools.

Last week’s meeting is available on Youtube with more set to come

“COMMON ACTIVITIES”: THREE WAVES OF BULLSHIT

New Briefing Arrives for BCC’s Homelessness Prevention Team

Homeless directive

In July, a Bristol City Council managerial team led by HR taskmaster John “Bedwetter” Walsh produced a 12 page, full colour glossy pile of vomit called ‘Common Activities – Briefing for The Homelessness Prevention Team’.

Complete with “flow charts” and other meaningless diagrams, no doubt employing external graphic designers at an undisclosed sum, Bedwetter and his team of useless flunkies churned out “inclusive” speech hogwash by the bucket load. All packaged to please the uncritical eyes of the Reverend Mayor and his team of sycophants, simultaneously confusing the general public and rank-and-file employees alike, and/or boring them stupid.

Common Absurdities

Once you’ve read through the 12 pages of utter drivel and after exhaustively eliminating the “positive” buzzwords that saturate it – like “shared objectives” and “creating a city of hope and aspiration” – and distilled it down to an essence that could be easily comprehended in a single paragraph, you’re left with this:

Bristol City Council is cutting back £1 million from its £53 million staffing budget. This will be achieved by “generalising” tasks, and “fusing” any coal-face posts that “do the same job” in the eyes of management. They also reserve the right to “make further savings where possible”.

These measures are currently being introduced in three “waves” that are supposed to wash over Bristol City Council in the course of July.

Considering the number of unproductive bullshit job staff and “professional support officers” involved and the costs of dreaming up and implementing such a complicated and probably unnecessary process, surely one could ask if the £1 million savings could have been far easier met elsewhere?

Maybe by simply firing Bedwetter and his ever-swelling entourage of goons and flunkies?

NO LOOKING BEFORE WE LEAP

Why were an unholy alliance of council bosses so keen to prevent a meeting of councillors scrutinising the fatcats’ confusing and secretive “Billion Pound” City Leap plan last week? Who do these clowns really work for?

City Leap is the latest senior officer brainchild to emerge out of Bristol City Council and they’re spending £10m of our money on it. The money’s being spent on procuring a multinational corporation as a ‘joint venture partner’ in, er, wait for it … An energy business!

This time the business is aimed at cashing in on ‘net zero’ by, among other things, building and running unregulated neighbourhood heat networks across the city to “‘up the pace’ in reaching carbon neutrality targets”,

Chief Exec Mike “Billie Jean” Jackson; Exec Director for Growth and Regeneration, Stephen “Preening” Peacock and Energy Services boss David “Payday” White all told councillors at a scrutiny meeting last week that there was absolutely no role for them in City Leap until their secretive high stakes procurement process was finished in February. 

The officers explained they would then generously allow councillors a couple of hours to rubberstamp their extraordinarily expensive done deal a few days before it goes to cabinet to get signed off by the Reverend, a Yale-trained corporate puppet.

The unscrupulous threesome explained that any attempt now at democratic scrutiny of this latest council energy scheme would have a ‘material impact on the procurement’.

Bizarre reasoning asserting that the council’s constitution and the right of councillors to scrutinise the executive like any normal functioning democracy should be suspended. On the basis that it might upset any multinational corporation lining up at the trough these officers are generously setting up for them.

All highly irregular. Surely any multinational that wants to work with Bristol City council needs to understand from the get-go that they’re working in a democratic environment where public scrutiny of their work is likely to be regular and detailed? And if they don’t like our democracy in Bristol? Well, they can fuck off to any of the many dictatorships around the world with their money can’t they?

Why are Bristol City Council bosses, whose jobs should directly involve upholding the constitution of Bristol City Council to the letter, creating an environment where the city’s democratic norms need to be ignored because corporate interests are waving some money around? Isn’t this exactly the time democratic scrutiny is needed?

A similar fiasco unfolded with Bristol Energy. Scrutiny and opposition councillors were persistently refused access to vital company information by officers. Councillors were unable to scrutinise what was going on at the company and the result was an estimated  £50m loss to council taxpayers.

Is it acceptable for officers to set up yet another energy business shrouded in secrecy that can repeat exactly the same mistakes all over again?

COMING SOON: What the fuck is City Leap anyway?

REVEREND IN THE EYE

Private Eye  Marvin

Fancy finding the Reverend Rees in the latest ‘Rotten Boroughs’ column of Private Eye. The natural home of the bent provincial politician.

It seems this brief article refers to Lib Dem councillor Tim “Small Asshat” Kent who asked the Reverend at a recent Cabinet meeting how many followers he had blocked from his ‘Official’ Twitter account run by council officers?

None of your business came the official reply. It’s a private account, explained the Reverend, and he could choose what he did with it, including “blocking individuals who are abusive or deliberately spread misinformation”.

He then proceeded to block Kent on Twitter describing him as a “pit of negativity” at a press conference the next day.

None of which explains why the Reverend is spending £3k a month of public money having his private Twitter account monitored by Impact Social, a dubious internet monitoring firm based above a used car dealers in south London, while blocking any resident he feels like.

Is this legal?

MAD MEN

mad men final

A bizarre and disturbing case unfolds at the Employment Tribunal involving the Reverend Rees, Colin “Head Boy” Molton and the council’s HR senior management nutters – presumably taking some time off from being racist? – John “Bedwetter” Walsh and Mark “Bashar” Williams.

The case involves 122 detriments to a whistleblower at Bristol City Council and there’s even a walk-on part for the Bristolian’s evil twin Twitter account, the ungovernable  @bristol_citizen.

From what we’ve learned so far and we’re promised much more from the union involved, IWW Bristol, it seems Bashar and Bedwetter cooked up a cunning plan back in 2018, with the help of the Reverend, to fire the notorious Markets whistleblower from 2012 (Bristolian passim).

This is a whistleblower against whom Bashar Williams has long conducted a dirty whispering campaign in the corridors of the Counts Louse. A campaign that’s attempted to blame the whistleblower for the council’s failure in their duty of care towards council Facilities Service Manager, Tony Harvey, who killed himself in 2013. Directly after Harvey’s crude efforts to cover-up a major financial scandal in his Markets Service with the help and support of Bashar Williams and many other senior bosses started to fall apart.

According to the Employment Tribunal, the whistleblower had made TWENTY-TWO allegations that ‘relate to financial matters and alleged fraud relating to the first respondent’s market licence fees’.

The  vehicle selected by the Bashar and Bedwetter to carry out their dastardly attack plan on this whistleblower was the creation of a bespoke allegation that the worker had shared – with a Bristol Waste trade union rep – ‘confidential’ council information that, er, was in the public domain!.

Their plan was assisted by Rees who handed his HR bosses confidential Bristol Labour Party and trade union information directly from his personal Facebook account. An action that resulted in the closure in 2018 of the local Labour Campaign Forum private Facebook page for members when it became apparent that personal and political information on there was no longer secure and was being shared with bosses at Bristol City Council and any passing Toryboy consultant in a pinstripe suit.

To further ensure the success of their brilliant plan, the Bedwetter personally hired – at great expense to us – ‘Mr Greaves’. a self-styled expert consultant who also happened to be an old local authority jobbing interim mate of Bedwetter’s. Mr Geaves, our union sources tell us, was “basically a posh twat in pin stripe suit who was thick as shit”.

Within a week of suspending the worker, HR’s ramshackle disciplinary house of cards inevitably collapsed with the revelation that the alleged ‘confidential information’ wasn’t in the slightest bit confidential having been released by the council themselves months earlier.

The hapless HR management team, including a clown on a generous day rate paid by council taxpayers, then started scratching around for some new allegations to nail their man. TWELVE allegations were variously tabled and hastily withdrawn over the next SIX MONTHS. Even including a desperate claim that the worker was running the  @bristol_citizen Twitter account!

The worker eventually took out a grievance, possibly for humanitarian reasons, to end this Human Resources car crash and to try and resolve the embarrassing symptoms of mental decay on open display from a pair of barking senior council HR directors intent on firing someone for no reason other than that the mayor had apparently told them to.

The council responded to the grievance by wheeling out their top gun – the second highest paid council boss in the country – Colin “Head Boy” Molton. Who, it appears, hired another expensive consultant to investigate the work of the first consultant. 

The outcome of this investigation is shrouded in mystery as Head Boy scarpered from the scene of his crime very quickly never to be heard from again. In the process failing to do any of the things he had advised himself to do, in his own report, to sort out his senior HR colleagues’ sorry mess..

The next act of this very Bristol City Council farce played out at a bizarre disciplinary hearing chaired by our dear old friend “Lil” Tim O’Gara. He was hurriedly shunted in to oversee proceedings after Bedwetter discovered he wasn’t allowed to hire a posh twit; hand him a weird dossier of drivel off the internet compiled by Bashar Williams; feed his pet twit a load of completely mental evidence-free allegations about a member of council staff and then chair the subsequent hearing to judge the merits of his own deranged crap.

In fact, in a highly original and unprecedented move, no one from HR turned up at all at their own disciplinary hearing to present any kind of case against the member of staff they had suspended for eight months and had,  ‘independently’ investigated at great expense. Could this by any chance be related to the fact that the Reverend and Head Boy Molton might have had to appear to explain what the fuck they had been up to if a proper hearing was held? 

What if any of the big swinging dicks at the top of the council had said the wrong thing and accidentally implicated each other in their fast unravelling dimwitted conspiracy? Suddenly, with the risk of funny little wriggly appendages being exposed at the top, the hearing was a very quick case of ‘allegations unfounded’ – ‘case dismissed’.

We reckon the cost of this pointless little escapade in targeting a whistleblower trying to protect your money from bent council bosses – if you add up whopping payments to various consultants, the wages paid to the member of staff to sit at home for eight months and the staff time – could easily hit six figures.

What for? An expensive game for the pleasure of a pisspoor mayor? A Bashar Williams’ revenge fantasy acted out on a member of recalcitrant staff? A palliative for Bedwetter’s prominent mental health conditions?

Have they nothing else to do at their City Hall?

MORE STUFF WE’VE BEEN PROMISED AND COMING SOON:

  • ARE YOU FEATURED IN BASHAR WILLIAM’S DOSSIER OF DRIVEL OFF THE INTERNET?
  • ABSOLUTE PROOF JOHN WALSH IS A LIAR (JUST IN TIME TO HELP SUPPORT HIS EXCITING DEFAMATION SUIT AGAINST COUNCILLORS)
  • JOHN WALSH, MARK WILLIAMS AND COLIN MOLTON ARE ‘STUPID’ EXPLAINS THEIR OWN LEGAL BRIEF
  • AND MUCH MORE ….

WHISTLEBLOWING IN THE WIND

Freewheelin

How many wrongs must a boss investigate

Before they substantiate a claim?

How many thefts must an auditor ignore
With their head in the sand?

Yes, and how many times must the public pay
Before they’re finally paid?

The answer, my friend, is whisleblowin’ in the wind
The answer is whistleblowin’ in the wind

(With apologies to Dylan)

An interesting document emerges from their Audit Committee about whistleblowing at Bristol City Council last year.

It reveals that eight decent workers stepped forward between April 2020 and March 2021 with serious allegations that met the legal criteria for formal whistleblowing. These criteria are

– a criminal offence has been committed;
– someone’s health and safety is in danger;
– there’s a risk or actual damage to the environment;
– there’s a miscarriage of justice;
– the organisation is breaking the law;
– you believe someone is covering up wrongdoing;

So far so good but then we learn from the council’s report that the result of seven of these complaints was that the claims were “unsubstantiated” while the other one was “not considered a whistleblowing matter”. Which raises the question of what is it doing in a whistleblowing report then?

Five of the eight complaints emerged from the Growth and Regeneration department, run for much of the year by the second highest paid local government officer in the country. That’s our dear old friend, Colin “Head Boy” Molton, and the complaints about his department included allegations of, er fraud, corruption, perjury and drug abuse!

However, we are told that in a couple of cases that “control issues [were] identified, and internal audit review commissioned,” which sounds just like something has been substantiated doesn’t it? 

The question that needs to be asked here, then, is what was done to substantiate these whistleblowing claims and who was responsible? For example, if you don’t investigate a complaint then it will remain unsubstantiated won’t it? 

Or if, as the council often does, a claim of wrongdoing is investigated by the manager directly responsible for the matter in question, an investigation will fail to substantiate perfectly reasonable and evidenced claims.

Alas, the report put before the Audit Committee contains no detail about how these whistleblowing complaints were dealt with other than to announce they were all “unsubstantiated” and therefore no boss at the council appears to have done anything wrong (again) in any of the cases.

It’s nothing short of risible that this is the case for eight separate whistleblowing claims and this does nothing to encourage whistleblowing at the council. Why bother to potentially ruin your career to get a sentence in an obscure report stating your claims are “unsubstantiated” without explanation?

”Yes ‘n’ how many times can a man turn his head pretending he just doesn’t see?”

“LET US PRAY TOGETHER, TOM.”

Renhard-Red-Telephone-Box

Rather than reinforcing the lost Labour majority in the council democratically by reaching agreement with the rising Greens, Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees has doubled down on his already well-developed autocratic tendencies.

Encouraged by the authoritarian nature of the office he holds and the support of “even-higher in the firmament” despot Dan Norris as West of England Regional Mayor, Reverend Rees has instead surrounded himself with a personally selected cabinet of sycophantic courtiers. All eager to pretend to the deluded but fragile-as-glass messianic emperor that he’s fully clothed.

Alas, to complete the “choir of angels” required around the celestial centre, the steady drip-feed of sufficiently pliable self-seekers and arse-lickers was wearing thin on the ground, even for the Bristol Labour Party.

So please step forward Tom “Plasticene Man” Renhard to fill the gap. The pliant New Labour councillor for Horfield – a former nobody known only for his ambition and compulsive brown-nosing of anyone in the party he saw as useful for advancing his political career.

Greasy pole-dancer Renhard started from humble beginnings as the mere obedient secretary to Cllr Brenda “Commissar” Massey’s chairing of Horfield Branch Labour Party. He then proceeded to ingratiate himself with Bristol North-West’s Blairite MP Darren “Dipshit” Jones, before – most recently – sniffing out the Reverend Rees himself by providing “indispensable” services during the Mayor’s re-election campaign in April. As a direct consequence, he’s been elevated into the latter’s key cabinet post of Director of Housing.

Plasticene Man’s been catapulted into the office previously occupied by someone with at least a minimum of experience and credibility – Paul “Wolfie” Smith. His qualifications and talents for this are, according to Bristolians who’ve had the misfortune of working with the Play-Doh chameleon or who’ve been forced to rely on him for any competent undertaking – no matter how small – completely and utterly absent. It would appear therefore that the sole reason for Renhard’s selection as Marvin’s right-hand man in the cabinet is due to the elasticity of his composition.

Eager to be all things to all people and thereby to increase his profile and visibility among the gullible, Tom Renhard has been sliming around the Labour Party and the Co-op Party for some time. Not to mention the “tenants union”/community organisation ACORN, who are currently thrilled to laud him as the hero of their forlorn hope to acquire influence in Shitty Hall. So on the face of it, at least in The Reverend’s eyes, Plasticene Man is the perfect man for the job.

What could possibly go wrong?

MEET THE ‘GREAT COMMUNICATOR’ WHO CAN’T ANSWER A LETTER

Remember when Bristol City Council’s new Chief Executive, ‘the great communicator’, Mike “Billie Jean” Jackson was handed a “reasonably modest” pay rise of £2k in March?

A few months after promises that no such pay rise would be forthcoming when the Reverend’s bitch first got handed the lucrative new job in May 2020 without the fuss of going through a policy compliant recruitment or interview process.

Fast forward a year from this dodgy promotion and a report from the Local Government Ombudsman hits our inbox outlining “a serious failure in its corporate governance arrangements and oversight.” at Jackson’s council. This is due to a failure to implement agreed remedies for two separate complaints from 2019. One over waste collection and another about failures in a noise pollution complaint.

And Jackson himself was personally responsible for this latest city council corporate failure. The Ombudsman reports that Jackson ignored SEVEN items of correspondence from them sent between March and November 2020. In them he was asked to implement some simple remedies to the complaints from members of the public about the public services he’s directly responsible for. He ignored the letters and did nothing instead.

Paying £171,500 a year doesn’t buy you someone responds to their correspondence then?