By Sam Rkaina, Local Government Reporter
Speaking at Tuesday’s annual council meeting, Mrs Janke said her colleagues would not turn their backs on their responsibilities.
She said: “Liberal Democrats will continue to put Bristol first – keeping taxes low, protecting services and backing a greener, more prosperous city.
“It will be essential for the council to provide clear leadership to our city in the difficult economic circumstances ahead
“We have a powerful record of competence and achievement and will build on the successes of the last two years to give confidence to businesses, public and private investors and, above all, to the people of the city who most depend on our services.
“We will continue to deliver a greener, safer, cleaner, high- achieving and more prosperous city, where everyone can share in our growing wealth and success.”
Mrs Janke (Clifton) said: “This year – the first year of the coalition government’s cutbacks – we have frozen council tax and put the authority’s finances in order. And we have achieved this with few compulsory redundancies and with frontline services protected.
“While other cities have been closing libraries and children’s centres, we have kept ours open.
“School GCSE results have improved by 12 per cent over the last two years and 1,800 new jobs have been created here – most of them through the growth of small businesses.
“Lib Dem Bristol already has the lowest emissions per person of any of Britain‘s Core Cities.
“And Bristol will emerge from the current economic crisis stronger and more successful, offering the best possible opportunities to all our citizens.”
The Lib Dems also provided a list of eight concessions they have made to opposition parties following more than a week of negotiations.
They were agreed to allow the party to continue running the council even though it no longer has an overall majority.
All opposition party leaders also gave speeches at the meeting about the future direction of the council.
New Labour group leader Peter Hammondargued that his party’s recent success at the city council elections – winning four new
seats – showed it had the popular vote.
Mr Hammond (St George West) said: “The losers at the last election weren’t actually the Liberal Democrats, it is the people of Bristol.
“They have a council and a leadership that they didn’t vote for.
“We will not obstruct the formation of an administration by the Liberal Democrats – we cannot justify taking control ourselves.”
Mr Hammond and the new Tory leader Peter Abraham said they would support the Lib Dems on areas that were in the interest of Bristol, but they would hold them to account on others.
Mr Abraham (Stoke Bishop) said: “We are where we are and we have to deal with it, and I think that should be the hallmark of the next year.
“They (the discussions) have been held in a very courteous and workmanlike way, and we were able to put forward a number of items that we were concerned about. We really must work together in the right way – protecting our own ideas and not trying to stop what an administration wants to do.”
After joking that her party had “doubled their number of seats” by taking one of the 24 up for grabs on
May 5, she said: “We look forward to co-operating, and finding some new solutions to the most pressing problems that face the city.
“And it actually seems this is what voters wanted, as they have presented us this opportunity to stop fighting and start working together.”