NEWSLETTER (46:17) – Special on The Future



  • 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: Continue reading “NEWSLETTER (46:17) – Special on The Future”

NEWSLETTER (44:17) – Friends of Parson Street Station, Upfest, flytipping, CAKE anyone?

Breeding Like Hedgehogs
Last year we reported that residents in the Frobisher Road area were clubbing together to turn their gardens into a home for lost hedgehogs.   They took in their first refugees from a hog rescue centre in 2016.   Nature seems to have taken its course as the attached picture of an adult and two youngster suggests.   This group also reports slow worms.   Please let us know if you spot hedgehogs, slow worms, unicorns or other interesting beasts in BS3.   If you are making lists of animals in your garden, the local park etc, please don’t send them in until further notice, probably October.

Friends of Parson Street Station
Parson Street Station will be 90 in September.   The Friends will be celebrating with a free family event on the morning of Sunday, 3 September.   From 9am to 11am visitors will be able to enjoy special trained themed light refreshment, get an engine face paint as well as witness the unveiling of an informative plaque.   There will also be 1920s musical entertainment and a special 90th anniversary memento.   People arriving at the start will see a steam train passing through the station!

When the station first opened, with just two wooden platforms, it was to serve the growing suburban expansion of the city.    Passengers increased during the 1930s, but numbers dropped in the second half of the century.   They are now rising again with over 126,000 journeys made each year.

The Friends of Parson Street Railway Station (FoPSRS) was set up earlier this year to press for improved facilities and services.   For more details contact or visit their Facebook page.

Well Done Southville Centre
The Southville Centre holds the Gold Award from the Green Business Tourism Scheme and, as well as talking the talk, they walk the walk!    An example is their results from a recent Travel West Travel To Work Survey.   A whopping 56% of SCDA’s over 50 employees walk to work as compared to the national average of 14%!

The BS3 area is very rich in tiptop voluntary sector organisations.    If you are a member of one of these, please let GBCP NEWSLETTER know about your good work.   If you don’t blow your own trumpet, who will?

Getting Attached to Your GBCP NEWSLETTER

People often send us posters and other documents hoping that we will attach them to the GBCP NEWSLETTER. Continue reading “NEWSLETTER (44:17) – Friends of Parson Street Station, Upfest, flytipping, CAKE anyone?”

NEWSLETTER (43:17) on the Community Navigators Project

You will know that a major local and national concern has been how to reduce high levels of social isolation and loneliness, especially amongst older people.   It is estimated that around 10% of people over 50 are socially isolated, ie they do not speak to other human beings for days on end.    This situation is often exacerbated by illness, disability and loss of a partner.   Apart from personal unhappiness, this situation can lead to mental and physical decline.   A further 10% or so are in danger of slipping into this critical state.   These percentages increase as people move into their 70s and 80s.

Community Navigators Bristol
This project is funded for three years by Bristol Ageing Better and is divided geographically into three areas across the city: South, Central and East.   The project, which is led by Bristol Community Health, will include paid workers, but is also looking for volunteers.    The project aims are to re-connect older people with their community and also to make it less likely that others will become disconnected in the first place.

The project has been described as a ‘signposting and support service’.    BS3 is relatively rich in community organisations compared to some other parts of the city.   Several Bedminster groups are already doing good work in both signposting, supporting and in offering activities and have been doing so for several years.   But one can always do more and we know that, despite this good work, some people in BS3 are still missing out.

Hopefully, the Community Navigator scheme will also link to work being done to link the five – soon to amalgamate into one – BS3 GP surgeries to community organisation through activities such as ‘Social Prescribing’.     In fact, Navigators offers a great opportunity to coordinate existing work and raise its effectiveness to new levels. Continue reading “NEWSLETTER (43:17) on the Community Navigators Project”


Carved tree trunk in Dame Emily Park 

On Thursday the 17th of August at lunchtime, Dame Emily Park Project is going to inaugurate the carved Tree Trunk. Therefore little helpers are needed to sink the artwork with special oil. You can talk to Yusupha the artist too, as he will be on side to show how to do this. Afterwards you can carry on to enjoy the free family event “Summer Games” in the play area.

More on pavement parking

As well as Bristol Walking Alliance and its petition to the mayor (Bristol City Council petitions), there is a national ‘Guide Dogs Campaign’ as partially and none-sighted people are particularly disadvantaged by cluttered pavements.    The campaign asks that people send photos of pavement parked cars to .    The campaign is developing a map showing poor parking across the country:  to show where pavement parking is causing a problem.

Making Arnolfini Age-Friendly

Arnolfini the art gallery has noted that not many of its visitors are older people and it’s starting a project to change that.   It’s looking for older people who might want to help.  Continue reading “NEWSLETTER (42:17)”

NEWSLETTER (41:17) – Owl day, RPS review, Intro to ABCD, summer play days

Victoria Park Wildlife Group is hosting an Owl Day to celebrate the tawny owls which are in the park.
Special guests from Secret World are bringing live birds of prey along for you to meet. The group will be hosting some fun owl-themed arts and crafts activities for children, and advice on what you can do to help bird conservation. It will be on the slope below the children’s play area adjoining Nutgrove Avenue. There will be a small charge to cover costs of materials for some activities, e.g. badge making, etc.

91 Ways
This is a Bristol-wide organisation that celebrates the estimated 91 languages spoken in the city by sharing meals and recipes from across the planet.   However, we are not aware of any activity within BS3, which, if true, is a pity.

RPS hours/days of operation – what do you think?
If you live in the Southville or Bedminster East RPS zone, you will have received (or be about to receive) a letter about RPS days and hours of operation – and whether the days should be extended to Saturday and/or Sunday Also, should the hours be extended from 5pm to 7pm or 9pm. (And for that matter, would you have different weekend hours, were you to extend the days).  The format of the survey isn’t terribly helpful, so Charlie Bolton/Steve Clarke have set up another (extremely simple) version.

Charlie Bolton says ‘I’d say personally, I’d extend hours to 9pm M-F, extend to Saturday 9-5pm and maybe 9-5pm for Sunday. But I have no particular rationale for saying that.’ Anyway, please let them know what you think.

Understanding Society – new part-time short course
The University of Bristol is starting a new short course in the autumn.
The course website is available here: tudy/part-time/
At the moment, the course is scheduled to run on Wednesday evenings, 6-9pm, starting on 15 October.

This course is for anyone interested in making sense of the society that we live in and how social and public policies can make a difference to people’s lives. It’s an interactive course, covering a wide range of topics, from social inequalities, to the general election; September 11th to the justice system; protests, the environment, and what it really means to be part of society. Continue reading “NEWSLETTER (41:17) – Owl day, RPS review, Intro to ABCD, summer play days”

NEWSLETTER (38:17) on Walkability

Let’s Walk Bedminster
Readers will know that making BS3 a more walkable area has been an important community project for several years.   Lots of local people, shopkeepers and others have been involved in accentuating the positive aspects of walking (beautiful front and community gardens, art work from both urban painters and local children, improved signage, toilet maps, benches etc) and eliminating the negative (pavements cluttered with bins and parked cars, inconsiderate and speeding motorists and cyclists, dogs’ droppings etc).

We have been working with other neighbourhoods that also want to improve walkability and GBCP was a founding member of the Bristol Walking Alliance.

Walking is an Equalities Issue
Walking isn’t just a mode of transport with added benefits of enhancing health whilst making little or no contribution to either climate change or poisonous air, it’s also an equalities issue.   We know that frailer older people, people with disabilities of sight and mobility, buggy pushers and young children are all, at least, inconvenienced and sometimes endangered by broken and blocked footways that force them into the road or discourage them from leaving their house to visit friends, shops and other destinations.     It’s not right that some people can move freely and safely around their community and others cannot.

Talking the Talk, but not yet Walking the Walk
Through the Bristol Walking Alliance, GBCP has been working with various agencies.    Discussions have included Sue Mountstevens, the Crime Commissioner for Avon and Somerset and Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol.    We have been in touch with all four Bristol MPs both before and after the election.     We have identified a ‘Walkability Champion’ as our link city councillor in each of the four political groups on the City Council.    We have good links with researchers in the two universities and with Bristol Health Partners.    BWA hopes to talk to the new Metro-Mayor before the end of 2017.   Through Streets Alive we are plugged into the wider national scene.

All the discussions have shown that the problems of walkability are understood and there is a general desire to improve the situation, but the discussion usually also includes references to difficulties such as the vagueness of the law, costs to the public purse and the probable opposition of powerful groups.

iWalk – Innovations in Inclusive Walking Report.  
One of the people that the Bristol Walking Alliance has been been working with is Jess Read.    Jess was seconded into BCC’s Transport Team about a year ago, specifically to look at up-dating the council’s Walking Strategy.    The first step was probably to dust it off!!    Jess has come up with some ideas about how to make walking a first and more frequent choice for more people in the city.    Some of these are gathered in the attached document.   There are more to come. Continue reading “NEWSLETTER (38:17) on Walkability”

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”