New face at helm as Greens become largest party

BISHOPSTON’S Councillor Emma Edwards is the new leader of the Green Party group on Bristol City Council.

The Greens are the biggest group on the council following Patrick McAllister’s victory in the recent by-election in the Harbourside ward. They have 25 seats.

Emma Edwards has lived in Bristol all her life and is one of two Green councillors for Bishopston and Ashley Down. Emma has been particularly active on transport campaigns, sharing the Transport role in the Green group’s shadow cabinet with David Wilcox.

She said: “I am delighted to have been elected by the Green group to be leader. This is a critical year for Greens as we prepare for power under the committee system next year. We are now the largest group on Bristol council, and this indicates Bristol residents are keen for change. People want an accountable council that listens to residents and takes practical action to make our city a better place to live. 

“In the meantime I will continue to help Greens scrutinise council decisions and fight for social and environmental justice as the main opposition group.”

Former group leader Heather Mack did not re-stand in the internal election which also saw Tim Wye elected deputy leader. 

Tim, a Green councillor for Ashley ward, has experience working as a manager at Bristol council and the NHS, with particular knowledge of adult social care.

Tim said: “I am really pleased to take on the role of deputy leader in the Green group. With my background in the public sector I feel I will be able to support Emma in her new role of group leader.”

Barry Parsons, a councillor in Easton ward, was elected as the group’s whip. 

Patrick McAllister’s victory means that the Greens now hold 17 of the 20 council wards in   the Bristol West constituency, which is a key target for the party at the general election. The Parliamentary seat is currently held by Labour’s Thangam Debbonaire with a big majority.