>> HOPKINS, THE “TRAINED EAR” AND THE GREAT LANDVEST MYSTERY
‘Meat Zeppelin’, Councillor Gary Hopkins, watercolours, 2013, @guriben
BRISTOL City Council boss, Senior Environmental Health Officer, MARK ‘BUNGLE’ CURTIS displays an interesting approach to his enforcement work.
Up in leafy Knowle he’s been showing zero tolerance to noise pollution, slapping a noise abatement notice on the so-called TOWN HOUSE, a business hiring out a large house for family gatherings. They also run the GOTHIC MANSION on Redcatch Road, which has recently been refused retrospective planning permission because of just one verified complaint and lots and lots of hearsay evidence.
Indeed, so enthusiastic is Bungle to prevent pollution in the leafy south Bristol suburb many neighbours of the Town House and the Gothic Mansion claim to have never heard any noise from either place at all!
However this hasn’t stopped the local councillor, GARY ‘FUCKBUCKET’ HOPKINS, who resides a long way from either house on the other side of Redcatch Park, from running a one man campaign against the business via his regular excruciating assault on the English language, the Lib Dem Focus leaflet for Knowle.
The few local supporters FUCKBUCKET has managed to recruit to his campaign also display similar signs of mental disorder towards both the Town House and the Gothic Mansion. One neighbour, when visited by the owners of the nearby mansion to discuss any problems, opened his door and announced, “I have dealings with LANDVEST,” and promptly shut the door again.
Why would anyone care if this neighbour has dealings with Landvest? A PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT COMPANY registered in the Isle of Man, presumably for tax reasons, who recently built a load of executive homes on land next to the Gothic Mansion on the site of the old St Peters cancer hospice.
It’s also reputed that Landvest got the land despite bidding £150k less for it than a local consortium headed by that old friend of The BRISTOLIAN, Bristol Labour leader HRH Helen of Holland.
So far, so murky. But now we hear that pollution control man BUNGLE, having issued the paperwork to get the Town House in court and fine them in the region of £140k for noise is now backing out and getting the council’s legal team to settle out-of-court.
Why would that be? Does Bungle not want these local witnesses with “dealings with Landvest” and his ‘evidence’ – all of which is based on his ‘trained ear’ rather than from certified audio reports from the calibrated equipment he has access to – cross-examined in court?
This is a strange – and expensive – turn of events when you consider the council will happily settle the case if the defendants agree to cover their own legal costs. Thus dumping us, the council taxpayer, with a large bill for the legal costs BUNGLE and FUCKBUCKET have run up over their weird Knowle NOISE OBSESSION.
Meanwhile, over in the working class suburb of AVONMOUTH, we find Bungle taking a very different approach to enforcement when there’s no obsessive Lib Dem councillor with an agenda; no shady property firm in the background; lots of certified audio reports from calibrated equipment and a set of very credible witnesses able to back up their claims and itching for action.
The SIMS METAL plant at Avonmouth docks has been, since at least 2010, the subject of literally hundreds of RECORDED COMPLAINTS for noise and dust pollution. While whistleblowers have come forward and stated that noise and dust suppression equipment has not been used at the plant for years, apparently with the full knowledge of the plant’s regulators Bristol City Council and the Environment Agency.
However, the council boss responsible, BUNGLE, has done NOTHING whatsoever about the plant. It seems, in this case, Bungle popping down for a friendly chat over a cuppa and a slice of cake every now and then with the wealthy businessmen in charge is all that’s needed.
This informal, light-touch approach seems to be backed by BUNGLE’s employers, Avonmouth Tory councillors WAYNE “DEE” HARVEY and MATTHEW “DUM” MELIAS who are happy to tell any complainants crap such as, “it’s none of your business you’ve only lived here four years” and our favourite response to this major public health threat – “you just have to put up with it”.
It’s enough to make you wonder what drives and influences Bungle’s regulatory decisions isn’t it? It’s not witnesses or evidence that’s for sure.