Alastair Watson, the former Bristol city councillor for Westbury-on-Trym and Lord Mayor in 2014/15, has been chosen by local Conservatives to be their candidate to challenge Marvin Rees in this year’s Mayoral election.
Alastair is a long-term resident of Bristol, where he has worked and brought up a family over the past 30 years.
He is an experienced businessman and long-term supporter of the business community in Bristol.
While Alastair was a city councillor he focused on children and young people’s services. He is passionate about improving the life chances of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.
As a cabinet member he set up a Mayoral Education and Skills Commission.
Alastair led a task force to improve access for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to gain work experience and opportunities in the high-tech and creative industries.
He was vehemently opposed to the creation of Bristol Energy and spoke with passion in the council chamber and scrutiny commission to try to convince others of the unacceptable risk the venture would pose to the city’s finances.
With nearly £50million lost from council funds before the company was finally shut down last year, Alastair said: “This loss was avoidable if good business sense had prevailed.
“Only the Conservatives had the good sense to call for the abandonment of the venture before the company was set up.
“Then the dithering of the current Mayor to limit the losses has cost the city dear.
“It breaks my heart to think of what that money could have been used for instead of being lost on this vanity project.”
Alastair is a keen environmentalist, supporting Bristol Green Capital and with a history of encouraging low-carbon technologies through the Science City Bristol initiative he headed up.
He said: “Common sense and good judgement are needed in these difficult times.
“If I win the election on 6 May, I will work hard to bring back competency and decisiveness to the running of the city.
“As Mayor I will work to get Bristol’s economy fully functional again and ensure citizens do not suffer as our recovery from Covid gathers pace.
“As well as guiding Bristol back to post-Covid normality, my focus will be on improving transport links in and around the city, increasing the number of affordable homes and achieving ambitious environment improvements.
“My vision for Bristol is to have a vibrant economy, better quality of life and great opportunities for all citizens.”