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. https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/bristol-council-tax-set-increase-2430429 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: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-46961427 _________________ 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: http://www.cabot-liberals.org/index.php?ward=Cabot&id=Cabot/news/news256 More coverage: https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/drivers-fine-anti-idling-zones-2321603 _________________ 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: https://www.bristol247.com/news-and-features/features/the-future-of-the-cumberland-basin/ 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: http://www.bristolnpn.net/current-topics/cumberland-basin-western-harbour/ _________________ 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. https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/metrobus-first-bus-timetable-changes-2385384 _________________ 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. https://news.bristol.gov.uk/news/work-to-start-on-anchor-road-and-hotwell-road-a4-14-january _________________ 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: https://news.bristol.gov.uk/news/have-your-say-on-central-library-opening-hours 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: https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/central-library-could-reopened-seven-2400306 _________________ 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. https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/post-office-galleries-closing-date-2460518 _________________ 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. https://news.bristol.gov.uk/news/3gs-set-to-take-on-environmental-enforcement-role _________________ 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: https://www.bristol.gov.uk/streets-travel/public-toilet-map 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: https://www.bristol.gov.uk/business-support-advice/join-the-community-toilet-scheme Separately, councillors have called for a review of scheme amid criticism of it: https://www.bristol247.com/news-and-features/news/call-for-review-of-bristols-community-toilet-scheme/ _________________ 11. Avon Crescent safety plans XXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX _________________ 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 never! _________________ 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: https://www.watershed.co.uk/articles/bigger-shed-read-more-details-here And here: https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/major-expansion-plans-bristol-watershed-2265512 _________________ 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: https://www.bristol247.com/news-and-features/news/mauretanias-famous-neon-lights-return-after-decade-of-darkness/ _________________ 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. _________________