[Venice] How can we help homeless people in Bristol?
[Marvin] Okay. So how can we help them? So, we’ve actually been getting hold of hotel rooms. So, you’ll know that people aren’t taking holidays at the moment, so the hotels have been empty. We’ve been talking to the hotels and they’ve been using their rooms for homeless people. But what we’ve also been trying to do, is trying to find homes for them to move into when they have to move out of the hotels. That’s the best thing we can do at the moment.
[Venice] What is your dream holiday and why?
[Marvin] So I like adventure holidays. My dream holiday is probably up in the Arctic at midnight with the sun going around, because the Sun never sets. What’s your ideal holiday?
[Venice] My dream holiday is probably Turkey.
[Marvin] Okay, doing what?
[Venice] I like I just think like Turkey, I think it’s just nice and it’s got Turkish delight.
[Marvin] Yeah, that sounds like a good reason.
[Myah] What’s your favourite biscuit?
[Marvin] My favourite biscuit? Jaffa cake.
[Myah] What are you going to do with car pollution?
[Marvin] With car pollution? Well, actually we’ve got our team on it just now. The government has just said, after two years we’ve been trying to do this, that they’re going to allow some cities to trial these electric scooters to help people stay out of cars and off of buses. So, we’re trying to get some of those down in the city. We’re trying to get more people riding bikes. We’ve got some bike schemes that get bicycles out to people. So we’re trying to make sure that we can keep the benefit we’ve had, and I use that very carefully, but the reduce the numbers of cars on the streets, we’re trying to keep as much of that as we can when we come out of the other side of this crisis. And we’re also continuing with our work to build an underground for the city.
[Ezra] Which football team do you support?
[Ezra] Are you missing your football on the telly at the moment?
[Marvin] Yeah, I would like to have watched Liverpool just roll in the rest of the season for the first time in 30 years and that would have been very nice.
[Ezra] What do you do all day?
[Marvin] So, my days are filed with meetings and so we’ll talk about a city challenge and how we want to tackle it. So how do you want to tackle the housing crisis? So we talk about it, make a plan and then people go away and try and make what we say happen. So that’s on one sense, another side is about representing the city. So, there are various city gatherings were city leaders come together, national and international and I go there and represent the city and try and win stuff for us, like trying to win money to the city. Quite often it’s about being present to win money. And then I also do things like this, which is very personal and social. And I do have to do a lot of listening, what they say is you’ve got two ears and one mouth, right? So, I do a lot of listening and then I speak after that.
[Akira] What’s your favourite food.
[Marvin] My favourite food. Well, I really start moving when my brothers mum has cooked me a good Jamaican dish. When it’s cooked well it’s fantastic with nice bit of pepper sauce on it.
[Mi Mi] What’s your favourite achievement?
[Marvin] My favourite achievement, oh that’s a very profound question. I’ve had a few. I not sure I’d call children in achievement but they’re nice to have. When I was 18, hugely significant for me, moment. I went to Lympstone, where the Royal Marines are, and I passed the tests to become a Royal Marines officer. I’ve got bad eyes so I couldn’t join in the end. But when I was 18 that was a huge part of my life, that gave me a lot of confidence. So I loved that.
[Yasmeena] Coronavirus is receiving attention at the moment but what about eco?
[Marvin] It could cause a challenge for all the work we needed to do around environment because suddenly, you know, it’s going to have a really bad impact on the economy. To help support the economy the government has promised to spend lots of money, billions of pounds on what they call infrastructure, that’s the physical stuff. The case we’re making is that they should spend that on green infrastructure and helping to transform our city’s now, so they are primed for electric cars, we have mass transit, homes or super-efficient, you know, we have fantastic active travel they call it, cycling and walking infrastructure. All that stuff takes money to put in. So while it comes as a real challenge it’s a real opportunity if we can identify it and take it and that’s what we’re trying to do now.
[Janaye] How are the NHS in Bristol coping at the moment?
[Marvin] Overall, they are coping well. Did you hear about the Nightingale hospitals? They built special hospitals if the NHS couldn’t cope with the number of people who became unwell and the fact that we haven’t had to use those hospitals says the amount of pressure bought on the National Health Service has not exceeded its ability to cope, with which is good. So, while the organization is doing, okay, we have to recognize individuals within that are facing incredible challenges right now.
[Aman] How much money do you get every single day?
[Marvin] My wages are about £65,000. But there’s no pension in it. So, I don’t have a pension for what we do.
[Isobel] What’s your favourite thing about being mayor?
[Marvin] I’ve always grown up wanted to make the world a fairer. So I grew up quite unhappy as a child and not really enjoying my life too much. So the chance to try and do things to make sure people don’t have to grow up like that is really special.
[Teacher] Goodbye from Glenfrome.
Marvin Rees Q&A
Kids from Glenfrome Primary School asked the Mayor Marvin Rees the big (and small!) questions that they really wanted to know the answers to.