Bristol Lib Dems celebrate victory on referendum motion

The campaign will now begin in earnest for a referendum on Thu 5th May

By Joe Nutt, Dec 07, 2021 11:12

The Bristol Liberal Democrats are very pleased that their motion on a referendum on Bristol’s Mayoral system was passed today at Full Council with councillors from the Green and Conservative groups joining us in voting for a referendum.

The campaign will now begin in earnest for a referendum on Thursday 5th May.

Cllr Alex Hartley, Lib Dem Councillor for Hotwells & Harbourside, who proposed the motion said “I’m very glad that councillors united today to finally give the people of Bristol the opportunity to make their voice heard on the Mayoral issue. We know that Bristol has been failed by the Mayoral system, from the failure of Bristol Energy, to the SEND crisis, the arena fiasco and the list goes on. We are looking forward to speaking to local residents and convincing them to back our preferred system, the committee system.”

Cllr Jos Clark, Lib Dem Group Leader & Councillor for Brislington West said “This is the first step on the road to scrapping the role of Bristol Mayor. For one person to have such power is absolutely wrong, and I’m glad that our motion succeeded today in hopefully ending the over-centralised and unaccountable Mayoral system. Communities across the city have been ignored by the Mayor, but not any more."

In his speech to Full Council during the debate on the motion, Cllr Andrew Varney, Cllr for Brislington West said “In the Localism Act of 2011, former Liberal Democrat leader of the Council, Baroness Barbara Janke, had the foresight to include a mechanism allowing for referenda on abolishing directly elected mayors after a period of ten years. Next May will be the tenth anniversary of the mayoral experiment here in Bristol. At that point I think it’s reasonable and appropriate to go back to the people of Bristol and ask them if they want to continue with it or if they want to consign it to the dustbin of history where it belongs.”

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