Tag Archives: Zoe Sear

MONSTER MAYOR?

Sandy

News that fully paid-up middle class prat and voluntary sector luvvie, Sandy “FRANKENSTEIN” Bufton-Tufton (surely Hore-Ruthven? ed.), will be Green candidate for mayor in 2020 moves the campaign for the next elected mayor of Bristol up a small notch.

Over the last few years Bufton-Tufton has carved himself out a career as a MINOR ESTABLISHMENT FIGURE of little consequence as the Chief Executive of the Creative Youth Network, the money swallowing youth project based at the Station in Broadmead, and as the Chair of Voscur, Bristol’s underperforming voluntary and community sector umbrella group.

In fact, Bufton-Tufton looks like another half-educated, snooty middle class white male CARPETBAGGER prone to jumping on the nearest party political bandwagon to achieve his unrealistic leadership ambitions that the Greens tend to favour. Remember Darren “Bugger” Hall, the Greens’ great white hope for MP for Bristol West? Whatever happened to him and his commitment to the city once a Parliamentary seat FAILED TO MATERIALISE?

More worrying for us, the long suffering electorate, is that Bufton-Tufton could turn out to be a TERRIFYING MIX of the worst of Mayor-No-More George and the Reverend Rees. For we understand that Bufton-Tufton’s current squeeze is none other than Zoe “Groupie” Sear, the HORRIFYING SNOB that played at PR and political advisor for Mayor No-More Ferguson. What a small world Bristol is!

In 2013, Ms Sear, then earning the best part of a grand a week from the council as George’s sidekick, worked with senior council housing bosses to try to force a victim of domestic violence The BRISTOLIAN was supporting into a refuge AGAINST HER WILL. When the woman refused to budge, “your name could be slipped to the mainstream press!” hissed Sear down the phone to this victim of serious violence.

What role Ms Sear will be playing in Bufton-Tufton’s hapless Green Party campaign against anyone who dares to drive a car in Bristol is not yet clear. But let’s hope it doesn’t involve advising on DOMESTIC VIOLENCE or letting her anywhere near “THE MAINSTREAM PRESS“. In fact, it might be best if Bufton Tufton leaves Zoe at home to wait for the Ocado delivery when he goes out to campaign. Otherwise we might start confusing him with George.

We also learn that Bufton-Tufton, just like the Reverend, is a fully paid up member of Common Purpose, a virulently pro-EU, pro-free market “LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME“, generally aimed at public sector middle managers of limited intelligence.

The organisation has members scattered across local government and the voluntary sector in Bristol and, as far as we can see, its main common purpose is for its members to promote each other into jobs and positions of power that they’re not very good at. They then get on with their core task of selling off public services and assets to corporate contacts as cheap and fast as possible while endlessly repeating the buzzwords “INCLUSION“, “DIVERSITY“, “INCLUSIVE GROWTH” and “SUSTAINABLE“.

Despite his bizarre RIGHT WING LEADERSHIP TRAINING, Bufton-Tufton’s personal leadership skills may still leave a bit to be desired. This glorious new city leader stood up the Extraordinary Full Council Meeting on 3 September to CONDEMN the Reverend for cancelling the arena at Arena Island. Only for the Reverend, an hour later at the same meeting, to announce that Voscur SUPPORTED his plan to cancel the arena at Arena Island. Bufton-Tufton is, of course, chair of Voscur and responsible for their corporate policies.

Isn’t it good to see Bufton-Tufton’s mastered the Marvin-like political art of badly selling two entirely opposing views to the people simultaneously? He may go far in Bristol ..

OH SHIT! NOW IT’S HIT THE FAN …

Oh no! It looks like the gypsy community have just poured a large bucket of shit over the heads of council housing director, Nick “No” Hooper, Mayor Fergo, his glamorous assistant, Zoe Sear and council legal boss Liam “Malfoy” Nevin.

Alas, promises from No Hooper that Thursday’s High Court hearing would sort out the ongoing ‘Avonmouth Shit Scandal’ proved to be, er, shit after the council’s legal team, headed up by rookie lawyer Malfoy, got a pasting in the High Court from the gypsies’ smart-arsed brief.

So rather than packing up and leaving as promised by No Hooper, the gypsies are now there for at least another six weeks! And in a remarkable u-turn, No Hooper is now promising to install a portaloo as requested!

It’s another win for the newspaper that counts! Full steam ahead through the shit!

Here’s No Hooper’s climbdown in full:

Subject: RE: Unlawful gypsy and traveller encampment

Date: Fri, 2 May 2014 13:26:35 +0000

Dear Mr Norman

I promised to contact you when we knew the outcome of the High Court hearing on the injunction preventing the Council using its eviction order. This was considered yesterday in the High Court in London. The judge did not agree to lift the injunction, and instead has decided that he will hear both the injunction and the eviction order in due course, once the Council has provided him with more information about the case. That hearing is likely to be in about 6 weeks time. I am sure you will be disappointed by that result, as is the Council. In view of the decision by the judge, and the extended time that the travellers will be where they are currently, I have decided exceptionally that we will provide a portaloo for their sole use whilst they are there. It will be delivered tomorrow.

Yours.

MORE SHIT

A wealthy bloke from leafy West Bristol has decided that the residents of Avonmouth must, literally, live in shit so he can have a dick waving contest with a group of gypsies.

Council Service Director, Nick Hooper, has ruled that a portaloo cannot be provided to a temporary gypsy site in Avonmouth in case it “create[s] any impression that the Council is sanctioning the use of this land”.

Naturally,  as a council boss, Hooper is far more concerned with “impressions”, “brand”, “image” and  tolerating  public health hazards conveniently situated several miles away from his own upmarket home than the health and welfare of ordinary Bristolians and their children.

But wouldn’t it be interesting to go and dump a load of shit on Hooper’s street, tell him it’s a good thing and see how he and his family react?

Here’s the latest council email on shit. Read it and weep some more …

From: nick.hooper@bristol.gov.uk
To: s-norman123@hotmail.co.uk
CC: zoe.sear@bristol.gov.uk; tom.gilchrist@bristol.gov.uk; steven.hearsey@bristol.gov.uk
Subject: Unlawful gypsy and traveller encampment
Date: Wed, 30 Apr 2014 18:03:38 +0000

Dear Mr Norman

I refer to Zoe Sear’s message to you earlier. I am the director responsible for the Council’s work with gypsies and travellers, including enforcement where that is necessary. I fully understand your concerns and those of nearby residents, and we are doing all we can to deal with the unlawful encampment. Steve Hearsey was quite right to say that we would not provide a portaloo – it is vital that we do not create any impression that the Council is sanctioning the use of this land for travellers by installing facilities. Instead we will do all we can to remove them from the land, through proper legal process. I am sure that Mr Hearsey explained that we have obtained an eviction order to recover the land. However lawyers for the traveller household obtained an injunction preventing us from using the eviction order. As part of the process to try and quash the injunction we have a duty to ensure that we have done all that we can to assist the travellers to meet their needs, as well as be as certain as we can that we will win the case. There has been contact, by Mr Hearsey and other council staff, with the traveller household to make sure that we fully understand their needs and that we have done what we can to assist them, which will will form part of our evidence. Part of the process of gathering evidence has also included complaints we have received from yourself and others about the impact of the unlawful encampment.

Tomorrow there is a hearing in the High Court in London at which the Council will be seeking to get the injunction lifted. Once we know the outcome of the Court’s decision, and assuming the Council is successful, we will be able to determine how quickly we can evict them from the site, or they may decide to go voluntarily. If we have to evict them then this may take a couple of weeks. After the court decision we will review the next steps, about which we will keep you informed. This will include any further cleaning needed and considering the question of barriers to deter future occupation.

Yours sincerely,

Nick Hooper

And here’s the response to Hooper, neatly pointing out he’s sidestepping the question of whether he’s tolerating a public health hazard in our city because he wants to act the tough guy (from the safety of his secure Counts Louse office, natch)  and score a few points against some, er, gypsies!

(It’s also worth noting that while Hooper is merrily laying off staff to save money, he seems to have an unlimited budget to pay for privatised shit shovellers).

From: s-norman123@hotmail.co.uk
To: nick.hooper@bristol.gov.uk
CC: mayor@bristol.gov.uk; zoe.sear@bristol.gov.uk
Subject: RE: Unlawful gypsy and traveller encampment
Date: Thu, 1 May 2014 08:23:47 +0100

Dear Mr Hooper,

Thank you for your email the contents of which have been noted.

I however note with interest that it does not address or provide answers to the three direct questions asked in my email to Mayor Ferguson. Nor does it address the questions asked regarding costs of cleaning and how those costs compare to the installation of a portaloo. These can clearly be found out after the matter has been resolved through an FOI request if you are not prepared to supply these figures at this moment in time.

I find it quite amazing that educated and highly paid officers of the council can trivialize a public health problem with the word IMPRESSION. Now, without wishing to sound facetious, I feel sure I could muster up enough fellow constituents to clean-up and bag the excrement free of charge and deliver it to your’s and Mayor Ferguson’s abodes. Clearly it is your intentions to take us back to the dark ages in Shirehampton/Avonmouth because deciding to act otherwise will give the wrong ‘impression’.

I fail to see why those fortunate enough to live in leafy suburbs should not have some of what we are expected to accept and tolerate.

In your email you mention the welfare of the Gypsies. Well I would have thought toilet facilities would be included in the word welfare. It would to most rational thinking people. After all is said and done, even prisoners are provided with hygienic conditions.

Clearly it is accepted that gypsy encampments are a problem for BCC. However that does not exonerate the local authority from avoiding its responsibilities or legal duties under public health and safety laws. It would be extremely helpful if you could provide me with a copy of the section of legislation or public health & safety law you rely on for denying the installation of portaloos or what part of the law or legislation states you can deny this based on ‘impression’.

In any event your current argument for not installing portaloos, whilst the legal process is being played out, is sinking faster than the Titanic on a cold April night and is like the deck chair attendant trying to rearrange the deck chairs after the event.

Clearly the installation of a said temporary toilet would not be sanctioning the site but would merely show BCC acting as a responsible authority and protecting the health and public safety of residents in the vicinity of the site and preventing the possible spread of life threatening diseases such as hepatitis.

To be quite frank and brutal, the contents of your email amounts to nothing more than bureaucratic waffle that has no legal foundation and your decision is being endorsed by a group of narcissistic nodding dogs around a table.

I would now ask that either you or are esteemed Mayor answer the three questions that were directly asked in my first email and those questions asked in my second email.

Q, Are You Happy That Humans Are Expelling Human Body Waste In A Public Place

Q  Is It The Intention Under Your Mayor ship To Take Us Back To The Dark Ages

Q, Do You And Your Overpaid Officer Accept Full Responsibility That The Expelling Of Human Waste & Urine Can Create A Public Health Problem

Will you also please clarify if a cleaning team will be on 24hr call out or if it will be attending on a daily bases to remove the excrement and toilet tissue and what the cost of such an operation will be compared to the cost of hiring a temporary toilet whilst BCC get back possession of the land.

Clearly it may be the case that I need to consider seeking an emergency injunction from the court seeking BCC to install a portloo in the interest of public health & safety. I certainly believe I have a strong prima facie case for the court to consider

Yours Sincerely

Mr Stephen Norman

And here’s the mayor’s response. Again sidestepping the issue of whether they’re deliberately leaving a load of shit and a public health hazard in the middle of Avonmouth. So much for straight talking …

From: mayor@bristol.gov.uk
To: s-norman123@hotmail.co.uk
CC: mayor@bristol.gov.uk; nick.hooper@bristol.gov.uk
Subject: RE: Unlawful gypsy and traveller encampment

Date: Thu, 1 May 2014 09:20:48 +0000

Mr Norman,

To re-iterate the final section of Nick Hooper’s note, today is a key date, in that there is a hearing in the High Court in London at which the Council will be seeking to get the injunction lifted.

Once we know the outcome of the Court’s decision, and assuming the Council is successful, we will be able to determine how quickly we can evict them from the site, or they may decide to go voluntarily.

If we have to evict them then this may take a couple of weeks. After the court decision we will review the next steps, about which we will keep you informed. This will include any further cleaning needed and considering the question of barriers to deter future occupation.

The Mayor’s Office

IN THE SHIT

The recent arrival of a gypsy camp in Avonmouth has landed a lot of people in the shit. Not least the good folk of Avonmouth who are having to cope with an increasing pile of human excrement around the site.

The council’s environmental health team have confirmed the situation is a potential public health hazard while the council’s ‘Gypsy Team’ have leaped straight into action by spending a week refusing to do the simple thing and install some portaloos and instead have switched on their answering machine to better ignore Avonmouth residents.

Now it seems the only person with the authority to order a portaloo is the mayor himself. Obviously expecting council staff to use their initiative and solve a problem is way too much to ask. Read the emails below and weep:

On 30 Apr 2014, at 13:10, “steven norman” <s-norman123@hotmail.co.uk> wrote:

Dear George,

I email in reference to the above you may or not be aware of it? This camp is creating a human urine & excrement problem and it appears no one within the esteemed halls of government is able to turn the light bulb on and say, ‘oops we need to put a portaloo in this camp before we end up with a public health problem’.

I have, for nearly a week now, been trying to get common sense to prevail on the installation of a said temporary toilet whilst the council get back possession of the land. Unfortunately after numerous calls to the “DEDICATED GYPSY TEAM” (AKA ONE PERSON WITH AN ANSWERING MACHINE) and other overpaid council officers who seem to have a problem with using a telephone – including your office – I am no further forward. To be quite honest I think it would easier to seek the holy grail. Under your mayorship is this your and your esteemed overpaid officers’ attempt to take us back to the dark ages when it was common practise to relieve yourself of bodily fluids and waste anywhere?

You have closed all the public toilets including those in Avonmouth Village. Yet here we are, the green capital of Europe, a city unable to provide a temporary toilet to prevent a possible public health problem.

Whilst I accept living in Avonmouth, Shirehampton or Lawrence Weston is like living in Bristol’s equivalent of Russia’s Chernobyl with all the industry currently here and the further planned expansions such as the second incinerator, two biomass plants and a second gas fired power station. Maybe you have plans of visiting this Russian city and twinning us so we will feel a bond when we develop life threatening illnesses?

Whilst you may feel I am being a bit facetious with the above I would like to ask three simple questions. I can assure you it won’t take a rocket scientist to answer them and will be within the capability of the esteemed officers.

Q, Are You Happy That Humans Are  Expelling Human Body Waste In A Public Place?

Q  Is It The Intention Under Your Mayor ship To Take Us Back To The Dark Ages?

Q, Do You And Your Overpaid Officers Accept Full Responsibility That The Expelling Of Human Waste & Urine Can Create A Public Health Problem?

I and my fellow constituents look forward to your replies asap or just maybe common sense will prevail and a temporary toilet will be installed. Of course you and your officers could always ignore this email and allow me the opportunity of asking these questions of you direct at next full council public forum.

Kindest Regards

Mr Stephen Norman
Tel: 07747490902

 

From: zoe.sear@bristol.gov.uk
To: s-norman123@hotmail.co.uk
CC: mayor@bristol.gov.uk
Subject: Re: Illegal Gypsy Camp Avonmouth Bridge
Date: Wed, 30 Apr 2014 12:18:14 +0000

Dear Mr Norman, 

A brief acknowledgement, to advise that the best email address for George is mayor@bristol.gov.uk not the one you are using – I am copying this to the team now, and I know you are in dialogue with the Mayor’s Office and officers, and I ask that they review your letter below, and we respond.

Best wishes, 

Zoe 

Team – please can you arrange for the Mayor and I to be briefed at 3pm today when we get back, by the relevant director?

Sent from my iPad


From: mayor@bristol.gov.uk
To: zoe.sear@bristol.gov.uk
CC: s-norman123@hotmail.co.uk
Subject: RE: Illegal Gypsy Camp Avonmouth Bridge
Date: Wed, 30 Apr 2014 12:25:52 +0000

 

Hi Zoe,

Just to let you know that the earliest possible availability for officers to brief will be 6pm this evening. I’ve diarised that accordingly.

Thanks,

 

From: s-norman123@hotmail.co.uk
To: mayor@bristol.gov.uk
Subject: RE: Illegal Gypsy Camp Avonmouth Bridge
Date: Wed, 30 Apr 2014 13:28:49 +0100

Well at least it now seems to be receiving some overdue attention I await the response with baited breath

Kindest Regards

Mr Stephen Norman

 

From: s-norman123@hotmail.co.uk
To: mayor@bristol.gov.uk
CC: zoe.sear@bristol.gov.uk
Subject: Re:Illegal Gypsy Camp
Date: Wed, 30 Apr 2014 14:07:01 +0100

Dear George & Staff,

I have just received a telephone call from a Mr K Evans, an Avonmouth constituent who has just got off the phone with the “Dedicated Gypsy Team Of One”. I am somewhat perplexed by this persons statement to Mr Evans.

(Conversation As Stated To Me By Mr Evans)

The dedicated Gypsy Team will not install a temporary toilet facility as it will give the Gypsies the wrong impression, however we will organise a cleaning team

If this is the attitude of the dedicated gypsy team what hope is there of common sense from overpaid officers who have no concern for fellow citizens of Bristol?

Will you please clarify if this cleaning team will be on 24hr call out and what the cost of such an operation will be compared to the cost of hiring a temporary toilet whilst BCC get back possession of the land. Clearly in a time of cuts I am hoping you will be making the most cost effective decision to solve the current problem.

Also will you please clarify as to whether or not you will be making it more difficult for a reoccurrence of the current situation with the installation of some sort of protective barriers?

I look forward to your reply

Kindest Regards

Mr Stephen Norman

NOT JUST ‘MS X’ – HOW BRISTOL CITY COUNCIL FAILS TO REHOUSE DOMESTIC ABUSE VICTIMS

Web ExclusiveDo you want the good news or the bad news first?

Today The BRISTOLIAN can exclusively reveal that domestic abuse survivor ‘Ms X’ – whose case we featured prominently through November – has finally been rehoused. Yet this excellent news is overshadowed by figures released by Bristol City Council that show others like her face an astonishing SIX MONTH WAIT.

We understand that Ms X received the keys to her new home yesterday, following a rush of activity in recent weeks by senior council officials whose sudden interest in her case mysteriously only took hold after The BRISTOLIAN took up the cudgels in support. She had up until that point been ignored by the Service Director, housing managers and the Mayor’s office, despite being at a very real risk of serious violence from her abuser.

Meanwhile, after a long wait for the data on how many others like Ms X there are out there in Bristol, the council today responded to a Freedom of Information request by a BRISTOLIAN reporter with statistics that are EVEN MORE HORRIFIC THAN FIRST FEARED.

For the year 2012-2013, Bristol City Council received 396 applications for rehousing due to domestic abuse. Just 228 were rehoused – that’s a success rate of under 58%*. Incredibly, domestic abuse victims had to wait on average more than 185 days to be found a place of safety. ONE-HUNDRED AND EIGHTY-FIVE DAYS at risk of violence, sexual assault, mental torture and much more besides.

Whilst budget cuts have clearly made the situation worse over the past year, the figures show that this scandal has not appeared out of thin air. In 2008-09, UNDER 40% OF 224 ABUSED APPLICANTS WERE REHOUSED, with an average wait of 120.5 days.

The following year, 2009-10, there were more applicants – 275 – but better performance from the council, with 61% rehoused and the wait down to just over 112 days. 82% of 307 people were found safe homes in 2010-11, with the wait cut to three months – though that means there were still MORE THAN FIFTY PEOPLE AT RISK OF ABUSE LEFT OUT IN THE COLD.

However, by 2011-12, fewer than three-quarters of the 347 people seeking help were rehoused, with the wait jumping up to 132.4 days. As the data clearly shows, there has been a steady rise in the need for rehousing – NEARLY DOUBLING in just five years.

This comes at the same time that researchers at the University of Bristol have released findings from a study of homeless women in the city which show that nearly 80% had suffered domestic abuse in the past, with almost a quarter of them facing it currently or recently.

So just how are Bristol’s overpaid, self-regarding political élite – whether arrogant Mayor Fergo and his City Hall hangers-on, or the top service bosses in their nice, warm offices – going to solve this sickening scandal? Is their plan to wait for vulnerable women, children and men to just die off, either through the violence of their abusers or the unforgiving harshness of being homeless?

That’s certainly one way to improve the statistics without actually doing anything.

* BCC supplied the data in slightly different forms for numbers of DV applications, which were given by year up to a given date in March; and both ‘successfully rehoused’ numbers and ‘waiting’ times, which were each supplied covering the financial year (April-March). This means that the precise percentages cited in this article may be slightly different to that recorded by BCC – but any variance will be miniscule. If you doubt our figures, check the data provided by BCC in the link above.

BRISTOLIAN #4.9 NOW ON THE STREETS!

The BRISTOLIAN #4.9 - hitting the streets NOW!

The BRISTOLIAN #4.9 – hitting the streets NOW!

It’s been another busy month in Bristol, with no shortage of graft, payola or all-round incompetence to cover – but the latest paper (The BRISTOLIAN #4.9) is now on the streets, featuring…

» BRISTOL’S NEW HORROR HOME
Holmwood House care home is like something out of The Munsters. Except it’s really not funny.

» YOU’RE FIRED!
Skinner booted as the Curse of 100 Temple Street claims yet another management victim

» RED-FACED RED PANTS DOESN’T GET THE BIG PICTURE
Mayor ‘Now Fuck Off’ Ferguson loses his cool over The BRISTOLIAN in his Berchtesgarten

» AUDIT LATEST
Financial farrago at City Hall as fraud and non-compliance continues

» MARKET FARCES
They seek it here, they seek it there, they seek that damned elusive £165k everywhere…

» PRIVATE LAND, PRIVATE GAIN?
Why is a corporate property developer calling the shots at Wellington Hill Playing Fields?

» IS CITY OF BRISTOL COLLEGE BROKE?
City’s largest supplier of skills & training to youngsters on the brink

» JUNKET GEORGE UPDATE
Millionaire Mayor signs partnership deal with Chinese Communist Party bosses!

PLUS: BRISTOLIAN BITES!!!

Tantalising titbits including…

  • THINK OF THE CHILDREN!barney between Fergo’s true believers & Labour at charity bash
  • PRIMARY FAIL IndyRedpants election strategy off the rails already?
  • UNIFORMLY BADwhat’s going on at popular Totterdown school?
  • THIEVES IN THE TEMPLE£90 million budget cuts not affecting the consultancy gravy train
  • BEDROOM TAX LATEST – Council prepares to boot poor families onto street for Christmas
  • LEGAL NEWSpanicky BCC misrepresents own consultants’ findings on Mem impact
  • HOYT’S GOURMET JOY‘Assistant Mayor’ fills his face with food & reneges on ‘No Evictions’

…And all that for FREE!

See the Distribution page for your local stockist – and if there isn’t one near you, let us know!

CAN’T WAIT TO GET HOLD OF A PAPER COPY?

Then you can DOWNLOAD a PDF version here:

» The BRISTOLIAN #4.9 – December 2013

MS X & BRISTOL CITY COUNCIL’S FAILURE TO REHOUSE VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: A BRIEF UPDATE

We know many readers have been following the ‘Ms X’ story – in which Bristol City Council has WASTED MONTHS and FAILED TO REHOUSE a vulnerable victim of domestic violence who has faced DEATH THREATS – and hoping for a happy ending.

Unfortunately we are not currently in a position to report any such thing.

However, we understand that the wheels of rehousing are – very slowly – moving forward for Ms X, and that she recently (and for the first time) met PAUL SYLVESTER, the optimistically-titled ‘Rehousing Manager’ who seems to be very effective at neither rehousing nor managing.

The Council’s position now appears to hinge on the VAGUE “hope” that she might be rehoused “in the next couple of weeks”, so keep your fingers crossed – and if you haven’t already, please do let officers and councillors know you are taking an interest in this

Meanwhile, in reporting this story, we have discovered that Ms X’s situation is – depressingly – FAR FROM UNIQUE.

We have uncovered evidence of others forced to suffer twin attacks: both the extended fear of brutal attacks from abusers, and the indignities of ‘BANDING LIMBO’ thanks to BCC’s worryingly inhumane interpretation of housing law.

As soon as we are in a position to publish the full, shocking details of this scandal, we shall.

MS X: NOW THE COPPERS SAY “REHOUSE HER”!

Web ExclusiveNow joining The BRISTOLIAN and the sensible public at large in demanding the immediate rehousing of vulnerable domestic violence victim – Ms X – is the Avon & Somerset Constabulary.

We understand that police have this week spoken with Bristol City Council’s Housing Department and told them Ms X needs to be urgently relocated for her own safety.

It now seems like everybody, except those with the power to help, want Ms X rehoused as a matter of urgency. Indeed it’s beginning to look like Ms X is now being used as little more than a prop to shore up their fragile egos by Housing Department middle managers Paul Sylvester and Nick Hooper. They are refusing to admit, in the face of a barrage of evidence, that they have made errors and they are refusing to acknowledge the real danger Ms X is in.

Instead, in an effort to prove they are right at any cost, they have resorted to fluent bureaucratese insisting she is ‘Band 3’ and there’s no more they can do. This is bullshit. They could rehouse her tomorrow. They do it all the time. Why won’t they do it now?

The BRISTOLIAN continues to receive outraged emails from councillors on this matter, with some that are especially critical of Housing boss Hooper. The only people now actively supporting Sylvester and Hooper in their fool’s errand of refusing to rehouse Ms X is Zoe Sear, “right hand woman” of Mayor George Ferguson (Happy Anniversary!), and the mysterious, unnamed ‘Safer Bristol Domestic Violence Co-ordinator’ who apparently insists Sylvester and Hooper are acting correctly by doing absolutely nothing and leaving a vulnerable young woman in danger of her life.

Sylvester and Hooper have ignored a death threat; they’ve ignored a ‘substantial threat’; now will they ignore police advice too?

MAYOR’S ENFORCER ‘THREATENS TO OUT’ BATTERED WOMAN

Web Exclusive

Zoe Sear - really shit at blackmail

Zoe Sear – really shit at blackmail

The pressure of trying to hold together Bristol City Council’s creaking domestic violence policies whilst also backing oafish housing managers Nick Hooper and Paul Sylvester – who “take domestic violence seriously” by ignoring urgent correspondence on the subject in favour of putting their feet up for the weekend – seems to be taking its toll on the Mayor’s troubleshooting sidekick ZOE SEAR.

Yesterday when Sear spoke to ‘Ms X’ on the telephone, she decided that the domestic abuse-surviving working class young mum wasn’t playing ball by doing what she was told by her ‘superiors’. In frustration the former PR hackette HISSED DARKLY, “your name could be slipped to the mainstream press!”

Really, Zoe? And how might that happen? And what mainstream publication would possibly print the name of a vulnerable domestic violence victim?

Here in Bristol the only outlet possibly vile enough to do such a thing might be the Evening Bristol Post, and the only hack sleazy enough to be prepared to write such a piece would be Shitty Hall scribbler Ian ‘Copy Typist’ Onions.

Mind you, even as a special favour for his BFF Mayor Gorgeous the Post‘s editor, Führer Mike Norton would surely baulk at such a distasteful course of action…

‘IT’S HER FAULT, HONEST GUV!’ HOW BRISTOL’S HOUSING CHIEFS TRIED TO PLAY THE BLAME GAME WITH AT-RISK YOUNG MUM

If this wasn’t such a serious issue – the abject FAILURE of Bristol City Council’s senior ranks to obey the law and find an appropriate place of safety for a young mum who has been the victim of sickening domestic violence – then the inept way council officers have attempted to QUIETLY BRIEF against ‘Ms X’ to councillors and others would be funny.

Today, though, they’ve come out into the open with a statement attributed to “a Bristol City Council spokesman” explaining that, err, they think it’s all Ms X’s fault!

We dissect it line-by-line below…

We take very seriously people experiencing domestic violence or abuse. It is a high priority within our rehousing policy, and we have a number of protocols with Next Link and the police.

On her initial approach to the council, Ms X was offered a place in a refuge or safe house by both the council and Next Link…

…Which Ms X very clearly said from the outset she could not accept, for the very pertinent reasons she articulated then and now…

…was offered a lock-change service, and was also offered help to find a new private tenancy. She declined these offers…

…having noted that a private tenancy would give much less chance of security than a local authority or other social housing property, and be considerably more expensive!

She applied to Home Choice to go on the housing register. Unfortunately…

Now there’s an interesting word, “unfortunately”…

…there was then a delay in assessing her place on the housing register…

By “delay” they actually mean that managers within BCC repeatedly failed her – at a time when there were real dangers to her physical wellbeing from her abuser, who continued to contact her, and she most needed to be in a place of safety rather than wading through the quagmire of council red tape.

…which is not acceptable.

No, it’s not acceptable. It wasn’t acceptable three months ago when it happened, nor two months ago, one month ago or even one week ago.

We apologise wholeheartedly…

“Wholeheartedly” – a nice, cosy, emotional word to imply that ‘hey, we have hearts too!’ Except, of course, they’re sitting in their comfortable offices enjoying their management perks whilst making what in effect are life-and-death decisions about the likes of Ms X.

…for this and we are reviewing how this happened.

Note that they have only apologised NOW, after being embarrassed in public – is that really an apology worth having?

Ms X was placed on the register in Band 3, a priority band which includes other victims of domestic abuse, homelessness cases and others urgently needing to move…

Of course that begs the question, if people being threatened with serious physical, sexual or emotional abuse are not the most preeminent concern, then who is? Managers’ mates?

She has been bidding on properties, but unfortunately has been restricting her selection of property type and location…

Aha! There’s that word “unfortunately” again! Note that the statement uses the same word to describe something that the council did – the “delay” in properly processing the housing application – and something that Ms X did. That suggests that they are comparable: ‘we were a little wrong, you were a little wrong’.

Except what the council did was make an error that is in their own words “not acceptable”; what Ms X did was make a choice about what was most suitable for her and her child.

Let’s have another look at Bristol City Council’s own policy on Domestic Abuse: “[Don’t] Pressurise an individual into a specific course of action… [Don’t] Be judgmental of the individual’s choices and actions”. Seems pretty clear.

And yet this statement attempts to suggest that if the original banding was a mistake, then so if Ms X not wanting to be forced into unsuitable housing. It puts her exercise of free choice on a par with the potentially life-threatening mistakes of senior council officers – could there be anything more judgmental (or offensive) than that?

Had she bid on all suitable properties there are 11 that have been advertised,

Note that there is not even an attempt to actually discuss the quality or suitability of those properties – do you not wonder why?

…and since her application was placed in Band 3 she would have been the successful bidder.

And guess what: there’s no way anyone could verify this! In other words, they’re making stuff up as they go along.

Either that or they’ve got a really good crystal ball up at City Hall. Perhaps Mayor Fergo could use it to place a bet at Paddy Power on a rank outsider to win – then he won’t need to cut the budget for things like rehousing vulnerable people

Ms X has a support worker at Next Link, and the Safer Bristol…

In case you were unaware, the ‘Safer Bristol Partnership’ is a multi-agency quango managed by, erm, Bristol City Council!

…domestic abuse coordinator has reviewed the case.

And who is this mysterious, all-seeing, all-knowing wise person? Have they met with Ms X? Are they a Bristol City Council employee or from another agency? Name them!

Their conclusion is that all agencies have done what they should have.

Now that is a real surprise! But, um, by “all agencies” they can’t possibly mean to include Bristol City Council, can they?

Presumably not, seeing as BCC is an organisation which even by its own admission FAILED to properly band Ms X in the first place. It also WASTED three months, IGNORED Ms X’s wishes to not be dumped in a refuge, and has used THREATS – such as exposing her full identity to the mainstream media, withdrawing all possibility of housing support, and briefing inaccurate information to those who have shown an interest in the case.

…in order to help.

If that all counts as “help” then heaven help those you really don’t like!

We continue to offer on-going support and the case is a priority.

Hang on, did you say “the case is a priority”? If that’s true, why has the council never said that to Ms X, either verbally or in correspondence?

Overall, the whole statement reeks of desperation. This whole sorry affair began more than three months ago. The BRISTOLIAN has been reporting on it for five days.

Yet the best this motley crew of management mediocrities and self-styled ‘communications gurus’ could come up with were some half-baked half-truths, the odd smear, and a bunch of wildly inaccurate claims.

Shameful, pathetic, beneath contempt.