Thanks to encouragement and help from Labour members, activists and councillors, I have been working on various proposals for Labour Bristol under the Fairness Agenda over the last few months.
Fairness Commission: this won’t be a talking shop, it will be up and doing, with non-politicians coming together to work with Labour Bristol on how to make Bristol a Fairer City. This is something Bristolians are telling us they want, every day on the doorstep. Islington Council (Labour) have used their Fairness Commission to provide them with clear, practical ways to make Islington a fairer place to live. We will do this for Bristol (and please note, when the Labour councillors proposed this in Council, our Lib Dem councillors, including my own councillor Dr Jon Rogers, voted against).
Living Wage: many Labour councils elsewhere have implemented this policy of paying people a Living Wage. This was first set up by London Labour Mayor candidate Ken Livingstone (Londoners: VOTE KEN! SACK BORIS!). I proposed last month to Bristol Labour councillors that we do the same – clearly we are having an influence on the other parties as suddenly the LibDems couldn’t wait to copy. We will ask the Fairness Commission to identify a Bristol Living Wage, in view of the fact that our costs of living are very high.
Childcare: this is one of my personal highest priorities. High quality, flexible, affordable childcare accessible locally is one of the best ways to reduce child poverty, give children a great start/fun and help women particularly but men as well stay in work or get back to work. It helps parents who want to work flexibly when their children are young. It reduces the amount we all have to spend on benefits to support parents who can’t afford childcare or just can’t get any near them. More information about this here.
There’s more – and I will add more information as the ideas are developing. As always, I welcome comments, suggestions, feedback. If you want more information about the detail and you are a Bristol Labour member or supporter, please get in touch – you can send me a direct message on twitter if you follow me @tdebbonaire.