Urgent Correction

I received a phone call earlier today from John Kiely and therefore need to make the following urgent corrections to yesterday’s Joining Up The Integration ePost:

John did not write he will “be less puce in 2007″. He actually wrote “I will be less rude in 2007”

Neither did he write that he would “Have another successful erection in Easton this year. This will be a fun and mental tumescence of sizeable proportion that will perform when held on poofters”. He actually said “I will have another successful election in Easton this year. This is the fundamental essence of serious politics that will confirm our hold on power.”

John would also like to make it clear he has never visited or shopped at ‘Clone Zone’. He assures me the receipt he placed into my pigeon-hole with his resolutions on was found on the floor of the Members Room of The Council House in the section where you usually find the Tory group.

I am more than happy to clear up any confusion and thank you John for your excellent resolutions and for being an assiduous reader of my weblog.

I should also add that John’s resolutions, in whatever form, are not “very East Bristol Liberal Democrat” or “very Bristol Liberal Democrat” or “Very Liberal Democrat” in any sense.

Anyway, it is my first day back at The Council House tomorrow after my well-deserved Christmas break. I suspect the main topic of conversation may well be the runaway success of this very weblog!


January 10, 2007 at 12:07 am 3 comments

Those eResolutions

Not Good

The eResolution idea has not gone entirely as planned I’m afraid. Only four proper replies so far and one rather rude message emanating – surprise, surprise – from South Bristol.

This, of course, is a very busy time of year for my councillors and officers as it is the ideal time to bury bad news and push through controversial plans. I am currently forcing through the plans on both Castle Park and the Arena development as well as ensuring a consultation on the core issues facing Bristol over the next 20 years took place at Christmas.

So no doubt all of my committed and dedicated Liberal Democrat councillors have been very busy doing similar work in their wards over Christmas and New Year?

Anyway, a big thanks to Shirley Marshall, Emma Bagley, Abdul Malik and John Kiely for your e-fforts (geddit?). They will be remembered come the time.

As for the member from South Bristol, who shall remain nameless, who thought this was an opportunity to call me “an overprivileged, clueless posh bint from Clifton”. All I have to say about this is that it is the politics of envy we would expect from The Labour Party and it has no place in modern Liberal Democracy. I therefore suggest you go and join the The Labour Party Mr Bailey if you believe in this sort of thing.

And, for the record, just because I am from the home counties and have had a few simple benefits like a good education and a pony when I was a child it does not make me posh. John and I have worked extremely hard all our lives and are reaping the rewards from that. It is called meritocracy. It is a cornerstone of both my philosophy and Liberal Democracy and it is not surprising that hopeless working class losers from South Bristol hate it so much as it puts you lot right where you belong.

The first eResolution came in from Emma Bagley. She has promised “to continue working on my joined-up writing and to concentrate even harder on the number work.”

Well done Emma. Do keep up the good work and please keep attending our special remedial classes for councillors. They are proving to be a great innovation and very successful.

The second eResolution came in from Shirley Marshall. She promises “to continue my hard work promoting ‘Abolition 200’, Bristol’s celebration of the 200th anniversary of the abolition of slavery, and make it a real success for Bristol”

That’s good news Shirley. Please keep on doing your crucial community-level work on this. You have done brilliantly well to get five people involved already. They will be an excellent supporter base from which we can hopefully build something really quite interesting. I have no doubt Bristol’s ‘Abolition 200’ celebrations will make headlines and show people exactly what happens when the Bristol Lib Dems get to put on a major national event.

Next up, Abdul Malik. Top work as usual from Mr Malik who promises “to continue promoting sustainable transport in my Easton Ward.”

This man will go far in politics. Anyone with the front to promote sustainable transport solutions at any and every opportunity whilst nipping up to the Council House from his Easton home in a top of the range Landrover Discovery has what it takes to go far in British politics. Top marks Abdul!

Finally, as far as I can ascertain, from the appalling scrawl dropped into my pigeonhole on the back of a receipt for some shop called ‘Clone Zone’, Mr Kiely has resolved to “be less puce in 2007” and “Have another successful erection in Easton this year. This will be a fun and mental tumescence of sizeable proportion that will perform when held on poofters.”

Interesting stuff John. A little personal perhaps? But very East Bristol Lib Dems to say the least. All I shall say about this for now is that these were supposed to be eResolutions and therefore they needed to be emailed to me not written down and posted. Never mind John. At least you made the effort in your own distinctive way!

It does make me wonder, though, whether some of our councillors need some eTraining around email and all these other eThingies the council seems to do now. I expect Mr Hilton could arrange for one of his friends to provide us with a couple of late afternoon cafe-style workshop eTraining sessions. I would guess it would come pretty cheap. Surely it should not cost the council much more than say £10k?

January 8, 2007 at 10:34 pm 4 comments

Letter in The Post

The Pest

You might have noticed, if you read the dreadful rag, that our Corporate Communications head honcho, Simon Caplan, had a letter published in the Bristol Evening Post from me today. It was all about what we achieved last year and what we aim to do this year.

It was, of course, total rubbish but Simon assures me it is “the kind of mood music voters expect from Liberal Democrats – bland, boring, mainly harmless and totally uncontroversial.”

Thanks for doing that Simon. You are a natural and so much better than me at this type of thing. As you know, I get very confused by commas and all that type of stuff when trying to write. Mind you, judging by Gurney’s effort at Christmas I am not alone!

Unfortunately Simon’s letter was so effectively dull and godawful The Post has not even bothered to put it on its website so I cannot put an eLink into it for you eCitizens.

But now that I am two bottles of wine for the worse I might as well tell you lot what we really intend doing next year:

1. Agree the Bristol Airport Expansion

2. Agree the South Bristol Ring Road

3. Build on as much of Castle Park as we can get away with

4. Sell off any council land and buildings not nailed down

5. Continue to hand control of our schools to silly old Tory tossers like the Merchant Venturers and religious nut jobs like the Oasis Trust. Anything, really, that gets these schools off the authority’s hands.

6. Continue to waffle on about community regeneration, social exclusion, Neighbourhood Renewal and all that other Bristol Partnership blather Heath Harries and her gormless team spew out whilst arranging to shaft those self-same communities and neighbourhoods by turning them over at the first opportunity to private developers.

7. Do all of this after the May 3 local elections. Until then remember: the Lib Dems are soft, fluffy and want to be your friends.

8. Keep Mr Hilton and his friends on retainers to waffle on about eCities, eParticipation, eDemocracy etc. Those morons at the Government Office of the South West and in Westminster seem to lap it up, as do the press. Will anyone ever notice it is a load of overpriced, meaningless, unsuccessful tosh?

Goodnight. God bless. xxx

January 4, 2007 at 10:49 pm 2 comments

Happy New Year

London New Year
London New Year Celebrations.

Happy New Year to you all! I hope you all had a fabulous time. John and I are having a terrific time here in London. I must say Mr Livingstone certainly knows how to put on a show. Last night’s fireworks were spectacular and we are really looking forward to today’s New Year’s Parade. I really do not understand why our council officers cannot do the same here in Bristol. I must ask Mr Gurney when I go back to work in the middle of January.

Perhaps we spent all the available money on health and safety checks like we did with the Christmas decorations? Never mind. At least you can rest assured that Bristol City Council kept you safe and secure throughout Christmas and New Year. That’s Liberal Democracy in action for Bristol. Ensuring citizens safety in the fledgling digital eurocity by encouraging you to watch London throw a party on the telly (or the internet!).

Bristol New Year
Traditional Bristol New Year

Look out for those Lib Dem eResolutions coming very soon. “The Bristol Liberal Democrats putting the ‘e’ in New Year!”

January 1, 2007 at 11:55 am 1 comment

Bristol City Council: Working nicely for some of us

Great news for some of Bristol City Council’s most favoured and important employees today. A fascinating report by the TaxPayers Alliance (TPA) has revealed that getting a job with one of our weird job titles comes with a whopping great salary.

Their figures show that a local government officer with a daft job title and not much to do can expect to earn £11,405 more per annum than an employee in the private sector (£36,894 and £25,489 respectively).

I’ll bet our Corporate Consultation Manager and star employee Stephen Hilton – who is mainly responsible for putting the letter ‘e’ in front of words and paying £395,000 for a £15,000 website – must be laughing all the way to his internet banking facility.

As no doubt is our Wellbeing and Special Interest Organiser, our Measurement Field Officer, our Energy Management Officer, our Resident Liaison Co-ordinator, our Customer Relations Manager, our Tele Shopping Project Worker, our Faith Forum Development Worker, our Environmental Performance Officer, our Sex and Relationships Education Consultant and our Child Pedestrian Training Co-ordinator amongst others.

I would certainly recommend that as many people as possible join this gravy train. Here is a job we have at present (https://secure.bristol-city.gov.uk/workforce/html/01129601/subframe.htm):

Job ad

Not bad eh? Ability to spell optional for £45k. Plus, of course, relocation assistance because obviously it is best if these type of jobs continue to go to people such as myself and most of my executive experts from the home counties rather than some gormless local, probably from South Bristol. But please do apply though. Apparently it is good for our equalities stats according to our Equalities Performance Measurement Field Officer (£45k pa plus mileage allowance and gay weighting supplement).

December 29, 2006 at 7:35 pm Leave a comment

Meet Bristol’s eCouncillors in the new year

In an absolutely thrilling development, Bristol’s eCitizens can now look forward to an extraordinarily original new year. I have personally eContacted every single one of our 33 highly talented Liberal Democrat councillors and requested they send me their new year’s eResolutions to post on to this weblog.

You would not get that from boring, boring Labour or the out of touch Tories would you? It is the Liberal Democrats who cut the edge (is that the right term Simon?) in the eMerging digital eurocity!

Prepare to meet Bristol’s Liberal Democrat eCouncillors early next year.

Local Lib Dem MP, Stephen Williams.
Hopefully his resolution will be to
sound less like a right wing anti-
abortion nut next year!

December 28, 2006 at 7:22 pm Leave a comment

A Christmas Gift For You…

A Christmas Gift for you

Welcome to my Christmas eMessage (© Stephen Hilton). No doubt you are as excited as I am that I am being joined by none other than the city council’s Chief Executive, Nick Gurney, in delivering this seasonal speech to all you digital citizens of our award winning eurocity.

Nick too is very excited about this, his first foray into the futuristic world of modern e-communications (© Stephen Hilton). He is even talking about setting up his own blog next year that he wants to call ‘The e-Xecutive’ (© Stephen Hilton)!

I for one would be fascinated to hear what it is Nick actually does every day to earn £120k (plus benefits and generous expenses) a year. He cannot really be spending every afternoon at Goldbrick House knocking back gin and tonics, eating overpriced gourmet hamburgers and listening to that dreadful fat man who runs the place’s ridiculous bragging anecdotes and Bristol foodie scene drinking stories can he?

You do hear the oddest stories at The Council House sometimes, especially at the staff Christmas parties. Oh well. If it is true at least Nick is harrassing waitressess rather than our secretarial staff for a change.

Popping into the Chief Exec’s Office admin workers party also saved me from the bloody Lib Dem party. The thought of having to stand around making polite conversation with a bunch of idiot geriatrics and watch Gary Hopkins get blind drunk whilst his wife attempts to get it on with this year’s unfortunate graduate researcher makes me ill to even think about.

Before issuing our eMessage we must thank Simon Caplan, our invaluable corporate communicator, for all his effort in managing to eventually discover some really interesting positive achievements for us to put into this eMessage and for his valuable insights into the application of statistics. It must also be acknowledged that Simon spent Thursday afternoon doing this for us whilst his staff went for their Christmas Dinner. No doubt his pain was eased somewhat as they only got around to telling him about the lunch on Friday!

And we must of course thank Stephen Hilton for his assistance in flawlessly transforming us two silly old oldies into leading members of the new, revolutionary eGeneration (© Stephen Hilton) at the very apex of building the new digital eurocity.

Now here’s our message…

The end of another year is a time for reflection, New Year’s resolutions and desperately dreaming up some positive stories from the wreckage that surrounds you.

The past year has been one of major challenges but also outstanding levels of mediocrity across the Council.

We would very much like to congratulate staff on maintaining their level of performance and to thank everyone who has put so much energy and effort into achieving this.

Some examples of our many successes this year have been:-

– educational attainment improving at well above the national average. We are no longer the second worse local authority ever. Instead we are the third worst. Well done.

– recycling rates increasing at the same rate as the rat population, so that we are now the best of the core cities

– rolling out the Very Sheltered, Very Cheap and Very Privatised Housing programme

– leading the way on e-consultation, e-democracy and e-innovation. We have invented more words this year than ever before.

– a very positive regional commentary on our culture and leisure services if you ignore the last couple of paragraphs, which to be honest were rude and unneccessary

– implementing the Transforming Housing programme. The city’s urgent need for affordable housing has been excellently transformed into hot-air, jargon and a report stored in the basement of The Council House.

– successfully implementing the Licensing Act. More Bristolians were pissed than ever before. Well done all.

– beating Government targets for handling planning applications by entirely ignoring public opinion and throwing up any crap developers want.

– collecting record levels of Council Tax. No doubt we will do that again next year when we put it up again.

– improving the performance of the Youth Offending Team. More youth offending can be good news!

– exceeding our targets for numbers in drug treatment, so that we are the second best nationally. More junkies on the streets can be good news too!

– getting a good OfSTED report on the Youth Service or, at least, what’s left of it.

– improving our Audit scores for Use of Resources and Value for Money. Ever since that nice Mr Parrot explained to our senior management that you could record financial information on spread sheets we have gone from strength to strength.

Bristol City Council is now receiving additional recognition at national level, for example we were recently a laughing stock in the national press when full council passed a motion condemning the slave trade and insisted on the spelling ‘Afrika’.

The rebuilding and refurbishing of our secondary schools, alongside new library and leisure developments, is helping to transform the profits of PFI firms and line the pockets of consultants.

It is clear, therefore, that 2006 has been a year of real achievement. We very much appreciate the work that has contributed to such success.

We all recognise that there is still some distance to go before Bristol becomes the world class digital eurocity we want it to be.

In thinking about the New Year and resolutions, we are confident that, with the determination and dedication we have seen, further diasters might be averted in educational attainment; value for money, particularly in the home care and residential sectors; traffic management, particularly as more showcase bus routes are completed; crime reduction; public health and so on.

2007 brings more challenges but also opportunities to achieve even more. The Council’s strategic priorities of mass land sales, high density housing developments, an expanded airport and a south Bristol ring road will derive huge profits from the most deprived communities of our City.

A further priority will be to work with partners on a PR initiative selling Bristol as a Green Capital.

We know we can rely on your support and commitment in taking this challenging agenda forward. As we move into 2007, therefore, we would like to extend to you and your families our best wishes for Christmas and the New Year.

Councillor Barbara Janke, Leader

Nick Gurney, Chief Executive

That’s it then folks. I hope you feel suitably inspired going into the New Year. Now I am off to pick up my organically-reared, hand-throttled turkey or ‘Kiely’ as we call it in the Janke household.

But before we go Nick and I have selected an inspirational song to sum up this year and help us look forward to next. It is by popular singer and entertainment artist Jarvis Cocker and was recommended by one of the UWE work placement students in Nick’s office who said “it perfectly sums up your work!”


Streamed version available here: http://myspace.com/jarvspace

December 24, 2006 at 9:51 am Leave a comment

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