Category Archives: Police

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

Parking at Summerhill Schools

summerhill-zigzag

Problems caused by inconsiderate parking near schools was discussed at recent Neighbourhood Fora.  The meeting asked our local Police Beat Team to treat this as one of their priorities.

Towards the end of the last school year over 40 vehicles were identified over a 2-3 week period contravening the school zigzags outside Summerhill Primary Academy.  A letter has recently been sent by the police to the registered keepers of the vehicles:

This letter is being sent to you in relation to parking complaints we have received at Summerhill Academy, Plummers Hill, Bristol.

Under the Road Traffic Regulation Act (1984), it is an offence to stop, wait or pick up passengers on school entrance markings (the zig zag markings). This will result in being issued with a fixed penalty notice and receiving a £50 fine.

Vehicle checks have been done and your address has come back as the registered keeper to vehicle [registration number].  This vehicle was seen parked/stopped on the zig zag lines outside of Summerhill Academy during drop off/pick up times.

Regular school patrols and ticket enforcements will be carried out from the start of the new school year therefore please consider this letter as a warning.

The road markings are placed here for a reason and parking illegally puts other drivers, parents and children’s safety at risk. By parking or stopping in this position you are causing an obstruction to the visibility of other road users and endangering the safety of your child and every child who is trying to cross the road.

With the new school term now begun, enforcement will increase around the Summerhill schools.

Highway improvements are also being carried out in Plummers Hill to improve pedestrian safety in the area.

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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.

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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

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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

Election Candidates

The Bristol City Council Wards have changed, and the elections were held on 5 May 2016 were for the new Wards. You can find out which of the new Wards you live in here.


The candidates for elections on 5th May 2016 were:

To be a Councillor for the Bristol City Council Ward of
St George Central
(2 vacancies):
–  Nicola Anne BEECH, Labour Party
–  Wayne Jefferson COOMBES, Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition
–  Andy CROW, Liberal Democrat
–  Jillian Anita GETTRUP, Liberal Democrat
–  Tony LEE, Conservative Party Candidate
–  Kris MURPHY, Conservative Party Candidate
–  Steve PEARCE, Labour Party
–  Ruby Alice Gabrielle TUCKER, Green Party
Legal Notice issued by the Returning Officer available here [.pdf].
Ward Map available here [.pdf].

Results expected Sunday 8th May


To be a Councillor for the Bristol City Council Ward of
St George Troopers Hill
(1 vacancy):
–  Fabian Guy BRECKELS, Labour and Co-operative Party
–  Sean BUCHAN, Green Party
–  Nicholas John COOMBES, Liberal Democrat
–  Mike LUFF, Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition
–  Kevin Robert RAINEY, The Conservative Party Candidate
Legal Notice issued by the Returning Officer available here [.pdf].
Ward Map available here [.pdf].

Results expected Sunday 8th May


To be a Councillor for the Bristol City Council Ward of
St George West
(1 vacancy):
–  Asher CRAIG, Labour Party
–  Lorraine FRANCIS, Green Party
–  Bernie LYONS, Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition
–  Tony POTTER, Independent
–  James Henry Oswald ROUGHTON, The Conservative Party Candidate
–  Ian James TOWNSEND, Liberal Democrat Focus Team
Legal Notice issued by the Returning Officer available here [.pdf].
Ward Map available here [.pdf].

Results expected Sunday 8th May


On 5th May there were elections for …

Mayor of Bristol
List of candidates available here [.pdf].
Information booklet produced by Returning Officer available here. [.pdf]
> Result expected Saturday 7th May here

Police and Crime Commissioner for Avon and Somerset Police area
List of candidates available here
Candidate information available here
> Result expected Friday 6th May here

 ballot-box-nov12

 

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You Said – We Did – February 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.

For this meeting on Tuesday 9th February, 2016, chaired by Rob Acton-Campbell, Chair of the St George Neighbourhood Partnership, the meeting started with a tribute to Councillor Ron Stone, who died just before Christmas, from Grenville Johnson.  Grenville also asked for ideas to be shared about a permanent memorial for Ron and volunteers to help the task group collating those ideas.

After a round of applause the meeting continued with different speakers invited to the meeting to talk about issues that are of interest to the neighbourhood.  These were:

i) Community Access Support Services – Anna Balcerek

The Community Access Support Service is a new 5 year project based at the Wellspring Healthy Living Centre in Barton Hill.  If the project is successful it will roll out across the country.

The project is very much about initiating conversations about mental health and working with community groups to provide what they need to address mental health issues. This could include signposting to services, collating feedback on the service provided to those in the community with mental health issues so those services can be improved or explaining what mental health services are available.

Community Access Support Services would like to talk to all community groups but have a particular interest in establishing links with faith leaders.

Time To Talk Day was on 4th February and encouraged conversations about mental health.  There are still a number of Time to Talk events in Bristol planned on the same theme.

ii) Update on Parks and Green Spaces – Richard Fletcher

Richard is Bristol City Council’s Area Manager, Parks and Caretaking, Central and East, covering an area from Clifton to Fishponds and St George.

He shared news of

– play area improvements in St George Park
– work to stop cyclists riding over the bandstand in St George Park
– improving the entrance to Plummers Hill from Naseby Walk
– improving entrances to Meadow Vale Park

There has been a particular concentration on entrances to parks because unwelcoming entrances mean people do not use parks and gain all the benefits they provide.

Richard also gave a brief summary of the 24 byelaws that are proposed and recommended that people respond to the consultation.  The byelaws  would cover just over 200 of the more than 400 green spaces managed by Bristol Parks.  The consultation,the list of green spaces affected and the full wording of the byelaws can be found on www.bristol.gov.uk/parkbyelaws

The wording of the byelaws is defined by government.  The byelaws are already in use in many councils.  The spaces to apply these byelaws have been chosen because of reports recorded by police and Bristol City Council and problems affecting those sites that could be addressed by byelaws.

In answer to a question Richard confirmed that the proposed byelaws would not prevent blackberrying, contrary to media reports.

A representative of Friends of Troopers Hill encouraged support of the byelaws to protect Troopers Hill Local Nature Reserve from fire and  irresponsible foraging, both of which impact wildlife sources of food and habitat.

A question was raised about whether the work done on creating an excellent archway entrance to Canford Park could be replicated in St George.  Richard explained that the funding for this came from a pot of money made available some years ago where councillors made suggestions for its use in parks.  Canford Park entrance was one of the approved schemes as was the multi-use games area in St George Park.

An update was asked about the lake in St George Park.  The fish have been removed and the walls of the lake have been inspected.   A further inspection by a civil engineer is required.  In the meantime some sections of path are protected from use because of concerns about their stability.

Rob Acton-Campbell added the news that Friends of Dundridge Park, Meadow Vale and Friends of Troopers Hill have all recently been awarded nationally funded grants for play area.  More news will be published on this website soon.  Here is the earlier news about the first grants awarded.

iii) Crime and Local Policing Update – PC Matt Clements

A new sergeant has been appointed, Sgt Hillier.  Matt’s perception of anti-social behaviour in the last 3 months is that it has reduced but there was an expected spike at Hallowe’en.

A particular target for thieves recently has been car keys, often left hung up just inside the front door of people’s homes.  When burglaries occur the thieves will just take the keys and leave with the stolen goods in the household’s car.

Problems with mopeds have reduced.  A new chicane, installed by Bristol City Council on Crown Hill has been very helpful.

The front office at Fishponds police station is still open, manned by clerical staff.

iv) Wellbeing Grants

Representatives of 3 groups who had received different levels of Wellbeing funding from the St George Neighbourhood Partnership recounted their experience of applying for Wellbeing funding and encouraged others to apply.  They were on hand during the break for further help and advice together with Susan Acton-Campbell, the Wellbeing Champion.

a) Redfest – Dominik Ljubic

Redfest provides an annual music and arts festival in St George Park. The event started with music in pubs, film shows and other small scale activities.  Redfest’s first Wellbeing grant was £240 in 2011 for a very small stage.  The event has grown and so has the size of the stage, which the Wellbeing grant has continued to support.  The Wellbeing grant is only one of many sources of money funding this free event that is much enjoyed by local people.

b) St Aidan’s Church – Jim Donaldson

St Aidan’s Church has applied for a number of small grants since 2010.  Jim told of the heavy, awkward trestle tables the church used to have to use for community events.  Thanks to funding lightweight but sturdy folding tables have been bought in two rounds of funding.  Jim emphasised the easy of making the application and the importance of returning the monitoring form at the end of the project.

He also took the opportunity to promote the St George Community Fair, showcasing many local community and volunteer groups.  The printing of publicity flyers and posters for this event has also been funded by a Wellbeing grant.  Jim proudly displayed a flyer pointing out the acknowledgement of the funding coming from the St George Neighbourhood Partnership.  The St George Neighbourhood Partnership will be represented at the St George Community Fair which will take place in St Aidan’s Church and church hall on Saturday 12th March, from 11am-2pm.

c) Playing Out – Jacks Jarrett

Jacks described the important of the grant Playing Out received from the Wellbeing fund to train local people as “activators” helping people to find out what Playing Out involved, advising about street closures, activities and much more.  She described the benefits of Playing Out in her own street where not only do children have the opportunity to play in the street but residents have a chance to get to know each other, so that, when Jacks’ oven broke down partway through cooking a meal she had no qualms in asking a neighbour if she could use their oven.

v) St George in Bloom – Grenville Johnson

Grenville Johnson shared the story of the founding of the St George in Bloom group and the success the group has achieved, supported by other community groups, with awards from South West in Bloom and their entry at a national level in Britain in Bloom

He described the planned judging route and appealed for volunteers to help the committee.    St George in Bloom can be contacted using this email address:info@stgeorgeinbloom.org.uk or telephoning 01179496788

The St George in Bloom website provides news updates  www.stgeorgeinbloom.org.uk
as does Facebook:- www.facebook.com/stgeorgeinbloom

vi) Spring Bling – Gill Calloway

Gill, Neighbourhood Officer for St George, announced a Spring Bling initiative.  This is aimed at making our streets and green spaces look better.  Gill has created newsletters giving advice on where to get help to address issues ranging from bulky waste and elderly people with overgrown gardens to graffiti.

She encouraged making use of Keep Britain Tidy’s initiative of “Clean for the Queen” which links to the Queen’s birthday in March.

Spring Bling is working in partnership with St George in Bloom.  All are encouraged to enter one of the St George in Bloom categories which range from the best house frontage to best children’s display.  If you know someone with a lovely garden, balcony display or other special growing area, encourage them to enter.

There will also be a “Walk to School Tidy Up”.

Issues raised at the “Marketpace”

The marketplace is the break that takes places after the speakers’ session.  There are tables to visit to raise environment and traffic, to talk to the police, find out about grants and talk to the organisations represented by that night’s speakers.

Issues included:

– a cracked footpath in the park area at Meg Thatchers
– dog mess and litter on the lane from Tesco to Air Balloon Hill Primary School
– drug dealing
– the dropped kerb on Dundridge Lane that has not be completed
– the builders’ storage area that has been left in the green space at Terrell Gardens
– the unwelcoming entrance from Cecil Ave to Plummers Hill Open Space

Finally

Please do not wait for a forum to report simple issues that can be reported online or by phone.  Please do make use of “Report It!”, the tab at the top right of this page.  The best way we can use Neighbourhood Forum time is raising more difficult issues.

3 grants were awarded at the last St George Neighbourhood Partnership meeting.   The next closing date to apply for a Wellbeing grant can be  seen is Monday 25th AprilFebruary 2016.

You are invited to the next Forum meeting at 7pm on Tuesday 10th May, 2016 at Summerhill Methodist Church.

If you have an idea for a subject to be spoken about that is of local interest contact our Neighbourhood Partnership Co-ordinator, 
Abdulrazak Dahir, coordinator@stgeorgenp.org.uk, telephone 0117 903 6409.

 

 

You Said – We Did – August 2015

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.  A copy of the most recent action will be added to this report soon.

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

For this meeting on Tuesday 12th August, 2015, we had the following speakers who briefly introduced themselves and their subject and then were available during the breakout session for people to approach individually and find out more.

i) Crime and Local Policing Update – PC Pete Crawford, Avon and Somerset Police of the Local Neighbourhood Beat Team

Since our last meeting police have followed up on reports of stone throwing at a house near Dundridge Park, parking issues at Air Balloon Hill School, inconsiderate parking linked to garages on Bryants Hill and Nags Head Hill and cars hanging round Crews Hole Rd.

There has been a slight rise in burglaries, this often happens in summer  when people are more likely to leave doors and windows open.  Have a look at the summer “Do one thing” campaign for helpful advice.

There have been some unusual theft from motor vehicles incidents where cars have been broken into but nothing stolen.  “Capture cars” are being used to target these crimes.

At this meeting Pete had been advised of speeding issues on Troopers Hill Rd and Crews Hole Rd.  Susan Acton-Campbell of the volunteer local residents’ Community SpeedWatch team was able to report that at the times where speeds have been monitored since April there has been a small steady decrease in speeding vehicles on Troopers Hill Rd.  On Crews Hole Rd the percentage of speeding vehicle has held steady and Sgt Darren Warr is looking into arranging for the police camera safety van paying a visit to Crews Hole Rd.

(ii) Updates from the St George Neighbourhood Partnership from the Chair, Rob Acton-Campbell

Rob started with saying how well Redfest went this year and this was supported with further comments from the audience.

Neighbourhood Partnership plan leaflets have been printed.  Please let us know of good locations to put these leaflets.  Online information is here.

Caravans were moved on shortly after the last meeting where Sgt Darren Warr told us of issues where caravans had been reported in St George Park car park.

Developers contact the St George Neighbourhood Partnership about large developments before they make planning applications.  This is the time the community can have most influence over changes.  A planning sub-group needs to be formed to look at these pre-application plans.  If anyone is interested in joining a Planning sub-group for the St George Neighbourhood Partnership please contact us.

Displays of a development on the corner of Kingsway Avenue and Two Mile Hill Rd were on display at the meeting.

The next closing date to make applications for grant funding from the St George Neighbourhood Partnership Wellbeing fund in Monday 19th October.

Finally Rob asked for topics that people wanted discussed at the next Neighbourhood Forum on Tuesday 10th November at 7pm at Summerhill Methodist Church.  If you have ideas for topics please contact Abdul Razakahir who contact details are given at the end of this report.

iii) Brunel Fitness Centre – Ellie and Claire, Duty Manager and Manager

Bristol City Council’s Brunel Fitness Centre is open all year, while the premises are attached to the Brunel Academy it is open to all.  There are free day passes to try out the Brunel Fitness Centre.

There is junior gym for children from the age of 8.  The Centre has an exercise referral schem so if your doctor is saying that you have high blood pressure and need to exercise the Centre can help yoo.

A 3 month membership is £55.  Opening times and more information can be found here.

iv) Bristol Green Capital 2015 – Green map team – David Bain and Chris

This project, Discover East Bristol – your outdoor guide, has a team of 8 to create an attractive interesting map of East Bristol highlighting quiet routes linking green spaces.  The team are interested in your knowledge of the area and your stories.  You can learn more and complete a survey here.

The map will be available in paper format so ideas on distribution points arre welcomed.  It will also be available online and as a mobile app.  When the project finishes the information will be able to be updated.

There is funding alongside this project for route improvement and route markers.

v) First Bus Bristol –  James Freeman, Managing Director, Jenny MacLeod, General Manager, Bristol, Chris Hanson, PR England and Wales

Details of the information shared plus the questions raised and answers given can be seen here.

Here is a copy of the leaflet distributed at the meeting showing the route changes for the 42, 43, 44 and 45 buses.

bus service route map

You Said 

Issues raised at this meeting included:

– a blocked drain in Plummers Hill
– lighting and drug dealing
– anti-social behaviour

We Did

Georgie Bryant, Neighbourhood Officer was pleased to report that the alligator teeth at the entrance to the Aldi car park in Church Road were a planning requirement and it is likely these will be replaced soon.

The action tracker reporting the status of issues raised at the last meeting will be added here soon plus Streetscene enforcement actions.

Newsflash

Georgie also shared information about the “Feed Me and Win” recycling scheme, where randomly selected food waste bins put out for recycling will win their owners £50.

Feed-me-and-win-715x600

Volunteering opportunities with the St George Neighbourhood Partnership

There are several ways you can help your local community:

For people with a keen interest in how money can best be spent, there are currently 4 vacancies in the Wellbeing sub-group.  More about the sub-group, who they are and what they do on www.stgeorgenp.org.uk/subgroups/wellbeing.

Could you take a turn at summarising what happens at Forum meetings?  This report that you are reading is currently written by volunteer Susan Acton-Campbell and she also writes a single side of A4 as a summary to put up in local noticeboards.

Could you help promote the St George Neighbourhood Partnership?  One task is putting up notices to advertise activities such as the Forums, another is to help keep this website, Facebook and Twitter updated and relevant – training is given if you volunteer to do this.

Email the webteam@stgeorgenp.org.uk if you can help.

Finally

Please do not wait for a forum to report simple issues that can be reported online or by phone.  Please do make use of “Report It!”, the tab at the top right of this page.  The best way we can use Neighbourhood Forum time is raising more difficult issues.

Details of the grants awarded at the last St George Neighbourhood Partnership meeting were not circulated on this occasion but these can be seen here.

You are invited to the next Forum meeting at 7pm on Tuesday 10th November, 2015 at Summerhill Methodist Church.

If you have an idea for a subject to be spoken about that is of local interest contact our Neighbourhood Partnership Co-ordinator, 
Abdulrazak Dahir, coordinator@stgeorgenp.org.uk, telephone 0117 903 6409.

Neighbourhood Forum – 11 August

forum-postit-110815The next St George Neighbourhood Forum will be held on 11 August at Summerhill Methodist Church.

Full information at www.stgeorgenp.org.uk/forum

You Said – We Did – May 2015

Every quarter there is a Neighbourhood Forum meeting open to all residents of St George to bring local issues to council officers and police.  A list of the issues raised at the previous meeting and what has been done about them is circulated at the meeting.

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

For this meeting on Tuesday 12th May, 2015,  speakers introduced themselves and their subject and then were available during the breakout session for people to approach individually and find out more.

Matt Jones from Bristol City Council was introduced; Matt is filling in now that John Atkinson has moved on elsewhere in the Council.

Rob Acton Campbell congratulated Cllr Sue Milestone and Cllr Fabian Breckels on being re-elected in St George at the recent local election.

Darren Warr, Local Neighbourhood Beat Team – Crime and Local Policing Update

Darren explained that they have now combined teams with Trinity Road and the City Centre teams. Darren introduced PC Matt Clements who will be the Beat Manager for the St George area from now on.  A number of our local PCSOs were also present at the meeting and were available for questions in the breakout session.

Darren reported that there have been 10 more crimes in the St George ward than this time last year although the total number of recorded incidences has reduced slightly.  Dwelling burglaries have gone down whilst theft from sheds has increased; items such as mountain bikes are particularly at risk.  Darren explained that the Crime Prevention Team will be providing shed security advice.  Shop-lifting has slightly increased.

PC Matt Clements (badge number 755) provided an overview of some of the present crime issues in the ward. He explained that St George is not a particularly problematic area compared to some.  Recent issues include anti-social behaviour issues with a couple of local residents, including one who likes to go to the toilet in public, and moped riders in off-road areas.

Cllr Ron Stone asked a question about the issue of the caravans presently encamped in St George Park car park.  He explained his difficulties in getting hold of someone to deal with the matter when he rang 101.  He expressed concern about the removal of the car park barrier going into the car park and about the toilets in St George’s Park being heavily used and becoming very unpleasant.   A member of Friends of St George Park explained that the barrier has been removed at the request of the Parks Department so that they can get their vehicles in and out. Darren explained he has been focussing on this issue in the past two days. He confirmed that Travel Liaison Officer from BCC has offered the group an alternative site and that a letter has been served on them but it could take up to two weeks for them to be removed.

Friends of St George Park

asked Darren about how they should ensure that incidents in relation to the lake in St George Park are officially recorded.  Darren explained it was important to get a log number from the police and said it was also useful to keep a diary of any anti-social behaviour that has been observed.

Rob Acton-Campbell – Neighbourhood Partnership Updates

Rob explained that the Partnership had been awarded some Green Capital funding towards a Green Map.  As part of this, auditing of local walking routes will be undertaken with an emphasis on providing access to green spaces. He explained the Section 106 money and Green Capital money is being used to improve routes through the St George and Greater Fishponds area.  The intention is to create a network of walking routes, improving access for people off-road.  Groups are presently being asked to prepare bids to do the map and there is a Briefing Paper available for artists (details on the table at the back).

Rob outlined the plans that have been put forward for a cycle through Crews Hole which would run through the bottom of the woods adjacent to Conham Road.  This is the section of road where a one-way system was previously put forward.  The provision of the cycle route through the woods would enable a continuous off-road cycle route for cyclists between the Bristol Enterprise Zone all the way to Keynsham. If it receives planning permission, the next step will be for Bristol City Council (BCC) to identify potential funding for the route.  Phillip Bird said that the application has gone back to the applicant with a number of questions from BCC. Rob explained that John Richfield from BCC will be at the next Traffic and Transport Sub-Group meeting to discuss the cycle route further.

Laura Gosling – Community Speedwatch

Laura explained that a Community Speedwatch Team is now in operation on Crews Hole Road, Troopers Hill Road and on Nags Head Hill.  Four volunteers have received training from the police on using speed detection equipment and are regularly monitoring speeds on these routes.  If drivers are observed exceeding the speed limit by the team, their registration details are passed onto the police and they will then receive a letter from the police with the aim of educating drivers to reduce their speeds.  Repeat offenders may receive a visit from the police and a warning.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer and/or setting up a team in your part of St George, find more details on the St George NP website or speak to the local policing team.

Grenville Johnson – St George in Bloom

Grenville outlined how George in Bloom was set up in 2013 and how it aims to create a sense of civic pride in our local area by making it more welcoming for residents and visitors. He said research has shown that a cared for street deters crime and anti-social behaviour as well as improving health and well-being.

He explained how residents on Kensington Road created a Community Garden and won an ‘outstanding’ award from the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS)  South West in Bloom in successive years which led to the formation of St George in Bloom who won the Gold Pennant from RHS South West in Bloom in 2014.

The Kensington Road Residents Association recently applied to the RHS Community Street project for an area needing refurbishment and their application was successful.  As a result, a Show Garden of Kensington Road will now be replicated at the Hampton Court Flower Show (30th June to 5th July).

This summer, St George in Bloom will invite residents, streets, shops and other groups to participate in St George in Bloom.  Entry is free and more details can be found at http://www.stgeorgeinbloom.org.uk/page3.html. Friday 10th July is the deadline for entries.

Grenville outlined how St George in Bloom is working on an Urban Pollinators project with Bristol University; it aims to encourage people to think about bees and pollinators in their displays.

From Monday 18th May for one week, Grenville’s garden will feature as part of the Chelsea Fringe Festival.  See http://www.victorianhousegarden.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/ for more details.  Advance booking is required and there is a small fee for entry.

Rob Acton Campbell – The Neighbourhood Plan

Rob explained that the plan sets out the priorities for St George over the next three years; it is on the Neighbourhood Partnership (NP) website to view.  He encouraged the audience to get involved with sub-group meetings which cover matters relating to traffic and transport, the environment and health and well-being. Meeting dates are on the NP website.

 

A communications sub-group is being set up and will meet immediately after the end of the meeting.

The Annual General Meeting of the NP will take place in June, if you would like to get involved please speak to Rob or Matt Jones at the end of the session.

Any other business before break-out sessions

 Cllr Ron Stone – concerns about speeding on Whiteway Road and Plummers Hill.

Member of the public also expressed concerns about ‘near misses’ outside of Air Balloon Primary School.

Darren encouraged both to set up a local Community Speedwatch (CSW) group as he said this was the longer term solution to speeding problems in local communities.  Darren explained that the police will do speed enforcement based on CSW data.  The Mobile Speed Camera van will be deployed at locations where speed has been identified as an issue through CSW data.

Here is the action tracker that shows the issues recorded at the Forum showing some of the actions taken to date.