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CHURCHLANDS COMMUNITY PROJECT 2010 – 2011


CHURCHLANDS COMMUNITY PROJECT 2010 – 2011


Blog Post – 2010

Preface This publication details the process undertaken by the residents of Churchlands Road, Bristol. The intention is to showcase how their community project developed and what they were able to achieve. This has been done in the hope that it will inspire others to do the same.


C.C.P – 10/11

CONTENTS 7 A PLAN IS MADE 19 THE HARD GRAFT BEGINS 27 FIRST CONTACT 39 A MEETING PLACE IS SELECTED 47 THE PROJECT PICKS UP PACE 57 PREPARATIONS FOR PLANTING 67 PLANTING BEGINS 75 PREPARATIONS FOR STREET PARTY 83 GARDEN OPENING AND STREET PARTY 99 FUTURE PLANS


Churchlands Community – A social project

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Blog Post – 7/11

Welcome! Churchlands Road is a friendly street in South Bristol where residents have come together in the past to celebrate and socialise. At the entrance to our street is a plot of land that is owned by the South Bristol Christian Centre, which is currently tarmacked, fenced in and is home to a Rowan tree, some discarded rubbish and bits of smashed glass. Householders on Churchlands Road have been in contact with the Trustees of the Christian Centre who have granted us permission to take over the plot of land and transform it into something more beautiful. Over the coming months we intend to raise funds to dig up the tarmac and replace it with shrubs and flowers, making the entrance to our street more welcoming and lovely. Follow our progress here and if you want to get involved, or make a donation to our project, please get in touch! The Churchlands Community Garden Team

– A plan is made –

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Churchlands Community – Getting Started

HOW IT STARTED The Christmas Parties The idea to start the churchlands project didn’t happen over night, there was already momentum building due to Christmas parties being held at various houses along Churchlands Road.

GEOFF AND CLAIRE: Well yeah, we turned round and said what we would do is have parties round each other’s houses in the build up to Christmas. At first there was only a few of us but it turned out to be a lot of fun. So we did it again the second year, but this time we decided to include the whole street. We asked everyone if they wanted to take part to see what came back. We got nearly half the street. We still stuck to the six houses and started at half past seven in the evening. Everyone brought their own drinks. The one at our house finished at about half past one! That’s where the discussion about this project started.

WE DECIDED TO INCLUDE THE WHOLE STREET 10


Churchlands Community – location

The plot of land is located on the corner of West Street and Curchlands Road and is attached to the South Bristol Christian Centre.

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Churchlands Community – Getting Started

WELCOMING AND LOVELY

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Churchlands Community – Location

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Blog Post – 14/11

Street Meeting Our first street meeting was well attended yesterday - thanks to everyone for turning out and showing interest! Stef chaired the meeting and prepared an agenda - great for keeping everyone focused! We discussed the background to the community garden idea and talked about how we have contacted the trustees of the Christian Centre. We want to create a more welcoming entrance to our street that has plants and flowers, rather than the scruffy concrete area we currently see. The trustees are keen for us to go ahead and beautify the plot and are happy to contribute to the costs of the project. Their only concern is that they would want residents to look after the garden on a long-term basis. In our brainstorm session we discussed the need for the fence around the area, and concluded that it is probably going to have to stay, as it is private land. It does mean that litter collects easily in the area and we agreed that we could all take responsibility for clearing this on a day-to-day basis. In terms of preparing the ground, the general feeling was that it would be best to dig up the tarmac. Alex and John volunteered to take charge of this and before our next meeting will find out what sort of a job that will be. Rose reckons its very easy and she has a sledgehammer. They will find out the cost of hiring a skip. There was some discussion about having a bench in the garden, though we decided that perhaps with a fence and locked gate this would be less popular! Members of the public would not be able to get in, and people felt that they were unlikely to sit in there themselves... Malcolm suggested that we ask the Brownies, Girl Guide and Girls Brigade groups that meet at the centre, whether they would like to have a section of the garden to maintain. Kathleen will approach the group leaders and find out.

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Blog Post – 14/11

We all agreed that whatever we choose to go in the garden needs to be low maintenance. There is currently a splendid rowan tree in the centre and we may have to keep some tarmac around this because of the leaves and berries that fall from it. Evergreen shrubs requiring effort to keep were a popular option for the rest of the area and some people would also like to see flowers in there. Andrea is going to ask the landscape architects in the office next to hers to suggest some plants for us. We can then look at prices for these and come up with a more definite fundraising plan. In time we would like to raise the sign for the centre so that we can plant beneath it and we would like to have a litter bin on the street. Stef is going to run a tabletop sale in February to raise funds, and we will have a raffle at our Christmas house-to-house party in December. Al has already contacted Riverside Garden centre requesting their support, and has been in touch with the Pigeon free magazine that are happy for us to run an editorial. Stef has been in touch with the Best Garden Group who are looking for streets to support as ‘flower streets’ this year. She has also spoken to the Greater Bedminster Community group who already have a Patchwork group involved with tidying up the area. Jon and Al will organise a pub quiz and Alex said he would talk to local businesses about supporting the project. Rose agreed to be treasurer for the group. In the event that we raise more funds than we need for the garden, we will use them to buy window boxes and hanging baskets for the rest of the street. Malcolm suggested that in the meantime we get on with tidying up the area, perhaps putting in a few temporary pots of plants and a sign to let passers by know what we are doing. Al will contact the trustees to request a key; to find out about changing the padlock on the gate for a combination lock; about running a table top sale one weekend in February; to gain permission to dig up a section of the plot to test the tarmac and about holding our next meeting on Sunday 28th November.

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Churchlands Community – Getting Started

INITIAL MEETING Plan of action! At each meeting main issues are raised and discussed. Often members of the group will be able to do the job themselves or will have a contact or friend that specializes in that particular area. On any street the residents are likely to have a wide range of vocations, this is something the Churchlands group really benefitted from.

STEF CHAIRED THE MEETING AND PREPARED AN AGENDA GREAT FOR KEEPING EVERYONE FOCUSED!

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Blog Post – 14/11

1 AL TO PHONE TRUSTEES WITH QUERIES AND GET HOLD OF KEY ASAP – Monday 15th Nov

2 KATHLEEN TO TALK TO THE LEADERS OF BROWNIES AND GUIDES GROUPS –

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Sun 28th Nov

ANDREA TO FIND OUT ABOUT BEST PLANTS AND POSSIBLE DESIGN – Sun 28th Nov

4 ALEX & JOHN TO TEST THE TARMAC AND FIND OUT ABOUT SKIP HIRE –

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Sun 28th Nov

ALEX TO SPEAK TO GRAHAM AT THE CARPET SHOP ABOUT DONATING – Sun 28th Nov

6 JON & AL TO PREPARE PUB QUIZ –

7 STEF TO RUN TABLE TOP SALE – Feb 2011

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Jan 2011


Churchlands Community – Getting Started

THE CLEAR-UP BEGINS! 21st November 2010 When the residents of Churchlands Road first started work on the plot of land it had generally been used as a bit of a dumping ground for litter. Once an area gets this reputation then others begin to treat it in this manner. By taking action and showing the plot of land some appreciation, others began to do the same.

THIS MORNING WE MADE A START ON CLEARING THE CHURCHLANDS GARDEN PATCH.

WE SWEPT UP THE LEAVES AND RUBBISH FROM THE AREA

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Churchlands Community – Clear-Up

IT’S LOOKING BETTER ALREADY! 19


Churchlands Community – A social project

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Blog Post – 29/12

The Big Dig Join us on Sat 8th Jan 2011 with pick axes, sledge hammers and other such tarmac smashing equipment! We’ll be digging up the plot on the corner of Churchlands Road and West Street from 10am...do come and get involved in anyway you can. Donations to the project are very welcome - make cheques payable to ‘Churchlands Community’ or contact us to find out how to make gifts of plants and shrubs. Upcoming fundraising events include the pub quiz at The White Horse on Thurs 27th Jan - £2 per person, max 6 per team. Prizes donated by the good people of West St and Churchlands Road. All proceeds go towards topsoil, shrubs, flowers and other greenery loveliness for the Churchlands Community Garden. We’ll also be running a table top sale in February - contact us for more information!

– The hard graft begins –

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Churchlands Community – In Full Swing

TARMAC REMOVAL 8th January 2010 On the 8th of January a group of the residents descended on the plot armed with picks, sledgehammers and shovels. This is when the work really began and from this point there was no turning back. Contact had been made with the trustees of the Christian Centre and landscape architects, a contact of Andrea’s, had provided plans. The group had also got estimates for topsoil and plants along with the cost for removing the rubble they were about to dig up. A bank account had been opened and plans were in place for fund-raising and sourcing donations.

HURRAH!

THE BIG DIG BEGAN THIS MORNING AT 8:30AM!

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Churchlands Community – Tarmac Removal

ROSE SMASHES IT UP!

JAMES GETS BUSY!

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Meeting – 21/11

TOPSOIL WILL BE THE BIGGEST COST AT:

£740 24


Meeting – 21/11

THE PLANTS HAVE BEEN ESTIMATED AT:

£500 RAISING MONEY Table Top Sale - Bedminster Feb 20th Hey! We’re running a table top sale this Sunday at the South Bristol Christian Centre...come along and run a table, or pick up a bargain! Look forward to seeing you there! 25


Churchlands Community – Rasing Funds

SOURCING SUPPORT The Greater Bedminster Community Partnership This partnership that consists of local councilors, voluntary and community groups, private businesses and public agencies all based in the area of Southville and Bedminster. Its aim is to support local projects that benefit the surrounding community. The Churchlands group approached Ben Barker who came along to a meeting to explain how the partnership may be able to help their cause.

THE G.B.C.P. HAVE GRANTED US ÂŁ200

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Community Chest GBCP

What’s happening right now ... The Community Chest was launched on 1 February 2008 at the South Bristol Business Awards. It’s a treasure trove of resources contributed by businesses and community groups working together to make Bedminster a better place for all who live and work here. Below is a list of the kinds of things that businesses have offered:

1. Resources - goods or materials such as paint, cycle racks, building materials, trees and shrubs

2. Time - this could be “pro bono” services or professional time, or time given by your workforce to help with a project

3. Money (a one off cash donation or a standing order)

Via the Community Chest these pledges are turned into constructive projects by local people who put in their own time, energy and local knowledge for free. Without the help of these businesses and local groups the improvements just wouldn’t happen.    The means to make pledges and requests for help will be added to this website later this month. Meanwhile if you are a business interested in finding our more / making an expression of interest then take a look here.

www.greaterbedminster.org.uk


Blog Post – 2010

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Email – 11/3

Hi Tom Ben Barker at GBCP sent us your details. We are ‘Churchlands Community’ (not religious!), a group of residents who have got together to ‘green up’ the area in which we live (Churchlands Road, off West Street in Bedminster). We’ve raised £1100 from local organisations and traders to create a community garden, we’re in dialogue with Bristol CC re getting trees on West Street, and we’re engaged in discussions on improvements for pedestrians and on litter issues West Street. We’re meeting at the White Horse on Sunday night at 5 pm if you want to come along and talk to us for 20 minutes or so - just let me know. Or some of us will be out working on our garden project - opposite the White Horse - at 10 am or thereabouts on Sunday morning.

Stef Brammar

– First contact –

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Churchlands Community – A social project

MY FIRST MEETING WITH THE CHURCHLANDS GROUP I arrived at West Street on a windy sunny morning and was greeted by a group of jolly people working on a small patch of land connected to what looked like a community centre. I introduced myself to the group and informed them that I was there to meet with Stef. She introduced herself and asked to be excused for a moment while she handed out tea to the other’s. While I happily waited, a man, who I later knew to be Malcolm, Stef’s partner approached me and in a stern voice asked “what’s this for then Tom?” To which I told him and some of the others in the group of my aim to work with small local community groups in the hope of understanding how they operate, why they are formed and what the benefits were. After only being there for a short amount of time and before long I had a cup of tea in my hand and was in a conversation with a few members of the group. They had obviously become very accustomed to having new people join them. It was as if these people had known each other for many years due to the way that they joked with each other and had a seemingly deep understanding that you only expect to find amongst the closest of friends.

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Churchlands Community – A social project

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Churchlands Community – Rasing Funds

HELLO –

Stef Brammar So whats your background? I used to run art centers and I was the director of the watershed for three years a long time ago. I ran the media centre at Bower Ashton and for the last eight years of my career I was a multi media producer. I then went into another company called Mobe, which was producing media for mobile devices and I finished that about two or three years ago. So in the art centre days I was always raising money, it was never as easy as this. It was obviously a project that was meant to happen you know; everybody had been thinking lets have a few more trees around or whatever.

I guess at the moment you would think it would be a bad time to try and raise money? In this climate it is, I would hate to be doing it for art projects now. When I did it in the last ressesion, I was working for an art centre in Cornwall and it was tuff, really tuff. It eventually got easier because there was more money around so people were prepared to sponsor things but I think now I would hate to be running an arts organisation now, or in fact anything that has to attempt to gain funds in that way. You’ve now got the idea of the big society, which in theory great everyone support it, People have always been doing it! There then cutting charities anyway, so how can the charities supposed do the stuff they need to for the big society to work?

In a way it belittles voluntary workers Its bloody insulting if you’ve been doing it for years anyway. To have the government sort of claiming success cause it’s there idea, well it bloody well isn’t there idea. People have been doing it for a long time!

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C.C.P – 10/11

IT BLOODY WELL ISN’T THEIR IDEA

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Churchlands Community – A social project

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Churchlands Community – A social project

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Churchlands Community – A social project

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Churchlands Community – A social project

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Churchlands Community – Motivation

WHY DO IT – Malcolm Brammar

The project started as aesthetic as well as ecological. We all thought that as the entrance to the street we could just make it look a bit nicer. It was just a load of tarmac with a tree in the middle, which turned out to be diseased. So anyway, Stef and me did a bit with the patchwork group, just to see how it was done basically. We knew about gardening but we wanted to learn about the social interaction, we wanted to find out who it was that turned up to dig up a piece of rather grotty land THAT’S OUR on west street. That’s our main focus really. To improve West Street, It’s one of the great unloved, forgotten streets of Bristol MAIN FOCUS and it’s an important entrance for Bristol. A lot of people come down West Street, its always busy, there’s the night bus, it’s a showcase bus route, there’s the airport bus. Many thousands of – people arrive in Bristol and this is the first view they get and we TO IMPROVE want to do something about that. I personally feel very strongly about it. We need to get more trees on west street, for instance, WEST STREET I’m campaigning at the moment to get one outside the Granby clinic/Tesco area which is, you know an ‘interesting design’, built on the former coalmine down there. It’s pretty trendy running around the roof at the top. But at street level its pretty unappetizing and it could have had some greenery within the design.    This sign for instance, we took that down and a couple of rotten metal posts but we have to put it back in again because obviously its there land, we have to work with that within our idea is for the garden. We’ve been using the skills and occupations of various people, Alex is an electrician but obviously he’s used to working in building projects, Johns provided us with the felting for the pathway where we’re going to put the bark chippings. All sorts of people have got different skills. It’s very much about chipping in and everyone feeling involved.

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C.C.P – 10/11

IT’S VERY MUCH ABOUT CHIPPING IN AND EVERYONE

FEELING INVOLVED 39


Churchlands Community – A social project

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Blog Post – 28/1

QUIIIIIIIIIIIIIZ! Hurrah! And Yippee! and WOOP WOOP! The quiz was a massive success! The White Horse was filled to the gills and teams travelled from far and wide to answer the selection of questions we posed...well done to The Late Starters...they literally did start late and still managed to score a whopping 62 points. Splendid stuff! With the quiz entry fee, raffle and magic pound game we managed to rake in more than 300 fresh squids! Thanks to everyone for coming along, for taking part, for telling your friends and for being so generous. Thanks also to the White Horse too and remember to come along and support their live Jazz nights in coming months!...for more details check out their website here... http://www.whitehorsebedminster.co.uk/

– A meeting place is selected –

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Churchlands Community – Meetings

THE WHITE HORSE – Future Project?

Well we all keep saying I wish we could raise the money to buy it and do something with it. It would be good if it were another lounge or something. We’d love to turn it into a real community pub. The problem with it is, I think the question mark is, whether this area is ready to support something like a gastro pub. The thing is, like the people that open the lounge bars, the first one being in North Street and there’s one on Wells Road. I guess as a business proposition, you’re only going to be able to do it if it’s a little cluster of businesses and you know that there’s going to be a feed off of other businesses. To come here you’ve got to walk up Chessel Street and North Street. But then again hopefully there would be enough like-minded people that would think well actually if they do a nice roast or breakfast, something like that they would support it. And also in the daytime places like the Tobacco Factory and the lounge are full of young mums with their prams and stuff, something there would be useful to the area but we need and investor hahaha. It’s an area in transition, when I didn’t live here and we used to drive through I always said ‘god this is like the 1950s’. When we bought this house the estate agent said to me that we would be paying thirty thousand more to be on the other side of the street. This street and this side is the unfashionable side but it’s beginning to change. I mean suddenly you see window boxes and flower beds. There’s not many students round here, this is more still families that have been here for a long time and young professional people that are moving in. its not so much rented property. You can sense that the area is gaining popularity partly because young people are finding house prices in Southville too high and they can get the same house over here for thirty thousand less.    If we got our hands on the pub we would be able to hold things such as bingo nights and pensioners lunches, stuff that could really benefit the area. I think we need more young people with energy to get involved so they understand how important these things are as you get older. We’re all going to get old one day!   

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Churchlands Community – Local pubs

Ushers the brewery own it and it’s a sad pub. It’s had three managers in the past 8 months, in fact now they’ve put it up for sale. It’s got a temporary landlady at the moment in there and it;s rubbish. It has huge potential, you could imagine it as a bistro pub. Also it’s by an airport bus stop and it’s got all that accommodation above it and all the land, a garden at the back and that entire frontage. Its on the market for 250k we think you could probably get it for 180k but then you would need to spend half a mill on it sorting it out. At the moment I think it’s only got 3 or 4 regulars, it just isn’t doing much business. Its in need of renovation, you’ll see when you go inside, one of our group said its too much carpet. You wait ‘til you see the stuff they have in there.    In the summer you could have beer festivals, you could have flea markets you could even do a weekly farmers market or something like that because not everyone wants to go down to the Tobacco Factory. It could become a local hub. It would have to be something different from the Tobacco Factory because the community here is very diverse and that sort of thing wouldn’t reflect its surroundings. It would need to be accessible to a much broader range of people within the community.    It’s a funny site because the barns on the left are listed so you can’t knock it all down and build flats, same as the horse above the front door, so whatever you did with that building you have to retain that doorway. So it’s not an easy site for a developer to take on.

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Meeting – 6/2

ACTION NOTES FROM MEETING SUN 6 FEB ˇˇ Apologies from Rose who had a cold: we currently have £980 in the bank account ˇˇ Stef will write ‘thank you’ letters to all donors ˇˇ Rose has requested that we agree a budget so that she has some idea in advance of what money is needed and when it will need to be spent. It was agreed that the topsoil would be circa £400, and that John G will get a price for treated wood for the path edging etc. We will then have some idea of what will be available for plants. ˇˇ £75 was given to the man who has removed the rubble - he said he would like to donate a tree with the money ˇˇ

Agreed that if poss we need to persuade the SBCC to settle for a better (wooden?) sign: Ali to broach the subject

ˇˇ Ali also to press for a decision on the tree, and then to contact the tree man for its removal ˇˇ Stef to contact the council re a SBCC sign to be put on the pole at the corner ˇˇ JG to get topsoil delivered (Friday?) ˇˇ James to be asked to action the bark chips ˇˇ

Andrea to head up a ‘planting’ sub-group. Malcolm and Eleanor have volunteered: anyone else?

ˇˇ

Ali to ask Graham about the downpipe being altered so that we can have a water butt

ˇˇ Malcolm has priced up compost bins 44


ˇˇ Geoff and Claire to head up a ‘street party’ sub group: Stef offered to be involved: anyone else? ˇˇ Geoff to circulate an initial street party flyer to Churchlands and Brighton Terrace/Brighton Crescent, to gauge support or otherwise ˇˇ Stef suggested once we know we have enough funds to complete the garden, we might consider doing something about greening up the White Horse frontage

Table Top 20 Feb, 1 pm ˇˇ So far, 7 tables required ˇˇ Claire to provide a large jar and Stef to buy sweets for a ‘count the sweets’ comp ˇˇ Ali to ask Graham whether we can use the car park that day ˇˇ Stef and Kath to go into the Centre and check number of tables and arrangements for refreshments ˇˇ Ian to deliver flyers to local streets ˇˇ Geoff and Claire to take some to the local Sunday market ˇˇ Stef will take flyers to the table top sale at Bedminster Methodist Church next Saturay ˇˇ Stef to get posters into shops in North Street, West Street and East Street ˇˇ Stef will make a large banner for the front fence to be hung on the day ˇˇ Ali to find out what Tesco’s offer of ‘baked goods’ means and to arrange collection/delivery for the 20th NEXT MEETING: SUNDAY 13 FEB, WHITE HORSE, 5 pm **NB: until tree goes, difficult to see what else can be done on the plot itself

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Churchlands Community – Pub Meetings

SUPPORTING LOCAL BUSINESSES The White Horse As the project developed the group realized that the pub opposite Churchlands Road was suffering due to lack of customers. They decided that they would use the pub to hold their meetings and also to have fund raising events in, the first being a pub quiz. When people decide to work together in the same way as the Churchlands group, it provides an opportunity to club together and support what you collectively feel is important to the community.

SO WE’RE MEETING IN THE WHITE HORSE AT FIVE O’CLOCK? WILL IT BE OPEN LATER? – I THINK SO; IT’S BEEN OPEN ALL WEEK.

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Churchlands Community – A social project

Community pubs USE IT OR LOSE IT

The role of the rural British pub as a cohesive centre of its community has never been more important than it is today, and yet a record number have ceased to trade in recent years.    Exactly why so many have closed is a complex equation, but taken at its most simplistic, changes in employment patterns, the explosion in residential house prices, and a lack of awareness of the wider role that pubs can play in supporting essential services, are the key issues. Beyond the chatter and laughter of the rural bar room crowd on a busy Sunday lunchtime, there are also the quiet times mid-week in February when no one bar the publican and his dog venture past the front door. In previous centuries, these were the times when the local agricultural workers or skilled craftsmen would have popped in to warm themselves, exchange a little gossip, and indulge in a pie and a pint. But times change; the agricultural workforce has dwindled as mechanisation has taken root, and many of the traditional village-based craftsmen have long ceased their particular trades. Even the beer is now largely delivered in metal casks, and coopers are a rare breed. In short, there are times when all is too peaceful, when tranquillity can transcend viability.    In parallel to these demographic changes, there has been a phenomenal explosion in residential property prices over the past couple of decades. Assessed on its business turnover, rather than its relative position and the bricks and mortar it is built from, the value of a modest pub business can be dwarfed by the value of the property were it to be converted and sold for residential use. Even many successful pubs are often worth less than the residential value of their property. It is therefore not surprising that many rural pubs have been lost.    If rural communities are not just to become dormitories, it is vital that the residents take a more active involvement, and this is exactly what has been happening across the UK

www.communitypubs.org

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Churchlands Community – A social project

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Blog Post – 16/3

The Soil Has Arrived! The soil was delivered this morning. If anyone is free this afternoon then we are going to meet up to level it out and start marking up!

– The project picks up pace –

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Churchlands Community – Golden Brown

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Churchlands Community – Soil Delivery

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Churchlands Community – Golden Brown

PROGRESS The Garden Begins To Take Shape

Once the soil had been delivered the group were able to replace the signposts and start marking out planting areas. The whole was dug for the new tree and the project was now very close to completion. The residents were now able to see how much they had achieved.

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WE GOT A REALLY GOOD PRICE ON THE


Churchlands Community – Soil Delivery

TOPSOIL

THREE HUNDRED AND SOMETHING THROUGH A CONTACT OF ALEX’S 53


C.C.P – 10/11

WHAT I FIND INTERESTING IS THE AMOUT OF SUPPORT WE’VE HAD

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C.C.P – 10/11

WAS IT THERE B U B B L ING BELOW THE SURFACE ALL THIS TIME?

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Churchlands Community – Plotting The Patch

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Churchlands Community – Digging The Hole

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Churchlands Community – A social project

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Blog Post – 17/3

Topsoil is in! HURRAH! The topsoil is in! And the garden has been plotted out... all we need now are the plants! And they’ll be arriving any day now. Full day of planting ahead this Sunday with a working lunch...bring your own drinks. See you bright and early :-)

– Preparations for planting –

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Churchlands Community – Collaboration

COMMUNAL CONNECTION – Working With S.B.C.P.

When we contacted the Bristol Christian centre and told them what we wanted to do they nearly fell off their seats. They said ‘we would love you to do this, we cant do it because we’re all in our seventies’. Even though we don’t go to church the fact we’ve come in and got involved has been really welcomed. I don’t think any one of us has gone to a service or is particularly religious apart from Kath I don’t think. The vicar’s been very nice, he came along to the pub quiz. There’s more to community than having a shared religion.

They were a bit worried that we would build this garden and then all move away leaving no one to look after it. In this area it does tend to be young couples moving in, having their first child then they want another bedroom and move out. So there is quite a turn over. But people like Claire, Geoff, Malcolm and I will probably be seeing out our days here. There are people that will be here for a long time and we’ll make sure that anyone new that moves in to the street gets recruited into the community. People don’t all move at once, there will be a gradual turn over.

We’ve invited anyone from the congregation that wants to come to the street party. So we do have a relationship with them its just that none of us go to the services.

Working with the members of the South Bristol Christian Centre meant that the group had access to electric and water. It also meant they were regularly supplied with cups of tea.

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Churchlands Community – Working with S.B.C.P.

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Churchlands Community – Working Together

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Churchlands Community – Working Together

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Churchlands Community – Geoff and Malcolm

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Churchlands Community – Replacing the sign

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Churchlands Community – Projects Benefits

GETTING INVOLVED – Martin

I got involved through John next door; I didn’t get involved initially because we’d just had our baby born. So I didn’t get involved ‘til late on, after all the hard work of smashing all the concrete and tarmac up. I gradually got a bit more time on my hands and John persuaded me to come down and give a bit of a hand. That’s how I got involved basically. I’ve got to know loads of people in the street that I didn’t before.    The first day I got involved was when they were constructing I SAID GOOD the path and removing the flagstones we found. Then I was involved in the planting of the tree. I think my motivation for being involved was because I had seen what a good job they MORNING were doing and thought that I’d better get stuck in, especially as I had the time with the little one being older. I thought I’d better – put my helping hand in, put some muscles into what they had BUT I NEVER been doing.    The project has been really good for the street, its brought KNEW THEIR people together. I’ve only been living here 18 months so for me personally I’ve got to know a lot more people in the street. NAMES I knew John and my other next-door neighbour but not too many other people, I might have seen them around and said morning to them but never knew their names or anything. It’s made the street a bit more of a community. Were already arranging a curry night and a skittles night. I think there will be a lot more things happening to do with people on the street now, be it a curry night or a quiz night.    I don’t know what the plan will be after this, I think Stef’s got a few ideas. I’ve just been clearing a load of land down at Bristol United Reform on West Street. That job came through Kath, that’s her church. I wouldn’t have got that job if I hadn’t been working on the community garden because I wouldn’t have got to know Kath. I think there’s going to be some other things coming along from that, one thing leads to another.

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Churchlands Community – Tree Planting

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Churchlands Community – A social project

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Blog Post – 20/3

Planting has started On Sunday, a warm sunny March day rewarded our efforts as we planted about 70 plants in the garden (about 80% of the final total). We laid stone stepping stones, and installed a bird feeder (in the hope that the birds who until now have never visited Churchlands might appear!). The plants have all been chosen for their hardiness and easy maintenance, but also for scent and colour not only to please passers by but also to attract wildlife. We can’t wait to see them grow and bloom!

– Planting begins –

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Churchlands Community – Selecting Plants

WE SELECTED PLANTS THAT WERE TOUGH AS NAILS

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Churchlands Community – Garden Plan

12

11

13 SIGN

PLANTS 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13.

10 9

8

7

14

5

PATH

6

4

3

2 1

GATE

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Herbe ‘midsumer Beauty’ Bergenia Cordifolia Viburnum Tinus ‘eve price’ Brachyglottis ‘Sunshine’ Rosa ‘Fru Dagmar Hastrup’ Amellanchier Lamarkii Viburnum Davidii Hypericum ‘Hidcote’ Herbe ‘midsumer Beauty’ Euonymus Fortunel ‘Silver Queen’ Geranium Macrorrhizum ‘Album’ Bergenia Cordiforlia Viburnum Davidii

TREE 14. Betulia Utilis Jacquemontii


Churchlands Community – Planting

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Churchlands Community – Planting

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Churchlands Community – Planting

PLANTING The hard work pays off

Planting was done on multiple occasions; this gave everyone a chance to get involved.

ALL PLANTED UP! It looks like a real garden at last - hurrah! Shrubs are in and everything looks about a million times better than it did five months ago (even if we do say so ourselves!!) Pop along West St to Churchlands Road and check it out! Thanks to everyone who contributed to the project xx

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Churchlands Community – Last Few Plants

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Churchlands Community – A social project

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www.bristol.gov.uk


Meeting – 10/4

Street party minutes • Geoff has looked into options for closing street and concludes that it is too expensive and too much hassle. Would recommend using the carpark instead. • Geoff has put invites through doors in Churchlands, Brighton Terrace and Brighton Crescent, but only had 6 responses. • Rose recommends everyone brings a dish – enough for their party, but to share with everyone. Perfect! • We know that the church and trustees are keen to attend. • Party games could be good. Actions: • Al to speak to Graham about using carpark. • Any ideas for games to Stef!

– Preparations for street party –

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Churchlands Community – Pub Meeting

SUNDAY 10TH APRIL – PLOUGH AND WINDMILL SKITTLE ALLEY

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Meeting – Agenda

1 TREASURER’S REPORT 2 GARDEN: WHAT’S LEFT TO DO 3 NEW FENCING 4 DECORATION: BUNTING, BALLOONS 5 LORD MAYOR AND OPENING 6 PARTY TIMETABLE 7 TABLES, CHAIRS, FOOD, DRINK ETC. 8 DECORATION: BUNTING, BALLOONS 9 MUSIC 9 GAMES AND ACTIVITIES

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Churchlands Community – Party Plan’s

CLOSING THE STREET – TOO EXPENSIVE AND TOO MUCH HASSLE

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Churchlands Community – Location

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Churchlands Community – Party Plan’s

STREET PARTY Planning

Originally the aim was to close the road off for the street party, but after Geoff did some research he found that it would take a rather large amount of planning and extra effort. In the past things like this could have been done sporadically but unfortunately in this day and age it is far more complicated. Streets are always full of cars and motorists have become a top priority. Fortunately for the group, the South Bristol Christian Centre had a history of holding parties in their car park and the trustees were more than willing to let them use it.

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C.C.P – 10/11

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Blog Post – 2010

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Blog Post – 5/4

Street Party To celebrate the completion of the Churchlands Community Garden Friday 29th April • Ribbon cutting by the Lord Mayor ar 3.00pm • Music and games start at 3.30pm • Food and drink from 4.30pm Bring along food to share, garden chairs and your own drinks. As you may have seen, a group of us, local residents, have been working on the plot of land attached to the South Bristol Chistian Centre. We’ve received welcome support from loacl traders and community organisations. Our aim was to improve the enviroment of our street while also getting to know the people who live and work around here. The party will provide an opportunity for us all to meet up and enjoy some food and drink together we very much hope you’ll join us!

– Garden opening and street party –

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Churchlands Community – Setting Up

BUNTING Preparation

Invites were sent out prior to the event but in order to remind people the group made enough bunting to reach down the full length of the street. People who were not directly involved were happy to have bunting attached to gutters and window fixings. People even interrupted their tea to help out.

I DONT MIND – WAS JUST HAVING MY TEA 86


Churchlands Community – Bunting

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Churchlands Community – Preperation

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Churchlands Community – Bunting

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Churchlands Community – 29th April 2011

STREET PARTY Setting up

Everyone involved arrived at the car park early bringing the bits they said they would provide. Tables and chairs, a sound system, booze, food, whack the rat, guess who, apple bobbing, limbo and a whole load of other party entertainment was brought along. Now all that was needed were people to arrive.

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Churchlands Community – Street Party

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Churchlands Community – 29th April 2011

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Churchlands Community – Street Party

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Churchlands Community – 29th April 2011

The ribbon cutting Colin Smith Lord Mayor of Bristol

It’s a fantastic day, I understand that there’s another event going on somewhere else in the country that you may have heard about but for me this is the most important one. This to me is fantastic, we here a lot about the cynicism of the big society, but this is the big society in action. Where local community groups come together, they raise there own finance, they get sponsorship, they get support and then they do something and I would like to offer my sincere congratulations to all those who have contributed to this patch of green in Bedminster today. Many congratulations on bringing this all together. We have very few green spaces in Bedminster and every little patch that we can develop to increase them adds to the environment of this particular area. I’m not going to say any more than that except to say it gives me great pleasure to open this community garden today and I wish you every success for the future.

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Churchlands Community – Street Party

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Churchlands Community – 29th April 2011

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Churchlands Community – Street Party

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Churchlands Community – 29th April 2011

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Churchlands Community – Street Party

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Churchlands Community – A social project

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Blog Post – 2010

What’s Next? After the success of the garden project it is important that the momentum is not lost.

– Future Plans –

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Churchlands Community – Future Plans

COMMUNITY GROUPS –

Colin Smith – Lord Mayor Of Bristol and Mark Bradshaw – Local Councillor Would you say Bedminster has a strong community spirit? Mark Bradshaw: This area of Bristol has a very good tradition of people coming together, which is one of its great strengths. As people move away the ones that come in often inherit that, which is good to see. The thing about Bedminster is that a lot of people are born and bread here and have stayed in the area or they have chosen to live here because they like the feel of the place. So for many people it’s a choice and they’ve decided to come here. Another good thing about Bedminster is that you have a very strong mix, you’ve got a lot of young people and a lot of elderly people, it’s a good mix, which I think is another one of its attributes. So you’ve got a lot of people who have lived here all there lives and would never live anywhere else and people that have chosen to live here due to the housing, schools, the environment and the proximity to the city centre. It’s pretty accessible, you can walk into the city in about fifteen minuets, go by bus, go by train, you can cycle, you can be at the airport on the flyer in twenty minuets if the traffics alright. You can be at Temple Meads making a connection to places like London, Manchester and Cardiff.

What’s your view on the big society? Mark: A lot of people are very sceptical about the big society and what it means. This is because it’s phrase that has been used for political purposes and is very vague. If you’re involved in a community role, for example as a councillor like myself, You’ll no that communities working together is not a new thing and does not have to have a label. Its been happening in Bedminster for years, you could argue that the creation of the football club about 106/107 years ago was the community coming together. You could argue that the establishment of the churches and various other institutions around here were all the community deciding that they wanted to come together. So I don’t think you need a political label, I think that the scepticism and the worry is that where will the line be between a community coming together and communities being expected to come together. Many people want to play an active role in the communities but they don’t want to feel like they have to do it, which is what the big society suggests. We all pay our taxes and therefore expect certain public services, the government cant turn round and decide that they don’t want to do it anymore and just hand it over to the public.    As Labour politicians we feel it’s good to have community involvement and community activism, we’re supporters of that and our party grew out of that. We’re apposed to the idea that the public sector will not to run a particular service anymore, for instance having people in the libraries but saying if you want to volunteer then fine! We’re very uncomfortable with that.

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Churchlands Community – Interview

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Churchlands Community – Future Plans

Colin Smith: And of course this is also an agenda to outsource and commission charities and voluntary body’s to do work which is currently done by offices of the council with venerable adults and all sorts of other things. Often the charities are not paid enough or not paid at all and are just expected to do it out of there own funding which doesn’t seem the right thing to do. This project is what communities are all about, coming together and doing things for themselves. Taking ownership of a patch of land and working to enhance their community. It’s a fantastic what they have achieved.

What’s the best way to galvanize people into undertaking this sort of project?

WHATS GOING ON WITH THAT PIECE OF LAND? –

SHOULD THERE BE A GROUP COMING

Mark: I don’t think that there is any one approach, sometimes you will get people coming to you and saying we would like to so such and such asking who they should speak to. In other cases it’s about us thinking what’s going on with that piece of land? Should there be a group coming together? Colin: You can stimulate it, As councillors we could start a little group that we can support and facilitate to the stage when it then becomes self sustaining and then it can take off from there. Groups like this really don’t need that; they started of there own volition.

TOGETHER?

Mark: But its having access to local elected members and others which I think is important whichever way round it is, whether you yourself initiate the process or someone else comes to you for support, you need to be accessible. Colin and I are very much tuned-in to this particular way of working and it’s going to become even more important. Again that would have happened whether the big Society had happened or not. We spend a fair portion of our time as councillors working with community groups, engaging and facilitating. That’s a very important part of our roll as the job moves out of the council house and into communities.

Have you had guidelines coming through informing of how to move in that direction? Mark: No, not at all. One of the reasons I’m sceptical about the Big Society is when the Labour government was in office about a year ago there had been a movement for a number of years towards councillors becoming community champions. There had been a big shift towards saying you’ve got to be working in your community. You have to be known and visible in your community as a facilitator and we as a government will give you the power and the resource to do that. I’ve been a councillor since 2006 and for me much of that, except for the last year, has been under the Labour

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Churchlands Community – Interview

government. Community involvement and activism has been a thing that was being encouraged then. So it’s not new, and actually the move towards the community champion roll was backed by information, material and resource. The difference with the Big Society is that there is no material, there’s no resource, and it’s just these quotes in the middle saying Big Society. Yet under community champion there were all sorts of things put in place like guidance, training and advice. Colin: It’s also to do with the roll of the councillor. Some of the councillors are elected and think that their work is inside the council house. Both mark and myself believe that whilst there is work to be done in the council house, actually a lot of the work is down here in the community, working with residents to actually improve the area they live in. With this project it’s easy to look at the physical benefits but actually the benefits go beyond that in terms of the teamwork and the community spirit. All of that stuff that goes into it, the social touchy feely elements that you can’t measure. The community spirit after this event will be fantastic and they’ll keep the garden going and that gives the sense of community integration and community cohesion. Others will see what they’ve done and think, well if they can do it, we can do it. It’s all about having the confidence to do it. You can say well that will cost £2000 and people will say oh we cant raise that but then someone can say, well that group of people over there did, and that is how it will generate confidence that may spread further than there own project. Mark: We’re very supportive of groups that wish to improve West Street, especially now that most development activity will be coming to an end. There’s been a massive amount of building happening all along West Street with the Tesco and the flats over that last 3 of 4 years. When that’s in play you cant do much with the pavements or the roads. It desperately needs a new pedestrian crossing because so many people live near by, so that something that we’re both very keen to see happen soon. It needs new pavements, it needs new street lighting, it needs new signposting and it’s an opportunity for the community to get together and say, actually what do we want West Street to look like and what sort of levels of investment do we want to see in the future. Colin: In order to start improving West Street you’ve got to start putting some investment in and some infrastructure. This will create confidence amongst traders and when that happens the shops move up market, more shops will come in, more traders, more residents. Next to the three lions we’ve got a development of Homes For Heroes, its a self build project for people who have come out of the forces and cant cope with ordinary life. They’re going to be building their own homes shortly. So there’s a load of things going on in West Street. What we don’t want is West Street to be a series of massage parlours and kebab shops, well keep the Argus though.

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Churchlands Community – West Street

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Churchlands Community – Interview

Mark: I think excluding Argus there are about 14 fast food outlets on West Street so there is an issue about balance and if you are going to attract in a wider range of services where are they going to go? We want to keep as many of the shop fronts as we can, it’s important for people to live above or next to them, we want to encourage investment back into the street. But it needs basic infrastructure, it needs new bus shelters, the level crossing, new lighting. If you think about it, a lot of people coming into Bristol from the airport will come through West Street so it’s a gateway into the city. Mayor: They’ll either stop or go straight through! It all comes back to confidence; it’s the confidence you get from giving it a high quality spec in terms of street furniture and all those things. People might stop then, but if it looks run down they’ll carry on through.

So am I right in thinking that with all the developments there is a law where money has to be given to the community. Mark: Section 106. There’s some section 106 available, some of it is already allocated because for the really big schemes you get some that’s taken towards funding of the libraries, roads, schools etc. There have already been some improvements in South Street Park, just off of West Street, funded through Airpoint. We’re hoping to tap into other sources of money. There’s not much currently available so I think is important for the community to agree a plan of action, which may actually take a number of years to put into place. For example if the new crossing is the first priority to make the road safer then maybe find that money first, get that work done and then do things in fazes after. Actually having plan of action that’s agreed by the community is the most important part of it. At the moment there isn’t one for this particular area. There’s not a neighbourhood plan, there’s not an agreed way forward for the improvements that people want to see. That’s something we want to achieve and I think the Churchlands group will be the first faze of that, then get some of the traders involved in a wider effort. Looking at west street and talking about the sorts of improvements we all want to see happen and how much will be needed to fund them. It’s quite an exciting point in time to do that because as I said most of the development work has been done.

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Churchlands Community – West Street

– Money has been earmarked for the regeneration of West Street –

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Churchlands Community – A social project

Section 106 Agreements SECURING COMMUNITY BENEFITS THROUGH A PLANNING OBLIGATION New DevelopmentA Section 106 Agreement is a legal agreement between the Planning Authority and the applicant/developer and any others that may have an interest in the land. In a limited number of cases, where only the applicant needs to be bound by a planning obligation and not the Planning Authority, instead of agreeing obligations through the standard process of discussion (negotiation and agreement) it may be acceptable and advantageous for the developer to make a unilateral offer or “unilateral undertaking” to the Planning Authority to settle obligations relevant to their planning application. “Section 106 Agreements” and “Unilateral Undertakings” are types of Planning Obligation authorised by Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 as amended by Planning and Compensation Act 1991 Section 12. Planning Obligations are used following the granting of planning permission (normally major developments) to secure community infrastructure to meet the needs of residents in new developments and/ or to mitigate the impact of new developments upon existing community facilities. They can also be used to restrict the development or use of the land in a specified way or require specific operations or activities to be carried out on the land. Benefits will be secured either in kind or via financial contributions depending on what is required. The commonest issues that arise are explained in, and controlled by our adopted SPD’s (explained below). The main topic areas to benefit are Affordable Housing, Primary and Secondary Education, Urban Open Space, Highways Improvements and Healthcare. This list is not exhaustive and any other relevant and necessary matter may be included within a Planning Obligation that can not be secured through the normal planning process but is required in order for the development to be deemed acceptable in planning terms which would otherwise be refused.

www.walsall.gov.uk

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Churchlands Community – West Street

– Stef has since become the Street Rep –

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Churchlands Community – A social project

Street Rep Scheme GBCP In partnership with the Police, Bristol City Council and the Greater Bedminster Community Partnership, our Community Safety Officer has set up the Greater Bedminster Street Rep scheme. The idea of the scheme is to involve local residents in reporting issues that affect their local areas such as graffiti, dumped rubbish, abandoned cars, broken pavements and street lamps and anti-social behaviour. Over 40 residents have now signed up for the scheme and this number is increasing. The residents are supported by local officers, both Police and Council, who work in the area and who ensure that issues that are reported are dealt with quickly and effectively.

www.greaterbedminster.org.uk

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C.C.P – 10/11

To conclude Working with the Churchlands group has given me a real understanding of the importance of self-initiated community projects. Not only did their effort and perseverance reward them with a physical outcome, but also more importantly brought the residents of the street together. As Stef correctly stated ‘there must be loads of streets exactly like ours with people waiting for things to happen’. All it took was a few people to have the inclination and willing to approach others and get the ball rolling. As the project progressed more residents got involved. This was helped by the location and the fact it was outside. There was informality to the way things were done but this seemed to have the opposite effect. It gave everyone the chance to take control of different aspects of the project. There was a core group and it would have been easy for key figures to take ownership of the project but that never happened. This was because they were astute enough to realize that by doing so people could feel that their opinion wasn’t valid and as a result would have alienated people from the group. The garden alone would be enough to gauge the success of the project by, but for me the real rewards were felt at the street party. At one point there were well over 100 people in the car park of the South Bristol Christian Center, many of which had never met one another. What this group of people has achieved over the past five or so months demonstrates how, by clubbing together, we can make a real difference to the environment we live in.

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Churchlands Community – 2010 – 2011

Design: Tom Eves

Typeset: ScalaSans Caslon 224 Humanist 521

Photography: Tom Eves Churchlands Residents

References: greenchurchlands.blogspot.com churchlands.i-cloud.co.uk

Thanks to: All of the Churchlands group

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IT’S VERY MUCH ABOUT CHIPPING IN AND EVERYONE

FEELING INVOLVED

Churchlands Community Project  

A book detailing a project undertaken by the residents of Churchland Rd, Bristol.

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