After repeatedly missing Air Quality deadlines set by the national government, which saw a DEFRA minister state they were “absolutely astonished” and threaten legal action over delays, Bristol’s Labour administration has released new suggestions and timescales for dealing with the city’s air pollution crisis. The new timescales would see a full outline business plan sent to government at the end of December 2019, a full year after the original deadline for Bristol to produce an air quality plan.
Cllr Eleanor Combley, leader of the Green Councillor Group, said:
“More evidence of the stark health impacts of air pollution is discovered every few months. Recently it emerged that poor air quality is linked to a greater risk of psychosis in teenagers and last month research suggested that toxic air may be responsible for twice as many deaths as previously thought, making it deadlier than smoking.
“So it is deeply depressing that in the face of this public health crisis – responsible for an estimated 300 deaths per year in Bristol – Bristol’s Labour administration is going back to the drawing board once again instead of taking the bold action needed to save lives. Under their current plans there’s no chance of any real action being taken until well into 2020. As well as a public health emergency, this is an equalities issue. People in some the poorest parts of the city, in wards like Lawrence Hill, not only suffer the most from air pollution but are also less likely to own cars than wealthier residents.
“But it doesn’t have to be like this. Cities that have got their act together and produced concrete plans – like Birmingham – have already won tens of millions of pounds from the government to implement clean air zones and reduce the impact on residents through funding for a scrappage scheme and support for taxis. We could have already guaranteed this support in Bristol but instead we have had the astonishing spectacle of a Labour Mayor refusing to take action and even recently blaming doctors and health experts for air pollution rather than facing up to his own responsibilities.
“Let’s be clear – these further delays are costing lives. The Mayor should release the expensive research the council commissioned into Clean Air options so Bristolians can see on what basis he has refused to act, and how much longer it will take us to bring air quality levels down under his new proposals. Air pollution is a public health crisis and the Mayor needs to face up to his duty to take decisive action.”
Green mayoral candidate Sandy Hore-Ruthven said: "By not taking action on air pollution the Mayor is condemning the poorest in the city to suffering most. At the same time he is missing an opportunity to tackle poverty, inequality and air quality. By investing in better buses, cycle and pedestrian routes we could be tackling many of the problems this city faces. This is a timid response to a serious problem, a response that is becoming typical of this administration."
Making Steps Towards Carbon Neutrality
Green councillors have welcomed the first steps at Bristol Council towards work for Bristol to go carbon neutral by 2030.
South West Greens launch ‘re-elect Molly’ European election campaign
The Green Party in the South West today launched their European election campaign. The Party will push for the re-election of Molly Scott Cato, who has a strong track record of achievement in the European parliament and is a leading and well-respected voice of opposition to Brexit both within the South West region and nationally.
Open letter to EU citizens in Bristol
Leaders of the opposition parties in Bristol joined together today to send an open letter to EU citizens living in Bristol.
Bristol Greens welcome Magid Magid
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Green Councillors welcome landlord licensing extension
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Green Councillors condemn Mayor’s delay on clean air action
After repeatedly missing air quality deadlines set by the national government, Bristol’s Labour administration has gone back to the drawing board. The Council now expects to submit a final clean air plan a full year after the original deadline.
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Green letter re Brexit shambles
Letter re Brexit-balls
Mayor refuses to come clean on ex-chief executive pay-off
Green councillors have said they are concerned and frustrated that Bristol's Labour Mayor refused to answer questions at yesterday's Full Council meeting about the controversial pay-off of the Council's ex-chief executive. A report into the severance package found that there was a lack of transparency over the £196,000 pay-off provided. The Mayor refused to answer questions from councillors and the public on why the administration chose to pay the full pay-off and why the payment decision did not go to the HR committee unlike other payments to departing senior officers.
Did Mayor lie about ex-chief executive pay-off?
Greens councillors will be asking the Labour Mayor next week why the Council’s ex-chief executive received a £196,000 severance package, half of which was discretionary, following a report that confirms their concerns over the process used and it’s lack of transparency.
Mayor must take action on fossil fuel funds
Green Councillors have submitted a motion to next Tuesday’s Full Council meeting (19 March) calling on Bristol’s Labour Mayor to meet with the head of Avon Pension Fund and discuss divestment of funds away from fossil fuel industries within 5 years. Despite a similar Green motion passed in 2015 (1), the Avon Pension Fund continues to hold significant investments in fossil fuel industries. A recent UN study found that resource extraction industries are responsible for half of the world’s carbon emissions and more than 80% of biodiversity loss. (2) Bristol’s branch of local government union UNISON (the second largest union in the UK) also backs the campaign for pension fund divestment.
Bristol Greens back return of student climate strike
Thousands of students are expected to strike over climate action once again this Friday 15 March in Bristol. Green councillors welcomed the news and praised young people for putting the Climate Emergency on the agenda.
Job Advert: [Paid] Campaigns Manager Wanted
The Bristol Green Party is looking for a Campaigns Manager to help elect Sandy Hore-Ruthven as the UK’s first Green Mayor. You will be an experienced campaigns manager and have a commitment to Green values. The role will build the groundwork for an effective campaign for the elections in May 2020. Deadlines for applications is the 21st of March.
Green Group Leader's letter to the Prime Minister
As Bristol’s Labour administration voted through a budget which takes millions from adult social care and children & families services, Eleanor Combley, Leader of the Green Group, wrote to the Prime Minister to demand an end to the “triple whammy of cuts” hitting local authorities.
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Over 200 streets in Bristol were recently impacted by bin and recycling collection delays of as much as two weeks due to the failure of ‘worn-out’ vehicles due to be replaced.
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All Green amendments at today's Budget meeting
Green Councillors have proposed 5 amendments to this evening's budget meeting at full Council. They include taking action towards carbon neutrality by 2030, creating more housing and providing better bus services.
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Greens present budget amendments to create more housing and save money
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Fund climate change adaptation, stop fly-tipping and tackle local flooding
Green councillors have submitted an amendment to next week’s budget which funds practical measures to address a wide range of challenges in Bristol, both local and city-wide. Proposals include a scheme dubbed the “puddle police” which identifies problem drains across the city to reduce local flooding, tougher enforcement action on fly-tipping, and development of a 12 year plan to make Bristol carbon neutral by 2030.
Accusations of racism within Bristol City Council
We are deeply concerned at the contents of the report and condemn unequivocally any racism taking place within the council. We regard it as completely unacceptable that any officer should feel enabled to behave in a way which is discriminatory, or that any culture of bigotry should be tolerated.
Bristol needs “Clean air, not hot air Mr Mayor”
Bristol Greens have condemned the Mayor of Bristol for his failure to meet a deadline to produce a Clean Air Plan. The plan was supposed to be written by the end of 2018 and Bristol Council was given until 21 February to respond.
Bristol's Green MEP arrested in anti-nuclear bombs protest
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People and Power: Populism, Fascism, and How to Defend Democracy
A recording of Bristol's Green MEP recently talking on People and Power: Populism, Fascism, and How to Defend Democracy
Plans for £6m+ a year investment into buses at no cost to the Bristol taxpayer
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School climate strike children’s brave stand has our support
We are inspired that our children, spurred on by the noble actions of Greta Thunberg and other striking students, are making their voices heard, say 224 academics
"Voices of young people must be heard"
Green councillors have called for Bristol’s Mayor, Bristol City Council and local teachers and parents to support those students choosing to join this Friday’s school strike on climate change. On Friday 15th February, school children from across Bristol will be taking part in the first nationwide ‘Youth Strike 4 Climate’ inspired by the actions of 16 year old Greta Thunberg in Sweden. This Friday, many of Bristol’s schoolchildren will be joining the 70,000 schoolchildren from 270 cities and towns across the world who have been taking part in ‘Fridays for Future’ demanding that politicians take action to confront the climate emergency.
Mayor must end support of airport expansion
"How can Mayor Marvin Rees unequivocally support the expansion of Bristol Airport (BBC Sunday Politics 3rd February), when he has voted for a Green plan to make Bristol carbon neutral by 2030 and has tasked council officers to explore how to achieve this aim. Their report won’t be due until May, so on what evidence is he making this decision?
Bristol's Green Lord Mayor to save money, cut pollution with new hybrid car
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Bristol Council buys new home for children in care thanks to Green budget amendment
An item coming to Bristol Council Cabinet today approved the purchase of a home for children in care, putting a budget amendment introduced by Green Group leader Councillor Eleanor Combley into practice.