Tag Archives: Marvin Rees

WE’RE CRAP CONFIRM AUDITORS

More exciting news on the Rev Rees’s efforts to support WHISTLEBLOWERS at Bristol City Council.

We learn that the Rev’s hapless pair of CHIEF INTERNAL AUDITORS have investigated the state of whistleblowing at Bristol City Council and have discovered – after all these years – that there’s “a lack of co-ordination, no central or comprehensive recording of whistleblowing reports and no governance or review of the process.”

Well, we could have told them that. Remember the whistleblowers who were unceremoniously REMOVED from the council’s Markets Service in 2012 while in the care of Internal Auditors so that middle-ranking council bosses could spend 18 months COVERING-UP a comprehensive rip-off of the public?

And who was responsible for these useless whistleblowing arrangements at Bristol City Council?  Please step forward, er,  Bristol City Council’s CHIEF INTERNAL AUDITORS Alison “Mullet” Mullis and Melanie “Joe” Henchy-McCarthy who have been regularly reporting absolute bullshit about whistleblowing matters to the council’s Audit Committee  for years.

Now – presumably to keep their ineffective whistleblowing merry-go-round spinning aimlessly – the Chief Internal Auditors have announced they’re developing a NEW whistleblowing process for themselves and they’ll present an annual review of their work to the Audit Committee (as they have, in theory, always done). Plus ca change?

What whistleblower in their right mind would trust this pair of dubious chief auditors reporting – yet again – to the same soft-headed council committee of the gullible?

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 …

BUNDRED: NOTHING GOING IN WRITING FROM REES’S BENT LAWYER

The Reverend Rees’s response to the Bundred Report into the council’s MULTIPLE FINANCIAL FAILINGS, being personally overseen by his chronically underperforming donkey of a new Chief Exec, Anna “Big Wedge” Klonowski, is FALLING APART before it’s even started.

On Tuesday – in the middle of a General Election when politicians are looking the other way – Ms Big Wedge published her SEMI-LITERATE, ‘Response to the Bundred Review’ for the Cabinet to sign-off next week. Page 4 of Big Wedge’s rambling error-strewn drivel tells us:

“S[enior]L[eadership]T[eam] have agreed and the Chief Executive has recently reinforced the need for reports rather than presentations to be used as the basis of discussions and decisions.”

So come Thursday and Ms Klonwoski’s incompetent legal boss and Monitoring Officer, Shahzia “Dim” Daya – who personally oversaw and signed off the UNLAWFUL BUDGET of 2016 at the heart of the controversy – published her own report to councillors, ‘Scrutiny Structures and New Ways of Working – Hothouse Outcomes’.

This report is just one page long and tells councillors, “Full details of the outcomes of the Scrutiny review will be provided by Members VERBALLY at the meeting.”

So much for “the need for REPORTS rather than PRESENTATIONS to be used as the basis of discussions and decisions” then. Do the new rules not apply to lazy and bent Monitoring Officers?

The significance of all this is that councillors simply did not have the necessary ACCESS and INFORMATION they required to scrutinise what their bent managers were up to in 2015 – 17. This new scrutiny review is supposed to correct that.

Although it looks to us like councillors are being blatantly set up to fail all over again by exactly the same council bosses who conned them last time.

BUNDRED: GRAMMAR CLASS

OK. Here’s the Reverend’s new Chief Executive, Anna “Big Wedge” Klonowski’s long-awaited ‘Response to the Bundred Review’ going to cabinet next week.

The Bundred Review, you may recall, discovered that Bristol City Council was a financial basketcase where senior managers were running amok committing a variety of offences in order to massage our council’s accounts for their own benefit.

Many of us have been hotly anticipating clear and bold action from the Reverend and his well remunerated sidekick, Ms Big Wedge, to clear up this fiasco and nail the culprits once and for all. Alas, it looks like we may be disappointed.

One of Bundred’s many recommendations raised by Ms Big Wedge in her new report is:

“The Council should take steps to build on recent improvements in the quality of reporting and document management. Where necessary guidance should be issued, or training provided, to report authors emphasising the importance of clarity, transparency, analysis and advice (paragraph 121).”

Another is:

“Members should be less tolerant of poor quality reports than they appear to have been in the past (paragraph 120).”

OK then. Who’s gonna tell Ms Big Wedge the standard of English, grammar and syntax in her report is simply not good enough? Here’s a few random examples from the first two pages:

“To ensure that cross directorate saving proposal [sic] or proposals that covered [sic] more than one Directorate are achieved, each savings proposal has been allocated a named Strategic and Service Director lead as accountable officers.”

And:

“Further consultation will be required in respect of some areas of savings proposals and will commence when the General Elections [is there more than one?] have concluded. This has required Officers to consider further mitigations to assure delivery of the budgets in these unusual circumstances.”

And:

“In addition, Directorates will be challenged to explore alternative options for meeting the cost pressures faced within their existing resources or seek supplementary estimate [sic] to increase the directorate spending limit.”

And:

“This has now been put into implementation [sic] and should ensure there is a shared understanding and approach to council processes across the organisation that supports all Members.”

For fucks sake, “Put into implementation”? Isn’t there a word for that – ‘implemented’? Have the Reverend, Big Wedge or the council never heard of proofreading?

Meanwhile moving on to the subject of ‘clarity’. Try some of these for size:

“We have also reviewed, aligned and combined the monthly mechanisms for managers and their Service/Strategic directors to submit a holistic view of savings delivery from a financial and action focussed perspective.”

If anyone has the foggiest idea what Service/Strategic directors will be physically submitting and to who, please get in touch.

Or try this nightmare piece of prose from the depths of hell:

“Member oversight is a new element of this governance process that now includes a Delivery Executive. This involves attendance by the Mayor and Deputy Mayor (Finance, Governance and Performance) who is the chair of the new Delivery Executive. This meeting provides an opportunity to discuss the savings proposals, delivery and implementation and provides an additional challenge, enables further investigation of the detail, reviews any mitigating actions and provides a formal feedback loop to Cabinet with an overview of progress on savings delivery. Relevant Portfolio holders also attend these sessions, providing joint ownership and accountability for savings by both members and officers.”

This seems to be suggesting “member (ie, councillor) oversight” will be a matter for a “Delivery Executive”, which includes only one member out of 70 – the Deputy Mayor – plus possibly “relevant portfolio holders”. This meeting will then provide a “formal feedback loop”  to Cabinet members (although in order to be a “formal feedback loop” wouldn’t it have to return to the Delivery Executive where it came from?)

So Big Wedge’s “member oversight” stretches to around nine cabinet members if we’re generous and include those in her new-style “formal feedback loop”. The other 62 normal councillors who aren’t in the executive can presumably fuck off then?

Now try this bollocks for size:

“A one-off investment fund has been allocated to support savings related change activity across the council, this also includes funding a proportion of the change resource within the council. The resource is limited, making the threshold for allocation of this resource high, therefore promoting local ownership of service change and savings delivery, whilst mitigating against increased savings targets in future years for replenishment once this resource is fully used.”

We’ve no idea either. And what’s “mitigating against” all about? Meaning is so lost in there that it’s hard to tell whether it’s a straightforward error mistaking ‘mitigating’ for ‘militating’ or whether it’s the tautology ‘mitigating against’.

And finally (as we can’t stand any more of this half-arsed meaningless drivel):

“To ensure the achievement of long term improvements in the function, it will be necessary to take an end-to-end approach, combination of top down and bottom up initiatives, take along those involved in the execution of the operations; optimise the finance functions by removing waste and re-focus on core and value add activities.”

Excellent use of cliché, ambiguity and vague platitudes that could mean anything from Ms Big Wedge here.

Wouldn’t it all be so much simpler and provide a helluva lot more ‘clarity’ if she just fired the arseholes who fucked up the accounts in the first place and instead employed some people who can write reports competently in plain English and implement the proposed plans?

Bundred Response Recommendations FINAL-2

PARKING CONSULTATION SHAMBLES

As we warned six months ago, “Nothing says Mayor Marvin “The Vicar” Rees is a hopelessly over-promoted public sector middle manager without a clue quite like his plan to get long-suffering councillors to review resident parking zones in their wards, apparently without any SUPPORT or RESOURCES.”

So it’s no surprise to find councillors are now complaining about, er, the USELESS and INEFFECTIVE consultation process around resident parking zones in their wards. Lib Dem Councillor for Cotham, Anthony Negus, recently confronted the vicar over his shambles.

“The recent consultations in my ward were only notified by notices on lampposts and so the responses were few,” he explained,  “the resulting changes and their implications on adjacent areas will NOT BE NOTIFIED and officers required that NO COMMENTS be sent to them.”

Negus then demanded, “Does the Mayor welcome the outcome of his policy being PERSONAL DECISIONS made by councillors – since the alternative of INFORMED CONSULTATION that I wanted can now only be carried out with no support from council officers?”

The vicar’s response was ‘MYSTERIOUS’ to say the least, “There appears to be confusion about the manner of the RPS review consultation undertaken last year. The review was carried out using an online survey, supported by posters in each community and the local coucillors and Neighbourhood Partnerships being responsible for informing people of the survey. ”

And what are councillors supposed to do with the responses?

What a shambles. As we correctly said six months ago, “Quite how Marv thinks a part time councillor on £13k a year with lots to do can also adequately research the views of up to 3,000 HOUSEHOLDS and then collate these views into a meaningful document to take action on is anybody’s guess.”

What a waste of everybodies’ time this has been.

NEW YORK – LONDON – BRUSSELS – HARTCLIFFE

There was a very LOW KEY decision from the Vicar last month to continue spending £351k a year to keep open his Bristol City Council office in Brussels and to provide a nice little slush fund for his aimless mayoral trips abroad.

This will no doubt come as especially good news for residents of HARTCLIFFE, SOUTHMEAD, LAWRENCE WESTON and FISHPONDS. As, following his destructive Tory cuts budget that closed all neighbourhood Customer Service Points, the Reverend can now proudly boast that his council has an office open for business in Brussels but not in, er, Hartcliffe!

How convenient for paying the rent …

BEST CU*T OF ALL

Leading the hapless local Labour Party charge against our universally acclaimed ‘BEST CUT OF ALL’ cover last month was the Chair of the Bristol Labour Party, Kommandant Eileen “Meanie” Means.

Days after publication, Kommandant Meanie staggered on to social media and especially Twitter – home of the middle class MORALISING twat – to condemn the cover. “It’s racist,” blurted the fool. “An axe in anyone’s head is evil,” wittered the wally.

“It’s against all decency,” whined the buffoon; “I’m not giving in to arrogant thugs,” blasted the banshee, accompanying her RANTING AND RAVING with meaningless hashtags – #notinmycity, #notinmyname, #notupmybum, #notinmymouth, #notbeforetea (we might have made some of those up, ed).

Then the coup de grace – revealing the startlingly limited content of Meanie’s mind – the nutjob compared our cover to the MURDER of Jo Cox MP last year! That’s right. There’s a direct moral equivalence between publishing a cartoon and murdering someone.

Were ISIS right all along about Charlie Hebdo? Did those piss-taking French bastards have it coming? According to the Bristol Labour Party, yes!

Kommandant Meanie even echoed into her tedious social media void of 700 long-suffering followers that “decent people speak out and don’t let it pass”. Indeed they do, which is why in 2015 The BRISTOLIAN ‘spoke out’ and revealed that Meanie was a piece of public sector middle management BULLYING shite who’s been removed from social work management posts across the UK for conduct reasons.

Quite what qualifies this revolting specimen to lecture anyone on “evil” and “decency” and call others “thugs” having been thrown out of her workplace for bullying workers is anyone’s guess.

It also says a lot about “Nice guy” Reverend Rees that his local party boss is a notorious bully …

Are you in the Labour Party? Have you been bullied by Eileen Means? Don’t get mad – get even! Contact The BRISTOLIAN.

INTERNATIONAL CUTS WATCH

Bristol City Council seems to be avoiding cuts in some areas. Please step forward the Reverend Mayor, Marvin Rees, who’s decided there should be NO CUTS at all in his personal office; his new chief executive’s office or to his senior leadership team. Areas that have all chronically UNDERPERFORMED over the last five years and cost us a lot of money.

Not that the Reverend gives a shit about saving money when it comes to himself, his self-regarding PUBLICLY FUNDED international lifestyle or his personal office team of EGO PAMPERERS on the rates.

Back on November 30 the Reverend SUSPENDED non-essential spending at the council for ordinary staff delivering services. By Tuesday 6 December he was touching down in China, pretending he was on some sort sales mission.

What the fuck was he selling them? CREAKING, underfunded local public services? SUBSIDISED film studio facilities in Hengrove ideal for overblown costume drama? CHEAP tickets for dodgy middle class comedians at the Colston Hall? The USELESS services of the shittest Internal Audit team the world has ever known?

If a pointless ‘trade mission’ to China by a SMALL and FAILING municipal body led by a pompous, preening figurehead isn’t non-essential, what the fuck is?

ST MARVIN’S-UP-THE-CREEK PARISH NEWSLETTER #5

Warm greetings to most of my flock. Although it’s not terribly warm here compared to Florida, where I’ve been reflecting for a month on the many troubling affairs of the day through the medium of hard prayer. All thanks to the hospitality of my spiritual mentor, the Pastor Righteous Loon, at his well-appointed beach-side mansion. Now I’m back and rearing to go. Let’s go find God and worship like it’s 1999!

Unfortunately I must start with a fond farewell. As many of you are aware, Mr Stephens from Birmingham has now completed his fantastic temporary stint as Parish Administrator and will be returning to live in disgrace in the Midlands a considerably wealthier man. Stephen’s work for our church has been exemplary – exchanging his generous salary demands for leadership in the blindingly obvious without quibble.

I’ve replaced him with our temporary bursar, Ms Klonowski from London. Ms Klownowski is hugely experienced, having worked in parishes in London as well as at St Wirrall-Cover-Up in the north. Many of you will know Ms Klonowski already. She has been working for us for over a year now so knows all about the parish finances and the appalling financial miscalculations of our former vicar, The Reverend Loose Canon Ferguson. After all, she helped him make some of them!

On my return from Florida, a number of you, no doubt encouraged by Ms Townsend from the Dave Spart Academy, brought to my attention Planning Application no. 1T5/MAD/A5/SH1T recently lodged at the council’s offices. This is an amazing design for a sustainable commuter transport solution through the parish. The eagle-eyed among you – also no doubt encouraged by Ms Townsend – have noted this will involve an increase in the transport utility for the underused north west section of our brownfield graveyard resource.

Please rest assured, a procedurally correct consultation has been undertaken by the relevant authorities with the Parish Property Sub-Committee. A number of key parish leaders were also engaged during this thorough process and everyone has agreed this scheme has the potential to transform parish travel outcomes.

Parishioners claiming “I didn’t know about this” have clearly not been paying enough attention and didn’t attend the detailed public presentation on the evening of 28 December 2016 heavily promoted on Twitter and on the choir noticeboard at the back of the chancel. At this presentation, it was factually demonstrated by expert civil engineers from the Cash From Concrete Corp. that this transport solution will improve public transport and cycling routes to both St Marvin’s and to the parish’s OFSTED rated ‘Excellent’ St Snoot-the-Privileged School.

The reutilisation of a small section of underused graveyard resource and the Dave Spart Academy’s lower years’ football pitch is obviously regrettable. However, technical metrics indicate the benefits to the parish going forward are measurable and may outweigh any minor non-positives parishioners – heavily influenced by an anti-transport lobby disbursing alternative facts – have raised.  As my mentor, the Texan psychotic preacher and notorious anti-communist homophobe, the Pastor Righteous Loon says, “In the beginning was the facts, and I got the facts, and the facts are what I say. Anything else is a fake news alternative fact. Praise be to God.”

Ms Klonowski from London has also confirmed the exchange-in-kind value of the church land is “not insignificant’ and could be treated as a material match-funding asset for the Church Media Fund as we face difficult financial choices together this year. I hope, then, that this is the end of this discussion and that this silly fake news on Facebook about a “highway through the cemetery”  circulated by a small clique of anti-transport activists will now cease. Instead let’s mature the conversation to explore the serious details of this scheme like what colour street furniture we prefer and what safety measures we might require to mitigate vehicles occasionally travelling at up to 60 mph near two schools and a church?

As you know, in March our church will embark on a new round of vital savings. St Marvin’s Under-5s will therefore be closing at the end of the month as part of the first stage of our sensible efficiencies strategy developed by Ms Klonowski. The St Marvin’s Elders’ morning sessions will continue on Thursdays only; a small reduction of two days a week. Both childcare provision and elderly day care can still be accessed in the parish at competitive market rates through private sector providers and we will be conferring preferred provider status on selected corporate partners very soon.

Now let me give you the good news. I’m pleased to announce that the proposed Church Hall refurbishment will go ahead as planned. Ms Klonowski has restructured the Church Media Fund and new staging, seating and lighting for the delivery of high-end passion play productions to benefit all the parish will go ahead as I promised at my job interview last year. My assistant vicar, the Reverend Tinkerbell, has even been in preliminary talks with the Oh My God! cable TV company. A national and international profile for St Marvin’s passion productions is a potential reality I’m promised.

Finally, please note I will be a keynote speaker at the ‘Jesus Says No Exit By Hard Brexit’ event in the parish next week. It is God’s will that you all attend and take heed of the words of elitist moral truth from myself and the new ArchLib elect Stephen Williams. Why not bring along one of my ‘God’s will not the Donald’s wall’ placards and the kids?

God bless you all and the Holy EU Empire!

The Vicar

THE REVEREND REVEREND REES?

The Reverend Rees is to become, er, the Reverend Rees. The BRISTOLIAN can exclusively reveal that Bristol mayor Marvin Rees is currently studying divinity part-time with a view to becoming an ordained Church of England priest at the end of his tenure as elected mayor of Bristol.

The Reverend is currently studying divinity with the Cambridge Theological Federation on a three year part time course. Prior to this, we’re told, Marvin held “lengthy and complex discussions” with Mike Hill, the Bishop of Bristol, “exploring his faith and how he could best serve God and the people of Bristol going forward”.

It’s well known that Marvin tries to only work four days a week for “work life balance” reasons, allegedly to spend time with his young family. However sources tell us that this is actually time set aside for his serious religious studies. He has also been studying during evenings and weekends.

Our source says that when Marvin finishes as mayor he will be seeking a parish in inner city Bristol to serve. Easton has been mentioned, as has the higher profile St Mary Redcliffe – adjacent to the high performing secondary school …