It is distressing to report that two of Bristol’s most respected civic leaders have received death threats in recent weeks. Mayor Marvin Rees, who is mixed race, and Deputy Mayor Asher Craig, who is black, have both made reports to Avon and Somerset Police, and a 27 year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated harassment. Here in this post we do not want to dwell on these shocking incidents. Rather, we want to draw attention to the strengths of Bristol’s leadership and highlight the launch of a new and ambitious collaborative effort. Launched at a City Gathering on 11 January 2019 the One City Plan maps out a strategy for Bristol for the period through to 2050. In this article, first published on the Local Government Chronicle website on 21 January 2019, Robin Hambleton suggests that local leaders can make a positive difference to the trajectory of their city.
Can imaginative mayors form progressive governing coalitions that can tackle growing inequality in cities and other social ills? This is the central question addressed in a new series of articles published by the free online journal Metropolitics. In his contribution to this series ‘Inclusive Place-Based Leadership: Lesson-Drawing from Urban Governance Innovations in Bristol, UK’ Robin Hambleton outlines a way of conceptualising progressive place-based leadership, and reports on the steps now being taken by Bristol’s Mayor Marvin Rees, and other civic leaders in the city, to test this model in practice.
David Sweeting has edited a wide-ranging, international book on directly elected mayors. Published by Policy Press in March 2017, under the title Directly elected mayors in urban governance: Impact and practice, this book draws on examples from Europe, the USA and Australasia to examine the impacts, practices and the lively debates about mayoral leadership in different cities and countries. The book advances international understanding of mayoral governance and contains several chapters discussing mayoral leadership in Bristol. To find out more click here.
Robin Hambleton comments on lessons from Bristol for other cities in England. First published on the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) website on 31 March 2015 he suggests that the centralisation of power in Whitehall is holding cities back.
We have produced a policy report on mayoral governance in Bristol. You can read the report, which includes analysis of data from before and after the introduction of mayoral governance in the city, here.
The report was launched at the Institute for Government on Friday 13th March 2015. You can see the presentations by the mayors of Bristol and Leicester at the event here.