You may have seen that I have now formally invited the Core Cities to join with me and our city to hold a national lobby of Parliament in September. I have spent the last two days with core cities and raised the opportunity with them and followed up formally in writing.
There is no doubt cities are close to breaking point when it comes to social care, children’s services and other services and the austerity policies have to be reversed in favour of a pro-investment agenda. Cities need more funding and greater city sovereignty, to face the issues of the day.
You will see the Cities Green Paper soon. By definition, this has been a piece of work by committee and doesn’t achieve everything I would like to see but forms a basis of our ask to Government. Alongside that ask, we need to show Government how strongly many of us feel about the reductions in funding and the growing pressures on services and that’s why I have asked other cities to join the national lobby day so all citizens can ask their own MP to support the call for realistic funding.
I said publicly last week, people need more than protest. They also need something to believe in, not just argue against. Every great movement articulated and modelled in their behaviours a vision of the better society. We need to do the same.
Our activities will form a very strong two pronged approach to the Government. We will argue for more funding and powers through the lobby while presenting solutions to Government through the Green Paper. We will articulate what Bristol and other cities could be.
I will be writing to Trade Unions in the city, community groups, the People’s Assembly and other groups as well as inviting all citizens to come and join us. This is not shouting from the sidelines. This is building relationships that mean we can raise a shared voice for positive solutions. Please look out for more details soon.