We send out a regular email newsletter to any residents of Ashley ward who are interested in what is happening in their area and in what Gus Hoyt, their Green councillor, has been doing. If you would like to subscribe to this newsletter, please email ashley-news.
Dear Ashley resident,
It gives me great pleasure to write to you as your new councillor. The landslide victory for the Green Party in Ashley ward was humbling and I have barely stopped working since. I have been involved in issues from local refuse collection to the economic direction of our city, and everything in-between.
The Green group's first major success on the council was to ensure English as a second language teaching would not be cut from the budget. We negotiated this with Council leader Barbara Janke, who has promised to maintain this service and there are task groups now established to facilitate this happening. ESOL is more than learning to speak English; it is about equality in its most basic form; daily interaction within and among communities – something that makes Bristol such an interesting and resilient city.
We will provide you with regular updates giving you information on local campaigns and council news, but I cannot hope to include everything, so please contact me if you have any specific enquiries. Thank you for your time and I hope you enjoy the read.
Cllr Gus Hoyt
Greens make school places a major council issue
A huge issue at the moment is school places – especially Primary. Many parents have not received an acceptable place (no matter what the official statistics say) and the schools that do exist seriously lack capital investment.
I asked for a place on the Children & Young People's Services (CYPS) scrutiny committee and the Green group have made this a major issue on the council. The constant hurdles in this process mean that the council WILL fail parents aiming for the September 2011 intake. This pains me deeply but I'm working tirelessly to change this.
The national and local policy seems to be hell-bent on progressing down the route of Academies and Free Schools. This will be disastrous for Bristol and will only further segregate our children into haves and have-nots. I urge you to oppose these moves and insist we as a council are allowed to provide fair and equal education to every child in the city. Please write to your school, your councillor and your MP.
Call for local engagement in planning
As you well may know Westmoreland House (and the Carriage Works) – the vast derelict building at the junction of Stokes Croft/Ashley Rd/Nine Tree Hill – might soon be council owned due to a compulsory purchase order. I believe it is crucial that the area develops and is not simply “developed” by outsiders. I'm calling for local input to this process. Please put on your best visioning-caps and imagine what it could be. We must strive for excellence and cannot just end up with yet more single occupancy flats. The potential here is enormous; this could be a landmark for Bristol and an architectural jewel in the heart of our community
Greens supporting local food
Recent happenings in the No Tesco in Stokes Croft campaign have been:
- a peaceful and fun tea party outside Tesco with locally bought and made cake for all! More information: BBC news article
- the campaign being granted a judicial review for the way in which planning permission was obtained for the Tesco store – a big victory! More information: Guardian news article
- the beginnings of the People's Supermarket project. Click here to go to the facebook group
- Bristol Green Parties have hosted a free public meeting. Taking the form of a Bristol-wide ideas exchange, the focus was on campaigns to support local food outlets and control large-chain supermarket development. Notes from the meeting are available here.
Local volunteers have started a petition which calls for the UK government to launch an independent inquiry to investigate fully the causes of the disturbances in Stokes Croft, and the lessons learned. At the time of writing, over 400 people had signed. For more information and to sign the petition, go here: Link to petition
Greens dispute stadium planning
The Council has voted to approve a “split site” so that town green campaigners and stadium developers share the Ashton Vale site. Green Party Councillor for Southville Tess Green said: “It doesn't give the people of Ashton Vale what they want. It would be much better at Filton on the former airfield where there is easy access to the motorways.”
Local Enterprise Zone
Greens express doubts about Enterprise zone proposal
You will soon hear much talk about Local Enterprise Zones (LEZ) and Partnerships (LEP). Most of the information will speak of how much development and growth it will bring to the city. Other cities have (for the most part) found the opposite to be true.
Wealth and business centres collapse as the race to the new zones commences, with it’s relaxed planning regulations and lowered business rates. It will leave yet more “offices to let” and empty shop fronts as the rush to a new “Bull-Ring style development” may occur next to Temple Meads.
I simply suggest that we need funds to flow into our local economy, strengthening our independent shopkeepers. If business rates are to be lowered, this should benefit individual traders and not multinationals or we run the risk of losing all that we hold dear as we morph into just another Clone Town.
Calendar of Events
Recommended green events
3rd - St Werburghs & Montpelier police beat surgery, 6pm at St Werburghs Community Centre, Horley Road.
6th - Solar Photovoltaics: FREE expert talks and tour of an installation (organised by the Centre of Sustainable Energy), 2.30-4.30pm at The Tobacco Factory, North Street, Bristol BS3 1TF. More info: www.tobaccofactory.com
6th – Reclaim The Fields South West gathering, The Factory, 2-8 Cave Street, St. Paul's. Young people, collective projects and cooperative alternatives. More info: www.reclaimthefields.org
12th – Disnatomy, 6-9pm at Weapon of Choice, 8b Park Street, BS1 5HR. Art gallery/club night/magazine. More info: www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=218245771541785
13th - Narroways Volunteer Day, 10:30am at Narroways Hill.
18th - Bristol Brewing Circle, 7.30pm at The Miners Arms.
23rd - Amnesty International letter-writing, 7.30pm at The Miners Arms.
28th - FOSBR Monthly Pub Meetings, The Sugar Loaf pub, St. Mark's Road (near Stapleton Road station), Easton.
7th – Green Urban Social. See our calendar for more information.
Ramblers walks throughout July and August. Most go through beautiful green spaces threatened with development. More info: http://bit.ly/kTXhLN
GROFUN Action Weekends on Ashley Vale Allotments, St Werburghs (behind The Farm pub). Every Saturday and Sunday from noon. More info: http://bit.ly/omFihn or phone Nadia on 07973-847-894.
Every Wednesday - pub quiz at The Duke Of York, St. Werburgh's.
Bristol Bike Project: www.thebristolbikeproject.org
If you'd like to contact Gus, there are a few ways:
Gus Hoyt, Ex-Councillor for Ashley
Rob Telford, Ex-Councillor for Ashley
Contact the Ashley team
How to get in touch with us in Ashley