Author Archives: Susan

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

Without volunteers a successful road safety campaign in Crews Hole and on Troopers Hill Rd ends 6th February

Since March 2015 a small group of volunteers have been working with Avon and Somerset Police monitoring traffic speed on Crews Hole Rd, Troopers Hill and Blackswarth Rd.  Owners of vehicles recorded by the volunteers as being driven at excessive speeds have received letters from police.

This gentle reminder approach to encouraging responsible driving could be judged to be working.  Between June 2016 and mid-October 2016 the volunteer monitored traffic for an hour a week.    They counted 3,344 vehicles of which 404 were driven at 27 mph or above in the 20mph limited roads.  During that time they only recorded 8 people repeatedly driving at these speeds and they were only recorded twice.

The team are now down to 2 members and will run their last opertion on 6th February UNLESS new volunteers come forward.  If you have an hour a week or fortnight to spare please find more information and follow up the contacts on www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/csw

OR

private message on Facebook to www.facebook.com/stgeorgenp or www.facebook.com/troopershill

A report about the early days of the team can be read on www.stgeorgenp.org.uk/speedwatch-2/

The team would like to say a huge THANK YOU to the responsible drivers keeping to speed limits and driving appropriately for road conditions.  As you can see here when traffic is heavier, the responsible drivers keep those breaking the law to a  low percentage.  Problems increase when there is lighter traffic and this is when road incidents with the worst injuries occur.

Thanks to the statistics the team have gathered, police have been informed about the days of the week, the times of day and the locations where the worst offending occurs.  The police can then make the best use of time from their speed enforcment unit to cover an area and issue appropriate penalties and advice.

If you think the efforts of these volunteers are worthwhile please volunteer to keep this group running.

photo Speedwatch kit

St George in Bloom and St. George community groups scoop top RHS Britain in Bloom awards

Update Fri 14th October:
St George in Bloom won Silver in the Urban Category of 2016 Britain in Bloom Awards. The certificate was awarded at the national RHS Britain in Bloom award ceremony in Birmingham this evening.


At the awards ceremony held today on Thursday 6th October 2016 and hosted by RHS Britain in Bloom South West at Taunton Cricket ground, representatives from St. George in Bloom and community groups from St. George received the following awards.

St. George in Bloom received GOLD in the Pennant town / city category for the third consecutive year.

The following local community groups also received the following RHS ‘It’s your Neighbourhood’ awards:-

Bristol East Allotments group received OUTSTANDING

St Aidan’s Allotments in St. George received OUTSTANDING

Friends of Troopers Hill received OUTSTANDING

Kensington Road Residents Association received OUTSTANDING

Friends of Kingsway Youth “Hope for the future” received THRIVING

In addition, Air Balloon Hill Primary School in St. George received the Clem Preece Memorial cup for an outstanding effort by a school in promoting South West in Bloom and Friends of Troopers Hill received The Sutton seeds cup for an outstanding area of nature conservation.

Grenville Johnson Chair of St. George in Bloom said:-

‘My congratulations to everyone – It was an honour and privilege for myself and representatives from St. George in Bloom to attend the awards ceremony today, and receive all these wonderful awards on behalf of our community groups in St George.

I would like to sincerely thank everyone for their enthusiasm, hard work and commitment, and for making our area of the City of Bristol a greener, healthier, and happier place in which to live and work.

I also wish to sincerely thank the local City Councillors and the council officers for all their kind support, advice, and commitment.

It has been a wonderful team effort, and a marvellous opportunity to showcase the St George area of the City of Bristol.’

On Friday 14th October representatives from St. George in Bloom will attend the RHS Britain in Bloom awards ceremony in Birmingham to receive the result of St George in Bloom’s selection as a 2016 national RHS Britain in Bloom Finalist.

Air Balloon Hill Primary School pupils planting trees on Troopers Hill Field in Feburary 2016

Air Balloon Hill Primary School pupils planting trees on Troopers Hill Field in Feburary 2016

Celebrating the re-opening of Bristol’s oldest Sikh temple

Rob Acton-Campbell, Chair of the St George Neighbourhood Partnership, was proud to be invited to recent celebrations at the Nirman Sewak Jatha Gurdwara in St George.

Here is the press release from the Gurdwara.

“The congregation of the Nirman Sewak Jatha Gurdwara are today (Saturday 1st October) celebrating the re-opening of their renovated Gurdwara and new community centre.

The Gurdwara on Summerhill Road in St George was founded in 1970 and was Bristol’s first Sikh Gurdwara. The Gurdwara was used regularly as a meeting place and to host Sikh festivals up until May 2012 when the congregation took the decision to undertake a major renovation of the building.

Funded by generous donations from the congregation and funding awards from SUEZ Communities Trust, St George Neighbourhood Partnership and St George West Community First, volunteers led a major redevelopment project to completely refurbish the building including new roof, stonework and glazing, electrical upgrades, the creation of a new mezzanine floor and modern kitchen and toilet facilities.  The building now contains a community meeting space with kitchen on the ground floor and a Gurdwara on the upper floor.

gurdwara

From left to right: Pete Sessions of Suez Communities Trust, Sue Mountstevens, Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner, Andy Marsh, Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset Constabulary, President / Trustee Sr. Lakhbir Singh, Minther Singh, Gurpal Singh, Rob Acton-Campbell, Chair of the St George Neighbourhood Partnership, Sukhdev Singh, Susan Acton-Campbell, former chair of the St George West Community First panel, Kerry McCarthy, MP for Bristol East, Chaz Singh, Plymouth Councillor

 

Minther Singh, Project Volunteer at Nirman Sewak Jatha Gurdwara, said “This is a historic moment for the Gurdwara.  After many years of hard work we are excited to be able to open our new Gurdwara and community centre which aims to bring the community together and secure a home for Sikh worship in St George for many years to come.  We are very grateful to the community, our funders and local partners for all of the kind support, for helping to make our project a real success and realising our vision”

Pete Sessions, Programmes Manager at SUEZ Communities Trust added “This fantastic new community centre will provide a welcome new meeting space for the people of St George, helping to bring people together in a modern and safe environment.  Volunteers at the Gurdwara have worked tirelessly and overcome many obstacles to sensitively restore the building and their efforts will benefit many people in the years ahead.  SUEZ Communities Trust provides grants through the Landfill Communities Fund. This important source of funding has been available since 1997 and has provided such worthy projects with more than £1.4 billion.”

Rob Acton-Campbell, chair of the St George Neighbourhood Partnership said “One of the priorities for our Partnership is to improve community buildings so we were delighted to support this successful project via our Wellbeing fund.  The facilities of this building will be an excellent resource for our local community.  The St George West Community First fund has since closed but many of the members of their panel now volunteer for our Wellbeing sub-group and were equally pleased to recommend funding for this project and are very impressed with the results.”

Invited speakers at the ceremony included Kerry McCarthy MP, Pete Sessions of Suez Communities Trust, Rob Acton-Campbell, Chair of the St George Neighbourhood Partnership, Sue Mountstevens, Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner and Andy Marsh, Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset Constabulary.

After the ceremony photos were taken outside the temple including posted on Twitter by Plymouth Councillor, Chaz Singh.

 

chaz-photo

From left to right: Minther Singh, Parmjit Kaur, president of both St George gurdwaras, Susan Acton-Campbell, former chair of the St George West Community First panel, representing St George West Community First, Kerry McCarthy, MP for Bristol East, Andy Marsh, Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset Constabulary, Sharan Kaur, Chaz Singh, Plymouth Councillor, Gurpal Singh, Rob Acton-Campbell, chair of the St George Neighbourhood Partnership and Pete Sessions of Suez Communities Trust.

Here are the before and after photos of the temple.

gurdwara-before

gurdwara-after

Traffic and Transport meeting – 30th August 2016

Update 7/9/2016 – Minutes of the meeting of 30th August 2016.

If you have an interest in travel in your neighbourhood, details of the next Traffic and Transport meeting can be found on the meetings page of this website, www.stgeorgenp.org.uk/meetings, including the agenda and venue.

Minutes of the last meeting cover the Lypiatt Rd and Bryants Hill traffic schemes, issues about the Chalks Rd, Church Rd, Blackswarth Rd junction and much more.

 

Money Granted to Local Projects – Wednesday 22nd June 2016

Here is an extract of the minutes of the St George Neighbourhood Partnership meeting of 22nd June, 2016.  Here is what was written about the Wellbeing grants that were awarded at that meeting:

1. That £500 be awarded to Cossham Road to fund hanging baskets / brackets / planters / compost / plants to enhance the whole road and to encourage all residents to participate, especially isolated and vulnerable residents.

Condition(s): Encourage other streets to follow and, if they are using social media, to publicise what they are doing and the support they are receiving from this NP.

2. That £1716 be awarded to Friends of Kingsway Youth to fund improvements to the youth group’s allotment site.

Condition(s): The amount awarded is to include the cost of securing public liability insurance but it is expected that all options will be explored to secure the most advantageous cost of this cover.  The health and safety policy must be supplied before the grant is released, plus an example of the publicity that will be used to attract volunteers to the project.

3. That £310 be awarded to Friends of Troopers Hill to fund an opening event for the new play area on Troopers Hill Field to publicise what the NP can do to help community groups to achieve their aims and explain how this project succeeded.

Condition(s): None.

4. That £1327.99  be awarded to The Hive Avon Ltd – £1327.99 to fund a laptop, projector, and iPads to extend the range of communication options for the people with learning disabilities who are supported by the Hive.

Condition(s): It is recommended that the Hive check the compatibility of the iPads with the other items of equipment prior to purchase.

5. That £487 be awarded to Summerhill Methodist Church to fund installing cycle stands for members of the public making use of the church facilities.

Condition(s): None.

6. That £2,000 be awarded to The Haven for funding towards the services of a co-ordinator to work for 2 days a week for a year to build and furnish a roundhouse and to work with a partner organisation to improve the accessibility of the Haven’s services.

Condition(s): The grant is subject to production of public liability cover and the granting of the other funds applied for.

7. That £2,120 be awarded to Crofts End church to fund a community defibrillator facility.

Condition(s): None.

It was noted that no award was recommended currently in respect of the application from Meadow Vale Community Association to fund refurbishment of the community centre.  The Wellbeing sub-group would liaise with the applicant to provide appropriate guidance and coaching in the expectation that a revised application could be submitted.

The full minutes of the meeting can be seen here.

You Said – We Did – August 2016

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.

After a welcome and introduction from our chair for the evening, Philip Bird, champion of our Communications Subgroup, the first topic was “Celebration of Success”.   Rob Acton-Campbell, Chair of the St George Neighbourhood Partnership, presented 4 leaders of successful projects helped by funding from the St George Neighbourhood Partnership.

1.  A Celebration of Success

a) A play area for Troopers Hill Field – Susan Acton-Campbell

Local volunteer conservation group, Friends of Troopers Hill, were delighted to announce that work would start on building an £80,000 play area on Troopers Hill Field during the week starting 15th August.  The project started in January 2015.  Play in Troopers Hill Field had been identified as a priority by the St George Neighbourhood Partnership and they agreed, via a vote by local councillors, to allocate £15,000 towards the project.  After extensive consultation Friends of Troopers Hill made successful grant applications to the Veolia Environment Trust for £23,750 and Suez Communities Trust for £50,000.  The £15,000 was critical to accessing these two grants.   Chair of Friends of Troopers Hill, Susan Acton-Campbell,  announced that all would be welcome to the celebration event planned for when the play area opens, hopefully in October, but no later than November.

Questions were raised from the floor:

1) Q. Was there a plan to ban dogs from Troopers Hill?

A. Not as far as Friends of Troopers Hill were aware and they work very closely with the landowners, Bristol City Council.  Friends of Troopers Hill would certainly not support such a proposal, if it were made.

2) Q. When would the consultation on the fence start?

A. Extensive consultation was carried out last year, there will be no further consultation.  Results are on the Friends of Troopers Hill website
www.troopers-hill.org.uk/play/grantwin.htm
The area for under 5s will be fully fenced, as requested by dog walkers, parents and others responding to the consultation.  The activity trail will not be fenced, as supported by the same audience.

3) Q. Why were comments against the new play area not reported?

A. They are reported in the results of the consultation on the Friends of Troopers Hill website*.  12 negative comments made, 482 responses were in favour.

*The consultation report can be found here.  Appendix C gives samples for the comments made include a sample of the 12 negative comments made, 482 responses were in favour.  www.troopers-hill.org.uk/play shows play area plans and links to the whole background of the project.

Wicksteed3D

b) A play area and nature trail for Dundridge Park – Geoff Reeson

Chair of Friends of Dundridge Park shared the good news of a new play area, nature trail and wildlife area being built at Dundridge Park.  Similarly to Troopers Hill Field, play had been identified as a priority for this space and the St George Neighbourhood Partnership allocated £15,000 towards the project.  In addition £10,000 from the Partnership  paid for a professional fundraiser to work with Friends of Dundridge Park and Meadow Vale Community Association.

Grants were successfully applied for from Suez Communities Trust, Cory Environmental Trust and Tesco’s Bags of Help scheme.

Geoff also reported how pleased he had been with the improvement of access to Dundridge by the replacement of a locking gate with a chicane, also funded by money from the St George Neighbourhood Partnership.

A path to the play area has already been built and work has started on the nature trail.

A single question was raised from the floor:

Q.  Why do Bristol City Council make a charge for project management costs?

A.  It is standard practice for Bristol City Council to make a charge when their staff are used to run a project that is outside those budgeted for by the council.

DundridgePlay1

c)  Meadow Vale Park and Community Centre – Lindsey Fuller

Lindsey Fuller, Head of Speedwell Nursery and Children’s Centre described plans for providing lighting for an existing Multi-Use Games Area, a play area is currently being built and a wild life area created.  This has been achieve with more than £49,000 allocated by the St George Neighbourhood Partnership and numerous successful funding applications made by a professional fundraiser.  Meadow Vale Park has also been recognised as a priority site for the St George Neighbourhood Partnership and funding made available to improve access to Parks has paid for a new path across Meadow Vale Park.

Lindsey shared that there wider plans to redevelop Meadow Vale Community Centre which adjacent to the park.

meadow vale work starts

d) Speedwell Friends – Luci Gorell Barnes

Luci reported on a project supported by a St George Neighbourhood Partnership Wellbeing grant of £2,900 granted in December 2015.

This excellent project is fully reported here.

Luci was supported by Howa Suliman who had done much of the original clearing of the allotment site and told us how important the project had been for local families and building friendships and confidence.

Luci’s display at the meeting included solar dyed bunting, photos of the projects and packets of the seeds, printed in the languages of the participants of the project.

speedwell friends small

Examples of further successes were on display around the hall.

2.  Introduction to the Consultation on the Police and Crime Plan for Avon and Somerset – Sue Mountstevens, Police and Crime Commissioner

Sue started her presentation by commenting on the previous presentation, emphasising the importance of play provision for children so they can be out learning how to make real friends and use their social skills rather than finding “friends” via internet contacts that might prove to be deceitful and exploitative.  She also commented on the value of growing food and eating together.

She is one of only 3 Police and Crime Commissioners who are independent of any political party.  She was pleased to be re-elected but saddened that she was the only woman among 7 candidates and that all candidates were white.

She praised the courage and commitment of the Avon and Somerset Constabulary, include police officers, Police Community Support Officers, the Special Constabulary and civilian staff.

She emphasised the importance of honesty, to report failures but to learn from them and to prevent repetition.  She listed Bijan Ebrahimi as an example of where the police had failed.

To assist officers in their job she is looking at providing them with the best tools, with mobile technology.  Body cameras will help with the collection of evidence and speed up procedures.

Greater diversity is needed within Avon and Somerset Police, they must relect the community they serve.  Currently the level of representation of black and minority  ethnic staff is under 3%.

128 PCs and 54 PCSOs will be recruited this year.  Future recruitment depends on future levels of government funding.

Measures have been introduced to scrutinise performance.  Stop and searches are in the process of being reviewed by scrutiny panels. Body cameras will be rolled out this year.

Sue believes tazer use will increase due to single crewing.  Mistakes will happen.  this will be the operational decision of the Chief Constable.

There is now an independent residents panel looking at complaints.  Residents are invited to apply to become members of the panel.  More information  here.

Grants are available from the Commissioner’s Community Action Fund to tackle issues within local communities.

Within the Police and Crime Plan, setting priorities for the next 4 years, a focus is given on looking after the most vulnerable, an example given of the priority setting given would be that a mobile phone theft, while inconvenient for a fit, able bodied person could be life changing for someone with limited mobility whose only means of communication is that phone.

A focus is needed on cyber crime, this must be looked at nationally and internationally

Mental health nurses are now accompanying officers and the mentally ill are not put in cells but have an assigned ward where they will be cared for.  If that ward is full they will be taken to a hospitals’s Accident and Emergency department.

The police are working with the children’s charity Barnado’s to address child exploitation.  Children will not report exploitation often believing themselves to be loved and cared for.  Working with Barnado’s to increase levels of trust it will sometimes take over a year for trust to be gained.

Sue wants children to grow up in safety and victims to have support.

She would like to tackle things in the “long grass” but she can only be as good as the level of information given to her.  She encouraged the audience to contact her office directly with issues.

Anyone wishing to give their input on the Police and Crime Commissioner’s priorities can do so here.

Questions were taken from the floor:

1) Q.  What is being done about 101 answering time?

A. 999 calls are answered in 6-10 seconds.   More staff have been  recruited to support 101 calls.  101 calls are answered in the first 60 seconds on average,  then triaging can take this to 3.5 minutes.  Response times are being monitored.

2) Q. Hillside Rd is shown as having no crime where crimes have been reported.

A.  If after 6 weeks a crime does not appear on the national crime map contact Sue Mountstevens directly.  Sue also said she would talk to the questioner during the break.

Sue commented that burglaries were down from 25,000 to 12,000 from 10 years ago.  At the general election 11 years ago crime was in the top 3 priorities at the last election it was 11th.  Sue believes this will go up again with cyber crime and child exploitation.

Comment from editor: Crime data can be searched via the website www.police.uk.  Postcodes appear to be linked to beat areas so if a postcode is on a boundary of a beat, crimes might not appear that have been allocated to the adjoining beat.  On testing the search with Hillside Rd postcodes no crimes appeared, when using a Clovelly Rd postcode crimes were displayed for Hillfield Rd.  The link to the map showing the crimes is  www.police.uk/avon-and-somerset/BE166/crime/.  Alternatively just click the round circle with a dot in it on the top right of the map and crimes will than be shown for a 1 mile radius irrespective of beat boundaries.

3) Q.  With funding coming from government for Avon and Somerset Police, how can the Police and Crime Commissioner be independent of government influence?

A.  Avon and Somerset police is funded 2 thirds by government and 1 third from the council precept.  The Police and Crime Commissioner campaign for election was not supported by that funding.

4) Q.  2 residents raised issues about particular incidents affecting them.

A.  Sue talked to them both individually during the break

5) Q.  Why can’t the pot of money for grants be sued for addressing staffing for 101 calls

A.  The amount of grant money is small and delivers high levels of satisfaction.  £700,000 is needed to fund 101 calls for the next 12 months.  Diverting grant money to 101 would not deliver the same level of return on investment.  Grants have covered gating, security cameras and many other small items, having a disproportionate impact on the problems facing the local community.

6) Q.  Where does the 15 pence go charged for 101 calls.

A. BT – this was clarified after the meeting with:

How much does it cost to call 101?

Calls to 101 (from both landlines and mobile networks) cost 15 pence per call, no matter what time of day you call, or how long you are on the phone.

The 15p cost of the call goes to the telephony providers to cover the cost of carrying the calls. The police and government receive no money from calls to 101.

3.  Local Police Priorities – Neighbourhood beat team – PC Matt Clement

Unfortunately Matt Clement had to attend a hit and run accident on the way to the meeting so was unable to bring any statistics or report to the meeting.  This was a clear example of how priorities have to be set given the availability of police resources.

He covered the actions being taking at the Summerhill schools to address inconsiderate driving behaviour by parents.  In term times PCSOs patrol at drop off and pickup time, details are taken of illegal parking.  Prior to the start of term the owners of those vehicles will receive warning letters.

Near Air Balloon School an antisocial behaviour diary has been supplied to a local resident and this will be reviewed.

4.  Bristol Energy – Michael Lloyd-Jones

Michael Lloyd-Jones started his presentation with a brief video.

Bristol Energy is wholly owned by Bristol City Council.  Money will be reinvested in local communities.

The company has a great interest in community generated energy.

15 participants are wanted to trial smart meters in Bristol.  Details are here.

You can follow Bristol Energy on social media.  Their telephone number is 0808 281 222.

1) Q. Will Bristol Energy be dealing in petrol and diesel?

A. No

2) Is coming to this meeting taking an unfair advantage over competitors?

A.  Bristol Energy is careful not to behave in an uncompetitive way and other energy companies could ask the Neighbourhood Partnership if they could present at Forums.

5.  Discretionary Licensing – Jen Clark

Jen was supported by Anne Welsh and Amy Chick.  Currently a 3 storey house rented by 5 or more people must have a licence.  Discretionary licence is applied by the local council in areas where there are particular issues to do with rented property.  This scheme does not apply to Housing Associations.

The scheme is being applied to the old St George West ward area.

Jen listed the actions taken in another area where the scheme had been implemented, Easton.  1,500 licences were expected.  1,160 premises are licensed in Easaton, 1,060 have been insplect.  184 landlords have been given informal improvement notices.  15 landlords have been given formal improvment notices.125 have had management regulations applied where tenants were not being dealt with correctly.

Prosections are underway over 4 unlicensed property and 3 cases where licensing conditions are not being met.

2 prosections went to court last week (week commencing 1st August) resulting in £38,000 in fines.

Discretionary licensing can be used to combat anti-social behavours.  Management conditions are part of the licence.  New tenants must have a clause in their rental agreement about anti-social behaviour.  They can be evicted if that clause is broken.

Landlords must take reasonable steps to prevent illegal activity in their property and make 4-6 month inspections.

Examples were given of properties where properties were either sold and then improved or the current landlord addressed the problem.

1) Q.  Won’t the improvements raise rent prices, which already high, beyond many people’s reach?

A. These are improvements to reach the most basic, acceptable level of rental accommodation.  Yes, it may mean higher rental prices.

After this session the meeting move into the marketplace phase where people could talk to different representatives such the speakers, councillors, neighbourhood officers, volunteer groups and raise issues or questions.

Because sessions had overrun there was no roundup afterwards of the issues raised but these have now been summarised, anonymised and can be seen here.

We are delighted to say that thanks to a lot of local publicity ranging from posters to tweets and facebook postings at least 56 people attended the Forum, there may have been more who did not write their names on the attendance sheet.  Thank you to everyone who helped spread the word.  We look forward to seeing you at the next one, do send your ideas for topics or speakers to webteam@stgeorgenp.org.uk

 

 

 

 

 

Success for Speedwell Friends Allotment Project

We were delighted to receive this wonderful report from Luci Gorell Barnes who ran the very successful Speedwell Friends Allotment Project funded by a grant from our St George Neighbourhood Partnership Wellbeing Fund.

<<REPORT ON THE SPEEDWELL FRIENDS PROJECT>>

speedwell friends small

Don’t worry, if you applied you would not have to write such a detailed report.  All any group is asked to do, who receives a grant, is to send in all the receipts and answer a small number of questions about how the money was spent and whether the project met the original aims.  However Luci was so pleased with how the Speedwell Friends project went she wanted to tell us more.

We hope your enjoy the read as much as we did.

If your group would like to apply for a Wellbeing grant please visit www.stgeorgenp.org.uk/grants

 

speedwell friends 2

Luci will be telling us about her project at tonight’s Forum.

Forum poster - August 2016