Marvin Rees talks about what motivates him to stand as Mayor for Bristol.
What made you want to stand to be Bristol Mayor?
I grew up in Bristol and I’ve seen first-hand how it can be such a fantastic, thriving place to live for so many people. The challenge is that while this is true and we have a great story to tell, this is a prosperity in which too many people in the city do not share.
Around 25% of our children grow up in poverty.
You can walk from Henleaze to Southmead in the North of our city and the difference in the life expectancy of people born in those areas is 9 years.
If you're born in Hartcliffe in the South, or Lawrence Hill in the centre you're nearly as unlikely to go to university than those most likely to go in our more affluent areas.
This isn't to criticise families that do well in Bristol but it does recognise that tackling inequality is good for all of us.
What are your plans for Bristol?
David Cameron came to Bristol in 2012 to persuade us to vote for the Mayoral model. He promised us new powers and new money.
Mr Cameron hasn't delivered on that promise.
Bristol then elected an independent Mayor who argued that party politics didn't work. He said he'd bang the drum for new powers and new money for Bristol.
The current Mayor has not delivered on that promise.
In Bristol, our experiment with independent politics has failed.
As a Mayor for Bristol, I will fight for this city.
I will fight for real devolution; to ensure that local services are best resourced to support local people, and to build the partnerships between the voluntary, public and private sectors, with neighbouring local authorities and other cities that will be key to our success.
What would you say to voters in Bristol about May’s elections?
In the last mayoral election, we were voting for a Mayor for the very first time.
We didn’t know the influence of the Mayor. We didn’t know what their powers would eventually be. We didn’t know the difference an elected Mayor could be for Bristol.
In the last 3 years we have seen that the Mayor is given the power to make a real difference to Bristol. Unfortunately, the current Mayor hasn’t taken up that opportunity. If elected, I will be a strong, present, listening Mayor. I will go back to the people in this city to tell me what they want, and I will deliver on the promises I make.
I would say to the voters in Bristol that voting in next year’s election really can make the difference to our city, make sure you’re registered, and use your right to vote in May next year.