Bristol mayoral race: Geoff Gollop makes tax pledge

Geoff Gollop, Conservative party candidate
Image caption Geoff Gollop says he will transform every idea of his into action

The Conservative candidate for Bristol mayor is so confident savings can be made he has promised to freeze or even reduce council tax if elected.

Geoff Gollop said he believed he would be able to deliver on his pledge within his first year in office.

The BBC learned last month that Bristol City Council is facing budget cuts of £15m more than had been expected.

Voters going to the polls on 15 November will have 15 candidates to choose from for Bristol mayor.

The city's new mayor will be asked to sign off cuts of £25m, which could rise to £28m, from next year's budget - a 7% cut from the current £366m budget.

'Move Bristol forward'

Talking about the release of his manifesto, Mr Gollop said: "One year from polling day, if I am elected as mayor, I will proudly stand up and declare that every idea in my 'change' document has been transformed into action.

"As a chartered accountant and local councillor for 11 years, I am ideally placed to use my skills and knowledge to move Bristol forward."

Mr Gollop, a former Lord Mayor of Bristol, is also promising to lower fares on Bristol's public transport and offer business rate relief for independent shops.

Other ideas in his manifesto include introducing a Bristol School Olympics, a bond scheme for people to "invest" in the city, freeing up plans for the Arena, and making decisions about care for the elderly with individuals in mind, "not the profits of big business".

Fourteen men and one woman are in the running to become Bristol's first directly-elected mayor.

Standing for election are: Tom Baldwin (Trade Unionists and Socialists Against Cuts), Tony Britt (Independent), Tim Collins (Independent), Dave Dobbs (The Birthday Party), George Ferguson (Bristol 1st), Rich Fisher (Independent), Stoney Garnett (Independent), Owain George (Independent), Geoff Gollop (Conservative), Neil Maggs (Respect), Spud Murphy (Independent), Philip Pover (Independent), Daniella Radice (Green), Marvin Rees (Labour) and Jon Rogers (Liberal Democrat)

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