Tag Archives: Consultation

PARKING CONSULTATION SHAMBLES

As we warned six months ago, “Nothing says Mayor Marvin “The Vicar” Rees is a hopelessly over-promoted public sector middle manager without a clue quite like his plan to get long-suffering councillors to review resident parking zones in their wards, apparently without any SUPPORT or RESOURCES.”

So it’s no surprise to find councillors are now complaining about, er, the USELESS and INEFFECTIVE consultation process around resident parking zones in their wards. Lib Dem Councillor for Cotham, Anthony Negus, recently confronted the vicar over his shambles.

“The recent consultations in my ward were only notified by notices on lampposts and so the responses were few,” he explained,  “the resulting changes and their implications on adjacent areas will NOT BE NOTIFIED and officers required that NO COMMENTS be sent to them.”

Negus then demanded, “Does the Mayor welcome the outcome of his policy being PERSONAL DECISIONS made by councillors – since the alternative of INFORMED CONSULTATION that I wanted can now only be carried out with no support from council officers?”

The vicar’s response was ‘MYSTERIOUS’ to say the least, “There appears to be confusion about the manner of the RPS review consultation undertaken last year. The review was carried out using an online survey, supported by posters in each community and the local coucillors and Neighbourhood Partnerships being responsible for informing people of the survey. ”

And what are councillors supposed to do with the responses?

What a shambles. As we correctly said six months ago, “Quite how Marv thinks a part time councillor on £13k a year with lots to do can also adequately research the views of up to 3,000 HOUSEHOLDS and then collate these views into a meaningful document to take action on is anybody’s guess.”

What a waste of everybodies’ time this has been.

WHISTLEBLOWING WATCH

Lies, bullshit and waffle emanated from the Reverend Rees within minutes of his ‘Bundred Report’ into the council’s finances being published on 9 February. Former Audit Commission boss, Steve ‘Sticky’ Bundred, provided the Reverend with TWELVE recommendations he could implement to improve his council’s shit management.

Here’s number 8: “The incoming chief executive should be invited to consider and report on the steps needed to improve the management culture within the Council recognising that any necessary changes will take three to five years to embed. There should be an emphasis on greater openness, professionalism, delegation, mutual respect and better internal communication, but with fewer large and lengthy meetings.”

The Rev Arsecover immediately responded: “quick improvements include a recent update to our WHISTLEBLOWING POLICY to make it easier for staff to flag up concerns,” he blathered. However, a brief search on the council’s website turns up a Whistleblowing Policy last updated on 2 JUNE 2016 because “[the] scope [was] widened to include employees of LA maintained schools”.

Is last July RECENT? And how the fuck does including school staff “make it easier for staff to flag up concerns”? Is this even the recently updated version the Reverend’s referring to? Does it exist? And, if it does, how the hell is it easier for concerns to be flagged up if no one can access the bloody thing?

A further search also reveals the Rev’s new all-singing, all-dancing whistleblowing policy has been NOWHERE near a council committee or an elected representative in the last year, let alone out for public consultation or run past a trade union rep or employment lawyer who might have a few things to say.

All-in-all, the chances of this mystery document – drawn up in secret by unknown officers beyond public and democratic oversight – being fit-for-purpose must be somewhere near ZERO. But then that’s the point with whistleblowing isn’t it? Council bosses hate it and want it to fail and politicians go along with them.

How long before the Reverend has to call a large and lengthy meeting to sort this new mess from his managers out then?

SICK COUNCILLORS PUT PARK ON ROAD TO RUIN

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SPADstic and Lazy in happier times before they decided to fuck up one of the city’s parks and become objects of mass derision

We have an early entrant for our IDLE SELF-PUBLICIST COUNCILLOR of the year award. Please step forward Labour’s councillor for Windmill Hill, “Lazy” Lucy Whittle.

LIVID RESIDENTS of Windmill Hill and Totterdown – fuming over her and her politically ambitious colleague Jon “SPADstic” Wellington’s top secret plan to build a bloody great ROAD through their beloved Victoria Park – were desperately emailing Lazy Lucy in December only to be greeted by an out of office message.

“Thank you for contacting me, I am currently on SICK LEAVE but expect to be able to return to work within a few weeks, hopefully at the end of December,” bleated Lucy.

Fair enough. We all get ill and can’t work. But wait! What should pop through residents’ doors in late December/early January but a copy of the South Bristol Voice newspaper featuring a ‘Your councillors’ column written by none other than LAZY LUCY, merrily wittering away, without a care in the world, about the awfulness of the cuts she’ll be voting to implement this year.

What type of STRANGE ILLNESS is this that afflicted Lazy Lucy over the Christmas holidays? Too ill to reply to residents’ emails but well enough to write an article promoting herself and taking advantage of free PR in the local freesheet? Truly, an extraordinary condition.

Lazy Lucy and sidekick, SPADstic, may be trying to avoid residents after they supported a SECRET three month public consultation by cycling and concrete charity, Sustrans, into the so-called ‘Filwood Quietway’ through Victoria Park.

This is basically a plan – going to a planning committee next week – for a FIVE METRE WIDE ROAD for cyclists to SPEED through the park on. And, despite Lazy and SPADstic’s comprehensive three month consultation over the summer, virtually no residents knew anything about it!

Unless, that is, they happened to wander into a BICYLE REPAIR GAZEBO in Victoria Park on the afternoon of Wednesday 31 August or they were invited to a few mysterious PRIVATE, invitation-only meetings with the mendacious pair of Labour councillors and Sustrans’ posh engagement manager, Anais “Nincompoop “Leger-Smith.

To add INSULT TO INJURY, Lazy Lucy even used her South Bristol Voice PR column in October to discuss her road-through-the-park plan in vague terms, telling residents, “we are really interested in what the community thinks. So do let us know your thoughts,” a week after the consultation CLOSED!

Lazy Lucy also gave the road Labour’s SUPPORT in her column, telling residents, “[SPADstic and I] see this as an improvement to Bristol’s cycling infrastructure that will bring benefits to communities along its route.”

Now SPADstic, apparently alone and abandoned by sickly Lazy Lucy, and desperate to salvage his six-month car crash career is attempting a REVERSE FERRET at the kind of furious speeds cyclists will soon be doing across his local park.

As hundreds of objections pour in from residents – as they finally find out about the road SPADstic forgot to tell them about – SPADstick is desperately issuing VAGUE and PISS WEAK promises to support the residents he deliberately sidelined and ignored during the three month consultation.

Too little; too late we say. Why did Lazy Lucy and SPADstic DELIBERATELY allow this plan get to a planning committee before telling residents? And why – if their consultation with Anais NIncompoop from cycling’s concrete kings – has been such a comprehensive listening exercise, are HUNDREDS of residents and every community group and school in the area UP IN ARMS about it?

The plan needs to go back to the drawing board and these idiot councillors need to apologise to their residents for their appalling conduct and start doing their jobs properly. Or else.

ASTROTURF AVONA IN ‘BIG SOCIETY’ SURVEY NONSENSE

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Avonmouth fake ‘grassroots’ community organisation AVONA exposed in the December issue of the Bristolian has recently published the results of its ‘Community Survey’.

AVONA run by Ian “PULL MY STRINGS” Smith, the quisling puppet of George Ferguson, local Tory councillors and the Port Authority, mysteriously sprung up last year in the wake of the pollution scandals, community protests and law suits against the corporations that followed. Pro-business, pro-polluter AVONA is apparently being used by Ferguson as a ‘safe’ channel to funnel cash (and now it seems bullshit) into Avonmouth outside of the accountable Neighbourhood Partnership grants process.

It is reputed that AVONA requested funds from Ferguson in an invitation-only meeting in June last year to carry out a survey of local residents. Since then AVONA have refused to answer questions about how many people had actually responded to the questionnaire, but it seems it was pitiful; as one resident put it ‘no one gives a fuck about their organisation and no-one wants to be in it’.

Let’s take a look at what AVONA were asking residents in their (his?) survey:

Do you feel there is a need for a community bus in Avonmouth?  Yes or would like to know more: 80%
Would you be able to volunteer in running or maintaining a community bus service in Avonmouth? No: 78%

Hmmm, something fishy going on here….

Would you like to see the public toilets reopened in Avonmouth Village? Yes: 73%
Would you be happy to volunteer in the upkeep and hygiene of the public toilets? No: 80%

AVONA is having a laugh….now they want us to clean the bogs for free…

What support would encourage you to take part in learning activities? Free courses: 77%
Do you have a skill that could be shared with others in the community? Yes: 7% No or maybe: 88%

So we have to provide our own voluntary education whilst still paying our Council Tax?

How much of a police presence do you see in Avonmouth?
Never: 51% Monthly: 38% Weekly: 9% Daily: 2%

Many residents stated, ‘where are they?’, ‘what presence?’, ‘what police service? there is none’. Maybe AVONA wants us to set our own volunteer police force up?

And the big question….

What are things that negatively affect your health?
80% of residents responded: Pollution, dust, smoke, flies, smells, sewage, Sims Metal, Boomeco

And no follow up question to that in the AVONA survey, funnily enough…well maybe one…

Do you think massive cuts in public services are leading to ‘Big Society’ nonsense surveys? Yes: 100%

We rest our case.