NEWSLETTER (36:17) – Parks, older people’s forum, tree forum, talk to Marvin

Friends of the Avon New Cut

Attached is a copy of the latest FrANC Newsletter (No. 28), in which you will find news about forthcoming FrANC events and various reports on what FrANC has done so far this year FrANC Newsletter 28 Summer 2017.    Also, please note the following reminders about two FrANC event:

(1) Botanical Walk around the New Cut – to be held this coming Sunday (25th June).  Meet at Gaol Ferry Bridge(Coronation Road side) in time for a  10:00am start.

(2) Tour of Thomas Ware & Sons Tannery on Coronation Road on Tuesday 4th July, starting at 6:00pm.

Further details on both of the above events can be found in the attached Newsletter and in the News & Events/Latest News section of the FrANC Website (

Please note in particular that the number of places available on the Tannery Tour on 4th July will be limited.  You can book your place by replying to or by telephoning on 01179 544 888, stating the number of people and the names of those who want to take part.   The closing date for bookings is Saturday 1st July.  After that date, should the tour is oversubscribed then you will be notified by email whether or not you have a place.

Petitions and Films

Bristol Parks Forum have a petition urging BCC to rethink its proposals re parks.    Whilst accepting that BCC is in a dire financial situation which is not of its making, BPF regards the proposed cuts as unworkable.   See the petition and sign, if you wish at the Forums website:

Bristol Walking Alliance also has a BCC petition calling for Bristol to come into line with London and ban pavement parking except with permission from the council.   Pavement parking (and other obstructons) are especially unhelpful for people pushing buggies or with mobility and sight issues.   See and sign at

Please pass on the information about these petitions.   If well supported, they are likely to be helpful to BCC in making its case for a more modern way of funding local government expenditure.

Children in Victoria Park Primary School has produced an animated film called Protect the Eels.  This was made in conjunction with the Water City Project (

The Malago Greenway project also have a film about what they are doing.   See it at Continue reading “NEWSLETTER (36:17) – Parks, older people’s forum, tree forum, talk to Marvin”

NEWSLETTER 35:17 on Relations with Bristol City Council

GBCP and BCC are undergoing significant changes at the moment.    Many of these are forced upon us by national policy rather than free choice, but both organisations are trying to do the best that they can.    GBCP, and other partnerships across the city, will be trying to reduce the adverse impacts of these changes and, if possible, turn them to the advantage of local communities.    This Special NEWSLETTER picks up some of the current issues.   One thing remains certain.    GBCP, individual partners and BCC have always worked closely and cooperatively together.   Of course, agreement has not been 100%, but we have always been supportive of each other, looking for shared agendas in a spirit of ‘critical friends’.   As we enter a difficult period, this culture of respect will continue and BCC and its various departments will remain one of GBCP’s key partners.

Let’s Talk About GBCP
GBCP is planning for its future now that Bristol City Council will no longer be directing its activities: we see this as an opportunity to review our work to date and our priorities going forward.

With useful council administrative support and funding came bureaucracy and some restrictions that we will be happy to live without – as we did before Neighbourhood Partnerships were invented.    We’ll definitely miss the devolved budgets that allowed us to invest in local projects and infrastructure.   Future fundraising will be just one of the challenges Greater Bedminster/BS3 will need to face in these difficult times, but, not every action we can take on behalf of the community needs money.   Come along to hear and discuss all this at our next Board meeting on 3 July at the Southville Centre, Beauley Road from 7pm.   The agenda is here GBCP Agenda 3 July 2017.

A message from Stef Brammar, Chair of GBCP. Continue reading “NEWSLETTER 35:17 on Relations with Bristol City Council”

NEWSLETTER 34:17 on the West Street Area

The GBCP NEWSLETTER Team is very pleased to forward the recent newsletter published by the West Street Neighbourhood Group and circulated to people in that locality.    We are doing this mainly because it contains some interesting stuff, but also as an example of the good work being done at levels ‘below’ the wider neighbourhood of BS3.

As GBCP emerges as a strong (‘strong and stable’?) partnership we are very aware that although some things can be looked at over a fairly wide area, others need to be considered at a much smaller, even street by street, scale.   The precise needs of Central Bedminster, Ashton Vale, East Street and Southville can be significantly different and, as public finances dry up, progress is going to depend increasingly on actions taken by people at a very local level.

The West Street Area is already one of the most active areas within BS3.    Organisations based there work closely together.    They have a plan (or at least a list) of improvements that they want to make.    The newsletter below is a snap shot of their activities both as a celebration of their good work and as an invitation for other ‘real’ neighbourhoods to strut their stuff and suggest future GBCP Specials.

Please tell us about your aspirations for your bit of BS3.

BIG PICNIC IN THE PARK: Sunday 9 July 11am to 2 pm (or later..)
Friends of South St Park are inviting you to come along with food, blankets, chairs, children, grandparents, games, to a community picnic.  Continue reading “NEWSLETTER 34:17 on the West Street Area”

NEWSLETTER 33:17 on Transport & Traffic

Walkable Bristol
The Let’s Walk Bedminster project continues with groups and individuals across BS3 doing their best to combat the more hostile features of the walking environment, (eg overhanging bushes, dogs’ poo, pavement parking and obstructed pavements) and promoting the welcoming features (eg, great domestic and community gardens, interesting street art, people to chat to, clean toilets and somewhere to sit down etc).

As well as working locally through the Bristol Walking Alliance, we have been collaborating with local MPs.    A government response to our own Karin Smyth in April is attached (Karen Smith pavement parking).    BWA is following up to find out what’s meant by the ‘survey’ promised for this summer.    Other Bristol MPS – Thangham Debbonaire and Kerry MCCarthy – are also on the case and BWA will be approaching Darren Jones once he’s had a chance to settle in.

You will see from the letter that part of the issue is over jurisdiction.    Should a ban come in nationally or should it be up to each local authority?   At one level it’s an interesting constitutional debate about proper democratic processes.    At another level, it’s a dispute about who should pay the initial costs.   At the moment, of course, the people who are paying are the ones, often with parental responsibilities or physical disabilities, that find our pavements difficult to navigate.

Bristol Wide Petition
A petition calling upon Bristol to come into line with London and ban pavement parking except in very exceptional circumstances has been lodged with BCC.  We need lots of public support to demonstrate that people want action on this issue.   If 3500 signatures are secured, there will be a debate on the issue amongst city councillors.

Friends of Suburban Bristol Railways
FOSBR is holding a Rally for Rail on Friday, 23 June at 10am near Temple Meads station.   They are seeking to demonstrate public support for investment in the local rail network Continue reading “NEWSLETTER 33:17 on Transport & Traffic”

NEWSLETTER (32:17) Special Edition on the Age Friendly City

Age Friendly Community Chest
Readers will know that GBCP is part of the Bristol Ageing Better partnership and aspires to be an age-friendly neighbourhood within an age-friendly city.   This is an intention that extends to both older and younger people and thus also benefits the people in between.    We have pursued this project in various ways including our on-going Let’s Walk Bedminster project, the work of the BS3 Older People’s Network and the very many interventions made by individual partner organisations.    Playing Out, Ashton Vale Youth Club, schools and many others are working at the ‘young end’.    Together, all this represents a magnificent effort, but we are not there yet.

Below is information about a small funding pot offered by Bristol Ageing Better.    We’ve attached the application form.   You will note the restrictions at the end of the information.   Do not be dismayed if your organisation does not tick these boxes.    There are lots of GBCP partners that do and we are sure that, if you have a good idea, you can team up with another organisation that will hold the money.   You may be able to arrange this yourself, but, if not, get in touch with and we’ll try to help.

Charter for an Age Friendly Bristol
Bristol Ageing Better has been researching this charter for some time and some of you may have contributed evidence and ideas to it.    The Charter will be officially launched in Wednesday, 21 June.    Continue reading “NEWSLETTER (32:17) Special Edition on the Age Friendly City”

NEWSLETTER (31:17) – Air quality, Filwood Quietway, DEPP, FrANC

Workshop Space Available in Bedminster BS3
1,000 sq ft of fairly basic ex-retail space in Bedminster.
Would suit artists, crafts-people etc and would be a temporary rolling six month  ‘meanwhile lease’ arrangement and would suit a maximum 6/8 people.

Job vacancy
There is a vacancy for a 2 year fixed term, part time ( 0.4) post as an Engagement Officer – Older People. This post will develop new art gallery tours aimed at people with dementia and their families:
Applicants need to apply via BCC website. Closing date 20 June.

Introduction to Indoor Bowls
There is a New Summer Group (limited spaces) starting: 22nd June 2017 – Thursday – Fortnightly from 2.00pm to 4.30pm for £3.50 / 2hours.
Free Coaching and Bowls are available but Flat smooth bottomed shoes are required.
Disabled access and toilets is provided.
Venue: Bristol Indoor Bowls Club, South Liberty Lane
Ashton BS3 2TY
(Food and Drink can be purchased Lunch time)
There is plenty of parking or Bus 24 (at end of journey)
For any questions and information please contact Convenor: Brian Blight via tel: 07792126344 or Club: 01179633460 Email:

Air Pollution
GBCP has had a basic ‘something should be done’ policy on air pollution which is especially strong in BS3 areas such as Bedminster Parade (BCC Planning Department has ruled that new buildings on the parade must have windows that cannot be opened!) and Parson Street (where children in the school are especially at risk!).
We know that legal levels, themselves arguably too lax, are regularly exceeded across Bristol, but nobody seems sure what to do. Continue reading “NEWSLETTER (31:17) – Air quality, Filwood Quietway, DEPP, FrANC”

NEWSLETTER 30:17 on Victoria Park

GBCP NEWSLETTER is pleased to publish another special edition taken from notes distributed to the Victoria Park Action Group (VPAG) by local ecologist Alex Morss.     VPAG is one of several support groups for the green spaces in BS3.    

Wildflower Areas

VPAG volunteers have been working with Victoria Park and St Mary Redcliffe Primary Schools, along with community groups over the past 2 years to establish the park’s wildflower areas.  These ‘mini meadows’ have been created in designated wildlife areas, to support the Get Bristol Buzzing campaign that helps urban pollinators, and to increase the biodiversity of the park. It is beginning to reap rewards – this week locals found at least 4 species of bee and we had the first ever public record of the Small Blue butterfly.  This is a rather rare, priority species that has declined considerably in recent decades: .    (editor’s note: this is a very much more reliable and plausible identification than the Wood White reported at Windmill Hill City Farm a couple of weeks ago.   If you photograph an unknown creature, please send your picture to for an expert opinion.)

Victoria Park also has several species of bat along with tawny owls, regularly foraging over the adjoining long grass meadow areas – including the rare Lesser Horseshoe bat, recorded for the first time ever, last week.

Collaborating with Schools

VPAG have had hundreds of children from both local primary schools involved with digging, sowing, growing, planting and learning about native flower species and what pollinators they support.   The project has been supported by Avon Wildlife Trust, GoodGym, Butterfly Conservation and lots of local people who have helped in some way.   With all this help VPAG has managed to keep going despite suffering accidental mowing, sabotage by squirrels, dogs and drought.   This project is making an important contribution to My Wild Bedminster by both raising public awareness and improving habitats for wildlife.

Continue reading “NEWSLETTER 30:17 on Victoria Park”

NEWSLETTER (29:17) – River visions, wild Bedminster, Quality of Life survey, BS3 Planning, funding

River Visions

This is the name of a project at St Mary Redcliffe Primary School undertaken jointly with Water City Bristol, a UWE led research project.   The children looked at how the Malago river and its environs could be transformed as part of the proposed redevelopment of ‘Bedminster Green*.’   They presented their findings to an audience of parents and others, including a representative of the lead developer for Bedminster Green, on May 25.    The written report is too large for circulation with this NEWSLETTER, but can be obtained upon request    It will also be on display at Windmill Hill City Farm from July 4 to September 12.

*Bedminster Green is roughly the space between East Street and the railway line.    It contains important sites such as Windmill Hill City Farm, but is mainly light industry or abandoned land.

My Wild Bedminster Pictures

Avid readers of the South Bristol Voice will have seen their announcement (June edition, page 28) of photography contests as part of My Wild Bedminster.   There are two competitions, one for young people under 16 and one for all ages.

This month’s winners show a fox in Windmill Hill, a toad from Stackpool Road and first prize went to a close up of a nest of Lackey Moth caterpillars.   What will we see in July?   If you have pictures, please send them to .    GBCP, the Voice and other partners are hoping to mount an exhibition of photography, film and drawings of Wildlife in BS3 sometime towards the end of 2017.   More news later.

Quality of Life Survey

Each year, BCC publishes quality of life statistics about lots of things: crime, sport, general satisfaction, whatever.    These are based upon responses from Bristolians across the city.   Amongst other things they show differences from one part of Bristol to another.   If you would like to contribute your views to this exercise, please go to

The BS3 Planning Group Values and Needs Your Opinions

Message from the Neil Sellers, Chair of BS3 Planning Group: Continue reading “NEWSLETTER (29:17) – River visions, wild Bedminster, Quality of Life survey, BS3 Planning, funding”