Bristol goes to the polls

BRISTOL will see a change in the way it’s governed this month following the local elections on May 2.

The mayoral system that’s been in place for 12 years is being scrapped and the city council is returning to a committee system.

All 70 council seats are up for grabs and a political party will need to win at least 36 of them to take power. If there is no outright majority, a coalition administration might be formed.

Labour has been running Bristol since 2016, although since 2021 it has not had an overall majority. The outgoing administration comprised 24 Greens, 23 Labour, 14 Conservatives, five Liberal Democrats, two Knowle West Community Party, and two independents.

The Green Party are defending four seats in Bishopston & Ashley Down and Redland where they face contenders from Labour, the Lib Dems and the Conservatives.

Electors will also be casting their votes for the next Avon & Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner. The post has been held for the past three years by the Conservative Mark Shelford, who faces challenges from the other three parties.

Elections are on May 2. Remember to take photo ID to the polling station

Bishopston & Ashley Down Ward

Samuel Williams
No information supplied.

Edward Yates
I’m 22 and I am standing as a Conservative candidate in Bishopston and Ashley Down. I first moved to Bristol in 2020 to study medicine at university and am currently in my 4 th year. When I fully qualify, I am considering either being a GP or a Geriatri-cian. My policy interests are in medicine, student/young people issues and the environment. In my spare time I enjoy walking, he organ and reading. If elected I would focus on increasing access to public transport and investing in green spaces.

James Crawford
Green Party
I was born in Bristol and grew up in and around Bishopston. I am a Utility infrastructure engineer, and I know that being able to collaborate with a diverse mix of people is where the most creative and innovative solutions to our city’s problems will come from, which we will be sure to need in the next few years. I was thrilled to have been elected in August last year, and I am restanding to be a councillor so I can continue representing the ward and fighting for a cleaner, greener, Bristol.

Emma Edwards
Green Party
I was first elected in 2021. I have loved being a councillor for Bishopston and Ashley Down and am proud of what we have achieved, especially around road safety, planting trees on Horfield Common and helping Ashley Down School get a school street. I’ve been the shadow cabinet member for transport and active travel. My background is in therapy and wellbeing and I’ve worked with groups such as families living with autism, the LGBTQ+ community and in palliative care. I’m also an active environmental campaigner. I have lived in Bristol my whole life, and locally for 15 years.

Eileen Means
Eileen was previously a City Councillor in Bristol East and so will hit the ground running in Bishopston & Ashley Down. She stood in the ward in 2021 and when she campaigned with Andrew Milton during the by-election in August last year, many people recognised her, came to chat and raised issues not being dealt with. At the Labour stall each month on the Gloucester Rd they successfully presented a petition on NHS Dentistry to the Integrated Care Board and collected donations to the FFA at The Ardagh.

Andrew Milton
I I have been selected a second time as a Labour candidate for Bishopston & Ashley Down, following the August by-election where we achieved a 10% swing. I was born in Bristol and I’m proud to live in this ward, one of the most pleasant parts of the city. In the past I have led community campaigns and worked as an Environmental Engineer in local government on traffic, flooding, and community infrastructure projects. I know how to get things done. This experience will help me represent our ward, and win the changes you want to see.

Laura Barry
Liberal Democrat
As a NHS scientist working on gene therapies I know the importance of evidence-based decisions and what can be achieved when a team of people work together. I would promote cross-party working on the council, and scrutinise policy.

I have lived in the Bishopston and Ashley Down ward for over ten years and value its mix of green spaces and local businesses. As someone reliant on walking and public transport to get to work, shop and socialise I welcome the building of Ashley Down Station and would prioritise improving public transport and accessibility .

Barry Cash
Liberal Democrat
Barry Cash is a 73 year-old widower with one adult daughter. Born and bred in Bristol he has lived in Bishopston since 1958. He joined the SDP in 1981 and the Liberal Dems when they merged.

An Open University graduate, he has always been passionate about science. His main aim is to leave a better world for future generations. He believes there is only one problem that science cannot solve: “How do we make the people in charge listen?”

He joined Grandparents for a Safe Earth to take non-violent direct action in 2012. He supports XR.

Redland Ward

George Day
No information supplied

Claire Hiscott
No information supplied

Martin Fodor
Green Party

I’ve represented Redland ward since 2014, dealing promptly with residents’ questions, supporting them with traffic, road safety, recycling and parking problems. , I’m active in the city’s climate and nature partnerships.

I successfully amended the council budget several times, funding extra rooms in council houses to enable families to look after foster children, and getting £4m extra capital for parks and streets.

A committee chair for many years, I led scrutiny of community services, where I ensured cross-party reviews of policy on libraries, parks, trees, and recently helped win a reverse on new allotment rules, charges, and rents.

Fi Hance
Green Party
Fi has been a a city councillor for Redland ward since 2009. In that time she has worked in lots of different areas, including being the part of the rainbow cabinet looking after public health and then waste and energy. Currently she chairs the public safety and protection committee and sits on licensing and planning committees, along with being on the board of governors for the University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS foundation. She has lived in Bristol since coming here as a student many moons ago, has two adult daughters and in her spare time loves a cold water swim and runs the odd half marathon.

Thomas Lydon
I live in Melbourne Road and if elected as one of our councillors I’ll always champion Redland as part of the Labour team with James, our MP Thangam Debbonaire, and Metro Mayor Dan Norris. Should Labour win the General Election later this year, we would finally be able to bring our buses back into public ownership – a key pledge for Bristol Labour. I want to see more as investment in walking, cycling, and electric vehicle provision, too. Speaking to hundreds of residents across Redland it’s clear we also need a community-led solutions to parking and dealing with HMOs.

James Nethercote
I’m a proud Bristolian and I would be wholly committed to representing and supporting the needs of constituents, as well as working to make Bristol an even better place to live. As a local resident, I know what a great place Redland is to call home. If given the opportunity to be elected as one of your local representatives, I will work hard alongside my Labour colleagues to bring buses back into public ownership, build 3000 new council homes and make Bristol carbon neutral by 2030.

James Wetz
Liberal Democrat
James would bring experience in education and social policy to the council. Former roles include:

  • Headteacher of Cotham School (1998-2006)
  • Trustee of the Bristol Music Trust – Colston Hall now Bristol Beacon (2013-2019)
  • Director Learning Partnership West (2014-2019)
    •Chair of the Bristol based Charity ‘The Green House ’ which provides psychotherapy and counselling for adults and children affected by sexual abuse (2009 – 2015)
  • Trustee of Bristol University (2010 – 2017) widening participation

Joshua Warwick-Smith
Liberal Democrat
No information supplied