Letters April 2016

March 22 2016

Letters April 2016

Letters April 2016

Let community run Speedwell Baths

Many people used Speedwell Baths throughout childhood and local people are dismayed that after ten years there is no pool provision in the area.  The baths were an important resource for teaching children from local schools to swim and maintain fitness:  for example Speedwell School, Dr Bell’s School, Alexandra Park, Rose Green Comprehensive, Whitfield Comprehensive and many others used Speedwell Baths.  Generations of local children will no doubt have happy memories of learning to swim there.  
The baths are an important part of our local heritage, and were designed by the well- respected local architect, C.F.W. Dening who also designed the Central Health Clinic at Tower Hill and Jubilee Baths in Knowle.  In 2005 the Liberal Democrat Administration on Bristol City Council took the decision to close Speedwell Baths while retaining Jubilee.  
Dening, was an exponent of the ‘Garden Suburb Movement’ with its emphasis on open space and healthy living - hence the inclusion of allotments at the site.  The allotments are still in use but the developers have allowed the building to deteriorate and were seen removing roof tiles as recently as February.
Recently the building has been nominated as an Asset of Community Value by concerned residents, supported by the Civic Society,  Historic Pools of Britain and the 20th Century Society.  We are in the process of setting up a Community Interest Company with the objective of restoring and running the pool for community use.
We welcome the setting up a Facebook Page Friends of Speedwell Swimming and we would encourage members to support us in our endeavour to re-open the existing pool with a community cafe and Heritage Centre.   The benefit of this plan is that the pool would be run by the community so there would been no running costs incurred by the council.

Councillor Sue Milestone Labour & Co-operative Party - St George West

Hostel supporters missing the point

THE two contributors to the March issue of Fishponds Voice venting opinions on ‘Showing compassion on mental health’ and ‘Hostel here? Yes please’ have clearly missed the point and clearly need to move house and become neighbours to any such institution to get it. Residents of hostels and half-way houses who in the main have proven psychiatric,  alcohol and drug abuse issues, have historically presented greater concerns and create far more pressing problems than perceived physical threats or violent acts towards  schoolchildren.
Those who live in close proximity to one such establishment are subjected on an around the clock basis, to anti-social behaviour in terms of shouting and arguing, noise pollution, street drinking, persistent littering and begging. Any comment from residents who dare to challenge these behaviours are invariably met with the most foul, disgusting and obscene language and needless to say, the attitude on the part of the perpetrators is so deeply entrenched and beyond the most basic civility, that the anti-social behaviour in all its forms continues with impunity.
Any right thinking person must surely agree, that this form of abuse of the manifold opportunities presented to integrate into the community, is completely at odds with an environment where schoolchildren can be randomly exposed to this type of behaviour in their own street on a daily basis, or even worse, are continually deprived of sleep and rest during the hours of darkness.
These very same children coincidentally, have successfully petitioned the authorities to award a local monument protected status, who truly are caring for their community and who in fairness, should themselves, along with all minors, not have to live in such a disruptive environment.
In reality, the crucial  issues relating to schoolchildren lie not in any potential physical threat but by the actual influences of such undesirable role models with scant regard for the community (in which great efforts are being made by those in close proximity to successfully integrate such persons) who clearly lack the slightest comprehension of respect, social responsibility, conscience towards the community, true integration with their neighbours, local residents and children, all of whom would rather not have to tolerate the incessant repetition of anti-social acts and attitudes blighting their daily lives having done so for far too long.
Name and address withheld

Roads should not be a playground

I live in upper Fishponds and have used Stonebridge Park all my life and it’s no secret it’s parallel to the very busy Fishponds Road.  Yes it is a shortcut, but what are roads for? Certainly not a playground.
It’s clear that most houses here would have at least two cars,  which results in the road being virtually a single lane anyway with cars parked both sides which is already a deterrent to would-be speedsters.
I am retired now but experience in my removal business of late I wonder what would happen if the tenants or owners of a house opposite or nearby one of these ridiculous street pockets had to move.
If it were a car causing obstruction a neighbour would normally move their car to assist the movers, then of course there’s the question of access for emergency vehicles such as fire engines or ambulance.
My opinion is that these street pockets presents a useless and frustrating hazard with an accident waiting to happen. I just hope there’s no one sat on the bench at the time.
Alan Dainton Fishponds

The dangers of obstacles in road

Reference to the Stonebridge Park street pockets. Two comments to make:  If the residents can close their road to me, it seems a discrimination that I cannot close my street to them. If discrimination applies this should be stopped. It should be allowed on all roads that people live in or none.
The second point is more serious for the residents. If they are allowed to make decisions and place things in the road such as planters benches and the like, they would be legally liable should those things cause an accident. They should have a liability insurance in place before they are allowed to put this into operation, and the body giving them permission should see the details of that policy before permission is given. If the liability insurance cannot be obtained then it cannot proceed.

Terry King Fishponds

Editor’s note: All relevant permissions and insurance are in place, organisers say

My sympathies to the residents

I first saw these “pockets” about one week ago when driving up Stonebridge Park around 7.30pm in the dark. My first thoughts were “What idiot put those things there and what are they?” Secondly, my sympathies went out to the residents outside of which houses those “pockets” were deposited. Would the planners and facilitators want such items dumped outside their houses I wonder?
Is there an answer? Probably not!
Martin Jefferd Fishponds


Owners should clean up after dogs

I recently put a post on to the Fishponds group on Facebook about two incidences of dog fouling on Arygle Road near Barton Fields; my partner is partially sighted and had it not been the fact I was with him he would have stepped in it. The response I got was amazing; loads of people coming across this issue on a daily basis. I know it can be reported to Bristol City Council; which is good; but why don’t dog owners clear up after their dogs? It carries disease and should not be there in the first place. What can be done to highlight this issue and what steps can be taken to stop it happening on a daily basis?  
Kim Quiddington Speedwell

Extra M4 junction is needed now

I refer to your article ‘Residents back call for new M4 junction’ (March edition) featuring James Hinchcliffe and Councillor Lesley Alexander urging the Government to fund a new Junction 18a to relieve traffic congestion on the Avon Ring Road.
This cannot come soon enough. Every single morning rush hour the traffic backs-up from the Bromley Heath Road and on to Overndale Road. Sometimes, the queue gets as far as the double mini-roundabout on Croomes Hill. I’m convinced that this traffic is caused by commuters travelling from Emersons Green wanting to get to the M4 because there is no direct route to the motorway. As a result, all the traffic is clogging-up at the Bromley Heath roundabout.
With developments, like Lyde Green, and the success of the Bristol and Bath Science Park this traffic will only get worse. I wish express my support via the Fishponds Voice for the campaign by Mr Hinchcliffe and Cllr Alexander to get this link road built. It is excellent news that they’re working closely with South Gloucestershire Kingswood MP Chris Skidmore to represent the views of Bristol residents to the Government.
I hope the Fishponds Voice can continue to provide first-rate coverage in bringing us the latest developments on this important issue.
Richard Franklin Fishponds

Join the Friends of Fishpond Park

I was delighted to read in last months Fishponds Voice about the wonderful work of staff and children from Fishponds Church of England Academy, who became the first to successfully make the park’s war memorial a listed building.  I am involved in the recently formed ‘Friends of Fishponds Park’ to look at developing the park with local residents, and involving children is an integral part.  
The park was originally an area of common land, which meant local people had the right to graze their cattle and pigs on it.  When the school Dame Hannah Moore was born in, opened, it became a play area for the pupils.
In 1881 the area officially became a park after being purchased by Stapleton Urban District Council.  At this time people were dying from unclean water and the Drinking Foundation Association was founded to make clean water accessible to people across the country.  A fountain was added in 1893, and is now on the National Heritage List for England, as a grade II listed building.   
The Friends of Fishponds Park are due to hold their next meeting on Tuesday April 12 at 7.00pm in the Kingfisher Café on Straits Parade.  Please come along, as I am trying to gather more history of the park and encourage people to join the group and share their local knowledge.  We have already been guaranteed approximately £30k for the project but need to raise more as it is estimated new play equipment alone will cost about £100k                          


Action call over garages eyesore

I have enclosed photographs of Bristol City Council Housing Department garages at Frenchay (in City of Bristol), after reading the letter about the campaign for cleaner streets in the March edition of Fishponds Voice.
I have been trying to get this area cleaned up for years, with the help of councillor Lesley Alexander.
It is situated at the rear of Froomshaw Road and between Probyn Close and Folliot Close.
Us residents consider us to be in ‘No man’s land’ as we are right on the boundary with South Gloucestershire and nothing gets done. So will you please print these photographs to try and get something done?
R Jempson Frenchay

Start playing out in Fishponds’ streets

PLAYING Out is a not-for-profit organisation set up by parents to activate street play across the UK. We give practical advice and support to anybody wanting to enable children to play out safely on their doorstep.
We can help you to apply to the council for a temporary play street order, closing the street to through traffic allowing children to use the space for play and for neighbours to meet in their street. Volunteer stewards from the street ensure children stay in the closure area and escort drivers in and out of the street.
There are streets in Fishponds playing out but we are keen to get more in the area. We can come to your street for a chat about what might work for you and your neighbours, help with the application process and provide free kit to ensure your street plays out safely. It generally takes about three months for a street to start playing out, so now is a good time to start thinking about it for the spring.
To find out more, contact Jo C on jo.chesterman@outlook.com or 07811816620, visit the facebook page www.facebook.com/groups/BristolPlayingOut/ or the website www.playingout.net.

Jo Chesterman Local area activator, Playing Out