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Edition 25

Dear reader,

A year later than planned, Bristol is about to go to the polls to elect the city’s mayor, local councillors, as well as the police and crime commissioner and the mayor for the West of England. As the city re-emerges tentatively from the pandemic, we face big questions. How do we recover from the impact of Covid-19? How do we make housing more affordable? How can we become a carbon neutral city by 2030?

In this local election special, we explain what is up for grabs and the key issues at play. But if you’re no expert on local politics (not many people are) we’ve also got the basics covered: What does a councillor actually do? How does the voting system work? What on earth is WECA?

You can also check out more election coverage, including in-depth interviews with the mayoral candidates in our Bristol Unpacked podcast, and our Citizens’ Agenda of priorities chosen by readers.

The recent protests in Bristol against the Police and Crime Bill have shown the importance of local media. On-the-ground reporting is vital to prevent events being mischaracterised and politicians from capitalising for their own purposes. More than 100 people have become Cable members off the back of our reporting on the protests.

To support this reporting and to help our journalists hold politicians’ to account over the next four years, you can join the 2,500+ members who have already chipped in to make a better local media:

Enjoy reading our election special and make you register to vote!

The Cable team

Edition 25

The personal trainer working out for Bristol’s asylum seekers and refugees

Tim and his family fled from religious persecution in Nigeria. Here he tells how he is taking back control “within a system where you don’t often win”.

Rising hate crime: A key concern for voters in PCC election

What’s around the corner for Bristol’s transport?

Local Elections 2021

A green jobs revolution must go beyond construction and manufacturing

West of England metro mayor candidates are talking big on low-carbon employment in the Bristol region. Meeting the challenge of net-zero will mean not just meeting campaign promises but considering fairness, inclusion and how all our jobs can become greener.

Inside: Bristol's Private Mental Health Services

Bristol to go even longer without mental health beds for children

Local Elections 2021

‘We just want to see change’: the Lawrence Hill residents feeling left behind by their councillors

The property boss behind empty buildings ‘blighting’ Bristol’s high streets

Despite the city’s housing crisis, empty buildings dot popular neighbourhoods. While the council has pledged action, its toolkit against owners remains limited.

‘We need a ‘Bristol Beacon’ in every community’

As Bristol pours money into the Bristol Beacon refurb, it’s time to ask for more for our independent music and arts venues.

Raise a glass: Bristol’s pubs have had a tough year in and out of lockdowns

Pubs are back from the latest lockdown, but it’s been a tough year for Bristol’s landlords who’ve struggled to keep afloat through the many changes over the last year.

Wielding the strength of the union: ACORN Bristol’s demands

ACORN asked its members: What kind of city do you want to live in? The result was a long list of demands.

An experiment in democracy: Inside Bristol’s first ever citizens’ assembly

60 Bristol citizens have released their recommendations on climate, health and transport. Participants share their insights from this pioneering process of public participation.

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