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April 2019 April 2019

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No. 47

www.southbristolvoice.co.uk

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We Sell and Let Property Like Yours

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Revealed: plans for thousands of homes SOUTH Bristol is to take an even bigger share of the new homes planned for the city over the next 16 years, according to the latest version of the Local Plan. The south of the city was already earmarked for the largest portion of housebuilding to meet a target of 33,500 new homes – and maybe many more – by 2035. The Local Plan, now out for public consultation until May 24, calls for 11,000 of those homes to be built in South Bristol, and 11,500 in Central Bristol. However, the bulk of the homes slated for the central area will be in South Bristol or on its doorstep – in St Philip’s, at Western Harbour (Cumberland Basin) and the Temple Quarter. To meet the targets, many would have to be in high-rise or high-denisty buildings. In addition, the south of the city is expected to find room for thousands of student rooms. Some of the Green Belt could be sacrificed for homes. Full story: pages 6-7

GREEN LIGHT FOR NEW SHOPPING CENTRE Only 56 of 420 flats will be affordable – and most of them will be segregated

INSIDE • TOTTERDOWN FESTIVAL OF SMALL THINGS  3 • PAYOFF IS ‘LAST NAIL FOR MAYORAL SYSTEM’ 4 • BEDMINSTER PLAN WAVED THROUGH  6-7

The Broadwalk Centre: Set for rebuild

THE £100 million redevelopment of the Broadwalk shopping centre has been given the green light in a unanimous vote by councillors. It gives developer Pelican outline permission to press ahead with detailed plans for a five-year plan to rebuild the ailing centre. It will use the sale of about 420 flats in up to 12 storeys to fund the £10m rebuild of the multi-storey car park, which has concrete cancer. It also includes the construction of a new plaza, with restaurants and bars, opening on to Redcatch park. The retail area will remain roughly the same size, though whether users such as Snooker City and the soft play centre will remain is unknown. Trade at the

centre is suffering and Wilko, the largest store, has said it is pulling out in September. Recently another store, Practically Perfect, also announced closure. The plan has divided opinion in Knowle: 171 people wrote in support of the plan to the council, while 284 objected. There was dismay from some after the March 6 cabinet meeting that the councillors’ 8-0 vote in favour did not reflect the depth of opposition to the plan. Laura Chapman, asked by several Knowle residents to speak on their behalf, pleaded with the committee to give themselves a realistic idea of how tall 12 storeys would look, in an area dominated Continued on page 3

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IN


April 2019

southbristolvoice

2 Paul Breeden Editor & publisher 07811 766072 paul@southbristolvoice.co.uk Ruth Drury Sales executive 07590 527664 sales@southbristolvoice.co.uk Editorial team: Beccy Golding, Alex Morss, Martin Powell & The Wicked Witch. Deliveries: Greg Champion

Intro THE DIE IS CAST SO, THE future of Knowle’s shopping centre is looking up –12 storeys high, to be precise. Permission has been given in outline for the redevelopment of the Broadwalk shopping centre. The failing multi-storey car park – which is cracking up from concrete cancer – can now be replaced by an underground car park, with a largely rebuilt shopping centre above, and 420 flats on top to pay for it all. The arguments have been well rehearsed: without this scale of development the shopping centre will die, depriving Knowle of the core of its town centre facilities. Worse, the centre could

Independent Community News Network member Twitter: @sbristolvoice Facebook: southbristolvoice Next deadline for editorial and advertising: April 17th then be replaced by a much less sympathetic residential development. Not everyone accepts this logic, least of all those who will live in the new centre’s shadow. But the truth is that the future is far from certain. Everyone knows that the outlook for local shopping centres is rocky. Will anyone be brave enough to pump in the £100 million needed? Will it be Pelican, the developer which has drawn up the plans? The firm has been open that the site could be sold on. Widespread changes could be proposed when the detailed plans are submitted. And what if a future developer says the situation has changed, and even more homes are needed? Let’s hope that, post-Brexit, the retail outlook starts to improve.

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BEFORE

AFTER

n BRIEFLY n SOUTH Bristol’s latest music venue, the Redcatch Club, returns on Saturday April 13, with Northern Irish singer-songwriter Anthony John Clarke.He is well known for original songs – some of his most popular are The Broken Years (about The Troubles), The Only Life Gloria Knows (about homelessness), and Tuesday Night Is Always Karaoke. It’s at Redcatch community centre in Redcatch Road, Knowle, at 7.45pm. Tickets £8. n BART International, the major supplier of herbs and spices which is based on Totterdown’s doorstep at Mead Street, is the subject of the April 2 meeting of the Knowle Townswomen’s Guild. The next meeting, on May 7, is titled The Fun History of Knitting Patterns. Visitors are welcome on the first Tuesday of every month at Redcatch community centre. Facebook: KnowleTownswomensGuild n CONSULTATION on revised plans for the new University of Bristol campus at Temple Meads will begin on April 11 and run until May 1. Public meetings will be announced from April 15 at locations including Windmill

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n NEWS Hill City Farm and the Engine Shed. Some will have display boards throughout the period. No further details were available before the Voice went to press. bristol.ac.uk/temple-quartercampus n A TALE of Myths and Monsters comes to South Bristol libraries in the school holidays. It’s a “weirder and wilder” kind of story telling, according to organisers Wild of the Words, and takes children from ages 2-8 on a journey across the winedark sea with the wily Odysseus to meet the beautiful witch Circe, the magical Moly flower and some scary sea monsters. It’s free but booking is essential, on 0117 803 8581. Sessions are from 2-3pm on April 9 at Knowle library and on April 10 at Filwood library. n BRISTOL Blue Glass is supporting Wallace and Gromit’s Grand Appeal for Bristol Children’s Hospital with two new pieces. All profits from the sale of Bristol Children’s Hospital Bauble (price £25) and Charm Bead (£27.50) will go to the charity. The Blue Glass studio and shop is at 357-359 Bath Road. bristol-glass.co.uk

HOW DO I GET IN TOUCH WITH ... My MP? Karin Smyth MP By email: karin.smyth.mp@ parliament.uk By post: Karin Smyth MP, House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA By phone: 0117 953 3575 In person: Call 0117 953 3575 for an appointment. My councillor? Post: You can write to all councillors at City Hall, College Green, Bristol BS1 5TR.

Christopher Davies Lib Dem, Knowle Email: Cllr.Christopher. Davies@bristol.gov.uk Gary Hopkins Lib Dem, Knowle (Lib Dem deputy leader) Email: Cllr.Gary.Hopkins@bristol.gov.uk Phone: 07977 512159 Lucy Whittle Labour, Windmill Hill On maternity leave Jon Wellington Labour, Windmill Hill Phone: 07392 108804 Email: Cllr.Jon.Wellington@bristol.gov.uk

USEFUL NUMBERS Bristol City Council www.bristol.gov.uk   0117 922 2000 Waste, roads 0117 922 2100 Pests, dog wardens 0117 922 2500 Council tax 0117 922 2900 Housing benefit 0117 922 2300

Social services  0117 922 2900 Police Inquiries 101 Emergency 999 NEIGHBOURHOOD MEETINGS Windmill Hill network meeting April 3, 6.30pm, Windmill Hill community centre, Vivian Street.

COMPLAINTS

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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 South Bristol Voice, contact the Editor using the details below. We aspire to follow the the Code of Conduct of the NUJ (National Union of Journalists), nuj.org.uk/about/nuj-code. Further details of the complaints process can be found on our website (below) or can be obtained by contacting the Editor by email: paul@southbristolvoice.co.uk or by post: 18 Lilymead Avenue, Bristol BS4 2BX or by phone: 07811 766072. southbristolvoice.co.uk/complaints-procedure All stories and pictures are ©South Bristol Voice (unless otherwise stated) and may not be reproduced without permission in this or any other plane of the multiverse. South Bristol Voice Ltd | Co. no. 09522608 | VAT no. 211 0801 76

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Councillors’ doubts fade as they back new centre by 8-0 Continued from page 1 by Victorian two-storey houses. “Have you seen sufficient evidence to see what this looks like?” she asked. “We have had to create our own models because the information has been so insufficient from the developer. We are appalled at what’s being suggested for our community.” Laura fears her house in Ryde Road will be overshadowed and devalued by the plan. The large number of flats is “hyper-density” at 371 homes per hectare, she said. Other residents fear services such as schools and GP surgeries will be overwhelmed, even though both have said they can accommodate the extra residents. “We have no assurance that extra doctors can actually be recruited,” resident Michelle Tedder told the committee. Other residents have complained that they have to wait four weeks for a GP appointment at the nearby Priory surgery already, and fear the situation can only get worse. Cllr Gary Hopkins who, with his Knowle Lib Dem colleague Chris Davies, has backed the Pelican plan, said: “If we don’t make this investment our shopping centre dies, and it’s important not just for our area but for surrounding areas as well. “A lot of the protesters seem to think that we can get the investment without the number of flats. We need the flats, not only for first time buyers and affordable homes but they are also needed to rescue our shopping centre.” Francis Hilton, operation

SOCIAL HOUSING TO BE SEGREGATED DEVELOPER Pelican had proposed that 20 per cent of the 420 flats would be social housing – less than a council target of 30 per cent. But planners cut the number of affordable homes still further – to 13 per cent, or 56 flats. This is because they see the Broadwalk scheme as somewhat risky – even though Pelican has agreed to take a 13 per cent profit margin, less than the norm of 20 per cent.

WHAT NEXT?

A

NEW, detailed planning application will be needed before any building work can start at the Broadwalk. But Pelican, the developer which has drawn up the plans, may not carry out the work itself. The shopping centre is owned by a US private equity fund,

manager for Pelican, said the retail world is in “freefall” but the new plan would provide a vibrant, mixed-use development which would support up to 500 jobs. The final plans will differ from the outline drawings, but conditions will limit the maximum height of the buildings to 12 storeys. Other conditions will govern areas such as parking, with the possibility of a permit scheme for surrounding roads. Many traders are in support of the plan; more than 3,000 people signed a petition started by retailers in favour of the scheme. Will Appleby, who owns MW Meat in the Broadwalk Centre, told the committee that he had known the centre since 1983, “when it was at its peak”. “Something does need to be done because it’s not sustainable to pay your rent and rates,” he said. He also pleaded for the centre to survive as an important social hub for local people. Senior planning officer Peter Westbury said council strategy is for regeneration of South Bristol – “This is what regeneration of South Bristol looks like,” he said. Cllr Fi Hance raised questions about the impact of such a large There would be 43 homes for social rent and 13 for shared ownership. There was surprise that the social rented homes would have a separate entrance to the privately-owned flats. This is a condition imposed by the council, not the developer – it is thought housing associations prefer a separate entrance. Laura Chapman accused the council of allowing a “mini ghetto” to be created, and said: “This is against the spirit of what the council is supposed to believe in.”

Cerberus Capital, which could decide to sell to another developer. Those who object to the scheme will try to hold any future plans to the benchmark of Bristol’s Urban Living policy, which supposedly demands high standards of all high rise developments. development on the local residents. “Have we got any models that will show us what it will look like?” she asked. She also suggested councillors visit the site to see for themselves. But her suggestion was not picked up. Cllr Jude English said the detailed plans would come back to a planning committee, and urged the residents to keep making their views known.

Small things that mean a lot to Totterdown AN IMAGINATIVE arts project led by young people will ask residents to think about what they want from their community. Called Five Small Things, it invites people of all ages to bring five small objects that mean something to them to become part of a multi-media exhibition. The first event is on April 12 from 1-4pm at Floriography, 154 Wells Road. Members of the Totterdown Young People’s Collective will make photograms – a technique used by the artist Man Ray, among others, to make intense black and white images. It’s the start of a summer of events, to end with an exhibition at Knowle Constitutional Club. Also taking part are local history group The Road Project and children from Hillcrest school. Facebook: Totterdown Healing Spaces

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April 2019

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n NEWS Call for action on danger road

Aftermath: The smashed-up car RESIDENTS of Broadfield Road in Knowle Park are calling for new safety measures after a second head-on collision in three months blocked the road. “Something needs to be done or someone will be seriously hurt,” one resident told the Voice. The road has a 20mph limit but many motorists drive much faster. Cllr Chris Davies said several residents had raised concerns. Highways officials are looking into the possibility of speed calming in either Broadfield Road or Ponsford Road.

“If any council leader were faced with a report like this they would have surely been forced to resign by their own part,” he said. “I’m afraid the cover ups have been going on far too long. This scandal, which we have not seen the last of yet, is surely the nail in the coffin of the mayoral system.” Mr Rees told a full council meeting on March 19 that there was no scandal and the situation was “banal”. The council did not have proper procedures for dealing with the departure of senior staff, and he only acted according to legal advice, he said. The BDO report said that Ms Klonowski was only entitled to half the money she received, and the other half was discretionary. It also questioned why the payoff wasn’t referred to the council’s human resources committee.

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n NEWS

Hopkins hits out at ‘Bristol’s Watergate’ cover-up

ALL THREE opposition parties united in condemnation of a £196,000 payoff by Labour mayor Marvin Rees to departing chief executive Anna Klonowski. A report by auditor BDO now says the council was not obliged to hand over half the money – £98,000 – despite the mayor’s claim that it was “contractual”. Knowle Lib Dem councillor Gary Hopkins and Tory leader Richard Eddy led the attack on the payoff in September 2017, only to be criticised by Mr Rees for being “untrustworthy”. Cllr Hopkins was cleared of misconduct over the affair – and now calls it “Bristol’s Watergate”, referring to the 1972 scandal which brought the resignation of US president Richard Nixon. Mr Rees too ought to consider his position, said Cllr Hopkins.

April 2019

Anna Klonowski

Gary Hopkins

Three quarters of the BDO report was not made public, or even shown to councillors. But on the casting vote of the Lord Mayor, Cleo Lake, the council agreed to put a full update before the audit and HR committees – which could lead to more of the report being revealed. Ms Klonowksi left the council abruptly in September 2017 after only seven months, apparently to care for her elderly parents. Opposition councillors have since raised concerns about how she was recruited, and about her performance in the £160,000-a-year job.

Adults might learn something too ... BRISTOL mayor Marvin Rees has rarely faced such searching questions as he did at Hillcrest school on March 15, when Year 6 pupils at the Totterdown primary were given the chance to grill the Labour mayor about any subject they wanted. Their probing questions revealed updates on several of Bristol’s most pressing issues. “Do you know what’s going to be at the arena site?” was the first question. Mr Rees revealed that TV companies are among the occupiers looking at the site – perhaps a hint that Channel 4 will put its Bristol base there. What’s it like being mayor? Challenging, he answered but also rewarding, like when he saw families moving into new council homes, and children being able to choose their bedroom. What were your favourite subjects at school? Maths and PE, said Mr Rees – when a PE lesson was delayed once he was

  

Mayor opens up to children

What are you doing for the environment, Marvin Rees is asked by pupils so upset that he cried, he revealed. What can we do about the environment and climate change, one pupil asked. Mr Rees said he wants to see every bus in the city run on zero-emission biogas. He’s also lobbying government

for money to make all taxis electric. Asked what he was doing to stop plastics damaging the environment, he said City Hall has stopped using plastic cups and straws. • Many more questions for the mayor on the Voice website

Bats a threat to river tower plan CHANGES to plans for a 17-storey tower next to Totterdown bridge mean that planners have delayed a decision until at least April 11. London developer Hadley submitted plans for 160 flats on the former Esso petrol station in October. It drew more than 90 objections, including from community group Tresa and Windmill Hill Labour councillor Jon Wellington. Hadley has revised the plan in the face of objections from the Environment Agency about flood risk and emergency access to the river. It’s not clear the developer has found an answer to another Environment Agency objection – that light from the high-rise could disturb the rare lesser horseshoe bat, which uses the river as a flight path. The Local Plan says the site is suitable for only 40 homes.

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n NEWS BEDMINSTER GREEN FRAMEWORK WAVED THROUGH BY CABINET

T

HE FRAMEWORK drawn up by developers to build up to 1,500 homes on Bedminster Green was accepted by Bristol city council’s cabinet on March 5 in the face of a tide of opposition from residents and community groups. As reported in the March issue

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of the Voice, public consultation found most respondents heavily opposed to what they fear will be a cluster of 10 or more high-rises. But Paul Smith, Bristol’s cabinet housing chief, told residents that the council’s new Urban Living policy demands high standards for tall buildings, and no planning applications for high-rises have been passed since it was agreed. Members of the public and of

WHaM, the Windmill Hill residents’ group, stood to make one-minute speeches, telling cabinet members they fear the Green will be changed forever. Matthew Montagu-Pollack, founder of Bristol Campaign Against High Rises, told the meeting that mayor Marvin Rees is trying “to ram a high rise vision of the future of Bristol down the throats of its citizens”. Tower blocks

are unnecessary, he said, claiming that “the entire architectural profession” agrees that a larger number of homes can be built more cheaply at a mid-rise level. Towers bring higher rates of depression and suicide, he said, and they are bad for families because there is nowhere to play. Dianne James of WHaM voiced fears about parking and worries about what the Framework will

April 2019

southbristolvoice

n NEWS allow – “the only thing we can be sure of is very tall buildings. The Green will be surrounded by tall buildings and it will be in shadow for most of the year,” she said. Cllr Charlie Bolton, one of two Green members for Southville, said he now regretted having voted for the first tower block to be allowed near the Green – a now-dropped 2014 plan for St Catherine’s Place. He was persuaded by promises of

in the Local Plan

Continued from Page 1 The number of homes for central Bedminster has quietly been increased – from 2,200 last year to 2,500. The full document can be seen at tinyurl.com/BrisLocPLan Here’s some of what’s planned: Temple Meads The station will be transformed with a new entrance to the east. Silverthorne Lane Workspace; homes; student accommodation; leisure; and education facilities. Temple Island Formerly Arena Island. Workspace, a university campus with student accommodation, conference/ hotel facilities and new homes. York Road/Mead Street New workspaces and new homes. St Philip’s Marsh Hundreds of student homes (many already proposed) and private housing, mainly near the Feeder canal, Albert Road and the New Cut. While retaining the 3,500 jobs that exist, the aim is to add industrial, distribution and food workspaces. High rises are clearly being considered. Western Harbour Mayor Marvin Rees is seeking investors to

station. Space for 20 homes. Marsh Lane/Winterstoke Road, Ashton Car sales plots: 13 homes. 233-237 West Street, Bedminster Halfords Autocentre – room for 20 homes. 155-169 West Street, Bedminster The Paramount Cars showroom: space for 10 homes. 35 Hartcliffe Way, Bedminster The Motorzone car sales site: up to 55 homes, with workspaces.

Bedminster Road/Highbury Road, Bedminster Former car sales site; planning application for 29 flats in up to four floors. Land between North Street/ Durnford Street, Ashton Includes Old Brewery site, already proposed for 94 homes. With other sites on Durnford Road, up to 250 homes. 1-7 Smyth Road, Ashton Monarch House studios and workspace: 15 homes.

buildings in the right setting and of the right design may be appropriate.” Brislington At least 350 homes along Bath Road, apparently on current commercially-used sites, plus “high quality workspace”. Hengrove and Knowle West No numbers, but plans must fit with the Hengrove and Whitchurch Park neighbourhood plan, and the Knowle West regeneration framework. Homes planned for Filwood Broadway, Inns Court, Novers Hill and Airport Road. Green Belt Land inside the South Bristol Link road could lose Green Belt protection. Homes proposed for Yewtree Farm, next

to the Pavilions office complex on Bridgwater Road (200 homes); Ashton Vale, to the north of the town green and the Metrobus route (500 homes); and land off Elsbert Drive, Highridge (150 homes). The park and ride at Brislington could hold at least 750 homes, 40 per cent of them affordable and five per cent community-led, self build homes. The allotments will be retained. Affordable homes Aim is to be building 800 affordable homes a year by 2020. Tall buildings “In all cases the design of a tall building should create a high quality environment both for its users

HOUSING SITES Some of the sites earmarked, if the current owners move on 122 Bath Road, Totterdown Car sales site next to The Thunderbolt pub. Up to 20 homes. Ashton Sidings A narrow empty site sandwiched by Brunel Way and the railway. Suitable for 150 homes – if access can be agreed. 1-25 Bedminster Down Road Businesses next to Parson Street sweep away the 1960s swing bridge, which is near the end of its life, and replace it – perhaps with a tunnel – and build “at least” 2,500 harbourside homes, plus 500 student homes. The area includes warehouses on Coronation Road, and tannery site. The plans are very fluid – the mayor and his advisers have previously talked of between 1,200 and 3,500 homes here. Central Bedminster Target of 2,500 homes – but now 1,000 student rooms as well. Zone includes not only Bedminster Green (1,500 homes) but industrial zone around Whitehouse Street. “Tall

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affordable housing to follow. Now he feared the plans would lead to a “massive student village, lots of flats and small numbers of affordable housing”. To applause, he added: “The concept of the Framework seems to be a good thing but the one we have seems to be weighted far too much in favour of the developers.” His Southville colleague Stephen Clarke said he also backed

Development sites revealed

7

Hengrove Leisure Park 150 homes if undeveloped land is used, more if the site (home to Cineworld) is redeveloped. Broadwalk shopping centre, Knowle Now granted planning permission for 420 homes. Suited for “intensive” development. Marmalade Lane south, Brislington Green space between Tesco car park and Calllington Road hospital: 40 homes. and also for surrounding development and the public realm.” They should not cause harm by “excessive shadowing and wind deflection” or “unduly dominating impacts”. Other topics The Local Plan also includes policies on economic development, traveller sites, housing for older people, offices, industry, the port, shopping, transport, energy use, digital connectivity and green space. Agent of change A new principle that mainly protects music venues – developers must shield new residents from existing sources of noise. Could protect the Thunderbolt (see panel above).

the idea of the Framework but said it had serious problems – “the main one is that the buildings are just too tall, they are not what people want, and it’s not what’s needed to get the [housing] density.” Bristol Civic Society has suggested the Green is such a historic opportunity that it should be treated like King’s Cross in London and planned by a public-private consortium.

Mr Rees read a statement from Cllr Nicola Beech, the cabinet member for city design, who led the council’s negotiations with developers. (Cllr Beech had just given birth.) The Framework brought new employment opportunities for South Bristol, regeneration for East Street, and “hopefully provides the local community with stability and confidence,” Cllr Beech’s report said.

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n NEWS Landlord finds Explore your backyard as Watch out for a way to avoid tree vandal the Walk Fest uncovers demolition THE OWNER of the illegal house built in two back gardens behind Marksbury Road has avoided a council-set deadline of March 21 to knock the building down. John Fry of Dundry, who owns about 50 properties in the Marksbury Road area, has issued an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate, whic h will have to be heard before enforcement action can be taken. The Voice revealed in February that Mr Fry had built the two-bedroom property behind 154 and 152 Marksbury Road and was letting it to tenants, though he denied this. Mr Fry had planning permission for a “garden room” but not for a dwelling. In February he was refused planning permission for eight houses on land between Dawlish Road and Marksbury Road.

hidden stories all around

SOUTH Bristol will be better represented than ever before when the seventh Bristol Walk Fest takes place from May 1-31. The festival’s full programme isn’t due to be unveiled until early April but organisers predict there will be at least 260 walks and events – 100 more than in 2018, and most of them free. The South Bristol line-up will include: • Art and history walks in Arnos Vale cemetery; • A trail charting Bristol’s tobacco trade, ending in Southville; • A story walk for families and young children from Creative Workspace in Withywood; • A Wells Road Womble, led by Totterdown community group Tresa; • Guided tours of Crux Bottom,

Manor Woods and the Malago Valley near Hartcliffe; • The Broadwalk Mile – a chance to look at what’s good/ bad for pedestrians on Wells Road (see also page 9); • A photography walkshop led by Knowle West Media Centre; • A meander through 150 years of Totterdown history with The Road Project; • Walking sports – among them slow tennis, netball, hockey, football and new age curling – at venues including The Park, Hengrove Leisure Centre and Knowle tennis club. For updates, find the Bristol Walk Fest page on Facebook, follow @briswalkfest19 on Twitter, or visit bristolwalkfest.com Pam Beddard

At risk: The damaged trees DOG walkers and people visiting the Northern Slopes are being asked to keep their eyes open for a mysterious vandal who appears to be attempting to kill trees by ripping off the bark in rings. Several trees have been damaged behind Beckington Road, Knowle in the Bommie. Members of the Northern Slopes Initiative, the voluntary group, which cares for the Slopes, are furious about the damage, which could kill the trees. Anyone seeing the vandal – who is believed to claim to be doing work on behalf of the council – can ring police on 101.

April 2019

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n NEWS The Redcatch Road junction MP hails rail could be closed, and traffic sent down Oakmeade Park both ways, the report says. delay victory A new pedestrian crossing is

Walking should be safer Report says changes needed on Wells Road

A DETAILED study of one of South Bristol’s most important walking routes – from the Broadwalk in Knowle to Bath bridge – has found obstacles and dangers to pedestrians. The route from Knowle towards the city centre is the first to be examined by the Living Streets group. “We are convinced that small changes to main routes in Bristol can make walking an attractive option to more people,” said

Danger zone: Cars cross this Wells Road pavement to park spokesperson Charles Beasley. Three walkers tested the route, which is 1.2 miles long and takes about 20 minutes going city-wards – but a little longer heading the other way up the 60m (197ft) hill to Knowle. The report said the most important need is to make side roads easier to cross. At some, like Redcatch Road and Angers Road, traffic can swing off Wells Road quickly, making it hazardous for pedestrians. Suggestions include making the pavement continuous across junctions such as Belluton Road (by the GP surgery) and Marston Road (by the nursery).

needed somewhere between Cemetery Road and Greenmore Road, said Living Streets – also an aim of Knowle’s two Lib Dem councillors. A petition for a crossing (see below) was started by parents Rebecca Zausner and Ben Smith in December after their son Finn barely escaped serious injury when he was hit by a motorbike. The Living Streets team found other hazards – such as cyclists on the pavement, cars parked on the parkment, and busy bus stops. They called for wider pavements near busy stretches such as the one near Clyde Road. Other ideas include changes to Pelican crossings. Make the delay shorter, says the report – it can take 90 seconds. The report also suggests cutting air pollution, with signs telling motorists to switch off when stopped. tinyurl.com/safewellsroadcrossing

COMMUTERS using Great Western services will be able to claim compensation if their trains are more than 15 minutes late whatever the cause, bringing it into line with other rail franchises. Bristol South MP Karin Smyth called the move, which takes effect on April 1, a “long overdue victory for passengers”. The Labour MP complained in the Commons of the “gross inequality” of compensation offered by rail companies. She said there “are still a wealth of issues that need addressing with the Great Western mainline”.

Great outdoors HOLIDAY fun this Easter at Arnos Vale cemetery includes a chance to explore the woods, learn how to make a den or hear an outdoor Stomping Story. arnosvale.org.uk

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n NEWS

CLIMATE CHANGE

April 2019

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n NEWS

Land deal clears way for Knowle secondary school

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THE CONSTRUCTION of a new secondary school for Knowle is edging closer, after an outline deal was agreed by the council’s cabinet on March 5. The government-funded plan for the old Merrywood school site in Daventry Road will cost up to £25 million. Run by the Oasis academy chain, it will have six forms of entry and capacity for 900 pupils. As part of the deal, The Park community centre, which occupies the old Merrywood buildings, will be given a new home next to the new school. The plan was backed by cabinet members despite a public plea for further scrutiny. Knowle resident Aileen McLoughlin said she welcomed the commitment to The Park centre but said there had been no meaningful consultation. Others objected to the school being given to Oasis, a large academy trust with a Christian ethos. Knowle Lib Dem councillor Gary Hopkins argued against delay, saying it could postpone the opening of the school – which in any case is unlikely to be ready before 2022 or 2023. “This is a time-critical decision. Even a month or two’s delay at the wrong time could cost a year in terms of getting the kids into the school,” he told the Voice after the meeting. He said the proposal had been publicised, at public meetings of the Knowle Forum he runs with

New community centre is part of £25m proposal Cllr Christopher Davies, in the Voice and in the Lib Dems’ Knowle newsletter. The school is essential to stop Knowle children falling behind, he said. Thanks to a rise in standards at local primary schools, including Ilminster Avenue and Knowle Park, younger children in Knowle outperform the city average. But at secondary age – when they are forced to travel to widely-spread schools because there is no secondary in Knowle – they fall behind their peers. The need is great because the bulge in the number of secondary pupils in Knowle starts next year, and gets worse after that, he said. Sam Carrier, marketing manager at The Park, a charity which provides a home to dozens of community groups and small businesses, said the news was “absolutely amazing” because it would help the centre obtain a purpose-built new building. The old school buildings, which date from the 1970s, are leaky, hard to heat and expensive to maintain. “It will be a much more sustainable building– at the moment we spend at least £100,000 a year keeping the water from dripping through the roofs,” she said. The cabinet agreed to transfer

Barn dance in aid of Africa villages appeal

the land, which is council-owned, to the Education and Skills Funding Agency (EFSA). The EFSA will build the school and a new Park centre, and will give the freehold of the community centre back to the council on completion. The council also gave up its interest in a small plot of land off Tavistock Road, to be sold for 10-12 social housing units. The revenue from these would go to The Park centre. In 2016, Bristol Grammar School proposed to sponsor a secondary school in Knowle. But that included a primary section, which upset local primary schools. Next it was proposed that a new school should be built next to Oasis John Williams in Hengrove, to open in 2019. But that plan did not provide school places in Knowle, and was dropped.

LINKS between South Bristol and two villages in Kenya will be celebrated at the Maji Safi Barn Dance at Ashton Park School on Saturday April 27. Maji safi means “clean water” in Swahili, and the aim of the charity is to support schools and families in the villages, near Mombasa. The dance, at Ashton Park School in Bower Ashton, is the group’s 18th annual fund raiser, and features the Cats Whiskers band and callers Mike Courthold and Dave Leverton. It starts at 8pm and tickets are £8.50 including a ploughman’s supper. There’s a bar and African crafts on sale. The charity takes no management fee, so all the proceeds will be spent in Africa, Tickets are available via email from lindagreenland@hotmail.com or Dave Byett on 01934 835435.

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n UNIVERSITY FOCUS  ADVERTISING FEATURE n NEWS Visit the showcase exhibition of all the latest research at the University of Bristol

Robots and nanoparticles Research Without Borders University of Bristol Bristol Doctoral College bristol.ac.uk/rwb

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OIN the opportunity to discover the latest postgraduate research emerging at the University of Bristol at a showcase exhibition. More than 50 interactive, hands-on displays will feature developments at the cutting edge of research from across the

university. The public will be able to learn about what goes on  behind the university’s doors and connect with the latest generation of researchers contributing to solutions to the complex challenges facing the world.   From robots to nanoparticles, from prehistoric life to cultural cooking, visitors will be able to  explore ground-breaking research in new and exciting ways.   It’s on Wednesday May 15, Colston Hall, 11am-4pm. Other events take place from May 7-15.  Free tickets: bristol.ac.uk/rwb

Sample homegrown delights from Knowle REDCATCH community garden is now open for its third season in Redcatch Park, hoping to tempt even more locals into buying its homegrown fruit and veg – or learning to grow it themselves. The garden opened in 2017 on the former bowling green, which had fallen out of use in the Knowle park. It’s now become a major attraction for the park, hosting community events and craft sessions as well as running its own outdoor café, called Roots. The garden has struck up partnerships with Knowle Park primary school and the Sunshine nursery. There is also an event space for hire to local groups, individuals and businesses to run courses, fun events and support new business ideas. The café is open Tues-Fri 9am-4pm, and

Lush: The garden in summer some weekends. Future events include an Easter holiday club on April 11 and April 18. Children aged 5-12 years can join forest school sessions to learn about the natural environment, where their food comes from and various practical skills. Activities will include a mud kitchen, bug hunting, food harvesting and prepartion, toasting food on a fire, and safe use of tools. Facebook: Redcatch Community Garden

April 2019

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n NEWS INSPIRING photographs celebrating women exercising went on display at three of the city’s hospitals on March 8, to mark International Women’s Day. The photographs focus on parents fitting exercise into their busy lives, and are intended to inspire other women to look for ways to fit in physical activity around their normal routines. South Bristol Hospital is one of the venues for the photo exhibition, along with maternity wards at Southmead and St Michael’s hospitals. It’s an initiative by Bristol Girls Can, a campaign which aims to break down barriers around exercise and inspire more women to get active in a variety of ways. Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees said: “The mums’ example shows us all that you don’t have to have a gym membership, expensive sports clothes or lots of free time. It’s about doing what you can, when you can.’’ Among the women featured in the exhibition is Claire, pictured

Mums aim to inspire

Free swim: Mum-to-be Claire features in the exhibition PHOTO: Jeni Nott enjoying a swim at Hengrove Park leisure centre. A keen cyclist and swimmer before pregnancy, and wanting to maintain her fitness levels, she took advantage of the free pregnancy swims offered by Bristol city council. She said: “It felt liberating to strip off into a bikini with the

Val Phillips FdSc counselling, MBACP MNFSH

bump. People stared, but I enjoyed it, so who cares? My advice for anyone thinking of taking up exercise while pregnant would be to embrace it. “Swimming has helped me turn off from the stresses of daily life and I can just concentrate on myself and the baby.’’

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HUNDREDS of people will be using their May bank holiday weekend to bring hope to the city – with several events taking place in South Bristol. The Noise is an event run every year since 2001 by Bristol churches, when churchgoers roll up their sleeves and get active – digging gardens, picking litter and running free community events. This year, South Bristol sees a football tournament for 8-16s. It’s on Monday May 6 from 1-3pm at Hareclive E-Act Academy, Moxham Drive, Hartcliffe. Call 07850 409005 for details. Also on May 6, there will be a Family Fun Afternoon in Knowle West from 2-4pm on Melvin Square, Knowle West. More events will be unveiled in early April – for updates see thenoise.org.uk

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Counselling, Healing and Meditation in Windmill Hill Come visit our Cafe and Garden in Redcatch Park

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n PLANNING APPLICATIONS Knowle ward: Awaiting decision 18 Wellgarth Road BS4 2SZ Single storey rear extension to extend beyond the rear of the house by 4m, of maximum height 3.5m with eaves of 2.5m. 52 Beckington Road BS3 5EB Two storey side extension, loft conversion and rear dormer. 262 Redcatch Road BS3 5DX Attached dwelling house; demolition of garage.  22 Melbury Road BS4 2RP Non-material amendment following permission 17/01772/H: Amendment to roof design.  8 Selworthy Road BS4 2LF Rear and side kitchen extension to Victorian terraced house. Knowle ward: Decided 72 Woodbridge Road BS4 2EU Loft conversion with dormer windows to front and rear, and hip to gable conversion. Refused

Arnos Vale cemetery, Bath Road BS4 3EW Details in relation to conditions 2 (Further details structural connections) and 3 (Further details light fittings) of permission 18/06654/ LA: Pergola structure and lighting on terrace next to pavilion of Spielman Centre, and sliding glazed door to pavilion. Granted subj. to conditions 12 Copse Road BS4 2HZ Reduce height of laurel hedge by 1 metre; coppice Paulownia tree outside front door; fell ash centre of garden and replace with birch and rowan. Granted 120 Broadfield Road BS4 2UU Single storey rear extension to create annexe for use by close family members to extend beyond the rear of the house by 6m, of maximum height 3.7m with eaves of 2.3m high. Granted 62 Melbury Road BS4 2RP Single storey side and rear extension. Granted subject to conditions

Knowle, Totterdown, Windmill Hill 6 Beckington Road BS3 5EB Demolish garage; construct two storey side extension, alterations to rear windows and doors; raised decking area with steps to garden. Granted subject to conditions Windmill Hill ward: Awaiting decision

16 Nutgrove Avenue BS3 4QE Single storey rear extension. Windmill Hill ward: Decided

35 Almorah Road BS3 4QQ Loft conversion with addition of hip to gable and rear dormer extension. 3 Eldon Terrace/The Windmill, Windmill Hill BS3 4NZ Permission for existing use of the cellar to 3 Eldon Terrace as part of adjacent public house The Windmill (Use class A4) in excess of 10 years.  137 St John’s Lane BS3 5AE Single storey rear extension to ground floor flat; loft conversion with rear dormer to first floor flat.  30 St Johns Lane BS3 5A Details of condition 2 (Land

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contamination) attached to the prior approval 18/05651/COU: change of use of the ground floor from shops (Use class A1) to residential (Use class C3), 1 unit.

Former Arena site & Diesel Depot, Bath Road BS4 3DT Remove condition 33 (Provision of footbridge) attached to permission 15/06069/F. Granted subj. to conditions 11 Holmesdale Road BS3 4QL Single storey rear extension. Granted subject to conditions First floor flat, 254 Bath Road, Totterdown BS4 3EN Garden studio. Granted subject to conditions • The status of these applications may have changed since we went to press. Check for updates at planningonline.bristol.gov.uk

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Please keep letters as short as possible,

HGVs are out of place on our narrow streets Open letter to Cllr Kye Dudd, cabinet lead for transport

I

WOULD like to know what the council is doing to discourage vehicles (particularly HGVs) using the city as a through route, rather than using the motorway and trunk road network? I live in Totterdown, close to the Wells Road which is blighted by severe traffic congestion and pollution. These large vehicles, which pass just inches from the narrow pavements, place a massive burden on Totterdown, making the Wells Road seem more like an HGV motorway at times.    My analysis of these vehicles clearly shows that a significant number use the A37 through the city centre and the M32 as a short cut to the motorway network, instead of using the road network

to the south of the city – presumably to save cost.   These vehicles contribute nothing to the city but have a significant negative impact on a factors such as air pollution, road damage and congestion. I’m not sure if you have ever experienced cycling in close proximity to HGVs? It’s quite an intimidating experience, even for someone who has spent his life cycling.  This has a number of effects, encouraging people to use cars instead of cycling or walking, and discouraging people from using local businesses. Crossing Wells Road (which is not well served for pedestrian crossings) can be a challenging and intimidating experience, and one not to be attempted with young children. Address supplied, Totterdown

Why can’t I dream a little? I’M ENCLOSING some verses – contemplations on the Year of the Pig 2019, on International

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Women’s Day 2019, for your consideration. I’m also wondering when we are going to have better planning and spending on public transport? Dial-a-ride gives me the chance of independent travel in Bristol, when I want more than screens for company, but for how much longer? April Foy, Lower Knowle Contemplation on the Year of the Pig 2019 Pigs might fly so why can’t I have a bench to rest on, at the bus stop as I wait to use my freedom pass? Pigs might fly so why can’t I catch a train direct from Temple Meads station to Lime Street, my native city in the grim Up North? Pigs might fly so why can’t I forget bus travel and trains settle for screens on tablet or TV Be part of the revolution in communication, why can’t I?

We can start to change climate IT’S ALWAYS a good weekend when the SBV comes through the door. It was good to read that you are keeping climate change at the fore and getting us to think of ways we can reduce our carbon footprints.  Your comments about not being able to do anything about [emissions from] shipping got me thinking. It’s a tricky problem but I think there is something we can do. It came to me as  I wrapped up a load of plastic tat for a nine-year-old’s birthday party that my daughter had chosen. All we have to do is consume less – particularly less plastic and stuff from China. I accept it’s a massive task to change a culture but your comments made me realise, we all feel we’ve done well getting rid of plastic straws and cutting back on plastic bags, but this is just the tip of the iceberg.  JR, Totterdown

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INVITATION

April 2019

southbristolvoice

n NEWS

In witch calamity is avoided

I

HAVE written previously, not in a particularly complimentary way, about the Jubilee Pool. I am still going and have grown to love it: most mornings something happens that I could write about. Take the other day. A girl in the popular gang (the fast lane swimmers) was leaning, perfectly poised, against the railing waiting for the pool to open. I gave her a big friendly smile. She just stared, then glanced down. I was wearing boots but had not bothered to zip them up so they were flapping around my ankles – not a cool look. She flicked her eyes back to my face and then … her expressionless beautiful face looked away, into the middle distance, my presence ignored! I instantly hated her and started growling softly. But

THE WICKED Who is the Wicked Witch? WITCH OF She’s the one KNOWLE with a first aid kit on her broomstick ... THIS WITCH TWEETS: @witchyofknowle

wait, the story has a twist. This snooty popular, who does perfect tumble turns and actually looks great in a swimming hat, opened the door to the changing rooms a little too firmly and it banged loudly against the wall. She looked back at me, said “Oops” and gave me a huge smile. I liked her again and followed her into the changing room wagging my tail like a happy puppy! Then there was the accident I witnessed, an instant column. A guy was giving a youngster a backie on his pushbike and they tumbled off right in front of me. It

17

happened in slow motion. He flew like Superman over the handlebars and the girl flew backwards, arms flung wide. They landed in a tangle of limbs and bike. Superman sprang to his feet and gathered the girl up in a tight embrace. I was in my car; I stalled and rushed over. I was not any help at all, I just gathered some spilt items and congratulated them on their spectacular fall. A neighbour came out with tissues so I snuck away, but not before said householder gave me a long hard glare. I realised, as I drove away, she thought I had knocked them off. Now this all happened before my first aid course. If it had happened after, I would have acted differently. I would have shouted ‘Make way, I’m a first aider’ and taken charge. I would have got the girl to sit down, checked her for shock, her nose was bleeding so I would have needed gloves to deal

Ofsted praises Knowle Park school after difficult year New head wins confidence and keeps ‘Good’ rating

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INSPECTORS from Ofsted have given high praise to the new head teacher at Knowle Park primary school, who stepped in when the previous head left after a long period of sick leave. The school was told it has kept its rating of Good, despite the upheaval caused when former head Andrew Dewey took sick leave almost a year ago. Assistant head Helen Bailey took over in his absence and was given the leadership role officially in September. Ofsted wrote to her: “You have won the respect of staff, governors and the wider community in the short time you have been in post. You set high

expectations of what pupils can achieve and how they should behave. “You have swiftly identified the key priorities for the school. This, combined with a strong drive for improvement from your senior leadership team and subject leaders, is ensuring that you are urgently responding to the school’s recent dip in performance. Staff feel positive about the changes and are wholeheartedly behind your leadership.” The Ofsted report said “a very small minority” of parents voiced concerns about bullying, but when inspectors asked children about this, “all said that bullying was not a problem and if it did occur they were confident that adults would sort it out for them”. Progress in reading and in mathematics has not been as strong as it should be, said the report, while disadvantaged

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Showtime for musical fans SOUTH Bristol communitybased musical theatre group Bristol Musical Theatre stage their latest production, Crazy For You from May 1-4. The group, which has many members from the south of the city and rehearses at Ashton Vale primary school, is one of the longest running amateur theatre societies in Bristol. It will mark its 75th anniversary in 2021. Crazy For You has music by Gershwin and famous numbers such as I’ve Got Rhythm and Someone To Watch Over Me. Tickets for the shows at the Redgrave theatre in Clifton are £15, with discounts for groups. bristolmusicaltheatre.co.uk

pupils are not doing as well as other children. But Ofsted said the school is now providing greater challenges for all pupils, particularly the disadvantaged, and this is starting to pay dividends. The inspectors also praised the school on safeguarding, saying staff watch out for the needs of vulnerable pupils. Pupil absences from school are above the national average but this too is being tackled, said Ofsted, by reaching out to parents “in an empathetic, yet uncompromising, way”. The school uses several methods to nudge parents to make sure pupils get to school, including THE MAINTENANCE WINNERS of the Cineworld telephone calls and texts. PROPERTY forPAINTING a pair of free In a letter to parents, Ms INTERIOR competition & EXTERIOR cinema tickets each are Alison Bailey thanked governors for FENCING • PATIOS • LANDSCAPING Pugsley of Harrowdene Road, their support “at a particularly and Jack•Howells, turbulent time for the school over Knowle, LOG STORES • GUTTERING FASCIASof William Street, Windmill Hill. the last 12 months”.

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with that, but I could have got her into the recovery position. I would have spoken to Superman, who kept doubling over in pain, and considered calling them an ambulance. And as for the householder who appeared with tissues, I would have sent her packing! Tissues? Pah! Sometimes it can go a little bit wrong. I did a piece raging about Mrs Proud who irons her pants and lives in a house straight out of a glossy magazine. I wrote it safe in the knowledge that she lives on the dark side of Bristol and would never read it. I got a text. She was sitting in the waiting room of the dentist at Paintworks reading my column! That dentist must have every edition of the Voice ever printed, because it was months old. I felt sick. Luckily, she is a good friend and did find it funny. I don’t think I would have done.

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April 2019

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n YOUR COUNCILLORS

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ORMALLY, planning meetings result in split votes over controversial matters. But Gary the application Hopkins for the revamp Lib Dem of Broadwalk Knowle shopping centre, including flats, was unanimously voted through by councillors from all four parties. This is an outline proposal which has approved matters such as the number of flats and the maximum height, but leaves a lot of the details which relate to quality to be decided later before any actual building can occur. There were objections from some residents, while in favour there were residents, shopkeepers, developers and councillors from Filwood and Hengrove as well as Knowle, and a 3,100 signature petition. I concentrated on developer obligations including money for a local parking scheme (if wanted),

Knowle

cycle facilities and money for our local park. Negotiations on these spin-offs will continue. Many items will be subject to a detailed further application. We would encourage all residents to send in ideas and suggestions that could contribute to us getting the best possible design. Let us not pretend that all the problems for the shopping centre are now settled but it is now a centre that will survive, and is a viable financial unit. Those that contended that the number of the flats were not needed, or that the percentage of affordable homes should increase, had not read the council’s viability analysis. Obviously, council officers try to maximise the percentage of affordable homes, but they agreed at 13 per cent as the developers are squeezing potential profit way below the norm. More affordable homes may be added but will require a government subsidy. Chris and I will shortly be meeting the West of England mayor Tim Bowles to discuss.

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How to contact your councillor: p2

HE return of secondary education to Knowle has moved a step closer with the passing of a land Chris deal by Bristol’s Davies cabinet. This sees a Lib Dem significant part of Knowle the land occupied by The Park centre, on the old site of Merrywood school, being surrendered for the new secondary school. This will be accessed from Teignmouth Road. The Park will have £4.5 million of government money to build new community facilities on part of the remaining land. Gary made a statement to cabinet welcoming the progress, which is the result of a 20-year campaign. Since the Labour government and Labour council closed the school 20 years ago, Knowle children have suffered, as they have to travel to other areas for secondary education. We have some of the best primary schools in Bristol:

education reports show that Knowle children at the end of primary years outscore the Bristol attainment average by 61 per cent to 54 per cent, but those same children slip back at secondary level. The two nearest primaries to the new school are Knowle Park, which now has the acting head confirmed in post and a very reassuring inspection from Ofsted this month, and Ilminster Avenue, one of the most improved schools in the country. They should benefit greatly. We have requested that we are kept fully informed about the plans so we can help to prevent delays. A few weeks’ hold-up at the wrong stage could cost a year’s delay to the school opening. Therefore we were amazed to hear leading members of Knowle Labour party demanding a delay and expressing disquiet about the arrangements saying they knew nothing about it, despite local publicity. All they had to do was ask us, or their party colleagues running the council, if they did not understand.

April 2019

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n YOUR COUNCILLORS

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HE FULL council has voted vote on the budget for the forthcoming financial year. Ultimately we Jon decide how much Wellington council tax we Labour raise (an extra Windmill Hill 3.99 per cent this year), and how the money we get from that, business rates and from the government is spent. This needs to be considered in the context that from 2020, we are on our own: almost all our funding from central government for year-on-year spending will have gone, meaning the city’s services will be almost entirely dependent on council tax, business rates and income we can raise from other sources. By this time, responsibility for funding key services will have effectively shifted from central government to local taxpayers. With this in mind, balancing the books and keeping the council on a sound financial

Windmill Hill

footing is essential. The interesting, more political part of the budget process is considering amendments to the budget from other parties. This year we, as a Labour group and mayor, accepted several of the Green party amendments including some extra cash for environmental issues, investment for adapting a small number of council owned houses and more cash for social care.Despite us accepting these amendments the Green party then declined to vote in favour of the budget, but that’s politics for you, I suppose. Really, for the party setting the budget, the process is a bit of a no-win situation, politically. Opposition parties are allowed to submit amendments and then, essentially, dare the governing party to vote them down. The 37 Labour councillors do not have the same opportunity to propose amendments. One amendment that we did reject was the Green party’s proposal for a congestion charge to drive into the city. It was

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 How to contact your councillor: p2

unclear what they wanted – the official council papers suggested that this would be a blanket congestion charge for everyone, whereas they said in their press releases that it would only apply to people living outside of Bristol, which, all other arguments aside, is possibly not legal. In any case, this amendment, which they knew we could not support at such short notice (we receive amendments a week ahead of the meeting), fires the starting gun on the campaign for the mayoral election in 2020. A congestion charge is clearly going to be the Green party’s major manifesto promise and this is something the mayor and Labour party are going to have to face up to. We have already begun considering this as a medium term policy. The recently published Draft Transport Strategy, produced by the city’s congestion group and chaired by the mayor, had hidden away in it a suggestion of a congestion charge as a way of tackling the city’s problems and

for funding the mayor’s ambition for a much-needed mass transit system for the city. The consultation responses are now available, with a decent number of people supportive of a congestion charge, and the amended strategy is expected to go to cabinet in the summer this year, following further work by the newly convened Bristol Transport Board. While I strongly support a Clean Air Zone, preferably one covering Wells Road and St Johns Lane, and am frustrated by the council’s delays in putting together a plan to introduce a charge for polluting vehicles, I am not sold entirely on a blanket congestion charge. This city already has vast inequalities between the central wards, many of which (but certainly not all) are very affluent, and the outer wards, most of which are not. A congestion charge could make this worse. • Cllr Lucy Whittle is on maternity leave

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April 2019

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Adult puzzles sponsored by ADVANCE PEST

Children’s puzzles sponsored by ALI the TREE SURGEON

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Each 3x3 box, every row and every column must contain the numbers 1-9, with each used only once. Can you crack it?

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Get to know us: Meet some of the residents at the spring open day details please contact grace@ bristolarc.org.uk Want to get involved and help out at our events? Email us now for details of how you can get involved and help animals in need – contact Grace at the address above. bristolarc.org.uk

Help us take bags to Africa STUDENTS at Ashton Park school are appealing for bags – they want to take them to Africa. Students and teachers from Ashton Park visit Inspirations School in Kenya every year, helping to build classrooms and provide educational materials and training. It’s also become a custom to take cloth bags, for which the Kenyan children find many uses, including carrying their school books and storing their clothes. In 2017 the expedition took just 40 bags; in 2018 they took 400 – many made or decorated by students, teachers and residents in BS3. Bags must be well made, suitable for a child (ideally unisex) and up to 50cm x 40cm. For more information and step-by-step instructions on how to make a tote bag, please see ashtonpark.net/bags-forkenya-2019

TUTORING

3 4

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everyone to enjoy. All the proceeds will be put to excellent use here at Bristol A.R.C. caring for thousands of stray, neglected, mistreated, unwell and injured animals every year. Please note that unfortunately you may not bring your own dogs with you on the day – this is for the benefit of the animals in our care. Please also note that the Rehoming Centre will be closed for adoptions during our Open Day to allow for the guided tours. We have a limited number of trade stand spaces available, for

n NEWS

MATHS AND ENGLISH

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Bristol Animal Rescue Centre

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SOLUTIONS

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N SUNDAY May 12 we are opening our doors from 10.30am to show you a behind-the-scenes look at the vital work that takes place at Bristol A.R.C. every day. We can’t wait to see you there! Come and meet our staff and resident animals on a tour of our rehoming centre and animal clinic, enjoy our many arts and crafts stalls, grab a bite to eat, win amazing prizes in our raffle, tombola and many other games and much, much more! It will be a great day out for all the family, with something for

© www.123rf.com/profile_zakowski

This month: Capitals

BRISTOL A.R.C. UPDATE

See how we care for sick animals and rehome all kinds of pets

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n CHURCH NEWS

O

N A walk at Ashton Court with our dog I went to the café to buy coffee. In the meantime a middle aged man approached my wife, asking if she was Jane (not her name) – it quickly transpired he was on a first internet date. Jane was sitting on a nearby bench; the man looked a bit disappointed! We nosily listened to their conversation, inwardly groaning as he repeatedly bragged about

Regular Services

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Bedminster Church of Christ

298 St John’s Lane BS3 5AY Minister: Jason Snethen 07795 560990 churchofchristbristol.org Sunday 10am Bible Hour for all ages; 11am Worship; 5pm Worship; Tuesday 7.30pm Bible study; Thursday 10am Coffee morning; Friday 3.45-5pm After-school; 7-9.30pm Youth group.

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Bedminster Quaker Meeting House Wedmore Vale BS3 5HX

Clerk: Chrissie Williams 0117 923 0020 bristolquakers.org.uk Sunday Worship 10.45am; 2nd & 4th Sunday Children’s meeting; 2nd Sunday Shared lunch.

Thought for the month With Rev Brendan Bassett, recent minister at Victoria Park Baptist Church the size of his caravan in Devon. Today a lot of people feel lonely and isolated. We all long for

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Church of the Nazarene

Broad Walk, Knowle BS4 2RD Pastor: Matthew Norris 07967 199995 bristolnazarene.com Sunday 10.30am Sunday Service; Wednesday 6pm Kids Klub; Thursday 7pm Youth club.

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Holy Nativity Church Wells

Road, Knowle BS4 2AG Fr Steve Hawkins 07834 462054 Facebook: Holy Nativity Knowle Sunday 10am Parish Mass; Friday 10.30am Weekday Mass.

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Knowle Methodist Church

Redcatch Road, Knowle BS4 2EP Rev Andrew Orton Facebook: SBMCT Sunday 10.30am Worship and Junior

intimate relationships. Online dating and social media networks are a technological response to this. Unfortunately religious people often either oppose, or fear new technologies. In 1829 George Stevenson’s Rocket steam engine provoked claims by some that it was a “chariot of the devil”. I marvel at how the internet as a tool can connect people from

all over the world, including those seeking romance. Nevertheless our online profiles can never replace the ‘real us’ or adequately describe who we really are. Christians and Jews believe human beings are made in the image of God and that should inform all our interpersonal relationships. Google can’t show us who we are, but how we treat each other can.

Church (Minnows for pre-school children).

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Totterdown Baptist Church

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Totterdown Methodist Church

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Victoria Park Baptist Church

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St Martin’s Wells Road, Knowle BS4

2NG Rev Becky Waring 0117 977 6275 Facebook: stmartinschurchknowle Sunday 8.30am Holy Communion; 1st, 3rd and 5th Sundays 10.30am Holy Communion; 2nd Sunday 9.30am Rise and Shine: informal service, breakfast; 6pm Holy Communion; 4th Sunday 10.30am Family Communion.

St Michael & All Angels Vivian Street, Windmill Hill BS3 4LW Rev Andrew Doarks 0117 977 6132 stmikechurch.co.uk Sunday 10am Family Service; Wednesday 10am Family Communion

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The choirs from Churches Together in Knowle and Totterdown join together on Tuesday April 16 for a performance of Jerusalem Joy, an Easter Cantata, at Knowle Methodist Church at 7pm. The member churches will each be hosting Prayer Stations to represent stages of Christ’s Easter journey on Good Friday, April 19, from 11.30am-1pm.

ST MARTIN’S CHURCH, Wells Road Palm Sunday April 14 8.30am Eucharist; 9.30am Rise and Shine service, breakfast; 6pm Reading of the Passion with Eucharist Holy Monday April 15 7pm Holy Communion; 7.30pm Taize service. Holy Wednesday April 17 7pm Holy Communion; 7.30pm Stations of the Cross. Maundy Thursday April 18 6pm Family Agape Supper; 7.30pm Holy Communion. Good Friday April 19 10am All age Easter experience: Jesus’ story, followed by hot cross buns; 11.30am-1pm CTKT Prayer Stations: Each church in the Churches Together group will offer an Easter prayer station. 2pm The Last Hour of the Cross. Saturday April 20 8pm Service of Light with Eucharist. Easter Day Sunday April 21 8.30am Said Eucharist; 10.30am Family Eucharist with activities for children and young people. CHURCH OF THE NAZARENE, Broad Walk Palm Sunday Service 10.30am With

Easter Harvest for Counterslip Food Bank. Good Friday Service 10.30am. Easter Sunday Celebration Service 10.30am. KNOWLE METHODIST CHURCH, Redcatch Road Tuesday April 16 7pm Jerusalem Joy, an Easter Cantata performed by the choirs of Churches Together. Holy Wednesday 2.30-4pm Easter crafts and play for all ages. Maundy Thursday 7pm Meal & Holy Communion to mark Maundy Thursday Good Friday 10am Good Friday reflections Easter Sunday 8.30am Holy Communion for Easter; 10.30am Service of Celebration. TOTTERDOWN METHODIST CHURCH, Bushy Park Good Friday 10am Good Friday reflections. Easter Sunday 10.30am All Age Celebration and Holy Communion for Easter Day. HOLY NATIVITY, Wells Road Maundy Thursday 7.30pm Sung Mass. Good Friday 10.30am Stations of the

Wells Road BS4 2AD tbc.org.uk Sunday 10.30am Morning Service; 2nd Sunday All-age Service; 6.30pm Evening Service (entrance Sydenham Road). Bushy Park, Totterdown BS4 2AD Rev Andrew Orton Facebook: SBMCT Sunday Family Worship 10.30am; 1st Sunday Sunday School.

Sylvia Avenue BS3 5DA Rev Brendan Bassett 0117 977 2484 victoriapark.org.uk Sunday 10.30am Service with groups for all ages; coffee 11.30am. 2nd Sunday Parade Service; 3rd Sunday Communion.

Easter Services The churches in Knowle and Totterdown would love to welcome you to any of our special Easter services.

Cross; 2pm Liturgy of the Cross. Easter Saturday 8pm Easter Vigil. Easter Sunday 10am Sung Mass. TOTTERDOWN BAPTIST CHURCH, Wells Road Maundy Thursday Supper 7pm. Good Friday 10.30am Service of Reflection. Easter Sunday 10.30am Easter Celebration. VICTORIA PARK BAPTIST CHURCH, Sylvia Avenue Palm Sunday Service 10.30am. Maundy Thursday 7.30pm Communion. Good Friday 8.30pm Service followed by hot cross buns. Easter Sunday Service 10.30am. BEDMINSTER CHURCH OF CHRIST, St John’s Lane April 8-10 10am-12 noon Easter Holiday Bible Club for primary school children Easter Sunday 11am Breaking of Bread service; 2-4pm Easter Day Gospel Trail in Victoria Park: all ages, details 07795 560990;5pm Easter Evening Worship.

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n THE MAYOR

MARVIN REES Mayor of Bristol

We’re making progress to our goal of a carbon neutral Bristol

cent by 2020. Thanks to making our buildings more energy efficient, investing in renewable energy infrastructure such as wind turbines and solar panels, electrifying the council’s fleet of vehicles and upgrades to street lighting across the city, we reached our target in 2018 – two years early. The overall reduction of carbon on the national grid, through increased national renewable energy generation, has also played a major part in this reduction. We achieved this with a 71 per cent reduction of carbon emissions in 2017/18 RISTOL is a city famous for leading (against a 2005 baseline). The council will the way on environmental issues, so I soon be proposing a new, ambitious target to am pleased that the council has taken cut even more carbon emissions from its positive steps to improve our sustainability direct activities. and reduce our impact on the environment. This is the second time the council has hit At City Hall, we’re taking action to reduce its carbon reduction target ahead of schedule single-use plastics and promote sustainable and is a clear marker for our continued alternatives. Hot drinks will no longer be sold commitment to build a carbon neutral Bristol. in single-use cups, which means staff will have further 500,000 ending up as litter every day. I am incredibly proud of our energy to bring their own re-usable cups and visitors The environmental impact of this is projects and our ever-growing reputation as a will be served drinks in ceramic mugs. These significant and affects us all. leading energy city. I’d like to thank officers small changes can have a positive impact. This is one of a number of changes that will across a number of teams for their hard work It is estimated that more than 2.5 billion reduce single-use plastics in council-run outlets in achieving this target and for continuing to disposable coffee cups are used in the UK and buildings. We know we need to lead by strive for further carbon reductions. each year. Due to difficulties in separating the example and bring the whole city with us. This is only the beginning of what we hope plastic lining from these cups, only one per So it was great to also announce we have to achieve alongside partners in Bristol and to cent of this amount is ever recycled. The vast also achieved our target to reduce carbon continue in our position as a leading Home is one of the UK’s Right atby Home is one of sustainable the UK’s most majority find their way to landfill with a emissionsRight fromatits direct activities 65most per city. trusted care companies. trusted Our carelocal companies. 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Got a story or any other inquiry? Call Paul on 07811 766072 or email paul@southbristolvoice.co.uk


April 2019

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24

n HISTORY   THE MAN WHO BROUGHT LIGHT TO BRISTOL Out of the gloom, into the Gas Age thanks to an outsider with a big idea

John Breillat: More fascinated with chemistry than with his own trade in silk, he spent years persuading the great and good of Bristol that the streets could be lit by gas

John Breillat was an outsider when he arrived in Bristol from London in 1793. Once he found out about the potential of a new light source derived from coal, he kept on about it until the city gave in

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T’S HARD for us to imagine nowadays what the world was like before the most simple of civilised technologies – street lighting. For more than 200 years we’ve got used to the fact

that in almost any built-up area, we can see where we’re going at any time. Some of us may have fears about walking the streets of Bristol after dark, but in reality

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our city is pretty safe. By and large we expect to be able perform our normal activities in darkness – travelling to work, going out to socialise, or walking the dog. Yet Bristol in the early 19th century was a very different place. In the winter, it was dark most of the time, almost everywhere. There just weren’t any bright lights as we know them. The brightest available were oil lamps, and only the wealthy classes could afford these outside their homes. Even then they cast little illumination beyond the owner’s front door. The poor might have a candle indoors, but even these cost money, and the only light might come from a small fire. At least coal from Bedminster and Kingswood was widely available. So the temptation was not to venture out at night. You needed a good reason to traverse the dark, uneven streets, and then you might be regarded with suspicion by one of the city’s 90-odd night watchmen. If they observed someone “lurking” or seeming to conceal something, it was enough to bring an arrest. Darkness was the natural state of the nighttime world, and had been since humans first opened their eyes. In the early 20th C, the Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Jung was fascinated how different the lives were of people in Africa who lived without artificial light. He patronisingly called these people “primitives”; but he surely was describing

something real when he wrote about the state of the world before artificial illumination: “When the great night comes, everything takes on a note of deep dejection, and every soul is seized by an inexpressible longing for light. That is the pent-up feeling that can be detected in the eyes of primitives and also in the eyes of animals.” You’d think, then that when a way was found to effortlessly cast light across whole streets, and to banish darkness from indoors too, that the people of Bristol – and the rest of the world – would leap at the opportunity. But it wasn’t quite like that.

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ohn Briellat, the man who was to light up Bristol (and many other places in the West Country), wasn’t a Bristolian. By the end of his life he was one of its most honoured citizens: his first wife Mary was the first person to be buried in the new Arnos Vale cemetery in 1839, and the family tomb with its 12ft obelisk is one of the most impressive monuments there. But in 1795, when he married Mary at St Nicholas Church, he was an outsider twice over – once as a Londoner, and again as a Huguenot. The Huguenots brought the term ‘refugee’ into the English language. Tens of thousands of these French Protestants fled persecution in their Catholic homeland from the late 17th C onwards, and their greeting in England was just as mixed as it is

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April 2019

n HISTORY for migrants now. Like some of today’s refugees, they were so desperate that many crossed the Channel in small boats, and often drowned; and when they arrived they were accused of taking work from English professions and driving up London rents. But economically this was England’s gain and France’s loss. The Huguenots were mainly skilled workers such as clockmakers, clothiers and glaziers. Some credit their arrival with kickstarting the scientific and commercial boom which led to Britain’s world-wide empire. Meanwhile in France some towns lost three-quarters of their skilled silk weavers. The novelist Daniel Defoe believed immigrants brought prosperity: “Opening the nation’s doors to foreigners has been the most direct and immediate reason for our wealth and increase,” he wrote in 1709. (It’s not often noticed that when Defoe wrote Robinson Crusoe, his novel based on the real-life castaway Alexander Selkirk, who had set off from Bristol, he made his hero into a German. “I was called Robinson Kreutznaer,” the novel begins, “but by the usual corruption of words in England, we are now called Crusoe.”) Others, however, feared the innovations the French migrants brought, such as weaving looms. The Bristol MP Sir John Knight opposed a 1693 bill to allow refugees to become citizens, saying: “Let us first kick the bill out of the House, then the foreigners out of the kingdom.” But Sir John was in a minority: the House of Commons found a pamphlet containing his speech so offensive, with its reference to “Froglanders”, that members ordered it to be burned.

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he fine clothing that John Breillat displayed in his shop at 56 Broadmead was welcomed by Bristolians. He traded in silk – the finest fabric available, bought only by the well-off – and dyed it too. He was also a calenderer – now a forgotten trade, but it meant he had a calendar, a machine which pressed cloth between two large rollers to make it glossy. But his big idea took years to catch on – even when he demonstrated its benefits, for free, to the citizens of Bristol for four years. Gas lighting was far from new

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THE MAN WHO BROUGHT LIGHT TO BRISTOL Murdoch, in 1805. Suddenly mill owners could make the best use of their expensive machinery. It was wasteful (and sometimes difficult) to shut down rows of looms. Now they could be operated round the clock by shifts of workers. For good or ill, the industrial age had begun. Factories up and down the country were illuminated by Murdoch’s employer, Boulton & Watt, over the next five years. The revolution didn’t reach Bristol as it lacked the large cotton mills seen in the North. Hence much smaller places were lit up first: Dolphinholme in Lancashire, for example, had its mill and its main street lit up in 1811 – thought to be the first gas-lit village in Britain. In London, fashionable Pall Mall had been lit up in 1807, but it was an exception. People were suspicious of this new technology with its hissing pipes and the risk of fire. It wasn’t until 1813 that Westminster Bridge acquired gas lights, fed by pipes made of wood.

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Bright idea: Gas lights made Bristol safer – but someone had to light them! PHOTO: Bristol Gas Co collection in Bristol Archives, 28777/U/Ph/2/4 when John Breillat first lit his flame outside his shop. But just like the first people to use this new technology, his first impulse was not to make the streets a safer, brighter place. He probably just wanted to work longer hours. The first person to have used gas for lighting was probably William Murdoch, an engineer who worked in the 1790s in Cornwall, constructing some of the earliest steam engines used in pumping water out of the tin mines. Murdoch is credited with many inventions, from the the sun and planet gear, which allowed the beam of a steam engine to turn a rotating shaft – and thus power a mill – to the pneumatic tubeto send capsules through a pipe pushed by air pressure. The tubes are still used in supermarkets to send cash safely from the tills to the office. From 1792, Murdoch was trying to make light from coal gas. He noticed that if he burned coals and captured the gas in a three-foot iron tube, and then piped it through an old gun barrel, he could ignite the end of the barrel and get a bright flame.

Many experiments followed: Murdoch’s house in Redruth was the first to be lit by gas, and he sometimes carried a bladder of gas under his arm to supply a portable lantern – this time the jet was an old clay pipe. None of this paid the bills, though. In 1798 Murdoch moved to the Soho foundry in Birmingham, where he managed to light some of the interior. In those days, indoor work of most kinds ceased at nightfall. A foundry with its furnaces was perhaps an exception. But in the burgeoning textile mills, delicate work by puny oil lamps was difficult – and expensive, as many lamps were needed. It was also time consuming: each oil lamp had to be filled and lit by hand. Before, the cost of lighting meant some jobs were not profitable to continue after dark – they were literally “not worth the candle”. After years of experiments, Murdoch found the best way to burn coal and use lead pipes to carry the gas where it was needed. The Philips and Lee cotton mill in Manchester was the first factory to be lit by

ohn Breillat had been born into the dyer trade but did not fancy it much. But perhaps the complex task of making his various dyes had got him hooked, because he took an interest in the new science of chemistry, and in 1804 attended a lecture at the Lyceum in London where a Mr Winsor showed the brilliance of the new coal gas. Breillat was fascinated, but realised the technology was in its infancy. He began conducting his own experiments at the back of his shop, and finally in 1811 he placed advertisements in the Bristol Mirror reading: LECTURE and EXHIBITION of the GASLIGHTS. J BREILLAT respectfully informs the Nobility, and Gentry, and Public, that lie intends for a short time to exhibit, every evening at his own house, a Specimen of the above interesting discovery, accompanied with a Descriptive Lecture, to commence on Monday, Sept 9, at Seven o’clock in the evening.— For particulars see hand-bills. No. 56, Broadmead. • How did Bristolians take to the new-fangled light? Find out next month when we continue the story.

Got a story or any other inquiry? Call Paul on 07811 766072 or email paul@southbristolvoice.co.uk


April 2019

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Barry vibe characterise Corduroy, who won fans in the 1990s with a groovy set of filmic tunes. Tickets from £8.25, 7pm. fiddlers.co.uk Monday April 8 n Getset For Growth: Business Finance Principles Unit 24, KWMC: The Factory, Filwood Green Business Park,  Hengrove Way. Masterclass on basic financial documents, and financial health in business. Email thefactory@kwmc.org.uk or call 0117 403 2306 or eto book a free place. One of a series of events for those starting in business. kwmc.org.uk/events n Kev’s Comic Masterclass Zion, Bishopsworth Road. Kev F Sutherland draws for the Beano, Doctor Who and Marvel comics, and wants to show you how easy it is. You’ll leave with a comic made by everyone in the class. £10, 10am-1pm, ages 7+. zionbristol.co.uk/events Tuesday April 9 n Board Games Tobacco Factory bar, North Street. A huge selection of board games, with beers, food, and gaming staff to guide you. 6-10pm, £3.50. tobaccofactory.com/whats-on n Joan Fontcuberta Martin Powell Foundation, Paintworks, Bath Road, Totterdown. Fontcuberta’s creative “constructions” challenge our trust in photography. Talk and book signing. 7pm, £8/£6. martinparrfoundation.org Wednesday April 10 n Hammers and Nails

Doomed? Not yet, says top scientist

half the nation will reply. We’ve got rising knife crime, more people living on the streets, our schools and health service are in crisis. And what about climate change? Well, take murder – in the medieval period, about 35 people in every 100,000 would be murdered every year. In Europe today, the risk of homicide is just one per 100,000. (Pinker might have pointed out that the UK may now be facing a knife crime epidemic, but the murder rate in London is half what it was in 1990.) Take life expectancy. In the 1770s, the average person worldwide died at about 30. Now it’s 71 – and that includes the poorer parts of Asia and subSaharan Africa. Disease, hunger, poor mental, health – they’re all on the decline. For Pinker, that’s down to the values that blossomed in the Enlightenment from the 17th

n Review Prof Steven Pinker Bristol Festival of Ideas, University of Bristol Wills Building TEVEN Pinker has been called one of the 100 most influential people on Earth. He’s up there with Stephen Hawking or Carl Sagan – so why haven’t more people heard of him? Perhaps because his message is so hard for many of us to accept: the world is getting better and better. More democratic, spreading wealth, education and better health across the planet – this is the tide of history, says this Harvard professor of psychology. Huh? He’s not talking about us,

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n WHAT’S ON

n WHAT’S ON Until April 6 n A Midsummer Night’s Dream Tobacco factory theatre, North Street. Tobacco Factory artistic director Mike Tweddle swaps the genders of the lovers to give a decided edge to Shakespeare’s fantasy of vengeful fairies, amateur actors, mindaltering herbs and dangerous desires. 7.30pm, tickets from £12. tobaccofactorytheatres.com Friday April 5 n Fun Quiz St Paul’s Church, Coronation Road, Teams of 4, £5 per person including light supper. Quiz starts at 7.30pm. n Carl Hutchinson: I Know I Shouldn’t Behave Like This Comedy Box at the Hen & Chicken Studio, North Street. Following a sold-out 2017 tour, Geordie comedian Carl Hutchinson is back, displaying his uniquely adolescent approach to grown-up issues. 7.45pm, £13. thecomedybox.co.uk Sunday April 7 n Wedding Fair Arnos Vale cemetery, Bath Road. Among the 30 “alt-wedding” providers are circus acts from Rachel Mayes, temporary tattoos from Doris Loves and food from Cleverchefs, as well as florists, venue stylists and photographers. 10am2pm. For stories of murder, rioting, adultery and more, join the Murder, Mayhem and Mystery Tour at 11.30am, £8. arnosvale.org.uk/events n Corduroy Fiddlers Club, Willway Street, Bedminster. Hammond organ and a John

April 2019

The Factory, Unit 24, Filwood Green Business Park, Hengrove Way. Learn how to design and make a laser-cut Easter card. Free, 10am-12.30pm, 16+, no experience needed. For details e-mail thefactory@kwmc.org.uk or call 0117 403 2306. kwmc.org.uk/events

Convicts turn the tables on civilised values n Our Country’s Good Tobacco Factory theatre, North Street Wednesday April 17-May 13

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HE STORY of the first convict colony in Australia – and what happens when an enlightened officer allows them to stage a play. Timberlake Wertenbaker’s play is based on a book by the acclaimed Australian author Thomas Keneally. Battling ridicule and the threat of hanging, the actors discover the lives they could have led if society had cast them in different roles. Set in the “wilderness” of Australia, the play questions the meaning of civilised society and who has the right to determine its Windmill hill City Farm, Philip Street, Bedminster. Create something out of wood using hammers and nails outdoors, 10am to 12 noon or 1-3pm. For children 4+, accompanied by an adult. £2. No booking required. windmillhillcityfarm.org.uk n Marky Jay: Magic Show Zion, Bishopsworth Road. With his monkey assistant Professor Steve Chimpington, Marky Jay shows off magic tricks and juggling, which never seem to go to plan! Ages 3+, 10.30am, £3. Prof Steven Pinker on Trump: “Everyone’s entitled to his own truth, but not his own facts”. century. Freedom, democracy, the value of education, and the increasing kindness we show each other and our children as we become wealthier, better fed, and better able to enjoy our lives. These facts, based on hundreds of studies, are rattled off to the backdrop of a rapid slide show, with graphs aplenty. Yet Pinker’s mild tone and West Coast rock-star perm soften the onslaught. Yes, climate change is a crisis: we have to reduce carbon emissions to zero. But the stats

Our country?

PHOTO: Joe Roberts

future. Our Country’s Good is the second in the Factory Company’s 2019 season and is directed by Anna Girvan, who returns to the Tobacco Factory from the RSC and the National Theatre. Tickets from £12; age 14+, 7.30pm, matinées 2pm. • BSL interpreted performance Friday April 26. • Post show talk follows the performance on Friday April 26. • Director’s Lab Friday April 26, 11am-5pm. Join director Anna Girvan on the set for a day. tobaccofactorytheatres.com zionbristol.co.uk Thursday April 11 n Wild Outdoors Club – Farmcraft Windmill Hill City Farm, Philip Street, Bedminster. Farmcraft is a real-life adventure session, linked to the computer game Minecraft. Starting in a biome called Windmill Hillcraft, collect ore, stone, wood and gold to swap for tools, resources and equipment. Snack provided, £10, 10am to 12 noon. windmillhillcityfarm.org.uk n Easter Decorations KWMC: show that as societies get richer, they clean up their factories and power plants. No, it’s not enough, and the anti-fact brigade such as Donald Trump do not help. But for Pinker, progress is always possible. Why don’t we all know this story? Because news is about the unusual. If journalists had different priorities, we might be hearing how, yesterday, 137,000 people escaped from extreme poverty. The same thing happened every day for the last 30 years. Only once did Pinker shock: “Inequality is not an issue,” he said. “Poverty is an issue. How rich the rich are is irrelevant.” To many Brits, this sounds like right-wing politics. Pinker sees it as backed by evidence. This point aside, his arguments are overwhelming. Why aren’t we listening? Paul Breeden stevenpinker.com • More on the Voice website

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Your event could be highlighted like this for just £5. Email ruth@southbristolvoice.co.uk n Forest School Arnos Vale cemetery, Bath Road. Bushcraft skills in the cemetery’s outdoor centre. Learn to start and control fire safely in the outdoors, try campfire cooking and den building. Advance booking required, £20 (includes snack but not lunch), ages 6-10 (under 8s must be accompanied throughout), 11am-3pm. arnosvale.org.uk/events n Boozy Bingo Knowle Constitutional Club, 162 Wells Road, Totterdown. Eyes down and look in: seven games of bingo with cash and boozy prizes on all games. £5 per person, 8pm. Facebook: Knowle Constitutional Club n Johnny Dowd The Thunderbolt, Bath Road, Totterdown. Thirty years on from his dark and startling Americana debut Wrong Side Of Memphis, Johnny Dowd returns to the roots rock arena with Family Picnic, his new album. With DJ Cactus County. 7.30pm, £12. thethunderbolt.net Friday April 12 n The Secret History of Frenchay Hospital Knowle and Totterdown Local History Society. Alan Freke visits with an intruiging story of Bristol history. 7.30pm, Redcatch Community Centre, Redcatch Road, Knowle. Members £1.50, visitors £3. knowleandtotterdownhistory. org.uk Saturday April 13 n Riverbank Clean-up Franc, Friends of the Avon New Cut, welcome new hands to tidy the riverbank between Totterdown’s Banana Bridge and Bath Bridge. Meet at 9.50am. Usually followed by refreshments at 12 noon. franc.org.uk n The Selfish Giant Creative Workspace, Queens Road, Withywood. Soup Soap Theatre present the story of Grinter, a giant who lives alone in her huge snowy gardens. Until one day, when children from the

In your face: The cast of Trainspotting are also in your lap, drinking your pint, and are not entirely concerned whether you’re bothered ...

Choose cider, choose chaos, choose life n Review Trainspotting Loco Klub HERE’S a party going on in the fourth tunnel back in the Loco Klub, the appropriately grungy venue underneath the ramp at Temple Meads station. Acid house classics are playing loud and there’s a crowd of gurning ravers having a blast. They welcome the audience in, taking us to our seats around the long, catwalk-style stage. This is the third time Trainspotting Live, based on the novel by Irvine Welsh, has raged into Bristol. I’m so glad I finally caught it. Every member of the cast is excellent, but I was riveted by the dexterity, bravado and

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grey world outside find a way in, changing all their lives forever. 11am, £2.50 in advance or £3 on the door. With a drama games workshop from 1.30-2.30pm. creativeworkspacebristol.co.uk n Gary Numan & Kraftwerk Tribute Fiddlers Club, Willway Street, Bedminster. Pat Martin pays homage to synth pioneer Gary Unman while Man Machine do the honours for Kraftwerk. 8pm, £10. fiddlers.co.uk Tuesday April 16 n Eggsplosions Day! Creative Workspace, Queens Road, Withywood. Craft workshop with Laura from Colourful Minds for a day of splat painting and safe but egg-splosive science experiments. Advance booking recommended. Drop in 11am-3pm, £2.50 in advance or £3 on the door. creativeworkspacebristol.co.uk Wednesday April 17 n Pete Ka Mally & guests: Not in My Dinnertime The Thunderbolt, Bath Road,

versatility of Lauren Downie who played June and a range of other roles, and Andrew Barrett as our hero Renton, charming, human and totally committed to the role – though he did corpse a little at his own ad lib-joke, insulting a couple of lads in the audience as Hanson lookalikes. This production is immersive to the max. Entering the party was exhilarating, you feel right inside it and I was grinning my head off. But anyone who’s read the book or seen the movie will know that the dark outweighs the light in this savage depiction of heroin culture in Edinburgh in the 1980s. There is explicit depiction of drug-taking – at once fascinating and devastating, in your face nudity (literally), sex, violence and all the bad language you could shake a syringe at (bad taste?) At one short end of the stage there’s a mashed up, soiled old

sofa, at the other, a stripped bare mattress. Action takes place end to end, and in and over and through the audience, with cast members swigging our pints – ‘“Ugh, that’s cider – I thought it was lager, ya ken?” – scooching in to sit amongst us, shouting, threatening, flirting, hugging or crawling over us – and they come in and out of the side tunnels, making great use of the performance space. The Worst Toilet in Scotland scene is a humdinger – I wouldn’t want to spoil it if you’re planning to go the next time the show comes through Bristol – but I can tell you it made the audience squeal and duck for cover. A brutal strobe scene summed up the chaos and confusion of one character’s descent to rock bottom. But there is something triumphant and joyous to have been part of it all – a reminder of the mantra – choose life! Beccy Golding

Totterdown. Pete K Mally is a metal fan, and a stand-up comedian. An evening of comedy and metal, with Craig Dixon , Dougie Carter and Bristol rock outfit Flowerpot. 7.30pm, £7. thethunderbolt.net Tuesday April 23-Saturday 27 n The Believers Are But

Brothers Spielman theatre, Tobacco factory, North Street. If you have What’s App on your phone, leave it switched on for this groundbreaking show exploring an online world of hate. Javaad Alipoor exposes a generation of young men Continued overleaf

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April 2019

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n WHAT’S ON A playhouse all can enter, but not as equals HIS play about the first female actresses couldn’t have come at a more relevant time, in this age of #Me Too and exposure of the glaring gender inequalities that still exist in theatre and the

Moorcroft, and the grand dame of actresses Mrs Betterton (Jessica Roy) stand out, one for her bawdy naivete, the other for her dramatic ambitions. But Cynthia Goldstein steals the show as the straighttalking, even bawdier Doll Common. As a kind of impish narrator, she keeps a reality check on the actresses’ hopes, especially Nell’s, and gets the best lines. “I’m usually the dead one under the cloak, or else I’m sweeping,” she says of her stage career, and when asked about the seedier aspects of the playhouse, “Do they fornicate?”,

“Nah. Say poetry and walk abaht…” There’s pathos too, when Mrs Farley, played by Caroline Baker, descends into prostitution when her theatrical life ends. Sarah Cullyer as the loyal playhouse employee Mrs Marshall, declares it’s time that actresses were paid to act, and not seen as novelties. The play ends fittingly with Doll’s impassioned speech of how they are just all playhouse creatures destined to perform for men in what was after all a bearpit, and Nell’s final powerful assertion, “Now we can say anything.” Elfyn Griffith

Continued from page 27 burning with resentment, without the money, power and sex they think they deserve. Where has this led us? Tickets from £12, 8.15pm. tobaccofactorytheatres.com Friday April 26 n Bristol Disability Equality Forum The Café, Gatehouse Centre, Hareclive Road, Hartcliffe. If you are a disabled or older resident and want to meet new people and talk about how to make change happen in South Bristol, join in from 10.30am12.30pm. For more information email Mike Steel mike.bristoldef@ gmail.com or call 0117 914 0528. Saturday April 27 n Stand Up For The Weekend with Ian Stone & Co Comedy Box at the Hen & Chicken Studio, North Street. Despite his easy-going manner, Ian Stone has an edgy take on the news – a talent honed in the Comedy Store’s acclaimed weekly Cutting Edge show. £12, 7.45pm. thecomedybox.co.uk Sunday April 28 n Michaela Fedeczko Tobacco

Factory bar, North Street. “Dazzling soul and pop vocalist whose voice really glistens and close harmonies are pitch perfect.” Free, 8-10pm. tobaccofactory.com/whats-on Wednesday May 1-Saturday 4 n Keep on Walking Federico Spielman theatre, Tobacco Factory, North Street. The Actors Touring Company continue Mark Lockyer’s self-penned story which began with Living With the Lights on in 2017. Mark is struggling with work, relationships, going grey. Plus, he can’t get his head around Snapchat. Then a letter arrives, and he has to leave … with no idea if he’ll ever come back. Age 14+, £12, 8.15pm. tobaccofactorytheatres.com Thursday May 2 n John Otway & Wild Willy Barrett The Thunderbolt, Bath Road, Totterdown. Otway’s chaotic stage demeanour is also his appeal; with sideman Barrett they had a hit, Really Free, in 1977. They don’t appear together often but love playing the Thunderbolt! £15, 7.30pm. thethunderbolt.net

Saturday May 4 n So Crafty Party Windmill Hill City Farm, Philip Street, Bedminster. Art and craft sessions for children with all materials provided, and games and stories depending on ages. Includes snack. Sessions from 9.30-11.30am,12-2pm, 2.304.30pm. £12.75, ages 6-10. windmillhillcityfarm.org.uk Sunday May 5 n Boundary walk Arnos Vale cemetery, Bath Road. A tour exploring the 45 acres of cemetery grounds, 10.30am12 noon. See how the 1830s cemetery expanded in the 1860s and 1890s. Part of Bristol Walk Fest. Free, donations welcome. arnosvale.org.uk/events n Topette!! SouthBank Club, Dean Lane, Southville. AngloFrench acoustic five-piece Topette!! visit Southville on their UK tour with their energetic take on folk. With Radio 2 Folk Awards winner Andy Cutting on accordion and French bagpiper and banjo plucker Julien Cartonnet. 6.30pm, £15.40. southbankclub.webs.com/events

Sunday May 5-Monday May 6 n The School Trip / The Little Village of Oaktown Acta theatre, Gladstone Street, Bedminster. Double bill from Lockleaze Youth Theatre. A school trip takes a wrong turning and becomes an adventure; meanwhile, nothing ever happens in Oaktown, until the day of the new arrivals. 12 noon, £2. acta-bristol.com

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BRUSH STROKES DECORATING

BRUSH STROKES DECORATING Contact Simon on 07905 364353

Regular events

n Baby Sensory is a learning development programme for babies 0-13 months. Classes at the Victoria Park Baptist Church Hall, Sylvia Avenue BS3 5DA on Tuesdays. For details email Sian at bristolsouth@babysensory. co.uk or visit babysensory.com/bristol-south n Folks & Bairns parent and baby choir The Milk Shed, Southville, Wednesdays 1-2pm. Free taster; £60 a term (12 sessions, pro rata if you join later in term). Email folksandbairns@ gmail.com or visit folksandbairns.com 

A mythical tale of South Bristol n Southside Stories Zion Saturday April 13-Sunday 14 FTER a sell-out run at the Tobacco Factory theatre, Zion brings its homegrown piece of South Bristol theatre to its own stage in Bishopsworth Road. Written by Liz Mytton and co-produced by Zion Community Space, it tackles themes of deprivation, diversity and finding light in the darkest of times. Invisible transport, talking pets and a midnight market where all

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southbristolvoice

n THE CITY PAGE

wider world. The Southville Players’ faithful adaptation of April de Angelis’s 1993 drama took us back to 1670, when, after 17 years of Puritan suppression, King Charles II reopened the theatres and allowed women to act for the first time. It’s an energetic production, directed by Martin Booth, with five strong female performances. The storyline is sometimes confusing, but the thread of ribald humour makes up for the stop-start of sometimes patchy scene-changes. The characters of the infamous Nell Gwyn, played by Becky

n Review Playhouse Creatures Hen & Chicken Studio

April 2019

Homegrown story by the people of BS13 currency is accepted are all part of Southside, a mystical neighbourhood between Hartcliffe, Withywood and Bishopsworth. Inspired by the experiences of the local community, BS13 Theatre presents a tale of overcoming adversity and oppression and waiting for buses that never arrive. Tickets £5 for BS13 residents, £8 others; age 14+. Shows 3pm, 8pm. zionbristol.co.uk

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29

BRISTOL CITY ROUND-UP

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Supporting City and the best in building

All to play for in the last weeks – but oh, that Ipswich draw

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All hail City, who are aiming for the top of the table, not the drop zone. But a home draw to the bottom side isn’t a good omen for MARTIN POWELL

VERY year with about 10 games to go to the end of the football season I get hold of the remaining fixtures and try to predict where Bristol City will finish. All too often this has involved studying the form of the bottom teams to see if City can scrape together the necessary 50 points and avoid the drop. This year the exercise has involved studying the form of the top teams. Defeats against Norwich and Leeds since the turn of the year have pretty much determined that the top two is beyond reach

MARTIN’S SHORTS n BRISTOL City have moved a fan in the South Stand after complaints from those around him about his bad language. He says it is because his Scottish accent makes him sound aggressive. Older fans will remember the halcyon days of the First Division with Gerry Gow, Tom Ritchie and Gerry Sweeney, who would always react to some robust Scottish encouragement or criticism!

– but there are likely to be plenty of twists and turns yet as the four play-off spots are determined. Now of course you might want a prediction that is based on algorithms, computer analysis of data, spreadsheet information on the form of all players in the Championship and some kind of scientific criteria. What I did was sit down with a pencil and paper and give my best guess how every game left to be played might end – for instance how might Leeds get on away to Birmingham in April. After much head scratching, I can officially declare that City are heading for seventh spot, missing out on the play-offs by one point! It makes the home draw with rock-bottom Ipswich on March 12 (when most people were expecting a City win) seem pretty crucial – although manager Lee Johnson says maybe that was the vital point that will get them in to the play-offs, and maybe he has a sharper pencil than me. In truth, nobody knows what will happen. The form of Derby County will also determine whether the season is extended by a few games. To clinch a play-off place will be a great

In the action: Famara Diedhiou at the Ipswich game PHOTO: JMPUK/BCFC achievement. It is still all to play for. What we have learned this season is how big and tough a squad you need to flourish at the top end of the Championship. City went on a magnificent run but like last year, the lack of strength in depth of the squad is starting to show. Marlon Pack and Josh Brownhill must be savouring the break between games. They have had to get through so many hours of football as in truth there is nobody to replace them who isn’t injured, inexperienced or playing out of position. The draw against Ipswich at

home saw Stefan Marinovic in goal, playing his first game at this level and showing it is a big step up from Vancouver Whitecaps reserves. The squad City take into the final 10 games also includes Lloyd Kelly, Kasey Palmer, Max O’Leary and Antoine Semenyo, all great prospects but still learning the game. They will find it tough away to Middlesbrough! Up front, Famara Diedhiou is a lone figure tussling with some of the best defenders in Europe twice a week for a share of the ball. It’s still all to play for but it looks like a tough run in to the end of the season.

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Got a story or any other inquiry? Call Paul on 07811 766072 or email paul@southbristolvoice.co.uk


April 2019

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n YOUR MP

KARIN SMYTH Labour MP for Bristol South

All of us deserve the freedom to live normal lives, Brexit or no

A

S YOUR MP, I want to help people in Bristol South access opportunities to live fulfilling lives; my focus is on health and post-16 education and apprenticeships. This is also a focal point for me in my front bench role as shadow minister for Northern Ireland. It’s not just about the challenge of Brexit, but it is about helping people in Northern Ireland to lead equally fulfilling lives. As the British-born child of Irish immigrants, with family in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, it’s an area of politics that’s always been of interest to me. In fact, it was the 1998 Good Friday Agreement that stopped me being a political cynic and ultimately led to me becoming an MP. Setting aside the differences in

communities allowed people to come together in what they share and allowed normal life to ensue. I was pleased to join the hugely important symbolic protest calling for the decriminalisation of abortion in Northern Ireland. As a feminist, I’m a long-time supporter of a woman’s right to choose. I was pleased to see change in the Republic of Ireland last year and, along with my Labour Party colleagues, will continue pressing for change in Northern Ireland. The question of the Irish border was one

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of the first concerns I raised with the then Prime Minister David Cameron during a post-referendum House of Commons debate. It’s something I’ve continued to speak about, as the Government attempts (and fails) to navigate Brexit, both in my shadow cabinet role and as vice-chair of the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly. During a recent visit to Northern Ireland with Labour colleagues, I met with victims and survivors of the Troubles, visited a local hospital and regeneration projects and spoke with education campaigners. The uncertainty surrounding Brexit is of great concern for people who just want to carry on living normal and peaceful lives. It isn’t just about a physical border, although that would be disastrous; it’s the wider impact on the normal, free-flowing life people currently enjoy. In the same way that some people in Bristol South work or send their children to school in North Somerset and vice versa, people living in Northern Ireland and those living in the Republic of Ireland currently do that unhindered. We cannot have a situation where people suddenly find themselves living under very different rules and regulations with barriers – physical or otherwise. Like most of us, people in Northern Ireland simply want the freedom to live normal lives.

April 2019

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