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Monday, 19th May 2014 by Graham Woodruff

Statement by Gus Hoyt : My Home

This statement is an explanation of the circumstances surrounding the purchase of my home. I regret that it is necessary to make it but the recent article in the Bristolian is full of innuendo and therefore has to be refuted.

This article is being spread on social media by some local politicians who have not been in touch with me to find out what actually happened. It’s a shame that local politics has to be conducted in such a hostile atmosphere.

There is absolutely nothing to hide and as a supporter of transparency, I’ll disclose all. Though this is a personal matter and to be completely honest no one’s business but mine…

I bought a house on the open market back in 2011. It was three doors down from where I had rented a room for a long time in a neighbourhood I call home. The agents were Maggs and Allen. They were conducting a ‘blind auction’  which is a process using sealed bids. Bids were to be made to buy the property ‘as is ‘-without detailed inspection – a slightly unnerving process.

After a viewing and the initial trepidation that’s normal when making such a huge life-choice, I expressed an interest and received documents that were little more than a photocopy of the layout. There was a small BCC (Bristol City Council) logo on the bottom of the page. I enquired about this and my heart sank when they said they were acting as the agents for BCC who were disposing of the property.

I knew someone, somewhere would probably try and make up a story about ‘the local corrupt Green Councillor’ and almost withdrew from the process. Having sought legal advice I went to the head of Legal Services here at BCC and was told that is was an independent sale which had already been decided upon and I had had no part in process, it would not improve or hinder my chances in the ‘Sealed Bid’ process and there was nothing irregular about it. Council Officers were not involved in the sale of the off-loaded property in any way, shape or form.

In the end, my bid was the highest and therefore sucessful and a long and difficult journey commenced where I had to decontaminate the piss and shit stained floorboards, knock back most of the walls and re-plaster the lot, deal with a collapsing kitchen ceiling rotten through with waste from the broken toilet pipe from the flat upstairs and so on… Looking back it I am not sure I would have bought it if I had known exactly how much work there was to do, but it was to be my home - not for a ‘spin sale’ and I am happy living here.

So in summary this was  before there was a Mayor and long before I assumed the portfolio for landlord services in May 2013. The decision to off-load the house was made under the then LibDem administration, a process in which I was not involved.  The sale was properly handled by a professional agent . I contacted BCC at the time and was advised that it was perfectly above board for me to bid for the property. My offer was greater than anyone else’s and therefore it was successful Neither the Bristolian or the local politicians who are choosing to spread their innuendo laden story have contacted me to find out what happened.

Normally I wouldn’t respond to such wild accusations but as they are being used to negatively campaign in an important election period and I have nothing to hide,  so why not?

All the best,

Gus

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