Gossip from around the Nazi Post’s city centre flexible workdesk regarding their new editor Pete “Swindon” Gavan.
“When former editor Mike Norton was in charge, everything was at the whim of Norton and how his relationship with Kevin Slocombe (the mayor’s PR assistant) was going. If they fell out, a minor put down by Marvin to a reporter was front page news.
“If Norton and Slocombe were mates, Esme Ashcroft [former Post political editor] was prevented from investigating Marvin’s deal with YTL, conducted in the Far East, for an arena at Filton. Esme left because of it. Now though, it seems the new boss isn’t taking any shit. He don’t care who Slocombe is.”
Neither does anyone else in the city. What’s the big deal about pound shop spin doctor Slo Kev anyway? We watch events with interest …
The shape of the YTL/Wessex Water public relations response to the death of four of their staff in an explosion at their Avonmouth sewage plant on Thursday is becoming apparent.
Fronted by Merchant Venturer sleazeball Colin Skellett, there’s a focus on this Bath resident’s attachment to Avonmouth and what the wealthy Tory patriarch calls the ‘Wessex Water family’.
Talk of ‘family’ reminds us of hit and miss leftie luvvie author, George Orwell. Here’s what he had to say when he compared England to a family:
“[England] resembles a family, a rather stuffy Victorian family, with not many black sheep in it but with all its cupboards bursting with skeletons. It has rich relations who have to be kow-towed to and poor relations who are horribly sat upon, and there is a deep conspiracy of silence about the source of the family income. It is a family in which the young are generally thwarted and most of the power is in the hands of irresponsible uncles and bedridden aunts. Still, it is a family. It has its private language and its common memories, and at the approach of an enemy it closes its ranks. A family with the wrong members in control – that, perhaps is as near as one can come to describing England in a phrase.”
A worker that delivers to the treatment tanks at the Wessex Water plant in Avonmouth, one of which blew up today, has told The BRISTOLIAN, “Wessex Water workers there have been complaining for ages that the tanks were in disrepair but the company would not shut down the process. It will have been a methane gas explosion.”
Wessex Water is owned by Malaysian multi-national YTL who are developing the arena at Filton along with a load of unaffordable housing there. The Chief Executive of Wessex Water is Tory donor and Merchant Venturer, Colin Skellett.
YTL paid for the Reverend Rees to fly from China to Malaysia in December 2017 and stay overnight in the Ritz Carlton, Kuala Lumpur. they also paid for all his meals on the trip and a flight back to Bristol. The Reverend then set about cancelling the arena at Temple Meads and promoting an arena by YTL in Filton.
The Reverend and the corporate land sales team he’s expensively assembled continue to impressively piss public money up against the wall while the rest of us are forced to tolerate austerity because “THERE’S NO MONEY”. The latest wheeze from the Reverend and his crew is another all-expenses trip to Cannes for that annual abomination, MIPIM: “the international gathering of property sharks” (surely “property professionals”? Ed).
A FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST reveals that this year’s four day jolly to the Cote D’Azure for the UNACCOUNTABLE to shift our assets to the UNPALATABLE cost council taxpayers almost £12k.
Accompanying the Reverend at our
expense was our dear old friend Colin “Head Boy” Molton, the £1,500 a
day regeneration boss without a proper contract of employment; Nuala
“Hoop” Gallagher, Director of City Growth, Investment &
Infrastructure at the council and the Reverend’s handpicked RELIGIOUS LOONEY FRIEND from his
Hotwells church for evangelical nutters, Jeremy “I’m no housing
expert” Sweetland, the Director of Bristol Housing Festival, keen on
shoving the poor into small, airless boxes to solve “the housing
The £12k bill this little lot landed us with included rooms for each delegate
at around £800 A NIGHT for three
nights and a £200 TAXI FARE to get
Head Boy from Nice Airport to Cannes following his premium £900 FLIGHT from the UK. Presumably because a man as idle and
important as Head Boy can’t possibly get a bus to save us some money?
At the conference the group served up top nosh, drinks and hospitality at a
variety of events and receptions on behalf of some very FAMILIAR INTERNATIONAL CORPORATE NAMES doing some very good
business in Bristol – YTL, Skanska and Arup. Schmoozing services were also
provided to local outfits such as Business West, property company Savills and
the Merchant Venturer front organisation, Invest in Bath and Bristol.
And the point of all this? Who knows? Any purpose and outcome of these
expensive trips is, always, shrouded in mystery and not revealed to the plebs
who foot the bill.
Keeping his manifesto promises was always going to be challenging for the Reverend Rees, not least because we calculated at the time that it contained about 78 UNCOSTED PROMISES in all. However, what we couldn’t predict was how the Reverend would smash through any BARRIERS TO FAILURE quite so spectacularly.
Top of the list must come his promise to “COMPLETE THE ARENA“, which has now been downgraded to, “I will cancel the existing arena project I promised and instead support a global corporation’s efforts to build an arena in Filton named after an obscure dead bloke who owned our local privatised water utility scam”.
Meanwhile in terms of the Reverend’s highly contested housing promise – “WE WILL BUILD 2,000 NEW HOMES – 800 affordable – a year (by 2020)” – his housing guru, Paul “Wolfie” Smith continues to carefully calibrate the spin with the line that his PROJECTIONS are on target … Even if the actual number of houses being built isn’t!
Then there’s the recycling promise. The Reverend’s recently promoted former waste boss, The Former Socialist Known as Kye Dudd simply CHANGED THE TARGET and hoped no one would notice. We will “increase recycling, setting a target of 55% for all waste by 2020,” thundered the Reverend’s manifesto in 2016.
Fast forward to 2019 and we find The Former Socialist Known as Dudd’s waste overseer, Bristol Waste managing director Tony Lawless telling the Nazi Post, “We are delighted to see Bristol is on track to meet its ambitious RECYCLING RATE OF 50 PER CENT BY 2020.”
The comment came after the Reverend’s council managed to announce in January a measly ONE PER CENT increase in recycling rates since 2015 to 46%. Nothing like enough of an increase to reach 50 per cent, never mind 55 per cent, by 2020 as promised in their manifesto.
Have Rees and Dudd changed their promise in a vain attempt to claim they have courageously fallen a little short of a hugely ambitious target and hope we’ll not notice?
Nigel “Independent” Greenhalgh’s blatant CONFLICT OF INTEREST was raised by Tory councillor Geoff “Cods” Gollop at the cabinet meeting on 3 September. The meeting where the Reverend cancelled the Temple Island Arena in favour of an office development on the site.
Cods Gollop was given a note by the Reverend’s NEW CLOWN PRINCE of the council’s legal department, “Uncle” Quentin Baker, another temp brought in to oversee a senior post of some significance in Rees’s administration.
And in a classic NON-DENIAL DENIAL, Uncle Quentin explained to Gollop: “The relevant officer [Greenhlagh] has confirmed that he hasn’t previously been employed by YTL as was alleged in the press and [a council] scrutiny meeting.”
Er, except no such thing was ever alleged in the press. The allegation was that Greenhalgh had worked for CRIBBS PATCHWAY NEW NEIGHBOURHOOD and was still working for CRIBBS URBAN VILLAGE. Both organisations that stood to gain from an arena at Filton.
This piece of non-denial denial bollocks from Uncle Quentin seems to have satisfied most Bristol City Councillors. Most Bristolians, however, are in a state of ABSOLUTE DISBELIEF that Greenhalgh has been paid by them to produce a report TRASHING their arena at Temple Island and promoting one at Filton, when he stands to financially benefit from the decision.
Again, in many countries, The Reverend, Head Boy and Greenhalgh would now be spending a considerable amount of time with law enforcement agencies DISCUSSING CORRUPTION.
Unfortunately the UK is not one of those countries.
Nigel “Independent” Greenhalgh, the council’s ‘Arena Director’ produced the official council cabinet report recommending that the Reverend SCRAP plans for an arena at Temple Meads in favour of a mixed use development. Advice the Reverend happily accepted on September 3.
Naturally Greenhalgh, as is the way at the Reverend’s council, isn’t actually an employee of Bristol City 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 well 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, now wish to put an 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. Greenhalgh and his firm are therefore an interested party in siting an arena at Filton and the effect this might have on land and property prices there.
What this all means is that Greenhalgh, his company elev8 and his clients in Filton may make a 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 asking them to SCRAP an arena at Temple Meads and start PROMOTING Filton as the ideal venue!
With Barra Mac Nugget safely employed at YTL, a new face appeared on the scene at Bristol City Council. Please step forward Colin “HEAD BOY” Molton, a former director at the HCA, the quango that sold Arena Island to Bristol City Council in the first place.
Initially employed as a temp to cover Mac Nugget’s post until a permanent replacement was found, Head Boy Molton was eventually handed the job to sort out Bristol’s arena on a SHORT-TERM CONTRACT basis, apparently without the hassle of having to go through any FORMAL RECRUITMENT PROCESS. Instead, Head Boy cut a deal with Bristol City Council to continue in his £1.5k a day post until May 2020 Conveniently enough, when the Reverend will likely be voted out of office.
Such a deal is, of course, outside all KNOWN PRINCIPLES of good employment practice and contrary to Bristol City Council’s constitution and equalities policies. How can an old white man with a chartered surveying qualification and a useful contacts book simply be handed a highly paid senior job at Bristol City Council without going through a COMPETITIVE RECRUITMENT PROCESS?
Since taking up his post, Molton has been glued to the Reverend’s side. Even attending the annual property development piss-up (surely networking event? Ed.), MIPIM in Cannes with the Reverend where the pair MET WITH YTL on at least TWO OCCASIONS.
However, perhaps Head Boy’s most interesting piece of handiwork – so far – was to employ yet another EXPENSIVE CONSULTANT as his ‘Arena Director’.
It’s a matter of PUBLIC RECORD, published in the The Nazi Post, that Barra Mac “Nugget” left his £136k a year job at Bristol City Council to work for YTL Developments as Chief Operating Officer on 5 May 2017.
However, emails published under FoI, courtesy of Frank Church, show Mac Nugget, still a senior city council boss with responsibility for the arena, arranging a SECRET MEETING in an UPMARKET BRISTOL HOTEL BAR with a representative of YTL for the 18 April. This meeting was “about the potential for using one of the HANGARS AT FILTON” as an arena and “HOTEL AND CONFERENCING AT TEMPLE MEADS“. Mac Nugget even asks the unknown YTL rep “can we keep this [meeting] as a one to one please”?
So, while serving out his NOTICE with Bristol City Council, Mac Nugget met his future employer to directly discuss SENSITIVE LAND AND FINANCIAL ISSUES with them on behalf of Bristol City Council, while going to great lengths to ensure that there were no witnesses to this meeting and no minutes.
In many countries Mac Nugget would now be spending a considerable amount of time with law enforcement agencies discussing CORRUPTION, conflicts of interest and the exchange of inside information. Unfortunately the UK is not one of those countries.
Instead, Mac Nugget moved on this spring from YTL to Bristol University on another FAT SALARY to manage the university’s Estates Department. In this post he’ll be responsible for delivering a new campus directly opposite, er, Arena Island.
The purpose of Mac Nugget’s year long stint with YTL remains shrouded in mystery as does any generous remuneration arrangements he may have had with them.
Thanks to the hard work of a MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC, Frank Church, a number of emails between Bristol City Council and Malaysian multinational, YTL, potential developers of an arena at Filton were finally released under FoI in August. This saw, even, the Nazi Post bothering to read some emails in brief flurry of investigative activity courtesy of their local government correspondent, the fragrant Esme “DAN” Ashcroft.
“During the second of three extraordinary scrutiny meetings on June 20,” explained Ms Ashcroft, “Liberal Democrat councillor for Knowle Gary Hopkins asked when council officers were told to start drawing up plans for a MIXED-USE DEVELOPMENT on Temple Island.”
Colin “Head Boy” Molton, the reverend’s PERSONALLY APPOINTED £1.5k a day regeneration chief replied to Hopkins: “It was around LATE AUTUMN last year when the YTL proposition came to the fore.”
However, observes Ms Ashcroft, “Freedom of Information (FoI) documents seen by Bristol Live reveal a SENIOR COUNCIL OFFICER was exchanging emails with Malaysian investment firm YTL LAST APRIL about the prospect of an arena in the Brabazon hangar at Filton Airfield.”
The senior council officer exchanging these emails was former Bristol City Council Strategic Director Place, Barra Mac “NUGGET” Ruairi, the man personally running Bristol’s arena project until he went to work for YTL, the opposition. But why was the Reverend’s personal property expert (troughing around £200k a year off the rates) Colin “HEAD BOY” Molton telling porkies about these emails?
Perhaps Ms Ashcroft should have paid a little more attention to Mac Nugget’s emails and the dates they contain? (To be continued …)