Tag Archives: Hope Chapel

JET SET TROUGH JOY

JET SET TROUGH JOY

The Reverend and the corporate land sales team he’s expensively assembled continue to impressively piss public money up against the wall while the rest of us are forced to tolerate austerity because “THERE’S NO MONEY”. The latest wheeze from the Reverend and his crew is another all-expenses trip to Cannes for that annual abomination, MIPIM: “the international gathering of property sharks” (surely “property professionals”? Ed).

A FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST reveals that this year’s four day jolly to the Cote D’Azure for the UNACCOUNTABLE to shift our assets to the UNPALATABLE cost council taxpayers almost £12k.

Accompanying the Reverend at our expense was our dear old friend Colin “Head Boy” Molton, the £1,500 a day regeneration boss without a proper contract of employment; Nuala “Hoop” Gallagher, Director of City Growth, Investment & Infrastructure at the council and the Reverend’s handpicked RELIGIOUS LOONEY FRIEND from his Hotwells church for evangelical nutters, Jeremy “I’m no housing expert” Sweetland, the Director of Bristol Housing Festival, keen on shoving the poor into small, airless boxes to solve “the housing crisis”.

The £12k bill this little lot landed us with included rooms for each delegate at around £800 A NIGHT for three nights and a £200 TAXI FARE to get Head Boy from Nice Airport to Cannes following his premium £900 FLIGHT from the UK. Presumably because a man as idle and important as Head Boy can’t possibly get a bus to save us some money?

At the conference the group served up top nosh, drinks and hospitality at a variety of events and receptions on behalf of some very FAMILIAR INTERNATIONAL CORPORATE NAMES doing some very good business in Bristol – YTL, Skanska and Arup. Schmoozing services were also provided to local outfits such as Business West, property company Savills and the Merchant Venturer front organisation, Invest in Bath and Bristol.

And the point of all this? Who knows? Any purpose and outcome of these expensive trips is, always, shrouded in mystery and not revealed to the plebs who foot the bill.

BACKWARD CHRISTIAN SOLDIERS

Increasing concern EMERGES from the Council House at the number of evangelical christians the Reverend Rees seems to be surrounding himself with. Critics say Rees can’t cope with the CRITICISM that comes with political debate, so over time he’s shut out the Labour Party and all politicians except his mates.

Among those named as having the ear of the Reverend are HOPE CHAPEL regulars “Thick” Ed Rowberry, Andy “Deadend” Street and Jonathan “Christopher” Lee. Rowberry is Chief Exec at BRISTOL AND BATH REGIONAL CAPITAL, a front for the Merchant Venturers promoting “bespoke investment opportunities” that create “a financial and social return and support local projects”.

In other words, yet another BIG SOCIETY make-a-profit-from-the poor outfit, much in vogue under the Reverend who seems to think his Christian do-gooder cult mates can replace our public services while earning themselves a cut. Being a small world, Street, a waste consultant, is the joint chair of Rowberry’s Big Society investment outfit as well as being on the board of the Reverend’s still-born CITY FUNDS initiative.

City funds aims to raise money from local businesses to spend on what were PUBLIC SERVICES before the Reverend cut them. Although – so far – business appears resistant to handing over money to the Reverend to fund his council. Can’t imagine why?

The final member of the Hope Chapel Three is Jonathan “Christopher” Lee, chief exec of Crisis Centre Ministries, which has a chequered history of providing services to the homeless and the vulnerable alongside a strong and slightly CREEPY Christian message.

FEW WOMEN appear to be in the Reverend’s Christian circle, not least because evangelicals tend to prefer it if the little ladies stay at home breeding and baking. However, the one woman in the mix is Rachel Milano who is some kind of faith sector link person for the Reverend. She was also the admin for his election campaign and officially works one day per week.

So where does that leave the MASS MEMBERSHIP Labour Party in the city? “Marvin doesn’t really like the Labour Party and he hardly ever goes to Labour meetings,” we’re told. “Even the Labour councillor group. He pops in occasionally and then spends all his time on his iPad.”

Has our city been seized in a coup by the Christian right?