In an unprecedented step, Bristol’s three opposition parties have united in calling on the Council’s External Auditor to step in and investigate the circumstances surrounding the controversial departure of the former Chief Executive, Anna Klonowski.Read more
The City Council's Overview and Scrutiny Management Board (OSMB) meeting on Thursday night was very interesting for a number of reasons. Specifically the report on the sustainability of libraries prepared by the Task and Finish Group chaired by Lib Dem councillor Anthony Negus was endorsed by all the members of OSMB and even praised by the Cabinet member with indications that it will be listened to, including the advice that it would form part of the report to Cabinet and that some money had been found for some initial consultancy work on examining this as a viable option.Read more
Liberal Democrat councillors are urging Bristol’s Labour Mayor Marvin Rees, to consider their plan to rescue Bristol’s libraries from closure.
Mayor Marvin Rees, who marched against cuts on Saturday, is currently considering responses to his plans for libraries which would see two thirds of libraries permanently closed and opening hours of surviving libraries slashed. The cuts are some of the deepest proposed for any library service in the country.Read more
Bristol City Council has recently parted company with the third Chief Executive to be in post since Mayor Rees took over.
It must be said, that although Cllr Richard Eddy and I have very different political opinions and disagree on many subjects in Council, we share between us 40 years of Council experience and many years of experience in Recruitment and Council HR matters. I have discussed this matter with him.
The City Council Lib Dem group have criticised this 5-part exercise consulting on cuts to council services from Libraries, to School Crossing Patrol and Public Toilets. Excluding the Community Links section, the neighbourhood elements make a single, desperate, proposal with some tweaks and only the loss of public conveniences has a suggestion of mitigation. This stark presentation discourages the secondary objective of asking for ideas. After speaking with the all-party Neighbourhoods Scrutiny Commission that he chairs, Cllr. Anthony Negus presented their resolution that this consultation was flawed to the Mayor's cabinet. Unfortunately these criticisms were not accepted.
View the webcast - click on "WATCH" next to agenda item 6 on the right hand side.
The Cabinet's handling of this matter has been confusing from start to finish. The report now admits that the first plan was to close the pool and this was what was said would happen in the Cabinet Report and the Full Council Cabinet decision. This stance was backed up by a disgraceful 4 page hatchet job masquerading as an Equalities Impact Assessment.
I am very glad that the Council's position has changed but it is regrettable that uncertainty hung over Jubilee for so long. This has not been helpful to the operators who rely on selling new and renewed annual memberships and were delayed in their marketing campaign. Fortunately the huge local show of support gave them confidence and of course helped to get a satisfactory sign off.Read more
So while Cllr Asher Craig proudly proclaimed her widely derided "Communities Consultation" a great success, the Mayor made many of his usual speeches about how wonderfully the Administration was doing despite the impossible financial pressures imposed by Central Government, a worrying piece of news was exposed by questions from Lib Dem Cllr Jos Clark.Read more
Attempts to improve the way local large supermarkets work with our city council went from the laptop of Lib Dem councillor for Cotham, Anthony Negus, to being adopted nationally by Britain’s core cities (see here).
He escalated a personal initiative he started in late summer 2015, through a written survey and a select committee in spring 2016 under the auspices of the Bristol City Council Neighbourhoods Scrutiny commission, that he chairs. This was to develop greater cooperation between the Council and the ’big 8’ supermarkets in the areas of food waste, packaging and distribution. This showed a common interest in getting these things to work better with a mixed approach to how this might be achieved, particularly with regard to making better use of leftover food. He has developed one of those aspects - food waste - by visiting large local supermarkets in Clifton, Redland, Bishopston and Clifton Down, as well as in Cotham ward and talked to managers about improving their current forms of disposal. Chains vary in terms of local or national authority but, however tight their ordering and deliveries, a lot of such waste does go to biomass to produce energy. But this is not good enough. Clearly the amount of waste is best to be reduced at source, sold, then discounted but after that should be available to anyone who can make use of it.
Lib Dem West of England mayoral candidate Stephen Williams has outlined his plans to open new local railway stations, get electrification back on schedule and to introduce new train and tram links across the region.Read more
Stephen Williams, the Lib Dem candidate to be the regional mayor of the West of England, has slammed a planned hike in bus fares and outlined his plans to combat the rising cost of travelling by bus.Read more