May 2018: News From The Mayor

April 29 2018

Our city must be Sugar Smart

This month saw the introduction of the Government’s Soft Drink Industry Levy, meaning producers of sugary drinks will now pay a levy. In response to this many companies have already begun to reduce the sugar content in their products which may help consumers to make healthier choices. It is good that we are starting to see serious national action on this issue. In Bristol we have already been working hard to make sure people know what is in their food and drinks. 

Through our Sugar Smart campaign, which we launched last year in partnership with the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation, we have been working with partners from around the city to raise awareness about how much sugar is in our food and drinks. The levy will help to get the programme’s message across that too much sugar is proven to be bad for your health. I’d like to thank all the organisations who’ve been helping us to spread the message for their support as we continue to promote health and wellbeing.

I was pleased that Cllr Helen Holland, my cabinet lead for Adult Social Care, brought a report to our Cabinet meeting on our ‘Better Lives’ approach to social care. The paper set out how we’re tackling the well-documented national crisis in social care at a local level in Bristol. This comprehensive programme, not just papering over the cracks, is systematically transforming and improving the way care is delivered in Bristol. Historically, Bristol relied on the use of residential care much more than comparative cities. This is a very expensive approach, so strengthening the community offer (‘social prescribing’) and stabilising the home care market, including raising the hourly rate we pay, mean reductions in admissions to residential homes are already beginning to pay off. 

This month we also launched a consultation on proposals to improve Bristol city centre. This ‘City Centre Framework’ consultation is asking for views on how people access and move around the city centre, the size and shape of new development and how the public spaces could be enhanced. Bristol’s city centre has changed dramatically over the years so to ensure it continues to be successful we need to be proactively shaping its development. Easing congestion and connecting the city are two main focuses, alongside supporting retail and creating inclusive and safe spaces. 

There are many demands for the space which need to be balanced to meet the needs of everybody living, working and visiting there. Therefore it is important many people have a say in the framework. The consultation runs until 14 May, with the online survey available on our website. Hard copies are available in the city’s Libraries and Citizen Service Point at 100 Temple Street.