‘You’re making history’ overjoyed campaigners tell Bristol as city votes to drop mayor

Campaigners who have been pushing for a committee system in Bristol for months were overjoyed as the city voted to ditch its mayor.

The anti-mayor group, made up of current and former councillors from the Greens, Tories and Lib Dems, jumped for joy as it was announced that just over 59% of voters had opted against the current model on Friday (May 6).

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Mary Page led the ‘It’s Our City Bristol’ campaign against the mayoral model, which the group argue puts too much power along with a budget of £400m in the hands of just one person.

Speaking to the media after the result was declared, she said: “I’d like to start by thanking the people of Bristol for turning out to vote in much greater numbers than you did ten years ago [the turnout at the 2012 mayoral referendum was 24%].

Green group leader Councillor Heather Mack, It’s Our City Bristol campaign organiser Mary Page, Tory group leader Councillor Mark Weston and Lib Dem group leader Councillor Jos Clark all campaigned against the mayoral system.

“Thank you for trusting us. Thank you for having belief in the system and for hoping that we can have positive change in the city of Bristol.

“The campaign was about saying that the city belongs to us, all of us, not just one person.

“And that mean we must represent all the diverse views and communities across the city. It’s about how we work together.

“Thank you for making change Bristol, you’re making history, and maybe we can push this around the world.

“People died to get the right to vote in Britain. People are dying around the world for that right. We must treasure it.”

Bristol will switch to a committee system style of governance in 2024 when Marvin Rees will step down from his role as mayor.