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Festival of Ideas


Crisis, what crisis?

40 years of Citizens Advice in Bristol, 1977-2017

6.30-8pm, 16th June, Watershed Bristol, BS1 5TX

Free event

Citizens Advice Bristol, in partnership with Ujima Radio, are hosting a panel discussion on housing in the city to celebrate 40 years of delivering free advice to the people of Bristol. Since 1977 Citizens Advice Bristol has helped hundreds of thousands of people resolve their problems. To celebrate the largely volunteer-led service, Citizens Advice are hosting a panel discussion on the housing crisis in Bristol exploring how the situation has changed between now and 1977. The discussion will be chaired and broadcast live by Ujima Radio, Bristol’s leading urban and lifestyle community radio station. You can submit questions to the panel when you book your ticket.


Panel members:

  • Councillor Asher Craig, Deputy Mayor Bristol City Council


  • Charlotte Leslie MP, Bristol North West


  • Peter Malpass, retired UWE Professor of Housing & Urban Studies


  • Tom Renhard, Acorn Communities campaign group


The evening kicks off with a short film exploring the work of Citizens Advice Bristol and some of the housing challenges facing the city over the last 40 years. Citizens Advice Bristol is a local charity providing free, impartial and confidential advice. The organisation also works to collect evidence of peoples’ problems to campaign for changes in national and local policies and practices.


Panel Members for Citizens Advice Bristol 40th Anniversary Event


Councillor Asher Craig, Deputy Mayor Bristol City Council

Asher has over 30 years’ experience as a community activist, leader, management consultant and now politician.  She has championed the needs of the voice-less, with a particular emphasis on the social-economic development of BME and under-represented communities.  She has led and chaired a number of major partnerships and organisations at local, regional and national level and has worked in the field of employment & training, education & skills, recruitment, advocacy, equality & diversity within local government and the third sector.

Asher was elected as the Labour Councillor for the ward of St George West, Bristol in May 2016 and was appointed to the Cabinet with the wide reaching portfolio of Neighbourhoods in August 2016. In March 2017 Asher stepped into the new role of Deputy Mayor – Communities, bringing into and elevating the issue of Public Health within this new portfolio.


Charlotte Leslie MP, Bristol North West

Charlotte Leslie has been the Member of Parliament for the Bristol North West constituency since her election on 6 May 2010. In 2013, she was named ‘Backbencher of the Year’ in recognition of her work on accountability and patient safety in the NHS. Locally in Bristol her work has focused on transport and she has campaigned extensively for the introduction of a smartcard on local transport.

Peter Malpass, retired Professor of Housing Policy and head of the School of Housing and Urban Studies at the University of the West of England (UWE)

Peter Malpass has lived in Bristol since 1976 and for most of that time he worked at UWE (formerly Bristol Polytechnic) where, from 1991 to 2011, he was Professor of Housing and Urban Studies. He has published widely on aspects of housing and housing policy, including council rents policy, the rise of housing associations, and the place of housing within the welfare state.

Now retired, he indulges his interest in urban history and is writing a book on the growth of Bristol in the 19th century.


Tom Renhard, ACORN Communities campaign group

Tom Renhard is an active housing and mental health campaigner. He is a core member of ACORN Bristol, representing the organisation on the Council’s Bristol Homes Board. He leads the delivery of the Big Housing Conversation, a series of events produced by ACORN in partnership with Bristol City Council and other key stakeholders to amplify tenants’ voices and experiences of housing. Tom is also currently the Representation & Accountability Officer for the Bristol Independent Mental Health Network (BIMHN), working with people with lived experience from across Bristol to improve mental health services in the city.



For more information on the work of Acorn visit:

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