Community conversations

Bristol City Council is conducting consultations in two areas of local life that affect us all:  High Streets, and Air Quality. Come and find out what’s being done – and what can be done – in our own neighbourhood.

Bedminster’s shops in 2030: will they still be here?
22nd November 2018 6.30pm (for 7pm sharp) until 9pm
Hen & Chicken, North Street
Action Greater Bedminster in partnership with Bedminster Business Improvement District (BBID)

Will our shops survive? Or will it just be Amazon and  faceless corporations?

We need you! Bedminster’s residents are invited to help us shape the next five years for supporting Bedminster’s businesses. What do you want from your high streets? Does it matter? Do you care? Do you know what the BBID does and can do?

We do. If you do too, join us for a couple of hours to hear and offer opinions about how businesses, residents, community groups and public authorities can work together to ensure the future of Bedminster’s retail and leisure streets at the heart of this great community.

Every breath we take: The shocking facts
29th November 2018 7pm until 9pm
Bedminster Library
Action Greater Bedminster in partnership with Way Out West, the West Street Neighbourhood Group (WOW)

Research findings presented at our recent workshop on Air Quality were so shocking that we agreed we have to learn more for the sake of our own health – and that of our children. For this follow-up event, we’ve invited Mark Leach, who’s leading the Council’s Clean Air for Bristol engagement programme which aims to inform people about pollution, its causes and health impacts; and to give factual advice on what can be done by individuals, families, communities, businesses, local and national government. Mark and his team are working with www.claircity.eu, Public Health and Transport colleagues.

We’ll hear what other UK cities have done, what options are realistic – i.e. will be paid for within the Government’s framework – and the Council’s concerns for the impacts of a Clean Air Zone re social justice and how this could be resolved. We hope to also cover the proposed engagement plan including how the Council plan to reach out beyond the “usual suspects” and talk to people who often don’t engage on issues like transport, health or environmental issues, along with the nature of the process and timescales.

There will be plenty of time for Q&A and discussion.

Why is this important?

In Bristol air quality is currently breaching long term standards and regularly breaks legal standards for Nitrogen Dioxide. More than five deaths a week in the city are linked to air pollution. We can see from the Clair city map that Bedminster has many red – and dark red – dots. These dots mean that pollution at that site is breaking national and EU limits – specifically, for the average measurement of Nitrogen Dioxide.

Evidence shows that spending time in areas with high levels of air pollution can worsen asthma symptoms, damage lung function and harm cardio–vascular health. Other known health effects from before birth to old age include:

  • low birth weight of babies
  • impaired lung development in small children, smaller lungs
  • a contributing factor in the onset of heart disease
  • premature death
  • cognitive function in children
  • the latest research on potential links to dementia and Alzheimer’s

Join us to learn more, and to help us decide what can be done locally. Space is limited so please book here.

Open Meeting about St Paul’s Churchyard
St Paul’s Church on 17 November at 10am
Organised by South Bristol Deanery, the meeting will attempt to address the following issues:

  • rough sleeping in the graveyard
  • the amount of needles in the graveyard
  • human excrement in the graveyard
  • people being scared to walk through the graveyard, particularly following a recent sexual assault
  • removal of rubbish (the church is not allowed to take it to the tip)
  • lack of maintance of the graveyard by the City Council

The local councillors and police have been invited. We hope that many local residents and those who walk through the graveyard regularly will come along.

Be a BS3 Street Warden
Our pavements are often cluttered with recycling bins, discarded mattresses, overhanging hedges and cars parked on the footway. Annoying enough if you are young and able, a real problem for those with sight-loss, mobility issues and pushing a buggy.

The Let’s Walk Bedminster project aims to make walking safe, easy and pleasant and is trying to persuade people to keep footways clear. We already have over 20 BS3 Street Wardens who do two main things:

  • talk to their neighbours and friends about the importance of keeping pavements friendly rather than hostile;
  • report obstructions to the council, so that the obstruction can be removed.

Some BS3 Streeet Wardens just do their road or, perhaps, a regular route from home to the shops. For more information contact Ben on benbarker@blueyonder.co.uk

Please get in touch with any ideas, thoughts, feedback – we’d love to hear from you!

email greaterbedminster@gmail.com

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OCTOBER UPDATE

Community toilets

We have been helping the council with the Community Toilet scheme. 70 venues have signed up across the city, including a handful in BS3. If you know anyone who has a business and who would like to join the scheme please send them this link. The team is working on a printed map but in the meantime, the full list of signed up venues and digital map can be found here

Alongside the Bristol scheme, there is a national campaign called Use Our Loos campaign created by British Toilet Association, working in partnership with Domestos who are offering to provide free Domestos products to businesses who sign up to the Great British Toilet Map. Businesses who have already signed up to the Bristol Community Toilet scheme are automatically added to the map.

The public can use the map to discover loos near them and help improve the service by adding new locations or flagging loos that have closed. Business owners can sign up for the scheme by adding themselves to the Great British Public Toilet Map and then following the registration link.

Libraries
There is a lot going on in our libraries – as well as hosting regular events, they are celebrating the centenary of the end of World War One.  Bedminster is hosting a puppet show about the resistance on 25th October at 7.30pm. Book tickets here  You can find information about events here, on our facebook page and on the BS3 Library Community Facebook page

Although the threat of closures has been temporarily lifted, there is a further consultation out on the future of our libraries, being launched through meetings in early November. We will keep you updated.

Bins, waste and litter
We know this is a continuing problem for several areas in the neighbourhood. We have been working with the four councillors and Bristol Waste to get your messages across and try to resolve particular problems. We will also be talking to Bristol Waste about how to improve things more generally – what residents can do, what plans Bristol Waste have in place and what practical solutions are out there.

You can report an incident using the Council’s reporting site.

We are organising more events ; see our Meetings and Events for more information. 

COMMUNITY CONVERSATIONS

During October and November we’re inviting local people of all ages to come and make their voices heard: on Air Quality, Transport and Mobility, and Shopping Locally. We’re hoping to arm ourselves with some facts, find out what decisions are being taken on our behalf, and get ready to make informed input into those decisions. All events are free, friendly and informal.

EVERY BREATH YOU TAKE

In partnership with the City Farm, UWE and the claircity project

Thursday 18 October, 7.30-9pm, Windmill City Farm Cafe. Free Admission.

We’ll be getting the info and busting the myths on Air Quality in our neighbourhood. ​Areas within BS3, along with others in Bristol, are currently breaching long term standards and regularly break legal standards for Nitrogen Dioxide. Bad air quality affects the most vulnerable – children, older people and people with heart and lung conditions. You can see the spread of air pollution on this map.

Free admission, but limited numbers. Pay bar. Book here

BREATHE IN, BREATHE OUT

Children’s workshop In partnership with the City Farm, UWE and claircity.eu

Friday 2 November, 10am-12noon, Windmill Hill City Farm Cafe. Free Admission.

Using learning materials provided by the claircity project, we’ll​ c​onduct simple practical experiments using pipettes which will demonstrate how air quality from a local road or park can be tested. The children will then brainstorm some ideas about how air quality can be improved, and following a snack break will be given paper and pens to produce posters to get the messages across.

Admission free, soft drinks and biscuits provided (up to 25 children). Best suited to 4-11 yr olds. Children must be accompanied by a parent or carer. Book here

GETTING FROM A TO B

In partnership with BS3 Community

Wednesday 24 October, 7.30-9pm, Chessel Centre, Chessel Street BS3 3DN, Admission free

The City Council Transport Strategy consultation is running until 2 November. It addresses the challenges that Bristol faces as a city and uses the hashtag #2036 as a target year. How can we influence the decision-makers to take our local needs into account? We’ll look at getting around – and in/out of – Greater Bedminster, now and in the future: whether it be on foot, bike, mobility scooter, car, bus or train – and who knows, even underground….

BEDMINSTER’S SHOPS IN 2030 – WILL THEY STILL BE HERE?

In partnership with Bedminster Business Improvement District

Thursday 22nd November, 6.30pm (for 7pm sharp start) until 9pm, Hen & Chicken, 210 North Street

Do you know what the Bedminster Business Improvement team does? Does it matter? Do you care? We do. If you do too, join us for a couple of hours to hear and offer opinions about how businesses, residents, community groups and public authorities can work together to ensure the future of Bedminster’s retail and leisure streets at the heart of this great community.

Find us on facebook  and Twitter

September update

Community plan consultation update

Work has continued over the summer on getting our survey out to the local community: 222 online responses are already helping us to understand what we need to focus on, with maintaining public facilities and improving parks and green spaces emerging as top priorities so far. But are these YOUR priorities?  Make sure you have a saythere are print surveys at various locations across the patch, and our on-line survey is here. Please encourage neighbours, family and friends of all ages to take part – we want a good cross-section of local views!

Now we’re going on the road to speak to people face to face, and we’re hoping you’ll join us, and encourage others to do so.

AGB Community Conversations
Come tell us

Saturday 6 October 10 am – 5pm

North Street Gallery, 135 North Street BS3

What do you love about our neighbourhood, what do you hate, and what do you think could be better if we give it some attention? Pop in and add your thoughts and wishes to our survey, which will feed into the Community Plan for Greater Bedminster.

We want to hear about your moans and groans, your ideas and your wishes!

Lost for words? Say it with a mini print! From 2pm to 5 pm, Bristol Print Collective will be on hand to help 2-99 yr old residents create mini prints of our likes and dislikes, all to be added to a huge wall map.

How clean is the air in Greater Bedminster?

In partnership with Windmill Hill City Farm and the University of the West of England’s www.claircity.eu project we aim to get the facts and find out what we can all do to improve things. (This event for adults will be followed by a children’s workshop during autumn half-term: details soon).

Air quality in Bristol is currently breaching long term standards and regularly breaks legal standards for NO2. Bad air quality affects the most vulnerable: children, older people and people with heart and lung conditions. Around 300 deaths a year in the city are linked to air pollution. This map shows that parts of East and West Streets in Bedminster are breaking the national and EU limits for air pollution. The city is currently developing a plan in line with government guidance (the Treasury “green book”) : this will most likely mean charges for vehicles entering a designated Clean Air Zone and the requirement for owners of vehicles which exceed the legal standards to exchange those vehicles. More info from Clean Air for Bristol and Bristol City Council
 
Every breath you take…

Thursday 18 October W7.30 pm 
Windmill Hill City Farm Cafe/bar

Corra Boushel of the University of the West of England and claircity.eu will lead us through some interactive group chats with surprising information and statistics about the effects of bad air quality.

With Greater Bedminster as the focus, we’ll look at national and local policies, and hopefully come away with a clearer idea of what can be done here and now to both protect us and to encourage change. These agreed actions will feed into the Action Greater Bedminster Community Plan due to be published in early 2019. We’ll also learn about what the City Council is doing, and the activities of other groups in Bristol such as St George Breathing Better and Clean Air Bishopston. Admission free, pay bar: book your place here

How secure is the future of our retail streets?

Are the closure of major shop units on East Street a sign of the times? We hope not and so does the Bedminster Business Improvement District team (members of AGB), who have been canvassing votes from local traders over the summer for the BBID to continue for the next five years.

With a levy on business rates, the BBID has been able to make significant improvements to North, East and West Streets: planters, hanging baskets, street art, seating and pocket parks are some of the visible ones. They also work with the local police team to control anti-social behaviour and crime, and make major contributions to events such as Upfest and the Bedminster Winter Lantern Parade.  
 
We’ll know by the end of September whether local businesses have backed them to carry on the good work, but in the meantime here’s a City Council survey to complete on Bristol’s high streets and shopping areas, which they say are vital to the city’s economy and its communities. The information provided in this survey will inform an action plan. If the survey sparks any thoughts related to our own high streets, please let us know by emailing greaterbedminster@gmail.comthe info provided will be useful data for our discussions with the BBID.

Please get in touch with any ideas, thoughts, feedback – we’d love to hear from you!

Help us create a Community Plan for Greater Bedminster!

Want to influence the way decisions are made in the area? Have some ideas about how things could be improved? Fill in our survey which will form the basis of a Community Plan

The survey takes five minutes to fill in via this link. We will also be printing surveys for people to fill in at community points in the area (libraries, community centres, doctor’s surgeries and so on) as well as having stalls and meetings to gather as many responses as possible from the community. We’d be really grateful if you take the time to fill it in, and encourage friends, family and neighbours to do so too.

We are hoping to collate the responses in the autumn to form a new plan ready for 2019. We will update this website with dates of events, the progress we are making and places you can get copies of the survey from. You can also join our facebook group and follow us on Twitter .

GDPR, becomng a member and funding opportunity

What are we up to?

It might seem like we’ve gone a bit quiet but there is lots going on in the background at the moment. We are working out the best way of ensuring we consult as widely as possible on the community plan, and create a good quality document that can lead to real change. If you would like to get involved in this, have ideas, thoughts or time to contribute, please do let us know.

Other developments are building our theme groups and planning workshops, campaigns and projects in response to the issues people have highlighted to us.

Membership
We are also keen to increase our members. Any local organisation, group or business can be a member. Membership is free and gives you a vote at our AGM, be part of a network of like-minded organisations and a voice at meetings. The more members we have the more clout we will have when talking to potential partners. Stef Brammar is our membership secretary and happy to have a chat with anyone thinking about joining. Here’s the form.

Your data and privacy
We are also working on our General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) obligations. One element is making sure everyone on our mailing list has given clear consent to be on it. If you haven’t already, please fill in our sign-up form by 18th May. After this, I will email anyone who has not completed a form, and anyone who does not reply by 25th May will be removed from our mailing list.

Funding opportunity
Voscur is inviting aplications for up to £10,000 for small organisations doing community projects in South Bristol. Funding can be sought for a range of different things, as long as they support your overall project. These include paying for equipment, one-off events, training costs, volunteer expenses, running costs and transport.

The deadline for applicaions is 24th May, with a pitching event on 5th July for those projects that get shortlisted. More information is on the website here.

If you have an idea for a project you think fits into Action Greater Bedminster’s aims, please do get in touch.

A Community Plan for Greater Bedminster: let’s get started!

Public Forum:  7pm Tuesday 17 April, URC Hall, West Street

Action Greater Bedminster was founded on a commitment to more local involvement in the planning and management of our neighbourhood.  We are therefore beginning the process of producing a Community Plan for Greater Bedminster by endeavouring to engage with all those that live and work in the two wards of Southville and Bedminster.

A Community Plan would:

  • identify local problems and opportunities
  • set out an achievable and long term vision for the future
  • prepare a plan of action to achieve this vision

Increasing Government encouragement for public involvement in planning and community empowerment is evident in policy statements and legislation.  However, how the public should be involved and empowered is mostly left to local decision makers and practitioners.  So we’re organising a public forum to help us decide how to move forward, and to agree what the priorities are.

A first step
Prompted by a  timely request from Bristol City Council and the 4 ward Councillors of Bedminster and Southville to consult with our local community on how CIL funds might be spent in Greater Bedminster, we are organising:

  • a public forum,17 April from 7pm at the URC Hall on West Street
  • an on-line consultation exercise during the week 16-20 April

Continue reading “A Community Plan for Greater Bedminster: let’s get started!”

Action Greater Bedminster update March 7th

New Chair
Donald Branch has stepped down for health reasons. We are very grateful for all his help getting Action Greater Bedminster off to a good start. Ellie Freeman was elected as the chair at the recent Executive Committee meeting. Ellie said: ‘I am a mum of two, living and working in Southville where I have been for about 8 years. I have worked for Playing Out and been involved in various local community events and schemes.

Action Greater Bedminster is a fantastic community organisation, bringing together people from across the area to share ideas, thoughts and information to improve our neighbourhood. I am hoping to build on the great work done by others to create an open, welcoming, diverse organisation that will make a real difference. The more people get involved, the more we can do.’

Action Greater Bedminster transport group
This group will be looking at various transport issues in our area which will include accessibility, safety, improved transport links and information. The group is slowly growing and will meet at some point. In the meantime, if you’d like to be part of the conversation, have ideas or issues you’d like to share, please get in touch.

Adblock BS3
Adblock Bristol is a group campaigning for a happier, healthier city free from the pressures of corporate outdoor advertising. They have created this petition against  advertising in Bristol’s parks  https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/keep-bristol-s-parks-advertising-free(there is still time to sign if you haven’t already).

In St Werburghs residents have campaigned to remove 6 of 13 billboards and have now installed an artwork to celebrate this, and their local green spaces and community: https://adblockbristol.wordpress.com/2018/02/21/burg-arts-relaunch/

A group has now formed in BS3, concerned about the negative impacts of billboard advertising on our local independent businesses, our wellbeing and our environment. We’d like to talk about an alternative vision for our outdoor spaces which better serves the needs of our community. This was also discussed at the recent Environment and Transport Group meeting – and we saw that there is a link between outdoor advertising and many of our other concerns about air pollution, waste and the impact on our environment both locally and globally.

The BS3 group is meeting on Monday 12 March, 7pm at The Hare and would love to hear your views. Email nicolaround@gmail.com or just turn up on the night.

Our aspirations

Action Greater Bedminster is currently creating discussion groups around Environment, Park and Transport. We will keep you up to date with developments in all these areas, and others that are emerging such as Health and wellbeing. We are really keen to hear YOUR views and ideas about our neighbourhood. As well as pulling together and sharing information, we will be creating events and projects around specific themes and looking at practical solutions. Ultimately we want to create a Community Plan that AGB will be accountable to. This will be something we can take to organisations, funders, the council and others to help us make real changes.

We want to hear from you!
If you have any questions or comments:

email greaterbedminster@gmail.com

Facebook: Action Greater Bedminster

Twitter:@greaterbedmin

Website https://www.bedminster.org.uk/com

ACTION GREATER BEDMINSTER : Update 14th February

Action Greater Bedminster Environment and transport group
This group will be looking at the street scene, air pollution, public transport, parking, traffic, litter, accessibility and more. The first meeting is on 21stFebruary 7-8.30pm at Windmill Hill City Farm and is open to everyone.

Action Greater Bedminster Parks sub-group meeting
The meeting on 21st January, which concentrated on the Bristol City Council’s recent parks consultation, was attended by the chair of the Parks Forum, Richard Fletcher and Richard Ennion from Bristol City Council and a wide range of representatives from parks groups, allotments and other interested organisations. It was chaired by Cllr Charlie Bolton.

There is a big challenge ahead: the Parks Dept will have budget reductions of almost £3m from April 2017-2020. The reductions will mean the core budget for maintenance and infrastructure will have to be protected and continue to be allocated based on need and priority.

It is clear there will be changes in the management and maintenance of our Parks, with several options for income-generation (e.g. increasing parking facilities and charges, cafes, advertising) and cuts to services likely to become reality. Any income will be returned to the city-wide parks budget.

The meeting discussed the need for the relationship with businesses to change. One idea is to create foundations for parks, so they can engage with businesses and volunteers, use charitable status to raise funding and so on. Bristol Parks Forum looking into this. The proposals can be seen here:
www.bristolparksforum.org.uk/FoundationProposals.pdf.

Key points from the discussion at the AGB Parks meeting: Continue reading “ACTION GREATER BEDMINSTER : Update 14th February”

ACTION GREATER BEDMINSTER Update on what we are doing

The action AGB takes will be determined by special interest sub-groups, which anybody who lives or works in Greater Bedminster can join. How money will be spent – or policies implemented – in our neighbourhood will depend on the outcome of their debates and action plans, which will be discussed by our Exec team with the four ward Councillors before being incorporated in a local community plan for Greater Bedminster.

Parks, leisure facilities and libraries group
This group is meeting on 22nd January at 7pm at Windmill Hill City Farm in the Training Room. This will focus on the Bristol City Council parks consultation and is open to everyone.

Environment group [including the street scene, transport facilities and air quality] This group is hoping to meet on 19th February at 7pm at a venue to be confirmed. Again, this is an open meeting.

Urban planning, development and conservation group
We are looking for a chair for this group – do get in touch if you are interested.

We will also be looking at community development; our marketing, communications, membership and participation; and writing the local community plan. We will update you about meeting dates on these topics as soon as we can.

If you are interested in any of these topics or have a particular issue you would like discussed by one of these groups, please get in touch via greaterbedminster@gmail.com.

Useful information

Continue reading “ACTION GREATER BEDMINSTER Update on what we are doing”