Tag Archives: Nicola Yates

I SPY BENT COUNCIL BOSSES

News is emerging that paranoid loons Mayor No More Ferguson, his Chief Exec – the revolting Nicola “Lady Gaga” Yates – and their Business Change buffoon Max Wide “Boy” set up an ILLEGAL SURVEILLANCE and SPY NETWORK across the council to snoop on staff and, possibly, others. The system may have even have been used to spy on elected representatives.

A low-key council report tells us that in 2015, Wide Boy, the Strategic Director for Business Change, took the decision to introduce a DLP (Data Loss Prevention) system to the council. This was after a series of what Wide Boy paranoically described as “UNAUTHORISED LEAKAGES of information outside of the Council”.

Wide Boy identified a DLP system that could track ‘tagged’ documents on computers and record the movement of emails. He then SECRETLY DEPLOYED it on some – as yet – unknown computers at the council and, maybe, beyond. We understand “particular groups” were targeted based on “the level of sensitive data they could access”.

Following the TOP SECRET installation of the DLP, a member of staff complained. Their representations included claims that Wide Boy’s spy network was ILLEGAL because the system was deployed IN SECRET without the targets’ knowledge.

The original allegations were investigated by the council’s Data Protection Officer at the time and she recommended a further review, which is now complete. The new review concludes that data protection LAW WAS BROKEN because “the implementation of the system was not open and not communicated to those affected”.

So-say “SWIFT CORRECTIVE ACTION” has now been taken and a decision taken to ‘switch off’ and uninstall the system while all data collected by the system “has been/will be (sic) deleted”.

However, questions around ABUSE of RIPA (Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act) laws by Wide Boy and Lady Gaga – who were supposed to use and regulate these powers for the council – appear to have been glossed over. As has the question of whether council bosses SPIED on elected councillors, partner organisations or members of the public.

Presumably this is so that the involvement of Inspector Knacker and m’learned friends is NOT REQUIRED?

Yet.

AUDIT UPDATE: BUNDRED EXPOSES BENT CHIEF AUDITORS

We don’t like to say that we told you so, but … We told you so! That staggering pair of arseholes, Alison “Mullet” Mullis and Melanie “Joe” Henchy-McCarthy, Bristol City Council’s Chief Internal Auditors – who are supposed to protect our money at the council – have been EXPOSED as BENT and USELESS by the council’s ‘Bundred Report’ into its dodgy finance reporting.

According to independent investigator Steve “Sticky” Bundred, the pair of idiot auditors gave the basketcase ‘Single Change Programme’ – that was supposed to deliver £64 million worth of corporate savings to the council by March 2017 and didn’t  – a clean bill of health and a ‘GOOD‘ rating in July 2015. Although it was plainly apparent, even then, to anyone allowed to look that it wasn’t delivering the savings that it should.

While the two auditors researched their report in the summer of 2015, Sticky Bundred tells us that the man in charge of the savings, strategic director Max Wide “Boy”, had “developed SERIOUS DOUBTS about the achievability of the planned savings …   as [his] Directorate was clearly failing to deliver savings expected from investment in commercial property.”

Bundred also says, “These CONCERNS were apparently expressed by [Wide Boy] to the then City Director [Nicola “Lady Gaga” Yates] in a one to one meeting on 13 July 2015 and again in a presentation to an SLT (senior leadership team) awayday.”

Bundred further notes, “on 11 June 2015 the Service Director, HR [Richard Billingham] and the Service Director, Business Change and ICT  [Paul “Arrogant” Arrigoni] met with the then City Director [Gaga] and the Strategic Director, Business Change [Wide Boy] to express concerns that benefits from the Change Programme were “DRIFTING“.”

So how did these two audit experts and super-sleuths employed by us to protect our money miss these OBVIOUS signs of a big problem in a programme they were investigating and manage to rate it as ‘GOOD‘ to councillors on the Audit Committee instead? Who knows? Because the Reverend Rees, so far, can’t be arsed to find out and neither can his Audit Committee.

Our intrepid auditors then went on to do a further investigation, specifically into the financial benefits of the ‘Single Change Programme’ in August 2015. Their draft report was issued to Wide Boy and his Single Change managers in November 2015. This draft report correctly identified cost reductions through a high-profile redundancy scheme in 2014 had NOT BEEN ACHIEVED.

Sticky Bundred explains, “Auditors believed posts were being deleted that had been vacant for a long time so there was NO ACTUAL SAVING and when actual people were released they were often replaced by interims/contractors or casual staff. In consequence, the draft [auditors] report identified RED RISKS in several areas.”

However, by November 2015, says Sticky, the Chief Internal Auditors had allowed the bosses in charge of the underachieving ‘Single Change Programme’ [Wide Boy, Arrogant and the Change Services Manager] to REWRITE their report for them!

The honest pair of auditors then proceeded to tell councillors on the Audit Committee in January 2016 via a ‘summary’ of their full report  that the Single Change Programme was operating at an ‘ACCEPTABLE‘ level without a ‘Red Risk’ in sight! When in fact it was FAILING to the tune of £29 million as all the bosses and both Chief Internal Auditors knew perfectly well.

This is straightforward LYING to our elected representatives. Why the fuck are this pair of bent audit bosses still in post and not at the Job Centre or, even, in a police cell?

GAGA GOES A-GAGGING

News of former city council Chief Exec, Nicola “Lady Gaga” Yates’s ridiculous £196k pay-off for failure from the Rev Mayor Rees recently appeared in the Nazi Post accompanied by some commentary from local rent-a-quote Tory buffoon Richard “BUNTER” Eddy.

Alas, this public revelation of her OPEN TROUGHING at the direct expense of the Bristolian public hasn’t gone down too well with Gaga. So she’s got some Liverpool-based self-styled leftie lawyer firebrands Messrs Bootfill and Carpetbag (surely EAD SOLICITORS, ed) – who describe themselves as “proud to support Trade Unions” and er, “greedy bastard former public sector executives”, it seems – to threaten Bunter with LIBEL.

To his credit, Bunter has basically told Gaga and her crappy little legal firm of five star hypocrites to FUCK OFF and take up any libel matters directly with the Post who actually published the information.

It’ll be interesting to see, then, whether Gaga and her FLAT TRACK BULLY employment law experts take up Bunter’s suggestion they sue the Post for libel. Or are they just a bunch of bluffers prepared to prey on the weak, the scared and the ignorant?

Watch this space …

ps. any scouse legal firm specialising in employment law (and pretending to be left wing to drum up business from the gullible) that wish to threaten us with libel can send piss weak threats to us at: thebristolianATgooglemail.com in the first instance. A reply is assured!

FROM AGILE TO FRAGILE: HOW SENIOR COUNCIL BOSSES HAVE SCREWED THEIR STAFF #1

ON THE DAY IT’S FINALLY REVEALED THAT BRISTOL CITY COUNCIL’S FORMER CHIEF EXEC, NICOLA “LADY GAGA” YATES LEFT LAST MONTH WITH A £196K PAY OFF FROM THE THE REVEREND MARVIN REES, WE START TO REVEAL THE APPALLING FINANCIAL BASKETCASE GAGA AND HER SENIOR BOSSES HAVE TURNED OUR COUNCIL INTO … AND WHO’S GONNA PAY FOR IT

How has Bristol City Council property boss Robert “Spunkface” Orrett already managed to run up a LOSS of £9m in his department this year? Surely there’s some mistake? Wasn’t Spunkface brought in from the super efficient, cash generating private sector to prevent just this kind of public sector waste and profligacy?

Spunkface

Spunkface: business pro who can’t identify a £9m loss?

A brief read of the Reverend Rees’s emergency finance report – expensively prepared by his highly-paid private sector finance consultant Anna “BIG WEDGE” Klonowski, managing director of Elka Solutions Ltd management consultancy – reveals that Spunkface has managed to turn a profit projected to be £7.5m in March’s budget into a LOSS of £1.5m five months later!

Most of the excuses concocted for this financial shambles float in a special space between useless and the absurd. According to Ms Big Wedge, Spunkface has flopped because he’s FAILED to increase return on investment property holdings; he’s FAILED to reduce running costs from the disposal of admin buildings and he’s FAILED to reduce facilities management costs as promised.

Since the rental income from INVESTMENT PROPERTIES was £10m in 2015 – 16 – slightly up from £9.5m in 2014 -15. It’s is hard to see how Spunkface or the council thought they could increase this income by £7.5m this year … So it’s nothing to do with that then.

Similarly, FACILITIES MANAGEMENT costs are just £4.3m a year so there’s no £7.5m savings to be made there … So it’s nothing to do with that then.

This just leaves the running costs saved from the disposal of admin buildings. A major part of recently departed strategic director Max Wide “Boy’s” SINGLE CHANGE PROGRAMME that was going to deliver £60m of carefully designed strategic cuts by March 2017.

MAX WIDE ‘BOY’ - There'll be hell toupee with him in charge...

MAX WIDE ‘BOY’: has packed up his Powerpoint slides and fled

The jewel in the crown of these proposals was the ‘WORKPLACE PROGRAMME‘. The plan being that council would create “new agile working environments” for all council staff in just TWO BUILDINGS – an expensively refurbished Counts Louse and the newly purchased £15m Temple Street base. Apparently this could save the council a fortune in office rentals and leases and by having less buildings to maintain and administrate.

The new ‘agile work environments’ are already universally loathed by staff as corporate, sterile and IMPRACTICAL. Relying on expensive half-baked tech solutions and fashionable nonsense in an attempt to appear modern, the offices have only found favour with sad and lonely senior local authority bosses who appear to gain a sense of importance wafting around the ‘flexible space’ with their iPads.

Alas, Wide Boy’s Single Change Programme and on-trend ‘agile environment’ plans may not have panned out quite as he had planned. Before legging it in June he alleged via one of his many vague (but extremely agile with the truth) Powerpoint presentations to GULLIBLE COUNCILLORS that he had managed to deliver just £30m of his promised ‘savings’ up to April. Meaning a further £30m savings had to be found this year.

But now we find that a £9m shaped HOLE has appeared in Property Services exactly where Wide Boy’s agile ‘Workplace Programme’ savings should be. That means that Wide Boy’s overall savings are actually £21m not £30m. A cock-up that 1,000 low paid council staff will now have to pay for with their jobs. Less ‘agile working’ and more ‘fragile working’!

Marvin: talked shit and lost to a red trousered arse

Reverend Rees: employed a new gang of twats on big money?

So why don’t council bosses openly tell us about this financial savings BELLYFLOP and their wholly misconceived corporate ‘agile’ cock up? Indeed, why hasn’t Spunkface – as a responsible public servant – prepared a proper detailed report on the finances in his Property Department for the mayor and councillors? As opposed to keeping his head down and trying to bury this enormous senior management CLUSTERFUCK in an opaque set of accounts?

Could it have anything to do with the fact that Marvin’s newly installed team of highly paid bosses – some pulling in a GRAND A DAY on temporary contracts; others tax efficiently creaming £80k A QUARTER – are just about to embark on yet another top-down reorganisation?

They’re promising, with lashings of corporate jargon, natch, lots more huge savings. So maybe they don’t want anyone noticing that the last reorganisation was a load of OVERPRICED BULLSHIT run by a bunch of highly paid INCOMPETENTS and cover-up artists?

Are The Reverend’s newly assembled little gang of greedy bosses and management consultants preparing to deliver their own under-powered reorganisation using the same old over-powered corporate PR techniques safe in the knowledge they, too, can do A RUNNER before the shit hits the fan?

And Look! Top of the new bosses’ list – promising to deliver £16m of savings by March 2017 – is Wide Boy’s utterly failed and useless SINGLE CHANGE PROGRAMME!

That’s gonna work like a dream isn’t it?

AUDIT WATCH

Brain

Ironic Name Brain in action

Our dear old friends at the council’s in-house financial watchdog, the AUDIT COMMITTEE, managed to excel even themselves in the totally-fucking-useless-and-incompetent stakes at their meeting in March to look at Green Capital spending.

Long touted as the moment that Bristolians would get the answers to their questions about what happened to the £8M OF PUBLIC MONEY spent on a year long jolly for the city’s ultra-privileged and their mates, the meeting was ineptly chaired by Labour’s Mark “Ironic Name” Brain. A man who increasingly resembles some sort of special needs case rather than a senior local politician.

Under Ironic Name Brain’s careful stewardship, members of the public were invited to ask their Green Capital questions to THIN AIR while direct questions from councillors on how public money was spent by the Green Capital’s private company, Bristol 2015 Ltd, also went UNANSWERED. Because nobody from Green Capital bothered to turn up for the first hour and a half of the agenda item!

However,Bristol 2015 Ltd chief exec, Nicola “LADY GAGA” Yates did finally put in an appearance but only after Deputy Mayor Geoff “Cods” Gollop admitted to our feisty and fearless independent financial watchdogs that he had personally undermined their authority and had instructed Bristol 2015 Ltd NOT TO ATTEND the meeting that he was only an invited guest at!

This blatant SABOTAGE by the mayor’s office of an independent committee of councillors did result in a mild rebuke to Gollop from Ironic Name. Although the obvious action of halting the DERANGED, HALF-ARSED MEETING immediately and arranging a proper public bollocking for Gollop and a proper meeting to investigate Bristol 2015 Ltd appeared way beyond Ironic Name’s abilities. Instead he ploughed on. Overseeing a farce.

Gaga’s performance, once she turned up, was undoubtedly the STAR COMIC TURN. The £192k a year council chief deciding to insist that she was only attending as Chief Exec of Bristol 2015 Ltd and couldn’t possibly answer any questions about the council she’s in charge of. Instead she redirected questions about the council to a HAPLESS MINION.

Meanwhile any questions directed by councillors to Gaga about Bristol 2015 Ltd were BATTED AWAY. “I don’t hold the data in my head,” she waffled. Neither did she have any data on a piece of paper, because, she claimed, she didn’t know about the meeting in advance and had only decided to pop in after seeing the meeting being webcast!

This RIDICULOUS CHARADE, performed under their noses by their most highly paid boss, passed without comment from the half-wits on the Audit Committee. And, after around two hours of aimless fucking about, the committee blandly concluded that “LESSONS NEEDED TO BE LEARNED“. Although what lessons or how the council will learn them is anybody’s guess as they didn’t bother to say.

All this meeting really demonstrated is that the only bigger waste of time and money than Bristol’s Green Capital is Bristol City Council’s Audit Committee. What are these wankers for?

CITY COUNCIL JOB WATCH

Austerity you say? Well, there’s PLENTY OF JOBS around at Bristol City Council. So many, in fact, that some managers have to do a lot more than one!

CITY COUNCIL JOB WATCH Yates webStep forward, Chief Exec Nicola “LADY GAGA” Yates who has at least SEVEN jobs. Not only is she the council’s full time chief exec on an income they list as £192k a year, she’s also the city’s electoral Returning Officer – on around £15k a year – and the chief exec of  Bristol 2015 Ltd, the dodgy Green Capital operation, where she trousers £12k a year.

Then she is also the director (on undisclosed money) of FOUR city council run companies – Bristol Waste Company Ltd, Bristol Energy & Technology Services (Supply) Limited, Bristolisopen Ltd and Bristol Holding Ltd.

How on earth does she find the time to run a council? Although she’s not alone. Step forward Alison “FOUR JOBS” Comley, who now earns £136k a year at the council under the overblown job title of Strategic Director for Neighbourhoods.

The work itself might not be too overblown, however, as Four Jobs has time on her hands to doCITY COUNCIL JOB WATCH Comley web another THREE jobs. One of which is the artistic director at Theatre West – an Arts Council funded theatre group – which sounds suspiciously like a FULL TIME job to us.

Then in her SPARE TIME Alison is director of the council’s Bristol Holding Ltd and Bristol Waste Company Ltd on an undisclosed income. You have to sympathise with poor Alison though. Even with four jobs entirely funded from the PUBLIC PURSE she probably has to try and get by on less than Gaga’s £200k plus a year.

How does the poor woman cope?

GAGA’S CONFLICT

Gaga: money grabbing scrote unfit for office?

The revelation that council Chief Exec, Nicola “LADY GAGA” Yates earned £18k in wages from the Bristol 2015 Ltd company at the rate of £60 an hour may prove to be very bad news for this beleaguered money-grabbing council boss.

There’s already widespread OUTRAGE that Gaga scooped herself an extra £18k of public money from Bristol 2015 while cheekily trousering £193k from the public purse this year for a job paid at £160k. Now we’ve discovered that her contract of employment specifically PREVENTS her from doing another job or retaining earnings without the “EXPRESS CONSENT” of the council.

Gaga’s contractual obligations are contained in the Joint Negotiating Committee for Local Authority Chief Executives Conditions of Service Handbook. And here’s the first thing it says:

3. WHOLE-TIME SERVICE

The chief executive shall devote his or her whole-time service to the work of the council and shall not engage in any other business or take up any other additional appointment without the express consent of the council. He or she shall not subordinate his or her duty as chief executive to his or her private interests or put himself or herself in a position where his or her duty and private interests conflict.

In other words, Gaga should not be taking further employment without the “express consent” of councillors. Where is that consent for her role at Bristol 2015 Ltd? It also says if she does take on any other employment it should not CONFLICT with her role as Chief Exec of the council.

For example, she should not be putting herself in a position where she’s WITHHOLDING accounts and ignoring the Local Government Transparency Code on behalf of Bristol 2015 Ltd, who privately employ her. Because this openly CONFLICTS with her duty as the chief executive of the council where she needs to be robustly upholding this code on our behalf and ensuring all public expenditure is properly accounted for.

The explanation currently emerging from the Mayor’s office over Gaga’s employment and earnings at Bristol 2015 Ltd reeks of BULLSHIT. The Mayors sidekick-in-chief, Deputy Mayor Geoff “” Gollop provided a long-winded explanation of Gaga’s conduct to the council’s Audit Committee last Friday.

The dodgy Tory accountant blustered that Gaga had to be paid a salary in order to demonstrate her role of Chief Exec at Bristol 2015 Ltd was independent of her role as Chief Exec of Bristol City Council. Gollop effectively seemed to claim that paying £1k a month into Gaga’s bank account made any conflict of interest she might have disappear in A PUFF OF SMOKE. Nonsense. Gaga’s conflict of interest cannot just vanish in exchange for cash.

The correct practice should be that at any Bristol 2015 Ltd meetings where business of the council is discussed, Gaga should LEAVE the meeting. Similarly at any meeting of the council where Bristol 2015 Ltd is discussed, Gaga should LEAVE the meeting, which makes it pretty much impossible for Gaga to perform both Chief Exec roles. Any claim by Fergo and Gollop that greasing her palm with cash somehow makes it possible is a load of BENT BOLLOCKS of the highest order.

And it doesn’t stop here. There’s some further dodgy practice around Gaga’s Bristol 2015 job. Gaga’s contract also states:

8. INCLUSIVE SALARIES

Salaries shall be deemed to be inclusive, and all other fees and emoluments, unless they are covered by Paragraph 9 (returning officer, etc.) or the authority expressly agrees that they shall be retainedby the officer, shall be paid by the officer into the council’s accounts.

In other words, any extra salary payable to Gaga for any other work she does SHOULD GO TO THE COUNCIL not to her. Unless “the authority expressly agrees”. Where is this agreement from councillors? Looks like Gaga owes us £18k then.

There it is then. At least two occasions when Gaga’s BREACHED HER CONTRACT plus 18 months of undeclared and unaddressed conflicts of interest between Bristol City Council and Bristol 2015 Ltd she’s done NOTHING about.

Is it time for some disciplinary action down at the Counts Louse?

GAGA’S WAGE WATCH

yates iiBoth the city council pay policy reports to councillors in 2015-16 and 2016-17 insist council chief Nicola “Lady Gaga” Yates’ salary is £160K A YEAR. This means she should earn ‘only’ up to ten times the amount of the lowest paid council workers on the living wage of £15,900.

This 10:1 highest to lowest wage ratio is supposed to be official council policy as laid down by the people we elect. Strange, then, that the last senior officers pay report published on the council’s website in December 2015 stated that Gaga actually earned £193K A YEAR!

Yates pay

This is up from £180k in April 2015 and up from the publicly agreed wage of £160k we were told she would earn when she started in April 2013. Gaga appears to have unilaterally awarded herself a SECRET 20 PER CENT PLUS pay rise outside of her own council’s written policy then.

The FOUL STENCH surrounding this woman and her easy access to public money is compounded by the fact she’s now been forced to admit she also earned £12k a year at an hourly rate of £60.00 as the Chief Exec of Bristol 2015 Ltd. This means her earnings may have topped £204k last year! Not bad for someone who ‘only’ earns £160k a year according to all the formal council documents on pay being fobbed off on us.

Look out too for that useless trade union worker and chair of the council’s Human Resources Committee Labour’s Mike ““ARSEHOLE” Wollacott at the Full Council Meeting next Tuesday. He’s adding his own cheap and nasty fragrance to the general stink of ill-managed public money, lies, greed and corruption wafting around the Council House these days.

Wollacott will openly LIE to councillors and to the Bristolian public on Tuesday and assure us all – on the record – that Gaga only earns £160k a year. Thus he can maintain his LIE that the council’s highest earner only earns ten times the salary of the lowest earner.

Gaga pay policy

Bristol City Council Pay Policy Statement for 2016/17

And before Wollacott or any of his mates start sending us wanky legal threats, he has already published his LIE in the report that he’s presenting to the Full Council on Tuesday recommending councillors give the bosses their 20 per cent pay rise.

Why’s this trade unionist openly LYING to councillors, his staff and the public about senior bosses’ salaries? Why’s he pretending he’s helping the low paid at the council while simultaneously hiding the real salary of Gaga that just happens to make a mockery of his party’s own living wage policy?

The whole lot of ’em – bosses and councillors – are taking the piss out of us, their staff and especially the low paid.

CITY COUNCIL SALARY WATCH

Greedy pig: Nicola ‘Lady Gaga’ Yates

Anyone got any idea how much city council Chief Exec Nicola “LADY GAGA” Yates really earns?

The council’s annual report, which contains audited accounting information, insists she earned £180,617 in 2014 -15. However, the ‘Table of Salaries for City Director and Chief Officer Posts as at 1 April 2015’ published with great fanfare and openness on the council website insists she trousers a mere £160k.

Why the difference? And are either of these figures accurate? Because Nicola actually has FOUR jobs courtesy of Bristol City Council. As well as Chief Exec, she’s the ELECTORAL RETURNING OFFICER for the city; Chief Exec of the disastrous GREEN CAPITAL private limited company and she’s now nabbed a directorship of the brand new ‘BRISTOL WASTE‘ private limited company!

In the case of the last two, Gaga has openly used her influence to ensure the accounts of these publicly owned companies are TOP SECRET and not even subject to the attention of the council’s auditors. This means we have absolutely NO MEANS OF KNOWING if Gaga’s trousering any more of our cash on the sly through these companies.

Ain’t secrecy grand?

Elsewhere, the ‘Table of Salaries for City Director and Chief Officer Posts as at 1 April 2015’ for public consumption lists the salaries of Lady Gaga’s four STRATEGIC DIRECTORS as between £130 – 135k pa each.

Which is odd because the audited annual report says Business Change director MAX WIDE “BOY” earned over £141k in 2014 – 2015. Meanwhile Mayor Pillock’s thicko urbanist mate BARRA MAC “NUGGET” RUAIRI reels in a cool £139,350 pa for wandering aimlessly around ABU GHRAIB – Lady Gaga’s ‘agile’ Temple Street office complex – in brown cords.

Can these two senior bosses not add up? Or have they been treated to a secret pay rise?

SWANKY OFFICE WATCH

George buys 100 Temple Street for a bargain £18 million

The current multi-million pound refurbishment of the Counts Louse will include the THIRD refurbishment of the building’s third floor management suite for profligate twats on six-figure salaries in SIX YEARS!

In 2009 former Chief Exec JAN ORMONDROYD spent a six figure sum refurbishing her office suite in the regal style with purple carpeting, bullet proof glass and the legendary strategic leadership fridge.

Then last year, new Chief Exec Nicola “LADY GAGA” Yates spent a load of money on furniture and IT kit to stamp her personal style on the third floor. Indeed, she even threw a tantrum and fired the council’s Workplace Programme Manager, GRAHAM SKINNER when her new furniture didn’t arrive on time and thus putting a £60m project into chaos!

Now, in this age of austerity, more money is being spent refurbing the management suite all over again! This time to create an ‘AGILE WORKSPACE‘ we’re told.

Let’s just hope when we get a new mayor next year they like the results or, no doubt, we’ll be forking out another six figure sum for new carpets, soft furnishings and an a la mode mayoral cappuccino machine!