Council to vote on arena location

March 26 2018

A DEBATE and vote on the location of Bristol’s proposed arena was due to be held at the full Bristol City Council meeting on March 20.

A DEBATE and vote on the location of Bristol’s proposed arena was due to  be held at the full Bristol City Council meeting on March 20. 

A motion calls on the Mayor Marvin Rees to consider the strong public support for a Temple Meads location.

Nearly 5,000 people have signed a petition, which will also be debated at the meeting and calls for the Mayor to support a Temple Meads arena, in preference to the Brabazon Hangar option at Filton that is also being considered.

Former Mayor George Ferguson favoured Temple Meads for the arena but Mr Rees wanted other options considered.

 The motion, put forward by the Green Party, lists a number of reasons in support of a city centre arena site over Filton, including a central position close to transport links. 

Aside from the millions of pounds already spent preparing the site, it is argued that an arena in an iconic part of the city would improve Bristol’s reputation and the profits from a council-owned arena could be put back into funding local services.

 The motion also suggests that a Filton location doesn’t make sense as it would require over £100 million of public investment in local infrastructure, would be almost entirely car-centric in terms of access causing significant congestion and air pollution, and see economic benefits going to South Gloucestershire rather than deprived areas of Central and South Bristol.  

Meanwhile councillors have been trying to get more details on the ‘Value for Money’ study the Mayor has commissioned from consultants KPMG. 

Redland councillor Martin Fodor asked for the study’s terms of reference at a cabinet meeting of January 23 but has still not received a full account. 

Councillor Fodor said: “The persistent lack of transparency around this whole process, particularly the Mayor’s KPMG study, is really worrying given the importance of this arena to the future of Bristol. Councillors are still in the dark on important aspects of this study.  

“Any decision to rethink the location of the arena should happen through an informed, democratic and transparent process. It should not be a decision taken behind closed doors and potentially unduly influenced by big business and shaped by inappropriate criteria.”

 The result of the vote will be announced after the Bishopston Voice goes to print.