The Partnership Neighbourhood Plan for 2015/16 has been agreed and the details can be seen on the Partnership website. To help us fulfil the Plan’s ambitions, several subgroups have been set up:
- Sustainable travel
- Young people
- Communication & engagement
- Small grants to voluntary organisations
These groups will achieve more if local residents can be involved too, as there are not enough of us on the Partnership to undertake everything! For example three more local residents have joined the Streetscene Working Group recently: they work alongside our local Neighbourhood Officer and other Council Officers, to improve the attractiveness of our streets and co-ordinate the 50 or so Street Champions. There have been 5 volunteers’ action days since September 2014 to do litter-picking and vegetation cutback – see the pictures on www.bcrnp.org.uk - click on “How to get involved/be a streetscene volunteer”. So if you have a particular interest or some expertise, in any of the groups above, please contact our co-ordinator Andrew McGrath (.) Meetings would be informal at times to suit the membership.
The total disposable budget for the Partnership for 2015/16 is £54,054.67 (in my website article in May I understated the budget available – my mistake!), but note that £11,697 is a one-off additional sum just for 2015/16. There is an annual Highways budget of £25,713 in addition, but that has already been committed for three projects to be completed during 2014-2017 (see below for details). Each of the interest subgroups above will have a budget of at least £1,000 and the actual figures were agreed in June 22nd - to see the details, go to the draft minutes here - go the right-hand column to click on” Internal links” and then select the date June 22nd 2015.
The Partnership is committed to continue financially supporting local voluntary organisations’ initiatives where they can demonstrate that they can improve the quality of life either for the wider community or for specific groups who otherwise might miss out on opportunities. At the June meeting The Partnership agreed that the Small Grants budget for 2015/16 would stand at £20,000. The first £7,500 was allocated to five organisations:
- Bishopston 1st Scout Group - £600- camping equipment
- Golden Hill Community Garden - £2,325 – a pilot project for a social enterprise to offer horticultural and outdoor craft experiences to people with learning difficulties
- Phoenix Films - £1,275 – outdoors cinema in St Andrews Park
- Redland Park United Reform Church - £800 – improved hard landscaping and development of biodiversity planting in the public space around the church on Whiteladies Rd
- Streets Alive - £2,500 – multi-generational project to address social isolation of older people.
A second round of allocation will be made on October 12th, when there are two applicants. The next deadline for applications is November 27th 2015 when there will be just over £5,000 to allocate. The criteria will now be tied more closely to the Neighbourhood Partnership Plan and the applicant will be expected to demonstrate how the grant would further the Partnership’s priorities. Full details of the new criteria are on the Partnership website (http://www.bcrnp.org.uk/) - there are links on the homepage, and the application form can also be downloaded from that website.
In 2014/15 each Neighbourhood Partnership received £10,000 to allocate to local projects involved in “green” issues, as part of the Green Capital 15 initiative. I reported previously on how that was distributed, but the University of Bristol Student Union was granted money for a joint local residents’-students' gardening venture, which it then turned down because of a change in its policy. So there was an underspend of £2,435 to be allocated before December 31st 2015 which the Partnership is addressing at the next Partnership meeting on October 12th.
The Partnership Community Fair on September 19th at the St Michaels and All Angels complex on Pigsty Hill was attended by over 150 people. There were a variety of local organisations with stalls and three workshops held, as well as music supplied by Redland Community Choir and others. The “Small Grants and Big Ideas” programme attracted a lot of interest: £1,000 of the Partnership budget was available for grants to local groups, and applicants were expected to do a short presentation and present their project at a stall. Attendees were invited to vote on who should receive a grant. There were 6 applicants and the successful ones were:
- Winter Wanderland: a magical arts trail at night in Bishopston in February 2016 (a repeat of the very popular event in 2015)
- 1st Bishopston scouts: to cover the costs or running a local beer festival (with local food and music) to raise money
- Chandos Rd Community Association: Start-up funding - inaugural meeting held on September 2nd 2015
- New Works Ballet Theatre: a new UK ballet company wishing to bring a range of affordable arts to people in Bristol
Good news! The £99 tree replacement scheme will continue in 2015! This is a scheme where Partnership money and other funds subsidize the cost of a replacement street tree which means that local people need only pay £99 per tree in total. Last year several trees were planted under this scheme in the Bishopston area, funded either by individual local residents or small groups. If you and your neighbours are interested in this scheme, then contact Clive Stevens (), one of the street Champions, for more details about money and site. Putting in a new tree (rather than a replacement) is much more expensive (around £3,000) because of the searches for utilities which have to be undertaken by the Council beforehand, digging the pit and maintenance. However Cllr Daniela Radice, one of the Assistant Mayors, is exploring with Highways the practicality of reviving pits which have been recently tarmacked over, hoping this might reduce the costs of planting a new tree in future.
On June 10th the Sustainable Travel Working Group organised with the police an action day on safe road use: the police monitored Zetland Road junction and traffic lights on Whiteladies Rd at certain times of the day, recording a) motorists who stopped in the cycle box or jumped red lights, and b) cyclists who jumped red lights or rode on the pavement. The offenders were leafleted and spoken to about the illegality of their actions as a way of raising awareness of simple road safety issues. There was also an action day in August to look at anti-social street parking, targeting parking hotspots mainly in Bishopston. This was reported in the local press- a fire engine was unable to pass through some streets because of thoughtless parking......it could be your house on fire, so the message was to be aware of emergency vehicles being able to get through before parking your car. The Working Group is working with the Highways department in the Council on either re-doing or adding minor signs and lines to improve safety of pedestrians and cyclists on our streets eg to discourage parking around the Kellaway Avenue/ Bishop Road junction, and keeping abreast of Council projects in the pipeline, to ensure that there is local consultation where appropriate (a report of the work of this group is on the Council website in the papers for the Partnership meeting on October 12th 2015 (here).
I am hoping that you will see some road improvements in the next eighteen months for pedestrians on two of our more difficult road junctions: Cotham Brow/Redland Rd mini roundabout and Halsbury Rd/Cairns Road junction. In addition there will be traffic calming on the Sommerville Rd. These have all been sites raised by concerned local residents and are part of the Partnership’s commitment to road safety and sustainable active travel. The Partnership has also produced a local walking action plan and a map of local walking routes (these are available from 212 Gloucester Rd).
Because the ward boundaries have changed the Bishopston, Cotham and Redland Partnership boundaries have also changed. From April 2016, the Partnership will lose part of Cotham Hill, the top of Whiteladies Rd on the east side and St Andrews Park, but gain more streets around Wellington Hill, and in Kingsdown.
The Bishopston Society rep to the BCR Partnership
DATES OF THE PUBLIC FORUMS September 2015 – February 2016
These are public meetings open to all local residents. Check the website for the venue:
Bishopston - 7pm Monday 7th December 2015
Cotham - 7pm Thursday 10th December 2015
Redland - 7pm Tuesday 8th December 2015
Bishopston - 7pm Wednesday 10th February 2016
Cotham - 7pm Monday 15th February 2016
Redland - 7pm Tuesday 16th February 2016
DATES FOR THE NEIGHBOURHOOD PARTNERSHIP MEETINGS October 2015 – January 2016
These are public meetings open to all local residents at 7pm. If possible have a look at the agenda and reports beforehand on the Council website (see above for the web address) and check the venue.
Monday 12th October 2015
Monday 25th January 2016