In July 2021, Bristol’s Green councillors launched a Green Shadow Cabinet, pledging to work as a united voice for social and environmental justice across Bristol.
They chose to have nine Shadow Cabinet roles, some of which are job-share, to provide leadership and accountability on the many issues that affect the city.
Transport is currently one-third of Bristol’s CO2 emissions. David and Emma will work to reduce that and keep the city moving, productive, healthy and vibrant.
Money lost under both the previous and incumbent Mayoral administration in Bristol shows the dangers of excessive secrecy and the risks of not allowing proper scrutiny of important decisions. As group lead for Finance, Governance and Performance, Heather is keen to push for increased transparency and rigour in the council’s financial decisions, and better quality reporting.
In a difficult economic climate and with persistent cuts to services, Heather is an advocate for the Council prioritising ‘invest to save’ measures, protecting council services from cuts and reducing long-term spending, rather than cutting council spending on important areas.
Democratic engagement is an important issue for Heather and she wants to give Bristolians a bigger say in council decisions and allow more participation and questions at public meetings.
This role has included culture in its’ remit, as this is such an important sector for the city. Ani wants to empower communities to act on the climate emergency and support Bristol’s cultural sector and workers. They also believe that cleaning up Bristol’s air pollution must be a public health priority.
Christine knows first-hand that Bristol’s children are being failed by a lack of local, suitable school places. Enabling children to attend school is a basic function of local government, and as a shadow member of cabinet she will fight for education as a universal service for all children. Christine is opposed to the ‘social selection’ of student intake practiced by certain schools in Bristol which results in them taking less children from deprived backgrounds.
Within the Council Christine scrutinises education decisions with a focus on finding solutions to the Council’s ongoing SEND shortfalls, ensuring there are enough school spaces for the city’s children, and supporting Bristol’s children in care.
We are facing an adult care crisis that urgently needs to be addressed. Lorraine and Tim want to explore simplifying the Council’s procurement system so that local small organisations are not disadvantaged, and focus on how disadvantaged groups are impacted by decision makers across the City.
As well as scrutinising council decisions and their impact on the climate, Katy and Carla will push for the council to take rapid, practical steps to tackle both the Climate Emergency and Ecological Emergency. This includes important work like divesting Avon Pension Fund from fossil fuels, cutting pesticide use and taking a ‘low mow’ approach in green spaces, and promoting environmental education in schools.
Following a Green Party motion, Bristol declared a Climate Emergency in 2018, and set a target for Bristol to go carbon neutral by 2030 – but the Labour administration has taken little real action to achieve this since. Therefore Katy and Carla are also calling for the council to develop a ‘roadmap to net zero’ that lays out exactly what steps need to be taken for the city to have a chance of meeting this ambitious target.
We need to shift Bristol’s ambition towards reducing, reusing and recycling more and away from managing the mountain of waste. Martin will also prioritise Bristol’s local green energy projects so people can see the benefits in every street and neighbourhood.
Planning and City Design – jobshare with Jenny Bartle
Development of place is one of the most important areas of change that faces our city. Tony and Jenny will push for a careful balance to ensure that new buildings need to be more than just high density – they must also be good places to live and centres of the community, as well as preserving the heritage and unique style that is ‘Bristol’.
Housing Delivery and Homes
Tony is dedicated to delivering truly affordable homes that meet the needs of Bristol’s residents whilst also contributing towards tackling the climate and ecological emergencies that must drive our housing policy.
Ed Plowden chairs the Scrutiny Committee on WECA, which consists of councillors from all four authorities that make up the region’s combined authority. In this role he will help to examine WECA decisions, and hold the authority and Metro Mayor to account to deliver on pledges and provide value for money. Ed’s main priorities will be to work across the Shadow Cabinet to ensure members are aware of initiatives and issues where WECA is relevant and coordinating as necessary.