The ever-resourceful Human Resources Department of Bristol City Council has come up with a new wheeze to SCREW its lowest paid workers.
James “Betty” Brereton, masquerading under the poncey job title ‘People and Culture Manager‘, wrote out to low paid staff who work term times only in May announcing he has been “checking the calculations we use to work out pay”. And lo and behold! He’s discovered some “ERRORS“.
“Any overpayment or underpayment in April will be added to or DEDUCTED from your pay in May,” Brereton cheerily announced to people taking home small sums of money who thought the small increase in their pay packet in April might be their pay rise!
Unfortunately not. Instead money was REMOVED from pay packets a few weeks later at the end of May with NO REGARD for anyone having to manage on a tight budget or anyone wishing to know exactly what their monthly income from Bristol City Council might actually be.
Betty Brereton’s letter in May then added, “we will work out if there has been an overpayment or underpayment IN THE PAST. Where there has, we will negotiate with the trade unions on how we deal with this. We will then be in touch with you.”
In other words, Bristol City Council will be deducting EVEN MORE MONEY from the pay packets of the low paid at undisclosed some point in the future with little notice or explanation.
How are workers on low incomes supposed to plan their finances like this?
This year the Bristol Older People’s Forum (BOPF) will be celebrating their 25th anniversary. However, following a number of funding cuts by the Reverend’s council, the future of the forum is under DIRECT THREAT.
So please step forward 81 year old Tony Wilson, a Trustee of the forum, and retired Zia Haque, a member of the forum, who took part in a SKYDIVE in April from 15,000 feet. That’s the highest it’s possible to do in the UK without additional oxygen.
“This skydive is crucial to our survival,” explained Tony, “as BOPF moves away from Bristol City Council funding into an UNCERTAIN FUTURE. In these hard and changeable times Bristol Older People’s Forum is needed more than ever.”
The dive took place on Saturday April 14 at Sarum Airfield near Salisbury, with Tony and Zia raising over £2,000. This, we’re told, “would COVER MOST OF THE COSTS OF THE NEXT NEWSLETTER, which is currently mailed to over 3000 members, many of whom struggle with mobility issues and are not online”.
Meanwhile, the following month, the Reverend jetted out to New York City, yet again, to deliver a pointless speech to the UN about migration. Priorities, eh Marvin?
The Dolphin School, the self-styled feeder primary school for Colston Girls School conveniently located on the Cheltenham Road site of the controversial girls school, has for a number of years been trying to BUY LAND to gain additional access to their overcrowded site from Kwik-Fit and other businesses on Bath Buildings, Montpelier.
Alas, the school, run by our good friends the chronically underperforming (Merchant) Venturers Trust, has FAILED to get anywhere. So now they’ve turned to useful city council idiot, transport chief Peter “Useless” Mann for help.
And he’s obliged by attempting to RUIN access to businesses and residences on Bath Buildings by issuing a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) stopping vehicles turning left into Bath Buildings from Cheltenham Road. The notice informing residents and businesses appeared on 29 May and it will be implemented on 6 July. Obviously there’s been NO public consultation.
The measure effectively SPLITS Kwik Fit in two with their MOT trade having to travel to St James Barton roundabout then back up Stokes Croft and Cheltenham Road to enter their MOT bay on Bath Buildings. There are a further 16 BUSINESSES on Bath Buildings affected, plus one sub-surface car park for 90+ cars and 250 holders of RPZ permits.
We learn: “The community intends to make a big thing out of this and a demo is planned plus a bit of civil disobedience but all in the best possible taste.”
Much fuss all round last month as the local BBC finally cottoned on to what we’ve been saying for over a year now and announced that the council’s vanity energy reselling firm, Bristol Energy, has now LOST £24MILLION with no end to the losses in sight!
The BBC even pointed out that the council’s so-called “INVESTMENT” in Bristol Energy jumped by 40 per cent in six months last year from £17million to £24million. But is it even an investment if you’re unlikely to get your money back?
Bristol City Council and Bristol Energy’s response to their loss-making disaster continues to be shrouded in “COMMERCIALLY CONFIDENTIAL” mystery. Although an UNKNOWN Bristol Energy spokesman assured the BBC that the money would be paid back “with interest”! How, we’re not told.
Meanwhile, behind the scenes, the city council director who set up the company, Bill “Dick” Edrich, has been quietly OUSTED as a director of Bristol Energy and replaced with the Reverend’s new golden boy, Colin “HEAD BOY” Molton of the Colin Molton Consultancy Ltd.
Head Boy, currently the very well remunerated interim Executive Director of Growth and Regeneration at the council, is the latest CHANCER to have the ear of the Reverend. He comes from a senior post at the Homes and Community Agency (HCA) and it appears he is being paid a SMALL FORTUNE in the region of £5k a week by the Reverend to get some housing developments moving in Bristol prior to the next mayoral election.
But what exactly does he know about the energy reselling business?
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!
The SICKEST PLAN YET for helping the street homeless in the city has been quietly launched by the Reverend’s ‘Housing Czar’ Paul “Wolfie” Smith and the team of bureaucratic scumbags running the council’s housing department.
We hear that the council has quietly handed a contract called a SOCIAL IMPACT BOND to a brand new consortium – Social Impact Bristol Ltd (SIB Ltd) that’s been set up by charities, St Mungo’s, Second Step and Bristol Drugs Project – to support 125 street homeless over the next THREE YEARS.
The devil, however, is in the detail. Because SIB Ltd is funded with a LOAN from Resonance, a “social impact investment company” and Resonance, in turn, obtained the cash for their £112,500 stake in SIB Ltd from “HIGH NET WORTH INDIVIDUALS” seeking a return on their investment.
These investors will get this return when SIB Ltd achieve certain carefully listed “OUTPUTS” or targets from their homeless clients and are rewarded with CASH by the council. SIB Ltd then use the cash to repay Resonance’s loan with interest. This will be passed on to the “high net worth individuals” so that they receive the all-important “RETURN ON INVESTMENT”.
This sicko scheme, marks the start of the financialisation and securitisation of street homeless people for profit in Bristol. It has already been tried by St Mungos in London and been deemed a “SUCCESS“! For who?
Will it be a similar “success” in Bristol and usher in a new golden age of PROFIT to local high net worth individuals directly from homeless misery? And how many homeless clients/victims will be FORCIBLY MANIPULATED through this system designed to make a profit for the wealthy?
Is this the best we can do?
Welcome my adoring flock and what a special month this is. A time for mass celebration as I’ve now been your vicar for two fantastic, high achieving years that have exceeded all expectations and smashed all targets. We have so much to celebrate as these two years have been a litany of high achievement with the prospect of much, much more to come.
But where do I start such a vibrant whole-parish inclusive celebration of diverse delivery? Perhaps by noting my exceptional background in church hall strategy leadership in America and religious health innovation in various small village settings across the UK, has delivered the aspiration of church hall transformation we have all been waiting for. The transformed church hall, funded through my new Church Media Fund, is set to open – our private sector partners assure me – as soon as congregation numbers and, therefore, potential church hall user numbers make the building financially viable. This may be as soon as five years, I’ve been assured. Hurrah!
Similarly, my new pay-as-https://flic.kr/p/25Mnrqmyou-go self service tea vending solution in the vestry is about to go live very soon indeed. Final software tests are being undertaken by our best
value consultant contractors from London prior to an experimental soft launch. Tea in the vestry will never have been so efficient. Hurrah! Then there was my 360 degree review of the Reverend Loose Canon Ferguson’s failed car parking strategy. Now families can attend St Marvin’s in a 4×4 diesel vehicle, happy in the knowledge they need only pay a small parking fee to access the church and financially support the parish’s wider aspirations. Hurrah!
And many of those same families are also secure within the St Marvin’s family knowing that thanks to my introduction of a small ‘Regular Worshipper Uplift Charge’ their children are safely on a best value, time efficient journey into the parish’s OFSTED rated ‘excellent’ St Snoot’s Academy. Hurrah!
I feel I should also mention the help and support from all three of the Parish Secretaries I’ve, so far, appointed on highly competitive rates. A big thank you to Mr Stephens from Birmingham, Ms Klonowski from London and, I’m sure you’re excited as me at my appointment of Mr Jackson from Weston-Super-Mare to head up the parish committee as we move into a more aggressive delivery phase. What a diverse and vibrant group of parish leaders we have here to celebrate. Hurrah!
A special mention too should be made regarding my regular all-expenses paid trips to the US to visit my fantastic friend and religious mentor who facilitates a refresh and renewal of my faith. As this mentor, the Texan psychotic preacher and notorious anti-communist homophobe, the Pastor Righteous Loon says, “an expensive trip to pray alongside me at my impressive luxury mansion with outdoor swimming, gym and sauna facilities is what the Lord desires”.
And on that positive note of positivity, let’s look forward to the next two years, which Mr Slocombe’s already designated ‘the years of delivery’. Aspirations such as an open church hall, a self-serve tea facility in the vestry and increased parking charges may soon become the new reality. Hurrah!
Here’s to another two years! Hurrah!