Pero’s Bridge, the busy pedestrian bridge crossing the harbour, was opened in 1999 and named after Pero Jones - an enslaved African who lived in Bristol. There is a small plaque dedicating the bridge to Pero, but hidden behind bike stands, it is barely visible to passers-by.
We think that Pero’s memory, and the rest of Bristol’s slave trading past, should be properly highlighted at the site, and are calling for a proper noticeboard detailing the history of the slave trade, including Pero’s story, and the recent story of the Colston statue being taken down and thrown into the Harbour not 30 feet from the bridge.
In recent years the bridge has been adorned with thousands of 'love-locks', meant to symbolise the love of the couples that place them. While this love is admirable, the symbolism of covering a bridge dedicated to a slave in padlocks is not acceptable. The locks should be removed, and a different site should be suggested for any future shows of love.
Lib Dem candidate for Hotwells & Harbourside, Alex Hartley, examining the 'love-locks'
Alex Hartley, Lib Dem Candidate for Hotwells & Harbourside said "Bristol has a difficult relationship with it's past as a centre of slavery, but this is not something we can forget. We need to educate all about our collective history. What is the point in naming a bridge after a slave if you don't eduacte Bristolians about that slave or the slave trade in general. To add insult to injury, the symbolism of hundreds of padlocks being attached to a bridge named after a slave is frankly shocking. We need to respect Pero's memory by removing the love-locks and putting up a proper noticeboard highlighting our past"
Please sign the petition to Respect Pero's Memory below;
The Bristol Liberal Democrats
are fully supporting the ten demands of the End Our Cladding Scandal campaign
, which is fighting for greater protections for leaseholders and tenants who are currently living in blocks with Grenfell style cladding or blocks that were previously certified as compliant and safe but which now fail new standards rushed in after Grenfell. We have launched a petition, and are putting forward a motion to Council to make Bristol City Council back the campaign. There are numerous buildings in Bristol that are affected, with residents numbering in the thousands.
Fire safety is essential, yet the current system in place to identify and remediate cladding and fire safety issues including dangerous cladding is not only perilously slow, presenting significant safety risks but is also leaving thousands of leaseholders facing financial ruin.
Capricorn Place is just one of the many buildings affected
Committed community campaigner, Alex Hartley, has been selected as the Lib Dem candidate for Hotwells & Harbourside for the May 2021 local election. Alex, who is already working hard in our area is formerly a pub manager, who then worked in IT recruitment, he now works in local politics and is determined to carry on the of work of Cllr Mark Wright now that is retiring.
Alex says "I'm really pleased to be selected to follow Mark in Hotwells & Harbourside. H&H is an area of contrasts - high rise penthouses sit alongside homelessness; beautiful views next to areas of deprivation; where active communities often end up fighting an out of touch Mayor's office. It's a ward that needs strong representation in the Council, and as former parish councillor, I know how vital strong representation can be. I want to be your voice in City Hall - championing your causes and our area"
His priorities for the ward are:
- Fighting the Mayor's plan for Cumberland Basin, which rides roughshod over the local community's views
- Combating illegally high air-pollution levels along our busy main roads
- Being the voice for residents affected by the cladding scandal
- Improving the green spaces such as Brandon Hill
- Trying to fix recycling and waste services across the ward
- Working with the Police to try to reduce crime
- Ensuring the Council properly fixes the Chocolate Path, which has now been shut for 2 years and 11 months
- Championing liberal & environmental values across our city
Cllr Mark Wright said "It is great to welcome Alex to the Hotwells & Harbourside team. His energy and drive will allow him to be a great voice for the community that I had the pleasure of representing for the last 15 years. I have no doubt that his experience on campaigning on local issues will mean that he will be elected next May"
Lib Dem candidate for the West of England Mayor, Stephen Williams said "While I had been immensely looking forward to representing the community of Hotwells & Harbourside again, unfortunately the delay to the local election has changed the situation. I feel I can best help the local community by improving public transport, encouraging investment in jobs & skills and building more affordable housing, all things I will be able to do as Regional Mayor. I have every confidence that Alex will continue our fight against a Mayor that ignores the community's views."
Although Alex can't meet local residents at the moment due to lock-down, you can contact him to talk about his priorities for the ward, or your local issues by calling him on 07767 058857 or emailing him at [email protected]