NEWSLETTER (46:17) – Special on The Future

WHAT SORT OF NEIGHBOURHOOD DO WE WANT TO LIVE OR WORK IN?

WHO CARES ENOUGH TO MAKE THAT HAPPEN?

  • Do you know what’s planned for our Parks and Libraries?
  • Are you happy to lose school crossing patrols?
  • Will our street trees survive if the Council stops caring for them?
  • Do you know that over 19% of Bedminster children and over 13% of Southville children live below the poverty line?
  • How do you engage with productive debates on Residents’ Parking Schemes, rubbish and litter on our streets, or the issue of pavement parking and its effect on people with reduced mobility?
  • Do you enjoy Bedminster Winter Lantern Parade and other community events?
  • Do you care about air quality issues? Traffic? Public transport? Bio-diversity?

For 10 years, the Greater Bedminster Community Partnership, a voluntary body of many (and open to all) local groups, has worked with Bristol City Council, community police teams, businesses, schools and churches, on issues and opportunities affecting the quality of life and work in Bedminster, Ashton, Southville and Ashton Vale.  It’s the only public forum which actively involves all 4 local ward Councillors, and which represents the local community on the board of the Bedminster Business Improvement District.

Major improvements to parks, streets and highways, the establishment of the Business Improvement District, the Green Capital project ‘Let’s Walk Bedminster’, the more recent and ongoing ‘Let’s Clean Bedminster’, many community events – such as the Winter Lantern Parade and Window Wanderland – and many other activities have been the result.    But now, due to reductions in central government funding to local authorities and the subsequent cuts to neighbourhood funding across the city, less financial support will come into the neighbourhoods, which means we have to ask:

“How can we continue to maintain and develop the sort of neighbourhood we all want to live or work in?”

People in other neighbourhoods across the city are asking the same question.

In August the GBCP Board agreed outline plans to re-structure and strengthen the organisation.    An autumn AGM will appoint an Executive Committee drawn from a neighbourhood wide membership of local community organisations.  Building on 10 years and more of community development experience in Greater Bedminster, a series of public forums and the setting up of working parties will play a major part in the establishment of a Plan for Greater Bedminster.   The plan will progress our ambition to be an All-Age Friendly Community, ie one in which it is great to be a child and also to be an older person.    Good for those in between, too.   Anyone living or working within the area will be actively encouraged to participate, because that’s the best way to make good things happen.   Initially these ideas will focus on:

  • Parks/Leisure/Libraries and other public services that are under threat;
  • Environment (to   include street scene, getting around, waste management, traffic and air   quality issues)   And hedgehogs!!;
  • Membership/inclusivity/participation;
  • Communication and information-sharing;
  • Planning (most decisions that impact on our future are taken by developers of one sort or another.    Many have no interest in the area other than to extract profits.    How do we encourage ‘good’ developments and resist ‘bad’ ones at a time when the planning authority is enfeebled?);

We’ll be publishing details of the AGM, Public Forums and Working Party dates in ‘The Pigeon’ and ‘South Bristol Voice’, as well as via our own news channels.   But, in the meantime, give us your suggestions and priorities at greaterbedminster@gmail.com, or on Facebook at ‘Greater Bedminster Community Partnership’: we really do want to hear from you!!

Or, you could leave it to someone else!!

Please note that the Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, has called for a public protest against central government cuts on Saturday, September 9.    Assemble by 12 noon on College Green outside City Hall.     We hope to see lots of people from Greater Bedminster as well as other parts of the city.   Bring banners if you can.

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