Tag Archives: Debt

RESHUFFLE KERFUFFLE

Bizarre Cabinet reshuffle from the Reverend Rees last month. The highlight of which was a BLATANT LEAK to the press of his decision to fire his Labour rival for Mayor and transport chief Mark “LAME DUCK” Bradshaw days before the official announcement.

Quite what the Reverend and his PR point man Kevin “Don’t mention the private school education” Slocombe thought they might achieve by publicly firing Bradshaw is anyone’s guess. Maybe it boosted the pair’s FRAGILE EGOS and helped them feel like they were actually in charge of something?

The Reverend also took the opportunity to PROMOTE his close friend, hapless incompetent Asher “The Slasher” Craig, to Deputy Mayor alongside yes-man Craig “Crapita” Cheney, the cabinet’s overpromoted finance man.

Slasher’s promotion came just days before another LEAK to the press appeared. This one claiming Close-It’s enormous £5k council tax DEBT, run up over a number of years and still outstanding when she was elected councillor last May and promoted to Cabinet in the autumn, was paid off by the local Labour Party!

The LEGALITY of any of Slasher’s financial decisions while having an undeclared debt with the council is being carefully studied. As is her new portfolio extended to include public health and public transport alongside her existing and disastrous responsibilities for demolished kids’ playgrounds, collapsing Neighbourhood Partnerships, underfunded leisure centres, closing libraries, decaying community assets and up-for-sale parks.

“Even those on the right wing of the Bristol Labour Party think she’s A TORY!” is how one insider described Slasher to us recently.

Meanwhile, the Reverend is taking on PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY for the ongoing Arena non-appearance project and for elements of the TRANSPORT brief, particularly congestion. Effectively splitting responsibility for the city’s difficult and badly managed transport brief between himself and useless Asher the Slasher. Of course, neither have any EXPERIENCE whatsoever of transport.

The Reverend and  Kevin “Don’t mention the private school education” Slocombe are desperately touting this reshuffle as a “CONSOLIDATION OF POWER“. However, the press leaks; the Reverend’s new responsibility for two poisoned chalices and the promotion of an idiot – Asher the Slasher – look more like an administration UNRAVELLING.

There may be trouble ahead …

ARENA’S LOOMING BLACK HOLE DEBT SHOCKER!

Bristol Arena - white elephant - Dru Marland

Bristol City Council have finally admitted that their £90M ARENA is now actually going to cost at least £118m and even this huge price increase resembles the tip of an iceberg.

The 30 per cent INCREASE IN COSTS is to cover work and access arrangements to the so-called ‘Arena Island’ site at Temple Meads. However, the price is likely to rise even further as the council has UNDERESTIMATED some costs and IGNORED others altogether.

For example, the latest estimates include just £2.5m for ‘REMEDIATION WORKS‘ to remove chemical pollution from the arena site when the cost of this could be as high as £7.5m. The council also didn’t bother including an £8m BUSINESS RATE BILL that might fall in their lap, while the newly proposed eight storey MULTI-STOREY CAR PARK, demanded by their PROFIT HUNGRY arena operators, is, as yet, uncosted.

Costs could, therefore, easily increase to £135M PLUS. A cool 50 PER CENT increase on the original estimate. But will it stop there? With a builder yet to step foot on the site, more cost increases are a racing certainty.

The Bristolian is happy to go on the record and state that the final bill for the arena is likely to be between £150m and £180m. An overspend of somewhere between 75 AND 100 PER CENT over Mayor Fagpacket’s initial cost claims. How this will be paid for is not explained by the council either. Although it’s likely to be through a generation’s worth of HEAVY DEBT for the city.

With an election looming, the city’s councillors, politicians and mayoral candidates are all oddly quiet on this urgent matter of a looming BLACK HOLE IN the city’s public finances. Perhaps they’ve concluded an arena is popular with the electorate and any negativity about it could cost them votes?

What could possibly go wrong when the provincial political careers of a few sad old men come before the sound financial management of a city?