BOOMTERRAGATE: MORE STINKS IN AVONMOUTH!

From our Avonmouth correspondent

For once it’s not a product from one of either Boomeco, Churngold, New Earth Solutions or Wessex Water’s latest ventures with the Evading Agency that’s creating A STINK down in Avonmouth but it might be closely connected.

It would seem that our old friend Councillor WAYNE “DEE” HARVEY, protector of the faithful and lickspittle to ‘the boys in the boardroom’ at his other employers the BRISTOL PORT COMPANY, might have misinformed the public about his involvement in the recent VICTORY by Avonmouth residents who stopped the Nexterra biomass plant from getting planning permission.

Even local MP “CHARDONNAY” CHARLOTTE LESLEY congratulated Wayne for his spandex stretching heroics in apparently forcing planning supremo “KING PRAWN” CALABRESE to stop dealing with this matter under his self-awarded delegated powers. And knowing Chardonnay’s penchant for bandwagons and publicity, we applaud her selflessness in standing slightly out of the limelight to allow Wayne some much needed glory before he blunders toward his next POLITICAL DISASTER.

Admittedly Chardonnay had been crowing about her own efforts to get permanent air quality measurements in place at Avonmouth and her success in getting some form of analysis for “another year”. So she probably thought she could chuck a bone to Wayne before he commits POLITICAL SUICIDE the next time someone lets him out to play unsupervised.

Residents understand that BCC will only be extending the monitoring for NINE MONTHS at ONE site yet to be identified. And after listening to the woeful air quality study put forward by BCC’s in-house ‘air quality expert’ at the Nexterra planning meeting, residents expect this study to be handled with the same forensic, laser-like focus as the current one.

We therefore anticipate the project will run thus; FUCK it up, COVER it up and SHUT UP about it.

However, unfortunately for Wayne, as the chair of Planning Committee ALEX “DEAD” WOODMAN indicated before a packed Council House last Wednesday night, his claims are, er … utter bollocks! Tweedle Dee had NOTHING to do with getting this application before a planning committee as the time for a councillor to do this had lapsed. The plans were called in by a council officer, possibly ‘KING PRAWN’ although we await clarification about that.

BCC are truly amazing in their depth of knowledge though aren’t they? The peasants of Avonmouth should feel privileged we have the gigantic minds of people like DR MARK “NOT QUITE” WRIGHT (what’s he a doctor of? Ginger beards?). He told the planning meeting that wood dust was fine because his experience of constructing flat pack furniture that weekend after a week designing an incomprehensible IT strategy for the abysmal telephony and data management systems in place at BCC, indicated that BACON, yes BACON, was far more carcinogenic than the tonnes of unsuppressed dust settling on any unfortunate Avnomouthonian daring to eat a butty between zero hour contracts.

To be fair, another Councillor did point out that you have a choice about eating bacon, which might skew DR NOT QUITE‘s expert analysis of respiratory cancer anomalies and the huge variance from the national average of heart attacks and strokes in in non meat eating and non-christian or multi-faith but no-bacon-thank-you Avonmouthians in the coming decades. Until then, we suggest he can sod off and stop belittling the absolute nightmare his policies are causing far from his own leafy ward.

Outstanding questions that need to be asked around this bizarre planning application episode include:

    • Why did Councillor Wayne “Dee” Harvey claim to have intervened in a planning process which he had previously endorsed despite multiple objections from residents? In fact neither Wayne, the local MP nor the other Councillor Matt ‘Dumb’ Melias objected to the application in the first place despite strong objections by residents. This begs the question of whose interests they actually serve if not the residents of the ward?
    • Was the original attempt to rubberstamp the application through delegated powers legal or lawful? As we understand it, the application should have by its content and impact on the community been put before a planning committee for scrutiny and not been considered under delegated powers in the first place. We await BCC’s response about the ‘extra training’ or other such outcome from their investigation into ‘King Prawn’s’ professional conduct as a public servant in this matter.
    • Why have the Bristol Evening Post not printed a retraction of their story despite their own reporter being present at ‘Boomterragate’ last Wednesday evening and witnessing the exchange with her own eyes? A serving Councillor seemingly misinformed the public via a newspaper article. This was clarified via a formal question by a member of the public to the chair in the public chamber. The public record needs to be corrected. It would be nice if the Post could devote the same size content and position within the paper to allow Wayne to clarify his position but we’ll settle for two sentences sandwiched between Gimp costume suppliers in the small ads if that’ll help. A conversation with one of the reporters at the Post promises to bear fruit so we’ll give them the benefit for the meantime.
    • Is the appointment of an employee of the Port, as a non-executive director looking after BCC’s (and therefore residents) interests ethical or legal? Doesn’t the Councillor have a massive conflict of interest? Another recent incumbent non-executive director also had some interesting business connections and held positions of public office whilst presiding over the introduction and development of the wood chipping industry that sprang up at the Port during her tenure. An industry with such stellar names as Boomeco, Churngold, Stobarts Biomass, EGNI International, A&A Recycling and AW Jenkinson forest products. An industry that was prised tooth and claw from their positions of near immunity granted by the Evading Agency and BCC pollution control staff. Regulators who seem more interested in killing off fledgling businesses on the other side of the city with actions that could be construed as malfeasance in public office, rather than taking on multi-million pound industry players to protect the health and wellbeing of the public they are paid handsomely to serve.

Planning law seems to be a hot topic in CHERNOBYL, sorry Avonmouth at present. It has now emerged that Councillor Dee Harvey’s latest PET PROJECT to shore up his woeful performance in building community spirit after the civil unrest in the summer may be going off piste at an alarming rate.

It seems that Tweedle Dee has neglected to consult with the community he apparently serves and has decided that he will personally ensure that Avonmouth is put firmly on the map, well Google Earth at least ,with a MASSIVE XMAS TREE parachuted into an Avonmouth park probably by Chinook at 3am.

We understand that this Avonmouth Park, or the ENCHANTED WOOD as it shall be known going forward, will require a hard standing and electrical supply to be installed to support the illuminated tower of power Councillor Harvey has helped to secure via an anonymous benefactor from the Port.

However, it seems this development hasn’t been near the planning department and no public consultation has taken place as far as we can ascertain. Given the short space of time before the event is scheduled one wonders if ‘King Prawn’ will be called upon to grease the wheels of government after his recent successes with power stations and highly toxic ash storage within meters of residential homes,

We’ll have to wait and see. BCC officer APRIL RICHMOND of some local partnership quango or other indicated that because ‘it would be hidden’ in some sort of Tracey Island kind of way, the advice she had been given was no planning application or lawful process needed to be served; we can only hope the advice didn’t come from ‘DR DEATH’ MARK WRIGHT after a weekend building a shed.

Although, if they’re wrong, it sends out a very poor message indeed if the city’s planning authority doesn’t see the need to bother getting planning permission.

On a positive note for the west country, Swindon got twinned with Disney, Avonmouth gets BHOPAL.

Anyway, time to sign off from Avonmouth as I need to decontaminate my kids before bed.

THAT SINKING FEELING

A whistleblower has broken cover to reveal a SCANDALOUS series of HAZARDOUS health and safety breaches in the infrastructure of Bristol Docks.

The major problems we EXPOSE represent a danger to the public, to users of the docks and to the city as whole as it’s unlikely that the city’s flood defences are properly maintained.

Our contact claims that council docks boss, the notorious bully and incompetent, TONY “AHAB” NICHOLS and his useless sidekick, Chief Engineer KEVIN “WHAT DOCK? ” POMEROY have allowed the docks to fall into this serious state of disrepair “due to either their total INDIFFERENCE or complete INCOMPETENCE”.

We’re also told that this is after the pair were entrusted with £17m of tax payer investment for the docks. Here’s the full list of issues:

Outer Gates

☠ Not ‘de-muddied’ in four years

☠ Bearings on operating arms seized

☠ Shear joints (an engineered weak spot to protect gates and machinery) welded top and bottom

Inner Gate

☠ As outer gates, except water ingress to High Pressure Units (HPUs) running biodegradeable oil and causing damage to delicate machinery

Sluices

☠ Spear post ends to sluice gate not repaired – refitted in very worn condition

93 Stop Gates

☠ Not recoated inside depite promises to the Environment Agency as condition of securing money for new stop gates

Brunel Sluices

☠ Only one of four operational for many years Emergency Paddle House

☠ Over six years spent changing from geared operation to hydraulic. Still none operational. (Wrong size rams were bought, wrong HPU. New HPU taken from Brunel subways)

Bridges

☠ Plimsoll: gutter is still not cleaned six months after breakdown, which was ultimately caused by this. Breakdown occurred at 16:15. Chief Docks Engineer Kevin Pomeroy would not answer his phone (during core working hours). He arrived eventually at 20:00. He did not call any engineering staff out although press were told they had

☠Redcliffe and Prince Street Bridge: badly corroded, massive holes in structure

Dredging

☠ More mud in the dock and Feeder Canal than at any time in the last 20 years.

It’s clear that out City Docks have been mismanaged and abused by Cap’n Ahab and Pomeroy. And it’s clear that they are simply not up to their well-paid jobs.

Now we say to the pair of them: “For gods sake – and for everyone’s sake – go. And go now .”

AVONMOUTH COMPOSTING FACILTY

Another Evading Agency masterstroke of planning. Put thousands of tonnes of SHITE in the open air and mince it up ruining the amenity of thousands of homes and businesses.

When are the EA going to admit they are nothing but a QUANGO and have no experience in managing anything? How many more people’s lives must be RUINED before we collectively get rid of these parasites who do nothing but ponce about painting yellow fishes on drain covers while the country gets flooded with water and waste?

ON THE MARCH

Pissed off Avonmouth residents, who have been subjected  dangerous pollution and public health hazards from the port, have started a campaign of direct action against BRISTOL PORT COMPANY.

Meanwhile the city’s business, political and bureaucratic elites have closed ranks around the MERCHANT VENTURER owned big business to suppress the truth about the port’s activities.

Residents have been complaining for years now about dust from the port, some of which is potentially carcinogenic wood dust from biomass stored on the dock and some is metal dust from the SIMS METAL MANAGEMENT PLANT containing LEAD, CADMIUM and ARSENIC.

More recently, over the last month or so, residents have been subjected to a plague of flies that has been traced to waste being exported by local company BOOMECO. The company’s boss OLIVER ‘TWATTER’ LATTER has verbally admitted responsibility for the infestation but is refusing to pay residents the small cost of fumigating their homes.

Meanwhile the two regulatory bodies, THE ENVIRONMENT AGENCY for the Port and the CITY COUNCIL for public health matters relating to its residents are passing the buck to each other and effectively washing their hands of the matter.

avonmouth protest

It also has come to light in recent weeks that the city council has secretly authorized the storage in the open air of ‘bottom ash’ on land they own at the port just a few hundred metres from people’s homes. This ash is what’s left after waste is incinerated and residents say, “literally anything could be in this waste, including TOXIC AND RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL from stuff like hospital waste. It’s obviously a danger to public health so near to our homes”.

Residents held their first demo at the port on Friday 30 May and they promise they’ll be going “on tour” throughout the summer until the authorities start doing their job and looking after them rather than poisoning them.

A resident says, “the time for tea and biscuits with these people is over. Direct action has moved us more forward in one week rather than the three years we have been trying to resolve things.

“I’m up for embarrassing the politicians and Councillors and giving glorious George and cuddly Augustus a bloody nose every time they appear spouting their false ‘green’ agenda.”

NEWS RELEASE: Avonmouth samba against the dust tomorrow

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Why not join the residents of Avonmouth and the BBC Points West team at Avonmouth Park for a Brazilian samba-style protest against pollution at the Port of Bristol docks tomorrow?

The fun kicks off at 12 noon when Avonmouth residents will gather to party down to the port gates where a cruise liner is due to berth on the morning tide and leave on the evening tide.

A representative from the Avonmouth Dust Forum says, “we have an opportunity to bring our plight peacefully to the attention of a wider audience and highlight the lack of concern and abuse of the law being shown by Bristol City Council, the hopeless regulatory authorities and the Port of Bristol Company.”

The forum also say, “to all those organizations that are monitoring the Avonmouth Dust Forum: we would much rather be sat at a negotiating table trying find a sensible workable resolution and we extend an offer to the Port of Bristol Company and Bristol City Council to contact us with solutions. If no such contact is made our peaceful campaign of direct action will continue.”

Out now: ‘FLYMAGEDDON!’: the new Avonmouth movie:

DIRECT ACTION GETS RESULTS FOR FLY-INFESTED AVONMOUTH RESIDENTS!

Looks like Mayor Fergo and his sidekick Green Gusset have caved in to demands by angry locals in Avonmouth that Bristol City Council step up and resolve the FLY INFESTATION caused by incompetent biomass profiteers BoomEco – with fumigation and insecticides being made available to those affected from tomorrow.

To book your visit from the pest control crew or to pick up some fly spray/paper, just pop in to the library, or contact your local councillor – that’s Wayne Harvey (07769 131 094) and Matthew Melias.

So well done on everyone up there dockside for fighting the good fight – and keep up the pressure!

In the meantime, here’s a video of last weekend’s protest…

FLIES ON TOAST

 

After Friday’s demonstration and the on-going PLAGUE OF FLIES, there was a packed out Avonmouth Neighbourhood Forum last night. The regular meeting is known to locals as the ‘dust forum’, because it usually involves discussing shitty clouds of some description blowing over the Docks boundaries into Avonmouth Village and the surrounding areas.

Assistant Mayor Gus Hoyt was handed down the task to deal with these issues months ago by the Mayor on behalf of the City Council, but has since denied responsibility and failed to turn up. The Environment Agency were nowhere to be seen and many residents pointed out if they’re partly responsible why the fuck weren’t they invited?

Boomeco the company responsible for the fly infestation had their Managing Director Oliver ‘ever so sorry’ Latter there. Conservative MP Charlotte ‘Bacardi’ Leslie and two Tory councillors were there along with Sue Turner director of communications at the port.

The meeting began with Oliver Latter standing in front of the packed community centre looking like he’d SHAT HIMSELF, saying he was very sorry and he’s clearing up his mess as we speak. But the community were unrelenting in their questioning ‘WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT OUR SIDE OF THE FENCE?’  They also invited him to stay the night in one of their houses saying he could have ‘flies on toast for breakfast’. Latter he refused to take up any of the community’s suggestions of acts of goodwill, like distributing free fly spray or fly strips that residents have been forking out for. The company could easily afford this, but if they did, they’d be in a way accepting responsibility before the Environment Agency proceedings come to an end.

Charlotte Leslie tried her smarmy best to appear reasonable and also defuse the anger aimed at The Port Company and Boomeco. However one resident shouted from the back of the room ‘£28,000 quid’, the amount that the Port Company recently donated to Tory Leslie and she (illegally) failed to declare to Parliament. Another ‘cash for questions’ scandal in the making?

Sue Turner from the Port also received her share of the justified abuse after saying ‘we have a legally bound obligation to allow all Ships to dock’, but people heckled that ‘doesn’t mean they can dump unsafe crap in the open air’ in Avonmouth. Tory Councillor Wayne Harvey who works at the Port played confused and told everyone to ‘keep letting us know when we slip up’ to keep talking and emailing in, to which one resident asked ‘if they’d get paid part of his wages for doing part of his job for him?’

All of the speakers arrogance shone through by trying to tell residents that other incidents of pollution weren’t on the agenda and not relevant. But of course they are relevant because they’ve been through it all before with a million other companies in Avonmouth, and people are sick to the teeth. And as a speaker said this ‘couldn’t happen up Sneyd Park’; because Avonmouth isn’t rich it gets ignored over and over again.

These Scumbag companies that have operated out of the port over the years that have shat on Avonmouth, whilst making tons of money off of the people who work for them and profiting from the health problems caused, are pushing residents to the edge once more.

So in summary The Tories, The Port company and Boomeco played pass the blame, enjoying when residents were directing their anger at absentees the Environment Agency or Ferguson and Hoyt.

How Boomeco and the Port can stand there whilst residents talk emotively about their children getting pneumonia, respiratory problems and cooking in fly infested kitchens and give people nothing but the promise of another meeting is shameful. These new companies at the port are replacing old technologies with supposed new ‘green’ ones that are doing just as much harm to residents health as before and sticking ‘eco’ in your name isn’t going to cut it.

The community won’t accept just another meeting; there was talk of more demonstrations and direct action as the meeting was wrapping up. Watch this space

ANGRY AVONMOUTH RESIDENTS TAKE TO THE STREETS OVER BIOMASS FLY INFESTATION

Avonmouth fly protest
No flies on this kid! Protest by angry Avonmouth locals – against Boomeco, the biomass company which caused a plague of flies to descent on the village, and the authorities who have failed to sort it out – reaches Crowley Way.

Local residents in Avonmouth today said ‘enough is enough’ after the FAILURE of Bristol City Council, millionaire mayor George Ferguson, the Environment Agency and the Bristol Port Company to sort out the appalling fly infestation in the portside village – and marched on the offices of the biomass profiteers responsible, Boomeco.

After assembling at Avonmouth Park, around SIXTY ANGRY LOCALS have been on a walkabout around the town, periodically blocking roads to get their message across, as they head towards the offices of the controversial waste recycling company Boomeco.

The invasion of flies has been traced back to POOR PRACTICES AT BOOMECO, which bundles up and trades in rubbish – quaintly rebranded ‘biomass’ or ‘refuse derived fuel’ – which is then burnt to create electricity. Further fly infestations are expected if a planned new biomass power plant is built at Avonmouth docks.

Here’s a press release from the protesters:

Residents of Avonmouth are in the process of marching on the offices of the Bristol Port Company due to their their ongoing failure to deal with a recent fly infestation caused by biomass exporters Boomeco at their facility in Avonmouth.

Local elected representatives have failed to address and alleviate this problem and now Bristol Port Company want to lease a section of land to the Day Group for the storage of incinerator bottom ash less than 500 metres from residences in Avonmouth.

The campaign is led by recent independent candidate and seasoned campaigner Stephen Norman after numerous emails to the Mayor, the Port Company and Mr Oliver Latter of Boomeco have been ignored.

Residents have become frustrated at the lack action to stop such industry being attracted by the Port Company like the proposed building of a Biomass plant at the dock.

Mr Norman says the campaign will go ‘on tour’ at chosen strategic venues causing peaceful disruption until common sense prevails.

A leaflet from the Avonmouth Dust Forum also asks local residents affected by the plague of disease-spreading flies to contact as many authorities as possible in order to get this DANGEROUS HEALTH HAZARD sorted.

» Avonmouth Dust Forum flyer (May 2014)

More news as we get it…