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Tuesday, 21st Apr 2020

Green Councillors: more funding needed for coronavirus support

Bristol Green councillors have joined Green councillors from across the country demanding urgent funding for local authorities to tackle the coronavirus crisis. Green Councillors from 120 councils have signed an open letter to Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick to demand emergency and longer-term funding to enable local authorities to continue work to support communities during the crisis.

The letter warns that councils could lose up to half of their spending power this year if the lockdown were to last for just three months. It also calls for local authorities to be given more flexibility to decide on how funds are spent, as they are best-placed to see where the real need is and how it can be tackled.

The Government has since responded to the call, pledging an additional £1 billion for local authorities.

Bristol Green councillor Carla Denyer said:

“We are pleased that the Government has responded to the desperate situation local authorities find themselves in and pledged an additional £1 billion support, but this is nowhere near enough. Councils are the front line response within our communities, supporting the most vulnerable to get food and basic supplies, providing shelter for homeless people and working to support our care sector. We need longer term funding commitments to enable us to keep delivering these crucial services.”

Green Party leader, Sian Berry said:

“Councils are stepping up and providing vital services to our communities. Vulnerable people are relying upon them for a rapid increase in support. But, after a decade of cuts and in the face of lost income as a result of the crisis, budgets are rapidly reaching breaking point.

“We urge the government to act immediately so that we can continue to do this essential work and not add further strain to the NHS and other essential services.”

Green Party councillors are in administration in 17 Councils across the country. One of these, Lewes District Council, is led by Green Party councillor Zoe Nicholson, who commented on the recent Government announcement highlighting its inadequacy by saying,

“Good that Govt is listening to Green Party councillors, @LGAcomms and all councils at the front line of #COVID19 AND if they apply the same formula to this next £1bn @LewesDC will get £20k, who is spending about £40k a week on food packs.”

Green Budget Amendment creates vital rooms for foster carers in city housing

Green Budget Amendment creates vital rooms for foster carers in city housing

The first family is already benefiting from new rooms in a pilot scheme set up by Bristol City Council thanks to Green councillor Martin Fodor’s budget amendment, which pays for extra rooms in cramped council housing. Bristol has a shortage of larger council houses – the waiting list is twice as long as for smaller properties, and families needing larger homes have to wait for around 2 years.

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At a Bristol Council meeting on Tuesday 7 July, Green Councillor Cleo Lake, activist and former Lord Mayor, will ask the Mayor to lobby the government to set up a commission to acknowledge, apologise and instigate reparations for the UK’s role in the Transatlantic Traffic in Enslaved Africans.

Clean air is a right not a luxury

Clean air is a right not a luxury

“Our right to clean air is as basic and important as our right to clean drinking water. It’s now nearly 4 years since the Council passed a Green motion calling for a Clean Air Zone and yet despite the Council spending millions of pounds on consultants, Bristol is no closer to clean, breathable air. After four years of failure from Marvin Rees to act on clean air, I fully support protesters taking peaceful socially-distanced action to voice their frustration at the city's continuing illegal and unsafe air quality and call on the Mayor to speak with the protesters to explain just how he intends to clean up Bristol's air, with the urgency that is needed."

Good progress on homelessness but MPs must do more nationally

Good progress on homelessness but MPs must do more nationally

Green councillor and Bristol West MP candidate Carla Denyer has praised staff at Bristol City Council for their work tackling homelessness during lockdown [1], but highlighted that some more radical changes are still needed to fix the UK’s broken housing system. Councillor Denyer has called on the Government to do all it can to support renters, but has also made a particular plea to local Labour MP and Shadow Housing Secretary Thangam Debbonaire to reconsider her party’s proposals [2], which seem to favour landlords over their tenants.

Green Councillor Carla Denyer named one of the top women in engineering

Green Councillor Carla Denyer named one of the top women in engineering

Green Councillor Carla Denyer has been named as one of the Top 50 Women in Engineering for 2020 by the Women’s Engineering Society.

Bristol needs clean air now

Bristol needs clean air now

As Extinction Rebellion gears up for a week of action and protests around Bristol’s illegal air quality levels, Green Councillors say clean air is now more important than ever. With growing evidence that dirty air exacerbates the impact of coronavirus and growing calls for a nationwide review on the Government’s air quality strategy, Greens say the time for talking is over – immediate action is now needed to clean up Bristol’s dangerous air.

Prevent a second wave of Coronavirus  give Bristol tools to track and trace

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As lockdown restrictions are eased in Bristol, early evidence suggests the government’s ‘track and trace’ program is not reaching enough people to be effective.

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Let this mark a new era for Bristol

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Safe streets needed now

As more people return to work and children return to school it is more important than ever that we have streets that prioritise pedestrians and cyclists and enable social distancing, Bristol’s Green Councillors have said.

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Greens of Colour call for independent COVID inquiry to factor in institutional racism

Green Party demands independent BAME Covid-19 inquiry: The Green Party has backed calls for an independent inquiry into the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on black, Asian and minority ethnic people. Greens of Colour chairperson Azzees Minott said: “The government’s inquiry into the impact of Covid-19 on BAME people has let communities of colour down.

Tackle rising unemployment with a Green New Deal

Tackle rising unemployment with a Green New Deal

Green councillors have been calling for a ‘Green New Deal’ to reboot the economy, provide jobs and tackle the climate crisis. On 2nd June Bristol City Council's Cabinet meeting included the news that the Council is forecasting a funding gap of around £86 million as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. This is made up of a combination of loss of income and additional expenditure to pay for the response to the emergency. Unemployment is also forecast to rise steeply in coming months.

Bristols carbon neutral 2030 target essential

Bristol's carbon neutral 2030 target essential

Green Councillor Carla Denyer proposed Bristol Council’s original Climate Emergency motion – the first of its kind in Europe – in November 2018. She said: “Hidden away on page 107 is a warning that there is now a high risk of failure to deliver the Council’s Climate Emergency Action Plan to reach carbon neutrality by 2030. This is very concerning. We cannot afford to lurch from one emergency to another. Some form of Green New Deal is essential to help the city and country to ‘build back better’. A green recovery is the only way to deal with the huge economic challenges while tackling the climate crisis, creating security and leaving behind the inequality that has damaged our society for so long.”

Secrecy and concealment as Bristol Energy loses millions of pounds

Secrecy and concealment as Bristol Energy loses millions of pounds

Bristol Energy has lost tens of millions of pounds of Council tax payers money, so Greens ask why this week's Cabinet meeting will hold the discussion's on what has gone wrong in secret.

Cleo Lake launches GiveNTech campaign to tackle digital exclusion

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Green Councillor Cleo Lake has launched a campaign to redistribute unused IT equipment to tackle digital exclusion during pandemic

Protecting renters shouldnt mean that renters pay more

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Green Councillor Carla Denyer has responded with alarm to Labour’s ‘five-point plan to protect renters’, which would require struggling tenants to take an economic hit, rather than landlords.

Trace every case of coronavirus to save lives

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Bristol’s Green Party councillors have called for a new local emergency workforce to “contact trace” new cases of coronavirus to be ready for when the country emerges from lockdown. They call for a local system of testing, contact tracing and quarantine which would enable us to take control of the deadly coronavirus, save lives and avoid further lockdown. The call follows a Green report (1) on the issue published earlier in the month and increasing calls from public health officials for Government to rethink its centralized approach which puts too much focus on a tracing app without the wider system of support needed. (2)

People need clean safe air now more than ever  Greens call on Mayor to rethink delays

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Bristol’s Green Councillors have questioned the Mayor‘s calls to delay the start date of Bristol’s Clean Air Zone next year, pointing to mounting evidence that air pollution is linked to greater fatalities from Coronavirus

Green Councillors more funding needed for coronavirus support

Green Councillors: more funding needed for coronavirus support

Bristol Green councillors have joined Green councillors from across the country demanding urgent funding for local authorities to tackle the coronavirus crisis.

Coronavirus Bristol Greens call for calmer streets and more space for social distancing

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Bristol’s Green Councillor group have today (Wednesday April 15) called on Bristol Council to look into road space reallocation and traffic calming measures to combat coronavirus.

Information and support in Bristol

Information and support in Bristol

Coronovirus (COVID 19) – what we all need to know We must stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives. Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (where this absolutely cannot be done from home). If you have to go out stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people. Wash your hands as soon as you get home. Do not meet others, even friends or family as you can spread the virus even if you don’t have symptoms.

We will continue to work hard for you

We will continue to work hard for you

We have all been affected in different ways by the coronavirus pandemic, but it is the most vulnerable across our city who continue to be impacted the most.

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Last Friday (20 March) the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) approved a transport plan that will fund new road building projects across the region but commits no funding for public transport or walking and cycling schemes.

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