Bristol Green Party Logo

Monday, 13th Aug 2018

Checking the numbers on alternatives to the Bristol Arena

What is the best use of Temple Island, should we build an arena there or are the alternatives more appealing? This is the question that Mayor Marvin Rees proposes to bring to September’s cabinet meeting with a recommendation. 

When this question is being addressed we would expect to see the term ‘best’ encompass social, cultural and environmental considerations as well as pure economic and employment considerations.  

However, looking specifically (and only) at the economic and employment considerations, Marvin has said that the best economic and employment outcome for Bristol could be to not build an arena on Temple Island. He has stated that it is difficult to walk away from the potential alternative uses of Temple Island. As a Green, I'm all for looking at the evidence on the alternative uses of Temple Island, so where do things stand on this at the moment?

Marvin said, “I have to consider the Value for Money Report that says that… a mixed use site including a conference centre, hotel and residential brings an economic output of over 900 million pounds and over 2000 jobs.” Of course, this ‘value for money’ report had no calculations of the social, environmental and other impacts of this decision, let alone the enormous effect that rejecting a city centre arena for an out of town site would have on the city centre economy.

You might get the impression from listening to the Mayor that these numbers had been generated and thoroughly assessed by KPMG, who drafted the report. So where do these numbers come from and can we rely on them? Buried in the detail of the KPMG report it states, “Although alternative use plans for the Temple Island site have not yet been fully developed Bristol City Council has undertaken an initial ‘land use optioneering’ exercise to consider and develop potential options for the site.”

So, at this stage, it’s solely on the basis of the Council’s own obscure calculations that KPMG has noted down that a conference centre, hotel, 460 homes, and shops and offices could be fitted onto the relatively small plot of land where it is planned that the arena will be located.

The council then builds on these assumptions to generate some even more extravagant employment numbers. The council told KPMG that over 1800 full time jobs could result directly from the alternative Temple Island development. While the informal response to this number of jobs on this relatively small plot of land might be, “You must be having a larf!” the equivalent response of the professional services is more restrained: “KPMG has not validated Bristol City Council’s estimates of the direct employment associated with the Temple Island site.”

In other words, the experts engaged by the council have declined to provide professional judgement on the numbers provided by Marvin’s own staff that form the basis of any claims that alternative uses of Temple Island will generate higher employment and economic activity.

So in summary, at this stage, councillors and KPMG have seen no proper alternative use development plans for Temple Island – all we have is numbers from a back of the envelope style ‘land use optioneering’ exercise that has been carried out by Marvin’s staff. Even if accurate, these numbers would be insufficient to support an informed decision as they say nothing about the social, cultural or environmental impacts of the decision the Mayor faces.

Finally, as with the vague assertions made around the Filton arena, these unverified numbers are then being repeatedly requoted and weighed against the statistics for a Temple Meads arena as if they were equally valid. Bristol deserves better than this.

Its time for a Peoples Vote Bristols Green MEP responds to Withdrawal Agreement

"It's time for a People's Vote" Bristol's Green MEP responds to Withdrawal Agreement

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 Bristols CO2 emissions target forwards 20 years

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

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

Greens call on Mayor: declare a Climate Emergency

Green councillors in Bristol are calling on the city’s Mayor to declare a Climate Emergency and bring forward Bristol’s carbon neutrality target, in a motion submitted to Full Council next week.

Time to kick plastic addiction as Green petition to be debated by Council

Time to kick plastic addiction as Green petition to be debated by Council

Thousands of people across Bristol have signed a petition to get rid of unnecessary disposable plastics started by Green Councillor Martin Fodor. The petition has received so much support that it will be debated by all councillors at Full Council. It will also receive a response from the Mayor. The petition calls on the Mayor to take all practical steps to eliminating wasteful plastic across Bristol and has been supported by plastics campaigners across the city. Greens have been campaigning for Bristol to become single-use plastic free for many years, tabling a motion on this in both 2015 and 2016.

Green response to 2018 budget

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 [1].

Response to Mayors State of the City speech

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 Bristols parks

Green Councillors support Vision for future of Bristol’s parks

Green Councillors have endorsed the Parks Forum’s vision for the future of Bristol's Parks, and suggested some additional points.

Greens call for Review of Bristols HouseBuilding Plans

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 [1] on Wednesday following the government’s announced intention to lift the borrowing cap for local authorities [2]. 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

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 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.

Greens call for caution on tall buildings  response to Urban Living consultation

Greens call for caution on tall buildings - response to Urban Living consultation

Green Councillors support high quality, denser developments to accommodate people and create communities but are concerned Bristol Council could lose sight of the downsides in its enthusiasm for tall buildings

Setting the record straight  the Lord Mayors car

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

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

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.

Arena decision Why are we letting austerity dictate how our city should grow

Arena decision: Why are we letting austerity dictate how our city should grow?

You can’t shrink to greatness! But with the arena decision at cabinet last week that is what it feels like Bristol has done.

Bristol Greens to attend RiseForClimate rally in Bristol  8th September

Bristol Greens to attend #RiseForClimate rally in Bristol – 8th September

Alongside organisations in Bristol and in cities around the world, Bristol Green Party members and elected representatives will be demanding urgent action on climate change by taking part in the #RiseForClimate rally in Bristol on 8th September.

Green Group Leader Mayors arena decision shows contempt for democracy

Green Group Leader: Mayor's arena decision shows contempt for democracy

The day after he voted for a council motion supporting a Temple Meads location for Bristol's Arena, the city's Labour Mayor has scrapped the project altogether in a Cabinet meeting.

Opinion Bristol wants the arena on Arena Island

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

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 Catos speech at Bristols Peoples Vote rally

Listen Again to Molly Scott Cato's speech at Bristol's People's Vote rally

Why Arena island is still the best location for Bristols Arena

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

£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>>

Checking the numbers on alternatives to the Bristol Arena

Checking the numbers on alternatives to the Bristol Arena

'Bristol deserves better than this' - Deputy group leader Jerome Thomas has a look at the numbers supporting the 'alternative development' at Temple Meads in place of an arena.

Green MEP to join Peoples March rally in Bristol this Saturday

Green MEP to join People’s March rally in Bristol this Saturday

Green MEP for the South West and former Bristol West parliamentary candidate, Molly Scott Cato, will join a cross-party group of politicians and campaign groups at a rally in Bristol this Saturday calling for a People’s Vote on the final Brexit deal

Enough talk time for action on plastics waste

Enough talk, time for action on plastics waste

Following the reports of huge amounts of unrecycled plastic waste left on the streets after St Paul’s Carnival, Greens are calling for the Council to make sure that lessons are learnt ahead of this weekend’s balloon festival. Green councillors also want Bristol Council to stop dragging its heels and implement a policy on plastics waste as soon as possible, including a ban on single-use plastics at council events.

Greens discuss arena libraries and racism on politics podcast

Greens discuss arena, libraries, and racism on politics podcast

Catch up on the Green appearances on Bristol Live's local politics podcast.

Remove abandoned billboards that blight our city

Remove abandoned billboards that blight our city

A local Green councillor for Clifton Down in Bristol has successfully applied for an unsightly abandoned billboard on Whiteladies Road to be removed.

BBC must refuse airtime to organisations lacking funding transparency

BBC must refuse airtime to organisations lacking funding transparency

In the wake of revelations that right-wing think tank, the Institute for Economic Affairs (IEA), offered potential US donors “cash for access” to Conservative ministers, Bristol's Green MEP Molly Scott Cato has launched a petition calling on the BBC to stop giving airtime to organisations whose funding is not transparent.

Help protect 20mph limits around your home

Help protect 20mph limits around your home

Press Release: “Help protect 20mph limits around your home” say Green Councillors

We use cookies on our website to improve your experience, by using our website you accept the use of these cookies. Read More Close