Monday, 1 June 2009

Brazza Shocka! - "Cycling City in decline"

Labour's transport spokesperson and former Executive Member for transport on Bristol City Council, Mark Bradshaw, has publicly criticised the Cycling City project that he was instrumental in 'winning' for Bristol just a year ago. Although the project has been widely criticised by cycling interests in Bristol, including of course this blogger, it has up till now enjoyed cross-party support from the elected members of the council.



Bradshaw's criticisms were first made public a few days ago when he commented on the Internet forum Twitter, accusing the Lib-Dems (who only took over in February this year) of "letting Cycling City role wither". This is an odd accusation to make when his Labour administration hadn't even managed to appoint a Project Manager in the 8 months that they were running the project. Poor 'interim' management was widely held to be responsible for most of the problems experienced during the first year.

Bradshaw's latest criticism, posted on Twitter on Monday, was that "Cycling City has now stalled and is in decline". This is an extraordinary comment, considering that Bradshaw forged close links with many of the senior transport and planning officers during his 22 months as Executive Member. It is quite possible that he is reflecting the private views of senior officers. Perhaps it is now recognised that Cycling City cannot achieve its over ambitious targets and Bradshaw sees this as the chance to distance himself.



Another surprising Bradshaw Cycling City comment of the last few days is his assertion that the "opportunity for
radical new thinking to achieve big shift being missed". Given the utterly uninspiring approach taken by Cycling City under Bradshaw's watch one can only wonder what "radical new thinking" he has in mind. Twitter's post limit of 140 characters doesn't allow for the exposition of any detail - perhaps why some politicians find it a comfortable medium.

20 comments:

bristle said...

I think Cllr Bradshaw likes Twitter because he can expound without needing to get into discourse - 140 characters to snip and snipe in a partisan fashion, and the ability to 'block' Twitter users whom he doesn't like/disagrees with from 'following' him.

For example, he blocks me - a non-partisan Bristol citizen with no party affiliation but an active interest in local governance - yet he does not block Cllr Jon Rogers, his LibDem opponent.

Go figure!

It's almost as though he has no interest in actually engaging with local people who aren't part of the three* party panto that is Bristol City Council...

* Sorry Charlie ;)

Chris Hutt said...

He hasn't blocked me (yet) so perhaps he was just in a bad mood (it happens) the day he blocked you. Try following him again via an alter ego?

bristle said...

Well, blocking is of limited use if you actually want to prevent someone from reading your tweets, it's just rather childish and a little irritating.

I just subscribe to the RSS feed and get the Murk Meister's gems delivered to my blog reader instead - though out of context this just makes him sound like a gibbering simpleton arguing with himself...

PS I see he is following me now :D

BristleKRS said...

...And not only that, he's lifted the block on me! Truly you are a peace broker par excellence, Mr Hutt ;-)

Chris Hutt said...

I think Mr Bradshaw is getting more relaxed about the cut-and-thrust of blogging and Twitter. After all we're just a bunch of saddos hunched over laptops.

Pete Goodwin said...

the three* party panto that is Bristol City Council...

* Sorry Charlie ;)


We Greens only get called a 'party' when the others are misrepresenting Charlie's votes in their election leaflets.

Benji said...

hi chris... sorry to barge in like this, but i'm trying to get hold of you... i'm a journo from the Guardian.

benji.lanyado@guardian.co.uk 07980 300 606

cheers.

Docsavage said...

Bradshaw isn't the only one who likes to snipe and snip through twitter, Ol'Tezza Cook seems to enjoy a gripe 'n' grumble too - it's obviously a trait of these impotent and ineffective labour councillers that were doing such a grand job with our cities cycling legacy.

I seem to be constantly suprised by the ability of our *cough* elected officials to trump every stupidity regards CC with another, more elaborate, more banal, more idiotic example.
Bradshaw takes todays prize, and the game goes on.
But it's us, the cyclists who pay the price as ever.

clowns, all of 'em.

DonaQixota said...

"saddos hunched over laptops"

... or crackberries?

Anonymous said...

been told your friend Mark Bradshaw going to backbenches

Chris Hutt said...

Are you perhaps thinking of Ben Bradshaw MP, the minister who's rumoured to be about to move from Health to become Culture Secretary?

Mark Bradshaw can't really become a backbencher since the term doesn't normally apply to mere councillors. There is speculation that he might become the leader of the rump Labour Group if Helen Holland is forced to resign after yesterday's disastrous performance.

Anonymous said...

Chris

It's Cllr Mark Bradshaw I'm talking about as like he is elected at an agm meeting. Where did you hear about a leadership bid? could he win? interesting times!

Chris Hutt said...

So you mean that Mark Bradshaw might be standing down as transport spokesperson?

I guess a lot of senior Labour politicians must be thinking hard about their futures at this time. It looks like Labour could be in the wilderness for the next decade or so, so what's the point in committing so much time and energy to it, unless you're young enough to play the long game?

The idea of Bradshaw becoming leader was just idle speculation, over on the Bristol Blogger site a few weeks ago. He'd be s strong candidate if he wanted it, but would he? May be a stepping stone to selection as an Parliamentary candidate for when Labour start winning seats again after, what, 5 years or so of Tory government.

DonaQixota said...

Bradshaw IS a rump!

Anonymous said...

i hear he's deputy leader

Chris Hutt said...

Yes, it's confirmed. Following Labour Group meeting today Helen Holland remains leader and Bradshaw is new deputy.

Anonymous said...

Wonder if he'll try get Helen Holland out next year. I heard he put in his name for election before the results on thurs so expected a contest with Peter H and or Derek Pickup

thebristolblogger said...

He's gotta defend his Bedminster seat next year.

That's not a foregone by any means ...

Anonymous said...

guess not, but Bradshaw's well known, lives in the area and has good track record of getting things done - I'm a constituent of his and he's helped with several issues over the years.

Martyn Whitelock said...

WoEP are claiming in their recent eNewsletter the improvements to the underbridge at Lawrence Hill are part of Cycling City. I'm pretty sure these works were in hand way before Bristol was awarded this pinnacle greenness!