As we head towards our Mayoral hustings on 18th March, TRESA is reproducing the pledges made by candidates. Samuel Williams is standing as the Conservative candidate. Below are pledges made in an article on his website.
I am delighted to be standing as the Mayoral candidate for Bristol in the elections in May this year. Standing in opposition to the incumbent Labour Mayor, I say it is high time that all our communities across the City and all Bristolians are listened to and served; something that simply is not happening under the current administration. Even a cursory glance at the State of Bristol 18-19 report highlights significant injustices, showing an increasing year on year crime rate with 33 per cent of the population in the most deprived areas fearing acts of crime and violence on a day to day basis. Hate crime up. Those “Not in Education, Employment or Training” is above the national average.
Air quality continues to be dangerously out of control – and life expectancy significantly worse than the national average. Pupils in receipt of Special Educational Needs support or having an Education Health and Care Plan is above the national average and yet provision has been cut. In some quarters of 2019, the 20-week deadline to produce support plans
As I stand alongside Bristolians, I commit to getting back to the basics of local government, that is to address the real issues that impact residents each day. That means ensuring that education standards are improving, especially for those with SEND requirements, and making sure support is delivered when it is needed. I pledge to support our local businesses, bringing life to our high streets and economy through pioneering start-up hubs. I back a freeport for the City and eco-innovation enterprise zones.
We must look forward towards a sustainable and healthy city developing transport, housing, and environmental policies which strengthen communities, improve health, enable equal access to all opportunities across the city, and work towards carbon neutrality. But more fundamental than a fresh and positive policy agenda, Bristol needs leadership that is not afraid to listen, learn and serve from a place of courageous humility.
Unlike many places around the country, Bristol maintained a strong Labour vote during the General Election. I would be naive not to expect a hard road ahead of me in the run up to May’s Mayoral election. However, I am equally aware that the city at large is tired of politics being done to them by a Labour-weighted Council Cabinet who is often accused of being unapproachable, unaccountable, and failing to deliver much-needed services. So, whilst I may stand with an outside chance of winning, I do so, standing with the people of Bristol so that together, Bristol might flourish.