Lib Dems Pledge to Mend Bristol’s Broken Local Democracy

Liberal Democrat Mayoral candidate Dr Kay Barnard has announced plans to put power back into the hands of local people in Bristol. 

The Liberal Democrats have launched a ‘Six to Fix’ mini-manifesto to highlight their priorities for the next four years. The fourth priority, to make the Mayor and the Council work for all Bristolians, includes commitments to: 

  • Share executive decision power between the Mayor and cabinet members.
  • Introduce a ‘transparency revolution’ with respect to Council decisions starting with publishing the line-by-line accounts of Bristol 2015 Ltd.
  • Work more closely with all neighbouring authorities and get government support for devolution of power on transport, council tax, health, benefits, skills and housing.
  • Offer referendums in the RPZ areas brought in since 2013 as and where there is significant demand from local residents to have their say.

Lib Dem Mayoral candidate, Dr Kay Barnard, said: 

“We need to restore the structure of democracy in Bristol and to make sure that Council policies are developed using genuine dialogue with ordinary citizens. For too long now the Council has ignored the voices of people living in our city. 

“There is something inherently broken with the way the Mayoral model is working in Bristol. This is a system that centralises power and entrenches it in the hands of just one person.  At the same time democratically elected councillors and cabinet members have been stripped of any realistic way to represent the people who put them in the Council chamber. 

“Our plans for greater engagement, more referendums and a transparency revolution will hand power back to the people; this is after all our city, our community; our Bristol.” 

Dr Jon Rogers, a Lib Dem candidate standing in Ashley ward that he previously represented as a local councillor from 2005-2013, added: 

“Despite what Bristolians were promised back in 2012 there is a lack of democratic accountability when it comes to decision making in our city. The proposals put forward by the local Lib Dems will be the first step in resolving the lack of local democracy and debate that has stifled Bristol since the Mayor came to power.”

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