More news on Deputy Mayor Asher “the Slasher” Craig’s 2024 post-council income generation plan, the Stepping Up leadership programme.
We reported a few months back that this council funded project had been quietly outsourced in March 2022 to Stepping Up Leadership CIC.
The directors are Asher the Slasher and the extraordinarily well-remunerated Stepping Up programme director Christine “Wonky” Bamford.
A partially successful Freedom of Information request, however, provides a different spin on this odd arrangement where the council is paying a Labour Cabinet member’s firm to deliver their project.
A council ‘Procurement Request Form’ dated 1 April 2022 and released by the council’s finance team shows that the council actually procured £57,500 worth of diversity leadership training from those well-known diversity in leadership professionals, er, Bristol Waste!
It seems that Bristol Waste, which has a few financial issues of its own brewing, is then somehow forwarding on the cash to Slasher’s Stepping Up Leadership CIC.
Why a council procurement team are engaging in this cloak and dagger arrangement is not clear.
Neither is the legality of an arrangement that effectively launders public money through council-owned Bristol Waste on its way to the Deputy Mayor’s private company.
We understand a complaint is now sitting with the council’s external auditor, Grant Thornton. It’ll be interesting to see what they make of the arrangement.
An article last week in the Nazi Post reporting that the council’s Independent Shareholder Advisor, Fiona Ross, had told the council they need to consider whether they should continue to badly run failing companies, produced a panicked response from Bristol Waste’s latest interim MD Ian “Not Another One” Osborne.
He immediately wrote out to Bristol Waste’s workers explaining there was no problem at the firm whatsoever and that the press had published “an exaggerated story”. Apparently by quoting precisely what the “very concerned” Independent Shareholder Advisor had written in their own report.
This included describing the basketcase waste firm as “a significant drain on scarce [council] resources in terms of time and funding”.
We’ve been told, “anyone with any sense should take notice of Fiona Ross rather than the latest plonker to be handed the top job at Bristol Waste.”
Check the MD’s message to his staff to see how desperate it’s got at the top at Bristol Waste:
Highly paid waste bosses bought luxury lifestyles with public money while cutting our services.
Despite the best efforts of Bristol City Council to keep it under wraps, there’s a major corruption scandal brewing at Bristol Waste.
Multiple sources have now approached The Bristolian telling us that some firms using the weighbridge (or Transfer Station as they now call it) at Avonmouth tip on Kings Weston Lane to dispose of their waste were not formally paying for the service. Instead considerable sums of dirty money have been changing hands behind the scenes between bent bosses.
The Avonmouth weighbridge is a straightforward system that’s easy to monitor with limited opportunities for systematic fraud without the collusion of senior bosses.
Trucks carrying commercial waste drive onto the weighbridge, present a Waste Carriers License, have their registration recorded and the vehicle weighed. The waste is then tipped and the truck returns to a weighbridge and is weighed again. A charge per kilo of waste is automatically calculated, charged to the firm and a waste transfer note issued.
Workers ripping this system off without bosses knowing would be tricky as there’s automated records of how much waste has been recorded as tipped and how much money is collected. The two figures are easily accessible to management and would need to tally. And they didn’t … For years.
Our sources tell us certain firms have been systematically not charged, obviously with the full knowledge and assistance of Bristol Waste bosses. Firms named to us include major corporate players in the waste industry. Who were they paying for their waste disposal?
We understand that a significant whistleblower stepped forward last summer and this resulted in the immediate exit of Bristol Waste MD Terry “I Am The” Lawless and his finance director sidekick Adam “Dumb” Henshaw.
We also understand that Bristol City Council has been undertaking one of its painfully slow arse-covering investigations ever since. When they intend to report, if ever, isn’t known.
Meanwhile, our street cleaning is being reduced, flytipping not collected and public opening times at waste tips slashed to make up a financial shortfall partly created by thieving bosses on generous six-figure salaries. All conveniently helped out by our council’s slack oversight of a council taxpayer-owned business.
Further concerns have also been raised with The Bristolian over what materials may have been tipped at Avonmouth. If Bristol Waste bosses were breaking the law to fill their boots why would they be bothered about hazardous waste regulations?
Further tip-offs about Bristol Waste we’re currently investigating include stories of bosses signing off massive expense claims for themselves and the latest recently departed interim MD, Jason Eldridge, making generous and expensive use of Plan B Waste Management consultancy. Where a Mr Shaun Eldridge works – Jason’s brother!
Isn’t it about time Inspector Knacker got involved?
Got any info’ on Bristol Waste and its bent bosses? Contact the Bristolian firstname.lastname@example.org. Discretion assured.
More bad news for the council’s City Leap energy project. Accounts lodged at Companies House for 2021-22 show that Bristol Heat Networks Ltd registered a loss of £937,471. A loss that will have to be paid by council tax payers.
The council wanted to sell the business to Swedish state energy company, Vattenfall, by December 2022 as part of City Leap. A deadline that’s been missed. So who pays the losses since March? Will the sale price even cover these losses?
Meanwhile, Goram Homes,the council’s housebuilding firm reported a loss of £850,730. Creating aloss of £2.4m since the council started the company
It’s getting murkier and murkier at Stepping Up, Asher “The Slasher” Craig and the Reverend’s scheme to promote more black people into management at the council.
The council-run project, run by generously remunerated Christine “Wonky” Bamford, paid through a Byzantine tax efficient route involving a procurement firm and a recruitment agency, has been quietly outsourced since March 2022 to Stepping Up Leadership CIC. A new firm that conveniently shares an address with genuine council firm, Bristol Waste.
The new company has two directors, “Wonky” Bamford and Asher the Slasher. The Slasher, as a member of the cabinet, has, therefore, effectively outsourced a council service to her own company with zero democratic oversight.
Instead, Bristol City Council’s departed Chief Chump, Mike “Billie Jean” Jackson has personally signed off all the arrangements relating to Stepping Up for Slasher since the project’s inception.
Procurement information at the council reveals that Jacko has arranged no framework, no tender, and no competition for Stepping Up’s transfer out of the council “for technical reasons”. Instead, Jacko appears just to have let Slasher grab a council funded project and then procured its services back from her for a fee!
Since being called out on Twitter over the summer about this personal financial arrangement with council resources, the Slasher has, after calling her critics “Karens”, ceased any ‘significant control’ in the firm for now.
Even so, what a totally bent way for a council, its chief executive and a cabinet member to be carrying on with public assets.
Senior Unite bureaucrats on manoeuvres with workers’ sellout Slo’ Kev Slocombe as strike date looms over Rees’s bullying culture at City Hall
This just in from Unison Bristol:
Increased pressure on delivery for the Estates Management team (your housing officers) has been coming from the political level. Pressure, in turn, from tenants and associated tenants’ groups has led to a stressed-out team, run-ragged with extra work piled on an already impossible workload.
Impossible targets, a terrible consultation regime and staff not being believed has led to a ballot for strike action supported by both Unite and UNISON.
Yesterday, Unite with a big-wig from Unite head office met with Kevin Slocombe (from the mayor’s office). Management stated in writing that they were representing Unite only and didn’t want anyone else (ie, Unison) coming.
We have, up until this point, maintained a single-status approach when bargaining with the employer so if this alliance is only one-way we will abandon joint-working and go it alone with everything else in the council.
We have already made this decision about joint-working at Bristol Waste (subsequent to this announcement by Unite) but it will take a while to disentangle ourselves at Bristol City Council. Lay stewards from all unions work well together and it will take time and some getting used to.
In the meantime we are arranging a meeting with Kevin and management but without any big-wigs.
We were uneasy joining a meeting with union political officers and politicians – what has politics got to do with management stressing their staff out? – but there you go.
At the moment strike action is tabled for 21 October for both Unite and UNISON unless the members decide to accept whatever comes out of these meetings.
What happened to Bristol Waste managing director Tony “I Am The” Lawless and his sidekick, finance director Adam “Dumb” Henshaw? Why did both suddenly quit on July 18 and disappear without working their notice?
The story goes that last March the rubbish bosses got their business plan signed off and approved by council boss Stephen “Preening” Peacock and the Reverend Rees. That business plan was based on holding a pretty strong line on pay in order to keep another of the council’s struggling businesses solvent.
So, when the unions decided they needed a better pay rise they bypassed Bristol Waste altogether and went straight to the Reverend and his ex-union baron sideman “Slo” Kev Slocombe. The Reverend then instructed Bristol Waste (despite having no authority to do so) that they needed to make a better pay offer despite knowing full well they didn’t have the money. to pay for it.
Eventually Bristol Waste did make an improved offer. Not good enough to satisfy what the unions wanted but high enough to mean that it was double the amount of this year’s contract increase from the Reverend. Bristol Waste would now have to eat into their reserves and implement major cuts that formed no part of March’s business plan.
Soon after the pay hike announcement Lawless and Henshaw quit. Chris Holmes was quickly transferred over from Bristol Holding to take on the finance role, and a new interim MD was headhunted and appointed.
Last we heard Bristol Workplace (the recently outsourced cleaners and security from Bristol City Council) have already seen workloads substantially increased as the company attempts to deliver more for less.
This month the new management will be launching a public consultation. Designed to be as boring as possible, one of its objectives will be to test out ideas that sound like they will be better for the environment but, in reality, will also save BWC lots of money. The preferred option being to go to three week rubbish collections rather than the two weeks currently in operation.
General word is that the Reverend doesn’t much care what the company does as long it doesn’t go bust before the end of his term in May 2024
Will claims from councillors earlier this year that the real reason for the rush-job outsourcing of Bristol City Council cleaners and security staff to Bristol Waste was to address urgent cashflow issues at the stumbling council-owned company turn out to be accurate?
Last week came the bizarre announcement that Bristol Waste are suspending Green Waste collections for at least ten weeks. The reasons given for this decision were confusing to say the least. Oscilating between claims of a national shortage of skilled drivers and the alleged impact of Bristol Waste drivers self-isolating from Covid-19. We’re also fast learning that Bristol Waste is no longer able to guarantee collecting general waste and recycling on the day they are contracted to do so.
Now we hear that bailiffs acting on behalf of SITA visited the offices of Bristol Waste earlier this week to demand overdue payments for the clearance of waste from larger blocks of flats in Bristol. What on earth is going on?
Adding to this sense of a company and management spiralling out of control comes news that the struggling firm’s Finance Director Adam “Because I’m Worth It” Henshaw received a 50 per cent pay rise last year. Tidily uplifting Worth It’s pay packet from £73k in 2020 to £110k this year.
What was this enormous pay rise for and who authorised it? Is this a reward for failure? Or do Bristol Waste view their increasing inability to collect waste and pay their bills as a sign of management success?
Bristol Waste mainman, Managing Director, Tony ‘I Am The’ Lawless, had to rub along on a pay rise of just five per cent this year, which saw his pay packet exceed £125k for the first time. A rise rather more generous than he allowed his long-suffering staff.
Operations Director Jason “Fatty” Eldridge, meanwhile, trousered a cool seven per cent rise. Crashing his salary through that all-important six-figure barrier to £104k a year.
Bristol Energy-watchers may recall executive salaries there rose the more the company failed. Culminating in Managing Director Mark ‘Magic’ Majewicz pocketing an obscene compensation package of £306k while the company racked up huge losses in 2019 – 20.
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