More good work from the Green Bristol Blog who’ve spotted that Railway Path wreckers, Square Peg Developments (Blogger passim), have consulted with and got the go-ahead – according to their optimistically titled Planning Performance Agreement (pdf) with Bristol City Council – from a non-existent MP!
It’s also quite revealing to see which other politicians and city council officers the developers are claiming to have consulted and listened to.
On the plus side they have listed an MP who actually exists – Bristol East’s Kerry McCarthy. Although you have to wonder what this consultation consisted of as Kerry claimed on her blog last week that she was getting information about the development from local blogs:
“[I] have obviously made it my business to look into this issue. I’ve seen the Bloggers site, the Green Bristol site and others. I’ve looked at Square Peg’s plans for the ‘cycle houses’ and am now following it up with various people.”
No mention of being involved in a formal consultation with Square Peg as they claim in the official document is there?
Of the others listed as involved in this in-depth CONsulation with people elected to represent tens of thousands of us, we find Easton councillors Faruk Chowdery – who’s supporting a petition to stop the developer building on the Railway Path – and Abdul Malik – who appeared in today’s Evening Cancer demanding “further consultation to address the latest concerns”.
It’s enough to make you think that this Planning Performance Agreement is nothing but a sham statutory box-ticking exercise put together by George Ferguson and assisted by his little helper, planning boss David Bishop, to wave around and give the impression of overwhelming support for their ill-judged development isn’t it?
Presumably they’re hoping no one will notice that they either haven’t really bothered to consult with the individuals concerned or have entirely ignored their sensible comments. Except, that is, for the gushing approval of non MP Paul Smith who doesn’t actually represent anyone and neither is he likely to in the near future.
The final individual on this farcical list of consultees is David Bishop himself, now describing himself as “Head of Regeneration”, which he isn’t – Ashy Mckay is.
But why worry if the Bald Bish takes on yet another role for himself? After all he’s only overseeing and managing the controversial planning process and taking personal control of the even more controversial Railway Path land sale to his good chum George. So why not put a positive word in from the city’s regeneration experts as well?
What role will we find the Bish in next? Perhaps he’ll pop up as the council’s Chief Legal Officer to assure us his dodgy policy-defying land deal with Square Peg is perfectly legal and above board?
Of course, any talk of a conflict of interest here would be ridiculous as we all know that the receipt of a six-figure salary from Bristol City Council magically dissolves the concept of conflict of interest for its recipients don’t we?