Pick of the Week: Mayoral Hustings  

bristol illustration

Illustration: Naomi Wilkinson

Find out what’s on Rife Guide this week, including a young person’s Mayoral Hustings.

Politics can seem like a big word. There is a lot of stuff to understand and it can quickly become quite confusing. As a young person, it’s easy to feel like politics isn’t something for you. I can relate to that. You look at politicians and generally they are men, the age of your parents and wearing a suit. It doesn’t seem very accessible. But that needs to change, and it is.

It is vitally important for me, you, and every young person to engage in politics. Politicians make big decisions that one way or another, effect our every day lives. By finding out about the four main political parties- Labour, Lib Dem, Conservative and Green Party (and not just listening to what your parents tell you) you can then decide which of their policies you agree with. At 18, you can vote, and if your party win, their policies will start to shape your future.

The Bristol Mayoral Elections are on 5th May. You need to register to vote by 18th April. The Mayor is the elected leader of Bristol and leads the city council and it’s full range of services. There are five different candidates running for Mayor and you now have the chance to meet them. Creative Youth Network and Young Bristol are running a Mayoral Hustings (question time) for young people at The Station. It’s on Wednesday, 13th May from 7pm to 8pm.

This is your chance to question the mayors and have your voice heard. Round the table discussions mean the event will be informal and friendly. If you don’t know anything about politics, that’s fine, this is the perfect way to find out. Learn about what a mayor is, and what plans the candidates have for Bristol. They want to hear what you care about.

Here is a quick run down of the 5 candidates:

Tony Dyer, Green Party

TonyDyer4Tony Dyer was born and bred in Hartcliffe, and has strong family and community ties to South Bristol. Proud of his heritage, his political views are largely shaped by by his family roots amongst the Bristol coalminers and Bristol dock workers. Tony wants to reduce the inequality, joblessness and and relative poverty that is a common feature in South Bristol.

George Ferguson, Independent to a Political Party

GeorgeGeorge Ferguson is the current Mayor in Bristol and is hoping to be re-elected for a second time. Previously an architect, he has helped kick start the regeneration of South Bristol with projects like The Tobacco factory, and is Director of The Canteen in Stokes Croft and No.1 Harbourside. He aims to tackle congestion and wants Bristol to be a Green City.

Martin Rees, Labour

MarvinMarvin grew up in Bristol as a mixed race child of a single mother. His childhood has shaped his political beliefs in driving aspiration and tackling inequality, racism and social exclusion and immobility. Martin has worked in the public health sector and has had a career in the media, previously working at the BBC.

Key Bernard, Liberal Democrats

kayKay Barnard was born and raised in Bristol, has a Ph.D. in bio-chemistry and started her career in international medical research. Kay believes the city needs leadership on issues such as housing, transport, education and all the services the city needs to take Bristol into the 21st Century. Her top priority is to make Bristol a healthy city where prosperity is shared evenly.

Charles Lucas, Conservative

charlesCharles Lucas has lived in Bristol the majority of his life. He is the Conservative councillor for Clifton and Chairman of Clifton Conservatives. Charles wants to make Bristol a better place for all its residents, starting with improving the congested and busy public transport system. He aims to combat the housing crisis and particularly see an end to homelessness in the city.

If you are interested in getting more involved in politics then check out the Bristol City Youth Council and Youth Mayors on Rife Guide.

More events this week:

Out and About Saturday Club is a youth club for young disabled people

Young Persons Book Club is the perfect chance to drink tea, eat cake and have a chat about books

Musical Minds is a one-off event to have your voice heard and help improve the Bristol Music Scene

Support more young people to have their voices heard

Rife is Watershed‘s online magazine created for young people, by young people.

We offer paid internships and publish work by young writers, photographers, illustrators, and filmmakers from all sorts of backgrounds, helping them get into creative careers. Rife has reached over 8,000 young people through our workshops, over 220 young people have made stuff for Rife on topics ranging from mental health to identity to baked beans, and last year, over 200,000 people visited our website.

In these complex and uncertain times hearing from and supporting young people who are advocating for social change and contributing fresh perspectives has never been so important. 

Through supporting Rife you can ensure that this important work continues and that more young people have their voices heard.