GBCP NEWSLETTER (04:17) – 23rd January 2017

S106 and Community Infrastructure Awards
There will be a joint meeting of the GBCP Board, sub group members and others to assess the 11 expressions of interest in the use of our current Section 106 & Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) funds.

The meeting will start at 7pm on Monday 6 February 2017 at the Amerind Grove Care Home, 124-132 Raleigh Road, Ashton, BS3 1QN

The meeting and process will be similar to our previous approach to Community Chest recommendations:

  • Open to Board, sub group members and residents living in Southville and Bedminster… (those present will be asked to declare any interests)
  • Applicants are welcome to attend to provide any additional info/context, but attendance is not mandatory.   Applicants may not vote on their application.
  • Those present will score the applications against the Partnership’s overarching priorities (as reflected in the application forms)
  • The outcome/recommendations will be taken to a Neighbourhood Committee meeting (ie the four elected councillors) scheduled for 7pm 15 Feb (at the same venue)

If you want to see a summary of the applications contact Andrew.mclean@bristol.gov.uk .   Please note that summaries are no substitute for looking through the full application as they inevitable leave out important factors.    Full copies of all the applications will be available on the night of the meeting.

What Happens Next?

Most people will be aware that BCC is in serious financial difficulties as central government support is being withdrawn, even though the cost of local services is going up, especially, but not only, those to support older people.   One of the casualties in this process will be the 14 Neighbourhood Partnerships.   It is expected that financial support, eg for officer time, hire of rooms and other things will be withdrawn over the next two years.

Two of GBCP’s functions will continue unchanged.   They are, firstly, the process of networking, encouraging cooperation between groups and shifting information around.   We believe that this is an important ‘added value’ to the strong and vigorous statutory, business, voluntary and community organisations within Greater Bedminster.   The second function is our capacity to secure external funding and other support for projects, in addition to funds secured by individual partners.   Financial examples secured by GBCP, so far, include the Mary Portas fund and Let’s Walk Bedminster and amount to over £170,000.   This function will continue and perhaps become more important.

Our third function relates to BCC and other statutory agencies.    The situation here is still unclear, but a pattern is emerging.   It seems possible that we may still have involvements in some council devolved budgets, but that is still not certain.     We are told that the final position will be settled at the June council meeting.

Meanwhile, the GBCP Board is developing its own ideas about how the new Greater Bedminster Community Partnership will continue to work.   We will keep partners informed via this NEWSLETTER and in other ways.

But, what about the Community Chest/Wellbeing Fund?

This devolved budget contained £20,000 for 2016-17.     Fortunately, we had already allocated around £14,500 by the time BCC froze it as part of their general response to their financial difficulties.    It may be unfrozen in June and there may be a further Community Chest, but don’t bet on it.

Let’s Walk Bedminster

Various groups across our area are still working on this project, both in Bedminster itself and with others through the Bristol Walking Alliance, as part of our aim to be Bristol’s first age-friendly neighbourhood.    Lots of the work is just about clearing clutter off the streets and changing some poor parking behaviour.   The attached report for Bristol Ageing Better sums up some of the issues very clearly.   How can you help? 161212_older adults walking manifesto development

BCC’s Neighbourhood Enforcement Team is important in dealing with the less helpful members of the community.   They have a new facebook page for reporting obstructions such as cars and bins on the pavement.   Go to http://www.facebook.com/ NETBristol/ .

Playing Out

This is one of the most active and innovative of our partners in Greater Bedminster, Bristol as a whole and, increasingly, in other towns and cities.    A recent survey of involving 185 people reported that

60% say that Playing Out in their street has led neighbours to join together in other social activities;
81% say that children have learned to interact well with other children of different ages during play sessions;
84% know more people in their street because of Playing Out;
76% say their street seems friendlier and safer.

GBCP Environment Group
This sub-group looks at issues related to our green spaces and streets.   The agenda for their next meeting (26 January) is attached.    The main item is air quality.   Spoiler alert: it ain’t very good in Bemmy.    Members of the group will already have had this information, but if anyone else wants to join the group, contact lorena.alvarez@bristol.gov.uk for the full set of papers. GBCP Environment Group Agenda 26.1.17

How to Manage Loneliness and Isolation
Information about tasters for a course around this can be found on the attached press release.   Please pass this information on as best you can.

Bedminster Social Club
This group of young people over 55 get together regularly for chats.   Our next meeting is for lunch at The Mediterranean on North Street.   I’m sure we can squeeze another couple of people in, so pop along on Tuesday, January 24 at 12 for 12.15.   For more information about the group contact young benbarker@blueyonder.co.uk .

Not just Rats and Pigeons
We are all used to the idea of different habitats – deserts, coral reefs, artic sea ice , tropical rain forests etc – each with its distinctive list of animals and plants .   People are talking about a new one – the big city.   In London there’s a proposal to declare it as a new type of National Park, the London City-Park.    Public and domestic green spaces, high buildings and dropped curries offer food and nesting sites to many creatures and not just rats and pigeons, though they have a part to play, not least, as links in the food chain.

Bristol too.  In 2016 several organisations in BS3 collaborated with Avon Wildlife Trust on their My Wild City project.    We are hoping to build on the work of last year to make ‘My Wild Bedminster’ a reality.     So, get back to gbcpnewsletter@gmail.com if you and/or your organisation wants to be involved during 2017.

Little Libraries
We are getting reports that our Little Libraries are being used by both adults and children.     See the picture of Elsie which is attached.   There’s talk of putting in some more libraries during 2017.   If you know of a possible site, please contact us at gbcpnewsletter@gmail.com  .   We may need to do some fund raising too.

 

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