April 2024: News from Mayor Marvin Rees

Household budgets remain under pressure during the continuing national cost-of-living crisis. We continue to treat your money with respect, while leading Bristol in a way that is compassionate and unapologetically ambitious.

 We have retained our Council Tax Reduction Scheme, supporting 32,000 households with up to 100% discounts. Our Local Crisis Prevention Fund continues, after helping around 5,000 households this year with essentials like food and fuel. Working as One City, more than 70 Welcoming Spaces have helped people stay warm and connected.

 Bristol’s budget this year is again led by building homes. Ensuring people have a safe, secure, and affordable home is the biggest contribution we can make to tackle poverty and climate change, improve health, and drive ambition. We have got Bristol building: more than 12,500 new homes were completed between 2016 and 2023, including the first from Goram Homes, our council-owned housing company. 86% of these homes are built on previously developed land; 3,000 more homes were under construction in April 2023; and we will deliver another 3,000 council homes by 2029. 

Despite 14 years of national austerity, increased need in our city, and rising inflation, we have protected your frontline services. This year we have again safeguarded all of our children’s centres and libraries, and also opened our new £10 million Elmfield School for Deaf Children. And we keep investing in early intervention, with our world-class £15 million south Bristol Youth Zone opening in 2025.

 At Portway Park & Ride, we opened Bristol’s first new train station in almost a century, with work well underway on another at Ashley Down. 2024 saw our 100,000th One Tree Per Child tree planted and a 10% drop in nitrogen dioxide pollution across Bristol – with Clean Air Zone help still on offer. And, by 2029, Bristol City Leap will have invested £771 million in clean energy: creating 1,000 new jobs and cutting around 150,000 tonnes of emissions.

 We have faced huge challenges. Many are still with us. But, together, we have made real progress in building a better Bristol: our City of Hope.