Bedminster Project: Let’s Walk Bedminster 2017.
Attached is some information about a community led project that GBCP intends to run in central Bedminster ward. Some of you will have seen an earlier draft. The project builds on activities and ideas that have been developed over the last few years.
Please pass this information on to others, especially if they live or work in or near the initial target area.
Story So Far
Over the last few years local residents have formed community organisations to improve the locality either by directly doing things themselves, (litter picks, establishing community gardens, holding street parties etc) or by pressing other agencies (BCC, police etc) to intervene in some way. Good stuff, but more to do!!
An international team of students from UWE are surveying the central Bedminster area, talking to local people and recording their concerns and ideas. Hopefully, their report will bring all these thoughts together in one place, add new ideas and give a good basis for future improvements. It’s important that the students capture as much about local ideas as possible. Groups like West Street Neighbours, Jewels and LImP already have lists of things that they think need doing and ideas about who might do them. Others may have too. Please pass these to me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Ernani Barea (email@example.com) from the student team asap, if you have not done so already. Mark your message ‘Bedminster Project’. If you do not tell them, they will not know.
It would also be useful for the report – which will give us a baseline for future years – if you are able to give a brief account of what your group has done in the last few years. This could record both successes and failures.
The report itself will be presented for discussion at a public meeting on Tuesday, May 23 from 7pm at the United Reformed Church on West Street. Please spread the word. There will also be hard and electronic versions.
The Project Itself
This will start in mid-June, once the General Election is out of the way. It’s set out in more detail in the attached document Let’s Walk Bedminster 2017 Project overview. You will see that as well as community action we will be drawing in the police and Bristol Waste Company and possibly others. It would be very useful if, between now and mid-June, you could talk to your neighbours about not only what you think ought to be done to improve the area, but also what you and your neighbours are prepared to do, especially, over the period mid-June to mid-September. If you have an action plan, however vague at this point, or questions related to it, or ideas and resources to offer, please let me know. Also, send it to Ernani so that he and his colleagues can include it in their report and get great marks from the university, too.
A map is also attached. This gives a general view of our target area for this phase of the project, but we are not constrained by it. If you don’t live in or near the target area, it’s still important that you tell us about your ideas and, if possible, actually do something. I’m sure that some of you are planning to do that anyway.
I’ve also attached the street questionnaire that we developed a couple of years ago (GBCP Street Check List). It’s still a good guide to what’s working or not in different places.
So, What Happens Next?
I doubt that we will have turned central Bedminster into a utopian paradise by mid-September, so that work will continue. We will also be turning our attention, and that of our allies in the police, Bristol Waste, BCC etc, to a second area in BS3. Which that area will be depends upon the responses we get. We are conducting Asset Based Community Development (ABCD). The key assets in this case are local people and their community organisations. We’ll go where we think we will get a positive response and can therefore make the most difference.
History is made by the people who turn up as was shown in the recent election where the turnout was a miserable 29.3%.
I hope that you will have noticed that despite the so-called death of Neighbourhood Partnerships, Greater Bedminster Community Partnership is still very much alive. We intend to stay that way and look forward to many years of working together to improve the area for its many residents and visitors.
With the almost (or possibly total) loss of devolved budgets the original rationale for basing Neighbourhood Partnerships on ward boundaries is very much weakened. One of the issues that we need to resolve as we move to new methods of working is whether or not our boundaries should be Southville/Bedminster wards, as now, wider to include all of BS3 or something else. Perhaps there won’t be any formal boundaries at all. We don’t need to decide this for a few months, but it would be useful if people gave it a thought or two. Great for insomniacs!!!