Our favourite PUBLIC SECTOR MONEY PIT, Bristol City Council’s Bottle Yard Studios, the loudmouth film and creative industries public relations initiative for the city funded by you, dear council tax payer, has some news.
We learn that at present there is NO MORE SPACE at the studios to make any actual, er, films, because Mammoth Screen, the private production firm behind BBC’s crappy Poldark drama is currently renting out most of the studios as cheap STORAGE SPACE!
Quite why the firm can’t pay COMMERCIAL RATES at Big Yellow Storage like the rest of us and let us use our facility, subsidised to the tune of £1million a year by the council taxpayer, to make films is unclear.
This foray by the council into the world of equipment storage at the city’s premier creative industries venue puts a rather large dent in their ridiculous claim that they are delivering JOBS and TRAINING in the film industry for the people of South Bristol.
What are these jobs and training in? Manual handling and minimum wage security roles?
Francombe earning more than the PM for managing four employees!
Please step forward Fiona “Luvvie” Francombe, winner for ‘Outstanding Management and Leadership’ at this year’s Bristol Post & Bath Chronicle WOMEN OF THE YEAR Awards.
Fiona works MOST DAYS for the city council as Site Director at the Bottle Yard film studios from a city council office in a city council building using city council equipment. She even has a city council email address and spends lots and lots of city council and taxpayers’ money managing the state subsidised filmmaking facilities.
None of this seems to stop her setting herself up to get paid TAX EFFICIENTLY and avoid the little people’s PAYE obligations right under our noses, however. Fiona is also the Company Secretary for the Purcell Partnership Ltd and, it seems, her wages – at a DAY RATE OF £625 – from Bristol City Council are conveniently routed through the council’s employment agency, Guidant, to avoid prying eyes, difficult questions and, even, the attention of council auditors who tend to have an interest in high-earning council officers.
Why would Bristol City Council choose to pay a full time, permanent, middle-ranking member of staff who manages four staff a SIX FIGURE SALARY as a temp through an employment agency enabling them to AVOID substantial amounts of tax?
Bristol City Council seems to be avoiding cuts in some areas. Please step forward the Reverend Mayor, Marvin Rees, who’s decided there should be NO CUTS at all in his personal office; his new chief executive’s office or to his senior leadership team. Areas that have all chronically UNDERPERFORMED over the last five years and cost us a lot of money.
Not that the Reverend gives a shit about saving money when it comes to himself, his self-regarding PUBLICLY FUNDED international lifestyle or his personal office team of EGO PAMPERERS on the rates.
Back on November 30 the Reverend SUSPENDED non-essential spending at the council for ordinary staff delivering services. By Tuesday 6 December he was touching down in China, pretending he was on some sortsales mission.
What the fuck was he selling them? CREAKING, underfunded local public services? SUBSIDISED film studio facilities in Hengrove ideal for overblown costume drama? CHEAP tickets for dodgy middle class comedians at the Colston Hall? The USELESS services of the shittest Internal Audit team the world has ever known?
If a pointless ‘trade mission’ to China by a SMALL and FAILING municipal body led by a pompous, preening figurehead isn’t non-essential, what the fuck is?