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Thursday, 24th May 2018 by Charlie Bolton

Bedminster Green survey results

Bedminster Green survey

Southville Green councillors have conducted a survey of residents in the area to try and ascertain their views of the proposals for Bedminster Green.

Overall, they received 306 responses. 28 were collected door to door (in the area of Southville ward, between Malago Road and East St – the rest obtained on-line.

The survey asked for the street people lived in:

88 live in Southville

Around 50 gave no address

20 or so live in Bedminster or other wards

The rest – approximately half – live in Windmill Hill

 

Results


q1 Do you think Bedminster Green area should be developed
 

 

Yes

No

Maybe

Total

184

50

59

 

60.9%

19.2%

18.9%

Southville only

57

15

8

 

71.2%

18.8%

10%

 

q2  Do you think tall buildings are

 

Good

Bad

Neutral

Total

30

189

59

 

10.4%

68%

11.6%

Southville only

13

47

21

 

16%

58%

26%



Q3 Do you think having as much affordable housing as possible in the development is

 

Important

Unimportant

Neutral

Total

224

21

52

 

74.4%

7%

18.6%

Southville only

62

7

10

 

78%

9%

13%

 




This is the response to the questions on air quality, school places, health provision and public transport.

 

Comments

This is a selection of the comments people made. (There are over 30 pages in total!)

Comments on tall buildings

I think there is even a difference between tall buildings... and "this" many buildings that are "this" tall. Tall buildings in the right place, sure - fine. Tall building in keeping, sure - fine. But that many buildings, this tall, in this location - it seems disproportionate and out of character.

I worry about the landscape of the city changing if tall buildings are built. Bristol is a city without really tall buildings and all the better for it. It will have huge implications on what the city will look/feel like in the future. There must be alternatives.

Really very depressed that what was set out to be some sort of new urban village plan has morphed into a profit-taking series of land-banking planning permission exercises that raise the land value , presumably reducing the real options to A. Build Nothing in foreseeable future whilst sitting on plot with permission. B. Build enormous if finance found. Really cant take any of the actors seriously any more , or fit their latest jigsaw piece in with the others as they keep changing ideas, selling-out, and not constructing. Nothing has been delivered, But nothing appeals.

This area is nice green space and should be left untouched as it's places like this that make Bristol the unique city that it is.

On a political level, where are the 22 storey proposals in Clifton or Redland?

Tall isn’t bad, we need houses and here on brownfield, very close to the city centre is much better than on green fields and car journeys away

High rise buildings in this area are pushing an agenda for the council without due consideration of their potential negative impact upon an area. The majority of south bristol housing is low to medium level. Tall buildings in the proposed locations will dominate the skyline towards the city. An influx of residents, without sufficient infrastructure to support them, will put pressure on already struggling resources.

Concerned about mono-culture in 1, 2 bed flats.

We need to build communities that bring people together if we are going to take pressure off the NHS. The present plans for the area are inappropriate if will do huge damage. It was a massive error to grant permission for a tower block at St Catherine's Place

My brother lives on the 10th floor of one in Dubai, loves it.

I know the area well having lived in or around since the 90s.  I see or travel through this immediate area every day re kids, friends and work. These plans need urgent community involvement as a priority, and joined up thinking, putting community at the heart of all housing design.  The scale, mass and height of the developers' ambitions are fantastical and worrying for the existing community and surrounding areas.  Particularly as this type of housing is NOT recommended for cityscapes like Bristol and will contribute nothing to it. This is not Good Design, and does not compliment the thriving and vibrant culture created by residents here over the last 20 odd yrs.  Equally it does not address in any way the current affordable housing shortage for families and other residents here in Bedminster or beyond. It feels as if we don't have a stake anymore in the way councils consider & award planning permission.  The places we call home and the fragile community pockets & spaces we create and invest in can be destroyed and broken so easily by BCC. Put people and communities ahead of profit for developers.    Because that's what it is.  There are so many amazing housing drvelopment alternatives out there that will compliment and enhance Bristol.

If they are well designed. It should be noted that there is a wide demographic who are happy and even aspire to living in such buildings. WHaM's assertion that we would 'repeat mistakes of the 1970s' is a mis-conception. Likewise trying to use the Grenfell tragedy to support a NIMBY agenda.

I accept there is a need for more housing but building flats 18 / 20 storeys high in this area will devastate it.  It will be just a concrete jungle and out of keeping with the area.

Wapping Wharf with 6 -8 storeys and shops/cafes, etc is a human-scale development but the proposed high-rises will overwhelm and overshadow everything in the vicinity

1200 to 1500 and no parking you the councillors are a joke!!

 

Other comments

 

Incentives for occupants not to have cars would be good (reduced rent/ service charge/ council tax and given location close to city centre and public transport very reasonable (but plenty of room for improvement in public transport)

The area is already over populated. There is no parking

The issue is not really about height, but about optimal density, quality and liveability. Height MAY be a proxy for these but not always.

I am passionate about sustainability and the environment , and a Green Party voter, so it may seem contradictory to promote development of green land, especially 'IN MY BACKYARD'.
(Yimby!!) However, the small patch of green is right next to the busy Dalby ave and not often used for actual 'park' activities, given that the beautiful Victoria park and Windmill city farm is right next door.  In this case I think it is about weighing in the huge potential this development could have on our local community. Perhaps some activity spaces such as community centre/music groups/yoga studio/meeting space could be included in the ground level to make the development an asset for all of the neighbourhood, not only the residents.

 Again, in order to prevent gentrification, locals who have lived in Bemmie all their lifes should be offered tenancy/be first in line to buy the flats that are sold.

However, if this development is promoted correctly, it has the potential to be a truly sustainable housing location, with metrobuses connecting to north parts of Bristol and closeness by bike and foot to all central attractions. It could revive our own high street and transform Bemmie without pushing away the lower income households

No good just having Marvin saying he wants a legacy of skyscrapers. These cant be afforded by the majority through their lifetime. And don't deliver community , amenity , fire safety etc. density even.

Coordination between developers at the planning stage is ESSENTIAL for good place-making and rational circulation for the scheme as a whole. The planning process should be obliged to ensure that a masterplan achieves some joined up thinking.

It should be all affordable. And sustainable - homes with storage and outdoor amenity space. And preserve the green-roofed Segal building

Need to ensure active frontages (not bin stores & bike parking, but shops, cafes, leisure). Good to have a mix of units not just 1 & 2-bed flats - some family homes. Parking in surrounding area needs to be addressed (eg Windmill Hill)

Very important to me to keep all the mature trees on the ‘Green’ otherwise it won’t be very green . Need traffic calming measures on Malago Rd (air and noise pollution bad at the moment). GP provision in the area already overstretched. If tall apartments well built/ designed then not a problem.

The area is made up of families living in pretty Terace Houses. Please think about the high rise not fitting in with the area. Gaol Ferry Steps has flats which fit in with the skyline and apex roofs which also fit in. Please can you be creative and develop the area in a different way? The site pollution is already one of the highest in Bristol and surrounding areas. Also after Grenville Towers why would you want to build such tall buildings. I do not think the fire brigade have ladders and equipment to fight a fire in such a tall building?

Since East St is already one of the most polluted roads in the country, I would like to know what BCC's plan is to improve that, particularly with another 1,000+ residents very locally.

The total arrogance and undemocratic practice of the Mayor and Council on this matter

Community infrastructure is key - those above plus utilties and broadband. Air quality a no providing car parking is "managed", i.e. car ownership minimized

It is simply ludicrous that blocks of 10–23 stories are even being considered for this part of Bristol. It's utterly incongruous with the existing built environment, and seems solely designed to tick the box for 'units created', with little thought to the existing or future community.
The plans, or what we know of them so far, are piecemeal, greedy, ugly, and are the clearest examples short-termism and unconnected planning in development that I have seen. They will create a transient and unconnected community which will, at worst, blight Bedminster for many decades to come.
With so many examples of decent family housing so close by (Abode Homes on Bedminster Road), and medium–high rise, dense town-centre development (Wapping wharf), why should Bedminster Green not be considered for a mix of these styles/types of development? Why is high-rise being touted as the only solution for every single plot that's bought up?
Something nobody wants to address is the cost of the land: if developers can only profit at 10-stories-plus, surely that's simply a sign they've overpaid for the land in the bidding wars of several years ago. Why should an established community be forced to pay the price for that level of hubris?
One final question I would have is why Bedminster is considered a perfect location for this kind of euphemistically-titled 'urban living' scheme (super-dense, with polluting energy centres etc), but the affluent west and north of the city are not even included in 'urban living' consultations. There is a historic character to South Bristol, just as there is to the north, though it is a far more working-class history. These insulting plans ride roughshod over this history, and this character, and seem more likely to hamper not help development of the area over the coming decades.

This is predominately a LOW RISE area & the introduction of above 6 floors is unnecessary

 

This development will cause enormous congestion around one of only two access points to Windmil Hill. Both while it is being prepared, and built (i.e. years) and afterwards  in the future. There is no good solution for people who live past the railway line and have only one way to reach their homes

As a Green Party memeber, I am disappointed that the Green councilors for Southville ward have taken so long to make any contact with residents who are most affected by the plans - most of whom live in the adjacent Windmill Hill ward. There has been nothing in the local newsletter and little or nothing from The Green Party in Bristol as a whole. I feel sure that if high rise development had been planned for the upmarket end of the ward around the Tobacco Factory then the plans would have been put to much greater scrutiny by Green members of the Council.

High rise development is never a good idea for creating sustainable communities for children to grow up in. All studies show that high rise is not good for children, for the elderly and for anybody with a disability. They favour young. fully able mobile, childless adults. The Green Party, if it means anything at all, should be supportive of the needs of the disadvantaged.

I am aware that the executive Mayor has almost dictatorial powers over development decisions. That does not mean that he and his majority party on the Council should not be vigourously challenged by all opposition parties on the Council - especially The Green Party. This development goes against almost everything that The Green Party should be fighting for. The Green Party in Bristol should be upholding those green principles

This is a massive project that will change the area.  I feel Consultation regarding the whole project should happen.  Including what local amenities are planned by BCC with the CIL money.

 

Thursday, 1st Feb 2018 by Charlie Bolton

Letter: Response to the article - Council accused of ‘pandering to the cycling lobby’

Green Cllr Charlie Bolton's letter to the Post: 

Dear Sir

I am in no way surprised to see Richard Eddy attacking a Council proposal to improve cycling and walking (Council accused of ‘pandering to the cycling lobby’ by removing Bristol footbridge in £280,000 scheme, Post, 30/1/18).

Local Tories have ‘previous’ when it comes to attacking cycling schemes. One can only assume they have either forgotten or ignored the massive health and congestion benefits of cycling and walking. They may also have forgotten that the scheme is funded through the government’s Cycle Ambition Fund, which his own party set up.

I would, however, refer Councillor Eddy to the Post report on the opening of the South Bristol Link road (The South Bristol Link Road is about to open - this is what it will mean for drivers). At a massive cost of £45m for a 4.5km stretch of road this ‘pandering to the car lobby’ will cost roughly £10,000 per metre – so I suggest Richard gets a sense of proportion.

Yours,

Cllr Charlie Bolton 

 

Monday, 4th Sep 2017 by Molly Scott Cato MEP

What it might cost to leave the EU

This post was originally published on the facebook page of Molly Scott Cato, Bristol's Green MEP. 

There is so much political heat being generated about what it might cost to leave the EU that I thought I would just summarise what the argument is about. This is not original work: it's based on the figures provided by Alex Barker of the FT back in May for which he used the negotiating guidelines agreed with the remaining 27 EU members. The UK government has not yet come forward with its own figures for what we might owe or even an alternative method of calculating it. Imprecise estimates range from Boris Johnson’s whistling and John Redwood’s zilch to David Davis's acceptance that we do have a moral and financial responsibility, as yet uncosted.

Why do we owe anything at all? There are two basic answers to that question. Firstly, like most political organisations, the European Union runs a deficit budget system. If the Scots had voted for independence they would have taken their share of the UK national debt with them. The same applies to us leaving the EU. You can think of this element of the bill as being our share of the debt that has been accumulated over the years of our membership. This is estimated at €36.2bn.

Then we have the commitments we have already made before we voted to leave. Because EU budgets work on a seven year period, we have committed ourselves up to the end of this financial framework period, which is 2020. So even if we leave in 2019 we have already agreed to pay for things that go on until 2020. You may have heard the EU's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, talking about these commitments in the press conference yesterday. We've already signed off on the infrastructure projects in various EU countries as well as aid projects two countries in Africa, Gaza, and so on. It seems reasonable to me to say that if we were part of a political organisation that agreed to the spending, we can't just leave in the lurch the people who already have these projects on the way. This cost is estimated at €27.6bn.

Barnier also insists that we continue to pay our share of the running costs of the EU until we leave, the majority of which will cover continued payments to farmers, which he estimates at €27.4bn. Some member states think we should pay for more EU projects during this phase or that our liabilities here should be extended to the period after we have left.

Then there are a number of less predictable and longer-term commitments. Many Brits have worked in the EU institutions over the forty years of our membership and once we leave we will take on the liability for their pensions from the EU (€9.6bn). We will also be responsible for a share of ‘contingent liabilities’ if projects of funding arrangements that we have agreed to go wrong and end up requiring additional funding (€11.9bn).

Balanced against these liabilities are considerable assets we have acquired during our membership, including a share of buildings that belong to the EU Commission and Council. A deduction will also be made for spending that would have been made in the UK had we continued in membership. Together these add up to around €40bn

That's all the detail we have so far. On the basis of this, and conversations with those close to the negotiations, the FT estimated a net payment of €55bn-€75bn and as much as €91bn-€113bn if the more hawkish members prevail and we continue to fund the central running costs of the EU until the end of this budget period in 2020.

Clear as mud? I hope it helps to take us away from the tabloid mud-slinging at least.

Tuesday, 29th Aug 2017 by Molly Scott Cato MEP

Brexit: The public must have the final say

This blog was originally published in Green World magazine.

Molly Scott Cato MEP, Green Party speaker on Brexit, makes the case for the final deal on Brexit to be a matter of choice for the British electorate
 

Theresa May’s snap General Election gamble, seeking a mandate for a hard Brexit, backfired spectacularly. The result undermined rather than validated the Tories’ damaging plans. Yet 83 per cent of people voted for a party committed to leaving not only the EU but also the single market, didn’t they?  

Admittedly, there are no differences in policy between Labour and the Tories on membership of the single market and freedom of movement. However, it seems that a resigned acceptance of the UK leaving the EU led many Remainers to choose the party they believed would negotiate the least damaging Brexit. This was also an election fought largely on domestic issues, so to use the outcome as vindication for any sort of Brexit is disingenuous.  

But Labour and the Tories should take note of how public mood is shifting. Recent surveys suggest a majority of people would now like to see either Brexit abandoned completely, a second referendum, or a distinctly softer Brexit. A recent survey of Labour members showed more than 80 per cent oppose leaving the Single Market.  

Public attitudes towards Brexit are in constant flux. We cannot forever rely on the outcome of a single question on a particular day to determine our future relationship with Europe. The nuances and complexities of our relationship with our European neighbours are becoming clearer as are the protections offered by the EU to our environment and workers’ rights. These are issues that Greens highlighted during the referendum campaign, but such concerns were drowned out by deceitful messaging from the far right and right-wing media. 

 Ultimately, we will arrive at a new fork in the road, where people should again be given the opportunity to decide which direction they want the country to go in. With an idea of the Brexit deal on the table, we will be able to compare this with what we get by remaining in the EU. 

 So the idea of a ratification referendum is now more important than ever – and it must include an option for the UK to remain a member of the EU. This is not just wishful thinking by ‘remoaners’. A chorus of high profile voices have urged Britain to stay, from writer and philosopher Professor A. C. Grayling to Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council. 

 Of course to become a reality, the idea of a ratification referendum will need cross-party support. The Lib Dems have pledged support for a second referendum on the Brexit deal, but so far Labour have resisted the idea. However, London Mayor Sadiq Khan, one of Labour’s highest profile politicians, recently backed a second referendum, which will likely encourage other Labour politicians to follow suit. Even those Tories desperate to avoid a hard Brexit cliff-edge scenario might regard another referendum as a way out of the quagmire.  

Leaving the EU is not inevitable; indeed, it is less inevitable now than before the general election. Green MEPs will continue to portray both the EU and the Brexit process as accurately and positively as possible to help inform voters ahead of any potential ratification referendum. 

Wednesday, 26th Jul 2017 by Charlie Bolton

RPS in Southville and Bedminster East

Changes to RPS in Southville and Bedminster East

 This webpage details the changes as at 26/7/2017 to the RPS zones in Bedminster East and Southville. These are prior to any formal consultation, and some details are still being ironed out.

If you have any comments, especially 'hold up your hands in horror' comments, please get in touch:

Cllr.charlie.bolton@bristol.gov.uk

Cllr.stephen.clarke@bristol.gov.uk

Extension of zone across North St into Ashton

This will not take place. The council have refused to take on board our request for an extension of the zone to ea limited number of streets.

They have said a new zone will be considered but only if it can be shown that it has widespread support. Given we do not know what this means in practice, you have to reckon any such new zones are some years away.

 Hours and days of operation

There is likely to be an increase in hours and days of operation. To help us better understand the demand for this, please complete the following (simple) survey:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1E0ndLDDEQRS-DLfRlNF9KGgTvelxUSsw-fO9QEC7NtE/edit

Proposed changes to Southville

Area

Change

Beauley Road

Top end – reduce DYL/increase bay by upto 8.9m

 

Change road to mixed use

 

Increase PandD to 5hrs, allow return without penalty

Camden Road

Small extension to bays nr no 40

Coronation Road

Remove parking on river side. Reinstate some on house side

 

Extend bay by 153

 

Turn bay by Avon Packet to shared use from PandD

Dean Lane

Make school Keep Clear signs mandatory

 

Remove bays by Southbank club and make DYL

Gathorne Road

Small extension to space available by removal of DYL over dropped kerb

Greville Road

Increase space available at bottom end near Upton Road

Greville St

Add some 10m or so of bays/reduce DYL near top

Hamilton Road

Small increase in space (2.2m) near top

Howard Road

Remove bays near Dalston Road (on Dalston Road side)

Leigh Road

Remove bay by Ashville pub (safety measure for Chalcroft House)

Lydstep Trc

Remove 3.5m of DYL by no 19

Morley Road

Extend bay on one side to no 22

Gathorne Rad

Remove DYl at North St end by dropped kerb

North St

Loading bay by Ashton fruit and veg

North St

DYL by Lion stores

Frayne Road

Make house side resident only

South side of North St

To be included in scheme???

North St nr Upper Sydney St

Change Pand D to shared use

Park Road

2m extension onf bay near reclamation business

Raleigh Road

Remove disabled bays. Increase bay on north side by 23m

Stackpool

Some changes for new dropped kerbs

Upton Road

Remove DYL y house with droipped kerb

Roads off North St

Extend area of shared use

Numerous queries re blue badge bays

 

Dartmoor St

Being dealt with separately

Stackpool

Reduce number of bays by Faithspace from 3 to 1

 

Proposed changes to Bedminster East

Alpha Road

Remove DYL outside Imp

Church Road

Replace DYL at turning head with 2 additional bays, making 3

Dean Crescent

Convert permit holder bay outside no 11 to shared use

Herbert St

Convert some PandD to shared use

Mead St

Convert to shared use

New Charlotte St

Add parking bays  and remove DYL

Phillip St

Increase to 4 hrs

Southville Place

Convert DYL to bays opposite 30/outside 23

Southville Road

Remove a couple of bays to improve access for funeral  home

Southville Road

Extend shared space in a couple of other locations along road

Spring St

Extend DYLs at York Rd junction

Stafford St

Add 22m of parking bay

Stillhouse Lane

Reduce bays by 2.5m

Whitehouse St

Reduce bays by 1 car length (one end), and by 1m at other end to ease car park access

Willway St

Under discussion

Other

A few changes at specific addresses eg for blue badge bays, dropped kerbs

Warden Road

Extend by 1m the permit holders bay at East St end, and on the other side bring bay to boundary of number 14.

Wesley Street

 

Convert P&D to Shared Use.

 

 

Outstanding issues

The main outstanding issues are Willway St, Dartmoor St and hours of operation. there are also numerous issues concerning individual residences eg droppped kerbs, blue badge bays etc


Monday, 19th Jun 2017 by Molly Scott Cato MEP

Ever wondered what makes tax dodging and money laundering so easy for the rich?

Ever wondered what makes tax dodging and money laundering so easy for the rich? It’s the bankers, lawyers and accountants who devise complex schemes to help their clients evade taxes or launder dirty money that really run the tax avoidance industry. They lurk in a murky underworld of the financial system and it is crucial their activities are exposed. While attention has been focused on the corporations themselves Greens have always insisted that the professionals who encourage tax avoidance should be tackled too.

Back in January, together with other Greens in the European Parliament, I published a report on the activities of these intermediaries. Based on the data from the Panama Papers, Bahamas Leaks and Offshore Leaks, the research showed that the vast majority of the intermediaries named in the leaks have a base in the EU. Tax havens are not distant, palm-fringed islands, but our own countries. Shamefully, the United Kingdom emerged as the EU's favourite base for tax avoidance. Among the middlemen are large banks such as UBS, Credit Suisse or Citibank but also law firms and accounting giants.

I'm delighted to say that the Commission has now focused attention on this issue and they will be producing a proposal on Wednesday to shine a light onto the tax middlemen. Since it is intermediaries like banks, accountants or lawyers who advise their clients and devise complex schemes to evade taxes or launder dirty money it is essential that they are required disclose to tax authorities the arrangements they offer to their clients. We are going to be putting pressure on the UK government to agree this proposed directive as quickly as possible – and to stick to these higher standards of transparency after Brexit.

The citizens who are outraged by the burgeoning tax avoidance industry require nothing less from their elected representatives.

Read more - Guardian: European Commission to crack down on offshore tax avoidance

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