Category Archives: Environment sub-group

News from the Environment sub-group

St George in Bloom competition for 2017 is now launched!

St George in BloomThe St. George in Bloom competition for 2017 is now open for applications until the closing date of Monday 24th July 2017 at 5pm.

Please pass this information to your family, friends and colleagues.

This free competition is open to all residents, streets, businesses, schools, faith and community groups within the ward boundary of St George.

Our competition aims to encourage our local residents and communities to take a pride in St George, making it attractive with flowers, landscaping or an environmental project. It is organised by the St George in Bloom committee.

P1060546[2]This year we are keen to receive more applications from local streets, shops, pubs and businesses, local schools, children and young people.

The only rule is that all entries must be visible to the general public.

Displays should focus on making the house, street, school, pub or shop / commercial premises look more attractive.

To enter please download and complete an entry form from www.stgeorgeinbloom.org.uk and tick the relevant box in relation to the category you wish to enter.

Please also remember to add your contact details at the foot of the entry form. You can email the completed form to:-
victorianhouse@blueyonder.co.uk
or post to:-
St George in Bloom, 28 Kensington Road, St George, Bristol. BS5 7NB.

  • Entries should arrive no later than 5pm on Monday 24th July 2017.
  • Any entries received after the deadline, will not be entered into the competition.
  • All categories will be judged later in July 2017.
  • Judges will leave their calling cards after judging has taken place, and the judge’s decision will be final.

Judges will be looking for: Impact, variety and the use of a range of plants, colour combinations, originality and design, condition, care and sustainability.

Presentation of awards – Winners and runners up will be invited to an awards evening during October 2017. The date will be announced later.

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

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

Continuing ‘Grey to Green’ in 2017

St George in BloomSt George in Bloom is bidding to bag a massive cash boost from Tesco Bags of Help.

Three groups in every Tesco region have been shortlisted to receive the cash award with shoppers being invited to vote for who they think should take away the top grant. The more votes St George in Bloom receive, the more funding they will receive up to a maximum of £5,000 – so please give them your support if you visit Tescos in January.

Voting is open from 2nd to 28th January 2017. You will be able to vote for St George in Bloom at Tescos in Church Road, Redfield and on Bell Hill as well as stores in Kingswod and Staple Hill.

Customers will cast their vote using a token given to them at the check-out in store each time they shop (there is no need to buy a carrier bag).

15123383_1133413180075493_1383758861014726235_oThrough this project St George in Bloom hopes to improve St George with planting schemes in Church Road St George, and enhance the floral displays in St George Park that are maintained by volunteers, and also have hanging baskets in Church Road St George outside the shops during 2017.

They also wish to organise ‘street clean up days’ within the St George area in order to improve this area of the cityand to support the Mayor of Bristol’s cleaner streets campaign.

Grenville Johnson Chair of St George in Bloom said
‘I am delighted that we have been selected for the Tesco’s bags of help voting scheme. We are a small team of volunteers and local residents who want to make St George an even better and more colourful place in which to live and work during 2017. We hope that the public will vote for our projects, and support the work that our volunteers do within our area.’

15578788_1352520084814193_6827985661451277310_nTesco’s Bags of Help project has already delivered over £24 million to more than 2,400 projects up and down the UK. Previous recipients include Friends of Dundridge Park who received funding for the path to their extended play area.

The play area was officially opened on the 17th December. Here you can see Kerry McCarthy MP, Cllr Asher Craig and Cllr Fabian Breckels testing the equipment.

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.

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

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

Celebrating St George

Lots to celebrate in St George this coming week.

CkRAAcbXAAAH5qg.jpg largeThe big event is of course Redfest on Saturday which brings many, many people to our wonderful park. This year is promising to be bigger and better than ever with a new layout – but it is still FREE to enter thanks to all the efforts of the volunteers who help run it and the donations/sponsorship they receive. St George NP has given a wellbeing grant towards the cost of the main stage. You can make your own donation via their website or on the day. As usual there will be lots of food stalls and a bar, some of the takings also go to support the festival.

in bloom finalist logoBefore Redfest there is another cause for celebration with a special flag raising ceremony to celebrate St George in Bloom‘s selection as an RHS national finalist in the RHS Britain in Bloom competition 2016. The ceremony will be held just inside the main entrance of St George Park on the evening of Thursday 4th August commencing at 7pm. The flag will be raised on our new flag pole by Jeff Lovell, Lord Mayor of Bristol – everyone is invited.

Billboards site 2nd August 2016[2]The next day the RHS judges will take their judging tour of St. George which is a chance to highlight some of our wonderful green spaces and the hard work that many volunteers do to look after them. One of the highlights will be the transformed ‘Billboard site’ on Church Road where volunteers including St George Councillor Asher Craig gave the site a final tidy up earlier this week.

displayThe tour concludes at the Bristol East Allotments Pavilion on Nicholas Lane where the judges will have lunch and be able to view a small exhibition celebrating some of the achievements that have improved the environment in St George over the past few years.

Forum posterPart of this exhibition will also be on show at the St George Neighbourhood Forum on Tuesday 9th August, 7pm at Summerhill Methodist Church where you can find lots more information about what is happening in St George, including the work that is happening now or about to start to improve St George parks. There will also be a chance to ask questions and give your views on the Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Plan to Sue Mountstevens, Police & Crime Commissioner.