Bristol Parks Forum Update
In this update:
There is a report to the next Cabinet meeting (on Tuesday 3rd September) on the various grants that have been received by BCC for parks over the last year.
It is item 22 on what seems to be an unusually long agenda.
The total funding is just over £2m which includes the Nesta Rethinking Parks grant for setting up the Parks Foundation and the Future Parks grant that was recently announced.
While this is all good news, much of it is looking at long-term funding for parks and the rest is for specific projects so it does not directly increase the budget available for day-to-day maintenance of our parks.
The papers for the meeting are here.
The deadline for receipt of petitions and statements for the 3rd September 2019 Cabinet is 12 noon on Monday 2nd September 2019.
These should be sent, in writing or by e-mail to: Democratic Services, City Hall, College Green,Bristol, BS1 5TR
Castle Park Depot
There is also an item on the Cabinet agenda on the future of the Castle Park Depot – agenda item 16. The depot site was designated for development in the current Local Plan (site KS07) - see http://maps.bristol.gov.uk/policies/
Back in October 2013, the Parks Forum said in response to a Local Plan consultation:
“If the depot is no longer required for park operations then The BPF would strongly support the use of this site for small scale development which is ancillary to the park and of benefit to park users; for example as a café or information centre.”
The proposals before Cabinet suggest its use for “the installation of a 3MW Water Source Heat Pump (WSHP) utilising heat from the floating harbour”.
The report suggests that the Energy Centre could be on the ground floor with “office/residential development” above. As the site is such a key one for Castle Park with huge potential to enhance the park the BPF will be making a statement to the meeting reiterating our view that any development should benefit the park and bring income to the park.
Given the views one way over the Floating Harbour and the other over the park, it would seem to me madness not to incorporate a café or similar into any project. As this is currently Parks land it also follows that Parks should benefit if they agree to vacate the site. A development that provides low carbon energy that adds to facilities in the park and brings income to Bristol Parks would surely be the ideal solution.
Parks Foundation Update
I am pleased to say that Charlee Bennett has now taken up her post as Director for the Bristol & Bath Parks Foundation.
Charlee started in her new role last week - her post is funded through the Nesta Rethinking Parks grant until February 2021. Charlee is new to Bristol but experienced in the charity sector having most recently been CEO for the CPRE in Hampshire.
Sue Sanctuary who has been acting as Project Manager overseeing the establishment of the charity will continue to work with the Foundation until at least June next year looking after comms & marketing as well as working with Charlee on fundraising.
Look out for a press release in the next couple of weeks which will give the latest news and introduce the charity’s new board of trustees.
You will be able to meet Charlee at our meeting in October.
Another H&S Training Opportunity
Ella Hogg will also be at our meeting in October to update us on the various issues she has been looking at. In the meantime Ella has arranged another H&S training session:
Saturday 5th October at St George Community Centre:
Vision, Statutory Duty for Parks
As I mentioned in the last update, the BPF Committee wrote to the SofS for DEFRA in line with our new Vision, about using the Environment Act to get a statutory duty on Public Bodies to maintain Parks and Green Spaces.
We have now had a reply, which I have added to the pdf below the original letter and the reply we received from Cllr Asher Craig.
Research into Community Groups
Your park group may already have received the message below. If you haven’t already completed the survey please consider doing so, we should encourage students who are interested in our parks.
I am a current student at the University of the West of England doing a Masters degree in Environmental Consultancy and conducting research into community groups and their management in maintaining local green spaces, specifically parks. There is now growing pressures on community groups to help maintain local green spaces due to a drop in funding for local authorities. Therefore I am researching into how community groups can effectively manage green spaces and what aspects work well and those that do not.
It would be great if you could fill out the survey in the link below, the survey needs to be filled out by a member of your committee if that is at all possible please, and only needs to be filled out by one person from the group. This would really help the research and I hope help your efforts to maintain the green spaces local to you, it will only take a few minutes. Please let me know if you would like to be kept in the loop with the research too.
Survey link - https://uwe.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_e5182QAB5EOyrzv
Environmental Consultancy MSc Student.
Page Park awarded best in SW
OK, so it isn’t within the City boundary but it at least has a Bristol address!
Page Park is a deserved winner, the Friends Group has been working closely with South Glos on the spending of the Lottery Grant – the park is well worth a visit.
Bristol Parks Forum
Next Parks Forum meeting 19th October, Greenway Centre, Southmead (Raleigh Room)
Report problems in parks to BCC at: www.bristol.gov.uk/reportparkproblem
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