Tag Archives: Bristol Post

SCAM-A-LOT TELLING PORKIES (AGAIN)?

 

‘Happy’ Property-Guardians pose at Coombe EPH with Camelot ‘Guardian Manager’ Mark Hurley (left) and Paul Lloyd Camelot ‘Regional Director’ (second right)

After a series of articles in The BRISTOLIAN and elsewhere uncovering the disgraceful and illegal conditions that Guardian-Tenants were living in Bristol City Council properties run by scam landlords CAMELOT, the so-called ‘security company’ has finally responded.

Late last year SCAM-A-LOT hired a PR company EMPICA from Canary Wharf in London to deal with the ‘truth crisis’ in Bristol and their expensive clanking PR machine has finally manufactured some ‘post-truth’ news in a Bristol Post article.

Several cringingly staged photos in the Post show unamed Guardian-Tenants ‘happily’ drinking tea with Camelot Guardian Manager Mark Prize Wanker’ Hurley and Regional Director Paul ‘Porky Pie’ Lloyd at a Bristol City Council property Coombe EPH in Westbury-On-Trym.

There’s just one slight problem… it’s fake!

The BRISTOLIAN can exclusively reveal that the Guardian-Tenant pictured, Kofi Jamoa (far right) claims that at the time of the photo he:

  • wasn’t living in Coombe EPH
  • in fact wasn’t living in a Camelot property at all
  • he wouldn’t live in a Camelot property again after the way he was treated by them
  • was paid £1,500 by Camelot to do staged interviews with the BBC and the Bristol Post

So who are the other pretend Guardian-Tenants in the shot and where do they live? How much were they paid by Scam-a-lot? Readers of The BRISTOLIAN, lets name names!

And so ends another desperate, pathetic and expensive attempt to spin a story by the lying bastards at EMPICA and SCAM-A-LOT.

‘BEST CUT OF ALL’ IS “DISGUSTING” SAY FAKE CAMPAIGNERS

THREE PEOPLE NOBODY’S EVER HEARD OF CONDEMN CONFECTED SHOCK IMAGE AS, ER, SHOCKING IN USELESS RIGHT WING RAG EVERYONE KNOWS IS FULL OF CRAP!

The Nazi Post has kindly published our hugely successful ‘Best Cut of All‘ front cover and poster so it can reach a wider audience. It’s published today under the excellent, if inaccurate, headline, “Anti-cuts campaigners condemn ‘disgusting’ image of Bristol mayor Marvin Rees”. 

The article features a few random nobodies from West Bristol – that the Post apparently found on Facebook and rebranded as “ANTI-CUTS CAMPAIGNERS” – who helpfully consented to condemning our artwork in the local yellow press. This is presumably so we can all have a good laugh at the Post’s expense?

Meanwhile, actual, real, anti-cuts campaigners from Bristol’s local anti-cuts group, BADACA, didn’t, er, condemn anything at all! Do we have a new media phenomena? FAKE CAMPAIGNERS?

Full article here: ***WARNING*** This link contains shocking bullshit: http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/anti-cuts-campaigners-condemn-disgusting-image-of-bristol-mayor-marvin-rees/story-30135187-detail/story.html#ipHBqQfKVokBpzXc.99

In case you care, the quote the from us that the Nazi Post won’t print said, “Could you tell Mike Norton he’s a cunt and we wouldn’t mind putting an axe through his Tory head?”

A word from the circulation department:

“We’ve had quite a good response from the street to this issue and only had one ‘negative’ – which was really more in the realm of worry about displaying the front cover rather than an objection to it per se. Even this hitch was overcome.

“Laughter or a shrug is the more common response.

“On the positive side we’ve already had two sell outs requiring re-stocks, and two places wanting our number in the anticipation of demand for more. A punter in one of the delivery venues shook our hand and said ‘I just love this paper – it’s straight from the heart with two fingers up to PR bullshit – I’ll show all my friends.”

Ho, ho!

THE TOWERING CONTRADICTION: the Labour Party and affordable housing

Redcliffe's cash cow carbuncle: not for the poor!

Redcliffe’s cash cow carbuncle: not for the poor!

A CONVENIENT LEAK from the Rev Rees’s planning department of the viability assessment for the small Chocolate Factory development of 135 flats at Greenbank just days before a planning committee meeting yesterday was enough to get the plans temporarily KNOCKED BACK by grandstanding councillors.

The leaked confidential document, the direct responsibility of council planning bosses, revealed that the developers, The Generator Group, might be able to afford more than the FIVE per cent or SIX units of affordable housing that they finally offered at the site.

This was AGGRESSIVELY seized upon by Labour councillors at the planning committee meeting, who followed the Rev’s lead in the morning’s media and loudly demanded – in front of the gathered press – that the developers meet the Rev Rees’s target of 40 per cent affordable housing, which would be around 50 flats.

This fighting talk over affordable housing at Greenbank contrasted with a relative silence by Labour politicians over affordable housing at one of the Rev Rees’s pet projects, a horrendous 82 metre high concrete cash cow TOWER BLOCK for Redcliffe discussed at the same meeting.

Despite the lack of affordable homes – only 12 per cent or around 32 units against a requirement of 40 per cent or 110 units – the application for this development was WAVED THROUGH. One Labour councillor on the planning committee even said, “while there aren’t enough affordable homes, at least the developers tried”.

So that’s OK then. Although surely FURTHER PRESSURE applied on the developer, Redcliff MCC LLP – a limited liability partnership front for a complex web of companies centring around Christopher Mitchell Solicitors Ltd in Westbury-on-Trym – might have yielded considerably more units of affordable housing than are available at Greenbank? Especially as a tower block on a prime city centre location should be highly ‘viable’?

Of course any claim that the Chocolate Factory planning episode was a CAREFULLY STAGED public relations exercise is ridiculous. Presenting the Rev Rees and his Labour councillors as champions of the people fighting for affordable housing while a favoured and extremely lucrative city centre development fails to get anywhere near those same affordable housing targets without any criticism from Labour’s affordable housing champions is NO CONTRADICTION whatsoever.

Although we do have to wonder why, according to our sources in the planning department, not even a cursory effort is being made to discover how a CONFIDENTIAL planning document got so helpfully leaked ahead of a meeting.

Perhaps such an investigation might prove embarrassing to the Rev Rees and his Labour Party?

NAZI ZIP SHIT

John Hirst: An angry man with a fowl temper

John ‘FUHRER’ Hirst

You expect to read crap in the Bristol NAZI POST all year round but they really excelled themselves in August with an endless stream of aimless stories about a naff plan to put a pointless ZIP WIRE across the Avon Gorge as some kind of tourist attraction.

The plan seemed to be the brainchild of JOHN “FUHRER” HIRST, the former Broadmead Fuhrer who has now been handed strategic command of the DESTINATION BRISTOL Reichsbunker to promote tourism.

In a blitzkrieg of drivel, der Fuhrer detailed his plan to climb up Uncle George’s backside and get on the mayor’s crappy circus bandwagon of turning the centre of our city into an enormous and slightly crap Disneyfied theme park:

“My dream is that someone who lives in Clifton and works in Bedminster could get there by zip wire!” waffled the Fuhrer.

What a splendidly practical and inclusive idea that is. Touted to be just £25 a go, the Fuhrer and his creative hipster constituency must be really raking it in if they can spend £25 on just getting to work every morning!

NEVER MIND THE NEWS, FEEL THE P.R!

An article in the Press Gazette catches the eye. “First for Torquay police as they publish story straight to Herald Express website,” is the headline.

The story explains: “Police in Torquay celebrated a first yesterday as they published a story directly on to the Herald Express website after being granted “publisher rights”.

The Torquay Herald Express is part of the LOCAL WORLD group – which also now own Bristol’s Nazi Post – and Local World’s chief executive David ‘Rommel’ Montgomery says he wants his journalists to be “HARVESTERS OF CONTENT and that he wants these kinds of self-publishing arrangements for hospitals, schools, businesses, sport, education and culture too.

This is no doubt a dream come true for the likes of Mayor Fergo, the coppers, Merchant Venturers, dodgy health service managers and anyone else looking to peddle convenient lies to the public.

So look out for PR guff, spin and plain lies coming soon to a certain newspaper website near you soon…

DID THE BRISTOLIAN KILL A BOSS WITH A TOP SECRET SONIC DEATH RAY MACHINE?

A strange article appears in the Nazi Post regarding the death of Tony Harvey and featuring Bristol City Council’s PR boss and general odd bod ‘Dim’ Tim Borrett in various guises.

reich cloud buster

BRISTOLIAN boffins prepare their sonic death ray for action

Borrett accidentally overlooks his own council’s duty of care towards Harvey and appears to blame your caring, sharing BRISTOLIAN for Harvey’s death while painting a picture of the man as some kind of modern day saint.

Quite how The BRISTOLIAN killed Harvey is not made clear by Borrett or The Post. Can a few simple documented facts on a page kill? Or have we invented a secret sonic death ray machine?

Anyway, we’ve fisked and filleted the whole article for you.

BRISTOL City Council has defended a senior member of staff who was found dead after his department was investigated for financial irregularities and bullying.

That should actually read departments. Not only the council’s Markets Service but also their Security Services, responsible for the collection of cash across the council – which, coincidentally, Harvey ran – were under investigation. Why haven’t the council mentioned this as part of this generous mission to explain to the public?

Tony Harvey, 53, facilities manager in the markets department of Bristol City Council, was found dead at his home on January 9 this year.

The father-of-two’s department had been the subject of an internal audit following complaints from staff made to public services union Unison.

Complaints were actually first made to Harvey – who completely ignored them. Instead he started a “restructure” to remove troublesome whistleblowers – who were asking simple questions about glaringly dubious financial arrangements – from his department.

It is widely believed Mr Harvey may have taken his own life due to the pressure of allegations that were made public online, the Bristol Post understands.

It is widely believed by who? ‘Odd Bod’ Borrett by any chance? Or did Spunkface Orrett feed them that one?

A number of fact-based article, based on documentation regarding Harvey’s conduct, have appeared in The BRISTOLIAN (a newspaper). The content of these articles have never been disputed by Harvey or his employers, Bristol City Council. We also have a number of emails that show Bristol City Council was invited on numerous occasions to properly resolve the issues in the Markets Service internally. It refused.

But the council said Mr Harvey was not guilty of any mismanagement and there was no evidence of dishonest activity.

Can you be guilty of mismanagement? And as the article later points out, Harvey was never investigated, so it’s hardly surprising that mismanagement was not uncovered.

There was “no evidence of dishonest activity” because in November 2012 Harvey SPIKED any investigation that might have obtained the evidence. He preferred to leave around 20 allegations UNRESOLVED.

A spokesman said Mr Harvey was never investigated personally and was not suspended, but in fact he helped the council to resolve its accounting problems.

See! He was NEVER INVESTIGATED. So of course there was no evidence of mismanagement or dishonesty.

The “help” he provided to the council in resolving its “accounting problems” included:

  • SPIKING an investigation;
  • Starting a departmental restructure DURING an Internal Audit investigation;
  • Creating a new departmental staff structure that DID NOT COMPLY with the authority’s financial regulations;
  • Removing staff so that there was “A LACK OF RESOURCES AND EXPERTISE within the Markets operation to resolve all the outstanding issues.”

When he died in January, Harvey had been “helping” resolve accounting problems in the Markets Service for 20 months. Yet after nearly two years of this “help” the Markets Service accounts were still being described to councillors as “OF CONCERN”.

It appears complaints were first made about Mr Harvey’s department in May 2012, when a member of staff at the council contacted Unison.

No. A complaint was first made to Harvey personally in early April 2012, which he ignored.

Unison wrote a letter, seen by the Post, to Mr Harvey directly highlighting a number of concerns about financial mismanagement and bullying. But an official internal audit triggered by the letter found only a small sum of money unaccounted for. However, the audit did uncover irregularities and recommendations were made to bring it into line with council book-keeping policy.

The audit uncovered £165k of “uncollected licence fees” for 2012. About one third of the department’s yearly income. This figure is listed in a budget monitor report presented to councillors in January 2013. It is not “a small sum of money”.

It beggars belief that Harvey would not have noticed this amount of money apparently missing from a department he was monitoring and it beggars belief that he ignored a whistleblower who tried to tell him this in April 2012. And it is absolutely startling that he then removed the whistleblower from their job later that year.

And what “irregularities” were uncovered? They seem to be in bookkeeping. Usually, irregularities in bookkeeping require further investigation. This never happened. Harvey just tried to change the bookkeeping system and ignore what might have happened in the past.

Council spokesman Tim Borrett said any financial malpractice was down to a formerly “antiquated” system that had now been modernised with the full help and cooperation of Mr Harvey before his death.

Note Borrett acknowledges “malpractice” and then blames it on a ‘formerly “antiquated system”’. Systems don’t commit malpractice. People do.

In a statement released yesterday, a council spokesperson said: “He aided investigations into several allegations and managed the work to improve business operations.

He improved business systems by ignoring financial regulations, firing knowledgeable staff, ignoring whistleblowers and leaving serious investigations INCOMPLETE and allegations UNRESOLVED?

“While the limitations of the old financial practices meant that ability to reconcile and audit was inadequate by good practice standards, no evidence has been found of dishonest activity.”

That’s because Harvey stopped any investigation into wrongdoing in November 2012.

He added: “With regards to the tragic suicide of Tony Harvey, we cannot and will not speculate about the cause. To do so would be grossly irresponsible and risks more upset and harm being caused to his grieving family.

So, wait for it … Here’s the speculation about the cause:

“Suffice to say the anonymous implications made elsewhere that this somehow implies an element of guilt is simply not true.”

The BRISTOLIAN has never implied anything.

We have been upfront in naming Harvey and provided facts about his conduct that are not and  never have been disputed.

We are not anonymous. We can be contacted. We recently shrugged off soppy threats from crappy Bristol establishment solicitors Burges Salmon over defamation. So if Borrett fancies it…

He added there was no evidence that Mr Harvey should be criticised for his role in the situation, rather he “helped bring improvements to the financial management”.

Total bollocks. See above.

Mayor George Ferguson said: “It is clear that Tony was a much liked and a respected friend and colleague to many at the council.

This is a joke, right?

“He was diligent in sorting out the previous unsatisfactory financial management at the markets, for which we should all be grateful.

No he wasn’t. He spent 20 months “sorting out” markets and it still wasn’t sorted. At best he was a gross incompetent.

“He is sorely missed and our deepest sympathies have been extended to his family and all who knew him.”

Mr Harvey is thought to have taken his life on January 9. Neighbours at Hinton Drive, Oldland Common, said he appeared to be happy on the days leading up to his death.

A neighbour, who chose not to be named, said he had two daughters, but lived alone. She added that nobody had been to the house in the past three weeks.

An inquest into Mr Harvey’s death has been opened at Flax Bourton’s coroner’s court and has been closed again while further inquiries are made.

Unison chose not to comment on the matter.

HORSEWORLD PLANNING APPLICATION, TAKE TWO: A BIT OF A PANTOMIME? (OH NO IT’S NOT!) OH YES IT IS…

Web Exclusive…And so we return to the ongoing saga of attempts by INCOMPETENT CHARITY BOSSES at HorseWorld in Whitchurch to persuade Bath & North East Somerset Council to let them knock down their visitor centre, sell the land to property developers, and then build a new visitor centre.

Apparently that will suddenly make them all financial geniuses and not the same dunderheads who created a massive black hole out of the generous donations and bequests from animal lovers keen to see abused donkeys, horses and other equine beasts rehomed.

Last month you may recall that all three planning applications were withdrawn at the eleventh hour – could The BRISTOLIAN‘s detailed reporting on how HorseWorld bosses made staff write letters of support to the council have had anything to do with the committee members’ irritation?

Well, this afternoon (Wednesday 20 November) is crunch time: all three apps are back in the room. Indications are that the BANES committee might be minded to slip it through – especially if they read the awesome puff piece in the Bristol Post earlier this month by its Business Editor Michael Ribbeck, which all but suggested the fall of western civilisation if this new development doesn’t go ahead.

Most amusingly of all was the elaborate plucking of ‘facts’ out of thin air, conjuring with made-up statistics, and general air of the reporter having HUFFED TOO MUCH GLUE whilst glumly waiting for the next round of redundancies.

A little taste:

The planning application also includes plans for 90 homes which would be built on green belt land if the application is approved by Bath and North East Somerset Council.

Err, no, Michael – the application is for “up to 118 dwellings”. Despite the norm for an affordable element of 35%, HorseWorld is trying to get away with an allocation of just 10% at the site. That means potentially more than 100 RICH MEN’S HOMES plonked in the middle of Whitchurch instead of meeting local young people’s need for housing they can actually afford.

And the extra kick in the balls? HorseWorld wants to have subsidised on-site staff accommodation counting towards that meagre 10%!

Let’s keep going…

There have been eight objections to the scheme on the grounds of the traffic it will create and the loss of green belt land. However, the council has received almost double the number of letters in support of the redevelopment.

As we pointed out in great detail, there have been 615 letters or emails objecting to the proposals, with 108 (from 72 individuals or businesses) in support. The majority of supporters had non-local addresses. One-third of the supporters were directly linked to the charity (though most failed to declare so).

HorseWorld saw visitor numbers hit the 100,000 mark in 2011…the eventual aim is to increase numbers by around 35,000 a year.

As Highways Development Control has noted, “the anticipated increase in annual visitor numbers…from 100,000 to 134,000 per annum, ‘based on research’, no information has been submitted in order that those assumptions can be checked/verified.”

In other words, the Bristol Post-annointed ‘Communicator of the Year’ HorseWorld loves to spin a good yarn, to tell a tall tale – but can’t really back up any of its claims. And as for Ribbeck and the Post, well, who needs facts when you’ve a full tin of Evo-Stik Impact and a carrier bag on your desk.

Anyway, if anyone is in Barf tomorrow and at a loose end, do pop in to the Brunswick Room at the Guildhall for the Development Control Committee meeting; kick-off is at 2pm.

Though this might not be the end of the matter – even if BANES passes it through though, it looks likely to face objections from Bristol City Council…

NAZI LIST SHAME OF ‘POST’

That old Evening Post masthead in all its spittle-flecked glory!

That old Bristol Post masthead in all its spittle-flecked glory!

Oh my aching sides… Post editor Mike ‘No Balls Goebbels’ Norton and his crack news team (three interns plus his nephew on work experience) are backing an Avon & Somerset Constabulary campaign against ‘anarchists’.

It follows the £16 million-worth of ‘little local difficulties’ recently experienced at the PFI police gun shack near Portishead – currently just a smouldering heap – which led Gollum-like Chief Constable Nick Gargan and former pastie-dealing Police & Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens to announce a big crackdown on “DOMESTIC EXTREMISTS”.

The low-key announcement by the cops – buried in a single paragraph on page six of a 35 page presentation to the council – that they were about to wage war against “DE criminals” was just the greenlight Goebbels – who fancies himself as a sort of local version of Jeremy Clarkson by way of General Pinochet – needed to work up a good frothy rant.

Anarchists now join NIMBYs, cyclists, anti-supermarket campaigners, crusties, socialists, feminists, environmentalists, vegetarians, young people, drug users, clubbers, hippies, students, the jobless, the poor, the elderly, those with disabilities and anyone off a council estate on Goebbels’ growing LIST OF HATE.

It’s starting to look like his enthusiasm for football stadiums extends beyond an interest in sporting prowess.

It might be easier for Goebbels to state simply what he’s in favour of – or should he save himself the bother and just stick a swastika on the front of his newsletter?

FRESH HORSE FLESH SCANDAL AT ‘POST’ AWARDS!

For TROUBLED CHARITY HorseWorld (see The BRISTOLIAN #4.3) the race to the bottom is not yet over if whispers emanating from within the equine charity’s Whitchurch Führerbunker are anything to go by…

Shortlisted for an almost-coveted Bristol Post Business Award, the Horseworld management team forgot about their financial troubles and cut loose at the Awards dinner earlier this Summer. Hey, who wouldn’t jump at the CHANCE TO HOBNOB with red-blooded red trouser fetishist Mayor Fergo and other high-falutin’, self-regarding members of the Bristol business community?

"I heard an envelope was being opened..." Mayor Fergo pops up at the Post Business Awards

“I heard an envelope was being opened…” Mayor Fergo pops up at the Post Business Awards

So off trotted HorseWorld managing director Mark ‘Not That One’ Owen – plus the whole senior management team and even the chair of trustees – to bask in the recognition of their particular brand of business genius.

Like others attending they made copious use of the microblogging service Twitter to report on events – and as the vino flowed, the messages got raunchier. At a SURPRISINGLY EARLY 9:45pm came a particularly eye-catching tweet from the official HorseWorld Trust account: “Nikki has promised to streak if we get 10 RTs [retweets] or a donation on table 18”…

The ‘Nikki’ in question is none other than Nikki Bridges, the charity’s high-earning Finance Director – the woman in charge of accounts in an organisation HAEMORRHAGING MONEY ever since Owen took up the reins. Possibly not the most becoming behaviour for a charity bean-counter.

Her boss Owen didn’t even have the common sense to delete the OFFENDING TWEET afterwards. Much, it appears, to the annoyance of several trustees and donors who now suspect their money is being used less to support needy steeds and all too often in funding boozy gala dinner nosh-ups for HorseWorld’s MD and his underperforming pals.

It is also notable that while the Finance Director seems WILLING TO STRIP for cash, the day job has been suffering. The Charity Commission reveals that three-quarters of the way through 2013, HorseWorld has yet to submit its annual accounts for the previous year. In 2012 they filed by May – and reported a staggering £647,000 loss. Could the current reporting delay be in any way connected to an even deeper FINANCIAL BLACK HOLE?

Oh, and by the way, HorseWorld won in its award category – for (yes, you’ve guessed it) ‘Communicator of the Year’.

Booze-fuelled HorseWorld management team - including MD Mark Owen (centre) & FD Nikki Bridges (back right) celebrate with jobbing ex-Blue Peter presenter Valerie Singleton (right) at Post Business Awards 2013

Booze-fuelled HorseWorld management team – including MD Mark Owen (centre) & FD Nikki Bridges (back right) – celebrate with jobbing ex-Blue Peter presenter Valerie Singleton (right) at Post Business Awards 2013

TROUGH OVERSEAS AGAIN! FERGO’S JET-SET MAYORALTY RACKS UP THE AIRMILES

Mayor’s expensive Euro jaunt habit exposed

Millionaire mayor George Ferguson - globetrotting on your Council Taxes so you don't have to

Millionaire mayor George Ferguson – globetrotting on your Council Taxes so you don’t have to

Following last issue’s story on His Royal Redness’ conference-hopping jaunts around Europe, it has emerged that Mayor George Ferguson cost local people a WHOPPING £126,000 on one trip alone!

Information obtained by The BRISTOLIAN details how independently wealthy Fergo took a TWENTY-STRONG ENTOURAGE with him on his recent junket to Cannes, further fuelled by nearly £35,000-worth of ‘business sponsorship’ taking the total cost up to an astounding £161,000.

With £20k contributed directly by Bristol City and South Gloucestershire councils, the balance – just shy of £107,000 – was funnelled through various BCC front organisations. These include ‘Invest in Bristol’ and ‘Bath and the Local Enterprise Partnership’, both of which – entirely by coincidence – have Bristol City Council addresses. So, fellow Bristolian, you footed the bill!

Mayor Gorgeous has already rebuffed any criticism of this fatuous trip and its cost as “trivial” – because obviously one hundred low income households’ yearly council tax payments are mere “trivia” to George and his wealthy eurotrash business pals. And if you’re wondering why the Evening, sorry, Bristol Post has been so quiet about this executive troughing farce, you might be interested to hear that its editor Mike Norton also went along for the ride!

Your favourite super sleuthing scandal sheet can also reveal that Mayor George gallivanted off on another Euro-trip last month. With at least one person from Bristol Green Capital, he popped to Switzerland for three days where they POLISHED THEIR BACKSIDES on plush conference seats for €540 a throw at Geneva’s Conference on Sustainable Towns and Cities.

The conference also included an invite-only trip to the opera – Puccini’s three hour bore-fest, Madama Butterfly, performed by the Houston Grand Opera – though it’s not clear whether George attended this or just settled for the Fondue Gala Dinner, which provided the opportunity “to mingle in an informal setting and discuss the issues of the day.” Like, er, Europe-wide austerity measures!

When anyone questions the cost of all his away-days at our expense, the millionaire mayor Fergo seems to bristle with rage, as with his recent Twitter outburst over Freedom of Information requests – such as the as-yet unanswered one relating to his Geneva jolly. Similarly George wails that he was in Geneva “creating jobs”, which tells us how just far departed from reality he now is, seeing as he’s not created any jobs at all – but actually cut 300 jobs in his last budget.

We think the jet lag from all this travelling abroad at our expense might finally be taking its toll – can you get deep vein thrombosis of the brain?