Tony Dyer, the Green Party’s parliamentary candidate for Bristol South, has called on Bristol Mayor George Ferguson to ensure the findings of his four mayoral commissions are put into practice in concrete ways to end inequalities in Bristol.
The Mayor launched four commissions – on Education & Skills, Fairness, Homes and Sports – in 2013. The conclusions have been put together into reports that will be discussed at Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting.
In a statement to the meeting, Mr Dyer points out that many of the issues in the various commissions are cross-cutting, and that tackling each one will require joined-up thinking across policy areas. He criticises the Coalition government’s implementation of the Under-Occupancy Charge as an example of an ill-thought out approach to policy.
Mr Dyer writes:
“Elsewhere on this meeting’s agenda, there is discussion of the council’s approach to the Under-Occupancy Charge (“Bedroom Tax”). This welfare reform, along with other welfare reforms, has a major impact on Fairness, especially accessibility to Housing. Fairness is also impacted by Education and Skills which directly impact employment potential, whilst Fairness of access to Sport has an impact of health and wellbeing.”
Mr Dyer also points out the lack of action on many issues in the past, and the need to drive forward with the recommendations: “There have been far too many examples in the past of wonderful sounding reports failing to deliver any real change.
“Where there are recommendations made within the report that are purely within the remit of the council to implement, the council should either set a timeframe in which to implement them, or provide an explanation of why it has decided not to pursue those specific actions.”
“I look forward to the Mayor setting a time frame at the end of which there will be an opportunity to scrutinise what concrete actions have resulted as a consequence of the time and effort put into the Commission Reports being considered today.”