It’s clear that Bristol needs a strong economy, but what type of economy? This is one of the most prosperous cities in the UK, but it is increasingly unequal and unaffordable. Labour wishes to build an economy for all, where everyone benefits from our city’s success and where no-one is left behind. If elected next week we will:
- Be open for business. We will maintain and develop Bristol’s great reputation, generate decent jobs, skills and apprenticeships, help businesses to access European and UK sources of finance and knowledge, all whilst ensuring a longer term plan for economic development.
- Become a Living Wage city. Bristol City Council will pay staff, and require contractors to pay, the real Living Wage as set by the Living Wage Foundation. We will create a Bristol Living wage Partnership to encourage businesses across the city to do likewise. Similarly, the Council will not use zero hours contracts, and will refuse to give work to companies guilty of blacklisting workers. Finally, social responsibility and pay equality will be prioritised through a Bristol Charter for Corporate Social Responsibility and a Mayoral Commission on the gender and race pay gaps.
- Promote Bristol’s innovation. By working with innovative companies and centres of learning and research we will ensure that Bristol continues to flourish, and that we build on the legacy of the year as European Green Capital.
- Promote Bristol’s culture. We will lead a bid to become European Capital of Culture.
- Champion financial inclusion. We will prioritise local businesses and organisations to promote the local economy, we will work to enable equitable access to financial services, and will promote the Bristol Credit Union.
- Invest in training. We will promote targeted skills training and create a Bristol Apprenticeship kite mark, in addition to an Apprentice Travel Card.
- Secure greater transparency and accountability. We will bring about greater accountability in the Local Enterprise Partnership, will use business rates to make the city more attractive to employers, and will work with partners across the city to strengthen Bristol’s devolution bid.
- Complete the Arena. We will ensure that the Arena project is not only finished but that, in the process, it generates jobs and apprenticeships for local people. We will also ensure that sustainable transport and parking solutions for the Arena are implemented.
- Invest in infrastructure. Bristol needs a 21st century infrastructure to be able to expand and thrive. We will ensure that there is public transport and broadband to serve residents’ and businesses’ needs, and will tackle the digital exclusion which disadvantages certain people.
- Support people into work. We will establish a one-stop shop to help people into work, will develop a young people’s Passport for Employability, and will set up a forum to help anyone return to work after maternity/paternity leave.
- Establish the Bristol Bond. This initiative will help to develop a long term capacity for civic investment in new affordable homes, infrastructure, and economic and social development.
These plans will ensure that Bristol is on the right track to have the kind of economic mix and capability to guarantee that our great city will continue to thrive, grow and expand whilst leaving none if its residents in its wake. Our manifesto contains all this and more, including our pledges in other policy areas. You can read it by clicking here clicking here.