Clifton Down Greenvine
News from your local Green Councillors
Clive Stevens and Carla Denyer
We are sorry to tell you that one of your two Green councillors, Clive Stevens, is retiring due to ill health.
Originally planning to step down at the local elections in May 2020, Clive has continued in the role following their postponement due to COVID-19. He has worked tirelessly throughout the UK’s multiple lockdowns but is resigning now to look after his health.
Leader of the Green Group, Cllr Eleanor Combley, said “Clive has been a real asset to the Green Councillor Group, to the Council, and to the city, in the nearly 5 years he has spent as a Councillor. He has gained a reputation as a powerful voice for transparency and scrutiny who is known for asking tough but constructive questions to council officers and the administration, and for his dedication to making the Council a more effective and transparent organisation."
Tom Hathway, a Green Party activist in Clifton Down who has been chosen as the candidate to replace Clive in the next election, added, “Clive’s are big shoes to fill, but I’ve been very fortunate to work alongside him over the last few years. He has been generous in taking the time to introduce me to residents’ groups and get me up to speed with ongoing issues. I am ready to work with Cllr Carla Denyer for the people of Clifton Down. I have really enjoyed campaigning alongside Clive, and I hope he will soon be feeling better.”
Carla, Tom and Clive in Clifton Down
Your other councillor, Carla Denyer, was named as one of the 87 most influential women in Bristol by the Bristol Post last week.
Carla reflected, "I am honoured to be listed alongside Natalie Fée, Nura Aabe, Lily Fitzgibbon, Emily Chappell and many other inspirational women in this Bristol International Women's Day list." The list also includes three other Bristol Green Party women. See them all here.
Do you have an idea for a small improvement to roads, pavements or green spaces in our ward?
As part of the planning process, a developer often has to give money to the council to pay for improvements in the area where their development is happening. This is usually through a planning charge called the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL). Councillors have a say in how some of this money is spent.
This year, not much money is available (because not much building has been taking place during the pandemic) but we are still keen to get your input.
Ideas submitted so far include:
If you have another idea, email Carla by Thursday 25th March to discuss it. The final application deadline is Monday 5th April. You can find out more here.
- Grove Road / Elm Lane junction - road improvements to prevent drivers from ignoring the 'no entry' sign.
- Lower Redland Road / Elgin Park junction - road improvements to prevent drivers from ignoring the 'no entry' sign.
- Whiteladies Road / Alma Road junction - improvement to the amenity area on the corner, including new benches and improved planting, to create a more pleasant environment to sit.
- Whiteladies crossing islands - changes to prevent drivers overtaking dangerously near crossing islands near Redland Library and Tyndale Church
- Whiteladies Road / St Paul's Road - pedestrian crossing improvements
- Hampton Road - southbound cycle lane improvements
Having been pushed back by a year due to coronavirus, local elections are now around the corner! On 6 May you will have the chance to vote for your local councillors, as well as for Bristol’s Mayor, Police and Crime Commissioner and the Mayor for the regional West of England Combined Authority (WECA).
Because we can’t predict what lockdown restrictions will be like on 6 May we’d recommend registering for a postal vote ahead of time – it saves waiting in line and ensures you won’t miss out on voting if anything urgent comes up on the day.
To register for a postal vote, you’ll first need to make sure you’re registered to vote – you can do this online at gov.uk/register-to-vote. Once that’s done you can register for a postal vote at bristol.gov.uk/voting-elections/postal-voting.
The deadline to register to vote is midnight on Monday 19 April and the deadline to register for a postal vote is 5pm the following day (Tuesday 20 April).
Green Party Announces Full Slate of Candidates for Bristol Election
The Green Party has released a full slate of candidates standing in the Bristol City Council election on 6 May. This includes candidates for all 70 council seats across 34 wards, as well as Mayor of Bristol, Mayor of the West of England, and Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner.
Read more here and find your candidates here.
Due to Brexit, EU citizens must apply for the EU Settlement Scheme if they want to continue living in the UK after June 2021. This applies even if they have lived in the UK most of their lives. EU nationals who have lived continuously in the UK for five years or more should be entitled to settled status once they have applied and be able to go on living in the UK indefinitely.
The Council has noticed very low numbers of over EU citizens over the age of 65 applying for the settlement scheme and are concerned this group are not aware of the scheme or do not know that they need to apply. We want to make sure their rights continue to be protected after Brexit. Please talk about settled status to any older person you know who is from a non-UK EU country and share on your networks. The deadline to apply to the scheme is 30 June 2021 - find out more and see instructions in other languages at bristol.gov.uk/EUsettlement.
EU citizens are allowed to vote in local elections, so will be able to cast their vote for Bristol's mayor, councillors and other roles on 6 May.
Following a motion moved last year by Green Councillor Cleo Lake (above) and months of cross-party work since between Greens, Labour and activists, Bristol Council has passed a historic motion in support of reparations, making Bristol the first major city in the UK to do so. The motion was created in collaboration with campaigners from the Stop the Maangamizi campaign and Afrikan ConneXions Consortium as well as the Labour group.
The motion’s main demands were for the Council to request the government to set up an All-Party Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry to explore reparations, for the council to support community wealth building approaches to the local economy, and to support African heritage community organisations in creating a Bristol Reparations Plan.
Welcoming the news, Cleo said: “Today the Council has voted to start a national conversation and re-examine our past. I want to be very clear this is not about rewriting history, but rather about casting a bright light on it. Instead of clinging to comforting myths about Britain’s heritage, let’s face up to the reality of our history – let’s talk about it – and let’s learn from that to create a better future for all of us.”
Last month Bristol Council had its annual budget meeting. Greens proposed amendments to allocate millions of pounds to improve the city’s housing, transport, parks and neighbourhoods, but unfortunately they were voted down by Labour and the other parties.
Green amendments in full included allocating £12 million in unspent infrastructure funds to improve parks and local streets, plans to shake up Bristol’s transport and raise money for better buses with a levy on corporate parking and boosting Council housing by over £50m over the next 30 years.
Green Councillors voted against the budget after Labour voted with Conservatives to block the increase in funding for council homes. Leader of the Group, Councillor Eleanor Combley said:
“After five years of failing to get properly to grips with our climate crisis, our transport problems and our housing shortage, this business-as-usual budget is yet another failure to tackle the big problems facing the city.”
Find out more here.
In 2016 Bristol Council unanimously supported a Green motion to tackle air pollution with a Clean Air Zone. Over four years later, the Labour administration has finally approved plans for a charging Clean Air Zone. Greens welcome this, but uncertainties caused by the Mayor’s repeated delays and changes in direction have left people and businesses in Bristol poorly prepared for the introduction of the charging zone.
Bristol Greens campaigning for clean air with MP Caroline Lucas back in 2016
In a statement to Cabinet, Green Councillor Jerome Thomas said:
“Marvin Rees should have spent less time trying to avoid the scheme in the first place and more time preparing to do it well. Bristol Green Party have been arguing for a number of years that a charging zone was required. But people need plenty of time to change vehicles or to plan adjustments in their travel routines, and businesses need certainty about the future.”
Questions remain about the impact on parking in residential areas at the borders of the zone and what funding will be provided to improve alternatives to driving such as public transport. You can read more about the Greens’ response here.
Following a successful council motion proposed by Green Councillor Paula O’Rourke at the start of 2020, and cross-party work with the Labour administration, Bristol Council has carried out three Citizens Assemblies over the pandemic to help ordinary Bristolians shape the city’s future as we emerge from lockdown.
The assemblies were carefully selected from residents to reflect the different demographics of the population and explored three main topics: climate change and housing, transport, and health and social care.
After months of meetings and deliberation they have produced a final set of recommendations for the Council and the city to adopt. You can read the full report and recommendations here, or read a good article about it in The Bristol Cable here.
Councillor Paula O’Rourke said: “Asher and I have been working together on this exciting initiative since 2019, so it’s very gratifying to know what citizens want to happen. The members have heard the background to problems, what’s possible and not possible, the financial limitations and different people’s views and priorities and reached a shared vision collaboratively. The recommendations include some fantastic ideas and actions which will help us shape and build a better future for our city.”
At its Cabinet meeting last week, Bristol City Council adopted a new Advertising and Sponsorship Policy which will apply to adverts under the Council’s direct control, including bus stop screens and billboards on Council land. It includes a ban on ads for junk food, alcohol, gambling, and adverts in parks.
Green Councillor Carla Denyer has been working alongside local campaign group Adblock Bristol to lobby the Council to take a stronger stance against harmful ads.
"For decades advertising has used psychological techniques to make us feel inadequate – we are not cool enough, sexy enough, professional enough, satiated enough – unless we buy this product. Even if we previously didn’t know we wanted it. And it clearly works, or companies would not be spending so much on ads.
“So I am glad to see that they took on board a lot of our suggestions. I would like the Council to go further, though. We need to see better regulation of all corporate outdoor advertising in the city, not just ones owned by the Council – which means we need the council to create new advertising policies in their planning rules. And to help Bristol meet its target of going carbon neutral by 2030, we need to stop the onslaught of adverts telling us to buy more high carbon products and services such as flights, fossil fuel companies, and the most polluting cars.”
Adblock Bristol has set up a petition to the Council calling for it to prohibit advertising for products and services with high carbon footprints, such as flights, fossil fuel companies and the most polluting cars, in line with promises it made in Bristol’s One City Climate Strategy. Read more here.
Carla next to a former billboard site on Whiteladies Road, which she successfully got removed in 2019
Although schools and colleges have reopened as of 8 March, the ‘stay at home’ rule is still in place (with exceptions for exercise), and it’s just as important as ever to stick to the rules and avoid spreading coronavirus. You should continue to maintain social distance with people outside your household. 1 in 3 people who have the virus have no symptoms, so you could be spreading it without knowing it. Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms or a positive test result should stay at home and self-isolate immediately.
Changes on 8 March mean outdoor recreation or exercise with your household or with one other person is permitted. Care Home residents are also allowed regular visits from one person.
The next change in restrictions will be no earlier than 29 March – if all goes to plan then outdoor sports restrictions will be lifted, outdoor gatherings of up to six people or two households will be permitted, and the ‘stay at home’ rule will be lifted. However most restrictions, including on travel abroad, will remain until at least 12 April (step two of the plan).
You can find the government's summary of the roadmap here.
Bristol Council can offer some support if you, a family member or a neighbour are self-isolating, or feeling isolated, and need help getting food or medicine or doing other essential tasks. To get in touch and ask for support:
If you're a business impacted by the pandemic find out about the government grants available here.
- fill in our enquiries form
- Call 0800 694 0184 (Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5pm, Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 2pm), translation service available
- If you need help to get food, whether that's because you're self-isolating or can't afford it, the council can try to arrange a volunteer to help you - find out more here.
The government's furlough scheme (the 'Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme') has been extended until 30 September 2021. The government has created a tool to help refer you to covid-related support and advice.
Ofcom have issued a warning about scam calls or texts relating to coronavirus. These may claim to be from the Government, your GP’s surgery, the NHS, or even the World Health Organisation (WHO) and typically try to get you to follow a link that goes to a fake website, or press a button to speak to an operator. These scams may try to get hold of your personal or financial information or connect you to a high-cost premium number, leaving you liable for a significant telephone bill.
Ofcom advise that if you're suspicious about an email you have received, forward it to email@example.com. Suspicious text messages can be forwarded to the number 7726, which is free of charge. You can find some more information, as well as tips to spot these scams, here.
Bristol Central Library. Image credit: Steve Cadman on Flickr
The Council is beginning a partial reopening of library services at seven locations as lockdown restrictions are lifted. A Call and Collect service has restarted at Central, Henleaze, Henbury, Bishopston, Fishponds, Marksbury Road and Stockwood Libraries and they will be open Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
You can request books over the phone or by email, with a maximum of five per person (eight for children), then collect in person. Libraries also offer Book Bundles – a random selection of themed books. More libraries are expected to open as some lockdown restrictions are lifted after April 12.
See the Council's libraries site for more information.
Bristol Law Centre is a charity that provides support in specialist areas of social welfare law. They provide free legal advice & representation, including with issues arising from Covid-19. If they aren't able to help they may be able to point you to someone who can.
You can call them on 0117 924 8662 (10am-12pm and 2-4pm Mon-Friday) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Useful info for residents
Council Tax relief
If your financial circumstances have changed due to coronavirus and you need help paying your Council Tax you may be able to apply for Bristol City Council’s Council Tax Reduction Scheme. Or you may be able to reschedule some of your payments to a plan that you can manage. There is information on the Bristol City Council website or you can call the customer services line on 0117 922 2900 for support and advice.
Mental health in isolation
Public Health England has published guidance on practical steps people can take to look after their mental wellbeing and specific guidance for parents and carers on supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing during the COVID-19 outbreak. They have also produced the Every Mind Matters platform which has specific advice on maintaining good mental wellbeing during the current situation.
Contact the Council
Report a street issue:
Resident parking schemes:
Main contact number:
0117 922 2700
Do you follow us on social media?
In case you don't already follow us, you can find us on social media on the following platforms:
Facebook: @CllrCarlaDenyer, @BristolGreenParty
Twitter: @carla_denyer, @bristolgreen
Instagram: @carladenyer, @bristolgreenparty
Councillor Carla Denyer
Green Group Office
Tel: 0117 353 26155
Contact the Green Party
National party website:
Become a member:
Bristol Green Party: