Mark Wright (politician)
Dr Mark Wright is a software engineer and elected councillor in Bristol. He has been councillor for Cabot ward since 2005, and was re-elected in 2009 and 2013. Between 2009 and 2011 he was Executive Councillor responsible for Housing, Service Improvement and IT on Bristol City Council in Bristol, England.
Mark Wright was born in Bristol in 1974, went to schools in Bristol and has a degree in chemistry from Bristol University. He also completed a PhD in astrophysics at Bristol University. This PhD on "interstellar hydroxyl masers" won the Royal Astronomical Society's prize for "Best PhD in the UK" in 2002
In his role on the council executive, Mark Wright was responsible for nearly 30,000 council houses in the city that house over 60,000 residents – one of the largest retained stocks of housing in the country – and was responsible for the spend of about £150m of public money per year. He has initiated the first council house building program in Bristol for nearly 30 years and launched a drive to get empty homes in the city back into use. Under his IT remit he also tightened the Council's rules on RIPA authorisations to limit council "snooping" on residents. He was also chairman of one of the City Council's planning committees from 2007–2009.
He was a member of the South West Provisional Council and sat on the "West of England Partnership" Planning and Housing Board, which oversees policy in the former Avon area. He was a Governor of St George's Primary School, which he helped to save from closure in 2008.
He has a record of opposing ID cards, supporting tidal power in the Severn Estuary and supporting civil liberties, and campaigning for reform of Parliamentary expenses. He has also campaigned against nuclear power and against light pollution. In 2006 he helped save a popular piece of graffiti by renowned local artist Banksy. An online petition Mark started collected over 3,500 signatures and was at that time the biggest e-Petition the council had ever received.
Open Standards advocacy
Holding the responsibility for IT at Bristol City Council in 2009, Wright was a vocal proponent of Open Source, open document formats, and open data in UK local government. He speaks at IT conferences to highlight the problems still faced by public sector organisations wanting to avoid "vendor lock-in", particularly to Microsoft.
- Bristol City Council: Councillor Details Archived 3 April 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
- Bristol Evening Post: Mr Wright who can do no wrong
- Royal Astronomical Society: Winners of the 2002 Thesis Prizes
- Bristol City Council: Budget 2009–2010 Archived 4 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
- This is Bristol: Bristol to build first council houses in 30 years
- eGov Monitor: Council wins another £2.3m to finance more new homes Archived 29 January 2016 at the Wayback Machine.
- Bristol 24/7: Landlords have "Social responsibility" to fill empty homes Archived 6 February 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
- This is Bristol: Bristol housing chief – we won't snoop on you
- Jack FM: Snooping Powers Only "Last Resort" in Bristol[permanent dead link]
- Bristol City Council: Council takes action to safeguard privacy
- South West Provincial Council Members
- West of England Partnership Planning and Housing Board[permanent dead link]
- This is Bristol: Two Bristol primaries axed – but one survives
- The Guardian: Council votes to oppose ID cards
- This is Bristol: 'Bristol schools letting in ID cards by the back door'
- This is Somerset: Lib Dems oppose barrage across Bristol Channel
- The BBC: Bristol plans to restrict outdoor play in parks withdrawn
- The Guardian: Bristol plans ban for tree-climbing, skateboarding and 'annoying' football
- The Daily Mail: Killjoy council tries to BAN youngsters from climbing trees...
- This is Bristol: Would-be Bristol MP backs calls to change politicians' expenses
- Original 106.5: Bristolians "Should Have Say" On Nuclear Plans[not in citation given]
- Bristol 24/7: Call for city to oppose new nuclear power plants Archived 27 December 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
- Bristol City Council: Help us reduce unnecessary floodlighting says council housing chief Archived 2 December 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
- Build.co.uk: Reduce Floodlighting, Says Housing Chief
- Bristol Indymedia: Help protect Banksy's Park St mural, again![dubious ]
- Bristol Post
- The Register: Bristol Council mulls mixed FOSS, Microsoft upgrade
- thinq: Bristol councillor makes stand for open source
- Openforum Europe: UK Government pushes for open standards Archived 29 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
- BEP Find out where your money's going
- Bristol 24/7: Wikipedia founder in Bristol to celebrate 10th anniversary
- Westminster eForum Keynote Seminar: Open source software
-  Archived 12 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine.