At Full Council today Bristol’s Green Councillors called for Labour Mayor Marvin Rees to back up his words on austerity with actions. However, the Labour group rejected an amendment to their ‘anti-austerity’ motion which called for ‘loud and active resistance’ to austerity.
The amendment suggested the Mayor follow the example of Stroud District Council, which is run by a cross-party cooperation agreement among Labour, Green and Lib Dem councillors and recently stated it would refuse to repay the government around £500,000 (See press release by Stroud Labour and coverage in local press). It also called for the Mayor to consider budget amendments from other councillor groups, instead of voting them down with a whipped Labour vote, as happened in February 2017 when Labour rejected Green budget amendments that would have saved the council £1.7 million. (2)
Proposing the Green amendment, Councillor Carla Denyer said:
“When the Mayor went to Westminster in the autumn, a few days after participating in the anti-cuts rally, the ‘Green Paper’ he took with him was, contrary to the spin, not a treatise on reversing the cuts. It was an argument for investment in infrastructure projects and devolution. And even this painfully polite, not-ruffling-any-feathers request was completely ignored by ministers.
"What us Greens and the wider anti-austerity movement in Bristol have been calling for all along is for Marvin to properly take the fight to Westminster. To tell Government that they have gone too far, and that you refuse to cooperate until they compromise. Because while Bristol might be vulnerable if it did this alone, Labour runs 10 of the 11 largest cities in the UK, so if they all acted in cooperation, it is a demand that the Government would be unable to ignore.
"Now that the softly-softly approach preferred by the Mayor has been demonstrated to achieve nothing, we feel that our calls are even more justified, and the time is now.”
Speaking after the vote, Green Group Leader Councillor Eleanor Combley said:
“It’s a shame that Bristol’s Labour Group has voted down our amendment calling for tougher action – we were looking to get the Mayor to commit to doing something about austerity beyond simply talking about how bad it is.
“Under the spin of ‘sensible’ budgeting, Labour councils in Bristol and around the country are making deep cuts to services, many of which will be difficult or impossible to reverse. The past few months have shown just how weak the Tory government is and at this point direct action, coordinated with other councils, would actually have the potential to change things. Shutting our amendment down is a perfect demonstration of how the Mayor is putting the interests of the Labour Party before the city and betraying everyone who voted for Labour’s anti-austerity platform”
Full text of Green proposed amendment here.
How can a Labour Mayor support airport expansion for the few, not the many?
In light of a new analysis showing that airport expansion disproportionally benefits the wealthiest in society, Green councillor Carla Denyer will ask Bristol’s Mayor to reconcile his contradictory views about climate change and airport expansion.
Greens call for ban on balloon releases
From Bristol 24/7: "Fresh calls have been made to introduce a city-wide ban on people releasing balloons or sky lanterns across Bristol."
Bristol Airport carbon targets worthless without roadmap, say Greens
Days before Bristol Airport’s consultation closes, a Green Party councillor has revealed that the Airport has no plan in place for delivering on its carbon goals.
Greens to Mayor: listen to Scrutiny on the Arena
"The future is not a destination, it is something we imagine, plan and build, and this decision is one with real impact for the shape of our future"
Bristol's MEP slams Tories & Labour over ‘climate wrecking’ decisions
Molly has condemned the government for its decision not to back the world’s first tidal power lagoon at Swansea Bay but, on the same day, give the green light to expand Heathrow airport.
Bristol Greens invite Labour MPs to oppose Heathrow expansion
Bristol Green Party are today inviting the city's Labour MPs to join them in a united opposition to the expansion of Heathrow Airport that would "smash" the UK's climate change efforts. The invite comes after Bristol North West MP Darren Jones tweeted his intention to abstain, stating "it doesn’t significantly impact Bristol, so I’ll be abstaining" despite an election commitment to local Green party supporters to meet with Bristol Green Party regularly to discuss environmental issues.
Everything falling into place for Arena Island
Green Councillors are delighted that the last week of scrutiny has demonstrated the case for an Arena in the central of Bristol.
Clean air day marks need for urgent action
Following warnings on Sunday that people in South Bristol should avoid outdoor activities because air pollution levels had reached such heights, Green councillors are calling for urgent action to tackle Bristol’s dangerous air pollution. Today is Clean Air Day where across the country people are uniting to raise awareness of air pollution.
'Pie in the sky' - Greens respond to Mayor's arena reports
"What was first touted as a simple ‘value for money’ review is beginning to look like a very expensive piece of political justification for a decision it seems the Mayor has already taken in private..."
Bristol Greens urge local MPs to back important vote on staying in the Single Market
Bristol Green Councillors have today jointly written to the four Bristol MPs urging them to “support the Lords’ amendment to find an EEA-style solution to the Brexit problem”
Brexit update from Bristol's Green MEP
Brexit update from Bristol's Green MEP Molly Scott Cato
Green Lord Mayor Cleo Lake's acceptance speech
Full text of the acceptance speech by Bristol's new Lord Mayor
Bedminster Green survey - locals reject tall buildings
Southville Green councillors Charlie Bolton and Steve Clarke have conducted a survey of local residents to explore their views on the proposals by a set of developers to construct over 1200 new homes in the Bedminster Green area.
Cleo Lake becomes Lord Mayor
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.
Watch: Bristol's MEP makes the case for a 'People's Vote' on Brexit
Molly talks to BBC Sunday Politics South West about the importance of a People’s Vote on the final Brexit deal, especially for students and young people who were unable to vote in the EU referendum.
Job: Junior Constituency Assistant – Bristol Office of Molly Scott Cato MEP
Molly is looking for a part time (21 hours per week) Junior Constituency Assistant for her constituency office in Bristol. The role will start in approximately July 2018 and will initially be for a fixed term period of 3 months.
Bristol's MEP condemns ‘Not me Gove’ ‘strategy’ for air pollution
Bristol's Green MEP, Molly Scott Cato has accused Environment Secretary Michael Gove of pointing the finger of blame for the UK’s illegal air quality in every direction but at the government and the chief causes of the problem.
Greens call for Bristol West MP to push for continued single market membership
Molly Scott Cato, Bristol's Green MEP, has called on Bristol West MP, Thangam Debbonaire, to use the ‘ray of hope’ offered by the Lords yesterday and vote to keep the UK inside the single market.
Why did the Council drop Bristol Energy?
Did Leave.EU take data from Bristol companies?
Bristol's Green MEP, Molly Scott Cato, has today written to Avon and Somerset Police to ask if the force is investigating new evidence that Bristol companies GoSkippy and Eldon Insurance allegedly shared data illegally with Leave.EU.
Green councillors stand with Friends of Redland Library against closure
At a meeting of Friends of Redland Library last week, Green councillors Carla Denyer and Clive Stevens were amongst the speakers updating residents about the progress of the campaign to save Bristol’s libraries.
Brexit update from Bristol's Green MEP
An update from Molly Scott Cato, Bristol's Green MEP and the national EU spokesperson
Keeping Bristol’s parks ad-free
At a council meeting on March 20 Bristol Council debated a petition to ‘Keep our parks advertising free’, in response to the Labour administration’s proposals to introduce commercial advertising to Bristol's parks and green spaces. Green Cllr Steve Clarke spoke in response.
Bristol Uni announces it will become fossil free
The University of Bristol, after extensive talks, announced today that it will withdraw all £700,000 of its investment from the fossil fuel industry. Moving from partial to full divestment is a big step forward for the university, with plans being put in place to ditch all fossil fuel companies from its investment portfolio over the next couple of years.
Council votes for Temple Meads arena location after Green motion
Over five thousand people have now signed a petition calling for the Mayor to support a Bristol arena at Temple Meads. Green councillors brought the matter to a vote with a motion to Full Council.
It’s time for a drug consumption room in Bristol
Green Councillor Cleo Lake is calling for Bristol to launch a drug consumption room to give drug users a safer space with access to needles and specialist support.
Bristol's Three Pro-EU MEPs release joint statement on Russian poison attack
“In a difficult week for pro-EU MEPs, when we debated the next stage of the leaving process, it was heartening to feel the warmth and generosity of our European colleagues in solidarity with the UK in the face of Russian aggression."
Greens bring vote on Arena location to Council meeting
Green Councillors have secured a Council debate and vote on the location of Bristol’s arena at next Tuesday’s Council meeting.
Bristol’s next Lord Mayor announced as Green Councillor Cleo Lake
Green Councillors have announced their candidate for Lord Mayor as Cotham Councillor, Cleo Lake
Clean Air Action Plan proposed after years of Green campaigning
At Bristol Council today, the Cabinet approved the development of a Clean Air Action Plan to tackle the illegal levels of air pollution in the city, which has been estimated to contribute to over 300 premature deaths per year.