Shit? Is it Thursday already? Must be time to report on this week’s fuck up by the city council’s head of legal services, Stephen McNamara.
At the end of last year the cabinet decided that Bristol City Council would use provisions in the Environmental Protection Act to start charging supermarkets to collect and return trolleys that had been abandoned around the city. A decent idea.
No doubt at considerable expense, a team of the council’s £50k-plus a year executive ‘experts’ drew up a report to enable the cabinet to pass this simple piece of legislation. This report should, of course, have included relevant and accurate input from McNamara’s legal team.
The cabinet considered the report at their meeting in December and voted unaminously to start stuffing it to the mulitinational supermarkets and make them pay to clear up their mess. No arguments with that.
From 8 March 2007 we were assured that the blight of supermarket trolleys abandoned across the city would be a thing of the past. Not to be I’m afraid.
8 March came and went without any sign of the council collecting supermarket trollies – let alone billing any supermarkets. This was acompanied by the sound of silence from the Council House on the matter.
That is until yesterday when the Lib Dem rubbish Czar, Gary Hopkins decided, for some reason, to publish a personal letter to Windmill Hill’s Labour candidate, Chris Orlik, in the pages of the Evening Cancer. Buried in it was this little gem:
“because of an administrative error by an ex-member of staff the supermarkets would be in a position to legally challenge any attempt by the council to impose recovery costs on supermarkets at this time”
Sorry? Could we have that one again Gary? “Because of an administrative error by an ex-member of staff”? I don’t think so. If supermarkets are “in a position to legally challenge” that’s a legal error contained in the drafting of your legislation.
And that’s the entire reponsibility of legal bald eagle McNamara…
And how big of him it is to wriggle out of responsibility by blaming an admin assistant from Pertemps on the minimum wage and then firing them.
What do we pay this idiot for exactly? Surely the point of him receiving £70k a year of council taxpayers’ money is that he doesn’t make schoolboy errors and costly blunders? And if he does isn’t he supposed to take responsibility, not blame the admin assistant? Apparently not in Bristol.
So is McNamara on a retainer from Tesco? Probably not. It’s just typical McNamara. His time in Bristol has been constantly marked by appalling errors of judgment and legally dubious decisions. Who can forget former councillor John Channon being allowed to jet from his Southern Ireland residence to Bristol to vote on the Crest Nicholson Harbourside development?
Or more recently, how any councillor – who happened to be a Rovers fan – was allowed to sit on the planning committee to decide their stadium expansion plan, whilst actual bona fide members of the committee were disqualified with the use of forged emails and cooked-up conflict of interest claims?
Since when has a bus driver had a conflict of interest on a planning committee because there’s a bus stop planned outside the development? Er… Since McNamara said so a few months back!
Perhaps the only thing less edifying than McNamara’s cowardly and career-saving behaviour in all this is Gary Hopkins buying into his third-rate arse-covering bullshit.
Hopkins should be chasing McNamara’s lazy, overpaid, under-performing arse out of this town. Not writing letters on his behalf blaming admin assistants for major and costly errors.