Bristol Green Party Logo

Sunday, 30th Jun 2019

Mayoral candidate challenges “expensive giveaway” of arena site

The Green mayoral candidate for Bristol, Sandy Hore-Ruthven, is challenging the Mayor over proposals to pay a major financial services firm up to £120 million to develop the former arena site at Temple Island, without guaranteeing social return for the city.

Papers to the city’s cabinet meeting scheduled for next week, set out a proposal for Bristol City Council to work as a partner with the firm Legal and General to develop the Arena Island site, in a set up where the council takes all the risk and the company accrues any benefit.

The proposed development is as follows:

  1. Bristol City Council (BCC) gives Legal and General a 250 year lease for no cost, with no official tendering process
  2. The Mayor will also commit to handing over up to £500,000 towards the production of a development plan for the site
  3. Legal and General build housing and a conference centre but BCC is committed for 40 years to pay for 100,000 sq ft of the site, potentially costing £120m [1].  Whilst the Council may make a return this is not guaranteed given that there is still plenty of un-let office space in Bristol.
  4. BCC will have no control over how the site is developed as the site will be leased to Legal and General, including no control over the % affordable housing, which is a key aim for the development.

In addition, The Council has already spent £26 million of taxpayer’s money on the site and remains committed to paying for further upgrades to the site (utilities, improvements to the A4 bridge and others) at an unknown cost.

Sandy Hore-Ruthven, Green Party Mayoral candidate said: “This proposal to cabinet is poor value for money and represents an expensive give away for our citizens. In exchange for a 250-year lease, £26m of existing investment, and a guaranteed rent of up to £120m paid to Legal and General over 40 years, the Council will have little control over the development and may not achieve the desired outcomes of affordable homes, jobs or business growth.  It certainly won’t create an Arena for the people of Bristol!”

“Under the guise of an innovative business model the Mayor is selling off land paid for by the taxpayer to build the arena, in return for a guaranteed profit to a global business with no particular interest in meeting the city’s objectives on affordable homes, local jobs or business.  This is a naïve approach that is more risky than the original arena plan,” he continued.

“Legal and General have recently been criticised for reducing the number of affordable homes in another development and the Mayor’s proposal gives no guarantee they will not do the same. It could still be possible to build the arena for the people of Bristol creating a great cultural offer, jobs where they are needed in the South of the city, and reduce the number of car journeys by putting the arena next to Temple Meads. But instead we are committing millions of pounds of tax payer’s money to a multinational company and its profits, to create a conference centre.  This is a lacklustre vision for our City,” he concluded.

A number of other approaches are given in the appendix to the document but are not being considered by cabinet. These include a straight sale of the land or a joint venture.  The joint venture would ‘allow the Council to exercise control over the development’.

The BCC cabinet report further states: ‘The Strategic partnership would be supported by a non-legally binding Memorandum of Understanding’ thereby providing no legal recourse to investment made by BCC until the lease is signed.

Green Councillors will be asking key questions about the legality of this arrangement – an MOU agreed without going out to official tender – at the Cabinet meeting next week.

Ends

Notes to editors

[1] £120m is worked out as £30/ft2 (current high end market rent is £40/ft2)

[2] Full details of the cabinet papers can be found here. https://democracy.bristol.gov.uk/documents/g3685/Public%20reports%20pack%2002nd-Jul-2019%2016.00%20Cabinet.pdf?T=10

Green Party chooses Climate Emergency campaigner Carla Denyer to win Bristol West parliamentary seat

Green Party chooses Climate Emergency campaigner Carla Denyer to win Bristol West parliamentary seat

Former wind turbine engineer and current city councillor, Carla Denyer, has been picked to contest the winnable seat of Bristol West for the Green Party at the coming General Election.

Labour Mayor refuses to back Climate Strike

Labour Mayor refuses to back Climate Strike

Bristol’s Labour Mayor has refused to support Council workers taking part in what could be the world’s biggest ever Climate Strike on 20th September, after a Green Councillor asked him to do so at a Council meeting.

Labour vote down Green policies in Green New Deal

Labour vote down Green policies in ‘Green New Deal’

Green Councillors accused the Mayor of substituting empty words for climate action this evening (10 Sep. 19), at a Full Council meeting where Labour proposed a ‘Green New Deal’ motion but rejected a Green amendment to add practical policy commitments to it.

Environmental Lawyers put Bristol Council On Notice over climate inaction

Environmental Lawyers put Bristol Council ‘On Notice’ over climate inaction

Lawyers from leading environmental law charity ClientEarth have put Bristol City Council “on notice” over its lack of proper climate change plans, giving them eight weeks to explain how planning policy will incorporate carbon reduction targets.

Green Climate Emergency councillor calls on Mayor to support Climate Strikers

Green ‘Climate Emergency’ councillor calls on Mayor to support Climate Strikers

At a council meeting this evening Carla Denyer, the Green Party Councillor who initiated Bristol's declaration of a Climate Emergency, will ask Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees if he will support Council workers taking time off to join the Global Climate Strike of September 20.

Job Advert Campaign Manager wanted

Job Advert: Campaign Manager wanted

Could you work for Bristol Green Party? We're currently recruiting for a paid Campaign Manager to work on the Green Party Mayoral 2020 Campaign.

Government steps up legal threat to Bristol Mayor over air quality failures

Government steps up legal threat to Bristol Mayor over air quality failures

Greens respond to a letter sent to Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees from the Government’s Minister for Air Quality, which has highlighted once again that Bristol’s current action on air quality is too slow, engagement inadequate, and that options being consulted on currently may not meet minimum standards.

Former Green Lord Mayor joins reparations protest outside Downing Street

Former Green Lord Mayor joins reparations protest outside Downing Street

Green Councillor Cleo Lake joined the 'Stop the Maangamizi' protest march in London on 1st August and protested outside Number 10 Downing Street, demanding the UK government compensate the people and nations affected by the Trans Atlantic slave trade.

Nine years for breathable air not good enough  tell the Mayor we need stronger proposals

Nine years for breathable air 'not good enough’ - tell the Mayor we need stronger proposals

Green Councillors have called on Bristolians to respond ‘none of the above’ to the council’s clean air consultation, and demanded the Mayor consider new ideas to improve air quality as fast as possible, as well as longer term changes to reduce private car use.

Greens call for action to follow words as WECA declares Climate Emergency

Greens call for action to follow words as WECA declares Climate Emergency

Following lobbying by Green councillors the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) has finally passed a motion declaring a ‘Climate Emergency’

Labour and Conservatives vote against action on fossil fuel divestment

Labour and Conservatives vote against action on fossil fuel divestment

Green councillors in Bristol last night charged Labour and Conservatives with ignoring the Climate Emergency, as they voted together to amend a Green Party motion calling for fossil fuel divestment, rendering it ineffective.

We cant afford to wait any longer  Greens respond to Councils Climate Emergency report

“We can’t afford to wait any longer” – Greens respond to Council’s Climate Emergency report

With Extinction Rebellion actions hitting headlines in cities across the UK, Green Party councillors in Bristol last night called on the Labour Mayor and council to show greater urgency in tackling climate change.

Greens say Mayors climate plan lacks ideas and emergency

Greens say Mayor’s climate plan lacks ideas and emergency

Bristol Green Party has welcomed the Mayor’s new plan to address the Climate Emergency, but says that the plan lacks substance or the urgent action needed to address this pressing issue.

Bristol Councillor who kicked off UK Climate Emergency to represent city at climate event

Bristol Councillor who kicked off UK Climate Emergency to represent city at climate event

Carla Denyer, the Green Councillor from Bristol who proposed the first Climate Emergency motion in the UK in November 2018, will be taking part in a ‘high level roundtable’ as part of London’s Climate Action Week.

Heads LG win tails the Council loses  Greens on Mayors Temple Island plans

“Heads L&G win, tails the Council loses” - Greens on Mayor's Temple Island plans

Green Councillors have condemned proposals from the Mayor to hand key public land on Bristol’s Temple Island site to financial services company Legal & General, through an agreement which avoids the usual legal process.

Mayoral candidate challenges expensive giveaway of arena site

Mayoral candidate challenges “expensive giveaway” of arena site

The Green mayoral candidate for Bristol, Sandy Hore-Ruthven, is challenging the Mayor over proposals to pay a major financial services firm up to £120 million to develop the former arena site at Temple Island, without guaranteeing social return for the city.

Green Councillor brands Council Air Quality plans shameful

Green Councillor brands Council Air Quality plans "shameful"

At at cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Green Councillors challenged the Labour Mayor's lack of detail and evidence to support new air quality proposals.

Action on Climate Emergency ACE

Action on Climate Emergency (ACE)

Bristol Green Party’s Action on Climate Emergency group, campaigns to raise awareness of the dangers of climate change.

Green Councillors press for WECA to take action on Climate Emergency

Green Councillors press for WECA to take action on Climate Emergency

After launching a Climate Emergency at Bristol Council last November, the first of its kind in the UK, Green Councillors are today calling on the region’s West of England Combined Authority (WECA) to recognise a climate emergency.

Make local plan fit for a changing climate say Greens

Make local plan fit for a changing climate say Greens

More than 6 months after Bristol Council passed a Green Party motion to declare a climate emergency, Green Councillors are now calling on the Council to recognise this in its plans for the future.

Greens top Bristol election results showing Green city swing

Greens top Bristol election results showing Green city swing

Last night the Green Party topped European election polls in Bristol, contributing significantly to the re-election of Green MEP Molly Scott-Cato in the South West. Members say the result indicates a Green swing in the city ahead of the local and mayoral elections next year.

Bristol Councillors give thanks to Green Lord Mayor at final meeting

Bristol Councillors give thanks to Green Lord Mayor at final meeting

Councillors celebrated the hard work and positivity of Green Lord Mayor Cleo Lake during the ceremony that saw her step down at the end of her year in office.

Greens back Youth Climate Strike against airport expansion

Greens back Youth Climate Strike against airport expansion

Caroline Lucas spoke in support of another Youth Climate Strike taking place in Bristol this Friday 24 May, this time protesting the expansion of Bristol Airport.

Bristol Greens call for ban on dangerous pavement parking

Bristol Greens call for ban on dangerous pavement parking

Green Councillors in Bristol have contributed to a House of Commons Inquiry into pavement parking, highlighting the dangers and accessibility problems it causes and calling for a ban to be legally enforced.

Green Councillor shows flaws in plans for polluting gas plant in heart of Bristol

Green Councillor shows flaws in plans for polluting gas plant in heart of Bristol

A Green Party Councillor has hit out at plans to build a gas generator plant in Bristol, raising concerns about high levels of air pollution on a site close to a nursery.

European Election Campaign  Hustings

European Election Campaign & Hustings

The European Election campaign is underway. Learn more about our candidates and where to see them in hustings around the region.

Bristol Green Group response to Climate Change report

Bristol Green Group response to Climate Change report

“Both Conservatives and Labour are now talking the talk on climate change, but they need to follow it up in their actions. This is an emergency and it’s not enough to talk about the climate – we have to do something about it."

Council risking deaths and crime with proposed cuts to drugs programme

Council risking deaths and crime with proposed cuts to drugs programme

A Green Councillor has raised concerns about Council proposals to cut prescription services for vulnerable drug users in Bristol

Making Steps Towards Carbon Neutrality

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 reelect Molly European election campaign

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.

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