November 2018: Mayors View
Homes, schools, buses - we're making progress
LAST month I delivered my ‘State of the City’ annual address.
I enjoy the opportunity to speak direct to the city and I hope you saw, heard or read some details of the speech. In preparing for this, it was worthwhile and rewarding too look at just how much we have achieved in the two years since my election.
I talked about how we have turned around the broken council we inherited, with a £30 million financial hole and a report showing a ‘collective failure of leadership’ to today when an independent review has concluded we are now fit for purpose and focussed on delivery.
I also spoke about the way the city is now pulling together towards key priorities and working with city partners to deliver a city plan, city office and city fund that will transform Bristol beyond party politics and beyond the electoral cycle.
But, most importantly I was able to reflect on the major initiatives we have already delivered on.
New schools and increased school places, exceeding our housing targets, the children’s charter, the talent pipeline projects, improvements to adult social care, the work we are doing on community cohesion and community development and on inclusive growth, so nobody gets left behind by the success of the city.
On top of all that, I added some detail to our plans for the development of the Western Harbour, the housing and mixed use development of Temple Quarter and the re-development of Temple Meads station.
And, if that’s not enough, I committed to do more to solve Bristol’s chronic transport problems that no administration has ever tackled.
I talked about a new deal we were putting together with First Bus for a standard fixed fare for all, across the whole city, bringing equality to bus travel, along with increased bus services and the development of a mass transit system. The latter will be a segregated, new transport system using infrastructure and tunnels that will transform the way we move around the city.
The speech is available to view on YouTube now, and there is a transcript on my blog.