Tag Archives: Chief Executive

OFFICIAL: “WE’RE INCOMPETENT” ADMIT SENIOR COUNCIL BOSSES

contract

The enthusiasm with which our serially useless senior council bosses are suddenly embracing advertising their INCOMPETENCE is a new and novel innovation for our Counts Louse’s Third Floor DEPARTMENT OF DUNCES.

Their public confessional follows a report from Green Councillor and Audit Committee vice chair Clive “Shakin'” Stevens into how former chief exec Anna “Big Wedge” Klonowski walked away from Bristol in 2017 after just SIX MONTHS’ OF INDIFFERENT WORK with £98k in her pocket. Shaky, was given access to carefully selected top secret documents by dodgy council bosses and has devised a personal “MOST LIKELY SCENARIO” regarding the payout.

Shaky claims it was all down to SERIAL INCOMPETENCE and council bosses are queuing up to cheerfully admit it. Not least because their only other option would be to admit to UNLAWFUL ACTIVITY. What Shaky alleges transpired is that Big Wedge’s colleague and associate, Jackie “You’re Fired!” McGeachie – the former Tesco exec turned jobbing senior local authority HR interim – “ACCIDENTALLY” sent the wrong Chief Exec contract to lawyers in 2017, which allegedly entitled Big Wedge to a big wedge and, er, nobody noticed it was the wrong contract until it was too late.

However, Shaky’s “most likely scenario”, which we’re invited to believe over “the conspiracy theories”, raises as many questions as it answers. For instance, if the payment to Klonowski was an error, WHY AREN’T WE ASKING FOR IT BACK? And what type of contract was sent by Big Wedge’s personally appointed HR boss that allows someone to resign and scarper with immediate effect but contractually obliges the employer to fork out six months’ pay in lieu of notice? AN UNPRECEDENTED ARRANGEMENT Shaky fails to explain.

Of course, this mysterious ‘top secret ROGUE CONTRACT remains safely locked away from the public, despite, by Shaky’s definition, being an out-of-date generic document and not personal information relating to a named individual. Shaky also says he discovered evidence of “GROSS OBFUSCATION” or “A COVER-UP” from bosses over the payment. Only to meekly announce “they should be ashamed”. But why isn’t Shaky recommending IMMEDIATE DISCIPLINARY ACTION against them? Why would anyone want bent and dishonest bosses to remain in post running our council?

Is it because these bosses might start revealing what really happened and who authorised paying Klonowski £98k of hush money that we weren’t obliged to pay?

BIG WEDGE FUDGE

Marvin-Rees-and-Anna-Klonowski

More heat than light generated last month when councillors were finally allowed to publicly discuss the absurd £100K PAYOUT handed to Reverend Rees’s failed Chief Executive, Anna “Big Wedge” Klonowski in September 2017. The Reverend alleged at the time that Big Wedge resigned for “FAMILY REASONS” without notice and so she would not normally be entitled to any money whatsoever.

Councillors bombarded the Reverend with questions after council auditors, BDO, published a partial, if DAMNING, report on the affair. However, the questions were batted away by an embattled Mayor with TWO HALF-TRUTH EXCUSES: that there were no formal processes to follow for senior officer departures and that his legal advice said the pay-off was “contractural”.

NEITHER EXCUSE HOLDS WATER. The process for senior officer departures appears in the annual Pay Policy Statement and plenty of pay-offs have been approved by the HR Committee of councillors in the past. Under questioning the Reverend REFUSED to explain why this did not happen in this case beyond claiming that there was “NO PROCESS” to follow.

Meanwhile, the legal advice the Reverend relied on, labelled as “SURPRISING” by the auditors, remains shrouded in mystery. Despite demands by councillors, the Reverend WOULDN’T EXPLAIN why he didn’t get this advice through his legal department. He also POINT-BLANK REFUSED to release the request for this advice, the actual advice or, even, which of two firms of lawyers named in the BDO report provided the hookie information. The Reverend insisted that this was “THE LAW“.

A claim that is NOT TRUE. While the law allows legal advice provided to local authorities to remain confidential if they choose, it does not prevent them publishing it if they want to. Why is the Reverend SCARED SHITLESS of publishing anything to do with the advice he received or the circumstances surrounding it?

The only nugget of information the Reverend released during his pointless session with councillors were the names of the two chief officers advising him on this generous payout – “JACQUIE AND NICKY“.

Step forward  Jacquie “You’re Fired!” McGeachie – a former Tesco HR, now a local authority interim manager trading as Jacquie McGeachie HR Consulting Ltd, charging £1,000 a day – and Nicky “Chocolate” Beardmore, a local authority management failure from Shropshire APPOINTED BY THE REVEREND as interim Head of Paid Service on £1,200 a day in the autumn of 2017.

The involvement of McGeachie is especially intriguing as she was a COLLEAGUE of Big Wedge’s – then trading as Elka Solutions Ltd – in Barnet in 2014 and Big Wedge personally brought Jacquie McGeachie HR Consulting Ltd to Bristol when she became Chief Exec in early 2017. It then looks as if McGeachie RETURNED A HIGH-ROLLING FAVOUR by signing over a six-figure sum of public money to Big Wedge as she departed.

After a FRUITLESS COUPLE OF HOURS querying the pay-off, councillors agreed that the three-quarters of the auditor’s report not published could be debated in public at the Audit and HR committees and again at Full Council.

We think this is pointless. Isn’t it time Inspector Knacker looked into how Big Wedge ended up with £100k of public money in her personal bank account?


WHACKO JOINS THE MERRY-GO-ROUND

The appointment of North Somerset Council boss, Mike “BILLIE JEAN” Jackson, as Executive Director: Resources and Head of Paid Service on £165k a year at Bristol City Council continues the merry-go-round of big wages, changing job titles and eye-watering pay-offs for poor performance at the top of the council.

This leadership farrago really gathered steam in the summer of 2012 when the Bradford Sun Queen, Chief Executive Jan Ormondroyd on a cool £190k a year, JUMPED SHIP after trying and failing to rig the outcome of the Town Green application at Ashton Vale in favour off Bristol City FC. The Sun Queen “TOOK EARLY RETIREMENT”, scooping a £50k pay-out as the door slammed on her way out.

In the autumn of 2012 Mayor Old Fool arrived in the hot seat and immediately decided that the big problem with the top job at Bristol City Council was its NAME! So the great leader scrapped the Chief Executive post and introduced a CITY DIRECTOR instead.

Step forward Nicola “Lady Gaga” Yates who swanned into this new role from Hull in 2013 scooping a generous £192k a year through various salary enhancements we weren’t told about. By 2016, she had departed IN DISGRACE with a £200k pay-out when a £30million hole emerged in the council’s budget.

Now, with the Reverend was at the helm, he decided the problem was, er … the JOB TITLE! So, in early 2017, he appointed Anna “Big Wedge” Klonowski as Chief Executive on £160k a year. SIX MONTHS later she departed with a controversial £70k pay off, currently being investigated by the council’s auditors.

This brings us to new boy “Whacko” Jackson. He arrives with yet another NEW JOB TITLE and the usual bollocks from the mayor and his patsy HR Committee of councillors insisting we must pay top dollar to get the skills they need. Although which of Ormondroyd, Yates and Klonowski was in any way a success or value for money?

£320k in SIX YEARS spent on pay-offs o council top bosses? That’s over £50k every year just to get rid of the last liability

So how much will Billie Jean really cost us?

FIREGUARD IN TOP JOB JOY

Choco’s last great success

We know how to call it at The BRISTOLIAN. Following our in depth profile of The Reverend’s new Interim Strategic Director of Resources, Nicki “Chocolate” Beardmore, in issue 36, we learn the vicar’s appointed this useless twat HEAD OF PAID SERVICE and, effectively, his new Chief Exec!

The highlight of Chocolate’s CV is a stint as Chief Operating Officer for a loss making local authority company in Shropshire that had to be wound up for CORRUPTION. Just the person to take charge at Bristol City Council as our new “leader” then.

Oddly, Chocolate wasn’t appointed Head of Paid Service until 11 October, which meant another strategic director, John “Braindead” Readman had to fill in between Big Wedge’s low key DEPARTURE at the end of September and Chocolate’s CORONATION on 11 October. Why might this be?

Head of Paid Service is a statutory post that must be filled at all times and by an employee of the local authority. Could it be that Chocolate had to quickly rejig her financial affairs so that she was no longer paid TAX EFFICIENTLY through her own company but through the PAYE system like a NORMAL EMPLOYEE?

I think we should be told …

BIG WEDGE’S BULLY SHAME

The Reverend with his Bully-in-Chief

WAS REES RUNNING A BULLYING CULTURE FROM THE TOP AT BRISTOL CITY COUNCIL?

Why has the council’s chief lawyer and Bundred crook, Shahzia “Dim” Daya started threatening councillors with legal action if they discuss the recently departed council Chief Exec Anna “Big Wedge” Klonowski with the press?

Total mystery surrounds the sudden RESIGNATION of the Reverend Rees’s representative on Earth and chief bag carrier. Big Wedge, barely six months into a role filling her boots with extraordinary sums of public cash while leading an inane “improvement journey” at the council quit on Monday 4 September for “family reasons” taking a payoff reputedly in the region of £70k. What for?

This, so the story goes, is because Big Wedge suddenly discovered her parents were seriously ill and she needed to to look after them. We can only sympathise with this SUDDEN and SIMULTANEOUS deterioration of these executive parents, both of whose health apparently collapsed in the six months since Big Wedge began her latest well remunerated public sector “improvement journey”.

No doubt Big Wedge watchers are pleased that she’s continued to display her remarkably ordinary intellect and way with a tired old cliche to the very end. Isn’t quitting for “family reasons” a hackneyed old code in political circles for “JUMPING BEFORE I’M PUSHED“? So what has Big Wedge really been up to?

Creating and running a systematic BULLYING CULTURE at the top of the council is what. We understand that in early September a letter began circulating claiming that Big Wedge had personally bullied 14 Service Directors out of Bristol City Council over the last year and had then paid them off to keep them silent.

Intrigued, a local reporter called the council’s PR department where they were greeted with barely-concealed PANIC at the mention of Big Wedge and bullying. The reporter was promised they would receive a call back with a statement. Obviously this never came.

Instead, for the rest of the week, local newspaper editors received regular calls from various senior bosses and PR types at the council BEGGING them not to run any bullying stories in relation to Big Wedge. Then – after a weekend, apparently considering her position – Big Wedge announced the following Monday morning she was quitting “for family reasons”. Coincidence or wot?

What’s even stranger, however, is why the Reverend and Big Wedge ever thought bullying bosses out of the organisation and paying large compensation packages was necessary? (Were they getting a kick out of bullying their staff?) Because didn’t they have a brand new INDEPENDENT REPORT (kept secret from us) into their managers’ conduct around financial management in 2015 – 16 and the unlawful budget set in 2016?

So why wasn’t this report used as the basis for DISCIPLINARY ACTION against these bosses? This would have saved us a fortune and ensured none of these crooks ever worked in local government again. Surely a win-win?

Or maybe this secret report contains some rather more uncomfortable facts that need to remain secret? For example, Klonowski started working in a SENIOR ROLE in finance at Bristol City Council in 2015. What exactly did she know about HIDDEN DEBTS and UNLAWFUL BUDGETS?

Similarly, council lawyer Shahzia “Dim” Daya, who’s still got her feet firmly under the table at the Counts Louse and is now threatening councillors all over again, OVERSAW the council budget meeting in 2016 where an unlawful budget was set with her FULL KNOWLEDGE. Alison “Three Jobs” Comley – still raking in a six figure sum – also knew all about the unlawful budget, according to PUBLISHED MINUTES, and she continues in post trashing parks and unlawfully refusing to house the homeless.

Then there’s the pair of BENT CHIEF INTERNAL AUDITORS who knew lots and lots about unachieved savings and inaccurate reports to councillors. They, too, are still collecting generous salaries for their mendacity and failure.

Isn’t it time the Reverend published his secret new report into his bent bosses so we can find out what’s been going on inside his useless council and we can sort it out if he can’t?

NB. Any legal threats in relation to this article to the Bristolian’s email please.

BUNDRED: NOTHING GOING IN WRITING FROM REES’S BENT LAWYER

The Reverend Rees’s response to the Bundred Report into the council’s MULTIPLE FINANCIAL FAILINGS, being personally overseen by his chronically underperforming donkey of a new Chief Exec, Anna “Big Wedge” Klonowski, is FALLING APART before it’s even started.

On Tuesday – in the middle of a General Election when politicians are looking the other way – Ms Big Wedge published her SEMI-LITERATE, ‘Response to the Bundred Review’ for the Cabinet to sign-off next week. Page 4 of Big Wedge’s rambling error-strewn drivel tells us:

“S[enior]L[eadership]T[eam] have agreed and the Chief Executive has recently reinforced the need for reports rather than presentations to be used as the basis of discussions and decisions.”

So come Thursday and Ms Klonwoski’s incompetent legal boss and Monitoring Officer, Shahzia “Dim” Daya – who personally oversaw and signed off the UNLAWFUL BUDGET of 2016 at the heart of the controversy – published her own report to councillors, ‘Scrutiny Structures and New Ways of Working – Hothouse Outcomes’.

This report is just one page long and tells councillors, “Full details of the outcomes of the Scrutiny review will be provided by Members VERBALLY at the meeting.”

So much for “the need for REPORTS rather than PRESENTATIONS to be used as the basis of discussions and decisions” then. Do the new rules not apply to lazy and bent Monitoring Officers?

The significance of all this is that councillors simply did not have the necessary ACCESS and INFORMATION they required to scrutinise what their bent managers were up to in 2015 – 17. This new scrutiny review is supposed to correct that.

Although it looks to us like councillors are being blatantly set up to fail all over again by exactly the same council bosses who conned them last time.

TOP JOB NEWS

Can you find Hartcliffe Mr Hughes?

The Reverend Rees told long-suffering journalists daft enough to attend his stillborn ‘CITY OFFICE’ launch in November that he planned to tackle “inequalities within leadership roles” by changing the people who are awarded the top jobs.

“This will mean having leaders from HARTCLIFFE and AVONMOUTH as well as Clifton”, the Reverend assured an audience  invited, organised and managed by his old, white, highly paid, Cambridge educated right hand man and personally appointed “leader”, council Chief Exec, Stephen “OAP” Hughes from, er, Birmingham.

Who thinks Hughes could even find Hartcliffe on a map?

MEET THE NEW BOSS …

Lady Gaga’s replacement has arrived … And it looks like we’re in for a treat (if you enjoy bent local government bosses)

Stephen-Hughes

Hughes: disreputable fat cat on a grand a day

“THE REVEREND” Marvin Rees continues his fight on the frontline of the battle against rising inequality by paying a scandal-hit “retired” local government officer and EX-PUBLIC SCHOOLBOY £1,000 a day to run his council on a PART TIME, four day a week basis.

The lucky recipient of this absurd generosity is dubious little shit, Stephen “OAP” Hughes. A bloke with bad teeth and an ill fitting suit who used to be Chief Exec at Birmingham City Council until he scarpered in February 2014 to become – wait for it … “A strategic consultant’ (surely “unemployed”? Ed).

As with all these dodgy local authority FAT CAT bosses, OAP left Birmingham under a cloud with an undisclosed fat pay off disguised as a pension for his lead role in a botched cover-up of the so-called ‘TROJAN HORSE’ affair.

This SORDID little tale finally became national news in 2014 after teachers had spent over a year raising concerns to Hughes’ council about various school governing bodies in Birmingham that were trying to introduce strict Islamic principles into education.

After considerable and lengthy dithering by OAP’s council, the story finally broke in BIRMINGHAM MAIL in March 2014 – just after Hughes had done a runner and “retired” to the private sector!

With the Birmingham Mail driving things forward, a leaked document soon came to light claiming DIRTY TRICKS were being used to oust non-Muslim staff in some schools in an operation called ‘Trojan Horse’.

And with Hughes out of the way, FOUR separate inquiries were immediately launched into the allegations, including Birmingham City Council and Department of Education probes. Ofsted also conducted inspections at 15 Birmingham schools.

Several teachers forced out of schools involved in the Trojan Horse scandal came forward to the press and the investigations to complain that they were offered SECRET SETTLEMENT AGREEMENTS by OAP’s council to shut up them up about their allegations.

The teachers had all raised SIMILAR CONCERNS that governing bodies were trying to introduce strict Islamic principles into schools.

The government report into the scandal found that there was a view among teachers that OAP’s city council preferred to GET RID of teachers rather than confront dubious school governing bodies.

Meanwhile Ofsted immediately put five schools OAP had protected in SPECIAL MEASURES after damning inspections found kids were not being protected from extremism or prepared for life in modern Britain.

OAP’s response to this PERSONAL DEBACLE was to tell the press that “the Government and Ofsted had over-reacted” to an anonymous document which was “designed to stir up racial and religious antagonism”.

Although he had never bothered to actually launch any kind of investigation, which might have backed up (or not) his UNORTHODOX VIEW of events.

Perry Barr’s Labour MP Khalid Mahmood was less than impressed with Hughes excuses and told the Birmingham Mail “[Hughes] is only interested in COVERING HIS BACK” before asking, “Why did he DO NOTHING?”

Why indeed?

Now this nasty piece of work – who will openly fuck up whistleblowers and honest public sector workers and protect extremists and religious nutters to keep his HUGE INCOME rolling in – is running Bristol.

Looks like some fun times ahead …

AUDIT WATCH

Brain

Ironic Name Brain in action

Our dear old friends at the council’s in-house financial watchdog, the AUDIT COMMITTEE, managed to excel even themselves in the totally-fucking-useless-and-incompetent stakes at their meeting in March to look at Green Capital spending.

Long touted as the moment that Bristolians would get the answers to their questions about what happened to the £8M OF PUBLIC MONEY spent on a year long jolly for the city’s ultra-privileged and their mates, the meeting was ineptly chaired by Labour’s Mark “Ironic Name” Brain. A man who increasingly resembles some sort of special needs case rather than a senior local politician.

Under Ironic Name Brain’s careful stewardship, members of the public were invited to ask their Green Capital questions to THIN AIR while direct questions from councillors on how public money was spent by the Green Capital’s private company, Bristol 2015 Ltd, also went UNANSWERED. Because nobody from Green Capital bothered to turn up for the first hour and a half of the agenda item!

However,Bristol 2015 Ltd chief exec, Nicola “LADY GAGA” Yates did finally put in an appearance but only after Deputy Mayor Geoff “Cods” Gollop admitted to our feisty and fearless independent financial watchdogs that he had personally undermined their authority and had instructed Bristol 2015 Ltd NOT TO ATTEND the meeting that he was only an invited guest at!

This blatant SABOTAGE by the mayor’s office of an independent committee of councillors did result in a mild rebuke to Gollop from Ironic Name. Although the obvious action of halting the DERANGED, HALF-ARSED MEETING immediately and arranging a proper public bollocking for Gollop and a proper meeting to investigate Bristol 2015 Ltd appeared way beyond Ironic Name’s abilities. Instead he ploughed on. Overseeing a farce.

Gaga’s performance, once she turned up, was undoubtedly the STAR COMIC TURN. The £192k a year council chief deciding to insist that she was only attending as Chief Exec of Bristol 2015 Ltd and couldn’t possibly answer any questions about the council she’s in charge of. Instead she redirected questions about the council to a HAPLESS MINION.

Meanwhile any questions directed by councillors to Gaga about Bristol 2015 Ltd were BATTED AWAY. “I don’t hold the data in my head,” she waffled. Neither did she have any data on a piece of paper, because, she claimed, she didn’t know about the meeting in advance and had only decided to pop in after seeing the meeting being webcast!

This RIDICULOUS CHARADE, performed under their noses by their most highly paid boss, passed without comment from the half-wits on the Audit Committee. And, after around two hours of aimless fucking about, the committee blandly concluded that “LESSONS NEEDED TO BE LEARNED“. Although what lessons or how the council will learn them is anybody’s guess as they didn’t bother to say.

All this meeting really demonstrated is that the only bigger waste of time and money than Bristol’s Green Capital is Bristol City Council’s Audit Committee. What are these wankers for?