Tag Archives: Temple Meads

ARENA NEWS

Adepts at the art of reading runes, the philosophy of semiology or the mysteries of poetics and symbology may have noticed the Reverend’s recent PLAN put before his cabinet to “facilitate the necessary cycle lane works on Airport Road”.

So what? He’s building a cycle path on Airport Road in Hengrove? Big deal. But this is what catches the eye – “This proposal seeks approval to submit a Local Growth Fund (LGF) GRANT REALLOCATION request to the LEP”. So why might the Reverend be reallocating a grant and from where?

“Due to the fact that the coach parking scheme on ALBERT ROAD can no longer be completed within the originally agreed LGF funding window, this proposal seeks approval to reallocate £790k to the Airport Road scheme,” breezily explain the Reverend’s transport minions.

Of course, a coach parking scheme on Albert Road is an integral part of transport plans for the Arena at TEMPLE MEADS. If there’s no coach park planned then there’s no arena going ahead at Temple Meads.

So look out for that arena at Filton announcement coming soon and be sure to enjoy your cycling lane on Airport Road instead!

SKUMMY SKANSKA SKAM

skanskaOur old friends over at wealthy Skandi uber-developers, SKANSKA, are working a new skam on Bristolians.

In an effort to get fashionable and down wit’ da kidz, the building firm with lots of local interests decided it wanted any hoardings around its HIGH VALUE LAND HOLDINGS at Temple Meads – now the subject of a new SECRET FINANCING DEAL with Bristol City Council – to be painted by local artists.

So out went the call from the multinational, which turned over HALF A BILLION POUNDS last year and earns a good slice of £73m a year from PFI deals with Bristol City Council alone, to a variety of edgy Bristolian street artists.

A few artists even responded. And some even asked how much they were gonna get paid by Skumska for their work? “NOTHING,” came the reply. “But you will get some great  exposure”!

These wealthy Skandi skum are taking the piss out of us aren’t they?

ARENA’S LOOMING BLACK HOLE DEBT SHOCKER!

Bristol Arena - white elephant - Dru Marland

Bristol City Council have finally admitted that their £90M ARENA is now actually going to cost at least £118m and even this huge price increase resembles the tip of an iceberg.

The 30 per cent INCREASE IN COSTS is to cover work and access arrangements to the so-called ‘Arena Island’ site at Temple Meads. However, the price is likely to rise even further as the council has UNDERESTIMATED some costs and IGNORED others altogether.

For example, the latest estimates include just £2.5m for ‘REMEDIATION WORKS‘ to remove chemical pollution from the arena site when the cost of this could be as high as £7.5m. The council also didn’t bother including an £8m BUSINESS RATE BILL that might fall in their lap, while the newly proposed eight storey MULTI-STOREY CAR PARK, demanded by their PROFIT HUNGRY arena operators, is, as yet, uncosted.

Costs could, therefore, easily increase to £135M PLUS. A cool 50 PER CENT increase on the original estimate. But will it stop there? With a builder yet to step foot on the site, more cost increases are a racing certainty.

The Bristolian is happy to go on the record and state that the final bill for the arena is likely to be between £150m and £180m. An overspend of somewhere between 75 AND 100 PER CENT over Mayor Fagpacket’s initial cost claims. How this will be paid for is not explained by the council either. Although it’s likely to be through a generation’s worth of HEAVY DEBT for the city.

With an election looming, the city’s councillors, politicians and mayoral candidates are all oddly quiet on this urgent matter of a looming BLACK HOLE IN the city’s public finances. Perhaps they’ve concluded an arena is popular with the electorate and any negativity about it could cost them votes?

What could possibly go wrong when the provincial political careers of a few sad old men come before the sound financial management of a city?

MAYOR: DEPRIVED? (OF ANY SENSE)

MAYOR- DEPRIVED? (OF ANY SENSE)On the same day it emerged that Mayor Hubris was spending up to £150m (and counting …) of OUR MONEY  on a series of pet commercial development projects around Temple Meads, he published a CRAZED ARTICLE on posh people’s website, the Huffington Post, explaining how he was tackling inequality in Bristol.

“We are targeting investment in the most highly deprived areas,” blustered the old fool. Although capital investment by the council in deprived areas such as Avonmouth, Hartcliffe and Southmead is NON EXISTENT. While basic public services run by the council in these areas such as youth, housing and libraries have been consistently CUT by Mayor Deluded.

Even a proposed HARTCLIFFE RECYCLING CENTRE, a useful public service and a source of employment in a deprived area, has been on the backburner because George alleges he can’t find the £3m necessary to open it. So is a polluted old diesel yard next to Temple Meads Station – the subject of about £130m of council investment so far for an arena – one of these “most HIGHLY DEPRIVED AREAS” then?

Other “MOST HIGHLY DEPRIVED AREAS” – all conveniently situated around Temple Meads and worthy of the mayor’s energies and lots of our cash – include the City Point office building directly opposite the station purchased with £9m of our money; derelict land at Temple Meads owned by Skanska and subject to a SECRET financing deal with the mayor and the George Hotel site at Temple Gate, which Mayor Moneybags wants to purchase for an UNDISCLOSED FEE amounting to millions in public money.

Or how about an uncosted eight-storey car park on the Bath Road being built entirely for the benefit of the “most highly deprived” ARENA OPERATORS? Or the former Post Office site at Temple Meads, which George is fattening up for sale in the hope it will pay for some of his over budget arena?

Try to find similar financial commitments in any of Bristol’s REALLY deprived areas and there’s none. Quite the reverse. Deprived areas are subsidising commercial property developments at Temple Meads on an epic scale.

Instead, as George explains in the Huffington Post, he’s tackling any genuine inequality and deprivation with a bunch of CHEAP, INADEQUATE AND LAUGHABLE policies. Any old policy pursued by George over the last three years has been hastily assembled into a list by a council PR and then abstractly rebranded as an anti-poverty measure.

“From 20mph, to RPZ, to metrobus, to engagement hubs, to 10,000 new primary school places, to children planting 30,000 trees, to a rainbow cabinet – all these are integral evidence-based policies that help secure a foundation to position Bristol to sustainability and fiercely tackle inequality,” waffles Mayor Gonad.

Really? Reducing traffic speed tackles poverty and inequality? Likewise, surely even the most DEMENTED of hippies is unlikely to claim children planting trees is a realistic solution to poverty and deprivation?

We could just conclude, at this point, that our mayor is a crackpot in need of a long lie down but anyone who thinks providing deprived areas with a few road signs and a tree planting project for kids counts as serious investment while simultaneously funnelling HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS to corporate property interests is clearly mendacious.

Vote him out in May.

EXCLUSIVE!!!! 6th PROPOSAL ADDED TO BRISTOL ARENA SHORTLIST

We’re happy to confirm that a late entry has been allowed on to the Bristol Arena design shortlist from Bristol’s very own Dru Marland.

Bristol Arena - white elephant - Dru Marland

In due course we’ll be running an EXCLUSIVE and BINDING public vote to discover what design Bristolians really want.

Watch this space …

‘PLOT 6’ THICKENS…

Politicians from across the spectrum are quick to insist that ‘Plot 6’ at Temple Meads train station – situated in the heart of the Tories’ so-called ENTERPRISE ZONE next to Brunel’s original building – is pencilled in to become a much-needed transport interchange. No, ‘onest guv!

This seems a bit strange as plans for the site have always shown Plot 6 occupied by a grotty speculative development of office blocks. And now The BRISTOLIAN learns that desperate planning bosses offered the plot to the BBC last year as a base for their operations in the city – and as part of a transparent attempt to boost the Enterprise Zone’s thin claims to be a centre for the creative industries.

Alas, the BBC declined the offer, presumably not really wanting to move to a DULL WASTELAND of office blocks and car parks.

But surely our councillors and Mayor Fergo need to have an urgent chat with Enterprise Zone boss – unelected Tory-boy Merchant Venturer Colin Skellett – and find out what his plans really are?