Tag Archives: Cumberland Basin

ARUP PLANNING TAKEOVER

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More news drifts in regarding the slow but inexorable OUTSOURCING of the whole of the city’s planning system and its oversight to private firm Arup.

We already know that Arup have been, for some time, supplying agency staff to the council’s planning department to specialise in ‘MAJOR PROJECTS’. Then came the news that Arup were involved in developing the Reverend’s options for his ‘Western Harbour’ plans at the Cumberland Basin.

So it should come as little surprise to learn that Arup were also involved in drawing up BRISTOL’S LOCAL PLAN. Specifically, the private firm were responsible for SITE ALLOCATIONS and POLICY DEVELOPMENT for this detailed development blueprint for the city that WILL MAKE LOTS OF PRIVATE INTERESTS LOTS OF MONEY.

When will we get the chance to vote on a manifesto promising to hand our city’s planning system over to multi-national companies looking to make a profit?

ST MARVIN’S-UP-THE-CREEK NEWSLETTER #25

Encouraged by Ms Townsend and the usual suspects from parish’s OFSTED ‘Needs Improvement’ Dave Spart Academy, a small unrepresentative minority of the congregation, sacrilegiously opposed to free market innovation, sensible change and inclusive growth, are behind another silly whispering campaign from the pews.

They are opposing our shared congregational vision, in partnership with expert corporate developers and consultants from London, for competitively-priced chipboard homes and a cleaner air new road on the surplus scrubland of church-owned St Marvin’s Meadows. This is an innovative transformational future proofing project vital to our shared ‘One Parish Vision’, championed by my good friend and shadow Parish Committee member, Mr Sweetland, ably assisted by the good Christians of consulting firm  Arup on a highly competitive day rate.

This project will challenge the climate emergency, address the parish’s housing crisis and provide homes for decent Christian parishioners able to financially support our growing church and exploit fair admissions at St Snoot’s Academy, the parish’s OFSTED ‘outstanding’ high performing religious secondary school. As my mentor the Texan psychotic preacher and notorious anti-communist homophobe, the Pastor Righteous Loon says, “crisis and emergency are the Lord’s way to improve the bank balances of the worthy.”

The campaign opposing this, meanwhile, is promoting a number of JFK-style conspiracy theories. For example, we all already know that St Marvin’s Meadows is a flood plain but this will not be a problem according to Mr Molton, our parish’s regeneration services professional kept on a generous retainer to ignore problems such as this. Indeed, as Mr Molton very cleverly pointed out at one of our closed meetings in London with our secret investor team, “Floods never did Noah any harm.”

Campaigners’ complaints that moving the St Marvin’s bypass out of open countryside, better suited to inclusive climate emergency residential homes with sensational countryside views, and closer to St Marvin’s Meadows and nearby council housing are similarly without merit. As are complaints that this is in any way a “done deal”. Our friends at Arup and our secret investors have simply supplied us with an objective factual appraisal that is inarguably correct and the only sensible way forward if we want to solve parish’s housing crisis and stand down the climate from its emergency status.

However in order to better demonstrate this, I am setting up an objective and independent panel of myself, Mr Molton, Mr Sweetland, Parishioner Mr Savage – who you all know for running unsuccessfully for election to the parish committee on 58 separate occasions – and Parish Committee Chairman, Mr Jackson. Together we will independently appraise the option and confirm it is going ahead in everybody’s best interests. This should spell the end of any further noise on this matter from the back pews.

The Vicar

FULL FARCE BRISTOL CITY COUNCIL

FULL FARCE BRISTOL CITY COUNCIL

by CITIZENS ROBESPIERRE & MURAT ably assisted by Dr J.I Guillotin

November’s Full Council meeting saw an outbreak of ‘MARIE ANTOINETTE SYNDROME’ among entitled councillors in official foppery pitted against a SEETHING MASS of unwashed sans-culottes in the public gallery. Controversy began when Lord Mayor Jos Clark decided (without historical precedence in Bristol or nationally) to SUSPEND PUBLIC QUESTIONS to the Mayor due to “lack of time, because of the national election”.

The Lord Mayor had informed public questioners by email that they could NOT ASK QUESTIONS in the Council Chamber and that the Mayor would not offer any verbal answers. Instead, questioners would receive a written response within 10 working days. The BRISTOLIAN, analysed these questions and – lo and behold – many were POTENTIALLY EMBARRASSING to the Reverend Rees. Raising issues such as the gentrification of Cumberland Basin, jobs for Marvin’s evangelical pals and the contra-BCC policy of hiring trade unionist BLACKLISTING CONSTRUCTION FIRMS.

Chaos reigned in the public gallery as, first, questioners were told that THEY COULDN’T SPEAK OR GET ANSWERS. Then they were told that, maybe, they COULD ASK QUESTIONS BUT NOT RECEIVE ANSWERS and then, finally, they were told that the original ruling would stand. Breathless council flunkies dashed around the chamber with leaflets and ‘clarifications’ as each modification was made up on the spur in council back offices. Adding to the confusion, it also turned out that some questioners were unaware of this ARBITRARY DECISION until they arrived.

Next, onlookers in the public gallery were confronted by BRISTOL’S COUNCILLORS SWANNING IN to pose in Hawaiian shirts for a photographer. Why was this? It was supposed to be a tribute to Hawaiian shirt fan Cllr Mike Langley, who had recently died. Shirt-clad councillors posed with arms around each other before going off to their benches and delivering 40 MINUTES OF SPEECHES in memoriam to their deceased colleague.

Those who knew Mike – A GENUINE SOCIALIST – were confronted with the unedifying spectacle of Tory, Blairite Labour, Lib Dem and the rest competing to see who could deliver the most NAUSEOUS HYPOCRISY while shedding CROCODILE TEARS as most of them had hated Mike. One councillor even announced … ‘In the words of Mike Langley, Vive la Revolution!’ The whole SORRY SPECTACLE resembled one of French Queen Marie Antoinette’s ‘soirees’ where she and her courtiers would dress up to play peasant shepherds and shepherdesses while real peasants starved outside the gates.

After their PRIVATE FANCY DRESS PARTY, the public presence in the gallery was finally acknowledged by the Versailles Court and farce descended into ABSURDITY. When ‘no-question’ time was announced, ONE PLUCKY PROLE stood up and asked why procedure had changed from what was in the council constitution?

Lord Mayor Clark tried to shut down this unseemly interruption to her travesty in motion while security goons twitched in anticipation on the gallery stairwell. Their services were unnecessary, however, as the prole sat down after shouting – to thunderous applause from angry sans-culottes in the gallery – ‘YOU’RE A DISGRACE – YOU SHOULD RESIGN!

Rumours of scythes and pitchforks being sharpened in Bristol’s outlying suburbs cannot be confirmed.

HEAD BOY’S FINGERPRINTS ALL OVER HIGH RISE HELL

HEAD BOY'S FINGERPRINTS ALL OVER HIGH RISE HELL

Disquiet over the Reverend Rees’s plans to ‘transform’ the Cumberland Basin and its aging 1960s road system into ‘Western Harbour’, a GLOBAL CITY HIGH RISE HELL, in the shadow of Clifton Suspension Bridge is growing. A ‘public engagement’ on the gruesome plan, while everyone was away on holiday in August, led to an OUTCRY after it emerged that the Reverend was consulting the public on just THREE of the ten proposals he had received from his consultants, Arup. The remaining seven proposals remain SECRET.

The three proposals the Reverend deemed suitably “transformational” all involve DEMOLISHING the existing road system to “RELEASE LAND FOR DEVELOPMENT“. All three lack detail – just pink lines on a map indicating where any new road system may go – while potentially having A HUGE IMPACT on surrounding communities and the landscape around the Clifton Suspension Bridge.

Concerns are also emerging about the involvement of The ENGLISH CITIES FUND (ECF) in any plans. ECF is a joint venture between HOMES ENGLAND, LEGAL & GENERAL and MUSE DEVELOPMENTS. Which raises questions about the role and independence of the Reverend’s semi-detatched £1,500 a day regeneration chief, our old friend COLIN “Head Boy” MOLTON, who will have had a major influence on any plans.

Head Boy was chief exec at HOMES ENGLAND – when it was the Housing and Communities Agency – until he joined Bristol City Council on a unique TAX EFFICIENT PAY ARRANGEMENT in 2017 and immediately cut a secretive, unminuted deal, on behalf of the council, with LEGAL & GENERAL. A deal handing these developers the land at Arena Island should the arena be cancelled.

Remarkably, this is the SECOND TIME Head Boy has been involved in cancelling an arena at the Arena Island site as he happened to be Executive Director of Operations & Development at the SOUTH WEST REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCY (SWRDA) in 2007 when they cancelled their plans for an arena on the site that they then owned.

Head Boy left the SWRDA in 2008 to become director at the South and South West Region of the HCA (now HOMES ENGLAND). By remarkable coincidence, with the winding up of the SWRDA by the Tories in 2011, the Arena Island site was transferred to the HCA. In early 2015, Molton’s HCA, handed the site to Bristol City Council to build an arena and then Molton PITCHED UP at Bristol City Council in 2017 to work for the Reverend. He immediately set to work CANCELLING an arena and negotiating his sweetheart deal with LEGAL & GENERAL to hand them the site for an unispiring, if highly profitable, mixed use development.

Head Boy is now being thrown out of the job he never went through a competitive recruitment process for at Bristol City Council. But will the man, who lists his address with Companies House as Donington Le Heath, Leicestershire, continue to take a personal, proprietorial interest in ANOTHER VALUABLE PIECE OF PUBLIC LAND in Bristol?

Watch this space.

ARUP’S PLANNING CONFLICT

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Another example of the Reverend Rees’s WEIRDO corporate free market Christian evangelical ideology appears with news that the CORPORATE PRIVATE SECTOR are moving into the city council’s planning department to deal with planning applications.

Corporate consultancy firm Arup, who specialise in picking up OUTSOURCED PUBLIC SECTOR work, will soon be, “processing a range of planning applications and associated work within reasonable timescales and will contribute towards housing delivery amongst other objectives.”

Will this contribution towards housing delivery include Arup overseeing the Reverend’s major development plans for the CUMBERLAND BASIN? The one where the company delivering the masterplan is, er, Arup!

The contract has been awarded with no political oversight or input from councillors.

CANTONESE KOWTOW WITH FRIED REES

The Reverend’s latest international junket in December to the Fortune 500 Global Forum in our human rights abusing twin city of Guangzhou in southern China raised a few eyebrows when the Reverend went armed with a top secret SALES BROCHURE.

Among the dazzling “opportunities” being offered to the high priests of global capital was a £2.5 BILLION chance to build the Rev an underground rail system (since recosted a month later for no apparent reason at £4.5 BILLION) and another MULTI-BILLION opportunity to create a corporate glass, steel and concrete tower block hell all over the Cumberland Basin.

The Rev’s brochure also offered some CHEAPER and more appetising deals such as building PROFITABLE homes for 5,000 economically negligible students and promoted the city’s high cost private rental sector as an excellent INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY for any circling vultures of global capital.

Just to be clear, the Fortune 500 Global Forum was a meeting of international corporate business leaders seeking Chinese investment into their unreconstructed corporate globalisation project on the model that spectacularly FAILED in 2007, crashed the banks and created austerity.

Some characteristics of this project include use of CHEAP flexible labour; SYSTEMATIC tax avoidance; ‘light touch’ and/or self-regulation; RIGGED ‘free’ markets, asset stripping, privatisation, rent seeking, environmental destruction, MASS TRANSFER of labour and capital across international borders and financial and economic DOMINANCE by hedge funds and sovereign wealth funds. All overseen by transnational and democratically unaccountable bodies.

Surely Labour should be protecting Bristol from the threats of international high finance not inviting them to set up shop here?