Consternation at a recent Neighbourhood Partnership meeting in Eastville when residents asked the local Labour councillor, Mhairi “DUH?” Threlfall how much Bristol City Council were being paid for the use of Eastville Park by dance festival Love Saves the Day.
“I don’t know,” came the reply, “council officers won’t tell me.”
With tickets retailing at £30 – £40 a day for the two day private FOR-PROFIT event for up to 15,000 people, it’s not hard to see a TIDY SUM was being turned over here. Especially when you consider the organsiers also had a MONOPOLY on the sales of food and drink to those 15,000 people for two days.
So it’s not unreasonable that Eastville residents asked what’s in it for them, their area and their much-loved park.
Particularly as the park was effectively out of action for TWO WEEKS (one week either side of the festival) and residents had to tolerate high noise levels and anti-social behaviour over the weekend.
So why, you have to wonder, haven’t council officers struck a deal with organisers to get a good sum of money – say £50k – out of the organisers just to fund park improvements for the benefit of locals?
Or maybe they have? Who knows? Not our councillors that’s for sure. Even though their job is to oversee the commercial arrangements that their officers negotiate. Especially in the parks department with its sorry history of CORRUPTION and BACKHANDERS.
Remember the eight pricey and useless Italian food kiosks purchased in virtual secrecy by parks boss ALBERTO PALMEIRO in 2010 from associates in the obscure Italian firm Asteco Industria Srl? Then remember how when it all went tits up Palmeiro upped sticks and became the authorised UK agent for PRESTIGE KIOSKS LIMITED, “the exclusive distributor in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland for Asteco Industria Srl”?
Our councillors have learned nothing from this episode. They’re still happy enough to be FOBBED OFF by dodgy council managers making up bizarre commercial confidentiality claims as they go along to cover arse and, quite possibly, on previous form, corrupt practices.
Parks bosses need to tell us exactly what money they’ve taken from Love Saves the Day and what they’ve used it for. Or they need to quit in favour of honest brokers.