Tag Archives: City Office

CROOKS AT THE COUNCIL UPDATE

The Reverend Rees continues his rudderless rule of the city with another useless decision that reeks of gormless establishment backscratching and favours returned.

Our spies inform us that the vicar has now accepted a senior management staff secondment to his crappy CITY OFFICE from notorious public sector troughers and one of the world’s most useless audit firms – corporate accountants and Labour Party donors KPMG.

This latest unaccountable jobbing consultant with a recently purchased MBA to roll up at Bristol City Council is coming FREE OF CHARGE from the corporate beast to advise the Reverend on “public sector reform” or “vicious public sector cuts delivered in impenetrable management jargon” as it’s also known.

So look out for claims coming soon that lots of our money can be saved by replacing frontline staff and services with some absurd overpriced techno-fix available only from a pricey but well-placed corporate supplier. A recommendation that we employ even more management consultants – such as those available from KPMG – to interpret all their bullshit for us and implement their shite plans is also HIGHLY LIKELY.

KPMG are a “disconcertingly COMPLACENT” firm according to Parliament. As one of the so called “big four” global audit firms, they FAILED to notice that the banks they were auditing – including the notorious HBOS – were effectively INSOLVENT in the lead-up to the financial collapse of 2008.

Although, before this crisis unfolded, these auditors did manage to collect extremely LARGE FEES from those very same banks for audit work and for large amounts of additional “consultancy work”. Some would say this represented a blatant CONFLICT OF INTEREST with the notion of “independent” audit work as firms were auditing the results of their own advice and inevitably deciding that all was well!

KPMG received £55.8m in audit fees and £45.1m in non-audit fees from HBOS in the period before the financial crash in 2008. They also managed to produce an “independent” report claiming a whistleblower, HBOS’s group head of regulatory risk, Paul Moore’s concerns were “WITHOUT MERIT” shortly before the bank financially collapsed!

More recently, the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has started investigating KPMG over their audits of the financial statements of Rolls-Royce between 2010 and 2013. The engine-maker has recently admitted it FALSIFIED accounts to commit a string of BRIBERY and CORRUPTION offences during this period and has agreed to pay £671 million to settle claims and avoid prosecution. Blatant criminal activity, alas, that the brilliant and highly-skilled staff of KPMG totally failed to spot!

Why on Earth is the Reverend giving this shower of shit house room at our council?

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?

FILM FLAM

City office movies

A dull photo-op last month of old men in suits vacantly sat around in an open plan office while the Reverend Rees waffled aimlessly to journalists about homelessness signalled the launch of the Reverend’s big idea – THE CITY OFFICE.

The ‘BIG IDEA’ is to get bosses from business, public services and the voluntary sector together to solve the city’s problems. So 75 bosses gathered at the Counts Louse on 29 September to have their photo taken in front of the local press while pretending to listen attentively to the The Reverend as he tried to convince us all that this was all terribly exciting and the whole world was watching and waiting on his initiative with baited breath.

The City Office, itself, we were told, would be focusing on homelessness and rough sleeping to start with. However, the noticeable absence of any CASH TO SPLASH or even any new policy to launch meant we had to settle for a PR RELAUNCH of the ‘Bristol Street Aware’ campaign. An initiative started by corporate retailers in Broadmead last year to clear rough sleepers off their doorsteps by ‘signposting’ them into unpopular homeless hostels run by the charity St Mungos.

This lack of money and ideas for the homeless starkly contrasted with the Vicar’s decision five days later at his cabinet meeting to hand over £692k to a Southville-based consultancy firm to continue running the BOTTLE YARD FILM STUDIOS in Hengrove. This is the film studio that’s already receiving about £1m in public money every year according to the council’s published expenditure accounts. The studios appear especially popular with BBC producers looking for cheap, publicly subsidised deals.

The Reverend and his Cabinet decided to HAND OVER MORE PUBLIC MONEY – grabbed from a restructured loan deal relating to the shadowy Hengrove Park housing development – to the city’s creative industries despite this council owned film studio and its firm of consultants providing NO MEANINGFUL ACCOUNTS or BUSINESS PLAN to support their large financial demands on the public purse.

The Rev and his cabinet have therefore handed over money earmarked for one of the city’s most deprived areas on the basis of UNSUBSTANTIATED CLAIMS by council bosses that this studio will make a £100k surplus next year and – an even more UNLIKELY CLAIM – that it is generating £16m for the city’s economy every year.

Naturally The Reverend’s house-trained Cabinet agreed to this nonsense with no questions asked. HRH Helen of Holland, the cabinet member responsible, gushed that the EVIDENCE-FREE PIFFLE supplied by senior council bosses was “A GOOD NEWS REPORT“. While Deputy Mayor Estella “Tinkerbell” Tinknell only seemed bothered about “developing our media profile as a VIBRANT FILM AND MEDIA CITY“. Presumably regardless of the cost or the fact most of us couldn’t give a toss about “media cities,” whatever they are?

Moreover, the true cost of the council’s latest publicly funded creative industries VANITY PROJECT was carefully hidden by the Rev’s senior bosses who neglected to explain properly that a further £0.6m is also required to buy the studio’s FREEHOLD. That’s a total of £1.3m being poured in then. The same senior bosses also forgot to explain if there’s any RISK attached to their expenditure, projected to gain a paltry income of £100k a year from the studios. Is this the world’s first risk-free business?

The average whelk stall wouldn’t be run like this, let alone a MAJOR PUBLICLY FUNDED PROJECT. But who cares if we’re keeping creative industries bigwigs in the style to which they’ve become accustomed and we’re “developing our media profile as a vibrant film and media city”?

Meanwhile, as the Vicar shovels our cash into creative industries vanity projects, the homeless can make do with a grotty little PR relaunch and photo op can’t they

DON’T BOTHER VOTING SAYS MARV!

DON'T BOTHER VOTING SAYS MARV! web

Another week, another daffy policy from Labour’s Martin “Luther” Rees, the man who LOST the last mayoral election for a reason.

BRISTOL SHOULDN’T BE RUN FROM THE COUNCIL CHAMBER,” boomed a headline on Luther Rees’ website last month before it was rather hastily removed a few hours later.

Perhaps after it was pointed out to Marv and his hapless trade union communications gurus that they’d effectively instructed Bristolians NOT TO BOTHER VOTING for councillors in local elections as they would no longer be running the city as they’ve been traditionally elected to do.

With a brand new headline in place –  “Mayor is about the city not just the city council” – the SOCIALLY CONSERVATIVE CHRISTIAN explained he would open a “city office” to run the city instead of relying on old fashioned councillors directly accountable to the electorate.

“The City Office, he breathlessly explained, “would be a real city team made up of representatives from every major sector in the city, including politics, health, local government, business, unions, education, criminal justice, and the community, voluntary and faith sectors.”

In other words Marvin intends to ignore elected councillors and invite a load of UNELECTED AND UNACCOUNTABLE bureaucrats and businessmen to run our city. Many of whom, no doubt, will turn out, entirely coincidentally, to be close personal associates of Labour Party luvvie and public sector equalities middle manager, Luther Rees!

What a fabulous idea. Cut out the middleman altogether and just give all the LOBBYISTS and VESTED INTERESTS after our public money an office at the Counts Louse and let them run the bloody show and dish the money out to themselves!

This will end well won’t it?