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fishpondsvoice February, 2021 — ISSUE 71

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FREE EVERY MONTH IN THE GREATER FISHPONDS AREA Julie Davidson, Kate Macnamara and Zynab Meakin helped prepare the first batch of Covid-19 vaccinations for patients at Fishponds Primary Care Centre in Beechwood Road

Community homes joy A plot next to Hillfields Community Hub has been handed to the Hillfields Family & Community Trust for a development of ten homes. PAGES 12-13

Council tax to go up 4.99%

Covid vaccinations begin

THE programme to vaccinate people against Covid-19 has reached the greater Fishponds area. Two GP surgeries are acting as hubs - one in Eastville and the other in Fishponds - with some patients also being offered appointments at a 'super vaccination centre' at Ashton Gate stadium, and others going to Southmead Hospital. In Fishponds, a 101-year-old woman was the

first to receive the jab when three surgeries worked together to vaccinate 800 patients in a single day. The first people vaccinated were aged over 80, with underlying health conditions or working in care homes, but appointments are now being booked for people aged over 70, as NHS staff work through the government's priority list. Turn to Page 3

Council tax in Bristol will rise 4.99 per cent in April, increasing the average annual bill by £90. PAGE 9

Police foil rave at Oldbury Court Police have arrested three people and handed out 38 fines for breaching coronavirus regulations after preventing an illegal rave in Oldbury Court. PAGE 10

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fishpondsvoice Publisher & Sales Caroline Galvin 07453 954261

Find us on Facebook www.facebook.com/fishpondsvoice

Editor Linda Tanner 0777 0700579

Follow us on Twitter @fishpondsvoice

Journalist Ken MCormick 07715 770377

ADVERTISING sales@fishpondsvoice.co.uk Tel 07453 954261 EDITORIAL news@fishpondsvoice.co.uk 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 March edition deadline is February 24. L O C A L I N F O R M AT I O N Bristol City Council http://www.bristol.gov.uk 0117 922 2000 Police www.avonandsomersetpolice.uk general enquiries: 101 Emergency: 999 Fire www.avonfire.gov.uk General enquiries: 0117 926 2061 Emergency: 999 NHS 111 Safer Stronger team sscg@southglos.gov.uk 01454 868009

Streetcare/litter/vandalism etc streetcare@southglos.gov.uk Environment/trading standards 01454 868001 Well Aware Health and social care information www.wellaware.org.uk Tel: (freephone) 0808 808 5252

February, 2021

n NEWS

Covid cases still on the increase CORONAVIRUS rates in Fishponds were continuing to rise as the Voice went to press, with more than 90 recorded in a week. Office for National Statistics data showed 62 cases confirmed during the seven days to January 19 in Fishponds North, which includes Oldbury Court, Manor Road and Fishponds Road between Downend Road and Lodge Causeway – up from 58 the previous week and 27 on December 22. A further 30 cases were recorded in Fishponds South, which includes Hillfields – up from 25 the previous week. Both areas had case rates above the national average, as did Eastville, where 42 cases were confirmed during the week to January 19, and Speedwell (39 cases) - although the number of confirmed cases was down in these areas on two weeks

previously. The 27 cases in Stapleton were down from 50 the previous week. The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Bristol in the week to January 19 was 1,765 - more than double the 888 recorded four weeks previously, on December 22, but down by almost 500 on the 2,238 cases recorded during the week to January 5. And Bristol's rate of 380.9 cases per 100,000 people on January 19 was below the England average of 437.8. More than one in every ten deaths of Bristol residents last year involved Covid-19, according to the ONS. Since the start of the pandemic a total of 25,657 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in Bristol, representing one in every 18 people.

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 Caroline Galvin on 07453954261 or news@fishpondsvoice. co.uk.

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.

A member of the

Anti social behaviour team asbreporting@southglos.gov.uk 01454 868582

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February, 2021

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n NEWS

Vaccinations under way From Page 1 In Eastville, the East Trees Health Centre held its first vaccinations for patients of the six surgeries in the Bristol Inner City Primary Care Network, which also include Charlotte Keel practice, two days before Christmas. In Fishponds, patients of three surgeries – Beechwood Medical Practice, Fishponds Family Practice and Air Balloon Surgery, who together form the FABB Primary Care Network – are being vaccinated at the Fishponds Primary Care Centre in Beechwood Road. Patients of the Old School Surgery in Manor Road, which is part of the Fireclay & Old School Surgery Primary Care Network, were being invited for vaccinations at Lodgeside Surgery in Kingswood, with the first session on January 16. As the Voice went to print, more than 2,300 patients had been vaccinated at Fishponds Primary Care Centre, with two

batches of the Pfizer BioNTech jab. Two mass sessions on Saturdays saw 800 patients vaccinated between 8.30am and 6.30pm, with further sessions held for just under 400 patients on weekdays. Beechwood practice manager Sarah Monteith said about 40 staff and volunteers worked in PPE for more than 12 hours on each Saturday session, preparing and administering the vaccine, guiding people through a one-way system and monitoring patients afterwards. The first jab on the first day went to Beechwood's oldest patient, 101-year-old Mary Hicks. Sarah said: "Because she was the oldest patient, she was offered the first appointment, which was at 8.30am. We thought it might be too early but she didn't care – she was the first through the door!" Sarah said there was a lot of enthusiasm among staff and patients for the first clinic, and

101-year-old Mary Hicks was the first person to receive a Covid-19 vaccination at Fishponds Primary Care Centre on January 16

with relatives or carers waiting outside for them to have their jabs, the atmosphere was "a bit like the first day of school". She said: "We were all just happy to be doing something that was actually making a difference. For a lot of the patients, it was the first time they had been out of their homes since lockdown." Take-up of the vaccine has been very high, and the first patients have been booked in for second appointments in 12 weeks in line with guidance. By January 21, almost 80,000 doses of the vaccine had

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been administered in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire at 19 GP surgery hubs, hospitals, the Ashton Gate centre and the Superdrug pharmacy in Broadmead. The Healthier Together Partnership, which is in charge of the programme in the area, is urging people not to contact their surgery to ask for a vaccination but instead wait to be called. A spokesperson said: "Please be assured that no one will be left behind – this is the start of the vaccination programme and there will be enough for everyone."

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n NEWS

Elections: another delay? BRISTOL'S council and mayoral elections could be delayed again because of the pandemic. Local elections are due to take place on May 6, having been delayed a year because of the first lockdown. The same date is set for the election of a new metro mayor, and police and crime commissioner. But the Government is keeping the date under review as hospital admissions for Covid-19 continue to rise, and senior figures at the council say the "smart money" is on a delay of several months. During a meeting on January 20, veteran Conservative councillor Richard Eddy said he thought the likelihood of the elections going ahead on May 6 was “practically zero”. While the Government had said June or July, "probably the smart money is on even later, up to September", he said. Licensing manager Jonathan Martin said the Government would be likely to move the

date back rather than bring "potentially large groupings of people" together for an election. It comes as the Lib Dems announce their new candidate for the mayoral elections. Medical science consultant Dr Caroline Gooch replaces Mary Page, who dropped out of the mayoral race for personal reasons late last year. The party is campaigning on a platform of scrapping the mayor's role, which Dr Gooch says "is not needed now that we have the Weca metro mayor". The Conservatives have yet to announce a candidate to take on incumbent Marvin Rees, Dr Gooch and the Greens' Sandy Hore-Ruthven, after Samuel Williams withdrew from the contest to run for the West of England Mayor position instead. Green councillor leader Jerome Thomas has been selected to contest the metro mayor election for his party. By Amanda Cameron, Local Democracy Reporting Service

To advertise, contact Caroline on 07453 954261

February, 2021

Lockdown 3 sees more children in schools UP to a third of children are attending lessons at some Bristol schools, as staff, pupils and parents face new challenges in the third lockdown. The number of pupils coming in is far higher than in the first lockdown, as the rules allow more key worker families to send children to school and class more as 'vulnerable'. It comes as the amount of home learning organised online for other pupils is stepped up, with more live lessons via video links and increased contact and interaction. But with many families not having the necessary technology for online learning, schools are having to ask for donations of tablets and laptops to make up for shortfalls or delays in supplies from the government. At Fishponds Church of

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England Academy, up to 84 of the 418 pupils are in school each day – around one in five. The school has turned to the local community to help ensure those who are learning at home can all get online. Head teacher Debbie Coker said the school had been told in October that it would receive devices for pupils in need from the Department for Education but a "supply problem" meant that they had not yet arrived. She said: "We couldn't wait any longer as our children without devices were missing out." The school made a plea for spare devices at the start of January and, as the Voice went to print, had received 13 Amazon Fire tablets, 14 laptops and a small number of other devices. Staff had also given out 15

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fishpondsvoice

February, 2021

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Fishponds C of E Academy's exercise book and book swap stall, set up outside for pupils to pick up new books

laptops that were not being used during the lockdown to families in need. Mrs Coker said a parent had persuaded a business that wipes computer data to do this for donated devices for no charge. She said: "We have seen children joyfully joining their live teaching sessions on Zoom with their classmates and engaging with their independent learning on Seesaw. This is great, as it not only means that they are

Contents of a hamper for Fishponds C of E Academy pupils eligible for free school meals

accessing the same learning as their class now but also that they have that vital contact with their friends and teachers. "I am so grateful that Fishponds as a community has pulled together to help our children – we really are blown away by everyone's kindness. "There have been a few happy tears shed over the last few weeks!" The primary school is also organising a 'book swap' to make

sure pupils have new stories to read and give out exercise books and writing materials for those who need them. Mrs Coker said: "Remote learning looks different in every school. Our aim is to provide learning as close to the learning journey that would take place when we are fully open. "Teachers run a live English and Maths session on Zoom and then follow up with independent learning on Seesaw. We are still covering all subjects in the National Curriculum." The issue of free school meals has provoked fierce national debate since images of some food supplied were criticised by England footballer and campaigner Marcus Rashford,

and branded "disgraceful" by Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Mrs Coker said the 118 hampers handed out to eligible academy families, prepared by regular school meal supplier Sodexo, had "really impressed us", with plenty of fresh fruit and veg and "quality" products. The boxes can now be delivered to families fortnightly, and include a menu and recipe cards for the ingredients. • Families will continue to receive support during the February half-term. Bristol City Council will use some of the funding it has received from the government’s Covid winter grant scheme to provide £15 supermarket vouchers for 20,000 pupils across the city.

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February, 2021

n PETER'S VISION

Caring for your eyes reduce dramatically when concentrating. My top tip here is to start blinking each time you make a repetitive action, whether for example it’s turning the page of a book or clicking send on an email. The momentary pause whilst waiting for something to happen that doesn’t require our immediate attention (unlike a young family member who’s accidentally pressed delete on their school work!), means that we can re-learn to blink and at the same time, not miss anything important. That’s a win win in my book. Oh and thanks to cloud computing, I can be super Dad just now and again by recovering pages of seemingly lost work from the ether at the click of a button. I’m sure in no time at all the children will realise how easy document recovery is, but for now and while they're young I’ll enjoy my brief moment of glory thanks! Another tip is to keep your glasses clean for those long hours

AS we’re in lockdown (again) I thought that I’d write about the things you can do to look after your eyes from the safety (and comfort I hope!) of your own homes. I’ve been reading with interest how fellow eye care professionals across the globe have been caring for their patients. I’ve been pleased to note that we compare very favourably with some of our good and well respected colleagues. For your eyes, I’ll start with the basics. Please drink a good amount of water. Every day. It’s easy even for us to miss this one, particularly on the days we’re home schooling! Drinking water as well as eating a balanced diet that includes oily fish or plant based omega oils, helps ensure we have the ingredients needed for a good tear film. When we blink, our glands are then able to release good quality tears to freshen the surface of our eyes. On to blinking. Our research shows that our blink rate can

on the computer, whether in work or at home. It may sound obvious, but please, if your glasses have a fancy high tech lens surface (as ours do), don’t just reach for a convenient item of clothing or tissue. It is important to use a quality microfibre lens cloth - these are designed to gently lift particles off your lenses, not smear them further as items of clothing do! Don’t forget, we’re still here when you need us, for eye care, advice, glasses & contact lenses, six days of the week. Just get in touch and we’ll be happy to see how we can help you. Times are tough for many of us, and as a thank you for choosing us for your eye care we’re offering to help you in return with a glasses voucher with your extended eye exam. Just ask about our look in to help out offer. To help us keep you all safe, we’re still asking you all to telephone first to book a time to come in. 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

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.

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February, 2021

7

n NEWS

Knife attacks leave teenager and man injured POLICE are investigating knife attacks in which a teenager was stabbed several times and a man was hacked at with a machete. In the first of the two incidents, which are not believed to be connected, a man in his 40s was attacked by two men with what police believe was a machete in Homefield Drive, off Manor Road. He suffered arm injuries and was taken to hospital after the incident, which happened at about 4.20pm on Friday, December 18. Avon and Somerset police say the attackers were two men who were dressed in black. The man with the blade was about 6ft tall, slim and was carrying a shoulder bag. The other man was about 5ft 9in tall. A police spokesperson said: "Officers have carried out house-to-house enquiries and are stepping up patrols in the local area. They are keen to hear from anyone who witnessed the

Four people were arrested after a teenager was stabbed on the main road between Fishponds and Downend incident or has any information that could assist their enquiry." Two weeks later, on New Year's Day, a 15-year-old boy was attacked in Downend Road, near the junction with Lawn Road, at about 12.20pm. Police say the boy needed hospital treatment for a number of stab wounds, but his injuries "are not considered to be lifethreatening or life-changing". Two men, aged 22 and 28,

were arrested on suspicion of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm in connection with the incident, and later released under investigation. Two teenagers, aged 16 and 18, were arrested on suspicion of the same offence and released on bail. Officers have been viewing CCTV footage taken nearby as part of their enquiry.

Acting Detective Inspector Mark Newbury said: “We are keen to hear from any witnesses who were in the area at that time, or drivers who potentially may have useful dashcam footage. “Thankfully incidents of this nature are rare, but we’re conscious a similar assault occurred in Bristol city centre, in which a 17-year-old was injured on New Year’s Eve. He remains in hospital but his condition is also not believed to be lifethreatening." He said police were "keeping an open mind" as to whether the city centre incident was linked to the Downend Road attack. Anyone with information about the machete attack in Homefield Drive should call 101, quoting crime reference number 5220 283 598. Calls about the stabbing in Downend Road should be made to the same number, using crime reference number 5221 000 288.

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February, 2021

fishpondsvoice

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n NEWS

Council tax will rise but rents to be frozen COUNCIL tax is set to increase by just under £90 for the average bill payer this year. The 4.99% hike – a 1.99% per cent general rise plus 3% precept for spiralling adult social care costs – is the maximum allowed by the Government without a local referendum. It represents an £87.74 rise for Band D property bills, taking them to £1,846.02 a year from April. The cheapest Band A bills will go up by £58.48 to £1,230.68, while the most expensive, Band H, rises by £175.47 to £3,692.04. Annual budget papers were set to be approved by the cabinet as the Voice went to press, ahead of a vote by the full council on February 25. The rises will bring in more than £236 million of the £424.1m to be spent on services, such as libraries, waste collection and street lighting. The increase in tax receipts is expected to be £10.1m more than the current year, after reductions to the amount of households expected to pay, mostly because of the pandemic, are taken into account. The report said the pandemic had caused a "marked increase" in the number of people

using the council tax reduction scheme, for working-age people who would have received council tax benefit before the national scheme was abolished in 2013, with costs increasing by £2.3 million in 2020/21. Up to 26,800 council tenants are set to have their rent frozen this year, while the budget also pledges no new cuts to services. Cabinet papers say a rent rise was rejected “considering the current economic conditions, the impact of pandemic and the hardship suffered by people in need”. It said maintaining the existing level of service without increasing rents means that an extra £1.8m will need to be spent

from Housing Revenue Account reserves and an increase in borrowing from 2024/25 onwards. An “ambitious” five-year capital budget of £907.6m will pay for major projects, with £26m on special educational needs, £132m for housing delivery up to 2026 and £75m for transport and highways. Mayor Marvin Rees said: “Unfortunately there is no way around a council tax increase. “The Government assumes we will increase it, and if we do not increase it and go to them later and say ‘we are facing financial challenges’, they will say ‘you had all the space you needed to increase your council tax’. “So we are in a bind, which is why, as well as providing our other services, we are freezing council rents and keeping in place our council tax reduction scheme for those who have fallen into very challenging financial situations." The new bills represent the council’s portion of the tax, with smaller precepts to be added to final bills by the police and fire authority. By Adam Postans, Local Democracy Reporting Service

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February, 2021

n NEWS

Police foil illegal rave in Oldbury Court POLICE have arrested three people and handed out 38 fines for breaching coronavirus regulations after preventing an illegal rave in Fishponds. Officers also gave "advice" to 30 under-18s who arrived in Oldbury Court for the planned event on Saturday, January 9. Avon and Somerset police said they discovered an event was being advertised on social media under the name "Bristol Freerave". While the location was not advertised, they sent officers to Oldbury Court, Eastville Park and Lodge Causeway to follow up reports the rave could be held there. A spokesperson said a 19-year-old man was arrested shortly after 7pm that night, on suspicion of conspiracy to cause a public nuisance. He was later released under investigation. More officers were sent to Oldbury Court at about 8.30pm and stayed there until the early hours of the morning, stopping drivers arriving there, to ensure the rave did not take place. The spokesperson said: "A significant

number of people arriving in the area by car and on foot were spoken to by officers." In addition to those fined, one person was also arrested for drink driving and a vehicle seized for having no insurance. No illegal gatherings were found in Eastville Park or Lodge Causeway. On January 15, police raided a house at an undisclosed address in Fishponds and arrested another two men, aged 19 and 21, on suspicion of conspiracy to cause a public nuisance. Sound equipment was seized during the "intelligence-led" operation and both men were also arrested on suspicion of handling stolen goods, while the 19-year-old man was also arrested on suspicion of possessing cannabis with intent to supply. Both have been released on bail, with a curfew, while police said their inquiry into the planned rave "continues at pace". Chief Inspector Paul Wigginton said: "I’d like to acknowledge the incredible efforts of our officers and staff to ensure that this unauthorised event – which would have put many people in harm’s way – didn’t proceed

as planned. "We know that the key to policing these events is prevent them before they get underway, which is why we are also hugely grateful to those members of the public who have got in touch with us to provide vital intelligence that allowed us to intervene early. "An abnormally large number of vehicles and/or people arriving in an unusual area, or loud speakers being unloaded are the sort of red flags that could suggest an unauthorised music event is due to take place. "We urge anyone who spots the signs of an event being set up to get in touch with us immediately on 101. "The police understand this year has been difficult, but the reality is that unauthorised mass gatherings increase the risk of spreading Covid-19 at a time when the NHS is under great pressure, as well as causing huge disruption and distress to local residents. "We continue to thank to the large majority of people who are observing the guidelines to help protect their health and that of their loved ones."

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fishpondsvoice

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February, 2021

n NEWS

Council hands over land for community A PROJECT to build "properly affordable and good quality homes" for Hillfields residents has taken a giant leap forward. Bristol City Council has agreed to hand over land to the Hillfields Family & Community Trust, to create new homes for social rent. The land, next to the trust's Hillfields Community Hub, off Thicket Avenue, is currently blighted by fly-tipping and antisocial behaviour. But HFCT aims to transform it, building ten one- and twobedroom homes, which will be owned by the trust. The scheme, would provide the opportunity for young people to rent a starter home or for people whose children have left home to move somewhere smaller, while staying in the area, where most existing homes are larger 3 and 4-bedroom houses. It will also provide the trust with an ongoing income to support community activities

and services. In mid-January the trust, which has been working on the project since 2019, received the news that the city council had approved its bid for the land, which it can now buy for a token £1. Trust community housing project manager Leah Eatwell said: "Through delivering this project we envision a strong, vibrant and healthy community created by providing housing, hope and opportunity. "The land, which is currently disused, other than for antisocial behaviour and fly-tipping, is an eyesore not only for the Hub, but also for local residents who either back onto the site, or pass through to access the park. "This is a great opportunity, which means we will be able to build properly affordable and good quality homes for local Hillfields residents who need them. "These homes will be built,

Hilary Bloor DSCh, MInstChP

Housing project manager Leah Eatwell (right), with the letter confirming the handover, HFCT chair Zoe Fry, treasurer Tina Hunt and trustee Craig Cheney at the site where the new homes will be built. Picture: Baz Warren owned and managed by HFCT as community assets, which means that all benefits of the housing, financial and otherwise, will be given back to the local community in the form of wider social value.

"We plan that all income generated though the development will enable HFCT to extend and expand the services it currently offers at the Hub, including, at the moment, a food club and essential youth

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February, 2021

13

housing scheme services." The trust has aimed to ensure the community is involved with the design, and staged a competition to choose the architects last year. Although the first lockdown meant that the event had to be moved online, more than 100 people took part, choosing and voted for Bristol-based Agile Design, which has 20 years' experience of similar schemes, to work with the trust. Eleanor Lasota, of Agile, said: "Hillfields Community Homes shall be an example of a new, improved approach to housing development, creating thriving places through community collaboration, which better suit the neighbourhood’s needs and aspirations." She said the scheme would create "a welcoming space for all families and neighbours to enjoy," adding: "The scheme shall connect with the park and Community Hub to provide a place which nurtures and

Quarry Court

supports local residents. "The Hillfields design proposals will balance affordability, quality and sustainability to provide a place which is loved by the community for many generations to come." The trust will now start work with Agile on a planning application for the project. Residents are once again being invited to have their say on the plans, by taking part in a survey on the housing page of the Hillfields.community website. Everyone who takes part in the survey will be entered in a free prize draw, to win a meal at local restaurants the Olive Tree and Guru J’s. The estimated £1.7 m cost would come through Bristol's City Funds finance scheme for community projects. Hillfields ward councillor Craig Cheney, who is a member of the city council's ruling Labour cabinet and a trustee of HFCT, said: "Working together with the community, Hillfields Family & Community Trust

The site in Hillfields where the homes will be built have created a really exciting prospect for the future of the area, taking a part of Hillfields which is currently often used for fly-tipping and other anti-social behaviour, and bringing forward a plan to create homes for local residents and families. "I’m really excited and proud

Adelaide Place, Fishponds, Bristol BS16 2FX

to have worked with such an excellent, dedicated team of Hillfields residents to create such a great plan for this troubled spot within our community. It’s brilliant to hear good news in these difficult times." Bid for eco homes: Page 22

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February, 2021

n PLANNING MATTERS WITH CHRIS GOSLING YOU may be wondering what planners are going to be doing to keep ourselves occupied in the future. The government seems very keen to take away the sort of things that used to occupy us by finding out new ways to give planning permission, or new equivalents, that involve minimum scrutiny. Recently we had a clue as to what the future of planning might entail, courtesy of the man in charge, Robert Jenrick. This was mainly prompted by Bristol's Edward Colston statue being treated to a bath. It was announced that, in future, that sort of thing was going to require planning permission. Putting aside the slim possibility that Black Lives Matter protesters would have diverted to the Council House, filled in the requisite forms and sat around on College Green waiting eight weeks for a decision, there is some sense in making this a planning matter. What better forum in which to debate the worth or desirability of retaining statues than through planning, which has expertise in consultation and decision-making

in the public benefit? Of course he then spoilt it by talking about "baying mobs", as if there was no right to protest and "town hall militants", as if the people at the town hall were not being governed by elected representatives. Still, this maybe indicates that the future of planning is either somewhere where awkward public matters can be resolved or a forum for heritage – most likely a mixture of both. That is something of a departure from the regulation of the use and development of land in the public interest. This potential new purpose is not much comfort in uncertain times, given how few statues and blue plaques there are. It feels that planning itself is facing an existential threat. The response to this is naturally to make the case for what planning actually does. Sadly, measuring achievement is a matter that has always troubled the profession, as it is less straightforward than in some other jobs. The established standard measure is: how long does it take to determine planning

Chrisgoslingplanning@gmail.com

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The latest response to this is the development of a tool kit which takes into account the following themes: Place, design and people; Health and well-being; Environment, conservation and improvement; Climate change; Homes and communities; Economy and town centres; Process and engagement and Movement. These inputs are predictably complicated, but if the tool kit helps to distil how planning as a whole is of benefit, perhaps this in itself will provide a measure of value that politicians will accept. My fingers are crossed.

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applications? Using this metric, it is more productive to make decisions quickly than make the right decisions, or add value to a proposal. However, speed of decisionmaking is not going to save planning from the White Paper. Surely the most meaningful measurements should be based on the quality of outcomes? The process has evolved in recent years to allow time for the correct decision. Poor decisions leave a poor legacy for future generations and, frankly, if planning can’t leave a decent legacy, then maybe wholesale reform is justified. The difficulty comes in how to measure quality. This problem has always beset planners. Questionnaires for the occupiers of new housing and their established neighbours is one possibility, if they respond, but it is not always just the immediate locals who are affected by development. And planning does not occur in isolation: it contributes to wider outcomes and interacts with many other systems.

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February February,2021 2021

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n WILL & PROBATE ADVICE

Staying open at Kings Chase, Kingswood LOCAL Wills experts Simpson Solicitors remain OPEN in the Kings Chase shopping centre in Kingswood (opposite Costa Coffee) during the lockdown to help readers of Kingswood, Downend and Fishponds Voice. The Government have identified the importance of having up to date Wills and Powers of Attorney in place during the COVID pandemic. The team at Simpson Solicitors have again been designated as key workers. So please support this local service and “Shop Local”. Solicitor, John Baden-Daintree says “If you became seriously ill or died, having Powers of Attorney and a Will in place is the only way you can make sure your wishes are followed. Not having them in place can cause great difficulty to your family.”

To find how they can help you or members of your family, just telephone 0117 960 8594 or pop into Simpson Solicitors to arrange a FREE Review Meeting with a friendly advisor. They will take as long as you need to guide you. They provide a COVID safe environment and you can choose your preferred way to get the ball rolling: ● Telephone Meeting ● Zoom Video Meeting (they can help you set this up)

● In person at your home ● In person at their offices If you then go ahead our readers will be offered 20% OFF their already competitive charges. Their No Hidden Costs service includes amendments and a supported Signing Meeting as well as free storage of your documents. This local, award winning service is designed to give you the peace of mind that everything has been prepared properly and is legally valid.

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February, 2021

n MAYOR'S VIEW

Vaccinating Bristol

T

his time last year, we were starting to see the first cases in England of a virus that would transform how we live, work, and connect with one another. As the threat that Covid-19 posed to human life became clear, our communities mobilised to protect those most at risk and help people through the restrictions and lockdowns that were needed to get the virus under control. Alongside this, scientists and clinicians – including many at our city’s universities – got to work to try and understand the virus better, and ultimately work out how to stop it. Hope for the success of those efforts has sustained many of us over the last twelve months. And though we are once again experiencing a national lockdown to try and dampen down the spread of the virus, that hope is being realised through the approval and distribution of three different vaccines that can protect those who are most vulnerable to Covid-19 and grant them protection from this disease. As with so many aspects of Bristol’s response to coronavirus, I am humbled by the sheer scale of logistical effort and community mobilisation to roll out the vaccine across our city. From our hospitals and GP surgeries, contacting local residents who are at the top

of the priority groups, to the large vaccination centre at Ashton Gate – one of seven which opened across the country in January. As I write, over 3.3 million people in England have received the first dose of a vaccine, including almost a quarter of a million in our region. I pay tribute to the NHS staff, volunteers and city partners who have helped so many Bristolians get access to this vaccine, giving vital protection to some of those who are most vulnerable and exposed to Covid-19. The vaccine is being rolled out in stages, with those over 80 and front-line health and care staff among the first to receive the vaccine. While I understand that people will be keen to get themselves and their loved ones protected, the NHS have asked us all to be patient as it will still take some time before everyone gets an appointment. Please let the NHS concentrate on the huge task at hand, and don’t contact them to find out when you will be getting a vaccination. Be assured that you will be contacted when it is your turn. Sadly, we have received reports of scams in circulation. Bogus text messages are in circulation that claim to be from the NHS, telling people they are eligible for the vaccine and asking people to provide payment details

The Mayor’s View Each month Bristol mayor Marvin Rees shares his views with Fishponds Voice

to prove their eligibility. The NHS will never ask anyone for their bank details. Please be alert to scams like this, and speak to your family and friends if you’ve received anything you’re not sure about. In the meantime, it is vital that we all stick to the rules. By staying at home as asked, washing our hands, wearing face coverings and keeping distance from one another, we can save lives, protect the NHS, and ensure many more people are able to get the vaccine so that life can begin to return to normal.

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February, 2021

n NEWS

Eastville Park drug dealer sent to jail A MAN caught dealing heroin and cocaine in Eastville Park has been jailed. Mikel Shishay was stopped by police in the park on June 26 last year after officers saw a deal take place. The drugs were seized and Shishay's DNA was found on them. Appearing at Bristol Crown Court just before Christmas, he admitted two counts of supplying class A drugs and was jailed for three years and four months. Shishay, who is 26 years old and had no fixed address before the court hearing, was arrested by officers working as part of Operation Remedy, which targets drug-related offences, among other crimes. PC Owen Holmes, from the team, said: “Drug dealing can often lead to other crimes and cause untold misery within the community. “Mikel Shishay has a long history of drug dealing and it’s pleasing to see our proactive policing strategy rid Bristol’s streets of another criminal. “We welcome the custodial sentence handed out to him and hope it acts as a warning to people who wrongly think it’s acceptable to sell illegal drugs.”

17

Witnesses to cycle path attacks sought POLICE are trying to trace two key witnesses to an assault and a robbery on the Bristol and Bath Railway Path. In the first incident, a 15-year-old boy was mugged for his red and silver Giant Boulder mountain bike at Clay Bottom, near the rear of the Rajani superstore on the Fishponds Trading Estate. Officers want to trace an elderly man who saw the three robbers attacking the boy and shouted at them during the incident, which happened on November 25 at about 5pm. They are calling on the man to call them on 101, quoting crime number 5220 266 132. The suspects were in their mid to late teens and all dressed in black clothing. One was Asian, slim, about 5ft 8in, had his hood up and a balaclava on. He was wearing Adidas tracksuit bottoms with three white lines. The second was Asian, about 5ft 10in and wore a balaclava. The third was black, 5ft 7in and wore a black jacket. In the second incident, at about 8pm on December 1, a man in his 30s had his path blocked by a group of teenage boys who put a bike in front of his, causing him to crash. He suffered injuries which needed hospital treatment and his bike was also damaged. The incident happened on the stretch of the path near the Whitehall Primary School crossing, by Bruce Road. Police want to trace two men who stopped to help the victim, to see if they saw anything that could help their investigation. The boys who injured the cyclist were in their early teens, of mixed race and slim to average in build. They were all wearing dark hooded tops and dark jogging bottoms or jeans. Anyone with information should call 101 and quote the number 5220 273 987.

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February, 2021

n THOUGHT FOR THE MONTH

Valentine’s: love it, leave it or loathe it?! DO you go to great lengths to make it a special day? Maybe you feel you have no need of Valentine’s, because (whether they realise it or not) every day you show love to your special one? Or does the day only emphasise the hurts you feel through lost love or lack of it? I want to tell you of a love unlike any other that is available for everyone – whether you’ve had a broken relationship, are in one that is lacking, or are looking forward to the special day. Allow me to tell you of God’s love. 1. A broken relationship When God created the world, man and woman lived in a harmonious relationship with God, each other, and the environment. But they were deceived into thinking their way was better. They rejected God’s love; the relationship was broken. Like a far more sinister Covid19, sin has infected and affected us all. We are sinfully

distanced from God. Sin affects the way we treat God, others and the planet, and our infection leads to death away from God’s love forever. That’s bleak – but don’t stop there! 2. Daily love Whether we acknowledge it or not, God demonstrates his love to us every day. The Creator wonderfully provides for all his creation (we are the reason others go without). We live on an astoundingly wonderful, intricate, beautiful, tiny spec which abounds with all that everyone needs for life. Yet we fail to appreciate or thank the One who supplies it. We take the gifts but foolishly ignore the giver. We use His blessings and give Him the cold shoulder. 3. A special day The Bible tells us, ‘This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our

sins.’ (1John4:10). Despite, and because of humanities rejection of God, He has gone further to express His love. The day Jesus Christ died on a Roman crucifix was the fullest expression of the gracious love of God for mankind. God gave the greatest gift – His own Son, Jesus gave his life willingly for us. His perfect sacrifice deals once and for all with what separates us from God – it takes away all our sin. That day over 2,000 years ago and his resurrection on the third day are the ‘special days’ Christians celebrate at Easter. However, like a man or woman who says, ‘I do’, each person needs to take Jesus for themselves. There must be another special day when you know you have entered a personal relationship with Almighty God through faith in Jesus. You then become His and He becomes yours! That relationship lasts throughout life and takes you

Pastor Paul Donovan Pendennis Good News Church

Email: hellopendennisgoodnews.com Tel: 01179571685 Web: www.pendennisgoodnews.com

beyond the grave to be with God without end. Whether you love, leave or loath Valentine’s Day, our prayer for you at Good News Church is that you may come to know the amazingly wonderful love of God through Jesus.

n ADVERTISING FEATURE

How did Bristol #BiteBackBetter? It's a Saturday morning in Bristol. The year is 2030 and it’s your birthday. You're having a lie in while your teenage daughter cooks the family a breakfast of scrambled eggs, mushrooms and spinach, with bread she baked herself at school yesterday. After breakfast, you take a stroll to your local food market; one of many in the city. Your youngest is pointing out different vegetables and telling you about the things he's been learning to cook with them at school, while your oldest explains to him why it's good to eat things in season. You pick up your vegetables and fruit for the week ahead, confident that it's locally grown and chemical free, plus a bit of cheese and some milk, also local. As you prep lunch back at home, you save the off-cuts to make stock and put only what you really can't use in the food waste bin, reassured that it will be turned into bio-fuel that powers the bus you'll take into the city later. You and the kids discuss which new independent restaurant you want to try for dinner tonight, while you pick some fresh herbs that are growing on your windowsill to go in your lunch. What if, by 2030, we have a thriving food system that sees all Bristolians eating well every day, in a way that is good for their health and the planet's? What do you think we need to get there? Help Bristol #BiteBackBetter. Follow the QR Code to tell us and help build the food future you want to see. You'll also find lots of information, stories and resources on cooking, growing and much more. It's time to build a resilient future through food. It's time for Bristol to #BiteBackBetter.

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February, 2021

19

n NEWS

City drivers face fees

Honour for police officer

OLDER cars will be charged £9 per day to enter the centre of Bristol from October, Bristol's Mayor has confirmed. After consulting on a series of variations on its clean air zone (CAZ) scheme, including a complete ban on diesels from some areas, the council will now introduce charges for vehicles not compliant with the latest emissions standards. They will be in force in an area including Broadmead, the Centre, Temple Meads, Temple Quay, the Harbourside, Hotwells, Spike Island and Coronation Road. Any diesel vehicle not conforming to Euro 6 emission standards and any petrol vehicle not meeting Euro 4 standards will have to pay £9 a day for cars, taxis and vans and £100 a day for buses, coaches and goods vehicles over 3.5 tonnes. Charges would apply 24/7. The government has ordered the council to find the fastest way to get Bristol’s air pollution levels

THE officer in charge of policing in Bristol has been honoured for his work. Superintendent for Bristol Andy Bennett has been awarded the Queen's Police Medal in the New Year Honours list for his work tackling hate crime and bringing policing and communities closer. Supt Bennett, who was born and grew up in Bristol, wanted to be a police officer from an early age and began his career as a special constable in 1988. He joined the Metropolitan Police in 1990 but returned to Avon and Somerset in 2002. Much of his 30 years in policing has been spent in neighbourhood roles, mostly in Bristol. Supt Bennett's role includes responsibility for neighbourhood officers across the city and he is also the force's hate crime lead, and is dedicated to the constabulary's goal of making organisation more diverse and inclusive. He lives with his wife and three sons, chairs the governors of two schools and is involved with Bristol Scouts. Supt Bennett said: "I am humbled to receive this award, particularly at a time when so many are working tirelessly to help others during the pandemic. I also want to recognise those members of the community who have been prepared to take a step forward, to talk to us and help to break down barriers so we can move towards our goal of truly representing the diverse citizens of Bristol." Also receiving the QPM was Assistant Chief Constable Nikki Watson, recognised for her role in leading the policing response to the Covid-19 health crisis, which has included enforcing lockdown restrictions, cracking down on speeding drivers on quiet roads and providing back up drivers for overstretched NHS ambulances.

within legal limits but rejected the authority's suggestion of a complete diesel ban in the city centre. The council ruled out a wider charging zone for commercial vehicles. Mayor Marvin Rees said there would be “mitigations” to ensure residents within the zone and people attending hospital appointments do not pay, while businesses might have "a one or two-year opportunity to transition their vehicles". He said: “We have said from the beginning that the CAZ does not come like a 10-tonne block of concrete landing on people." The authority had hoped the road changes introduced during the pandemic would improve air quality enough to avoid CAZ charges altogether. But Mr Rees said the proposed charge was "in line with our moral responsibility to deliver clean air in the shortest possible time" as well as legal requirements.

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February, 2021

n FROM OUR MP

Support for families must be stepped up WE owe a debt of gratitude to everyone who has selflessly volunteered to help others during this Covid-19 pandemic. From delivering shopping and distributing food parcels to supporting the vaccine roll-out, volunteers have been crucial in getting the country through this crisis. But the Government needs to do more to ensure people would not be left destitute without these voluntary efforts. Some of you will have seen the shameful images of the food “hampers” distributed to some children on free school meals who are currently not in school. It is shocking this was allowed to happen, and even more shocking that these packages apparently met Government guidelines. Fortunately, in Bristol, free school meal deliveries have mostly been of a significantly higher quality, but please do let me know if you, or anyone you know, has had any problems.

I am disappointed the Government has announced its decision to suspend free school meals over the February half term. Having already been shamed twice into providing meals over the school holidays, thanks in no small part to Marcus Rashford’s brilliant campaigning, I hope ministers will once again be forced to reconsider. We are also calling on the Government to maintain the £20 per week uplift in Universal Credit beyond the end of March, and to give those on legacy benefits, which includes many with disabilities, the same treatment. I will continue lobbying the Government to tackle the root causes driving child food poverty, whilst supporting local organisations like Feeding Bristol and East Bristol Foodbank, which have done such brilliant work during the pandemic. Another concern of mine is how many children are unable to

engage fully in home learning, because of lack of internet access: 1.8 million children are without a device at home, and almost a million children live in a household with only a mobile internet connection. Getting children online should have been a national priority. Although the Government is now, finally, distributing laptops more quickly after having missed its June target, it still only intends to distribute 1.3 million devices, which may lead to up to half a million children unable to learn from home. Fishponds Academy is still awaiting delivery of the devices it ordered from the Government back in October and has requested donations of unused laptops or tablets to enable their pupils to access online learning. They have a local company onboard willing to datawipe all incoming devices for free; please do donate if you can. Over the next month, my

Kerry McCarthy MP for Bristol East

writes for Fishponds Voice focus will be ensuring support is there for everyone who needs it. Many people who have had their livelihoods taken away will have to wait some time until they can return to work – they and their families must be properly supported until then.

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Art History • Computer Games Design & Development • Design & Materials Fine Art • Game Art • Game Art & Production • Media Production Prosthetics, Modelmaking & Digital Design • Specialist Make-up Design Sports Media

NOW TAKING APPLICAT IONS FOR SEPTEMB E 2021 R

www.sgscol.ac.uk/study/uni highereducation@sgscol.ac.uk

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fishpondsvoice

February, 2021

21

n ON THE TREATMENT TABLE

I'm no longer a couch potato I THINK I must be one of the very few people who have actually found a small benefit in the misery of the recent lockdowns prompted by the pandemic. After telling people for years that I used to be fit and once played lots of sports, I thought that it was about time I pulled my finger out and did something to flex my muscles again. So, in joyous 2020, I completed the BBC’s Couch to 5K Challenge and it was brilliant. I downloaded the app and there was Olympic gold medallist Michael Johnson telling me when to run and when to walk, three times a week for nine weeks, until I could run a 5K – easy! Nearly anybody could do it. Now I run a 5K once or twice a week. It takes about 30 minutes and I really do feel better for it. I wanted to share some advice about running as a lockdown lifeline but admit that I’m no expert – luckily, I know someone who is. I have treated Jack Pitcher for years, since the days when he was a top non-league football striker. Now he’s such a great runner that he finished in the top 50 in the 2020 virtual London Marathon. So Jack, it’s over to you… “As soon as I entered the room for my last treatment with Tim, he said to me: ‘I’ve just been talking about you, I want you to be our expert.’ I’m not sure I’ve ever really considered myself to be an expert in anything so my initial response was to laugh. But he then went on to explain what he meant and it all made a bit more sense. So here goes. “You could say I’ve been running all my life. Until a few years ago, I used to run around after a football but now leave the ball at

home. Running became my main sport in 2017 when I met my wife Emily – she was a member of a club and running in lots of races, which sounded exciting. I’ve always been very competitive, so it didn’t take long for me to get involved. I started off having to chase her round but, after a few months of more focused training, my base fitness started to come back and I managed to catch Emily up – much to her frustration! “My running really started to pick up and became that much more enjoyable when Emily and I joined Emersons Green Running Club at the start of 2018. I always used to think that everyone at a club would be extremely experienced and serious runners and that I would feel a bit out of place. But I couldn’t have been more wrong – everyone was extremely welcoming and there were group sessions for all different standards and abilities. “Tim asked me to come up with a running tip to share in this blog, so here it is: join a local running club. I admit I’m biased towards Emersons Green,

but there are many great clubs in this area, such as Bitton, Staple Hill, Frampton Harriers, Stanbridge Fliers and Active Soul – to name but a few. “Whatever your motivation, I guarantee you’ll meet lots of other like-minded people and the social side of running will make it that much more enjoyable. Even in the past year at Emersons, we have had monthly challenges, virtual events and, when permitted, properly run club nights that have all really helped to keep members motivated during an extremely tough year. So what are you waiting for?” Thanks for that Jack. Hopefully you will inspire a new batch of local runners who will be pounding the streets and parks in 2021. Don’t forget that, despite this

with Tim Button, Doctor of Chiropractic at Cleve Chiropractic and Next Step in Mangotsfield

0117 957 5388

drtimbutton@ clevechiropractic.com www.clevechiropractic.com facebook.com/clevechiro twitter.com/clevechiro

latest lockdown, we’re still open at Cleve Chiropractic. We’re Covid safe and have all the necessary PPE and sanitisation protocols in place. Please stay safe and remember that we’re here to help whenever you need us.

A Team approach to healthcare.

Supporting Premiership Football, Rugby, 2012 Olympics and World Athletic Championship 2017 Chiropractic & Physiotherapy Back & Leg Pain, Sciatica Sports Massage Headaches & Migraines Trapped Nerves Repetitive Strain Injuries Occupational Injuries Sports Injury Specialist Competitively priced

The practice of pain relief Member of the British Chiropractic Association

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n NEWS

Bid for eco homes A STAPLETON farm could be transformed into a development of 'eco homes' in a community self-build project. Bridge Farm, between Bell Hill and Glenfrome Primary School, includes an 18th century farmhouse, barns, outbuildings and four acres, which was used as pasture before the M32 was built above it. It is designated as a wildlife corridor and 'important open space', and is part of the Stapleton and Frome Valley Conservation Area. But Ashley Vale Action Group, which built another self-build scheme nearby, the Yard in St Werburgh’s, has applied for the area to be re-designated as community-led housing, mixed use and open space under a review of the city council's local plan for future development. AVAG bought the site in 2018 and is aiming to create "a new kind of housing community" at the site. The scheme would involve continued restoration of the farm house and other farm buildings, and building 28 self-build homes. The plans also include communal growing spaces and polytunnels for residents to grow food. Plans have been submitted to the council and were waiting to be published on the council's website as the Voice went to print. AVAG volunteer director Ruth Larbey said the group had worked hard for three years on the plans. She said: “We believe the plans as proposed are absolutely true to our principles: sustainable, light touch development, which is affordable, beautifully designed and sensitive to the heritage of the farm. "We really hope people in the local area and across Bristol like the plans and feel they can support them. "We’d be interested to hear everyone’s views: this is communityled housing in action.” For more details visit the website bridgefarmbristol.co.uk.

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fishpondsvoice

February, 2021

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Fishponds Voice February 2021  

Local newspaper packed with news, views and advertising for the residents and businesses of the Greater Fishponds area. This month, a Fishpo...

Fishponds Voice February 2021  

Local newspaper packed with news, views and advertising for the residents and businesses of the Greater Fishponds area. This month, a Fishpo...

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