LEADER’S BLOG: September 2015

A monthly look at what assorted Green councillors in Bristol have been getting up to…

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
Blog: http://bishopstongreencouncillors.info
Twitter: https://twitter.com/GreenDaniella
daniella

The big event for me this month was the Cabinet meeting where the Mayor took the decision on the future of Bristol’s Libraries. I gave a speech summarising how we got to where we are, and published it on our website (see above for link). The headlines that are that we have reduced the scale of the cuts to the libraries and are keeping 27 out 28 libraries in their current locations and moving one into Lockleaze. Regrettably, there will be reductions to library opening hours across the city, but with the libraries being kept open, there is potential to increase their accessibility in time.

This has been a really difficult time for me, like many of us I have an emotional connection with libraries I hate to see reductions in opening hours. However, money is tight and having been given an insight into the looming impacts of welfare reform, the government’s policies on right to buy and rents, on top of more spending cuts, I know that from a council perspective things are going to get more and more difficult over the next few years for the most vulnerable people in our city.

Charlie Bolton (Southville councillor and Chair of the Place scrutiny committee, which covers Transport)
Councillor page: https://www.bristol.gov.uk/councillorfinder/?Task=name&CouncillorId=39
Bristol Green Party page: http://www.bristolgreenparty.org.uk/about-charlie
Blog: http://southvillegreenparty.blogspot.co.uk
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CharlieBGP

photo-cllr-charlie-boltonAmongst many other things, Charlie has been championing the need for a Henbury Loop rather than a Henbury Spur. You can read more about this case in Charlie’s recent blog:
http://southvillegreenparty.blogspot.co.uk/2015/09/henbury-loop-analysis-well-moan.html

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
Blog: http://votegreeninsouthville.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/southvillesteve
photo-cllr-stephen-clarkeAs well as attending council meetings and his committee meetings (Business Change Scrutiny, Human Resources and Appeals Committees), Steve has had a busy month dealing with a number of urgent local issues.

The longest running issue on the table is the terrible traffic problems that are already being created by the new stadium at Ashton Gate (even though it is only half-built. Steve is a lifelong Bristol City supporter so he is enjoying watching the the brand new 27,000 seater stadium rising from the mists of Ashton but he (and most of the residents) have no idea where all the cars are going to go. There is no local Metrobus stop, no new Ashton Gate train station, Long Ashton Park and Ride is closed during match times (yes really!). Meanwhile, hundreds of cars cruise around Southville and Ashton and residents cower behind their net curtains… Anyway, Steve and Charlie are trying to help. They have met the Mayor for a one-to-one, met Bristol Sport’s MD (who was incredibly frustrated with the council), started a petition and are generally creating a stink.

Another issue that has just flared up is Ashton Gate Primary School. This has just opened in a new site with a lovely new school and extensive playground. The trouble is that there is a road between the school and playground. Unbelievably, no one has bothered to put a zebra crossing, bollards or anything else to stop the local cars ignoring the 20mph speed limit and potentially mowing down the little ones. Not surprisingly, the local parents are apoplectic and we have received lots of irate emails. Again, we are trying to get urgent changes to the road layout.

Finally, we are continuing with our initiative to talk to the voters in the nine tower blocks in our patch by having regular surgeries. Generally the residents are very pleased to see us as they have been ignored and forgotten for a long time.

Deb Joffe (Windmill Hill)
Councillor page:
https://www.bristol.gov.uk/councillorfinder/?Task=name&CouncillorId=14
Bristol Green Party page: http://www.bristolgreenparty.org.uk/about-deb
Blog: http://debjoffe.blogspot.co.uk/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/WindmillHGreens

DebJoffeI’ve been working on some ward issues, especially calling for an RPZ in Windmill Hill ward and asking for more public consultation on the Arena and sustainable transport plans for accessing Temple Quarter from Bath and Wells Roads ( a neglected route in my opinion).

I’m the vice-Chair on People Scrutiny where we (Dani Glazzard and I) are focusing on mental health and early years provision. The re-commissioning of the children’s community health services is a major topic now that the only NHS provider has withdrawn from the contract for next year. I am looking at ways to ensure that NHS bidders are encouraged in the longterm.

I also sit on the Police and Crime Panel which scrutinises the Police Commissioner. This is quite controversial since the Chief Constable was suspended and has now been asked to resign.

Councillor round-up…in Easton, Cllr Anna McMullen has been promoting jobs fairs and meeting with local landlords about provision in the private rented sector…in Clifton, Cllr Jerome Thomas is helping residents who would like a community centre in the Jacobs Well Road area…in Redland, Cllrs Martin Fodor and Fi Hance have been frustrated by the slow progress on the Bristol North Baths development…in Cabot, Cllr Ani Stafford-Townsend has been encouraged by community days and is monitoring closely the extent of student accomodation being proposed in the ward…and finally, in Ashley, Gus and I are pleased the Carriageworks Action Group (CAG) have got many concessions from the developer, Fifth Capital London, before it is due back to the planning committee in October, and we have more and more people approaching us from St Andrews and St Werburghs asking for Residents’ Parking Schemes to be introduced (as a result of the knock-on effect of  recent schemes in St Pauls and Montpelier).

Green group

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