Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees makes U-turn on latest council budget proposals

Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees
Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees

The Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees has made a U-turn on some budget proposals including planned parking restrictions and charges on disabled bays across the city.

Mr Rees exercised his right to take five working days to reconsider his financial plans for the council throughout 2022/23 and beyond after members made significant changes to his original proposals last week.

Opposition councillors had made a number of amendments to the budget which is expected to be submitted at the next full council meeting on March 2.

The key changes from the original budget proposals

  • Disabled drivers will be exempt from a planned charge for installation of designated parking bays

  • Fees for pay and display parking bays within Residents' Parking Zones will be increased - but the first 30 minutes will remain free

  • The charge for bulky-item household collection charges will be reduced

  • A fruit tree planting initiative will be progressed in schools

  • Funding for the mayor's office will be reduced

If the new amendments are agreed by councillors then it would mean the installation of disabled resident's parking spaces would remain free.

It would also see Kingsweston Bridge fully repaired in a £1million project. It has been shut since 2015 when it was hit by a lorry.

Speaking after announcing the new list of proposals and amendments Mr Rees said: “After carefully considering the amended budget, I have made the decision to present a revised budget to full council on March 2.

"We have listened to the proposals from all Bristol’s political parties and incorporated the best of them.

“I have always said that my door is open to people bringing solutions, so I am pleased to incorporate the amendments that grapple with Bristol’s complexities and tackle the city’s problems.

He said the budget was designed to protect the city’s worst-off and that remained the case.

“This is a budget for Bristol, with cross-party input, and I sincerely hope councillors vote to support it.”

Full council meets for a second time on Wednesday 2 March after failing to agree the budget at the first attempt last week when members voted in favour of five of the nine opposition party amendments.