13 Mar 2016 - Cabot eNews

March's edition of Cabot eNews.

In this edition:

1. Local Elections coming soon!
2. Community facilities on Harbourside
3. Consultation on changes to parking in the central zone
4. Prince St bridge re-opening delayed even more
5. Poole's Wharf to Rownham Mead bridge to be closed for repairs
6. Growth in Homelessness in Bristol
7. No Spike Island RPZ permits for Wapping Wharf flats
8. Redcliffe Wharf consultation event - Monday 14th March
9. Bristol 10k and Half-Marathon under new management
10. Castle Park cobbles to be re-laid
11. Parks bye-laws consultation
12. Bristol is European City of Sport 2017
13. Local exhibitions

1. Local Elections coming soon!

On Thursday 5 May there will be local elections in Bristol for Mayor,
70 councillors, and the Police Commissioner. The 70 councillors will be
elected on new ward boundaries, and will be moving from rolling annual
elections to a 4-year cycle. The boundary re-draw was necessary because of
the number of new flats built in the city centre since the 1990s. My ward,
Cabot, has been carved up, and two successor wards created in its place:
"Central", and "Hotwells & Harbourside".

I hope to continue as an elected councillor in Bristol, so I have
therefore had to choose which of the two successor wards I will stand
for in May. Because I have lived in two different places in Hotwells &
Harbourside ward but not at all in Central ward, I have chosen to stand
for Hotwells & Harbourside ward. It was a very sad decision for me,
because I will be saying goodbye to many thousands of Cabot residents
in the new Central ward that I have helped and represented for over a
decade. I've put in a lot of time and effort over the years and made
lots of friends; and it's always sad to have to say goodbye to something
you've been involved with for so long. Those of you living in Hotwells &
Harbourside will get a chance to vote for me for a 4th time in May!

Finally, registering to vote is easier than ever. You can now register
to vote at a central website: www.gov.uk/register-to-vote - hurry up,
there isn't long left now!

2. Community facilities on Harbourside

A reminder to Harbourside residents of the current petition to persuade
the Council to let the Pavilion be used for its intended purpose, which
is as a community facility. The Pavilion is the wood-clad two-storey
building on the quayside next to the Lloyd's building; the ground floor is
currently a restaurant called "Spitfire", but the upstairs is a community
space that the Council is monopolising for its own use. Residents and
campaigners recently held a well-attended protest outside the building
to raise awareness of the issue. Help get this building available to
local community groups by signing the petition here:

3. Consultation on changes to parking in the central zone

The Council has launched a consultation into changes to the parking
regime in the central Controlled Parking Zone area (the CPZ - not the RPZ
zones). Much of the changes are driven by the "North Fringe to Hengrove"
route of the MetroBus, which includes significant changes to the highway
arrangements at the Centre. The changes also include new Car Club parking
spaces at various locations within the CPZ. You can view the documents
(there are a lot) under the cryptic heading "MetroBus NFH Zone 5" at
this website: www.bristol.gov.uk/trafficorders

4. Prince St bridge re-opening delayed even more

The re-opening of Prince St bridge has been delayed again, after corrosion
turned out to be even worse that feared. The 137-year-old bridge,
which closed to motorists in August last year, could remain shut until
autumn this year while repair work is carried out so it remains fully
functional. I'm disappointed at how long these repairs are taking. I
also remain opposed to the proposal of closing the bridge to cars when
it is finally fixed (although I do think that making it one-way south
might be a good idea), and the Council is currently still saying that
has no plans to close it.

5. Poole's Wharf to Rownham Mead bridge to be closed for repairs

The Council has announced that the turquoise footbridge connecting Poole's
Wharf to Rownham Mead will be closed for 5 months for repairs. This
seems a very long time for a relatively small bridge, and will be very
inconvenient and send people and cyclists right up to Hotwells Rd before
they can re-join the Quayside by the Grainbarge. This is likely to lead
to cyclists staying on the pavement along Hotwells Road, among other
things. I'm trying to find out exactly what's going on here and have
asked the Transport Department what is being repaired on the bridge,
why it will take so long, and what detour signage and protections will
be put in place while the bridge and path are blocked at that point.

6. Growth in Homelessness in Bristol

A recent count of rough-sleepers in the city for the Government estimated
that 97 people were sleeping rough on the agreed night. This is much
higher than previously, and the highest number since the 90s. The
Council is moving, slowly, to help provide more bed spaces for homeless
people. Before Christmas it was announced that 20 extra beds were being
provided in conjunction with St Mungo's, and in conjunction with a faith
based organisation in the city a new central 15 bed shelter opened in
February. There is also an agreement in place to use two currently empty
buildings to provide up to 10 additional longer-term beds, on top of
the four that have are already available. These should be coming online
about now.

Finally, a big thank-you to those who sponsored me on the annual
sleep-rough in Pip-n-Jay churchyard in February. I helped raise over
£1,400 for the Julian Trust night-shelter in St Paul's. Although it's
now happened, you can actually still sponsor me if you want, here:

7. No Spike Island RPZ permits for Wapping Wharf flats

The Parking Department has confirmed to me that the new flats being built
at Wapping Wharf will not be eligible for Spike Island RPZ permits. I
am pleased to hear this, as the huge number of flats cannot possibly
hope to fit their cars into Spike Island, which already has hardly any
parking for residents.

8. Redcliffe Wharf consultation event - Monday 14th March

After being stalled for 5 years, the Redcliffe Wharf development plans are
finally coming back to life. Developer "Complex Development Projects" will
be holding a public consultation on proposed plans for the redevelopment
of Redcliffe Wharf at Suite 2 (First Floor), M Shed, on Monday, 14th
March. 12pm - 1pm: formal presentation; 1pm - 8pm: public viewing.

9. Bristol 10k and Half-Marathon under new management

The Bristol 10k and Half-Marathon have been taken over by the "Great Run
Company", the same people that organise the "Great North Run". In the
past these events have caused considerable disruption to residents and
businesses on Harbourside, due to closures of Cumberland Rd and Hotwells
Rd. The company came to a recent meeting of the Harbourside Forum that
I chaired, and I am hopeful that the new company will attempt better
engagement with residents and be more professional than the previous


* Great Bristol 10k - Sunday 15th May, 9.30 am - runners: ~12,000

* Great Bristol Half Marathon - Sunday 25th September, 9.30 am -
runners ~10,000


10. Castle Park cobbles to be re-laid

The Council has told me that the cobbled road along the quay-side of
Castle Park will be re-laid. This is parallel to Bridge St, opposite
Baldwin St. The goal is to provide better accessibility to pedestrians,
cyclists and wheelchair users. The original cobbles will be kept, but
they will be cut in half to create a much smoother flatter surface. This
certainly makes the surface much flatter and easier to travel over,
although there was some controversy when the procedure was carried out
at Gas Ferry Lane last year.

11. Parks bye-laws consultation

A reminder that there's only one week left to respond to the Parks
bye-laws consultation. In 2014 I managed to block a previous set of
these bye-laws that would have banned in parks such mundane activities
as children climbing trees and playing "annoyingly". The current
revision of these bye-laws is better but I'm still not entirely happy
with them (particularly a proposed ban on BBQs - my response is here:
http://tinyurl.com/ofjp74b ). It's important that residents feed in to
the consultation: www.bristol.gov.uk/parkbyelaws

12. Bristol is European City of Sport 2017

Bristol has been named as European City of Sport 2017. The year will
mark a celebration of the part sport plays in every aspect of life
across Bristol's many and diverse communities. A full programme of
events for the year is currently being planned. Already confirmed is
the ICC Women's Cricket World Cup, with the Bristol County Ground, home
to Gloucestershire County Cricket Club, one of five venues to host the
global competition. More: http://tinyurl.com/zwtvxla

13. Local exhibitions

Spike Island art centre

* Until 27 March: Michael Simpson, Flat Surface Painting
Flat Surface Painting is the largest exhibition to date of Wiltshire-based
painter Michael Simpson.

* Until 27 March: Ruaidhri Ryan, Belt Craft Studios
Ryan's semi-staged documentary follows a crew of technicians setting up
props in a film studio.

More: http://www.spikeisland.org.uk/events/forthcoming