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The new ‘One City Environmental Sustainability Board – Frequently Asked Questions

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In January 2019, Bristol came together as a city to publish the first iteration of the One City Plan and agree to work towards its vision of “a fair, healthy and sustainable city” by 2050. Six thematic ‘One City’ boards will drive action and deliver on the goals set out in the Plan. A new Environmental Sustainability (ES) Board will sit alongside boards covering the economy, health & wellbeing, homes, transport and learning.

This Board and its members will lead, support and advise on action to deliver environmental sustainability aspects of the One City Plan and Our Future, including accelerating progress towards carbon neutrality.

How is Bristol Green Capital Partnership involved with the One City Plan?

In early 2019 the Partnership published Our Future, which provided much of the environment content for the first iteration of the One City Plan. The Mayor of Bristol invited Bristol Green Capital Partnership CIC (‘the Partnership’) to create and facilitate the new ES Board. This is being established to engage on policy and decision-making by and on behalf of the city. The purpose and activities of the ES Board will be to support, advise and where appropriate direct action to deliver on the environmental sustainability aspects of the One City Plan vision for Bristol. It is also a critical element of Bristol’s response to the climate emergency, and accelerating progress towards carbon neutrality. This will involve, among other things, working with other One City thematic boards and structures, including the City Office team, and other key city partners and adopting an inclusive approach.

What is the difference between the Environmental Sustainability Board and Bristol Green Capital Partnership CIC board?

The purpose and activities of the Bristol Green Capital Partnership CIC board is to oversee the community interest company for the benefit of its members (its community of interest), and set strategic priorities and steer activities of the Partnership’s and staff team. The Partnership CIC is creating and facilitating the ES Board, which will be a key mechanism for achieving its vision of a ‘sustainable city with a ‘high quality of life for all’, and its strategic priorities, particularly accelerating progress towards carbon neutrality, but also achieving environmental equality, Bristol becoming the first UK ‘gold’ sustainable food city [link coming soon], and helping Bristol to become a more ‘circular’, zero waste city.

A representative of the Partnership will also sit on the panel making the appointments based on information outlined in the ES Board member role description. While people from Partnership member organisations and existing Partnership CIC directors may also express interest becoming members of the ES Board, it will also include a reserved position to represent the Partnership – guaranteeing representation in its discussions.

Who will sit on the Environmental Sustainability Board?

The ES Board members will have the potential to deliver on the environmental sustainability aspects of the One City Plan and the actions outlined in Our Future. The process will aim to ensure that the ES Board’s members have the resources, capacity, influence and/or leadership needed to deliver the level of action and change required.

We are also keen to strive for gender equality on the ES Board, as well as encourage applications from people with knowledge, skills and/or experience of the following groups that risk being under-represented: black and minority ethnic communities; people with disabilities; and/or young people aged 18-24 (noting that we also intend to liaise with the Youth Mayors & Youth Council, ages 11-18).

The Board will be co-chaired by the Mayor of Bristol and will include a member of Bristol City Council’s senior management and a representative of Bristol Green Capital Partnership.

What about diversity and inclusion of the Environmental Sustainability Board?

The open ‘expression of interest’ process we have launched is designed to improve diversity and bring in new voices.

As noted above, we are also keen to strive for gender equality on the ES Board, as well as encourage applications from people with knowledge, skills and/or experience of the following groups that risk being under-represented: black and minority ethnic communities; people with disabilities; and/or young people aged 18-24 (noting that we also intend to liaise with the Youth Mayors & Youth Council, ages 11-18).

How will the Environmental Sustainability Board interact with the other 5 ‘One City’ thematic boards?

The ES Board will contribute to a new model of city governance and leadership, the ‘One City approach’. This is intended to enable better coordination and to get better outcomes from existing resources by working on shared goals.

The ES Board will therefore engage with the 5 other ‘One City’ thematic boards and their members, contributing positively and constructively challenging where necessary to ensure activities align with the environmental sustainability aspects of the One City Plan and Our Future.

What about the West of England region – are they involved?

The regional dimension is clearly very important for the environmental sustainability of Bristol.

The Partnership has members who are based in and/or who work in Bristol, the West of England and further afield. We also maintain links with the other local authorities in the region, South Gloucestershire, Bath & North East Somerset, and North Somerset, as well as the West of England Combined Authority.

There are currently no similar Bristol City Council or West of England boards or other structures focusing on environmental sustainability.

Officials from the West of England Combined Authority and from the 3 other local authorities in the West of England region will also be invited to join ES Board meetings as observers.

More information about the ‘One City’ governance structure can be found in the One City Plan and in the Bristol One City FAQs.

What actions can we expect from the Environmental Sustainability Board?

It is expected that the ES Board will: seek to fully align the content in the next iteration of the One City Plan with the with actions outlined in Our Future on energy, food, nature, resources and transport; feed into the wider One City plan process and influence the ES Board members’ own and other organisations’ direct actions.

Where needed, the Board will be able to bring in expertise and other perspectives to form effective solutions and calls to action. They are likely to make asks of and offers to other One City boards and likewise to receive offers or asks from them.

The ES Board will have not have executive power or direct control over public or other funds, but (where applicable) ES Board members will have control over their business or organisations’ budget, in-kind resources and broader influence, which they can decide to use to help achieve its objectives. Where additional resource is required to deliver solutions, the Board may seek additional funding and offer suggestion on how to access this.

How will I be able contact the Environmental Sustainability Board?

Information on the members of the ES Board will be a matter of public record. Those wishing to raise issues would therefore be able to contact members individually. But, preferably, issues and inputs can also be shared with members of the ES Board collectively by email: environment@bristolonecity.com.

For more information on the One City Plan and the 6 thematic ‘One City’ boards please see www.bristolonecity.com, and on the ES Board click here and/or contact environment@bristolonecity.com

 

 

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