Lily Fitzgibbon is the former Green councillor for Bishopston and Ashley Down ward. She served from 2021-2023.More about Lily
Bristol Council recently (1st September) unveiled a new Ecological Emergency Action Plan. You can read about it in this article in the Bristol Post, which features the Green Group’s response.
Green councillors ensured there was proper scrutiny of the plan before publication and made a number of key suggestions, however on publication they were disappointed to find that none of these changes seem to have been made.
Councillor Lily Fitzgibbon, our co-Shadow Cabinet member on Climate and the Ecology, (pictured on right) had this to say on the Labour administration’s announcement, which was released to the press and not shared with councillors beforehand.
“This is a step in the right direction. But for an Emergency Action Plan, there’s not much of a sense of this being an emergency response. When these proposals came to scrutiny, Green Councillors on the committee called for a sense of urgency, more practical actions the council could take, and a ‘baseline’ report of the state of Bristol’s ecology in order to measure future progress. It appears none of these proposals have been taken on board.
“While there are plenty of goals in the plan – which is important – there is little in the way of practical action to achieve these. Those steps that are proposed are often quite weak and have a long timescale. For example a target is set for nine years to reduce pesticide usage in Bristol, but it’s already five years since the Mayor pledged to do just this in his 2016 manifesto, and the council continue to spray controversial pesticides such as glyphosate around the city.
“Furthermore, the Labour administration still supports the expansion of Bristol Airport, with its car park on Green belt land, and is progressing steps to develop on the city’s green spaces, such as the Western Slopes. As with the Climate Emergency declared in 2018, it’s what you do after declaring an emergency that counts. Bristolians will rightly judge the Labour administration on its actions rather than its words.”