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 and Rob Telford, their Green councillors, have been doing. If you would like to subscribe to this newsletter, please email ashley-news.
To keep up to date with community news and developments between updates, please join the Ashley Greenvine Facebook group: http://bit.ly/AshleyGreenvine
Hello and welcome to this edition of our Ashley e-news.
I hope you enjoy reading a brief update of many things that have happened in the ward we all call home. Ashley is perhaps the most diverse and active ward in the city and we can only hope to touch on a fraction of the news and activities that we and our neighbours have been involved in over the past few months.
Alongside our monthly e-update in which we will send you notice of all upcoming events, activities council activity and consultations this is a look back at the past couple of months. I hope you enjoy the read and if you have anything you would like us to include in our e-correspondence then please feel free to write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
If you use facebook you can also keep up to date with ward issues by joining the Ashley Greenvine page.
Thank you for your time and enjoy the summer.
All the best,
Gus and Rob
In this month’s e-news:
- Residents Parking
- Parks and Green Spaces
- Tidy Streets
- Planning and Housing
- Neighbourhood Partnerships
- And more in between…
RPS has again dominated the news and is the hot topic in the city at the moment. We have been holding community meetings. In these, local residents can come and freely express their views on the scheme as a whole and on specific issues that have arisen on a number of occasions. We have developed this by borrowing from the best practices of Open Space theory, which has resulted in a safe and conflict-free environment.
Following the latest alterations by the Mayor, the new and ‘finalised’ scheme can be viewed here
The St Pauls (SP) area is to go ahead as decided last year and Montpelier (MR) has been added into the scheme though is not to be rolled out until later. The areas of the ward that have been placed under an extended consultation state are St Andrews (SA), Ashley Down (AD) and St Werburghs (SW). The exact timetables are not yet known and we will be in touch with more information in a specific RPS update.
The exact details of each area will be worked out in turn. We are working with the community to collect all views and not just those from the loudest voices. Please do get in touch with your views and ideas. We are preparing a report to give to officers that will highlight the community vision for each area of the ward and will not be in road by road detail as this work will be done later as local formal consultation from the transport department.
However, we have been told that the consultation will not be a binding referendum.
Albany Green: We have been actively moving forwards the now drawn-up plans and are hoping to start delivery within the year. This has been a long time coming and we are happy that the officers now on board are dedicated to making this happen. The plans are still open to local consultation and have begun with local schools. So far we have £95k to spend and a possible £211k if we secure additional S106 monies from the Neighbourhood Partnership – we are confident of this.
The priorities expressed in previous rounds of consultation that have been listed as a multiple use game area – with secure gates and high fences, a play site that children can actually use, hopefully extended into a ‘natural-play’ area and a fenced dog-free children’s area. Following these, people have asked for new fencing around the park –possibly a hedge, clear and physical definition of the division between the Star & Garter and the park and a place where adults can relax. The dragon is getting a facelift from local school-children and will be given pride of place.
The results of the consultation is now public and we welcome your input and ideas.
Rosa Parks Lane: Right by Albany Green is Rosa Parks Lane. This path that backs onto the school field is sadly misused, often as a toilet and place to take hard drugs. Not only is this dangerous and unpleasant for children and local residents, it is also an insult to the great woman the area is named after.
This area has in recent months however seen a great facelift and life was brought back in through a combination of local residents, the Safer Bristol Team, specific sex and drug litter targeting teams and a fantastic local group of guerrilla-gardeners born of Transition Montpelier. With luck, continued vigilance and hard work we hope this part of Bristol will remain a place where people enjoy to be and worthy of the name it holds.
Recently there was further damage during carnival greatly affected by proximity to the Star and Garter. At the very least we hope to ensure that all future events that utilise the outdoor area of the establishment are flagged up in licensing and a condition of adequate portaloo provision and litter clear-up is written into their conditions.
Lynmouth Road Allotments: These highly valued plots in St Werburghs – you can see them on your left just before the railway bridge towards the City Farm - face an uncertain future.
The owners have gone through liquidation and local fears are that a developer will purchase the land and build on this prime (and much loved) growing space. We are both fundamentally opposed to any development of this land and loss of essential land that’s used for growing food in the city. We have written an open letter of support which was reported in citywide news:
Bye-law consultation: There is currently a review of the bye-laws in the city concerning our parks and green spaces. Many are out-dated and not fit for purpose and many new threats or complaints have arisen over the years. To reflect this, a large body of work has been commissioned by Gus Hoyt. First though, it is essential that the Safer Bristol team hear from all of us. You can take park in this process by completing this survey.
We have continued to identify the main hotspots in our ward. It is a difficult task as we also face challenges from excessive litter, fly-tipping, wind scattering rubbish and pavement parking which impairs street cleaning crews. If there is a problem it is best to log the complaint – my preferred option is 01179 222 100 or you can do so online, or by using the “Looking Local” smartphone app. Gus has also tasked officers to develop a council Twitter feed so that soon this will also be a method of reporting / complaining incidents.
St Pauls: This community has long been faced with a disproportionate problem concerning litter. Suffering from an almost ‘perfect storm’ at times it has been - and will continue to be - where we spend most of our time dealing with resident concerns and engaging council resources to try to solve them.
Recently we made a major breakthrough and have secured a four-person street-cleaning team specifically for the area. This has been a long-time in the asking and will hopefully help us tackle issues before they become problems. They will also help us promptly deal with complaints once they are made and they will aid in keeping on top of the problem at identified hotspots.
The Carnival: This generated a lot of temporary rubbish and recycling and though there were no recycling bins on site, we have been assured that the collections were sorted back at the depot and separated into their correct recyclable places.
On the whole though we received very few complaints compared with previous years and this is credit to the members of the excellent Carnival Committee who were responsible – more on this later in the newsletter.
Montpelier: Received some knock-on from the Carnival. Bins left on streets – especially on Picton Street (a major arterial route for party-goers) where they were filled with a variety of rubbish and recyclable materials. These were left as normal collection day wasn’t until the Friday. In the heat we’ve just been having this has also led to rotting food waste and is something we need to be aware of for next year’s event.
Unfortunately at the same time there were a number of cars that had their tires slashed in the area. If you know anything about this, please contact the police on the non-emergency number 101 and quote reference 440/75 to link it in.
We have acted in a number of cases locally both supporting developments such as the BS2 Eco-Flats (St Pauls - which was granted) and the Cross-fit gym on York Street (St Werburghs – which was unfortunately refused). We have also helped a number of tenants with enquiries about obtaining planning permission and on how to formally object to schemes. We are always open to giving impartial advice and if you feel you need some help please don’t hesitate to ask.
We have also faced the continual problems of vacant, absent and poor landlords and of course the reverse of that, problem tenants. These cases are never easy but they are a fact of life and if you face one of these problems and feel there is nowhere to go, please get in contact with us. We can often help put you in contact with the right departments or service provider. Often we also find that we can mediate between effected parties and can help facilitate a rational conversation whereby all problems can be safely aired.
We have also helped rehouse some vulnerable tenants in the ward. Substandard accommodation is a real issue and we will continue to find ways of improve housing situations for people whenever and wherever we can.
Brook Hill: Residents have long been petitioning for changes to the road layout/traffic flow in and around Brook Hill which spans the area from York Road and Shaftesbury. The main hotspots have been around the junctions with York Road, Cobourg Road and Upper Cheltenham Place. Highways officers have now announced plans to put No Entry signs on the Cobourg Road junction, effectively making Brook Hill one way from the top at York Road to the Cobourg Road junction. This could potentially force excessive traffic down Cobourg Road. Though this sounds very complicated, here is a diagram: TRO_10TM056-TRO4.pdf
Ashley Hill crossing: Following a wide-reaching and positive resident-led campaign we were able to work with officers on prioritising this as an urgent scheme. It was at first mentioned that plans were to start in early June. We have identified that despite the residents groups not being contacted, this work has indeed begun and despite the lead officer being on compassionate leave, the plans are progressing to the agreed timetable.
The deadline that has been set by transport officers is: a completed design scheme by August 5th. It would seem this is advancing smoothly and we hope to be able to share these plans amongst local residents soon afterwards.
20 is Plenty: After many years of citywide campaigning, we are very pleased to announce that Phase 1 of the rollout of 20mph speed limits across the city is due to take place. In Phase 1 of the rollout, all roads in Ashley ward will carry the 20mph limit. Full plans are in Wednesday’s edition of the Bristol Post and are available on the Council’s website (link unavailable at time of writing).
Gus Hoyt was elected as councillor chair for the Ashley, Easton & Lawrence Hill Neighbourhood Partnership (NP) despite missing the meeting due to being in A&E after a car collided with his bike. The NP now has four Labour councillors and two Green councillors. This is the forum for a great deal of local decision making and due to Gus’ role as assistant mayor for communities, it will become a more-recognised arena for local democracy. He is in charge of decentralising a lot of the decision making in the Council and the changes are set to start getting introduced in the autumn.
Thank you to all who played a part in making St Pauls Carnival a fantastic success this year. It took a lot of hard work from the committee and from every stall-holder and volunteer, without whom this event would not happen.
The best things in life are indeed free, but unfortunately putting on a Carnival does require financial input. You can still make a contribution to the Carnival fund by texting: “CARN45£5” (or any amount you can spare) to 70070.
Thank you very much for reading and enjoy the rest of the summer!
Gus Hoyt, Ex-Councillor for Ashley
Rob Telford, Ex-Councillor for Ashley
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