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https://politicsthisweek.wordpress.com/2020/05/04/friday-44th-of-lockdown-with-this-weeks-elections-cancelled-has-bristol-become-a-dictatorship-bcfm-politics-show-presented-by-tony-gosling/
First hour news review with local politician: Was Sunday's Boris Lockdown Lifting announcement leaked to the Daily Mirror three weeks ago?

Tory councillor John Goulandris: ‘Bristol Is Not, And Never Should Be, A One-Party Dictatorship’ - Changes to Bristol City Council’s constitution have been branded a “shameless power grab” that will “effectively neuter local democracy”. The Labour administration insists that the move will make the democratic process fairer and more transparent, as it effectively gives elected councillors from the ruling party more opportunity to make their voices heard on behalf of their constituents. Under the changes, Labour will increase the number of its backbench councillors taking chair roles in committees and decrease opportunities for opposition parties to put forward ‘golden’ motions for debate – which will reflect the proportionality of the chamber instead of working on rotation.

Labour's Bristol Mayor Candidate Marvin Rees In 2016: ‘I Want To Share My Power As Mayor' - Marvin Rees has vowed to welcome politicians of all parties into his cabinet if elected mayor of Bristol, in a significant move away from his unsuccessful last campaign. Following his selection by the Labour Party to run against George Ferguson for a second time, he said he is now open to a “rainbow cabinet” – considered a major sticking point at the last election – and wants to give more power to his cabinet members. In his first extensive interview following his selection in September, Rees also said he wanted to give councillors the job of reviewing residents’ parking zones which he said were “too expensive to scrap”. He also pledged his support to newly elected Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, “a good man” who Rees said he would work with to bring greater powers to Bristol to build houses and improve the city’s transport. Speaking to Bristol24/7 following his selection in a tight contest with councillor Mark Bradshaw, Rees said his campaign was in the “early stages”, but some changes had already been made to his approach at the last election in 2012. Most notably, the former BBC Radio Bristol journalist said he had changed his position on who would be part of his cabinet. “We would have people from other parties in our cabinet. The key is to work with the city to set out a Bristol agenda.” He added that he wants to give his cabinet “real political power” instead of treating them “essentially as an advisory room”. “My approach to cabinet is to genuinely share power with them so that you don’t end up retaining all the executive power and it all being about the self,” he said, asking: “Do we share power or do we hold power with a sole individual?” He said he wanted to extend his approach to decentralising the power of the mayor by also giving councillors more of a stake in the democratic process....

Bristol Mayor George Ferguson Denies 'Dictatorial' Slur - Mr Ferguson, an architect, was elected as an independent in 2012 - Bristol's mayor George Ferguson says he will be "more consensual" should he win a second term in May's election and has denied being "dictatorial". He told the BBC he had "taken flak" for his residents' parking zones (RPZ) but successful cities had to be prepared to make "brave decisions". RPZ opponents drove a tank through Clifton while his city-wide 20mph limit roll-out has also been criticised.... "I'm not that dictatorial person that people try to paint me as," he said. "Occasionally I may have lost my rag with people....it may have been once a year....but it gets repeated and repeated and that becomes my image....

Ex-Mayor George Ferguson: ‘The Mayor's Office's Decision-Making Process Seems To Have Broken All Seven Principles Of Public Life' I do not doubt mayor Marvin Rees’ honesty, or question his personal integrity. I am absolutely sure he believes he is doing the right thing for Bristol. However, I do strongly question the motives of some of those who advise and influence him. In particular, his political head of office who seems to have been driving council policy; and YTL, the Malaysian company that seeks to relieve Bristol of our hard-won £53m grant towards the arena project. I have been listening to statements from the mayor’s office with increasing concern over the last couple of weeks, compounding a confused decision-making process that seems to have broken all seven principles of public life: 1. Selflessness: It is evident that the decision making has been driven, at least in part, by personal resentment rather than by what is best for the people of Bristol who have been clear as to their preference. 2. Integrity: Accepting thousands of pounds worth of hospitality from a company seeking advantage from a mayoral decision is not “normal”, as claimed. 3. Objectivity: Freedom of Information requests have revealed clear bias in consultancy appointments and decision-making ever since Marvin’s first trip to Malaysia to meet with YTL in December 2017. 4. Accountability: The mayor, presumably advised by his head of office, has refused to submit himself to the council’s scrutiny process. 5. Openness: The mayor’s office has grossly underplayed the significance of thousands of pounds of expenses paid by YTL, listing them inconspicuously with minor gifts or meals, without declaring even an estimated cost. 6. Honesty: Misleading figures have been quoted regarding project costs to make false comparisons, and the people of Bristol have been misled that the mayor was yet to make up his mind. 7. Leadership: Marvin has allowed his office and other interested parties to drive what has been a fiasco of a decision making process and to lose their moral compass....

Mayor Marvin Rees blasted for 'truly shocking' attack on democracy by claiming opponents play 'ping-pong' with issues. He said 'one of the death-knells of getting things done in Bristol is to begin to get people on these benches to play ping-pong with it'. Marvin Rees has been criticised for launching a “truly shocking” attack on democracy in Bristol. The city’s mayor blamed inaction over major decisions on “political shenanigans” in the council chamber and accused councillors of playing “ping-pong” with issues. His comments, during a debate at full council on the proposed multi-million pound revamp of Cumberland Basin, have alarmed opposition leaders. Explaining the creation of two unelected advisory groups which will progress the plans for the area rebranded as Western Harbour, Mr Rees slammed members’ right to debate controversial topics on behalf of the residents they represent as counter-productive. The leaders of the three city council opposition parties have blasted the Labour mayor’s statements, accusing him of “attacking democracy”, “losing contact with reality” and being unable to take criticism. Rounding off the Western Harbour debate at the full council meeting on November 12, Mr Rees said: "Historically this organisation has failed to meet the challenges of the city because of political shenanigans. “They have not made decisions, they haven’t delivered homes or transport solutions and we are dealing with the legacy of that today.” He said he was taking the Western Harbour advisory groups “out of politics”. One of the working groups will include local people, residents’ groups and businesses, set up to “influence early plans” for the area. Alongside that will be a “reference group” comprising “individuals and organisations that enables local groups and the community to be engaged and informed about what is happening and how to participate with the proposed scheme development”.“I’m not on it. No cabinet member is on it. After the meeting, Lib Dem group leader Gary Hopkins said: “It is a symptom of the mayoral system that the further they get up and up the ivory tower, they lose contact with reality and see anyone who doesn’t agree with them 100 per cent as an enemy. “He actually uses the public disquiet with politicians, which undoubtedly has grown over the past two or three years because of what’s been going on in Parliament, to prevent scrutiny, and sees people asking relevant questions as acting irresponsibly. “It is an attack on the democratic process. “The majority of Bristol’s public are well-informed and do not like what they’re hearing and seeing. “The mayor trying to pull the wool over their eyes on everything is not a good way to proceed. “Clearly the mayoral system has got to go. “In the meantime we will be trying every means possible to uphold the democractic process and raise issues so the public can actually see what is going on and get involved. “But the mayor has bent the constitution, he’s got all the power on his side and it’s quite difficult to do that now.”...

Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees' Bullying Breaks All His Own Rules: Why Bristol mayor Marvin Rees' jokes are no laughing matter - Today, Bristol Live is standing up for a reporter targeted for public ridicule by our city's political elite. This is why... - Look at this line-up of the most powerful politicians in our city. Mayor Marvin Rees, and, to his left, his deputy Craig Cheney. In front of them, ex-council leader Helen Holland and the housing lead Paul Smith, both of whom are laughing gleefully at a joke by the mayor. “Just joking, that’s just a joke,” smiles Mr Rees as he starts a public meeting of the city’s cabinet. And they all smile. “All very nice,” adds Mr Rees, as he turns on his microphone. But all isn’t very nice. Because the mayor is ridiculing another human being. In fact, some of those in front of Mr Rees are sneaking a look at the target of this so-called humour. He is sat on his own on the other side of the council chamber, trying to do his job while being publicly humiliated by Bristol’s political elite. That person is Adam Postans. He is a journalist. And, today, Bristol Live is standing up for Adam. The meeting began with what the mayor, still laughing at his own humour, called “a jovial start” - made, coincidentally, with the recording microphones switched off. Seeing Adam, Mr Rees had joked: “Be great to have a journalist here”. And how they laughed. This from a mayor who, in the same meeting, bemoaned the “downward spiral of the quality of our civic discourse”. Civic discourse? In another context, Mr Rees’ attempt to publicly tarnish Adam’s reputation could be seen as slander. It was certainly a breach of the council members’ code of conduct which, under a section entitled “Respecting others”, advises members that they should “Always treat people with respect, including the organisations and public you engage with.”...

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