Tag Archives: Stephen McNamara

WERE COUNCIL BOSSES SPOILING FOR A PUBLIC FIGHT WITH MARKETS WHISTLEBLOWER?

**** DEATH RIDDLE MARKETS BOSS PUT IN LINE OF FIRE BY SENIOR MANAGERS AND COUNCILLORS ****

The BRISTOLIAN has obtained a sensational letter from a Web ExclusiveMarkets Service whistleblower to the council’s former Monitoring Officer, Stephen McNamara sent in July 2012. The letter was also copied The Markets Fileto former strategic director Will Godfey and a handful of senior councillors responsible for financial oversight.

The letter is a formal complaint regarding suicide boss, Tony Harvey’s multiple failures in his treatment of a bona fide whistleblower and it particularly focuses on Harvey’s proposed ‘restructure’ of the markets service that he announced, in a remarkable coincidence, just days after the whistleblower came forward in 2012!

The letter explains that Harvey was undertaking this restructure of the department as a blatant means of getting the whistleblower out of their post while an investigation into serious financial irregularities in Harvey’s dodgy service had barely begun.

Remarkably, Harvey was refusing to suspend his dodgy restructure on the basis that “the [audit] investigation will not affect the review[/restructure]”. An absurd opinion. How could an investigation that would conclude with a considerable number of recommendations about the structure and practice of the department’s financial management not affect a review of the department’s structure and practice?

As The BRISTOLIAN has been told by a well-placed source, “Harvey’s restructure always looked like the act of some bent-as-hell management madman intent on sacking a whistleblower to cover up his own dodgy and incompetent management conduct rather than the cool-headed, well thought out professional restructure of a local authority department he was handsomely paid to produce.”

Stephen McNamara - another oafish decision someone else pays the price for?

Stephen McNamara – another oafish decision someone else pays the price for?

Indeed, the letter to McNamara highlights a number of major irregularities in Harvey’s restructure plan. Some proven accurate when the council later had to reach an out-of-court settlement with one of the whistleblowers due to the flaws in this very restructure.

The letter goes on to ask that Harvey’s restructure process be suspended until the financial investigation is complete and a proper, comprehensive restructure, including the recommendations from the investigation, could be produced. The whistleblower and his union even offered their wholesale help and support to such a process.

The conclusion of the letter is intriguing. Firstly it states:

You are entirely at liberty to continue on the course selected by Tony Harvey and I am at liberty to reach the conclusion that you’re not taking my complaints at all seriously and take them outside the organisation.

A clear indication that the whistleblower would make things public if necessary. They then go on to say,

My trade union representative and I are more than happy to discuss the issues raised in this letter with either yourself or Will [Godfrey] or another serious management representative that is not Tony Harvey.

A clear indication that the whistleblower was open to dialogue, discussion and negotiation. The letter concludes by saying,

I’m extremely persistent and deeply interested in the proper conduct of public affairs. I’m not going to go away and there’s certainly nobody in your authority capable of scaring me away. I’ve provided a number of reasonable ‘soft’ options worth pursuing in this letter. I would strongly encourage you to take one of them.

Alas, McNamara’s response was short, curt and dismissive. No discussion. No dialogue. No negotiation. Harvey’s dodgy process to remove a whistleblower from their job during a ‘live’ financial investigation would continue.

Unfortunately – for them – The BRISTOLIAN also does short, curt and dismissive. More effectively, many would say, than a jumped-up public sector lawyer like McNamara.

And so the die was cast. Senior council bosses proactively decided upon open conflict and a bruising public row rather than negotiation and compromise.

But did they bother to think through the implications of their decision? Did they consider the potential impact on their staff – such as Tony Harvey – on the frontline of any brutal and very public conflict? Did they consider their duty of care towards Tony Harvey?

Or was this another decision driven by sheer arrogance and the knowledge that someone else’s body could always be thrown in the way to deal with the consequences and to pay any price?

PAYOFFS TO FAILED COUNCIL MANAGERS NOW TOTAL NEARLY £900K!

The BRISTOLIAN has learned that in the last year the city’s council taxpayers have doled out an astonishing £875,000 to council leaders for leaving! That’s OVER HALF A MILLION QUID going to failed service directors, and MORE THAN £300K being forked out for two former council bosses to put their feet up at home!

Jan Ormondroyd: doesn't badly run councils for free, you know

Jan Ormondroyd: doesn’t badly run councils for free, you know

First up, Bristol’s former Chief Exec THE BRADFORD SUN QUEEN, Jan Ormondroyd. She mysteriously ‘quit’ in a bit of a hurry in July 2012 and was handed a SECRET CASH HANDOUT in of around £50k in pay for work she never did – a figure way beyond any redundancy entitlement for a post that wasn’t redundant anyway.

The 57 year old was also given a whopping pension enhancement that saw Bristolians stumping up a further £135k or so. So the total bill to the council taxpayer for the SUN QUEEN to sit at home retired is not far short of £200k.

Stephen McNamara - no wonder he's smiling with a six figure payout from YOU!

Stephen McNamara: with a six figure payout courtesy of YOU, no wonder he’s smiling

Former legal boss, STEPHEN ‘LYCRA’ MCNAMARA followed the SUN QUEEN out the back door last Christmas. Having reinterpreted the law to suit the city’s richest man Steve (“Tax is for the little people”) Lansdown and landed Bristol with an expensive and UNDEFENDABLE JUDICIAL REVIEW into the ASHTON VALE Town Green, Lycra was considered surplus to requirements – and allegedly made redundant. Although, strangely, the post of Chief Legal Officer and Monitoring Officer, Lycra’s old job, still appears to exist and is not redundant at all.

To ease 55 year old Lycra on his way, he was “retired” and given a pension enhancement worth around £60k, three months pay worth around £14k per month, and a further £40k in “COMPENSATION FOR LOSS OF OFFICE”. Of course, Lycra thinks he’s too good for B&Q, so he has a tasty post-retirement ‘consultancy’ with expensive law firm Veale Wasbrough Vizards – best known for (have we mentioned this before?) representing a Catholic private school facing a paedo priest scandal.

The BRISTOLIAN can also reveal that another FIVE council managers, all on six figure salaries, last year shared “exit packages” worth £548K – that’s almost £110k each!!! Obviously all these payments massively exceed pay outs available through the redundancy policy created by Ormondroyd herself to, erm, prevent “excessive pay outs to top managers”.

Perhaps Ormondroyd’s redundancy policy – like taxation, in the opinion of McNamara’s chum Lansdown – only applies to “THE LITTLE PEOPLE”?

Welcome to austerity – Bristol style.

MASSIVE PAYOUTS! MASSIVE CUTS! MASSIVE BELLENDS! …PLUS SOME GOOD NEWS TOO IN THE LATEST EDITION OF ‘THE BRISTOLIAN’!

The BRISTOLIAN #4.7 - coverOctober’s edition of The BRISTOLIAN is another PACKED ISSUE, featuring…

» NEARLY £900k IN PAYOFFS TO CRAP COUNCIL BOSSES!
Ex-Chief Executive and six Directors squeeze almost a million quid out of us

» FAT CAT GAGA’S DOSH SENSATION!
Second choice ‘City Director’ Nicola Yates’s well-funded departure from Hull

» GARGAN GETS FEAR OVER INTERNET PROFILE PIC!
Avon & Somerset Police’s Arch-Druid Nick Gargan confuses fictional copper for real thing

» INDYREDPANTS MAN AND THE AFFAIR OF THE ACCIDENTAL WORKFARE
PR guru Oliver Mochizuki fails to silence concerns over festival’s forced labour ‘volunteers’

» LABOUR’S NON-MAYOR: REES-KING RIDICULE?
Failed Shitty Hall candidate Marvin Rees shamelessly puts himself in same category as MLK

» HAVE A KITCAT? BREAK A STRIKE
Councillor Telford and Mayor Ferguson get chummy with Brighton’s binman-hating council boss

PLUS: NEWS IN BRIEF!!!

» BRISTOLIAN BITES
Tantalising titbits including…

  • MERCHANT VENTURER LANDGRABhow Fergo’s pals want your libraries and parks!
  • CHICKENS COME HOME TO ROOST who does John Hirst remind us of?
  • CABINET KNOWS BESThow Council leaders think they have nothing to learn

» VICTORY NEWS
Positive stories from across the city!

  • V FOR VALERIANpressure from The BRISTOLIAN helps trapped residents
  • ALLOTMENTS SAVED – Lynmouth Road gardeners don’t lose the plot
  • BLACKLISTERS IN RETREATsafety-hating construction companies on back foot

PLUS: COMMENT!!!

» BRISTOL’S BROKEN DEMOCRACY?
Outgoing Finance boss Peter Robinson leaves a ‘Zero Budget’ shit-in-a-box for Mayor Fergo

» TOWN GREENS: LATEST
Why you can’t trust councillors to do the right thing

PLUS: NEW D.I.Y GUIDES!!!

» TOP TIPS TO BEAT THE BEDROOM TAX!
Practical lawyer’s advice on how to survive the ‘Spare Room Subsidy’

Blimey! And all that for FREE!

See the Distribution page for your local stockist – and if there isn’t one near you, let us know!

CAN’T WAIT TO GET HOLD OF A PAPER COPY?

Then you can DOWNLOAD a PDF version here:

» The BRISTOLIAN #4.7 – October 2013

ALLOTMENTS FOR SALE! WHO’S GETTING RICH OFF THE GREAT GREEN SPACES LAND GRAB?

Battle lines are being drawn in St. Werburgh’s between green-fingered local residents and sharp-suited corporate vultures over a blatant INNER CITY LAND GRAB following the announcement that the Lynmouth Road allotments will come onto the open market next month.

The one-acre parcel of land, with a guide price of £20,000, is being AUCTIONED OFF on 25th September by Clifton-based estate agent HOLLIS MORGAN. Its brochure notes that “there may be some long term development potential”, and suggests the possibility of vacant possession – which would only happen with the eviction of allotment holders. To rub salt into the wound, Hollis Morgan made the announcement just after National Allotments Week!

The Lynmouth Road site had been owned by training provider SCOUT ENTERPRISES (which readers with long memories may recall was heavily involved in compulsory workfare schemes, from Project Work through to Work Programme) before it went tits-up late last year.

Since then the ‘independent assurance, tax and advisory firm’ GRANT THORNTON has been in charge, and now its crack team of ‘recovery and reorganisation’ specialists – Richard Hicken, Nigel Morrison and Lynn Taylor – is ready to ASSET-STRIP THE ARSE OFF THE ALLOTMENTS.

Of course, this being Ashley ward, they face stern resistance from BS2’s mighty Green Party councillor duo SIR AUGUSTUS ‘THE DORK KNIGHT’ HOYTY-TOYTY and his sidekick ROB ‘BOY WONDER’ TELFORD. By “stern resistance” we do of course mean firm promises to “ensure it is referred to the relevant planning committee”, the possibility of a petition, and the submission of “strong objections” – TAKE THAT, THE MAN!

Meanwhile, the legal side of the St. Werburgh’s land grab is being handled by none other than VEALE WASBROUGH VIZARDS, the current home to baldy-headed former Bristol City Council lawyer-in-chief STEPHEN ‘MAHNA MAHNA’ MCNAMARA, and – as we may have mentioned before – best known for representing Catholic private school St. Benedict’s during a paedo priest scandal.

Whilst it isn’t known if McNamara is directly involved in this deal, he has certainly in the past been connected to what you might politely describe as ‘odd’ green-spaces-to-developers deals. One notable one also involved GEORGE FERGUSON before he bought won the Mayoralty and appointed the never-knowingly-overinformed Sir Hoyty-Toyty to become his ever-loyal Minister of Blue Peter Appeal Milk Bottle Top Collections.

So the Lynmouth Road allotment holders might be wise not to put too much faith in the likes of Hoyty-Toyty to draw a particularly deep line in the sand over their green space.

THE BRISTOLIAN – WEBSITE SEARCH LEAGUE TABLES

It’s been little more than a month since The BRISTOLIAN was relaunched, and already we are seeing a lot of search engine activity on some of our new best chums…

Currently in the lead – if we bundle together searches for ‘Malfoy’ as well – is baby-faced out-of-his-depth council counsel LIAM NEVIN. He nudges just ahead of ‘acting up’ City Director ANGIE ‘PAIDWELL’ RIDGWELL.

Then in joint third place come buffoonish former council boss GRAHAM SIMS, and slash-happy Mayor HIS ROYAL GEORGENESS.

Meanwhile, pulling up the rear we have a three donkey race: accounts-troubled BCC Facilities Manager TONY HARVEY, incompetent ex-top cop COLIN PORT, and in a surprise re-entry, Nevin’s predecessor STEPHEN MCNAMARA.

Of course, we have no idea how much of this frantic googling is down to the individuals concerned making constant vanity searches on their own names – perhaps a Freedom of Information request is in order..?

HARRY POTTER AND THE USELESS SOLICITOR

Little change at the City Council Legal Department as keen ‘Bristolian’ reader McNamara replaced by Nevin

Liam Nevin as Malfoy plus Stephen McNamara

Can we at The Bristolian be the first to welcome Bristol City Council’s new boy wonder legal boss LIAM ‘MALFOY’ NEVIN to town?

The spooky fresh-faced former public schoolboy recently jumped ship as Town Clerk in Stratford-upon-Avon to take over from our old friend STEPHEN ‘LYCRA’ MCNAMARA, after the sweaty-crotched baldy-head took early retirement to spend more time with his cycling accessories and Bristol Rovers plaque of honour for his outstanding contribution to local stadium planning in the south of the city.

It will be a hard act to follow, even though McNamara’s ‘retirement’ takes him only 500 yards from his old office to a cushy CONsultancy at the gated complex of glossy law firm Veale Wasbrough Vizards – best known for representing Catholic private school St Benedict’s during a paedo priest scandal.

Following such an IMPRESSIVELY OAFISH predecessor, rosy-cheeked Malfoy really has to pull out all the stops in his drive to demonstrate he can be an even bigger tool of the law, while taking a very interesting approach to managing the huge cuts required in his fiefdom.

In mid-February, on discovering he runs a legal department that can no longer afford, err, lawyers, Malfoy thought it would be a terrific wheeze to send – instead of, y’know, a qualified solicitor or something – one of his secretaries down to the County Court to represent the council at a hearing.

Alas, the judge was less than impressed with this fine example of local authority “efficiency saving” and sent said secretary packing back to Shitty Hall to tell Malfoy that m’lud would hold him in CONTEMPT OF COURT if ever he dispatched an unqualified representative to his court again.

A contempt of court charge – that will definitely save Bristol’s taxpayers lots of money!

Well done, Malfoy. You’re going to be fun to have around aren’t you?