Category Archives: news

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.

Celebrity event to raise funds for Meadow Vale Community Centre

Readers of this website will have seen earlier reports on the hard work being done to achieve the redevelopment of Meadow Vale Community Centre in Speedwell.  Our last report in December reported on the successful planning application.

The Rotary Club of Bristol is currently celebrating its centenary year and has selected Meadow Vale Community Centre as a project to support as part of its centenary celebrations.  They have arranged this celebrity event as a fundraiser.

rotary club poster

Follow Meadow Vale Community Association on Facebook for the latest news.

 

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Lord Mayor’s Medals 2017

St George residents were honoured today (Tue 21st March) with the award of Lord Mayor’s Medals at a ceremony at the Mansion House.

StGeorgeLMM2017Susan Acton-Campbell is Chair of Friends of Troopers Hill; Bruce Yates works with the charity Baggator while Trevor Ball is a long term member of Friends of St George Park and has recently been a member and active supporter of St George in Bloom. Susan & Bruce are also members of the Neighbourship Partnership, with Susan being champion of the Wellbeing sub-group.

Also from our area is Gill Flower who set up the Bristol Community Friendship Club to help combat loneliness. Amy Harrison from Redfield also received a medal for work that includes the setting up of Friends of Brook Street Park and helping to establish the Redfield Educate Together Academy.

This year’s awards follow on from awards to other members of the Partnership in previus years – Rob Acton-Campbell & Fiona Russell in 2016; Richard Curtis in 2014; Grenville Johnson in 2013; Ann Radnedge in 2012.

These prestigious medals are awarded each year by the Lord Mayor of Bristol to recognise those who go that extra mile to make a difference to local communities in Bristol.

The citations for this year’s medal winners:

BRUCE YATES

The name Baggator and Bruce go hand in hand. Baggator as a charity was set up to take young people on excursions. In 2005, the charity was at risk of shutting down when its premises fell into
disrepair. Bruce turned this around, increasing links to the wider community and spearheading ways to raise much needed income.

Some of you may know Bruce from the renovation work, where the whole building had a face lift and the garden was given new life – the results were aired on BBC’s Operation People Power. Aside from Baggator, Bruce is an active campaigner for RADE (Resident’s Against Dirty Energy) successfully campaigning and raising awareness of planned power station works.

SUSAN ACTON-CAMPBELL

Susan has been Chair of Friends of Troopers Hill since its formation in 2003. During this time, she has become increasingly involved with other organisations in the area including the
Neighbourhood Partnership. Susan is now a full time volunteer working tirelessly for the community in St George.

Over the past two years Susan has helped design and raise funding for a new play area in Troopers Hill Field. The £80,000 play area was completed in October.

Having joined the Neighbourhood Partnership, Susan has led its Wellbeing Panel for the past 5 years, spending time reviewing applications, chairing the panel’s discussions and writing reports for the Partnership. Susan is always on hand to give advice to groups wishing to apply for funds.

She is a keen walker and when a member of Friends of Troopers Hill suggested starting a walking for health group, Susan was quick to volunteer to help form the group and train as a walk leader. Since 2011 the group has become one of the most active in Bristol.

TREVOR BALL

Trevor is a resident of St George. He lives next door to St Georges Park and has repainted and repaired many of the park benches and planted 1,000’s of shrubs and flowers. He has been a quiet but forceful member of the Friends of St George Park, leading and supporting numerous campaigns and initiatives which have brought much needed additional resources to the park e.g. skate board park, children’s play area and maintenance of the lake.

Trevor has helped volunteers from St George in Bloom in order to replant and maintain three large municipal planted containers that are located at the Kingsway shopping precinct at St George. In 2016 Trevor volunteered to make four large wooden containers for the front of the Sikh Temple in Church Road St George and these were planted up with beautiful floral displays.

In the summer of 2016, Trevor worked hard with a small group of volunteers from St George in Bloom and other local volunteers to transform a formerly neglected area in front the billboards
site in Church Road, St George.

GILLIAN FLOWER

Gillian Flower and Lord MayorThe Lord Mayor has been keen to highlight social isolation and loneliness throughout his year. On her retirement, Gillian Flower decided she too wanted to do something to combat loneliness. She went on to plan regular meet ups and activities for Bristol women, setting up the Bristol Community Friendship Club.

Gillian started with a small group but within weeks she was coordinating a group of over 870. She regularly spends her Saturdays cooking for the homeless and has dedicated a huge amount of time fundraising time and tackling homelessness in her local area.

It would take too long to list the many fundraising activities she has spearheaded but Gillian and her team work throughout the year to support a wide range of charities.

Gillian’s nominators did so because of the energy and impact she brought to their lives with one saying ‘Going the extra mile doesn’t cover it – going the extra thousand miles perhaps!’.

AMY HARRISON

amy with lord mayorEstablished a friend’s of Brook Street Park Group, transforming her local park from an area that had street drinking and anti-social behaviour into a safe, well used Childrens play area.

Amy is passionate about cities being child friendly and works hard to encourage free play and safe environments for them to do so. She has partnered with Playing Out, transformed a green space into a community garden and developed children’s workshops in the pursuit of her ideals.

Amy was instrumental in establishing a new primary school in Redfield ‘Redfield Educate Together Academy’ which has been open for 18 months with Amy on the board of Governors.

She is also deputy chair of ‘Up our Street’ finding time to do all of this while being a working mum. A Happy City Champion in 2014 and 2015, 2017 will see her as the recipient of a well-deserved Lord Mayors medal.

Conham Road – Cycle Route

Update 6th March 2017:

Philip Wright, Transport Programme Manager overseeing the proposed improvements to walking and cycling infrastructure being delivered through the Cycle Ambition Fund (CAF) grant from the Department for Transport has written:

“The proposed works at Conham Road are not part of the CAF programme, but were being considered to be delivered as part of the local match funding that had been agreed to support CAF in line with our bid to DfT.  These schemes needed to be delivered to meet the CAF timescales, with all works complete by March 2018.  The demands for this match funding are high and tight budgets had to be applied.  The draft budget given to the scheme at Conham Road was based on initial designs.  As more detailed designs developed it rapidly became clear that we would not be able to deliver this scheme within that budget.  The main reason given for the escalation of costs related to the additional requirements to build over the sewer pipe.

The River Avon Path remains a key strategic priority for both walking and cycling and we will continue to work on identifying funding to deliver this missing section of the route. ”

Philip offered Councillor Breckels, the local councillor for St George Troopers Hill,  the opportunity to meet the Bugbears project manager, Gari Garmston, to talk about whether there is a low cost interim option to improve the problems presented by the issues of the blind bend, with no footpath, on Conham Rd.  It may be possible to find money for a small amount of work from the funding pot called “Bugbears”.

An update will be posted after that meeting has taken place.

Update 2nd February 2016:

At the Place Scrutiny Commission meeting of 21st January, Ian Townsend submitted the question “What plans are there to fund the infrastructure required to close the ‘Conham Gap’ to complete a continuous cycle route along the River Avon, now that planning permission for the project has been granted?”

He has reported receiving the following written reply from Bristol City Council

“The funding is available (thanks to the postponed Camden Rd bridge project) and we are going to proceed with the scheme as soon as the land agreements are in place. There are verbal, in principle, agreements already.”

Bristol City Council’s Neighbourhood Officer for St George has confirmed negotiations on land agreements are ongoing.

Update 13th November 2015:

The planning application described below for a cycle route along the Avon Valley through Crews Hole at the ‘Conham Gap’ has now been granted planning permission. As yet there are no funds in place to complete the works but now that planning permission is in place it is hoped that the money can be found.

As part of the the conditions for planning to be granted money will be given for tree planting in the area to mitigate the effect of the tree felling that was necessary to clear the line of the proposed path.

Original post March 2015:

Planning application 15/00645/FB

Planning permission is being sought for a new solution to the ‘Conham Road Gap’ in the cycle route along the Avon Valley through Crews Hole that avoids the need to make any of the road one-way (as was proposed previously).

The new solution is to construct a new path running through the adjacent woods just to the north of Conham Road, more or less along the line of the vestigial works track servicing the Kingswood Sewer man holes.

It involves crossing the road at either end, something which will be effected by raised zebra crossings. These will also make crossing the road safer for pedestrians; the safety of the crossing at the north end has been of particular concern and has become known locally as ‘suicide corner’.

The two raised road crossings will be to the standard details adopted by Bristol City Council for priority crossings on popular walking and cycling routes. At these two locations vehicular traffic will give way to oncoming traffic in order to allow the road to be narrowed so as to secure safe sightlines for the public using the path.

According to the application:
“This route has been made possible by the support of the landowners of the woodland section, John Newlands McCreadie and Francesco Porcaro, and by Wessex Water whose adjacent main sewer has required their careful survey.”


Update – Tree Works

Some tree felling has been carried out in this area recently, we have received the following information from the Council’s planning officer:

“I can advise that they secured a license from the Forestry Commission to carry out the works and required no other planning/tree consents to do so. I have ensured that the further arboricultural information does include the trees removed however and these will be assessed within the application under any mitigation sought in accordance with the Bristol Tree Replacement Standard. As you have noted these are along the alignment of a sewer pipeline and were of limited value given the long-term retention due to future maintenance of this.”


The application has received support from the Bristol Cycling Campaign.

You can see full details and comment on the proposals (for or against) on the Council’s planning online website by looking at planning application 15/00645/FB.

A pdf document with details of the proposal can be seen here.

The images below show the proposed route and the proposed crossings at each end.

ConhamMap

Crossing1

Crossing1a

Crossing2

Clean Streets (and green spaces) in St George

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

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

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

On Saturday 4th March:

clean streets in bloom

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

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

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

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

march 2017 work party

On Sunday 5th March:

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

cleanstreetposter

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

 clean streets in bloom

Want Playing Out in your street? Find out more

playing out with tamsin

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

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

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

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

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

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

playing out poster

 

 

A New Start

StGNP-logoAs reported here Neighbourhood Partnerships across Bristol are having to change as the Council reduces the funding available.

Members of St George NP have been meeting to discuss how we should respond, whether the Partnership should continue and if so in what form.

We believe that St George needs a group with the following priorities:

• To speak up for the whole of St George to ensure we get our share of any future funding;

• Give the area an identity and promote it as a wonderful place to live and work;

• Promote networking and exchange of information between community groups, Councillors, the Police & others;

• Continue to manage this website, our Facebook and Twitter feeds and to support community notice boards.

• Act as a community of community groups;

At a meeting last week we discussed this further and agreed a proposal for the structure of a new community led organisation that we hope will be able to achieve the above and build on the work of the existing partnership.

We envisage a group whose membership will be open to anyone who lives or works in St George or who has an interest in the area. There would be an elected committee and sub-groups to look at issues in more detail or to run specific projects.

The group would be independent of the Council but work collaboratively with Councillors and Council officers to bring about improvements in St George.

There would be open meetings for all members, committee meetings and sub-group/task group meetings. Public meetings could be arranged as necessary to discuss particular issues and/or promote proposed projects.

We are suggesting that the new group should be called the St George Community Partnership.

These proposals will be discussed at the next meeting of the Neighbourhood Partnership on Wed 29th March 2017 where members will be asked if they would like to join an interim committee to start the new group.

There are more details of our proposals in the notes of the workshops held on 8th & 16th February which can be seen via the links below.

Notes of workshop on 16th February 2017

Notes of workshop on 8th February 2017

If you have any comments on our proposals or would like to get involved with the new St George Community Partnership, please contact us.

Volunteers needed to help patients of four local surgeries

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

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

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

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

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

air balloon

Bristol Charities to leave the Summerhill Centre

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The future of Neighbourhood Partnerships

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

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

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

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

The future of Neighbourhood Partnerships – next steps

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

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

Moving forward

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

Our proposal is as follows:

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

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

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

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

Devolved budgets

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

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

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

Thank you for your continued commitment.

With best wishes,

Penny

Penny Germon

Interim Head of Neighbourhood Management Service