Plans to turn the ‘tramway’ – a section of the old North Somerset Railway Line in Brislington – into a PR-friendly hipster heaven Greenway for cyclists and snooty businesses running out of shipping containers have gone off the, er, rails.
Trendy property-less firm, Meanwhile Creative, got planning permission back in March from the council for the temporary greenway on land long earmarked for the Callington Link, on the route of the proposed A4 Bath Road relief road, by promising their greenway was “ready-to-go”.
Or perhaps not. Over six months down the line and Meanwhile Creative are now wheeling out that all-purpose excuse “the cost of living crisis” and claiming it’s unlikely to go ahead. Informed opinion, however, says this is because neither the applicants nor the council owned the land and the people who did wanted £250k for it.
None of this is surprising to some Brislington locals who have dubbed the efforts of Lib Dem Councillors Andrew “Reg” Varney and Jos “Peculiar” Clarke and Labour councillor Tim “The Ripper” Rippington along with Bike Bristol and the Meanwhiles as “an embarrassing failure”.
Lookout for that lovely link road coming to quiet green space in Brislington soon!
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