Speaking recently at KPMG’s office block on Queen Sq in Bristol, the Green Metro Mayor candidate, Darren Hall, outlined his view on the region's economy and quality of life.
"We are lucky enough to live and work in one of the most amazing places in Europe.
Indeed, business leaders will often say that they can hire & retain the best staff in the UK outside of London.
The reason? Quality of Life
This quality of life is not defined purely by wages, but by a really great work-life balance. Despite what many think, the Green Party isn’t anti-business. The best way to help people help themselves is through meaningful work that pays a living wage. And tax paid by employees and businesses helps pay for civil society to function.
It is the long term viability of our region’s economy in which I am most interested. As I’m fairly sure you would agree, if we fail to properly balance profit with people & planet, we are setting ourselves up to fail.
We have the opportunity to lead the world in the next generation of smart urban living. This is a much broader concept than just the internet of things or driverless cars. It is about the systems thinking that enables a city and its surrounding areas to function properly.
This means taking a place based approach, rather than the short term silo thinking that sees local politicians fighting over boundaries that are meaningless to anyone outside of the political bubble.
It means addressing the housing crisis within a generation, not by building more ‘des res’ on the green belt, but by building sustainable communities and rolling out a renters charter across the region.
It means confronting our congestion and air quality problems not by building more roads, but by providing an effective integrated public transport system.
It means accepting that we cannot isolate ourselves from global issues. Climate change and political destabilisation, biodiversity loss and soil degradation must be threaded into and through all our of public and private sector plans.
I believe that as Mayor of the West of England Combined Authority I can lead that place based systems thinking. "