Tag Archives: Nicola Beech

REBEL WITH A CAUSE

YESTERDAY LABOUR’S FROME VALE COUNCILLOR, NICOLA BOWDEN-JONES DEFIED THE WHIP AND THE BULLIES IN HER PARTY TO VOTE AGAINST THE LABOUR BUDGET. HERE IS THE SPEECH SHE MADE, WHICH SHE HAS POSTED TO FACEBOOK:

Thank you Lord Mayor.When I was a child I watched war films with my Dad. I worried that if I faced the choice between following the pack whose collective actions were perilous to others, would my ethics be sufficient to enable me to stand alone. Today I test my own hypothesis.

So let’s get one thing straight, this Council rent freeze is nothing to do with coronavirus or helping people on low incomes. – Let’s be honest.

I’ve been at the Labour Group meetings where speaker after speaker supporting the freeze, starts by saying we shouldn’t raise rents in the run up to the election. Some don’t understand what a rent freeze means, rent is income, creating borrowing power, without which we restrict our ability to repair, regenerate, retrofit and build houses

Every four years they would ditch housing investment for votes. Do you know of any other business models where your 30 year plan is punctuated every 4 years by self-indulgence?

We are happy to put up council tax for the same people by 5%, yet apparently a 1.5% rent rise is too much for people to take even though the benefits system for both is the same. The report which went to cabinet, showed an enormous reduction in social rented housing. Because 30% of the future programme will now be shared ownershipA difficult decision for some members of the cabinet.

Difficult for Helen Godwin as cutting the social rented housing programme means, she is voting today to leave families in temporary accommodation for longer, we know they can’t afford shared ownership.

Difficult for Nicola Beech our staunch advocate for strong planning policy, she is voting for a form of shared ownership which doesn’t meet the planning department’s definition of affordable.

Difficult for Afzal Shah, because he is voting to take over £100m from the spending power of the housing department when there is a bill of £500m to retrofit homes to meet our carbon reduction target.

Difficult for cabinet members who have lived in council housing to remove an opportunity for those who now have that same need for a home -they once had.

Difficult for some of my colleagues who have been told they will not be able to stand in the May election if they vote to save our council housing.

Difficult to look at the finances and say there is an underspend. COVID means thousands of repairs have not been completed, or even reported. Have those repairs now disappeared with the vaccinations? Did we have a vaccination that made the damp, or broken windows, or leaking roofs disappear?

The money is only there because the repairs have not been done.

We must ask ourselves when will we be told that the challenges we have in sustaining council housing can only be solved by public private partnerships, public -private partnership read privatisation?

We should not put votes before ensuring our tenants have warm, safe and well maintained homes.

We should not put a headline on a leaflet or a tweet, before building social rented, yes social rented not shared ownership, homes for the thousands of families in temporary accommodation or insecure, expensive private lettings.

Actually it’s not difficult. There are a thousand children in our city in temporary accommodation. The choice today is clear, vote for their future, the future that many years ago someone was brave enough to give you. The future of our cities council housing and not its decay.

ONE RULE FOR THEM …

Dim Labour cabinet member for women, children and young people, Councillor Helen “Oh My” Godwin has come up with an INTERESTING WHEEZE.

She’s demanding a new maternity leave policy from the council, which would mean that councillors have BETTER maternity benefits and pay than their council employee plebs. This is the same Oh My Godwin who told Full Council in 2016 that she wouldn’t support a cost of living increase in councillor expenses while people were LOSING THEIR JOBS!

No doubt it’s just a coincidence that her friend and Labour cabinet colleague Nicola “La La” Beech is just about to pop off and have a sprog? And if the new rules are passed then La La would be entitled to these ENHANCED maternity benefits through her £40k a year councillors wedge.

Isn’t it nice to see senior Labour councillors looking after themselves so well?

SELLING OUT, CASHING IN

It’s not taken long for Labour councillors in Bristol to get their feet under the table and use their large new majority on the council to begin the enormous political challenge of, er, lining up LUCRATIVE CONTRACTS and work for their employers!

 Please step forward Craig “MR CRAPITA” Cheney, a junior employee of hellish public sector contractors and serial outsourcing cock-up artists CAPITA. He currently masquerades part time as ‘Cabinet Member for Finance, Governance and Performance’, wandering aimlessly around the Counts Louse accompanied by a chorus of whispers of “this one’s totally out of his depth isn’t he”?

 But now it looks like Mr Crapita has taken his first key decision. To appoint a new Treasury consultancy team from, er, CAPITA!

The Treasury team basically takes decisions around borrowing and investments at the council. Although why a private firm at a further COST to us now needs to do this work rather than the council’s highly paid “EXPERT” in-house finance bosses is not made clear by Mr Crapita, who is yet to publicise his self-serving, private sector career-enhancing decision.

Meanwhile on 24 November at the Counts Louse, the Rev Rees PERSONALLY HOSTED ‘The Big Conversation: Development by Bristol City Council’.

“Help shape the future development of Bristol,” gushed the publicity, squarely aimed at big money CORPORATE DEVELOPMENT INTERESTS who were promised ACCESS to not only the Rev Rees but the opportunity to “Join Cabinet Lead for Homes and communities Councillor Paul Smith; Cabinet Lead for Place Councillor Helen Holland; and Cabinet member for Transport, Councillor Mark Bradshaw.”

Among the agenda items was ‘De-risking the development process and the role of planning’. Presumably the aim being to simplify things for corporates wanting to BUILD SHIT quick for a FAST BUCK in Bristol? However, what really caught the eye about this event, held at the Counts Louse with Bristol Labour politicians and Bristol City Council bosses in attendance was that it wasn’t organised by Bristol City Council.

Instead, THIS INVITATION-ONLY EVENT to meet influential senior Labour politicians and council bosses for “TABLE DISCUSSIONS” was organised by a corporate lobbying firm, JBP. Who happen to specialise in … Wait for it … “complex planning and construction projects in retail, house building and major infrastructure development.”

How terribly cosy for all involved. Even more so when you realise that the JBP employee who organised the event at the council was one Nicola “LA LA” Beech. La La, when she’s not shilling for corporate development interests, also happens to be a LABOUR COUNCILLOR for St George Central!

It’s a small world isn’t it?