A new name has come forward to stand for an elected mayor in Bristol, should the city vote ‘yes’ in the referendum tomorrow.
At a speech to students at the City Academy, Marvin Rees yesterday formally announced he will seek the Labour Party’s nomination.
The former journalist, originally from Lawrence Hill, told the students he wanted Bristol be a city “where no-one is left behind” and that he wanted to “seek out the talented, the aspirational, the grafters and support them”.
Mr Rees, who has studied at the prestigious Harvard Kennedy School in the US, added an elected mayor should do all they can to help young people fulfil their potential and address the inequalities that exist in the city.
His announcement follows that of former Hengrove and Filwood councillor Kelvin Blake, who has said he will also stand for the Labour nomination.
Writing for Bristol24-7 today, Mr Blake said an elected mayor could be “a person who will not be bound by petty political arguments but can make decisions based on their values and what is right for our city”.
Both signed a Labour supporters of elected mayor statement last month and – should the city vote ‘yes’ in the referendum – will be up against architect George Ferguson and Easton businessman Abdul Malik, who have also thrown their hats into the ring.
Speaking at the City Academy, Mr Rees said: “Announcing at my old school was critical. I know from personal experience that these young people are among the most likely to be disconnected from our city’s politics. So I wanted to invite them to be a part of the discussion from the start, not necessarily to support me but to know what was happening around them. If all the proposed changes don’t mean anything for young people like these, they will mean nothing at all.
“I want Bristol to be a city where no-one is left behind, where we seek out the talented, the aspirational, the grafters and support them.
“We have to deal with the city divides and the inequalities by approaching these old problems with fresh thinking – ensuring Bristol fulfils its true potential and leads globally as a city of vibrancy, creativity and opportunity. These are Labour’s values and I will put them into action.”
Read our full archive of stories and comment articles on the elected mayor debate by clicking here…