Jan 2017 - Cabot eNews
January's edition of Cabot eNews.
In this edition: _________________ 1. Council Tax likely to rise 5% in 2017 2. Power-boat racing in the harbour again? 3. Metrobus works / disruption 4. Major road changes in south-west Bristol 5. New Arena delayed 6. Low Emission Zone update 7. Proposal for "landmark" Harbourside hotel 8. Chocolate Path section diverted due to subsidence 9. Cumberland Road chaos eases (slightly) 10. Redcliffe Wharf public consultation 11. Neighbourhood Partnership and Forum dates 12. Monday morning Harbourside social running 13. Future of Jacobs Wells Baths 14. Police "Transformers" funding 15. Bristol floating garden wins prize 16. Local exhibitions _________________ 1. Council Tax likely to rise 5% in 2017 The Labour Mayor, Marvin Rees, has proposed raising Council tax by 5% for the coming year. This will be the biggest rise in many years, and is several times the current inflation rate. The new(ish) Mayor continues to look for ways to save a whopping £100million over the next 5 years to cover both harsh Government cuts and his own new spending commitments, and he has clearly decided that raising the tax rate will play a big part: www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-38604398 It looks to me that the Mayor is attempting to "front-load" the savings and cuts, which will get the bad news out of the way early in his term. The down-side of this is that, as the local media reported, "Bristol's budget cuts will be more brutal than expected": http://tinyurl.com/zeloz9v Under the mayoral system, the Labour Party now has enough councillors to be able to pass the Mayor's budget without any amendments from the other political parties. The local media has a summary of the key measures Mayor Rees is proposing so far, which cover about 1/3 of the total and are likely to be included in this year's budget: http://tinyurl.com/jb2j677 The budget proposals as they stand unfortunately would also spell the end of Neighbourhood Partnerships as we know them. This would be a huge shame, as a great deal of local action has occurred in recent years because of the flourishing of the Neighbourhood Partnerships. Another down-side of this is that it will return all Council power back to the centre. I very much hope this can be avoided. _________________ 2. Power-boat racing in the harbour again? The Mayor has expressed a desire to see power-boat racing return to Bristol harbour, and is exploring the idea with a promotions company who want to deliver the event. The races were mostly during the 80s when the docks were derelict and very different to today, but they were ended in 1990 after the 7th driver was killed and organisers wouldn't risk the reputation harm of more deaths (the course was so dangerous that the racers nicknamed it the "widow-maker"). I'm not a supporter of this proposal. The Mayor needs to express how he thinks an event like this fits with Bristol's Green Capital aspirations; and he also needs to consider what the reputational harm to the city might be if there were more fatalities. But my main concerns are the huge disruption this will cause for those who live or have businesses on the water. The harbour would have to be cleared of boats for a week around the event, which would likely be in high summer. This would mean moving dozens of residents who now live in boats and businesses that now operate on the water. The Mayor should consider whether it is fair to deliberately clobber some businesses in order to benefit others. I have been asking all over the Council what the implications would be and who knows what, and have submitted questions to the Mayor trying to find out more. I remember the races from when I was a child; but personally, I think they were a spectacle of the past that should stay in the past. http://tinyurl.com/jjdzjql _________________ 3. Metrobus works / disruption Balfour Beatty have said that they have had to extend their works on Spike Island for a month, so Smeaton Road will now reopen at the end of March. Also, due to major works, diversions will take place on Winterstoke Road from 8pm Saturday to 8pm Sunday on the following weekends: * 21-22 January (Winterstoke Northbound and Ashton Underpass closure) * 28-29 January (Ashton Underpass closure) _________________ 4. Major road changes in south-west Bristol Two big road changes happen from next week, which may affect you if you are leaving the harbour area via the Cumberland Basin or Winterstoke Road. The first is that the "South Bristol Link" opens from Monday 16th Jan; linking Hartcliffe roundabout to the A370. The second is that Hartcliffe Way becomes a one-way road for Metrobus works, with diversions in place for 10 months. Plan your route! _________________ 5. New Arena delayed The Mayor has decided not to progress a main building contract with the current developer to build the Bristol Arena. This is because apparently "an agreement on price cannot be reached". All the existing work and planning permissions remain in place, and can be taken up by a future developer, but this now means that the arena will end up being at least 2 years delayed. While this is hugely disappointing, I can understand why the Mayor has done this. It's not unusual for developers to push councils on major projects, believing that politicians will be unable to call their bluff for fear of losing face in public. When the Council is strapped for cash it's better to get a developer who will build at the right price... www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-38589492 _________________ 6. Low Emission Zone update The local media reported that the Council has given taxi drivers advance notice that their cars could face restrictions in the central area if they don't meet certain emissions levels in future. This is good news, as it means the Council is trying to let companies know they need to up their game (although I suspect the media is being a bit alarmist in suggesting that the charge might hit all private cars). More: http://tinyurl.com/jqet5es _________________ 7. Proposal for "landmark" Harbourside hotel There is a new proposal for a "landmark" hotel on the vacant space next to the Lloyds HQ on Harbourside. It would feature a floating restaurant and a covered area for market stalls/events on an area of land running alongside Bordeaux Quay. The Council has long had this plot listed as a "prime" development site, and I will be investigating the proposal and asking any plans to deliver the most possible for the local community. More info: http://tinyurl.com/hlj6tkn _________________ 8. Chocolate Path section diverted due to subsidence A 100m section of a popular cycle and pedestrian route is being diverted due to concerns over its stability. A temporary footpath diversion is being installed using part of the heritage railway, which runs parallel, and it will remain in place for the foreseeable future while structural investigations are carried out. The heritage railway will not operate along this section until the stabilisation works are completed. Time-scales for any structural work can only be determined once the investigation work has taken place. _________________ 9. Cumberland Road chaos eases (slightly) The rush-hour congestion on Cumberland road has eased slightly, after the contractors made a number of changes to the traffic management system suggested by residents and myself (well done for those suggestions!) It is still hoped the works will be finished by the end of January...but I've stopped counting my chickens when it comes to Metrobus completion dates. _________________ 10. Redcliffe Wharf public consultation Complex Development Projects will be holding a second public consultation before submitting a planning application for the redevelopment of Redcliffe Wharf Suite 2 (First Floor), M Shed, Wed, 18th January, Noon - 8pm. _________________ 11. Neighbourhood Partnership and Forum dates Central, Clifton and Harbourside Neighbourhood Partnership: Thu 26th Jan, 7pm; at City Hall, College Green. Hotwells and Harbourside forum: Tue 24th Jan, 7pm; at The Pavilion No1 Hannover Quay, Harbourside, BS1 5JE. Agenda: * Local planning developments update * MetroBus update * Crime and community safety update from the Police * Future of Neighbourhood Partnerships * Neighbourhood and community issues _________________ 12. Monday morning Harbourside social running "Better on a Monday" - Weekly from Monday 9th Jan, 9.30am Mardyke Steps Led by local runners, the run is open to all abilities and perfect for those looking for some daytime social running. It's not competitive - no one is left behind. Meet on the harbourside at Mardyke Steps behind the Galley Cafe, next to Young Bristol, at 9:20 for a 9:30am start. The run lasts for about an hour. Running will be on road and first few runs will be around the harbour. Similar to "Feel Good Friday" at Tyntesfield and Leigh Woods - but they're "Even Better on a Monday". _________________ 13. Future of Jacobs Wells Baths There is an important Open Meeting concerned with the future of the Jacobs Wells Baths, hosted by the Jacobs Wells Community Hub: Thursday, Jan 19th 6.30-8.00 pm. There will be the opportunity to hear results of the on-line and paper survey / consultation and ask questions. _________________ 14. Police "Transformers" funding There is £5,000 of funding from the Police through the 'Transformers' fund to spend on youth projects in our area. Applications must be in by 17th February. Grants will be awarded to support ideas that promote youth engagement and benefit within the partnership area in the current year. More info here: http://tinyurl.com/h2ok8bj _________________ 15. Bristol floating garden wins prize A Bristol art project has won the 2016-2018 Vera List Centre Prize for Art and Politics. Presented every two years, this year the winner is Brazilian artist Maria Thereza Alves, who created Bristol's Floating Ballast Seed Garden. The garden, which was berthed in Bristol's floating harbour between 2012 and 2016, formed part of "Seeds of Change" and was brought to Bristol in 2011 at the invitation of Bristol City Council and Arnolfini. Making use of a derelict concrete barrage owned by Bristol Harbour Authority, the ballast garden featured plant species not native to the UK but that had occasionally self-seeded in the harbour after being trapped in cargo. Well done all involved for such an innovative exhibit! _________________ 17. Local exhibitions Spike Island Art Centre: * Lubaina Himid, Navigation Charts - 20 January to 26 March 2017. Lubaina Himid (b. 1954, Zanzibar, lives and works in Preston) works in painting, drawing, installation and printmaking. Spike Island presents the first major UK survey of her work in collaboration with Modern Art Oxford and Nottingham Contemporary. * Sian Norris - 2 January to 30 April 2017. Novelist, short story writer, journalist and poet Sian Norris is writer-in-residence at Spike Island, developing a new novel and running a series of workshops and literary events. * Mary Paterson - January to March 2017. Working between critical writing, poetry and live art, Mary Paterson is art writer in residence for early 2017, hosted by Spike Island in partnership with Arnolfini and the Art Writers Programme _________________ 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