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Bristol elected mayor: Radice launches Green manifesto

Green Party candidate has launched her manifesto and promised to match Labour’s pledge to introduce a Living Wage

Daniella Radice

Daniella Radice

The Green Party candidate to become Bristol’s first elected mayor has launched her manifesto and promised to match Labour’s pledge to introduce a Living Wage for council staff.

Daniella Radice said she wanted to deal with the problems the city faces with a “holistic and pragmatic approach”.

She pledged to stop the controversial £200m Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, which was “pouring good money after bad”, and to develop the party’s long-demanded transport hub at Temple Meads station.

Ms Radice added she wanted to lobby national government for a change in planning laws to prevent more big chain supermarkets from opening, in recognition of the anger felt in the likes of Stokes Croft to the introduction of a Tesco store in the area.

And in a bid to improve local democracy, she promised to introduce democratically elected neighbourhood councils to devolve more powers to citizens.

Launching her manifesto (which you can download and read below), Ms Radice said she would “champion the adoption of the Living Wage throughout the city”.

“When addressing the economic issues our city faces, I want to widen the debate beyond having a living wage or more jobs – we need both, and we must seek creative ways to deliver these,” she said.

“The manifesto lays out how this can be achieved while also strengthening high streets, keeping Bristol’s money local through retaining business rates, and enabling more local businesses to compete for council contracts.”

Last week, Labour candidate Marvin Rees said consultants hired by Bristol City Council would face the axe to pay for Labour’s planned wage rises for the city’s lowest-paid council staff.

He said one of his first priorities if elected would be to make Bristol a ‘Living Wage city’. Initially, all council staff earning less than £7.20 an hour – considered to be enough to provide for the basic cost of living in the UK – would see their pay rise.

Ms Radice said businesses who followed the council’s example on pay would receive accreditation for the move.

“Bristol City Council should lead by example and lend its name to an award offered to employers who pay all employees the Living Wage,” the manifesto said.

“The Green Mayor commits to paying all employees of Bristol City Council the Living Wage for Bristol, including those providing services that are contracted out. This specification would be clearly written into the procurement policy.

“The Green Mayor will actively encourage all businesses and employers in the city to adopt the Living Wage
policy. Businesses adhering to the payment of the Living Wage to all employees would receive accreditation
to demonstrate to all customers and clients that they have an exemplary pay policy.”

Meanwhile, a Green mayor would:

  • Ask to retain 50% of the city’s business rates, as is often the norm in other successful European cities. Currently Bristol retains closer to 13%;
  • Support the Bristol Metro project to bring more rail tracks and stations into service for the city, including restoring a passenger line to Portishead and the implementation of the Henbury loop;
  • Campaign to bring buses back under full public control;
  • Responsibility for all schools, including free schools and academies, to rest within Bristol again, rather than with central government;
  • Allow some council-owned properties to be rented at a minimal charge to encourage food retailers to provide an alternative to supermarkets.

Ms Radice, an environmental specialist who has worked in the sustainable waste industry, said: “I believe we need to change the way we do business, by putting people and planet ahead of profit.

“This does not mean I am anti-business, far from it, but I truly believe that what is good for local communities and the environment is also good for business. Bristol can be a leader in this field.”

Daniella Radice is holding a Q&A during the Green Party National Conference tomorrow from 3.15-4pm at The Mauretania on Park Street.

Click here to download the full manifesto…

13 Responses to Bristol elected mayor: Radice launches Green manifesto
  1. Corrupt Bstard
    September 6, 2012 | 12:10 pm

    Great radical forward thinking manifesto, pity there’s no mention of the citizens income though

    As for cuts, wake up and smell the coffee. There’s enough resources on the planet to meet all humanities basic needs. If our current economic system can’t make sure that happens, then it clearly isn’t working, so its time to see it for what it really is and introduce a new one.

    Citizens income and the free market now please ;-)

    http://corruptbstard.wordpress.com/recommended-ma

    • Rob Telford
      September 6, 2012 | 12:57 pm

      Citizens’ Income could only be implemented nationally, so it’s strange that you’re basing your entire campaign around it. Fair play, though – you’re persistent.

      • arry
        October 4, 2012 | 4:59 pm

        All the other main candidates are promoting similar schemes to Mr Corrupt Bstard.

        The only difference is that they propose giving a larger amount of our money to the construction industry, to consultants and to First Bus

  2. Henry Hunt
    September 6, 2012 | 10:56 am

    Yes, well done to the Greens.

    I may not agree with many of their policies, but at least they have had the guts to put them out there.

    • Rob Telford
      September 6, 2012 | 12:57 pm

      Which ones do you agree with, Henry?

  3. thebristolblogger
    September 6, 2012 | 10:05 am

    Unfortunately when you look under the bonnet it's all a bit woolly. Nothing's costed for starters while the section on housing is timid tinkering; the big state centralisation of education is a throwback to the eighties and social care is kicked into the long grass – subject of yet another bloody review.

    Meanwhile the biggest political issue facing any mayor – The £70m of cuts they will have to deliver – elicits one sentence of policy "I will fight for Bristol’s resources and exercise care to minimise the damage of cuts on the most vulnerable."

    • Rob Telford
      September 6, 2012 | 1:01 pm

      How do you cost something when it hasn’t been revealed what the budget will be?

      Does having private forces guide our children’s education strike you as a good thing then?

      Cuts are something we are being honest about. Manifestoes are really for stating your aimz and emphasis.

      • thebristolblogger
        September 6, 2012 | 2:16 pm

        You cost things by researching it. ie. you should be able to cost a transport interchange within a few million. You could also cost elderly care for example.

        It doesn't matter what the budget is. It has no direct relation to the cost of things. A new iPad will cost me £329 whether my budget is £100 or £500. Obviously if I don't have £329 then my policy of buying an iPad is doomed. Unless I look at buying 10 wholesale and selling 9 on of course.

        You see that? By costing things out you can also look at how you might need to innovate and adjust to achieve your aims …

        Yes. Having private forces guide my children's education strikes me as a very good thing. The PM was privately educated, the England cricket captain (ret'd) was privately educated, TV star Benedict Cumberbatch was privately educated, even your old boss caroline lucas was privately educated.

        Based on the evidence, a private education seems a rather good thing for my children. Shame I can't afford it.

        I don't think you've been honest about cuts. £70m is a lot of money and will inevitably involve pian and hard choices. That's not apparent in your manifesto.

        • robertjessetelford
          September 6, 2012 | 9:11 pm

          Fair enough, but leading with cuts is not exactly a vote-winner, is it? Do you think anyone else will even put a sentence in?

          I wait with baited breath for the others to bother to do something like actually put some policies out there.

      • Woowoowars
        October 4, 2012 | 3:44 pm

        Well, private education is clearly a winner for "prominent ecosocialist" and erstwhile Principal Speaker for the GP Derek Wall, as he teaches economics at Duff Miller Sixth Form College in South Kensington, which doubtless helps pay the bills in Berkshire now. It's a snip at £7075 for a single A'level over one year or £12,235 over two years tuition fees. I'm sure well-heeled future Greens can learn all about costing and budgeting in A'level economics as well.

  4. arry
    September 6, 2012 | 8:51 am

    George Ferguson, Marvin Rees, Jon Rogers, Geoff Gallop – above is a candidate who at least has the guts to set out some policies she will implement if elected.

    Now she doesn't have the money, staff or profile that any of you do, so she doesn't stand a cat in hell's chance of election. But time for all of you to show some respect for the population and tell us what you will do if elected.

    • Dennis Moore
      September 6, 2012 | 10:53 am

      Sorry this is just a wish list not "policies she will implement if elected."

      "Ask to retain 50% of the city’s business rates…" So saying 'please Mr Osborne' is going to work is it?
      "Campaign to bring buses back under full public control" – yeah I can just see a Tory transport secretary agreeing to that!
      "Responsibility for all schools, including free schools and academies, to rest within
      Bristol again, rather than with central government." So how is that going to happen? The Labour Government promoted Academies, and the present one Free Schools.
      "Allow some council-owned properties to be rented at a minimal charge to encourage food retailers to provide an alternative to supermarkets." This was already being done in Fillwood Broadway and other places where the Council had empty shops.
      "Support the Bristol Metro project…" as the Lib Dem led Council is already doing – with all-party support.

      Daniella like most Greens is well-intentioned, but this programme is mere gesture politics. We need to hear what candidates will actually do rather than what they will "call for."

      • thebristolblogger
        September 6, 2012 | 1:15 pm

        Indeed.

        Until Daniella can tell us how she's going to implement £70m of cuts without affecting the vulnerable while also finding the resources to put down crazy paving and street furniture in my neighbourhood shopping centre and then delivering a generous subsidy to my local greengrocer, it's all hot air.

        (BTW, I think we should treat the Greens as grown-ups and look critically at what they're saying. Not just pat their heads and say "well done" like they're kids who have turned in a good school project)

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