Tag Archives: Marvin Rees

L&G WATCH

L&G Downing Street

We recently ran a story on our website about the relationship between L&G, who the Reverend Rees is gifting Arena island to, and the Tory government under Theresa May. Now we learn that the global pension player turned property developer continues to maintain strong links to the Tories under Johnson.

A Freedom of Information request to the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government, contains an account of a meeting between the Minister for Housing and Planning, Esther McVey, and L&G on 27 January 2020. Topics included the greenbelt. L&G got to tell the Tory minister, “the entire country was not for protecting the Green Belt as a blanket rule”.

They also got to express concern about “the planning capability of local authorities,” stating they would pay a premium to get planning applications fast tracked. Explaining, “when large scale developments are delayed by slow decision making, the financial cost of delay is greater than it would cost to contribute to planning upscaling”.

McVey agreed to “take this point onboard as she considers further work”. Meanwhile, “the Minister was eager to know what L&G thought government has to do to speed up the release of public land”!

On the plus side, at least Tory ministers take minutes. Unlike BCC who gave Arena Island away at a private unminuted meeting at L&G’s offices in London attended by Rees’s dodgy property supremo Colin “Headboy” Molton, now at WECA.

Closer to home, the council has just published a VEAP for their Arena Island deal. A document used to avoid legal action by acknowledging they may have acted unlawfully in terms of regulation.

Tells us all we need to know about Rees’s shit deal with L&G

DEMOCRACY WATCH

democracy

Some tittle-tattle about the Labour Party and the mayoral referendum: a little birdy tells us Bristol Labour never passed a motion through their internal processes about any of it. Therefore the membership never confirmed that they supported having mayor in Bristol. 

Instead, it seems,Labour councillors and members were instructed by the Reverend and his team to support a mayor for Bristol in a referendum all about, er, democracy and whether one person in the city making all the decisions was a good idea?

This may explain why few Labour members bothered to campaign and the Reverend suffered a crushing defeat.

Isn’t this also something a decent local journalist might have bothered to ask some questions about during the campaign? 

CREATIVE ANTI-UNION NETWORK

Sandy-scaled
Bufton-Tufton: posh bloke who hates uppity workers?

There was a bit of a fuss recently after the Reverend instructed one of his idiot sidemen, Craig “Crapita” Cheney to veto a multimillion WECA grant to the Creative Youth Network, the former protectorate of failed Green mayoral candidate, Sandy “Bufton-Tufton” Hore-Ruthven.

Unfortunately the Reverend was unable to personally deal the deathblow to the grant himself as he was otherwise indisposed. Destroying the planet by jetting to Vancouver to deliver a live and pointless TED Talk for the benefit of billionaire clown Elon Musk.

A lot of people are claiming the veto was revenge by the Reverend on Bufton-Tufton for daring to run against him in last year’s election. And there may be some truth in this. However, trade unionists can take a small crumb of comfort from the Reverend’s latest display of thin skinned pettiness.

Mark-Coates
‘Mussolini’ Coates leading ‘Rainbow Lanyards Against the Workers’

Because, we learn that, during his time as CEO at the Creative Youth Network, the city’s great Green progressive alternative, Bufton-Tufton, consistently refused to enter into a voluntary  recognition agreement with a union. Instead, in typical Tory bully boss-with-head-up-his-arse style, Bufton-Tufton told the union that their services weren’t required as he had set up a staff forum where staff could raise any issues they had. 

No doubt, Bufton-Tufton’s “door was always open” too? So far, Creative Youth’s new chief exec, Oxbridge twit, Mark “Mussolini” Coates, hasn’t done anything to change Creative Youth’s robustly anti-union approach either.

Hands up who gives a toss if this kind of right wing shit is turned down for grants from the public purse?

WOMAN COINING IT

Bamford
Bamford: coining it

With the ink freshly dried on Bristol City Council’s pay policy, we’re pleased to reveal the first City Council worker we’ve discovered breaking it. Please step up, er. Stepping Up Director, Christine “Wonky* Bamford. She’s the lucky recipient on the receiving end of a trail of payments of over £22k a month to run the Reverend’s scheme to promote more black people into management roles at the council. 

Rather than paying someone around £50k a year to run their pet project, the Reverend and his cabinet sidekick, Asher “The Slasher” Craig, have decided that they need to fork out in excess of £250k a year of our money to Stanford educated HR wonk, Bamford instead.

The route the council has chosen to take to pay Wonky is intriguing. Rather than running a competitive recruitment process to appoint a proper member of staff, the council is paying a procurement firm, Bloom, over £22k a month to pay London-based recruitment firm Davidson and Partners, a firm with no employees. It then appears that this recruitment firm pay a fee to Wonky, who describes herself as Davidson and Partners’ ‘Head of Talent and Leadership Development’.  

The stench of tax efficient payments is strong with this one. Although it doesn’t stop there. Training fees for Stepping Up totalling £30k were also paid to a company called Smart People Solutions back in 2020. And the owner of Smart People solutions? Please step forward Christine “Wonky” Bamford.

Yet another of Wonky’s network of firms is Women’s Coin, a cryptocurrency firm “for social good”. Wonky is listed as the CEO of this firm. While Asher “The Slasher”, the cabinet member responsible for Stepping Up and its odd approach to the employment and pay of Wonky, has been appointed chair of Wonky’s firm’s charitable wing, the Women’s Coin Foundation.

All very cosy!

WHATEVER HAPPENED TO MINI-ME?

The power of the Bristolian?

After our sensational interview on Bristol Unpacked with Neil “Maitlis” Maggs a strange thing happened. When asked about the Reverend’s ridiculous personal assistant “Slo” Kev Slocombe we pointed out that he came across as a bit of weirdo, always lurking behind the Reverend like a Marvin mini-me with a hand stuck up the mayor’s arse. Here he is lurking around behind the Reverend at a council meeting earlier this year:

Mini me 1


Then lo and behold after our live radio broadside, here’s a photo of a more recent council meeting:

Mini me 2

Where’s mini-me gone?

LABOUR BLAMES ELECTION BELLYFLOP ON NON-EXISTENT MIDDLE CLASSES

 A crap win, by just 52 votes over the Greens, by Labour’s self-styled working class hero Kye “The” Dudd at the Southmead by-election had The Dudd’s team reaching for their copies of The Labour Party Book of Crap Excuses. Divide and misrule was the excuse of choice.

‘Gentrification’ was to blame, announced local Labour mastermind ‘Slo’ Kev Slocombe. Pesky unidentified incomers and the damned middle classes of, er, Southmead voting Green instead of Labour like proper working class people do were to blame. 

Labour also claimed that their core vote on Southmead’s long-neglected council estate had held firm. So firm that less than 9 per cent of people living in a solid Labour ward based around a council estate voted for them. The former Labour heartland now enters ultra-marginal territory with the Green Party likely to seize the ward at the next election in 2024. 

Is it time for the Rees administration to stop lecturing us about how working class they are and, maybe, start actually spending some bloody money on working class voters in the suburbs? Rather than pouring all the city’s cash into corporate coffers to fund big projects in the centre, attractive and convenient for the city’s real gentrifiers. The wealthy white professionals who dominate the inner city and the management of our local institutions.

Has The Dudd got the message that Rees and his corporate gentrification agenda need a hard kick up the arse?

“TUNNELS MAY WELL BE NEEDED”

tunnel
A tunnel, which you won’t be seeing in Bristol

The Reverend’s grandest of grand plans to build an underground for Bristol continues to chug along in its own deranged manner as his proclaimed start date for the build, 2024, looms nearer.

The latest word from Metro Mayor Dan “The Weca Man” Norris, who holds many of the purse strings for this imaginary project, is that “tunnels may well be needed”. In the context of this project’s magical thinking and total non-delivery, this statement of the obvious should be considered considerable progress. 

After all, who needs anything like an expert feasibility study for this biggest of big projects when we’ve got Dan The Weca Man bringing his searing insight and expertise to the table? 

With the Labour A-Team of the Reverend and the Weca Man so well informed and on top of detail what can possibly go right with this project?

Watch this space and, in the meantime, keep taking the bus

INFAMY! INFAMY! IT’S A WECA MAN CONSPIRACY!

dan-norris signing off
Dan signs off road that is ‘a conspiracy theory’

News that the government is handing WECA over £500m to give to First Bus (surely to “transform regional transport infrastrucure”? Ed) has got our brand new Metro Mayor Dan “The Weca Man” Norris hyperventilating with joy.

However a closer look at the plans reveals most of this money will be going into so-called “transport corridors” to develop more bloody Metrobus routes. The Metrobus having been conveniently redesignated from public laughing stock to “a step change in public transport” by the WECA Man’s optimistic transport bods.

An even closer look reveals the majority of the money may well be splurged on just one route – ‘The Bristol – Bath A4 Corridor’ in the jargon. Does this mean that on-off plans to build the Callington Road Link that would take cars off the A4 Bath Road and along the route of the disused North Somerset Railway line between Sandy Park and Callington Road are back on?

This a road scheme that the Reverend and his Labour councillors, taking time off from pretending that Brislington Meadows won’t have housing built on it by Homes England, deny is happening and have described it to locals as “a Lib Dem conspiracy theory”! 

Not a theory at all, however, according to WECA’s Public Transport Manager Phil Wright who confirmed on Twitter in the autumn that the road plan is very much under consideration again.

Is there a WECA conspiracy against Marvin’s Bristol Labour?

DIVIDE AND RULE

Even by the Reverend’s underpowered standards, this year’s State of the City Address – where Rees shows up Bristol University’s Great Hall and delivers a lecture like a ponce  – had very little to say. 

The big policy announcement from this re-elected Mayor basking in second term glory with the city at his feet was, er, a plan to possibly close Park Street to traffic.

However, this bizarre little observation hidden in among the weeds of Reverend’s rambling caught our eye:

“In September’s Full Council, three people made statements, in turn. The first argued against housebuilding on Western Slopes and urban sprawl. The second, concerned about private rents, told me to sort out the housing crisis – that would require me to build homes. The third made a statement against children living in tall buildings and there is of course a wider campaign against height.

I suggested that they all need to talk to each other. All three made an argument, that to be solved, required compromise from the other two.

It’s fine to point at me but what’s needed is a city conversation.”

State of the City Address, 21 October 2021

In other words, leave me alone to make money licking wealthy arse and you argue between yourselves suckers