An independent report into the budget deficit at Bristol City Council has found that, under previous Mayor George Ferguson, a culture developed in which ‘contentious decisions [were]… not asked for' in the run up to his failed re-election bid.
Last year’s budget, in which there was a £30m overspend, misled councillors that previously agreed cuts had already been delivered in both Mayor Ferguson’s first and second full years at the helm.
It is disappointing that the senior leaders who he appointed, but have since left the Council, declined to comment on this report and hid ‘politically sensitive measures’ from past budget consultations.
The report commends the ‘progress… made in a very short period of time’ under our new Mayor, Marvin Rees – who asked for the review to take place – and I welcome his transparency and openness about the challenges the city now faces.
You can read the report in full here.