The Mental Health Challenge – Why Bristol City Council Hasn’t Joined

I recently wrote a post about The Mental Health Challenge urging you to ensure that your local Council had signed up to it by writing to your local Councillor(s) and asking them to take up the challenge and becoming a Mental Health champion.

I had written to my two local Councillors myself explaining that I am living with a Mental Illness and know first hand what a difference something like this will make. One of them, a Conservative, never responded (not really a surprise there given the Conservatives opinion of those of us with Mental Health illness).

However, on returning home one day, I found a hand delivered letter from the other Councillor, Tim Leaman, a Liberal Democrat (you’re starting to get a picture here). Tim had come to my home (or at least one of his team members had) and left a personalised response to my letter.

Here is the important section of the response I received:

I will be pursuing the mental health challenge within this authority. I will keep you informed, attached is the motion Clare Campion-Smith proposed at Full City Council late last year. We have re-submitted it on numerous occasions but because the mayor changed the constitution to limit motions to only 30 mins debate we keep running out of time before the motion is heard.

It appears that this is something the Liberal Democrat’s have been trying to get into place in Bristol for some time, but a policy put into place by the Mayor means it doesn’t get heard at Council meetings because they keep running out of time! Given the Mayor’s response to me on Twitter on the subject, I find this rather insulting…time should be made for this, I understand the need to limit time for things, but if things persistently can’t be discussed…MAKE EXTRA TIME!

I always find it amusing that people who publically say they back Mental Health issues are often the people who are holding it’s progress back!
I do find it important to say, I’m not one of the George Ferguson bashers in Bristol, there are a lot of people unhappy with what the Mayor has put in place through the City. He get’s a lot of flack for a lot of things, especially the environmental projects. However, I think on the most part he’s done a great job, and actually get a lot of flack from my family for supporting a lot of his projects! However, on this I’m calling him out!
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