George Ferguson has pledged an oath to the city after becoming Bristol’s first elected mayor
Speaking shortly after the returning officer confirmed the former RIBA President had beaten odds-on favourite Marvin Rees to take the role, Ferguson said he didn’t see the result as a vote for himself but as ‘a vote for Bristol’.
The co-founder of Ferguson Mann Architects, who is known for his red trousers, said he would now go to prime minister David Cameron and demand more powers and more resources for Bristol.
He went onto pledge that he would ‘not leave this city any less, but rather greater, than I found it’ and said the community had ‘voted for a new way of doing things’.
George Ferguson’s acceptance speech:
‘I’d like to thank all my fellow candidates, it has been a delight debating with you. You’ve all got some good ideas which I’d like to share.
‘It has been enlightening to me how many people in Bristol feel so strongly about the future of this city. It gives us real hope for the future of Bristol. I believe today we have voted for a new way of doing things. I don’t see this as a vote for me I see it as a vote for Bristol. It is a mandate and we got double the vote of the Police and Crime Commissioner elections. On a cold November day, that’s not bad.
‘I want to use that mandate to go and ask the Prime Minister and the government in general for more powers for Bristol, for more resources. We have delivered what they wanted, now they have got to deliver what we want. I want to make it clear whether you are in the 50 per cent or the one per cent of Bristol, I am now your servant.
You can judge me by what I do. We should include every single citizen in the life of the city, because I think there are still too many who still feel excluded. I feel an enormous responsibility to get this right. I hope we will be recognised across the world - I’m fed up with explaining that Bristol is somewhere near Bath. I ask you all, let’s pull together. I will be making one oath at the time of my acceptance on Monday at Brunel’s Temple Meads station - it is an oath that the young men of Athens made when they became citizens. I shall not leave this city any less but rather greater than i found it. I ask all of you to take that oath with me.