And so it comes to pass. Our Through the Looking Glass council does it again.
Now they’ve managed to grant planning permission to build a tower block on their own protected park land. Public land that’s not for sale; never has been for sale and never should be for sale.
Despite a clear policy – in writing – devised by our elected representatives for the protection of the Bristol and Bath Railway Path; despite a 731 signature petition; despite the advice of their own expert conservation, parks, leisure, property and transport officers; despite over £12k spent on a consultation overwhelmingly rejecting the idea, the council is set to let developers wreck a section of the Bristol and Bath Railway Path entirely on the say-so of an unelected council officer on a six-figure salary who seems more interested in doing favours to developers than doing his job looking after our interests.
At least we now know who’s really in charge at the Council House. And it’s not us or our elected politicians. It seems that what the senior officers say goes and there’s nothing we can do about it, especially as our politicians are too weak and ill-informed to stand up for either us or themselves.
What’s the point of electing politicians to make policy if council officers ignore it when asked by Merchant Venturers?
Is it any wonder nothing ever gets done in this town?
While the Venturer’s city council whipping boy, Transport and Planning boss, David “the Shifty” Bishop, is running around sorting favours out for them, what’s actually happening to the work he’s been instructed to do for us by our elected representatives?
Where’s the Local Transport Authority? The Quality Bus Contact? A transport hub at Temple Meads? Our Arena? When’s he going to get the nerve to call the South Bristol ring road a ring road rather than a link option? When’s he going to admit he’s planning – with his friends the Merchant Venturers – an assault on the city’s green belt in south west Bristol?
And ,of course, don’t forget Castle Park is now firmly in this scumbag’s sights.
Oddly, anything we want sits permanently at the bottom of Bishop’s in-tray. Anything wealthy business interests want seems to get fast-tracked to completion.
They call this democracy do they?