Green Party expresses opposition to all-out elections
Green Party members have today issued a strong statement against the adoption of all-out elections for the city, explaining that the proposed changes would mean Bristolians have to wait up to 1,463 days between each vote on local representation.
The statement, submitted to Tuesday's Full Council meeting where a decision will be made on the matter, makes clear that moving to a cycle where all councillors were elected on the same day would mean less scope for the council to represent, reflect and involve the public's views.
Rob Telford, Green candidate for Ashley said:
"We all know that any system worth adopting must increase citizen participation and not limit it. Yet these changes would widen the gap between the public and their elected representatives, and give people less incentive to participate, vote or stand for election themselves - either as an independent or for a political party. We believe people should be able to decide on who represents them more often than these proposals allow."
Anna McMullen, Green candidate for Easton and a member of the Ashley, Easton and Lawrence Hill Neighbourhood Partnership said:
"We need to empower the Bristol public to be more regularly involved in our city's politics, not less. The council should be bringing in measures to help people's voices be heard, like switching to proportionally representative voting, or giving people the right to recall their councillors. People feel like their opinions aren't listened to as it is. This would only make it worse."
Greens regret that the Localism Act 2011 has outlawed local authorities from adopting the best compromise - electing half of the council on a two-yearly basis.
At present, a resident has to wait a maximum of three years to deliver a verdict on a political party in local government. Under the new proposals, they will wait four years to vote out inefficient or absent councillors.
The Full Council meeting will decide on Tuesday whether to keep the current system or move to all-out elections.