NEWSLETTER – 38:16 1st August 2016

‘Accessible’ Play Equipment
At its meeting in September, the GBCP sub-group on Environment has been asked to look at ‘accessible’ play equipment.    The argument is that all, or at least most, of the play equipment in our parks are fine for most children, but cannot be used by children with various disabilities.     This is quite a complex issue to get your head around, let alone do anything about.   Therefore, it would be very useful if we could identify any community members with expertise and experience of this issue.    If you have ideas and knowledge to share, please contact us at gbcpnewsletter@gmail.com .
Older Heroes?
The Celebrating Age Festival is due in September.   You are invited to nominate people who are ‘exponents of what can be achieved in later life’.     See the attached nomination form.    
Neighbourhood Partnerships Together
You may already know about this electronic discussion group.   It seeks to link people from different parts of Bristol and provide them with a forum to exchange ideas and experiences related to the 14 Neighbourhood Partnerships.    Recent discussions have been about cycling, environmental improvements, socially isolated older people, young people and much more.    The only ‘rules’ are use your real name and, by all means, disagree, but do it politely and with respect.   So far, we have a 100% record on this.
Neighbourhood Partnerships Together is independent of BCC and most participants are ‘residents’, but mayors, councillors and BCC staff are very welcome to join in (and perhaps should do so more frequently) along with members of other agencies.    They are often ‘residents’ too.
All the 14 NPs are currently represented and Neighbourhood Partnerships Together is a very good way of identifying people that can collaborate together around a common interest, build cooperation between NPs and, possibly, help you find a solution to to a problem that’s been difficult for you and your NP. 
A recent success has been the establishment of the Bristol Walking Alliance which has raised ‘walkability’ as a top issue in the recent elections.    Seven NPs are currently affiliated to this new body and we expect other to join during 2016.   Neighbourhood Partnerships Together has been a very efficient and cheap way of finding out who is doing what about ‘walkability’ across the city.

Please encourage people in your area to become part of Neighbourhood Partnerships Together.    It’s free and very much ‘the more, the merrier.’    

What’s on at the Library?
The Big Friendly Read:   Summer reading challenge.    See http://summerreadingchallenge.org.uk/ .   You can sign up at your local library.
Craft Activities:    Bedminster Library.   Thursday, 11 and 25 August.    Roald Dahl themed craft activities for the Summer Reading Challenge.   Under 5s from 10.30 to 11 and 6+ from 11.30 to 12.15.
Regular Reading Groups:   Bedminster Library.   
Chatterbooks: 3rd Saturday monthly 10.30-11.30: a reading group for children.   
Creative Writing Group, Wednesdays, 2-4.   
Storytime:  Friday, 2pm.    
Baby Bounce and Rhyme, Wednesdays and Fridays 10.30.   
Please speak to the librarians for more information, either in person or on 0117 9038529.
Regular Reading Groups:   Marksbury Road Library.   
Reading Group on 3rd Thursday monthly from 2.30.   
Gardening Group:   Ask for more information.   
Storytime:   Tuesdays at 10.30.    
Baby Bounce and Rhyme:   Thursdays at 10.30.   
Please speak to the librarians for more information, either in person or on 0117 9038574.  
Good Idea or Not?
London is proposing a significant change in local government structures.   For details of this and how to comment on the proposal see the attachment: West of England Devolution. 
Make Sunday Special
Don’t forget to Make Sunday Special on August 7.   As last year, the lower end of North Street between Cannon Street and North Street Green will be closed to traffic and opened for fun and games.   See you there?
‘Street Recycling Champions’
In GBCP NEWSLETTER 38:16 we appealed for people willing to champion recycling in their street.   These would offer basic advice on what goes into what bin, perhaps arrange support for people who have difficulty storing their bins.    A useful, but not onerous set of tasks.    A brief ‘training’ session would be available to get you going along with links to advise from the professionals.    We had a few responses, but were not overwhelmed.    So, think about it.    Could YOU do this in your street?    Perhaps a couple of you would work together.    And, before you ask, no, it doesn’t come with a uniform and a gun.
Climbing the Wall
For the last few months we’ve been working on a mural to encourage motorists to travel at less than 20mph, ie within the law for most of Greater Bedminster.   The funding is from BCC Traffic Department who are looking for new ways of reaching the more recalcitrant drivers.
Several workshops have been held and lots of opinions sought.   We now have some very attractive initial designs (I think).    Sample attached.   The only fly in our ointment is that we can’t find an appropriate wall.   We’ve identified several that seem to be in the right place, ie overlooking a road with a reputation for speeding and other poor quality driving, but sometimes the surface is wrong or the wall is not accessible (we can’t afford special wall preparation or scaffolding) and at other times wall owners just say ‘no’.   Very frustrating!! 
If you know of a possible wall, please contact us at gbcpnewsletter@gmail.com .
2.5 billion coffee cups
Lots of us enjoy coffee in our local shops.   Sometimes that’s in cups made originally from trees.   Lots of trees!!    Of course, you can also see lots of these cups as litter along East, North and West Street.    Of course, some of the 2.5 billion cups used annually in the UK are recycled, but most aren’t.   Indeed, many are made so that they can’t be recycled.   Friends of the Earth are campaigning to get government to require coffee shops (often very big chains) to only use recyclable material and then to actually recycle.
When you next buy a coffee in a ‘cardboard’ cup ask if it’s recyclable and contact Friends of the Earth to sign their petition.
Next GBCP Board Meeting
This will be at the actaCentre on Gladstone Road from 7pm on Monday, 5 September.    The agenda is being prepared now, so contact gbcpnewsletter@gmail.com if you want to raise any particular issues.   Although it is a board meeting, it is open to anyone to come along and have their say.   
Money to Give Away?
GBCP administers several ‘devolved budgets’ on behalf of BCC.   Two of these arise from money paid by developers to mitigate stress on the community created by new houses and other buildings.    They are called S106 and CIL (Community Infrastructure Levy).    The rules are slightly different, but they can be used for improvements to parks, the street scene, installing zebra crossings and in other ways.   We are just starting a new round with a closing date of 28 October.   Applications will then be considered and recommendations will go to the GBCP Board meeting of January.   Information and an application form are attached.    
We’re still looking for people to join the GBCP NEWSLETTER Group.    You’d probably do about one NEWSLETTER a month: 2 hours, but not necessarily all at once.    It’s volunteering, but never in the rain.
Please pass this NEWSLETTER on to others and invite them to join the circulation list.   Let us know on gbcpnewsletter@gmail.com if you want to drop out.

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