Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, has today (25 July 2017) announced changes to the Cabinet with one councillor joining and another leaving.
Cllr Mhairi Threlfall, Labour ward councillor for Eastville, joins the Cabinet to oversee the development of the city's transport and play an important role in both local and regional transport planning. As Cabinet Member for Transport, Cllr Threlfall will work closely with the Mayor on the high priority of improving the city's transport systems. Cllr Threlfall will also play a leading role in developing the local and regional transport policy, working with transport partners to improve services and plan for the future of transportation in the city and the West of England. As the only core city without a mass transit system, a key priority of the administration is to consider ideas and work towards a successful sustainable transport solution. This move comes after the Mayor recently announced Cllr Nicola Beech as Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning and City Design, who along with Cllr Threlfall and other Cabinet Members will represent Bristol on the West of England Combined Authority advisory boards and have a significant say on the future of the region's infrastructure. Many of the responsibilities Cllr Threlfall is taking on were temporarily taken into the Mayor's portfolio following a Cabinet reshuffle in March 2017.
Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, said: "It's been clear for some time that the city's transport is one of the biggest challenges we face as a city. Since the formation of the West of England Combined Authority we have also been keen to put people into positions who can work with our regional partners to plan better and translate those plans into local, effective action. In Mhairi we have a committed ward councillor with a strong track record of campaigning on local issues and supporting her community. Her experience of being the chair of the Congestion Task Group and knowledge of the transport sector will be invaluable as she takes up this important role." Councillor Mhairi Threlfall, Cabinet Member for Transport, said: "I am delighted to accept the Mayor's call to join his Cabinet and take up the challenge of improving Bristol's transport. I am eager to begin developing the plans we need to connect across the city and the region and bring about positive changes to people's lives. I am also looking forward to working with partners at the West of England combined authority in my new role. I continue to represent the people of Eastville as their ward councillor." Cllr Estella Tincknell is leaving her position as Cabinet Member for Culture, Events, Equalities and Community Cohesion to pursue opportunities in her career as a University Lecturer. Cllr Tincknell will remain ward councillor for Lockleaze. The Mayor continued: "I wish to thank Estella for her hard work and dedication during her term in Cabinet. During that time she has been an instrumental figure in reshaping the council's approach to culture and embedding a stronger partnership focussed model of working. Among other things, Estella was tasked with bringing together, with partner organisations, Bristol's first citywide strategy for culture to develop an already thriving economy further and create an environment where the benefits and opportunities this sector provides are shared across all of our communities. This strategy was endorsed at our recent Cabinet meeting and has already begun shaping the future of culture in the city." Following the appointment of Cllr Threlfall and the departure of Cllr Tincknell there have been some changes to the responsibilities held by the Mayor and Cabinet Members. The Mayor has passed responsibility for Transport to Cllr Threlfall but has taken on culture as recognition of his role in supporting the new city wide strategy. Cllr Tincknell's former responsibilities for Events, Equalities and Community Cohesion have passed to Cllr Asher Craig, Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods. Cllr Steve Pearce remains in his role as a champion for Public Transport and will support Cllr Threlfall in her work on that sector.