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southbristolvoice

May 2021 No. 65

www.southbristolvoice.co.uk

We Sell and Let Property Like Yours

WIDEST CIRCULATION IN SOUTH BRISTOL – 15,000 copies of this edition

FREE MONTHLY IN Bedminster, Southville, Knowle, Totterdown, Ashton, Ashton Vale and Windmill Hill

Residents and store in dispute over noise

Page 4

Traffic problems would 'be worse'

Page 5

SPLASH-TASTIC! Pool open again after closure threat but campaign group says battle is not yet won

Pages 6-7

Defects found in playgrounds

PLUS Bristol South pool to reopen in June Page 3

ELECTIONS 2021 SPECIAL Candidates in all the polls Pages 17-25

We Sell and Let Property Like Yours Tel: 01179634373

Email: Southville@cjhole.co.uk

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Web: cjhole.co.uk

IN


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southbristolvoice

Contacts

Becky Day Editorial director news@southbristolvoice.co.uk Ruth Drury Sales director 07590 527664 sales@southbristolvoice.co.uk Rich Coulter Editorial director 07775 550607 news@southbristolvoice.co.uk Editorial team: Charley Rogers Next month’s deadline for editorial and advertising is May 19

COMPLAINTS Despite our best efforts, we sometimes get things wrong. We always try to resolve issues informally at first but we also have a formal complaints procedure. If you have a complaint about anything in the 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: news@southbristolvoice.co.uk or by post: 111 Broadfield Rd, Knowle, Bristol BS4 2UX or by phone: 0777 555 0607.

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 the above number for an appointment My councillor? Post: (all councillors) City Hall, College Green, Bristol BS1 5TR. Celia Phipps Labour, Bedminster By phone: 07469 413312 By email: Cllr.celia.phipps@bristol.gov.uk Mark Bradshaw Labour, Bedminster. By email: Cllr.mark. bradshaw@bristol.gov.uk By phone: 0117 353 3160 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

Stephen Clarke Green, Southville By email: Cllr.stephen.clarke@ bristol.gov.uk Charlie Bolton Green, Southville By phone: 07884 736111 By email: Cllr.charlie.bolton@bristol.gov.uk Christopher Davies Lib Dem, Knowle Email: Cllr.Christopher. Davies@bristol.gov.uk Phone: 07826917714 Gary Hopkins Lib Dem, Knowle (Lib Dem deputy leader) Email: Cllr.Gary.Hopkins@bristol.gov.uk Phone: 07977 512159 Lucy Whittle Labour, Windmill Hill Phone: 07392 108805 Email: cllr.lucy.whittle@bristol.gov.uk Jon Wellington Labour, Windmill Hill Phone: 07392 108804 Email: Cllr.Jon.Wellington@bristol.gov.uk

Housing benefit 0117 922 2300 Social services  0117 922 2900 Police  Inquiries 101 Emergency 999

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All stories and pictures are ©South Bristol Voice (unless otherwise stated) and may not be reproduced without permission. South Bristol Media Ltd | Co. no. 11948223 | VAT no. 322 3640 38

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May 2021

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News

Bristol South pool set to reopen next month Bristol South Pool in Dean Lane. Image, Google Maps

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JUBILEE POOL AND GYM NOW OPEN! THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING OUR CAMPAIGN, WE COULDN’T HAVE DONE IT WITHOUT YOU. The FRIENDS OF JUBILEE POOL are still working hard to prevent the pool’s planned closure in 2022. CAN YOU HELP? If you would like to get involved to help save this key local facility, which helps numerous people keep active and healthy, we would love to hear from you. Please contact us via social media or email us at savejubileepool@hotmail.com

By Charley Rogers Bristol South Swimming Pool is set to reopen on June 7, says managers Everyone Active. The pool shut in November 2019 for repair works and has remained closed since. A statement released on Everyone Active's website reads: “Subject to completion of the works, the swimming pool is now planned to reopen on the week commencing 7th June 2021. “All of our existing swim fitness members and swimming lesson members at Bristol South Swimming Pool have been frozen, with all up-front paying customers having their membership extended by the length of our closure.” As previously reported in the Voice, the closure was originally scheduled for four weeks. However, ongoing maintenance and Covid-19 restrictions meant closure was extended. Cllr Asher Craig, deputy mayor and Cabinet member for Communities, said of the delay: “The Bristol South pool is a

much loved community facility with nearly 100,000 visits each year and this work was vital to ensure that it is maintained and remains fit for purpose. “While the extra time needed for the work is understandably frustrating, these improvements were necessary to ensure the pool can still operate effectively and continue to be enjoyed by so many people.’’ In a post on their Facebook page, Everyone Active said: “This year has been very challenging for everyone but we couldn’t have got through it without our fantastic members. "Thank you for your support and we can’t wait to welcome you all back through our doors again soon.” According to a comment by the facility on its Facebook page, customers will be contacted closer to June 7 to confirm reopening. For updates or to make an enquiry, see www.facebook. com/eaBristolSouth/ or www. everyoneactive.com/centre/ bristol-south-swimming-pool/

Do you have a story to share? Call Becky on 07912484405

LANE SWIMMING & GYM SESSIONS AVAILABLE 7 DAYS A WEEK FAMILY SESSIONS AVAILABLE AT WEEKENDS Family sessions can only be booked by calling the pool

ATTENDING THE POOL AND GYM • All sessions need to be BOOKED IN ADVANCE in order to limit the number of people using the facilities to support social distancing. • On arrival ensure you check-in at reception, collect a sanitised box to store your belongings and obtain your lane wristband if swimming. • When using the pool please arrive ‘pool ready’, with your swimsuit on underneath your clothes. Although the showers are unavailable, you may use the changing rooms after your swim to dry off. • When using the gym please arrive and leave in your gymwear.

HOW TO BOOK YOUR SESSION There are 3 ways to make your booking; 1. Visit website leisurecentre.com/jubilee-swimming-pool then go to ‘Timetable’. Select your preferred timeslot and follow the instructions on how to create an account, book and make payment. 2. Download the app called Leisure Centre. For instructions on how to use the app go to leisurecentre.com/how-to-book. 3. Calling the pool on 0117 304 8180. Please be patient when calling, as the pool is currently working with a limited number of staff.

KEEP IN TOUCH & UP TO DATE JUBILEE POOL & GYM, JUBILEE ROAD, KNOWLE, BRISTOL BS4 2LP TEL: 0117 304 8180

Got a story for South Bristol Voice? Call Rich on 0777 555 0607 or email news@southbristolvoice.co.uk


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May 2021

News

Supermarket defends late-night deliveries as residents complain about disturbed sleep By Charley Rogers A group of south Bristol residents are in fraught talks with Asda Bedminster over what they are calling a "breach of conditions". The residents are claiming that the supermarket is operating outside of its agreed hours, and causing disturbance with loud deliveries. According to Tony Gwyther, of Southville, Asda has been "flouting" a condition placed upon them in 2014, which prohibits deliveries to the store between 10pm and 6am. Tony said: “From day one of this restriction being put in place, it has been broken every night. It disturbs the sleep of the surrounding residents – we get maybe four hours because of the noise.” The main issue is the noise throughout the night says Tony, which he claims can be any time from 10pm to 6am. This includes

“drivers beeping their horns, and leaving engines and refrigerators running” while they make their deliveries to the store. But Asda claims it is operating within its rights. A spokesperson said: “To help support the local community in Bedminster and manage an increase in online orders from vulnerable customers shielding during the pandemic, the delivery schedule at the store has temporarily changed. These changes are in line with Government guidance to ensure supermarkets can restock and continue to serve customers at the present time.” Asda is also claiming that the response from residents has been aggressive, with a "campaign of abuse" towards colleagues at the Bedminster store from perturbed residents, including "physical and verbal abuse, threats through social media, and a bombardment of emails and

calls to colleagues both at the store and head office". The supermarket says they have had "multiple discussions" with council members and local parliamentary representatives, all of whom have come to the conclusion that the deliveries The delivery entrance to Asda Bedminster are necessary, and measures have been taken they’re having and make the to ensure a "minimum of reality of the situation clear. disruption" to residents. Surely it’s our human right to get Tony says he and the a good night’s sleep, and they’re residents' group he is part of preventing that.” do not condone the aggressive Bristol City Council is behaviour of these individuals, currently investigating the but that he understands how complaints. A spokesperson “thirteen years of frustration” said: “An investigation of could have led to such outbursts. reports of night-time deliveries He said: “We heard about those last December found there had incidents, and those people aren’t been a breach of the conditions part of the group anymore. prohibiting deliveries to and “But when you understand from this store between 10pm the toll that continued lack of and 6am. However, with sleep has on people, you can government advice that a flexible almost understand how they get approach should be adopted to that point, as unacceptable as towards enforcing planning it is.” controls on deliveries to retail The continued noise “has to premises during the pandemic, stop,” Tony says. He adds that this enforcement case was daily emails have been sent to subsequently closed. Asda outlining the residents' “Since further complaints concerns. Tony argues the have been received in early April volume of emails sent is a a new case has been opened reflection of the "abuse" they feel to reconsider this matter, with they have suffered over the years. our planning enforcement team He said: “We’re trying to get investigating and updating the Asda to understand the impact parties involved as to progress.’’

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May 2021

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News

Changes will simply move traffic to other streets By Charley Rogers As part of changes across the city to improve walking and cycling journeys, and create ‘more liveable’ neighbourhoods, Bristol City Council has presented possible options for the development of Greville Road. However, residents in the surrounding area have concerns that the proposed changes may in fact make the traffic issues in Southville worse. The options for change include four options focusing on either partial or total closure of Greville Road to traffic. The council’s engagement plan for the city-wide project states: “The proposals being considered involve making significant changes to several neighbourhood roads to create more liveable neighbourhoods free from traffic and congestion, to minimise rat running and to maximise community enjoyment of busy high streets. “The streets vary from major

city roads to bustling high streets or residential school routes – but all play a key role in serving each community’s unique needs. They were chosen following suggestions made by the public – and reviewed by officers – for ways to better manage traffic and promote more journeys by sustainable transport.” Emma El-Deen Luke, resident of Exeter Road, parallel to Greville Road, is concerned about traffic merely being syphoned to different areas of Southville. She said: “Exeter Road and Greville Road go in the same direction and have the same destination. So it seems quite obvious to me

that if you close one of the roads, then the additional traffic won’t necessarily evaporate, but just move to a different road. And in this case, it would be our road, and the others surrounding it.” Emma’s concerns are shared by a number of her neighbours, including Paul Gilbert, resident of Upton Road. Paul said: “Road safety is far more of an issue now, because of all the young children and toddlers around.” The proposal to address only one road is also of concern. Marilyn Taylor, of Gathorne Road, said: “I don’t understand the logic of looking at one road in isolation. I am very supportive of the idea of ‘liveable neighbourhoods’ and reducing the environmental impact of traffic, but this doesn’t seem to be the way to do that.” Matthew Symonds, member of the Liveable Neighbourhoods for Bedminster and Southville group, concurs. He said: “Taking a Liveable Neighbourhoods

approach to help create lowtraffic neighbourhoods for our residential streets would be much more effective than focusing on a few single streets. “We hope that the council will pause the current proposals, and instead revisit options with local residents to come up with a better solution.” Karin Smyth, MP for Bristol South, said in a statement: “Traffic management schemes should hold the primary focus of reducing and not simply displacing vehicle movements.” A Bristol City Council spokesperson said: “The recent survey asked for feedback on suggestions we received from local people to restrict access to motorised traffic via either a new one-way system or road closure on Greville Road. No decisions have been made and no detailed plans designed, and we will not take forward any scheme that is not supported by the community."

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News

Neighbourhood pool reopens with a splash By Becky Day It has been a time of great uncertainty for Jubilee Pool in Knowle. Now, the popular neighbourhood facility has finally reopened its doors – much to the delight of the local community. But campaigners who fought to save the much-loved amenity – built in 1937 – say that the “fight is not yet over” and a longterm plan must be in place to secure its future beyond March 2022, when its contract expires. Jubilee has been shut since the start of the pandemic and was threatened with permanent closure last summer when owners Bristol City Council claimed that reopening the pool was not financially viable. The council launched a consultation, proposing its closure, but it was met with strong opposition by campaign group Friends of Jubilee Pool (FoJP) who argued that “preCovid, the pool was operating at a profit and without subsidy”.

Jubilee Pool entrance. Image, Google Maps

A petition launched by FoJP to save the pool, which is run by Parkwood Leisure, received over 4,500 signatures and in December, the South Bristol Voice revealed that the facility was able to reopen. This is the third time the pool has been saved from closure in recent years. Now, swimmers and gym goers have been returning to

Jubilee in their droves, and Jules Laming from the FoJP group says that there is a “real buzz” in the pool. Jules said: “I can’t tell you how amazing it is to have people back in the water and people using the gym again. People are so pleased, and the feedback has been really positive. “We all came together, saved the pool and now it’s here for

everyone to use. Everyone is so happy to be back.” However, Jules says that the pool is “still under threat” and people need to continue using the pool and join as members to demonstrate that there is a demand for the facility. She adds that in order to “remove the continued uncertainty”, FoJP intends to explore the option of a Community Asset Transfer (CAT), where ownership of the building is transferred to a community organisation. Jubilee member Jerry Hatcher, 64, has been using the pool since he was 10 – and over the last 10 years he has been using the pool daily as “remedy” following a cancer diagnosis. “It’s a pleasure to be back. It’s been a long time coming – and this is the best result. "For the last 10 years I've been coming here every day – it's a priceless place to be. No matter what time you come, you pretty

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but campaigners say the 'fight is not over yet'

much know everyone in here and it's a lovely feeling. It would be a travesty to lose it.” Jo Franks, who is part of FoJP, said: "We’re thrilled to be back and to be part of the swimming community again and seeing friends. The amount of people coming back shows there’s a demand for the pool." Gary McGeorge was also part of the campaign to save the pool but says that the “fight isn’t over yet”. He uses the gym mostly, but his children have used the pool since they were babies.

He says that there is “nowhere like Jubilee in the country”, due to its location, tucked away down a residential street. Gary added: “The other day, I saw a woman walk home in her towel – she only lived down the road.” Campaigners remarked that Jubilee has a "soul" to it, with staff knowing the names of many of its regular customers. Rob Langley, manager at Jubilee Pool, says that it is "fantastic" that the pool is open again. He said: "The support while it was closed has been carried through to its reopening. “There’s a lot of passion. The number of people coming through the doors show people want to use it. “All customers seem happy and there has been a good rush of members - there's a demand there.” Swim and gym sessions at

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Lessons are due to recommence in May, Covid restrictions permitting. For more information about Friends of Jubilee Pool, visit: www.facebook.com/ friendsofjubileepool

LICENSING ACT 2003 Application for the Grant of a Premises Licence I Michael O’Neill of 33a East Street, Bedminster, Bristol, BS3 4HH have applied for the grant of a premises licence to Bristol City Council, Licensing Team, 100 Temple Street, Bristol BS1 6AG. The record of the application may also be inspected at this address between 9.00 am and 5.00 pm Monday – Friday, except for Wednesday when the opening hours are 10.00 am and 5.00 pm or on the Council’s website at www.bristol.gov.uk. Details of application as follows: • Sale of Alcohol (On and off premises) Monday to Thursday 07:00 to 00:30 • Sale of Alcohol (On and off premises) Friday to Sunday 07:00 to 02:30 • Live Music Monday to Thursday 23:00 to 01:00, Friday to Sunday 23:00 to 03:00 • Recorded Music Monday to Thursday 23:00 to 01:00, Friday to Sunday 23:00 to 03:00 • Performances of Dance Monday to Thursday 23:00 to 01:00, Friday to Sunday 23:00 to 03:00 • Late Night Refreshment Monday to Thursday 23:00 to 00:30, Friday to Sunday 23:00 to 02:30 Non-Standard Timings/Seasonal Variations: • An additional hour every Friday, Saturday, Sunday & Monday of Bank holiday weekends. • An additional hour every Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday & Monday of Easter bank holiday weekends. • An additional hour Christmas Eve and Boxing Day. • On New Year’s Eve from the end of licensed hours through to the start of licensed hours on New Year’s Day. Opening hours applied for: • Monday to Thursday 06:00 to 01:00, Friday – Sunday 06:00 – 03:00.

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Jubilee Pool can be booked online at www.leisurecentre. com/jubilee-swimmingpool. Lane swimming is open throughout the week and family swim sessions are available to book at the weekend.

Relevant persons and responsible authorities may make written representation to the relevant Licensing Authority by 18th May 2021. Such representation shall be made in writing to Licensing Team(100TS) PO BOX 3399 Bristol BS1 9NE or via email: licensing@bristol.gov.uk It is an offence knowingly or recklessly to make a false statement in connection with an application and the maximum fine for which a person is liable on summary conviction for the offence is an unlimited fine.

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May 2021

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News

Guys walk (the dog) and talk about mental health By Charley Rogers Dudes & Dogs is an initiative that supports men in talking about their mental health in a safe and relaxed environment, through weekly walks across the country. Although in-person walks stopped during lockdown, with virtual versions taking their place, now restrictions are easing, Dudes & Dogs are back. Following the UK government’s Lockdown Exit Roadmap, south Bristol walks re-started on Saturday, April 3 at 10am, and are taking place every Saturday and Sunday from then on. Charlie Taylor, co-owner of KASK in Bedminster, and South Bristol Dog Dude, said: “There’s a lot in the news right now about mental health and lots of encouragement for men to open up, but there still aren’t enough avenues for us to do so. Dudes & Dogs creates an informal and relaxed setting that gets us out into the open air (and the beautiful countryside around

Charlie’s gorgeous dog, Indiana Bones

Bristol) on a weekend morning, providing the opportunity to unburden and set ourselves up for a great weekend. “There’s no pressure to share – but there is the opportunity to do so, and having the dogs along with us for the walk provides a certain levity that really helps. "My dog Indy (a small fluffy white energy-ball) often provides that levity when he decides to

assert his Napoleon complex on the biggest dogs out there.” Launched in October 2019 by Bristol-based Rob Osman, Dudes & Dogs has already helped plenty of dudes around the UK, and has been featured by BBC news, Lorraine, ITV, LadBible, the Today programme and more. Dogs & Dudes walking groups are currently operating in Bristol, Lincolnshire, Oxfordshire,

Gloucester, South Wales, Bath and Brighton. In a video on the Dudes & Dogs website, Rob says: “The principle around it is getting a group of guys together, one who will have a dog – the Dog Dude of the group, the facilitator – and then all the guys will go out for a walk and talk. “You can talk about the big stuff, you can talk about the small stuff, you can talk about the sport this weekend. Or you can just tag along – it’s completely up to you, and we do everything at your own pace.” All walks are free for those who sign up, and south Bristol walks take place at Ashton Court. For more information on how to join a walk, become a Dog Dude, donate, or check out some excellent D&D merch, visit dudesndogs.co.uk. You can also find Dudes & Dogs on Facebook @DudesnDogs

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News

Business partners hope for growth with plant shop by Charley Rogers Partners Alex Florisca and Sarah Cheetham have opened a new shop in the heart of Bedminster, specialising in houseplants and handmade pots. Twig opened on April 14, opposite Trika Yoga in a strikingly painted building. Sarah (pictured, right) has a background in conservation and is bringing her love of mother earth to an urban setting. She says: “I looked at the constants in my life and my 'happy places'. After a tough day whether emotional or physical I found myself gravitating to nature - be it outside with the trees or inside with my ever growing plant collection. It was my calm space, my 'me time'. “Tending and looking after

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my plants, watching them grow and adapt to their environment, all my worries and concerns seem to disappear.” The pair are hoping Twig will benefit the community. Sarah added: “I thought about the ever increasing amount of people flocking to the cities and away from nature. So I decided to be bring the nature back to them! “Plants create calm, introduce wilderness and improve wellbeing. Taking this idea I wanted to create beautiful, timeless designs with luscious green life reviving plants.” Twig is now open at 175 North Street and at twigplants.co.uk/

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Pictured, Emma Lunt and Adele Lippiatt from Launchpad with, centre, local artist ‘Emotional Waterfall’. The stencil/logo was designed by Susan Taylor Design and local street artist Stewy. Photo (c) @distro_media

£3,750 grant to help 'launch' BS3 art project An organisation which delivers pre-school classes and community projects has received funding from Bristol City Council for an exciting community art project - the ‘BS3 Space Trail’. The project, run by Launchpad, aims to encourage members of the community to celebrate the green spaces in BS3 and promote walking, cycling and scootering between them. With the help of local residents, businesses and schools, organisers will 'transform BS3 into a lively and inviting art gallery that will inspire residents to explore the locality and BS3's green spaces.' The project will include a variety of activities, including: • Spraying stencils, provided by local graffiti artist Stewy Stencils, along the paths showing the routes that will link Dame Emily Park, Greville Smyth Park and South Street Park. The routes will also take in other smaller, less well known green spaces. These

Caption

routes will become the 'BS3 Space Trail'. This name carries a double meaning as it refers to the green spaces of BS3 and the project's 'outer space' theme. • Two park benches being given a complete makeover by the talented artist, Emotional Waterfall. One bench is located in Greville Smyth Park and the other in Dame Emily. • Distribution of free craft packs

to members of the community. The free packs will be available to order via Launchpad's online shop: payhip.com/ launchpadclasses • Distribution of wooden stars. These will be decorated by members of the community and hung in the green spaces within BS3. From May 29 to June 5 organisers will host a launch

event encouraging BS3 to decorate their windows, gardens and shop fronts with space themed art which can be enjoyed by everyone taking part in the ‘space trail’ using an online map. Emma Lunt from Launchpad said: “We’re also working alongside other local businesses, organisations and schools. These include BS3 Community, Let’s Walk Bedminster and BS3 Wildlife Group. We’re really grateful to Bristol City Council for the funding (£3,750) for the BS3 Space Trail. Nearly everyone involved in creating this project lives in the BS3 area, so the event will benefit so many people in the area." You can find more information at bs3community. org.uk/event/bs3-space-trail or on Facebook and Instagram by searching @bs3spacetrail or email info@launchpadclasses. co.uk. Share your pictures of the space themed artwork using #bs3spacetrail

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May 2021

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15

News

Defects identified in south Bristol playgrounds By Adam Postans, LDRS reporter for South Bristol Voice Two-thirds of Bristol’s play areas have defects serious enough to need repairing within a year, it can be revealed, with nine located locally. But councillors fear it’s a hopeless task because the budget to do the work and replace equipment that’s past its shelf life is a fraction of the overall bill. Latest figures show there were a whopping 397 defects classed as “medium-risk” logged at playgrounds, wheel parks and multi-use Caption games areas as of March 11, ranging from broken signs and rotting wooden benches to minor damage to apparatus. They have been identified at 101 of the city council’s 151 play parks. Local parks include: • Arnos Court Park • Dame Emily Park and Skate Park • Greville Smyth Park • Knowle West Health Park • Marksbury Road

Greville Smyth's play area is one of the parks identified as having defects. Image, Google Maps • Perretts Park • School Road (Totterdown) • South Street • Victoria Park The local authority says safety of the areas is a high priority and it carries out inspections weekly or fortnightly. The issue was raised by Hengrove and Whitchurch councillor Tim Kent who asked for the total backlog of repairs and equipment needing replacement at a recent meeting of Bristol City Council member forum.

Cllr Kent told the meeting on Tuesday, March 16: “We’re just about to begin the new financial year, so that means we are leaving this financial year with 400 defects. “I believe the budget is around £130,000 for repairs.” Cllr Kent added after the meeting: “It is disgraceful because play areas have been so important and a sanctuary for kids during Covid as they’re often the only free space they have to go, especially on the edges of the city.”

A Bristol City Council spokesperson said: “The safety of our play areas, wheels parks and multi-use games areas is a high priority, with health and safety inspections being carried out on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. “Medium-risk defects that do not affect safety are repaired as required, but continue to be monitored, and replaced in the longer term if needed. “Citizens can report concerns, repairs or clean ups required via our website at www.bristol. gov.uk/museums-parks-sportsculture/parks-maintenance” Defects posing an immediate risk are made safe at inspection or as soon as possible after being reported, with equipment taped off and any repairs or replacement completed within 24 hours unless parts need ordering. The council says high-risk defects are often dealt with the same day, while unsafe equipment is removed and replaced at a later date if and when funding allows.

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May 2021

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17

ELECTION SPECIAL fromevalleyvoice POLLING DAY: THURS, MAYApril, 6 2021 2021

18

n METRO MAYOR ELECTIONS

Hear from the many candidates standing across the four different elections this May: The Combined Authority Mayor for West of England (pg. 17), the Mayor of Bristol (pg. 18), the local elections (pg. 19-23) and the Police and Crime Commissioner (pg. 25) In May voters in Bristol, South Gloucestershire and B&NES get to choose their next Metro Mayor. The bossvoters of theinWest of England n May Bristol, South Gloucestershire and or B&NES Combined Authority, WECA, to choose their next is get in charge of coordinating the Metro Mayor. region’s transport, housing jobs The bosspolicy of theand Westwill of oversee and skills England Combined Authority, the spending of more than £1.1 or WECA, is inthe charge billion over nextof30 years. coordinating the region’s The first Metro Mayor, transport, housing jobs and Conservative Tim Bowles, is skills policy and will oversee standing down and, than while£1.1 the spending of more nominations open as billion over thewere next still 30 years. theposition Voice went print, the The has to been held bymain political parties had already Conservative Tim Bowles, who is announced their contenders for standing down. theAiming post. to keep it for the

MAYORAL ELECTIONS West of England Combined Authority (WECA)

I

Tories is Samuel Williams, the

founding director of Hodos Dan Norris Jerome Consultancy. Labour Party Thomas Labour, runners-up in 2017, have selected former Wansdyke candidate Green Party MP Dan Norris. candidate Former Bristol West MP Stephen Williams is the Liberal Samuel Williams Dan Norris Stephen Williams Jerome Thomas Democrats’ choice. The Green Party has picked As they ask you to vote Former Bristol West MP Aiming to keep it for the Jerome Thomas, deputy group them into a new job, the Stephen Williams is the Liberal Tories is Samuel Williams, the Samuel Stephen leader on Bristol City Council. Voice asked each candidate Democrats’ choice. founding director of Hodos As they ask you to vote them Williams Williams to answer four interview The Green Party has picked Consultancy. into a new job, the Voice asked questions to find more about Jerome Thomas, deputy Labour, runners-up in four Conservative Liberal each candidate to answer whoDemocrats they are, their priorities group leader on Bristol City 2017, have selected former interview questions to find candidate and plans. Council. Wansdyke MP they Dan Norris. more about who are, their candidate priorities and plans.

1) What are the three biggest issues facing the region?

safe cycling. Third, a plan to build socially balanced new communities with climate-friendly homes.

how we could work together to improve the quality of life in their neighbourhoods.

Dan Norris: Jobs, climate change and housing. The pandemic has exacerbated the need for effective leadership. It’s not good enough to have money to support our High Streets languishing in the Metro Mayor’s bank account. We can’t wait any longer to take action on climate change and we need more affordable homes. I have a vision for a green recovery, building a society where we value what’s truly important.

Jerome Thomas: Obviously our recovery after Covid – we need to support communities and businesses to rebuild and adapt, ensuring that we are creating jobs that have a future. To protect the climate, we need to build homes in places with good local services and transport links which allow people to get around quickly without needing to use their cars. And for our well-being as well as the environment, we must protect and improve our green spaces and wildlife areas.

Dan Norris: I’ll be a jobs-first mayor, holding a jobs summit in my first 100 days in office and launching my Green Recovery Plan. I’ll set out plans to double investment in affordable housing, shifting resources to support councils and housing associations.

Samuel Williams: Jobs, Jobs and Jobs! Our region is full of opportunity; as we recover from the impacts of Covid, following the tremendous vaccine roll-out, I will connect all communities across the West of England with the opportunity to secure our future progress. I will invest over £100 million over the next 4 years to secure the recovery of our skills, training and business. In addition, I will invest in our transport network with new services and build homes for the future. Stephen Williams: First, a recovery from the twin economic shocks of Covid and Brexit. I will lead a recovery that is green and socially just, setting up a Centre for Green Technology Excellence and using the skills budget to make sure everyone has the opportunity to succeed. Second, putting more oomph and vigour behind plans to revolutionise our bus and train networks and to enable

2) If you win the election, what would your first action be? Samuel Williams: It is vital that the Mayor works with Government not against it. Once in post, I’ll pick up the phone to the Prime Minister and Chancellor to secure their support for the region – and it’s a call they’ll take. Stephen Williams: I have a detailed manifesto for transformative change in the West of England, on my website at www. stephenwilliams.org.uk. I would run through my top priorities with all the staff of the regional authority, setting out milestones for action. Jerome Thomas: I would meet with local town and parish councils to hear what their priorities are and

3) What prior experience do you believe qualifies you for the job? Stephen Williams: To be successful, this major role needs a Mayor with deep knowledge of both business and government. I was a small business consultant before becoming a Bristol MP and then Minister for housing and local government. Jerome Thomas: I’ve had a long career in business and been a city councillor for six years. I’ve lived in this region most of my life. Above all, I know how to create a realistic plan bringing people together, whatever their politics. Dan Norris: I’ve lived and worked locally all my life as an NSPCC trained child protection officer, an MP and Environment Minister, and I’ve run my own businesses. I’ve got a record of securing jobs and investment. I’m a children’s charity trustee. Samuel Williams: As an

international business and charity leader, this is the chance to recover with a Mayor who embodies the future, who connects opportunities and is committed to business minded and community hearted leadership, not the time for old solutions.

4) How would you raise the profile of the Metro Mayor and WECA? Jerome Thomas: First, I want to do a good job for the region and deliver a solid plan with communities at its heart. Second, I will stand up for the West of England and secure more funds and local control of services. Dan Norris: I’ll be a visible, active mayor holding regular Town Hall meetings. I’ll win more funding and push for more powers for our region. With strong leadership, I’ll ensure the West of England is a key part of the national conversation. Samuel Williams: Having led an organisation that works with some of the world’s biggest brands, I know how to grow our profile. With Conservatives at the top levels of Government I am well connected, with a region full of talent. Stephen Williams: I’d stage a Meet the Mayor roadshow around all the region’s towns and villages and in the distinct communities of Bath and Bristol. I would use my experience to deliver my ambitious plans and win great deals from Westminster.

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May 2021

southbristolvoice

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MAYORAL ELECTIONS Sean Donnelly

Tom Baldwin

Independent

Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition

I

’m 37 and have lived in south Bristol for the last 16 years, currently in Ashton. I work for the Socialist Party, I’m a campaigner against cuts and chair of the Bristol area Unite Community branch. I’m standing for working-class people who’ve been abandoned by Labour. I would stop and reverse cuts to council jobs and services by building a mass campaign that could take on the government and win back the £200m annual funding that has been stolen from Bristol in the last decade. I’d support all struggles to defend workers’ safety, jobs and living standards. I would only take the average wage of a worker in the city, not the inflated £79k mayoral salary. Contact me at tomobaldwin@ gmail.com

Marvin Rees

M

y name is Sean Donnelly and I am standing as an Independent in the upcoming Mayoral election, in our great city of Bristol. I am Bristol born and bred and I have lived all my life in Bristol. I run a group of local pubs all within the Bristol boundary. I am married to Lesley, we have two children Sean and Brogan and three wonderful grandchildren. When elected: • We will make Bristol better in all ways • We will open up the centre to the water again • We will build the arena in Bristol • We will sort out the transport mess • We will sort out Mary le Port • And obviously we will build more affordable houses and council houses

Alastair Watson

Labour Party

Conservative Party

O

n 6 May, I am proudly standing on our record of delivery - including all our 2016 pledges. 9000 homes built, bio-gas buses operating across the city, a mass transit system being planned, new schools being built, playgrounds, libraries and parks all kept open. In the next few years, we will: • Build 2000 homes a year - 1000 affordable – by 2024 • Extend our bus deal, bringing more buses on key routes and free travel for students and apprentices. • Bring jobs and investment and make Bristol a living wage city. • Double our tree canopy, grow food across the city and invest in clean energy. • Enable adults in need of care to live in their own homes for as long as possible

A

s a businessman and former city councillor, I’ll use my experience to ensure that Bristol City Council works for you. Here is my plan: 1. S top the waste at City Hall. There will be no more high-risk, vanity projects – which have wasted too much of your money. 2. S upport the police. I will work with the police to bring back order for the law-abiding citizens of Bristol. 3. B  etter transport. Working with the Regional Mayor, I’ll deliver more rail links, better bus services and improved infrastructure for active travel. 4. R  eferendum on the Mayoral system. I will campaign to give you a vote on whether to scrap the Mayor and bring back democracy to Bristol. Labour isn’t working – Bristol deserves better!

Bristol City Sandy HoreRuthven

Green Party

S

andy has been at the forefront of environmental and social change in Bristol for 30 years. He is CEO of the Creative Youth Network, the largest youth charity in Bristol supporting over 9000 vulnerable young people each year. He has grown the charity to employ 150 staff and owns buildings across the region including the Station Youth Centre. Sandy ran the Friends of the Earth Office in Bristol and campaigned for Bristol to invest in the kerbside recycling scheme we have today – one of the reasons Bristol now leads the way in these areas. Sandy believes Bristol could lead the way, recovering our economy from the pandemic and making Bristol a fairer and Greener city. www.sandy4mayor.co.uk

John Langley

Independent

P

arty politics MUST be put to one side, as must all manifesto promises, plans, pledges, and projects, because nothing can be any more important than enabling the people of Bristol and the businesses which have suffered back on their feet, and communities rebuilt. My Mayoral election campaign is everything to do with people and nothing to do with the same old party politics, and what I believe Bristol needs right now. In my estimation, it may take two years of dedicated and focused community leadership and partnering with mental health services, community groups, local businesses, faith leaders, charities, and voluntary groups to make this happen, because right now in the wake of lockdown people need hope, confidence, and jobs.

Other candidates standing in the Bristol Mayoral Elections include Robert Clarke (Reform UK), Caroline Gooch (Liberal Democrats) and Oska Shaw (Independent). No information was supplied for these candidates.

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May 2021

southbristolvoice

LOCAL ELECTIONS Mark Bradshaw Labour Party candidate

I

’ve lived in Bedminster over 15 years and it’s a privilege to serve my community. I advise organisations on the environment, jobs and skills. Working in cooperation with community groups, including as chair of Way Out West, my focus is on making Bedminster even better, for example, by winning funds for our local parks and play areas. I’ve improved local rail and bus services; instigating the shift to cleaner biogas and campaigning for newer trains. I want more affordable homes, with protection for tenants. Recently, Bedminster’s community spirit has been tested like never before. Bedminster will continue to need committed local councillors to help with the challenges ahead so please vote for Celia Phipps and I.

Tessa Fitzjohn Green Party candidate

T

essa is energetic, hard-working and organised. She is an experienced project manager and fundraiser and has lived on Windmill Hill since 1997. Tessa wants to see more significant investment in Bedminster, improving facilities for children and older people, cycling and walking, creating liveable neighbourhoods and ensuring residents are consulted on development. Tessa listens to residents and takes action. She contacted Ashton Gate to argue for residents' concerns regarding Longmore Village development. Alerted the press to Ashton Vale residents facing the destruction of their roads from lorries when councillors ignored residents' calls. Encouraged residents to create ’Liveable Neighbourhood Groups’ to make streets safer, quieter, healthier. Tessa’s pledge to residents. To be vigilant to their concerns, working hard to put Bedminster first.

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Bedminster Ward Celia Phipps Labour Party candidate

I

am a local resident, having lived in BS3 for over 30 years. My background is in health and wellbeing, having worked in the health service for 30 years. I work locally too, and am passionate about community involvement, which is key to enabling communities to become better places to live. I am an active community member, supporting local initiatives such as the Bedminster Winter Lantern Parade, Repair Café and the Secret Gardens scheme. More strategically, I am working with the public health team to raise mental health awareness through the Bristol Thrive programme and was nominated to work as a deputy cabinet member for adult social care, specifically to support early intervention and self-care. As Team Labour, Mark Bradshaw and I are proud to work together for a better Bedminster.

Louis Williams Green Party candidate

S

outh Bristol has been getting a rough deal for a while, and Bedminster needs local councillors to put in the time and effort for them. Having done night audits in the area, reporting issues such as faulty street lights, poor road state and lack of cycling support, Louis knows many of the problems that Bedminster faces. We can see the issues before us, but little has happened to solve these issues in the five years. Louis’ priority would be to give Bedminster the hard-working local reps that it deserves. Other candidates standing in Bedminster include Alex Birrell (Lib Dem), Gerard Calderbank (Conservative), Rajesh Joseph (Conservative) and Fergus Ustianowski (Lib Dem). No information was supplied for these candidates.

Got a story for South Bristol Voice? Call Rich on 0777 555 0607 or email news@southbristolvoice.co.uk


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May 2021

southbristolvoice

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LOCAL ELECTIONS Natasha Clarke Green Party candidate

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Knowle Ward

Chris Davies Liberal Democrats candidate

Brandon Gage Labour Party candidate

atasha has lived in south Bristol for 13 years, and she’s proud to be part of the local community and user of our local businesses in Knowle. Knowle is an excellent place to live, and there is also plenty we can do to make it better. We still have traffic and air quality problems, looming large developments, and pressures on our services. If she were elected as a Knowle councillor, she would work hard to represent the ward’s diverse demographics. She wants to represent people and community groups who do not normally engage with local politics and local topics. Her experience of engagement in the recent elections show that many people hold green values and can be encouraged to live more sustainably if the everyday systems within the city enable them to do so.

’ve proudly been councillor for Knowle for 18 years working hard to improve the area where I’ve lived since 1966. There is a wonderful sense of community and I enjoy helping residents with local problems wherever I can. Successful campaigns, with great community support, for library, Jubilee, parks and schools were truly rewarding. For 20 years I’ve been chair of Redcatch Community Centre and was a founder member of Friends of Redcatch Park and Arnos Vale Cemetery Trust. Citywide I represented Knowle and the city on numerous committees, serving twice as Lord Mayor. Re-elected I will be working hard for the interests of residents with the development of our new school and shopping centre, and much needed Wells Road crossing.

I

B

Gary Hopkins Liberal Democrats candidate

Patrick McAllister Green Party candidate

Michele Tedder Labour Party candidate

ary Hopkins has been a Knowle councillor for 19 years. During that time our local team have constantly kept in touch with residents through paper and e-mail newsletters and we are renowned for getting back to people who contact us with enquiries or problems. Chris Davies and I work very much as a team and we work very closely with many groups and regularly survey opinions on many issues. We have over recent years got massive improvements in our parks, fought successfully to get a secondary school back in Knowle and protected our swimming pool from Labour closure plans for the third time. Our 20 year record can be viewed on Knowle Lib Dem’s website.

Geographical Sciences student, Patrick knows that only the Green Party has the ideas needed to combat climate change. Elected co-chair of the Bristol Young Greens in 2020 and a keen activist, Patrick’s priorities include: • Tackling climate change. • Reducing congestion and improving public transport. • Boosting Bristol’s young people’s opportunities. Patrick looks forward to working with other councillors from all parties, and a Green Mayor of Bristol, to represent Knowle and fight for residents’ priorities in the council chamber.

G

A

randon went to school locally and now has a degree from UWE. Brandon works at Tesco where he’s an USDAW trade union rep. He wants the council to gain control over the buses and look to a more sustainable future. Brandon would like to expand community projects, activities and resources. He’s passionate about his community. Brandon: “I’m determined to represent the area I call home. I want to help make Bristol the very best it can be and ensure that all levels of the council are efficient. “Over recent years, the Labour council has made efforts to improve and has successfully done so in some fronts, however, things still need improving and I hope that should I be elected, that I can ensure that taxpayers get value for money from the council.”

M

ichele has lived in Knowle for 30 years and she values the community, the local facilities, parks, library, the pool and access to health services. Michele retired from the council where she worked in neighbourhood and housing services. She joined Labour because of the cuts to public services. Many policy areas interest her: housing, transport and the environment. Michele believes the councillor’s role is about good communication, being responsive to individual issues and representing the community on major projects. Michele: “Our shopping centre is declining, there are air quality and traffic problems, and good living wages and decent conditions of employment are vital. Having a strong voice and holding decisionmakers to account is important – saving Jubilee Pool being a good example.”

Domenico Hill

Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition

I

’ve lived in Knowle for 30 years, both my children went to Hillcrest Primary. I have worked as a pension administrator for twenty years and am a member of the UNITE Union Bristol Finance branch. I have campaigned for many years for local jobs and services, and was involved in the successful campaign to save Marksbury Road Library from closure. I’m standing for the council in order to ensure Knowle Library stays open and its full opening hours are restored, to save Jubilee pool, and for the building of genuinely affordable council houses in Knowle, rather than expensive private developments local people can’t afford.

Other candidates standing in Knowle include Diane Gilpin (Conservative) and Jenny Rogers (Conservative). No information was supplied for these candidates.

Got a story for South Bristol Voice? Call Rich on 0777 555 0607 or email news@southbristolvoice.co.uk


LOCAL ELECTIONS Lisa Durston Labour Party candidate

I

May 2021

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Tony Dyer Green Party candidate

’ve lived in Southville for 13 years and work for a local charity, supporting people affected by abuse. I’ve always been involved with the local community through working with parents and children as part of school PTAs, pushing for change in traffic around schools, and helping residents isolated by the pandemic. I’m passionate about ensuring that the voices of everyone in the community are heard and represented. If elected, I’m ready to work hard to support the residents and businesses of Southville in making a strong recovery from Covid-19 and playing my part in addressing our city’s inequalities, preserving our green spaces and addressing the urgent issue of climate change.

B

orn and brought up in South Bristol and now living in Ashton Gate, Tony’s family has deep links to the area, moving to Bedminster from Devon in the 1880s. More recently, Southville ward has seen the fourth largest population growth of any Bristol ward over the last decade. That growth looks set to continue as we see large scale development continue at Bedminster Green plus proposals for the Whitehouse Street area. New development brings additional pressures on our neighbourhood, impacting traffic levels, air quality, and potential threats to our green spaces. Tony will use his housing and urban design expertise to challenge poor decision-making and a lack of real action to tackle Climate Change.

CARAVANS WANTED

Southville Ward Tom Phipps Labour Party candidate

I

live locally and I am active within our community. I have lobbied Avon & Somerset Police to tackle car crime, chaired the Liveable Neighbourhoods group campaigning to improve walking/ cycling and worked with the Dame Emily Park Project to get more investment into the park. During the pandemic I have helped to deliver food parcels and volunteered at our local vaccine centre. I love living in this part of the city and want to help tackle inequality, take action on the climate emergency and support the great local businesses we have here in Southville. If elected, I would work tirelessly to represent residents on the issues that matter and stand up for our community.

Christine Townsend Green Party candidate

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hristine is Bristol born and bred, attending local state schools. She is passionate about the city we live in, its unique history, vibrant communities and the future we are creating for our children. Her father grew up on North Street above a toy shop run by her grandfather whilst her mum worked in Wills Tobacco’s offices on Bedminster Parade. She is a teacher by profession focusing on the curriculum area of Personal, Social and Health Education; this led her to co-found young people’s charity Integrate UK, she remains a trustee. An experienced school governor, chair of Bristol’s School Forum and expert in school admission law, she currently works to support our most disadvantaged children, and young people engage fully with their education.

Other candidates standing in Southville include Iain Dennis (Conservative), James MacQueen (Conservative), Sam Merchant (Lib Dem) and Lena Wright (Lib Dem). No information was supplied for these candidates.

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May 2021

southbristolvoice

23

LOCAL ELECTIONS

Windmill Hill Ward

Rachel Lunnon The Burning Pink Party candidate

Aileen McLoughlin Labour Party candidate

Ed Plowden Green Party candidate

emocracy is broken. Our system makes a mockery of representation, with well meaning reformists unable to make real change. I'm fed up with big promises but lack of action on: city-wide clean air, the climate and ecological emergency, and affordable housing. Meanwhile high-rise development and building on green spaces disproportionately affect South Bristol without solving anything. I'm ready to listen to what local issues are affecting you, and what solutions you want. To focus on what matters, we must radically increase participation in democracy with assemblies of ordinary people - meaningful consultation allowing difficult but empowering local decisions. I am a mother and former computer programmer turned activist, prepared to use the system as well as civil disobedience for change.

have lived in south Bristol for 34 years. I joined Labour to oppose NHS privatisation, inequality and for an economy that works for all. I have worked in the public sector for 35 years, as a midwife then analyst for the NHS. I have pressed for responsible development and a Green New Deal in council and want to give local people a stronger voice. I have been a council volunteer throughout the pandemic. I want to be active and visible in the ward working with local organisations and business pushing for improved air quality, better transport, more truly affordable homes and protections for renters. I want to see local green jobs, skills development and infrastructure to tackle the climate change emergency.

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E

D

Lisa Stone Green Party candidate

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isa represents the Green Party because she’s passionate about the environment and the social values that are core to Windmill Hill’s people. Currently, she trains young people to become electricians at the City of Bristol College. Our young people will have a pivotal role in our community when we transition from fossil fuel to renewable energy. Lisa’s experience includes working in Malawi on a reforestation project directed by the local community, and she was involved with transporting maise relief with the United Nations. Whilst canvassing in Windmill Hill, Lisa has heard people want an alternative voice, so she will represent those who want a fairer and more just society.

Other candidates standing in Windmill Hill include Daniel Angell (Conservative), Vitor Brandao Moreira Da Silva (Lib Dem), Finn Conway (Lib Dem) and Anthony Scrase (Conservative). No information was supplied for these candidates.

Ted Powell Labour Party candidate

d has lived locally for over 25 years – his kids went to Hillcrest School, where as Chair of Governors, he helped regain OFSTED “good” rating. Ed worked for the City Council for 15 years and knows how it works inside-out. As Crime Reduction Manager, he worked with the police and residents to reduce crime. As Head of Local and Sustainable Transport, he improved road safety, implemented a 20mph speed limit, doubled cycling, and achieved national recognition for growing public transport. His experience will significantly benefit Windmill Hill and Totterdown.

I

have lived in Windmill for over 5 years. I am a History and Politics teacher at a school just outside Bristol, where I am also the National Education Union (NEU) rep. The main reason I want to be a councillor is so that I can stand up for people who don’t have a voice and be someone they can turn to for help and advice, just like I currently do in my union role. I have been a key worker throughout the pandemic, supporting children, teachers and families. I joined the Labour Party in 2015 because I wanted to fight the horrendous cuts to our education system and other public services that have been imposed by central government since 2010.

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southbristolvoice fromevalleyvoice

May 2021 April, 2021

25 19

POLICE CRIME ELECTIONS n POLICE&AND CRIMECOMMISSIONER COMMISSIONER ELECTIONS Voters will have the chance in May to choose the next Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner. The PCC is responsible for the effective policing of the region, drawing up a budget – including the annual precept charged to council tax payers – setting priorities for the force through a police and crime plan and holding the chief constable and officers to account for delivering it. Since its creation in 2012 the post has been held by independent Sue Mountstevens, who is standing down. Among those vying to replace her is John Smith, who is also standing as an independent and was Ms Mountstevens’s chief executive before she made him her

Kerry Barker

Cleo Lake

deputy last year. Labour has nominated barrister Kerry Barker, runner-up in 2016, as its candidate. The Conservatives, third in 2016, have nominated Mark Shelford, a retired Army officer, B&NES councillor and member of the Police and Crime Panel which scrutinises the PCC.

What are your top three priorities for policing in Avon and Somerset?

building safer communities would be my way to achieve these three things.

Kerry Barker: Successful policing depends upon the gathering of local intelligence by local police officers. My priorities are: to strengthen community policing with more officers who live and work in the areas for which they are responsible; stop the closure of police stations; bring back and strengthen specialist detective teams, such as burglary teams and sexual assault teams. Each will have the aim of improving the welfare and safety of women.

Mark Shelford: Reassure residents the police are there for them: increase visible policing and work with communities to increase their resistant to crime; Refocus the police on fighting crimes people care about by freeing officers up from non-policing tasks; Rebuild morale on the frontline: overhaul training and cut paperwork to allow Police more time on our streets. Boost Special Constable numbers, review the use of police buildings, and investigate the efficiency of the current PCC office.

Cleo Lake: Trust – the police need to reflect the communities they work for. This requires active recruitment among under-represented groups, and supporting recruits through challenges. Prevention – reform of drug laws, which create needless criminals and victims - is required. Focus should be on cybercrime, which denies many their savings, and road safety, including pavement parking. Despite budget pressures, the public deserve valuefor-money policing and for their priorities to be met. Heather Shearer: Catch and prosecute burglars and scammers – currently only 8% of burglars are detected; Invest in responsive neighbourhood police teams so they can truly be part of their communities; Work more effectively with partner organisations across the county to target drugs and knife crime. Focusing on crime prevention and

Heather Shearer

John Smith: As the only independent candidate, I will answer only to local residents, not to party politicians in Westminster. If elected, I will make keeping everyone safe and secure my main priority, and my first focus will be on: Supporting the police to enforce Covid-19 regulations appropriately so we can get back to living normally as soon as possible; Protecting the most vulnerable in society, including children and victims of domestic violence; Tackling burglary, knife and drug crime including County Lines.

What prior experience do you believe qualifies you for the job? Cleo Lake: I have wide experience in public life. Current Bristol councillor, Avon Fire Authority since 2017. Chair – Diversity Inclusion Cohesion Equalities,

Got News? Call Richard 0n 01454 800 120

Avon & Somerset

Mark Shelford

John Smith

Police and Crime Panel vice-chair Heather Shearer is the Lib Dem choice. The Greens have nominated Bristol councillor and ex Lord Mayor Cleo Lake. As they ask you to vote them into a new job, the Voice asked each candidate to answer questions to find out more about who they are, their priorities and plans.

and People & Culture committees. Former Chair of St Paul’s Carnival and Independent Advisory Group. Bristol Lord Mayor, 2018/19. Heather Shearer: I scrutinise the PCC as vice chair of the Police and Crime Panel and protect communities as a Safer Somerset Partnership member. I am not a career politician. I worked in many jobs so see the world from many viewpoints. Mark Shelford: I was a soldier for 30 years, working with police around the world to fight crime and establish peace in diverse communities. As a councillor and member of the region’s Police and Crime Panel I’m clear what local police need. John Smith: I have almost 12 years’ experience as a leader in Avon and Somerset police governance. I led the PCC’s team for eight years; in 2020 I was appointed Deputy PCC to help meet the challenges of policing during the pandemic. Kerry Barker: As a criminal barrister working in Avon and Somerset, with 50 years’ experience, I know how budget cuts and local strategic decisions impact the ability of police officers to do their work; to detect crimes and to keep people safe.

and how to properly consult and engage with voters. Our police do a difficult job with courage and skill: they need leadership that understands their and the community’s needs. John Smith: As well as continuing current priorities such as road safety and anti-social behaviour, I will prioritise more areas that local people have told me need additional resources such as cyber crime and fraud, rural crime and business crime. Kerry Barker: I will change strategies to make local policing the priority; stop closures of police stations; emphasise the welfare and safety of women and move back to specialist teams of detectives. The soaring levels of violent and sexual offences are unacceptable. Cleo Lake: I would be highly visible. I would like to work more closely with unions and Independent Advisory Groups to inform from a community perspective. I would support setting up both a youth and African Heritage IAG.

How will your approach to the role differ from the current PCC’s?

Heather Shearer: I would ask difficult questions of the Constabulary and partners but also build effective working relationships. My decisions would be evidencebased but you have to take people with you, especially when the decisions are not what everyone wants to hear

Mark Shelford: I know how to lead and motivate a uniformed service,

• The election takes place on May 6, 2021

Email: contact@fromevalleyvoice.co.uk

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26

Local History

Leisure time: Sport and the church boys' club We continue our serialisation of Memories of a Bristol Boyhood by Knowle resident John Fletcher. In this month's column, John fondly recalls playing for the boys' club football team - and how different it was compared to the football played by youngsters today

I

n the spring of 1946 our original house at 44 Kingshill Road, which had been destroyed by a bomb in 1940, was rebuilt and we were able to move back in. The rebuild had been done on the original foundations but slightly modified. The kitchen area had been reduced but we now had a bathroom with bath and washbasin. Another change was that, as seasoned timber was in extremely short supply after the war, the floors and staircase were made of concrete coated by a synthetic material which was hard and quite cold. Early in 1946, as I was in my last period at school, I gradually began to become more socially aware and had already

transferred from St Martin’s mission church to the main parish church and joined St Martin’s Boys Club. This is where I first met Ken Miller. We have remained close friends ever since and still meet regularly even though over 65 years have passed. We were Best Man at each other’s weddings. The club’s main function was table tennis and the hall was large enough to allow five tables to be played on at the same time. As members of the National Association of Boys’ Clubs we were entitled to play in their organised leagues. In the two years that I played for our team we ran out winners of the South Bristol area, but on both occasions we lost in the final to

the Bristol North champions, Bristol North Boys’ Club, by the narrowest of margins in both years. The Boys’ Club was effectively run by the boys, the only adult input was the nominal leader, George Tucker, a local builder, supported by an elderly spinster, Lilly, who supervised the tea and biscuits. The age group of which I was a member decided we would form a football team and we were accepted by the Church of England league. This league was not restricted to church Boys’ Clubs, but included a Bristol City youth side, two from Bristol Rovers and other youth clubs from the Bristol area. There is a very marked difference in the way youth

football is played these days compared with 1946/7 from what I see when taking an interest in my grandsons’ games. Today’s boys seem to be very well organised, with each team having qualified coaches, sponsored kit and some even receive extras such as tracksuits, caps, holdalls etc. donated by businesses. Their games are played on wellpresented pitches with dozens of parents and friends in support. By contrast, St Martin’s Boys Football Club started from scratch in 1946 with no adult input whatsoever. We had to

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27

Local History negotiate with a farmer in Whitchurch to use one of his fields which was cut only once a year. We managed to secure an outdated line marker which was fed by powdered white lime, and we organised a dance in the church hall to try and raise enough funds to buy a football and a second-hand set of shirts. This event was not overly successful but we managed to buy a used football. Unfortunately the set of shirts consisted of only eight very worn and torn items in a not very attractive green and yellow. The two un-kitted outfield players usually played in white. Other marked differences between then and now were the type of boots and balls used. Today’s trainers seem more akin to slippers compared to the heavy, reinforced toe-capped boots of the 1940s. Those boots were also fitted with leather studs which were made from about four circular layers of leather, each held together and fixed to the sole of the boot by three nails. All was well when the studs were new, but once the leather began to wear they either exposed the

heads of the three nails, which could be painful to a tackling opponent, or they protruded through the sole of the boot making it painful to the wearer. Footballs were made of a leather outer and rubber inner tube. The inner tube was fed into the outer through a five-inch gap, which in turn was secured with a leather lace. This resulted in an uneven patch on the ball’s surface which could be quite painful when the ball was headed, particularly in wet weather when the leather absorbed the water and a heavy ball became even heavier. Other main differences are the training (which is essential now but non-existent in the past) and getting to and from the games, where today’s boys expect to be taken and returned by car or coach, whereas our mode of transport was bicycle or bus, even to outlying districts such as Portishead, about 6 miles distant. As members of the Church Boys’ Club we were expected to attend services although no pressure was applied. At that period in time Sunday had a very

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different feel to it. There was no professional and almost no amateur sport played. Most cinemas closed and the ones that opened screened second-rate films, and concerts tended to be religious or serious. So churchgoing offered a social meeting place in addition to the religious. In the spring of 1946 the curate of St Martin’s, the Reverend “Gusty” Gale, rounded up a group of us boys and suggested that we should be confirmed. The preparation for this consisted of about six meetings which were not at all arduous and included fruit juice and biscuits. All went well until two sporting events conflicted. The first was an all-ticket football match between Bristol City and Cardiff City which was the major game of the season. Unfortunately it took place at Ashton Gate on Good Friday afternoon and at least six of our confirmation class, including me, had tickets. This caused great consternation to Gusty Gale as the Easter period is the most important in the church calendar and he was shocked to think that we would attend a

sporting event on such a day. To his credit, he felt so strongly about it that he offered to buy and destroy all the tickets. This would have been quite a large sum from his very small curate’s salary. In the end we came to a compromise by which we agreed to attend the morning service but also went to the game in the afternoon. If I came out on top on that occasion I certainly did not on the second, which was the day of the confirmation, a very formal service officiated by the Bishop of Bristol. NEXT ISSUE: John shares more about his leisure time activities as a teenager

We would love to hear similar tales and see photos from the period. Please email to news@ southbristolvoice.co.uk or post to South Bristol Voice, 111 Broadfield Rd Knowle Bristol B42UX. All items will be safely returned

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PUZZLES for all For younger readers

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May 2021

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30

Letters to the Editor

Email letters to news@southbristolvoice.co.uk or post to 111 Broadfield Rd, Knowle, BS4 2UX. Please keep letters brief, no more than 250 words - we reserve the right to edit letters

Message is clear on RPZ scheme

people in BS3 have taken time to raise questions at full council, highlighting how the current situation impacts our Quality of Life, Emergency Access, Service vehicle access, Environmental policies, Cycling & walking, Air Quality, Safety of young children, elderly and disabled people, and the overall liveability of the area. Local groups have been set up to act on the specific issue of RPZ, collaborating with other groups who are aligned such as Let’s Walk Bedminster and The BS3 Wildlife Group. Unfortunately, in spite of all of the locally-led activity since 2018, City Hall has done nothing. With the election coming up, it is important for local people to understand our potential councillors’ position on extending RPZ rather than a vague discussion of ‘liveable neighbourhoods’. If anyone would like any further information, to get in

Since 2018 residents have repeatedly asked for BS3’s RPZ to be extended across the south-side of North Street and Bedminster. Two surveys have been conducted, one councillorled, one by the Mayor’s administration. Both show overwhelming support for new residents' parking zones in the area, and not just in the Victorian Terraces e.g. 74% in favour of RPZ in Ashton. The Mayor’s administration has tried to discredit the results of both surveys, basing their critique on response rates. Local social scientists have in turn proved publicly that the response rates are excellent, and both results can be trusted as a reliable reflection of sentiment within our local population. Beyond this, many local

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Rethink needed on development On 1st April, Jonathon Parsons of the Planning Inspectorate announced his decision to dismiss the appeals by A2Dominion against Bristol City Council’s refusal of planning consent to the two applications made for development on Plot 1 (land between Malago Road and the railway). He concluded that “the adverse effects of granting planning permission would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits.” He mentioned that “the blocks appear as one substantial building” and that “such intensity of development would adversely affect the important low rise qualities of the surrounding area”. If that is true of four blocks intended to accommodate 542 students, what about Plot 3 (NCP car park) where five blocks are planned to house 819 students? The configuration may be different but the blocks still appear as one substantial building. No doubt A2Dominion are disappointed by the inspector’s decision but they have an opportunity radically to re-think their plans and to offer a scheme capable of attracting widespread support. Would it also be a good idea for Sydney Freed Holdings to re-think plans for Plot 3 rather than pursue a course which might well lead to a refusal of permission followed by the dismissal of an appeal? Permission has been granted for developments on Plot 4 (Little Paradise) and Plot 2 (St Catherine’s Place), although for the latter it took an initial refusal and a dismissed appeal before the council agreed to a reduced scheme. The plans are for buildings very much higher than anything nearby and of a density, certainly in the case of Plot 4, two or three times anything previously deemed appropriate. Is it unreasonable to suggest a

substantial reduction in density on Plot 5 (Hereford Street car park and the Green) to bring the overall average down to an acceptable level? The long-term commercial interests of Dandara Living (Plots 4 and 5) might be better served over the next half a century if their tenants in Little Paradise had a view of trees across the road rather than yet another urban block. Now that Bristol University has postponed the opening of its Temple Quarter campus, would it be possible for the council to strike an agreement with the owners of Plots 1 and 3 to include some affordable housing? There is much to be said for a change of mind. The inspector’s decision has offered an opportunity. WHaM (Windmill Hill & Malago Community Planning Group) COMMUNITY

Bins blighting our footpaths A good question to ask would-be councillors as we move towards the local elections on May 6 relates to the way our footways are cluttered by recycling bins. For many people, especially those with balance, sight and mobility issues or, perhaps, escorting young children or pushing a buggy, bin day is a no-going out day. But, the other six days in a week can be a problem too. Many pavements remain wholly or partially blocked by bins and other clutter. If you are in a wheelchair, it may only take one obstruction to make it impossible to reach your destination. Is a blind person expected to step out into the roadway to avoid trip hazards that they cannot see? Sometimes, householders have genuine difficulty in putting their bin away but in most cases, leaving the bins on the pavement is simply bad manners and thoughtlessness. The city council has an Enforcement Team, but it seems to be either too underresourced or too under motivated to levy fines on persistent pavement blockers. Ben Barker (Convenor, Let’s Walk Bedminster letswalkbedminster@ virginmedia.com

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May 2021

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ADVICE FROM A PHARMACIST

31

with Ade Williams

It is time for us to embrace kindness

T

he last few weeks have been dominated by commentary on a report by the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities. The commission was established partly in response to the Black Lives Matter protest. The report itself, its approach, findings and recommendations have struggled to find any friends. The UN, joining many other organisations, including many NHS organisations and professional bodies like the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, distanced themselves from the report’s findings. Many are calling it, using less bland language, most unhelpful. As we start to navigate our way out of the pandemic, its lasting impact is also becoming apparent. The financial implications for families and individuals are clear - more than 450,000 families likely currently in arrears due to the Covid-19 crisis. Young workers, in general, have borne a disproportionate brunt of job losses in lockdown as many work in hard-hit industries such as hospitality and leisure.

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Ade Williams of Bedminster Pharmacy discusses how pharmacies can help people with a variety of health conditions, and ease pressure on the NHS According to the Resolution Foundation, the UK jobless rate for young black people rose by more than a third to 35 per cent over the past year. Compared with 24 per cent for young people of Asian descent and a rate of 13 per cent for young white people. A young generation under attack. Long treatment delays for physical and mental health are also now to be tackled. Long Covid, a whole new condition to manage. It is so easy to lose heart.

I would like to ask us all to please help bring about the change so desperately needed. A recommendation every report should make is now my plea: We all must embrace kindness to ourselves, each other and the environment that we all share and live in. I mention kindness because, in many ways, it is a universal value to grasp. Fairness and generosity will always flow out of kindness. In the last 12 months, I have seen our community excel at being kind. I also know that for most, the cost involves setting aside our own needs, even being unkind to ourselves to help others. As we all continue to face all the unwelcome things Covid-19 has brought on us, we must now become kindness advocates - a kind friend and neighbour. That friend and neighbour, you can always text, talk with and seek help from. This will help us respond correctly and on time to the challenges ahead, improving our own contentment, also health and wellbeing for all.

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May 2021

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32

The Wicked Witch of Knowle

In witch I kill my mother

other looks grey and lifeless. I try to remember when she was last fed and give her a little shake, then lean in for a sniff. Eww, that was not good. The Evil Teen wandered through “What’s that smell?” she cried wrinkling her nose. “I think I’ve killed Mother,” I replied. “Not again,” she retorted and watched as I carried my dead Mother over to the sink to be recycled. I’m not talking about my lovely Mum who lives, in safety, far from me. I’m talking about the sourdough starter I’d been given by my local dealer. He’s a twinkly-eyed favourite with an easy smile and a generous nature. When someone on my road’s Facebook page puts a lazy shout out for something they can’t be bothered to go and buy from the shop, more often than not Mr Twinkle will respond with offers of help and a sourdough starter thrown in just because he can. I

read these THE WICKED Facebook posts and WITCH OF swipe them KNOWLE away with a loud tut because, as you know, I’m not that nice. During the first Lockdown I did a deal with Mr Twinkle. By cover of darkness he tapped on my door and handed over a jam jar full of Mother together with his handwritten secret recipe. It was a science lesson. I lovingly fed Mother and made my first loaf. The best part of this process is the kneading, brilliant for releasing any pent up frustrations/anger by pounding some dough. The first bake looked amazing but turned out to be harder than a nightclub bouncer – I broke a tooth on it.

I soon tired of home baking and as attention to Mother’s needs waned, she stopped bubbling and died. Mr Twinkle enquired after her health and I admitted that I’d killed her. He shook his head sadly but turned up the next day with a jam jar full of Mother’s Mother. Lovely. This time I shared her with tallest boy child and we swapped competitive photos of our bakes for a few weeks. Then I put her in the fridge where she was pushed to the back behind the abandoned homemade oat milk (being hip is hard work). Mother became a distant memory when, on a whim, I bought a bread machine. Oh, I love this gadget. Yes, it takes about four hours to produce a loaf but it’s so easy. Throw in

all the ingredients and press go. There is something ridiculously exciting about watching bread bake. I have made some strange shaped loaves and sometimes forget to fish the mixing blade out of the middle but I love it. Mr Twinkle messaged an enquiry about the health of Mother number 2 and I, with some embarrassment, admitted that she had become another casualty of neglect. As Mr Twinkle is generous and forgiving he popped over with Mother’s Mother’s Mother. This mother is gorgeous, creamy in colour and bubbling nicely. I’ve discovered that there are sourdough recipes for bread machines. Perfect. I will not kill this one. No, I will not.

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33

News

Library open for browsing Knowle library is now open for browsing while Marksbury Road and Wick Road libraries continue to offer its ‘Call and Collect’ service. They are three of a number of libraries across Bristol welcoming back customers since the pandemic forced them to close. Knowle library reopened for browsing and pre-booked computer access on April 19, with others opening a week earlier. Marksbury Road library has been offering a Call and Collect service since the beginning of March and allows people to request books over the phone or by email. Measures have been put in place to ensure the safe reopening of the libraries, including: only allowing a certain number of people in at one time, signs to help with social distancing, Perspex screens and hand sanitiser stations, and restricted computer access. All

toilets will remain closed. Staff and members of the public will be required to wear face coverings and libraries will be well ventilated. All visitors will be required to check in with NHS Test and Trace via the app or using the simple paper form. Books will be quarantined for 72 hours on return and all items currently on loan from closed libraries have been automatically extended. The Call and Collect service allows a maximum of five books per person (or eight for children). The library team will constantly review the government guidance as they work towards opening more libraries and increasing services. For information on joining your local library, new opening hours and all the services you can access at home, visit www. bristol.gov.uk/libraries or search Bristol Libraries online.

Charity superstore opens its doors South Bristol is now home to the first Cancer Research UK superstore. The charity shop, in Brislington Retail Park, was officially opened on April 15 by Professor Richard Martin (pictured, left), a leading cancer scientist based at the University of Bristol. It includes the Coffee Together café and sells everything from furniture to electrical items, plus clothing and

soft furnishings. Prof Martin has been studying lifestyle cancers for many years and his team’s mission is to help reduce the number of people who get cancer. Store manager, Iain Brimecome (pictured, right) said: "We’re very happy to have Professor Martin declare the store open." The superstore is open 9.30am-6.30pm, Monday to Saturday and 10am-4pm on Sunday.

Church services - BS3 & BS4 Welcoming you back this spring n St Michael and All Angel's church services will resume from 23 May 2021 at 10am each Sunday. All are welcome. We also have a short communion service that is on Wednesdays at 10am, these will start from April 21 2021. We are in Vivian Street, Bedminster, BS3 4LW, and would love to see you.

n South Bristol Methodist Church is now worshipping in the buildings again at Totterdown and St Peter’s (every week) Knowle (fortnightly) and Bedminster (once a month). Please check our website or give us a ring for up to date information: southbristolmc.org.uk or email southbristol51@gmail.com or telephone Rev Sally on 0117 9776714 n Victoria Park Baptist Church would like our community in and around Victoria Park to know

that we are still closed for public worship but are reviewing this subject to Government and Baptist Union Guidelines. We do live stream services once a month and hold Zoom coffee mornings regularly. Details can be found on our church Facebook page weekly. Alternatively you can always reach us on victoriaparkbaptistchurch1@ gmail.com. Look forward to seeing you soon. n St Mary Redcliffe is currently offering:

•D  aily: Live-streamed Morning Worship from 8:30-9:00am via our website SMR Live • S unday: Online service of Holy Communion via SMR Live • S unday: In-church Service of Holy Communion and Earth Church Book here Service information and booking: www.stmaryredcliffe.co.uk/thisweeks-services1c8e308b SMR Live for streamed services www.stmaryredcliffe.co.uk/smr-live

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BS3 Wildlife Group Wildlife photography The BS3 Wildlife Group in conjunction with Bedminster Business Improvement District is organising a wildlife photography exhibition. This will probably take place towards the end of 2021, Covid rules permitting, or early in 2022. People across Bristol are invited to submit pictures of birds, insects and other animals as well as native plants and trees seen in the city. The pictures will be displayed in shops, cafes and other premises in Bedminster’s retail area. Key aims of the exhibition are to raise local people’s awareness of the wildlife around them and to encourage Bristolians to work together to halt the decline of many species. We want to make Bristol a wildlife-friendly city. For details about how to enter go to mywildbedminster@ virginmedia.com.

Love Your Local Stream There are several Wildlife Groups across Bristol seeking to reverse the current process where human activity is leading to the reduction, and sometimes extinction, of our wild animals and native plants.

We are working with professional agencies including Bristol Parks, Avon Wildlife Trust and the two universities, but we can’t leave it to them. One of our concerns relates to how animals can move more safely around the city in search of food, shelter and mates. It’s a sad situation when your most likely sight of a hedgehog is a dead one by the side of the road. The rivers and streams of Bristol offer significant ‘wildlife corridors’ for our wild neighbours. In south Bristol, the key streams are Brislington Brook, the Malago and Colliter’s Brook. Crox Bottom and the Manor Woods Valley Local Nature Reserve are examples of good practice along The Malago. On the other hand, parts of the Malago are little more than polluted ditches, whilst some sections are not visible as they have been placed in tunnels. If you would like to be part of this ‘Love Your Local Stream’ movement, contact the BS3 and BS4 Wildlife Groups via mywildbedminster@virginmedia. com. More info available from Ben Barker (Secretary, BS3 Wildlife Group).

News

Show sure to make a stink! Outdoor theatre returns to Bedminster with David Walliams’ Mr Stink! South Street Playing Fields will welcome the fantastic nationally renowned theatre company Heartbreak Productions performing David Walliam’s Mr Stink live on an open-air stage at 6.30pm on June 24. One perfectly normal afternoon in an average English town two restless souls unite on a park bench – one of them the lonely 12 year old Chloe Crumb and the other an incredibly smelly homeless man. Oh, and let’s not forget his loyal dog, the Duchess. Chloe’s curiosity and kindness pave the way for this extraordinary and rewarding friendship that takes them to the heady heights of live television and Downing Street via a garden shed. Come and enjoy this heart-warming tale, a David Walliam’s best seller adapted

for the outdoor stage. Bring your chairs, blankets, picnics and settle down for a fun night at this fabulously entertaining family show Tickets are limited - for more information and to book tickets now go to mrstink.eventbrite. co.uk

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News

And they called it puppy love! By Charley Rogers South Bristol is home to its very own puppy love story! Adorable Labradors Chaos and Bruce met in Arnos Vale while on a walk with their humans, and instantly fell in love. Chaos’ human, Emma Coughlan, who lives with her husband James in Brislington, was taking Chaos out for some exercise during lockdown, and while walking through Arnos Vale park, Chaos spotted Bruce. Emma said: “There was a lovely fox-red Labrador there, and Chaos went running straight up to him. They were so fond of each other right away.” Emma and James had been thinking about breeding Chaos for a while, as Emma was also pregnant at the time. “We were thinking about having puppies, because I figured if I had a baby and puppies, then I’d have lots of friends who would want to come and visit me!” Emma approached Bruce’s human, Claire, and asked if she would be interested in breeding him. “I got Claire’s number, from two metres away, and she said to get in touch.” To cut a long story short, Emma and Claire exchanged information and photos of the dogs, and decided to get them together for a second date when Chaos came into season. “Claire was actually away on holiday when the time came,” says Emma, “so we took Chaos over to her sister’s place in Gloucestershire, where Bruce was staying. “The dogs met again in Claire’s sister’s garden, and they still really liked each other, so we went ahead with their date. Two

Pictured, right: Chaos with her litter of adorable Labrador puppies days later, Claire came home and we got Chaos and Bruce together for a third date, just in case.” Seven weeks later, Emma had her own newborn, and Chaos went into labour with her puppies. And it wasn’t just one or two… “From about 4.30 in the afternoon, Chaos just kept having more puppies,” says Emma. “We were looking after our tiny baby, and trying to comfort Chaos at the same time. After she’d had about eight – all boys – she had a bit of a break and we thought she was done.” Emma and James took the baby back upstairs for supper, but halfway through James popped back to check on Chaos, and called Emma to come down. “I heard panic in his voice,” said Emma, “so I rushed downstairs, and he said ‘Im not sure if I can count… I’m sure there were only eight…’’ While the family was eating, Chaos had had a further two puppies, and ended up with a litter of 11. “We had a mix of black, yellow and red pups,” says Emma, “and they were all healthy and happy.” Months later, Chaos is still doing well, and all of her pups have gone to loving homes. “We gave one puppy to my parents,” explains Emma, “one went up to Lancashire, and almost all the others have stayed in the local area.” Emma and James have been lucky enough to see a few of the puppies with their new humans over lockdown, and they maintain a Whatsapp group called ‘Pupdates’ so they can see

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how the little ones are getting on in their forever homes. Emma has also stayed in touch with Claire and her husband Jeff, whose two daughters have offered to babysit for Emma’s baby daughter when the time comes. The South Bristol Voice has

also had a supporting role in Chaos and Bruce’s story. “When the puppies came, they of course needed lots of bedding, so we used old copies of the South Bristol Voice for them to sleep on,” says Emma. We’re so glad we could help!

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BS3 Helping Others New volunteering directory launched BS3 Helping Others is a group for people who would like to become volunteers in the BS3 area of Bristol. Until lockdown began, it used to meet in the Tobacco Factory twice a week. These meetings were an opportunity for local people interested in supporting their community to hear about projects and to meet people already involved in them. The arrival of Covid-19 put a temporary halt to BS3 Helping

School News

Others’ meetings, but now that lockdown is easing, they are looking to begin again. Initially, this will be by virtual meetings, but they expect to meet face to face later in the year. As part of this process of getting going again, they have updated their directory. This includes information about over 70 organisations that are looking for volunteers. The directory is online only for the time being and you can either download a copy from the group's Facebook page or email them. When they're meeting up again, paper copies will be available. Contact: facebook.com/ groups/BS3helpers or email bs3helpingothers@gmail.com

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Views of the new school buildings in Hareclive Road Children and staff from two needs of young people and their south Bristol schools have moved families.” in to their £13.2 million new The new schools at Hareclive buildings. Road have been built by Galliford State-of-the-art premises Try. The primary school has have been created for Merchants’ 14 classrooms, a dance studio, Academy Primary and Venturers’ a spacious hall and a library. Academy alongside Merchants’ The special school, whose Academy Secondary in south students are aged up to 16, Bristol. includes a sports hall, science The development means that lab and rooms for art and design students at Venturers’ Academy, technology, life skills and music a special school for children with as well as classrooms, purposeautism, will share a campus with built dedicated therapy rooms those at the mainstream schools. and multiple breakout spaces. Trystan Williams, founding The primary school has a principal of Venturers’ bright colour scheme to stimulate Academy and executive lead for curiosity and inquiring minds, primary and specialist schools while the special school is at Venturers Trust, said the decorated in more muted colours co-location would benefit all to meet the children’s needs. learners and staff. The site will “Creativity and innovation also incorporate the Trust’s new are at the heart of our thinking. Bradbury Centre, which will The whole space is absolutely offer unprecedented research tremendous,” said Mr Williams. and training opportunities for Each school has its own teachers and others working outdoor areas and there are plans with vulnerable, complex and for forest school provision on site disadvantaged students. and for a multi-use games area. “This is such an exciting The new buildings are ready time for our schools, the Trust, just in time for Venturers’ PROPERTY MAINTENANCE the city of Bristol and the wider Academy to open its post-16 region,” said Mr Williams. “These from September, INTERIORprovision & EXTERIOR PAINTING wonderful new facilities are a real enabling the school to continue FENCING • PATIOS • LANDSCAPING investment in the people who the rapid expansion it has had LOG STORES • GUTTERING • FASCIAS live here. We are delighted to be since it launched in 2015. playing our part in meetingELECTRICS the • DOORS • PLUMBING

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Firms and community help students say connected Support from businesses and the community has helped local school children stay connected during and after the Covid-19 emergency. Gatehouse Green Learning Trust - which runs schools in south Bristol - was overwhelmed by the response to an appeal for devices to aid students over the winter. Help came from people and firms linked to parents, governors and trustees – and also from organisations that had no prior connection to the trust and its five Bristol schools. A particularly generous donation was made by law firm Burges Salmon, which handed over 15 laptops that were given out to students learning at home during the lockdowns. Burges Salmon also gave the trust 50 desktop computers, which have been shared between Ashton Park School and Redland Green School. The trust’s head of IT Dan Pitman said: “We have installed

Dan Pitman with some of the donated computers installed at Ashton Park School

25 PCs at Ashton Park and 25 at Redland Green to replace ageing equipment in some of our IT suites. “This support has been extremely welcome at a time when we are striving to ensure that our young people are given every opportunity to succeed after a period of disrupted learning.

“As businesses reconsider their arrangements after the pandemic, with many employees opting to continue remote working using laptops and other devices, we hope they will consider donating any surplus computers to their local schools.” Sarah Baker, chief executive of GGLT, said: “We are very grateful to Burges Salmon for the

donation of 15 laptops and 50 desktop PCs. This generous donation is making a difference to the lives of our students, who have shown great resilience over the past year and deserve every investment in their futures. “Our schools are rooted in their communities and we value highly the links we are developing with local employers and organisations. We welcome any partnerships that can benefit the young people we serve.” Kirsty Green-Mann, head of corporate responsibility at Burges Salmon LLP, said: “We’re pleased to have been able to make this equipment donation to help students stay connected, as part of our Burges Salmon ‘Working with Schools’ programme. Digital inclusion and helping less advantaged students keep pace has never been so important given the challenges presented by the pandemic. Our thanks goes to the Gatehouse Green Learning Trust.”

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