Politics review #2

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Welcome to our regular update on local politics:

  • Bristol has secured the right to scrap the system of directly electing a mayor should it choose to do so. Baroness Barbara Janke, former Lib Dem Bristol City Council leader now sitting in the House of Lords, tabled an amendment to the Devolution Bill in Parliament. The earliest a referendum on retaining a directly elected mayor could occur is 2022.
  • Last week the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, completed his spending review, in which he significantly cut the funding of local government. Bristol City councillors have criticised this move.
  • Read our report of Corbyn’s visit to Bristol in Curry Nights With Corbyn.
  • At the same time as the fundraising dinner Corbyn attended, Mayor George Ferguson held his annual ‘State of the City’ address which, if you have the stamina, you can read in full here. If that’s a bit too much, here is our correspondent’s edited highlights.
  • George ‘The Man In The Red Trousers’ Ferguson also hoped to raise money for refugees at Calais by auctioning off a pair of his iconic red trousers on eBay. Unfortunately, they only sold for £51.
  • Two Green Party local councillors have decided to share a job in the Bristol City Council cabinet, the first instance of this happening in the UK. Councillors Fi Hance and Daniella Radice hope that this will help get more people in full-time work involved in politics. Read all about it here and here.
  • Read about the City Council’s budget and how they plan to spend it here. (Not as boring as it sounds – promise!)
  • Conservative mayoral candidate Charles Lucas has promised a review of the 20mph zones across Bristol should he win the mayoral election.
  • Bath MP Ben Howlett spoke out about the ‘Tatler Tory’ scandal in the Conservative Party, which has since unravelled even further.
  • Jacob Rees-Mogg, notorious Eurosceptic, impressive orator, and MP for North East Somerset, described Prime Minister David Cameron’s EU reform plan, outlined ahead of an EU referendum vote as early next year, as ‘pretty thin gruel’, joking that it made ‘Harold Wilson’s renegotiation look acceptable.’ Wider story here.

Don’t know who your local MP is? We’ve got a list.