Dec 2016 - Cabot eNews
December's edition of Cabot eNews.
In this edition: _________________ 1. Shock Council Spending Freeze 2. 2017 Council Budget 3. Metrobus / Spike Island RPZ 4. Bathurst Basin Bridge traffic chaos 5. Prince Street Bridge vote supports car access 6. Mayor's plan to clean up Bristol's Streets 7. Metro-Mayor devolution to go ahead 8. West of England Joint Spatial Plan / Transport Study 9. Planning victories: St Mary's, and Brunel House 10. New University Campus proposed 11. New community noticeboard on Cathedral Walk 12. Tesco "Bags of Help" grants available 13. Does a park near you need some attention? 14. Harbour Lift Vandalism 15. Jacobs Wells Dance Studio consultation 16. Groups combating loneliness 17. Neighbourhood meeting dates 18. Would you like to help me help you? _________________ 1. Shock Council Spending Freeze Councillors and the public were surprised to hear the announcement from the Labour Party Mayor Rees last week that "all non-essential spending" in the Council has been stopped. We are told it will remain "until the council has firm plans for a balanced budget this year and next, along with a more developed five-year plan". We don't know exactly what that means, but my guess is at least until the Budget meeting in February. We are told that the move means that all maintenance of buildings, roads and parks will stop unless there is a risk to people's health or safety. This includes budgets controlled by Neighbourhood Partnerships, which includes well-being grants, highways schemes, clean and green projects, or any other neighbourhood budget spend. Clearly this radical action is being driven by an emerging budget "hole" in the Council's finances. I accept that the Council is facing yet more years of dire finances in the face of unreasonable Government funding cuts, but I am worried that this move is completely un-targeted. If the effect is just to delay most projects by 3 months until February this may not have lasting effects; but if the effect is to cancel numerous projects that have been years in the making it could have serious unforeseen consequences, and disastrous effects for future public confidence in the Council. _________________ 2. 2017 Council Budget Consultation The Council is consulting on its five-year budget plan for the city, including possible solutions to saving at least £92m from 2017-2022. Mayor Marvin Rees and his Cabinet have released a draft five-year Corporate Strategy which sets out what the council will do, how it will do it and what its financial future looks like. The consultation will inform the February Budget; full details and the consultation are available online at: www.bristol.gov.uk/corpstrategy _________________ 3. Metrobus / Spike Island RPZ A statutory consultation on Cumberland Road for the new inbound bus priority is about to go live. This is for the new bus "gate" by Gas Ferry Road, which will allow buses to get ahead of cars at rush hour. Complicating this matter is the recent Spike Island RPZ review, as the results of the review are not yet processed. I have been told by the Transport department that the section of RPZ alongside the bus-lane needs to be processed with emergency speed in order for the Metrobus works to not be held up by the RPZ review; they have told me that some small-ish changes to the originally proposed RPZ arrangements around the Gas Ferry Road area will result in the loss of 2-3 parking spaces, and that to make up for this they will convert 18 Pay & Display parking spaces into mixed resident permit and P&D spaces. This is regrettable but doesn't sound too bad. Estimated completion times in 2017: * South Bristol Link - January * Baldwin St traffic change - February * Ashton Avenue Swing Bridge - delayed until Spring * Ashton Vale to Temple Meads - Summer * Hengrove to North - Autumn _________________ 4. Bathurst Basin Bridge traffic chaos The traffic lights on the junction of Wapping Rd with Cumberland Rd are causing chaos every rush hour, with stationary traffic half a mile along the road typical in the evening. There is currently one lane closed to enable resurfacing the closed lane. After they complete this work they will close the other lane so they can construct the walking/cycling route on the south side of Commercial Road that will connect with the walking/cycling path on the new bridge. The council's Network Management team have visited Bathurst Basin a number of times to review the situation and are "satisfied" with the traffic management (which includes manually controlled lights during the day), but I have to say I think it's a disaster. It is hoped the works will be done by the end of December. _________________ 5. Prince Street Bridge vote supports car access An "advisory" motion was brought before the Full Council in November regarding worries that it might be closed to cars when the repair works on it are finally completed. I have always opposed closing the bridge to cars because it is a critical access to Spike Island, which has only a couple of roads in and out, and I had already received assurances from the Cabinet councillor for Transport that it would remain open. I spoke for the Lib Dem group in favour of allowing cars to continue using the bridge, and in the end the Council voted 50 to 8 to do so, with just a few Green Party councillors voting against. We have been told that the repairs still wont be done until "early in the new year". _________________ 6. Mayor's plan to clean up Bristol's Streets The new Mayor has launched a major initiative to clean up Bristol's Streets. I'm very pleased to hear he is focussing on this as unclean streets are a real problem in H&H ward. The three year campaign asks individuals, community groups, schools and businesses to take collective responsibility for keeping the streets clean and tidy, and encourages everyone to reuse, repair and recycle more. The campaign is being delivered in partnership with Bristol Waste Company. More info: * http://tinyurl.com/jyxcn79 * www.bristolwastecompany.co.uk Bins and recycling complaints and issues:- * https://www.bristol.gov.uk/bins-recycling Reporting fly-tipping:- * https://www.bristol.gov.uk/report-a-street-issue _________________ 7. Metro-Mayor devolution to go ahead Bristol, Bath & North East Somerset and South Gloucestershire councils recently gave final endorsement to the proposed £1 billion West of England devolution deal. It follows the decisions in June by the three councils to move forward with the deal and the subsequent public consultation in July and August. Once it passes through Parliament, the councils will have the powers to establish the West of England Combined Authority early next year and hold Mayoral Elections in May 2017. _________________ 8. West of England Joint Spatial Plan / Transport Study In November the four West of England councils will be consulting on drawing up plans which will guide development in our area over the next 20 years. Last year, people's thoughts and ideas were sought to help set the approach and priorities. Having taken on board the consultation feedback, the next phase of the process is to consult again, this time on outline proposals. Consultation closes on 19th December and you can view the consultation documents and make comments at www.jointplanningwofe.org.uk _________________ 9. Planning victories: St Mary's, and Brunel House Some good news at least on planning applications in H&H ward. First, the plans for St Mary's Hospital, Brandon Hill, have been refused by the Council. I have consistently opposed these plans because they intended to demolish an iconic local landmark building, so I am happy to see them refused. Second; the plans to expand Brunel House, St Georges Road, substantially upwards and turn it into student flats have been significantly scaled back. Instead, the existing building will be used without expansion, which is a great result. I had opposed the original plans, but was happy to vote in favour of the reduced plans at planning committee. Finally, I have seen notification of a pre-application enquiry for McArthur's Warehouse, Gas Ferry Road. This derelict building has needed redevelopment for some time, and I will keep residents informed of news. _________________ 10. New University Campus proposed Plans for the University of Bristol's 'transformational' new campus have been unveiled, with the £300 million project to be built near Temple Meads on the derelict former sorting office site. It's hoped the campus will open in time for the start of the 2021/22 academic year. This has implications for H&H ward in that it may pull future growth of the university and student numbers away from the Triangle and towards Temple Meads. _________________ 11. New community noticeboard on Cathedral Walk After a painfully long tussle with the private management company for Harbourside area, a new community noticeboard is up and available for use. The new spot is on the grassy area of Cathedral Walk. It isn't for commercial events, but is for educational, cultural and social events. If you have things you want to put up in it, contact Jacobs Wells Community Hub: Judyjwrhub@gmail.com - www.jacobswellscommunityhub.com - Facebook - Text 07804 649152 _________________ 12. Tesco "Bags of Help" grants available Bags of Help will see the money raised by the 5p bag charge in Tesco stores opened up to projects that support community use of open spaces. Projects that will get funding will include volunteer training, physical improvements of open spaces, equipment purchases, community events and sports and leisure activities. Groups can apply by following this link: http://tinyurl.com/zgar4am _________________ 13. Does a park near you need some attention? ParkWork is a programme that gives those on the route to employment work-experience, gardening skills and training, while helping improve Bristol's parks and green spaces. The programme, initiated by the Bristol Parks Forum and supported by Bristol City Council has been running successfully for 18 months throughout the city with participants moving on to either full time employment or education. If you know of an area that needs a bit of TLC above that provided by Bristol Parks then let them know and they will arrange for Joe McKenna the ParkWork coordinator to scope the work. Joe can be contacted on email@example.com or 07469 400689 _________________ 14. Harbour Lift Vandalism Sadly the disabled lift at The Boathouse/Gas Ferry has been vandalised again. I have asked for CCTV at this spot to watch over it. _________________ 15. Jacobs Wells Dance Studio consultation This is an opportunity to contribute your ideas and views for the future of this great building. This on-line questionnaire should take no longer than 5 minutes. There is plenty of room at the end of the survey to write down your views in a free text field: www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/jacobswellsbaths _________________ 16. Groups combating loneliness A community group called "Bristol Community Friendship Club" are a women-only social club aiming to prevent loneliness. More info here: * http://tinyurl.com/hoqvz7c * https://www.facebook.com/groups/1524561964540352 Also, Bristol Ageing Better are attempting to boost well-being among older people: * http://tinyurl.com/j2cl8kl _________________ 17. Neighbourhood meeting dates * Hotwells and Harbourside Forum: 24th Jan, The Pavilion, Hannover Quay, BS1 5JE - 7pm to 8.30pm * Central, Clifton and Harbourside Neighbourhood Partnership: 26th Jan, City Hall - 7pm to 8.30pm _________________ 18. Would you like to help me help you? In October and November I delivered the Autumn edition of the paper Cabot News to 3,000 letterboxes across Hotwells & Harbourside ward with the help of my band of local helpers. If we missed your door for some reason, you can download it here: http://tinyurl.com/jmuqubt Delivering so many leaflets is tough work and takes up a lot of our time. If you would like to help by delivering to a road near you, please reply and get in touch ASAP - we are always very pleased to have a bit of extra help! _________________ If you know of people who would be interested in any of Cabot eNews, please forward it on to them. If you have received this email from a friend and like it, email us to get added directly to the distribution. We also welcome feedback. We are happy to help residents, local businesses and voluntary agencies where we can, to pursue issues to make Hotwells & Harbourside a better place. Best wishes, Cllr Mark Wright