Thursday, April 26, 2007

Every Vote Counts

We have had a great reception while out and about knocking doors in Walcot.

Residents have told us just how much they appreciate the hard work and committment that Colin and I have shown the ward over the past 4 years in Walcot.

As always the election in Walcot will be close between us the the Tories and every vote for Colin and I will count.

People are telling us that they are voting Lib Dem because of our local record of acheivement. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Riverside Youth and Community Centre
    Investment of £130k, the new access road is on the way in a couple of months and we and the Youth Club back up and running there, along with a new recording studio for youth people and soon we hope to have a canoeing club.
  • Kensington Meadows
    The Liberal Democrats funded a Countryside Management Officer to bring the communtity together the set up a Friends Group for the Meadows, we now have regular activity and we worked with young people to apply for funding for goalposts, which are now in place and a free coaching session will take place in June.
  • Snow Hill
    Working with Somer Housing we have two new play areas, a new community resource centre at the old Dover House laundry, a new road layout and crossing as a reult of consultation with local residents in 2003.
  • Bathwick Estate
    New trees for the area which replace those which have been removed over time, we hope to have more soon. Cleveland Pools has not been sold off to a private developer and we are working with an active Trust Group to look at how we can bring them back into public use while respecting the views nd needs of local residents.
  • Sydney Gardens
    We are now working with te Sydeny Gardens Residents' Association to bring into action a plan for improvement. We will next be looking at applying for funding to replace dated play equipment. Working with the police to step up patrols to reduce anti social behaviour.
  • Southbourne Gardens Allotments
    Colin has worked very closely with residents groups to help fight off a planning appliaction here for 12 houses. We have officers working on a plan to compulsary purchase this land and hand over to the residents to use a allotment land and open space.
  • Parking
    Working with residents from Camden down to the London Road we are close to having a workshop led by the hoghways department to look at the advantages of a scheme in this area.

These are just some of the highlights add in to this over 600 individual pieces of casework for local residents, including having potholes and roads repaired, helping residents through the Council's planning system, general enquiries, litter and street sweeping issues and helping get backlanes cleared. We believe that we have a good news story to give in every part of the ward.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Independents can't find their way...

Out canvassing in Bathwick Estate this morning and the best part for me was chatting to a resident who told me that she was voting for the independent candidate and then to find out that Annette Martin (standing in Bathwick) had been door knocking in Walcot!

The independents pose no threat in Bathwick Ward if they can't find it!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Litter Pick - Riverside Youth Centre

This morning we had a good team of us help to litter pick the access road down tot the Riverside Youth Centre.

When we arrived we found lots of this...

With help from these guys...

We left it like this...

Monday, April 16, 2007

Trash-Off Kensington Meadows – Litter Pick Sunday 15 April

Eleven volunteers came out in the morning sun to help launch Friends of Kensington Meadows’ and London Road & Snow Hill Partnership’s programme of 2007 litter picks on Sunday 15 April. You see nine of us in the picture. Janice and Chris joined later.

Our litter picks are part of CSV’s Action Earth 2007 campaign and featured on CSV’s website We will receive a grant from CSV (Community Service Volunteers) for materials, which should enable us to continue keeping the Meadows clean, especially with such excellent support from the community.

Action Earth 2007 is also supported by Morrison’s Supermarket, which happens to be next door to the Meadows.

We recycled six bags of glass bottles and aluminium cans in Morrison’s recycling centre, and bagged up around 20 other bags of general rubbish. Morrison’s supplied many of the bags and took some for disposal. Most were left at the Kensington Place and Grosvenor Bridge entrances to the Meadows for the Council to pick up.

Now the Meadows look a lot better and we’d like to ask people to keep them clean. Take litter to the nearest bin and dump it there, not on the grass or in the bushes. And dog owners, please use those dog pooh bins!

Photo caption: Sun and fun tackling the trash for Action Earth 2007 – from left to right: Keith, mystery man, Diane, Paul, Cllr David Dixon, Frank, Liz, Susan, Richard.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Poor Pavements - Bathwick Estate

We have noticed over the past years the deterioration of the pavements in and around the Bathwick Estate.

Unfortunately there has been complete lack of investment in this area for better pavements, and Local Councillors Colin Darracott and David Dixon will continue to campaign for improvements.

We have seen pavements which are uneven, with puddles gathering in the middle and those which haven't had any attention for years.

We have succeeded in the past on these issues, in 2002 Bathwick Street pavement was firstly resurfaced with tarmac and Cllr David Dixon managed to get this replaced with paving slabs.

Unfortunately since 2003 the Tories have been looking after our footpaths and no such investment has been forthcoming.

Thomas Street - BAD PARKING

We have been indundated with stories and pictures of awful parking in and around Thomas Street.

This picture shows a double parked car next to the turning for Pera Road, anyone turning out of Pera Road wanting to turn left would have had severe diffculties. Residents are urged, that if they must double park, that they do so for a short time, put a note in their window to tell people where they are, and PLEASE be considerate.

Space is tight, the are still too many cars parking in this area and many spaces are being taken up by visitors who parking in this area and walk into town and by commuters.

I agree with the majority of residents that the only solution seems to be a residents' parking zone, and will push for this work to be carried out as soon as possible.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Hustings Events

Nominations are now closed for the May 2007 Elections and it appears that Colin and I are doing a good job as not as many candidates have come forward to contest the seat as did so in 2003.

Colin and I are standing for re-election and we have the usual two from Labour and Conservative Parties.

The Greens have only put up one candidate , who was the independent fron the 2003 election who wanted to knock several stories off Berekley House. So that leaves 7 candidates. 10 stood in 2003.

There are two husting events in the ward this year.
Monday 23rd April at St John's Church Hall - 7.30pm
Thursday 26th April at Snow Hill Christian Centre - 7pm

These are two wonderful opportunities to meet the candidates and ask us all questions on what we have done for Walcot and what we plan to do in the future if re-elected.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Croft Road and Eastbourne Avenue

Traffic on Eastbourne Avenue

One local resident recalled that at one point, Eastbourne Avenue may have had a weight restriction, which seems to have disappeared. We will be making enquiries as to where this has gone and whether we can get it back. The only onward route for lorries would be up through Fairfield Road or to Lansdown Road, which has a 7.5t weight limit, so they should not be using that. The only other route that they could be taking is Tyning Lane and Snow Hill.

We will ask that traffic on Eastbourne Avenue and indeed along the length of Camden Road is reviewed as it seems as though the current situation will not do. If re-elected we will consult as to possible solutions.

Recycling Bins

A number of local residents have raised concern over how recycling bins are being placed back after emptied by operatives. Once emptied they should be placed back at the edge of your property as it was found. We will raise this concern with waste services and ask that this is done. We agree that it is not good enough for them to be left anywhere else.

Southbourne Gardens Allotments Land

Through the good work of residents and with the support of Cllr Colin Darracott, we have seen the appeal narrowly fought off. We are now working with Council Officers to work up a compulsory purchase order for the land, so that we may bring this back into community usage. This would be the first CPO of it’s kind for the Council and it is hoped that if we can succeed on this that we can look at safeguarding more sites across the city.

Full marks to the efforts of Claremont Resident’s Association!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Midsummer Buildings and Hampton View - Footpaths, dog mess and rat running!

Over the past 4 years of the Conservative rule over our highways - including footpaths we have seen more and more deterioration of the footpaths.
We will be asking the highways department for more attention to be paid to the footpaths around Hampton View, Midsummer Buildings and Croft Road.

I think that the picture here sums it all up quite well. 21st century footpaths and roads? More like a 18th century dirt track. The Romans did a better job than this!
We have asked that seperate dog bins are installed near children's play areas for dog mess.
Hampton View - Rat running.
Hampton View has been the subject of rat running recently as traffic head down it to use the lane at the bottom. Why anyone would choose to use such a poor conditioned lane is beyond us, but there we go. We are awaiting advice from Council Officers as to what we can do here, as it is not public land it makes things a little more difficult, plus we have to bear in mind that local residents do need to use it too. We hope to have some ideas soon on this.

Tory Lies

When it comes to politics sometimes I will admit that things can be dressed up and made to sound better or worse - personally I try to call a spade a spade and tell it how it is.

What infuriates me though are outright lies. A resident today thought that the Council were going to move to fortnighty refuse collections. This, it appears as stemmed from Tory literature recently sent out which objects to Lib Dem and Labour plans for fortnightly waste collections.

The Liberal Democrats have no plans to move to fortnightly refuse collections and to say that we have such plans is on outright lie. In fact quite the opposite is true and we would like to see the introduction of same day collection for all waste, recycling and garden waste, cardboard collections.

I knew that the Tories are keen to take control of the Council, but through such blatant misuse of the truth, keen seems to have moved up a notch to desperate.

Midsummer Buildings and Hampton View

This evening we have picked up a number of issues at Midsummer Buildings and Hampton View.

Firstly we found this fly tipped rubbish and we have reported it to be cleared to Council Connect.
We have also spoken to a number of residents about the state of the footpaths both on the highway and between different areas. We were more shocked to realise that some had not been resurfaced too long ago - we will ask that these are given some attention.

We have also been notified of an increase in dog mess and have asked the Council's Dog Warden to see what can be done.