Tag Archives: Bristol City Council

News Release: Bristol IWW defending whistle blowers and free speech in Bristol City Council

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In March 2018 a FW ( fellow worker) working in Child Protection for Bristol City Council (BCC) was suspended from his post. He was charged with issues under the code of conduct, and most of the first set of allegations against him related to a closed Labour Party Facebook page. The group are made up of labour activists, who regularly discuss policy and procedure in BCC. The FW was conversing with a union shop steward about the Walter Ayles anti-war artwork. This had been taken down after orders from BCC. But after an outcry, the Council had to apologise, and the artwork was replaced.The face book posting had been given to the council by Mayor Marvin Rees. Therefore, rather than just speaking to the labour party member, he tried to get them dismissed from their post in Child Protection. He also, by his actions, closed down a labour party face book group, and shut down free speech concerning BCC’s activities. Furthermore, he may have breeched rights of members under data protection legislation. All in all, Mayor Rees has attacked his own party members, and stopped them discussing his own policies. Hardly a beacon of democracy, and more will be forthcoming about this. Probably just prior to his reselection attempts.

Marvin failed to get the activist sacked for this, but then BCC forwarded more allegations, and tried to refuse our FW trade union support. The Head of Workforce, a Mr John Walsh wrote in an email, that the IWW secured, that the caseworker must be “shut down”. Hardly in line with the ethos of an open and transparent disciplinary process. Walsh carried on in his attempts to carry on with out the FW having representation, until BCC employed an expensive consultant. This consultant had to explain to Walsh that he could not do this, and also, he had to follow his employer’s own policies. This consultant even had to explain to Walsh what “will” meant, in the context of employment legislation; unbelievable when you consider that this person’s wages equate to a couple of libraries being kept open.

The other allegations revolved around a twitter account, held by the Bristol Citizen. The Citizen regularly criticises BCC’s officers, councillors and policies. The democratic Mayor and his officers cannot stand this and were determined to prove that our FW was the Citizen. One small problem, they did not have a shred of proof, not a smidgen, absolutely bugger all. Their main “proof” was that it was common knowledge in the Public Relations Office, and the Mayor’s Office, that the FW was the Bristol Citizen. Come the day they could not supply a single statement, or witness. The IWW contacted the Bristol Citizen, who did provide a statement, and some interesting information.

Whilst this incompetent mess could be seen as the council just being completely out of their trees. The FW does have some history with BCC. In 2012 he whistle blew that a six figure some was missing from Bristol markets. This figure could build a children’s centre, or similar. Rather than a full investigation, he lost his job and was lucky to be redeployed. To this day, the money is still missing and there has not been any disciplinary process, other than against the whistle blower. No other FWs in the council have had to put up with this level of incompetence relating to disciplinary. So we can only conclude that these bizarre allegations, and the victimisation that followed, were due to him being a whistle blower. He even phoned the Council’s whistle blower’s helpline, to get an answer phone, and no help.

Our FW is made of stern stuff though, and he had the support of the best Union in the world. After 8 ½ months on suspension. 15 allegations, the employment of 2 external consultants, and hundreds of officer’s hours, all at a great cost to the tax payers of this city. He won his hearing, as everything was unfounded. He will go back to his Child Protection role, supporting vulnerable children in our city. But, we are not finished. There are serious questions to be answered, both from the Mayor, but also Mr Walsh. He started by trying to deny the FW his trade union rights, interfered in the case, and even instructed the FWs witnesses not to engage. Furthermore, the Bristol Citizen tells us that he has history. He was involved in the sacking of several whistle blowers in Wakefield. The Citizen has tweeted this, and the IWW will be investigating further. We do not need these people in our City. We need proper, transparent public services, run by a democratic council. If they cannot do this, we will.

Steve Mills, National Case Worker, Bristol IWW

November 2018

MAYOR’S OFFICE CASH UPDATE

MAYOR’S OFFICE CASH UPDATE

While Bristol City Council continues to IMPOSE AUSTERITY on the rest of the city, it’s trebles all round in the office of the Mayor.

We’ve already told you about the Reverend’s personally appointed regeneration chief Colin “Head Boy” Molton – responsible for arena non-delivery – trousering £1.5k a day without the bother of having to go through any COMPETITIVE RECRUITMENT PROCESS. Not this side of the 2020 mayoral election, anyway.

Now we learn that the Reverend’s political assistant, Kevin “Don’t mention the private education” Slocombe has been treated to a ONE HUNDRED AND ELEVEN PER CENT pay rise by the Reverend. The same post under Mayor No More Ferguson attracted a wage of £45k for his glamorous assistant, Zoe “Groupie” Sear. Now the pay is £95K.

£45k isn’t bad money at all for a post managing a PA and a couple of admin assistants. But clearly not enough money for a MIDDLE RANKING PR of Slocombe’s standing. So he’s has bagged a £50k pay rise from his friend, the Reverend.

News is also in, courtesy of the council’s external auditors, that the £100k the Reverend handed to departing Chief Exec Anna “Big Wedge” Klonowski last year was a GENEROUS PERSONAL GIFT with public money from the Reverend and not a legally required pay off for her notice period as he claimed.

How much is the Reverend spending on generous and unnecessary payments to his mates? It’s hard to say. Especially now that the paperwork for the senior management reorganisation that the Reverend promised would save £1million a year on senior bosses’ wages has been made ‘EXEMPT‘. This means the public and press are conveniently DENIED access to any final figures.

 Is this because the promised savings haven’t materialised for the council, while large sums of money for a privileged few have materialised in personal bank accounts?

RECYCLING NEWS

A bizarre new turn in the neverending saga of the non-appearance of a RECYCLING CENTRE for south Bristol on Hartcliffe Way.

The centre, readers may recall, was signed off to be built by the Lib Dems in 2012 and then kicked into touch a few months later when recently elected Mayor No-More Ferguson decided to pursue his environmental goals through the medium of CIRCUS PERFORMANCE and FREE PIES for the wealthy.

In May 2016, at his inauguration speech, The Reverend appeared to resurrect the plan, PROMISING south Bristol a recycling centre on Hartcliffe Way as outlined in his ‘Our Bristol Plan’ manifesto. Since when, NOTHING WHATSOEVER has happened to deliver the centre.

Now, in 2018, we find that the south Bristol Labour Party has set up a PETITION. “We the undersigned call on Bristol City Council to take steps to deliver the long-promised recycling centre on Hartcliffe Way.”

 Er, that’s right. The Bristol Labour Party is petitioning itself to get their own manifesto promise delivered by 2019! What a shambles.

CRATE EXPECTATIONS

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Bearing a large marketing budget and a tireless PR team, BRISTOL HOUSING FESTIVAL launches itself upon an unsuspecting city. “Bristol is a city of innovation and creativity. It is a city that is prepared to stand up and lead. It is a city that punches above its weight,” runs the insufferable PR bullshit.

But what does it all mean? A recent spate of articles in the local press gushing about “INNOVATION” and “CREATIVITY” in housing have highlighted such creative ideas as dumping the homeless in shipping containers; plonking cheap flats on top of multi-storey car parks for key workers and grabbing gardens in Knowle West for trailer-sized eco homes for god knows who?

And who’s behind this shameless five year MARKETING DRIVE to warehouse the city’s poor in cheap, crap accommodation? Please step forward Patrick “Shit” Shine, a “specialist in global fixed income and derivatives” who’s now an employee of London-based Tory thinktank, the SHAFTESBURY PARTNERSHIP.

According to its website, the Shaftesbury Partnership is a “SOCIAL BUSINESS” and a “practice of professionals committed to large scale 21st Century social reform”. While the Co-founder of the Shaftesbury Partnership is Nat “Wee” Wei, a former MANAGEMENT CONSULTANT for McKinsey, the notorious right wing management consultancy, turned venture capitalist.

And, if you still have any doubt about what Wei means by “21ST CENTURY SOCIAL REFORM“, in 2010 he was made a life peer and appointed Chief Adviser on the Big Society by David Cameron. This was after the Shaftesbury Partnership under the management of Wee Wei and Shit Shine set up the “Challenge Network”, which got a big share of CASH from David Cameron’s Big Society scheme, the National Citizens Service, to send children to summer camps at a cost of £1,182 PER CHILD.

Now these deep blue Tories have pitched up in Bristol to “innovate” and “create” in the ruins of our public housing services by shoving the poor in crates. And the first to applaud their efforts and climb aboard this MARKET SOLUTION bandwagon are none other than Labour bigwigs, the Reverend Rees and his housing sidekick, Paul “Wolfie” Smith.

“The festival will turn Bristol into a showcase of the latest innovation in housing building and financing,” The Reverend BREATHLESSLY ANNOUNCED from his tedious blog while Wolfie booked himself in with the Tory boys to deliver a KEYNOTE SPEECH to help kick off this festival of crap housing for the poor.

And guess who’s chief executive of this miserable little Tory bandwagon? Please step forward failed lawyer Jez Sweetland who admits “I’M NO HOUSING EXPERT“. He is, however, a regular at the Reverend’s church, The Hope Church in Hotwells.

How cosy.

COUNCIL WORKERS BACK HOMELESS NOT THE BOSSES

COUNCIL WORKERS BACK HOMELESS NOT THE BOSSES

Another good kicking and a bloody nose for the vile shower of useless cowards who call themselves “senior leaders” at Bristol City Council.

A few months ago these Nazis decided to DECLARE WAR on the city’s homeless and cooked up a ruse, from the comfort of their 5-bed executive homes in the leafy suburbs, to target tent dwellers in parks for eviction.

The gang of lazy parasites then decided that the perfect people to harass and bully the vulnerable out of their homes on their behalf were the PARKS MAINTENANCE CREWS who you occasionally see cutting grass and generally maintaining our parks. A meeting between the lads and “senior leaders” was hastily assembled and the vicious plan explained.

“As you’re there on the ground, you can hand these tent dwellers a little note from the council telling them to leave,” trilled a glorious city council leader.

“No we can’t,” piped up a voice.

“I beg your pardon?”

“We won’t do that. It’s not our job. It’s not in our contracts. We’re not doing that. Do it yourselves.”

“Oh.”

“You see what you’ve got to understand is we hate working for the council now.”

“Oh.”

“You’ve scrapped our overtime which for some people made up half their wages. We can’t take vans home no more so we’ve had to buy vehicles. We only work here cos we’re waiting for our pensions.”

“Oh.”

“And if we had the chance we’d like to burn the council house down with the mayor, the councillors and all the top bosses in it.”

Cue nervous eyebrow raising and gobsmacked expressions from the brave “senior leaders” followed by an extremely hasty and inelegant RUSH FOR THE DOOR. A few minutes later the middle management pansies of the parks department – who should never have let their bosses demand their crews do this dirty work for them in the first place – entered the room, broke up the meeting and sent the lads BACK TO WORK.

And, er, that’s it. Parks maintenance crews aren’t evicting tent dwellers from parks and senior bosses had to fuck off elsewhere at the council to find some mugs prepared to BULLY and HARASS the vulnerable and homeless for them.

 Up the workers!

DAFT POLICY ON ROUGH SLEEPER ENCAMPMENTS

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The recent EVICTIONS of homeless people living in vans and caravans from Greenbank, Easton and an ENCAMPED PROTEST in July on the council’s doorstep on College Green has focused attention on BCC’s homelessness prevention and provision services. As well as its new draft policy proposal on van dwellers and rough sleeper encampments.

As The BRISTOLIAN recently highlighted, a private for profit company, Social Impact Bristol Ltd is to commodify and make a profit from homeless people through a SOCIAL IMPACT BOND.

So it may not entirely be a coincidence that the recently launched DRAFT POLICY ON ROUGH SLEEPER ENCAMPMENTS is proposing to wholly outsource homelessness provision to St Mungo’s. An organisation that is intimately involved with Social Impact Bristol Ltd. and will be paying interest to the ‘high net worth individuals’ that have invested in it.

Bristol is seeing increasing numbers of people BECOMING HOMELESS, with some taking control of their own living conditions by squatting, living in vans, caravans and tents and refusing to pay exorbitant rents to landlords.

Sadly far too many are falling through our social safety net and ending up on the streets. Against this backdrop, a policy proposal that would seem to originate from the DEPUTY MAYOR’S OFFICE seeks to coral all rough sleepers into a ‘pathway’ through St Mungos. Encampments, even if deemed “low impact” with no anti social behaviour complaints, are only going to be tolerated for a maximum of 3 months and then dwellers will be forced into a “pathway”.

Whilst Marvin has been jetting off to Asia to seek international finance at a Green Growth seminar, there are people who are living environmentally LOW IMPACT LIFESTYLES that are going to be directly affected by the Draft Policy proposal on Rough Sleeper Encampments. A policy headed by Tom Gilchrist, BCC Gypsy and Traveller Liaison Officer, who has publicly stated he “wants to see everyone in bricks and mortar”.

How does this draft policy proposal fit in with Marvin and Deputy Mayor Asher Craig’s public statements about inclusivity, sustainable living and other corporate drivel?

Many homeless people refuse to engage with St Mungo’s, citing reasons of chronic drug dealing, serious substance misuse issues, violence and theft within St Mungo’s hostels. St Mungo’s own outreach workers state that they don’t have the capacity to deal with the number of homeless people, and admit that St Mungo’s hostels are DANGEROUS AND UNSAFE for those that do use them.

We ask why would a draft policy proposal that comes under the remit of the Deputy Mayor be calling for all homeless people to be CORRALLED into St Mungo’s when St Mungo’s doesn’t have the capacity or the safe conditions to properly assist some of the most vulnerable people in our city?

It wouldn’t have anything to do with providing a financial investment return to those high net worth individuals that have invested in Social Investment Bristol Ltd would it?

HEAD BOY JUMPS SINKING SHIP

As the debt owed to council tax payers by the city council’s useless energy reselling business, BRISTOL ENERGY, tops £30 million, the stench of CRISIS at the firm settles like an early morning carcinogenic dust cloud over Avonmouth. Not least because of a wonky merry-go-round of directors bouncing in and out of the company on A MONTHLY BASIS.

In May, we reported that the Reverend’s personally appointed £1,500 a day regeneration chief, Colin “HEAD BOY” Molton had been given the nod to join Bristol Energy’s board. What exactly does moneypants Molton know about the energy reselling business, we mused at the time and the answer appears to be, er … fuck all!

As Molton RESIGNED at the end of July having served all of five months on the board and helped wave through a further council tax payer cash injection into the firm of £7 MILLION. Is this a rat leaving a sinking ship?

Following Molton out of the door, a month later in August, was the firm’s Director of Finance, LAURA FLOWERDEW. Did she jump or was she pushed? Who knows? Any information on the company we fund is cloaked in ABSOLUTE SECRECY. However, we do know she’s been replaced by an Interim Finance Director, consultant Marek “MAGIC” Majewicz. Perhaps he can make a £30 million debt to the council taxpayer disappear?

Joining Magic Majewicz on the board of the sinking ship in August was St George Labour Councillor Steve “WALLFLOWER” Pearce. A typical loud-mouth Labour Party bully with no discernible talent for anything and zero business experience.

Is Pearce the Reverend’s useful idiot who will be left at the table grinning like a fool when the whole thing finally crashes and burns?

Rotten Comrades: “Values and Behaviours”

Endeavouring to compete with other paragons of corporate responsibility, Bristol City Council now has a corporate philosophy and it calls it ‘Values and Behaviours’. Plastering them all over the inside of City Hall in ten foot high letters, the mayor is hoping some of it will rub off on his staff.

So what have we got? Do these values and behaviours reflect the council’s values or are they aspirations as to how council officers should behave? Well, if it was based on actual management behaviours we would expect back-stabbiness, passive aggression, brown-nosing and cronyism to be high up there in behaviours. Thankfully, the council has chosen aspirations instead.

Instead, we have ‘respect’, ‘dedicated’, ‘collaborative’ and various other reasonable aspirations and their sub-headings. Nobody could argue with any of them.

So what does this mean for the “scores” of workers who recently had their pay calculated incorrectly? This problem was identified a few months ago but still the shortfall has not been paid. The longer it takes, the less time will be available for a class-action claim.

No doubt this is the reason for the delay – perhaps management are hoping the staff affected run out of time to sue? Or perhaps management are hoping for a cheaper settlement and a few non-disclosure agreements? Is this what Marvin meant when he said ‘we are collaborative; we come together to reach shared goals’?

What does this mean for M, who as a caretaker in a residential tower block, raised safety concerns and was immediately moved to another building. How does this behaviour fit into the post-Grenfell Tower world? Victimisation? Or is this ‘ownership’ where we ‘accept personal accountability’?

Or what about R who was stood outside Temple Street having a crafty fag when Work-Place Support phoned the litter police, who promptly slapped a fine on him. All his own fault, perhaps, or was it the petty act of a spiteful, vindictive arm of management?

As Marvin says, ‘we show respect; we treat each other fairly.’

George ‘Kidd’ Mahoney ‘spontaneous’ commemoration at Wick House

My name is Catherine Doherty and I am the Mother of George ‘Kidd’ Mahoney who died at Wick House on 29th November 2016.

I am having a ‘spontaneous’ event outside of Wick House at 2 pm tomorrow.  We will be attempting to put up two plaques on the perimeter wall to commemorate George and Paul Way (who died there last October).  Paul was left undiscovered for 3 days.  George’s two young sons will be trying to put the plaque for him up.

The BBC will be there and hopefully enough people to make it newsworthy.

We will be wearing Marvin masks and also Paul Wolfie Smith masks.

I do not have permission to have this event and I don’t care.  If you can make a link between the Zamparelli family and Wick House that will stick that would be a result.  If you can make a link between the money they make and their pampered son Dino Zamperelli, the famous Bristol Formula 3 driver even better.  The difference between the life their son has and the lives of the sons in Wick House is stark.

I have just set up a petition on Change.org to try and get the shit hole shut down.

Let me know if you are interested.

Keep up the good work.

CITY COUNCIL BRIDE STILL ENGAGED TO SLUM LANDLORD CAMELOT

The wedding’s not off yet! Despite having had a lovers’ tiff with SCAMALOT in 2017 following The BRISTOLIAN’S exposure of their secret affair in 2013. And despite a seminal court ruling that effectively gave Camelot ‘licensees’ the rights of tenants. And despite PAUL ‘WOLFIE’ SMITH’s promise to terminate all Bristol City Council contracts with Property Guardian Companies Camelot and Ad-Hoc forthwith, The BRISTOLIAN can reveal, that Camelot are STILL enjoying the favours of BCC’s Portfolio Management team as we go to press, WELL OVER EIGHTEEN MONTHS ON.

A pair of activists made this discovery about six weeks ago when they paid a visit to one ‘former’ Camelot-run/BCC owned property. And ran into a group of residents with all their belongings being unceremoniously piled into cars or taxis, ably assisted by Camelot employee STEVE ‘NEO-NAZI’* PERKINS, or ‘THE EXECUTIONER’ – as he’s also known. Unable to speak to the evicted residents because of Perkins’ intervention, the activists did not find out what was going on until later, when sheer chance provided a thread they could follow.

What they discovered was that when they had showed up, everyone was in fact being evicted ILLEGALLY… by force, while a BCC-registered dispute over tenancy rights was in progress at the said property.

Despite this, the residents were relocated to YET ANOTHER BCC PROPERTY and dumped into sub-standard living quarters, where conditions are EVEN WORSE than they had been at their former home. Not only that, but at least one resident did not even give permission for this violation and had their personal belongings removed (with damage/loss) to the new address, while they were out of the building.

So THE LAW BE DAMNED, because with Nazi-employing Scamalot and its quisling BCC housing managers, it’s business as usual! I wonder if it’s the same story at those BCC properties run by Ad-Hoc? Hmm, perhaps we should investigate.

* We stand by this accusation, Steve, because we hacked into your ‘restricted access’ Facebook page and followed its ultra-right/white supremacist links, you fascist thug!