Our Green Group more than doubled in size after the 2015 elections. What a year of influence and achievements it’s been!
By presenting motions, amending proposals, questioning the Mayor, and initiating debate we’ve had a substantial positive influence on the work of the council in the city, from a position as the third biggest group on the council.
Here’s a short summary of just some of what we’ve been up to:
Green-councillor-achievements (link to story)
Some of my work has been featured here, and I’ve been delighted to be part of a positive, constructive, effective and creative group of colleagues helping implement green policies and initiatives in Bristol.
Some of my work in the past year covered:
– calling for the promotion of Passivhaus low energy building standards on council-owned land (buildings that are made to keep warm through high insulation and airtightness design standards plus ventilation and heat recovery). The city council announced in March 2016 that this would become a reality. I have been liaising with the Passivhaus Trust to progress this in line with national and European experience.
– tabling a motion that called for the Avon Pension Fund to develop a strategy to divest from fossil fuels and diversify into energy efficiency, renewable energy and energy storage, that was supported by Unison and passed by the council after some amendments. I ensured this was followed up by the Mayor in line with the resolution passed and am working with Fossil Free Bristol campaign and Bristol Unison to continue the work so that it has an influence on investments, despite being watered down by the other groups’ amendments.
– leading calls to ensure reuse and repair are part of plans for a South Bristol Reuse & Recycle Centre on Hartcliffe Way and are incorporated into the new council Zero Waste Strategy. The council should learn from experience elsewhere and create a partnership strategy that earns income, puts useful items to work again in the city, and ensures usable goods are made available via partner organisations for those who need them. This is all part of the move to a ‘circular economy’ that does not create waste and fritter away resources, damaging the environment and costing us money through disposal.
– being one of the more active councillors in the city I almost always attended the Mayor’s Cabinet meetings to ask a question and follow up with a probing supplementary point (often the only way to get a more in depth reply and commitment to action). I scrutinised a great many reports and issues, covering sectors and themes like: the voluntary and community sector; the Bristol Energy Company; the council’s new Zero waste strategy; the Bristol North Baths development (in the ward); plus a number of questions put to the Director of Public Health.