Green Councillor Cleo Lake took up her role as Lord Mayor of Bristol to applause from a packed puiblic chamber where friends, family and members of the local communty had come to see her take up the position of first citizen of Bristol this week.
Cleo gave a funny, powerful and personal speech about her experiences growing up in Bristol as a young woman of colour, her experience working as a dance leader for elders at Bristol's Malcolm X centre, and her hopes for the year ahead.
Cleo, who is the 11th female Lord Mayor in the 800 year legacy of the position paid homage to her family, teachers and community.
"I am bringing some changes to this position" she said. "I am different from my predecessors. I am a dancer. For the last 10 years I have been a dance leader for the most incredible group of people - the Malcolm X elders forum - many of them are here today."
"It is of course an absolute honour to my elders and my communitry at large to see me here as first citizen of Bristol the same year as we celebrate 50 years of the St Paul's Carnival and 70 years since Windrush docked."
To applause from across the chamber, Cleo promised to bring dance back into city hall, challenging longstanding councillors to share their cha-cha-cha and flamenco in a 'mosh pit of politicians' fit for a strictly come council before concluding:
"I honestly believe that Bristol can be a beacon and lead the way in how we can co-exist together and be part of a collective narrative."
"I am so proud of my city".
End Immigration Detention - these walls must fall
Green Councillors have submitted a motion to a coming Full Council meeting (11 December) supporting calls for an end to immigration detention in the UK. The motion, proposed by Green councillor Fi Hance and seconded by Labour councillor Ruth Pickersgill, calls on Bristol’s Mayor to endorse the ‘These Walls Must Fall’ Campaign (1), lobby the UK government, and work with local MPs and other councils to push for changes in immigration law and alternatives to detention.(2)
Cuts still hitting the poorest despite Mayor’s warm words
Green Mayoral Candidate, Sandy Hore-Ruthven, has responded to the news that Bristol Mayor, Marvin Rees, has today joined a nationwide warning that ‘councils have reached breaking point’ over funding cuts
Greens demands for the COP24 negotiations
This December government leaders will gather in Katowice, Poland for the COP24 climate summit, where all countries of the world, including EU Member States, must commit to put forward higher 2030 climate targets by 2020. To stay below 1.5°C, as indicated in the landmark IPCC report, the EU needs to commit to significantly increase both its long-term and 2030 targets.
Bristol can "become a beacon to the world on how to tackle climate change"
Bristol's Green MEP, Molly Scott Cato, has said the South West region can become a beacon to the world on how to tackle climate change as well as showcasing the economic gains to be had from doing so. The region’s MEP has made the claim as negotiators from around the globe meet in Poland to discuss action on climate change and how to implement the 2015 Paris Agreement which aims to limit global warming to 1.5°C.
Bristol's Green MEP challenges charitable status of right-wing think tanks
Bristol's Green MEP, Molly Scott Cato, has written to the Charity Commission to challenge the charitable status granted to a series of far-right think tanks. The challenge comes in the wake of the concession by one such organisation, the Taxpayers Alliance, that it had unfairly dismissed and smeared Brexit whistleblower Shahmir Sanni.
Buses are a right – not a privilege, says Sandy Hore-Ruthven
A good bus service means people can get where they need to go, when they need to go. The ability to travel should not be based on your income or where you live.
Lack of affordable housing unacceptable
Lack of affordable housing “completely unacceptable” – Green Councillor calls in Bedminster development plans
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People voted neither for no deal or a dodgy deal. It’s time for the real deal – a vote on the reality of Brexit compared with remaining in the EU. It’s time for a People’s Vote
Greens declare a Climate Emergency and bring Bristol’s CO2 emissions target forwards 20 years
A Green party motion calling on the Mayor of Bristol to declare a climate emergency and bring the city’s carbon neutrality target forward by 20 years (to 2030) passed in a Full Council meeting this evening, committing Bristol to the most ambitious climate change target out of all UK Core Cities.
Greens challenge Mayor on support for Tall Buildings
Green councillors have raised concerns about the Labour Mayor’s support for high rise buildings
Greens call on Mayor: declare a Climate Emergency
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Green response to 2018 budget
Responding to the 2018 budget, Bristol's Green MEP and party finance spokesperson, Molly Scott Cato MEP, said: “Greens said that this must be an emergency budget for the climate and that it would fail if a single pound was spent on climate wrecking projects .
Response to Mayor's 'State of the City' speech
Bristol's Green Mayoral Candidate responds to the Labour Mayor's unambitious 'State of the City' annual speech.
Green Councillors support Vision for future of Bristol’s parks
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Greens call for Review of Bristol’s House-Building Plans
Sandy Hore-Ruthven, Green Party candidate for Mayor of Bristol is calling for the Mayor to announce a review of Bristol’s Housing strategy at his State of the City Speech  on Wednesday following the government’s announced intention to lift the borrowing cap for local authorities . The cap currently dramatically limits councils from borrowing against their own existing housing stock to build new properties.
Green Councillors support calls to end immigration detention
In 2017, 27,000 people entered indefinite immigration detention in the UK, many of them from Bristol.
Green Councillors oppose government plans to fast track fracking
Green and independent Councillors from across the West of England signed a response to the government’s twin consultations on fracking and fracking exploration at a demo in Bristol on Tuesday 9 October, urging the government to back down from its plan to make controversial fracking developments harder to challenge under planning law.
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Setting the record straight – the Lord Mayor’s car
Green councillors have expressed their disappointment with the tactics of Bristol’s Labour group after an ‘anonymous Labour source’ falsely claimed to the Bristol Post that Green Lord Mayor Cleo Lake had “demanded the purchase of one of the most expensive cars in the world”.
Bristol shoppers join worldwide campaign returning unnecessary plastic to supermarkets
This weekend Bristol shoppers and Greens joined campaigners from around the world in ‘plastic attacks’ to hand back their unneeded single use plastics to supermarkets across Bristol.
Letter: Bristol Cllrs must vote against the proposed airport expansion
We can all do our bit to help reduce the impact of climate change by choosing to walk and cycle more or fly less, but only politicians can make the big decisions that will decide whether our planet blossoms or burns. It is time they start treating climate change as the global emergency that it is.
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Opinion: Bristol wants the arena on Arena Island
Bristol Green Party's Deputy Coordinator writes for 24/7 about why the Mayor should listen and build the Arena on Arena Island.
Mayor should ‘abide by’ council vote for Arena location
A majority of cross-party councillors have taken the unusual step of calling an extraordinary Council meeting to vote on the location of Bristol’s Arena, and demanding that the Mayor ‘abides by’ the decision made. The Arena’s future was due to be decided by the Mayor on Sept 4th. However, amid growing accusations that the Mayor’s decision may be biased (1), councillors have called for a free vote. The letter to the Mayor includes signatures from a majority of councillors, including signatures from all four political parties.
Listen Again to Molly Scott Cato's speech at Bristol's People's Vote rally
Why Arena island is still the best location for Bristol's Arena
The Mayor’s own Value for Money study showed that the arena will pay for itself, will add no burden to the public purse, will not impact on council services and will leave the city with a significant asset. The Mayor has acknowledged on a number of occasions, and most recently on BBC Points West last Thursday, that an arena at Temple Island would be affordable for the city.
£5m cuts to special needs budget 'hidden' from Council
Bristol’s cabinet member for education and skills has been accused of misleading the council by hiding concerns around £5m of cuts to a special needs budget. A High Court judge has ruled that Bristol City Council did not properly consult over the cuts to the high needs block. Clive Stevens, Green councillor for Clifton Down, said: “It’s important that lessons are learned. The 2016 Bundred Review highlighted the need for councillors to be given clear information, but here in 2018 we had a £5m cut which was simply not shown in the budget papers." For the full article please see here>>