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Green Capital Chair and Vice Chair Nominations


We are electing to the posts of Chair and Vice Chair.

Candidates were asked to submit a statement of what they believe they could bring to the role of Chair. These are below.

Voters have the option to vote for “Reopen Nominations”. If this option receives the most votes then we will not appoint to that post and reopen the elections for further nominations.

The voting deadline is 6pm on the 16th January.

All pledge organisations have been contacted about how they can vote. If you have not had an email about voting, and you believe you should have done, please check with colleagues and then if necessary contact and we can check it out for you.



Nominations for Chair

  1. Philippa Bayley and Liz Zeidler– Job share
  2. Guy Poultney
  3. Alastair Sawday

Nominations for Vice Chair

  1. Fraser Bridgeford
  2. David Hunter
  3. David Owen
  4. Nina Skubala

Candidate comments on what they believe they could bring to the role of Chair

Chair Candidate 1: Philippa Bayley and Liz Zeidler– Job Share

Philippa Bayley

I am passionate about seeing Bristol become an inspiring leader – both in the UK and internationally – as a fair, inclusive and environmentally sustainable city. I have worked in environmental research and engagement for the last 5 years – initially at the University of Bristol’s Centre for Public Engagement and now as the Manager of the University’s environmental research institute – the Cabot Institute. Over the last 4 years, I have been an active contributor to the Green Capital Partnership as a member of the Steering Group, organising joint Cabot/Green Capital events and helping with strategic planning, guidance and brokering for the Partnership. If elected as Chair, I would work to ensure that the University of Bristol’s resources are mobilised effectively to support the city’s green revolution.

I feel that the Green Capital Partnership has enormous power to deliver lasting change in Bristol. To do that I want to:

  • widen our engagement – everybody is welcome and part of the Green Capital
  • make our organisation simple, transparent and representative
  • be smart about how to use our resources, while holding an audacious vision
  • focus on the long term – building foundations in 2015 that drive change for the next 20 years

I enjoy meeting and getting to know people, connecting them in productive ways, and fostering new ideas. I have excellent communication, leadership and management skills.

I am standing for the position of Chair of the Partnership with Liz Zeidler. Liz and I believe that this is organisationally and personally the most sustainable approach, and shows that partnership working is about excellent communication and collaboration, and not about individual personalities. We aim to open up, simplify and make transparent and accessible all of the ways people can be part of the lasting changes that begin with the European Green Capital award

Liz Zeidler

After 20 years living in Bristol and working in sustainability across the UK, Europe, Africa and the Middle East, I have had the honour in the past year of being Vice Chair of Bristol Green Capital. In that year I worked to offer fresh ideas, creativity, inclusiveness, passion and vision to the team and the jurors, as we bid for the European GC award. Since then I’ve helped build a strong foundation from which to bring all those ideas and visions to reality through 2014/15 and way, way beyond.

My working life has been all about enabling people to make the change they want to see in the world. My experience from facilitating global leaders, to running complex organisations, working with media and, perhaps most importantly, communities across the city and the world, sets me in good stead to support the partnership to reach out and include EVERYONE in what is set to be an extraordinary and transformatory journey in the years to come.

It is this support for engagement, collaboration, shared purpose and bold action that would be my blueprint for leadership of Green Capital at this crucial time for our city. I am applying as Chair jointly with Philippa Bayley, as we believe that this shared working, models the open, accessible, collaborative, resilient and non-hierarchical partnership we wish to lead and support together.

Our vision is for the Green Capital partnership to truly represent the city and its people – reflecting the diversity of ideas, opportunities, innovations and solutions, turning every multi-coloured corner of our city green. I think the partnership has a vital role in ensuring that the EGCA 2015 fulfils its promise of changing our city for the good, way after the crowds have dispersed, and we hope to support anyone who shares that vision, to help make that happen together.

Chair Candidate 2: Guy Poultney

Bristol’s Green Capital Partnership faces an unprecedented opportunity. For the last few years we have understandably been focussed on winning European Green Capital status. An amazing community developed, recognising Bristol as an ambitious, prosperous and optimistic city. We convinced the judges, now we need to make it a reality and put Bristol on the global stage as a leader in sustainability and innovation. I want to help make that happen.

I served in the cabinet of Bristol City Council, including as Assistant Mayor to George Ferguson, and worked with officers at every level. I held portfolios including planning, transport, neighbourhoods, equalities, and economic development. The most important to me was sustainability which is why I insisted that Bristol bid for Green Capital 2015. I’ve chaired Planning and Licensing committees, Destination Bristol, Neighbourhood Partnerships, and led community and political campaigns. I’ve run my own businesses and worked with local groups all over Bristol, and know how we can use Neighbourhood Partnerships, schools, and business to make sure 2015 reaches the whole city.

The most rewarding experience I gained was learning to represent the views of a diverse constituency. As chair, I would use what I learnt to ensure the Partnership is properly represented, and the new company delivers our vision. We must ensure that members of the Partnership play the fullest part they can. We must not find ourselves in 2016 wishing we had done more.

Bristol is my home. I’ve studied and worked at the University of Bristol, and UWE. I spent four years representing one of its most challenging areas. I’ve championed Bristol at the LEP, at international conferences and in the media. I’m standing for chair to help the City achieve the potential we know it has.

If there’s anything else you’d like to know, please call on 07905 890532, or email at LinkedIn profile at

Chair Candidate 3: Alastair Sawday

I am putting myself forward for the role of Chair, proposed by Steve Clarke and seconded by James Vaccaro. I am willing to stand down within the next year, after re-building GCP and re-positioning it at the centre of green strategy, ambition and activity in Bristol.

We need legal standing and structure, staff and resource. We need to harness the talents and commitment available to us, especially while we have an ambitious mayor and 2015′s Award. We have been emasculated and sidelined. This must be tackled quickly and imaginatively. I will be inclusive, ambitious, diplomatic and deeply committed to the vision of Green Bristol as a city.

I was Founding Chair of GCP, for 5 years. I have been a green activist in the city for almost 40 years and think that this is a job that I must do, if only to hand over – as quickly as is sensible – to a younger and more able successor. The current list of candidates is small, but many are keen to get involved once they see some clarity and ambition. I am grateful to Martin for his commitment and successes, am genuinely supportive of all those who have put themselves forward, like them all enormously and would need their support. My candidature is a comment not on their abilities but on the muddle that this election process, and GCP’s role, has become. We need time to ‘sort it out’.

I am Chair of Big Green Week, but am would seek more support for that role in order to free me up for this one too. I am semi-retired from a business that has its offices on harbourside, so am accessible and available. Having said that, I would seek immediately to engage the support of others, and would bring in many of those hundreds of Bristolians who hover on the edge of engagement. I don’t seek power, but I do want a green city.

Importantly, perhaps, I am totally independent. Nobody pulls my strings. Bristol’s time has come, and we mustn’t fluff it any more.

Candidate comments on what they believe they could bring to the role of Vice Chair

Vice Chair Candidate 1: Fraser Bridgeford

After many years of senior management in electronics, software, business change, consultancy and project management on a global basis, I settled in Bristol and have dedicated my time to voluntary working with community, outdoor and green organisations.

I am a community activist who is currently:

  • Chair, Cabot, Clifton and Clifton East Neighbourhood Partnership (CCCENP) – focusing on making the partnership more inclusive and representative
  • Chair, John Muir Trust South West Group – UK’s leading wild land conservation charity
  • Committee member and past Vice Chair and Chair, Bristol Parks Forum – representative organisation of Bristol’s Parks and open spaces
  • Treasurer and Fundraiser for Friends of Brandon Hill – protecting, maintaining and enhancing Brandon Hill
  • Founder member and campaigner for Castle Park User Group – Keep Castle Park Green
  • Member/supporter of Bristol Tree Forum, Sustrans, British Mountaineering Council, CCCENP Environmental Working Group
  • Shortlisted for the Lord Mayor’s Green Volunteer Award 2013

Through the above roles I have gained a broad understanding of a wide range of sustainability issues in Bristol and how we might address them.

Having worked from director level to leading volunteer days in parks I have an excellent understanding of how to work at all levels with a focus on delivering and success.

I share the vision to ensure that all the people of Bristol see Bristol Green Capital as theirs and that 2015 inspires and educates all Bristolians in the value of environmental improvement and sustainable development. With this in place we will solidify our reputation for sustainability and ensure that we benefit fully from being awarded European Green Capital 2015.

I hold an MBA from Strathclyde University and regularly present at Parks and Green Spaces conferences throughout the UK. I am a qualified mountain leader and have a lifetime of fighting environmental causes. It’s time to put the ‘green’ in Green Capital!

Vice Chair Candidate 2: David Hunter

I have been an active member of the Green Capital Partnership for five years, committed to the vision of a low carbon city with a high quality of life for all.

I see the Green Capital Partnership as the catalyst for deep lasting change for the city. The work of the Partnership was central to our winning the award and I regard the Partnership as the primary means to secure the legacy of 2015. This means I see these roles as hugely significant for the City and, if elected, would be resolved to helping the Partnership achieve its vision.

The role of Vice Chair would in some ways be an extension of what I am doing currently, so my other activities and this would be complementary, increasing my impact in the position.

I work three days a week providing legal advice to charities, social enterprises and social investors – the sort of clients who adhere to the Green Capital ethos. This will allow me to commit the necessary time to the role and will inform the contribution I can make in the Vice Chair role.

I am currently chair of a social enterprise, The Community Farm. This involves balancing commercial and ethical objectives, as well as the interests of a range of stakeholders. I have demonstrated pragmatism and openness in the role and value constructive relations with all. This would allow an appreciation of the Chair’s role and an ability to step up into it as Vice Chair if required.

I would hope to support a Chair prioritising collaboration and integration within and beyond the Partnership.

As one of those that helped launch the Bristol Pound and as a Happy City bondholder, I am committed to values based, community led interventions and putting enjoyment at the heart of what we do.

Vice Chair Candidate 3: David Owen

I am committed to making Bristol a more sustainable city. In particular I am passionate about learning, collaboration and involving communities and business – drawing on their inspiration and ideas. I would explore who is not involved and what they could add. I would like to help ensure that the Green Capital is not a flash in the pan, or a passing phase, builds on what we have, learns from failures and generates the change that is right for the city, its people and its environment.

I have significant professional experience across Bristol. At a senior level have developed partnerships and delivered successful programmes with universities, schools and colleges, cultural intuitions, business and community groups – often drawing on wide range of professional expertise and perspectives. Relevant experience could include:

  • Head of Research, Engagement and Impact for Exeter Business School, leading a team of eleven, developing partnerships with a wide range of organisations in particular around the sustainable innovation agenda.
  • Managing the research and learning strategy on a £1.1M investment to create a step change in how universities, students, and communities work together to bring about social change.
  • Establishing the Bristol Palestine Film Festival a cultural event a various city locations attracting over 800 people per year.
  • MSc in systems thinking in practice.

Throughout my experiences both personal and professional, I value diversity and have developed effective mechanisms to develop consensus across multiple constituents. In particular have enjoyed experimenting with workshops on the ‘art of listening’, graphic facilitation and clowning techniques to aid creativity, and reflexivity.

I am keen to play a supporting role within the Bristol Green Capital, to learn from others and to help make things happen. Thank-you for your consideration.

Vice Chair Candidate 4: Nina Skubala

Nina is an Environmental Consultant with Business West, an organisation that works with over 16,000 businesses in the South West and promotes sustainable development in the region. She managed the delivery of its ERDF and Bristol City Council funded project Go Green Bristol which targeted hard-to-reach SMEs, the Bristol Green Business Award and 2013 Green Business Event during Big Green Week. She has also worked with community and school groups having been on the Manufacturers Group Year in Industry Awards judging panel and the Green Volunteer Awards and has recently been asked to Chair the planning group for the 2015 International Fair Trade Conference.

Since moving to Bristol in 2010 Nina has played an active part in the partnership and regularly attended momentum group and specialist group meetings for Business West. I consider her to be a suitable and able candidate for the role of Vice-Chair on the basis that she:

  • Can continue developing mutually beneficial relationships with Bristol stakeholders, having built good working relationships with a range of organisations, eg Community Buildings Federation, Destination Bristol, run joint events and curated a sustainable business exhibition to showcase Bristol businesses and organisations eg Friska and Severn Net who have taken steps to reduce environmental impacts.
  • Can develop projects, currently coordinating a team from Green Capital, Das Legal and Stride Treglown to develop a Business Engagement tool for Big Green Week.
  • Can inspire organisations around sustainable development.
  • Has the full support of her employer to commit to this role. Whilst running a business support program she also organised a complimentary Green Business event for Big Green Week with an audience of 120 businesses.

Nina’s skills and established network would be an asset to the Partnership and aid the city in its preparation to be European Green Capital in 2015.

By Phil Smith, MD Business West

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