What should Bristol Mayor's main focus be?
With just 50 days until voters go to the polls to elect Bristol's mayor, The Post asked 50 people what their new leader should do for them. Here's what they said.
Simon Cook, council leader: We have raised the profile of Bristol in recent years and it is increasingly important to sell Bristol on the national stage as well as worldwide. We need to do this for inward investment and for economic growth and I hope the mayor will see this as the main driver for taking the city forward.
I hope the elected mayor will support the Local Enterprise Partnership and the local enterprise zone and work through the City Deal which is a fantastic opportunity for us.
I also hope they will bring the cultural and sporting facilities in the city up to date and generally improve the quality of people’s lives.
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Colin Sexstone, business consultant and former chairman of Bristol City FC:I want them to provide good and independent leadership - leadership which is away from the normal inter-party political bickering.
I want them to represent this wonderful city to a wider audience, both in the UK and beyond and I want someone who makes sure that decisions are made instead of delaying everything. We need less committees and more decision-making.
Nick Higgs, chairman of Bristol Rovers: I would like an elected mayor who is going to take Bristol forward and raise its profile. I would also like someone who will grasp opportunities before they fall away and recognise that sport plays a major role in our communities and therefore supports that ethos.
Judith Brown, Older People’s Forum: I hope the new elected Mayor will promote the city nationally and internationally to get money into the city for the benefit of all Bristolians, acting without party political dogma.
I would like an effective transport system to keep the city moving and help people to get into the community.
Above all, I would like the new Mayor to listen to the people, so that decisions like closing all the care homes and many day centres are not made and ideally get reversed to offer people real choice in their care.
Ben Barker, Secretary of the Greater Bedminster Community Partnership: The elected mayor should be about transferring power downwards from London to Bristol and from Bristol to neighbourhoods.
Why should we have to ask London everytime we want to put in double yellow lines or a zebra crossing?
Who knows best about local needs - council officers or local residents?
Ned Cussen, property expert: I would like to see an arena built and strong and decisive leadership.
Ashley Fox, Bristol Euro MP and former Tory city councillor: I would like the elected mayor to improve the transport system in Bristol and education because I think Bristol is a great city but these are our two biggest weaknesses.
If we tackled these two problems, then I think you would tackle other things such as unemployment, poverty and inequality.
Transport and education are the keys to unlocking Bristol’s success in the future.
Mike Birkin, Bristol Friends of the Earth: I would like the elected mayor to lead the way in super energy efficient buildings, new and old.
I would also like to see them generate clean renewable energy, providing affordably by locally-owned companies; take control of our public transport and offering a high quality low emission service based on our rail network, trams and waterways as well as buses; make Bristol the friendliest UK city for walking and cycling; make sure Bristol is stocked with healthy locally-grown food available at reasonable cost in all parts of the city; help Bristol to become buzzing with bees and other wildlife and promote a city which throws away less waste per head than any other UK city
Nigel Costley, regional secretary of the South West TUC: We would like a mayor who will harness the city's potential to produce employment and quality career options for all its citizens, reducing the gap between the rich and the rest.
One way to do this is to value, recognise and protect the role of public sector employment as a positive contributor to the local economy.
The mayor could also introduce a Living Wage of £7.20 an hour to council employees and recognise the positive role trade unions can make to a workplace and wider society.
Nick Sturge, well-known businessman: I would like the elected mayor to put Bristol in its rightful place on the international map so that people want to come and work here and start up businesses which will create more jobs. Bristol is also the best place for businesses in the creative, high tech and digital fields to expand.
Creating more jobs will be the main driver in getting everything else in the city sorted out.
Rob Salvidge, Bristol Ferryboat Company: He has got to listen to people and he has got to have a good understanding of all the things which have made Bristol great as well as the not so obvious things.
More importantly, he has got to take strong, positive action with things that are not gelling.
To put it bluntly, he has got to put the boot up people’s backsides when it’s needed and get things going.
All too often, some people say something is the right thing and others, the wrong thing and we end up sitting on our hands and missing opportunities.
Gordon Reece, political forecaster and former Bristol University lecturer: I would like to see an efficiently-run city government, responsive to voters' needs.
I am basically against the whole idea of a local mayor; only one in eight of the voters supported it.
I prefer the present party system however flawed.
The mayor will be very difficult to get rid of.
But I am prepared to give the new mayor a chance to prove me wrong.
Jay Tidmarsh, former Lord Lieutenant of Bristol: First and foremost, we need leadership which is of paramount importance, not just as far as Bristol is concerned but the whole of the west of England.
I don’t think it is readily appreciated that Bristol’s success has a huge knock on effect for the whole area.
Dave Redgewell, transport campaigner: I would like the elected mayor to created an independent transport authority, delivering on the Metro rail project, achieve affordable and accessible bus services that run at least 18 hours a day across the whole of the Bristol area and a travel card, similar to London, for all buses, trains and ferries.
James Berry, chief executive, Bristol Credit Union: I would like to see them work closely with neighbouring local authorities to create more jobs and bring prosperity to the area.
I would also like them to represent the whole of the city and not just a particular political party’s intentions.
James Berry, chief executive, Bristol Credit Union
Diana Locke, 43, retired, Filton: “The new mayor should promote the city and its people and go out and meet them, much like Boris Johnson.”
Annemarie Waldron, 35, self-employed, Clifton: “Prayers should be brought back into schools and children need to be told about God again. Schools should also receive more funding, and the city needs to look after the elderly, poor and the homeless. Also, the rubbish collections need to be more frequent.”
John Golder, 36, IT contractor, Shirehampton: “Sort out the traffic, particularly the Portway.”
Aurora Ward-Craner, 27, retail, Horfield: “Put more money into areas like Bear Pit that have been neglected for years.”
“Promote free trading with no licences and make the exhibition spaces more accessible, as there are many people who don’t know where to exhibit their art.”
Martin Hill, 23, runs a juice bar, Gloucester road.
Zac Eddie, 20, student, city centre: “Bristol already has everything. Perhaps, cycling paths could be improved a little in the city centre but they’re already better than anywhere else.”
Mervyn Chilcott, 61, unemployed, Nailsea: “Represent the city well nationwide. Also, improve the transportation and focus on developing brownfield sites in the city.”
Anne Ewins, 69, retired, South Bristol: “To leave? I still don’t want a mayor as I voted against one.”
Hazel Hall, 59, South Bristol: “The new mayor should be independent and not have any affiliation with political parties or it won’t be people’s interests he’d represent.”
Duncan Long, 37, Tax advisor, Ashton: “Not to wear red trousers. Otherwise things are already good at the moment.”
James Harpen, 31, student, recently moved to London: “There aren’t enough bins and a lot of litter is lying around the city so that could be improved.”
Syadid MH, 32, bar manager, city centre: “The mayor should be championing local businesses by helping out and showing support. He should be very approachable and locally thinking.”
Ed Fortune, 25, Chef, Bath: “The Temple Meads area could be nicer. It currently gives a bad impression of the city.”
Michael Pallinger, 64, semi-retired, Gloucester: “The city is nice as it is. The next mayor should just carry on with it.”
Nathan Ferguson, 22, student, Whitehall: “Give the go-ahead for the Bristol City Stadium and sort out the bus prices.”
Sam Ryan, 19, student, Kingswood: “Stop moaning about pay decrease. Also, sort the bus routes out.”
Peter Dibstale, 50, engineer, Henbury: “Bring in more greenery, especially in the city centre”.
Daniella Lipscompe, 33, design coordinator, Weston-Super-Mare: “Improve transport links between central and outer Bristol”.
Patrick Mills, 29, self-employed, Stoke Gifford: “Sort out the transportation in and out of the city, especially during the rush hours. There should be a massive transportation planning system. It’s ridiculous at the moment!”
Simon Kureshi, 37, aerospace industry, St.Werburghs: “Improve the education system. Class sizes should be smaller and teacher’s qualifications raised”.
Seonhee Kong, 35, student, St.George: ’s.“I love Bristol; it has a lot fresher air compared to South Korea. But I find transportation very expensive and the traffic jams in the morning are bad”.
Rebecca May, 46, charity work, Bishopston: “The transportation needs to be significantly improved. Also, cycling would be a lot safer if the pavements were divided in half for pedestrians and cyclists, as cycling on the roads aren’t too safe in Bristol.”
Mike Campbell, 65, retired, Horfield: “Reduce the number of services within the city that are been given to the private sector, especially the ones for older people. Private service isn’t necessarily a better service. The mayor should bring more money into Bristol and insure all the empty shops are being used.”
Peggy Applin, 79, Bedminster: I think Bristol’s bus service could be improved. The timings of the buses don’t seem very good - they all come along at once.
Dave Johnson, 72, Lawrence Hill: I think there should be more public toilets. I would also like to see a ban on people cycling on the pavement, as I am often worried for my own safety.
Susan Sutton, 63, Easton: I would like to see some of the empty shops in the city centre occupied again. Too many are empty and it doesn’t make the city look good.
Dina Hardy, 39, Southville: The transport system in Bristol needs improving. It would be good if there were more improvements to help commuters. I think it would be nice if the mayor could do things to improve and maintain community spirit in the city.
Gladys West, 85, Hartcliffe: I think the buses and the park and ride in the city are good but more could be done to improve the situation for cars. When a stranger visits Bristol they always get lost - the traffic system is very complicated.
Laura Hughes, 27, Bedminster Down: More should be done to improve public transport in the city. Most of the bus routes are rubbish and the prices charged are extortionate.
Morgan Griffin, 28, Southville: I would like to see better parking options in the city. Maybe more car parks that are cheaper, to stop people parking up residential streets.
The Bristol Manifesto - have your say
Using technology, you can tell the mayor directly what you want to see in our city - and make sure he or she listens.
It's a powerful way we can all work together to create the city we want to see.
The Bristol Manifesto is a volunteer, apolitical organisation that has been set up to make this happen. Backed by the Post, it wants to gather the wishes of all of Bristol - 350,000 people - put them together in a unique manifesto, and give them to the mayoral candidates.
It will be the first time anywhere in the world that this has been done.
How do you join in? Simple. You don't have to be a voter or give your name. Just go to www.bristolmanifesto.org and click on the Three Wishes for Bristol button.