'I'll save £3m in one year if elected mayor' - George Ferguson
ARCHITECT George Ferguson has promised to save Bristol's taxpayers at least £3 million if he is chosen as the city's first elected mayor.
Mr Ferguson, who would stand as an independent candidate, said he wanted to make this promise "in answer to the baseless and misleading claims about cost from the anti brigade".
'No' campaigners have claimed that the office of elected mayor would cost at least £1 million to run and create a drain on civic resources at a time when the city council is making the biggest cuts in its history.
Mr Ferguson, pictured, the first high-profile candidate to put his name forward for the contest if a city-wide referendum on Friday decides in favour of an elected mayor, said: "I shall, through a combination of effective resource management and entrepreneurial activity, save Bristol's administration at least £3million in the first term of office."
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He made a second promise that he would rise above "petty party politics which have for so long held us back from realising our full potential".
Mr Ferguson added: "On top of this it is quite clear from my conversations with the City Minister Greg Clark, who I have met three times in the last month in both Bristol and London, that I shall obtain further resources and powers for Bristol and sit with those other cities in the 'cabinet of mayors'.
"If we are not represented there we shall undoubtedly be left behind in that race for resources and influence."
Labour activist Marvin Rees, 40, yesterday declared his intention to seek his party's nomination if there is a 'yes' vote in the referendum.
Mr Rees, a programme manager who lives with his family in Easton, failed to be selected as the Labour candidate to fight Bristol West at the last general election.
Craig Clarke, who led the storming of a hearing at Bristol County Court to evict Occupy protesters from College Green, declared his intention to stand as a candidate in January.
Other possible contenders include Tory leader Peter Abraham, Bristol West Lib Dem MP Stephen Williams, former Lib Dem Councillor Abdul Malik and former Labour Councillor Kelvin Blake.