Venue: Gloucestershire County Cricket Ground, Nevil Road, Bristol BS7 9EJ
Contact: Jeremy Livitt
Welcome, Introductions and Safety Information
The Chair welcomed all parties to the meeting.
Apologies for Absence
Apologies for Absence were noted (see attendance list).
To agree the minutes of the last meeting on Monday 10th October 2016 as a correct record.
Resolved – that the above Minutes be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair subject to the following alterations: the word “Botham” on Page 5 to be replaced with the word “Cotham” and the words “800 responses” at the bottom of Page 8 to be replaced with “80 responses”
Declarations of Interest
To note any declarations of interest from the Councillors. They are asked to indicate the relevant agenda item, the nature of the interest and in particular whether it is a disclosable pecuniary interest.
Please note that the Register of Interests is available at https://www.bristol.gov.uk/councillors/members-interests-gifts-and-hospitality-register
Any declarations of interest made at the meeting which is not on the register of interests should be notified to the Monitoring Officer for inclusion.
No declarations of interest were declared by Councillors
Up to 30 minutes is allowed for this item.
Any member of the public or Councillor may participate in Public Forum. The detailed arrangements for so doing are set out in the Public Information Sheet at the back of this agenda. Public Forum items should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org and please note that the following deadlines will apply in relation to this meeting:-
Petitions and Statements - Petitions and statements must be received on the working day prior to the meeting. For this meeting this means that your submission must be received in this office at the latest by 12pm on Friday 20th January 2017.
The following Public Forum statements were received:
Statement 1 - Transport Issues – David Redgewell South West Transport Network, TSSA and Director of Bus Users (UK)
It was noted that the proposals for the Metro West Phase 2 proposing a potential station at Ashley Down would affect this NP area.
Statement 2 – Neighbourhood Partnership Structure – Jenny Hoadley, Liz Kew, Sarah Thorp, Lesley Welch, Rob Umphray and Gavin Spittlehouse
Jenny Hoadley indicated that, since the statement had been prepared, confirmation had now been received by e-mail that all Neighbourhood Partnerships would continue to operate until the end of June 2017 and, therefore, the situation was not quite as urgent as originally anticipated.
However, she pointed out that the proposed budget reductions of over 90% would result in the end of the existing structures and, therefore, members of the NP had met in early January 2017 to discuss what should replace it. Whilst the community was keen to have a say in future arrangements, the current situation was an unknown. In the interim period, temporary arrangements for the NP would remain until the next 12 months was clearer. It was noted that other community organisations in different parts of the city could support any proposed alternative structure, such as “Up Our Street” and the Greater Partnership.
Statement 3 – Sustainable Transport Working Group – Addendum – Roger Gimson
It was noted that this statement related to Agenda Item 9(b) and would be considered under this item.
Please find attached the above report.
Members noted this report proposing the adoption of Shelly Swift as a Business Representative on this NP.
However, the Chair advised that she had informed him today that she was probably going to leave the country. He stated that he would be meeting on Monday 30th January 2017 with Eva Fernandes who was the Business Manager for the G Bird Group and discuss with her if she wished to join the NP as the Business Rep.
Discussion on the Budget Situation and the Future of Neighbourhood Partnerships
There will be a verbal discussion on this item.
The Neighbourhood Co-ordinator advised the NP that a large part of the Council budget had been frozen as a result of the financial crisis with which it was faced, including Neighbourhood Partnerships. Very significant cuts (96% of the current budget) were proposed to the NP programme across the city.
Members noted the following situation in terms of remaining funding which was available in addition to different proposals for future arrangements:
(1) £350,000 across the city remained for Small Grants, from which £30,000 was currently available for BCR NP. However, proposed cuts of £100,000 would result in the remaining £250,000 being transferred to a Central Grant Fund to be managed by the Quartet Foundation;
(2) Every small grant previously agreed for this financial year had been paid. However, whilst the funding had been provided, there was frequently no longer any resource to deliver the necessary work ie tree planting, road schemes, playgrounds for parks. Nevertheless, due to the current situation, some officers temporarily had more time than before to help with implementation of these projects since they had been removed from other work;
(3) It was noted, for example, that trees would not be planted until the next planting season (ie not until December 2017 to March 2018);
(4) Only £223.48 of CIL was available for use by the NP. Section 106 funding was, however, not part of the freeze;
(5) The key decisions relating to the NP budget would be taken at Cabinet on 30th January 2017 and then at full Council on 21st February 2017. NP members were urged to make their views known at these meetings by submitting statements and questions as appropriate;
(6) A meeting of Cabinet with stakeholders was taking place on 4th February 2017. However, the future of Neighbourhood Engagement remained uncertain;
(7) This was a very difficult situation but did need some more clarity. It appeared that the approach was to allow local people throughout the city to decide whether or not they wanted to adopt a policy of future community engagement. In the meantime, measures were being put in place to set up a Bank Account and for officers to continue to provide support in the interim;
(8) Any new measures may require a different geographic approach;
(9) Local traders from the area had spoken to the Mayor to indicate that they had found the NP very useful to them;
(10) Any successor body would operate in a different way. There would be less opportunities to contact Council officers and more responsibility for Councillors to ensure Neighbourhoods issues were dealt with and for groups requesting funding to take action themselves but given assistance where available. The financial status of groups such as VOSCUR and Quartet needed to be reviewed in view of the situation;
(11) It was proposed that there would be no further funding for local traffic schemes, that the library service would be reduced to the Central Library only and that funding for the Parks would be budget neutral;
Please find attached the Neighbourhood Co-ordinator’s report, together with Appendix 1 providing a budget update.
NP members noted that £10,671.54 had already been allocated for the provision of improvements to Parks and Open Spaces within one mile of the former Kings Arms in Kingsdown and that, therefore, no decision was required.
Rob Umphray confirmed that discussions had taken place with Kurt James from the Cabinet Clean and Green Team and the Street Scene Group but had not been helpful.
A request had been made for a resource from Nordic Pioneer (similar to what had taken place in the Bear Pit and St Pauls) but nothing had yet been received.
Members noted that a decision would be required later in the meeting concerning what future meetings the NP should hold. In view of the former decision to stop the operation of NPs from the end of March 2017, it had been proposed that the 10th April 2017 meeting should be moved to 16th March 2017 and held at Redland Green School. In addition, a meeting should be provisionally booked for June 2017 pending decisions on future arrangements.
Councillor Combley moved, seconded by Councillor Brook and it was AGREED (UNANIMOUSLY) that the Neighbourhood Committee approves the release of £84,595.16 Section 106 funding for the new playground in Ashley Green Park.
Resolved by the Neighbourhood Partnership:
(1) that the current budget of the NP be noted;
(2) that the latest meeting schedule of dates for Forums and NP meetings in 2016/17 be noted subject to a decision on future NP meetings being made under Agenda Item 10 (Date of Next Meeting);
(3) that the brief update regarding the Corporate Strategy be noted along with discussions regarding potential future governance models;
(4) that the recently launched Clean Streets Campaign is noted;
(5) that the recent case study report regarding the new playground at Ashley Green Park be noted;
(6) (unanimously) £5,000 Transformer’s Youth Fund is accepted and administered through the small grants process as per the conditions within the report
Resolved by the Neighbourhood Committee: (unanimously) that £84,595.16 worth of Section 106 funds are released for the new playground in Ashley Green Park.
Action: Andrew McGrath
The report from this Working Group is attached.
Rob Umphray gave the above report and made the following points:
(1) 250 litres of paint had been used for this group’s work in the last 12 months;
(2) He noted the NP’s thanks to him and Liz Kew and to Community Payback for their work;
(3) A great deal of work was being carried out to address issues like fly tipping and it was, therefore, disappointing that the work it did was sometimes seen as a cost not an asset. Volunteers report that Bristol Waste were dropping less recycling and a bin had been recently replaced outside the Quaker Meeting House in Gloucester Road;
(4) At least an extra 1.5 people simply to keep Gloucester Road free of graffiti. The continuation of work to control graffiti and tagging was at huge risk;
(5) No survey work could be done in Kingsdown as originally hoped until there was much greater clarity concerning the future for the existing work.
The Chair pointed out that the greatest success of this group’s work was the combination of Councillors, the Police and officers working together.
Please find attached the report of the Sustainable Transport Working Group.
The Chair introduced this report and made the following points:
(1) It would not be possible to fund Traffic Road Schemes in future if the proposed NP budget reductions went ahead;
(2) The Group had decided to recommend the following schemes for approval even if no resources were available as they placed a marker for what the NP’s priorities were at the moment;
(3) Cranbrook Road Crossing – the results of the traffic monitoring set out in the addendum report indicated that at the crossing points on the monitored junction sites showed a very high usage, particularly at rush hour (9am in the morning) with 12% of vehicles exceeding 30mph;
(4) Church Road – the proposed one way markings to encourage cars to slow down were not popular. There has been a clear preference for the road to be closed to through traffic. Whilst this scheme was a very good candidate to proceed, further consultation with details were required;
(5) Ralph Road/Muller Road Crossing – This could be done as minor works by building out the south corner of the junction;
(6) Hampton Road Crossing Haloes – Approval of the £2,000 scheme was recommended in principle. However, since most of the CIL budget was frozen, only £223.48 was available and it would require further funding to become available to fund this
(7) NPs were requested to endorse these schemes as needing to be carried out and sending details to Senior Highways Officers and the relevant Cabinet Member (Councillor Bradshaw).
NP members made the following points:
(8) It was very disappointing that these schemes had not been possible to implement at the very last stage. Hopefully, funding will come from another source;
(9) There would be no team in future to support these type of local projects – a new channel was required to raise these types of issues which highlighted safety concerns about particular roads;
(10) In future, the role of Councillors and direct lobbying would be critical;
(11) £600 of Section 106 funding was still available from Parks;
(12) Since the Cabot Clifton and Harbourside Neighbourhood Partnership had an unallocated £256,000 of CIL available to them, they should be asked to pay for all of the required funding for the Hampton Road scheme which bordered both NPs
Resolved (unanimously) – that the Cabot Clifton and Harbourside Neighbourhood Partnership be requested to fund the complete cost of the £2,000 Hampton Road scheme and that support for the remaining schemes listed above (Cranbrook Road Crossings, Church Road, Ralph Road/Muller Road) be endorsed as needing to be carried out and details sent to Senior Highways Officers and the relevant Cabinet Member (Councillor Bradshaw)
Action: The Chair (Hampton Road reference to CCH NP) and Andrew McGrath
Please find attached the report of the above Working Group
Alison Bromilow introduced this report and pointed out that there remained £8564.64 within the Section 106 budget. She suggested that the NP identify the Bench Renovation and the Cotham Garden Play equipment as two schemes that the NP favours. She confirmed that discussions were taking place with the Play Officer to develop a scheme with a private company.
Resolved (unanimously) – that the Neighbourhood Partnership approves putting forward the above two schemes for possible consideration at the proposed June 2017 meeting.
Action: Andrew McGrath
Please find attached the report of the Small Grants Working Group
Jenny Hoadley confirmed that 8 applicants for small grants which had been frozen. However, £5,000 was available from the Transformer Fund from the Police for use.
The NP noted that TIGER was a gender equality promotion scheme in Redland Green School.
Resolved (unanimously) by the Neighbourhood Partnership:
(1) that the Transformer Fund be devolved to Neighbourhood Partnerships from the Police service, aimed at services for young people, be allocated to the following applicants which had originally applied to the Small Grants Fund: Golden Hill Community Garden (£2,900) and TIGER (£2,900);
(2) that the remaining £176 be split equally between both of the above applicants;
(3) that the remaining six applicants be invited to re-apply to the Small Grants Fund if the Small Grants Fund becomes available in the future.
Action: Andrew McGrath
Date of Next Meeting
The next meeting of the BCR NP is scheduled for 7pm on Monday 10th April 2017 (subject to confirmation at Monday 23rd January 2017 meeting) at a venue to be confirmed.
It was agreed that the original proposed next NP date of 10th April 2017 be replaced with a meeting at 6.30pm on Thursday 16th March 2017 at Redland Green School immediately followed by a meeting of the BCR Neighbourhood Forum at 7pm which would be attended by Sue Mountstevens, Avon and Somerset Police Commissioner.
It was noted that the NF meeting would include discussion as to how the community can put forward any future views on how their views can be taken account in any successor structures.
Action: Andrew McGrath and Jeremy Livitt
Any Other Business
Councillor Martin Fodor advised NP members that the shell of the new build had been handed over to be fitted out as a library – the shelving had been in store for 2 years waiting for the building.
Councillor Tom Brook advised that the old library site in Cheltenham Road would be closing on 28th February 2017. It was hoped that the final works for the Bishopston Library site would be carried out in 2 to 3 weeks, to be fitted up and opened within 4 to 6 weeks.