Monday, July 13, 2009

World Cup games in Bristol: case against

A powerful case against the World Cup coming to Bristol has been outlined by the Bristol Blogger! The financial case for having World Cup games in Bristol appears to be very shaky indeed !

And of course there is the environmental case against: loss of green belt land to build the BCFC stadium that is essential to staging World Cup football in the city; stimulus to further loss of green belt land as development fills in much of the space in and around the new stadium and roads; large carbon footprint and other environmental impacts in constructing and operating the new stadium (neither BCFC not the council have fully committed themselves to the principle of any development fully compensating for total impacts); large increase in Bristol’s eco-footprint from developments that follow the new stadium. Many people in Ashton Vale and Long Ashton will be seriously impacted by a new stadium.

Can someone demonstrate net economic and environmental benefits to me?? I’d need to see this before I can support the World Cup bid. Several statements by local politicians and others would seem to presume that a new stadium for BCFC at Long Ashton is automatically highly likely and desirable. It isn’t. Has it been forgotten that building on green belt land is not really supposed to happen at all, unless circumstances are exceptional. Is it the view of all the big political parties in Bristol that the circumstances are exceptional?

Have BCFC come up with a new stadium design and construction process that is truly innovative and green (efficient, renewably powered, carbon neutral…and more), so much so that it can be quantitatively shown that most aspects of environmental impact have been fully compensated for?? Did they exhaust the options for redeveloping Ashton Gate, a ground with so much heritage value??

These are the considerations that I’ve had in mind for some time. Any administration running Bristol that considers itself green should have these considerations in mind. Have we forgotten our green capital ambitions?? Since the start of the new stadium process greens have contributed to the BCFC consultation, urging the use of green designs, processes and technologies – we will continue to make such points throughout the planning process.


  1. Glen,

    Whether it is economically or environmentaly friendly is immaterial to the very people who have the say-so whether this scheme proceeds or not.

    The civil servants who will administer this, coupled with the councillors and MPs who will get involved will naturally be in favour. It's a new project to be involved in, meaning more funding and publcity, self-congatulatory press and media coverage, endless jolly's and a diversion from the mundane task of running services. Also, they have the backing of every BCFC fan in Bristol, so it will be easy to show widespread support.

    It's the same logic which will bring us the congestion charge in the future, and causes the current mismanagement of Bristol's traffic system - to get the £12m funding, and publicity, and self-congratulatory press and media coverage, and endless jolly's making Bristol Britain's Cycling capial will bring - regardless of public opinion being against it.

    I would remind you that the ability for councils to make decisions against economic viability and public opinion is very much a part of your own Green agenda, and I would be very careful if you are inviting the public to analyse their decision-making through their own logical analysis rather than listening to "those who know best".

    I doubt we would have thought much of the idea of separating our waste into stinking brown bins, or the cycle path network. Neither of these ideas return much economic value.

    It's the same with chipping bins and smart meters - but they'll do it anyway, regardless of what we think.

    The stock response will be

    "actually our evidence suggests that when we explained our ideas and people understand the issues, we found most people support X tax/scheme"

    The stock response and basis for consensus for social and green issues.


  2. I agree with some of this comment from D.

    However, I think there is a very reasonable case for congestion charging - the cost of car use has gone down according to the latest figures from a parliamentary committee (confirming what the RAC has previously said) whilst the cost of bus and train travel has risen signifiicantly...this is the opposite of what we need to be doing!!

    Contrary to what D says I've always argued for people to get involved and analyse decisions fro themselves!! We should be sceptical about all levels of government and get involved, asking awkward questions!!!

    Contrary to what D says there is actually widespread support for the brown bin waste system and cycle path network!! The brown bin system cuts council waste management costs as well as producing a useful resource (compost) and cutting environmental impacts...


Genuine, open, reasonable debate is most welcome. Comments that meet this test will always be published.