A monthly look at what assorted Green councillors in Bristol have been getting up to…
Jerome Thomas (Clifton councillor)
Councillor page: https://bristol.gov.uk/councillorfinder/?Task=name&CouncillorId=28
Bristol Green Party page: http://www.bristolgreenparty.org.uk/Clifton
YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGnAN_THWdwQLNlSUduIe7A
At a City level I have been working with the Green Party Transport Group to propose Transport policy and campaigns for 2016. With that group and with the Green Party councillors we have been looking at Air Quality in Bristol and have proposed our approach for the launch of a low emissions zone in central Bristol. We will be consulting on that with Green party members in the coming weeks. In Clifton we have been progressing an enhanced role for Clifton Library. On Tuesday 6 October we held a very well attended Friends of Clifton Library meeting. This was led by local Green Party member Paula O’Rourke.
I’ve been working with John Grimshaw (founder of Sustrans) on his proposal for a zebra crossing on Jacobs Wells Road and better access onto Brandon Hill. I’ve also met with the council’s cycling officers about the unacceptable life risks to cyclists on the Jacobs Wells roundabout and have proposed a number of measures, some of them very low cost, which will reduce those risks to acceptable levels.
Gus Hoyt (Ashley councillor)
Councillor page: https://bristol.gov.uk/councillorfinder/?Task=name&CouncillorId=91
Bristol Green Party page: http://www.bristolgreenparty.org.uk/Ashley
The main issue locally has continued to be the Carriageworks (Westmoreland House – the derelict building on the corner of Ashley Rd and Stokes Croft). The developer Fifth Capital London has worked closely with the community liaison group (CAG) since their planning application was deferred at committee in April. This leads many to believe the development is likely to go ahead despite 25 years of set-backs.
The main concern is that there is local representation on a future management committee so that future use is in keeping with the Community Vision. The decision is going to planning committee on the 14th October. Following on the housing theme, I was the only councillor not on Place Scrutiny to attend an excellent full day for the Bristol Housing Enquiry where we explored the situation in Bristol and looked to other authorities and organisations to see what they are doing around the country to solve the housing crisis.
Prior to this I joined other councillors and members for the formulation of the Green Housing Policy working group which met for an evening to discuss what our short, medium and long term goals need to be within the city. This will feed into the Mayoral Manifesto for next May’s elections.
Earlier this week I also met with local campaigners who want to solve the growing problem of homelessness faced by the city. The aim is to creating temporary shelter leading to continued support to those who have found themselves in the downward spiral of homelessness. The main problem at this stage is lack of suitable buildings available and I will be working with Cabot Cllr Ani Stafford Townsend as this issue crosses both our wards.
Likewise litter, fly-tipping and the general rubbish on our streets is continuing to be the number one complaint, and rightly so. Lower Montpelier and St Pauls are continuing to be blighted by a dismal street-scene and it is hoped that now the waste contract is brought back ‘in house’ that some progress can be made.
Interestingly, we are being approached by residents in St Andrews asking for an extension to residents parking as the displacement of extra and commuter cars are spreading further north now the zone is active in Montpelier.
Carla Denyer (Clifton East)
Councillor page: https://bristol.gov.uk/councillorfinder/?Task=name&CouncillorId=30
Bristol Green Party page: http://www.bristolgreenparty.org.uk/Clifton-East
Rather than summarising a whole month, this time here’s a day in the life of Cllr Carla Denyer. This was 7th October, slightly busier than the average day, but far from unusual.
9:30am-10:30am – Emails (backlog = 378, as I was at a conference last week)
11:00am-12:00pm – Met a business-owner in my ward to address waste collection and fly-tipping issues on her property, complicated by neighbour relations. One of them did not take kindly to being asked well-meaning questions… sometimes being a councillor entails being a counsellor too. I am now following up on the issues with the Waste Services team.
12:20pm-2:00pm – Lunch and scheduling
2:00pm-3:00pm – Budget briefing from the Finance Service Director at Bristol City Council to the Green councillors
3:00pm-4:00pm – Jointly drafted the Green councillors’ contribution to the West of England Spatial Strategy (how and where to build the tens of thousands of new homes needed in Bristol)
4:00pm-5:45pm – Emails
5:45pm-6:00pm – Grabbed a quick supper
6:00pm-7:00pm – Meeting of the Environment Sub Group of my local Neighbourhood Partnership to discuss how to spend delegated money on environmental improvements. (Left 1 hour early to get to…)
7:00pm-9:00pm – Meeting of Bristol Green Party to discuss policy proposals and campaign ideas
9:30pm – Home
Martin Fodor (Redland)
Councillor page: https://bristol.gov.uk/councillorfinder/?Task=name&CouncillorId=74
Bristol Green Party page: http://www.bristolgreenparty.org.uk/Redland
Redland councillors are now grappling with continuing problems over the Bristol North Baths Redevelopment (a new library, medical centre, flats and toilets above the car park on Gloucester Rd). Since the Medical Practice serving most of Bishopston announced they will no longer seek to relocate there many questions have come up.
While the plan adopted was controversial and some residents are saying now is the time to revisit the shape of the project, with a close to completion development it makes sense to get the best from the investment, protect the council’s interests as freeholder, and ensure local medical services are not jeopardised. We want our local library to open and Drs to have a base with more facilities.
We are pressing hard for the long awaited proposals on review of the new Residents Parking schemes to be published so that those affected by the commuter parking around our current zone get a solution, and the proposed minor changes to the existing scheme can be implemented. There is widespread support for the scheme now in place and many outside it are very keen to see parking managed. We’re committed to getting as many local residents and traders’ ideas incorporated as possible so the scheme is shaped by people using it.
Months ago the Gloucester Rd and many other local streets were resurfaced. We are still pressing for reinstatement of all the markings which still fail to restore the cycle tracks that provide some protection for cycle users on the city’s busiest cycle road.
Daniella Radice (Bishopston councillor and Assistant Mayor for Neighbourhoods)
Councillor page: https://bristol.gov.uk/councillorfinder/?Task=name&CouncillorId=82
Bristol Green Party page: http://www.bristolgreenparty.org.uk/Bishopston
Although I haven’t had any major papers to take to cabinet this month, it hasn’t been that quiet. I seem to get about 100 e-mails a day, a variety of issues relating to my portfolio, dealings with officers and of course ward work.
This week I spoke at a conference on rethinking parks, attended a celebration of the Playing out charity and also chaired a meeting of the partnership advisory group for Muslim women which is planning a conference for Muslim women next year. As part of my role in Sports I am helping convene an open space session to help start a women’s sports strategy for the city next month. Part of my work involves being part of the sports commission shadow board which is setting itself up as a community interest company. I am also now the Green representative on the Bristol Cultural Development Partnership that runs the festival of ideas.
Steve Clarke (Southville councillor)
Councillor page: https://bristol.gov.uk/councillorfinder/?Task=name&CouncillorId=29
Bristol Green Party page: http://www.bristolgreenparty.org.uk/about-stephen
I have attended a number of council and commission meetings (including a cabinet meeting on 6.10.15 where I asked a question about the environmental sustainability of the Arena). There was a very informative Housing Inquiry Day (with four separate briefing meetings beforehand) where councillors, experts and officers discussed innovative ways for Bristol to try and tackle the housing crisis.
I have also had a busy month dealing with a number of urgent local issues. Regarding the stadium parking, we now seem to have engaged the Council’s senior leadership team (including Assistant Mayor Simon Cook and Transport Service Director Peter Mann) in a meaningful effort to try to come to some worthwhile solutions regarding the parking and travel issues. They seem to be talking to Bristol Sport again and we we will watch closely where that goes. Unfortunately, there looks like little danger of City getting promoted in the near future in any event so we may not feel the full impact of the 27,000 seater stadium for a while…
I met an interesting delegation of citizens from Hanover (one of Bristol’s twin-towns) and discovered that they have many of the same problems that we do; public transport, air-quality, lack of really affordable housing etc. I enjoyed meeting them and they loved Bristol.
Finally, myself and Charlie Bolton (co-councillor for Southville) are continuing with our initiative to talk to the voters in the nine tower blocks in our patch by having regular surgeries. The biggest issues are dog-free blocks and illegal tenancies. Generally the residents are very pleased to see us as they have been ignored and forgotten for a long time.