Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Lose a local election, continue to run the council

Despite election losses the Lib Dems will continue to run Bristol (see link at end*). No surprise there, especially given the electoral arithmetic when we elect only a third of councillors at any one time. I doubt that any other party relishes taking on running the city in a time of cuts in any case (no doubt they are happy that their opponent will continue to take the blame).

I'm pleased to see the green spaces sell off halted subject to review, though I'm someone who opposes the principle of selling off green spaces whether the decision is taken by the council or more local Neighbourhood Partnerships. We need more not fewer green spaces for a wide variety of economic, health, social and environmental reasons.

I also welcome a prompt decision on the town green in Ashton Vale, though I have grave doubts about the basis on which some councillors will be deciding, given the fairly frequent and commonplace statements about wanting to see a football stadium on this greenbelt land. The matter will end up in the courts.

The new group set up to consider major transport issues like tram proposals, the bus rapid transit schemes and the Temple Meads transport interchange is a good idea. Should have been set up before now. I'm not yet clear on what its full role is and what power it will/can have to propose and enact changes though. This is a vital issue given the heavy traffic and poor public transport and integration is one key reason why Bristol is far from being a green city.

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