‘Hotwells & Harbourside’s next councillor needs to focus on the job, not grandstanding’

‘Hotwells & Harbourside’s next councillor needs to focus on the job, not grandstanding’

My colleagues and I have spoken to thousands of residents around the port and their message is loud and clear. People want a council that is focused on the work they were elected to do.

Hotwells & Harborside doesn’t want a councilman just standing on the stage, desperately trying to revive his political career.

What residents have been missing in recent years is a hardworking city council to get on with their job and put residents’ needs ahead of their own pet projects.

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For many in the area, the stakes are just too high. Hundreds of tenants and tenants on the station – including my own grandmother – are stuck in apartments involved in the facade scandal.

Many people on Spike Island feel trapped on their streets due to poorly placed bus barriers and endless repair work. The livelihood crisis is bringing many residents and local businesses to the brink.

The Labor Administration’s plan is to pretend to shut down our beloved central library, only to miraculously save it a week before postal voting begins.

This is the third election in a row they’ve pulled off such a stunt. The residents of Hotwells & Harborside are undeterred by Labour’s cynical attempt to increase their share of the vote.

And let’s not forget the residents who live in the line of fire of the Mayor’s worrying plans for West Harbor.

Many people fear that their communities will be fragmented by more roads and that their homes will be at even greater risk of flooding – if they are not demolished first.

My position is clear: there is no way I will support the construction of more houses in a flood plain without serious improvements in flood protection.

And if there are major construction projects going on in the area, they must be done with the approval of the local community. Residents have suffered from botched consultations for years and this must not happen again.

A recent high tide spills water over the top of the Cumberland Basin – Photo: Martin Booth

We know the hunger for green politics and representation is already there. In the last local election, there were just 26 votes between the Liberal Democrats and the Greens in first and second place.

Our community is once again faced with a clear choice between these two options.

So who will be able to effect change? There are only five Lib Dem councilors in Bristol. They have lost three since the last election and none of them are anywhere near the port. Does that sound like a team that can make a difference in our field?

The Greens have now grown to 24 city councillors. There’s a reason every area adjacent to the port has green councillors; we transplant, we are persistent, we work hard all year round, we get things done for residents. We’re not sitting on our hands waiting for the next election to show we care.

The eastern boundary of Hotwells & Harborside is Pero’s Bridge – Photo: Martin Booth

If you vote for me, you will not only benefit from my hard work as a local councillor, but also from 25 hard-working green local councillors. We work together as the biggest team in town.

While others spend their time just collecting signatures, for the past two years we have taken on casework from residents of Hotwells and Harborside.

I’ve been working with Councilor Ani Stafford-Townsend downtown to get the Gaol Ferry Bridge open again as quickly and safely as possible.

I worked with Southville councilors Tony Dyer and Christine Townsend, reviewing the plans for the West Harbor and setting clear red lines.

I’ve been working with Councilor Tom Hathway at Clifton Down on rent cap proposals. And I’m working with the entire green faction to review the mayor’s budget to prevent unimaginable cuts in essential public services in our community.

This is how we will solve the major problems at the port – together as a team.

If you live in Hotwells & Harborside I hope you will support me in the February 2nd election because you deserve a councilman who gets on with the work – and indeed has the support to do so.

Patrick McCallister is the Green Party candidate in the February 2nd Hotwells & Harborside by-election. The other candidates are Eliana Barbosa from the Conservative Party, Eileen Means from the Labor Party and Stephen Williams from the Liberal Democrats. There will be a Hustings at Hotwells Primary School on January 17th.

Main Photo: Green Party – Patrick McCallister with Carla Denyer, Green Party Co-Leader and Clifton Down Councillor

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