Local campaigner Ed Burnham has been named as the Green Party candidate for the Southmead by-election following the resignation of a Labour councillor. A victory for Ed would mean the Green Party will become the biggest group on Bristol City Council, with 25 councillors to Labour’s 23.
Ed lives in Southmead and works as an engineer in nearby Filton. Having grown up in Southmead, Ed has raised issues to the council about ensuring young people have access to adequate services and opportunities. He has also helped to improve the environment in Southmead by reporting fly-tipping, campaigning to keep local green spaces accessible to the public and pushing for more sustainable development in Glencoyne Square.
Speaking at his campaign launch on Friday, where many volunteers gathered to show their support, Ed said, “I’m standing for council because I’m proud of Southmead’s community and believe they deserve a councillor who will work hard for them above all else. I’m also deeply concerned about community services being affected by millions of pounds of cuts in next month’s budget – just two days after the by-election.”
The proposed Bristol City Council budget will see the council try to plug a £19.5 million deficit. However, cutbacks of £33 million have been proposed, which has been described as “unnecessary” by Green opposition group leader Cllr Heather Mack and faced criticism from unions. The council will also try to save £5.5 million through staff cutbacks.
Commenting on the budget, Ed remarked “Significant cutbacks on staff investment in an already strained workforce will surely result in poorer quality frontline services. While Labour councillors will be told to vote this through without scrutiny. Southmead needs a local independent voice who will fight to protect local services.”
“I am proud to be standing for the Green Party, who do not tell their councillors how to vote, and stand up for my community.”