The Reverend’s own legal team inform him that Bristol City Council would only have “50:50” chance of winning a legal action if the current arena contractors for Temple Meads pursue Bristol City Council in the courts for abandoning the project.
The Bristolian, 1 September 2018
Due to the lack of information available, the experts said it must assume the council has a “50:50 chance of defending” a claim.
Evening Post, 7 September 2018
A friend of The BRISTOLIAN, who has had sight of the highly CONFIDENTIAL legal advice produced by Bristol City Council for the mayor regarding Tuesday’s arena decision, has been in touch.
This legal advice, which has only been made available to the MAYOR, his supine LABOUR CABINET and a small group of councillors on the Overview and Scrutiny Management Commission, has been kept well away from us plebs.
And for good reason. The Reverend’s own legal team inform him that Bristol City Council would only have “50:50” chance of winning a legal action if the current arena contractors for Temple Meads pursue Bristol City Council in the courts for abandoning the project.
The likely financial risk to the council is in in the TENS OF MILLIONS the report says. Further advice clearly says that the council should engage with the Temple Meads contractors to seek to reduce the RISK OF LEGAL ACTION before publicly announcing any decision not to proceed with the arena.
Will we get another fudged decision from the Reverend on Tuesday or will he brazenly embark on a course of action helpful to his new Malaysian corporate friends likely to cost us tens of millions in the courts?
Can we be the first to thank Nigel “Independent” Greenhalgh, The Reverend Rees’s personally appointed ‘Arena Director’ for his sterling work on our behalf producing an official council report recommending the Reverend immediately scrap plans for an arena at Temple Meads?
Naturally Greenhalgh, as is the way at the Reverend’s council, isn’t actually an employee of the council. Instead he’s a well remunerated consultant operating through a service company, which sounds like a shit early 90s rave act – elev8.
It’s especially worth noting some of elev8’s past and present clients. For example, according to the company’s website, elev8 represented ‘Cribbs Patchway New Neighbourhood’, the group of landowners who masterplanned, along with South Gloucestershire Council, the proposed development of Filton airfield. The very neighbourhood where Malaysian corporation, YTL, wish to put their arena!
Also, according to elev8’s website, they continue to work for Deeley Freed – who have an option on ‘Cribbs Urban Village‘, a development site in the Filton area. They are therefore a highly interested party in creating an arena at Filton!
What this all means is that Greenhalgh, his company elev8 and his clients in Filton all stand to make an awful lot of money from cancelling the arena at Temple Meads and promoting one at Filton instead.
What better person than Greehalgh is there, then, to write an independent report for the Reverend and his cabinet recommending that they scrap an arena at Temple Meads and start promoting Filton as the ideal venue!
What do you mean conflict of interest?
FACTS and FIGURES come crashing into the inbox regarding the Reverend’s recent trip to Cannes to attend the MIPIM property conference. A sort of working holiday on the Côte d’Azur where gullible local authority types can get mugged for their land by property speculators.
THREE ‘delegates’ from Bristol City Council went. The Reverend and his two current sidekicks, PR man Kevin “Don’t Mention the Private Education” Slocombe and Colin “Head Boy” Molton. Although we’re told that the Reverend’s Cabinet member for Spatial Planning and City Design Nicola “LA LA” Beech went along paid for by her employer.
And the cost of this three-day jaunt to you, dear council tax payer? A mere £9,950! Included in a busy itinerary for these selfless public servants were urgent events such as the ‘ARUP COCKTAIL PARTY‘, the ‘YTL DEVELOPMENTS DINNER‘ and the ‘BOUYGUE – LINKCITY DINNER‘!
Tough gigs but, no doubt, someone’s got to spend £10k of our money doing it!
City Council Property Services Director, Robert “Spunkface” Orrett, finally abandoned his local authority sinking ship in September for an executive lifeboat in Filton. Here, a LUCRATIVE CONTRACT appeared with Malaysian corporate, YTL.
YTL are the firm who want to build Bristol’s arena in Filton with public money and who, no doubt, will find Spunkface’s city council CONTACT BOOK and INSIDER KNOWLEDGE of developing an arena in Bristol very useful indeed.
Those with longer memories, may recall Spunkface arrived at Bristol City Council in the autumn of 2012 from corporate property firm BNP Paribas as the man who was going to bring “private sector efficiency and discipline” to the council’s STRUGGLING and UNDER-POWERED Property Services Department.
He also brought along an UNLAWFUL private consultancy gig with BNP Paribas, which he didn’t give up for over a year, breaking all known codes of conduct for public servants. However, for some reason, this conduct was OVERLOOKED by senior council bosses and councillors who are supposed to rigorously defend the integrity of our public services.
When Spunkface departed in the autumn, his department – largely run by a revolving door of interims and consultants who couldn’t give a toss – was announcing over £7million in UNACHIEVED SAVINGS; an OVERSPEND of £2million and was engulfed in MANAGEMENT CHAOS. Meanwhile, on Spunkface’s watch, a number of financial and bullying SCANDALS had emerged across his department.
These SCANDALS in markets, security services and the Harbour Office were all brushed under the carpet by Spunkface while he SINGULARLY FAILED to make any progress in increasing income from the council’s valuable property portfolio as he had been employed to do. Although plenty of city council property was handed over FOR FREE to corporate property guardian firms to earn big money from EXPLOITING the homeless and vulnerably housed.
Now that Spunkface has departed, we learn that discussions are taking place at a senior level in the council about OUTSOURCING the management of the council’s Property Services to the PRIVATE SECTOR to bring – wait for it – “private sector efficiency and discipline” to the useless department!
Who would ever have guessed that a manager brought in from the private sector would achieve nothing except to so thoroughly trash a local authority department it needed to be outsourced to the, er, private sector?