A Mayor for Bristol?
How will you vote on Thursday 3rd May?
A news article:
Would an elected mayor shake up Bristol? - http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/apr/01/elected-mayor-bristol?INTCMP=SRCH
The City Council:
The City Council has published a leaflet giving more information on what the change would actually mean in practice. You can find it, and other information about the referendum at: http://bit.ly/BCCMayorRef
At the same time as many other exciting things are happening across the city a member of Hope Community Church in Hotwells is going to run for the new elected Mayor of Bristol role. Marvin Rees has a powerful story growing up on an estate in Lawrence Weston and Easton to a Jamaican father and Welsh/English mother, going to university whilst many of his peers have gone to jail, and becoming a significant political figure in the city and Labour party. He’s a reconciler and godly man who we recognise has a calling and gifting in honest and inspirational political leadership. He really is a very obvious choice as the ideal person to be Mayor of Bristol. He has a passion for justice, helping the poor, bringing the city together with a vision for the future. We wanted to let you know about him as we thought you’d join with us in being excited at the potential of having a godly Christian mayor in Bristol. There are some practical things you can do and encourage your churches to do if you’d like to:
· Vote “Yes” to Bristol having an elected mayor
· If you are a member of the Labour party you can vote to have him chosen as the Labour candidate.
Marvin is formally expressing his intention at the City Academy in Redfield on Tuesday 1st May at 10am, sharing his story with the children there to inspire them and announcing his intention to run for mayor (if Bristol votes Yes) to them at that time.
The mayoral referendum has been foisted on us under the terms of the Tories' so-called Localism Act. Elected mayors are a see-through attempt by the Conservatives to gain more power in the cities without ensuring that local government has the required powers to truly localise governance.
The UK has the most centralised state in the western world except New Zealand's and this would do nothing to change the power relation between national government and local communities, who would get less say in how their cities are run.
Bristol's 70 elected local councillors would have to have a 2/3rds majority (47) to overturn mayoral actions on council.
Placing all the power in the hands of one person is never a good idea and we should look to better collaborative organisation on council before choosing a mayor whose office cannot be removed except by an act of parliament.
Vote No on 3rd May.