You Said – We Did – November 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.

For this meeting on Tuesday 10th November, 2015, the Chair of the St George Neighbourhood Partnership welcomed Gill Calloway, our new Neighbourhood Officer at Bristol City Council.  Gill manages the arrangement for each forum and follows up actions raised.  Gill works part-time and the best means to contact her is by email at gill.calloway@bristol.gov.uk.  Gill joined us less than a month ago but has been on walkabouts in the neighbourhood and talking to community groups,  gathering information on local issues.

This is her initial action tracker report.

The Chair then described the purpose of the Neighbourhood Partnership Plan and how it is regularly reviewed so that local people’s priorities for the St George Neighbourhood Partnership area are followed.  He also outlined the work of sub-groups addressing those priorities and invited volunteers to join those groups.

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

i) Crime and Local Policing Update – PC Pete Crawford and PC Matt Clements

Fishponds police station, which currently serves the St George Neighbourhood Partnership area, will close in 2016 and police services will come from  the central hub of Trinity Rd from 4th January, 2016.

Parking issues continue to be addressed at Two Mile Hill School and Air Balloon Hill Primary School.

Drug dealing issues have been followed up in Soaphouse Lane.

Matt Clements gave a summary of crime statistics but these covered a much wider area than the St George Neighbourhood Partnership.  For a more detailed picture visit

www.police.uk/avon-and-somerset/BF167/crime for “St George South East” which includes Crews Hole, Troopers Hill, and areas to the east and west of the Kingsway up to  Two Mile Hill Rd

www.police.uk/avon-and-somerset/BF164/crime for “St George West” which includes St George Park and Bell Hill Rd to Speedwell Rd

www.police.uk/avon-and-somerset/BF165/crime for “St George East” which cover the Two Mile Hill area.

A particular increase in theft from motor vehicles was due to the activities of just two offenders.

The IMPACT process was described where some released offenders are managed and monitored.

Advice was given on how to protect your property with software.  It is very important that you do record the email address and password you used to activate this software.  If you lose this information you have lost the opportunity to track your possessions.  Do record serial numbers

ii) WE Care and Repair – Liz Freeman

WE Care and Repair is a service to help people aged over 60 or of any age with disabilities to be independent.

They have a Handyperson service which help with tasks as small as replacing internal light bulbs.

Surveys can be carried out to assess the safety of your home and suggest solutions tor problems.

The service is available to all whether home owners or tenants.  Costs are subsidised.  Armed forces members may not have to pay.

A trusted contractors list is available.

WE Care and Repair can provide someone to manage larger projects such as roof repairs.

There is an equipment demonstration centre in Old Market which is open 10am-4pm Monday-Friday with an occupational therapist on the premises.  You can make a free appointment to discuss what is best for you.

A housing option service is available to help people who are considering downsizing their home.  This service will help in reviewing options and the actual move.  Some clients have been supported for 2 years during the process.

A home improvement service is available and information can be provided about low cost loans.

For people aged over 50 wishing to help others there is the opportunity to volunteer with the Silverlinks service.

iii) Educate Together Academy Trust  – is a new school needed for the Speedwell area? – Nikky Buglass

Educate Together has 35 years of schools experience in Ireland.  The first school in England is in its 2nd year in Avonvaile Rd, Redfield.  The children spend 30 minutes of every school day studying ethics.

The question being asked is are the people of Speedwell interested in having a new school?  For a school to be built there has to be evidence of need.  On Tuesday 1st December at 7pm there will be an opportunity at Meadow Vale Community Centre for parents to express their interest.

On Saturday 21st and 28th November there will be lantern making workshops at Redfield Educate Together, ready for Church Rd Lantern Parade on Friday 4th December.

iv) Take a (cycle) stand –  Life Cycle UK – Jacks Jarrett  

Jacks Jarrett is a freelance cycle instructor.

The offer is a free cycle stand for community groups, small businesses and landlords.  The cost of installation is not included and the stand can only be placed on land with the landowners permission.

Life Cycle UK offer free cycling lessons.  3x 1 hour  lessons are provided with an instructor.  A bicycle can be hired at £5 per lesson.

There are monthly sales of bicycles at £100-£120.  These are bicycles  refurbished by prisoners.  Donations of bicycles for refurbishment are always welcome.  Lower cost bicycles can be arranged for people on low incomes.

Many more service provided by Life Cycle UK can be see on their website.

v) Healthwatch Bristol – Claire Littlejohn

Healthwatch Bristol is funded by the Department of Health.  Every council has to have Healthwatch.  They offer signposting to  services via the Wellaware database.   They are interested in your views on medical services.  They do not deal with complaints.  They have four staff to cover Bristol and are supplemented by volunteers.

Volunteers are in 3 categories:

Champions to attend public meetings such as the Neighbourhood Partnership forums to gather issues

Representatives to attend committee meetings

Enter and view volunteers.

More about these roles can be seen on http://healthwatchbristol.co.uk/volunteers/volunteer-roles/

Issues raised in the break out sessions

The police were given no issues to follow up so will concenrate on burglary and theft of motor vehicles and their contents.

Issues were raised about the Troopers Hill Rd traffic calming proposals which were recorded.

Conflicts for space between pedestrians and cyclists on the River Avon Trail were raised.

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.

No 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 8th February 2016.

You are invited to the next Forum meeting at 7pm on Tuesday 9th February, 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.

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