Outcome of Bristol Green Capital Partnership Elections
19th January 2015
Bristol Green Capital Partnership are pleased to announce that Liz Zeidler and Nina Skubala have been re-elected as the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Partnership.
The annual elections for the roles of Chair and Vice Chair opened on 8th December 2014. An announcement was circulated to contacts from the organisations who are pledged to Bristol Green Capital Partnership, and details of how to nominate were published on the website. Role descriptions outlined the skills and experience required for the role, as well as highlighting the important contribution that the Chair and Vice Chair could make in providing strategic leadership to the company as it develops as a legacy body for 2015.
You can read statements below submitted by Liz Zeidler and Nina Skubala, describing why they are applying and what they would like to bring to the role.
Thank you to all those organisations who placed their vote, and we wish Liz and Nina congratulations for their re-election. 2015 brings a unique opportunity for Liz and Nina to work alongside the staff team, Steering Group, CIC Board and organisations across the city to strengthen the Partnership and the services it offers to it’s diverse range of members.
My vision is a Green Capital Partnership that truly reflects and represents the diversity of Bristol. Uniting people of every background and outlook, in achieving lasting prosperity on a thriving planet. I believe we can use the economic, psychological and practical boost that 2015 offers to significantly accelerate change at a local level. Through collaborative action and using our collective voice we can also challenge and change how decisions are made, regionally, nationally and even internationally.
Having been part of the winning bid team, and Chair of the Partnership through 2014, I am proud to have played my part in its transformation, from un-constituted and un-resourced loose association to a Partnership that has:
- Almost trebled its membership to nearly 800 organisations.
- Established 16 Action Groups, leading to numerous new collaborations and projects.
- Founded a Community Interest Company to provide the stable governance required to support lasting change.
- Secured funding for core costs and employing a Coordinator and Development Director.
- Built close working partnerships with BCC and B2015 as well as other influential groups across the city.
- Ensured Partnership members play a central role in and benefit from the profile, participation, funding and resource development 2015 brings
- Re-established the credibility of our collective strategic voice and capacity to deliver long-term sustainable ambitions for the city.
- Become the envy of all previous European Green Capitals
At the start of the year, we had a long way to travel. It has not been an easy ride, with a lot of complexity and challenges along the way. It has required diplomacy, tenacity, vision, patience and a lot of hard work behind the scenes. I would now like to see this through so that in 2015 we:
- Put members in the local, national and global spotlight
- Build a lasting funding legacy for green initiatives in the city
- Develop support services to ensure sustainable activity continues to thrive
- Secure long term sustainable funding for the partnership
I have lived and worked in Bristol for over 20 years, taught leadership skills across the world and delivered sustainable development projects large and small. I always work to combine ‘big picture vision’, bold and courageous action, and careful, sensitive relationship-building. I believe this combination can help our brilliant and diverse Partnership support Bristol to seize this unique opportunity to create the lasting change we all crave.
It has been a privilege to serve as the Vice-Chair of the Partnership during 2014, and if elected, I would relish the opportunity to continue in 2015. By means of an introduction, I came to Bristol 5 years ago as an Environmental Advisor helping small businesses to become more resource efficient. I have since gone on to manage an environmental support program which worked with 280 Bristol SMEs, co-founded the Business Green Week initiative, co-founded Net Impact Bristol, a network for professionals working in sustainability and have co-founded Go Green, the business engagement program for Bristol 2015.
In March 2014, I was promoted and appointed as the manager of the West of England Initiative, a business leadership team that sits at the heart of Business West and enables the business community to play a part in influencing the way our area is shaped, managed and developed. Its aim is to ensure that Bristol is the best place to live, work and do business. It puts sustainability in its widest sense at the centre of its work and from a business perspective has worked to promote sustainable developments and initiatives.
2014 was a BIG year for the Partnership. At the start it had 300 members, no legal structure, limited opportunities for members to participate, and no core staff team. Bristol’s year as European Green Capital was just around the corner and as expected there was a huge amount of excitement and apprehension – what was Bristol and the Partnership going to do? During 2014, the Partnership has:
- Received phenomenal interest and support with membership having doubled to over 700 (something that Copenhagen, Green Capital City in 2014 is most envious of!)
- Created more opportunities for members to interact through the creation of 16 themed groups which meet monthly, creating unique spaces where public, private can exchange and develop ideas, projects and initiatives to drive positive change in the city.
- Taken Partnership meetings beyond the city centre to locations across the city with Quarterly Gatherings having taken place in Easton, Knowle West and Horfield.
- Set the set up as an independent CIC and establish processes and meeting structure– this has been an incredibly important step. It means it now has stronger governance structures to become trusted, transparent and “investable”
- Secured funding allowing the Partnership to recruit two members of staff – Gary Topp as a Development Manager, and Vicki Woolley as a Co-ordinator.
It has not been without its challenges and the time and energy that has been put in should not be underestimated. A great deal of work is still needed to ensure the Partnership can make the most of the “once in a lifetime” opportunity of being the European Green Capital and prepare itself as a legitimate legacy vehicle and build on the momentum. Challenges for the Partnership going forward are: