Tag Archives: Cuts

POSHEST TARGET THE POOREST

stephen-hughesIt hasn’t taken long for the Reverend Marvin Rees to fit snugly into the expensively tailored top pocket of his new £1k a day CAMBRIDGE EDUCATED PUBLIC SCHOOLBOY Chief Executive, Stephen “OAP” Hughes has it?

It’s like the pair are fronting some awful late night cable channel comedy show with nosediving ratings as they rollout more and more DISMAL AND INCOHERENT sketches on the theme of local authority cuts.

The clueless joined-at-the-hip municipal couple have so far proposed a 17 per cent council tax hike; sacking lollipop ladies; closing the libraries the Rev promised to keep open during his absurdist election campaign; cancelling buses; shutting community transport down; charging the disabled for parking spaces outside their homes; scrapping bus passes for carers; disposing of parks; stopping emergency payments to the poor; cutting early intervention to kids; closing elderly day centres; scrapping meals on wheels and charging sufferers of dementia more for their care.

This ANTI-HUMAN CRAP blatantly targeting the city’s MOST VULNERABLE for cuts are accompanied by what this laughable elitist duo call ‘BOLD IDEAS’. Bold ideas like proposing VOLUNTEERS run CORE SERVICES “to prevent them being removed” (anyone who fancies doing a bit of child protection social work in their spare time should give OAP Hughes a call on 0117 357 6155)! They will also have ‘A CONVERSATION’ about you paying more council tax and set up another talking shop (surely ‘task force’, ed.) about traffic congestion. Bold or wot?

When confronted on ITV News about this pile of public school-inspired horse shit and challenged to confirm that he was elected on an anti-austerity platform, The Reverend surprised the interviewer and, no doubt, many of his voters by saying “NO“!

Well, at least we’ve cleared that one up then. The reverend is officially a pro-austerity elitist. Presumably because the bonkers christian thinks it’s good for us?

AUSTERITY MY ARSE

CultureIt hasn’t taken long for Marvin “The Reverend” Rees to turn into another nasty little Tory Boy RUINING THE LIVES of his low paid council staff so that he can FEATHER THE NESTS of the city’s wealthy elite has it?

Less than three months into his ‘REIGN OF ERROR‘ and Marvin has announced that he will need to make 1,000 staff at his council REDUNDANT to “balance the books”. Virtually all these staff will be low paid and will be working in ESSENTIAL public services like adult care, education, social services and housing.

These HORRIFYING CUTS have been spun by the Reverend’s new £63k a year trade union PR girl, Kevin “Slow Brain” Slocombe, as entirely the fault of Tory government austerity and Mayor-no-more George Ferguson. The dynamic business and corporate-friendly Labour duo claim that George left behind a £29m debt for 2016 – 17 of unachieved savings.

Really? So how come a report accepted by Marvin and his cabinet in July – just ONE MONTH before his cuts announcement – assured us, “This report shows that the Council has been able to deliver on its saving plans and balance its base budget in what continues to be a challenging fiscal environment.”

It then goes on to say, “The current financial strategy, consisting of the final year of the 2013-17 MTFS, will be sufficient to balance the Councils budget in 2016/17.”

So what happened in a month to create a £29m black hole in this balanced budget? WHO’S TELLING THE TRUTH? Marvin in July or Marvin in August?

Meanwhile, Slow Brain and the Reverend’s claim that they have no choice but to fire 1,000 staff on low pay fails to stand up to BASIC SCRUTINY when you start to look at the expenditure they’ve either already authorised or are intending authorise and for whom.

In late June Marvin and his cabinet had no problem in handing the COLSTON HALL £1.6m up front to develop their refurbishment plans while also agreeing in principle to chuck them a further £10m to achieve these plans.

At the same meeting, similar generosity was shown to the BRISTOL OLD VIC – who were awarded £1m to underwrite their refurbishment plans – and to another concert hall – ST GEORGE’S – who received £600k to help them with their rebuilding efforts.

And it doesn’t stop there. In September Marvin will award those famously poverty stricken organisations – BUSINESS WEST and the UNIVERSITY OF BRISTOL – an undisclosed subsidy of over £500k to keep their ‘Set Squared’ creative industries ‘business incubator’ running the way they’ve become accustomed to at Brunel’s stylish ENGINE SHED at Temple Meads.

Also in the loop for an undisclosed public handout (of £500k plus) from the Reverend is the THE BOTTLE YARD film and TV studios in south Bristol. Because we can’t have austerity in the high-earning film industry can we?

This is all before we get on to the really high ticket projects Marvin is backing. He’s still committed to the £150m ARENA project, assuring anyone who will listen it’s affordable despite only having £100m to build it.

The other £50m will come from the council taxpayer until that income stream runs dry when Marvin, no doubt, will throw another few bodies on to his HUMAN BONFIRE and sack a few more staff running essential services to balance his crooked books.

Finally we have Marvin’s uncosted and unfunded EUROPEAN CAPITAL OF CULTURE bid. To make himself look good in the ruins of the public services he’ll be running, the Reverend intends to make the city Capital of Culture in 2023 at an undisclosed cost.

HOW MUCH this will cost or WHAT USE it will be to any one not involved in of Marvin’s heavily subsidised high-earning creative industries is anyone’s guess. But what the hell? It’s only other people’s money and other people’s jobs isn’t it?

In less than THREE MONTHS Marvin’s mayoralty has turned into a hyopcritical farce and an elitist backscratching exercise.

“No one left behind” he says? Except for 1,000 council staff running essential services and their familes …

RISE OF THE ANTI-MAYOR: MARVIN TO SACK 1,000 STAFF

Anti-Mayor? The Reverend Marv stands in front of an inverted cross in his council chamber as he starts to invert everything he promised and ever believed in.

Following the Reverend Rees’s laughable ‘First 100 Days‘ PR effort last week – where he revealed he’d done NOTHING except sit on his backside and appoint a few committees  – our hapless new mayor today announced he intends to immediately SACK 1,000 council staff to balance the books.

This will effectively spell THE END of functioning local public services like adult care, social services, and youth services and is the polar opposite of what the Reverend promised just three months ago in his ambitious manifesto.

One member of the Reverend’s pissed off staff has kindly summed up the truth of this ABSURD PLAN for us:

“Just had a prick of a manager come down to basically say: no overtime, no more temps, working weekends for basic rates etc etc  And all brought in by a cunt on a grand a day!”

Not much we can add to that.

The council’s unions, meanwhile, have come out with a pathetic response, proposing a USELESS four point plan that will make no difference whatsoever:

“Responding to today’s announcement by the council, the unions have come up with a four-point plan to stave off the worst effects of the planned cuts:

•Meaningful consultations on a plan to deliver quantifiable savings to deal with the current budget shortfall and future savings
•A review of the decisions behind the budget shortfall in the 2014-2017 period
•A review of consultancy, agency and casual contracts to ensure value for money from these contracts in future
•The mayor Marvin Rees to make representations to Whitehall on the state of local government finance and the impact on Bristol’s 450,000 population of these cuts.”

What will this achieve? “Representations to Whitehall” my arse.The Reverend Marvin and his union friends need to come out fighting. REJECT the cuts outright; REFUSE to put 1,000 Bristolians out of work and REFUSE to destroy our local services.

Tell Theresa May and her piss weak DIVIDED GOVERNMENT to stick their Tory cuts up their Tory arses; set a proper budget to deliver the services we need and invite the Tories to come to Bristol and try to stop us.

Let’s see if May’s poxy little shit stain of a failing government is strong enough to take on Bristol shall we?

Come on Marv. You’re not a yes-man pussy public sector bureaucrat any more. Time to be a politician. That’s what we elected you for.

 

RAT AND SHIP UPDATE

MAX WIDE ‘BOY’ - There'll be hell toupee with him in charge...

MAX WIDE ‘BOY’ – Hell toupee when we see what he’s done …

So it’s farewell, then, to Max Wide “Boy”, the city council’s Business Change boss who leaves the organisation at the end of May after two years of hard graft SACKING PEOPLE in return for over £250k! What a deal that’s been for the city.

Former BT salesman, Wide Boy, arrived at the council just two years ago on a £130k a year wedge after a stint controversially PRIVATISING SERVICES in Barnet. His remit in Bristol was to deliver £64m of cuts by 2017.

His final report to the city’s cabinet suggests he’s actually delivered about £33m of these cuts by FIRING around 500 council staff and a further £18m may get delivered if his ‘EFFICIENCY SAVINGS’ pan out as planned. Meanwhile the £12.9m in cuts still outstanding will need to be found by a further 450 REDUNDANCIES according to the cabinet report Wide Boy published shortly before scarpering.

So well done Mayor Fucking Useless and Bristol City Council. You’ve paid someone a quarter of million pounds to sack a 1,000 people and run away before the disastrous results of this policy become clear.

NOT CLEAN, NOT GREEN

explosive-art-1434120503Bristol’s time as European Green Capital is not going at all well when it comes to the cleanliness of the city’s streets.

Even before the start of Green Capital year, Bristol had an unenviable reputation as the dirtiest place in the West of England. Government statistics reveal that in 2013/14, 10,472 incidents of fly-tipping were reported to Shitty Hall. This compares with 1,258 over the same period for South Gloucestershire and a mere 413 for Bath & NE Somerset.

Things haven’t improved much with the advent of the elite greenwash bunfight either. While the city’s great and good slap each others’ backs over their pretended environmental credentials, Bristolians from Lawrence Hill to Lawrence Weston are complaining about unacceptable levels of litter and fly-tipping in their areas.

But it’s not just in north Bristol that the locals are concerned about filth on the streets and the city in general. South of the Avon too, residents are complaining that fly-tipping is being made worse by the lack of a household waste recycling centre in Hartcliffe. The main reason there isn’t one is that the proposal that is being opposed by Mayor George Ferguson.

Presumably he thinks it’s acceptable for people in south Bristol to drive miles across the city to Avonmouth or St Philips, adding to the city’s congestion and pollution? Nice one George!

And when it does take action against litter louts and fly-tippers, there’s only one word to describe the council’s response – pathetic. Since 2010 only 120 people have been fined or taken to court by the city council for dropping litter, while in the BS5 area – one of the city’s hotspots – enforcement action has been taken against only 32 people.

This low level of enforcement is due to one major reason: council staff cuts. Before 2010 Bristol had a complement of 10 so-called ‘streetscene enforcement officers’ to deal with fly-tipping, litter, fly-posting, dog fouling and other such banes of modern urban living. These 10 officers were assisted in their work by 2 technical support/admin staff and a streetscene enforcement manager whose only other remit was to manage 3 dog wardens.

Following the 2010 general election and George Ferguson’s election as mayor the city was promised “no cuts to frontline services”. Yet the streetscene enforcement team has since consistently lost staff and no replacements recruited. The team is now down to 4.7 officers only and managed by a man with no knowledge of environmental legislation or how to investigate and prosecute a case.

Is it any wonder that reported fly-tips in the city more than doubled over the period in which the team has been more than halved?

The word from the streets is that this situation is unlikely to improve in the near future. Since August waste management and street cleansing have been taken back in house after Kier/May Gurney walked away from their contract with the council pleading lack of profitability despite doing a crap job and BCC never penalising them for doing so.

CUT THE POLICE

Things have got so bad even the OLD BILL are having to face cuts to services, just like the rest of us. Senior coppers have been on my radio bemoaning the fact that the days of the “BOBBY ON THE BEAT” are over (I’m feeling a bit safer already).

Don’t fret too much though. There will always be enough of them to kick your head in if you have the audacity to COMPLAIN about the system we are living under.

Just try demonstrating against poverty, the dismantling of our health service or bombing some corner of the world and loads of Old Bill will turn up, armed to the teeth ready to do you some real damage. All on fucking OVERTIME of course.

Not even Thatcher cut the thin blue line. Politicians need someone to defend their right to take the piss. However, the Old Bill have come up with a CUNNING PLAN to try to cover their budget cuts and it involves you.

One young man contacted the Bristolian about a fine. He was caught parking where he was not supposed to. He put his hands up – to save getting tasered – and accepted an on-the-spot fine. The copper assured him it would only be £100, roughly a month’s child benefit.

A few days later he got a bill for £400. This amounted to the original fine, £200 court costs and £100 ‘VICTIM SURCHARGE’. So yellow fucking lines are victims now are they?

Since he had not been anywhere near a COURT and had accepted his guilt, he did the rational thing and contacted the Avon and Somerset Police to explain their mistake. Only to be told they were sending the bailiffs around.

He explained that he lived with his Mum and Dad so then they demanded his car! They couldn’t have that either. It was on finance and therefore still owned by the garage.

Once the Old Bill had finished trying to mug the distraught teenager, they admitted that he had the RIGHT TO APPEAL. This is ongoing.

Avid readers of The Bristolian will remember that in some parts of Bristol – the poor parts basically – VICTIMS have to investigate their own burglaries and criminal damage. Plod will arrive, give you a crime number and blithely tell you to keep your eyes peeled and let them know if you find out anything.

They’re obviously far too busy seizing people’s property to pay for fines for misdemeanours to worry about burglary. Just try pleading not guilty these days, and see how much that will cost you. But that’s another story.

Have you been a victim of this type of state mugging? Drop us a line on one of the contact addresses and we will deal with it in confidence.

CITY COUNCIL CUTS WATCH: MAKE AS MUCH NOISE AS YOU LIKE!

Annoying-noise-001Black Friday was the start of a new Christmas tradition in Bristol. Welcome to Make-as-much-noise-as you-like-at-night-in-the-lead-up-to-Christmas-time (is there not a catchier title for this? Ed.).

In an unprecedented move, Bristol City Council are allowing everybody to make as much noise as they like at night until the 15 December because there will be no environmental health officers workings evenings!

This appears to be a direct result of mayor “Uncle” George Ferguson’s cuts that “will not affect frontline services”.

Know of any more council cuts that have affected frontline services? Get in touch!

 

 

‘DON’T CARE’ BOSS SCANDAL NOW THREATENS BUSH RESPITE HOME

The BRISTOLIAN has already broken news on how BUNGLING BOSSES in a desperate attempt to save money have cut services to the vulnerable.

As we reported in issue #4.11, council chiefs inappropriately lumped together elderly people suffering with dementia with adults with learning difficulties, some of whom have challenging behavior and can be violent. Then they actually SLASHED STAFFING LEVELS. The result? People are already being hurt, and the needs of service users are not being met. But that’s not the end of it.

The two muppets responsible for all this, senior Social Care bosses Sheena ‘Grim Reaper’ Huggins and Vareta ‘Mad Dog’ Bryan, have now turned their attention to the BUSH RESIDENTIAL UNIT.

A respite centre for children with learning difficulties who otherwise live at home, Bush provides an essential service by giving parents the short but much-needed break they often need when caring for kids with complex needs. Its highly-trained staff are well-respected and professional and can look after the children’s physical, social and emotional needs. Excellent facilities include a sensory room, computer facilities, a large garden, trampoline, swings and bicycles.

So what are ‘Grim Reaper’ Huggins and ‘Mad Dog’ Bryan going to do? Protect funding for Bush? Commend the hard-working staff ? Work with parents to ensure the security of the service? No – they plan to CUT THE SERVICE BY ONE-HALF.

If parents lose this service, some will have to put their children into residential care, which will cost the council a whole lot more than the £250K these DEMENTED MANAGERS think they are going to save.

Parents were only given a couple of hours notice of a meeting to discuss the plans, despite managers knowing full well that these caring parents find it difficult to drop everything to come to a meeting.

The council now refuses to talk properly to the parents – mainly because they know their plans are barking mad and dangerous.

Meanwhile, ‘Mad Dog’ is getting a tasty redundancy package of TENS OF THOUSANDS OF POUNDS. Suitable reward for devastating the lives of families in need?

And the poor sods who are working in these conditions are running for the exit, which will lead to more dangerous conditions for staff and service users.

Don’t let them get away with it. These managers should be held fully accountable for their decisions, the cost to our city and the destroyed lives. When will they stop? When they finally kill someone?