‘I joined the OECD Champion Mayors for Inclusive Growth Initiative because I have prioritised inclusive growth and my ambition to ‘Leave No-one Behind’ in my own city, Bristol. It is vital that my, and all cities, develop and grow in a way that ensures access to education, skills, healthcare and jobs for all. I also applaud the Inclusive Mayors network aligning with other city networks around the world – it is key that city networks collaborate with each other to amplify their influence, something I am working on through the Global Parliament of Mayors as well.’
– Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol
Marvin Rees was first elected Mayor in May 2016 and Bristol became the first major European city to have an elected mayor of Black African heritage.
His working life began at Tearfund, before working with Sojourners in Washington, DC and President Clinton’s advisor, Dr Tony Campolo. Back in the UK he was a broadcast journalist at BBC Bristol, worked at the Black Development Agency supporting the BME-led voluntary sector and worked on delivering race equality in mental health with NHS Bristol’s Public Health team.
He holds two Master’s Degrees in Political Theory and Government and in Global Economic Development. He is a Yale World Fellow and co-founded the City Leadership Programme. He entered the political world having graduated from Operation Black Vote and Labour Future Candidate programmes.
During his first term in office, he delivered almost 9,000 homes, announced the development of a mass transit system, provided quality work experience for over 3,500 children, developed the One City Plan, successfully bid to bring Channel 4 TV to Bristol and is leading the city’s response to both the climate and ecological emergencies.
Among other memberships, Marvin is a member of the Mayors Migration Council, Climate Migration Council, is on the Board of the Commonwealth Local Government Forum and is Chair of Core Cities UK.
Marvin was re-elected as Mayor in May 2021.
Mayor Rees has developed a range of policies and strategies to promote inclusive growth in the city and its local economy. The One City Approach brings together a huge range of public, private, voluntary and third sector partners within Bristol. They share an aim to make Bristol a fair, healthy and sustainable city. A city of hope and aspiration, where everyone can share in its success.
Mayor Marvin Rees published the city’s first ever One City Plan in January 2019, a first written attempt to set out the challenge and bring the city together around its common causes. The third iteration of the One City Plan from 2021 is now available.
The One City Economic Recovery and Renewal Strategy set out our priorities for recovering and renewing the city’s economy in the context of inclusive and sustainable development. The overarching priorities are to seek to reduce poverty and inequality; to increase the city’s resilience and environmental sustainability; and to enhance the economic and social wellbeing of every community.
Bristol City Council, in conjunction with its partners, provides a range of initiatives to help businesses find the workforce they need and to support the delivery of inclusive employment opportunities. The Building Bristol Initiative links developers and end use occupiers with a range of delivery partners, to develop employment and skills plans for sites. Developers pay a levy that funds the Building Bristol Service to act as a co-ordinating point for accessing services such as responsive job matching, apprenticeship brokerage and high quality and bespoke careers support for young people most at risk of disengaging with education, training and employment.
Bristol Women’s Commission
Bristol promotes gender equality through the Women’s Commission that works to address gender discrimination and disadvantage, and promote balanced participation of women and men in decision making. The commission operates as a partnership to identify the key issues for women in Bristol and to produce an agreed Women’s Strategy for Bristol, with a specific, time limited and practical action plan for its delivery. It works with multi-agency task groups featuring representatives from organisations working on issues such as women’s safety, women’s representation in public life, women’s health, woman and the economy, and women in business. These groups produce in-depth reports with evidence and recommendations which are fed back to the Women’s Commission. Accepted recommendations form part of the action plan.
The Project 1000 Affordable Housing Delivery Plan 2022-25 outlines how the council will focus its land, time, money, and influence to improve the way affordable housing is delivered in Bristol.The council is working with partners, local communities and developers to deliver 1000 new affordable homes each year by 2024 and accelerate delivery of a further 2900 council homes. Bristol is providing funding and advice to affordable housing partners to maximise affordable homes delivery and targeting brownfield land development to make more housing sites available.
Bristol City Leap: A leap forward on our journey to carbon neutrality
An innovative partnership between Bristol City Council and Ameresco Ltd which will accelerate green energy investment in Bristol and help towards decarbonising the whole city.
Over the next five years, Bristol City Leap will invest nearly £500 million into low carbon energy infrastructure, such as solar, wind, heat networks, heat pumps and energy efficiency measures – all of which will help Bristol meet its carbon reduction targets of becoming carbon neutral by 2030.
Bristol City Leap has the potential to deliver a better quality of life for our residents and is a critical step in our city’s commitment to climate action. Components of the initiative include increasing the warmth and comfort of homes, improving air quality and creating over 1,000 local jobs in the first five years alone.
Cities Commission for Climate Investment (3Ci)
This innovative initiative, launched at COP26, brings together cities, government and the private sector to develop robust business cases and blended place-based investment models that will fund net zero and green infrastructure projects collectively across UK cities, and addresses the issues of scale, longevity and investor confidence. It is currently working with UK cities to develop a national pipeline of projects, along with a technical assistance programme and pilot scheme to support local authorities in developing investable projects and attracting private sector finance.
Clean Air for Bristol
Bristol City Council is monitoring air quality to understand the sources of air pollution, and the scale of the problem in the city. Bristol has an extensive monitoring network of 100 sites that measure nitrogen dioxide, and continuous analysers which publish real time data to their open data platform. In 2018 the city expanded their monitoring network to include all schools within the Air Quality Management Area and schools close to a busy road. The Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs have two monitoring stations in Bristol, one in St. Pauls and one on Temple Way. The city also encourages and supports community monitoring via citizen-run groups, as a way of raising awareness.