More news on Deputy Mayor Asher “the Slasher” Craig’s 2024 post-council income generation plan, the Stepping Up leadership programme.
We reported a few months back that this council funded project had been quietly outsourced in March 2022 to Stepping Up Leadership CIC.
The directors are Asher the Slasher and the extraordinarily well-remunerated Stepping Up programme director Christine “Wonky” Bamford.
A partially successful Freedom of Information request, however, provides a different spin on this odd arrangement where the council is paying a Labour Cabinet member’s firm to deliver their project.
A council ‘Procurement Request Form’ dated 1 April 2022 and released by the council’s finance team shows that the council actually procured £57,500 worth of diversity leadership training from those well-known diversity in leadership professionals, er, Bristol Waste!
It seems that Bristol Waste, which has a few financial issues of its own brewing, is then somehow forwarding on the cash to Slasher’s Stepping Up Leadership CIC.
Why a council procurement team are engaging in this cloak and dagger arrangement is not clear.
Neither is the legality of an arrangement that effectively launders public money through council-owned Bristol Waste on its way to the Deputy Mayor’s private company.
We understand a complaint is now sitting with the council’s external auditor, Grant Thornton. It’ll be interesting to see what they make of the arrangement.
With Clifton Down councillor Carla “The Green Princess” Denyer elected co-leader of the Green Party last year, her recent reselection as candidate for the Greens’ number one target seat, leafy Bristol West, was pretty much a procession. Even though The Princess got well and truly stuffed at the 2019 election by Labour’s “Thingy” Thangam Debonnaire.
After a vigorous campaign full of crazed Green promises that they could win the seat, the Princess was rejected by voters and trailed in nowhere near power, almost 39,000 votes behind Labour. She even managed to get a smaller share of the vote than hapless carpetbagger Darren “Tamanay” Hall got for the Greens in 2015.
In response to these ongoing electoral disasters, the Princess and the Greens, who remain convinced she’s a great candidate even if the public don’t, have hatched a cunning plan. Starting their campaigning early, it appears they are throwing money at dodgy pollsters Survation, to convince people that they are popular.
A reader in Bristol West says they received a call from Survation recently and they were asked a series of “ridiculous questions”. “It was obvious,” they say, “by the way the questions were structured that Survation were desperate for me to say I would vote Green. I refused and eventually had to decline to continue with the poll.”
Well, that’s one way to convince a dubious press and public you’re going to win an election. Pay a polling company to tell people they’re going to vote Green even if they’re not and then announce you’re going to win again.
We predict crushing defeat as in 2015, 2017 and 2019.
Interesting local Labour Party response to an Inns Court residents meeting in the autumn to discuss the building of an Onside Youth Zone on their valued open space.
Learning that local residents had had the sheer affront to hold a meeting and propose alternative brownfield sites for this large sports complex in a corporate shed, Tom “Arse” Canham, the LGBTQ Officer for Bristol South’s CLP, took to Twitter to condemn the working class upstarts.
Just hours after a meeting where residents described the proposed site as a well-used green space with lots of wildlife, Tom Arse popped up on Twitter to claim the land was “public land that isn’t being used at all and isn’t much use to any one”. He continued, “Somehow some people oppose [the Youth Zone] being built on a roundabout where literally nothing is there,” and “It’s literally an empty field”!
None of this is true. It’s a wildlife rich open space and residents hadn’t opposed the Youth Zone. They had just suggested building it on a local brownfield site such as at Filwood Broadway, Hengrove Leisure Park or Imperial Park. Proposals that reflected a spirit of compromise rather than opposition.
No such spirit of compromise from Labour’s Tom Arse when presented with the facts, however. Instead he switched on caps lock to shout “NIMBYs gonna NIMBY” at anyone daring to disagree with him. He then claimed that the people of Inns Court had a problem with young people.
A ludicrous claim as Inns Court and Knowle West residents have worked together recently to pay for and create a garden for a local 7 year old girl with Downs Syndrome as she had been unable to use her dangerous garden since she was born. What’s Tom Arse doing for young people in the area apart from demanding their open space is concreted over as soon as possible?
Taking some much-deserved time off from wandering aimlessly around the city lying and bullshitting to long-suffering residents (surely spearheading a modern and professional election campaign? ed.), the Reverend Rees has taken an especially large dump and evacuated a stinking pile of an election manifesto on to the public. And yes, we’ve read it all and our research team are now in recovery.
Yet again, we’re treated to the, now, traditional Labour shopping list of promises off the back of a fag packet. We’ve counted a total of 91 of these promises and hardly any of them are costed. Starting with the unfeasibly bonkers plan to “deliver a mass transit system … in the form of both an underground and an overground” because, we’re assured, Marvin’s “laid the foundations for a mass transit system.”
What foundations has Marvin laid? A demented assertion in a couple of interviews and some orange lines on a Google Map? Where, for starters, is the feasibility study for an underground he promised three years ago? He’s, literally, done nothing about this plan he can show anyone. Why would anyone sane believe a word of it? And how much will it cost?
Another tactic from Marvin is to promise again things he promised in his 2016 manifesto. So having failed to deliver ‘2,000 homes a year, 800 affordable’ as plastered on billboards all over the city in 2016, this time we’re assured the Reverend will be “building over 2,000 homes a year, of which 1,000 are affordable, by 2024.”
Another gem recycled from the 2016 manifesto, “Complete and open Hartcliffe Way recycling and reuse centre”. Why hasn’t it been completed already as promised five years ago? Why believe it in 2021 if it was patently untrue in 2016?
Or how about this one? “We’re delivering on our 2016 promise to get an arena built”. The only thing Marvin delivered on this subject was the exact opposite by cancelling getting an arena built. Who believes they’ll be an arena open in Filton by 2024 then?
In all, there’s 14 pages of this crap. Some appears stolen from the Greens in a blind panic: “Provide free travel for apprentices and students under-25”. Some is appearing in everybodies’ manifesto as the essential uncosted promise du nos jours: “Deliver a London-style one-touch integrated ticketing system so that your ticket can be used across different types of public transport.”
Some is peculiarly clueless: “Deliver a Green Spaces and Allotments Strategy which encourages local food production in every ward to help tackle food poverty”. As if local food production has something to do with low cost food.
Similar economic illiteracy abounds throughout. Another big idea is, “work with the City Funds to deliver the economic priorities in the One City Plan”. Why the fuck get a small charitable grant making trust run by your evangelical looney mate to deliver an economic plan for the eighth largest city in the UK? It makes zero sense. Who thinks this shit up?
We’ll conclude with the Reverend confirming his five years of useless failure in style with the promise to “Expand the Community Toilet programme and introduce an app that provides their location”. In other words he’ll not be bringing back the public toilets he closed. Instead he’ll spend our money on useless private sector provision with a pointless tech solution thrown in.
The DISDAIN and DISREGARD that the Reverend Rees and his
council boss friends hold for our elected councillors and the public was on
full display when the Reverend decided to REFUSE to answer public questions at
a Full Council Meeting because some of them may have proved HIGHLY
The Reverend’s senior managers went to work for the
mayor convincing councillors and our idiot Lord Mayor Jos “Halfwit”
Clark that ‘rules’ PREVENTED the Mayor answering public questions during
a general election. Councillors eagerly accepted this ‘advice’ from their
expert officers, apparently oblivious to the fact NOTHING in national
nor local election guidelines prevents either mayors or council leaders
answering public questions at meetings during an election.
To add insult to injury, at this very same council
meeting where council officers were busily INVENTING RULES on behalf of
their coward mayor, councillors were asked to consider an updated ‘Member –
Officer Protocol’. A document outlining how councillors and council officers
needed to treat each other with ‘RESPECT‘! Might this reasonably include
the expectation that council officers tell councillors the truth about election
However, the real kick in the teeth came the next day
when council officers used the council’s official Twitter account to PUBLISH
A PHOTO OF THE REVEREND and his cabinet sidekick, Anna Keen, promoting some
crap mayoral initiative in Southmead in direct contravention of, er, ELECTION
GUIDELINES TO COUNCIL OFFICERS. These simple guidelines state,
“councils should ‘not publish any material which, in whole or in part,
appears to be designed to affect public support for a political party’”.
How could council officers possibly not think a photo
of two senior members of the Labour Party PROMOTING their initiative in
the middle of a general election would not appear designed to affect public
support for Labour?
A sneaky item put to the vote at the end of this year’s council budget meeting may have caught a lot of councillors napping. Our politicians were asked to approve the seemingly innocuous proposal “For the West of England Combined Authority Mayor to submit an application to the Housing Infrastructure Fund to facilitate housing growth.”
However, this £250million application has fuck all to do
with building any actual houses but does include funds that will go directly
towards the detailed planning of two new controversial road schemes – the
Callington Road Link in Brislington and South Bristol Ring Road around
Stockwood and through Whitchurch.
Councillors voted 58 – 7 to approve the submission of the
bid to the government and kick-start a new road building programme in the city
for the first time in a generation. Obviously, most Tory and Labour councillors
who love retrograde crap voted for the idea. The Lib Dems voted against and
most Greens, as usual, confused about what they’re here for, abstained.
However two Greens voted for renewed road building, Ashley Ward’s Jude Brew and Clifton Down’s Clive Stevens. What were they thinking? Here at the Bristolian, we don’t parade much in the way of green credentials but even we know building roads is the height of Thatcherite bollocks.
The vote may prove embarrassing – and hopefully career threatening – for some other councillors south of the city too. Barry Clark “Son”, Labour councillor for Hengrove and Whitchurch had told his constituents prior to the vote, “I live near to Asda Whitchurch and like you understand the issues that this road development would cause. I am also against it and actively doing what I can to get it stopped.”
Except actively voting against it when given the opportunity
to get it stopped?
Is Avonmouth Labour councillor Don “Lenin” Alexander a LIAR, MISOGYNIST and a RACIST?
At a recent Labour Party event to discuss waste issues for their manifesto for the 2020 mayoral election, Lenin openly shouted at a “difficult” female member, telling her “SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP“. This was after she raised the issue of the FLY INFESTATION at Avonmouth and the conduct of the regulatory bodies responsible, Bristol City Council and the Environment Agency.
This, however, is not the first time Lenin has managed to INSULT MINORITIES. When he recently appeared on the council’s Public Safety Committee, responsible for licencing taxis, committee members were shocked when Lenin told a muslim taxi driver that he couldn’t have tinted windows in his taxi because it might ENCOURAGE TERRORISTS!
Shouldn’t this revolting little shit be in the Tory Party?
Bristol’s Labour Party under the deft (surely daft? Ed.) leadership of the Reverend Rees continues on its singular journey to becoming an embarrassing farce and danger to its own members.
We learn that the Bristol Labour Women’s Forum on Facebook has been FORCIBLY CLOSED down due to “transphobia”. Or women wishing to discuss the Gender Recognition Act and transgender issues as it’s also known.
Presumably, in the world of Rees’s Labour it’s best all round if women are SHUT UP and CENSORED? This follows the CLOSURE of Bristol Labour Party’s private forum on Facebook in March after Bristol City Council bosses were granted access to the pages to SPY on staff and councillors.
Meanwhile, in a further extraordinary move, we learn that Ras Judah, the Rasta who was TASERED in the face by cops last year, has been suspended by the Labour Party for, er, racism!
When Labour councillors voted in November for a TEN PER CENT pay rise for the council’s senior bosses as part of an organisational restructure, they assured us that £750k would be saved by employing less bosses.
Alas, just a month later and with an internal consultation on these management changes underway for the next few months, news is SNEAKED OUT that savings will now only be £500k. And, of course, there’s no guarantee this figure won’t drop further before the restructure is complete.
Looks like it’s another con to increase wages at the top in exchange for fuck all.
Oddly, an entirely different story emerged directly from the mouth of the Reverend Rees regarding these ‘savings’ (as opposed to the traditional term ‘cuts’).
When questioned this week about how much his new senior management structure would ‘save’ us, the Reverend claimed the figure had risen to £830K. Somewhat different to the £500k savings figure stated in his own finance report he signed off in December.
Meanwhile, rookie Labour MP for Bristol Northwest, Darren “Dipshit” Jones weaves his own idiot spell around the Sims Metal plant. News reaches us that Darren Dipshit has written in SUPPORT of Sims’s request for a change of license to a waste transfer station so that “improvements” can be made.
Alas, it seems, Dipshit Daz, the eagle-eyed lawyer, approved the plan without reading the application properly! As the change of use allows Sims to EXPAND operations and, no doubt, increase the explosions and pollution already raining down on the boghoppers of Avonmouth.
What a surprise! This loudmouth Euro fanatic is more in favour of strong regulation of polluting industry in theory on election leaflets than in practice in Avonmouth.