Monthly Archives: February 2017

Clean Streets (and green spaces) in St George

Lots of ways to join in the Great Bristol Spring Clean this weekend to clean up your area and maybe carry on doing so.  This is part of Bristol’s “Clean Streets” campaign.

There’s still time to register your own event with the Great Bristol Spring Clean but below are some local opportunities in St George that would welcome your support.

Doing a litter pick does not have to be anything formal – there are many wonderful people around St George who just pick up litter when they see it.  We would be wading through litter without them.  If you notice the Avon View Cemetery  and the car park in Blackswarth Rd looking a bit smarter on Friday this will be because some local residents have done an informal litter pick.  It can be a great way to socialise and very rewarding to see a speedy difference to your surroundings.

On Saturday 4th March:

clean streets in bloom

St George in Bloom invites you to join them at 10am on Marling Road, junction with Bell Hill Road, St George, BS5  near the telephone box, and opposite the petrol station on Bell Hill Road.  They say,”Gloves are not supplied, but all other equipment will be provided. Please bring your own strong gloves, and please wear suitable clothing and footwear. We will also need a few sweeping brushes, so please bring them with you on the day.”

Residents in Victoria Parade (just off Church Rd, near St George’s Hall pub) will be meeting at 10am for a street clean up.  Helpers welcomed.

Friends of Troopers Hill have their usual first Saturday of the month conservation work party.  They always have litter pickers and bags with them so if you would prefer litter picking to cutting back scrub to protect this very special habitat of acid grassland and heathland, join them at 10am at the red slide in Troopers Hill Field.  More details on www.troopers-hill.org.uk/wp

The Friends of Troopers Hill also want to hear from people whose Saturdays aer too buy to come and help on the Hill.  If there is another day of the week that is better for you please let them know on http://tinyurl.com/helpthehill and they might be able to arrange extra work parties on a day that suits you.

march 2017 work party

On Sunday 5th March:

Friends of St George Park are holding “The BIG Pick UP In The Park”.  Their poster, shown below, gives the details.  N.B.  The meeting point is the Kiosk near the band stand.  You will find another group at the gates who will be tidying up nearby streets.

cleanstreetposter

St George in Bloom invites to you to help clear streets outside the park.  They ask you to meet outside St George Park gates at 10am to clear up the Church Road area near the shops, and the area near St George Park entrance and area outside Sikh temple and Billboards site.

 clean streets in bloom

Want Playing Out in your street? Find out more

playing out with tamsin

7 streets in St George are already having a great time running Playing Out schemes.  Other streets are showing interest.  If one of the interested streets is YOUR street and you want to be a part of making it happen please get in touch with Jo Chesterman. 

The interested streets are:
Lavington Road,
Nicholas Lane,
St Aidans Road,
Neverland Drive,
Stradbrook Ave,
Hammersmith/Lyndale Rd, Hill St,
Ventnor Road,
Bude Ave,
Altringham Road,
Lambley Road.

If your street is in St George but not on the list and you would like to work to make Playing Out happen in your street, contact Jo.

You can:
telephone Jo on 07811 816620,
email jo.chesterman@outlook.com
contact her via the Bristol Playing Out Facebook page – this is a closed group but just click on “+ Join Group”
or use the form on the Playing Out website

Want to find the streets where Playing Out already happens?  Here’s the map.

There is a lovely short video to give you a flavour of Playing Out here.

playing out poster

 

 

Volunteers needed to help patients of four local surgeries

St George Health Centre, Wellspring, Lawrence Hill and Air Balloon Surgery patients need YOUR help

Do you have time to spare to give a little help and support to patients of four local surgeries who may be lonely, isolated or housebound?

Would you visit someone in their home to provide some company, have a chat or share an interest?

Could you help by giving lifts to patients with transport difficulties to their surgery?

RSVP West is working with four local surgeries – Air Balloon, Lawrence Hill, St George and Wellspring – to develop the Wellbeing Volunteer Scheme already running at Air Balloon. If you would like to know more about the scheme and what volunteering might entail, please contact Miffy Saunders on 0117 9099516 or by email at miffy.saunders@nhs.net. Visit http://rsvp-west.org.uk/ for more information about all their volunteer schemes.

air balloon

Bristol Charities to leave the Summerhill Centre

Bristol Charities is to end its lease of the Summerhill Centre on Summerhill Rd, BS5 HJ.  We understand the handover of the building back to Bristol City Council (BCC) will be at the end of April.

Summerhill Centre 1The Summerhill Centre is just across the road from Cherry Orchard Lane, you can its exact location on this map.  It was built in the late 1960s and extended in 1980.

It was originally used by the Bristol Association of Senior Citizens Clubs, as part of a portfolio of 7 other Bristol City Council-owned properties; the Association ran into financial difficulties between 2002-2005 and eventually disbanded.  In 2006, Bristol Charities were granted a lease for the Summerhill property; the other 6 clubs have since closed.

Over the past 10 years, Bristol Charities have managed the building as a day centre for older people (with a service contract from Bristol City Council). The building has also been let out to the wider community for a range of different social and community activities.

Bristol Charities has informed Bristol City Council of their intention to hand the property back at the end of their notice period (believed to be 3 months); they are unable to make the day centre financially sustainable and have decided not to re-tender for the Bristol City Council Day Services contract.  Bristol Charities have already informed the members of the Summerhill Club and other regular users of the impending closure at the end of April.

The Summerhill Club is a social club for older people, with approx 70 members and 30-40 regular attendees; they use the building for their social activities on 3 evenings and one afternoon each week; many of the Club’s members have used the building for more than 20 years and are concerned about its loss.

Bristol City Council have already received several enquiries from interested parties in taking over the management of the property.  There are likely to be competing interests, including social housing, sheltered housing, private housing, Bristol City Council day centre, community-managed day centre, social club, community centre, place of worship, etc.  BCC now needs to determine what the building should be used for after April 2017.

Bristol City Council are liaising with Bristol Charities to ensure an orderly hand-over, but at this stage it seems likely that the building will close at the end of April, unless an interim solution can be found.

The Council will give us more information when they have it but if you can share any suggestions or information that could help the Council achieve a good outcome please contact:

John Bos
Property Partner (Neighbourhoods & Communities)
Asset Strategy Team
Property Division, Place Directorate
Bristol City Council

Tel: 0117 90 36440
Mobile: 07584 407 753
Email: john.bos@bristol.gov.uk

The future of Neighbourhood Partnerships

StGNP-logoAs described in our post about the Council Budget and the Corporate Strategy the funding for Neighbourhood Partnerships across Bristol is going to be drastically reduced.

At the Cabinet meeting on Monday (30th Jan) it was confirmed the the cuts had been ‘re-profiled’ so that while the cut of £500k in 2017/18 still goes ahead; the cut to the second half of the budget (£562k) will now be delayed until 2019/20.

St George Neighbourhood Partnership members have already started discussions about how we can ensure that some of the good the work that the St George Neighbourhood Partnership has done over the last few years can be continued. The delay to the second part of the cuts will give us more support from the Council to make this happen, but it still means that the Partnership will effectively cease to function in its current form over the next few months.

We have received the following information about the next steps in the city wide review.

The future of Neighbourhood Partnerships – next steps

Neighbourhood partnerships have given a focal point for decision making, leadership and getting positive things done in neighbourhoods all over the city. This has been made possible because of the dedication of hundreds of Bristol people who care about where they live.

bcc-corporate-strategy-2The City Council is facing significant financial pressures and cannot sustain the level of support we provide to neighbourhood partnerships. We have to find significant savings in the coming years with a £500k (appx 50%) saving in 17/18 (subject to full council approval). We face a real challenge. The City Council wants to be able to continue working with communities across Bristol but we need to do it in a way which requires significantly less city council resources. The Executive Summary of the Corporate Plan describes the challenge we face as a city. Executive Summary Corporate Strategy

Moving forward

Over the coming months we would like to work with you to see if there’s a way of sustaining and may be even building on the experience, knowledge and community action that is so valued by all of us but with less resource from the city council. We understand this is a big-ask and support will be needed.

Our proposal is as follows:

Over the next three months the Neighbourhoods team work with you to explore what could happen in your area. This could include:

a) Using the scheduled NP or forum meetings to explore ideas, make links with groups and activists who may not be involved at present and learn from others about what they do.
b) Developing a full picture of the assets and resources locally and working out if there’s scope to make better use of them.
c) Agreeing the things that are most important for your area.
d) Understanding the risks.
e) Networking event/s to exchange ideas & learn from each other.
f) Advice about organisational governance – do you need a constitution? What sort of organisation would work for you?
g) Drawing up a plan for what needs to happen to get you to where you want to be.
h) Identifying what help and support you need to get there (this might be help with room hire costs for a given period, access to fundraising advice or having the right connection with the city council).

We will use this information to deploy the resources we have as a team but also talk to partners about what help and support they may be able to offer. Our commitment is then to work with you to help you realise that plan as far as we can within the available resources.

As a council we value the connection we have with people right across Bristol. Our aim will be to continue engaging with neighbourhoods or localities. We do not want to dictate how this might work – we are keen to hear your ideas and suggestions. In some areas the existing Neighbourhood Partnership may provide the best foundation for the future. In other areas something different may be needed. We know many of you have already started discussions about what could happen in your area. We understand that this will be easier in some areas than in others and we are committed to providing support to those who most need it.

Devolved budgets

We have some further work to do on CIL, S106 and the neighbourhood budget (wellbeing fund & clean and green) which we will be discussing with councillors in the first instance. The budget for minor highways schemes is proposed as a saving. It is more likely that any available neighbourhood budget is used to tackle inequality (rather than each area having a budget).

There is an even greater need for people to get involved with community life. We want to find a way for communities to be able to get on with the things that matter most. When working with the council we know it takes too long to get things done and to find the right person to talk to. We recognise that in asking citizens to do more we have a responsibility to address this so we can use our collective resources more wisely. As a council we have to get better at listening, collaborating and where appropriate – getting out of the way.

Going forward we are keen to hear your ideas about how we can continue to get things done and continue to have neighbourhood services that work for the area but with far less council resources. The ‘Locality’ event on the 4th February is about this bigger question. This will be followed by an open meeting specifically about the change for neighbourhood partnerships later in February.

Thank you for your continued commitment.

With best wishes,

Penny

Penny Germon

Interim Head of Neighbourhood Management Service