The toppling of Colston’s Statue represents a watershed moment in our city’s history. In recent years the statue, which sat in Central Ward, had been the focus of several community campaigns and petitions to either move the statue or remove it completely. The Bristol Liberal Democrats believe it is wrong for Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees to take credit over this issue, while his term has been marked by silence and inactivity with regards to it up to now.
Bristol Central Ward bares many marks from Bristol’s Slavery legacy. From the former docks where human cargo was traded to the Seven Stars Inn where abolitionists plotted the trade’s demise. Compared to other Wards in Bristol a disproportionately high number of street names in Central are named after slaves and slave traders. It is the position of Bristol Liberal Democrats that if we are to avoid unilateral public actions such as the forcible removal of Colston’s Statue, we as a city need to address this broad question with an open and inclusive political process that takes account
The Bristol Liberal Democrats have been vocal in advocating a Citizens Assembly, to draw on a broad spectrum of Bristolian citizen’s opinions and expertise to address this issue. However, after initially hopeful responses from Bristol Liberal Democrat Councillors, the Mayor released plans for a commission that seems to have advocated the use of an largely academic and political panel over citizens engagement.
Of course, academic expertise on this subject is needed and welcome. We are pleased to see the inclusion of David Olusoga, a local historian who has done much through his work in broadcasting to broaden the discussion of the slavery of legacy locally and nationally. However shunning community engagement comes with potentially great costs. Without a broad participation by Bristolians in this process, they may lose faith in it and whatever conclusions it may reach.
The Bristol Liberal Democrats have written to Mayor Marvin Rees imploring him to explore the possibility of Bristol City Council paying for free school meals for poorer families now that the government has voted down Marcus Rashford’s campaign to stop child holiday hunger.
Welcome to Clifton eNews! This is our regular newsletter to let you know what's going on in City Hall and Westminster. We hope you find it useful and informative, but if you have any questions or comments then please don't hesitate to get in touch.
In this edition:
- Council refuses to issue parking permit reminders
- Stephen Williams proposes bold plan to provide cycle parking
- Campaigning to reinstate the No.9 bus route!
- How do we build back better in Clifton?
- Waterloo Street - Broken on-way sign
- Conservative MPs vote to break international law
- Downs playground move forward
- Ed Davey says he will be the "voice of the nine million carers in our country"