1. ITV Report

Bristol Mayor George Ferguson appoints three more Cabinet 'ministers'

Bristol Mayor George Ferguson was elected in November 2012 Photo: PA

Bristol Mayor George Ferguson has appointed three more councillors to his cabinet, taking the total to six. Since his election in November he's struggled with only three "ministers" - one each from Conservatives, Lib Dems and the Greens.

Now he's persuaded two more Lib Dems to join plus a second Conservative. And a senior Conservative, Geoff Gollop will act as his deputy, as required by law.

However the cabinet will still NOT include anyone from the second-largest party, Labour, who have so far refused to join.

Mr Ferguson - an independent - had hoped to have a cross-party administration ,but Labour - who've had some internal splits over whether to join - now say they won't reconsider this until after the May elections.

The implication is they don't want to be saddled with unpopular jobs at a time of budget cuts - and who knows, after May they may be in a stronger electoral position to negotiate with the mayor.

The full cabinet now reads (new members first):

  • Cllr Barbara Janke (Lib Dem) – covering health and wellbeing
  • Cllr Guy Poultney (Lib Dem) – covering housing and planning
  • Cllr Alastair Watson (Con) – covering children and young people
  • Cllr Simon Cook (Lib Dem) – covering culture, sport and capitalprogrammes
  • Cllr Geoff Gollop (Con) – covering finance and corporate services
  • Cllr Gus Hoyt (Green) – covering environment, communities andequalities

I am delighted and somewhat relieved to announce a line-up of sixhighly experienced, skilled and enthusiastic councillors, from three ofthe four parties on the council. I was, as is well known, hoping for anall-party cabinet, but following clarification from the new Labourleader Cllr Helen Holland that their decision cannot be revisited untilafter the May elections, I have decided to fill the remaining seats.

– George Ferguson, Mayor of Bristol