Lib Dem Mayoral candidate backs Tara Murray and her scrap the Mayor message. Tara Murray is running for Council in the Brislington East by-election on Thursday, 16th January.
In a statement to Bristol Council today, Mary Page said:
"The Green Party, like the Liberal Democrats, and local Conservative Party, has policy against Directly Elected Mayors, yet they failed to back the abolition of the Mayoral role motion at last month’s council. Instead, as soon as they think they have a shot at power, their values and principles are thrown away. Their Mayoral candidate will not offer the biggest act to devolve of power that we can offer Bristolians - a referendum review of the role of Mayor. Instead, they will keep the omnipotent, all-powerful Mayor position, which sidelines both elected councillors and community representatives.
If you want to give real power to the people, you need a Mayoral Candidate who will trust Bristolians to take control of their communities. In the Brislington East by-election, there is a real chance to send a message about the failure of the Mayoral system. By choosing Brislington East Liberal Democrat Candidate Tara Murray, the voters will have a local champion, who will be free to serve her local community, not be overruled by the unilateral and centralised decisions of any Mayor. Only I, and the Liberal Democrats, are offering to devolve of power right from the start of the new Mayoral term, with a rainbow Cabinet and increased ward/area funds to support a radical reboot of local democracy.
We can top and follow that, with a radical rethinking of the deliberative democracy models, by investigating or piloting things such as citizens' panels, juries or assembles, as well as technological innovations like VTaiwan."
Tara said, "I want to create more opportunities for young adults and SEND adults as well as improve transport links into the city and expand access to our green spaces. Scrapping the mayoral office is something that both myself, Tony and the wider Lib Dems are championing, as we want to redirect money back into the communities, and encourage greater accountability and local democracy, with Brislington East being one area that could feel huge benefit"
Mary's full statement to Council is as follows:
Power to the people, my statement to Council.Having spent the last couple of years following and tracking the work of Bristol Council, I appreciate the need for widening participation by, and engagement with, Bristol citizens. The reality is, that most people are just about getting by in their already full-up lives and find it hard to make time to be involved in any consultation or other council activity. The hundreds and thousands of pages of policy papers, mostly published at very short notice, require a full-time commitment and the majority of ordinary people just do not have the time to dedicate their free unpaid-time to do this. In contrast, the Mayoral salary is over £30 an hour to be able to do this.Having a job, raising a family or just being interested in other things, mean that the majority of Bristolians are missing out on the potential opportunity that being involved with the council could offer them to improve the state of their local community. That's not the fault of any busy individual, as they are balancing a complex set of priorities to lead the life they choose. In fact, Liberal Democracy enshrines that right of non-conformity to live the life they choose, for all individuals in the preamble to our constitution.So it is with great interest that I read the motion on 'rebooting democracy'. https://democracy.bristol.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=142&MId=3770There is some great merit in what the Green Party Motion sets out to achieve, and if elected as Mayor in May, I would indeed support implementation of pilot trials to improve deliberative democracy, including investigation of participatory systems such as trialled by Taiwan with their VTaiwan project: https://info.vtaiwan.twThere is one major flaw and omission from the motion. The fact is, that under a Mayoral system, no new measures could be guaranteed to actually be implemented. Any Mayor would still have 'divine right' to overrule and ignore any of these assemblies, juries and panels.The only logical conclusion to ensure that this participatory and deliberative democracy agenda is carried through is to support a Mayoral candidate and political party, who will run the referendum petition on removing the Mayoral system in order to put 'power back to the people'. Whilst three (Lib Dems, Conservatives and Greens) political parties have policy to do this, only two (Lib Dems and Conservatives) parties are committed to running the referendum petition and there is only one, me the Liberal Democrat candidate, who has spoken out and is willing to delete my own role and restore democracy from the autocratic dictatorship allowed within the omnipotent power of the Mayoral system. #ScraptheMayor