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Monthly Archives: February 2016
St George in Bloom has been selected from more than 600 entrants to take part in the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Britain in Bloom UK Finals 2016.
St George in Bloom is one of 72 finalists from across the UK and is in the Urban category. The group was selected for its outstanding commitment to environmental responsibility, community participation and gardening achievement.
In August this year, St George in Bloom’s passionate volunteers will be showing off their commitment to a greener, healthier Britain. They will lead RHS Britain in Bloom judges on a tour of local projects and initiatives in the hope of being awarded Gold at the annual award ceremony in October.
In recognition of challenges some RHS Britain in Bloom 2016 UK finalists face as a result of the recent floods, the RHS has created a new award to honour those who have battled against adversity.
The RHS discretionary award for overcoming adversity will recognise those groups that have worked in difficult circumstances to put the bloom back into their towns, villages and cities across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Jersey and Guernsey.
Grenville Johnson, Chair and founder of St George in Bloom said “We are absolutely delighted to be included in the UK finals, and to be given the opportunity to showcase the St George area of the City of Bristol, and the South West region in the urban category. This is a huge honour in view of the fact that St George in Bloom was established just over two years ago.”
Andrea Van Sittart, RHS Head of Community Outreach, said: “We would like to congratulate St George in Bloom for reaching the UK finals of RHS Britain in Bloom. It’s a tremendous achievement and illustrates the groups’ impressive commitment to improving their local environment.
“Volunteers of all ages and all walks of life participate in Bloom, making extraordinary efforts to improve streets and neighbourhoods in towns, villages and cities across Britain. It is vital we celebrate and recognise their efforts to strengthen their communities and inspire others to get involved.”
Britain in Bloom groups are assessed on a wide range of initiatives, such as the maintenance of parks and communal gardens, the management of natural spaces, community campaigns to promote recycling and environmental awareness, and projects involving local residents and schools.
There has been a lot happening in St George’s green spaces over the past couple of months:
Successful Grant Applications
There is also good news for Meadow Vale, which has also received a grant from Cory Environmental Trust for new play facilities. This is an award of nearly £50,000 for installing a Natural Play Area adjacent to the neighbouring Children’s Centre. This is planned to include log and net jungle climbing facilities; a play mound with wide slide; stepping logs and boulders.
The grants for Meadow Vale & Dundridge were secured through Friends of Dundridge Park and Meadow Vale Community Association working with a fundraiser paid for by St George Neighbourhood Partnership.
Trough One Tree per Child Bristol new trees have been planted this winter in St George Park, Dundridge Park, Troopers Hill Field and Plummers Hill.
At Plummers Hill a new carved bench was also installed in memory of Becky Watts, the Neighbourhood Partnership part funded this by donating funds that could otherwise have paid for a standard park bench.
Work has also been going on at Meadow Vale, Plummers Hill and Rodney Road to install new entrances. The work at Plummers Hill and Meadow Vale was funded by Bristol Parks, while that at Rodney Road is being paid for by ‘Section 106′ money allocated by the Partnership.
All these improvements relate to priorities in the St George Neighbourhood Plan. At the Environment sub-group meeting on Thursday 3rd March we will be discussing updates to the Environment section of the plan, if there are improvements you would like to see to your local space then please come along.
Details of all St George Neighbourhood Partnership meetings can be seen at www.stgeorgenp.org.uk/meetings
You can find the locations for all the green spaces in St George on the Discover East Bristol Map
We are pleased to say that St George Park Lake is now being refilled.
As reported earlier, one of the reasons for draining St George Park lake was to carry out structural investigations into the areas where the lake wall has failed and the path is subsiding. The initial inspections showed that a more detailed structural report was needed.
Following completion of a further inspection today (19th Feb) the lake is now being refilled. On the advice of the engineers, a small part of the footpath surrounding the lake will be fenced off to prevent access to the failed area. Once this is in place the temporary fencing round the lake will be removed.
Once the full report into today’s investigations has been received the Council will consider options for the work and seek funding. The lake will need to be drained again to carry out repairs to the failed section as well as other sections of the wall that need work to ensure their long term stability. It will not be possible to do this before the autumn at the earliest and it is possible that it might need to be delayed until the following year due to the timescales necessary to put together a schedule of work, obtain funding and then let a contract.
The pair of swans that have lived on the lake for the past few years were removed by Swan Rescue before the lake was drained to a temporary home. With the inevitable re-draining again next year or the year after, to do the repairs, a decision has been made that the swans would be better off in a safe new wild location where they can settle permanently. A site has been found in Oxfordshire and they will be relocated here in the next few days.
Bristol City Council is consulting on a series of changes to parking restrictions in an area between Whitehall Road and Church Road and Chalks Road and Herber Street. For the St George NP area the proposals affect Chalks Road, Whitehall Road, Roseberry Park, Tintern Avenue, Trelawney Avenue and Lyppiatt Road.
Further information at www.bristol.gov.uk/trafficorders
Consultation closes Friday 19 February.
Every quarter there is a Neighbourhood Forum meeting open to all residents of St George to bring local issues to council officers and police. An action tracker is kept of the issues raised at the each meeting and a record kept of what has been done about them.
For this meeting on Tuesday 9th February, 2016, chaired by Rob Acton-Campbell, Chair of the St George Neighbourhood Partnership, the meeting started with a tribute to Councillor Ron Stone, who died just before Christmas, from Grenville Johnson. Grenville also asked for ideas to be shared about a permanent memorial for Ron and volunteers to help the task group collating those ideas.
After a round of applause the meeting continued with different speakers invited to the meeting to talk about issues that are of interest to the neighbourhood. These were:
i) Community Access Support Services – Anna Balcerek
The project is very much about initiating conversations about mental health and working with community groups to provide what they need to address mental health issues. This could include signposting to services, collating feedback on the service provided to those in the community with mental health issues so those services can be improved or explaining what mental health services are available.
Community Access Support Services would like to talk to all community groups but have a particular interest in establishing links with faith leaders.
Time To Talk Day was on 4th February and encouraged conversations about mental health. There are still a number of Time to Talk events in Bristol planned on the same theme.
ii) Update on Parks and Green Spaces – Richard Fletcher
Richard is Bristol City Council’s Area Manager, Parks and Caretaking, Central and East, covering an area from Clifton to Fishponds and St George.
He shared news of
– play area improvements in St George Park
– work to stop cyclists riding over the bandstand in St George Park
– improving the entrance to Plummers Hill from Naseby Walk
– improving entrances to Meadow Vale Park
There has been a particular concentration on entrances to parks because unwelcoming entrances mean people do not use parks and gain all the benefits they provide.
Richard also gave a brief summary of the 24 byelaws that are proposed and recommended that people respond to the consultation. The byelaws would cover just over 200 of the more than 400 green spaces managed by Bristol Parks. The consultation,the list of green spaces affected and the full wording of the byelaws can be found on www.bristol.gov.uk/parkbyelaws
The wording of the byelaws is defined by government. The byelaws are already in use in many councils. The spaces to apply these byelaws have been chosen because of reports recorded by police and Bristol City Council and problems affecting those sites that could be addressed by byelaws.
In answer to a question Richard confirmed that the proposed byelaws would not prevent blackberrying, contrary to media reports.
A representative of Friends of Troopers Hill encouraged support of the byelaws to protect Troopers Hill Local Nature Reserve from fire and irresponsible foraging, both of which impact wildlife sources of food and habitat.
A question was raised about whether the work done on creating an excellent archway entrance to Canford Park could be replicated in St George. Richard explained that the funding for this came from a pot of money made available some years ago where councillors made suggestions for its use in parks. Canford Park entrance was one of the approved schemes as was the multi-use games area in St George Park.
An update was asked about the lake in St George Park. The fish have been removed and the walls of the lake have been inspected. A further inspection by a civil engineer is required. In the meantime some sections of path are protected from use because of concerns about their stability.
Rob Acton-Campbell added the news that Friends of Dundridge Park, Meadow Vale and Friends of Troopers Hill have all recently been awarded nationally funded grants for play area. More news will be published on this website soon. Here is the earlier news about the first grants awarded.
iii) Crime and Local Policing Update – PC Matt Clements
A new sergeant has been appointed, Sgt Hillier. Matt’s perception of anti-social behaviour in the last 3 months is that it has reduced but there was an expected spike at Hallowe’en.
A particular target for thieves recently has been car keys, often left hung up just inside the front door of people’s homes. When burglaries occur the thieves will just take the keys and leave with the stolen goods in the household’s car.
Problems with mopeds have reduced. A new chicane, installed by Bristol City Council on Crown Hill has been very helpful.
The front office at Fishponds police station is still open, manned by clerical staff.
iv) Wellbeing Grants
Representatives of 3 groups who had received different levels of Wellbeing funding from the St George Neighbourhood Partnership recounted their experience of applying for Wellbeing funding and encouraged others to apply. They were on hand during the break for further help and advice together with Susan Acton-Campbell, the Wellbeing Champion.
a) Redfest – Dominik Ljubic
Redfest provides an annual music and arts festival in St George Park. The event started with music in pubs, film shows and other small scale activities. Redfest’s first Wellbeing grant was £240 in 2011 for a very small stage. The event has grown and so has the size of the stage, which the Wellbeing grant has continued to support. The Wellbeing grant is only one of many sources of money funding this free event that is much enjoyed by local people.
b) St Aidan’s Church – Jim Donaldson
St Aidan’s Church has applied for a number of small grants since 2010. Jim told of the heavy, awkward trestle tables the church used to have to use for community events. Thanks to funding lightweight but sturdy folding tables have been bought in two rounds of funding. Jim emphasised the easy of making the application and the importance of returning the monitoring form at the end of the project.
He also took the opportunity to promote the St George Community Fair, showcasing many local community and volunteer groups. The printing of publicity flyers and posters for this event has also been funded by a Wellbeing grant. Jim proudly displayed a flyer pointing out the acknowledgement of the funding coming from the St George Neighbourhood Partnership. The St George Neighbourhood Partnership will be represented at the St George Community Fair which will take place in St Aidan’s Church and church hall on Saturday 12th March, from 11am-2pm.
c) Playing Out – Jacks Jarrett
Jacks described the important of the grant Playing Out received from the Wellbeing fund to train local people as “activators” helping people to find out what Playing Out involved, advising about street closures, activities and much more. She described the benefits of Playing Out in her own street where not only do children have the opportunity to play in the street but residents have a chance to get to know each other, so that, when Jacks’ oven broke down partway through cooking a meal she had no qualms in asking a neighbour if she could use their oven.
v) St George in Bloom – Grenville Johnson
Grenville Johnson shared the story of the founding of the St George in Bloom group and the success the group has achieved, supported by other community groups, with awards from South West in Bloom and their entry at a national level in Britain in Bloom
He described the planned judging route and appealed for volunteers to help the committee. St George in Bloom can be contacted using this email address:firstname.lastname@example.org or telephoning 01179496788
vi) Spring Bling – Gill Calloway
Gill, Neighbourhood Officer for St George, announced a Spring Bling initiative. This is aimed at making our streets and green spaces look better. Gill has created newsletters giving advice on where to get help to address issues ranging from bulky waste and elderly people with overgrown gardens to graffiti.
She encouraged making use of Keep Britain Tidy’s initiative of “Clean for the Queen” which links to the Queen’s birthday in March.
Spring Bling is working in partnership with St George in Bloom. All are encouraged to enter one of the St George in Bloom categories which range from the best house frontage to best children’s display. If you know someone with a lovely garden, balcony display or other special growing area, encourage them to enter.
There will also be a “Walk to School Tidy Up”.
Issues raised at the “Marketpace”
The marketplace is the break that takes places after the speakers’ session. There are tables to visit to raise environment and traffic, to talk to the police, find out about grants and talk to the organisations represented by that night’s speakers.
– a cracked footpath in the park area at Meg Thatchers
– dog mess and litter on the lane from Tesco to Air Balloon Hill Primary School
– drug dealing
– the dropped kerb on Dundridge Lane that has not be completed
– the builders’ storage area that has been left in the green space at Terrell Gardens
– the unwelcoming entrance from Cecil Ave to Plummers Hill Open Space
Please do not wait for a forum to report simple issues that can be reported online or by phone. Please do make use of “Report It!”, the tab at the top right of this page. The best way we can use Neighbourhood Forum time is raising more difficult issues.
3 grants were awarded at the last St George Neighbourhood Partnership meeting. The next closing date to apply for a Wellbeing grant can be seen is Monday 25th AprilFebruary 2016.
You are invited to the next Forum meeting at 7pm on Tuesday 10th May, 2016 at Summerhill Methodist Church.
If you have an idea for a subject to be spoken about that is of local interest contact our Neighbourhood Partnership Co-ordinator,
Abdulrazak Dahir, email@example.com, telephone 0117 903 6409.
The St George Neighbourhood Partnership wishes to mark the significant contribution that the late Councillor Ron Stone made to the St George area by arranging for a permanent memorial tribute to be set up.
The late Councillor Stone served as a city councillor in the St George West ward for 30 years, and a task group has now been established to help to progress this idea and project.
The task group will consult fully with the late Councillor Stone’s wife and family.
Do you have any suggestions for how we could mark Ron’s contributions to the St George area? You can send your suggestions to:- firstname.lastname@example.org
Please also use this email address if you would like to join the task group. You do not have to be a resident of St George in order to join the task group.
The task group looks forward to hearing from you.
On Thursday, 5th May, 2016 there will be 3 elections for voters registered in St George:
– Bristol Mayoral
– Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner
– Bristol local elections for councillors
The Bristol Mayoral and the Police and Crime Commissioner elections will use a supplementary voting system.
The local elections will be decided by simple majorities also known as the “first past the post” system.
In St George there will be 3 new wards. These were first described on this website last year
These wards can now be seen on the Bristol City Council Pinpoint Mapping System. Just click on the images below to view larger versions of the maps that you can enlarge or shrink. The wards are:
St George West – a ward represented by 1 councillor
- St George Troopers Hill – a ward represented by 1 councillor
To register to vote
If you wish to register to vote please visit www.gov.uk/register-to-vote
Will you be away from home on Thursday, 5th May?
Where do I vote?
You will receive a card through the post telling you where to vote, which will be a polling station set up in your local polling area. If you live in the St George Neighbourhood Partnership area this map shows polling stations with a pink or blue square with a cross for each polling area, outlined in a broken red line.
Would you like to become a councillor?
The council is under-represented in terms of age, ethnicity and sexuality, as are many public bodies. On Bristol City Council’s website there is general information about becoming a councillor and information that is more directly aimed at women and also includes information that is of use to parents.
Great news and an update from St George in Bloom!
St George in Bloom is a UK Royal Horticultural Society regional finalist this year in 2016, and we have now received the official Royal Horticultural Society’s finalists logo.
The logo will also be displayed on our website, Facebook page, and within our correspondence.
We are proud and delighted to be selected to represent St George, the City of Bristol and the entire South West region this year, and judging will take place during the summer of 2016.
When the judging dates are announced we will circulate the details.
We will be working with St George residents, a residents association, local community groups, a school, Bristol East Allotments Association, Church and Faith groups, ‘ Friends of ‘ groups, Parks and open spaces within St George, St George Brownies group together with local shops and commercial premises in order to show case St George in terms of Horticultural achievement, Community participation and Environmental responsibility.
More details will be announced later, and please keep an eye on our St George in Bloom website for any news updates by visiting:- www.stgeorgeinbloom.org.uk
and Facebook:- www.facebook.com/stgeorgeinbloom
Please share this article with your friends and colleagues in order to promote our efforts in this our very special year for St. George in Bloom.
St George in Bloom can be contacted using this email address: email@example.com or phone 01179496788