Paula moved from Lincoln to Bristol in 2013 when her children had left home and she and her husband were looking for a more interesting life, and boy did she get it.
Paula joined the Green Party to support the 2015 election and was elected as a Green councillor for Clifton in 2016 (at the age of 58). Being a councillor has been a great second career for Paula and a complete change to her life in education. Paula worked in secondary schools’ leadership and also taught English, History, Law and Citizenship.
Paula forcefully opposed the 2016/17 planning application for the ‘WH Smith’ site in the village and only supported a much smaller second application. She also ensured that there are several conditions on the development – such as no car permits – which she ensured were all implemented.
Paula has worked hard to bring the community together through the arts. She was the first chair of the Friends of Clifton Centre and Library and ran the Friday Film Club. She worked on the first ever LitFest in November 2019 and set up and ran the annual Shakesbeer Promenade (an on-street Shakespeare festival).
Projects championed by Paula
Democracy – in January 2019, Paula submitted a motion to Full Council called ‘Reboot Democracy’. This led to cross-party work with cabinet member Cllr Asher Craig and to Bristol’s first ‘citizens’ assembly’, which will decide Bristol’s strategy for recovery from COVID. The sixty-member assembly is due to report its recommendations to Cabinet this March and they will inform the Economy Board’s recovery strategy.
Greening Clifton – Paula got funding and permission to plant three wildflower areas on Christchurch Green. She has also pushed through improved amenities in Park Place and is working on raising funds for improvements to the play-park near the Observatory.
Living Neighbourhoods– Paula has worked with Highway officers to create a consultation exercise on pedestrianising Princess Victoria Street (with complementary traffic changes); this work is in progress. This is a first step in creating a ‘liveable neighbourhood’ in the Village.
Zoo legacy – when the Zoo was established as a charity, its purpose was to educate the public on animal diversity; but now we need to educate people on loss of animal diversity. Selling off the site for residential development is an unambitious legacy. Paula thinks that the Zoo site should offer more to Clifton and the City and is striving to find economically viable alternatives to selling off the land to a developer. She is working with skilled and creative entrepreneurs who hope to bring forward an exciting proposal for the site.