Did you lie Councillor? Or are you merely an incompetent?

The webcast for the full council meeting of 15 September is now available from the Bristol City Council website here.

Using the index you can go to section 4.c Questions from the public where you will find the following:

PQ3 Mr T Griffin -> Cllr Dr J Rogers re. Ashton Gate Development (00:34:23 – 00:38:54)

The final comment from Councillor Simon “Sweaty” Cook (at 00:38:00) is in response to questioning about the future of publicly owned land at Ashton Gate:

“It is not the practice of this local authority, or any local authority that I am aware of, to hold public consultations around land disposals”

A strong statement to make. It implies that consulting the public on whether to sell council owned land or not would be an unprecedented step, not just in Bristol but for any local authority across the country.

If you are going to make a statement like that you need to be sure of your facts.

So it’s a bit unfortunate that the statement is untrue. Bristol City Council would not be setting a precedent for local authorities nationwide by consulting on the future of the public land at Ashton Gate … It wouldn’t even be setting a precedent for itself!

Because the council is right now in the middle of a public consultation regarding the future of council owned land at the Chocolate Factory in Greenbank (Blogger passim)Greenbank Chocolate Factory – lease / access right of plot 2

You have until the 25 September to express your opinion about the future of plot 2 by completing an online survey, which will also tell you about an earlier consultation:

Earlier consultation on this issue

The council has already held a consultation on the sale/lease of the plots in December 2008. The results of that consultation are available here.

So it would appear that our local authority is regularly involved in the practice of holding “public consultations around land disposals”.

So we are left to ponder … Does “Sweaty” not have a full grasp of council activities regarding its land disposals?

But as Jon Rogers so helpfully pointed out on this very blog:

My Executive Portfolio covers planning. Simon Cook’s Executive Portfolio covers capital projects. Land sales come under “capital projects” and not “planning”.

So the consultation on the land disposal at the Chocolate Factory is in Cook’s executive portfolio. Perhaps leading us to the conclusion that he had simply “forgotten” about it?

In which case we can conclude that he is incompetent. Or did he simply lie hoping that nobody would notice?

This entry was posted in Ashton Vale, Bedminster, Bristol, Bristol and Bath Railway Path, Bristol East, Bristol South, Developments, Easton, Environment, Lib Dems, Local government, Planning, Politics, Southville, World Cup 2018 and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Did you lie Councillor? Or are you merely an incompetent?

  1. Jon Rogers says:

    Wrong again BB

    The Chocolate Factory is not a consultation about land sale. The land is not for sale. It is a consultation about two access options and associated arrangements across the council land.


  2. thebristolblogger says:

    What was the CONsultation ealier this year about Jon?

    And why you’re here:

    “On what date did you become aware that BCC owned land at Ashton Gate?”?

  3. Tony Dyer says:


    But as BB pointed out;

    “Earlier consultation on this issue

    The council has already held a consultation on the sale/lease of the plots in December 2008. The results of that consultation are available here.”

    And so you are clear, Cook said;

    “It is not the practice of this local authority, or any other local authority that I am aware of”


    “It is not the practice of this Lib-Dem administration”

  4. Jon Rogers says:

    Labour ran some form of consultation on the Chocolate Factory. I leave it to you to decide whether it was a consultation on land sale. I think not. Perhaps ask Cllr Bradshaw?

  5. Tony Dyer says:

    And as we have now got your attention….

    “On what date did you become aware that BCC owned land at Ashton Gate?”?

  6. And on what date did you become aware that BCC owns land on the new proposed development site? Do you know that BCC owns land on the new developemtn site? Has BCC agreed to sell this land? At what price?

  7. thebristolblogger says:


    it was not “some form of consultation”.

    To quote from your website you’re in charge of:

    Chocolate Factory consultation results

    Public consultation into the Sale/lease of two pieces of land adjacent to the Elizabeth Shaw – consultation findings


    You’re just making a prick of yourself now Jon.

  8. Council Watcher says:

    The key question, not just for Jon, but for all Bristol Councillors is:
    “On what date did you become aware that BCC owned land at Ashton Gate?”

    So come on Jon, Gary, and especially ‘Lord Snooty of Clifton’ (Simon Cook) – tell us the answer!

  9. Rosso Verde says:

    Its all gone quiet over there (Lib Dem corner)

  10. Chinadoll says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong but I was under the impression that the people of Bristol actually owned the land not the caretakers who are trying to run it.
    They have been walking all over the rights of the Bristol people for years, selling off huge globs of land some recently with council residences on them, moving elderly and disabled from their homes, away from friends and neighbours in their latter years in the name of “progress” and “decent homes”, both of which are described in the dictionary under bollocks.
    This same shower allow vast amounts of private dwellings onto the land passing the very few rented properties over to housing associations.
    How the hell will the public accounts be looking five years down the line when there is no rents coming in?
    It should most definitely be a practice of all local councils to consult the people they work for before they sell off a blade of grass as said blade of grass belongs to the people.

  11. IK Brunel says:

    Who runs the council and started this foolish bid for the World Cup? There is nothing on the council website.

    Where is the accountability, transparency and scrutiny when decisions are made by unelected bureaucrats?

    I have not yet had a reply to my e-mail of 19 Sept 09 below even though Auntie Jan is back from holiday – see below

    RE: Bristol 2018 world cup bid (Out of Office)‏
    From: postmaster@bristol.gov.uk on behalf of Jan Ormondroyd (jan.ormondroyd@bristol.gov.uk)
    Sent: 19 September 2009 11:06:35
    To: Issie Brunel (ik.brunel@hotmail.co.uk)

    I am currently away on leave. If your enquiry is urgent, please contact Jon House, Deputy Chief Executive (jon.house@bristol.gov.uk), otherwise your email will be dealt with by my PAs, and my Executive Support Officer.

    Jan Ormondroyd
    Chief Executive

    >>> ik.brunel 09/19/09 11:05 >>>

    This does not really answer the question.

    Who made the decision? As it was not the council or cabinet, is it correct to assume that you made decision that the council should support or lead the bid for Bristol to host a few world cup games.

    When was the decision made?

    How was it made? On what evidence?

    Also how much is it costing council tax payers like me, both in cash and staff time?


    > Date: Wed, 9 Sep 2009 17:29:36 +0100
    > From: jan.ormondroyd@bristol.gov.uk
    > To: ik.brunel@hotmail.co.uk
    > Subject: Re: Bristol 2018 world cup bid
    > Dear Issie
    > Thank you for your email.
    > Bristol City Council has a responsibility to promote social, economic and cultural opportunities within the city. As a result, Bristol City Council, with cross-party political support, is backing the 2018 World Cup Bid to the Football Association (FA). We are providing our support on behalf of the city, along with a number of groups and organisations, as the immediate benefits of hosting the World Cup would be considerable and it would provide a legacy of opportunity for years to come.
    > Full Council and Cabinet take key decisions and to date there have been no key decisions to take. However, if the bid progresses successfully, formal decisions will be taken by Councillors and these will be accessible via the Bristol City Council internet site.
    > King regards, Jan
    > Jan Ormondroyd
    > Chief Executive
    > >>> Issie Brunel 23/08/2009 22:23 >>>
    > Please could you tell me who, when and how Bristol City Council decided to support the world cup bid.
    > I have looked on the city council website and can find no record of the cabinet or full council discussing the bid or agreeing to support the bid.
    > thanks
    > Issie

  12. Anon says:

    Issie – in the interests of managing your expectations (and your blood pressure) please don’t expect Jan Ormondroyd to be accountable (ever).

  13. inks says:

    It’s gone mysteriously quiet – I’m beginning to wonder if the Tesco ninja assassins haven’t got to TBB.

  14. Gary Hopkins says:

    After a weeks holiday payed for by????
    We will be checking every brown envelope on his desk.
    In the meantime -expect suprises.

  15. Nearly perfect says:

    What surprises? Did someone teach you to spell and punctuate? Did Jon Rogers actually answer the question posed to him as to when he knew about BCC land at Ashton Gate?

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