Author Archives: Susan

Help make a difference to YOUR neighbourhood

make a difference

Local people can influence decisions on all these areas and more.  One way of doing this is to join a St George Neighbourhood Partnership subgroup.  Why not come along to one or more of the subgroup meetings and seeing what they do.

Here’s a quick summary of what each subgroup does.

A list of the meeting dates and venues for all the subgroups is on

For more details about each subgroup and what they do please visit

Come and add your voice, opinions and help to those of  us doing it already.  You will be made very welcome.






Money for small fixes to walking and cycling routes – have your say

We have received this message from Dr Suzanne Audrey of Bristol University:

Bristol City Council has some money to make small improvements to walking and cycling routes. Fixing small things can make a big difference – bugbears are the small irritating things that hinder your cycling and walking through Bristol. It could be roads that could be made safer, missing signage, overgrown paths, uneven surfaces, obstacles or potholes.

See the Bugbears website:

Use the slider to indicate how critical the issues are for you.

The current funding does not include bigger projects like new pathways, but if you mention these they will gather them for future bids.

Report an issue

You can add as many issues as you like. Bristol City Council will frequently review all comments and at the end of July, 2016, will create a list of priorities based on your feedback. As they get to work, they will keep you updated to let you know how they are getting on.

best wishes


Dr Suzanne Audrey
Senior Research Fellow
Principal Investigator, Travel to Work randomised controlled trial

Please note, my usual working days are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday

School of Social and Community Medicine
Canynge Hall
Whatley Road
Bristol BS8 2PS

Telephone: 0117 928 7273



You Said – We Did – May 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.

Philip Bird, champion of the Communications subgroup, chaired this meeting.

Different speakers are invited to the meeting to talk about issues that are of interest to the neighbourhood.  These were:

i) Libraries – Denis Wise

Denis is the Library Development Officer for east Bristol.  He described how a swipe card system will be introduced to St George Library  to allow access to the library outside opening hours.

Work needs to be done to St George Library before the swipe card system can be introduced, this will include CCTV, alarms, lights, doors and locks, reviewing fire exits and supplying an emergency phone.  Care will be taken to make sure the library in safe for all users, including those with special needs.

People who wish to use the library outside opening hours will need to request the service and will be given a second pin code to use with their card.   They will be given a short training session on how to access the library.

When using the library in this way people will need to use their card to carry out the services that are already available at the library, such as returning or borrowing books.  Staff will be happy to show people how to use these services if they are not already using them.

Access will NOT be 24 hours a day.  Shutters will be raised and closed at advertised times.  If people ignore signals that the library is closing alarms will sound and security will be alerted.

ii) Neighbourhood Charter –  Gill Calloway

Gill announced the publication of the Neighbourhood Charter, defining the services provided by Bristol City Council and including expected response times for certain services.

Gill is the Neighbourhood Officer for St George and announced that she now has a Facebook page for her role.

She encouraged everyone to be involved in St George in Bloom and asked for word to be spread about the free training available in St George Library on Thursday 19th May.

learn at the library

iii)   Bruce Yates – Local resident

Bruce is interested in setting up a planning sub-group within the St George Neighbourhood Forum.  He invited people to contact him during the break at the meeting.  If you are interested in contacting Bruce about this please contact Abdulrazak Dahir on 0117 903 6409 or email

iv) Neighbourhood Policing Team – Matt Clement

Matt reported an increase in theft from sheds.  The team do have a supply of alarmed padlocks, contact the Neighbourhood Policing team on 101 if you would like to have one.  There is a news item on this subject on the Avon and Somerset Police website which includes advice about securing your shed.

Compared with last year there have been increases in shoplifting, the Co-op on Church Rd has been experiencing this issue.  Violence against persons has increase, as has theft from motor vehicle rising from 134 to 244, an increase of 82%.  25 bicycles have been stolen this year.  These figures not only include St George but also Fishponds.

Matt reminded the audience about the Impact scheme where released offenders are managed and monitored.  More about Impact here.

He also gave advice about home security including not making your possessions visible from outside your home and the type of locks and their positioning that works best.  There is more information on the police website.

The meeting then broke up for 25 minutes so different issues could be raised at tables for different subjects around the hall.

Issues Raised

a) Environment

Lack of volunteers supporting Rodney Rd Open space.  John Hooper would very much like to establish a friends group for the site.
Chicane and fencing on Rodney Rd.
A promised community noticeboard has not yet been installed in Rodney Rd Open space
Rubbish near Freshland Rd.
Fence on side of Freshland Way.

b) Traffic and Transport

Issues were raised about the traffic lights at the junction of Chalks Rd and Blackswarth Rd.

Parking issues related to new flats.  More double yellow lines were requested.

Vehicles for sale on double yellow lines.  For guidance on who deals with which parking issues please read this.  Gill Calloway reported that much good work had been done by Wayne Dewfall in Parking Services involving monitoring and clamping.

c) Police

Drug dealing on Soaphouse Lane (behind Howard Road).

After the break 3 of 4 newly elected councillors spoke briefly about their aims and views.  Fabian Breckels, councillor for St George Trooper Hill, was unable to be present due to work commitments.

a) Steve Pearce – St George Central

He will continue to do case work and will concentrate on extending the awareness of local people of the St George Neighbourhood Partnership.

b) Asher Craig – St George West

Asher spoke of the need to bring in all residents including those without internet access.  There is a need for published information.  She committed to acknowledging the receipt of issues within 24 hours.  She also spoke of changing Neighbourhood Partnerships to make them more open and transparent.

c) Nicola  Beech – St George Central

Nicola spoke of the way councillors will be working as a team for St George as a whole and not being parochial about their wards.

Some discusion was then led by Philip Bird about setting local Policing Priorities

Feedback from the audience was very clearly for addressing parking issues associated with local schools.

Diane Jones raised the issue that she was campaigning for the St George Neighbourhood Partnership to join the Bristol Walking Alliance.

Everyone was reminded that the next Traffic and Transport Subgroup meeting is next Tuesday,, a good venue to discuss parking issues and solutions.

The action tracker will be published here soon to show how the previous period’s issues were addressed.







St George in Bloom Receives Royal Horticultural Society Support to Garden for Health and Happiness

New community gardening project to launch RHS Britain in Bloom 2016 campaign

planting zone

The existing area before the project begins.


St George in Bloom is one of just 40 community groups across the country that has been chosen by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) to receive £500 worth of support to deliver an innovative local gardening project, as part of this year’s RHS Britain in Bloom campaign.

In addition, St George in Bloom has also been selected as a regional finalist in the 2016 RHS Britain in Bloom competition, and we are proud to be representing our communities within St George, the City of Bristol and the entire South West region.

Under the banner of Greening Grey Britain for Health and Happiness, volunteers from St George in Bloom, The Church Road Town Team and officers from Bristol City Council will come together to create a garden with the aim of enhancing an area of neglected land where advertising Billboards are currently located in Church Road, St George, Bristol alongside the Sikh Temple.

sikh temple frontage


The frontage of the Sikh temple alongside the billboards site.


The project will help to improve this area on this busy route that leads directly to and from the City of Bristol, and develop an attractive area for local residents, passersby and visitors to enjoy and take a rest.. This will also help to enhance this vibrant and popular shopping area that has a variety of shops, cafes, and local businesses.

A local company has pledged to supply a seat that will be incorporated into the planted area, and another local company will kindly donate new fence panels that will serve as a back drop to the site.

The planting scheme will also focus on attracting Bees and Pollinating insects as part of St George in Bloom’s partnership with Bristol University’s ‘Get Bristol Buzzing’ project. Volunteers from St George in Bloom will also make and plant large containers that will enhance the frontage of the Sikh Temple that is also located alongside this area.

The RHS support will take the form of £500 worth of gardening materials as well as expert gardening advice, tips and insight from RHS Community Outreach Advisors, to ensure that the project makes as big an impact as possible on the local community.

Grenville Johnson Chair of St George in Bloom, said: “This project will help to transform this area of neglected land that sits alongside a busy route that leads to and from the City of Bristol.

It will help to raise everyone’s spirits, and demonstrate that we are all collectively working to enhance and improve our area of the city.
St George in Bloom greatly appreciates the generous financial support and advice from the RHS that will enable this innovative community led project to move forward”

RHS Director General, Sue Biggs, said: “Gardening and being in and around green spaces can provide a range of health benefits, from increased exercise, stress reduction and increased social cohesion that creates a sense of belonging.

“There are very few activities that tick so many health and wellbeing boxes for both individuals and communities, and that’s why projects such as St George in Bloom are so important, and why the RHS is delighted to be able to support them.”

The Greening Grey Britain for Health and Happiness theme of the 2016 Britain in Bloom campaign was chosen in recognition of the increasing body of evidence that shows that gardens and green spaces have a tremendously positive impact on people’s health and wellbeing. Both the physical activity of gardening and the use of green spaces for mental relaxation and stimulation have been shown to provide a range of health benefits.

All of the 40 chosen groups have shown that their projects can use gardening as a tool to, among other things, reduce isolation, encourage outdoor exercise, reconnect people with healthy seasonal food, promote improved mental health and aid relaxation.

<Click here for the full list of the 40 chosen groups>

For more information please contact Grenville Johnson, Chair of St George in Bloom
By phone: 01179496788 or email:

Discover East Bristol with Bristol’s Walking Festival

The complete programme is now out for the Bristol Walk Fest.  You can take this opportunity to find out more about the area covered by the beautiful Discover East Bristol map.  Listed below are all the walks that include part of the Discover East Bristol area.  Find out more about the project that delivered a beautiful map in both paper and online, on

portraitimage.jpg__1140x0_q85_crop-scale_subsampling-2_upscaleThe walking festival starts on Thursday 28th April with walks from different points of the compass to meet at a reception at the Bordeaux Quay, BS1 5 UH for refreshments and a chance to meeting this year’s walk providers.

The best compass route choice to see parts of the Discover East Bristol area is the North East (NE) wwalk.  You can choose to do the whole route or just a section and maybe use a bus for the final parts.

Compass Walks

The walk numbers and names are listed below that are partly or completely in the Discover East Bristol area.  For full details use the walk numbers to look  up the walks in the programme here.  Just go to the 3rd page, which shows the list of all the walks in numerical order, click on the walk name and you will be taken straight to the walk details.  Nearly all the walks listed below are free with the exception of the Natural Dye Plant Identification walks.

15 – St George Park Stroll
19 – Natural Dye Plant Identification
24 – Memory Lane
25 – Natural Dye Plant Identification
30 – A Stroll in St George’s Park
33 – Wander the Waterways of St Philips, Brislington and Crew’s Hole
53 – Discover East Bristol – Golden Green Spaces
55 – Good for your Heart, Good for your Head
59 – Discover East Bristol – Nature Reserves and Open Spaces in Fishponds area
60 – St George Park Stroll
74 – Multi-Faith Trail
78 – A Stroll in St George’s Park
82 – Discover East Bristol – Hills, Views and Rivers
83 – Stoke Park History Walk
88 – Frome Valley Day Walk
105 – St George Park Stroll
112 – Discovering East Bristol – Hidden Fishponds
116 – A Stroll in St George’s Park
118 – Medicinal Herb Walk in Eastville Park
127 – Discover East Bristol – Troopers Hill Avon Valley Walk
137 – Eastville Park Bat Walk
140 – St George Park Stroll
152 – Discover East Bristol – These Boots are Made for Walking
156 – A Stroll in St George’s Park
158 – Eastville Park Bat Walk
159 – Wild Frome
167 – Creative Adventure Walk
175 – St George Park Stroll

Lord Mayor’s Medals

Congratulations to Rob Acton-Campbell and Fiona Russell, members of the St George Neighbourhood Partnership, presented, yesterday, at Bristol’s Mansion House, with Lord Mayor’s Medals by the Lord Mayor, Clare Campion-Smith.


Rob Acton-Campbell, Chair of the St George Neighbourhood Partnership was presented with his medal in recognition of work he has carried out not only as Chair of the St George Neighbourhood Partnership but also as Secretary of the Bristol Parks Forum, a committee member of Friends of Troopers Hill and Friends of Eastwood Farm and as Champion of the St George Neighbourhood Partnership Environmental sub-group.  Part of his nomination read

“The signature note of all Rob’s work is partnership.  What makes him so special is how he inspires confidence in people to work together, encouraging them to achieve great things for their community and giving them the tools to do so.”

An example of this was described during yesterday’s presentation detailing how Rob had co-ordinated 3 local parks’ groups, Friends of Dundridge Parks, Friends of St George Park and Friends of Troopers Hill in applying for funding to support a series of events throughout the 2015 in their parks.

Fiona Russell, Chair of Meadow Vale Community Association, received her medal in acknowledgement of the work she has carried out for her local community, particularly in improving the facilities available for young and old in Speedwell’s Meadow Vale Community Centre and the adjacent Meadow Vale Park.

Her nomination included her tireless work addressing social deprivation in the Speedwell area.

3 other members of the Neighbourhood Partnership were honoured in earlier years.

In May 2012, Ann Radnedge, then Chair of Meadow Vale Community Association, received the award for her work with the Speedwell and Meadow Vale Communities creating the Meadow Vale Centre and working hard attracting funding and grants for the centre.

In May 2013, Grenville Johnson, currently Chair of St George in Bloom and Chair of Kensington Rd Residents’ Association and Neighbourhood Watch, was honoured for for his many voluntary works within his community.  In the photo of the award recipients, Grenville is in the back row, second from the right.  The report reads ” Grenville Johnson, a retired head teacher who has been the leading light in the Kensington Road Residents’ Association and neighbourhood watch in St George, as well as chairing the St George Neighbourhood Partnership for the past few years”.

You will have seen many reports on this site of Greville’s continued work for the community, particularly as Chair of St George in Bloom.

In February 2014, Richard Curtis, Chair of Church Rd Action Group, received the award for his work with the Redfield local community and for his work as a Magistrate with the Bristol Bench.  This is how his award was reported in the Bristol Post   ” Richard Curtis carries out a tremendous amount of work for his local community which he has done for many years in and around the Redfield area. Richard is chair of many local community groups, working with residents to improve the environment of the local area and addressing local issues, as well as being a magistrate, sitting on the Bristol Bench in both the Family and Adult Court. Richard gives his time to the local community generously, dedicating himself to making his local community a better place in which to live and to visit. Richard is more than happy to share his knowledge and skills with other people, offering advice and encouragement benefitting the local community and the city as a whole”.

You may remember this project that Richard ran in 2011.

Congratulations to all 5 of these holders of the Lord Mayor’s Medal.  We are really proud of these members’ achievements.

A complete list of all the recipients of the Lord Mayor’s Medal from 1983 to 2015 can be seen here.  Today’s Bristol Post article lists all of this year’s recipients.


Volunteers needed to help patients at Air Balloon Surgery

Do you have time to spare to give a little help and support to patients of Air Balloon Surgery who may be lonely, isolated or housebound?

Could you help giving lifts to patients with transport difficulties to Air Balloon Surgery?

To find out more about the Wellbeing Volunteer scheme being run at Air Balloon Surgery with RSVP West please contact Miffy Saunders on 0117 9099516 or by email at, or visit for more information about all their volunteer schemes or complete this Expression of Interest form and drop it off at the surgery or email it to Miffy.

RSVP poster rebranded-2 - ABS version

What a team!

The Church Rd Town Team has been working hard at the big billposter site near 301-307 Church Rd close to St George Community Centre and the Sikh Gurdwara.

town team The story so far:

  • Gaive Golding, leading this project for the Church Rd Town Team (CRTT), Fin McNab (from Sustrans) and some others broke up all of the tarmac on the site.
  • CRTT, aided by Fin and a group of people from Good Gym Bristol, cleared the site.  CRTT provided a skip to cart the tarmac etc away.
  • Fin obtained and sowed a mix of wildflower seeds.
  • Time passed…. the seeds didn’t take….
  • CRTT members cleared the weeds again…
  • On Sunday 6th March, 2016, CRTT laid the membrane purchased using Green Capital money from Bristol City Council as pictured above.  From right to left are Maxine and Nigel Williams, Gaive Golding, June Barclay,  Ian Townsend and Simon Webb.

Next steps:

  • Plant the area and lay bark chipping between the plants.
  • CRTT are working with St George in Bloom to do the planting:
    • CRTT have allocated a little under £500 from the remaining CRTT funds for planting.
    • Grenville Johnson, Chair of St George in Bloom, has submitted an application for funding from RHS.  Grenville also hopes to be able to obtain the plants at trade prices using his RHS contacts.
    • St George in Bloom, CRTT and any willing volunteers who can be recruited, will do the planting, to save labour costs.  Gaive, who used to be a landscape gardener, will be a source of expert guidance.
    • The plan is use aromatic herbs, such as Thyme, Rosemary and Lavender, that will require little watering and will be able to cope with the poor soil quality on the site.  Depending on funding and their ability to obtain the plants, the team hope to get the planting done in the next couple of months.
    • Gaive has found a source of bark chippings which will be laid as soon as it can be delivered.

Aspirations – maybe, one day… some flagstones/a short path and a bench…

If you would like to keep up to date with the Church Rd Town Team’s activities sign up to their mailing list.

Parking changes at Air Balloon Surgery

Air Balloon Surgery have suffered for some years from parking behaviour that has caused problems for patients and emergency vehicle.  As a result they are employing a company called Parking Eye, who will be issuing fines when the surgery car park is misused.

Here is an extract from a letter the surgery has written to neighbours:

In the next week or so we are changing arrangements for the practice car park. At times, unfortunately, we have significant abuse of use of the car park which causes problems for our patients and for any emergency vehicles which need to visit us. We have tried to tackle this problem over many years, using a light touch approach which sadly hasn’t worked.

Many of our patients are elderly and vulnerable and need to park close to us, and we have concerns that at some point an ambulance won’t be able to get into the car park and patient safety may be compromised. We have taken a decision to employ a company called Parking Eye to manage the car park. When the scheme is in place, users of the car park will now need to enter their car registration details into terminals located in the surgery and the pharmacy to receive a set period of parking on site. Any one not entering their details in the terminals or over staying the authorised parking period will receive a fine issued by Parking Eye.

I would emphasise that this measure has only been taken after considerable thought and research and has not been take lightly as we do anticipate that there may be a knock on effect, to you our neighbours. We have spoken to other GP practices successfully using Parking Eye. The practice does not receive any financial benefit from this scheme-the fines pay for the installation costs and the costs of running the scheme. Our only interest in bringing in these measures is to try to improve our services for our patients and to better manage the car park.

We do hope that this will have a minimal effect on you and that you are able to support this difficult measure we have felt forced to introduce.

The surgery has also supplied these answers to frequently asked questions:

Q: Why are you introducing car parking measures?

A: Because our patients tell us it is often difficult to park and the car park is inappropriately used at times

Q: Is the practice getting money from this?

A: None at all. This is purely aimed at helping our patients and emergency vehicles access

Q: What happens when I visit the practice and forget to log in my car registration details?

A: You need to come and talk to us and we will give you contact details for you to talk to Parking Eye who run this scheme, to appeal any charges.

Q: Why are you using this company and this approach?

A: This is a national and very reputable company with experience of operating other successful schemes in other GP surgeries

Q: After entering car registration details how much parking time do you get?

A: 90 minutes or 1 ½ hours.

Q: What if I need to be at the surgery longer than 90 minutes?

A: If you know you will be longer than 90 minutes when you arrive at the surgery, talk to reception when you arrive.  If your visit unexpectedly takes longer than 90 minutes, talk to reception as you leave.

We hope you are able to support us to improve parking for all of our patients

The St George “Spring Bling” Issue 1

Do you want to make St George tidier, cleaner and more attractive for people or wildlife? There are 9 ways to Take Part or Get Help or Report It.

Read all about it in this

<<FIRST ISSUE of the St George “SPRING BLING>>


Let us know about your successes.