Category Archives: Events

Discover East Bristol with the Bristol Walking Festival

This year’s Bristol Walking Festival features over 150 walks.  You can find the full list of an amazing range of walks on www.bristolwalkfest.com

However as St George is very much in east Bristol and we think it is always good to find out what’s special on your very own doorstep, one of our volunteers has gone through ALL 150 walks and picked out those that are in east Bristol.

There is something for everyone including the very young.

This is your chance to find out more about where you live, enjoy some beautiful views and perhaps take up the challenge of checking whether we have missed any walks.  Let us know if we have.

So to start portraitimage.jpg__1140x0_q85_crop-scale_subsampling-2_upscalewith, what are we calling east Bristol?  You may remember our involvement in the great project that resulted in the wonderful Discover East Bristol website.  There is also a paper map version that you can pick up at St George Library, the Tourist Information Centre on the Harbourside and many St George and Greater Fishponds venues.

 

 

Here is the list of Festival walks we have put together.  All the walks are free, unless there is a notein italics giving a cost:

Thursday 4th May – 10.30am – Multifaith Trail 1 – visits a Greek Orthodox church, the Jewish Progressive Synagogue and the Baha’i Centre.  This is just off the western edge of the Discover East Bristol map but well worth doing.  Where to meet etc here.

29226865505_bb39520ca0_zWednesday 10th May – 12.30pm –  Stoke Park History Walk and Sculpture Trail Walk – the start point is the Hub, Lockleaze which a very short bus journey on the 24 bus from Old Market.  You will have the chance to see some beautiful wood carvings by Andy O’Neill.  This is right at the top of the map.  More details here.

Thursday 11th May – 10am – St George Storywalk – an ideal walk for early years children and their carers, starting from St George Library on Church Rd.  More information here.  The library and St George Park are important features on the Discover East Bristol map.

Thursday 11th May 10.30amMultifaith Trail 2 – visits the Coptic Church on Blacksward Rd (formerly St Leonards), a Sikh temple and Crofts End Church.  Start point is St Marina’s Coptic Orthodox Church on Blackswarth Rd.  More details here.

Tuesday 16th May – 6.30pm – Wild Plant Walk – Wild Food and Natural Dyes.  The charge for this walk in Eastville Park is £20.  Read more here.

2017_0425_113607Tuesday 16th May – 6.30pm – Troopers Hill and Conham Vale with the Bristol Ramblers, meeting at the Maypole Tavern  just off the map to the east but covering the iconic Troopers Hill whose chimney features prominently on the Discover East Bristol map.  The 45 bus will take you to your meeting point.  More details about the walk here.

Friday 19th May – 10am – Wander the Waterways – Starting near Temple Meads Railway Station this walk explores times past and discovers a wealth of wildlife along the waterways of St Philips, Brislington and Crews Hole.  Suitable for adults and older children.  Click here for more information.

Saturday 20th May – 10am – Yoga for Healthy WalkingSuggested donation £3.   The walk will finish at St George Park.  The meeting point will be revealed when you book.  Details here.

15268207935_db0aa6c7da_z(1)

Sunday 21st May – 10.30am – Avon Valley Walk – A 5-mile circular walk from Troopers Hill through St George and Brislington. Discover Avon Valley’s industrial past and its current importance as a wildlife habitat. Suitable for people of all ages. Lunch can either be a packed lunch or bought at Beese’s. Booking essential.  More information here.

 

 

Tuesday 23rd May – 3.30pm – Walk ping, talk ping, play ping.  Walk between Owen Square Park and St. George. Play ping pong, meet others, find out about opportunities to play near you. Everyone welcome. Under 16’s with an adult. Bats and balls provided.  Read more here.

water to windmillThursday 25th May – 10am – From Water to Windmill – A walk given by St George’s own Walking for Health group, the St George Strollers.  You will need a bus fare or bus pass.  More details here.

While their walks are not listed in the Bristol Walking Festival don’t forget there is a walk every Tuesday from the Beehive Centre on Stretford Rd, BS5 7AW (next to St Ambrose Church) at 10.30am.  These walks last 30 minutes, making use of the nearby St George Park and are very suitable for those recovering from illness or injury or wishing to improve their fitness.

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

Redfield Post Office

As you may be aware, the Post Office on Church Road in Redfield closed in September. Local residents, businesses, Church Road Action Group, Councillors and our MPs have all been in touch with the Post Office to try and get the branch re-opened, either on the same site or somewhere close by.

Update 20th December 2016

Sign the petition to restore local Post Office services in Redfield >>

redfieldTwo Bristol MPs have launched a campaign to restore local Post Office services in Redfield.

Kerry McCarthy (Bristol East) and Thangam Debbonaire (Bristol West) – joined by local business owners, residents, and the Councillors for Easton and St George West – are calling on the Post Office to reopen on Church Road as soon as possible. Kerry and Thangam’s petition, as well as a huge postcard, asks that the process move as quickly as possible and say there is overwhelming support in the community for doing so.

Redfield’s shops, cafes, and restaurants have also been taking part, keeping copies of the petition to sign in-store, since many local businesses have been affected by the closure of the branch.

Commenting, Thangam said: ‘When the Lloyds Bank closed back in April, we were assured that people would still be able to use banking services through the local Post Office. Now, for months, elderly and disabled residents have been struggling to get to other branches.’

Kerry added: ‘Today might be one of the last days to post items for them to arrive in time for Christmas but in Redfield and St George, for many of my constituents, the last chance they had to post something at a local post office was three months ago.’

‘After pressure from our ongoing community campaign – which is just getting started – Post Office are moving quickly and are currently assessing a potential new operator. We collected more than 100 signatures in one lunchtime and, with the help of brilliant Church Road businesses, will show that the standard six-week consultation is really not necessary. Local people need a Post Office – now.’

Original Post 7th December:

On Friday a a petition will be launched to call on the Post Office to re-open a branch in Redfield.

Kerry McCarthy, Labour MP for Bristol East & Thangam Debbonaire, Labour MP for Bristol West have asked us to pass on the following message:

Many local people have been in touch with us about the closure of the Church Road Post Office. Disabled and elderly members of our community are struggling to go to the next nearest branches on Lawrence Hill or Whitehall Road. It is unacceptable that so many people in Redfield, Easton, and St George have been impacted.

We have been working hard with local residents and Councillors Craig, Pickersgill, and Shah to put pressure on the Post Office to quickly move forward with finding a new premises as soon as possible.

We will be visiting Church Road this Friday lunchtime to launch our petition calling on the Post Office to reopen as soon as possible, and would be delighted if you could join us outside of the closed Post Office at 128 Church Road at 11:30am to show your support.

Please do not hesitate to get in touch with us if you wish to help with this campaign or if we are able to assist with any other issues you might have.

Kerry McCarthy MP kerry.mccarthy.mp@parliament.uk
Thangam Debbonaire MP thangam.debbonaire.mp@parliament.uk

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

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.

St George in Bloom raises the flag

Our special St George in Bloom flag raising ceremony to be held on Thursday August 4th 2016 at 7pm at St George Park.
flagraising-1
We have arranged a special flag raising ceremony to celebrate our selection as an RHS national finalist in the RHS Britain in Bloom competition 2016.

This will be held just inside the main entrance of St George Park where the new flag pole has recently been erected (at the junction of Chalks Road and the A420) on the evening of Thursday 4th August commencing at 7pm.

Our guest of honour is the Lord Mayor of Bristol.

We cordially invite you, your family and friends, local residents, and members of local community groups to join us at this special event.

Please forward this invitation to your colleagues, friends, and family and invite them to attend and celebrate as well.

The RHS judges will take their judging tour of St. George on Friday 5th August.

Volunteers, local residents, community groups and St George in Bloom have worked extremely hard to promote and enhance the St. George area of the city.

I would like to take this opportunity to send them all my very best wishes for the RHS judging day this Friday 5th August, and sincerely thank them for all their hard work.

This has been a wonderful team effort.

Our flag raising ceremony will help to celebrate all the wonderful work that is being done within St. George to promote and develop community participation, horticultural excellence and environmental responsibility.

With kind regards,

Grenville Johnson
Chair of St. George in Bloom

www.stgeorgeinbloom.org.uk

flagraising-2

Neighbourhood Forum – Tuesday 9 August

The next Neighbourhood Forum covering the whole St George Neighbourhood Partnership area is on Tuesday 9 August.  It is being held at Summerhill Methodist Church from 7.00pm to 9.00pm.

There is a full agenda for the evening, with an opportunity to learn about a variety of issues, including:

Police & Crime Commissioner - Avon & SomersetSue Mountstevens, Police and Crime Commissioner for Avon and Somerset will talking about the ‘Police and Crime Plan‘ and how you can contribute to the consultation.  Sue Mountstevens will also take a question and answer session.

There will be an opportunity to hear about some of the projects and organisations that have received frunding from the St George Neighbourhood Partnership, and other success stories from across the St George area.  Additionally, there will be an update on the various projects that St George Neighbourhood Partnership has been working on.

Avon & Somerset PolicceLocal police officers (and PCSOs) will be at the meeting.  They’ll be reporting back on the priorities they were set at the meeting in May.  The meeting will also agree new local policing priorities.  There will also be an opportunity for one-to-one conversations with the neighbourhood policing team.

Bristol Energy [logo]Bristol Energy is a new energy company (for electricity and gas) formed by Bristol City Council.  Representatives of Bristol Energy will be at the Forum to explain their tariffs and how you can switch supplier.

A new licensing regime was recently introduced to part of the St George Neighbourhood Partnership area for homes let by private landlords.  Representatives of Bristol City Council will be at the Forum to explain implications for landlords and for tenants, as well as to answer questions.

The ‘Market Place’ will be a breakout part of the evening enabling those present to discuss a wide range of issues as well as talk with the speakers at the Forum.

Rob Acton-Campbell, Chair of St George Neighbourhood Partnership, commented “The Forum provides a great opportunity for local people to raise local issues.  Those attending will also be able to hear what has been happening across the St George area.  For this meeting we have the added advantage of Sue Mountstevens attending to discuss the Crime Plan.” 

Sue Mountstevens, Police and Crime Commissioner for Avon and Somerset, commented “Residents of St George will have a clear view on what should be a priority for the police. Listening to local people is the most important part of my role and that’s why I am delighted to speak at the next St George Neighbourhood Forum because only by hearing from local people can I truly be their voice in policing.” 

Further information on the Forum (including the agenda, and a poster to download) is available at www.stgeorgenp.org.uk/forum

post-it-august16-forum