Category Archives: Uncategorized

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,
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



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 Germon

Interim Head of Neighbourhood Management Service

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


private message on Facebook to or

A report about the early days of the team can be read on

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

Improving Parks & Play Areas

This year has seen a huge amount of work done to improve parks & green spaces in St George.

celebrate37This has been achieved by St George Neighbourhood Partnership, Bristol Parks and park groups working together to raise funding to address priorities set in the St George Neighbourhood Plan.

The highlight has been work to create three new play areas, but there has also been work to improve paths and entrances. More work is planned this winter to repair the walls to St George Park Lake.

St George Neighbourhood Partnership contributed £10,000 from its budget to pay for a fundraiser to help raise money for Dundridge and Meadow Vale Parks and through the Neighbourhood Committee has allocated over £90,000 of Section 106 money for work in parks that has been spent this year.

Grants raised with the help of our fundraiser amount to over £175,000 and Friends of Troopers Hill raised another £70,000 – together with Bristol Parks contribution through their Parks Access and Play Funds this means well over £400,000 has been invested in St George’s parks in the last 12 months.

Here is an update on progress since we last reported on this in July.

Meadow Vale Park

14595695_1199574136803616_8190594127993366833_nPath – First the entrance at Speedwell Road was improved and then the narrow and cracked path was widened and resurfaced (you can now walk three abreast). This was funded from Bristol Parks Access Fund.

Play Area – Working with our fundraiser and using some of the Section 106 money as match funding; Meadow Vale Community Association raised funding for a new play area from Cory Environmental Trust and the John James Bristol Foundation. The play area has now been completed and the official opening will be held next month.

14937451_1205871546173875_1133658307099231329_nNear the play area there is also the Meadow Vale spider that was built with the help of local young people and funded by Ibstock Cory Environmental Trust.

Meadow Vale Community Association are now working towards their next major project, which is to significantly extend the Community Centre. They also intend to install floodlighting to the ‘MUGA’ (surfaced basketball court) in the park.

Dundridge Park

14963145_1785186721748928_2504114571845984178_nThree projects supported by St George NP through the help of our fundraiser and match funding are now almost complete at Dundridge.

First a new path was constructed to the existing play area (with funding from Tesco Bags of Help). Next was the ‘Path to Nature’ to link the pavilion area to the woodland path to Conham, this was funded by Cory Environmental Trust.

Finally Friends of Dundridge Park worked with the fundraiser to apply to Suez Communities Trust for funds to extend the play area and this work is now nearly complete.

A fourth project for a pond and maintenance to the deer path in Conham Woodland at the edge of Dundridge Park has also now received funding from Ibstock Cory Environmental Trust, this work will be carried out next year.

For the latest news from Dundridge Park see their facebook group.

Troopers Hill Field

celebrate50The completion of the new play area for Troopers Hill Field was marked in style last month with a procession from the chimney led by bagpipes and drums.

Funding for the play area was raised by Friends of Troopers Hill from Suez Communities Trust and Veolia Environmental Trust with match funding from Section 106. The NP also funded the celebration event through the wellbeing fund.

Details of the project including photographs and videos from the opening ceremony can be seen at

Plummers Hill

Following the tree planting, new entrance and new bench that were installed in the spring, further works have ben carried out this month to complete the entrance and the path through the site will be resurfaced soon. This is all being funded from the Bristol Parks Access Fund.

Gladstone Street Park

St George NP allocated Section 106 money to remove the redundant safety surfacing in this space (from an old play area) and this has now been done along with work funded by the Bristol Parks Access Fund to improve the paths across the space.

Friends of Gladstone Street Park are planning events and more improvements for the future.

St George Park

Play Area – Work was carried out in the summer to replace the safety surfacing and rebuild part of the Dragon head. The work took longer than initially hoped but has now all been completed. This work was funded by Bristol Parks Play fund and is part of a programme of work to address issues at play areas throughout Bristol.

20160209_124724St George Park Lake – Part of the path around the lake was closed earlier this year because of a structural failure of the lake walls.

As we reported at the time repairs to the walls will need to the lake to be drained again and so could not be carried out during the summer. Bristol Parks are now planning to carry out the works this winter, more details will be posted on this website once the details and timing have been finalised.

new bpf logo with text 2A full list of investment projects in parks across Bristol can be downloaded from the Bristol Parks Forum website.

Election Results – May 2016

Election Results for 5 May 2016

Councillors for St George Central

Nicola Beech and Steve Pearce have been elected as Councillors for St George Central (four year term of office).

Electorate: 9,421, Votes cast: 3,425, Spoilt papers 34
Turnout: 36.35%

Nicola Anne Beech, Labour Party:  1855 votes ELECTED
Wayne Jefferson Coombes, Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition:  201 votes
Andy Crow, Liberal Democrat:  342 votes
Jillian Anita Gettrup, Liberal Democrat:  319 votes
Tony Lee, Conservative Party Candidate:  636 votes
Kris Murphy, Conservative Party Candidate:  625 votes
Steve Pearce, Labour Party:  1207 votes ELECTED
Ruby Alice Gabrielle Tucker, Green Party:  504 votes

More information available here.
Watch the declaration of results here.
Map for St George Central area available here [.pdf]

Councillor for St George Troopers Hill

Fabian Breckels has been elected as Councillor for St George Troopers Hill (four year term of office).

Electorate: 4,480, Votes cast: 1,983, Spoilt papers: 40
Turnout: 44.26%

Fabian Guy Breckels, Labour and Co-operative Party:  918 votes ELECTED
Sean Buchan, Green Party:  170 votes
Nicholas John Coombes, Liberal Democrat:  134 votes
Mike Luff, Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition:  74 votes
Kevin Robert Rainey, The Conservative Party Candidate:  648 votes

More information available here.
Watch the declaration of results here.
Map for St George Troopers Hill area available here [.pdf]

Councillor for St George West

Asher Craig has been elected as a Councillor for St George West (four year term of office).

Electorate: 4,757, Votes cast: 2,188, Spoilt papers: 27
Turnout: 46.00%

Asher Craig, Labour Party:  913 votes ELECTED
Lorraine Francis, Green Party:  421 votes
Bernie Lyons, Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition:  60 votes
Tony Potter, Independent:  196 votes
James Henry Oswald Roughton, The Conservative Party Candidate:  171 votes
Ian James Townsend, Liberal Democrat Focus Team:  400 votes

More information available here.
Watch the declaration of results here.
Map for St George West area available here [.pdf]

City Wide Results

The number of council seats by party are:

Conservative – 14
Green – 11
Labour – 37
Liberal Democrat – 8
Total – 70 councillors

Click here for more details


Changing Church Road

If you use Church Road regularly you may have noticed a few changes appearing over recent months. This is thanks to the work of local volunteers who are part of Church Road Town Team, a small group which is dedicated to making the high street a destination. We met three members of the team to find out more.

Simon Webb is a resident and local business owner and has been involved in community action around Church Road for a number of years, since starting Redfest in 2008. “When we set up our business here we could see the potential of the street and that with some small changes it could be a much nicer environment for residents and shoppers. We applied to the Mary Portas pilot scheme, came up with ideas and were rewarded with an ‘our town first’ grant which we used to paint tired looking shop fronts and create a successful Christmas event. We want to show others that together we can make a difference to Church Road.”

Redfield resident June Barclay was already involved in community action. “I am part of Church Road Action Group which focuses on working with the police and council to improve the environment. From that I got involved in the town team as I liked the sound of the projects. My partner and I used to run a business on Church Road as well.”

The team took part in a national research project – High Street 2020 – which looked at the strengths and weaknesses of the road and identified challenges around the busy traffic and lack of social space to congregate, as well as limited night time economy.

“We need more places for people to linger. We also want to promote the identity and character of the place with better signage and a website. This work is as much about building community as supporting businesses” says Simon.

Maxine and Nigel Williams got involved after meeting the Town Team at a High Street 2020 meeting. “A high street is the heart of a place. It’s you bump into your neighbours and feel more connected to where you live. It’s important to amplify that” explains Nigel. So far the team has raised funds for new street trees and benches in Church Road as well as improving unloved small green areas through its ‘pocket spaces’ project. They have also hosted the family friendly Merry Little Church Road Christmas which included street theatre, an interactive toy hunt, music and a winter lantern parade which they plan to repeat this year.

The team is now looking at other town teams around the UK, and what they can learn from them. “Right now we’re focusing to make things happen, any help from other business owners and residents is always welcome!” adds Simon.

Church Road Town Team meets monthly. If you’ve got ideas or energy for helping make projects happen on Church Road contact Simon on 07815 719403 or visit

This article was first published in the Summer 2015 edition of ‘Up Our Street’ published by Easton and Lawrence Hill Neighbourhood Management. The current and previous editions can be read at



River Avon Path Update 4

2014_0601_111409It is now almost 12 months since the River Avon Path through Crews Hole was closed to pedestrians and cyclists.

Unfortunately we still have no date for its reopening.

Update 25 March 2015:

Following the initial clearance work last month, we have now been told that the contractor will start work rebuilding the wall before the end of April. If the works go to plan the path should be open by the end of June at the latest.

Work started 13th April

The latest we have heard from the Council is that:

‘The land owner has agreed to carry out repair work to the wall but has yet to provide timescales. His latest correspondence indicated that the potential contractor has yet to be appointed’.

The wall is owned by the owner of the industrial estate not Bowland Stone or the Council.

This issue was raised in the second part of a statement by Councillor Fabian Breckels to today’s Council meeting (16th December).

The section of path will remain closed with temporary fences at the footbridge and at Netham until the works are complete. Alternative routes are available for pedestrians or cyclists over the footbridge and along the path on the other side of the river, or via the road (see map below). If you find the barriers have been removed please call the Council on 0117 922 2050.

The path is open from the St Anne’s footbridge towards Conham.


Previous Updates:
Original Posting – January 2014
Update 1 – February 2014
Update 2 – March 2014
Update 3 – June/August 2014

Remembering Our Industrial Heritage

St George and East Bristol in general are blessed with many green spaces where it is possible to escape the hustle & bustle of city life and to almost forget that you are only a few miles from the City Centre.

In the 1600s the area was part of the Kingswood Forest royal hunting ground but from the 1700s it became an important industrial area with Kingswood coal supplying copper smelting & other industries alongside the River Avon. East Bristol industries were a major factor driving Bristol’s growth to become England’s second city.

The two chimneys on Troopers Hill are the most significant physical remains in St George; nearby we also have the Kingswood Heritage Museum at Warmley on the site of the brass works built there by William Champion.

Champion’s Brass Works at Wamley is now also houses a theatre and theatre company – Brass Works Theatre.

Later this month they are putting on a new play that highlights our industrial past:

The Deep Pit
by Adrian Harris & Brass Works Theatre

Deep Pit A6 flyer1-1By the 18th century, Kingswood’s coal miners had earned such a fearsome reputation that the Anglican evangelist George Whitefield met with the mocking challenge, ‘If he will convert heathens, why does he not go to the colliers of Kingswood?’

The mine workers and their families needed to be tough to survive dirty, dangerous lives in and around the pits where they were subjugated and exploited.

Deep Pit finds the Crew family continuing the coalface struggle in 1848. Jonathan and Elizabeth have already lost a son to the deadly underground conditions, and now their daughter Mary is treading a treacherous path with Henry Knight, the mine owner’s son…

Suitable for ages 14+

Performances run from 21st October to 8th November, 7.30pm Tuesday to Sunday with a matinée on Saturdays.

Book your tickets now!

You can find out more about the area’s history here:

Friends of Troopers Hill
South Gloucestershire Mines Research Group
Living Easton Community History Pages

Park kiosk to re-open this week

Having been closed since January, the kiosk in St George Park will re-open this week.

In January the Council decided to stop running the kiosk themselves and put the operation out to tender. Following the completion of that process and the necessary paperwork the new lease holders are moving in this week.

The kiosk will now be known as ‘Gwennie & Jack’s Café’. They hope to open for tea, coffee and cakes from tomorrow (Tues 10th June) with the full menu available at the weekend.

By-Election – St George West 22nd May 2014

As reported by Cllr Ron Stone at the St George Neighbourhood Partnership meeting on 25th March, Cllr Peter Hammond is standing down as Councillor for St George West. This is due to Cllr Hammond moving away from Bristol.

At the meeting the Partnership expressed their thanks to Cllr Hammond for the contribution he has made to the work of the Partnership and wished him well for the future.

The Council’s website now has an official notice that there is a vacancy for one of the two Councillors for St George West and that an election has been called. This can be seen Bristol City Council’s Future Elections page.

Cllr Hammond has timed his resignation so that the by-election will coinside with the local elections taking place elsewhere in Bristol on 22nd May 2014. This is also the date of the European elections.

As the election will be to replace Cllr Hammond, whoever wins will only be elected for the remainder of Cllr Hammond’s term as Councillor which runs until May 2015 (1 year). There will then be an election that year in both St George West and St George East (when Cllr Fabian Breckel’s current term as Councillor will end).

In 2016 there will be an all-out election in Bristol, at that time there will be elections for:

• All councillors
• The elected Mayor
• Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner.

Elections will then be held every four years afterwards – 2016 followed by 2020 followed by 2024.

By 2016 the Local Government Boundary Commission for England will have carried out a review in into the number of Councillors in Bristol and the ward boundaries, so that by then the ward boundaries may have changed.