Line-up for mayoral election is poor
IN the lead up to the mayoral election in November, the respective candidates are becoming more confusing by the minute from the reports in the Post.
Although the final closing date for mayoral candidates is in three weeks time, it is only next month before the election, and then we (Bristolians) are stuck with the result for five years.
At present, from the list of candidates, we have the unelectable weirdo's political apparatchiks aplenty and two red independents merging into one i.e. trousers hat and shoes. All of the above have one thing in common – they can spend other people's money. Very few can earn money and only two can run a business employing people and making money. A poor show from an approximate 600,000 population which can only throw up two sensible candidates.
We need an in depth view of the aspirations of each candidate to allow us Bristolians to make our mind up to whom we vote for. Would it be possible for each candidate to provide an election address, which you, the Post, would print to aid us voters?
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Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
J C Brewer
Editor's note: As well as daily stories we have offered each candidate the chance to write for our Speakers' Corner page. The first from Labour candidate Marvin Rees appeared last Friday's edition .
I HAVE recently returned from holiday in Alsace in north eastern France and have had some very interesting discussions with our friends there on the local government arrangements.
In France they have a system of local mayors at parish and town council levels elected for a six-year term. The village we stayed in, which is about the same size as Long Ashton, has its own mayor operating from the village Mairie or parish office. He is also a paid official.
What brought this to my attention is that it has been decided to build ten wind turbines close to the village.
The mayor himself promoted the idea without any reference to the village's inhabitants i.e. his constituents. Indeed, discussions went on behind closed doors for over a year before the villagers became aware of it.
Despite a request for a referendum by 53 per cent of the local population the mayor has not changed his position or allowed the referendum to take place.
The mayor is elected for a period of six years but makes all these types of decision himself – very often without seeking the views of the villagers. It is a very dictatorial system far from the "liberte, egalite, fraternite" which is supposed to be the bedrock of the French political system.
The villagers are up in arms about this dictatorial decision and although it is possible to appeal to the regional prefect, he has never been known to contradict a decision of the local mayor.
So I am beginning to understand why there are more demonstrations and strikes in France than the UK – this is the only recourse by the local population when such dictatorial decisions are taken.
My reasons for writing is to say to the people of the city of Bristol – make sure you choose your mayor wisely, otherwise you may be far worse off than you are with the present city council leadership.
AS a proud born and bred Bristolian of mature years, I sincerely hope that the Bristol campaign for its elected mayor returns a truly independent candidate. A mayor who is not a clone of any major political party.
In other words a person who will independently do what is right for the City and County of Bristol, without political fear or favour.
My pride as a resident of this once great city has been severely challenged over at least the last 50 years. The reason being that the public servants of Bristol City Council have constantly had their strings being pulled by some councillors whose prime purpose seems to have been their ascension up the greasy pole of party political success. Many of them remind me of the unscrupulous second hand car salesman Arthur Daley in the television series Minder. It is I would claim these ambitious duplicitous councillors who have wanted to leave their mark on Bristol.
Well they've certainly done that, and although I have referenced the city centre in numerous letters to thePost it bears repetition. Namely, our glorious city centre gardens I can fondly recall from my youth, were destroyed in an act of civic vandalism which beggars belief. Moreover I seem to recollect that some of the major local politicians responsible were not Bristolian, but merely interlopers using the city as being instrumental to their political career plans and claims of putting Bristol at the heart of Europe probably led to the abomination which now masquerades as the centre of Bristol.
I note that there are a number of people claiming that they have the knowledge/skills to become Bristol's first elected mayor. Perhaps the electorate should take the opportunity to make their views known via thePost. Its editor Mike Norton is spot on when he writes: "We want to pop the vainglorious political echo chamber and let some new opinions in." Well for what it's worth my opinion is that Bristol desperately deserves an independent, non-politically aligned elected mayor, who will put back the true ethos of what Bristol really stands for; rather than chasing a European schizophrenic nightmare.
R L Smith