Author Archives: marvinjrees

Protecting frontline services: a budget for Bristol

On Tuesday 18 January, Deputy Mayor Craig Cheney presented our budget to cabinet before it is taken to Full Council for approval. This is the speech he used to introduce it.

This budget protects Bristol’s libraries, children’s centres and social care programmes, such as Better Lives at Home. However, it is also very much a housing budget.

Our capital programme spends £10.8 million for housing delivery along with our housing company, Goram Homes, and this coming financial year there’s also £846,000 in revenue funding. The Housing Revenue Account (HRA) budget, also has substantial funding for houses and invests in the council’s existing stock.

Due to growing costs to services, the impact of the pandemic on revenues and government shortfall in funding for local government, we have a budget deficit of £19.5m for 2022 to 2023.

However, rather than cutting services we have focused this budget on improving how the council is run by reducing costs and creating greater efficiency are the focus for bridging the budget gap.

This report proposes a net general fund revenue budget in 2022 to 2023 of just over £431 million and to finance the budget outlined above savings and efficiencies of £17.9 million are identified for 2022 to 2023 and £34 million over the medium term, some of which will require further consultation and the council’s element of the council tax is proposed to increase next year by 2.99 per cent which includes the adult social care precept of 1 per cent.

While we understand the impact this has on households across the city we need to weigh up the balance of increases in council tax against continuation of vital services provided to our residents. Continuing to maintain our Council Tax Reduction Scheme makes sure that we continue to provide support to those who simply can’t afford to pay.

Sound financial decision-making to date has allowed us to keep libraries and children’s centres open, while they have closed in many other places facing the same pressures and we will continue our work to create a better, inclusive and more sustainable city for all. We are adamant that we will reduce costs from within, focusing council capacity on our priorities, and any other decisions will be rigorously assessed so we can be assured they do not disproportionally impact vulnerable citizens.

We continue to invest in Bristol through our capital programme, with over £1.9 billion planned over the next 10 years, particularly to help address the affordability and desperate need for housing and to drive forward inclusive economic recovery, and improve our transport networks, bridges, parks and harbour.

Our capital plans also include a £19 million Decarbonisation Fund to invest in our council buildings and vehicle fleet, as well as £97 million to make our council homes more energy efficient and to reduce carbon emissions. All part of our journey towards being carbon neutral.

Despite these challenges, we will continue to focus on building a city where nobody is left behind, has a modern mass transit network, affordable homes for all, the high-quality services our citizens expect, and at the same time, drives a diverse economy that provides jobs for all and tackles the climate and ecological emergencies.

Read more about our budget proposals for 22/23 here.

City Leadership Programme 2022

Bristol remains challenged by gender, race, class, disability, and other social fractures. Unquantifiable amounts of young talent are lost to the city every year in part because the social, economic, and political structures that nurture leadership are not equally available to all. The Covid-19 pandemic has further exposed the inequalities in our society and strengthened the case for more diversity in leadership.

We’re fortunate in Bristol to be surrounded by young and eager talent in every community and every corner of the city. But sadly, the futures of many of these young people are not as bright as they should be, owing to the challenge of their disadvantaged backgrounds.

It is in our collective interest to take a proactive approach to growing the talent and values that will lead us tomorrow. The leadership talent pool must be deeper and broader than it has historically been, both in the name of bringing the diversity of thought to our decision-making tables that will be needed in a world of increasingly complex challenges, and as evidence of a fairer society that is representative of the population.

I co-founded the City Leadership Programme (CLP) in 2012, bringing city institutions and businesses together to invest in Bristol’s future as an inclusive, sustainable, and thriving city. The CLP grew out of our belief that it is not good enough for political and business leaders to wait for the next generation of leaders to come about by social circumstance. Our intention is that the CLP sits within a wider tapestry of city programmes that together support the development of tomorrow’s leaders at all levels.

When I set up this programme my aim was to provide opportunities to talented young people to gain confidence in their skills and to dare to dream big dreams.

The programme seeks pupils on Pupil Premium, Black or minoritised young people or those with English as an additional language, Disabled young people or those labelled as having ‘SEND’, children in care, young carers, asylum seekers and refugees and LGBTQ+ young people to build on their strengths, be empowered to challenge societal barriers and influence change. This programme will be a launchpad for future compassionate and inclusive leadership in local, national, and international business, politics, and non-governmental organisations.  

I encourage senior leaders, teachers, lecturers, youth leaders or community and voluntary sector organisations to nominate high-aspiration young people (aged 16-19) with leadership qualities from disadvantaged backgrounds which are under-represented in leadership, or who face personal barriers for the 2022 City Leadership Programme.

The closing date for nominations is midnight on Friday 8 April 2022

If you are interested in nominating or taking part in the CLP, or know someone who might be, more details can be found here.

To read about the experiences of some of the programme’s alumni and what they are doing now please click here.

2021 Wrapped

This year, with the help of people across Bristol, we’ve looked at the issues facing our city and amazing things which are being done to make the place we call home better. In this, the 180th blog published in 2021, we look back on what you’ve been reading most.

Topping our blog charts was this piece in February by Christina Gray and Sara Blackmore, the Directors of Public Health for Bristol and South Gloucestershire Councils. Completing the podium were my response the aftermath of the European Championship final in July, and James Freeman’s blog on improving Bristol’s buses. And, in fourth and fifth respectively, my annual State of City speech and my blog on continuing to support and invest in our city centre.

We’ve also put together the highlights of this year’s photos from my Facebook and Instagram pages. I was honoured to be re-elected as Mayor of my home city in May and to win UPenn’s Urban Leadership award earlier in the spring. There was been a great reaction to our Where’s It To high streets campaign, and our investment in local shopping areas, and I’ve loved talking to local traders as part of it. Fellow Bristolians were as excited as me by plans for our underground network, the kind of transformational thinking on transport that Bristol is crying out for. And, ahead of COP26 in Glasgow last month, it was great to see such a warm reaction for our work with Prince Charles and others to help tackle the Climate and Ecological Emergencies.

As we look forward to 2022 (and all the blogs it might bring), we can be thankful that many of the organisations that we’ve highlighted this year will continue to go from strength to strength in supporting their fellow Bristolians throughout the pandemic and beyond. We will continue working with them, as One City, to build a fairer, more inclusive, more sustainable Bristol.

Christmas jumpers (and school uniform!)

Today’s blog is by Kirsty Clark, the Founder and Director of Bristol Uniform Exchange CIC

Bristol Uniform Exchange was created to help reduce the cost of school uniform for Bristol families, by offering items for free! Now, more than ever, we need to support each other and reusing and recycling items seemed like a good place to start. Uniform costs can really mount up, especially if you have more than one child, or children at multiple schools.

We began collecting donations, contact-free at the height of the pandemic, to build a stock items to redistribute. We wanted to be ready to support families when children were allowed to return to school. By providing these uniform items, we hope to support good attendance, engagement and participation across all areas of the curriculum. We have now collected over 6,000 uniform items and accessories which otherwise would have gone to landfill.

How does it work?

Our support is offered all year around. Through our Facebook group and events, families can access the items they need. You can request a specific item through our group, where peer to peer support is offered as well as access to our stock of donations. We also accept direct and discrete referrals and requests through Facebook and our website. Often people can find asking for help hard, so we wanted to have different routes to access us, to suit different needs. Our Facebook group currently has 972 members, who help create a safe, supportive and caring environment.

Families can also come along to our events with items they no longer need and swap them. Equally, you can come along and collect anything you require without making a swap.  We have a range of items including jumpers, polo shirts, skirts and trousers as well as coats and shoes.

We hosted our second uniform exchange day in the summer holidays, staggering entry times to allow space, asking volunteers and families to wear masks and to observe social distancing. All donated or swapped items were also quarantined. Our friends at Bristol Children’s Playhouse let us use their space in their preschool room in Greenbank. The event was a huge success with families swapping and collecting the items they needed. We kitted out 100 people in the few hours we opened.

Wish Lists

We have been fortunate enough to secure funding to support our project further and extend our work. We are very grateful to BoKlok who have donated to our project. Their support has enabled an immediate extension of our ‘wish list’ scheme. This scheme enables families to request items we have been unable to source through donations. We have worked with several uniform supplies, locally and nationally, to purchase items needed. This has often been for the pricey, branded garments such as blazers and PE kit items. We have been able to agree discounted rates for items and some supplies have even given items for free and in additional sizes.

Families have told us that their children have been excluded from taking part in PE due to incorrect kit. It is important to us that all children fully participate in their education and not miss out simply because of their clothes!

Christmas Jumper Day

Today is Christmas Jumper Day – a new tradition observed by school and pre-school settings across the county.

To support families further, we have once again ran our Christmas jumper swap campaign. Last year we proudly supported nearly 80 families to access a jumper through our Facebook group. This is potentially 80 children that did not miss out on a day at school, just because they didn’t have a festive jumper to wear! It is work like this, and the support of the online community we are building, that helps families in most need of support.

Our future plans

Next year we are hoping to host more events, in a range of different locations. It is important to us that location or transport is not a barrier to access. We hope that taking our events to different locations next year helps us reach even more families. We are also hoping to increase the number of volunteers who help us. This support is crucial in helping us reach as many families as possible.

We are proud to have directly supported over 600 families across Bristol since we began in April 2020. There have also been countless support offered directly by members of our group, which we are really grateful for. We hope to help even more families as we grow and are always looking for new ways we can help.

More

Visit our website, our Facebook group, our Twitter, or our Instagram.

World AIDS Day 2021

Today’s blog is by Aled Osborne, Community Engagement Manager at Brigstowe.

World AIDS Day is an annual event held on 1 December. It is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness.

End inequalities. End AIDS. End pandemics.

This World AIDS Day, UNAIDS is highlighting the urgent need to end the inequalities that drive AIDS and other pandemics around the world. Without bold action against inequalities, the world risks missing the target to end HIV transmission by 2030, as well as a prolonged COVID-19 pandemic and a spiralling social and economic crisis. Economic, social, cultural, and legal inequalities must be ended as a matter of urgency if we are to end HIV transmissions and HIV stigma by 2030.

Although there is a perception that a time of crisis is not the right time to prioritise tackling underlying social injustices, it is clear that without doing so the crisis cannot be overcome.

AIDS- “Don’t die of ignorance”, Tombstones, “Gay Virus”, “AIDS is the wrath of God”, for many, are the first things that still come to mind when we talk about HIV. These campaigns, adverts and rhetoric were all too common in the 80’s and 90’s and have probably been the most effective marketing campaigns this country has seen.

Tackling stigma

It’s 40 years since the first diagnosed case of HIV and although we have seen incredible medical advancements, social attitudes still very much remain in the past. We live in Space Age times with some Stone Age minds. Stigma and discrimination are the biggest challenges people living with HIV still face. One in three people living with HIV have faced discrimination. Stigma can have a huge impact on people’s lives. It can prevent people from getting tested and for people living with HIV it can prevent them from taking their life-saving medication, lose family and relationships, lose jobs, be put last on surgery and other medical appointment lists, and prevent them from feeling connected in their local community. These are among the many reasons people living with HIV in the UK are twice as likely to be diagnosed with depression.

It is a very exciting time for work ending HIV in Bristol. As well as being a part of the Fast Track Cities Initiative, a global movement bringing city partners and the public together to accelerate our work towards ending HIV, we also have two ground breaking projects happening. Common Ambition Bristol is a major three-year community empowered project led by Brigstowe and African Voices Forum working with African and Caribbean heritage communities in Bristol to reduce HIV diagnosis, stigma and generally improve sexual health. We also have Hearts and Minds, a collaborative community project finding new ways to reduce HIV related stigma in healthcare. This is being facilitated by Catherine Dodds, a long standing HIV researcher from University of Bristol and Rising Arts Agency.

Did you know?

  • U=U. Undetectable=Untransmittable. This means people living with HIV on effective treatment cannot pass the virus onto their sexual partners.
  • Babies without HIV can be born to parents with HIV.
  • One third of people living with HIV in the UK are women.
  • The numbers of people being diagnosed with HIV through heterosexual sex is the same as the number being diagnosed through men having sex with men.
  • You cannot acquire HIV through saliva or sharing cutlery, toothbrushes and towels.

In 2021, these messages and information is what needs to be shared.

Show your support

There are many things you can do this World AIDS Day to show your support.

  1. Attend Bristol’s World Aids Day vigil on Wednesday 1 December at 6.30pm.
  2. Wear a Red Ribbon and wear it with pride!
  3. Donate £10 to Brigstowe so they can continue their vital work – text HIV to 70085
  4. If you are passing Bristol Temple Meads, Ashton Gate Stadium, or City Hall on 1 December then take a picture of the buildings illuminated red and share on social media tagging Brigstowe

For more information on the work Brigstowe do and the support they provide, please visit www.brigstowe.org

Omicron

I want to start today’s blog with a thank you, to all of our Bristol residents for your continued efforts to help prevent the transmission of COVID-19 and protect our communities in Bristol. Many of you have continued to wear your face covering on public transport and when shopping; kept washing your hands frequently; and balanced your own risks to protect yourself, our frontline workers, and your friends and family.

The virus is still circulating as we head into another tough winter for our NHS and social care keyworkers, and infection rates in Bristol remain high. With the new COVID-19 Omicron variant, first identified by scientists in South Africa, we are now fighting on another front.

In October, we took a united, joined up Bristol position, encouraging and expecting Bristolians to continue with the public health behaviours we have become so accustomed to over the last two years. And with national rules back in force today to prevent the spread of the Omicron variant and save lives, I want to emphasise the importance of these behaviours in keeping our lives open and full of activity and opportunity.

Remember:

  • If you are unwell, recover at home, and do not go into work or visit vulnerable friends and family members. Even if you have mild cold-like symptoms, this could be very serious for someone else, and you don’t know if you might also be carrying COVID-19.
  • If you have symptoms of COVID-19, or test positive after taking a lateral flow (rapid) test, self-isolate at home and book a PCR test to confirm the result. Lateral flow tests should be taken before you undertake any potentially risky activity, such as attending a sports match at a stadium or visiting a vulnerable family member.
  • Ventilation and fresh air are still as important as ever, and while I recognise it is more challenging in the colder weather, even opening your windows for 10-15 minutes at a time can have a real impact.
  • Other countries of course have their own COVID-19 rules, including proof of a negative test and proof of vaccination. If you are planning to travel in the next few weeks and months, I urge to you plan ahead for all possibilities, including if you or someone in your party becomes unwell and you need to find somewhere to self-isolate, and further changes to national travel guidance.
  • Vaccination is the most important thing we can do to protect ourselves and our children against ill health, and against new variants of the virus. So, if you’re already eligible for your COVID-19 booster or flu jab, do not delay in booking your appointment. The more people who have their vaccinations, the better our protection against ill health.

These precautionary measures will help us to keep life moving, to support our businesses to stay open and to keep life moving for everyone.

We are kind. We are safe. We are Bristol.

Eliminating Violence against Women

Today’s guest blog is from Claire Bloor, CEO of Somerset and Avon Rape and Sexual Abuse Support (SARSAS)

Today is the first day of 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, kicking off on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. 

In the wake of the shocking murders of Sarah Everard, Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman, and Sabina Nessa this year’s 16 Days of Activism feels more poignant than ever. Coupled with the coverage of the low rates of conviction for gender-based violence, a painful light has been shone on how, in 2021, women are still not safe.  

This year more than ever we welcome a chance to come together and call for change.  We must stand together to end violence against women and girls.

16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual international campaign that starts every year on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs until 10 December, Human Rights Day.  Individuals and organisations around the world use the 16 days to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls. 

Alongside the work we do, at SARSAS, supporting victim-survivors to rebuild their lives after sexual violence, we’re proud of our campaigning work. We not only want all people affected by sexual violence to have support, but we also work towards ending sexual violence happening in the future. That’s why the “16 Days” is such an important campaign. A global campaign with global significance, it allows all those determined to put an end to gender-based violence to work together. 

This year, at SARSAS, our theme for the 16 days will be ‘Reclaim’. 

  • In a world that objectifies women and girls, it’s time to reclaim our bodies. 
  • In a world that’s designed around the needs of men, it’s time to reclaim our right to public spaces. 
  • In a world where the voices of women from marginalised communities often go unheard, it’s time to reclaim our right to protest and raise those voices up. 

We are calling on all people to join us in reclaiming the right of women and girls, from all walks of life, to live free from sexual violence, on our streets and in our homes! There are lots of ways to get involved:

This evening at 5:30pm, I will be in conversation with our patron, Laura Bates live on Instagram talking about how far we have come in regard to addressing violence against women and girls and how far we still have to go. You can take part by heading to our Instagram page then for the first of our SARSAS Sessions. 

Tonight at 7pm there will be a Reclaim the Night March through Bristol. To find out more head to the event page.  

We’ll also be hosting a Facebook Live on Tuesday 7 December at 6pm with CEOs from the Bristol Sexual Violence Alliance chatting about how we are marking the 16 days with our #CallingForChange campaign. Head to our Facebook page to watch live. 

Up until 10th December, we’ll be posting and sharing different ways that you can take action against gender-based violence. You can follow us on FacebookInstagram, or Twitter to get involved in the 16 Days campaign.  

About SARSAS

SARSAS is a specialist support service for people affected by sexual violence. A passionate team of specialists who stand alongside those impacted by rape and sexual abuse; listening, believing, and supporting them to reclaim their lives. We campaign and raise awareness to stop it happening to others. 

SARSAS offer a helpline and live chat service, e-support, counselling, 1:1 support and group work. All our services are free and confidential.  

For more information on SARSAS go to our website.

The promise of a Bristol Local Food Fund

The Bristol Local Food Fund is a bold new idea to tackle food insecurity in our city.

Today’s blog is by Michael Lloyd-Jones, the Founder and Project Coordinator for the Bristol Local Food Fund

In Bristol, around 1 in 20 households in our city experience “moderate to severe” food insecurity, unable to access enough good quality, nutritious food to maintain health and development.

We know that food is fundamental to our lives, intertwined with key aspects of our society, economy, environment, culture, and community. Many of us are fortunate enough to enjoy Bristol’s wonderful food and drink sector, filled with talented local independents, but for tens of thousands of people in our city, it is a world away.

On top of existing structural inequalities, we’re seeing rocketing energy bills, rising food prices, supply chain failures, and recent cuts to Universal Credit conspiring to wreak a very harsh winter on already vulnerable households.

How can we respond to this urgent crisis as well as tackling the recurrent structural issues that cause food insecurity in our communities?

Community food projects across our city are working to reduce food insecurity, delivering solutions that go beyond the emergency provision of food banks and towards more sustainable solutions. These include growing food locally, community cooking classes, distributing nutritious food boxes – including culturally appropriate food for our diverse population – and running affordable social eating spaces.

Projects such as Heart of BS13, Lawrence Weston City Farm, National Food Service Bristol, BS5 Super Supper Club, the MAZI project, Redcatch Community Garden, and countless others are all offering responses to the specific needs of the communities they serve.

But these projects need funding and support to sustain and scale up their work. Not just emergency funding to see communities through this winter, but help to build a fairer food system that ensures everyone in Bristol can access good quality, affordable food.

That’s why we have launched the Bristol Local Food Fund.

We want to bring all the resources of our city together to create a new, accessible source of funding for community food projects. One that prioritises equitable outcomes for communities that experience the greatest disadvantages around food.

To start the fund off, we launched a crowdfunder campaign in October with a target raise of £100,000.

To ensure the fund is accessible, equitable and serves people in the city who are most in need, we will recruit a Citizen’s Panel – a group of people with lived experience of food insecurity – to help design the grant awards process.

The BLFF team is 100% voluntary, and has developed the project in partnership with Bristol City Council, Feeding Bristol, Quartet Community Foundation (on behalf of Bristol City Funds), Bristol Food Network, and Burges Salmon. Quartet will also act as the grant-holding organisation on behalf of the fund.

The crowdfunder campaign launched on October 26th, and we’ve had a fantastic response so far. Over 40 independent food businesses offered thousands of pounds worth of rewards as an incentive for people to donate to the crowdfunder. We’ve connected with business networks such as Bristol Law Society and Business West to explore ways of supporting the fund. Even major ethical brands like Lush and Patagonia are actively promoting the campaign in their Bristol stores.

We know that Bristol has both the will and the wealth to create this fund – so let’s make it a reality.

To donate to the Bristol Local Food Fund, go to www.crowdfunder.co.uk/BLFF

Living Wage Week

It seems that having a job is no longer enough to guarantee security, and it’s a source of national shame that we have so many workers in our country unable to afford the basics and unable to save for the things that matter to them.

Cutting £20-a-week from Universal Credit is the single biggest overnight cut to the basic rate of social security since the Second World War, and working families make up the majority of those who will be affected.

The Real Living Wage is the only wage rate independently calculated based on rising living costs – including fuel, energy, rent and food. A full-time worker earning the new Real Living Wage would earn £1,930 a year more than a worker earning the current government minimum. That’s the equivalent of seven months of food bills or more than five months’ rent based on average household spending in the UK, having a huge impact on households being let down by current government policy.

This morning we hosted our annual Living Wage Week event, bringing together employers across the region to celebrate progress but also recognise the work that still needs to be done when it comes to fair pay. This year marks 20 years of the Living Wage movement, and as we see living costs rise across the board, it seems there has never been a more important time to focus on fair pay.

We were joined by fantastic speakers from Babbasa, Hargreaves Lansdown, Trinity Community Arts, Quirky Campers, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, and the Living Wage Foundation. They shared their reasons for becoming accredited Living Wage employers and the current context when it comes to low pay in the UK.

We were also able to share a new video we’ve produced about our city’s commitment to making Bristol a Living Wage City, which you can watch below.

In January of last year, we announced that Bristol had been recognised by the Living Wage Foundation for the efforts of our Action Group in creating a Living Wage City. We are among the first few places to be recognised as part of the Living Wage Places scheme, and the largest city so far.

Since this programme of work started, 65 employers have become Living Wage accredited in the city, which translates to almost 2,500 workers seeing their wages rise in Bristol alone.

Despite progress, almost 12% of jobs in Bristol are paid below the Living Wage. Although I’m pleased to see that this is significantly below the national average, this means there are still 33,000 people in Bristol earning a wage that isn’t linked to the true cost of living.

Fair pay is a cornerstone of a healthy society, impacting on everything from housing to physical and mental wellbeing. Notably, low pay is not evenly distributed across our communities. Women, young people, disabled people and racialised communities are all more likely to experience low pay, and the pandemic has only entrenched these inequalities.

That’s why our ambition is for Bristol to be a city that provides secure, rewarding work and a fair wage for all ages and abilities. This goal is part of our One City Plan – a shared vision of where we want to be by 2050, not written by us, but alongside our city partners.

But paying a Real Living Wage isn’t just a good thing to do for workers, it’s good for business too. 93% of businesses report benefits from accrediting, whether that be improved reputation, better retention of staff or better motivation amongst the workforce.

I’d ask all employers to look at where you can make changes within your own organisations, but also at where you can help us in influencing others in your networks to get involved and consider becoming accredited.

Thank you to our Action Group for their efforts in supporting this work. You can find out more about the journey we’re on and how you can get involved by contacting the team at livingwage@bristol.gov.uk.

Bristol’s Climate Smart Cities Challenge

Today’s guest blog is from Jessie Wilde, Deputy Project Director at Bristol Housing Festival

On November 3rd, working with the One City Office, we saw the launch of the Climate Smart City Challenge in Dubai at the International Expo with Nesta and UN Habitat.

The challenge is a city-based open innovation competition that will invite technologists, businesses, and investors to develop, test and scale cutting-edge solutions in four cities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Bristol has been selected alongside Bogota in Colombia, Curitiba in Brazil, and Makindye Ssabagabo in Uganda. The focus of the Climate Smart Cities Challenge is to design a project at neighbourhood level that will showcase how cities can co-create new ideas together with innovators that make cities more sustainable and climate smart.

As we know, Bristol is currently facing a housing crisis, a climate crisis and a construction skills shortage, and the problem we’re interested in solving is how we deliver new housing, so it becomes a positive contributor to reducing greenhouse gases in the city.

The challenge, or barrier to this, is not the housing technology itself. Where innovation is truly needed is in the model used to deliver housing by multiple stakeholders. The challenge is both in the collaboration required and the financial model and mindset that currently costs, values and processes transactions based on immediate capital return.

There is a challenge of ‘best value’; what does this really means in context, and how does it release the right kind of finance. We need to find a way to demonstrate how an enlightened and informed development appraisal process (looking at the intended outcomes and revenue saving, not just repayment of capital) can create the business case for low carbon, affordable homes with decarbonised energy supply.  

Drawing from the knowledge and wisdom of stakeholders across the city, through focus groups and workshops over the last few months, Bristol has shaped this unique challenge.

We are hoping that challenge submissions will help support system change in how housing is commissioned and to re-create a model of value (not just cost) so that we really can see more housing built in our city, at pace.  But this housing needs to positively contribute to the sustainability and biodiversity of our city and help to combat the climate and ecological emergencies we are facing. However, we must not lose sight of the challenge of homelessness and growing housing waiting lists in the city.

This challenge is complex, it will require innovation and systems thinking. We are not necessarily looking for a widget, an app, or a piece of software, but a solution that crosses sectors and breakdown silos to provide a holistic way forward in the face of Bristol’s challenges.