Despite a promise to let councillors know, after a scrutiny meeting in June, senior council boss Stephen “Weak Man” Peacock has still failed to explain what a payment of £1.2m to Bristol Energy from his City Leap procurement fund was actually for.
The City Leap money was signed over to Bristol Energy by the council’s Section 151 Officer under the heading ‘Innovation Services’ in January 2020. At the precise time the failed council energy reseller had a cashflow crisis.
The Bristolian has obtained a copy of the contract between the city council and Bristol Energy for the £1.2m. It has an appendix where ‘Services Supplied’ should be listed but the page is blank.
To the untrained eye, this £1.2m, paid in an emergency to a collapsing firm, has all the characteristics of a public money ‘bung’ designed to keep a bellyflopping company afloat prior to an election later in the year. An election that, subsequently, never happened due to Covid.
Meanwhile, Weak Man, despite being unable to explain to councillors or the public what he spent £1.2m of public money on, has been promoted and given a pay rise! Now that Chief Exec Billie Jean Jackson has done Bristol a favour and fucked off to London, his interim replacement is … the inexperienced and underqualified Weak Man!
Is Weak Man being rewarded by Rees for bent payments rendered?
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.