Tag Archives: Property Services

THIRD TIME UNLUCKY FOR ALIEN OTHERNESS BOSS?

Our dear old friend, Richard “The Builder” Fear, city council property boss and congenital idiot, continues to impress. Fear The Builder, you may recall, extended his period property in leafy Knowle with an “upscale dormer window” or, as a planning inspector later described it, a “strident and bulky structure creating an awkward sense of ALIEN OTHERNESS”.

The Planning Inspector became involved in an appeal early last year after this senior city council property expert FORGOT to get planning permission for his new structure. He then, unfortunately, FAILED, in 2016, to get retrospective permission for his hideous mess that broke all known planning regulations for a dormer window and had to appeal to the Planning Inspectorate.

Decisively losing the appeal, Fear then attempted to try and get retrospective planning permission all over again last summer by claiming a PAINT JOB and a bit of FAKE ROOF added to his unlawful carbuncle would solve all the problems.

Alas, not according to a planning committee of councillors who sent Fear packing a second time. Councillor Olly “Mediocre” Mead telling him, “You can put me in a TUTU and I’d no more resemble a BALLERINA than that resembles something that is appropriate for the area”!

Now, nine months later, and Fear has developed a new two-pronged strategy to save his expensive extension from demolition. We learn that, for the THIRD TIME, he is applying for retrospective planning permission while also appealing to the Planning Inspectorate for the refusal of his second effort to obtain retrospective planning permission.

Neighbours and locals assure us that Fear’s latest efforts are ludicrous. “The new plans look EXACTLY THE SAME as the ones refused planning permission last year,” they say, “what’s changed”?

Meanwhile, will an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate be any more help to Fear than last time around? Informed opinion suggests not.

PRIVATE SECTOR EFFICIENCY WATCH

Spunkface

City Council Property Services Director, Robert “Spunkface” Orrett, finally abandoned his local authority sinking ship in September for an executive lifeboat in Filton. Here, a LUCRATIVE CONTRACT appeared with Malaysian corporate, YTL.

YTL are the firm who want to build Bristol’s arena in Filton with public money and who, no doubt, will find Spunkface’s city council CONTACT BOOK and INSIDER KNOWLEDGE of developing an arena in Bristol very useful indeed.

Those with longer memories, may recall Spunkface arrived at Bristol City Council in the autumn of 2012 from corporate property firm BNP Paribas as the man who was going to bring “private sector efficiency and discipline” to the council’s STRUGGLING and UNDER-POWERED Property Services Department.

He also brought along an UNLAWFUL private consultancy gig with BNP Paribas, which he didn’t give up for over a year, breaking all known codes of conduct for public servants. However, for some reason, this conduct was OVERLOOKED by senior council bosses and councillors who are supposed to rigorously defend the integrity of our public services.

When Spunkface departed in the autumn, his department – largely run by a revolving door of interims and consultants who couldn’t give a toss – was announcing over £7million in UNACHIEVED SAVINGS; an OVERSPEND of £2million and was engulfed in MANAGEMENT CHAOS. Meanwhile, on Spunkface’s watch, a number of financial and bullying SCANDALS had emerged across his department.

These SCANDALS in markets, security services and the Harbour Office were all brushed under the carpet by Spunkface while he SINGULARLY FAILED to make any progress in increasing income from the council’s valuable property portfolio as he had been employed to do. Although plenty of city council property was handed over FOR FREE to corporate property guardian firms to earn big money from EXPLOITING the homeless and vulnerably housed.

Now that Spunkface has departed, we learn that discussions are taking place at a senior level in the council about OUTSOURCING the management of the council’s Property Services to the PRIVATE SECTOR to bring – wait for it – “private sector efficiency and discipline” to the useless department!

Who would ever have guessed that a manager brought in from the private sector would achieve nothing except to so thoroughly trash a local authority department it needed to be outsourced to the, er, private sector?

DICK ED NEXT TO TACKLE DOCKS SHAMBLES

“Dick” Edrich: the latest boss drafted in to sort out the council’s docks and markets shambles

Over FOUR YEARS after we told them so, Bristol City Council finally notice that their HARBOUR OFFICE and MARKETS SERVICE are expensively mismanaged basketcases.

The council is now threatening some sort of ACTION after finally publicly acknowledging, “poor governance arrangements; a poorly managed balance between commercial rigour and democratic accountability; a failure to maintain the Harbour assets and poor management” at its Harbour Office.

This comes four years after The BRISTOLIAN revealed that turd in human form, Harbour Master, Cap’n Tony “Ahab” Nichol, was a serial and, apparently, unsackable BULLY who has got away with MULTIPLE BULLYING OFFENCES towards staff over many years. 

The docks infrastructure that he’s responsible for, meanwhile, remains at near-collapse after years of CHRONIC MISMANAGEMENT by underqualified Ahab and his handpicked team of clueless over-promoted supervisors and absent civil engineers.

We’re told that Bill “Dick” Edrich – the man who helped set up the loss-making Bristol Energy fiasco – has been urgently drafted in to BANG HEADS TOGETHER at the Harbour Master’s Office and in Markets, managed, for no coherent reason, by one of Ahab’s hapless minions in recent years.

However, those with longer memories may recall that recently departed property boss, Robert “SPUNKFACE” Orrett, was similarly ordered by Mayor No More Red Trousers – back in 2014 – to sort out the embarrassing management shambles exposed by The BRISTOLIAN in docks and markets.

Although the opposite happened when Spunkface left Ahab to reorganise the docks service as he saw fit. Ahab then used the opportunity to FIRE any experienced workers who had complained about his bullying and incompetence while ensuring his useless crew of management and supervisory bullies were kept on with enhanced salaries.

We can probably look forward to not much happening for a few years yet then

PROPERTY IS DEBT

Ding, dong the Spunkface is dead!

 Council property boss Robert “Spunkface” Orrett, brought in to the council in 2012 for his “PRIVATE SECTOR EXPERTISE” has ceased to run the world’s most useless council department that specialised in draining us of public money.

Last year, Spunkface’s department – responsible for all the council’s buildings and its lucrative land and property portfolio – posted an inexplicably HUGE LOSS of £7.7million due to his failure “to achieve savings”. This ABJECT FAILURE went on to comprehensively fuck up the whole of the council’s accounts. This year, Spunkface, already facing losses of – at least – £2.6million in more unachieved savings, has finally quit.

Perhaps the Reverend Rees was no longer prepared to tolerate Spunkface, who  – when not losing enormous amounts of public money – is best known for his crude COVER-UPS of “mismanaged” cash in his Facilities Management Department’s markets and security operations?

We understand that Spunkface has now taken up a role locally at YTL PROPERTY alongside his former boss at the council, Barra Mac Ruari, the posh urbanist twit mate of Mayor No More Ferguson. YTL is Merchant Venturer, Colin Skellett’s development firm that bought the huge Filton Airfield site for development after an extensive marketing exercise by, er, Colin Skellet’s Local Enterprise Partnership!

Housing Tsar, Paul “Wolfie Smith” was handed responsibility for the council’s Property Services over the summer, mainly to act as nursemaid to the latest  multi-million pound Broadmead corporate makeover.

But did Wolfie finally pull the trigger on Spunkface and put our city out of the misery he imposed?

WOT? NO HMO?

Here’s documentary evidence of OPEN CRIMINALITY in Bristol City Council’s Property Services Department.

The email published above is from the city council’s Chris Woods, the Principal Portfolio Management Officer (Asset Strategy). It BRAZENLY invites Camelot, the dodgy property guardian firm, to take control of an empty local authority building for free and house vulnerable people in it despite it having no HMO (House of Multiple Occupation) licence.

Housing people on this scale in this size of building without an HMO licence is a criminal offence. It also demonstrates an utter and – potentially – deadly disregard for the safety of any tenants in the building as there is no evidence and no oversight that the building is fit and safe for human habitation. WAS WOODS  HAPPY TO MURDER THE POOR?

In the light of Grenfell Tower shouldn’t Mr Woods be prosecuted for deliberately endangering the public in order to save a few quid and help his promotion prospects?

DODGY PLANNERS LATEST

More news on the Cheltenham Road library luxury apartment redevelopment, which is going ahead on land that used to be owned by Bristol City Council with no affordable housing whatsoever.

A letter written in 2011 by Peter Westbury, the Planning Coordinator, Development Management, to the then applicant,Chatsworth Homes, confirmed that the development could be implemented without further consent “on the basis of work undertaken on 12 October 2011”.

The letter explained that sufficient work on the development had been carried out within the three year period the application was valid to allow it to proceed without any further planning consent being required.

This is odd, because the building was still operating as a library on 12 October 2011, which also happened to be one day before the planning consent expired. What work was done on the development to negate the need to reapply for planning permission as the law requires?

Looks like another sorry chapter in the old story of Bristol City Council granting planning permission and then stretching the rules to increase the value of something they want to flog off.

Is that the Ombudsman we see on the horizon?

DORMER TRAUMA PROPERTY BOSS GETS TUTU TIRADE

RESULT! Our councillors – at last – stand up, refuse to do any favours and demand EXEMPLARY LEADERSHIP and the very highest standards of CONDUCT and INTEGRITY from their senior staff rather than the “anything goes for us” culture they’ve assiduously developed for themselves over many years.

A planning committee last night REFUSED their Property Assets boss, Rich “The Builder” Fear planning permission for his appalling and intrusive loft extension that breaks local planning regulations in Knowle.

Rich the Builder thought a PAINT JOB and a bit of FAKE ROOF added to his unlawful carbuncle – that a planning inspector has already ruled should be pulled down – would be enough to persuade a planning committee to let him keep the large-shed-plonked-on-a-roof-style extension he’s subjected his long-suffering Knowle neighbours to.

Alas not. Even shrinking violet Labour Councillor Olly “Mediocre” Mead piped up for once, telling planning officers and Fear, “You can put me in a TUTU and I’d no more resemble a ballerina than that resembles something that is appropriate for the area. It’s not reasonable to add bits of FAKE ROOF

Hear! Hear! Send in the wrecking ball and invite Fear the pisstaker to resign.

ANOTHER AFFORDABLE HOUSING SCAM

Sisters Uncut at Cheltenham Road Library

 Funny business at the Cheltenham Road Library site. The library building, occupied by Sisters Uncut last month, was recently FLOGGED by Bristol City Council to MD Homes for an unknown sum, somewhere in excess of £2.5 million. Some say it may even have been sold for as much as £9 million.

The council advertised the site for sale to developers claiming it had PLANNING PERMISSION for the “erection of 36 self-contained flats over an underground parking area”. But has it?

Permission for the flats was originally granted to the council’s development partner,  Chatsworth Homes, in 2008. They were given the prime Cheltenham Road site in exchange for a new library they were supposed to deliver in Bishopston as the developers of the notorious BRISTOL NORTH BATHS site on Gloucester Road.

Alas, Chatsworth went BUST in 2015 owing Bristol City Council £3.4m in loans and leaving us to pay a further £1.5m to complete their BOTCHED and BANKRUPT development. We’ve therefore paid £4.9m for the new library that Chatsworth were supposed to be giving us for “free”.

Now it gets murkier … Chatsworth only managed to get planning permission for luxury flats at Cheltenham Road WITHOUT any affordable housing because they were providing a library as a community benefit instead. Since the new developers, MD, AREN’T supplying a library shouldn’t they have to meet affordable housing commitments instead?

That’s notwithstanding that the planning permission for the site granted in 2008 was only for THREE YEARS. Although MD Homes have quickly applied for “a non-material amendment” to this out-of-date permission requesting minor changes to the windows on the property. This amendment was conveniently waved through in a matter of weeks in February by council Planning Officer, Thomas Wilkinson, who forgot to mention anywhere that the permission was SIX YEARS out of date!

What’s going on here? Are we about to get another luxury development of flats with no affordable housing courtesy of our dubious planning department working alongside the council’s notoriously bent Property Services department?

CASHMAN TO CASH IN?

Cocking up and cashing in?

The next senior council boss touted to make that lucrative move from the public sector to the private sector is one of Bristol City Council Property boss, Spunkface Orrett’s minions, Stephen “CASHMAN” Ashman, Building Practice Manager.

Cashman, we’re told, has been frantically rushing around making a business case, largely by ‘CREATIVE INVENTION’, to outsource huge amounts of maintenance work on council properties to Integral, a corporate that specialises in outsourced ‘hard services’.

It’s also rumoured that Cashman will be handsomely ‘LOOKED AFTER’ by Integral going forward. So we suggest councillors get off their lazy backsides right away and launch a corruption investigation into this dubious little weasel.

They might also like to take a look at Cashman’s decision last year to DISMISS a recommendation that major maintenance was undertaken on the boiler supplying the Register Office on Corn Street.

Cashman decided to IGNORE the advice, with the result that the boiler has now been condemned with replacement costs that are described as ‘significant’. Temporary heating and sticking plaster solutions are currently being used while someone dreams up an excuse to get the necessary capital spend approved by councillors in the current climate.

Has there ever been such a buffoon making significant spending decisions and cocking up massively at a time when accuracy, honesty and prudence are the order of the day?

PROPERTY BOSS IN UNFORTUNATE ALIEN OTHERNESS SLIP-UP

‘An awkward sense of ALIEN OTHERNESS’!

Unfortunate news just in. Seems idiot senior Bristol City Council property boss, Richard “The Builder” Fear, is going to have to pull down a HIDEOUS and PRICEY high spec loft extension he stuck on top of his well-appointed period gaffe in Haverstock Road in upmarket Knowle!

Tragically, it seems, this member of Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and leading council property “expert” FORGOT to obtain planning permission from his own council for what he laughably describes as an “upscale dormer window”. Does Fear, brought in by the city council three years ago for his alleged private sector expertise, think the rules don’t apply to him?

Alas, they do and he’s now lost an APPEAL to the Planning Inspectorate for retrospective planning permission for his outsize pretentious carbuncle, which not only fails to meet any traditional definition of ‘dormer window’ we’ve ever encountered but fails to comply with a host of planning regulations too.

What a terrible shame. Just imagine what it’s going to cost the OVERPAID council management twerp – who thinks rules are for the little people – to remove his unsightly mess from Knowle’s heritage skyline? There will also be little to cheer Fear in a HIGHLY CRITICAL report from the Planning Inspectorate.

The inspector, David Morgan, doesn’t mince his words over Fear’s abysmal extension that taste forgot. “The maximised proportions,” summarises the inspector of this “strident and bulky structure create an awkward sense of ALIEN OTHERNESS“. Ho! Ho! The Inspector then helpfully lists all the planning rules and regulations Fear has ignored before roundly rejecting Fear’s absurd claim that it’s a “Permitted Development”. Oh dear!

Perhaps once Fear’s dismantled this ANTI-SOCIAL MESS that’s fucking up the view in Knowle, he could take a similar approach to his day job?  Why not start dismantling the endemic culture of CORRUPTION and INCOMPETENCE in the council’s Property Service Department?

A clear-out at a department that currently has an inexplicable £9 MILLION DEFICIT while being involved in a variety of scandals such as with property Guardians Camelot would be most welcome.

But we won’t be holding our breath.