Bristol Green Party have re-selected incumbent Councillor Gus Hoyt, and selected Jude English and Simon Stafford-Townsend, as its prospective Council candidates for Ashley .
It was announced on Monday that Rob Telford, Ashley’s other Green Councillor, will be standing in Central ward. Boundary changes coming into effect in May 2016 will see Ashley enlarge from two to three Councillors.
A strongly Green ward since Cllr Gus Hoyt was first elected there in 2011, the Greens retained Ashley in May 2015 with 51% of the vote, the only Party to win a ward with an overall majority in that round of elections.
Ashley Greens are supporting the Saxon Road Green Space community group in opposing a planning application that seeks to build a fossil fuel power station on brownfield land in St Werburgh’s . Objections to the planning application can be made through the Council’s planning portal until 11th November .
Responding to concerns of residents across the ward, Councillor Hoyt has urged Mayor George Ferguson to trial banning glyphosate, a harmful weedkiller, in Ashley. Meanwhile, Greens in Ashley have been calling for investment to counter the current lack of youth provision in St Pauls and promote healthier, more cohesive communities.
The May 2016 boundary changes will see the whole of St Andrews park come into Ashley. This is welcomed by the Greens as previously the park has been divided between three wards, making it harder to address issues efficiently.
Gus Hoyt, current Councillor for the ward and well known food campaigner, said, “It’s been great serving Ashley the last five years and it’d be a honour to do so for a further four. It’s a tough time for local councils; the cuts are making it tougher for local people, especially in an inner city ward, but I feel confident in rising to this challenge for another four years”.
Jude English, who teaches Energy & Sustainability with Open University, is a supply teacher in local schools, and a Trustee of St Werburgh’s City Farm, said, “I am keen to work with local community members to publicise our policies on providing a welcoming City of Sanctuary to those who seek a safe place to live, work, and bring up children. As a teacher and active trade union member, I will promote our policies on free education and workers’ rights, including our commitment to a genuine living wage”.
Simon Stafford-Townsend, a psychotherapist in private practice and Chair of Trustees for Montpelier based therapy charity The Swan Project, said, “a strong motivation for me standing in this election is to oppose austerity, especially with the worst of the Tories’ cuts to Council budgets yet to come. The single greatest challenge our generation faces is climate change, yet the Tories are aggressively preventing development of renewables, and it’s increasingly obvious George Ferguson has squandered Bristol’s year as European Green Capital. We need a Green Mayor for a sustainable Bristol, and more Green Councillors for sustainable communities”.
Tony Dyer, Green Party Mayoral Candidate, said, “the May election which saw Gus re-elected with a record breaking 4,500 votes says much more about his standing as a local councillor than anything I could possibly say. With the addition of Jude and Simon, and their expertise in education, health and wellbeing, social justice, and climate change, we have a candidate team with the skills and ability to tackle the many challenges facing Bristol’s largest and most socially diverse inner city ward.”
 See Photo 1 – (from left to right) Councillor Gus Hoyt in front of bollards closing off Hurlingham Road to through-traffic; Jude English outside St Pauls Learning Centre; Simon Stafford-Townsend in front of the Windrush mural at St Pauls community recycling centre
 – The planning application is online here: http://tinyurl.com/nh9bbu4