Jan 2019 - Cabot eNews

January's edition of Cabot eNews.

In this edition:

1. Budget 2019: Council Tax to rise 4%
2. Bristol Mayor "stalling on city clean air plan" says Govt
3. Cllr Mark Wright passes 'no-idling zones' motion
4. Cumberland Basin Update
5. 3rd Metrobus route starts!
6. Work starts on Anchor Road bus lanes
7. Have your say on Central Library opening hours
8. Post Office "listening to, but ignoring" local people
9. New company - 3GS - to take on environmental crime
10. Community Toilet Scheme
11. Avon Crescent safety plans XXXXXXX
12. New Cut clean-up
13. UK to follow Bristol with weekly food waste collection
14. Trees on Baltic Wharf caravan park development site
15. Watershed unveils 'bold' plans for building expansion
16. Licensing objections
17. Clifton & Harbourside Neighbourhood Forum
18. Mauretania's famous neon sign returns after 10 years
19. Local exhibitions

1. Budget 2019: Council Tax to rise 4%

The Mayor, Labour's Marvin Rees, is now proposing a 4% rise in Council
tax. Although this is above inflation, it offsets some of the brutal
cuts passed down by the Conservative government, so personally I think
it's an acceptable rise.


Last year the Mayor initially proposed to close most of the city's
libraries, After a huge outcry he U-turned after 6 months of public
campaigns, and in this current budget he proposes to reduce the amount
of cuts to the library service, which is very welcome.

I should point out that two years ago the Lib Dem group on the Council
said that the Mayor was cutting too hard in the early years in order to
build up more freedom in later years (coincidentally near the elections);
and that if he instead cut less then and used reserves to bridge
a couple of years until tax receipts rose he would be able to avoid
the worst cuts. At the time the Labour group said this was financially
irresponsible, but now - after several key U-turns on libraries and SEN
children - the Mayor has basically done exactly what we advised...

2. Bristol Mayor "stalling on city clean air plan" says Govt

In an astonishing intervention after Bristol failed to comply with a
government direction to submit its plans to improve air quality in the
city, the Government Minister for the Environment wrote to Bristol's
Mayor this month, saying "you have unlawfully failed to comply with the
direction, and I am absolutely astonished at your delay in improving air
quality for the people of Bristol." The minister then raised the threat of
legal action against the Council. A few days later the Mayor re-shuffled
his Cabinet and took personal control of the air quality strategy. More:

3. Cllr Mark Wright passes 'no-idling zones' motion

My motion to introduce 'no vehicle idling zones' across the city was
unanimously passed at Full Council in December. I'm really happy this
got passed with the support of every councillor in the chamber. I know
already that many councillors are keen that schools and parks in their
areas are the ones to be chosen for the pilot schemes, so I'm pretty
sure this is going to turn out to be a popular scheme that will improve
air quality and driving habits in our city.

A timetable for implementation of the pilot scheme has not yet been
announced, but councillors are hopeful of having these zones in their
wards by 2019. The recent letter from the Government highlights the
urgency of measures like these.

Details of the motion:

More coverage:

4. Cumberland Basin Update

At the beginning on the month, Bristol News 24/7 produced a good article
on the Mayor's Cumberland Basin plans, which included some new bits of
information. The plan images/diagrams in it should be taken with a pinch
of salt because it's early days yet, but they are much more sensible
than some proposals that have been floating on the internet recently:

I met with one of the Council's leading planners a few days ago, and
got some useful information. First, the consultant's transport report,
regarding the replacement for the main bridge - which is crucial to any
development - is expected to go public at the end of February. There will
no doubt be a media storm when that happens. Second, the public engagement
on the main principles is then expected to start towards the end of March.

Finally, there is a running list of all the information we know stored
at this page:

5. 3rd Metrobus route starts!

The 3rd Metrobus route, the "m1" service from Hengrove to Cribbs Causway,
started on 6th January. This means that all three of the first set of
routes aree now running. All three are doing extremely well and reporting
much higher passenger numbes than planned, and the operators are stuggling
to find enough extra buses to deal with demand. It's been a long journey
to get here (much longer and more painful than it needed to be) but I do
believe it has been worht it, and the passenger numbers appear to agree.

6. Work starts on Anchor Road bus lanes

Roadworks have started on an inbound (eastwards) bus lane along Anchor
Road. This phase 1 is expected to take five months to complete. The
works are focused adjacent to Hargreaves Lansdown and also at the back
of the Watershed.

Phase 2 works involve extending the outbound (westwards) bus lane on
the approach to the bus stop outside "We the Curious", and improvements
to the pedestrian crossing just before the bus stop. Phase 2 will start
following completion of Phase 1 works.


7. Have your say on Central Library opening hours

The Council's current consultation on how to run the library service
- instead of closing most of it - continues. The Central Library is
currently shut on Wednesdays. Have your say on the Central Library here:


There is a meeting at City Hall, Tuesday 12th Feb, 10am-12 (and again
6-8pm); these meetings will discuss Central, Clifton, Redland, Bishopston
and St Pauls libraries. If you have ideas or suggestions for the library
and its building, please attend one of these meetings. More:

8. Post Office "listening to, but ignoring" local people

Following a public consultation which stirred huge opposition to the
proposed closure, the Post Office has announced it is still going ahead
with the closing of the Galleries branch. This will see the largest and
most popular Post Office in Bristol close and shrink to a nearby branch
of WHSmith. This is a huge disappointment, and given the overwhelming
response from the consultation, it's now pretty obvious the whole
consultation was a sham. The Post Office should be ashamed.

9. New company - 3GS - to take on environmental crime

The Council is to appoint 3GS to tackle environmental crime in the
city, taking over from current company 'Kingdom'. It is a contractual
requirement of the council that no inducement or reward will be paid to
3GS or to its staff on the basis that a fine is issued. Personally I'm a
bit of a hard-liner when it comes to littering and other eco-crime, and I
don't have a problem with incentive-based fines as it deals aggressively
with something that I think needs aggressive treatment. However, this is
unpopular with some of the public, so the Council has retreated from it.


10. Community Toilet Scheme

A year ago the Mayor closed nearly all public toilets in the city, to
cope with budget cuts. This move should have been long proceeded by a
community toilet scheme so that alternatives were available immediately;
unfortunately only now a year later is the scheme coming to fruition. As
of now, 90 venues have signed up across the city, with 85% having
accessible toilets. There is a map here:


If you know of a venue that would be interested in joining the scheme
please ask them  point them to this page on the city council website,
where they can find out more about the scheme:


Separately, councillors have called for a review of scheme amid criticism
of it:

11. Avon Crescent safety plans XXXXXXX



12. New Cut clean-up

The next FrANC river clean-up will be held on Saturday 9th February
along the York Road Riverbank between the Banana and Bedminster bridges;
meeting at 9:50am at the Banana on the York Road side of the New Cut. In
the event that they are forced to postpone the clean-up a notice to
that effect will be posted in the News section of the FrANC Website (
www.franc.org.uk ) early on Saturday morning.

13. UK to follow Bristol with weekly food waste collection

The Department of Environment has announced plans to mandate nationwide
weekly food-waste collections. The Liberal Democrats introduced weekly
food-waste collection to Bristol in 2006 - one of the first councils to
do so - and in the years following that the city was one of the leading
recyclers in the country. (Recycling rates have largely stalled since
2012, unfortunately.) We welcome this development, and point out the
environmental damage and economic cost that has been sustained by the
country while it waited to follow Bristol's example. Better late than

14. Trees on Baltic Wharf caravan park development site

I have been in contact with the Council's Tree Protection officer,
regarding some of the very fine trees that are in Baltic Wharf caravan
park, and their future as the site is developed for flats. I have made
it clear that the community expects to see many of the best quality
trees on the site saved and incorporated into the new plans, and that
this would enhance the value of the development if done well and early
in the planning process.

15. Watershed unveils 'bold' plans for building expansion

The Watershed has unveiled draft plans to expand the current warehouses
to create more space for itself. You can see the plans here:
And here:

16. Licensing objections

I objected to an ice cream van licence on Capricorn Quay on grounds that
it was right next to the residential flats. Although it was to run on
electric generator, it still needs to be further along Hotwell Road to
avoid noise nuisance. The committee agreed with me and other residents
arguing the same, and rejected the application.

I have also objected to the lateness of live music requested
(midnight!) for the KPMG Annual Partnership Conference 2019 (Tuesday
7th to Thursday 9th May) at the Lloyds amphitheatre.

17. Clifton & Harbourside Neighbourhood Forum

The next C&H Neighbourhood Forum is at Clifton High School on 25th Feb
7-8.30pm. More information about the new Neighbourhood arrangements can be
found here https://www.bristol.gov.uk/people-communities/area-committees

18. Mauretania's famous neon sign returns after 10 years

The old club's lovely sign at the bottom of Park St is fixed and back
on! More:

19. Local exhibitions

Spike Island:

* Christopher Kulendran Thomas New Eelam: Bristol
19 Jan - 24 Mar. Initiated as a long-term artwork in the form of a
start-up, New Eelam explores how a more liquid form of citizenship could
be constructed beyond national boundaries.

* Mai-Thu Perret The Blazing World
19 Jan to 24 Mar. The Blazing World is a major new commission, extending
upon Swiss artist Mai-Thu Perret's interests in feminist practice and
the occult.