How times flies! Since my last report there were two Neighbourhood Partnership meetings (in June and October). This will be an update on a variety of issues:

the spending of the Wellbeing Budget and other expenditure by the Council which will benefit the community,  managing traffic, consultation on the 20mph speed limit, how the Partnership wants to extend participation in what it does, trees (The Partnership  tree champion, Clive Stevens spoke at our AGM about trees in September), and much more...

The following four projects have been funded by the Wellbeing Fund since April 2012:

•    Bishopston, Cotham and Redland Street Scene Subgroup - £4,600
The intention is to improve the visual effect of Cheltenham, Gloucester and Ashley Down Roads by removing on a permanent basis illegal fly- posting on street furniture and domestic and commercial waste receptacles before the beginning of the new academic year.

•    Bristol Storytelling Festival - £500
The North Bristol Story Trail is to be part of the Bristol Storytelling Festival in early 2013. 10-12 shops on the Gloucester Rd have been linked to local writers who will write a story about the local shop/environment and incorporate local history into the storyline. The funding would cover the costs of local events.

•    Friends of St Andrews Park -  £460
To supply wildflowers to an area near the pond which currently is mown grass, and install fencing around the area.

•    Cllr Bev Knott - £1,170 (Horfield Common Wildlife Pond)
The wildlife pond was created some time ago from an ancient drainage ditch which forms part of the Common boundary The Council Woodland and Wildlife Team would undertake renovation work and provide a 15 year maintenance overview, working alongside local volunteers to ensure the site is properly maintained. NOTE: This work is to be completed in November 2012!

This has left us with £33,000 to dispose of before next April!  If you know of a local community organisation which is looking for some financial support the final deadline for applications for 2012/13 is November 26th 2012. The guidelines and application form can be obtained from our Co-ordinator) ) or downloaded from the Council website: (www.bristolpartnership.org/neighbourhood-partnerships) Meanwhile the Grants Subgroup has also been proactive, encouraging local organisations which are known to meet the current funding criteria to apply. We are now beginning to fund community arts groups, but we would like to do more for local sustainable food production, and services which support disadvantaged and vulnerable people living in our communities.

The Bishopston area also benefited from funding in other areas:

•    St Andrews Park, Redland Green Park and Horfield Common have all benefitted from over £200,000 from the Capital Stimulus Fund money which Bristol City Council has put into the “Investing in Bristol’s Future” programme. This has been organised through a “bottom-up” approach: the money will be spent on projects which Friends of these parks have put forward to the local councillors.

•    In addition The Scout Hut in Williamson Road has received over £64,000 through Section 106 money – this is money which developers pay to the council towards social or environmental costs incurred due to the new development. The Scout Hut provides activity for over 300 children each week, some of whom come from the neighbouring Ashley Ward as well as from Bishopston and Redland. It is a facility used by other local groups during the week and hired by residents for parties at the weekend.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
Our area is very densely populated so managing traffic is always a difficulty. At Neighbourhood Forums in September local residents came up with 30 suggestions for local traffic schemes throughout the Partnership area, to be funded in 2013/14. The Partnership will be bringing a costed shortlist to the January 2013 Partnership meeting for agreement.
You probably have heard that the City Council wants to bring in a 20 mph speed limit across the city from next year. The Neighbourhood Partnership has not been able to consult with local people about this yet, but it will be a major topic at the next Neighbourhood Forum meetings in December.  So if you want your say on which roads should have a 20 mph speed limit and a chance to question Highways officers then make sure you turn up at your local Neighbourhood Forum (details on the home page of this website). Alternatively you can submit your views on line: http://surveymonkey.com/s/DJM5XXG

I reported on the Speedwatch campaign in the Bishopston Newsletter this summer. Through the police, local residents are trained to use speedguns to record the speed of cars in our streets.  The police then send out warning letters to drivers who are breaking the 30mph speed limit. Ashley Down road, Kings Drive, Cairns Road and Muller Road have been the only roads in our area to have been surveyed, though roads are nominated for Speedwatch by local people. Most drivers do observe the speed limit but it is an exercise which probably needs to be repeated at different times of the day and week. If you would like to be trained to use the speedgun then contact the Southmead Police Station or email:  

 The Neighbourhood Partnership has spent some money asking the Highways Department to do an assessment of the pedestrian crossing at the Longmead Avenue/Gloucester Road site. It is a complex junction which concerns local people. This has now been completed and there are various options which all have pros and cons. So the Partnership is wishing to consult with local people further about what to do, probably at a local Neighbourhood Forum.
Since its inception in 2010, the Neighbourhood Partnership has always struggled with how best to involve and communicate with the 30,000 people who live within the Partnership area. We are in the process of thinking how to improve the format of the Neighbourhood Forums and some of the ideas include:
o    A special topic of interest to start the meeting
o    Report back on what was agreed at the last Forum
o    “Breakout sessions”/topic tables so that residents can go to specific Council officers to raise particular issues directly
We would also like to run a Facebook page but the Partnership members themselves do not have the time or resources to do that. If you, as a volunteer, would be interested in helping the Partnership be more social media-minded or assist with our website (www.bcrnp.org.uk) we would be pleased to meet you. Please either contact this website or approach our Co-ordinator at

Bishopston Ward has only one Street Champion – it needs more!
If you would like to be a Street Champion (not an onerous task) see our Home Page for details of a meeting where you can find out more. It is merely about keeping your eyes open in your street for things which detract from a pleasant environment eg a dead street tree, fallen leaves not being cleared up, epicormic growth on trees, other obstructions to the pavement, graffiti etc. There is now a contact point at the Council to which you would refer the problem – the problem gets sent to the right person who will sort it out quickly.

Finally, trees! Our Partnership Tree Subgroup has found that finding suitable sites for street trees is a long process. As far as Bishopston is concerned, proposed trees outside Sainsbury at the Longmead Avenue/Gloucester Rd site is on hold – if changes to the pedestrian crossing there are made it would be cheaper to do the treeplanting at the same time. The Muller Road site is also on hold whilst there are further discussions with local businesses.
If you can spot a site for a street tree please get in touch - either to this website or to Andrew Mcgrath (see previous paragraph) or to a councillor of council officer at a Neighbourhood Forum.

 Jenny Hoadley