Tag Archives: Tim Kent

HOW BEING A COUNCILLOR WORKS

Peacock
Peacock:”It’s, er, something or other historical that’s not relevant that I don’t know”

To Tuesday’s Overview and Scrutiny Commission meeting on Tuesday where the horrifying City Leap privatisation project was being discussed. The £7m two year procurement process is now over and US firm Ameresco has got the winning bid with state-owned Swedish firm, Vattenfall, as a partner.

The headline news is that the city’s heat networks, built and funded by council taxpayers and the government since 2015, are to be handed over to Vattenfall to run. This generous award of public assets to a private firm appears to have no price tag attached.

Not that this seemed to concern councillors on Tuesday, who appeared intensely relaxed at news of a multi-million pound public asset being given away to the private sector.

However one exchange between the council’s City Leap kingpin Executive Director Stephen “Preening” Peacock and Lib Dem Councillor Tim “Little Asshat” Kent caught the eye.

Councillor Kent had the temerity to ask the preening Peacock what a cost of £1.2m (which may not have been unattached to a bung to Bristol Energy) was for in Peacock’s exorbitant procurement costs. The exchange went something like this:

KENT: “What was the cost of Energy Innovation Services in 2019 for?”

PEACOCK: “It’s a historic number We don’t have anything more to say on that today”

KENT: “OK I don’t recall that. So what was it”?

PEACOCK: “I don’t have the Information today”

KENT: “Can anyone recall what that is. It’s £1.2m and nobody knows what it is. It’s about 15 per cent of the budget”

PEACOCK: “I’m not saying we don’t remember. I’m saying it’s not relevant … If you’re trying to allude to Bristol Energy. It’s that. It’s been dealt with at previous meetings.”

KENT: “I wasn’t a member of [the committee] then so it doesn’t stop me from asking questions. Even if you don’t like the questions.

PEACOCK: “I’m simply saying this meeting is to talk about the outcome of a procurement and if you want to discuss the outcome of a conversation we had two years ago we’re very happy to do that.”

KENT: “What I’m discussing is the figures that are presented to us here in the room I just asked a simple question. I had a suspicion. I wasn’t actually sure but that figure particularly stood out. My real question about that then – what was it? Because it was a lot of money?”

PEACOCK: “We’ll write to you afterwards if you like? We have been focussing today on City Leap procurement. This is just merely a restatement of a budget that’s been in there with the only additions and changes being the information you’ve now seen to close out that period,. Which effectively, I think, we’re about £100,000 within the budget and then we’re looking for a fresh approval to get into the mobilisation and transition phase. All I’m saying is we’re not in possession of that information today because it’s a historic matter.”

KENT: “I think that the budget was reported about 18 months ago that it would be no more than £6.5m. [it’s now £7.3m]. I thought my question was perfectly reasonable. I see you don’t.. Anyway I’m done. Thank you.”

In the space of a couple of minutes, Peacock variously says: “we don’t have anything more to say on that”; “I don’t have the information”; “it’s not relevant”; “it’s a historic matter”.

Would you trust this man to sell your heat network to a multinational corporation?

COUNCILLORS CALL TIME ON CHILD ABUSE IN BRISTOL SCHOOLS

Kerry on People Scrutiny

If you’re ever looking for some visceral screen entertainment over the next few years, we suggest you take a look at Bristol City Council’s People Scrutiny Commission on Youtube. Finally, it looks like the gloves might be coming off against the council’s social care and education bosses for failures and evasions stretching back for years.

The Commission is chaired by Tim “Little Asshat” Kent who has a child with special educational needs in Bristol and has the scars on his back to show for it. He’s joined on the committee by Christine “Miss” Townsend, who has been accused in the past of being a ‘terrorist’ by local academy chain The Venturers Trust for complaining about their admission procedures, and Hartcliffe councillor Kerry “Rosie” Bailes.

Kerry has a child with special educational needs who’s been forced out of his primary school for three years now, because, as far as we can tell, his Hartcliffe school is run by some sort of Nazi freak fully backed by the council. Also on the Committee are Tim “The Ripper” Rippington who has family experience with autism and Bristol City Council ‘services’ and Geoff “Cods” Gollop who has a family member drifting around somewhere at the wrong end of the council’s adult care service.

All-in-all it looks like the focus of this committee might be on the human rights of children and service users. Rather than its usual business of blaming parents, covering up abuse and ignoring the systematic management failures of senior bosses and an embedded culture of institutional disability discrimination. An approach that bosses, for years, have tidily wrapped up in complicated bureaucracy and unfathomable technocratic jargon to give their ugly work a veneer of respectability.

The first meeting of People Scrutiny got off to a flying start with Kerry telling Hugh “Hell” Evans, the cheery, chubby Jacqui “Village” Jensen replacement as Executive Director Of Institutional Abuse (surely Executive Director of People? Ed), in relation to his ‘Building Rights: a review of Bristol’s policies and actions for people with learning disabilities and autistic people’ report:

 “This all sounds really amazing. A lot of it should already be happening. The law was changed a very long time ago and we just haven’t seen it. As public forum said, there is no accountability. You know that I’ve been in the system nearly four years now and I’ve seen no difference. It’s still very much a you’ll do as you’re told or else system and when I say or else, I mean or ,else. It is awful.”

My son was thrown into a car park at five years old. He was locked in an office for being autistic. This report talks about abuse in care homes. That’s happening in our schools under our noses. And when we complain about it, we are lied about. There is no accountability. What kind of consequences are there if none of this happens? You know it can’t go on as it is. This is our children, you know? What consequences are there? The people who abused autistic people in care homes went to prison. You know what? When are our children going to get justice. When is there going to be some consequences?”

Evans, unsurprisingly, didn’t offer Kerry a timeline on when council bosses and education ‘leaders’ might suffer any consequences for abusing children and ignoring service user’s rights. Instead a private meeting away from the public eye was offered by Education Director Alison “Burly” Hurley.

Kerry, not one to be easily distracted by useless private meetings with desperate arse-covering council bosses keen to keep a fat salary rolling into their bank account at the expense of abused children, has instead approached the Police and Crime Commissioner requesting a criminal investigation into the abuse of SEND pupils in Bristol schools.

Last week’s meeting is available on Youtube with more set to come

REVEREND IN THE EYE

Private Eye  Marvin

Fancy finding the Reverend Rees in the latest ‘Rotten Boroughs’ column of Private Eye. The natural home of the bent provincial politician.

It seems this brief article refers to Lib Dem councillor Tim “Small Asshat” Kent who asked the Reverend at a recent Cabinet meeting how many followers he had blocked from his ‘Official’ Twitter account run by council officers?

None of your business came the official reply. It’s a private account, explained the Reverend, and he could choose what he did with it, including “blocking individuals who are abusive or deliberately spread misinformation”.

He then proceeded to block Kent on Twitter describing him as a “pit of negativity” at a press conference the next day.

None of which explains why the Reverend is spending £3k a month of public money having his private Twitter account monitored by Impact Social, a dubious internet monitoring firm based above a used car dealers in south London, while blocking any resident he feels like.

Is this legal?