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Council cuts £22m from services then gives £11.1m of assets to Lansdown. WTF ???

October 7, 2010

The Tories have made their first ‘all in it together’ move, clobbering the easy target of families child benefit. Meanwhile the wealthy tax avoiders including major supermarket chains get away with their millions no problem.

Lib-dem led local government here in Bristol have also now made their own first soundings in the big £22m chip-chop, here’s the run down:

  1. Corporate services £2.8m chop.
  2. Health and social care £5m chopped.
  3. Children and young people’s services £3.7m sliced.
  4. Neighbourhoods £3.8m hacked
  5. City development £2.8m minced

It could be more butchery than this when Cameron knifes the local grants in 2 weeks time.

Then on the 29th of this month the Lib-dem cabinet will vote to GIVE AWAY the equivalent of £11.1  MILLION quids worth of assets to the Bristol City new stadium company. Which is owned by Stephen Lansdown and one other.

It’s a GIVEAWAY that’s a fact-no money will change hands and their will be no charge on the new stadium or hold over this asset transfer. But Simon Cook deputy leader has told us, “I believe the community benefit’s offered for the price stated is good value, we are getting a good deal and value”.  He says the asset transfer is the equivalent to £370.000/year for 30 years. Guy Price BCFC development director says “its a once in a lifetime opportunity” (for a gift of £££££ millions yes have to agree with him).

This is a complete and utter con, Cook must think we’re idiots. What do other council chiefs think of this giveaway??

Alun Owen the BCC major project director says  “its benefit to the community is good value” like a good con-merchant, reading from the Idiots Guide to Con-merchants.

Councillor Mark Wright says “there is a bigger picture , a bigger more prosperous city, 360 jobs (er thought it was 5-6000 jobs ), its a good deal and will secure a regional stadium and lead to an arena”. Not the old arena fantasy again-well you can forget that unless Wrighty has blown some budget on the Eurolottery.

Gary Hopkins says: “It will help bring the World Cup to Bristol-we need to send a clear message that the council want the world cup-and it will help to secure the arena”. Oh dear poor old Hopkins wants the World cup feast so he’s going to throw a blank cheque-book to Lansdown. And THE ARENA  (is there no limit to the ‘A’ word)

Let’s not mince words this whole thing is an utter farce.

What’s the point of cutting £250,000 funding to community groups and then a week later fund a ‘Community trust’ for BCFC value £25k/annum for 20 years (previous blog here).

What is the point in cutting annually £230,000 from current festival and arts budgets (which the city currently does so well) and then blowing £17m on a Sepp Blatter swiss rollover of a few boring group soccer matches.

This whole farce of a land giveaway was no doubt cooked up years ago as a sweetener to the money-men to get a new stadium/arena deal.

Times have changed Mr Cook and we all need to make cuts.  You and your egoist colleagues and overpaid qwango managers cannot give away the city’s assets like this. They can be sure that a decision to handover our land for free will lead to a judicial challenge and a European legal review under anti-competition law.

The priority in a time of austerity is not blowing out on a feast. This poorly thought out deal needs to be binned before its too late. If the council leaders want to help build a new stadium then lets have an open debate and a charge over our assets not the dodgy gym membership discount that nobody needs.

  1. StillWaters permalink
    October 9, 2010 10:41 am

    I can’t find the ‘thousands’ of new jobs detailed – even the original planning statement says the stadium will only ‘Generate up to 80 full time equivalent jobs during construction period; Create 400 additional direct and indirect jobs once construction is complete’

    The rest of the original claptrap is here:

  2. thebristolblogger permalink
    October 9, 2010 12:15 pm

    The whole fate of the western world hangs on that new stadium. Fact.

  3. Paul Bemmy Down permalink
    October 10, 2010 5:51 pm

    With regard to the transfer of land in exchange for community benefits Jan Ormondroid wrote; “This is all tied up in a legal interest which protects the Council in the case of default or insolvency. In addition, the whole agreement is subject to Secretary of State approval- a further check and balance in the process.” Also,”No transfer of land will take place untill the stadium is complete.” Not such a straightforward gift afterall! What if does not say is why there was no consultation on such an important issue. Thats a question that really needs answering.

  4. Richard Lane permalink
    October 10, 2010 5:57 pm

    I know! let’s pull the plug on all the deals. The council can rent the allotments (oh yeh! that’s why they’re vacant). The council can sell the car park (Oh! wait a minute they’ve leased it to BCFC for 80 odd years)
    Now, how are the council going to generate future income? Your collective answers would seem to be, don’t bother. We won’t bother with art, museums, libraries, housing, street lighting, new bus route schemes, new schools, w’ell just tax everyone to raise the money.

    We’ll have a nice village green (dog shit, builders rubble and gas pipes included) where the unemployed can while away the days, dreaming of work, football and concerts to attend.

    Sometimes there is a need to speculate to accumilate, whilst trying to provide facilities for the people of Bristol.

    You may not agree with those decisions, ask yourself these questions.
    Where would I be living now?
    Where would I be working now? (some excluded)
    How could I be reading this now?

    The list of questions is unending. They would not be possible if it weren’t for people
    speculating and trying to progress, but you don’t want that do you, or is it a BCFC thing and you want to stop them?

    This appears to be more than a campaign and more like a subject of hatred towards certain people, whilst using the safety of annonymity.
    A computer gives you your bravery, Tony D seems to have gone off the scene, but Still Waters is more frequent now, strange!

  5. October 10, 2010 8:25 pm

    True but no details of the legal charge have been published. It’s been made clear that BCC will not have a first legal charge over its ‘investment’, which almost certainly means first dibs to the taxman, banks, major creditors (SL?) if it goes belly-up. BCC may get a few pennies. Don’t know what sec. of State approval involves or whether approval means there’s no chance of BCC losing £millions of assets.

  6. October 10, 2010 8:49 pm

    No hate campaign here against ordinary citizens-that’s left to the pages of the football forums.
    Nothing wrong with free speech and criticising the fabulously wealthy business leaders and politicians either. They are in the public eye already and use the media for their own ends.
    The internet has enabled the ordinary person to speak their mind. In the past it was the wealthy barons who controlled the media and dictated what we were allowed to think. I’m not interested in who you are or joe bloggs is down the road-its the debate and argument that is interesting.

    You give a good example of propaganda which is tied in with the intimidation campaign against ordinary people.

    ….a nice village green (dog shit, builders rubble and gas pipes included)….

  7. harryT permalink
    October 11, 2010 8:23 am

    The whole point is not to oppose a stadium. It is to oppose a stadium where:

    1. it will be built on greenbelt SNCI wetlands and destroy them
    2. it will be built on land which will completely encircle the residents of Ashton Vale with fenced industry
    3. it will be built on land used by the local residents for 60 years for informal recreation
    4. it will be built on land with no decent road access and in a totally unsustainable way
    5. it will be built with huge subsidies from the public by way of land giveaways and forgone s.106 payments, with the public getting no share in the benefits (other than some cut-price gym membership) at a time when large cuts are being made
    6. it will be built only with the proceeds of selling the existing stadium land to build Bristol’s biggest supermarket in a residential area, against the wishes of the local population

    This stadium should be built on brownfield land near major roads (and don’t tell me there is not any such land as there is masses of it).

    If BCFC really wants to double their support base, they should stop this assualt and propoganda against the residents of Ashton Vale and Southville. This struggle will damage the club for a generation. Countless BCFC supporters now can’t stabd the club for the lies and deceit and the use of other fans as a battering ram.

  8. Chris E permalink
    October 11, 2010 9:13 am

    7. It will be built on land where one local resident said they wouldn’t mind a church or a mosque being built but doesn’t want a football stadium. Or they’re happy to keep a village green which in her very own word “noone uses”.

  9. BobS permalink
    October 11, 2010 11:59 am

    I can’t beleived you are still peddling that piece of shit Chris. You have already been taken to pieces over it.

  10. Tony Dyer permalink
    October 11, 2010 11:59 am

    “A computer gives you your bravery, Tony D seems to have gone off the scene, but Still Waters is more frequent now, strange!”

    I’m still here Rich.

    If your comment above was an attempt to imply that Still Waters is me posting under a pseudonym, then you are, as so often before, wrong. But then you have always been happy to use inuendo to make up for your lack of real facts.

    I will continue to use my own name when posting but I can fully understand why others don’t.

    I am looking forward to seeing you come out from behind your keyboard to stand up in public and make a statement when (or if) the next application for a supermarket at Ashton Gate goes before a planning committee.

    In the meantime I will leave you to go back to trying to put additional names on the pro-stadium petition from your own email address.

    BTW, do you still insist that the only cows grazing on the Town Green application site were “invisible” or “non-existent” ones?

  11. BobS permalink
    October 11, 2010 3:34 pm

    Oh and Richard Lane. The pipes and builders rubble were added on the land in 2009 by Mr Lansdowns nice borehole team. Best not mention the truth in case it harms your case (like with the dairy cows)

  12. StillWaters permalink
    October 11, 2010 5:39 pm

    Mr Lane, do I perturb you?

    (oh, good..)

  13. thebristolblogger permalink
    October 11, 2010 6:18 pm

    You may not agree with those decisions, ask yourself these questions.
    Where would I be living now?
    Where would I be working now? (some excluded)
    How could I be reading this now?

    I live in social housing. Were I to rely on speculators for housing, I’m not exactly sure where I’d be living but it wouldn’t be Bristol because property speculators would price me out.

    I’d be working in the same place I do now. Don’t work for private business. On the few occasions I have it’s been a rip-off.

    I’d still be reading this regardless of speculators. The internet was developed in public universities and by the military, which I pay for through my taxes.

    So in answer to your question, the effect of sepculators on mine and my families life oscillates between the utterly marginal and the positively destructive. I think we could do with less of them.

  14. BobS permalink
    October 11, 2010 6:24 pm

    Didn’t speculators cause the whole financial crises? I can see why Richard lane likes them. They like to distort the truth for their own ends as well.

  15. Richard Lane permalink
    October 11, 2010 6:29 pm

    Tony, you are using innuendo to imply that I am using the computer screen to hide behind, once again you are wrong. “I am looking forward to seeing you come out from behind your keyboard to stand up in public and make a statement when (or if) the next application for a supermarket at Ashton Gate goes before a planning committee”.
    As you well know, you introduced yourself to me at a previous council meeting, I was also at the meeting where you pretended to be independent, then watched as you turned into a gibbering wreck.
    I did actually stand up and make a public statement to the council regarding the Tesco application. My picture has appeared in the Evening Post and also the clubs matchday programme, so I am certainly not anonymous.
    The only people hiding behind computer screens are those making
    wild accusations with nothing to back them up.
    Here’s one for you, I was wrong about cows grazing on the area to be developed as a stadium. When I visited the site, there was no evidence of cows grazing and in my opinion it appeared too dangerous to allow cattle onto that land, no doubt you’ll try to use, this so be my guest.
    You are implying that I am trying to add names to the petition that are not entitled to register their support. Get your facts right, family and friends are entitled to use my email address to register their legitimate support, at the moment this is denied them due to the restrictions on the e petition site and I will have to download the paper petition for them to sign.
    So when you mention facts, remember the time when you facts to claim that only 10,000 houses had to be built when in FACT it was 20,000 houses (since reduced again).
    How are you obtaining this private information about me?

  16. Richard Lane permalink
    October 11, 2010 6:34 pm

    Sorry Harry but that is a load of guff and totally unsubstantiated again.

  17. Richard Lane permalink
    October 11, 2010 6:37 pm

    No, you don’t pertub me, I was after information. Now I have it, thanks.

  18. Richard Lane permalink
    October 11, 2010 6:47 pm

    Thank you Bob.
    I have never lied at any point in this whole affair.
    I have been mistaken yes, but I have never lied or made wild accusations about people or things I did not believe to be the truth.
    Please don’t put in sacredsprings bracket.

  19. Richard Lane permalink
    October 11, 2010 6:50 pm

    Without speculation there would be no society.
    So Bill, back to your utopia.

  20. Richard Lane permalink
    October 11, 2010 7:27 pm

    Are you telling me that there is no dog shit? I’ve seen it, there is as I’ve admitted cow shit.
    Are you telling me there are no pipes? I’ve seen them.
    Are you telling me there’s no builders rubble? the site is full of thousands of tonnes of it just below and breaking the surface.

    All these things are real, they DO exist they are not propoganda.

    Propoganda is the description of this site on the AVHG site and your constant rantings about developers and dirty deals.

  21. Richard Lane permalink
    October 11, 2010 8:48 pm

    Bill, wherever you work, if not in the private sector, then the private sector are paying the majority of taxes which allow the public sector to exist.
    The same applies to your housing and the development of the internet.
    So without that private speculation initially, society in it’s present form would not exist.
    Maybe a good thing.

  22. BobS permalink
    October 11, 2010 9:19 pm

    Richard. Every one of harryTs facts ( or FACTS as your Otib friends would write) are substantiated by the 250 page report from the independant inspector made following an 11 day inquiry which considered 100’s of pages of documents and over 200 witness statements.

    And as said above, the rubble and the gas pipes date from 2009 when Lansdowm started his borehole studies. Maybe you should read that report eh. You might learn abut about the land you seek to spoil.

  23. BobS permalink
    October 11, 2010 9:24 pm

    If there us lots of dog shit then you must admit there must be loads of dog walkers. But your letter published in the BEP says there were none.

    So, are you lieing now or were you lying then ?

Comments are closed.