Tag Archives: Mayoral referendum


Hazelgrove 2
Claire Babe

Wasn’t it lovely to see the former youthful Labour Parliamentary candidate for Skipton and Repton and former employee of the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, Claire “Babe” Hazelgrove, out ‘on the doorstep’ campaigning hard to keep the mayoral system in Bristol?

On April 30 Claire even announced on Twitter, “Final few days before the referendum on keeping our strong city mayor role – or moving backwards to the indecisive “committee system”.”

However, some might find this a strange comment from someone fronting up a national organisation, TPXimpact, that has just been contracted by Bristol City Council to deliver a number of workshops at public expense to members of the city’s local area committees and voluntary sector about how to best spend millions of pounds in the city’s poorest areas. 

There have already been questions about why TPXimpact were brought in, in the first place, rather than using existing well established facilitators available in Bristol. Now there may be even more questions about why an enthusiastically pro-Mayor Labour Party member was brought in just before a referendum where Labour backed keeping a mayor and Claire Babe publicly campaigned for it.

Don’t expect to get too many answers from the Reverend about it.



Some tittle-tattle about the Labour Party and the mayoral referendum: a little birdy tells us Bristol Labour never passed a motion through their internal processes about any of it. Therefore the membership never confirmed that they supported having mayor in Bristol. 

Instead, it seems,Labour councillors and members were instructed by the Reverend and his team to support a mayor for Bristol in a referendum all about, er, democracy and whether one person in the city making all the decisions was a good idea?

This may explain why few Labour members bothered to campaign and the Reverend suffered a crushing defeat.

Isn’t this also something a decent local journalist might have bothered to ask some questions about during the campaign?