City Gathering – Delivering Together for Bristol

On Friday morning, the City Office held its bi-annual City Gathering. They bring together over 200 leaders from across the public, private, third and voluntary sectors. The City Gatherings are key events in the One City calendar, and central to getting things done collectively in Bristol. Partners provided updates on the priorities we agreed at the January city gathering and captured in the One City Plan.

I’d like to share some key highlights from the day.

Bristol Housing Festival

Update: The pioneering housing festival is working to drive innovation in off-site manufacturing and modular methods of construction, to help solve the city’s housing crisis.

The Offer: Delivering on sites in St George and Fishponds.

The Ask: For people to bring land forward, for development/investment partners, and for city support.

City Funds Project

Update: Our City Funds project has encouraged businesses, community organisations, funders and the public sector to share resources and commit CSR to a single pot to be spent at scale in Bristol rather than divided into smaller projects. At the gathering we announced that £5m funding from Bristol City Council has been matched by the Big Society Capital, with a further £250,000 being invested by Power to Change. These funds will have a real impact on the lives of Bristolians.

The Offer:  To build an investment pot owned and run by the city.

The Ask: For investors to come forward to participate in the City Funds project.

Period Friendly Bristol

Update: Working with partners across all sectors, we have made incredible progress on tackling period poverty and making Bristol a dignified place for people who have periods. An education programme is being developed for schools with partners from The Real Period Project and City to Sea. A youth task group has been put together who are making a video with Plimsoll Productions to highlight young people’s experiences of period indignity.

The Offer:  A citywide donation and distribution network for menstrual products, driven by a web app indicating where people can pick up or drop off period products, a ‘Bristol standard’ education programme for schools.

The Ask: Financial support, volunteer support.

Reducing Serious Youth Violence and Child Criminal Exploitation

Update: Since January, the city has established a new multi-agency team and mentoring programme.

The Offer: To address the underlying causes contributing to street conflict.

The Ask: For employers to consider following Bristol City Council’s lead to ban the box and to offer mentorship, apprenticeships or entry-level jobs from September 2019 when the first cohort of the 6 month call in programme will be nearing completion.

Affordable Childcare

Update: A task group on affordable childcare has been formed to address some of the barriers to offering affordable childcare.

The Offer:  To consider affordable childcare as a key priority for the city, and increase its provision.

The Ask: For employers to consider the childcare needs of their employees and determine what role they can play in facilitating the delivery of affordable childcare.

Fostering in Bristol

Update: Since January, a number of key employers in the city have received fostering friendly employers status. We also recently launched a joint campaign between Bristol City Council and Bristol Post, which features stories of foster families and has encouraged new families to become foster carers. Our newly-established EPIC Fund will ensure that all young people have access to those extra ‘asks’ to parents – e.g. driving lessons and other lifelong skills.

The Offer: Every child in Bristol has a family with no child having to leave the city for care or end up in the care system unnecessarily.

The Ask: Continue to help us recruit foster carers by becoming a Fostering Friendly Employer and/or promoting fostering within your workplace and networks.

New Big Offer Big Asks

Waste Incentivisation

To raise awareness of the waste produced by households and commercial businesses within the city.

The Offer:
Bring a greater understanding of the ‘cost’ of waste and resource use across the city/region and to drive a demonstrable reduction in waste generated.

The Ask:
Get involved in the conversation – demonstrate the benefits of reducing our use of resources  and help us communicate this with those concerned – digitally or visually. We would also encourage businesses to sign up to Bristol Waste as their commercial waste provider. You can do this here.

Cleaning up our Act

Details: Vehicle emissions from fossil fuels  damage for our health and   planet. Physical activity can reduce the risk of major illnesses by up to 50% and lower the risk of early death by up to 30%.

The Offer: Bristol Health and Wellbeing Board has adopted the One City ambition that member organisations will have a 30% non-fossil fuel fleet by 2030. Bristol Public Health is working with partners to create a healthy city.

The Ask: Can you help us make this a Bristol-wide ambition? Can you help us to go further, faster? How can we innovate and scale? How can we live our lives and conduct our business in a way that is healthy for us all?

Declare a Climate Emergency

In response to warnings from scientists, councils and organisations around the world have declared a climate emergency. Bristol has the first council, the first university and the first science centre in the UK to do this.

Offer: We The Curious is where the public can engage with science, sustainability and the planet. We have decided to declare a climate emergency and commit to being carbon neutral by 2030. We share our sustainability journey with others by being members of the Bristol Green Capital Partnership.

Ask: Declare a climate emergency and make commitments to reduce your organisation’s environmental impact. Learn more from We The Curious and others at the BGCP Green Mingle, 5.30pm, 1 August, The Kitchen @ The Station.

City Future

We concluded the event by setting out reflections for the future of Bristol. Led by Professor Robin Hambleton from University of the West of England and Dr Ges Rosenberg from the University of Bristol, we reflected on Bristol’s progress on delivering against the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The SDGs are 17 clear, specific and holistic goals adopted by 193 countries with the aim of providing a common language for all as we collectively aim to address complex local and global challenges. These global goals inform our One City Plan. Bristol was the first city in the UK to hold a voluntary national review, in which key stakeholders discussed how they contribute to the goals, which areas they can improve in, and what action we all need to take. This summer, our City Office will be releasing a report on how public, private, and non-profit organisations across the city contribute to our vision. Although as a city we are performing relatively well in securing decent work and economic growth, inequality is still an issue that cuts across the lives of residents and needs to be at the heart of all we do. By publishing our report and reflecting on our progress, we are sending a strong message to the world that we are willing to take action to achieve a fair, healthy and sustainable city where nobody is left behind.

The positive, collaborative and incredibly productive nature of today’s gathering is a testament to what we can achieve as a city when combining our efforts. I look forward to continuing on this journey together.

We welcome your comments and suggestions on the One City Plan. If you would like to share your solutions and get involved, please get in touch with the One City thematic boards:

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