Tag Archives: Marvin Rees

CUT TODAY FOR LABOUR VICTORY TOMORROW

Some excellent sleuthing by Momentum in the lead up to the Reverend’s Tory cuts budget at the end of February UNCOVERED what appeared to be an extra £9million being hosed into the council’s cash reserves for NO APPARENT REASON.

This £9million was the difference between what the council’s published financial risk assessment said was NEEDED in cash reserves and the amount of cash actually being PUT IN THERE.

But lo and behold! Just the day before the council’s budget meeting, a new risk assessment suddenly emerged, explaining the council actually needed a FURTHER £9million in cash reserves.

All very convenient, although the stench of the Reverend building a personal ELECTION WAR CHEST for 2020 at the expense of our public services now remains hanging heavily in the air.

Do look out for those Labour election treats, baubles and bribes in 2019 – 20 but try not to forget what they really cost us in terms of lost services and wrecked lives

LEADERSHIP WATCH

The Reverend Rees continues to demonstrate the leadership skills and sure touch that earned him a MISERABLE little middle management equalities officer post paper shuffling for the NHS. Was it there he perfected that ability to wear a shiny suit and talk utter shite?

A brief glance through the Reverend’s weak and cowardly Tory budget for the coming year reveals virtually every department at the council will be making CUTS. Or “efficiency savings” as the Great Helmsman demands we call them. Deploying weasel words in a sad attempt to fool us that his atrocious cuts WRECKING our public services will somehow be improvements to these services if he applies enough heavy-handed PR spin to them.

However, if we’re being strictly accurate, all council departments are making “efficiencies” except ONE. The exception being the Reverend’s very own EXECUTIVE OFFICE, which is receiving a £600k boost to its budget for next year. Although, if we’re to be consistent, shouldn’t this 25 per cent uplift to his own budget be called an “INEFFICIENCY SPEND“?

Does the Reverend think CUTTING everyone else’s budget while BOOSTING his own to afford more trips to Manhattan, China and Cannes and run a junket for ‘World Mayors’ here in Bristol is a good example of the ‘city leadership’ he’s forever banging on about? Did they teach him to be a GREEDY self-serving bastard on his wanky leadership course at Yale? Or is his ‘I’m all right Jack’ approach to leadership just another one of his many embarrassing PERSONAL FAILINGS?

Surely leadership is about leading from the front and ensuring that he takes, at least, his share of any cuts to ENCOURAGE and LEAD his colleagues in these harsh times?

Got to be better than blathering on about leadership while blatantly showing none.

REES GETS HIS WAFFLE IN A TWIST

The Reverend Rees’s latest HORRIFYING ASSAULT by management jargon on the English language has just crossed our desk. Is he having a baby?

The Reverend has decided, in his wisdom, that he needs to recruit a committee to recruit a committee to run his absurd 50 year ‘ONE CITY PLAN’ and so he’s sent out a letter to the great ‘n’ good and any self-styled city leadership wanker inviting interest in this exciting non-job.

“The City Office is now setting up a Governing Board and is seeking Board members to oversee the IMPLANTATION of the initiative,” he waffles. Er, did he by any chance mean, “The City Office is now setting up a Governing Board and are seeking Board members to IMPLEMENT the initiative”?

Because last time we looked “implantation” is the stage of pregnancy at which the fertilized egg adheres to the wall of the uterus!

PATH TO RUIN

SHIT IDEAS FROM REES’S CORPORATE FRIENDS pt 56

Within weeks of the Reverend Rees unveiling his PIE-IN-THE SKY underground rail plan, the BRISTOL AND BATH RAILWAY PATH is, again, being targeted as a CHEAP rapid transit option by Labour’s corporate transport consultant friends.

In an EXACT REPETITION of proposals that were ended 10 years ago by HUGE public protest, some shadowy corporate transport consultants have LEAKED a proposal to the Nazi Post to run a tram/light rail down the Railway Path as a cut-price alternative to Rees’s impossibly expensive tube dream.

The Reverend’s transport wonks have even wheeled out USEFUL IDIOT, David Redgewell, a self-appointed local transport spokesman to back their plan. Redgewell operates under the guise of the official-sounding ‘South West Transport Network’, a mystery organisation with mystery funding and no formal documents of association.

“No one is saying the cycle way will be closed, far from it, it would actually be widened and improved to allow the light rail track to run alongside it,” explains this full time UNACCOUNTABLE BUSYBODY who doesn’t even understand that the Railway Path isn’t a “cycle way” but a park and inner city wildlife corridor first and foremost.

“There is already a section of the cycle path that runs alongside the Midland railway, so it isn’t too radical,” he rambles on. Well, tell that to the THOUSANDS of residents that successfully campaigned against exactly the same stupid plan ten years ago, you dodgy transport industry gobshite.

Meanwhile the Reverend’s entirely decorative transport cabinet member, Mhairi “Bauble” Threlfall, currently overseeing the incredible £200million non-appearing Metrobus system, has tried to brush aside any plans for the Railway Path. She told the Post, a rapid transit route on the path had been “MENTIONED IN PASSING”, whatever that means.

The Post however suggests things may have gone beyond being “mentioned’. They say, “several of the UK’s top transport experts – including those involved in London Cross Rail project and the completed Strathclyde Subway – have been IN TALKS with Metro Mayor Tim Bowles, Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees and leader of B&NES council Tim Warren.”

And, “It is understood the group has been advised there are only TWO OPTIONS available to running the eastern route through one of the most congested parts of the city – either building a tunnel underground from the outskirts or build a tram-like light rail system next to THE CYCLE PATH.”

Does the Reverend know what happened last time the local Labour Party tried to TRASH our Railway Path in 2008? They were STOPPED in their tracks by MASS PROTEST before slumping to their WORST election performance in a generation in 2009 when they ended up with just 16 councillors.

The Greens and the Lib Dems who SUPPORTED the Railway Path and OPPOSED Labour’s rapid transit plan, meanwhile, enjoyed an electoral boost with the Lib Dems forming a majority administration in 2009.

Rees and Threlfall should consider themselves warned.

ST-MARVIN’S-UP-THE-CREEK PARISH NEWS #13

Lucky parishioners personally invited to the premiere of my thrilling biopic film, ‘The Reverend’s Ace: a shameless hagiography’, please note that the venue has been switched from the Church Hall due to a small completion delay in its transformation process. The film, by my German friend Ms Helga Goebbels, is an enthralling documentary about my incredible journey and features fascinating interviews with friends and family as well as focussing on my lovely new garden furniture from B&Q. See you there!

More good news, this time regarding the delayed pay-as-you-go self-service tea vending solution in the vestry. The original contract with our self-service tea vending solution partner, Agresso Refreshment World, has been formally off-tabled at a commercially confidential but highly competitive settlement rate. Now, the parish’s Interim Head of Agile, Ms Beardmore from Shropshire will initiate a smart procurement process to locate a new best value self-service tea vending solution partner.

Ms Beardmore wants an integrated solution in place by as soon as next January so that we can make efficiencies in tea delivery as soon as 2021. That is a small slippage of just four years in the delivery of this complex refreshments transformation project. Ms Beardmore also assures me that a step change in biscuit provision may be walked down the decision pathway going forward.

I have now tasked Ms Beardmore with investigating further efficiencies that prioritise elasticity in our budget envelope as it is further stretched by the Diocese’s austerity plans. One proposal is to reimagine the underused parish library, where weird old religious books gather dust, as a drive-thru communion facility for an increasing number of parishioners with less time for traditional worship but with salaries that might be better reflected in the collection plate. Ms Beardmore, with her superb customer services background, also proposes installing a 24-hour self-serve telephone communion service facility with a fully integrated credit card payment option.

Both initiatives are ideal for parents seeking an easy-pay, time efficient journey for their child into the parish’s OFSTED rated ‘excellent’ St Snoot’s Academy. We have already procured a team of digital enablement consultants from London to work up a joined-up feasibility working paper and we will embark on an innovative consultation exercise to review this exciting transformation plan soon. I shall update on this agile worship programme as it progresses.

On budget, on time and on target, the church toilets are now permanently closed. Those needing toilet facilities should try the High Street where we are inviting businesses to express an interest in providing free toilet facilities for St Marvin’s worshippers

Finally, please note that places remain available on my flagship leadership programme exclusively for dull middle managers and accountants with no personality. Spaces are limited, so get in touch quickly if you wish to join the likes of Ms Beardmore and myself as inspirational parish leaders. As my mentor, the Texan psychotic preacher and notorious anti-communist homophobe, the Pastor Righteous Loon always tells me, “promote the dull, stupid and insipid for they will always do as they’re told.”

Farewell and adieu.

The Vicar

UNISON: THE SORRY STATE by The Dwarf

Despite being the union that campaigned for an end to tribunal fees and won. Despite being the union that strikes for hospital workers, wins equal pay claims for cleaners and tries to prevent the outsourcing of care workers everywhere except Bristol. Despite having nearly all the cuts in this round of austerity aimed at those areas only they really have members in – Bristol Unison still refuse to do anything to oppose the cuts. That is, unless Mayor Marvin asks them to go on a demonstration against his own cuts. In which case out comes the banner in what could only be described as a giant blow struck for irony.

The cuts are coming in social services, children’s services, libraries and community services. All areas that are almost exclusively Unison and all are areas where member engagement, information exchange and political activism are non-existent. Meetings with unions have been cancelled, barrack room lawyers silenced in staff meetings, management have denied a plan to outsource libraries but then put out an email about mutualisation.

Does anyone remember the battles of the past? When disabled residents and unions lobbied noisily on the ramps of the Counts Louse? Where day centres were occupied and workers broke the blockade passing them fish and chips through the windows? Where library workers struck for the right to a family life? Where have the activists gone? I’m reliably informed that Unison hasn’t enough activists to fill a Renault Espace when they once numbered in the hundreds. They’re voting with their feet comrades … Wake up and get a grip.

I was told that regional officers consider the cuts to have been democratically arrived at and that is that, nothing more can be done. We at The BRISTOLIAN reject that sort of democracy. We want an engaged, participatory democracy of mutual solidarity and so should the unions. If we don’t get it then protest and actions must rightfully take place.

But here we come to the nub of the matter and that is the risk social and industrial agitation poses to the electoral prospects of the Labour Party. Occupying day centres and striking for work-life balance is OK as long as the Liberal Democrats or an Independent is in charge but not when it’s Labour.

Last year there was a scandal at Unison’s AGM as to whether Unison should affiliate to the anti-cuts groups – a no-brainer in anyone’s world assolidarity with people against the cuts should be ingrained. A self-appointed standing orders committee, which no one knew existed because it didn’t, ruled the motion incompetent. This year, the union’s members ruled their own representatives’ incompetent over a scandalous redundancy pay cut ballot stitch-up. And this was in front of a firebrand assistant general secretary, from head office, who was so embarrassed he didn’t know where to look.

Sorry, Roger McKenzie, that you had to see the union in such a sorry state.

AUDITORS SLAM ENERGY SHAMBLES

Even Bristol City Council’s own external auditors, BDO, have CONDEMNED the incompetent management of Bristol Energy, the council’s laughing stock energy reselling business that started trading in 2016 and has cost us about £25million so far.

“We have NOT seen evidence that the risks and potential financial losses of this investment were fully understood by the council when the investment was made in 2015 and 2016,” say the auditors before concluding, “Bristol Energy has NOT performed in line with its original 2015 business plan.”

This business plan, signed off by Nicki “Chocolate” Beardmore, the Reverend’s golden girl senior manager on £300k a year, said they would MAKE a 12% return on investment after 5 years and 35% after 10 years. Instead, the company reported a LOSS of £3million last year and £7million this year. With 110,000 customers and an initial investment of £15.3million by Bristol City Council, this means Bristolians have SPENT £139 for each customer and then Bristol Energy has generated a further LOSS of about £70 per customer. Top work!

BDO go on to conclude that a further hurriedly rewritten business plan in 2016, which admitted NO PROFITS were in sight, was also a lot of crap. “We have some concerns that the risks around the energy company, its governance arrangements and greater than expected losses were not understood fully by the Council in the early part of 2016/17.”

The auditors are now applauding the inevitable arrival of a team of CONSULTANTS from London to pick over the bones of this CORPSE and personally cash in on the shambles. “Independent Advisors and external consultants have been commissioned to provide advice on how the governance arrangements for the Group could be improved and financial and commercial advice to optimise value in the delivery of the Council’s investment and ensure that the Council achieves the best value for money outcome,” they claim.

When are we going to get a decent, decisive politician willing to pull the plug and shut down this miserable money pit shambles devised by idiots?

CITY OF SUFFERING 2018?

In a bizarre religious outburst at New Year, the Reverend Rees – who refuses to challenge Tory austerity and continues to cut essential public services at every opportunity – has told the city it should “GLORY IN SUFFERING”.

The Reverend’s New Year message, sent to Bristol City Council staff on 3 January, found him rambling on about “Bristol as a City of Hope”. “An aspiration I find compelling,” he told bemused staff before quoting something “I came across as a young man” from the BIBLE at them.

“We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope,” he explained. So that’s all right then. The Reverend Rees, with the assistance of his bible, has decided suffering is GOOD for us plebs.

So do be sure to CELEBRATE alongside the Reverend when his crappy austerity policies create further suffering this year won’t you? Although please be aware that the Reverend – with his two homes, a £65k salary and lots of foreign trips funded by us to look forward to – will NOT personally experience much of this suffering he’s so keen on.

Isn’t it time the local Labour Party stepped in and sorted this reactionary religious maniac out once and for all? It’s a basic Labour value that we COLLECTIVELY challenge and relieve suffering, not celebrate it for its supposed character building benefits to the INDIVIDUAL?

Come on Labour, deselect the deranged Thatcherite twat and give us a proper Labour mayor.

MEET THE UNION TRYING TO CON ITS MEMBERS

With all the class and integrity of a sleazy payday loan company, the Bristol Branch of Unison, which represents council workers, is BALLOTING its members.

They’re asking their members whether they want to accept the Reverend’s MEAN-SPIRITED changes to their terms and conditions. According to the council, the key changes the Reverend wants are to:

“Update the Council’s Managing Change Policy to strengthen the provisions in relation to redeployment and re-training and so reduce the need for staff to leave the Council on voluntary or compulsory redundancy. As part of these reforms, the maximum period of pay protection will be REDUCED from TWO YEARS to 12 MONTHS and the redundancy scheme will be REDUCED from TWICE to 1.5 TIMES the statutory minimum.”

However, on Unison’s website, where they’re supposed to communicate these proposals to their members and ask them to vote on them, the text has been SEVERELY CUT to say:

“Update the Council’s Managing Change Policy to strengthen the provisions in relation to redeployment and re-training and so reduce the need for staff to leave the Council on voluntary or compulsory redundancy.”

How convenient for the Reverend. The union best known for being a permanent fixture up his rectum has REMOVED the most controversial features of his proposals – and information that could cost their members a lot of money – and asked them to vote on a bland and vague proposal instead.

Unison members, don’t fall for this sleazy trade union/Labour Party STITCH-UP! Vote NO to the changes. All it will do is COST YOU MONEY – for NOTHING in return – if you get made redundant, which is increasingly likely as the Reverend  continues to deliver even more Tory cuts over the next year.

Unison members can vote here (while anyone else can view the union’s disgraceful sharp practice for themselves): http://www.unisonbristol.org.uk/bcc-consultation-proposed-changes-to-redundancy-and-pay-protection/