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Listen: Bristol Unpacked with Emma Edwards on making local politics less toxic, and whether the Greens are ready for power

Growing support for the Green Party could well see them running the council beyond May’s local elections, but are they ready to make the tricky transition from the main local opposition to being in charge?

Local Elections 2024

Emma Edwards is the leader of Bristol’s Green Party – which could well be in charge of running the city council for the first time after May’s local elections.

First elected to represent the Bishopston and Ashley Down ward in 2021, Edwards has been a strong advocate of the new committee system that is replacing the mayoral model. But in true Green fashion, it’s not her but her colleague Tony Dyer who would become the next council leader if the party is swept to power.

Emma chats to Neil about the Greens’ vision for doing politics in a different way, with more openness, transparency and collaboration with other parties. That all well and good, but how will it actually work in practice?

After years of holding the Labour administration’s feet to the fire as the main opposition party, support for the Greens has been on the up in recent years, with Bristol now one of their main targets in the general election later this year, but are the party with strong roots in activism ready to take power and everything that comes with that?

On the Greens’ ideas for running the city, Neil and Emma discuss the need to focus on Bristol’s failing bus services rather a new mass transit system long in the future, tackle the housing crisis by unblocking the planning system and bringing empty buildings back into use, and their aim to set up more liveable neighbourhood schemes despite the mixed response so far in east Bristol.

Listen to the other special local election episodes of Bristol Unpacked with Labour’s Tom Renhard, Lib Dem Jos Clark and Tory Mark Weston. And you can check out the rest of our local election coverage here.

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