“Lets Work Together” Churches Launch Bristol Elections Manifesto: May 2016
To read the Bristol Faith Manifesto for the 2021 Mayoral election: Click Here
Representatives of the churches in Bristol have launched their Manifesto for Bristol with policy initiatives they hope will encourage the new administration that is elected in May to work on addressing the key issues facing Bristol in partnership with the Christian community.
Ian Mountford, Chair of Churches Together in Greater Bristol, noted: “Put together, the churches run more youth work, toddler groups and informal groups for older people than anyone else in the city. Additionally the 5K Partnership of foodbanks and other groups feed 15,000 households per year when crises hit. Church groups provide many different services, such as parenting support and care for the homeless, ex-prisoners and asylum seekers; and they seek to change the City through investment, informal education, skills training and mentoring.”
The Manifesto shows examples of flagship work across seven different themes such as “Education and Opportunity”. These projects and programmes would welcome closer ties with the City Council and other agencies in order to benefit the City.
In May the churches also want the incoming Mayor and Councillors to consider 21 key policy areas in the seven themes these include:
Committing to tackle the low attainment of disadvantaged children
Working with the Christian community to alleviate social isolation
Encouraging all businesses and organisations to pay a Living Wage
Churches recognise that they are only one of many groups that the Mayor and Council will want to work with, but they are also asking that a dedicated member of the Council, preferably in the new Cabinet, and a senior Officer are jointly made the contact points for all the Faith Communities in Bristol.
Ian Mountford said: “This is an exciting but challenging time for our City – we want to see poverty and equality decrease and we want to work with the Mayor and Council for the good of the welfare of the City”.
The Manifesto has been prepared by a group of key leaders who support the Social Action carried out by the Church. It has been commended by Churches Together in Greater Bristol and the Bristol branch of the Evangelical Alliance. A summary below outlines 21 areas of Christian involvement in Bristol and 21 questions for the candidates.
The full Manifesto is available from Bristol Networks website: www.bristolnetworks.org.uk
. Ian Mountford, Chair of Churches Together in Greater Bristol, can be contacted for further comment on 0788 7881621
Lets Work Together
How we are involved and action points we would like work together on
Housing and Homelessness
I1 We provide practical care for the homeless
I2 We build relationships with the disengaged
I3 We provide tenancy support
Q1 Will you encourage cooperation between different providers ?
Q2 Will you develop fast-track systems for those being supported ?
Q3 Will you ask us for help when you need it?
Education and Opportunity
I4 We are committed to provide excellent education for all young people
I5 We help young people realise their potential through youth groups and volunteering
I6 We raise awareness about the remarkable Christian heritage of the city
Q4 Will you encourage more governors from the Christian community and more collaboration between school leaders ?
Q5 Will you commit to tackle the low attainment of disadvantaged children ?
Q6 Will you continue to fund services for young people, including projects run by the Christian community?
Health and Wellbeing
I7 We are involved in the wellbeing of the whole person
I8 We commit resources to the recovery of people with addiction
I9 We holistically seek physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing
Q7 Will you prioritise health and wellbeing with the appointment of a City Health Commissioner ?
Q8 Will you further empower the Health and Wellbeing Board ?
Q9 Will you work with the Christian community to alleviate social isolation ?
Community and Families
I10 We run foodbanks which fed 15,000 families last year
I11 We support families in providing stable, secure and loving homes
I12 We work to help build stronger and safer communities
Q10 Will you prioritise dealing with poverty and inequality ?
Q11 Will you convene annual meetings with Christian groups that support families ?
Q12 Will you proactively make the faith communities in Bristol an integral part of neighbourhood conversations ?
Asylum Seekers and Refugees - Bristol is a ‘City of Sanctuary’
I13 We befriend refugees and asylum seekers
I14 We provide practical support to integrate refugees and asylum seekers into our city
I15 We provide shelter to asylum seekers experiencing destitution
Q13 Will you challenge national policy inconsistencies with regards to refugees ?
Q14 Will you make the refugee community a budgetary priority ?
Q15 Will you declare the equal worth of all residents of Bristol ?
Business Workplace and Skills/Jobs/Living Wage
I16 We provide employment opportunities for ex-offenders
I17 We provide sustainable social investment for the benefit of the city
I18 We protect our environment by encouraging upcycling and reuse and at the same time create training an employment opportunities
Q16 Will you encourage further investment that supports disadvantaged people and communities?
Q17 Will you commit to encouraging all businesses to pay the Living Wage recommended by the Living Wage Foundation?
Q18 Will you commit to investment across all parts of the city in a fairer way ?
Engagement with the Voluntary Sector – Representation
I19 We provide people and facilities to support flexible and responsive services
I20 We affirm the importance of the spiritual
I21 We are sensitive to matters of faith and culture
Q19 Will you recognise the importance of faith within the voluntary sector ?
Q20 Will you work with the faith communities to build community cohesion ?
Q21 Will you educate the statutory services about the importance of faith?