Sep 2017 - Cabot eNews

September's edition of Cabot eNews.

In this edition:

1. Metrobus start is delayed
2. Tuesday 5th Sep is last day for Consultations!
3. Wide criticism of consultation on Council Tax Support Scheme
4. New fleet of biogas buses
5. Speeding on Cumberland Rd
6. Bristol Half Marathon - Sunday 17 September
7. Developer destroys rare 17th Century ceiling
8. Hotwells polling-station location
9. Explosion sinks historic boat in harbour
10. Bristol Doors Open Day
11. At-Bristol to be renamed Curious
12. Jacobs Wells Baths Update
13. Hotwells and Harbourside Over 50s
14. Clean Up Bristol Harbour
15. Would you like to help me help you?

1. Metrobus start is delayed

Metrobus Ashton to Temple Meads (AVTM) route was due to start this
week. It obviously isn't going to! Right now, the Council will only
say that "It is currently expected to launch by the end of the year"
or "Autumn", depending who I listen to. Some months ago I extracted
assurances from the Council that if Metrobus was delayed, the 506 bus
service would continue to serve Cumberland Road. This is what I received
from the Council a few days ago regarding this:

* "The 506 will continue to operate until the AVTM MetroBus route
starts, however it will operate in 2 distinct sections. The first will
be a shuttle bus providing the current link between the Create Centre
and Broadmead and the second is the long term 506 route which will run
from Broadmead to Southmead Hospital. The shuttle bus will cease when
AVTM starts. Both services will be run by the same operator (CT Plus)
and be linked at the Broadmead/Broad Weir stop. Due to uncertainty around
the timing of the MetroBus launch, and therefore the length of operation
required for the shuttle bus, the shuttle bus itself is not a registered
bus service. The only effect of this is that it will not charge fares,
but it will have a full timetable etc."

2. Tuesday 5th Sep is last day for Consultations!

You may recall from previous eNews that the Council is asking for your
views on a group of five consultations on proposals that impact on
neighbourhoods and local services you may use regularly. This incredibly
important consultation closes on Tuesday 5th. These proposals will be the
biggest change in Council services in a generation, so please do spend
a bit of time putting your view in. More here:

3. Wide criticism of consultation on Council Tax Support Scheme

A separate consultation by the Labour Mayor has come in for major
criticism. The Council is also consulting on changes to the Council
Tax Relief scheme, which helps people who cannot afford to pay Council
Tax. You may recall that back in July's eNews I criticised the Council
raising money from the poorest people in the city, and the fact that all
the proposed options involve some level of cuts of help. Since then, it
has emerged that a court ruled that Haringey Council acted illegally by
running a consultation on cutting Council Tax Relief without having a
"no change" option. The Lib Dem group wrote to the Mayor questioning
what his plans were in the light of this. We await his response.

4. New fleet of biogas buses

Bristol has been awarded nearly 5m in grant from the Office for Low
Emission Vehicles, designed to help unlock a 28m investment by First
West of England to potentially transform a significant part of their fleet
into the gas-powered buses. The funding will help introduce 110 new gas
powered buses, 30 of which will be used on MetroBus services. This is
really excellent news for air quality in the city centre. Some years
ago, when the Lib Dems were running the Council back in 2012 it was
our intention that the Metrobuses would always be gas-powered to start
with. That fell away in later rounds of cost-cutting under different
Council leadership, so it is good to see that this might finally happen
after all. More:

5. Speeding on Cumberland Rd

With the removal of the "temporary" 20mph limit, and the wind-up of
Metrobus works, the old problem of speeding along Cumberland Rd has
returned. Before the Metrobus works, there was a "Vehicle Activated Sign"
by the Baltic Wharf shop, to slow cars approaching what is a dangerous
exit junction. Annoyingly, the Council say, "Unfortunately there is no
budget available to provide new Vehicle Activated Signs currently in
Highways". I have managed to persuade the Council to get the police to
restart pro-active enforcement along the road.

6. Bristol Half Marathon - Sunday 17 September

There will be a rolling program of road closures starting from Anchor
Road at 04:00 on Sunday 17 September 2017 in order to ensure a safe
running route for the 10,000 runners taking part. For maps and details
of closures, go here:

7. Developer destroys rare 17th Century ceiling

This isn't in H&H ward any more, but there was outrage last week when
a developer deliberately destroyed a fabulous 17th century Jacobean
plaster ceiling in a building in Small Street, a day before Historic
England were to visit to decide whether it would be listed. The
developer, Midas Property Services / G&E Baio Ltd, are in the student
accommodation business in Bristol. I hope people will consider the ethical
behaviour of businesses when choosing who to work with in Bristol. More:

8. Hotwells polling-station location

I have complained to the Council for the second time regarding the
location of the Hotwells polling-station. For the two elections this year,
and for the EU referendum last year, it has been at the Create Centre,
which is very inconvenient for the people in Hotwells. I first complained
after the referendum. I have suggested some alternative options, and
the Council acknowledge that Create is not an ideal location.

9. Explosion sinks historic boat in harbour

A suspected gas canister explosion has sunk a boat by Prince St bridge
in the harbour. Absorbent sponges have been scattered inside a boom to
soak up some of the leaking oil. More:

10. Bristol Doors Open Day

Thu 7th - Sun 10th September is Bristol Doors Open Day. This is the
once-a-year chance to look behind closed doors and discover the city's
hidden treasures. More details here:

11. At-Bristol to be renamed Curious

The At-Bristol venue will next month be renamed "We The
Curious". Originally called the "Exploratorium", the more recent name
of @Bristol caused problems with giving directions, email addresses,
and visibility of what the venue actually did. Along with a 3m grant
from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and
Wellcome's Inspiring Science Fund, the venue will be transformed and

12. Jacobs Wells Baths Update

The council invited expressions of interest from not for private profit
organisations to take over the management of this historic Bristol
building. The Panel will meet the two short-listed organisations in
late September 2017. The CAT decision should be issued by the end of
November. The proposals which have been short listed are:

* Fusion Lifestyle -
* Spike Island -

13. Hotwells and Harbourside Over 50s

Bristol Charities is hosting a meeting for anyone interested in having
their say on the development of new activities, projects and services
for over 50s in the area. Come along if you have ideas, experience or
knowledge to share, or if you would simply like to chat or hear about
what's going on. All are welcome. Free transport will be provided
for those who will find it difficult to get there and refreshments
provided free of charge. RSVP by the 25th September. The event is at
Salt Cafe (120 St George's Road, accessible entrance from Anchor Road)
on Saturday 30th September from 3-4pm. Please contact David Fakray on
07584 278 937 or to book or
for more information.

Also, if you have an event or activity which should be included in
a What's On Guide for Over 50s in Hotwells and Harbourside, please
get in touch with Bristol Charities. Local businesses and charities
will also have the opportunity to advertise at low cost to cover
the cost of printing. Get in touch asap as the booklet will go to
print on the 11th September. Contact David Fakray on 07584 278 937 or

14. Clean Up Bristol Harbour

This is a local group who volunteers to help clean up our historic
harbour. They meet up every month to get stuck in and make the harbour
cleaner. The next event is Sunday 17th Sep. You can find this and other
dates, here:

15. Would you like to help me help you?

In August I delivered the Summer 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:

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!