Your say / Politics

Open letter: Business community back Ferguson

By bristol businesses, Thursday Apr 28, 2016

All of us who have put our signatures to this letter have done so as an expression of our support for Mayor George Ferguson to be re-elected on May 5.

We all are involved in running businesses in the City and have been hugely impressed with the work George has put into enabling the economy of Bristol to develop so dynamically during his first term in office.

Bristol has been the fastest growing city economy in the UK outside London, over the past four years.

George firmly believes in the fundamental role which business plays in the life of a city such as Bristol and has been hugely proactive in developing the right climate to enable businesses to thrive and grow.

The Engine Shed Innovation Hub and the Filwood Green Business Park exemplify the new energy which is now present in our city and which the Mayor has championed.

During his first term in office, the unemployment rate has fallen, particularly among the young, the number of start-ups has increased – and, more importantly, we have the highest survival rate of start-ups in the UK. The average wage in Bristol is much higher than most UK cities.

George has been inspirational as the first directly elected Mayor for Bristol and has a clear vision for the future of the city. He has made bold and brave decisions, particularly on transport, which, while not popular with all our residents, have been made to ensure that in the long term we will have a greener and more efficient infrastructure to allow everyone to participate in Bristol’s success.

The long awaited Arena development at Temple Meads will be of huge benefit to the city and demonstrates again, the courage and energetic leadership which George has provided.

Much has been achieved but there is so much more to do and we believe that a change of Mayor at this time could jeopardise the exciting future for the City which George envisages. A future offering a vibrant economy, a healthier environment, a more equal community and a 21st century infrastructure.

The Mayoral election on May 5 is likely to be a two horse race between George Ferguson and the Labour candidate Marvin Rees. It is our view that a change of Mayor at this point would be seriously detrimental to the future of our wonderful city of Bristol.


List of supporters

David Sproxton (Chairman of Aardman)

Hilary Lawson (CEO of TVF Media & owner of Quarter)

Shankari Edgar (Founder of Nudge Group)

Gonzalo Trujilo (Founder of Heron Capital)

Griff Holland (Founder of Friska)

Kevin Ramm (MD of Crocodile)

Alastair Sawday (CEO of Sawday’s)

Mike Beesley (CEO of RSG)

Nick Higgs (Former Chair of Bristol Rovers FC)

Abdul Malik (Owner of Pak Butchers)

David Halfpenny (Director of Bearritos)

Andy Thorne (MD of Thorne Security)

Chris Haworth (Partner of Alder King)

Oliver Mochizuki (Founder of FundSurfer)

Ben Heald (CEO of Sift Media)

Laura Marshall (MD of ICON Films)

Stuart Hatton (MD of Umberslade)

Toby Sawday (MD of Sawday’s)

Susannah Lipscombe (MD Cod Steaks)

Jerry Aaron (Founder of Mud Dock Cafe)

Big Q (Founder of Mast Media)

Jon Mowat (MD of Hurricane Media) *

Dougal Templeton (Chairman of Wildfire Comms & Co-Founder of Goldbrick House) *

Laura Lafave (CTO of OnCorps)

Mike Bennett (Owner of E3 Media) *

Malachy McReyolds (Former Chairman & CEO of Elizabeth Shaw Chocolates)

Mark Mason (Chairman of Mubaloo) *

Melissa Neil (Director of HYPR)

Alastair Currie (Founder of Alastair Currie Events)

Hugh Nettelfield (Director of Hugh Nettelfield Consultancy)

Andrew Brown (Managing Director of Portland Brown)

Caroline Harris (Managing Director of Spirit)

Luthfur Rhaman (Owner of Mint Room)

Danny Hicks (Director of Fighting Films)

Mike Henry (Property Consultant)

Alistair McHardy (Director of Atmosphere Bikes)

Nicolas Hatton (Trustee of Ecole francaise de Bristol)

Peter White (Owner of PWP)

Andrew Radford (Former Chair of Andrews Estate Agents)

Stuart Gaiger (Director of PG Group)


* Mike Bennett, Mark Mason, Jon Mowat and Dougal Templeton are four of twelve investors at Bristol24/7 CIC. Mike Bennett and Dougal Templeton are also two of four directors and co publishers of the title.

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