Tag Archives: Monitoring Officer

KNOWLE PARTY POOPED!

Councillor Gary Hopkins now leader of an imaginary political party (watercolour & crayon, 2013, Guriben)

Another big shout out to “L’il” Tim O’Gara, the half-trained lawyer and full time posh twit the Rees administration has made their Head of Legal and Monitoring Officer.

At the Annual Full Council meeting on 24 May, L’il Tim presented a report to councillors, ‘Allocation of Committee Seats 2022-23’. The purpose of this was to “review and approve the allocation of seats on committees in accordance with the statutory requirements concerning political balance.”

According to L’il Tim, Gary Hopkins’ whacky new political vehicle, the Knowle Community Party, were entitled to an allocation of 2.86% of seats on committees because they had two out of seventy councillors.

Hence Hopkins and his Knowle sidekick Christopher “Copper” Davies nabbed a seat on the Communities Scrutiny Commission, the Resources Scrutiny Commission and the Public Safety and Protection Committee.

All well and good except for one small detail. There’s no such thing as the ‘Knowle Community Party’ as a simple check on the Electoral Commission’s Register of Political Parties confirms. This means the Knowle duo are actually sitting as unaligned independent councillors.

They are therefore entitled to an allocation of the square root of fuck all of committee seats!

WECXIT

dan-norris signing off
The WECA man signs a few more cheques for departing staff

All is not well in world of WECA, the fucked up reinvention of Avon that’s under the notional control of Labour’s loopey Metro Mayor, Dan “The WECA Man” Norris.

Our newswire has been throbbing with gossip that there’s been a number of senior exits from the organisation. All accompanied by non-disclosure agreements and large non-contractual pay-offs, possibly in excess of the £74k forked out last year on a couple of generous exit packages.

Among those ‘disappeared’ is our old Bundred friend, now WECA Monitoring Officer, Shahzia “Dim” Daya. Her latest political crisis occurred a few months back when she incorrectly advised The Weca Man that he had a right of veto over the decisions of the obscure ‘West of England Joint Committee’.

Other senior bosses following Dim Daya out of the door include senior directors Malcolm Coe and David Carter,  Jason Humm, Head of Transport, Ruth Wilmshurst, Head of Comms and Scrutiny Manager Ian Hird.

This leaves weirdo WECA Chief Exec, Patricia “Psycho” Greer, to further consolidate the uninterrupted power and influence she enjoys over the Metro Mayor position. Greer – whose corporate culture is “like something out of a Hieronymous Bosch painting” – is well known for denying officers any access to the mayor. Insisting that everything goes through her instead. A situation former mayor, Tory Tim Bowels, and now the WECA Man seem comfortable with.

Word is, as long as the WECA Man has some PR red meat to throw at the public, he doesn’t much care what’s going on with the staff.

‘VOTE HOW WE SAY OR ELSE’ SENIOR COUNCIL BOSSES TELL COUNCILLORS

Bristol City Council’s country bumpkin Monitoring Officer, Labour-supporting and Marvin-loving “L’ll” Tim O’Gara who, as far as we can tell, learned his local government law via some scam correspondence course based somewhere in Latvia (‘Easy obtaining of the degree from the world famous Oxbridge University’), has instructed councillors not to vote against the Reverend’s budget because they could end up in court! He’s joined in this fool’s errand of blatant political interference and bullying by council finance boss Denise “Disease” Murray.

In a letter, sent today, to all councillors regarding Tuesday’s budget meeting that the Reverend doesn’t have a majority to force through, L’il Tim and Disease also instruct democratically elected councillors on how they should vote:

“In practice, if councillors do not wish to support the Mayor’s budget then councillors should consider recording their lack of support by abstaining from the vote on those parts of the budget that they do not support.

THE CONSEQUENCES OF VOTING AGAINST THE BUDGET (rather than abstaining) COULD BE LEGAL. FINANCIAL AND REPUTATIONAL” [our emphasis]

They then sign-off their piece of anti-democratic legalistic mumbo-jumbo with a charming threat:

“If it can be demonstrated that councillors acted deliberately to prevent the council from setting a balanced budget, then this could be seen as a breach of the Member Code of Conduct.”

Are this pair of unelected jackarses threatening to discipline our elected councillors who don’t vote the way they’ve told them to?

I think we should be told. Preferably in their resignation letters to the people of Bristol first thing Monday.

Letter 1
Letter 2
letter 3

WET AND WEAK MONITORING OFFICER DROPS HIS TROUSERS AND BENDS OVER FOR THE MAYOR AGAIN

O'Gara

“L’il” Tim O’Gara, the city council’s weak and woolly Monitoring Officer, is at it again.

Richly rewarded to be a tough and independent voice at the council, keeping the Mayor, councillors and staff in line and acting according to the council’s constitution and policies, “L’il” Tim has consistently failed at this. Instead he has carved out a reputation for doing whatever the mayor tells him, regardless of propriety or the law.

Among his many handiworks has been turning a blind eye to the Reverend’s lack of any apparent open sale or procurement process as our valuable land at Arena Island is handed over to pension fund L&G. They will develop the land at a considerable profit to themselves while lumbering us with a 40 year rental charge for an already obsolete office block they intend to build.

O’Gara was also behind hiding vital Bristol Energy documents, such as dodgy business plans and realistic accounts, from the councillors and the public. A dumb practice only helpful to the Reverend, keen to hide his fundamental incompetence, now condemned by the council’s auditors. “L’il” Tim’s work almost certainly helped the shambolic energy reseller run up a £43m debt for council taxpayers.

Now we learn “L’il” Tim has turned his attention to next week’s motion before the Full Council to have a referendum on whether we should continue to have a mayor. And “L’il” Tim has helpfully allowed the Reverend to table an amendment to the Lib Dem’s motion stating that the alternative to the Mayor should be a leader and Cabinet system not the committee system requested by the Lib Dems.

This is odd because last year, when the Lib Dems put in a similar motion, proposing a leader and cabinet system, the Greens tabled an amendment to change it to a committee system. Only for O’Gara to pop up and dismiss the Greens stating it was a “wrecking amendment”. 
So what’s changed now? Apart from it’s the Reverend (who O’Gara’s shit scared of) tabling this latest and similar amendment?

Why is some weak and useless tosspot of a Monitoring Officer allowed to be entirely partisan and fuck about with our city’s democracy like this? With his limited legal skills, mental weakness and poor character, might “L’il” Tim be better suited to provincial house conveyancing practice rather than to the political cut and thrust of a core city local authority where the bullies and thugs tend to congregate at the top?

“L’il!” Tim is a wimp and a coward and he now really needs to fuck off before he does any more damage to our city.

WHISTLEBLOWER TAKES A GAMBLE ON ‘CORRUPT’ COUNCIL BOSS

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Why did every Bristol City Councillor receive an email in early June announcing that Bristol City Council’s latest Monitoring Officer, “L’il” Tim O’Gara, responsible for preventing corruption at our council is, er, CORRUPT? The tale begins with Tim’s old boss, Sheena Ramsey, at Worcester County Council. She arrived at Worcester in 2015 from Knowsley, Merseyside soon after SILENCING A WHISTLEBLOWER by bullying them into early retirement.

This whistleblower, Mike Fagan, had revealed that Knowsley’s Labour council leader, Ron “A” Round’s grandson had been appointed as a trainee at the council without going through any formal recruitment procedure. Mr Fagan was promptly offered EARLY RETIREMENT that came, he says, with “veiled threats of DIRE CONSEQUENCES should I refuse to accept it.”

When Mr Fagan discovered Sheena Ramsey had been APPOINTED as “Managing Director” at Worcester, he contacted councillors, “naively, expecting councillors at Worcester would insist that Sheena respond to my allegations with a denial and even threaten to take action against me for libel.”  

However, things didn’t go to plan as O’Gara moved into full EMERGENCY EXECUTIVE ARSE-COVERING MODE for Ramsey, taking the lead on the issue and refusing to engage with Mr Fagan, despite realising early on that the allegations against Ramsay were ENTIRELY TRUE. L’il Tim, we’re told, was obstructive over FOI requests on the matter and publicly smeared Mr Fagan as “VEXATIOUS”.

L’il Tim also made these claims regarding Mr Fagan to the Information Commissioner (ICO) and wasn’t clear about the source of misinformation he provided to them. Although he WITHDREW ANY CLAIMS and denied having any information about Mr Fagan when confronted at an ICO tribunal. L’il Tim got away with all this as the ICO decided he had not committed a criminal offence in the way he handled the case. Although we’re told, “his actions would be adjudged corrupt on any ‘BALANCE OF PROBABILITY’ assessment”.

It’s therefore unlikely L’il Tim will be providing any explanation to Bristol’s councillors in a hurry. Instead the Reverend’s Head of Paid Service, Mike “Billie Jean” Jackson has dealt with the matter by forwarding to councillors a letter from Worcester smearing Mr Fagan as – wait for it – “VEXATIOUS” and announcing, “Bristol City Council now considers this matter to be closed”.

However, the pair of self-serving Bristol executives are in a bit of an awkward bind here. Should L’il Tim threaten to sue, as he should do to clear his name, he runs the enormous risk of being caught LYING. If he simply denies the claims, he runs the risk of getting SUED by the complainant. Hence we find Billie Jean trying to brush the matter aside with a crude NON-DENIAL DENIAL DEVICE obtained from Worcester. Although this letter is already attracting robust legal threats from Mr Fagan who has evidence from the ICO that states he is not “vexatious”.

Mr Fagan has now written again to councillors saying, “I am so confident that Mr O’Gara will refuse to deny his corruption that I can make the following offer. If the matter is investigated properly by the Council and in the event of my allegations not being upheld by such an investigation; I SHALL MAKE A DONATION OF £50,000 TO THE MAYOR’S FUND FOR BRISTOL“!

This sounds like easy money for a charity. A simple investigation into L’il Tim clearing him of the allegations against him and the charity banks £50k. That is unless our Monitoring Officer, responsible for tackling corruption at the council, is UNABLE TO DENY ON THE RECORD that he’s corrupt?

Happy days.

HEAD BOY SALARY SHAME EXPOSED

molton

The Reverend’s next large-sums-of-cash-needlessly-handed-to-bosses SCANDAL stepped up a gear in January when the council’s HR Committee DEMANDED that council boss Mike “Billie Jean” Jackson advertise the post of Executive Director – Growth & Regeneration “WITH IMMEDIATE EFFECT”.

The committee also asked that their views “REGARDING THE PROCESSES WHICH HAD BEEN FOLLOWED for the appointment to the role of Interim Executive Director – Growth & Regeneration, be raised with the Chair, Vice-Chair and Independent Member of the Audit Committee.”

This is all about a report requested by Green Councillor Paula “Mickey” O’Rourke and produced by the council’s latest legal boss, “L’il” Tim O’Gara, into the ongoing employment of Colin “Head Boy” Molton on £1,500 A DAY as Interim Executive Director – Growth & Regeneration since September 2017.

Obviously, the contents of this report are A CLOSELY GUARDED SECRET, but we’re happy to tell you what it contains. Basically, Bristol City Council have FAILED to follow their own procedures in relation to Head Boy’s employment and this senior officer appointment has NEVER been authorised by either Full Council or the HR Committee as the council’s constitution requires.

Unfortunately it’s unclear, at present, who agreed the ongoing employment of Head Boy outside the rules and on HIS OWN HIGHLY LUCRATIVE PERSONAL TERMS beyond anything he could earn as an authorised employee of Bristol City Council. Instead the council claim they are UNABLE TO LOCATE ANY DOCUMENT ANYWHERE authorising Molton’s appointment although, “it’s highly likely his £1,500 daily charge is regularly signed off by HR and Workforce twit, John “Bedwetter” Walsh,” says our source.

So far Head Boy and his patron, the Reverend Rees, are kicking the can down the road on this issue and Head Boy’s job is YET TO BE ADVERTISED as it needs to be. Are close friends Head Boy and the Reverend arrogantly digging their heels in, believing SELF-STYLED CITY LEADERS are above the little people’s public sector employment rules?

Watch this space …

ARENA CONFLICT: CLOWN PRINCE

bristolarenaindex

Nigel “Independent” Greenhalgh’s blatant CONFLICT OF INTEREST was raised by Tory councillor Geoff “Cods” Gollop at the cabinet meeting on 3 September. The meeting where the Reverend cancelled the Temple Island Arena in favour of an office development on the site.

Cods Gollop was given a note by the Reverend’s NEW CLOWN PRINCE of the council’s legal department, “Uncle” Quentin Baker, another temp brought in to oversee a senior post of some significance in Rees’s administration.

And in a classic NON-DENIAL DENIAL, Uncle Quentin explained to Gollop: “The relevant officer [Greenhlagh] has confirmed that he hasn’t previously been employed by YTL as was alleged in the press and [a council] scrutiny meeting.”

Er, except no such thing was ever alleged in the press. The allegation was that Greenhalgh had worked for CRIBBS PATCHWAY NEW NEIGHBOURHOOD and was still working for CRIBBS URBAN VILLAGE. Both organisations that stood to gain from an arena at Filton.

This piece of non-denial denial bollocks from Uncle Quentin seems to have satisfied most Bristol City Councillors. Most Bristolians, however, are in a state of ABSOLUTE DISBELIEF that Greenhalgh has been paid by them to produce a report TRASHING their arena at Temple Island and promoting one at Filton, when he stands to financially benefit from the decision.

Again, in many countries, The Reverend, Head Boy and Greenhalgh would now be spending a considerable amount of time with law enforcement agencies DISCUSSING CORRUPTION.

Unfortunately the UK is not one of those countries.

BIG WEDGE’S BULLY SHAME

The Reverend with his Bully-in-Chief

WAS REES RUNNING A BULLYING CULTURE FROM THE TOP AT BRISTOL CITY COUNCIL?

Why has the council’s chief lawyer and Bundred crook, Shahzia “Dim” Daya started threatening councillors with legal action if they discuss the recently departed council Chief Exec Anna “Big Wedge” Klonowski with the press?

Total mystery surrounds the sudden RESIGNATION of the Reverend Rees’s representative on Earth and chief bag carrier. Big Wedge, barely six months into a role filling her boots with extraordinary sums of public cash while leading an inane “improvement journey” at the council quit on Monday 4 September for “family reasons” taking a payoff reputedly in the region of £70k. What for?

This, so the story goes, is because Big Wedge suddenly discovered her parents were seriously ill and she needed to to look after them. We can only sympathise with this SUDDEN and SIMULTANEOUS deterioration of these executive parents, both of whose health apparently collapsed in the six months since Big Wedge began her latest well remunerated public sector “improvement journey”.

No doubt Big Wedge watchers are pleased that she’s continued to display her remarkably ordinary intellect and way with a tired old cliche to the very end. Isn’t quitting for “family reasons” a hackneyed old code in political circles for “JUMPING BEFORE I’M PUSHED“? So what has Big Wedge really been up to?

Creating and running a systematic BULLYING CULTURE at the top of the council is what. We understand that in early September a letter began circulating claiming that Big Wedge had personally bullied 14 Service Directors out of Bristol City Council over the last year and had then paid them off to keep them silent.

Intrigued, a local reporter called the council’s PR department where they were greeted with barely-concealed PANIC at the mention of Big Wedge and bullying. The reporter was promised they would receive a call back with a statement. Obviously this never came.

Instead, for the rest of the week, local newspaper editors received regular calls from various senior bosses and PR types at the council BEGGING them not to run any bullying stories in relation to Big Wedge. Then – after a weekend, apparently considering her position – Big Wedge announced the following Monday morning she was quitting “for family reasons”. Coincidence or wot?

What’s even stranger, however, is why the Reverend and Big Wedge ever thought bullying bosses out of the organisation and paying large compensation packages was necessary? (Were they getting a kick out of bullying their staff?) Because didn’t they have a brand new INDEPENDENT REPORT (kept secret from us) into their managers’ conduct around financial management in 2015 – 16 and the unlawful budget set in 2016?

So why wasn’t this report used as the basis for DISCIPLINARY ACTION against these bosses? This would have saved us a fortune and ensured none of these crooks ever worked in local government again. Surely a win-win?

Or maybe this secret report contains some rather more uncomfortable facts that need to remain secret? For example, Klonowski started working in a SENIOR ROLE in finance at Bristol City Council in 2015. What exactly did she know about HIDDEN DEBTS and UNLAWFUL BUDGETS?

Similarly, council lawyer Shahzia “Dim” Daya, who’s still got her feet firmly under the table at the Counts Louse and is now threatening councillors all over again, OVERSAW the council budget meeting in 2016 where an unlawful budget was set with her FULL KNOWLEDGE. Alison “Three Jobs” Comley – still raking in a six figure sum – also knew all about the unlawful budget, according to PUBLISHED MINUTES, and she continues in post trashing parks and unlawfully refusing to house the homeless.

Then there’s the pair of BENT CHIEF INTERNAL AUDITORS who knew lots and lots about unachieved savings and inaccurate reports to councillors. They, too, are still collecting generous salaries for their mendacity and failure.

Isn’t it time the Reverend published his secret new report into his bent bosses so we can find out what’s been going on inside his useless council and we can sort it out if he can’t?

NB. Any legal threats in relation to this article to the Bristolian’s email please.

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.

CALLING PEOPLE “A DISEASE” IS INCLUSIVE SAY COUNCIL LAWYERS

Members of the public who complained about our idiot Lord Mayor, Jeff “CUNT” Lovell, calling them “a disease” for attending the council budget meeting in February have received a response from a couple of the council’s useless lawyers, Pauline “Cow” Cowley and Nancy “Boy” Rollason. Is this because Lord Mayor Cunt is too much of a PUSSY to respond himself?

Cowley and Rollason – who signs off as ‘Head of Legal’ – explain that they are writing on BEHALF of the Monitoring Officer, Shahzia “DIM” Daya, who “determined the issue” before disappearing on long term SICK LEAVE!

So why’s she off sick all of a sudden? Is Dim Daya’s oversight of last year’s budget and the CRIMINALITY involved finally catching up with her? And why is her colleague now Head of Legal? Has Dim Daya been relieved of some of her duties by any chance?

Naturally Daya’s response is FARCICAL. The dim one explains that “the complaint centres on the interpretation of phrases used by Lord Mayor Jeff Lovell”. No shit Sherlock! Although it’s a pity that Daya then doesn’t bother to identify – let alone interpret – any of Cunt Lovell’s phrases before concluding he used “language that is designed to foster an INCLUSIVE atmosphere”!

The rest of the letter is a load of irrelevant CARPING from the lawyers about conduct in the public gallery at the meeting, which nobody’s complained about.

How do these overpaid fuckers get away with producing this shit?

The full correspondence is below:

Complaint to Monitoring Officer regarding Jouncillor Jeff Lovell

Date of Complaint                           24 February 2017

Name of Complainant

Allegation against                           Councillor Jeff Lovell

Nature of Allegation                        Disgraced the office

 

Outcome: The Monitoring Officer can decide either that

  • no action should be taken (with reasons) or

  • refer the matter for investigation or

  • take other action (including mediation or training).

Details: This complaint relates to the behaviour of the Councillor Jeff Lovell at Full Council meeting on 21 February 2017

Decision: No further action to be taken

Reasons for the decision:

I have viewed the web cast from 20 minutes on. The webcast shows the chair, Lord Mayor Jeff Powell managing the budget presentation by the Mayor. The complaint outlined in the email of 24 February centres on the interpretation of phrases used by Lord Mayor Jeff Lovell, acting as Chair in this meeting.

I note that prior to the alleged incident, there were a number of interruptions from the public gallery, starting at 21 minutes. These last on average half a minute. There are at least 9 interruptions which affect the delivery of the budget by the Mayor. Swearing is audible at times, although this subsided to low level heckling.

Throughout, the chair demonstrates a desire to run the meeting efficiently and with due process. He uses a tone that is polite firm and fair and uses language that is designed to foster an inclusive atmosphere. He gave repeated warnings and an explanation of the powers of the Chair.

I do appreciate that this was an emotive meeting and that people wished to protest against cuts, the outcome of which would mean changes over which they have little control.

Shahzia Daya, Interim Monitoring Officer, Bristol City Council

27 March 2017