Four years after Bristol City Council unanimously voted to support a clean air zone for Bristol, Bristol’s Mayor has failed to deliver on his promise. Green Councillor Charlie Bolton, who brought the motion to Full Council in November 2016, called the lack of action “a shocking dereliction of responsibility towards the vulnerable in our city.”
Over 300 people a year have their lives shortened as a result of air pollution in Bristol, but the suffering is not felt equally across the city. Many of the poorest areas suffer the most, and in some areas 1 in 10 early deaths can be attributed to air pollution. Those people most affected are also disproportionately those who do not own cars themselves. [see notes]
Councillor Charlie Bolton said:
“I suppose I ought to be surprised that Bristol has taken 4 years not to implement a Clean Air zone, but little surprises me about the current administration any more.
“Some 1200 people have had their lives shortened since the original motion - a quite shocking dereliction of responsibility towards the vulnerable in our city.
“And you should remember that the driver for the zones was to make the air legal, not to make it clean. I remember asking how many lives would be lost once our air becomes legally compliant – but of course, never got a reply.”
Councillor Jerome Thomas said:
“The story of Bristol’s toxic air over the last four years has been a tale of foot-dragging inaction. Things got so bad that even the government, hardly known for its forward thinking approach to clean air, threatened to take Bristol to court if it didn’t take action.
“Bristol’s Mayor has missed deadline after deadline to clean up our air and it is the poorest and most vulnerable who will pay the price – choking on the fumes from our city’s car addiction and inaction from those in power.
Recent steps to improve a few walking and cycling routes in our city centre are of course to be welcomed, but they will not clean up the air for all the communities across our city. The quickest and most efficient way to clean up our dangerous air is the clean air zone that was promised four years ago.”
- Photo is of Caroline Lucas with Green councillors and activists campaigning on air pollution in 2016.
- Green Councillor Charlie Bolton’s motion which was approved unanimously by Full Council in Nov 2016: https://bristolgreenparty.org.uk/air-pollution-motion
- See Council research on health impacts of air pollution in Bristol. Table A1.1 lists fraction of deaths attributable to air pollution by ward – the highest is Central and Lawrence Hill wards where air pollution is attributable for over 10% of deaths. In both wards around 56% of households have no car.
- Recent reports continue to demonstrate the deadly impact of air pollution across the country – there is growing evidence linking dirty air to increased incidence and severity of coronavirus. Air pollution is estimated to cost the average city resident almost £900 a year in sick days and healthcare, nationally 4% of all neonatal deaths last year were attributed to air pollution and poor air quality is now the 11th highest cause of death in the UK.
- Green Councillors are still calling for a clean air zone across the city which charges older polluting vehicles as well as investment in a comprehensive walking, cycling and bus network.
Greens call for support for Bristol’s “Excluded”
Green Group Leader, Eleanor Combley, wrote to the Chancellor to urge him to end the disparities in government Covid-19 support.
"Cover-ups likely" say Greens
Green Councillor Clive Stevens, Vice Chair of Audit Committee, has warned that cover-ups are “likely” if councillors aren’t allowed to properly scrutinise all Council documents. Councillor Stevens said Councillors on Audit Committee must be allowed to perform their duty and have full access to ‘exempt’ Bristol City Council documents.
Calls for WECA to oppose airport expansion
The tide is turning against Bristol Airport’s expansion plans. Following a Green Party motion at Bristol Council passed on December 8th last year, two of three of the local councils that make up WECA now oppose airport expansion.
Bristol Green councillors join campaign to ensure no-one is punished for being homeless
Bristol’s Green councillors have signed and promoted a petition calling on the government to scrap new Home Office rules that would criminalise migrant rough sleepers and force them to leave the UK.
Council passes Green motion against airport expansion
A Green motion passed at yesterday's (8th December) Council meeting commits Bristol Council to opposing Bristol Airport expansion, overturning the administration’s previous position of supporting the plans.
Parents of disabled students wrongly billed hundreds of pounds
Bristol City Council has apologised after it wrongly billed the parents of disabled students hundreds of pounds for home to school transport. Councillor Fi Hance was contacted by distressed parents and immediately followed up their concerns with the Council. As a result, the mistake was rectified and the Council has now sent a letter of apology to each of the families who were wrongly charged.
Call for council to launch green savings bonds for climate action
A Green councillor has called for Bristol Council to launch locally issued investment bonds to fund climate action projects.
Call for Bristol Council to ‘say no to the mow’ in green spaces
Campaigners are calling on Bristol council to reduce grass cutting in verges and green spaces around the city. The move would reduce maintenance costs for the Council and support biodiversity.
A million reasons to oppose Bristol Airport expansion
Following new research showing that planes have three times the impact on the climate when total emissions released at height are properly incorporated, Bristol Green councillors are calling on the Bristol Mayor to rethink his support for Bristol Airport. Bristol City Council will debate this on December 8th 2020.
Greens on WECA: Stop playing blame game and get on with negotiations
Four years after it was set up, local arguments have again flared up over the future of WECA.
Four years later - Bristol is still waiting for clean air
Four years after Bristol City Council unanimously voted to support a clean air zone for Bristol, Bristol’s Mayor has failed to deliver on his promise.
Greens support “Liveable Neighbourhoods”
Green councillors are supporting communities across Bristol who are sick of air pollution and the congestion clogging the streets outside their homes and instead want to create ‘Liveable Neighbourhoods,’ streets where people and business come first, and communities can grow stronger. Liveable Neighbourhoods are supported by a broad network of community groups, including groups representing older people, young people and children, disabled people, people advocating travel by foot or bike, and groups tackling climate change, have come together to form Liveable Neighbourhoods for Bristol https://liveablebristol.org.uk/ to call for change.
“Our house is still on fire” 2 years on from the first UK climate emergency
Marking the 2 year anniversary of the UK’s first climate emergency declaration this Friday 13th Nov, its author, Green Party Councillor Carla Denyer, has decried a lack of action saying that the clock is ticking and “our house is still on fire”.
Council adopts new housing policy for balanced communities
Following almost four years of work by a cross party group of councillors, Bristol Council yesterday (Nov. 3) approved a new planning policy which will allow the Council to support mixed and balanced communities by restricting the proportion of shared houses in areas of the city.
Bristol’s community spirit has never been more needed
Following the announcement that the rising cases of coronavirus across the country mean we will go into a month long lockdown starting on Thursday, Green councillors are supporting calls for people across the Bristol to follow new public health guidance to save lives.
Green councillor takes telecoms giant to task over disruptions
A Green councillor in Clifton Down has secured a commitment from the telecoms giant Openreach to change and enforce their practices in Bristol after raising residents’ complaints with managers from the telecoms company.
Greens sound alarm as Bristol’s air pollution bounces back
Since the end of lockdown, air pollution has begun to rise to dangerous levels again with Bristol city centre already returning to pre-lockdown levels.
Council consulting on city centre Cumulative Impact Area
Bristol Council is consulting on a new Cumulative Impact Area (CIA) in the city centre, which would set licensing restrictions on night time economy businesses like bars, clubs, restaurants and takeaways.
Helping small businesses
Bristol Council is due to step back from levying street trading fees on businesses trading in suspended parking bays during the coronavirus outbreak. Instead of daily fees adding up to approx. £7000 per year, the council will instead request a yearly charge of just £100 for businesses that seek to take advantage of the social distancing measures imposed by the authority to trade in suspended bays. The move follows persistent pressure fro
Motion on reparations blocked as other parties refuse extra time
Cleo Lake's motion calling on Bristol Council to lobby the government over historic slavery reparations and support Bristol's black cultural centres has been dropped from a council meeting
Council to consult on planning changes to prevent overconcentration of student housing
Following three years of work by a cross party group of councillors, Bristol Council is consulting on a new housing planning policy designed to foster mixed and balanced communities
Enslavement reparations needed
A Green Party motion to be debated at next week’s Bristol Council meeting calls on the Council under the Mayor’s leadership to provide more support for black cultural centres in Bristol and to lobby the government to set up an All-Party Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry for Truth & Reparatory Justice which would discuss reparations for the trafficking and enslavement in African people.
Rebooting democracy in Bristol
Two female politicians from different parties have been working together to reboot democracy in Bristol. Green Councillor Paula O’Rourke and Labour Deputy Mayor Asher Craig are leading the ground-breaking new approach of using citizens’ assemblies to help Bristol emerge from lockdown.
Campaigning during COVID
Bristol Green Party statement on current campaigning
Drop street trading fees for local businesses
A petition is calling on Bristol Council to drop charges for local businesses trading in suspended parking bays during the coronavirus outbreak.
#GiveNTech to combat digital exclusion
Working with institutions like Avon Fire Authority and Bristol Waste, Cleo Lake’s #GiveNTech campaign to combat digital exclusion in Bristol been providing laptops to families and individuals since its launch in May.
Greens welcome 'Downs Loop' proposals
A public consultation is under way on proposals for traffic calming and turning worn paths into an accessible loop around the Downs
Citizens Assembly to steer Bristol Covid recovery
Following a motion proposed by Green Councillors in January, Bristol Council is moving forward with plans to carry out a Citizens Assembly
WECA transport plans must “walk the walk not just talk the talk” say Greens
Green councillors have said they are disappointed that WECAs cycling and infrastructure plan “lacks urgency and ambition”.
Greens welcome first steps towards addressing Bristol’s dirty air
Green councillors have welcomed the announcement that next week Bristol bridge, Baldwin Street and Union Street will be closed to through traffic and new bike lanes installed along Park Row, Upper Maudlin Street and Marlborough Street. The changes mark much needed first steps towards improving dangerous levels of air pollution in Bristol. They will also help people move safely about our city during the pandemic by making more room for walking and cycling.