Today submitted my e-petitions: on enhancing environmental education (to Bristol City Council Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member covering education Peter Hammond, and Heather Tomlinson, Director of Children's and Young People's Services); and on saving Bristol's green spaces from being flogged (to the next Bristol City Council Cabinet meeting, which I was told is 26 June). I asked for the statement below to accompany the green spaces petition submission:
Council policy should be driven by what's best for Bristol - green spaces policy is driven instead by a shortage of cash, and an apparent need to provide for the development growth prescribed by Westminster. Continued growth according to this pattern deteriorates quality of life for Bristolians and should be resisted.
Selling off green space is selling off what the public say is one of the best aspects of Bristol. It's not sustainable - consider our climate, health and wildlife needs. It's bad policy and is inconsistent with council statements on fighting climate change, improving biodiversity and working for healthier lifestyles.
Can we all see the evidence that the land to be sold will be 'marginal, surplus, or of low recreational value'? No lists, no maps, no debate, has made this clear to the public. This land classification is highly subjective and so should be subject to open debate. Where are the 90 acres?
Small scale selling off land may well sometimes make sense - if it really is surplus, and could be put to better use. That should be considered on a case-by-case basis with full debate about what is surplus and what is better use. Change of land use should be that which makes the city more not less sustainable. We should not be trying to meet a sales target, whether 90 acres or some other figure, with respect to Bristols's land. I call on the council to abandon any figure for the number of acres to be sold off and adopt this case-by-case approach instead.
I've received no ackowledgement of receipt as yet but assume things are ok.
Also followed up on my petition on the PM's website about measuring wellbeing instead of money flow as our main indicator of progress. I've previously emailed the PMs office by got no reply and so today asked my MP to respond herself as well as forwarding the petition to a minister to respond. I dont expect to get agreement from either MP or government but feel they should respond, not least because an MEP and several councillors signed the petition as well as well over 100 other people.