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Dawn's article for Pigeon Magazine Nov 2013


Bristol City FC

In a couple of weeks time councillors in Bristol will meet to discuss Bristol City Football Club’s plans to redevelop Ashton Gate. The Club have decided to pursue this option following years of complex legal wrangles over the proposed brand new stadium in Ashton Vale. I am on record as supporting that new stadium and I firmly believe that it would provide the best opportunity to bring jobs and investment to Bristol South.

However I fully understand the Clubs desire to press ahead with the alternative and I have written to planners at the Council in support of the redevelopment option.

It is my hope that we can now see progress on this issue and Bristol City can have the 21st Century facilities they need.

It is also my hope that there will be no more expensive legal challenges to any lawful decision taken by local Councillors.

Energy Prices

With yet more price hikes announced by big energy companies it has never been more expensive to heat and power  our homes. I welcome Ed Miliband’s recent proposal to freeze prices until 2017 as a simple practical step which would help us all.

However the entire energy market needs fixing, which is why during the price freeze a Labour Government would break up the “Big Six”, splitting energy generators from suppliers. At present most of the energy we use is bought by one part of a “Big Six” company from another, with no transparency in pricing or profits. This will change.

Government can take responsibility for ensuring a fair energy market, but we all also have a responsibility to use less energy, simple steps like not using the standby button which we all know but somehow often forget. More than a third of all homes in Bristol do not have sufficient insulation and I welcome the present Government’s decision to ensure that all privately rented homes meet minimum insulation standards, but it is very disappointing that tenants will have to wait until 2018 for this to come into force.


Last month in the Pigeon I wrote about the Bristol Housing Crisis and so I was dismayed to hear the Mayor of Bristol give up on his modest plans to build 1000 affordable homes a year by 2016. This must have come as devastating news to young couples seeking to buy their first home or anyone wanting an affordable home to rent.

I have called on the Mayor to be more ambitious for Bristol and asked that he join me in lobbying Ministers to change the rules so we can build many more council homes.

Dawn Primarolo Nov 2013

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