The Green councillor group has called on the administration to meet with residents of Barton House, after residents were left with unanswered questions at a full council meeting that ended in disarray.
Green group leader Cllr Emma Edwards said: “Since the evacuation, the communication between the administration and the residents of Barton House has left a lot to be desired. The fact that the media were there before residents were informed about leaving their homes led to a lot of distress.
“The mayor has blamed a leak from councillors, disputed by journalists, but the fact is the public need reassurance and firm answers.
“Following that, it was disappointing that there was not enough time at full council for Barton House residents to ask public questions about their homes. We sympathise with their anger and frustration.
“Greens have been meeting with residents regularly to hear their concerns so we can share them with the council and try to get answers. But with the Labour group shutting us out of administration despite being the largest group, we have limited influence. We ask the mayor to set out how he intends to improve this line of communication and what processes he will put in place to ensure that residents’ questions are answered in a timely and satisfactory manner.
“A Green-led council would ensure that residents are centred in discussions that concern them and given a space to be heard. The frustrations that erupted at Tuesday’s meeting happened primarily because residents felt disenfranchised and ignored.”
Residents have been told that they should hear soon about the results of a structural survey which will determine if and when they will be able to return to their homes.
Cllr Yassin Mohamud, Green councillor for Lawrence Hill, said: “As we await the result of the structural survey, the council must now reassure residents about their future, regardless of the outcome. The community support for residents has been amazing, but as the landlord, the council has a duty of care that needs to be upheld and strengthened.”
Cllr Carla Denyer, who has already called for an investigation into why it took the council so long to identify these faults, said: “The initial evacuation of Barton House raised a lot of questions that still need answering. Now, questions from residents about the deeply uncertain situation they’ve been put in are going unanswered. It is very easy to understand why they are frustrated.
“I have now written to the Mayor and his cabinet member for housing, Kye Dudd, to ask them to sit down with the residents represented by ACORN. The relationship between ACORN and Bristol City Council used to be a positive, collaborative one. With a constructive approach on all sides I am confident it could become so again. Achieving this is important for the residents of Barton House and for the council’s broader ability to engage well with communities in Bristol.”