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Listen: Bristol Unpacked with Jos Clark on ‘bloody rude’ Marvin, looming Labour thrashing and Lib Dem comeback

The experienced local councillor, who is a strong critic of Marvin Rees and the mayoral system, talks libraries, Bristol’s failing bus services and her prediction that Labour will take a kicking after eight years in power.

Local Elections 2024

Jos Clark is a seasoned local councillor, first representing the Liberal Democrats back in 2003, before a stint as Bristol’s Lord Mayor between 2019 and 2021.

Now the Brislington West councillor is taking on a different role, leading the Lib Dems into Bristol’s 2024 local elections, which take place on 2 May.

Her party used to have strong support in the city and was in charge of the council between 2009 and 2011 – shortly before the mayoral system, which is now being abolished, was set up.

Over the last decade though, its seats in Bristol have dwindled. Clark goes into this year’s election as one of only five Lib Dem councillors – all of them in the southeast of the city – after the legacy of the Coalition government, local defections and the rise of the Greens all took their toll.

She predicts Labour will ‘take a kicking’ after eight years in power. But amid that surging Green support, is there any way for the Lib Dems to bounce back and turn the local map orange again?

Clark, a critic of Marvin Rees and the mayoral system who helped manoeuvre the referendum on introducing the new committee system, joins Neil Maggs to talk libraries, Bristol’s failing bus services, and her hopes for the post-mayoral era.

How does she find the reality of being a long-time local councillor? What’s her perspective on Labour’s failures in running the city since 2016? And does she believe the Lib Dems have an image problem?

Tune in to the second of our Bristol Unpacked election editions to find out. You can still listen back to the first of the series with Labour’s Tom Renhard, and we’ll be speaking to the Conservatives and Greens later in the month. Check out the rest of our special local election coverage here.

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