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BCFM Drivetime
Known Crooked Outsourcing firms Serco and Deloitte get key private Covid contracts
Weekly Program
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First hour News Review: Mayor steals public dockside land to sell it off to his speculator chums – The Great Bordeaux Quay Robbery: with former Bristol mayor George Ferguson – Lockdown eases further on Saturday – will it work?

Known Crooked Outsourcing firms Serco and Deloitte get private Covid contracts – Serco boss defends its work on setting up NHS test-and-trace system – Rupert Soames says criticism largely motivated by ideology amid calls for £45.8m contract to be cancelled – The boss of the outsourcing firm Serco has defended its “extraordinary” work in setting up the NHS coronavirus test-and-trace system, amid calls for the £45.8m contract to be cancelled. Critics of Serco’s involvement have pointed to its mixed record on public works, the use of subcontractors and a blunder last month in which it inadvertently revealed the email addresses of contract tracers recruited to assist in the UK government’s “test, track and trace” strategy. Rupert Soames, the company’s chief executive, acknowledged the scheme was not perfect but said criticism was largely motivated by ideological opposition to private companies running state services… Labour slams ministers over Deloitte virus testing deal – Pressure increases on government over amount of data given to health and local authorities – The opposition Labour party has attacked ministers for awarding one of the key coronavirus testing contracts without obliging the private provider to share the results of tests with public health bodies in England. The revelation about the deal with consultancy Deloitte, which set up the system that conducts the vast majority of tests in England, has added to the criticism of the government’s approach after it ordered the city of Leicester into lockdown. Leicester’s mayor said he only knew a few days before the lockdown was ordered on Monday how bad the situation was in his city as the government had only just begun sharing national data from dozens of drive-through testing sites and home kits provided by the Deloitte system… “We are paying hundreds of thousands of pounds if not millions to a private company to help with testing for coronavirus, and it appears no one commissioning that service thought to make sure they share the results with health authorities and councils when they find a positive case so they could do something with that data,” Ms Creasy told the FT…

Bristol City Council faces ‘catastrophic’ £82million blackhole due to coronavirus – “It is urgent for government to engage in conversations with local authorities” Coronavirus could leave Bristol City Council with a “catastrophic” £82million blackhole that would threaten frontline services, civic chiefs have warned. Head of paid service Mike Jackson said the authority’s vital income, such as from parking charges, council tax and business rates, will be severely damaged by the pandemic and that – without a bailout from Whitehall – the council would be forced to tear up its budget and plunder its reserves to stay afloat. He told the council’s overview and scrutiny management board: “We really need to make sure the Government understands the impact on our income streams. “The Government does understand the additional costs associated with responding to the crisis but I really don’t think they have grasped that for some authorities the loss of income streams is significantly greater than the direct cost associated with responding to the crisis…

EXCLUSIVE: Selling Our City Off To Speculators In Secret – Mayor’s secret planning deal with private speculator for public land – Interview with former Bristol Mayor, George Ferguson: place making and a good balance of mixed uses; Bristol Arena project; Mayor Marvin’s cult-like regime and secrecy over proposed development on Bordeaux Quay in Bristol Harbour; Western Harbour development group, ‘pliable friends of former Merchant Venturers master John Savage and mayor Marvin Rees’ appointed to oversee development; Mayoral system problems; more secrecy over Temple Island development. PMQs local government and procurement fraud. Intu shopping centres gone bust.

Hotel with more than 150 rooms planned for Bristol’s Bordeaux Quay and Millennium Square – The land is owned by Bristol City Council, with London-based property company Bell Hammer set to be the developer of the proposed scheme. AHMM says the Waterfront Place site is the only one in the area which remains empty since the site regeneration, listing Watershed, Bordeaux Quay, WeTheCurious, Bristol Lab and Arnolfini as the buildings retained from the industrial era that have been reinvented. It adds the development, planned where there is a “void in the townscape,” would “unify and bind together the collection of substantial buildings around the Meeting of the Waters: Bordeaux Quay, Narrow Quay+ Arnolfini, M-Shed, Wapping Wharf and LLoyds”. For these reasons, it says, the scheme can “rightfully provide a central building of Bristol, not just as part of the dockside at a location to where ships from around the world have travelled, but to express the contemporary strength of the place, combining work and leisure, in this location at the heart of the modern city”. A development agreement has been signed and the applicant is currently in pre-application discussions with the council.

December 2011 – former Merchant Venturer master John Savage’s 2011 vision book for the West of England ‘City Region’. 2050: High in Hope – Since its conception, The West of England Initiative has recognised the need for a long term plan for the Bristol City region. In 2011, The Initiative published 2050: High in Hope – A Business Vision for the West of England City-Region. – Inspired by the influential 1909 Plan of Chicago, which provided the city with a direction of development, 2050: High in Hope is a visual and written interpretation of a business vision for the West of England city-region. It is a strategic master plan.

September 2019 – Mr Rees said the council’s plans to build houses in a redesigned Cumberland Basin was driven by the city’s housing crisis and climate emergency. “We do have to take advantage of city centre locations because that reduces car dependency,” he said. – Council chiefs also want to take the opportunity to free up land in the area, which they have rechristened Western Harbour, for up to 2,500 new homes for Bristol, as the city faces a huge housing and homelessness crisis. The initial feasibility studies came up with 10 possible options, but they were shortlisted down to three by the Mayor’s Office, and then shared with the public in an early engagement exercise. This is not the same as a consultation process, which is a formalised procedure seeking the public’s views on a specific proposal in advance of a formal decision by the mayor or cabinet.

Boris Johnson’s ‘Build Build Build’ speech – how is this different from FDR’s New Deal? – Boris Johnson’s £5BILLION promise: PM puts forward radical ‘new deal’ for COVID recovery – BORIS JOHNSON has promised a £5billion “new deal” to kick start economic recovery and get Britain back to work after the coronavirus crisis. In a major speech, the Prime Minister has set out plans for an “infrastructure revolution” to modernise hospitals, schools, roads, prisons, the courts, high streets and town centres. And he urged the country to pull together to “build, build, build” its way out of the economic downturn caused by weeks of lockdown. “If we deliver this plan together, then we will together build our way back to health. We will not just bounce back, we will bounce forward – stronger and better and more united than ever before,” the Prime Minister said. Mr Johnson travelled to Dudley, in the West Midlands, to make his keynote speech on the UK’s future, deep in the so-called “Blue Wall” territory captured from Labour at last year’s general election…

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