Fishponds Voice August 2020

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fishpondsvoice August, 2020 — ISSUE 65

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Mr Redko bows out - for now PE teacher Brendan Redko has retired from Bristol Metropolitan Academy after 39 years in the profession - but is already planning to return to the school as a volunteer. PAGE 8

Petition calls for ban on fishing The Newton Motors site seen from Fishponds Road

High-rise flats plan for key site A NEW seven-storey block of flats could be built on a landmark site at one of Fishponds' busiest junctions. A total of 46 flats would be built at the site occupied by the

Newton Motors garage at the corner of Fishponds Road and Lodge Causeway, if the scheme is given permission. The plans also include space for a ground-floor shop in what

architects describe as a "modern and sustainable residential and commercial environment". Neighbours were invited to a consultation meeting on July Turn to Page 2

A petition calling for fishing t be banned at Eastville Park lake has gathered more than 250 signatures. PAGE 6

Businesses make cautious return We look at how businesses are bouncing back after the coronavirus lockdown. PAGES 20 & 21


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fishpondsvoice Publisher & Sales Caroline Galvin 07453 954261

Journalist Ken MCormick 07715 770377

Editor Linda Tanner 0777 0700579

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ADVERTISING Tel 07453 954261 EDITORIAL Letters to the publication can be sent to the above e-mail address or by post to Letters, Fishponds Voice, 15 Mayfield Park, Fishponds, Bristol BS16 3nn. The editor reserves the right to edit your letter. DEADLINES September edition deadline is August 26. L O C A L I N F O R M AT I O N Bristol City Council 0117 922 2000 Police general enquiries: 101 Emergency: 999 Fire General enquiries: 0117 926 2061 Emergency: 999 NHS 111 Safer Stronger team 01454 868009

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PUBLISHER’S NOTE Fishponds Voice is independent. We cannot take responsibility for content or accuracy of adverts, and it is advertisers’ responsibility to conform to all relevant legislation. We cannot vouch for any services offered. Opinions are not necessarily those of the editor. Fishponds Voice is distributed each month to local residents. If for some reason you do not get a copy, please get in touch or collect one from local pick-up points. Feedback is welcomed, call Gary Brindle on 0117 907 8585 or

COMPLAINTS Despite our best efforts, we sometimes get things wrong. We always try to resolve issues informally at first but we also have a formal complaints procedure. If you have a complaint about anything in the Fishponds Voice, contact the publisher using the details below. We aspire to follow the Code of Conduct of the NUJ (National Union of Journalists), which holds journalists to a high standard of behaviour. Further details of the complaints process can be found on the Voice website here, or can be obtained by contacting the Publisher.

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August, 2020

n NEWS Flats plan for Newton Motors site From Page 1 29 to find out more about the plans, and details have also been posted online so people who were unable to attend can view and comment. But concerns have been expressed about pressure on parking in the surrounding area, and homes in neighbouring Ernestville Road being overlooked by the new flats. The Voice understands that the plans are being drawn up on behalf of Newton Motors, which currently occupies the site and has been trading in the city for more than 70 years. People living near the site of the proposed development were sent letters in July informing them of a "community consultation event" on July 29, along with a link to details of the scheme, including plans and images of how it could look. Neighbours were told the building would be seven storeys tall and contain 28 one-bedroom and 18 two-bedroom flats. It would "wrap around" the front of the site, which is currently surrounded by a large metal fence protecting the car sales yard. The access from Fishponds Road would be used to enter and exit the site, which, in the images produced by Clifton-based OXF Architects, has a two-storey structure standing above it. In their design and access statement published online, the architects said the building would be of "3-8 storeys". The document said: "The proposed scheme was developed to create a modern

and sustainable residential and commercial environment on this site, using a combination of quality durable materials in a blend that will create a distinctive style, and provide a cycle and car parking density that is appropriate for the overall development." The architects say a "suitable residential scheme" was considered to be possible on the site after meetings with the city council in 2016-7, subject to considerations including a design which would have "no overlooking issues with the rear houses on Ernestville Road". They said the building would have a "modern appearance", with exterior walls a combination of "rustic brickwork and lightweight metal cladding". The side facing Lodge Causeway would 'step away' from the road boundary, "to avoid issues of overbearing, overshadowing and overlooking". The architects say the scheme includes a "private courtyard" with trees, shrubs and seating areas, which would be "shared with car parking". Secure cycle parking would be provided for all tenants. The Voice asked agents LPC Trull for clarification on how many parking spaces the scheme would include, how many of the flats would be affordable housing and whether they were aimed at a specific market, as well as what measures could be taken to ensure neighbouring homes were not overlooked. However the agents refused to comment, saying they "don't want to engage with newspapers

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August, 2020


n NEWS at this time". The architects' statement says the level of cycle and car parking "is appropriate for the overall development and for this sustainable location". They said the scheme would "help to transform an area... which is currently under utilised despite its proximity to the central Bristol area" and would "deliver high quality and muchneeded flats, currently in short supply in the local area and in line with Bristol’s Residential Growth Strategy and economic priorities". One Ernestville Road resident who contacted the Voice expressed a series of concerns, including that the new flats would overlook the road's twostorey homes, which border the site. The resident, who asked not to be named, said: "No one objects to the fact that people need somewhere to live. It's not like we weren't expecting some development, but up to eight storeys is a bit much. "We're all a bit concerned about whether enough parking will be provided for all of the

Proposed view from Fishponds Road computergenerated image from OXF Architects people who will move in because it's at a premium already. There's not enough parking for the residents of this street as it is." The development site falls within the city council's Eastville ward. Ward councillor Sultan Khan was planning to attend the consultation, which was taking

place after the Voice went to print. He said the city needed 12,000 homes of all types and was in a housing crisis. Mr Khan said: "For decades we’ve not been able to meet the ever-growing demand. "The city needs single, double, family – small and large – and

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disability-friendly homes." He said he was in favour of "appropriate" applications and called for more community-led development. People are being asked to send comments on the plans to the planning consultants by email at com by July 31.


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n NEWS NO residents of Fishponds died with coronavirus for a whole month, official figures show. An in-depth breakdown from the Office for National Statistics, released on July 24, revealed the number of deaths from every area in the country which involved Covid-19 in June. The ONS has published an interactive online map dividing the country into small geographic areas, each with a population of around 7,500 people, and recording how many people in each area died with coronavirus. None were recorded during June in the following ONS areas: • Fishponds North, which includes Fishponds Road east of the Lodge Causeway junction, Oldbury Court and all roads off Manor Road; • Stapleton, which includes parts of Grove Road and Everest Road, as well as roads off Blackberry Hill; • Eastville, which includes the area around Fishponds Road west of the Lodge Causeway

August, 2020

No Covid-19 deaths in Fishponds for a month

junction plus roads leading off Gordon Road and Rose Green Road; • Speedwell, which includes roads off Lodge Causeway, Whitefield Road and Brook Road; • Fishponds South, which includes most of Hillfields and some roads south of Staple Hill Road. The Fishponds South ONS area is one of only four in

Bristol where no residents are reported to have died with coronavirus since the first UK deaths in March: the other areas are Hotwells, Totterdown and Hartcliffe. There was one death in the ONS Lower Easton area, which includes the bottom of Fishponds Road between Muller Road and Stapleton Road, during June. Further afield, another death was recorded in Redfield during June, along with one in Frenchay and Great Stoke, which includes the Stoke Park estate. No deaths were recorded in Downend, Staple Hill, St George or Emersons Green, but there were six in the area the ONS calls Frenchay and Great Stoke. April was the deadliest month of the pandemic in most areas,

including Fishponds. ONS figures released during June showed that in total, 27 people had died with Covid-19 in Fishponds, Eastville and Stapleton. In the week to July 10 - the most recent one for which official figures are available - no Covid-19 deaths were recorded among any Bristol residents. In the previous three weeks combined there were 10: four in hospitals and six in care homes. Figures for deaths in care homes, which are released more quickly, show none reported during the week to July 17. In total, 250 Bristol residents had died with the virus in the year to July 10. In South Gloucestershire the total was 169.

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August, 2020



Sale trail revives community spirit

Allotment produce, both fresh and preserved, on sale at stalls opposite Knowsley Road STALLHOLDERS and bargain hunters braved the showers to take part in the Fishfest Sale Trail. More than a hundred houses across Fishponds set up stalls on their doorsteps, selling everything from cacti to clothing, books to bhajis, and jewellery to jumble on Saturday, July 25. St Joseph’s Pre-school, Fishponds Community Orchard and All Saints Church also took part. One sign on the trail declared: "It takes more than a global pandemic, a massive recession and rain to stop Fishponds from having a nice time!" Organiser Kate Brooks said: "We were quite taken aback by how many people got involved, and even though the weather was changeable, there were lots of people milling about – it was

great to see the streets busy again." Local artists sold their works on the trail, including polymer clay artist CaraJane and print maker Emily Ketteringham. Funds were raised for Fishponds Foodbank and other charities and campaigns including Pesticide Free Bristol and the Alzheimer’s’ Society. One stall-holder's husband sold a treasured family heirloom – a mannequin head – by mistake but after an urgent plea on Facebook the customer was found and agreed to bring it back. Nikki Watten, of local enterprise Nom Wholefoods, said: "It was good fun, despite the rain. "We had a great turnout on our street; it was so nice to chat to neighbours, and the kids

Festival headdresses and salvaged pottery and glassware, including dolls' heads, on sale in Shamrock Road enjoyed running around." Foodbank donations of nonperishable food and toiletries can still be made at 53 Grove Road, Fishponds. The Bristol Trussell Trust says city foodbanks have

experienced a 258% increase in use during the pandemic. The organisers are now planning regular sale trails and considering setting up a regular community market.

After cancelling its jumble sale earlier this year, All Saints Church held it during the sale trail

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August, 2020


Call to ban fishing at Eastville Park lake A PETITION has been started calling for fishing to be banned on Eastville Park lake. More than 250 people had signed the petition on the website as the Voice went to print. It calls on the city council to immediately ban the popular pastime and comes amid "significantly" increasing reports of wild birds becoming entangled in fishing line at the lake. Fishing at the park is currently allowed but controlled by permit and a series of rules. Krysta Neve, who has posted the petition, said supporters were urging the council to put "a complete fishing ban in place". She said: "Eastville Park is home to an abundance of wildlife, especially birds. Cygnets, herons, kingfishers, geese and ducks are some of the residents at the park. "Unfortunately, fishing waste has been a major problem for some of these birds, as they become entangled.

Eastville Park lake - the fishing area is to the south of the lake, on the right of the picture "I’ve seen a dead coot with a fishing hook lodged in its mouth discarded in the park, and a swan with an entangled wing." "It’s always heartbreaking

Glad to be back oepssen Back to busin

ment requirements nt - following all govern We are fully covid complia ly. app - social distancing rules

seeing an animal suffer and the park community has decided that enough is enough. There are so many ways to connect with nature in the park that don’t put wildlife at risk." Krysta's post announcing the petition on the Friends of Eastville Park Facebook page, where there have been several reports of injured or trapped birds, sparked a fierce debate. Anglers say fishing has been going on at the lake for "generations", with one calling an attempt to ban it "bizarre". One angler said: "People who just moved to the area suddenly demanding stuff like ban fishing on the lake which I’ve been doing since I was a kid! Was never a problem! "Yeah, people who fish there need to be responsible and clear

their stuff, as they are giving the responsible fishermen a bad name, which is unfair – perhaps if more dredging of old pushbikes and shopping trolleys were to happen, there wouldn't be so many caught lines. Just a thought." Another said he had been taking disadvantaged and disabled children to the lake to learn about fishing and added: "For some, fishing and a day's learning and engaging with the lake or the river this way is the best thing that happened in their lives for weeks, months or years. It will be so sad for these kids to lose something so special to them." The council currently allows people to buy a permit to fish with a rod and line at Eastville Park, at a cost of £6 per year. Fishing is allowed only a designated area, in open season, which runs from June 16 to March 14, and all fish have to be returned to the water unharmed. There are a series of other rules, and signs around the lake detail a code of conduct – which includes retrieving broken lines – and indicate wildlife protection areas. Andrew Gee, of the Friends of Eastville Park, said incidents of birds being entangled with discarded fishing line had been "increasing significantly" and said discussions were under way with the city council to find a "long term solution". Do you think fishing should be banned at Eastville Lake? Send your views to news@ The Parkie: Page 27

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Signs with a fishing code of conduct are posted at the lake

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August, 2020



'Amazing' atmosphere at park protest

Fishponds resident Bethany Johnson (centre) with her cousin Holly and friend Josh Hingston PEOPLE gathered in Eastville Park to protest over racial discrimination and find out more about the work of black-owned charities and community groups working to overcome it. Organisers All Black Lives: Bristol say the five-hour event on July 12 was attended by between 2,000 and 3,000 people, and had an "amazing" atmosphere. The size of the park made it easy for people attending to observe social distancing, sitting across a wide area as speakers shared everything from poetry to politics and personal experiences. They included Green city councillor Cleo Lake, who highlighted inequalities in council funding of cultural organisations, and Easton resident Ras Judah, who spoke of his experience of being tasered by police officers. There were also stalls showcasing the work of groups including the Black South West Network, Black Community Rising, Acorn and Sun Kissed Youth, charity Brain Injured Children and businesses Interculture and DaniquesBoutique. But the organisers expressed disappointment that many of the 10-12,000 people who attended their previous demonstration in the city centre - during which the statue of Edward Colston was pulled down by a group of protesters - did not show up at Eastville Park. Fishponds resident Bethany Johnson was at the protest with cousin Holly and friend Josh Hingston.

Bethany said she wanted to fight for equality. She said: "It's one thing to share a post on social media, but you have to make a stand." Bethany said that even though Bristol was multicultural city there was still ignorance, while Josh said everyone had an obligation to call out racism sexism or homophobia, saying: "No one should be treated differently according to race or sex." The All Black Lives Bristol group is run by five young Bristol residents: Liza Bilal, Clayton Wildwoode, Sam Little, Tiffany Lyare and Yvonne Maina. Afterwards they said they were "extremely happy" with how the protest went, adding: "The atmosphere was amazing and we were encouraged by the amount of people who showed an interest in utilising our platform - both by speaking and pitching up tables for our business fair. "To see such an amazing range of speakers come up and share their words was really impactful. "To witness so many people show such an interest in the black-owned businesses and charities was beautiful because as we know, we need to start using our money to support these businesses and that is one of our aims as a group. “The turnout, while being around two-three thousand people, was brilliant at face value but also disappointing to us as a group. "As much as we really appreciate everyone showing

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Protesters were able to observe social distancing in the park

up on the day, it was such a let-down to see nearly four times more people the first time round, when it was ‘cool’ to support the movement. "As a community we need to make sure the conversation is still going: this is a movement,

not a moment." ABL Bristol is planning another protest march in August and is also planning community work and support, and a podcast "so that people can still get involved and get educated even when we are not protesting".

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Mr Redko retires from 'dream job' A FISHPONDS teacher known to generations of pupils has retired from Bristol Metropolitan Academy after 39 years of teaching. Former head of PE Brendan Redko described his role promoting sport and physical education to thousands of students from the Fishponds community as a "dream job". A school spokesperson said: "Mr Redko will be fondly remembered by students and staff across Bristol, for his passion for school sports as well as his drive to promote basketball across the South West. "He was successful in reaching many regional and national finals across a multitude of sports and achieved the highest level of teaching recognition during his tenure, when voted the teacher of the year. "Whilst Mr Redko has formally retired, he has already vowed to come back to the school as a volunteer in order assist in coaching and officiating."

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August, 2020

One dead, three injured in accidents POLICE have appealed for witnesses and dashcam video footage of a number of road accidents in which a pedestrian died and three motorcyclists were injured. The man who died, 43-yearold Nicholas Lea, from Bristol, was a pedestrian who died in a collision involving two cars on the M32 on July 18. The incident happened on the southbound carriageway between the Hambrook and Eastville junctions at around 11.55pm, and involved a grey Mitsubishi Lancer and a black Audi A3 car. An Avon and Somerset police spokesman said Mr Lea's family were being supported by liaison officers and asked for anyone with information on the incident to call 101 and quote incident reference number 5220 160 051. In an unrelated incident the previous weekend, police said


two men were seriously injured when an off-road motorbike they were riding collided with a car at one of the junctions of Fishponds Road and Alcove Road, at about 4.15pm on July 12. Police said the men were aged 18 and 21 and had suffered serious injuries as a result of the collision. No one else was hurt. Officers are appealing for anyone who saw the crash, the bike or the silver Citroen Picasso car involved in the incident before it happened, to call them and quote the incident reference number 5220 153 986. A 35-year-old motorcyclist was seriously injured when the blue Yamaha motorbike he was riding and a white Vauxhall Astra collided at the junction of Berkeley Road and Mayfield Park North, at about 6.50pm on July 21. Witnesses are asked to quote reference number 5220 162 407.

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August, 2020



Principal vows to make Avanti Gardens 'excellent' THE new principal of Fishponds' Avanti Gardens School says he wants to make the primary "an excellent school where pupils thrive". Ashley Milum is due to take over at the state school in College Road in September. His appointment marks another step in the transformation of the former Steiner Academy Bristol school, which was transferred by the Department for Education to the Avanti Schools Trust after being rated inadequate by Ofsted in January last year. The takeover has brought fundamental changes to the school, which no longer teaches secondary-aged children and has moved from the previous Waldorf education principles, which prioritise cultivation of pupils' imagination and creativity over testing, to teaching in line with the National Curriculum. Some parents protested against the change last year, calling on the DfE to preserve the school's provision of alternative education and saying they would struggle to find alternative places for secondary pupils. But the trust said the school had less than half the maximum number of pupils on its roll and faced "significant financial challenges".

New principal Ashley Milum takes over at Avanti Gardens in September as it becomes a primary school Five members of staff have taken voluntary redundancy this year and Mr Milum takes over from previous principal Joss Hayes, who was in charge during the transfer to the Avanti Trust, a London-based charitable company which runs 11 across England, including some Hindu faith schools. He has met with staff and some of the children of key workers who have been attending the school through the lockdown. Mr Milum said: “It has been great to be warmly welcomed by staff and pupils alike. "We have an incredible community of learners here at Avanti Gardens – I am

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ambitious that we grow together to become an excellent school where pupils thrive in and beyond school.” As well as introducing a new curriculum in September the school will consult with parents on introducing a uniform. Ashley said: “I want Avanti Gardens School to become a community-oriented school where educational excellence, character formation and spiritual insight are apparent to those who enter through our doors. My team are focused on putting the child at the centre of everything we do. To this avail, we will ensure a safe environment for all pupils to learn and grow. "Our new curriculum follows the National Curriculum, whilst being underpinned by the Avanti Way with a richly holistic approach. "We have high expectations of learning, whilst being inclusive of all needs. "The team and I are ambitious to create an effective partnership between staff, pupils and parents/carers to form an excellent community primary school.” A video to introduce the school to parents can be found on YouTube by searching for Avanti Gardens Bristol and people are being encouraged to contact the school on 0117 965 9150 or by email.

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seriously ill and lost your mental capacity to make decisions without help. They can make sure that those you love and trust can act as your Attorney, and your Attorney can then handle issues for you including your banking and paying bills; as well as more important decisions such as where you live and what medical treatment you receive. COVID-19 has made many of us think about the benefits of using LOCAL shops and services. Simpson Solicitors remained open throughout the crisis – providing support inperson to those who needed it most in our area. Simpson Solicitors can help you and they remain OPEN – whether you prefer a (COVID safe) in-person meeting at their offices in Kingswood (opposite Costa) or by telephone or Zoom video.

It has never been more important to have Wills and Powers of Attorney in place in case you become seriously ill. Vincent Mulcock and the local team at Simpson Solicitors have been designated as key workers to serve the public in our area, covering Downend, Fishponds and Kingswood. They can provide a FREE Legal Review to guide you through the issues to cover. If you already have a Will in place, it can give peace of mind that you and your family are properly protected. It can also help identify any gaps in your protection. Call 0117 960 8594 to book your review. If you then instruct them to prepare updated documents, they still offer clear fixed prices. Mention The Voice when booking your meeting as our readers are also given 20% off their already great value charges. At no extra cost their service can

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August, 2020



Staying well in uncertain times


ITH all the changes resulting from lockdown, selfisolation, working from home and an as yet uncertain year ahead, coping with the lifestyle impact of COVID has become a health issue in its own right. For most of us, our health has been impacted in many ways beyond viral infection- big changes in daily stress levels, physical activity patterns, diet and family life. If you have found some of these things take a toll on your health and energy levels, here are some hints and tips to nudge you back to better health and help you cope with these challenging times.

Spinal healthalignment matters

A happy spine, neck and pelvis are central to the health of your nervous system. They must be well aligned to eliminate aches and pains as well as help your body cope with increased stresses and strains.

Specialist care- a vital addition

Periods of high stress, prolonged sitting and lack of exercise

of maintaining your health and wellbeing during these trying times. Making time for regular zoom chats or socially distanced coffees or walks in the park can become a part of your healthy weekly habit.

A note from Sutton Chiropractic Clinic:

compresses our frame and distorts our posture, leading to aches and pains as well as lower energy levels. These lifestyle factors cause the spinal joints to become misaligned or ‘wonky’, irritating surrounding the nerves and muscles, further worsening the problem. The solution to this is twofold- get checked and adjusted by a chiropractor regularly; and make a commitment to support your health with the choices you make daily.

Emotional wellbeingconnection helps

Staying connected to people we love and receiving their care in return can be an essential part

Desk health

For those working from home or spending extended hours by computers and screens, here are my top tips:

We want you at your best during this tough time and are here to support you. The clinic is using PPE protection to keep everyone safe as we carry on serving the community’s wider health needs. Remember- get checked, help yourself and socialise safely.

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1. Get your head right

Make sure your computer screen is high enough so you don’t have to nod your chin and the screen is directly in front of you. Put your monitor/laptop on some books or use a stand to keep your screens at a level that is aligned with your head and eyes. This will allow your head to sit comfortably with less strain – and your neck will thank you for it.

Back pain

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2. Set your foundations

Sit near the front of your chair and have it at a height so your knees are lower than your hips with both feet flat on the floor. This will ensure your lower back keeps you upright and slouching becomes difficult.

you can and not letting that little niggle, or big twinge get in the way. We can

help get rid of it; so you can get back to doing the things you love.

3. Motion is lotion

Shuffle in your seat periodically and make sure you get up and move around every 30 minutes- this keeps the spine limber and your body and attention span will thank you for it. In addition, be sure to schedule exercise into your day – morning or lunchtime works best before the demands of the day mount up.

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August, 2020


The worst is yet to come for our economy AS lockdown has eased, and the public health risk has receded, it's become clear just what an effect coronavirus has had on jobs and the economy. In Bristol East, more than 15,000 jobs have been furloughed, nearly 5,000 selfemployed people have claimed from the Self-Employment Support Scheme, and the number of people claiming Universal Credit went up from 2,960 in March this year, to 4,525 in June. What's most worrying is that we know we have not yet seen the worst economic effects of the crisis. Reports suggest a quarter of furloughed workers could be made laid off in the coming months, with a roll call of companies announcing redundancies in recent weeks. There have been worrying announcements from Airbus and Rolls-Royce, which will affect jobs in Bristol. I’ve been speaking

to both companies to try to minimise the impact on those people in Bristol East employed in the aerospace industry. It’s not, of course, just about jobs at those big companies, but many associated jobs in the supply chain and local services, too. When you look at the whole picture, it's clear the support package the Chancellor announced in his mini-Budget is woefully inadequate and offers little consolation to those people whose jobs and livelihoods are on the line. The Government’s ‘one size fits all’ approach takes no account of the fact that some sectors have been hit harder than others. It also ignores the opportunities that could come as we rebuild the economy – for example, targeted support for car manufacturing could accelerate the phase-out of diesel and petrol vehicles, which will help us meet

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climate change and clean air goals, as well as keeping people in work and making sure the UK gets a share of the electric vehicle manufacturing market. But we also need to protect people employed in sectors which can’t open fully yet. Much of Bristol’s night-time economy will be unable to return to normal for months. The public health restrictions that, understandably, remain in place mean that thousands of jobs could be lost. That's why we need a continuation of the furlough scheme for workers in sectors like these, rather than the Government's approach, which is to leave them to fend for themselves in the face of economic turmoil. I know many people in Bristol are concerned about the effect of the pandemic on their finances, and I’ll keep pressing the

Kerry McCarthy MP for Bristol East

writes for Fishponds Voice Government to support everyone who needs it. In the meantime, if you have any problems or concerns related to finances and redundancy, please do get in touch with my office on kerry. or by phoning 0117 939 9901.

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August, 2020



Arson attack at fire-hit site Travellers face eviction POLICE are investigating an arson attack at the former Strachan and Henshaw factory in Speedwell. The blaze was started in the early hours of July 9 and spotted shortly before 1.30am. Firefighters from six stations were called in and 14 of them needed breathing apparatus as they worked to tackle the blaze in Foundry Lane. An Avon Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson said the fire had been started in the ground floor of an empty unit at the site and is believed to have been started deliberately. An Avon and Somerset police spokesperson said: "We can confirm this is being treated as deliberate and an investigation is ongoing." The fire follows two major blazes at the site in the last two years. On New Year's Eve 2018 a fire at the nine-floor tower block on the site was tackled by more than 60 firefighters. The site's landlord Wayne Braund is facing seven fire safety charges in relation to that blaze, relating to alleged failures in risk assessments, fire detectors and alarms, firefighting equipment, emergency exits and emergency lighting. In May last year a second blaze at the site of the former engineering works (pictured) destroyed some of the 30 workshops being used by businesses at the site and left the others out of bounds, as the building was declared unsafe.

BRISTOL City Council was due to evict a second group of travellers to pitch up at Eastville Park this month. The encampment of seven vehicles was reported to have arrived overnight between Sunday and Monday, July 26-27. It followed a previous encampment by more than 14 vehicles on the park earlier in the month. A Bristol City Council spokesperson said: “We are aware of seven vehicles that have moved into Eastville Park. "The occupants have been visited and welfare assessment carried out. Space on our transit site was offered, but refused. "An eviction has been set for this Wednesday morning.�

Six cars stolen from yard POLICE are trying to trace four cars which were among six stolen from a yard in Fishponds. The theft was discovered at 10am on July 1 at the yard in Goodneston Road. Two cars have since been recovered but police are still trying to trace a Ford Fiesta, a Peugeot 206, a Vauxhall Vectra and a Volkswagen Golf. Officers are appealing for anyone who witnessed the theft or saw someone acting suspiciously in the area, to call them on 101 and quote the crime reference number 5220 144 118. Information can also be given anonymously to Crimestoppers, by calling 0800 555111.

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Important local COVID-19 update People in Bristol are testing positive for COVID-19

There is no vaccine and no cure

We must act now to prevent a local lockdown Please make sure you:

Limit contact with people you don’t live with

Continue to work from home if you can

Stay 2m apart from others when out and about

Wear face coverings in shops and on public transport

Get tested and stay home if you, or someone in your household or bubble has symptoms

Wash your hands regularly

More at

Together, we’ve got this. Bristol’s favourite places to shop, eat, drink and meet have reopened safely, ready to enjoy again. With your help, we can keep them safe. Plan your visit today at

20221-08 The 1

Be part of the conversation In July we held a series of online Focus Groups to find out what Bristol citizens want our post-COVID-19 future to look like. These sessions helped us to understand what is important to you and shape our Citizens Recovery Survey. Launching in August, this survey is the next part of our engagement with Bristol communities to help us design a fairer, healthier and more sustainable future for our city. Find out more here:

20/07/2020 17:07

Have your say on improving bus, walking and cycling journeys across Bristol The Number 2 bus route, from Stockwood to Cribbs Causeway via the city centre, is the first to be assessed as Bristol City Council and the West of England Combined Authority look to improve travel through key areas over the next decade. Give your views before Friday 11 September, visit If you would like a paper copy please write to: Transport Engagement Team, PO Box 3399, Bristol BS1 9NE



August, 2020


Control the light




57 Henleaze Road

768 Fishponds Road

Bristol BS9 4JT

Bristol BS16 3UA

0117 962 2474

0117 965 4434

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Turners Eye Care Ltd T/A Turners Opticians Incorporated in England & Wales Reg No. 8201460 Subject to availability, T&C’s apply.

THIS month I’ve been struck by the vast array of options we have to help you see better when the light’s bright. I don't know about you, but I see myself as an optimist. Any day that it’s not actually raining (hard) is a sunglasses day. Whilst the last few months have not seen many new product launches, now the world of optometry is returning back to normal it’s play time! As you probably know, I’m all for trying out and evaluating the latest tech whether it’s glasses lenses, frame styles & designs or eye exam instruments. As you may have seen from our Facebook pages, ( turnersopticians) I’ve been trying to match retro sunglasses with my uncut, lockdown longer than average, hair. Thanks to those of you who sent me kind comments and I was pleased to not get anything too cheeky back! This month, as I’m sure many of us have, I finally got the relief of a haircut. Now I don’t know about you, but I like to chat with whoever’s cutting my hair, and being able to see their face (well the half not covered by a mask anyhow) means wearing contact lenses. It was in my view a modestly sunny day (well okay it wasn’t pouring with rain!). I took the opportunity to try out the latest sun tinting contact lenses I’ve recently been sent to try, for my walk to and from the barbers. They’re really quite good, clearly they don’t replace the look you get from a nice pair of Ray-Ban’s but in terms of visual performance and comfort I was impressed! If contact lenses are not for you, it’s not a problem. We now have more sun lens options than ever before. As I write we’re trying out the latest lenses and now have three grades of sun reacting tinting lenses (transitions) to offer, as well as three different polaroid options and numerous other tinted lenses we’ve designed ourselves. Don’t worry though, our expert team is happy taking the time to understand your individual vision needs and recommending the


perfect sun wear for you! When you come and see us you can expect the usual high standards of personal service, professional expertise and hygiene excellence you’re used to, from you local independent opticians. You & your loved ones are most welcome to come and see us for your eye care and new glasses or contact lenses. We just ask that you telephone first to book a time to come in to help us keep you all safe. Whatever your eye care needs, whether for driving, home working, seeing the golf ball more clearly or just relaxing in the sun, our expert team is ready & waiting to help you - however you like to protect your eyes from the sun! To book an extended eye exam or frame style consultation for yourself or those you love, please call our Henleaze practice on 0117 962 2474 or our Fishponds practice on 0117 965 4434.

We look forward to seeing you soon!


Peter Turner is a Senior Optometrist at Turners Opticians in Bristol, and also works part time as a Senior Optometrist at the Bristol Eye Hospital.

Got News? Call Linda On 0777 0700579


August, 2020



Lockdown end brings more van living LibDems' choice THE number of people living in vans on Bristol's streets is on the rise again, after numbers fell during the coronavirus lockdown. The visible increase is causing worry for some residents for whom the matter is a “major source of concern”, councillors say. New data from the city council shows there are about 40 locations across the city where people live in vans parked on the street. In the Fishponds area they include CoOperation Road in Greenbank, Averay Road and Stapleton Road, under the M32. Five of the encampments have been assessed as having a “high impact” on the surrounding neighbourhood, including the one in Co-Operation Road. The increase in numbers was revealed after a question was put to Mayor Marvin Rees at July’s full council meeting by Westbury-on-Trym and Henleaze Conservative councillor Steve Smith. His ward includes two roads – Parry’s Lane on Durdham Down and nearby Westbury Park close to the White Tree Roundabout - which are popular with van dwellers Cllr Smith said: "These unauthorised sites on highways continue to be a major source of concern for residents in my ward." Parry’s Lane has been identified as another of the five encampments in the city assessed as having a “high impact” by officers from the council and

Quarry Court

Avon and Somerset Police. The other three are in St Andrews, Horfield and St Werburgh’s. Council figures showed that by May this year, the number of occupied vans on Bristol's streets had fallen from about 150 to 60, with 45 having moved to temporary sites off the highway provided by the council to limit the spread of Covid-19. But by June, numbers started to increase again as formerly vacant vehicles were reoccupied and an "increase in previously unrecorded vehicles" was noted at a total of 39 sites. Council officials said: “A number of new arrivals have said that they would normally be working at festivals over the summer but, as these have been cancelled, are looking for alternative employment. “This is a citywide issue and one that doesn’t have a simple solution. “There are many reasons people live in vehicles: accommodation costs, complex needs of some vehicle dwellers and sometimes it is a lifestyle choice. The council adopted a new policy for dealing with van dwellers in September of last year, despite a petition from more than 1,000 asking to be left alone. It allows the council to respond in various ways to people living in vehicles on roads, from helping them find alternative accommodation to enforcement action against those causing antisocial problems. By Amanda Cameron, Local Democracy Reporter

Adelaide Place, Fishponds, Bristol BS16 2FX

A FORMER MP has been chosen to stand against Metro Mayor Tim Bowles next year. Liberal Democrats in Bristol, South Glos and B&NES have chosen Stephen Williams to contest the election next May. The former Bristol West MP, who was a minister in the coalition government before losing his seat to Labour's Thangam Debbonaire, was his party's candidate in the 2017 West of England mayoral election, where he came third behind Mr Bowles and Labour's Lesley Mansell. He said: "This election really matters to people's everyday lives, because the mayor decides where a lot of money is spent to improve buses, cycling and other ways to get around, new housing and creating new jobs. Before I went into politics I had jobs in all three parts of the West of England – Bristol, Bath & NE Somerset and South Glos."





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Mario Cimmino, Tom Jones, Fabio Cimmino and Roberto Cimmino at PureBarber INC in Fishponds Road now have screens to enable them to work side by side and wear protective visors AFTER months of enforced closure, home working or emergency appointments, businesses in many of the sectors worst affected by the lockdown have reopened. Trades which rely on close contact with customers have returned over the last month, having had to wait longer than most to reopen. But with new rules, timed appointments, risk assessments and personal protective equipment to manage, a trip to the barber, beautician or even the pub is very different under coronavirus measures.

The barber AT PureBarber INC in Fishponds Road, brand new laminated glass screens separate the four barbers' chairs, and the normally-bustling waiting area has a limit of three people at a time. But life at the salon has been anything but quiet for barbers Fabio Cimmino, his brothers Roberto and Marco, and Tom Jones since they were able to reopen on July 4. For the first three weeks they were working all day, seven days a week, with a rush of online appointments booked as soon as they announced they were reopening. Fabio said said having relatives in Italy, which came out of lockdown before England, gave him an insight into how things would work, as did advice from a friend who is a council health officer and from the National Hair &

August, 2020

Landlady Louise Brain at the order and pay point at the bar of the New Moon pub in Fishponds Road

Businesses make a cautious return as the coronavirus restrictions are finally eased Beauty Federation, which has been interpreting the changing government advice. He said: "We had a head start. I was ringing family in Italy to see how they were doing, as they were four weeks ahead of us." The business had recently been refurbished and Fabio called the shopfitters back in to fit the full-length screens so the four barbers could safely work side by side. Fabio said: "I think these screens will be up for the longterm, as I believe this situation is going to be here for a while." The four barbers wear face visors as they work and Fabio has had to buy disposable gowns in bulk, as the guidelines require one for each customer. The barbers also clean chairs and workstations and disinfect equipment between every cut. Contactless payments are standard and most customers book in advance, either online or by phone. While it is now possible to walk in and book an appointment, anyone who does needs to leave their details to enable tracking and tracing of contacts, should any positive coronavirus case be reported. Details are kept for 21 days and

To advertise, contact Caroline on 07453 954261

then destroyed. Fabio said: "We knew we would have a rush at the beginning – we were fully booked for three weeks before we opened. "Obviously there were a lot of messed-up haircuts coming in but we've dealt with all of them! "After the initial rush it has calmed down now. Some people have returned to work and have less time, some people are still a bit worried about coming in." Fabio said he had good feedback on the new measures from customers, with people praising the shop for doing things correctly. He said: "Remember we're a contact sport, no matter what. We want people to feel safe and confident with us."

The beauty salon AT the Beauty Retreat salon in Stapleton, screens and visors have changed the way beauticians interact with customers – but thorough risk assessments and using "common sense" means all treatments are back on the menu from the start of August, having been amended to be 'covid secure'.


Owner Yasmin Hosseini said: "For businesses such as mine that rely heavily on close contact, it has been difficult to change how we interact with our clients. Not only have we had to amend the way in which we do some treatments, but we have had to also constantly be aware of our actions." Beauticians have had to stop making the small touches which would be "second nature", such as helping clients put coats on, offering a hot drink, a glass of wine or giving a helping hand. Yasmin said: "I think the lockdown has made a lot of people realise just how much impact a simple touch has. "We regard most of our clients as friends, and the most difficult thing we have experienced so far is not being able to hug all of our regulars after not seeing them for so long." The salon has had to install screens on nail desks, staff are wearing visors during treatments and are limiting the number of close contact face treatments they each perform. Yasmin said: "We have done a thorough risk assessment and believe we can safely do all

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August, 2020


Georgia Beacham-O'Leary, Laura Radford, Yasmin Hosseini, Fawne Miles and Corinna Powell at Beauty Retreat in Stapleton wear visors as they treat clients of our treatments in a secure, safe and clean way. I do think the government guidelines were confusing and many hairdressers/barbers and salons were unsure of what they could and could not do. "I think as long as you use common sense and work in a clean and safe way, then there is no reason to stop offering those treatments." During the lockdown Yasmin stayed in contact with her clients via social media and says many offered support by buying gift vouchers and making prepayments, sharing posts and sending messages. She said: "We have been overwhelmed by the support from our clients. I have always said that the business is not about the money for me. I wanted to open the salon because I love what I do and I love making people feel good about themselves in a relaxing, friendly, non-intimidating and private environment. After reopening on July 13, Yasmin said it had been "lovely seeing lots of familiar faces as well as a few new ones". She said: "It is nice to hear that we have a reputation around Bristol for being a very clean and friendly salon and love that people feel safe enough to try us out at this time. I think we may just end up losing our voices soon though, as after four

months away we have so much to catch up on with our clients!"

The pub THE New Moon pub in Fishponds Road has been busier since reopening on July 4 than it was pre-lockdown. Landlady Louise Brain, who runs the pub with partner Elish Hughes, said customers were "very keen" to come back and the first day back was constantly busy from opening to closing time. She said: "We had to stop letting people in at eight o'clock. "During the lockdown we had a group chat on Facebook, keeping the regulars updated, and they were all saying they couldn't wait to get back in." Louise and Elish also have a new group of customers – former colleagues at the nearby Morrisons supermarket, where both of them got jobs during lockdown. Visits to the pub have changed, with people having to sit down rather than stand up and chat at the bar. There is an order-and-pay point and a separate pick-up point for drinks. People have been calling to book larger tables in advance and there is a track and trace system in place. Live music is still not allowed, and Louise and Elish have

To advertise, contact Caroline on 07453 954261

decided not to bring back Sunday roasts for the time being. Louise said: "We're still

finding our feet in terms of the rules and regulations. The new rules have resulted in some strange quirks: while the previously-popular golf machine cannot be used because it is designed to be played standing up, the pool table and gambling machine are still allowed. "It doesn't make any sense," Louise said. Distancing rules apply both inside the pub and in its outdoor seating area facing Fishponds Road. However Louise says it is difficult to ensure people are keeping a metre apart and not standing at all times. Similarly, the track and trace scheme is voluntary, so while all customers are asked to leave contact details, they cannot be forced to. Louise said: "It's basically down to common sense. You have to maintain a balance between keeping the government regulations and keeping it a pub as well. "We keep to the rules but we try to be as laid back as possible."

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August, 2020


Why are we waiting for Frenchay healthcare? A HOSPITAL campaigner wants to know why work has still not started on a new healthcare facility for Frenchay, 15 years after it was approved. The old Frenchay Hospital closed in December 2014, as all acute services were moved to Southmead. In the same month outline plans were approved to redevelop the 29-hectare site. with up to 490 homes, a new health and social care unit and a primary school. But although work on the new housing is well underway, with many homes already occupied, builders have yet to break ground on the health and care complex, including rehabilitation beds and an outpatient clinic, promised for the site. The Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group and South Gloucestershire Council, which took over the lead commissioning role for the site two years ago, say they are "appointing a consultant to take forward the development of the health and social care vision on the Frenchay site". Barbara Harris, a former member of Frenchay Community Hospital Group which campaigned for hospital facilities on the site, hasLupin written to CCG chief executive Julia Ross to ask why nothing has happened. She said: "The proposal for the new hospital at Southmead and the community hospital at Frenchay received approval in March 2005, fifteen years ago. "The new hospital at Southmead opened in April 2014, and yet the community hospital, which was intended as an integral part of the patient pathway into and from the acute hospital at Southmead, is still awaited six years later." Barbara said the new contract for community health services with provider Sirona, which included Frenchay, had commenced in April this year – but with nowhere at the former hospital site for the community interest company to deliver them. She believes that, had the facilities at Frenchay been built, they could have helped with the response to COVID-19 and could

The site of the planned health and social care facilities is marked in blue on this map of the former Frenchay Hospital grounds.

have made the now-mothballed Nightingale Hospital at Ewe's Frenchay campus unnecessary. Barbara said: "Not a clod of earth has been turned. I am now told that a real estate consultancy has yet to be appointed, so no developer has yet been procured nor a price on the land agreed. Quite why we have to repurchase the land when we already own it is beyond me. The NHS own the land and we own the NHS." She called on the CCG to explain the delay and said the project "seemed to have fallen off the agenda". Funding for a new hospital with 84 rehabilitation beds and 28 mental health beds was approved shortly before the 2010 election but rejected under austerity. The current plan includes 50 beds at Frenchay. In a joint statement the CCG and council said: “The development of this site is complex, involving multiple stakeholders and

partner organisations. "However, following a slight delay as partners prioritised the response to the Covid-19 pandemic, we are now at the stage of appointing a consultant to take forward the development of the health and social care vision on the Frenchay site. “We remain fully committed to developing new health and care facilities on the site and delivering this is a priority for the CCG, South Gloucestershire Council and our partners. "The Frenchay scheme was never intended to provide accommodation for intensive care patients and therefore would not have been able to provide the critical care capacity offered by the Nightingale Hospital Bristol." The CCG said Sirona would continue to provide inpatient rehabilitation services for South Gloucestershire in Yate and Thornbury until the new facility at Frenchay is available, as part of its ten-year contract.


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August, 2020



Long-term solution is needed at the lake ABOUT a hundred years ago, when Eastville Park was created, it became an instant success. Families promenaded tree-lined open spaces, children had space to play in and shrieked with delight as the shiny, well-greased swings and roundabouts whirred and arced. Itinerant performers would set up on a weekend and endlessly amuse everyone, and crowds would gather for brass band concerts that would be heard across the 80-odd acres of parkland. A short walk into the ancient Frome Valley offered walks along the river bank along paths that would open up a whole new wildlife world. What a joy it must have been to see, for the first time, the new serpentine lake, designed in a way that, wherever you stand on its perimeter, you’ll never be able to see the whole of it, leading you to explore further and further along. What would have been more exciting for those first young children than the sight of rowing boats gliding across the lake? Or the majestic swans, squabbling geese and ducks hanging out around the islands? Young children sat around the lake edge, feet dangling in the water and small fishing net in hand, hopeful of scooping up a small fish or two. Over the hundred years that have passed since, fishing at the lake has become an ever-increasing activity that has brought pleasure to countless thousands. Byelaws are in force that control the times of the year fishing is allowed and these laws are generally observed, with a few exceptions. The new season opened in June and, with an increased number of visitors and anglers to the park as a result of Covid ‘down time’, the lake has been busier than ever. Many of you will have heard of or seen that we are currently facing a very upsetting and tragic consequence of snagged and discarded fishing line, floats and hooks in the lake. Over recent weeks we have been witnessing and responding to a frighteningly increasing number of occasions where birds are being found entangled and distressed. In the vast majority of these incidents, visitors or Friends have been able to disentangle – in particular – cygnets, and return them to the water unharmed. As we look at ways to address this crisis, we are aware of several

Friends of


GoodGym volunteers have been improving the park contributing factors that may explain the surge in incidents. Records show that the lake was last dredged in 2003: it is currently very cluttered with debris (particularly around the islands) which inevitably leads to more line being snagged and cut away by anglers at the side of the lake and leads to a hazardous build-up of discarded line. We’ll be out in the boat dragging the lake for any line we can find, to try to reduce the immediate risk, but a long-term solution is desperately needed. While the vast majority of anglers are responsible and make every effort to prevent this from happening (some even wade in to retrieve snagged line), a small number choose the easy option and make no effort to remove the line at all. Much of the line we are recovering has been washed into the debris accumulating around the islands, where the birds tend to spend a lot of time exploring and consequently find themselves in difficulty. The Friends Committee are responding to this situation with an approach to the council to look at ways to ensure above all that our wildlife is safe at the lake. We hope that whatever action is taken, our visitors will be able to enjoy their visit to the park without witnessing the awful sight of birds suffering in this way. On a cheerier note, many of you may have noticed the vast improvements to the garden, pathways and verges around the bowling greens and Nissen hut. You may even have spotted a small team of folk in red T-shirts busy on Wednesday and Sunday mornings. Throughout the last three months or so, GoodGym have really come up trumps for us and turned their

To advertise, contact Caroline on 07453 954261

hands to anything that’s needed to be done, come rain or shine. The whole area is looking amazing and testament to the enthusiastic ‘can-do anything’ approach of Mel Young and her volunteers. As if the hard work when they get here wasn’t enough, bear in mind that GoodGymers run to the park from all over Bristol before they’ve even


put on a pair of gloves – then run home again! Thank you to all of you for your great work and amazing team spirit. Our ‘Butterflies of Eastville Park’ display is located in Everest Road field. You’ll see some amazing photographs of the butterflies you’re likely to come across and learn all about their life cycle, lives and habitat. There is also a small section on dragonflies and damoiselles you might spot along the River Frome. Bring a picnic and do some spotting on a sunny day – it’s all part of the national ‘Butterfly Count 2020’. The Parkie

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August, 2020


Isolation: where to even begin… I AM not sure where to even begin or how to even summarise the past few months of this pandemic. Making light of its horror, its ability to take almost 50,000 people in just a few months, in no way diminishes what I feel about its brutality. It is merely my coping mechanism to process such an experience. Call it gallows humour – I speak as someone who has not lost anyone, nor suffered from the virus myself – as such my experience is that of a prisoner in my own home, of my own making and my own anxiety, and so this is the stuff I will play with in this column. My experience began with a joke from a friend on the phone from Denmark: she joked that the numbers were so few in China that the maths of how many people coronavirus had affected was impossible to do. How we laughed. Yet four months on, here we are, in the same room we have been in pretty much since midMarch.

At the beginning, we had to go into lockdown early because both children had coughs and one had a temperature. I still don’t know if it was Covid. 14 days seemed like a lifetime, then. Our lovely neighbours ferried bread, milk and washing up liquid to us. It began to be an imagined version of wartime. We settled into using Twinkl for home schooling and practised cursive writing, remembered how neither of us could do (reception) maths. It seemed novel. Surreal. Everything looked the same but there were things out of place somehow. Don’t judge me, parents, but I felt so much better when everyone in the country had to go into lockdown. Initially I settled into it. Then it really began to hit me. I wasn’t entirely sure how long I could keep this going for. Too afraid to go to the shops and arguing about whether it was essential to go for crisps or not, I decided lockdown was a good way

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to clear out the cupboards. I got out loads of lentils and chickpeas and made stews and soups. I did all of this activity in between what my friend describes as ‘the micro-cry’. Difficult to describe, the micro-cry is upon you before you even know it. Normally in the kitchen. For example, when you can ask your child not to do something anymore because you are exhausted from asking the same thing everyday. Or when you hear how many people have died that day. You get the idea. I have micro-cried my way through this pandemic. Hardly takes anything now, really. Mid way through this pandemic, it was painful. “We are not bored…” my friend, Kellie, said to me, “we wake at 6am and don’t sit down all day long, with two children to run around after, but at least we will never look back on this lockdown and say we were bored...” Lockdown would have been interminable without my children. That said, with my children there in the house allthe-live-long day with nothing to do, there were times I longed to be read a book all the way through, to watch anything other than Ben and freakin’ Holly or Frozen II. I found my variety in tuning into the coronavirus news updates. They made me micro-cry, yes, but I was glued to the radio waiting for

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the next announcement. Stay in, work from home, unless you can’t work from home, go to work but not on public transport. At one point I planned to meet my mum and dad in a car showroom in Worcester because it seemed that was the only way I could see them. This topsy-turvy time has since been quite hysterical and I fear we are still in it, with masks on now. In case anyone forgets to say it to you all: well done, parents, really, well done. Especially the single parents who have juggled, swept, comforted, lay awake, cuddled, brushed, adapted, fed, wiped, sniffed, bathed, cleared up, moved around, moved over, washed, drained, cleaned, entertained, played, planned, walked, designed, found a printer, asked (repeatedly), been up at the crack of dawn and spun a web of fun for both their kids and a web of professionalism for their employers. Well done, team. Brace, brace for the second wave. Claire Stewart-Hall

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August, 2020

n NEWS THE planned opening of the new Frenchay Primary School has been postponed again. The school is due to move to a new home on the former Frenchay Hospital site, increasing capacity from 140 to 420 children, aged four to 11. The move is needed partly because of the increasing local school-age population, as up to 490 new homes are built on the hospital site, creating an expected demand for 180 new primary school places. Funding for the new £6.9million school was approved two years ago, and initially residents were told it was due to open in September of this year, before the date was moved back by 12 months. Now South Gloucestershire Council says that contractors cannot commit to costs or timescales because of the Covid-19 pandemic, so the authority is “unable to move forward” with their appointment and the target to open in September 2021 cannot be hit. The school has no room to expand at its current cramped location in Church Road. Labour councillor Alison Evans told a council meeting on July 1 that Frenchay was the only school in South Gloucestershire to have space only for key workers’ children and to not open to further pupils. In a written reply to her question about the future of the school, Conservative cabinet member for schools Erica Williams said plans to rebuild the school had not been “shelved” - but admitted the delays were “frustrating” and “extremely disappointing”. Cllr Williams said it remained


New primary school for Frenchay delayed again

The current Frenchay Primary School site is too small for it to expand to accommodate demand for places a “priority scheme” for the council. She said: “The rebuild of the school on its new site was planned so that the new building would be ready for September 2021. “Unfortunately this timescale has been impacted by COVID-19 and the scheme is delayed. “Prior to lockdown, the council had invited tenders from potential contractors and was in the process of evaluating the tender returns for quality, cost and timeliness of delivery. “However, as a consequence of the lockdown, contractors are

currently unable to commit to cost certainty or a definitive date for completion, which means that the council is unable to move forward with the appointment of a contractor. “The council acknowledges that this is frustrating news and that the Frenchay community, understandably, will be extremely disappointed. “However, parents/carers, children and residents may be reassured to hear that the council is keen to take the scheme forward once the position changes and will share details of the revised timescale for

the project as soon as we have a confirmed timeline that is deliverable." Council leader Toby Savage told a cabinet meeting on July 6 that the authority’s capital schemes had been affected by the coronavirus. He said: “We have a record capital investment programme but we are reliant on the construction industry being able to deliver those improvement schemes." By Adam Postans, Local Democracy Reporting Service

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August, 2020

Trail will highlight makers' talents A GROUP set up to promote arts, craft and design is holding a special event to showcase talent in the area. BSpoke16 has previously organised arts fairs for creators across the BS16 postcode area. But with coronavirus restrictions ruling out a largescale event at a single venue, this year exhibitors will instead use their gardens, drives and workshops to show off their work. The Artist, Makers and Designers Trail was taking place from July 31 to August 2, following social distancing guidelines to keeping visitors and makers safe. The trail is the idea of BSpoke16 founders Karen Davies and Catherine Williams, who first got together in 2014 to organise an art fair for Emersons Green. Karen is a paper artist and designer who sells intricate paper

cuts, prints and cards under the name Mustard Cuts, while Catherine creates paintings and etchings inspired by seascapes, landscapes and cityscapes. Karen said: "The idea of the outside arts trail is to platform

the new work of local makers, who have still been making in the lockdown, and provide an opportunity for the public to engage with artists and respond to their creativity during this period through encouragement,

feedback and sales. “We’ve had an incredible response from makers, with over 50 addresses to visit so far – the map is growing daily. "There’s a variety of exhibitors: needle-felters, ceramacists, printmakers and much more. "BS16 is a wide area, stretching from Pucklechurch to Cheswick Village, Stapleton to Soundwell, with many traders in walking or cycling distance of each other. "We hope you enjoy planning your route.” A map displaying where the exhibits can be found, alongside contact details for each of the makers, will be made available online before the trail starts. Details will be posted on the BSpoke16 Facebook and Instagram pages. Limited printed copies will also be available from July 30. For more details call 0781 331 2603.

Robbery on Bristol and Bath railway path n COMMUNITY NEWS A CYCLIST was robbed after being threatened on the Bristol and Bath Railway Path. The rider, who is in his 20s, was approached by two people at about 5.45pm on July 21 as he cycled through Clay Bottom. His bike and wallet were taken after he was threatened with violence. Police say the robbers were male and black. A spokesperson said: "Officers attended the scene and conducted an area search but attempts to trace the offenders were unsuccessful. "Enquiries are continuing." Anyone with information should call 101 and quote the crime reference number 5220 162 336. Information can also be given online via the police website.

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GREATER FISHPONDS ENERGY GROUP How to fight fuel poverty AT a time when many households are receiving reduced incomes, and using their homes more than usual, fuel poverty needs to be high on the agenda. A household is in fuel poverty if its energy costs make up over 10% of the household income. Greater Fishponds Energy Group would like to draw your attention to a project called Warmer Homes Advice and Money (WHAM) who can provide advice and support. WHAM is one of many projects run by the Bristol charity Centre for Sustainable Energy, and provides access to the following: • Support for people who are struggling with high fuel bills • Support for people who have cold homes in the winter, often meaning there can be damp • Advice on any energy issues in the home including understanding your heating controls, smart meters; how to keep energy costs down during the coronavirus outbreak • Support with accessing grants for people if they need a new heating system or a repair for example • Support with finding funds for those struggling to top up their prepayment meter, or to fund their energy costs • Advice how to reduce your energy costs; someone to act on your behalf and negotiate a plan with your provider, if you are struggling with bills. If you or someone you know would like support from the WHAM caseworkers please call the freephone number 0800 082 2234 or visit Bristol Energy Network (BEN) has a team of Energy Champions in communities across the city, including here in Fishponds, who support people to identify ways that they can save energy in their own homes. If you are struggling to pay for your energy because of Covid-19, you can turn straight to your energy supplier. You can find out more information about what help you can get from your supplier online at Find out more about us at or search for GFenergy on Facebook.


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August, 2020



Tributes to 'larger than life' former councillor AFFECTIONATE tributes have been paid to a former Bristol city councillor who was described as "larger than life" and "louder than bombs". David Sutton represented Ashley Ward and then Eastville Ward in the 1990s. The Labour councillor, who was an architect and helped establish the Malcolm X centre, died in East Kilbride, Scotland in June after a short illness. Other tributes described him as a “true brother and friend” who fought for racial equality and “sound planning”. Lord Mayor Jos Clark announced Mr Sutton's death – along with those of Claire Warren, who represented Bedminster for 20 years until 2006, and the council’s first disability equality officer,

Elisabeth Standen, who also campaigned for inclusive education and gained an MBE for her services to disability – at a council meeting held remotely via Zoom video link on July 7. A minute’s silence was held to remember them. Cabinet member for housing Paul Smith said: “If David had been here, he wouldn’t have needed Zoom, he could have broadcast to us all from his house, because not only was he larger than life, he was louder than bombs. “He was a man of immense passion and huge volume. “You always knew if David was going to be at a meeting; it would last an extra hour to what was advertised, because he had strong opinions on just about everything.

“I was incredibly sad to hear of Dave’s going. I spent a lot of time with David and learnt an awful lot from him and always enjoyed his company, and he’s a real loss.” Deputy mayor for communities Asher Craig read out a tribute from a member of the black community, which described Mr Sutton’s involvement in the Malcolm X Community Centre and its predecessor, the St Paul’s Community Association. The Malcolm X centre was built after the St Paul’s riots but was boycotted by the community for more than five years because it contained “many serious defects”. Mr Sutton played an integral role in a successful campaign for funding to fix the defects, which

ended the boycott in early 1990. He was also a mentor for youth leaders in the community. “Dave Sutton’s passing is mourned by many people in Bristol, especially the AfroCaribbean community, for the loss of a great man, a brother, and a friend,” the tribute read. “Remembering Dave now is even more poignant, with the recent fall of Edward Colston’s statue, as it demonstrated our wish not to honour selfish, unsympathetic individuals but to celebrate genuine charitable, wise, philanthropists like Dave Sutton. “He was a true brother and friend.” By Amanda Cameron, Local Democracy Reporting Service

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August, 2020

U-turn over High Street 'disaster' A SCHEME to increase space for social distancing by making part of Staple Hill High Street a single-lane road was an "absolute disaster", traders say. Introduced by South Gloucestershire Council to create more space for pedestrians, the barriers and traffic lights forced traffic to travel in one direction at a time on the street by the Page Road junction. Extra traffic lights between the light-controlled junctions with Pendennis Road/Acacia Road and Victoria Street/ Soundwell Road caused jams. A pelican crossing was closed, making it more difficult to cross the road. And the closure of the High Street's junction with Page Road made it harder for shoppers to access free car parks. Halfway through the trial, which residents described as "ridiculous" – the council removed the barriers, saying it was "adjusting" the scheme measures to protect people in the areas where social distancing is most needed". Traders said they had been hit hard during the two weeks of the experiment. George Georgiou, who runs butcher's shop The Butcher's Hook, said the single-lane system had been an "absolute disaster". He said his takings had been down by 25 to 30% when the scheme was in place, while other shops lost up to 70% of their trade. "The Monday morning after the barriers were up, there was already a traffic jam outside when I came in. We had a massive drop in trade. They might as well have dropped a bomb in the middle of the street

Traders Paul Hooper, Mike Sheen, George Georgiou and Tina Lewis have revived Staple Hill Chamber of Trade and Commerce to ensure the council 'learns from its mistakes' over the traffic scheme – it was the same disruption. "We're trying to build up the High Street – it's taken years to build people's trust and respect. I've lost a lot of those customers back to supermarkets." George said traders first heard of the scheme days before it happened. "There was no communication, no study was done before to see if it was needed or not.It's bizarre how a council can just go ahead, throw money at something that's not been surveyed. How can you justify that?" he said. "I understand the need for social distancing but the scheme made no sense at all. Where they put it wasn't a heavy footfall area." Staple Hill and Mangotsfield ward councillor Michael Bell said he and colleagues Ian Boulton and Katie Cooper "received hundreds of comments" after asking traders, customers and

residents for their feedback on the impact of the changes. He said: "Everyone understands the need for social distancing during the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as encouraging more cyclists and pedestrians, however the lack of parking on our High Street was deterring visitors and the viability of our local shops was put in doubt. "In addition, the additional set of traffic lights created a bottleneck which slowed the flow of traffic and created tailbacks, which meant idling engines and increased air pollution." As pressure increased the council agreed to meet traders and councillors and revised the scheme. The barriers were removed on July 12 and replaced with an alternative scheme widening the pavement nearer to the Soundwell Road/Victoria Street junction, moving the bus stop outside the Butcher's Hook and introducing a temporary

20mph zone from the Hill House Road junction with Broad Street to the Pendennis Road junction with the High Street. The authority said it had made the changes after "feedback from residents and businesses which has given us a better understanding of how the High Street is being used and identified clear ‘pinch points’ for social distancing". Funding for the work came from central government through the West of England Combined Authority. A council spokesman said: "The Government has issued statutory guidance which expects local authorities to make significant changes to their road layouts to give more space to cyclists and pedestrians. "The guidance also states that ‘measures should be taken as swiftly as possible, and in any event within weeks, given the urgent need to change travel habits before the restart takes full effect’. "We all need to abide by the Covid-19 guidelines to protect each other, help to control the virus and save lives.Given these timescales, we have not been able to carry out a full consultation as we normally would expect to for a scheme of this scale before its implementation but we are providing as much information as possible and answering queries as quickly as we can. "We discussed the proposals with residents and business representatives where possible before implementing the changes." You can provide feedback about the Staple Hill High Street scheme at uk/streetchanges

Pandemic brings rise in noise complaints NOISE enforcement teams have seized TVs and stereos as they deal with an increase in complaints since lockdown. The city council has received more than 650 complaints of excessive noise since March, with a large number over loud music. A spokesman said the authority had issued 121 formal warnings and served 12 noise abatement notices. Neighbourhood Enforcement Team officers have been granted warrants to search properties and remove equipment making the noise, with three seizures happening since lockdown and a further three planned.

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Among the items seized were two TVs, three speakers, a DVD player and a DAB radio. Council cabinet member Steve Pearce said: “We take noise complaints very seriously, and have a number of ways in which we can take action. “People should not have to be subjected to loud music, DIY or shouting at unsociable hours – especially during this current pandemic, where we are all spending more time in our homes than ever before. “If you are currently experiencing a noise problem, we advise you to try to talk to the person responsible before reporting


it, as they may not realise they are causing a problem. f this does not work, and the noise continues over a prolonged period, you will need to keep a record of this and fill out a 14 day noise diary to help us investigate your complaint.” People can download a council ‘noise app’ onto a smartphone to record evidence of any noise complaint, reducing the need for council officers to do home visits. To report a noise complaint call 0117 922 2500, or 0117 922 2200 if you are a council tenant. Complaints can be made online at bristol.

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August, 2020


n PLANNING MATTERS WITH CHRIS GOSLING WE live in a world of slogans. What was once the preserve of the advertisers is now just as much the preserve of politicians. They too have a message to sell. Sometimes slogans stay around, but mostly they are displaced by later efforts. One of the Prime Minister's recent efforts is "build, build, build". It could have been shorter, but it is a typically simple message. It is the mantra that will supposedly carry us out of the deepening financial worries of these strange times and as far as it goes, that is fine. However its simplicity begs some questions. The PM has stepped in to provide his own answers. The message is essentially the same as that of the coalition government in 2010. Construction benefits the economy, not just through its own direct efforts but its fourfold positive impact on the industries that support it. Of course, in 2010 this mantra went hand-in-hand with austerity, which was then in the early stages of hollowing out planning departments across the country. Planners were expected to somehow do more with less, to quote a slogan of those times. Since then resources have diminished further. Fast forward a few years, and

The power of slogans there was much focus on why the planning system apparently wasn't delivering. Reports commissioned by the government concluded that planners up and down the land were doing their best to allow and enable housing development. The spotlight was turned on the houses and flats that had been approved but weren't being built, as the volume housebuilders tended to sit on their permissions and build at the time when their profit was greatest. This is not outside of the rules and the change required to ensure that the "homes the country needs" (another slogan) were built at the time of need would have been likely to lead to less building. As a result, the requirement remains to start work on site within three years of the permission and there is usually no obligation to finish by any further deadline. This, and other factors, resulted in 280,000 homes with planning permission never being built between 2011 and 2016, according to Shelter. Back up to date, and in comes the latest slogan, alongside a

promise to overhaul the planning system, starting in September. To mark this intention, last month the PM decided to indulge in a spot of planner-bashing. We learned that the planning system was overbureaucratic, cumbersome and appalling, among other adjectives. Not exactly the most moraleboosting way to treat an underfunded, under-staffed profession, tasked with enabling the recovery from the deepest recession ever known. Although there was a lack of detail in the PM's speech, he did manage to accuse planners of "newt-counting", overlooking the legal obligation to ensure the protection of safeguarded species is properly considered. This suggests that perhaps the government's green aims and carbon-neutral future will not be such a priority when it comes to overhauling planning. I do not want to suggest that the government has been slow to act, because apparently that is the preserve of planners. The government amended their legislation last month to ensure

Not only was the Colston Weir sign defaced, but it was painted over with the slogan Black Lives Matter. This made me seethe. They do matter, but ALL lives matter. It is easy to target dead people, even if they did wrong by modern standards. What are the protesters doing about the current slavery issues in this country? The County Lines gangs and prostitution entrap black and white alike. There are slaves in the Leicester factories. Perhaps these protesters could channel their energy elsewhere rather than spoil a beauty spot and upsetting local residents. There are a few inconsiderate cyclists and many without bells who can make a walk unsafe at times, not to mention the litter scattered around, not only here but throughout Fishponds. Broken glass especially is a hazard and a danger to all of us . Geoff Perrett

Where is it all going to stop?

that in the conversion of office buildings, for which they had removed the requirement of planning permission, one of the criteria is now that windows have to be provided for the flats created. That story blew up in July 2019 when flats were created without windows in Watford. Cumbersome, over-bureaucratic and appalling? I couldn't possibly comment.

n LETTERS Our article last month reporting that a commission was being set up to remove the name of Edward Colston from Bristol landmarks prompted these replies:

Sign defacement is vandalism LAST month you published an article suggesting that streets could be renamed. This was good journalism but at the end included a reference to signing a petition in favour. Where is the corresponding platform for those of us who don't do social media and disagree? Are we a democracy? There are many of us who are deeply offended by the recent vandalism in the Frome Valley. Are those responsible Bristolian or even local? Do they walk the Frome Valley daily?

IT should not be down to historians and academics to decide about altering the names of anyone on buildings/road names etc, it should only ever be down to a 'fair' poll of the whole of the residents of Bristol. It should only ever be up to us Bristolians to make such decisions, because we live here and therefore we, and only we, should have a say and get to choose. It's also high time places like Colston's School stopped dithering and stopped pandering, too. If people don't like the fact that the school only exists because of its benefactor and how that came to be, then the answer is very simple, don't enrol you child/children there and find them somewhere that sits with your conscience. With regards to the petition

to remove Colston's name from 'everywhere', it's both biased and unfair. A petition should be about fairness and equally about allowing those in favour, as well as those against, to vote on whether things should be individually – not collectively – removed/changed/ altered etc. Also, removing everything to do with Colston and his ilk, won't change a damn thing. Because what was done was done. It is what it is and it was of its day. So please just put up and shut up. Bristol is not only made up of its present and future, but its past has and will always continue to be a part of its heritage, whether you like it or not, and if you can't accept Bristol for what it is and how it got there, then why are you calling it your home and living within it? L Smith

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August, 2020



Boxers join services as club trains in park THREE young boxers are planning to continue their sport after joining the Armed Forces. Downend Boxing Club members Jude Moore, Harry Goss and Taylor Andrews each have their sights fixed in their respective services' teams. Former National champion and England representative Jude, 17, from Hillfields, has passed out of his initial training at the Army Foundation college Harrogate, in a ceremony streamed online due to the lockdown. He now will go on to the Parachute Regiment and hopes to move on to the Army boxing team. Meanwhile at HMS Raleigh in Cornwall Harry, 20, of Downend, has completed his initial Royal Navy training and would like to box for the senior service once his full training is complete. Taylor Andrews celebrated his 18th birthday with the news he is to commence his RAF training in Halton. Taylor, a multiple

Taylor Andrews

Jude Moore Western Counties champion and Haringey gold medallist will become a gunner but plans to switch to a physical training

instructor and box on the RAF team as his career progresses. Head coach Craig Turner said: "It seems strange that the


guys are starting out in their service, as it seems like yesterday they were 12 year olds. "We are immensely proud of them, and are sure the discipline and outstanding physical conditioning boxing offers, will stand them in good stead to progress' Ten of the club's competitive boxers are currently training twice a week Page Park, until clearance is given to re-open the club's gym at the Harry Crook Centre, Fishponds.




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