Compass Bristol and West calls on Bristol politicians to work together to tackle three crises

Bristol politicians need to work together to tackle the three crises of Covid-19, inequality and climate change.

Photo by Martyna Bober on Unsplash

An open letter to the Mayor of Bristol and Bristol party leaders from Compass Bristol and West

We are a group of citizens from the Bristol area of different political persuasions (and none) calling for all the politicians recently elected to Bristol City Council to collaborate.

We believe that the majority of people in Bristol want to see local politicians working together and that the recent results are a mandate for shared power and co-operation.

We consider that it is by working across party lines that the Mayor and the Councillors can best serve the city as it builds the recovery from COVID and works urgently to achieve its crucial climate commitment to carbon zero by 2030.

The issues we face are too serious to be subverted by local party politics which serve no-one. Finding the best people available to serve on the Cabinet must be a priority – and that will inevitably include councillors from different parties.

Scrutiny of decision-making will also be important to ensure best practice and accountability. This needs to be given and received in a spirit of constructive collaboration, mindful of the fact that no one person or party has all the answers. If those elected can keep open minds, listen to each other and move beyond historical party boundaries we can achieve the best for this city.

Shared decision-making and rainbow cabinets have been formed in councils across the country – from Stroud to Sheffield. Bristol needs to take its place among these and champion this new form of progressive and alliance-based politics. It is our belief that this will strengthen democracy.

Rachel Clarke

Deb Joffe

Lucy MacKilligin

Bob Bater

Adam Herriott

Alex le May

Chris Millman

Aileen McLoughlin

5 thoughts on “Compass Bristol and West calls on Bristol politicians to work together to tackle three crises

  1. Attending a Labour Party meeting this evening. I’ll try and encourage this approach, and at least see what the state of the discussion is.

  2. I agree. It would be a lot easier if all the direct power in the council was not vested in a Mayor, but there could still be some power sharing. Green have often reached out to work together eg with shared [co-authored and presented] motions to council.
    For this two-way trust will be essential and fewer hostile announcements or one sided claims when there has been joint working.
    Greens are certainly ready to work together, ideally in sharing power or as constructive partners in scrutiny or opposition in the authority.

  3. How can he build the cross party trust if he doesn’t trust even one Green Party member for his cabinet? The Man has no idea how to handle a democracy.

  4. Really interested to see this along with the initiative in Sheffield. The Cooperative Alliance that has run Stroud Council for eight years (I think) is the type of politics we should all investigate. It is clearly not easy nor a well trod path, yet, but it has the potential to transform the way individuals, society and power interacts.

    And will be further interesting to see how progressive councils with Overall Control might bring more representation into their committees and councils. Now that would be progressive in the face of an electoral system that ignores what people vote for.

  5. The coordinated campaign between LCER and LFND is leading the campaign to take electoral reform to the Labour Conference this year. As a Compass member for over a decade, attending their first AGM I have supported their pluralist and inclusive approach to campaigning, not always evident in either the Labour Party and to a lesser extent in the Green Party. Extinction Rebellion are advocates of inclusiveness. So on Climate & Ecology Crisis and PR as well as NHS we have issues where the essential need for alliances can operate successfully. SERA branches in Bristol & West as well as Devon have an inclusive policy.

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