City council: crap legal threat of the week

The saga of the People’s Republic of Stokes Croft’s artwork destroyed by Bristol City Council “by mistake” takes a new laughable legal turn.

Having now made a very public and PR-friendly apology for the news media‘s benefit, the council has now returned to business-as-usual – lying, bullying and threatening – to get their own way.

You may remember that after the council vandalised the artwork, PRSC immediately used the space to condemn the council and advertise Chief Exec Jan Ormondroyd’s email in large letters so we could write to her direct and tell her what a tosser she is.

Now the PRSC blog reports:

the owner reports that last week, BCC contacted his agents to request permission to remove the “Council Vandalism” piece. The owner referred them to ourselves… Still we heard nothing…

The following day, the owner was contacted again by BCC. This time they informed him that he required planning permission to paint on the front of his boarded up shop, and that the “Council Vandalism” piece was therefore illegal…

Really? Illegal to paint what you like on a building is it? Not according to, er, Bristol City Council it isn’t.

Here’s an email from the council’s very own planning enforcement expert, Jon Bishop to the councillor for the area, Mark Wright on this very issue from March:

>>> Jon Bishop 03/19/08 9:08 AM >>>

Hi Mark

Under schedule 2, part 2. Class C of the General Permitted Development Order, planning permission is not required for any application of colour to the exterior of a building unless the painting is for the purpose of advertisement, announcement or direction.

The same ‘permitted development’ right applies to buildings in conservation areas so in theory someone could choose to paint their house purple without the need for planning permission.

In fact, if you look at some of the terraces in Cliftonwood you will see quite a range of colours. If the building in question is listed as being of architectural or historic interest then the painting of its exterior may require listed building consent.

Best wishes Jon

Dearie me. Are the council just using the law when they feel like it now? Presumably on the instructions of their Chief Executive, who apparently doesn’t like being forced to be made directly accountable for her reprehensible actions in large letters on one of the city’s major arterial roads?

If you need planning permission for the purpose of advertisement, announcement or direction why hasn’t the council enforced this law for private advertising hoardings over about the last 25 years then? Bit of a precedent set there maybe?

What a sad little bully Ormondroyd is. Although perhaps what she needs to understand pretty urgently is that we are being forced against our collective will to piss away £180k a year on keeping her in a style she’s done nothing to deserve and for that we’re gonna make her directly fucking accountable any way we feel like.

So Jan, if we want to publish your email, your salary, your address, your expenses or anything else we bloody well feel like saying about you in ten foot high letters we bloody well will. And if you don’t like it then fuck off back to Bradford.

As for your pathetic legal bullying, why not pick on someone your own size? Leave the artists alone you miserable little shit of a woman and get your halfwitted legal gang to try their bullshit on the Bristol Blogger if you fancy a fight with locals.

Of course – judging by past precedents of pompous idiot council officers threatening “legal action” against Bristolians – you won’t because you ‘d be pissing those expensive pants you’ve looted from the public purse in five minutes flat at the first sign of a fight.

These soppy city council legal threats never materialise do they? Because they’re actually a load of council senior management fantasy-world bollocks.

Perhaps someone should explain to them – for their own sakes – they’re here to serve us not threaten us?

This entry was posted in Ashley, Bristol, Bristol West, Environment, Graffiti, Local government, Planning, Politics, Stokes Croft and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to City council: crap legal threat of the week

  1. Ms Ormondroyd’s getting worried… it looks as if the Tories are going to win the next general election… Cameron’s plans to publish financial details of public employees earning over £150,000 make her feel threatened… fair enough, that’s enough to make me vote for him… if he scares Jan then he can’t be all bad!

  2. thebristolblogger says:

    Don’t worry, we’ll have the gory financial details on this profligate cow well before the next election …

  3. Jo says:

    “what a tosser she is”
    Is this another to add to the Jandroid’s growing list of anatomical eccentricities?

  4. Pingback: Cheo And 3Dom Stokes Croft Saga Update « Bristol graffiti

  5. Pingback: graggregator » Blog Archive » Cheo And 3Dom Stokes Croft Saga Update

  6. Gary Hopkins says:

    Ignoring all the personal comment I can tell you that the street art policy has now been changed back again with the change in administration to say that
    Where street art can be demonstrated to have a major majority of public support(and is not racially offensive etc.) it will not be required to have prior permission.
    Labour policy would have ,as an example ,scrubbed off the Park St banksie at enourmous cost to the taxpayer.
    That is coupled with a stepping up of action against and prosecutions of taggers.
    In a major organisation such as BCC it sometimes takes a little while for all parts to respond.

  7. The Blogger says:

    But not it seems if the Chief Exec wants something done to preserve her “reputation”.

    How come the rules are applied to small-fry like PRSC but ignored for years on end for big business billboard advertisers?

    Talk about officers using rules to look after themselves rather than us.

    We should come first. Not Ormondroyd.

  8. BristleKRS says:

    Gary, how exactly do you propose to execute a policy whereby “Where street art can be demonstrated to have a major majority of public support(and is not racially offensive etc.) it will not be required to have prior permission”?

    Street art and murals such as is thrown up along Stokes Croft through PRSC with the permission of building or wall owners. No ‘public support’ can be sought until after it has been painted – unless, of course, you are suggesting some kind of pre-vetting procedure whereby all proposed paint-ups have to go through a ‘public support’ process… Which would amount to having to get prior permission!

    “In a major organisation such as BCC it sometimes takes a little while for all parts to respond.”

    Well, Jan Ormondroyd was certainly aware of the PRSC and other locals’ feelings towards the scrub-out. I find it hard to believe – given her personal involvement at an early stage – that any subsequent contact over the piece in question, and the ‘Council vandalism’ piece which replaced it, could have occurred without her knowledge – in which case it would appear to be a case of acting in bad faith.

    Unless painting specifically breaks the law – in terms of content or location (eg criminally offensive words or images, painting over private property against the property owner’s permission) – then I fail to see how it is in any way the council’s business.

    By way of a postscript, I found your remark about “major majority of public support” rather ironic, given that you are from what we might describe as a ‘minor minority LibDem administration’.

    PPS It’s ‘Banksy’ not “Banksie”.

    PPPS Is this a confirmation of the ad hoc, Tourism Bristol-orientated policy of protecting Banksy’s at all costs whilst scrubbing out anything else?

    PPPPS Exactly what would have been the “enourmous [sic] cost to the taxpayer” in scrubbing out the Park Street Banksy? Are you talking about hard cold cash in scaffolding, labour, equipment hire etc? Or the less tangible cost of BCC looking like spoilsports? Just curious. Obviously if it’s the former, then one wonders why the council is cleaning off property-owner-permitted murals on Stokes Croft if it’s so expensive. But then, the latter would also apply.

    Talk about own-goals!

  9. Good comment KRS.

    I think that BCC should go the whole hog and use some of our council tax to buy some Di-faced Bansky tenners… BCC could even declare them to be a local currency and use ’em as part of their transition city plans to recycle ozones.

    http://tinyurl.com/q7ufmx

  10. Gary Hopkins says:

    KRS
    You missed the point . The previous administration had a policy of scrub out regardless . In the vast majority of cases scrubbing out is exactly what will continue but we are saying that in a few cases there will be the equivalent of retrospective planning permission.
    Not that difficuilt in many cases to demonstrate support. The Banksy on Park st. was consulted about on the council website and incidentally on the BBC.
    It is not who painted it that is the crucial factor but clearly it helps if tourists want to come and see something.
    The cost would have been both of the above.

  11. BristleKRS says:

    I didn’t miss the point at all, Gary. I addressed the points you made. I made no reference to previous policy.

    Remember, I am a punter – a non-aligned punter. Treat me like a moron, and I’ll gladly tell everyone I know exactly what I think of you and the party you represent.

    I note you haven’t really answered several of my points, but thanks for clearing up the matter of what cost you were talking about – appreciated.

    Re the Park Street Banksy – are you really suggesting that that would be a sensible way to approach things, opinion polls on a website?

    Re “we are saying that in a few cases there will be the equivalent of retrospective planning permission” – that’s not really good enough in situations where no planning permission was ever needed in the first place. If it’s not criminal, you have no right to touch it.

  12. Dona Qixota says:

    “In the vast majority of cases scrubbing out is exactly what will continue”

    What a ridiculous waste of money and resources, in many cases.

    …..and how much is the council taxpayer forking out every year for all this feverish scrubbing activity?

  13. thebristolblogger says:

    In the vast majority of cases scrubbing out is exactly what will continue

    Not only is this an illiberal policy, you will be breaking the law if you scrub out work on private property. It’s not yours.

    It’s quite simply none of your business what people do with their property.

    And the idea of you, Ormondroyd and that copper from Sheffield who doesn’t know where Easton is designating yourselves as art critics is frankly laughable and you should all be thoroughly embarrassed and find something useful to do instead.

    Why not leave art alone and sort out the schools like we pay you to do?

  14. Forest Pines says:

    Regardless of any sort of argument about art criticism etc, I don’t really think “are the council just using the law when they feel like it?” really holds up. After all, the quote there says:

    “planning permission is not required for any application of colour to the exterior of a building unless the painting is for the purpose of advertisement, announcement or direction.”

    I’d say that putting Ormondroyd’s email address up like that could easily be classed as “announcement”, and so potentially need planning permission.

  15. chris hutt says:

    FP “..putting Ormondroyd’s email address up like that could easily be classed as “announcement”..”

    Fair point, but the mural that was there before, which the council painted out, wasn’t an announcement, advertisement or direction, so wouldn’t have required planning permission.

  16. thebristolblogger says:

    Yes. But why can they deal with a PRSC “announcement” in 3 days but can’t get rid of advertising hoardings in 3 years?

    Double standards.

  17. Jozer says:

    FFS! What an ameteur. PRSC are always trying to provoke a reaction like this, and she has played right in to their hands.

    Rule 1 of power- never get into a fight with someone who is beneath you. Whether you win or lose you will look like a fool, and they will have had their status boosted by the fact that you regarded themas worth fighting.

  18. badoni says:

    “FFS! What an ameteur”
    Oh dear.

    Can you post the complete list of Power Rules please? I didn’t know they’d been formally agreed and published.

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