Mayor candidate George Ferguson lays out vision for safer, caring Bristol
Independent mayoral candidate George Ferguson has today laid out his seven-point vision of a safer, caring and healthy Bristol.
Vowing not to make “cynical pledges” or “irresponsible” promises in the shape of a manifesto, Mr Ferguson has instead detailed his priorities for the city.
Getting Bristol moving and working are first on the candidate’s list, followed by “a healthy and caring City”; “a democratic Bristol”; “making Bristol great”; “vibrant Bristol” and “a safer Bristol”.
Explaining the idea behind his “magnificent seven”, Mr Ferguson told This is Bristol: “I want people to know what I stand for. I’ve distanced it from being a manifesto because I think they have been devalued and tend to be seen as tomorrow’s broken promises.
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“I will expand on it in speeches, at hustings and via video links. I will be explaining what I mean by this seven-point vision.
“We need to shake up the way we do democracy in Bristol. We need a more open form of government.”
Asked whether his seven-point vision could be conceived as vague, Mr Ferguson said: “I will put flesh on it but what I will not do is make these cynical pledges that we’ve too often seen by political parties that give hope to people that is dashed when they come into office.
“It’s aspirational. I am not going to make funding commitments that I cannot achieve.”
The independent candidate added: “I have made some very specific pledges, such as an Arena for Bristol, and that will be delivered.
“Whether it can be achieved in the first term remains to be seen, but I can see how this can be delivered.
“You will find specific things, so I won’t accept that it is vague.”
Expanding on his plans, Mr Ferguson said within the first few weeks of being elected he would bring in two youth mayors – one male and one female - to “champion the needs” of young people in the city.
“That would be fantastic education for them but it also gives the youth of the city a way of getting their voice heard,” he said.
But, the candidate added: “I’m not going to make silly promises about what the price of transport will be because it’s irresponsible and they will be breaking their promises a few years down the line.”