Community conversation: Whitehouse Street development consultation meetings

A reminder about the meetings coming up to create a community manifesto to inform the framework for the Whitehouse Street development. This is an opportunity to have your say on a site that will have a significant impact on our neighbourhood. You can find out more about the project, complete our survey and put a pin on our map here Help shape the future of Bedminster (whitehousestreet.com)

The agenda will be

  • Introduction by Councillor Nicola Beech
  • Outline of the consultation process
  • Short Q & A session
  • Discussion with AGB to create community manifesto

The first meeting will look at the emerging themes from the survey and other data we’ve gathered.

13th March: 10am – 11am
Meeting link:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87086494584?pwd=RThYWmk0TlZoMFlxbDZiTGJ5WS95Zz09
Meeting ID: 870 8649 4584
Passcode: 652471

The second meeting will recap and build on the discussion from the previous meeting 
18th March 7.30-8.30pm
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84848708237?pwd=NkJyNEZocGFvOHhCa1JZSlpKQm4wQT09
Meeting ID: 848 4870 8237
Passcode: 242567

We look forward to seeing you there. We’re keen to get as many people involved as possible, so please do help us spread the word.

Best wishes
Ellie Freeman, Chair of Action Greater Bedminster

INTERESTED IN GETTING INVOLVED?

We’re looking for four new steering group members nominated by the local community to sit alongside the alliance reps and the 4 local ward Councillors.

As a member of the AGB steering group you will:

  • Be guided by the AGB constitution
  • Ensure that AGB has a clear strategy, and that its work and goals are in line with its vision
  • Participate in planning and decision-making
  • Make sure that all decisions put the needs of the beneficiaries first
  • Ensure that there is regular and transparent two-way communication with the local community
  • Ensure that agreements with partners and collaborators are made in good faith and follow good practice
  • Ensure that AGB’s financial records are properly maintained, that regular reports are made to the steering group, and presented at an annual general meeting

Could this be you? If so, please get in touch at greterbedminster@gmail.com

2021 AGM

It’s been a year like no other, so it’s appropriate that the 2021 AGM will be similar: we’ll be having a Zoom meeting at 7pm on Wednesday 10 March. Please join us, because although we’ve had to work almost exclusively on-line for the past 12 months there’s been a lot happening in our neighbourhood – and Action Greater Bedminster has played a useful role. We’re currently very involved in the debate around the Bedminster Green and Whitehouse Street developments , and of course we’ve been supporting the BS3 COVID 19 Response Group and our member organisations, to steer a path through the pandemic. Our Chair’s report will update on all these activities. But the main focus of the AGM is to elect 4 local volunteer members to our steering group, to work alongside the Alliance of key BS3 community organisations and the 4 ward Councillors. Browse this site to update, and please submit your nomination/s: 2021/22 will be an important year for our neighbourhood….

Get in touch at greaterbedminster@gmail.com for the AGM Zoom link

February update

Funding call for small local projects 

If you’ve an idea to improve your neighbourhood now is the time to propose it to be in with a chance of getting it funded. Each year money from the ‘Community Infrastructure Levy’ is made available to improve our streets, parks, green spaces and community buildings.

Decisions are made by local councillors, working with their communities. This year Area Committee 5, the one including Bedminster and Southville, will have about £67,000 to allocate. It won’t change the world, but it could improve your neighbourhood.

Usually, there would be a public meeting coordinated by Action Greater Bedminster. With pandemic restrictions the process is going online. If you want to put an idea in contact them at greaterbedminster@gmail.com by 15 March 2021. More information, including guidance and a proposal form is at: www.bristol.gov.uk/people-communities/funding-local-projects.

Be aware that works needing the Highways Department are off the list this time as they already have too long a backlog of work to do. Low-cost projects are more likely to be successful than big ones. Projects in green spaces, trees and planting, along with steps towards a ‘Liveable Neighbourhood’ and small community building projects are all possible.

Dame Emily Park
A group of local residents want to create an accessible, sustainable and brilliant  park. If you would like to get involved, email dameemilypark@gmail.com.

Consultation affecting our area
The consultation on making changes to the River Malago and to the road layout around Windmill Hill ends on 4th March.

Reminder: AGB AGM
7pm on Wednesday 10th March.
Join us online for an update on what AGB are up to, what our plans are and how you can get involved. More information to follow. To register your interest, please email greaterbedminster@gmail.com.

Please stay at home as much as possible, and remember: hands, face, space.
Information about the current surge testing:Community surge testing: additional COVID-19 testing for specific postcodes – bristol.gov.uk
Information on the vaccination programme: COVID-19: Mass vaccination – Healthier Together (bnssghealthiertogether.org.uk)

January update

Action Greater Bedminster AGM and job role
7pm on Wednesday 10th March.
Join us online for an update on what AGB are up to, what our plans are and how you can get involved. More information to follow. To register your interest, please email greaterbedminster@gmail.com.

We are looking for an administrator/events manager/social media role. This will be a 6 month paid freelance role working closely with the chair, Ellie Freeman. Please email for more information. 

Local groups looking for help
BS3 Helping Others are looking for volunteers to phone charities and local community groups to ask them what help they might need for their charity (e.g. legal help, fundraising help, financial advice, chairs, craft materials etc). To find out more contact bs3helpingothers@gmail.com.

BS3 Planning is looking for a new chair. If you are interested please email bs3planninggroup@gmail.com.
Friends of Parson Street Railway Station are also looking for a new chair. If you are interested please email FoPSRS@mail.com.
Friends of Greville Smyth Park are looking for a new chair and secretary. Their AGM is 3rd February at 7.30pm. To find out more, email frogs.bristol@gmail.com.

Liveable Neighbourhoods
Tell us what you love about your streets
The Liveable Neighbourhoods group want to hear what you love about your street (as well as what you’re less keen on). Between Saturday 6 and Sunday 14 February people are being encouraged to make ‘love heart’ window displays and/or use chalk to write love heart messages on pavements telling everyone what you love about your street….  More information on their Facebook page or email hello@liveablebristol.org.uk.

Reminder that we are in lockdown – Stay at home, and remember hands, face, space.
Wishing you all the best
Action Greater Bedminster

Annual General Meeting

Your chance to get your voice heard on all things relating to BS3:
Action Greater Bedminster’s Annual General Meeting will be held via Zoom at 7pm on Wednesday 10 March.

AGB’s vision is for Greater Bedminster to be a diverse, thriving, accessible area with good quality services, happy and healthy residents, a wide range of well-supported businesses and facilities. We want everyone to have access to walkable streets, dependable and accessible public transport and safe cycling routes, culture, work, leisure, education, green spaces. Working with a wide membership of local organisations, external stakeholders and agencies such as Bristol City Council, we aim to make sure that all news and information important to the people that live and work in BS3 is made available via social media and regular newsletters. All four ward Councillors sit on the AGB steering group alongside elected local residents, and together we engage with the key issues affecting our neighbourhood. At present those include the developments at Bedminster Green, the East Street Vision exercise, and proposals for a Clean Air Zone for Bristol.

To take part in the AGM, please email greaterbedminster@gmail.com

November update

East Street Vision and funding
While much has been put on hold, the East Street Vision project has been progressing. 

The project is funded by multiple partners and has a multi-disciplinary team. working on it, led by the  Bedminster BID. Over the Spring of 2020, they undertook a wide-ranging research and community engagement exercise which included interviews with local community groups, an online interactive map, user surveys and also spending time in the street, observing how it’s currently used through the course of the day and evening.

The website received over 4,500 views and 600 interactions which fed into a ‘Stage 1 Report’ which sets out a framework to guide how the street should develop. The report itself is substantial, but there is a short overview in the form of a film here. There is also a live Q&A webinar event on Monday 9th November at 12.30.

The Bedminster BID has also been successful in securing funding from WECA, the West of England Combined Authority. This means new businesses or landlords of empty premises can apply for up to £10,000. You can find out more here. There are also two online webinars for those considering applying: 2pm Tuesday 10th November; Book here 2pm Tuesday 8th December; Book here We at AGB think this is a great opportunity to shape one of our key shopping streets. If you have any thoughts or ideas that you’d like to discuss with us, please do get in touch. 
 
Clean Air Zone
As  you will be aware the Clean Air Zone has been in discussion for a while. You now have the opportunity to feed into the consultation on two new Clean Air Zone options which would charge the most polluting vehicles. Find out more and have your say at https://bristol.citizenspace.com/growth…/caz2020/ until 22nd November. 

BS3 Planning
There is a lot of development happening in our neighbourhood. You may want to feed into the appeal from Firmstone re St Catherine’s Place. 

The Planning Inspectorate are holding a public inquiry to decide whether to reverse the original rejection of Firmstone’s plans for St Catherine’s Place Go to www.bristol.gov.uk/planningonline and search using the planning application number 18/05310/F, to view all the plans and documents. They are asking for local residents and anyone affected to make representations. If you commented on the BCC planning portal then your views will have been forwarded to the Inspectorate. You can write now to send in your views, or modify or elaborate on comments already made, to arrive by 9th November. You can submit views on line at https://acp.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/CaseSearch.aspx  using the last 7 characters of the appeal reference W/20/3257200

Our BS3 Planning Group has been meeting regularly and feeding into lots of planning applications over the last six months and know there is a lot more coming up. The current chair, Michelle Day, is hoping to stand down from the role as her job has got busier. If anyone is interested in the role, please do get in touch with us at AGB or with the BS3 Planning group.

Flood strategy
Our neighbourhood has areas that would be severely affected if there was flooding. You can comment on the strategy here. The consultation closed on 20th December. 


Stay safe and well. Best wishes
The Action Greater Bedminster team        

June Update

A message from BS3 Covid19 Community Response
There are lots of changes up ahead and we know this will be a worrying time for some. If you are struggling in any way please contact us. We can help with shopping, buddying up for going out, befriending, and more. Our website is a central place for shop opening times, offering and asking for help: https://www.bs3communityresponse.co.uk/, 01173812181 or bs3.covidresponse@gmail.com. OUr facebook group is a friendly place withe information on the latest guidance, tips and support: https://www.facebook.com/groups/BS3Covid19/

BigTidy is coming to Bedminster and Southville
As part of the Clean Streets campaign, they’ll be working exclusively in our neighbourhood in a few weeks’ time to tackle issues such as littering, tagging, fly-tipping, and overgrown footpaths. 

The Big Tidy is in addition to the ongoing regular street cleansing work carried out by Bristol Waste and will see a dedicated crew working in the area for a few weeks to bring the sparkle back. You can find out more about the project and how you can get involved with a Big Tidy pledge here.  Before the Big Tidy crew arrives, they want to know your thoughts on the area. If you have 5 minutes, please fill out the Street Cleanliness Perception Survey. Are there any problem areas which need some TLC? Are there any footpaths that are too overgrown for social distancing? 

Developments in our area 
At the recent consultation event re the Dandara proposal for Plot 4 (Little Paradise) held by WHaM (Windmill Hill and Malago Community Planning Group), the group felt that there were some positives to the design but these were outweighed by the height, poor quality outlook of apartments, the detrimental effect the tall building would have on the location and residents and nearby communities, and lack of amenity for future occupants. The opportunity for good residential development that supports the local economy and the local community is there, it was felt however that this scheme in its current form would not deliver that. 

BS3 Planning Group also met to discuss the latest plans and came to a similar conclusion: the current plans contravene the Bedminster Green framework in terms of heights of buildings; the cumulative affect of the building in terms of shadowing and wind movement was not being considered; the group had concerns around the lack of light and space in some of the apartments. The group also felt there was a missed opportunity to include commercial space and noted that within the plans it was considered that the presence of trees on the Green was a negative aspect.

Both groups have encouraged residents to respond to the consultation. There have been approximately 130 comments since the 27th May, mainly objections. The deadline has now passed for comments but we will endeavour to update you on the progress of the plans. 

Has Air Quality Improved in Bedminster? 
Hear how ClairCity has been disseminating findings during lockdown here. And check out Bristol’s top 5 citizen-led clean air policies:
-Ban/phase out polluting vehicles
-Make buses greener and cleaner
-Make public transport more affordable
– Creative alternatives to car use through better infrastructure for walking and cycling
– Reduce vehicle road space and increase public transport space

Bristol Clean Air Alliance has various plans to highlight the improvements seen during lockdown and encourage policy-makers to make the changes necessary to ensure this improvement long-term. See theirfacebook for more information. 

My Wild Bedminster
This project, which has been running for a couple of years, promotes and celebrates green spaces and wildlife in BS3. The team is currently preparing a ‘small space directory’, focussing on our local parks and all the smaller green spaces dotted around our neighbourhood. The aim is to publish a directory before the end of 2020.  If you would like to see the work in progress and maybe contribute, contact MyWildBedminster@virginmedia.com.

Our High Streets
The latest government advice indicates that lockdown measures may begin to be eased over the next two months. However, supporting our local shops has never been so important. The Bedminster BID has launched its first e-commerce website, offering on-line retail with a distinctly local twist. The new site www.wearebs3.co.uk features online purchase and delivery services from a host of local businesses ranging from food and drink, groceries as well as toys, crafts and art. This all new local e-commerce site is providing a vital service to the local public during lockdown and beyond with both click and collect and local delivery available.

You will also see physical changes happening to our local shopping streets, reducing the space for traffic and increasing space for pedestrians. Some of these changes are temporary in response to the need for social distancing. Other changes, particularly on East Street, are part of ongoing plans to improve the shopping experience for everyone.
 
Despite all these challenges, two new business have opened on West Street: The Fix coffee bar and Patisserie Palace. Please do support these and all the other businesses that are working so hard during this time. 

Stay safe and well.

Best wishes
The Action Greater Bedminster team

BS3 Covid response group

Summary of the BS3 Covid19 Response group

Main aim of group:

To co-ordinate a grassroots community response to the covid-19 pandemic.

Objectives:

To share relevant, trusted information relating to covid19

To provide practical support by sharing information about local services and matching up those needing help with those offering help via a helpline, email and facebook group

To support those volunteering through training, information and support from the group

To help other groups with similar aims

To work with other local organisations and services to make the most of our collective resources.

This group was created by a resident who saw the need for a local response to the Covid crisis. The group quickly developed, involving other residents and local organisations. It now has over 5,000 members, including about 1100 of whom have registered as volunteers, and quickly self-organised. It has become part of the Mutual Aid network but is not being restricted by the network’s framework.

So far, the group has

  • organised leafletting the whole BS3;established an admin group who monitor the main group and meet regularly
  • established a matching system to link volunteers up with those in need, focusing on matching people as locally as possible in order to create sustainable relationships
  • set up a phoneline. So far they have made about 200 matches.
  • created a website
  • written several supporting documents. 
  • Done training on bigger issues like safeguarding
  • Run a survey on current volunteers to see what their capacity may be beyond the current crisis

They are supporting their volunteers really well with training and woking  with other organisations. The group is one of the most developed in the network and is starting to share knowledge and experience with other groups.

They’ve also supported a new food larder based at St Paul’s Church. Having the group’s support meant they were able to set up receiving donation via BS3 Community and three members of the admin group have sorted out picking up donated food. The larder has supported 274 people in 62 packages (containing food and other household essential items and some activities for children) and has 40 volunteers on the rotas each week.

This Mum Runs has linked up with the local community pharmacy via the group and developed a system for distributing prescriptions in the area.

Snippets from the group:

BS3 Community larder: The community have been amazing in getting us equipment produce and volunteers. We are regularly putting request for food and toiletry items in addition we have been able to borrow of be gifted fridges and freezers. Local business have given produce e.g. pharmacy – sanitary items, caterers – luxury pies, Toyville – lots of puzzles and pens. We’ve had a lovely couple of messages back about the packages. One whose teens were really excited about peanut butter and jam and a school said how much it had helped a really struggling family.

BS3 Community: We had a call from a young mum (Algerian and spoke no English) – webs team worked with her via text messages and Google translate to get her some emergency funding and also larder deliveries each week. She had £7 to her name and an 11 month old son with allergies. We’ve sorted her food wise weekly and shes bought a thermometer and steam cleaner for her accommodation.

There was a gentleman living in a retirement community that has shared washing facilities. He called in to ask if someone could help him with some washing. I called round and found out that none of the local launderettes were doing service washes. I then put a shout out for someone who could help the gentleman with his washing on the Facebook group. I had a few replies from several of our volunteers. Unfortunately, none lived close to the gentleman and as we didn’t know when the washing machine would be fixed it could be a longer-term requirement. So, I called up a friend who lives across from the retirement village and offered to help the gentleman going forward. They have now formed a friendship. We are still waiting on the washing machine to be fixed!

Colin is an elderly gentleman who lives in a tower block. He deals only with cash and doesn’t have a cheque book or bank card. He first got in contact as his GP suggested we could help. Caroline in her role as an Enhanced Volunteer has become his buddy. She has worked with him to sort stopping his rent from BCC and getting his bills stopped so he can make the most of the cash he has. She has been working with him to sort out ways in which to get hold of cash for him. She has argued on his behalf at the pharmacy after they stopped his Dosset boxes and was successful. She is his equivalent of his friends and family – which he doesn’t have in the area. Caroline is according to Colin a life saver. She is helping him to help himself and live in this new era. Colin can now sleep at night!

Terrance is in his late 70’s. He called the helpline for a chat and while I was talking to him said he was really missing his books because the libraries and charity shops were closed. I put 2 posts out on Facebook and so far have had over 60 books donated. The last time I delivered some books to him, he said that they had kept him sane and was extremely grateful to everyone.

We received a help request from a man whose brother is deaf and lives in Bristol (the brother lives away and was worried). He needed help with shopping. We had issues getting hold of him so put a call out for a volunteer with BSL. He is now linked with that volunteer who is getting him regular shopping. She had to also call him an ambulance the other day!

An enhanced volunteer visited someone the council had referred to us who we had trouble getting hold of. It turns out she is not mobile and could not get to the phone. Volunteers were able to flag this, get the phone to a place she could use it, refer for social care help and sort her out with regular shopping.

March update

Although today is the first day of spring, it is also the start of a more challenging time. We urge everyone to practice social distancing, wash your hands and ensure any vulnerable household members are kept safe. We know this will be a difficult time. AGB is working with local organisations and businesses to do what we can to help. 

If you want help or can offer help, please join this Facebook group BS3 Community Covid-19 Response The main aims of the group are to:
-think of others
-connect and reach out to your neighbours
-make the most of existing local online and real life groups
-support isolated or vulnerable people
-share accurate information and advice
 
This group is trying to coordinate leafletting across our area to ensure as many people as possible have contact information for someone to help them, ideally a neighbours. There is a phoneline (0117 3812181) and an email (bs3.covidresponse@gmail.com). We will endeavour to keep you up to date on this.

Leaflets are all the local pharmacies, The Southville Centre, Lion Stores, Asda, Ashton Vale News, Spar on Bedminster Road, Ashton Electricals on Raleigh Road, Sainsburys, Windmill Hill City Farm and St Paul’s Church. More hubs will be added and we will let you know. 

There is a citywide volunteering site: https://candobristol.co.uk/ This is an active site for community groups  and individuals to ask for and offer help. 
 
GUIDANCE FOR BUSINESS AND EMPLOYEES:
For the latest government advice, please check https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
For health advice: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

COMMUNITY FACILITIES/VENUES
Libraries, leisure centres, museums, pubs and cafes are closed. The National Trust have closed all their parks and gardens but have waived the parking charges for their open spaces.
 
ONLINE RESOURCES
There are of course many online resources – too many to list here – ranging from lessons for stay at home children to fitness classes, craft sessions and virtual choirs. The Facebook group above will be trying to pull some of these together.
 
FOODBANKS 
Refresh on East Street are appealing for donations, as are the Victoria Baptist Church and St Paul’s on Coronation Road. 
 
HOME DELIVERIES
Many of our local businesses are offering to deliver, including cafes and restaurants:  you can check the latest situation on the BID website. Please support them through this difficult time!