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Letter: Inaccurate reporting in the Bristol Post

Green Cllr, Carla Denyer has written to the Bristol Post to highlight inaccurate reporting by the paper of Mayor, Marvin Rees' first year in office. 

The letter in full reads:

Dear Editor,

I would like to register my extreme surprise at the report the Post produced on Marvin Rees’ first year (Post, 8 May), in which several items are inaccurately listed as ‘manifesto wins’, while others are charitably listed as ‘yet to achieve’ when in fact Marvin has made large strides in the opposite direction (e.g. ‘ensure that all parks are served by a park keeper’ when his policy now is that spend on parks is decreased, with certainly no spare budget for new parks staff).

The two most misleading ‘manifesto wins’ are:

  1. 1.       “Make Bristol carbon neutral by 2050 – Although the goal itself is still a long way off, Mr Rees has made progress, with a study into the feasibility of clean air zones in Bristol underway.”

Has the editor caught a bout of scientific illiteracy off Labour Metro Mayor candidate, who said a few weeks ago that “It would be much better if you have got the traffic underground, as we wouldn’t have the carbon going into the atmosphere”? She didn’t seem to have grasped that tunnels are not sealed at each end, so the carbon dioxide will get out. Meanwhile the Post Editor’s confusion seems to be that climate change and air pollution are the same thing. To clarify: climate change is a global phenomenon caused by carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Air pollution is a local phenomenon caused by other gases (oxides of nitrogen and particulates), which cause lung disease and early deaths. Yes they both come out of the back end of a car, but that’s about where the similarity ends. A clean air zone would tackle air pollution in Bristol City Centre (and I am really glad to see this progress, as a result of the Green Party motion last year, which Labour voted down the year before), but it won’t necessarily significantly reduce carbon emissions.

  1. 2.       “Mr Rees also passed a policy at the beginning of the year, which puts survivors of domestic abuse in the top band one for social housing provision.”

This is not true, only some domestic abuse survivors will be put in the top band. See http://www.bristolgreenparty.org.uk/news/green-councillor-urges-cabinet-to-look-again-at-domestic-violence-housing-policy for details. (Bristol Post reported on this accurately at the time, here http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/bristol-live-council-cabinet-to-discuss-175-million-housing-plan-university-at-temple-meads/story-30186135-detail/story.html - but have since deleted the article!)

 Yours,

Carla Denyer

Bristol Green Party

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