Monthly Archives: November 2016

Council Spending Freeze

bcc-tough-choices

Bristol City Council has extended its freeze on non-essential spending as it works to balance its annual budget and prepare for a five-year £92m financial gap from next April.

The spending freeze is expected to remain in place until the council has firm plans for a balanced budget this year and next, along with a more developed five-year plan.

Amongst the elements of the ‘freeze’ the Council has announced that all maintenance of buildings, roads and parks will stop unless there is a risk to people’s health or safety.

The council will continue to operate as normal for most services, particularly where funded by external grants or when generating income. It will also continue to meet all of its statutory obligations.

Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol said: “This temporary spending freeze is about focusing everyone on the challenge we face whilst also making more immediate savings. The current process is painful but necessary. The cost of not balancing our budget would be far higher and I do not just want to store up problems. We must be financially responsible and challenge our spending.”

You can read the council’s existing savings proposals, have a say and submit new ideas at www.bristol.gov.uk/corpstrategy   The public consultation on the draft Corporate Strategy is open until Thursday 5 January 2017. Information and paper copies are available in local libraries and at Citizen Service Points across the city.

Clean Streets Campaign

bristol-clean-streets-finalThe Bristol Clean Streets campaign was launched on Monday.

Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, is asking individuals, community groups, schools and businesses to take collective responsibility for keeping the streets clean and tidy, and encouraging everyone to reuse, repair and recycle more. The aim is to make Bristol measurably cleaner by 2020.

St George in Bloom were represented at the launch and will be helping to promote and take this initiative forward in our area. You can see their facebook post about the launch here.

residential_street-jpg__1140x0_q85_crop-scale_subsampling-2_upscaleThere were 3,700 metric tonnes of litter removed from the streets of Bristol last year – the image shows what that looks like in one pile.

The campaign will include some flagship projects such as Graffiti removal in St Pauls, Stokes Croft and the Bearpit. But they also promise operations in hotspot areas geographically spread around the city. It will run enforcement campaigns including dog fouling, fly tipping and fly posting operations. There are also plans to improve the cleansing service delivered by the Bristol Waste Companyto deliver a responsive waste and cleansing service across all public land.

Everyone in St George can do their bit by reporting fly-tipping via the Council’s website, once reported Bristol Waste usually clear it very quickly, use the link below:

Report fly-tipping on the Council’s website >>

You can also join the many residents who already do their bit by picking up litter in their local area – just picking up one piece of rubbish a day will make a difference if everybody did it. There is an article on the Bristol Waste website about Bristol’s Captain Tidy who leads the Street Scene group in the Bishopston, Cotham and Redland Neighbourhood Partnership.

If there is an area that you know of in St George where there is a persistant problem; a hotspot that is in need of a particular clean up or if you would like to organise a community clean-up event, then please contact us to let us know.

mayor-marvin-rees-launches-the-clean-streets-campaign-with-parson-street

Improving Parks & Play Areas

This year has seen a huge amount of work done to improve parks & green spaces in St George.

celebrate37This has been achieved by St George Neighbourhood Partnership, Bristol Parks and park groups working together to raise funding to address priorities set in the St George Neighbourhood Plan.

The highlight has been work to create three new play areas, but there has also been work to improve paths and entrances. More work is planned this winter to repair the walls to St George Park Lake.

St George Neighbourhood Partnership contributed £10,000 from its budget to pay for a fundraiser to help raise money for Dundridge and Meadow Vale Parks and through the Neighbourhood Committee has allocated over £90,000 of Section 106 money for work in parks that has been spent this year.

Grants raised with the help of our fundraiser amount to over £175,000 and Friends of Troopers Hill raised another £70,000 – together with Bristol Parks contribution through their Parks Access and Play Funds this means well over £400,000 has been invested in St George’s parks in the last 12 months.

Here is an update on progress since we last reported on this in July.

Meadow Vale Park

14595695_1199574136803616_8190594127993366833_nPath – First the entrance at Speedwell Road was improved and then the narrow and cracked path was widened and resurfaced (you can now walk three abreast). This was funded from Bristol Parks Access Fund.

Play Area – Working with our fundraiser and using some of the Section 106 money as match funding; Meadow Vale Community Association raised funding for a new play area from Cory Environmental Trust and the John James Bristol Foundation. The play area has now been completed and the official opening will be held next month.

14937451_1205871546173875_1133658307099231329_nNear the play area there is also the Meadow Vale spider that was built with the help of local young people and funded by Ibstock Cory Environmental Trust.

Meadow Vale Community Association are now working towards their next major project, which is to significantly extend the Community Centre. They also intend to install floodlighting to the ‘MUGA’ (surfaced basketball court) in the park.

Dundridge Park

14963145_1785186721748928_2504114571845984178_nThree projects supported by St George NP through the help of our fundraiser and match funding are now almost complete at Dundridge.

First a new path was constructed to the existing play area (with funding from Tesco Bags of Help). Next was the ‘Path to Nature’ to link the pavilion area to the woodland path to Conham, this was funded by Cory Environmental Trust.

Finally Friends of Dundridge Park worked with the fundraiser to apply to Suez Communities Trust for funds to extend the play area and this work is now nearly complete.

A fourth project for a pond and maintenance to the deer path in Conham Woodland at the edge of Dundridge Park has also now received funding from Ibstock Cory Environmental Trust, this work will be carried out next year.

For the latest news from Dundridge Park see their facebook group.

Troopers Hill Field

celebrate50The completion of the new play area for Troopers Hill Field was marked in style last month with a procession from the chimney led by bagpipes and drums.

Funding for the play area was raised by Friends of Troopers Hill from Suez Communities Trust and Veolia Environmental Trust with match funding from Section 106. The NP also funded the celebration event through the wellbeing fund.

Details of the project including photographs and videos from the opening ceremony can be seen at www.troopers-hill.org.uk/play

Plummers Hill

Following the tree planting, new entrance and new bench that were installed in the spring, further works have ben carried out this month to complete the entrance and the path through the site will be resurfaced soon. This is all being funded from the Bristol Parks Access Fund.

Gladstone Street Park

St George NP allocated Section 106 money to remove the redundant safety surfacing in this space (from an old play area) and this has now been done along with work funded by the Bristol Parks Access Fund to improve the paths across the space.

Friends of Gladstone Street Park are planning events and more improvements for the future.

St George Park

Play Area – Work was carried out in the summer to replace the safety surfacing and rebuild part of the Dragon head. The work took longer than initially hoped but has now all been completed. This work was funded by Bristol Parks Play fund and is part of a programme of work to address issues at play areas throughout Bristol.

20160209_124724St George Park Lake – Part of the path around the lake was closed earlier this year because of a structural failure of the lake walls.

As we reported at the time repairs to the walls will need to the lake to be drained again and so could not be carried out during the summer. Bristol Parks are now planning to carry out the works this winter, more details will be posted on this website once the details and timing have been finalised.

new bpf logo with text 2A full list of investment projects in parks across Bristol can be downloaded from the Bristol Parks Forum website.

Council Budget Consultations

bcc-corporate-strategy-2

Bristol City Council is consulting on their “Corporate Strategy” for 2017 to 2022.  The draft document includes information on a lot of proposed budget implications for the provision of Council services.

The 126 page consultation document and an online response form is available on the Council website

A series of meetings are being held around Bristol “where you can share your ideas on the strategy”.  Our nearest event is on Wednesday 16 November, 7.00pm at Bristol Brunel Academy – you can book a (free) place here

The Corporate Strategy will also be discussed at the St George Neighbourhood Forum on Tuesday 15 November, 7.00pm at Summerhill Methodist Church – www.stgeorgenp.org.uk/forum

The proposals include:
bcc-corporate-strategy-quote1bcc-corporate-strategy-quote2bcc-corporate-strategy-quote3

 

bcc-corporate-strategy-2