Monthly Archives: December 2015

Cllr Ron Stone

Ron Stone

It is with the deepest regret that we report the death of Cllr Ron Stone. Ron passed away yesterday (30.12.15) at the Bristol Royal Infirmary Hospital (BRI) after a short illness. Ron had been a Councillor for St George West Ward for over 30 years.

Memorial Page for Ron Stone – www.tinyurl.com/ronstone

Cllr Fabian Breckels and Grenville Johnson spoke about Ron’s work in the community on BCFM Radio on Friday 8th Jan on the Politics Show. You can listen to the interview at bcfmradio.com/politics it starts at 22:40 mins on the 18:00 – 08/01/2016 show.

“St George Neighbourhood Partnership is deeply saddened to hear that our friend and colleague Ron Stone has passed away. Serving the community since he was first elected thirty years ago, Ron was a long-standing councillor and a true champion of St George – a community he was proud to serve for those three decades.
As a man of great integrity, Ron will be remembered as a steadfast campaigner committed to furthering social justice and equality in Bristol and beyond. The Labour Party has lost one of its most committed councillors. Bristol is a better city because of Ron Stone’s unwavering public service.
His hard work and dedication to St George will be greatly missed by all those who knew him as will his many great personal kindnesses to colleagues and constituents alike. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time.”
– Cllr Steve Pearce, Vice-Chair – St George Neighbourhood Partnership

“I am very sorry to hear of the death of Councillor Ron Stone. He had an undying passion for Bristol and for those least able to help themselves. I always enjoyed his directness and wry humour – even when directed at me!
As a councillor for St. George West for 30 years, Ron had a vast knowledge of his neighbourhood and the people he served, making him an excellent ward councillor who made a real difference. With his keen sense of social justice, Ron made an enormous contribution to life in Bristol. He was an ‘establishment rebel’, always without his civic robes but seldom without his camera, recording people and events.
My deepest condolences go to his wife, family, friends and council colleagues at this sad time. Ron’s passing is a great loss to the city and the council, where his presence will be greatly missed.”
– George Ferguson, Mayor of Bristol

“On behalf of the entire council I would like to offer our sincerest condolences to Ron’s family and friends.
Ron was a hugely dedicated councillor who made a great contribution to his community, constituents, the council and the city over his 30 years of service.
He was an active and passionate councillor whose presence in the Chamber enlivened and enriched any debate.”
– Cllr Clare Campion-Smith, Lord Mayor of Bristol

“Ron Stone was an incredibly hard-working and conscientious councillor for St George West, who served the ward with absolute dedication for three decades. He knew his ward back to front, and was always totally on top of all the local issues and casework. There are many ways in which he made a tangible difference in St George West, from helping hundreds of people with individual problems, to getting investment in Meadow Vale Community Centre and the play area in St George Park.”
– Kerry McCarthy MP (Labour, Bristol East)

 

Links: | Bristol City Council | Bristol Post | ITV | Bristol Labour Party |

 

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St George Park Lake

Latest update on this issue – 26 Jan 2016 >>

 

swansThe St George Neighbourhood Partnership supports the aims of the Friends of St George Park to improve the lake in the Park for wildlife. Surveys by the group have consistently shown that this aim is also supported by park users.

Fish stock levels in the lake are very high. This, combined with the impact fishing bait has on the lake ecology, means the water quality has been poor with the lake suffering regular summer algal blooms.

Back in 2011 the group commissioned a report from the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust at Slimbridge into the environmental condition of the lake. This report noted that the high fish densities had led to the lake’s ecological status being severely impoverished, with no aquatic vegetation and minimal invertebrate diversity. The report made a number of recommendations to improve the lake, including de-silting and creating shallow areas for bankside, marginal and aquatic planting.

The Neighbourhood Partnership and Friends of St George Park group are also concerned that over a prolonged period of time fishing at the lake has been causing harm to wildlife – mainly through hooks and line being swallowed by birds that visit and breed on the lake. Since 2012, Swan Rescue have been called seventeen times to rescue swans and cygnets that have been injured. On most occasions the injured swan has needed to be removed from the lake and relocated. Other wild birds have also been found by Parks staff killed by fishing line. There have also been reports of antisocial behaviour in the park caused by anglers.

Report from 2012 on the problems caused by fishing >>

It has proved hard to persuade anglers to fish in certain areas only and to not fish out of close season. With the support of the Partnership a permit scheme was introduced at the beginning of 2014 to try and regulate fishing but has not ultimately prevented harm to wildlife.

The Council has recently undertaken a ‘health check’ on fish in the lake, and concluded “The fish stock is of poor health with evidence of parasites with heavy loads and bacterial infection”.

A further issue is that in one area the side of the lake is collapsing, the lake may therefore need to be drained to carry out repairs.

At its meeting on Wednesday 16 December the members of St George Neighbourhood Partnership received a report from Bristol City Council’s Area Manager for Parks concerning fishing in St George Park. The Partnership members also heard from representatives of the ‘Friends of St George Park’ group. Having considered all the options and being aware of the actions taken over the past few years, the Neighbourhood Partnership voted to support the recommendation from the Council that all fish be removed from the lake.

What is proposed?

– Removing all the fish from St George Park lake and euthanizing them.

– This would be done humanely using an ‘overdose’ of anaesthetic.

– The practicalities are yet to be decided and the Council will liaise with its consultant and the Environment Agency in the coming weeks.

– The action will take place in January/February. However, we may be doing some work to repair the lake perimeter and if this means the lake needs to be drained it may be sensible to combine the two activities.

Are there alternatives?

– An alternative approach was put to the NP and it decided against this and went with officer’s recommendation. The option was to move some specimen fish to Eastville Park lake, retain a small fish stock in St George and euthanize the remainder. However, the problem of injury to wildlife is greater at Eastvile Park and it was not thought sensible to encourage more fishing there by moving specimen fish.

– The consultants that carried out a health check on the fish stock at St George have confirmed that there are high parasite loadings in the fish. This makes it difficult to move the fish to another water as we would essentially be moving the problem elsewhere – introducing a health risk to the host fish stock for example.

– It would be possible to improve the health of the fish but this would require an intermediate or new host site with good water quality where they could be kept, at lower densities for a significant time before being moved again. This is a very unlikely and costly solution that is not recommended by the consultants the Council have used.

– The consultancy carrying out the health check felt that euthanizing was the best approach. However, the Council will welcome and investigate offers to re-home the fish.

The Future

Following the removal of the fish the Partnership and Friends group will move forward with their project to introduce plant life to the lake and take other measures to improve its quality and ecology. In the long term it will be possible to introduce a new fish stock to the lake providing this is managed well.

 

Please see update issued 26 January 2016 >>

 

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Volunteers Needed

volunteering-opportunities

The St George Neighbourhood Partnership is looking for local volunteers to join their Wellbeing subgroup.  This team meets 4 times a year to review grant applications to support local projects.  They jointly make recommendations for decision by local councillors.

The team would welcome new volunteers to read through applications, raise helpful questions to clarify what is being asked for and to assess whether or not that grant will help meet neighbourhood priorities.

No prior experience is needed by those joining the Wellbeing Subgroup of St George Neighbourhood Partnership but having access to email would be very helpful.

For further information, or an informal conversation, about joining the Wellbeing Subgroup email wellbeing@stgeorgenp.org.uk or call Susan on 0117 947 5037.  Further information on the work of the Subgroup is available at www.stgeorgenp.org.uk/wellbeing   Those interested in volunteering are welcome to attend a meeting before formally joining the group.  Dates for 2016 meetings are listed on www.stgeorgenp.org.uk/meetings

 

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Discover East Bristol

DEBThroughout 2015 members of the Partnership have been working with a team of artists to create a map showing the green spaces in St George (& Greater Fishponds) and some of the quiet links between them.

The project in funded by the Bristol 2015 Nighbourhood Arts Project with additional money coming from the Partnership’s own pot of money allocated from Bristol 2015. Greater Fishponds NP have also contributed so that the map can extend into their area.

The official launch of the map is Tuesday 8th December and copies of the map that you can pick up will soon start to appear in various places around St George.

You can see the online version of the map, which has lots of information and activity sheets to download on the new Discover East Bristol website.

discovereastbristol.co.uk

Find out more about the project and theteam of artists who created the map on the Bristol 2015 website:
www.bristol2015.co.uk/get-involved/neighbourhood-arts-programme/st-george/

See a video about the production of the map on Youtube

We are also producing display copies to put up in key locations around the area.

To help promote the new map, and also the NP, Rob Acton-Campbell (NP Chair) was on the ‘One Love Breakfast’ show on 2nd December, broadcast on BCfm, Ujima Radio and Pirate Nation.

You can listen to the recording of the programme via: www.bcfmradio.com/olb – click on the 07:00 show for 02/12/2015, go direct to the interview by dragging the blue bar to 38:00 minutes in to the show.

The map was also featured in a double page spread in the Bristol Post on 3rd December along with a report about the project.

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St Anne’s Footbridge – Extended Closure

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St Anne’s Footbridge linking Crews Hole to the shopping area in St Anne’s has been closed since the beginning of June for major repairs.

When the old concrete bridge deck was removed it revealed significant corrosion to the bridge steelwork which required repair before it can be painted and the new deck installed (see photos below). This has led to the originally estimated period of 12 weeks for the work being extended.

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Updated 4 January 2016

Work is continuing while the bridge is open.  Scaffolding will start to be removed on Monday 11th January.   The bridge will be kept open while the scaffolding is being removed but there will be a banksman at either end of the bridge to allow the scaffolders to work safely and guide members of the public across.

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Updated 2 December 2015

The bridge should be open before Christmas provided there are sufficient breaks in the rain next week. Work will focus on the main bridge span painting, so that the scaffold can then be removed and the bridge re-opened as soon as possible. The painting of the steelwork on the ramps will be completed next year but this can be done while the bridge remains open.

The current programme is as follows, weather permitting:

Ongoing – 11th December – final fit of deck sections and painting of main span,
12th – 23rd December – removal of scaffolding,
14th – 18th December – preparation and painting of ramps, completion of painting of main span,
Before Christmas – bridge opens to public,
After Christmas – completion of painting of ramps, bridge remaining open.

Bristol City Council regret the current inconvenience to local residents.

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Updated 7 November 2015

The Council now expect works to be complete and the bridge reopened by early – mid December.

The repairs and welds that had to be carried out before the deck could be re-laid are now finished and the majority of the deck replacement is now complete.

The next phase is due to commence on Monday, which will be undertaken by a separate contractor and will entail the preparation and repainting of the ramp on the St. Anne’s side and the upper parts of the main bridge structure. This has not corroded like the lower beams had and so will be a relatively quick job. Due to the likely variability of the weather at this time of year we cannot commit to a firm opening date.

Bristol City Council do apologise for the extension to the works.

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Updated 8 October 2015

It is estimated that the refurbishment works on St. Anne’s footbridge will be complete by early November 2015.

Progress to date is as follows:
– The ramp on the Crew’s Hole Road end is repaired, new deck fitted and repainted except for the parapets and columns,
– The main refurbishment works across the main span are nearly complete. This includes steel preparation, removal of all corrosion, removal of redundant steel members, fitting and welding of supplementary strengthening steel members,
– The steelwork of the lower part of the main span is currently receiving its primer coat of paint,
– The new deck across the main span is currently being trial fitted prior to final painting of the lower steelwork.

The work which is yet to be undertaken includes:
– Completion of trial fit of deck across the main span,
– Completion of painting of the steelwork of the lower part of the main span,
– Final fit of new deck across the main span once repainted,

Preparation of the steelwork of the remaining parts of the Crew’s Hole Road ramp, St. Anne’s side ramp and upper steelwork of the main span and repainting. This will be undertaken by a separate contractor who is programmed to start 19th October 2015 and will work concurrently with the Principal Contractor who is currently on site. Progress of painting works is very dependent upon weather conditions.

Bristol City Council apologises for any inconvenience caused by the delay during these complex structural improvements.

We could only assess the extent of the work required once the whole of the deck had been removed. The contractor is being very thorough in the steel preparation in order to ensure that the final repair is long-lasting and we had underestimated the time required in order to achieve this result.

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Updated 29 September

The current estimate is that the bridge will need to remain closed until the end of October (weather permitting).

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5 August Engineer’s Report

The engineer for the project has given us the following report:

Resumé of works to date
• 2nd June 2015 – Site commencement, bridge closure and set up of site compound,
• 2nd – 19th June – Erection of scaffolding around entire bridge,
• 8th June – 3rd July – Works on Crew’s Hole Road approach ramp including deck removal, preparation and assessment of corroded steel, test fit of new deck, fabrication of new steelwork for deck support, 3-part paint system to steel members.
• 6th July to date – Removal of deck from main bridge span, preparation and assessment of corroded steel (see photographs below), undertake repair works to steel members.

Planned programme for the coming weeks
• Ongoing – 21st August – Continue preparation of corroded steel to clean finish, continue assessment of steel condition, calculations and assessment of repair methods, removal of redundant steel members from bridge structure,
• Ongoing – 28th August Continue repair of corroded steel members,
• September – Test fit of new decking,
• September – Apply 3-part paint system to lower steel members,
• September – Permanent fit of new deck to Crew’s Hole Road approach ramp and main span (overlap sequenced with painting of lower steel members),
• September – Preparation and painting of upper bridge steel members and St. Anne’s approach ramp (overlap with ongoing deck and repair works),
• September Minor ancillary works.

We currently estimate that the works will be complete at the end of September / early October 2015.

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While the bridge is closed pedestrians & cyclists can continue along the river path on either side of the river and cross at Netham.

See our original posting with information about the history of the bridge.

Photographs of Steel Corrosion

View showing corrosion of the main lower inner steel beams (deck removed)

View showing corrosion of the main lower inner steel beams (deck removed)

View showing corrosion of the end of the main lower inner steel beams (St. Anne’s end)

View showing corrosion of the end of the main lower inner steel beams (St. Anne’s end)

View showing corrosion of the ends of the lower steel diagonal bracing

View showing corrosion of the ends of the lower steel diagonal bracing

View showing corrosion of the ends of the lower steel diagonal bracing (mid-span), main lower inner steel beams in good condition at this point

View showing corrosion of the ends of the lower steel diagonal bracing (mid-span), main lower inner steel beams in good condition at this point

View showing corrosion of the ends of the lower steel cross bracing

View showing corrosion of the ends of the lower steel cross bracing

Original report of closure >>