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Sustainability in the West of England – what the metro mayor candidates had to say


Missed the event? Listen to the podcast from Ujima Radio!

On Tuesday 25th April, we hosted a sustainability metro mayor hustings to ensure environmental sustainability is high on the agenda in the run-up to the election on 4th May. Our hustings offered the candidates an opportunity to share their environmental sustainability policies for the West of England.

20170425 - Bristol Green Hustings by Jon Craig 07778606070The sold-out event, organised by Bristol Green Capital Partnership CIC in partnership with Bristol Festival of IdeasFriends of the Earth, Sustrans, Avon Wildlife Trust and University of Bristol, gathered over 200 people at Priory Road Lecture Theatre – including local organisations, city residents and members of BGCP for a sustainability-themed panel discussion.

Bristol Festival of Ideas Director, Andrew Kelly chaired the debate with candidates Darren Hall (Green Party), John Savage (Independent), Lesley Mansell (Labour Party), Stephen Williams (Liberal Democrat Party) and Tim Bowles (Conservative Party) in attendance*.

As the audience trickled in, the new Avon Wildlife Trust short film showing why the metro mayor needs to prioritise nature was screened. Watch it here.

unspecified-3We then addressed four key theme areas: planning, housing and the green belt, air quality, transport, and future powers for the West of England, asking each candidate two questions on each topic as well as pre-submitted questions from city residents. Question highlights included:

THEME 1 – PLANNING, HOUSING & THE GREEN BELT: How will you ensure we can maintain a high quality natural environment and keep nature central to decision-making about infrastructure?

unspecified-5THEME 2 – TRANSPORT: As metro mayor, how will you go about bridging the gap between the monies available to you and this level of need?

THEME 3 – AIR QUALITY: If elected, what will you do to tackle the toxic and urgent air quality crisis in the West of England, for example a clean air zone covering the whole of the region urban areas or greening streets through tree-planting?

THEME 4 – FUTURE POWERS: Thinking of securing our region’s environmental sustainability and addressing climate change, what new powers will you make a priority of lobbying central government to bring to the West of England, for example energy policy or environmental regulation?

20170425 - Bristol Green Hustings by Jon Craig 07778606070 Credit to: Jon Craig . For TWITTER: @JonCraig_Photos

Listen to the candidates answers via Ujima Radio’s Podcast.

The audience were encouraged to live-tweet the event using #metromayor. Take a look at the conversation highlights on our Storify.

To help ensure all metro mayor candidates have the strongest possible sustainability policies, we also sought responses on two questions from the six candidates on behalf on the members of Bristol Green Capital Partnership and our event partners in the region. Read the responses from candidates here.

Thank you to all candidates, organisations and attendees for an insightful discussion, and a special thanks to Andrew Kelly and University of Bristol for helping us host the event.

unspecified-4LISTEN AGAIN! The full 2-hour discussion is available to live-stream on Ujima Radio’s website.

Do you agree with the discussions from the candidates? Share your thoughts using @bgreencapital

*Aaron Foot, UK Independence Party was unable to attend due to personal circumstances.

Additional reading: What can we expect from the metro mayor? Take a look at the new Policy Report from University of Bristol and other resources are listed here.


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