Bristol Green Party Logo

Wednesday, 17th Oct 2018

Response to Mayor's 'State of the City' speech

Bristol's Green Mayoral Candidate, Sandy Hore-Ruthven, responds to the Labour Mayor's unambitious 'State of the City' annual speech: 

Like many people, I look forward to the Mayor’s annual address. This year, I was hoping for a reminder of the Mayor’s vision for the city and the progress we have made.

Firstly, there is no doubt that the Council is in a difficult financial position. This means the scope for investing in services and new developments in Bristol is limited. However, it also makes it more important that we use the money we do have wisely and take fleet-footed action when and where we can. Unfortunately, it seems the opposite is happening at City Hall.

Last night’s address sounded and felt like a ‘management report’ not a vision for the city. The Mayor listed achievements that seemed to amount to a lot plans, strategies and consultations. The response to our problems with traffic and pollution is, for example, a transport strategy that sets out the need for more plans and feasibility studies. A review of RPZs was just that – a review with no

change. A challenge to the schools’ admissions process resulted in a ‘summit for 100 education partners who shared good practice’. More ‘planning’ is underway for the Western Harbour and a ‘working group’ has been gathered to ‘secure the future of our city centre’.

The Mayor mentioned the arena again, so I will too, because it is the one thing that would have brought some new life to our city in his term of office. A shovel ready project that would have left front line services untouched has been replaced by, you guessed it, a ‘plan’ for a mixed-use development – the conference centre no one in Bristol ever dreamt of.

In fact, as far as I can tell, housing seemed to be the only real achievement of the last two and a half years. For that, Cllr Paul Smith and council officers should be congratulated, as Bristol seems to be adding around 1% (2000 homes) to its housing stock every year. We were starting from a relatively low base so to be hitting a national average for house building is a real achievement to be celebrated.

Before the Mayor’s speech, I had called on the administration to be more ambitious. Now that the cap on borrowing is being lifted I think we should raise our sights even further. It was telling that this administration would rather celebrate its modest success, than aim higher.

Ultimately ‘plans’ are only as good as the difference they make. How many less people do we have sleeping rough or without homes? Is the air that we are breathing cleaner? How many homes have been insulated? How many people have new jobs and how many people are bringing home a living wage for their families? These are a few of the questions I would like to have heard answered.

Nobody is expecting miracles. It is tough to get things done when we have little cash but if a plan does not lead to change it represents a real a waste of the valuable and limited resources, we have. Which is surely almost worse than doing nothing?

Mayor must take action on fossil fuel funds

Mayor must take action on fossil fuel funds

Green Councillors have submitted a motion to next Tuesday’s Full Council meeting (19 March) calling on Bristol’s Labour Mayor to meet with the head of Avon Pension Fund and discuss divestment of funds away from fossil fuel industries within 5 years. Despite a similar Green motion passed in 2015 (1), the Avon Pension Fund continues to hold significant investments in fossil fuel industries. A recent UN study found that resource extraction industries are responsible for half of the world’s carbon emissions and more than 80% of biodiversity loss. (2) Bristol’s branch of local government union UNISON (the second largest union in the UK) also backs the campaign for pension fund divestment.

Bristol Greens back return of student climate strike

Bristol Greens back return of student climate strike

Thousands of students are expected to strike over climate action once again this Friday 15 March in Bristol. Green councillors welcomed the news and praised young people for putting the Climate Emergency on the agenda.

Job Advert Paid Campaigns Manager Wanted

Job Advert: [Paid] Campaigns Manager Wanted

The Bristol Green Party is looking for a Campaigns Manager to help elect Sandy Hore-Ruthven as the UK’s first Green Mayor. You will be an experienced campaigns manager and have a commitment to Green values. The role will build the groundwork for an effective campaign for the elections in May 2020. Deadlines for applications is the 21st of March.

Green Group Leaders letter to the Prime Minister

Green Group Leader's letter to the Prime Minister

As Bristol’s Labour administration voted through a budget which takes millions from adult social care and children & families services, Eleanor Combley, Leader of the Green Group, wrote to the Prime Minister to demand an end to the “triple whammy of cuts” hitting local authorities.

Green Councillor  Labour incompetence to blame for bin collection delays

Green Councillor - Labour incompetence to blame for bin collection delays

Over 200 streets in Bristol were recently impacted by bin and recycling collection delays of as much as two weeks due to the failure of ‘worn-out’ vehicles due to be replaced.

Greens refuse to vote for Labours no action budget

Greens refuse to vote for Labour’s ‘no action’ budget

Bristol Green councillors have abstained from voting for the Labour administration’s budget at the budget council meeting this evening. While Councillors passed successful amendments, they said the budget overall was still not good enough, lacking key action on critical areas and continuing the rollout of cuts to services voted through by Labour in the 2018 budget.

All Green amendments at todays Budget meeting

All Green amendments at today's Budget meeting

Green Councillors have proposed 5 amendments to this evening's budget meeting at full Council. They include taking action towards carbon neutrality by 2030, creating more housing and providing better bus services.

Greens scrap City Hall perks and pay foster carers more

Greens: scrap City Hall perks and pay foster carers more

A Green amendment to be debated at Bristol’s budget council meeting this evening proposes to increase allowances for in-house foster carers at Bristol City Council, funded by scrapping free parking perks for councillors and reducing the size of the budget for the Mayor’s Office.

Greens present budget amendments to create more housing and save money

Greens present budget amendments to create more housing and save money

Green Councillors have proposed measures to Bristol’s budget meeting tomorrow that would create additional council housing and independent housing for adults with social care needs – while saving the council hundreds of thousands of pounds per year.

Fund climate change adaptation stop flytipping and tackle local flooding

Fund climate change adaptation, stop fly-tipping and tackle local flooding

Green councillors have submitted an amendment to next week’s budget which funds practical measures to address a wide range of challenges in Bristol, both local and city-wide. Proposals include a scheme dubbed the “puddle police” which identifies problem drains across the city to reduce local flooding, tougher enforcement action on fly-tipping, and development of a 12 year plan to make Bristol carbon neutral by 2030.

Accusations of racism within  Bristol City Council

Accusations of racism within Bristol City Council

We are deeply concerned at the contents of the report and condemn unequivocally any racism taking place within the council. We regard it as completely unacceptable that any officer should feel enabled to behave in a way which is discriminatory, or that any culture of bigotry should be tolerated.

Bristol needs Clean air not hot air Mr Mayor

Bristol needs “Clean air, not hot air Mr Mayor”

Bristol Greens have condemned the Mayor of Bristol for his failure to meet a deadline to produce a Clean Air Plan. The plan was supposed to be written by the end of 2018 and Bristol Council was given until 21 February to respond.

Bristols Green MEP arrested in antinuclear bombs protest

Bristol's Green MEP arrested in anti-nuclear bombs protest

Bristol's Green MEP for the South West, Molly Scott Cato, is one of three MEPs arrested after breaking into a Belgian military airbase to protest against its stockpiling of American B61 nuclear bombs

People and Power Populism Fascism and How to Defend Democracy

People and Power: Populism, Fascism, and How to Defend Democracy

A recording of Bristol's Green MEP recently talking on People and Power: Populism, Fascism, and How to Defend Democracy

Plans for 6m a year investment into buses at no cost to the Bristol taxpayer

Plans for £6m+ a year investment into buses at no cost to the Bristol taxpayer

Green councillors in Bristol and the Green Party Mayoral Candidate for 2020 have put forward an amendment to Bristol City Council’s budget to be discussed at the Council Budget meeting on Tuesday 26th. The amendment proposes a £6.5m annual investment in buses, making them more affordable, improving reliability, speed and numbers of routes, to be funded through a congestion charge on cars from outside the city.

School climate strike childrens brave stand has our support

School climate strike children’s brave stand has our support

We are inspired that our children, spurred on by the noble actions of Greta Thunberg and other striking students, are making their voices heard, say 224 academics

Voices of young people must be heard

"Voices of young people must be heard"

Green councillors have called for Bristol’s Mayor, Bristol City Council and local teachers and parents to support those students choosing to join this Friday’s school strike on climate change. On Friday 15th February, school children from across Bristol will be taking part in the first nationwide ‘Youth Strike 4 Climate’ inspired by the actions of 16 year old Greta Thunberg in Sweden. This Friday, many of Bristol’s schoolchildren will be joining the 70,000 schoolchildren from 270 cities and towns across the world who have been taking part in ‘Fridays for Future’ demanding that politicians take action to confront the climate emergency.

Mayor must end support of airport expansion

Mayor must end support of airport expansion

"How can Mayor Marvin Rees unequivocally support the expansion of Bristol Airport (BBC Sunday Politics 3rd February), when he has voted for a Green plan to make Bristol carbon neutral by 2030 and has tasked council officers to explore how to achieve this aim. Their report won’t be due until May, so on what evidence is he making this decision?

Bristols Green Lord Mayor to save money cut pollution with new hybrid car

Bristol's Green Lord Mayor to save money, cut pollution with new hybrid car

Green Lord Mayor of Bristol, Cllr Cleo Lake, has a new hybrid car for her Mayoral vehicle after the expiry of the lease on the previous diesel vehicle

Bristol Council buys new home for children in care thanks to Green budget amendment

Bristol Council buys new home for children in care thanks to Green budget amendment

An item coming to Bristol Council Cabinet today approved the purchase of a home for children in care, putting a budget amendment introduced by Green Group leader Councillor Eleanor Combley into practice.

Last chance to have your say on reckless airport expansion

Last chance to have your say on “reckless” airport expansion

There is one week left to respond to a public consultation on Bristol Airport’s expansion plans, which closes on 26 January

Government threatens legal action against Bristol Mayor over poor air quality

Government threatens legal action against Bristol Mayor over poor air quality

Government threatens legal action against Bristol Mayor over inaction on poor air quality

Bristol Green councillor named politician of the year

Bristol Green councillor named politician of the year

Councillor Carla Denyer (Clifton Down) has been named politician of the year by The Big Green Political Podcast.

Green condemnation of death threats to mayor and deputy mayor

Green condemnation of death threats to mayor and deputy mayor

Westminster is now in gridlock says MEP after Brexit vote

"Westminster is now in gridlock" says MEP after Brexit vote

Responding to last night’s defeat for the government in the Brexit vote and today’s vote of confidence in the government, Bristol's Green MEP, Molly Scott Cato, said: “Westminster is now in gridlock. The failed leadership of Theresa May and weak or non-existent opposition from Labour’s front bench has brought us to a crisis; one which our politicians seem unable to resolve. That is why the only way forwards is to go back to the people.

Bristol Green Party welcome two city MPs supporting a Peoples Vote

Bristol Green Party welcome two city MPs supporting a People’s Vote

Senior Bristol Green Party representatives have today warmly welcomed Darren Jones MP and Kerry McCarthy MP’s publicly stated support for a 2nd Brexit referendum alongside 69 of their parliamentary colleagues but have expressed ‘bitter disappointment if not surprise’ that neither Thangam DebbonaireMP or Karin Smyth MP signed up to the call.

Labour wasting council time with attacks and selfcongratulatory cheerleading

Labour wasting council time with attacks and “self-congratulatory cheerleading”

At a Bristol Full Council meeting today, Green councillors criticised the Labour group for wasting valuable policy space with a 'self-congratulatory' motion, and tabled amendments to the motion which would have committed all councillors to protect valuable Council services in forthcoming budget.

BRISTOL GREENS CALL FOR A PEOPLES VOTE ON BREXIT

BRISTOL GREENS CALL FOR A PEOPLE’S VOTE ON BREXIT

BRISTOL GREENS CALL FOR A PEOPLE’S VOTE ON BREXIT

Corbyns Brexit stance leave Labour facing mass defections

Corbyn’s Brexit stance leave Labour facing mass defections

Commenting on Jeremy Corbyn’s speech, Molly Scott Cato, Green MEP for South West England and leading supporter of the People’s Vote campaign, said: “Theresa May is plainly not the only senior politician who has mastered the art of can kicking, as Jeremy Corbyn’s speech today avoided providing definitive answers to any of the major questions facing the country over Brexit.

Action needed for Bristol to be carbon neutral by 2030

Action needed for Bristol to be carbon neutral by 2030

Bristol’s Green Councillors have today launched a new report outlining the action needed for Bristol to meet its new commitment to becoming carbon neutral by 2030.

We use cookies on our website to improve your experience, by using our website you accept the use of these cookies. Read More Close