Ormondroyd: the interview

Shambolically useless interview with Chief Exec Bum Disease Ormondroyd in this week’s issue of Venue.

Unfortunately I’ve left my copy at work so can’t post it in full until tomorrow but mainly the interview’s a study in what happens if you let an uninformed arty-farty twit from Southville conduct a political interview and I’ve twittered various comments on it already.

The key claims made by Ormondroyd consist of what she sees as “the challenges” for the city. These are congestion, which she says we need to have “a debate about”. Education, which is “improving” (go tell that to parents of four year olds) and “selling the city”, which we don’t do enough of apparently, as if anyone really cares.

The one that caught the Blogger’s eye was this idea that we should have a debate about congestion. What? After Jan’s sent a Transport Innovation Fund (TIF) bid to London agreeing to “demand management measures” – or a congestion charge as normal people call it – for Bristol?

So it’s decide first and debate afterwards is it? What’s the fucking point of that Jan? You’ve already taken the decision. Now you want us to have a false debate for PR purposes. You really think we’re stupid don’t you?

Perhaps a better debate we might be having is one about whether we need these mendacious little shits running the council on six-figure salaries any longer?

Unfortunately not a debate we’re likely to get in our abominable local press.

This entry was posted in Bristol, Congestion charge, Education, Journalism, Local government, Media, Politics, Transport and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to Ormondroyd: the interview

  1. SteveL says:

    Is the Ashton Vale route going for TIF funding? I thought it was going for something that didn’t require congestion charging. Of course, it won’t do much to help congestion, just take the edge off the new housing being built in Ashton Value, hence leaving capacity on the Hotwells bridges for the ring road

  2. sefton parkie says:

    Did she mention why she told Heather Tomlinson to fuck off ?

    that should read “request early retirement”

  3. chris hutt says:

    From Venue… JO on biggest challenges says

    “Congestion – and I think we need a big conversation about how we solve that one. Education – it’s moving forward but there’s still a lot to do. And the other one is Bristol’s reputation. I think the city undersells itself. We’ve got so many things here – the creative digital sector, the science sector, green technology,. Wrap all those up together and it’d give us real momentum. It works here in a way that I’ve never seen it work in any other city and we’re not making the most of it… I just think it’s a shame that more people don’t know what Bristol’s got to offer.”

    More remarks of a similarly inconsequential nature follow. To my mind it’s the sort of stuff that sounds vaguely meaningful on a casual hearing but doesn’t bear careful examination. Take any single sentence and ask “what does that tell me that I don’t already know?”.

    Otherwise it’s just meaningless metaphors like “Wrap all those up together and it’d give us real momentum” – wrap them up? We’re not a wet fish stall on Humberside. And why should we want more people to know what Bristol’s got to offer? So more young professionals will come here, displacing the indigenous working classes out to soulless urban extensions?

  4. thebristolblogger says:

    Thanks Chris that’s the quote I was referring to from memory.

  5. Forest Pines says:

    The Ashton Vale busway scheme was probably, at one time, going to be put forward for TIF funding, but the bid that was put forward in February was for DfT Major Scheme funding instead. One of the press releases at the time had a quote from Mark Bradshaw stating he still hoped to be applying for TIF funding for further stages of the bus route (such as the Railway Path and Malago Greenway pave-overs shown in the funding bid’s supplied maps).

  6. chris hutt says:

    Most commentators took the view that after the Manchester vote congestion charging and hence TIF funding was a dead duck, at least for the foreseeable future.

    The problem is that something like congestion charging / road pricing is necessary to address congestion. Experts and the government (and Bradshaw et al) know this but can’t/won’t try to persuade the wider public of this.

  7. chris hutt says:

    “Congestion – and I think we need a big conversation about how we solve that one”

    This is what top politicos always say but rarely dare do. Remember Tory Transport Sec Brian Mawhinney’s ‘Great Transport Debate’ of 1990, which he brought to an abrupt end after just a few months? Remember how Holland and Bradshaw tried to avoid provoking a debate about congestion charging? Observe how the present incumbents will avoid debating the issue.

    They don’t really want ‘a big conversation’ on it. What they want is to somehow slip it by a highly sceptical public, which is what TIF was supposed to do, by hiding it behind a smokescreen of public transport investment.

  8. BristolDave says:

    They don’t really want ‘a big conversation’ on it. What they want is to somehow slip it by a highly sceptical public, which is what TIF was supposed to do, by hiding it behind a smokescreen of public transport investment.

    Our views on the environment might differ slightly but your analysis is spot on, Chris.

  9. TonyD says:


    I suspect my views on the environment differ even more from yours than Chris’s does, but…you are dead right.

    Despite being a Green I still find myself ambivalent towards the idea of a congestion charge – my overall sense is that we need to reduce the level of car traffic in Bristol but, if (and its still a big if), congestion charging is the answer, we need to have a reasoned debate about it with all sides of the discussion being taken into account. Sneaking it in under cover of a “smokescreen” is simply going to piss people off.

    I am getting increasingly annoyed with being told what I can’t do, without a reasonable and adult explanation of why I shouldn’t be allowed to do it.

    The question is, does there exist a forum in this city that can attract a wide enough audience where such a reasoned debate could take place?

  10. Overayard says:

    “To Ormondroyd” I have been bored at work so have been looking to find the meaning of her name. I’ve just given up as the “power of the INTERWEB” has given me nothing.

    So I was thinking maybe it’s not a noun but a verb, to Ormondroyd.

    “To Ormondroyd” meaning (vb) to fill a void with faecal waste, (vb) to state the blindingly obvious to people who are not listening (vb) to claim success for things which have nothing to do with you; the options are endless.

  11. Or maybe,”to Ormondroyd” means to perform an unusual practise in the hope that it will cure one of bum disease…


  12. Gizza mayor says:

    What’s going on? Why is she in charge? Did we elect this woman? Clear out the council. Ditch the execs. Let an elected mayor rebuild the local gov. Then we can bitch about him/her instead.

  13. thebristolblogger says:

    Not much input from our elected reps on this one.

    I wonder what they make of a civil servant making blatant policy statements?

    Especially in the lead up to an election. What’s the point of voting if the officers have set the agenda for the future already?

  14. BB. You clearly have no understanding of why politicians stand for election… it’s the expenses stupid… who cares about a load of crappy policy anyway? What on earth do you think politicians are… political anoraks?

  15. Guess again says:

    There are no “expenses” for local government councillors.

  16. If it’s not money… then it must be sex!

  17. thebristolblogger says:

    Councillors’ income earned from their role is termed “expenses”.

  18. Council watch says:

    I think you’ll find the correct term is ‘allowances.’

    I don’t think any City Councillor is really motivated to stand for election for £11,000ish p.a. in allowances.

    MPs may be a different matter though with a salary in excess of £65,000 plus all the expenses etc.

  19. “I don’t think any City Councillor is really motivated to stand for election for £11,000ish p.a. in allowances. “

    Oh I dunno, 11 grand for spouting platitudes and lies seems quite a good deal to me… alright, it’s not as good as MP’s get, but it’s more than I earn in a year!

    Let’s face it, they don’t have to do much; the officers do it all for them.

  20. thebristolblogger says:

    Nonsense. They work really hard. Haven’t you heard them constantly telling you?

    (Mind you, if this is true, it tells you how useless they really are if the current absolute shambles is the result of hard work)

  21. Guess Again says:

    Yeh of course many councillors are useless. But the average amount of hours spent by a councillors is 25 per week. For £11k that works out as £8.46 per hour.

    The better councillors work more than that, so their hourly rate is correspondingly lower. In fact, some councillors work full-time or more, and anyone working more than 36 hours for £11k is getting less than the legal minimum wage.

    Anyone who thinks sane people would put themselves in the firing line for that cash wants their head examining.

  22. Dona Qixota says:

    There’s thousands of decent people in this country who put themselves in the political firing line for – guess what – no ‘remuneration’ whatever. And they often do much better and more vital work than most councillors too.

  23. I have recently spoken with a number of small businessmen… you know, the people for whom the majority of British employees work.

    One of the interesting things was that, in many cases, their employees took home more money than they did. You see, the employees are covered by the minimum wage… there is no minimum wage for the self employed. Two of these employers joked to me that, as self employed people, their ambition was to one day reach minimum wage. Both of these employers run established businesses, both employ other people. One of them has received (rightly) praise for his services to this city.

    These employers, through their business endeavours, produce the money that councillors on the City Council then spunk up the wall. Both put in considerably more working hours than those same BCC councillors!

  24. thebristolblogger says:

    the average amount of hours spent by a councillors is 25 per week

    Says who? They do!

    Could they provide evidence of the hours they work? Do they sign in and out? Do they clock in?

    Bollocks do they. We have to take it on trust. Your stats aren’t worth piss in these circumstances.

    Besides the issue here is not how hard they work or even whether they’re useless (which most of them are).

    It’s that they’re pointless and they don’t seem to have the slightest interest in becoming anything else.

    Therefore they’re a waste of money. Why have 70 people on £11k basically doing nothing apart from communicating other people’s decisions.

    You can do that for much cheaper than £2m a year.

  25. woodsy says:

    Why have 70 people on £11k basically doing nothing apart from communicating other people’s decisions.

    I think you’re being rather uncharitable here BB. Councillors do more than communicate other peoples’ decisions; they do rubber-stamp them beforehand. 😉

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