Henleaze & Westbury Voice March 2024

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March, 2024 Issue 111



School musicians on Beacon stage Students from Trinity Academy were among the first schoolchildren to perform on stage at the refurbished Bristol Beacon. PAGE 19

Bowling club faces closure Stoke Lodge playing fields are a haven of tranquillity in this photo taken by Bruce Quilter on February 19. But the site remains at the centre of legal disputes involving neighbours, Cotham School and Bristol City Council. For the latest developments, turn to Page 6

Spa garden 'risk to wildlife' PLANS by the David Lloyd Leisure Club to create a spa garden and hydro pool could put wildlife at risk. That’s the fear of the Friends of Badocks Wood, who say bright lights, noise and loss of trees and hedges could affect bats, badgers, woodpeckers and birds of prey at the na-ture haven. People living near the centre in Greystoke

Avenue are also concerned about the potential impact on their homes and gardens, and on parking. xxx is also seeking retrospective David Lloyd, which permission for outdoor padel courts, says the outdoor spa would not be intrusive. Full story: Pages 12 and 123


The 98-year-old Ardagh Bowling Club says it is on the brink of closure because of deadlock over who pays for maintenance of the green on Horfield Common. PAGES 8 & 9

Action to curb library closures A recruitment freeze that was causing frequent closures of libraries including Henleaze and Westbury has been lifted. PAGE 12

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March, 2024

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Bristol City Council 0117 922 2000 Citizens Advice Bureau 0344 499 4718 Police www.avonandsomersetpolice.uk General enquiries: 101 Emergency: 999 Fire www.avonfire.gov.uk General enquiries: 0117 926 2061 Emergency: 999

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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 Henleaze & Westbury 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. PUBLISHER’S NOTE: Henleaze & Westbury 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. Henleaze & Westbury Voice is distributed each month to residents. If for some reason you do not get a copy, please collect one from local pick-up points. Feedback is always welcomed, contact Emma Cooper on 0117 908 2121 or sales@henleazeandwestburyvoice.co.uk This month 8,500 copies will be distributed around Henleaze, Westbury Park and Westbury-on-Trym.

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March, 2024



'Let's unite to prevent more knife tragedies' TEMPORARY stop-and-search powers were given to police in Bristol for 48 hours last month following a third fatal stabbing and several other serious knife attacks. The area involved included central Bristol, St Pauls, Easton, Eastville, Ashley Down, Temple and Fishponds. The decision followed the death of 16-year-old Darrian Williams on February 14 after he was the victim of masked attackers in Rawnsley Park, Easton. Two 15-year-old boys have since been charged with murder and possessing a knife in a public place and were due to appear at Bristol Youth Court as the Voice went to print. Darrian’s death came after the killing of 19-year-old Eddie Kinuthia last June and of Max Dixon, 16, and Mason Rist, 15, in Knowle West, in January. A 16-year-old boy knifed in McDonald’s in The Horsefair on February 8 remains critical in hospital while a 20-year-old

suffered knife injuries in an attack in Fishponds Road on February 14. Police are also investigating a serious assault in Mina Road park on February 4 in which a 14-year-old needed hospital treatment for stab injuries. Police consulted the mayor Marvin Rees and other community leaders before deciding to take the short-term stop-and-search measures. They have also launched a proactive operation aimed at getting more knives off the streets – but they say what is most needed is united efforts to prevent young people carrying the knives in the first place. Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Peter Warren said: “Children and young people are being seriously injured and killed on the streets of Bristol and this needs to stop. “We are extremely concerned about the frequency of serious violence incidents involving young people in the city, many of

which involve knives. “Knife crime is a national problem and not something policing can solve on its own but we recognise there is an ongoing issue in our city which we need to put significant resources into to address. “This new operation’s focus will be on tackling immediate problems such as those we’re sadly seeing in Bristol, but it is not a long term solution. “Working together with our colleagues in the Violence Reduction Partnership, including local authorities, education, health and social care, we are committed to understanding and addressing the root causes of serious violence, diverting young people away from becoming involved in criminality and educating them on the dangers of knife crime in particular.” Initiatives already under way include a partnership with NHS South West and HeartSafe to install bleed control kits across Avon and Somerset, with 200

expected to be in place by April 2024. These kits are designed to be used in an emergency, in the time between an incident and emergency services arriving on scene. They are not designed to be used instead of calling 999. Weapon surrender bins have been installed across the force area, in which people can safely and anonymously discard of knives or weapons they are carrying. Find out more about bleed kits and surrender bins here - https://www. avonandsomerset.police.uk/ report/weapons-knives/ Operation Sceptre, a national police week of action to target knife crime, runs twice a year and sees officers focus activities on prevention, disruption, and education around knife crime. Officers carry out targeted searches in areas where intelligence suggests weapons may be stored or hidden, as well as carrying out extra patrols, targeting those who are known to be habitual knife carriers.

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Sea Mills grieves for three little children

SEA Mills is a community in mourning following the deaths of Chief three at house in Blaise Walk. Insp in Bristol. Vicks Police were called to the Hayward property early on February -Melen 18 and found siblings Fares, in Sea seven, Joury, three and baby Mills

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March, 2024

Mohammed Bash, who were all pronounced dead. As the Voice went to print, a 42-year-old woman arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder remained in custody in hospital. Neighbourhood Chief Inspector Vicks Hayward-Melen said: "This is an incredibly tragic and heart-breaking incident in which three children have sadly died. "My sincere condolences go to the children's loved ones and we will be ensuring they are offered support through our family liaison unit. "We believe this to be an isolated incident and there is no further risk to the wider community, however officers will remain at the scene to provide reassurance to anyone who has any questions or concerns. "Over the coming days, residents can expect to see an increased police presence and we thank them for their cooperation during this time." The Avon & Somerset force has notified the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), due to “prior police contact” with the family. Members of the Sudanese community in Bristol gathered at a nearby church the following day and said they were seeking answers about what had happened and how the family could have been helped. Bristol North West MP Darren Jones said he was "deeply saddened by the tragic news”. He added: "My thoughts and prayers are with the friends and family of the children, and my thanks go to our emergency services who responded." The city's mayor Marvin Rees said: "It's almost impossible to find the words to describe this afternoon's devastating news. "My thoughts are with all who knew these three young children. "We will be working with schools, the community, and Avon and Somerset Police to support people." Police ask anyone with information that could help their investigation to call 101 and give the call handler the reference 5224042788, or contact them through the force website.

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March, 2024




Boys’ deaths were shocking and senseless I AM deeply saddened by the recent shocking and senseless deaths of two boys, aged only 15 and 16, at the end of January in South Bristol. The grief being felt by the families of those boys and the impact it will have on their loved ones, as well as the wider community, is unimaginable. Preventing knife crime and stopping young people from coming to harm must be at the forefront of all our minds. This is an area of focus for our Violence Reduction Partnership, which provides education, mentoring, and employs a community-based approach to prevent these tragic crimes. Additionally, to encourage people to safely discard any knives and weapons they are carrying, Avon & Somerset Police have installed weapon surrender bins across the area. Lifesaving bleed control kits designed to provide emergency

help for someone who suffers a traumatic injury are also being installed alongside defibrillators. I also want to focus on the process of police misconduct hearings, as this is something many people are rightly asking about this month. I am proud to have lobbied for significant changes aimed at increasing the chief constable’s power to act on police officers who have been found guilty of misconduct. One of the outcomes of this, which comes into effect from May, is that chief constables will be able to terminate the employment of officers found guilty of gross misconduct. This move marks a pivotal step towards upholding the highest standards of integrity and professionalism within law enforcement. One of the most notable adjustments is the composition of the panels responsible for adjudicating cases of

misconduct. Formerly, only one independent panel member (IPM) was mandated to sit alongside a chief constable in a hearing. The revamped structure now necessitates the inclusion of two IPMs, bolstering the impartiality of the decision-making process. Consequently, my office is actively recruiting new IPMs to partake in this crucial aspect of police oversight. The imperative for these reforms is underscored by the instances of police misconduct showcased in the Channel 4 documentary ‘To Catch A Copper’, which shines a spotlight on the need to addressing such issues decisively and transparently. If this is an issue you are passionate about, I urge you to put yourself forward. These roles offer an invaluable opportunity to contribute to the integrity of

With police and crime commissioner

Mark Shelford

our law enforcement system. I am also pleased to lend my support to the government’s forthcoming ‘Stop! Think Fraud’ campaign. As the National Association of Police and Crime Commissioners economic and cybercrime lead, I recognise the critical importance of equipping individuals with the knowledge and tools to safeguard themselves against fraudulent activities. By fostering awareness and vigilance, we can collectively mitigate the impact of fraud and protect our communities from financial harm.


Bristol mourns Mason and Max My thoughts remain with everyone affected by the tragic deaths of Mason Rist, 15, and Max Dixon, 16, following an incident on Ilminster Avenue in Knowle West in late January. With my cabinet at our meeting last month, we shared our sincerest condolences with their families, who are going through a pain which nobody – no parent – should have to experience. Like people across south Bristol, our whole city, and beyond, I was deeply saddened to hear of this further loss of life. As the police have said, any loss of life is devastating but this case is particularly so, as the two young victims had their entire lives ahead of them. The murder inquiry launched by Avon & Somerset Police has, at the time of writing, arrested and charged a number of people in

relation to these horrific events. With hundreds of local people, and Filwood councillor Chris Jackson, I attended the vigil in Knowle West the evening after this double murder, and found the community’s response and mobilisation incredibly moving and powerful. People have come together to grieve, with a real resolution to do all they can. The council, including my cabinet members, has been working in partnership with the community, schools, partner

organisations like the Robins Foundation and Youth Moves, and the police to support people affected. Our director of public health has written joint letters with the police to the community and local young people signposting everyone affected to the support which is still available. Mental health support is on offer from Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership, Off the Record, Samaritans, and Bristol MIND. We would encourage anyone experiencing a reaction associated with trauma to call 111, contact their GP, and/or talk to someone they trust. Max and Mason are sadly not the first young people that Bristol has lost to knife crime. As a city, we will do all we can to support their families. At Bristol City and Bristol Rovers, we saw a united

Marvin Rees shares his views with Voice readers city in two minutes’ applause in Mason and Max’s memory. While we can likely unfortunately never totally eliminate the risk, and there is the need for real national reform, we must also continue working locally to try to prevent further tragedies.

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March, 2024

Judge criticises council's bid to take both sides in playing fields battle COTHAM School has vowed to fight on despite criticism over mounting legal costs in its battle with local residents over Stoke Lodge playing fields. The High Court heard that a one-day hearing about the site, which has been designated a village green, in January had cost the school £23,500 in legal fees. Campaigners We Love Stoke Lodge said that was equivalent to the annual wage of a teaching assistant – and called on the school to drop the legal challenge and work with local people. Henry Michallat, a Bristol City Councillor for Stoke Bishop, said it was time for the state-funded academy to drop its “costly and senseless” legal challenge. Cllr Michallat said: “I really hope that Cotham School thinks carefully about spending yet more education funding on this unnecessary litigation. “The village green does not stop Cotham School using the playing fields. Other schools and clubs play sport without the need for a fence.” But in a statement Cotham School said it would appeal against the court ruling in January that its legal costs should not be capped if it loses its legal fight to have the Town or Village Green (TVG) status overturned.

It said it was looking at “all available avenues to protect these school premises, our playing fields”. The school leases the land from Bristol City Council, although while the legal row is going on it has moved its games lessons to Golden Hill. Cotham School is mounting a legal challenge to a decision in August last year by BCC’s Public Rights of Way committee to grant Stoke Lodge playing fields Town or Village Green (TVG) status. That decision followed years of disagreement between the and WLSL. The school fenced the land, saying it was necessary to allow it to safely hold PE lessons and

sports – but locals said that was a restriction on many years of public use. At the Bristol High Court hearing in January the school told HHJ Paul Matthews it could not afford more than £70,000 in costs if it lost, and so wanted him to limit their costs. He rejected that request. Afterwards in a statement the school said: “It’s very disappointing that as a state school, Cotham School, has not received any cost protection through the courts to protect our premises, Cotham School Playing Fields in the ongoing legal proceedings.” A spokesperson for WLSL said the hearing had cost their group £25,000 in legal fees. They said: “Now there are two big questions - how much will Cotham School have to pay towards our costs of that hearing, and what will they do next?” “The court judgement said the school’s business manager had told the court they could not afford to spend more than £70,000 on the legal case. “Most of that £70k has gone, in their own costs and the amount they will have to pay towards ours. So at what point will the governors say 'enough is enough'?

“There is no need to be spending this money at all, because as we know, as they know, as Ofsted and the Department for Education agree - they can come back and do PE on Stoke Lodge Village Green any time they want.” The judge also rejected Bristol City Council’s application to present two opposite arguments in court – both defending its own Rights of Way Committee decision to award TVG status, AND as landlords who rent the land to Cotham School, backing the school’s opposition to the TVG. In January BCC told the Voice it wanted the school and local people to reach a mutually agreeable solution. The council hoped asking a court to make a final decision on the TVG status would in the long run reduce costs and avoid protracted court cases. But in his ruling HHJ Matthews criticised BCC as “rather curious” for trying to take both sides in the dispute. He ruled that BCC’s opposing views had to “sail under one flag” – and the council would participate in the case represented by just one legal team and funded by one set of costs.

Cuts will hit vulnerable families, union warns A TRADE union has warned that upcoming cuts to children’s centres will impact Bristol’s “most vulnerable families”. Bristol City Council is proposing to save £1.2 million by reviewing how its children’s centres and family hubs operate, with fewer staff and more services delivered online. Children’s centres across Bristol provide a range of support including daycare, family health services, parenting support, help for children with special educational needs, home visits and benefits advice. But if planned budget cuts go ahead, they could have fewer staff and buildings. The council is planning a review of children’s centres and family hubs, as part of its budget for the next financial year, which begins this April. Little so far has been made public about the exact changes

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proposed, but a consultation report on the budget gave some details. The report said: “We are proposing to review how we provide Early Help in communities, including children’s centres and family hubs. The aim is to bring together more services that can be delivered from a range of different local venues and increase the amount of outreach work and online support we are able to provide, reducing the spend on buildings and staffing costs.” Council bosses were urged to consult with staff working in the children’s centres, and listen to their suggestions about how to improve the service, during a meeting of the people scrutiny commission on February 19. Lorraine Gaskell, from the GMB union, said: “There’s a fear among this workforce,

not for their own jobs, but for the children and families they safeguard. These are the most vulnerable families in the city. Given the events in the city in recent months, it’s more important than ever that early years intervention is valued, because that’s what these children’s centres provide.” The council is facing major pressures on its budget, with the cost of delivering many public services rising while the money it receives from the government has fallen in real terms over the past several years. Many other council services could also see their budgets reduced from April. Vanessa Wilson, director of children and education transformation, said the council is due to consult staff at the end of March about the planned changes.

By Alex Seabrook, Local Democracy Reporter

Email: news@henleazeandwestburyvoice.co.uk

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Saddle up for hospice CYCLISTS are being encouraged to sign up for the area's biggest charity bike ride, the Tour de Bristol. The event in aid of St Peter’s Hospice, challenges riders to take on one of three different routes – 40km, 65km or 100km – across Bristol and South Gloucestershire, all starting at UWE’s Centre for Sport at the university's Frenchay campus on April 13. Cyclists can also take on a virtual challenge by choosing a route and date to suit themselves. People can register at www. tourdebristol.co.uk. St Peter’s Hospice fundraising manager Hayley Ali said: “It's the Hospice's largest event and an incredible day of fundraising, with cyclists of all ages and abilities coming together from across Bristol and beyond.

March, 2024

Is this the end? Deadlock A 98-YEAR-OLD bowling club on Horfield Common says it’s on the brink of closure. The Ardagh Bowling Club has been in dispute with the Ardagh Community Trust (ACT) since the charity took over management of most of the site on Kellaway Avenue five years ago. Now bowling club officials say they have been told they must pay the £12,500 a year maintenance cost of the bowling green – or move out. ACT chief executive Sam Thomson says the club’s lease agreement is with Bristol City Council, and no one is evicting them. ACT took over the site in 2019 when Bristol City Council was asking community organisations to run some park areas, in order to reduce its maintenance costs. Since then volunteers have revitalised the long-neglected park area, with a new café, plant

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sales and wider community use. But Sam says ACT cannot pay the bowling green maintenance costs to maintain a facility for the sole use of the bowling club. Sam said: “ACT has secured a future for the Ardagh as a community asset. The alternative was that the site - including the public gardens, sports courts, bowling green and pavilion was sold for development or privatised. "Inevitably this has led to change - it was not sustainable as it was.” She said the bowling club chose not to be part of the community project.

She said the £12,500 a year bowling green maintenance contract would be with the existing company Avon Bowling Green Maintenance. “The charity (ACT) is legally obliged to use its resources only for public benefit - not private benefit. It is not permitted - nor would it be of interest - for the


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March, 2024


over fees threatens bowling club

charity to subsidise a private members club.” The trust says it will keep the green available for social bowling and other activities such as yoga and tai chi while trustees consider its long term future. The bowling club has published notices on social media saying: “The bowling green will

no longer be available to the club for competitive bowling. “We as a club have been given "non-negotiable" option to use the bowling green for competitive bowling in 2024. The costs demanded are excessive and have been positioned significantly higher than the bowling club can afford.

“The Ardagh Bowls Club is due to celebrate its centenary in 2026 and has, since 1926, fully facilitated and provided a club for the community to enjoy. We would like to emphasise the social, health and wellbeing attributes that our bowling club can provide for everyone.” Bowling club secretary Jeff Arnold said the club had also been asked by ACT for £5,000 towards a general repair fund for ditches and surrounds, when in the past bowls club members had carried out this work. The club would also be charged £10 an hour to use the green. He said: “One if our main objectives is to get the charity to come to the table and try and meet a compromise. This is something they have refused to do. “Their demands are completely unaffordable and there must be a shift in their stance.” Bishopston & Ashley Down

councillor Emma Edwards said she had talked with both sides in an effort to find an amicable solution. She said: “Accepting this offer is the best way for competitive bowls to continue at the Ardagh site. I think if the club were to accept that and work with the community trust it would be best for members. “I really do hope this can be resolved between the two parties, as the site is clearly loved by the community and the bowling club members; but I think this solution is the only way I can see this happening.” Old photographs show bowling at Ardagh in 1924. The Ardagh Bowling Club was formally started in 1926. The green used to be maintained by Bristol City Council, but by the early 2000s much of the rest of the site had fallen into disrepair.

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How does a community orchard grow? HORFIELD Organic Community Orchard (HOCO) was well and truly woken up by many hundreds of Wassailers in January. As the days grow longer, sunlight stirs the sap, that swells the buds, that break into blossom - awaking the trees for another year of harvest hope. We look forward to pressing the juice and returning a symbolic cupful of cider to the tree roots at next year’s Wassail. Fruit trees thrive when well cared for. A community orchard is raised by many hands attending to the soil, pruning, and naturefriendly management of pests and problems. A community orchard spreads it seeds with many minds to organise working meetings, events, and projects. A community orchard brings together people with a whole bunch of practical skills to look after the site, structures, and trees. You are invited to support our lively and lovely orchard by becoming a Friend of HOCO. We also warmly welcome new members keen to learn, and become active Harvest-share

Authority (WECA), ‘Bee Active, Bee Fruitful!’ will enrich the orchard habitat for wild bees and other pollinating insects by planting year-round food forage. Get in touch for news of active community volunteer sessions coming up in March and April.

members. As well as a share of the fruit harvest, active members enjoy the wellbeing benefits of doing good work in a gorgeous green space with a friendly group. Are you new to fruit growing and orchards? Joining HOCO as an active member and taking part in a course is a great way to learn. Get going with Get Growing Fruit Trees – an introduction over four

seasons, and Pruning for Beginners courses. Professional gardeners and more experienced growers can refresh skills and deepen practical knowledge by taking part in Pruning for Improvers courses. Not sure about joining HOCO? Happy to lend a hand clearing the ground for our new community pollinator project? Part-funded by West of England Combined

• Get Growing Fruit Trees – a handson introduction Course dates: Sundays - 10 March, 12 May, 14 July, 15 September Deadline for applications: Friday 8 March • Dormant Season Pruning for Beginners - Saturday 16 March • Dormant Season Pruning for Improvers - Sunday 17 March More information about HOCO membership, courses, and Bee Active volunteer days: www.community-orchard.org.uk Phone: 0117 373 1587 Words by Shannon Smith aka The Apple Tree Lady Photograph by Jamie Carstairs


A touch of glass ... THE tenth Bishopston Window Wanderland takes place this month – and there’s still time to create a display. This year’s event, organised by St Bonaventure’s primary school in Egerton Road, is from March 9-11. The theme of the free community arts festival is Let there be Light. People are invited to create window displays, simple or spectacular. Participating properties will be featured on trail maps. More information can be found on the website and on Facebook. The launch event is at St Bon’s at 6pm on March 9. It’s sponsored by CJ Hole, Fed, Pizzarova and Joes Bakery. If you’d like to help with the organisation, or find out more, email wwbishopston@gmail. com. If your Voice arrived early, you might also catch the Chandos Neighbourhood

Pippi Longstocking - one of the displays in last year's Bishopston Window Wanderland Association’s ninth Window Wanderland, which was taking place from 6-9pm on Saturday February 24 and Sunday February 25.

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March, 2024

Neighbours and nature lovers unite in BATS, woodpeckers and owls could all suffer if an extension to a sports club in Westbury gets the go-ahead, according to wildlife lovers. David Lloyd Leisure Club on Greystoke Avenue wants to extend the building, and add an outdoor spa garden with hydro pool, sauna and plant room, with outside lighting, along a boundary with Badocks Wood next door. People living nearby say the spa garden will be on an existing car park, and will mean more cars overflowing onto nearby streets. They also say new floodlighting on two recently built padel (a form of tennis) courts is so bright, they don’t need to turn on their bedroom lights at night. In a separate application, David Lloyd has asked for retrospective planning permission for these courts

and a terrace lounge area and floodlighting. Friends of Badocks Wood and the Westbury on Trym Society (WoTSoc) are objecting to both the padel courts and the new spa garden. Both schemes will be considered by Bristol City Council planners. The Friends say the David Lloyd site is already “the major source of pervasive industrial noise and light pollution to nature on the Badocks Wood site” and they fear the changes will make matters worse. The Friends say a boundary double hedgerow has been there “hundreds of years” and the area is home to breeding badgers. They add: “The proposed external lighting will have an adverse impact not only on bats and moths but also on the other important nocturnal and twilight species. “Badocks Wood is the home

of a wide variety of animal, bird and plant life, including breeding apex predators - fox, badger, tawny owl and sparrowhawk. “The whole of the site is Local Green Space of the highest quality because it meets all five criteria for this designation in the National Planning Policy Framework: beauty, tranquillity, richness of wildlife, historic significance and recreational value. Badocks Wood is just one of 11 sites across the whole of Bristol that scored on all of these criteria.” They said noise from plant was also intrusive. They have called for conditions to be placed on the padel court, and future developments, including limits to amplified music, and noise output of plant, as well as requesting special LED lighting which is more wildlife friendly. One resident objected on BCC’s planning portal,

saying: “Parking is already oversubscribed and cars are regularly parking on the grass in the provided car park.” Another resident said the club’s car park was already full at weekends. WoTSoc claims the new padel courts occupy a larger area than the former tennis court – and the development resulted removal of trees and vegetation. The society says: “We would expect at the very least a replanting scheme and replacement of the trees lost in accordance with the tree replacement standard.” A number of people living nearby have also objected to the padel court floodlighting. One said: “The lighting is very bright and is on from dusk until sunrise every day. I do not need to put any lights on in the bedroom to see what I need to do because the lights are so


rat ed ‘G oo d’

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March, 2024


opposition to spa garden proposals bright. “The excessive lighting is leading to light pollution, disturbing local wildlife and causing discomfort for nearby residents, particularly during evening hours.” Another said: “The existing noise from the plant is extremely excessive. In the summer months been on many occasions I have unable to enjoy peace in my garden from the social events. It would also devalue my property if I were to sell.” Planning consultants Lichfields, acting for David Lloyd Leisure, say the proposal for the outdoor spa follows “considerable requests for an improvement to the external facilities” from members. They say the new spa will not have flood lighting and all external lighting will be low level and energy efficient. =“The proposal will

incorporate sympathetic hard and soft landscaping. The facilities are of a scale and design that are sympathetic and subordinate to that of the existing buildings.” They said the new padel courts were on previous tennis courts, and David Lloyd had accepted they should have applied for planning permission before carrying out the work. “The development diversifies and enhances the club’s offering and facilitates the projected increase of members to the site through the proposed improvements. “The facilities are of a scale and design that are sympathetic and subordinate to that of the existing buildings.” The plans can be viewed on the council planning portal with the references 24/00137/F and 23/03541/F.

How ther David Lloyd Centre spa garden could look

Housing Forums

for Bristol council tenants – get involved!



Wednesday 13 March, 1–3pm

Wednesday 20 March, 6–8pm

Your opinions help us make decisions! If you’re a council tenant, you can have your say on how the housing service is run and make suggestions about improvements. For Spring 2024, we are hosting online meetings focussing on issues we know matter most to tenants.

● Come along and hear from Bristol Waste and find out everything you need to know about your rubbish and recycling, including top tips on how to reduce your waste and make the most out of Recycling and Reuse Centres. All rubbish questions welcome!

● You will also be able to find out about how we are working with residents with additional care

and support needs to help them maintain their tenancies, and the ongoing work we are doing around fire safety in high rise blocks.

● Places must be booked, you can do this online at: www.bristol.gov.uk/LocalHousingForums

● If you are not online but would like to take part, there is also a free dial-in option which you can join using your phone. For more information about how you can access the meetings contact Tenant Participation 0117 352 1444 or email tpu@bristol.gov.uk

To advertise, contact Emma on 0117 908 2121 Or 07715 770448. Email: sales@henleazeandwestburyvoice.co.uk



March, 2024


Council ends library staff recruitment freeze A RECRUITMENT freeze that has forced temporary shortnotice closures of libraries in Henleaze and Westbury and across the city has been lifted. The city council’s Labour administration says it has found the cash to end a ban on casual staff to cover absences through sickness and annual leave, which has been in place since November. But branches continue to shut their doors at times while the search for new employees begins, prompting renewed criticism from opposition councillors. There were more than 300 full or part-day closures over two months, affecting 26 of Bristol’s 27 libraries at least once. A motion tabled by Cllr Tim Kent (Lib Dem, Hengrove & Whitchurch Park) to full council urging Labour mayor Marvin Rees to keep them open received unanimous cross-party support. The meeting heard that branches had been closed for a fifth of their scheduled opening

times, while Labour said ending the recruitment freeze would cost £300,000 and require cuts elsewhere. But the ruling group now says it has allocated the money. Cllr Kent told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that he welcomed the move but feared it would take time to turn the situation around. He said: “A few weeks ago every councillor, and the mayor, voted to support the motion calling for the vacancy management to end and for libraries to be fully staffed and opened. “But even more have closed and until now there appears to have been no action to reverse this policy which is undermining the branch library network. “Libraries provide safe and warm spaces where people can access books and the internet. “They are free social hubs. “Existing library staff are really feeling the strain of this policy. I fear it is causing such damage

Family Tree

to the library network that it will not recover. I hope the mayor will now listen to council and stop the library closures.” Cllr Richard Eddy (Conservative, Bishopsworth) said: “Whilst I welcome any, very belated recognition that normal funding for staff vacancies will be resumed in the libraries service, I am appalled that Bristolians have had to endure Third World standards of library provision. “Bristol’s branch libraries deserve more than to be treated as a political Cinderella service.” The worst day for temporary closures was on Saturday, January 20, when 10 branches – more than a third – were shut. Eight had to close for at least part of the day on Wednesday, January 31. A Bristol Labour group spokesperson said: “It’s beyond belief to hear the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats joining forces to complain about the effects of government austerity, which their parties forced on

Bristol. “The city is not immune to their governments’ spending cuts. As a result, some libraries have been short on staff, leading to temporary closures – often for part-days or during lunch hours. “Whilst a fifth of libraries across the UK have closed permanently, Mayor Rees’ Labour administration has bucked the trend and prevented any permanent closures in Bristol. “Labour’s proud to have protected and invested in Bristol’s libraries. We have a long-term plan to invest in technology to improve accessibility, extend opening hours and deliver a library service fit for the future. “However, we have also allocated the necessary funding to lift the council’s temporary recruitment freeze for libraries effective immediately – the recruitment process for additional staff will be under way as soon as possible.”

He is buried under an Oak tree and there is a memorial stone set in the grass. It’s a lovely spot to visit, it helps us keep his memory alive and it’s a great feeling to support the creation of a nature reserve. We’ve got a family plot so eventually we can all be together under the trees. Susan, London

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March, 2024



Council tax rises COUNCIL tax bills for band D households in Bristol are set to rise by more than £115 from April. Annual charges will increase from £2,345.24 to £2,460.42, while those for band B properties are going up by £89.52, from £1,824.08 to £1,913.60. Bristol city councillors were expected to agree the 4.99 per cent hike at budget full council on Tuesday, February 20, the maximum permitted by government without approval by a local referendum. The bills include a £13 band D rise (4.88 per cent) for Avon & Somerset Police – from £266.20 to £279.20 – despite an initial proposed £10 increase by police & crime commissioner Mark Shelford, with Chief Constable Sarah Crew successfully arguing more resources were needed. There will also be an uplift of £2.48 to £85.43 for Avon Fire & Rescue Service, although this will be decided at a fire authority

meeting on Monday, February 19, with members also given the option of freezing charges at £82.95. Bristol City Council’s portion of the fee, which comprises most of it, is 4.99 per cent more than last year, with two per cent set aside for social care. Band A bills will rise by £76.71, from £1,563.49 to £1,640.20 , while band C’s increase is £89.52 to £1,913.60. Charges for band C households will go up by £102.31 to £2,186.96 and band E from £2,866.40 to £3,007.34, a rise of £140.94. Band F residents will pay £3,553.80, £166.23 more than now, band G is up from £3,908.73 to £4,100.53, with people living in the highest band H forking out an extra £230.16, with bills for 2024/25 at £4,920.64. By Adam Postans, Local Democracy Reporting Service

Bristol Waste £4m bailout BRISTOL City Council has given its waste company a £4million bailout, it has been revealed. The extra annual cash injection, funded by taxpayers from April 2024, aims to keep Bristol Waste’s loss-making kerbside collection, recycling and street cleaning services at the current level. It comes after the local authority’s Quality of Life Survey found residents were more satisfied with its services than any other provided by the council, and City Hall chiefs are determined to keep it that way. The business will make a £2million loss in the current financial year but the additional money will see this reduced over the next two years before the firm finally breaks even with a small projected profit of £27,000 in 2026/27, a council meeting was told. Council chief executive Stephen Peacock said: “You will see there is a £4million contribution from Bristol City Council to allow the company to basically maintain the current standard of service. “It’s fantastic news that, despite everything we are dealing with, we have been able to do what the administration was hoping to achieve which was to keep the service the way it is, recognising the Quality of Life Survey data. " Bristol Waste interim finance director Gary Phillips said: “The current year has seen many different cost impacts. “Drivers’ wage increases have been higher than budget, we’ve got an ageing fleet of vehicles, we’re six years into their eight-year life so we’re seeing high costs for spare parts, maintenance, and we are also beholden to fuel costs in the market.” He said prices for recyclable materials, which the business collects and sells on, had “dropped dramatically”. By Adam Postans, Local Democracy Reporting Service

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March, 2024


Sponsored fast for food charity Literary link A PLAQUE commemorating Agatha Christie is to be installed on an old church tower in Clifton. The 110 foot high tower of Emmanuel Church is still a significant landmark although the church itself was demolished long ago. Agatha Miller, 24, from Torquay,who went on to become writer of 70 crime novels, married Archibald Christie there on Christmas Eve 1914. The plaque has been donated by Clifton and Hotwells Improvement Society (CHIS).

ANDREW Milton is planning to go without food for 48 hours this month – to highlight efforts to support those who would otherwise go hungry every month. Andrew’s fast, from 5pm on Wednesday March 6 to the same time on Friday March 8, is raising money for Family Food Action, Andrew and his family have donated food and toiletries to FFA, which collects donations from local groups and sends them out to organisations that help families and children in food poverty. He said: “When I was young, people did not have to choose between heating and eating. We have seen this situation get increasingly worse over the last fourteen years. “I want to do something that directly contributes to preventing kids going to school hungry, doctors having to prescribe ‘food’ because someone is malnourished, or in some cases, people actually dying of hunger. This is happening now in our own city and country, one of the richest in the world. “The FFA’s work should not be seen as a solution, we need to end this situation, but until then foodbanks are a literal lifeline for many families and I want to help as much as I can.” FFA started in lockdown following concerns from teachers in some parts of Bristol about food poverty. Residents in Effingham Road, next to St Andrew's Park, started a food collection for those

Andrew with the amount of food he would usuall consume over 48 hours schools. The group expanded across north Bristol and now about 40 streets are involved. Some supporters have now switched to financial donations, enabling FFA to buy in bulk. Supplies are also boosted by regular supermarket collections and support from businesses. The food and hygiene products are sorted by volunteers and delivered to five community partners in Southmead, Lockleaze, St Paul’s, Easton and Eastville, as well as being offered to families at a weekly food club at The Ardagh, You can find Andrew’s Just Giving page at http://tinyurl.com/bdhj3cvy

To advertise, contact Emma on 0117 908 2121 Or 07715 770448. Email: sales@henleazeandwestburyvoice.co.uk


March, 2024



Financing green ambitions WITH spring a short hop away, and the weather turning warmer, we can start to look forward to our heating bills going down. But other energy costs remain shockingly high – and will continue to do so until Britain stops being at the mercy of international gas and oil prices, and instead invests in clean, homegrown power. While the Government continues to push through legislation to grant new licences to drill for oil and gas, Labour has published its Green Prosperity Plan – a plan to insulate our homes, make Britain energy independent, and to lead our transition to clean energy. I know you will have probably seen a lot of confusing media coverage about this plan – with far too much focus on the £28 billion figure in headlines, and not enough about our actual plans. Regular readers will know that energy and climate policy to achieve a Net Zero future is very close to my heart – and part of my motivation for becoming an MP. And that’s why I hope you can put your trust in me that the green ambition in the Labour party remains as strong as ever. As part of our plan to transition to clean energy, a future Labour government would help to insulate five million more homes, cutting up to £500 from household energy bills – a policy that I’m sure would be warmly welcomed in Westbury-on-Trym and Henleaze, where the average EPC rating for our existing housing stock is a chilly ‘D’.

Labour would also fund a new publicly owned energy company, Great British Energy, that would deliver long-term energy security and position Britain as a leader in clean technologies – co-investing with the private sector to add additional capacity to the system. We would also invest alongside businesses that need to decarbonise, to protect people’s jobs for the future whilst also removing carbon emissions from heavy industry. So, why all the headlines? The only change is the commitment to spend £28 billion per year of public money – a commitment made before Liz Truss’ disastrous mini-budget that tanked the economy. What the headlines don’t tell you is that investing in partnership with the private sector was always going to fund the bulk of the planned projects. Our fully costed plans would lead to tens of billions of pounds of private sector investment in green hydrogen, carbon capture, clean steel, EV battery production, and so-called ‘renewable-ready’ ports. Furthermore, Labour’s way of working – and that of working people – is not just to throw money at our problems, but to focus on reducing waste and improve efficiency; Labour would reform the planning system to unblock the issues that have caused hugely costly delays in the construction of new nuclear power stations in Somerset and Suffolk, and speed-up grid connections to get community wind

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turbines, solar panels, and other forms of low-carbon power up and running. The amount of money in the public purse has diminished, our green ambition has not. Speaking of ambition, I’m over the moon that students from Bristol Free School have progressed to the regional final of the English Speaking Union’s ESU-Churchill Public Speaking Competition – the largest public speaking competition for schools in England and Wales. What an incredible achievement! Bristol Free School entered two teams into the competition for the first time this year after learning about it from my Speak like you own the room campaign (see darren-jones.co.uk/own-the-room). It was the first school that I visited when the campaign launched last October, where I delivered my public speaking masterclass to about 25 students, including the competition hopefuls. My main goal for the campaign has always been to help break down the barriers to career opportunities for children who attend a local state school, just like I did, so I'm delighted to see the Bristol Free School students do so well. For the students who didn't progress to the next round – a second team at Bristol Free School and teams from St Bede’s Catholic College and Badminton School – I have no doubt that the experience they have gained in public speaking will help them to succeed in their future careers, too. The South West Regional

Darren Jones writes for the Voice Final will be held in Bristol North West in mid-March. (Venue to be confirmed.) Please join me in wishing Bristol Free School’s ‘Team A’ the best of luck. I’m sure they can bring it home for Bristol North West! Finally, don’t forget that the Westbury-on-Trym Village Meeting is coming up on Saturday, 9th March (10:30am-12:00pm), followed by the Henleaze & Westbury Park Village Meeting on Thursday, 14th March (7.30-9pm). To RSVP for either event, head to www.darren-jones.co.uk/villages. As always, if you need my help or have a question, you can get in touch with me on e-mail at darren. jones.mp@parliament.uk, by calling my office on 0117 959 6545 or by writing to me at the House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA.


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Email: news@henleazeandwestburyvoice.co.uk

Start the journey Discover Reception at Badminton – an education full of adventure awaits Book a private visit at a time that is best for you



March, 2024



Trinity students light up the Beacon STUDENTS from Trinity Academy in Lockleaze were among the first schoolchildren to have the chance to perform in the newly furbished Bristol Beacon. They put on a spectacle of music and dance performances. More than 300 children participated in a range of performances from orchestras and choirs to dance pieces, rock bands and vocal solos. The night culminated in two massive numbers combining 2 orchestras and 4 choirs. Trinity is a music and performing arts specialist school, offering all students the opportunity to develop their musical, dance and drama skills in specialist studios/ performance spaces. While Trinity has its own 450-seater concert hall, performing at the Bristol Beacon provided an unique opportunity to perform to an even larger audience in the setting of the new-look Beacon. Head of music and performing arts, Naomi Charatan, said: “It was an absolute privilege for our students to perform in such a world class space. The students rose to the occasion and the experience will have developed them as performers, musicians

and dancers. It was also really valuable for our younger year groups to be able to watch performances from our more experienced students in this amazing space.” Headteacher Eiron Bailey said: “The school is blessed to be surrounded by a large supportive community of families and

community advocates. The concert allowed us all to come together for the first time and celebrate the positive growth of this new school.” The costs of rehearsing and performing at the Beacon were met by anonymous sponsors. to whom the school is very grateful.

Fairfield strives to make sure that all talents are shown and not one student is left unseen or unheard.” Student


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March, 2024


Badminton's musical stars in the spotlight THE musicians of Badminton School gathered at St George’s Bristol, for their annual spring concert. Under the baton of director of music Mark Dowd, the school’s various choirs and orchestras performed pieces by Ola Gjeilo, Steinberg & Kelly’s True Colours and Consider Yourself from Oliver! Three soloists for the concert were students in the Upper Sixth. Jasmine Wong’s rendition of O mio babbino caro, was followed by an electrifying Let the Bright Seraphim from Handel’s oratoria Samson. Yijing Ren’s virtuosic playing of the Schumann Fantasiestucke, Op12 had younger pupils hanging over the balconies of St George’s to watch. When the third soloist, Kristina Gvozdyuk was joined on stage by drums and bass, the atmosphere changed. Electrifying playing of the jazz melodies of Sasko and of Peterson filled the hall and received a rapturous reception. Mr Dowd said: “I am

profoundly proud of what our young musicians have achieved today. For a school to perform at this level usually requires legions of professional musicians supporting the student performers, but not at Badminton. There were many remarkable performances this

evening, but the orchestra’s faultless performance of Strauss’ Emperor Waltz was made even more remarkable with the addition of only a handful of teachers. "The lyrical and technically faultless performance was worthy of any adult orchestra.

I am overjoyed not only that the quality of our musicians was demonstrated this evening, but that their individual enjoyment of performing to over 500 people, was evident in the beaming smiles I had the pleasure of witnessing as they left the stage.”

Visit our website to find out more

admissions@cliftonhigh.co.uk | 0117 933 9087 To advertise, contact Emma on 0117 908 2121 Or 07715 770448. Email: sales@henleazeandwestburyvoice.co.uk

Watch them grow Reception – Sixth Form Open Morning Monday 6th May


Life-changing learning, friendships, and adventure

Open Morning 17 March

from 10am

Find your place at BGS bristolgrammarschool.co.uk


March, 2024



Ross is appointed head of QEH Juniors QEH Junior School has appointed a new headteacher. Ross Wolverson will replace David Kendall, who is retiring in the summer after seven years at the independent boys’ school. Mr Wolverson is currently Head of Winsley Primary School and a member of the leadership team at Palladian Academy Trust. He previously held senior positions in independent schools including Monkton Combe School in Bath and Shebbear College in Devon. He has had a research paper exploring boys’ literacy published by the Department for Education. Mr Wolverson served for many years as an officer in the RAF (Reserve) and worked for several international charities and NGOs overseas where he learned valuable leadership and collaborative skills.

Ross Wolverson

He is married to Melissa who works for University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Trust’s Dental Service. They have two sons Henry , 8, and Artie, 5. Mr Wolverson said: “I am honoured and incredibly excited by the prospect of leading a school which

specialises in the holistic education and development of boys. I was extremely impressed by the young men I met when I visited the school. Their polite and friendly confidence was a joy to see. The staff are so committed to the well-being and education of the boys, and I look forward to

working with them. “The school itself has a genuine warmth and being in a converted Georgian townhouse has a welcoming family feel. Our goal is to educate the next generation of boys who are ‘gentle- men’ rooted in a valuesbased approach to education while also continually innovating our curriculum. I am eager to contribute to QEH Junior School and ensure that it continues to provide an outstanding education for boys in Years 3 to 6.” Rupert Heathcote, head of QEH, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Mr Wolverson to the QEH family. His leadership qualities and passion for education are outstanding. We are confident that he will build upon the exceptional leadership of Mr. Kendall and guide the Junior School into the next stage of its exciting future.”

JUNIOR SCHOOL STAY AND PLAY Saturday 16 March 2024

We warmly invite boys aged 5-7 and their parents to a morning of fun activities and an opportunity to learn more about QEH Junior School.

Book your place now

‘Excellent’ in all areas ISI report, 2022

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March, 2024


Ofsted success for Brunel Field primary BRUNEL Field Primary School in Ashley Down has been rated Good in all areas following its first Ofsted inspection in 12 years. A team of three inspectors who visited in November gave the school the positive judgement for quality of education, leadership and management, behaviour and

attitudes, personal development and early years provision. They said the school was ambitious for all its 411 pupils and had designed a curriculum, with reading at its heart, that gave them the knowledge they needed to succeed. The inspectors praised pupils' calm and sensible behaviour and the warm

relationships across the school and they noted that parents were overwhelmingly positive. "Pupils live out the school vision ‘respect, compassion, commitment and joy.’ "They are polite and welcoming to all. Adults in school know the pupils well," the report said.

Inspectors praise Redland Green School REDLAND Green School has been judged as Good in all areas in its first full inspection for more than seven years. Its sixth-form provision was rated as Outstanding. A team of five inspectors from the watchdog visited the 1622-pupil school in December and said it provided a good quality of education through an ambitious and inclusive curriculum, with teachers having “high expectations of the quality of work that they expect students to produce”. Lead inspector Kelly Olive wrote in her report: “The school has high expectations of pupils’ behaviour. Lessons are calm and purposeful. Relationships among pupils and staff reflect a positive and respectful culture. Pupils are safe and they feel safe.” It was also noted that RGS is “an inclusive and respectful environment where difference is celebrated”. The leadership team at RGS were praised for their strengths: “Leaders know the school well. They initiate changes and

improvements effectively.” With regards to special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), the Ofsted report acknowledged that the school identified pupils quickly, and that “appropriate support, which is reviewed regularly, is then put into place.” The inspectors said that to improve further the school should make more precise assessment of pupils’ understanding to inform future teaching and learning. Headteacher Ben Houghton said: “I would like to thank all staff who work tremendously hard at ensuring we strive to improve and provide the best possible education for all in our care. Thank you also to our parents who continue to support us, and finally thank you to our wonderful students who are a constant source of inspiration as they live the school values of Respect - Ambition Responsibility.” Nicky Edmondson, CEO of Excalibur Academies Trust, added: “We are delighted with

Redland Green School headteacher Ben Houghton and Nicky Edmondson, CEO of Excalibur, with students Redland Green’s Ofsted report which quite rightly praises the school’s culture, ethos, curriculum, leadership and

enrichment programme. The hard work being put in by Ben and his team behind the scenes is evident to see.”

Stories with global majority characters at centre EDUCATION professionals in Bristol worked together to create a free scheme of work in response to the lack of diverse GCSE texts on diversity. The Lit Legacies project is based on the play Princess and the Hustler by Chinonyerm Odimba. It centres on Bristol, including the Bus Boycott in 1963. It was launched at Fairfield High School and the guests included Barbara Dettering, one of the seven Saints of St Pauls, who features on the mural in the school’s atrium. Lit Legacies’ team includes UWE Bristol

lecturers Amy Saleh and Malcolm Richards, plus English teachers Cashan Campbell (Fairfield High School), Tanisha HicksBeresford (Bristol Cathedral Choir School) and DeMarco Ryans (St John The Baptist School). Ms Campbell said: “This has been a considerably rewarding and enriching experience for me. I grew up in Bristol, came to school at Fairfield and my beloved Nanny was one of the Seven Saints of St Paul’s. Lit Legacies represents stories of global majority characters, perspectives and life experiences.”

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March, 2024




More children in 'school-to-prison pipeline'

MORE than twice as many Bristol children were permanently excluded last year compared to the past two previous years. In the last academic year, 80 children were permanently excluded, 11 from primary schools and three from special schools. So far this year, 73 children have been permanently excluded, including five from primaries. Two high schools were responsible for over a third of permanent exclusions last year, although a Bristol City Council report did not name which ones. Figures from the Department for Education will be published in the coming months on the number of exclusions per school. Exclusion rates in Bristol are higher for ethnic minorities, particularly for children with Caribbean heritage or Gypsy, Roma and Traveller heritage. Being permanently excluded from school can often harm the life chances of children. During a people scrutiny meeting on February 19, Labour deputy mayor Asher Craig, responsible for education, said: “This has been going on since I was a child. I don’t want to have to call [schools] out, but they are partly responsible for what I call the school-to-prison pipeline. “I’m quite shocked about how many children we’re seeing excluded from primary

school, that never used to be a thing at all. But now we’re seeing five-year-olds being excluded permanently. “Let’s call it what it is — racism within the education system is why we’re seeing so many black kids being excluded. And it’s the same cycle. You can go back 20, 30 years and see the exact same figures. There’s a lot of work to be done and the schools have to be part of the solution.” The number of permanent exclusions in Bristol dipped in recent years, before rising again. In 2016, there were 87 permanent exclusions and the council set up a panel to address the issue. The Bristol Inclusion Panel brought together high schools from across the city once a fortnight, to discuss children at risk of exclusion and find alternative options for them. This led to permanent exclusions dropping massively, as many children were instead moved into other schools or alternative learning provision. But this meant some were not getting a full education, and allowed schools a route to too easily move difficult children elsewhere. A recent review then recommended major changes to the panel, and now exclusions have gone back up. Mark Kennedy, from the council’s alternative learning provision hub, said:

“There was a low permanent exclusion rate but significantly more children were being moved out of a full-time setting into a different setting. It was set up with the best intentions, but I don’t think necessarily what it’s done is to drive inclusive practices in schools. It’s just supported secondary schools to come to a panel and move children on somewhere else. “My concern at the moment is that the use of part-time ALP is creating an environment where children are less likely to be able to permanently re-enter school.” Early intervention is now planned to be offered in primary schools, to tackle issues before they escalate. Many schools are facing a staffing shortage with an “absolute crisis of recruitment and retention”, Labour Cllr Katja Hornchen, a supply teacher, said. She said: “We are going months and terms without teachers in specific classes. For vulnerable children it’s hugely disruptive because they’ve usually got a thing of not trusting adults, and now they’re constantly having this stream of changing adults in front of the classroom telling them what to do. And that really sets them off.” By Alex Seabrook, Local Democracy Reporting Service

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March, 2024

n NEWS FROM SusWoT Want to help? If you want to help, the following SusWoT activities could make use of more volunteers. Time to get sowing, and in March many vegetables can be sown outdoors. SusWoT will be producing tomato and other vegetable plants to sell at the Community Fair on Saturday 11 May at the Westbury Parish Church. SusWoT will grow about 200 Sungold and 500 Alicante tomato plants. These two varieties usually do well in Westbury, others that have been grown before don’t seem as reliable or productive. Runner and climbing French beans do well if thoroughly watered in hot spells and just six plants, if well cultivated, can provide enough beans to keep up with demand and can continue to crop until November. Sow in April/May or buy plants at the fair. If you are interested in raising plants for sale at the fair, SusWoT can provide you with seeds. Cleaning up the river Trym takes place every Friday from 10:00 to 12:00, weather permitting. About 200 tonnes of rubbish, lots of

which is plastic, has been removed from the river and the surrounding land. In February work to clear the area next to Sea Mills Lane began. Most of the river system has now been cleaned at least once and Trout in the Trym are looking for volunteers to keep the land clean. If you would like to take on a section, get in touch. Trout in the Trym have a grant from the Bristol Avon Catchment Partnership to buy equipment for this work. Microplastics in the Trym have been found and measured by students at Bristol University. Students have sampled six sites on the Trym and have found roughly 40 microplastic particles in every millilitre of water on average. SusWoT will be getting a copy of the full report. Sorting out the ponds and silt traps in Blaise has started. There are two ponds, each with a silt trap. SusWoT, working with other Trout in the Trym groups, have been involved in trying to get this feature restored. The silt traps can now be opened, and silt removed. The ponds will require lots of work to remove silt that

has accumulated over many years. Before serious work can start the mechanisms for diverting the river around the ponds will need to be repaired so that the water does not continue to flow through the silt traps into the ponds. Due to the nature of the ponds there may be wildlife in them that means there are times of year when it is illegal to work on the ponds. This may slow progress. If you want to help with this work be in touch, lots of heavy digging may be needed. Litter in Westbury and Henleaze is always a problem, and we need more volunteers to keep it under control. There are about 70 people who help with litter picking but there are about eight routes that we need people to take on. Top quality equipment, pickers, hoops and green Bristol Waste sacks, are provided. The rubbish collected can either be put in your black bin or left in a sack by a litter bin. To offer to help with any of the above please contact suswot2050@gmail.com. Or come along to a meeting, SusWoT meets at 7:30 on the last Thursday of the month in the Westbury Village Hall.

Ducks courting on the River Trym in the middle of Westbury last month

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March, 2024



Deeds of Variation

Finding out you are a beneficiary A Deed of Variation may be What are the advantages of of someone’s Will can be a nice useful if: doing a Deed of Variation? reminder of how important you • A beneficiary wishes to redirect •follow Theus beneficiary can decide E: news@bishopstonvoice.co.uk on Twitter @bishopstonvoice July, 2014 were to them during their lifetime the assets to someone who has a who will inherit the asset unlike a but sometimes you may wish greater financial need; disclaimer where the beneficiary that the estate had been left has no control over who will differently. Perhaps you already • A different beneficiary (e.g. a receive the asset once it has have sufficient assets of your own spouse) would be exempt from been given up by the original and would have preferred your paying inheritance tax; beneficiary; children inherit something or Sarah Burgess perhaps there has been a change • A different beneficiary may • It can be used to rectify of circumstances since the Will qualify for a particular relief that errors distributing an estate if be used to vary a minor’s share was written and it would be more would otherwise be wasted, an executor has already given of the estate and if the Variation beneficial for the money to be for example redirecting the an asset to someone else, for results in additional Inheritance paid into a trust fund. will be. However deceased’s their child ofexample; are sometimes a Will can property be fortothe distribution the estate, carsmembers of the Society ofTax Trustbecoming payable then the so the niland ratethe band can given executors of an estate will need worded to provide thatresidence a gift of estate can then be to younger andfamily Estate members Practitioners, the What is a Deed of Variation and be of claimed; to drive. 10 % of the value your estate divided as if the Will so hadthey beencan learn leading professional body to in be involved. at that time is given to a charity made in these terms. A Deed of this field. We offer a free initial when is it used? If you think that a Deed of or charities Variationto could consultation new clients. If a beneficiary of a Will wishes to of your • Itchoice. wouldThe be beneficial gifttherefore • Ifprovide drafted to include for certain Variation may be beneficial to you effect of this will be that the rate that 10 % of the estate is to pass For advice on administration change who will inherit the assets money to charity to support a provisions, the Deed can actually then please do not hesitate to get of Inheritance Tax payable on the to a chosen charity or charities, of estates, trusts, wills, they were due to receivewhole they estate can isgood benefitthefrom the estate inheritance tax powers in touch with us. reducedcause from 40and making estate assave a whole of attorney and all private client do so using a Deed of Variation. a lower rate ofeligible inheritance andratecapital gains tax especially % to 36 %. for the reduced of issues, contact Shelley Faulkner, A Variation is a documentIn used tax which itbecomes payableTax.if if the Will was Florence made aPearce while and agothe other For advice on wills, inheritance same circumstances, Inheritance has a been thatfunds this pass to charity; to alter who inherits from Willcalculated enough and there are now additional taxon 0117 tax, lasting powers of attorney, members of the team This change in the law is reduction and can be used to redirect assetsin the tax bill can serve clearly very good news reliefs available. 9621205, email probate@administration of estates and all both to leave evenare afterany ambiguities over amdsolicitors.com or call in including cash, land, shares etc. the It estate, • There other private client issues, please for charities, and potentially for of the gift to charity, at 15to The Mall Clifton, or 100 is advisable to instruct apayment solicitor the interpretation ofsome the Will; Important note: contact Sarah Burgess or another estates as well. However points with a value as high as if the Henleaze Road Henleaze. By Shelley the detail of the application to draft the Deed to ensure that To becan effective for tax saving member of our team on 0117 962 gift had not been made. Thus be complex. For example, the a Deed AMDofSolicitors takes pride in email info@amdsolicitors. it is valid and any available • A cases beneficiary was excluded purposes, Variation 1205, the gift tax can in some quite Faulkner, divided different sponsoring Bristol based savings are made. may ismake a intomust be executed withinlocal, 2 years com or call into one of our four literally pay for from itself. the Will and estate ‘components’ depending on year is very solicitor with of the date ofcharities death. and It this cannot Bristol offices. Even whereclaim a Will against has not the estate. how the property will pass to pleased to be supporting the

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been prepared in these terms, the beneficiaries, in order to it may be possible to take calculate whether the 10 % test advantage of this tax break. If has been met. Taking specialist the beneficiaries of the estate advice on the implications for WHILE most of us support agree, it is possible to effectively your particular circumstances is a number of charities in our amend the terms of a Will within therefore essential. lifetime, it is perhaps not two years of the date of death. A surprising that a smaller number AMD’s team of experienced ‘Deed of Variation’ can be drawn choose to remember a charity in up which sets out the familyBS9 4JZprivate client solicitors and 100forHenleaze Road, Henleaze their Will. Clearly the priority practitioners includes full members’ agreed arrangements most is to provide for a surviving15 The Mall, Clifton BS8 4DS spouse or children, or to ensure that the family wealth can be passed on to benefit the next generation. However, government policy is clearly to encourage giving to charity, and a recent development in the law is intended to promote gifts to charity being made by Will. This change may also, on occasion, serve to save Inheritance Tax, or even to create a gift which literally pays for itself.

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henleaze&westburyvoice n NEWS

March, 2024

CAZ pushes cars on to roads nearby BRISTOL Clean Air Zone is pushing more cars on to nearby roads ‘as expected’, councillors were told. Drivers of non-compliant vehicles have been increasingly using certain residential roads more often than before the CAZ was introduced. Despite the traffic displacement, Bristol City Council says air quality in these areas is still improving. That’s because air pollution spreads across the city, rather than staying in one particular location where it’s been emitted from a high number of vehicles. The Clean Air Zone was introduced in November 2022, and the council has published a detailed report evaluating its effects so far. Councillors on the overview and scrutiny management board discussed the report during a meeting on Thursday, January 18. Lower Ashley Road in St Pauls and St Johns Lane in Totterdown have seen higher levels of traffic since the scheme was introduced, as drivers use these routes to avoid entering the zone. Lower Ashley Road runs off west from Junction 3 of the M32, while St Johns Lane comes off left at the end of the A37 Wells Road — both just before coming into the zone. Adam Crowther, head of city transport, said: “The Lower Ashley Road results show what we would expect. I live in that area as well and I’ve seen that there is more traffic using that route to avoid coming into the zone from the M32. That’s what the modelling expected.” While nitrogen dioxide has

fallen on average by almost 10 per cent, higher levels of traffic in certain areas mean it’s less safe to walk or cycle there. Other parts of the city, on the edges of the zone, have also reportedly seen higher levels of traffic, including in Lockleaze. Green Councillor David Wilcox, representing Lockleaze, said: “I’m noticing a lot more traffic on Glenfrome Road, Eastgate Road and James Street where people are actively avoiding the Clean Air Zone.” More than half a million fines have been issued to drivers entering the CAZ without paying the fee. But the report said only half had been paid, with many cancelled or written off and many appeals upheld. So far, the Clean Air Zone has brought in £26 million to the council, through charges and fines, after the cost of running the scheme. This will be spent on subsidised bus routes, fixing potholes, and making it easier and safer to walk and cycle. The Clean Air Zone was introduced to tackle high levels of nitrogen dioxide, a harmful pollutant caused by petrol and diesel engines. This has reduced massively in some parts of the city, such as near the Bristol Royal Infirmary, but gone up in a few other parts. But it remains unclear whether the Clean Air Zone has also reduced other pollutants, such as particulate matter known as PM2.5 and PM10. These can harm our heart and lungs and are linked to early death. By Alex Seabrook, Local Democracy Reporting Service

Charity superstore ST Peter’s Hospice has opened a Superstore on the Clifton Triangle. It's on the ground floor of the West End car park in the former Bathstore unit. Two-thirds of the stock will be furniture – donated, new and upcycled. Shoppers will also find the preloved clothing, vintage treasures and unique items that the hospice's shops are known for. The store is a welcome addition to the hospice’s portfolio of 44 shops and will enable the charity to expand its furniture offering beyond its stores in Brislington and Horfield.

Got News? Call 0117 9082121

Email: news@henleazeandwestburyvoice.co.uk


March, 2024



Dismay at bid to knock down old bank

HUNDREDS of people have objected to plans to knock down a former bank on the Gloucester Road. The old Nat West at number 248 is on the corner of Longmead Avenue, between Sainsbury’s Local and Horfield Prison. The derelict Edwardian building has been a roofless shell for several years. Just the façade of the red brick and stonework remain, wrapped in scaffold and tarpaulin. Now the owner Omid Jalil has submitted plans to Bristol City Council to have it totally demolished, and nine flats built in its place, with a café on the ground floor. But people living and working nearby say it’s a historic landmark, and should be saved. Others are concerned about lack of parking if the new six storey building is allowed. The building was last in proper use about ten years ago, when it was home to an employment agency.



During the following years it remained mostly empty, apart from when squatters lived there. In 2016 the current owner was given planning permission by Bristol City Council to build two more floors and convert it into nine flats. At the time a BCC planning officer report said the bank was “considered a prominent building that is attractive benefiting the street scene”. It’s thought work started, but was halted during the Covid pandemic. Objectors to the demolition say that old permission is still valid, and they want to see the façade preserved. One objector said on

BCC’s planning portal: “The existing building provides a visual reminder of Gloucester Road's cultural heritage and the people, businesses and industries that played a pivotal role in establishing the area into something which we all love and enjoy living in today. “The decision to demolish the existing structure and replace with a characterless shoebox facade will strongly contrast to surrounding architecture in the Gloucester Road area.” Another said despite being empty for some time, “The existing building is an extremely attractive building that adds to the street scene of the area. “The initial plans to redevelop

it were brilliant and retained a lot of its original features.” Another said the demolition plan was “criminal”. They said: “As a Bristolian and local business owner I strongly object to this proposal and feel to pull it down would be totally out of keeping with the area. “The proposed large apartment building will significantly increase local population density, exacerbating existing issues with parking and access to essential services like healthcare. One resident said: “Parking problems are already severe and the area cannot cope with more vehicles. The quality of life will have a detrimental impact on residents.” Among more than 230 objections, there was one comment in favour. They said: “Please get rid of this eyesore and build some much needed housing.” The plans are on the council planning website: reference 23/04158/F


Innovation is in our region’s DNA AS your Metro Mayor, and as a West of England resident, I am incredibly proud of our great region’s history of science and innovation. It is a history centuries in the making, to which Europe’s largest supercomputer, focused on AI, is yet another world-beating recent addition. There’s Brunel himself, that genius of engineering who ‘built the world’; Bathonian Caroline Herschel, the first woman to receive a salary as a scientist; Concorde, which was built and maintained in Filton; even the world’s first hollow chocolate Easter egg. The West of England has always been, and continues to be, home to vital industries, iconic inventions and awesome achievements. In short, innovation is in our region’s DNA. And it’s absolutely key in today’s world - to our physical health, to our region’s economic pros pects, and to our place nationally and globally.

I’ve always said the West of England has the potential to be an innovation engine. The Mayoral Combined Authority I lead has the ambition to make that a reality. That’s why, since I was elected Mayor, a key focus of my Mayoral Combined Authority has been building the West’s innovation creden tials, and further putting our incredible region on the map as the place to innovate – to create the high-quality jobs locals deserve. I am proud of all we have achieved so far. The West of England region is an innova tion leader. Our people and firms excel at innovation, while big investments are being made towards solving regional and global challenges alike. We’ve become the nation’s 5G logistics test bed, seen via the incredible links between Avonmouth Docks and the Gravity smart campus in Somerset - soon to be home to the biggest gigafactory in the whole

country! Or how about the fact we’ve built England’s largest wind turbine, that we’ve launched Space West - the second biggest space cluster in the UK - and we’re working hard to harness the power of the Severn Estuary to kickstart the age of tidal, right here in the West. But with the world now in the foothills of the fourth industrial revolution, I want us to go even further. Because I fully recognise there are some pretty big challenges we need to overcome to become the innovation engine I know we can be. Some of the most beautiful places to live in our rural towns and villages are let down by poor access to the online world. And right now, not everyone in our part of the world has access to the digital skills they need which is vital for success today. That’s why, through things like my

Metro Mayor

Dan Norris

writes for The Voice soon-to be-launched Innovation Prospectus, and other measures, the needs of West of England resi dents are at the heart of my innovation plans. Our region is a powerhouse of scientific talent - and it’s time we realised our true potential. My Mayoral Combined Authority will con tinue to provide the purpose, power, resources and leadership necessary to do just that.

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CURA: Treating Disc injury and SCIATICA Are you looking for relief from pain and immobility caused by osteoarthritis, back conditions or a sports injury? We can help. Here at CURA, we use the latest technologies: MBST Cell Regeneration Therapy and Deep Tissue Laser Therapy to heal and repair the damaged tissues. We combine these technologies with hands-on Chiropractic and Physiotherapy to ensure your body heals itself to its maximum potential. Francis came to me in complete agony with sciatica. We tried everything we could to help him using conservative caretractions, laser etc yet there was no change at all. I had his lower back MRI scanned which showed a large L4/5 disc extrusion causing moderate central cabal narrowing compressing the left L5 nerve root and suggested a surgeons referral. This explained his severity and lack of response. Knowing that surgery was always an option we discussed my recent set of results using MBST for nerve healing which had been outstanding. He decided to go for it, having his discs and nerves treated and the results in this case were off the scale. 4 weeks later we had a pretty emotional meeting at my clinic in which Francis was flabbergasted

at the lack of pain he’s now in. We were both blown away by this case and have set up a follow up meeting in 3 months. His email the same day: James, it was good to see you this afternoon. I can’t really express how pleased I am with the MBST treatment, I would thoroughly recommend anyone with back problems to come and see you. On a different matter, do you think you could photoshop the photo of us together and make me look less like my blood pressure is sky high !! I’ve had it tested and it’s fine ! Alternatively put a note under the photo to say I’m healthier than I look !! Once again, thanks for sorting out my back, I’m truly grateful.


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March, 2024



THE WELL AT ELSIE BRIGGS HOUSE An Ancient Hidden Gem in Our Midst MANY people walk past this special ancient house and garden without realising its wonderful, long history or that it is now an oasis of peace in a hectic world. Next to the impressive Parish Church in Westbury and connected to its history, the house dates from the 15th Century and in 1976 the House was given Grade II* listed building status. Being unusually complete, it is one of a small number of surviving medieval houses in Bristol! The House offers a programme of events such as Quiet Days, Retreat, Prayer, Meditation, Book Club, Creative Writing to name a few. All are warmly welcomed by the resident Warden, Lindsay Pelloquin. (www. thewellcentreofspirituality. org.uk) All this is thanks to the generosity of Elsie Briggs

who lived here until 1989 and bequeathed the House to the Diocese. Do drop in, look around and have a cuppa on an Open Afternoon – every Tuesday from 3 to 5pm. Vicki Thomas

Many people have never heard of the u3a. u3a officially stands for “University of the 3rd age” but we prefer “You in the 3rd age” as the first definition sounds as though we are an intellectual organisation. Whilst we do have discussion groups that can be considered intellectual e.g. political discussion, philosophy, ethics, we have many other groups such as disco dancing, social groups, walking groups, pub groups. We are a self-help group aimed at semi-retired and retired people looking to occupy their free time and joining your local u3a is a great way to find and develop new interests and make friends in a relaxed environment. It doesn’t cost much to join the Bristol u3a – just £20 per year. Reasons to join: • Make a difference, stay active, keep learning and have fun. • Get out to meet face to face – discovering together and making the most of life. • Members can attend events and talks for free.

• Meet other people with similar interests: learn new things and share your skills. You can find out more about the Bristol u3a by looking at the following website: https:// u3asites.org.uk/bristol/welcome. In particular, it is worth looking at the groups section to see all of the activities that are available and what’s more, the more our organisation grows the greater the variety of groups that will appear. Later on in 2024 we plan to have a wine tasting group. If you join, what group could you introduce? Want to hear from people who have had interesting backgrounds? We have monthly talks, lasting about 50 minutes, on a variety of subjects. Recently we had a talk from someone who had worked in NATO – one of his jobs was to be in the negotiation team that discussed potential NATO membership for Russia. Yes, Vladimir Putin was in the room! Richard Lynch

n NATURE WATCH with Dawn Lawrence

Close encounter with a gorgeous goldcrest AT the allotment recently I had the task of cutting back the apple from the blackberry from the gooseberries – a Gordian knot if ever there was one. This meddlesome trio entangle themselves amongst each other as soon as my back is turned but the birds love them and I love watching them go! Their growth rate is phenomenal and after a few years even I have to admit they’ve gone too far. Both the bramble and the gooseberry are native to Britain (albeit our garden varieties are bred for extra size and flavour of fruit) and the apple is a close Asian relative of our native crab apple so all are good for wildlife, supporting a range of insects as well as providing fruit for the birds. As I began flexing my secateurs I was amazed to see the gooseberries had scrambled around four metres into the apple tree, forming long flexible whip-like branches to do so and clinging on by their chunky spines. Botanical texts have the wild gooseberry as a small shrub up to 1.5 metres high and the Royal Horticultural Society agrees with this height limit. But then, what you learn from observing nature is that nature often surprises. The Gordian knot took longer to sever than

A goldcrest

Photo: Gail Hampshire

expected, even with my sturdy pair of vintage secateurs, so I will have to be back soon to finish the job before the sap rises much further. As I was reaching into the apple tree a sudden tiny movement caught my eye, and it was not the robin I expected. A goldcrest was bobbing about the tree, its sharp eyes seeking tiny invertebrates and its even sharper beak probing amongst the bark and buds.

I froze and it came closer, looking me in the eye at least twice (at this point a bird will often fly away as it realises it is being observed). It finally got so close I could easily have reached out and touched it. It is rare to be that near to a wild bird and I held my breath. Fine black stripe over the eye, rakish golden head streak, plumply rounded body, very active movement… goldcrests are very distinctive. Adults weigh around 4-7g and are our smallest birds. Yet these birds survive the whole winter here and points north. Whilst the birds from the northern and eastern parts of their breeding range tend to migrate southwards in winter, individuals can survive a long winter’s night down to minus 25C by burning fat up to a fifth of their body weight! It is therefore not surprising that a prolonged period of freezing temperatures will kill a high percentage of the resident population. However, with clutch sizes being as high as 12 they are well placed to restore their numbers in the following breeding season. Their confiding nature (I love that way of expressing it) is well known so if you see one just stay still and you might be treated to a close encounter, as I was.

To advertise, contact Emma on 0117 908 2121 Or 07715 770448. Email: sales@henleazeandwestburyvoice.co.uk

Join us for our next event

Trymview Hall care home, Westbury-on-Trym

Dementia friendly cinema club Every third Thursday, 2pm - 4pm Join us every third Thursday for a showcase of classic films and documentaries that will bring back memories and interests. Hot and cold refreshments will be offered from our café throughout the session with regular interval breaks.

Trusted to care. To attend please call 0117 405 9775 or email nicola.wolff-donitz@careuk.com

henleaze&westburyvoice n VINEYARD NEWS with INGRID BATES

March, 2024


How sheep help with winemaking AS I write this, I’m getting close to the end of vine pruning. So that’s 2400ish vines prepped and ready for summer 2024! Before the vines start growing in mid April I have asked a local farmer if he can put some sheep in the vineyard to help get the grass down. The grass is already getting quite long! The sheep like to scratch themselves against the vine trunks which can be a bit of a pain, but they are very good at nibbling down the grass and tidying things up before the growing season begins. This summer I’ll be spending a lot of time removing old polythene weed control and putting a good layer of mulch under the vines. The sheep will give me a headstart with this process because there won’t be so much strimming to do. Vineyard volunteers Steve and Clare are half way through pollarding the 90-odd willow

Labels for the new Dunleavy fizzes

Willow prunings lining the bottom edge of the vineyard. We’ve piled up all the willow prunings and will get them made into woodchip as soon as the weather allows it. The woodchip is great as a mulch once it’s had a bit of time to rot down. The vineyard has been feeling quite spring-like recently with a lot of bird song in the hedgerows. It's been lovely. In the winery, our new still

rosé will be bottled soon and we have three different fizz being prepped for sale. First off, we’ll release a new sparkling white, followed shortly by a sparkling rosé. We’ve not made a sparkling rosé before so this is rather fun! Later on in the year we’ll be releasing a sparkling red. We will also be releasing something called a col fondo. This is a slightly fizzy, bottle fermented wine made

using natural yeasts. We have used the same red grapes that we use for our rosé to make the col fondo. Can’t wait to taste it! hello@dunleavyvineyards.co.uk www.dunleavyvineyards.co.uk @DYvineyards (X/Twitter) dunleavy vineyards (Facebook & Instagram)

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To advertise, contact Emma on 0117 908 2121 Or 07715 770448. Email: sales@henleazeandwestburyvoice.co.uk



n WHAT'S ON Saturday March 9 n BLAISE COMMUNITY GARDEN. Behind Blaise Museum, open Wednesday and Saturday 10-2. Originally a walled kitchen garden. Free to enter. We’re looking for new volunteers. Our Café (+ homemade cakes) open 10-2. Tuesday March 12 n ARTS SOCIETY BRISTOL: Bare holding a lecture given by Julia Musgrave entitled: Bloomsbury Group: The Art of Vanessa Bell. Venue is Redland Hall, Redmaids’ High BS9 3AW, doors open at 7.30pm. New members are most welcome and our website contains further details www. theartssociety-bristol.org.uk

Saturday March 23 n BRISTOL BACH CHOIR will perform Scarlatti’s Stabat Mater and Gabriel Jackson’s Requiem in All Saints, Clifton on Saturday 23rd March 2024 at 7.30pm. Tickets £22 (reserved), £15 (unreserved), £1 students & under 18s. Tel: 0117 214 0721, www.bristolbach.org. uk. Monday March 25 n HENLEAZE SENIOR FILM CLUB: Greenfingers (15) - 2pm. A prison inmate discovers he has a horticultural talent and goes onto compete in a national gardening competition. Starring Helen Mirren and Clive Owen. Carers welcome, easy access Refreshments £4 St. Peter’s Church Hall, The Drive, Henleaze BS9 4LD

Monday April 29

n EDWINA HAYES in concert Westbury on Trym, Village Hall Eastfield Rd BS9 4AG - 7.30pm. £17.00 tickets from SeeTickets.com “ The sweetest voice in England” Nanci Griffith.

Regular events

Various days n WEST OF ENGLAND BRIDGE CLUB meet at the RAFA Club, 38 Eastfield, Henleaze. Thursday afternoon is for improvers, and Monday and Friday afternoons, are for more capable players. These are EBU recognised sessions. You may come alone to any afternoon session or Wednesday evening when a partner will be found. The two evening sessions are Wednesdays and Fridays. For more information go to our website at www.woebridgeclub.co.uk or contact our Secretary Alan on 0117 4526947. Monday n PLAY BOWLS at Canford Park in a friendly, social atmosphere. Qualified coaches and equipment provided. Contact: Les on 07305695579 n WESTBURY SINGERS: Westbury Singers - If you enjoy singing, we invite you to join our friendly, non-auditioned, 4-part choir in term-time on Monday evenings 7:30pm - 9:30pm at Reedley

Road Baptist Church (far left entrance off the car park). Ability to read music useful but not essential. See our website www.westburysingers.org for more information, email us on wotsingers@ gmail.com, or simply come along one evening! n DICKENS SOCIETY. 7pm, at Leonard Hall, Henleaze URC, Waterford Rd, Bristol BS9 4BT. Talks, costumed readings, book club and social events. New members welcome. See www.dickens-society.org. uk or phone Roma on 0117 9279875 for further details. n WESTBURY AND CLIFTON AREA DISCUSSION GROUP meet at Westbury on Trym Baptist Church every Monday 9.45am to challenge ourselves with topical debate on what’s happening in the world. If you would like to help to solve some of today's challenging issues with good company, tea and biscuits contact James Ball 01454 415165 or Ian Viney 0117 9501628. n WESTBURY ON TRYM WOMEN'S INSTITUTE meets on the third Monday of the month in the Westbury Village Hall, Eastfield Road, BS9 4AG, from 2.00 - 4.00 pm. We have interesting speakers, and extra activities of crafts, lunch club, skittles and outings. Our lively, friendly and inclusive group welcomes visitors at any meeting. For more information call Sascha on 07961619806 or Traci on 07766073917 Tuesday n WESTBURY PARK WOMEN’S INSTITUTE meets on the first Tuesday of every month in the Girl Guide Hut on Westmorland Road from 7.00 - 9.30pm. We are an active and friendly group with a varied programme plus extra sessions for craft, coffee, book clubs, walks etc. Visitors are always welcome and for more information do call Sue on 07813795936 or email westburyparkwi@ gmail.com n COMPANION VOICES BRISTOL is recruiting new members We are a 'threshold choir' actively looking for new people to join us. We meet in Easton on the 3rd Tuesday of the month from 7 to 9 pm to learn soothing and uplifting songs by ear and build skills in sensitivity/compassion/loving presence to sing at the bedsides of people nearing the end of life. To join or support us in this work, contact Valerie on bristol@companionvoices. org. Visit www.facebook.com/ CompanionVoicesBristol and www. companionvoices.org.

n SCOTTISH DANCING TO GET FIT AND HAVE FUN with Bristol Westbury Scottish Country Dance Club. Classes for beginners (Email: maggiekirkup@gmail.com) and more advanced dancers (Tel: Cheryl 0117 4012416) at St.Peter's Church Hall, Henleaze, Tuesdays 7.30 to 9.30 pm. Details at www. westburyscottish.org.uk n WOMEN'S FELLOWSHIP meet on Tuesday mornings at Westbury-on-Trym

Got News? Call 0117 9082121

Methodist Church, 10.30am-noon. An interesting programme of speakers; come along to make friends. For more details, ring Kate 07905 064720.

n BRISTOL HARMONY WEST GALLERY CHOIR AND BAND sing and play lively church and village music from the 18thcentury. St Edyth’s Church Hall, St Edyth’s Road, Sea Mills, 7.30 pm on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday each month. All voices (SATB), string, wind and reed instruments welcome. No auditions but ability to read music helpful. www.bristolharmony.wordpress.com or call Fritjof 0117 924 3440. Contact before attending. Wednesday n HENLEAZE CHORAL SOCIETYmeets at Henleaze Bowling Club, Grange Court Road, Wednesdays 7.30 to 9pm. A small, unauditioned choir singing varied music. New members welcome. For info, contact Kathy, 0117 949362 www. bccschoralsociety.org.uk/ n BLAISE COMMUNITY GARDEN, behind Blaise Museum, open Wednesday and Saturday 10-2. Originally a walled kitchen garden. Free to enter. We’re looking for new volunteers. Special Event: 18 November (10-3) Winter Market with Café (Homemade cakes etc) n KNITNATTERSTITCH meet on Wednesdays (term time only) 10-12 @ Henleaze United Reform Church’s coffee bar. For more information contact Paula at knitnatterstitch @gmail.com n COME AND ENJOY free tea and cake in a friendly atmosphere at Holy Trinity Church, Church Rd, Westburyon-Trym every Wednesday 10.30-12. Call 0117 9508644 (mornings) for more information n WELCOME WEDNESDAY Friendly and free coffee afternoon on the last Wednesday of the month, 2-3.30pm at The Beehive Pub, Wellington Hill West, BS9 4QY. Meet new people, have fun, and find out what’s happening in your local area. Call 0117 435 0063 for more information.

n BRISTOL SCRABBLE CLUB meets every Wednesday evening at 7pm until 10pm at Filton Community Centre, Elm Park, Filton BS34 7PS. New members welcome- first visit free so come along and give us a try. For further information contact Tania by email at tanialake@yahoo.co.uk Thursday n HENBURY SINGERS RECRUITING NEW MEMBERS. We meet each Thursday 7:30 – 9:15 at Stoke Bishop Primary School, Cedar Park, BS9 1BW. We perform sacred and secular music under our conductor Andrew Kirk. No auditions. www.henburysingers.org. Contact secretary@henbury singers. org. Please remove our previous advert in What’s On Thursday – Local Choir Actively Recruiting new members. n HENLEAZE FLOWER CLUB

March, 2024 welcomes new members for the start of their exciting 2024 programme of floral design demonstrations. Annual membership £52. Demonstration meetings on 2nd Thursday of the month, 2pm, Bradbury Hall Waterford Rd. Henleaze. Plus optional Practice Classes on 4th Thursday. Visitors warmly welcome. We meet every month except December and August. Please contact Jenny York, Club Chair yorkjenny2@ yahoo or phone/text 07880 700270 n SINGING TO REMEMBER We meet on 1st, 3rd and 5th Thursday from 2 - 3.45 pm in The Bradbury Hall, Waterford Road, Henleaze. It is a friendly, supportive group for people with dementia and their carers. Anyone interested can phone me 0117 9426095 to book a place or discuss. n HIGHBURY BADMINTON CLUB: Pete Stables 0117 950 1524 or www.pete4458.wixsite.com/ highburybadminton Thurs 7:30pm mid September to End April, Westbury-onTrym Village Hall n HENLEAZE LADIES’ CHOIR Come and join us as we fill St Peter’s Church Hall in Henleaze with a diverse selection of music. We are a friendly choir and meet on Thursday afternoons in term time from 1.45 to 3.45. There are no auditions, and the ability to read music is not necessary. Contact Jeanette on 9685409 or Jane on 07752 332278. n BRISTOL BACH CHOIR are now recruiting new members. We are a friendly auditioned choir of between 30 and 40 singers. All voice parts are welcome. We rehearse on a Thursday evening at Bristol Grammar School from 7.30pm to 9.30pm. If interested please contact Julie at membership@ bristolbach.org.uk

n OPEN DEVELOPMENT CIRCLE For those interested in developing their spiritual awareness and mediumistic ability. 7.15 for 7.30pm start at Westbury Park Spiritualist Church, Cairns Road BS6 7TH. Just turn up, contact Marian Bishop 0117 9771629 or visit www. westburyparkspiritualistchurch.org n FOLK NIGHT every third Wednesday of the month at the Victoria inn Chock lane, Westbury on Trym 7.30-10.30pm. All musicians and singers welcome or just pop in and listen. Call 0117 959 0834 Friday n HENLEAZE BOWLING CLUB. Come along at 5.45pm on Fridays to see if bowling could be the sport for you. Coaching available. Experienced bowlers welcome. Situated in Grange Court Road, by Newman Hall. This is a friendly Club with good bowling facilities and social events throughout the year. Phone, Tom Logan, on 0117 962 1669 or email hbcsec@henleazebowlingclub. org.uk for further details. n U3A SCRABBLE GROUP meets at the Beehive pub , Wellington Hill West, on Fridays from 2 to 4pm. For more information, contact Heddy 07534717254

Email: news@henleazeandwestburyvoice.co.uk

March, 2024



News and views from our city councillors Waste and Recycling Collections ctions is The problems of missed waste colle roads continuing. We are reporting missed each to the Council and the waste company I met n whe erns conc ated repe d raise week. I ol Waste. with the Managing Director of Brist He admits the problems are to do with er to volume and capacity and will take long resolve. all be Most bins are eventually collected, have it one or two days after they should is not this that ined expla have we been, but an acceptable level of service. need to The Waste company believes it will will this but s, route its of some e edul resch will let take time for them to carry out. We of the you know as soon as we are aware ils. deta

if your A reminder of what you should do rubbish is not collected. council 1. Report a missed collection on the day. wing follo the on or , website after 5pm back 2. The waste company should come please the next day. If that doesn’t happen, on Shar or email or Steve

il one 3. If your whole street is missed, ema of us to advise. as you tell 4. We will report the issue as soon it. t us abou

in January and have been promised repair by the end of February.

Henleaze Road/Southmead Road roundabout

Our next Zoom Forum is on Tuesday 5th March 2024 at 7pm, http://tiny.cc/ WandHMar24 . The next date will be 9th April.

put on Thanks to all the pressure we have ised to the Council, they have finally prom We hope h. Marc of end the re befo resurface they keep their promise this time! Council Budget set at The Mayor's “last” budget should be uary. Febr 20th on ting mee cil Coun Full a by 5%, He proposes increasing Council Tax years for this coming year, and the next 3 ase as well. Sadly, there is no plan to incre me Let ces. servi bus to ated alloc money on. know if you would like more informati s

Henleaze Road Pavement by Boot

have I know I am not the only person to this tripped on this pavement. I reported

with If you need help on any matter to do il ema cil, Coun Bristol City uk or Cllr.geoffrey.gollop@bristol.gov. phone 0117 9039946

Geoff Gollop (Westbury-on-Trym & Henleaze, Conservative)

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March, 2024

News and views from our city councillors Anyone for a game of bow


Have you ever thought about playing bowls? Steve and I recent ly went to visit Canford Bowling Club wh ich is based in Canford Park near the Abbey Road entrance in Westbury on Trym. The club has been running for ove r 110 years and is one of the oldest clubs in Bristol. It was lovely to meet one of the members Les who gave us a tour of the grounds and the clubhouse. The bow ling green itself is beautifully maintaine d and the whole area felt very peaceful and so tranquil. While speaking to Les it was mentioned that more players wheth er new to the sport or experienced are very welcome. Free coaching sessions are also available by arrangement. If this is something you would like to try please contact the club by email on canfordbowling club@gmail.com or you can visit their fac ebook page www. facebook.com/canfordb owlingclub to find out more about it. There are also open days which are usually in May so watch out for any information on this. Steve and

I plan to attend the club's next open day to experience the sport and to enjoy some refreshments in the club house. Why don’t you join us? You never know there may be a future Olympian among us! Potholes Thank you for everyone who has contacted me to highlight any pot holes. I am logging every one that comes in and will continue to do so. They are so dan gerous to all road users and not just cars but cyclists and motorbikes also. Please can I ask you to continue to let me know when you see any more in our ward so tha t I can address them with the Council. Have you ever considere

d fostering? The council are always loo king for homes for foster children in the city. If you feel that this is something that you could help with, please consider contacting the Council to speak to a member of the fostering team where they can answer any questions you

may have. To contact them you can email the team on email@ fostering@bristol.gov. uk or ring on 0117 3534200 for a chat. Staying in touch Our next online zoom forum is to be held on Tuesday 5th March at 7pm. If you would like to attend please go to http://tiny.cc/WandH Mar24 to book in. If you need any help on a matter to do with Bristol City Council, you can contact me by email on cllr.sharon.sco tt@bristol.gov.uk – I also have a facebook pag e where I post regular updates: www.f acebook.com/CllrSharon-Scott-10433537 851413

Sharon Scott (W-on-T & Henleaze, Conservative)

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March, 2024



News and views from our city councillors cash but you can pay in Updates on Some Issu and withdraw cash es from Last Month Stay in Touch (and pay in cheques) at There has been some mo the Post Office vement on a couple We hold regular branches in Westbury or of matters that I wrote abo Henleaze. ut last month. monthly First on delays to highw ays projects, we’ve community Public Access Defibrilla now been told that the tors long-awaited meetings via I’ve been working for som resurfacing of the Henlea e time on trying ze Rd / Eastfield Zoom, which are to increase the number roundabout will be don of public access e before the end an opportunity for defibrillators around Bris of March. This is one of tol. I’m pleased to several projects you to hear what say that Councillors on that have been delayed the “Area Committee” by problems with a we’ve been doing, covering this area agreed Council contract. We’re a grant of £10,800 still waiting to hear ask questions, to the Great Western Air about others, including Ambulance Charity, the new Canford raise any concerns which will fund six new Lane crossing, and we’ll defibrillators across keep you informed. and share local our area, as well as the trai I also wrote last month ning and support about some daft information. The to keep them working. new rules being propos This is funded out of ed for allotments next ones will be on the money paid by developer across the city. I’m please on 5th March then s when they build d to say that the the 9th April, both at 7pm new buildings. plans for a new tenancy . Please visit agreement and http://tiny.cc/WandHMa rulebook have all been r24 to register in dropped after strong adv Bre anc opposition by allotment ak for the Local Electio e for the March meeting. holders. A proposal ns You can contact me by Our columns won’t be app for increased fees and cha email on cllr. earing here in rges will be steve.smith@bristol.gov the April and May edition considered at March’s cab .uk, or phone on s, because we’re inet meeting. 07769 285266. I also try heading into the local ele to post regular ction campaign upd and ate Barclays Bank s on my Facebook page the Voice is quite rightly at fb.com/ rem ain ing CouncillorSteveSmith. neutral. I’m sure that wh After closing their branch We publish regular ether I’m here or in Westbury email updates – please not, whoever your Counci Village, Barclays have info contact me if you’d llors are after the rmed us that like to be added to the election will have colum they will be providing a mailing list for these. ns back here from local service at Jun the Greenway Centre on e onwards. In the meant Mondays and ime, it’s been a pleasure! Thursdays. They won’t be able to handle

Steve Smith (W-o-T & Henleaze, Conservative)

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March, 2024

FINANCE With Richard Higgs BA (hons) CFP FPFS Harold Stephens 50 High Street, Westbury on Trym, Bristol BS9 3DZ T: 0117 3636212

E: office@haroldstephens.co.uk

Understanding the Activation of Power of Attorney A Power of Attorney (PoA) is a legal document that grants someone the authority to make decisions on behalf of another person. This legal arrangement becomes crucial in various situations, particularly when an individual is unable to make decisions for themselves due to illness, disability, or other incapacitating circumstances. Understanding when a Power of Attorney comes into effect is essential for both the donor (the person giving the authority) and the attorney (the person receiving the authority). When Does a Power of Attorney Come into Effect? The activation of a Power of Attorney depends on its type and

the specific circumstances outlined in the document: General Power of Attorney: Usually, a General Power of Attorney becomes effective immediately upon its execution. It is suitable for short-term needs, such as when a person is temporarily unavailable or unable to manage their affairs. Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA): An LPA can be structured to take effect either immediately or upon the occurrence of specific events, such as the donor losing mental capacity. Most people opt for LPAs to be effective only when they are no longer able to make decisions for themselves. Mental incapacity may be

the result of conditions such as dementia, severe illness, or accidents leading to unconsciousness. It's crucial to highlight that regardless of the type of Power of Attorney, the appointed attorney must act in the best interest of the donor and follow any specific instructions outlined in the document. Registration Process for LPAs: The registration process for an LPA involves submitting the document to the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG), along with the relevant fee. Once registered, the attorney gains the legal authority to make decisions on behalf of the donor. It is important to recognise that

the registration process takes time, applications are rejected for a myriad of reasons and the LPA may not be immediately available for use. The OPG say it’s currently taking around 20 weeks to register. Planning ahead and registering the LPA in advance can help avoid delays in critical decision-making. If you are thinking about organising your affairs, why not come to our free LPA seminar to learn everything you need to know – Wednesday 27th March 9.30am – 11.30 am – Stoke Lodge Centre, Shirehampton Road, BS9 1BN. Call 0117 3636 212 or email marketing@haroldstephens.co.uk to book your place.

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Email: news@henleazeandwestburyvoice.co.uk


March, 2024



'Petty' allotment rules bid looks set to be dropped BRISTOL’s deputy mayor has dropped a huge hint that some of the “petty” new rules proposed for allotment holders will be ditched. But Cllr Craig Cheney (Labour, Hillfields) said controversial planned increases to fees for plots were likely to still go ahead because they were needed to improve the service. Public consultation closed on January 31 into the city council’s new allotment rents and tenancy policy, which includes a raft of additional charges and changes to what is allowed on the land. Plotholders would be forced to remove fences, hedges, most trees and large play equipment, as well as replace glass in greenhouses with twin-walled plastic and drain water from deeper ponds. New fees include £25 for keeping bees, chickens or rabbits and £15 for a shed, greenhouse, cold frame, fruit cage, pond and to register a co-worker, while the annual cost of having an allotment would double for many. A petition opposing the plans topped 6,000 signatures, with tenants saying they will be forced off the land. Bristol City Council, which manages 4,000 plots, with another 1,500 run on its behalf by

five associations, has said it needs to increase rents, which were last reviewed in 2018, and that there are 8,000 people on the waiting list, so more space needs to be freed up. The council is reviewing responses but suggested at a council budget scrutiny meeting on January 30 that although the rents would have to go up the other changes might be dropped.. Cllr Cheney said at the meeting: “Will we introduce many of the things in the consultation? I suspect not. “I’ll be kind, the document that was issued was perhaps not something that we would have approved of." Cllr John Goulandris (Conservative, Stoke Bishop) said: “A lot of allotment holders say they are going to cancel their allotments." Cllr Heather Mack (Green, Lockleaze) said site reps were resigning in protest. She asked: “If we don’t have site reps or those onboard for our allotments strategy, how do we maintain allotments without then having to increase the number of staff, which will then cost more money?” Cabinet member for transport Cllr Don Alexander (Labour, Avonmouth & Lawrence Weston), who is an allotments site rep, said: “The really important thing is that you have a clear set of rules and you have the officers to


Macabre tradition – or moneymaking scam? WHEN the parish church ruled people’s lives and determined what tax you paid. Parish boundaries were delineated by markers set at intervals, usually where the line changed direction. A macabre tradition associated with life in old parishes was a scheme known colloquially as a ‘Tyburn Ticket’. Tyburn, the main public gallows in London became nationally synonymous with executions in the same way that Newgate had become for prisons. Bristol’s former Newgate now only marked by the road name. When most businesses were family run, for many taking time off to attend to parish matters was very difficult and hence unpopular, but Parish offices and civic duties were just that. Like jury duty today, non-attendance without

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just cause could result in a hefty fine. Often people did their best to avoid office: records abound with the names of people fined for not taking up office. Particularly unpopular duties were those of Surveyor of Roadworks, Overseer of the Poor or even Sheriff. There was a legal way of avoiding the duty without incurring any penalty. All you needed was a ‘Tyburn Ticket’. From 1699 ‘Any person convicted of burglary, horse stealing or shop theft to a value of five shillings or more, could be hanged’. However, for the person apprehending the thief, resulting in a conviction they were entitled to a reward. A certificate entitled the holder to be discharged from all manner of Parish duties for life within the parish where the offence had

back you up on those rules. “It’s not that we don’t occasionally bend the rules a little bit but we do need officers to back us up when somebody has really gone and done something that’s affecting the safety of other people or affecting the ability of other plotholders to grow stuff because at the end of the day allotments are about food production. “We’ve been short of site reps for a long time before any changes were proposed in the rules, and one of the reasons is that they’re not backed up in trying to sort out the very human problems that occur on allotments.” Cabinet member for public health and communities Cllr Ellie King (Labour, Hillfields) said: “Site reps are volunteer posts and we try to entice people in by giving them significant discounts or free plots in some cases, but it will continue to be a challenge. “One of the important points to raise is that it is a very open and live consultation, so nothing is set in stone yet and we are still continuing to work on it and listen.” She said the proposed new rules “did not come out of nowhere” but were in response to requests from site reps. By Alex Seabrook, Local Democracy Reporting Service

A Tyburn Ticket, 11 August 1800, exempting John Norman from all parish or ward duties. It was given to him for his part in the apprehension of John Armstrong, successful conviction of stealing 6s 8d worth of lead.

been committed. The single-use ticket was transferable leading to opportunities for corruption and gross miscarriages of justice. ‘Tyburn Tickets’ were even advertised for sale. I wonder how many innocent people were falsely accused and sent to the gallows to meet the market for Tyburn Tickets. Even worse were instances where the reluctant office holder approached someone who could arrange a convenient ‘apprehension and conviction’ to be able to buy the necessary ticket. I expect many such a deal was struck in the old Marsh Street stews. Out of the sixty-one persons hung in Bristol between 1752 and 1800 only five were for murder, which leads one to wonder how many of the remainder had been

framed and ended up swinging from the gallows at, St Michael’s Hill, Gallows Acre Lane, (Pembroke Road), Gib Taylor, or at the ‘Three Lamps just so that someone could avoid their civic duties. As recently as 1813 the Bristol Journal for the 4th of September ran an advertisement for two tickets, exempting the holders from Parish and Ward Offices of St Paul’s and St James’ respectively. This iniquitous system ended in 1818 but unfortunately one is reminded of Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr who wrote in 1849 “Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose”.

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March, 2024


GCCC welcome back Alleyne as head coach

MARK Alleyne has been appointed head coach at Gloucestershire County Cricket Club on a three-year deal. Alleyne, Shire’s most decorated player with nine trophies and a County Championship promotion to his name, will join at the beginning of March to take charge of the remainder of pre-season training. Alleyne, 55, is hugely popular with the Shire’s fan base. A mural of him was painted on to the walls of the Seat Unique Stadium in 2019 and his career in numbers features at the ‘Legends Walkway’ area of the ground, He said: “There is a really exciting blend of youth and experience at Gloucestershire and that’s why when the opportunity came up, I didn’t give it a second thought. I can’t wait to get started and am excited to see what the future holds.” The club is gearing up for the new season with two major signings, Australian internationals Cameron Bancroft and Beau Webster. Bancroft, 31, who will be available for all forms of cricket, played at Gloucestershire for a short stint in 2016 and a whole season in 2017. A top-order batter, he has amassed 14,500 domestic runs and 10 Test match appearances for his country.

Mark Alleyne returns to the Shire He said: “I love playing county cricket and the opportunity to play all formats with the club is something I’m really excited about. With a new coach and a really talented playing group I’m looking forward to the season ahead.” All-rounder Webster, 30, is eligible to play in Shire’s T20 Vitality Blast campaign. He will also be available for selection for Gloucestershire’s County Championship fixtures against Yorkshire and Glamorgan in June.

Tasmanian Webster, who is 6' 6", excels in T20 cricket in Australia and has had recent success in the Big Bash League. Meanwhile, GCCC is mourning one of its greatest players, Mike Procter, who died in February. The South African played a total of 482 matches for the Shire between 1965 and 1981, scoring 20,072 runs and taking 1,113 wickets in first-class and List A cricket. At the peak of his careers, Gloucestershire was affectionately nicknamed ‘Proctershire’ in recognition of his achievements. Procter was a regular and popular visitor to the Seat Unique Stadium in Bristol and last visited the Club during Gloucestershire’s County Championship match vs Worcestershire at Cheltenham College in July last year. He was an avid supporter of the Gloucestershire Exiles and kept in close contact with many of his former teammates with whom he became lifelong friends. A spokesman said: “Everyone at Gloucestershire Cricket is deeply saddened by Mike’s death and would like to send their best wishes to Mike’s family during this terribly sad time.”


The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born by Ayi Kwei Armah Review by Bob Deacon of Bishopston Library

WE start and finish on a bus. It is April 1965 and the setting is newly independent Ghana. One of the bus passengers is an unnamed railway clerk on his way to work. Throughout the novel he will be referred to as the man. Corruption is rife in Ghana, under the leadership of President Kwame Nkrumah, but the man is determined to be an honest citizen, resisting the temptation of easy bribes. One day at work, he is approached by a timber contractor, whose timber is rotting in the forest, awaiting transportation to the coast. He offers the man a bribe if he arranges for his timber to be allocated a goods train and conveyance to the port for export. The man refuses the bribe. When he tells his wife, Oyo, about the attempted bribe, she is angry at his refusal, dreaming of a better life,

involving a new house, a new wig, expensive perfume and a shiny new Mercedes car. A few days later, he encounters an old classmate called Koomson who is now a Government minister. The man and his wife are invited to dinner at Koomson’s palatial home where Koomson offers the man and his wife, a lifetime's supply of fish in return for their signature on the purchase of a fishing boat, thus masking Koomson’s involvement in a fraudulent money making scheme. We, the reader, follow the thoughts of the man, over the following days, as he is forced to decide whether to stay true to his values and principles or to accept the bribe of his childhood friend to satisfy the materialistic dreams of his wife and family. This is an enjoyable and highly readable novel with

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believable characters, forming part of the acclaimed African Writers Series. You can find this novel, along with many others in your local Bishopston Library. Come in and visit us at 100 Gloucester Road. You will be assured a warm welcome and you can walk out with a brand new library card, giving you free access to the internet and over two million books via the Libraries West catalogue. Opening Hours: HENLEAZE Monday (11am-5pm) Tuesday (11am-5pm) Wednesday (1pm-7pm) Thursday (11am-5pm) Friday (1pm-7pm) Saturday (10am-5pm) Sunday (closed)

Opening Hours: WoT Monday (2pm-7pm) Tuesday (11am-4pm) Wednesday (11am-4pm) Thursday (11am-4pm) Friday (11am-4pm) Saturday (11am-4pm) Sunday (closed)

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March, 2024



Fond farewell to 'Mr Clifton' CLIFTON Rugby Club began 2024 on a sad note with the passing of Ben Jordan who was known within rugby circles across the South West as Mr Clifton. Formally known as Brian he changed his name to Ben at school because the school had too many Brians. He joined the club in the sixties and quickly assumed responsibility as captain of the B XV at the Eastfield Road ground. As an accountant he took on many roles over the years starting with Finance Committee but extending into many functions including Ground Chairman and Fixtures Secretary. Beyond the club he served the Bristol Rugby Combination and became the President of Gloucestershire Rugby where he became well known in both regional and national circles. His wife, Linda, kept him in touch with club activities during his illness and his funeral attracted a large number of rugby folk from

Ricky Cano in action for Clifton

Tom Oresby

Photos: Ian Clark

many clubs. On the pitch the 1st XV has made a positive start to the year which included two long trips to Cornwall on successive January weekends. The year began with a significant try bonus point win at Camborne followed by a narrow defeat at Redruth and a sound home victory over Chester. Spring fixtures at home with 1430 kick offs are one February fixture versus Hinckley and on 9th March local rivals Old Radcliffian and Bournville on the 23rd. Full back Alex Howman has

returned in fine form from a long injury lay off and the club hopes to see long serving forwards Charlie Bullimore and Henry Harper back in action as we head towards the season’s end. Unfortunately, influential number 8 forward and regular try scorer Brad Talbot has been sidelined with a hand injury sustained in the Redruth game. Some promising young players have made valuable contributions. Fly half Nathan Chamberlain has impressed since joining with a strong pedigree, which originated in the Bristol Bears Academy

followed by time with Edinburgh, Hartpury College and London Scottish. Also with us following time at Edinburgh and the seven a side circuit is GB track sprinter and local Clifton boy Freddie Owsley, whose father Dick played for the club and is the author of Rats Tales, which are memories of the Clifton Veterans' tours [Rebels against Time and Senility]. Copies are available from the club with all proceeds going to charity.

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Roger Opie

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March, 2024



Each row, column and square (9 spaces each) needs to be filled out with the numbers 1-9, without repeating any numbers within the row, column or square.

NOTE After feedback from readers, we have made The Fiend SLIGHTLY easier!

1 4


For younger readers

Find the differences in these pictures ... then colour them in!

4 5 3

9 5

6 7

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doesn’t cover the cost of life’s essentials, such as food and bills. This isn’t right and must change. Will you help guarantee our essentials? Please sign the petition: www.action.trusselltrust. org/guarantee-our-essentials-petition Your local Trussell Trust foodbank (Henbury Outlet & Southmead Outlet) are open weekly at Emmanuel Chapel (Satchfield Crescent, Henbury, Bs10 7BN) or at The Greenway Centre (Doncaster Road, BS10 5PY) to support members of the community who need our help. We operate using a referral system. To find out more or to help support our work check out our websites: https://nbsg.foodbank.org.uk/ https://www.bristolnorthwestfoodbank.org.uk/



ACROSS Bristol and South Gloucestershire, we (Bristol North West Foodbank, North Bristol & South Glos Foodbank and South & East Bristol Foodbank) have seen the need for our services drastically increase over the past few years. We are partnering with The Trussell Trust and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, who have launched a petition as part of the Guarantee our Essentials campaign. This campaign calls on the UK government to implement an Essentials Guarantee into Universal Credit. Universal Credit should offer support to anyone in need of help, but here in Henleaze, Westbury and the surrounding areas, we’re seeing more and more people pushed to our doors because Universal Credit




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Txtpert L



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March, 2024




Welcome back Billie-Jo! Spring is in the air, and with it comes an exciting update from us at Turners Opticians. We're thrilled to announce the return of our much-loved Dispensing Optician, Billie-Jo, who is back from maternity leave. As a mother of two wonderful boys, Billie-Jo's caring Peter Turner nature has made her a favourite among of Turners Opticians our patients, both old and new. 0117 962 2474 Billie-Jo started her career as a trainee 0117 965 4434 with us over 13 years ago and has www.turnersopticians.co.uk become an immensely important part of our team. She has become a highly respected and much-in-demand glasses dispensing and lens expert, so feel free to ask her any questions you may have next time you’re in the practice. Welcome back Billie-Jo! Computer Vision Syndrome: Alongside Billie-Jo's return, we're thrilled to introduce a game-changer in eye care – our computer glasses. Designed to shield your eyes when using digital screens, this nifty eyewear helps to protect your visual comfort and overall well-being. So why might you need such a thing? With the development of technology, a lot of us spend a substantial amount of time on digital devices. As convenient as these screens are, they can harm our eyes causing Computer Vision Syndrome (sometimes known as CVS or Digital Eye Strain). Many jobs now involve prolonged screen time on computers, but using e-readers and smartphones can contribute to these problems, too. Extended screen time has given rise to CVS as people use both intermediate and near vision when focusing on these screens. A study conducted by the National Library of Medicine suggests that 90% of us who use computers for more than three hours a day should be doing more to protect our eyes. When we consider how long we use screens over a 24-hour period for both work and leisure, this statistic is rather striking! Some common symptoms of CVS include: • Tension headaches and migraines • Temporary blurred vision and difficulty focusing on distant objects • Dry and irritated eyes from reduced blinking • Neck and shoulder pain from poor posture when using digital devices Helping You Care For Your Eyes: Our computer glasses are a must for anyone who regularly sits in front of a device or display screen. What sets our computer glasses apart is not just their cutting-edge lens design but also the use of our clear comfort material. This winning combination ensures that our patients experience unparalleled clarity and comfort while looking at their screens. At Turners Opticians, our priority has always been the eye health of our patients. We use innovative technology to thoroughly assess your eyes and identify any vision problems you may have. If you would like to find out more about our computer glasses, call our Henleaze team on 0117 962 2474 or Fishponds team on 0117 965 4434, or visit our website www.TurnersOpticians.co.uk.

Peter Peter Turner is an Independent Prescribing Senior Optometrist at Turners Opticians in Bristol, who also works as a Senior Medical Optometrist at Bristol Eye Hospital. Peter has a specialist interest in visual development and visual performance.

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March, 2024


Metro Mayor defends Birthday Bus scheme METRO mayor Dan Norris has responded to criticism that the Birthday Bus free travel scheme helps the rich, insisting it “needs to be nice for middle-class people” to get them out of cars. A report by a taskforce last month warned that the controversial £8million project, which gives passengers free journeys throughout the month of their birthday, was “benefiting the richest 10 per cent significantly more than the poorest 10 per cent”. The findings by scrutiny councillors at the West of England Combined Authority (Weca), which the Labour mayor heads, said the scheme was also primarily helping those who had not lost their local bus services. They recommended replacing it with a different fares reduction system targeting residents based on age, employment or income. But Mr Norris says the main aim is to get drivers out of cars and onto public transport, and that these people tended to be

Dan Norris, Mayor of the West of England, with his birthday bus pass better off because they could afford a vehicle. He told BBC1’s Politics West: “It [the scheme] is going quite well. We are at an early stage because we are only six months into it and are looking at the early figures. “But we are approaching half a million journeys, about five per cent of adults have signed up, so I’m hoping that will be 10

per cent by the time 12 months passes. “The important thing is that it’s getting people out of cars, so they are more wealthy people by definition, but they are changing their behaviour.” Host David Garmston said on the show: “The criticism has been that it’s just been nice for the middle classes and it’s a benefit targeted at them.”

Mr Norris replied: “It needs to be nice for middle-class people because they tend to be people who drive the most and they need to change their behaviour. “It is targeted at a whole range of different people, and so far it’s encouraging because it’s showing that people are changing behaviour, making fewer car journeys and getting onto public transport, which is what we desperately need for the environment if you believe there is a climate emergency as I do but it also has this benefit of doing things like helping those in the cost-of-living crisis. “There are some people who’ve made over 250 journeys in the month of their birthday.” The Birthday Bus scheme covers Bristol, South Gloucestershire and Bath & North East Somerset – as well as North Somerset. You can register for the free journeys here: https://www.birthdaybus. co.uk/register

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