Why do we keep banging on about the local election?
Almost all the issues most relevant to local people, including the provision of social housing and public transport, who gets planning permission for local developments, how the city’s waste is handled, which local businesses get licenses, whether vehicle dwellers are offered a safe and appropriate place to stay, whether street artists will be prosecuted, what happens in our parks, green spaces and children’s play areas etc, are all decided by our local authorities – the Mayor and the city council – so who those people are, and which parties they represent matters.
In fact this year several parties are running mayoral candidates who are standing on the policy of scrapping the Bristol Mayor and rolling this into the new position of WECA Mayor so this election makes a particular difference.
But it’s not worth voting. What difference does one vote make anyway?
Despite everything listed above, a lot of people don’t see the point of voting in their local elections. This means that actually a very small number of voters get to choose our council and our mayor, and sometimes just a handful of people can make the difference between one candidate and another.
If you are an activist, if you want to make change, if you believe in building a better world, if you care about what happens in your neighbourhood, then you need to use all the tools at your disposal. And one that thousands of our ancestors marched, fought and suffered to get for us was the vote. So use it.
What and who am I voting for?
On the Who Can I Vote For? website you can find lists of candidates for the following positions:
- Mayor of Bristol
- Bristol City Council Councillors
- Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner (what?)
- West of England Combined Authority (WECA) Mayor (what?)
Can’t vote in person?
The deadline to apply for a proxy vote by mail is 5pm on 27 April, although emergency proxy votes will be available up until 5pm on election day if voters need to self-isolate.
Along with the articles gathered below, we highly recommend The Bristol Cable’s 2021 Election Coverage – it includes several articles on a wide range of pertinent issues, in-depth interviews with candidates, and a Citizens’ Agenda.
Bristol Mayor and City Council
- Bristol is now the UK’s leader in ‘authoritarian democracy’ – an opinion piece diving deep into the current state of our city’s politics
- How will Bristol Mayoral candidates respond to the climate and ecological emergencies? via Bristol Green Capital Partnership
- Mayors Are Blairite Nonsense and We Don’t Need Them – another opinion piece championing more devolution, less mayors
- Housing hustings underlines scale of crisis facing next Bristol mayor, leaving more questions than answers via The Bristol Cable
- Do we need local councillors at all? via The Bristol Cable
- Mayor of Bristol candidates on tackling gender inequality from Bristol Women’s Voice West of England Metro Mayor
- ‘The new WECA mayor has a big role to play in the response to the climate emergency’ via The Bristol Cable
- West of England Mayor candidates on tackling gender inequality from Bristol Women’s Voice
- What do Metro Mayor candidates say about cycling? via Bristol Cycling
- Now is the time for WECA to take on the future of food in the region via Green Future Associates
- Metro Mayor candidates questioned on their proposed response to the climate and ecological emergencies via Bristol Green Capital Partnership Police & Crime Commissioner
- What Happened to the Bristol Police? from Novara Media
- Avon and Somerset Police Crime Commissioner candidates on how they’d support women in Bristol from Bristol Women’s Voice
Mayoral hustings & other pre-election events
- West of England Combined Authority (WECA) Mayoral Hustings – Thursday 22 April, 7pm
- Homes and Communities Mayoral Assembly – Thursday 22 April, 7.30pm
- Festival of Ideas Mayoral Debate: Bristol Decides 2021 – Friday 23 April, 7.15pm
- Acorn Hustings for Ashley Ward – Monday 26 April, 6.30pm
- Bristol Sight Loss Council Mayoral Hustings – Monday 26 April, 7pm
- Bristol Mayoral Election Youth Hustings – Monday 26 April, 5.30pm
- Bristol Mayoral Hustings 2021: How can Bristol’s response to the climate and ecological emergencies be fast and fair? – Tuesday 27 April, 6pm
- West of England Mayor: Economy Hustings – Wednesday 28 April, midday
- Bristol Mayoral Hustings for Disabled People – Wednesday 28 April, 7pm
- Clifton Ward Local Councillor Hustings – Wednesday 28 April, 7pm
- Black and Green Ambassadors in conversation with Bristol’s Mayoral Candidates, LIVE on Ujima Radio – Thursday 29 April, 10am
- Bristol Mayoral Hustings (Bristol Live) – Thursday 29 April, 5pm
- Bristol Mayoral Hustings (Bristol 24/7 & Watershed) – Thursday 29 April, 7pm
- Hotwells & Harbourside Local Council Election Hustings – Thursday 29 April, 7pm
- Bristol City Mayor 2021: Social Care Hustings – Saturday 1 May, 7pm
In case you missed them…
- Mayoral candidate hustings on BCfm’s One Love Breakfast show (24 March)
- Police & Crime Commissioner Hustings for Avon & Somerset from BCfm Radio (22 April)
An update from the Bristol Citizens’ Assembly
The Bristol Citizens’ Assembly have spent several months discussing and preparing to respond to the important question ‘How do we recover from COVID-19 and create a better future for all in Bristol?’. A formal report describing Bristol’s citizens’ assembly journey and full details of the recommendations will be presented in May, following the local elections.