Bristol City Council: Labour members join mayor's cabinet

Mark Bradshaw and Brenda Massey Councillors Mark Bradshaw and Brenda Massey have joined the mayor's cabinet

Bristol's Labour party is to join the mayor's cross-party cabinet.

The party turned down an offer to take part after the mayoral elections in November but will now fill two posts.

Councillors Mark Bradshaw and Brenda Massey will take on portfolios which are yet to be confirmed.

Mayor George Ferguson thanked Labour leader Helen Holland for the "maturity of their actions" for putting the interests of Bristolians "ahead of confrontational party politics".

'Passion for Bristol'

Analysis

Bristol's Labour party has been wrestling with the issue of whether or not to join the mayor's cabinet since the day he was elected.

It has caused deep division. Some Labour candidates for the recent elections threatened to stand down if the party went in. Councillor Hammond, the then group leader, resigned when Labour's governing body overruled him and ensured the party stayed out.

Councillor Bradshaw is destined for the key and contentious brief of transport which will act as a test of just how much the mayor is willing to delegate decisions to his cabinet members.

"I have always wanted to reflect the plurality of Bristol's voters, as far as it is possible, through the make-up of my cabinet," he said.

"Equally, the real challenges that our city face and the great opportunities open to us means it is important I can draw on the full range of talent, experience and passion for Bristol on offer from amongst the 70 councillors from whom the law requires that I draw my cabinet."

Ms Holland said the Labour group welcomed the mayor's agreement to its conditions for participation in the cabinet, recording votes, and the use of scrutiny to develop and review options for the city's future.

"We also recognise his stated commitment to cabinet members being able to develop policy options, as well as our wider role in holding the mayor accountable," she added.

Following the recent local elections Mr Ferguson said he hoped all four parties would let their members join his cabinet, but insisted he would continue to take personal responsibility for all major decisions.

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