New era begins at City Hall

The Greens will lead Bristol City Council, effectively in partnership with the Lib Dems, following their election victory.

Councillor Tony Dyer will be the party’s first leader of the authority, with fellow Green Councillor Heather Mack as deputy.

The group, which became the biggest in the chamber with 34 members, having gained 10 at the polls on May 2 – just two shy of an overall majority – will chair six of the eight new policy committees being set up following the switch from the mayoral model of the last 12 years. The Lib Dems will take up the other two, while all parties will hold vice-chair positions.

Labour say the announcement on Wednesday, May 15, means there will be a Green/Lib Dem coalition.

The Greens, however, say the new committee system has no official administration or opposition because it is designed so that all parties work together.

The group also says Labour declined to accept the two roles of policy committee chair which it was entitled to based on the number of councillors each party now has.

The new leaders and key positions were due to be formally agreed at the annual meeting of full council on Tuesday, May 21, and comes after lengthy talks between the groups over the past fortnight.

Bishopston & Ashley Down Councillor Emma Edwards, who will remain as leader of the Green group, a separate role to that of council leader under the authority’s constitution, said: “I am delighted that we have reached an agreement on how the city will be run for the next four years. The council will be led by Greens and will involve representatives of all parties with the aim of making the best possible decisions for the people of Bristol. The start of the committee system, voted for by the people of Bristol, marks a new era for politics in this city.

Labour says it will take all its seats on the policy committees and “work collaboratively with the administration on shared priorities”.

By Adam Postans, Local Democracy Reporting Service