Reflections: one year on the council

It’s hard to imagine that one year ago as I write I was in the middle of an election campaign. Now I’ve been representing Redland ward as part of the Bristol Green Group for twelve months. So what’s it been like?  Continue reading Reflections: one year on the council

Reflections on the annual budget meeting, 2015

Taking part in the city council’s budget-setting process for the first time was a revealing political process, if lengthy ordeal.

We spent almost 7 hours arguing over a few crumbs in the corner of the budget: an unexpected windfall, £3.9m of capital available for the next year only.

The meeting was also characterised by the spectacle, yet again, of a Labour-Conservative alliance, with each group clearly having made prior agreements with the other to support a couple of amendments, and thus ensure they each get a few headlines.

Most councillors made little reference to the harsh cuts to local government spending, Continue reading Reflections on the annual budget meeting, 2015

What’s happening on the Downs?

One of Bristol’s most unusual areas is the famous Downs. In fact,  strictly speaking, there are two areas of Downs that are jointly managed under a unique legal basis by both the city council and the Society of Merchant Venturers.

The Downs Committee, including the Master of the Merchant Venturers and the Lord Mayor, visit the collapsing cliff face.
The Downs Committee, including the Master of the Merchant Venturers and the Lord Mayor, visit the collapsing cliff face.

There is specific legislation from Parliament that created the Downs Committee in 1861 and one of my more unusual roles as a councillor has been to serve on this committee.
Continue reading What’s happening on the Downs?