Bristol Green Party Logo

Friday, 13th Sep 2019

Labour Mayor refuses to back Climate Strike

Bristol’s Labour Mayor has refused to support Council workers taking part in what could be the world’s biggest ever Climate Strike on 20th September, after a Green councillor asked him to do so at a Council meeting.

On Friday 20th September young people and workers across the world will be taking part in a Global Climate Strike – demonstrations in Bristol will be led by young people who have been carrying out monthly Youth Climate Strikes in the city since February. On this occasion strikers will be joined by unions and staff from local organisations like Bristol University as part of an international day of climate action. At a council meeting on Tuesday 10th September Carla Denyer, the Green Party councillor who initiated Bristol City Council’s declaration of a Climate Emergency, asked Mayor Marvin Rees if he would support Council workers taking time off to join the strike.

Referring to the University College Union (UCU) campaign for a 30 minute workday stoppage to join the climate strike, and Bristol University’s support for the action, Councillor Denyer asked: “Will the Mayor join this call and make a similar pledge to support Bristol City Council workers taking time off on 20 September to join the Climate Strike?

In response the Mayor refused, stating “If staff want to take the time out they would need to take leave and as always this would be with managers approval and service needs being paramount” and attacked Cllr Denyer for raising the issue. (Full response in notes below)

Carla said:

“I’m very disappointed by the hostile answer I received from the Mayor when I asked him to support the Global Climate Strike. The UCU and the Trades Union Congress (TUC) have now backed the strike, as has Bristol University, so it is remarkable that a Labour mayor would not only refuse to support striking workers, but also be so rude about doing so. It is clear that his ears are completely closed to any suggestions from Green Party politicians, even on issues where we thought there would be common ground. I can only hope now that lobbying from the UCU and TUC might persuade him to change his mind.”

The UCU passed a motion at the TUC Congress in Brighton on 11 September calling on all TUC unions to take part in campaign action on the day of the Climate Strike and the leaders of all opposition parties, including Jeremy Corbyn, have also backed the strike.

Bristol UCU tweeted in support of Councillor Denyer saying it was “Proud of @BristolUni's progressive decision to support 30-min solidarity stoppage on 20th Sept” and that Mayor Marvin Rees “would do well to follow suit. And recognize difference between a short solidarity stoppage to demonstrate #UnitedforClimate and a disruptive, terms + conditions strike."

Youth strike organisers attended the meeting to ask their own question of the Mayor but their question was not heard because of time constraints.  After the meeting one of the youth strike organisers, Lily, 17, said:

“We’re very disappointed not to have had the chance to ask our question at the Full Council meeting. We hope that Marvin will still consider our request for him to strike with us. We’re also saddened that Bristol is no longer leading the way in climate action. We hope that Bristol City Council will reconsider its decision not to support workers who wish to strike on the 20th of September. City of York, Brighton & Hove and Greater Manchester councils have all publicly shown their support for what will be the largest ever climate mobilisation, and we would love to say the same about our own local authority. With our future at stake we feel that the time for adversarial politics is over, and pettiness (on all sides) benefits no one.”

At the same Council meeting, Labour councillors moved a ‘Green New Deal’ motion which was criticised for not containing any concrete actions. Greens proposed an amendment to add commitments including divesting from fossil fuels and investing in better cycling and walking infrastructure, but it was voted down by Conservative and Labour councillors.

The Climate Strike will start with a demo at 11am on 20th September at College Green, with further details released closer to the date. There will also be a ‘Critical Mass’ style bike demo taking place at 6pm on 20 September organised in part by Extinction Rebellion.

Notes:

Member Forum Question – Councillor Carla Denyer – Tuesday September 10
Subject: Earth Strike
UCU has stated its support for a 30-minute workday solidarity stoppage to coincide with the global youth-led student strike on the 20th September, and are calling on other unions, universities, politicians and community groups to join them. In early August Bristol University announced that it will support its staff to take part.

 

Will the Mayor join this call and make a similar pledge to support Bristol City Council workers taking time off on 20 September to join the Climate Strike?

 

REPLY:
I’ve been clear in my support of the climate emergency – I’m proud of the work we’re doing on this to act and drive carbon neutrality in Bristol.

 

If staff want to take the time out they would need to take leave and as always this would be with managers approval and service needs being paramount.

 

Trade Unions in Bristol have a proud history of industrial action to defend and promote worker’s rights. A strike comes with risks and many trade unions members will be able to explain to you the hardship of losing pay to defend terms and conditions.

 

It would be great if we could see the councillor for Clifton Down actually involving herself in solutions rather than continuously failing to understand the real challenge of actually acting now to tackle the climate emergency. She also has been noticeable in her absence when we have been dealing with social care, children in care, house building, hunger programmes, poverty and immediate challenges that people in Bristol face every day.

A defunct plan for a bygone era  regional authority approves roadbuilding plans

A defunct plan for a bygone era” - regional authority approves road-building plans

Last Friday (20 March) the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) approved a transport plan that will fund new road building projects across the region but commits no funding for public transport or walking and cycling schemes.

Greens lift the ban on asylum seekers working

Greens: 'lift the ban' on asylum seekers working

Green Councillors call for end to illogical ban on asylum seekers supporting themselves

Council heading in wrong direction on climate emergency

Council heading in wrong direction on climate emergency

Over a year after Bristol Council’s declaration of a Climate Emergency, Green Councillors say the Labour administration are making a series of bad decisions that will only make the emergency worse.

Mayors inaction on air pollution  plans delayed again

Mayor's inaction on air pollution - plans delayed again

Letter on the Mayor's inaction on air pollution from Green Group leader Eleanor Combley

Labour cabinet pass potentially illegal transport plan

Labour cabinet pass 'potentially illegal' transport plan

Last night Bristol’s Labour cabinet passed a regional transport plan that Greens warned is incompatible with the climate emergency and may be illegal under the UK’s climate commitments.

Greens criticise lack of action as climate and transport proposal is blocked

Greens criticise lack of action as climate and transport proposal is blocked

Green councillors have criticised what they called a “business as usual” approach as Labour and Tory councillors voted down a Green amendment to tackle Bristol’s transport issues and reduce carbon emissions.

Green Party welcomes Greta Thunberg to Bristol

Green Party welcomes Greta Thunberg to Bristol

Greta Thunberg has announced she will be visiting Bristol on Friday 28 February to join a Youth Strike 4 Climate demo.

Green budget amendment tackles transport and climate crisis

Green budget amendment tackles transport and climate crisis

Green Councillors have submitted an amendment to next week’s Council budget meeting to deal with Bristol's gridlocked transport system and boost the Council’s work to tackle the climate emergency.

Regions Transport Plan must be changed in light of Climate Emergency

Region’s Transport Plan must be changed in light of Climate Emergency

Green Mayoral candidate, Climate Emergency leader, and UWE transport expert call on the Metro Mayor and Council leaders not to approve the Joint Local Transport Plan in its current form next month, stating that proposed new roads will worsen the climate crisis and congestion.

Bristol Airport expansion plans rejected

Bristol Airport expansion plans rejected

Press Release from Bristol Airport Action Network (BAAN), one of the key campaigning organisations .

Chocolate Path melts into river after council fails to act

Chocolate Path 'melts' into river after council fails to act

Green Councillors have accused Bristol's Labour administration of “enormous incompetence” for failing to carry out important works to repair Bristol’s ‘chocolate path’ long after funding was approved in September 2018, leading to its recent collapse and the closure of Cumberland road.

Why we need to tackle the ecological emergency too

Why we need to tackle the ecological emergency too

Carla Denyer writes for 24/7 about why we need to address the Ecological Emergency as well as the Climate Emergency

Greens to join march against Bristol Airport Expansion

Greens to join march against Bristol Airport Expansion

Bristol Green Councillors will be joining a march taking place 31 January in the city against the expansion of Bristol airport, as the planning decision in North Somerset draws nearer, with the date now set for 10 Feb.

Council passes Green motion to reboot democracy with Citizens Assemblies

Council passes Green motion to ‘reboot democracy’ with Citizens' Assemblies

At Full Council today (14 January) a Green Party motion passed to ‘reboot democracy’, committing Bristol to trialling participatory democracy schemes such as citizens’ assemblies.

Mayor continues to support airport expansion

Mayor continues to support airport expansion

Despite growing pressure from climate activists, local councils and Greens, Bristol’s Labour Mayor Marvin Rees continues to back the expansion of Bristol Airport, a development Greens say is incompatible with Bristol's own carbon neutrality targets.

Reboot democracy with Citizens Assemblies

'Reboot democracy' with Citizens' Assemblies

Green Councillors in Bristol have proposed putting decision making on some major issues in the hands of ordinary Bristolians through ‘Citizens’ Assemblies’ and other forms of participatory democracy.

Bristol Labour block opportunity to oppose airport expansion

Bristol Labour block opportunity to oppose airport expansion

Labour and Tory councillors voted against providing time to debate the Green motion in what could be the last chance for the council to make a statement before the planning decision at North Somerset Council.

Rescuing Our Healthcare  with 6 billion per year

Rescuing Our Healthcare - with £6 billion per year

We will push the government to prioritise the health and happiness of those in Bristol and across the UK.

Green Party Manifesto  to tackle Climate Emergency and deliver Social Justice

Green Party Manifesto - to tackle Climate Emergency and deliver Social Justice.

A Green New Deal to tackle the Climate Emergency and deliver Social Justice.

One year on from declaring a Climate Emergency  is Bristol on track

One year on from declaring a Climate Emergency – is Bristol on track?

One year after declaring a Climate Emergency in Bristol, Greens say new information from environmental group shows the city needs to radically step up action to meet climate targets.

Green candidate Carla Denyer will be only Unite to Remain candidate in Bristol West

Green candidate Carla Denyer will be only ‘Unite to Remain’ candidate in Bristol West

Greens bid to win Bristol West  launch crowdfunder

Greens bid to win Bristol West – launch crowdfunder

Candidate Carla Denyer has launched a crowdfunder campaign aiming to raise enough funds to take the seat from Labour. Greens in strong position to win after Euro results place them ahead of Lib Dems, and Labour suffered devastating electoral defeat.

Tinkering around the edges is no longer good enough say Greens

‘Tinkering around the edges is no longer good enough’ say Greens

Green Mayoral Candidate Sandy Hore-Ruthven responds to the Mayor’s State of the City address saying Bristol needs action not words. Greens say bold, immediate moves are needed to combat the social and environmental crises.

Report on former Chief Exec payoff

Report on former Chief Exec payoff

Green Councillor Clive Stevens has completed a report into why the Council made a £98,000 payoff to former chief executive Anna Klonowski

Greens send letter to the city to encourage all to hear Extinction Rebellion warning

Greens send letter to the city to encourage all to hear Extinction Rebellion warning

Green MP and Mayoral candidates Carla Denyer and Sandy Hore-Ruthven have issued a letter to the people of Bristol today, calling on the city to face up to the climate crisis.

Better buses starts with tackling congestion say Greens

Better buses starts with tackling congestion, say Greens

At a Cabinet meeting today (1 October), Greens called for bolder action to improve public transport in Bristol.

Mayor misses third government deadline on Clean Air plan

Mayor misses third government deadline on Clean Air plan

Today Bristol City Council has missed the third deadline set by national government to submit a plan to clean up Bristol’s air. Green Mayoral candidate Sandy Hore-Ruthven has called for immediate action.

Nearly 1 year after Climate Emergency declared progress is too slow say Greens

Nearly 1 year after Climate Emergency declared, progress is too slow, say Greens

The Green Councillor who launched Bristol’s ‘Climate Emergency’ motion in November 2018 has called on councillors from all parties to join her in pressing the administration for urgent action.

Green Party sets sights on second Westminster seat  Bristol West

Green Party sets sights on second Westminster seat – Bristol West

Bristol West MP candidate Carla Denyer launched her campaign at the Bristol climate strike. Her climate emergency declaration was the first in Europe – driving action on climate change across the continent. Greens aim to elect a second MP to join Caroline Lucas in Westminster after European Elections win.

Green Party chooses Climate Emergency campaigner Carla Denyer to win Bristol West parliamentary seat

Green Party chooses Climate Emergency campaigner Carla Denyer to win Bristol West parliamentary seat

Former wind turbine engineer and current city councillor, Carla Denyer, has been picked to contest the winnable seat of Bristol West for the Green Party at the coming General Election.

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