Spending Priorities for 2020

We are holding an open public meeting on

Sunday 23rd February 2020 2.30 – 4.30pm

at St George Community Centre, Church Road

The St George Community Network aims to give the communiity oportunities to work together influence plans for St George.

The Network mainly works to influence decisions through its Topic Groups and these have been activie over the past year along with the many community groups working in the area.

From time to time the SGCN hold community meetings to talk about issues that are beyond the scope of individual groups and need input from as many members of the community as possible.

One of the subjects which we meet to discuss each year are the options for the spending of funds available to the St George area from past developments – Community Infrastructure Levy or CIL – and the projects on which the available funds could be spent.

The final decision on spending these funds is taken by Councillors each year through the Area Committees but they are keen to hear everyone’s ideas and views. This meeting is your change to have your say.

At the meeting representatives of various community groups will be giving updates on current projects and putting forward ideas for where they think the available funds should be spent. Throughout the meeting we will be collecting their ideas and those of everyone who attends.

Councillors will then work with those putting forward ideas to ensure they are eligable for CIL funding. If necessary we will hold a further meeting next month to decide which projects should be prioritised for our area.

You can read about the projects that have been funded over the past two years on our website at stgeorgecommunity.org.uk/network/projects/
More details about the CIL process are available here: stgeorgecommunity.org.uk/network/projects/community-infrastructure-levy-cil/

Community Meeting Sunday 17th February 3-5pm at St George Community Centre

Update: Read a report about what happened at this meeting on page 7 of the March edition of the St George & Redfield Voice.

The St George Community Planning Group is organising a public meeting to give an update on our work over the past few months. This will include sharing the ideas of some students from UWE that we have been working with for improvements to the park and asking you for your views.

There will also be an update from Cllr Asher Craig on the plans for toilets and for the café in the park which are to be funded by ‘Community Infrastructure Levy’ (CIL). This money was allocated by our local Councillors via the Area Committee following our meetings last year. This meeting will also start the process of allocating money for this year, so if you have ideas for projects that you would like to be funded there will be a chance to have your say.

More details about the process for allocating CIL and how the Area Committees work are on the Council’s websites at www.bristol.gov.uk/people-communities/funding-local-projects

Information about the projects discussed last year can be seen at stgeorgecommunity.org.uk/network/projects/

The Police will also be at the meeting to talk about the incidents of crime and anti-social behaviour that occured in the park last year and to update us on the situation in St George in general.
There will also be brief updates from local Councillors on the issues they have been addressing.

The St George Community Planning Group is a ‘topic’ group of the St George Community Network, Details of all our topic groups can be seen at stgeorgecommunity.org.uk/network/topic-groups/

Community Planning Meeting

We held a meeting in St George Community Centre on Wed 15th August 2018 to discuss the development of a Community Plan for St George and a permanent solution for toilets in St George Park. This is an opportunity for residents to work together to transform key local assets including St George Park, St George Community Centre, The Lake, Toilets, Library, community housing and more (photo, SG&R Voice).

The meeting, which was jointly organised with Cllr Asher Craig, was very well attended and there were some very constructive discussions. The meeting was attended by all of our four local Councillors, as well as our MP, Kerry McCarthy.

Below is a summary of the main issues discussed and the outcome of the meeting:

The need for a Community Plan – there are a number of community facilities in and around St George Park that need investment, there are options to raise funding through grants but there needs to be an overall plan to ensure that the different projects aren’t competing with each other – for example the library could be redeveloped as a community hub which could include a café, but is it better to create a new café building in the centre of the park with toilets and a community space similar to that at Page Park? This would be a Community Plan, it will need members of the community to lead it and to ensure it keeps moving forward.

Projects to be considered – St George Park Lake; St George Park Buildings (incl bowls / tennis pavilion); St George Park Play Area; St George Library; St George Community Centre. It would also be necessary to consider community facilities in the wider area such as Meadow Vale Community Centre and the pavilion at Dundridge Park.

Time-line – there would need to be extensive public consultation before plans could be drawn up and grants applied for. A business plan would need to be developed to ensure the long-term funding for the maintenance of any new buildings and planning permission might be required. Large grant applications are often a two stage process. It is likely to be at least three years before building could start, five years would be an ambitious target for completion.

Existing Temporary Park Toilets – Cllr Asher Craig to work with Friends of St George Park to apply for funding to extend hire until November.

Toilet provision after November – it was agreed that the best solution would be to use Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) funding to provide toilet provision in one of the existing buildings in the centre of the park while a long-term solution was developed. The four St George Councillors (who were all at the meeting) would aim to secure this funding for this at the Area Committee meeting in September. Further work would be done led by Cllr Asher Craig to look at options for paying for the cleaning and other maintenance required for the toilets, options include low impact advertising, inclusion in the café kiosk franchise, 20p charge for use.

More information is at www.stgeorgecommunity.org.uk/network/projects/

St George Park Lake – the ideas developed by the Wildlife & Wetlands Trust for Friends of St George Park can be seen below. These are provisional plans and a more detailed report is now being produced. Any project would need to consider the long-term maintenance of both the structures and the wildlife areas.

Click on images to view.

We will be arranging a first meeting of the Community Planning Group in late September, please let us know if you would like to be added to the list of those interested in joining the group.

Meeting 20th June – Report

We had a good turn-out with around 25 people in St George Library for our latest Networking Meeting.

The meeting came the day after Bristol’s Mayor, Marvin Rees, had announced that St George Library along with the 26 others in the City would be remaining open. These proposals are to be discussed by Cabinet on Tuesday 3rd July.

Cllr Asher Craig spoke about this and the need for communty involvement in considering the long-term future of the building at the meeting.

Cllr Craig also confirmed that it is intended to install a temporary toilet in St George Park near the café kiosk and play area in time for the summer school holidays.

The meeting heard about the work of the SGCN Topic Groups and in particular St George Breathing Better and their plans for the following day – Clean Air Day. You can keep up to date with St George Breathing Better by joining thier Facebook Group.

We then discussed further the options for the various projects that have been sugested and in particular those around St George Parks, more details of these can be seen on our Projects page which has been update following the meeting.

We are still aiming to set up a Community Planning Group to drive the process forward, please email network@stgeorgecommunity.org.uk if you would like to get involved.

The meeting also formed the AGM of the St George Community Network, Rob Acton-Campbell was re-elected as Chair and all of last year’s working group agreed to continue and were also re-elected. In addition Maria Needs and Pam Wade agreed to join the Working Group.

One piece of news that we were able to pass on was that St George Community Fair (postponed in March when the ‘Beast from the East’ hit us), will now be held at St Aidan’s Church and Hall on Saturday 6th October (11.00 – 2.00). Also don’t forget that Redfest is back in St George Park this year on Saturday 4th August – redfestbristol.co.uk.

Please do check out our Community Page for details of groups and organisations working in the St George area and let us know of anything that should be added or updated.

Meeting 20th June 2018

The next St George Community Network meeting will be on Wednesday 20th June at St George Library at 7.30pm.

As well as a chance to meet and talk to members of community groups throughout St George this will be a chance to continue our discussions on the various projects that were covered at our meeting in March.

The intention is to form a Community Planning Task & Finish Group, to work with the St George Councillors and others to firm up proposals and look at options for funding.

Cllr Asher Craig will also be there to give an update on the options for reinstating toilet facilities in St George Park for the summer as well as possible long-term solutions.

It is now 12 months since the SGCN formally came into existence, so this meeting will also be our AGM – but please don’t let that put you off, the formal part of the meeting will be kept very short.

If you would like to volunteer to join the SGCN working group to help run the organisation please let us know at the meeting or email network@stgeorgecommunity.org.uk to find out more about what is involved.

Project Ideas for St George – Meeting 14th March 7pm

Update 17th March: See our Projects Page for the outcome of the meeting.

St George Councillors are asking for suggestions for allocating Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) money to projects in St George.

Influencing the way these funds is spent is one of the most important roles of the St George Community Network and we are going to focus on this at our next Networking Meeting which will be held on Wednesday 14th March at 7pm at St George Community Centre, Church Rd.

The meeting is aimed particularly at community groups and organisations working in St George but all interested residents are welcome.

The meeting will update you on what the Network and other groups have been doing, including our Topic Groups and there will also be a chance to meet and talk to those running the groups.

The main part of the meeting will be asking how you think the money available from CIL should be spent in St George. So please come along with your ideas. Projects could be improvements in parks, to community buildings or other public assets. We are particularly interested in projects where work can start within 12 months but longer term projects that get community support could be held over to apply for funding next year. Highways schemes are being treated separately because of the long time it takes to get them started.

Read more about CIL and the process for agreeing how it is spent >>

List of potential projects in St George >>

If you are unable to come to the meeting but have an idea for a project you would like to see put forward then please email us.

Report on 1st Network Meeting

We were really pleased with the mix of volunteer groups that came out on a dark November night to take part in the first St George Community Network meeting. Rob, our chair, gave a brief summary of the aims of the St George Community Network (SGCN) and then it was straight into finding out what all the groups present were doing,

If you are new to the SGCN you can find out more about us on our website or on Facebook and Twitter. Page 16 of the November issue of St George & Redfield Voice has an excellent full page article about the SGCN.

The St George Community Network’s Working Group currently has 8 members each looking at different issues in the area. More members are always welcome. Please contact us if you are interested.

Five members of the Working Group were present at the meeting:
• Nigel invited anyone interested in influencing planning and development in St George to contact him. An invitation will be arriving in your mailbox soon.
• Susan invited any groups who wanted to use the SGCN Facebook and Twitter pages to publicise their activities to contact her. Details of this offer will be sent to you soon.
• Diane and Jo have the brief of walking, cycling, public transport and air quality. They spoke of the work they had done raising issues about air quality around Summerhill Academy and Summerhill Junior School.
• Rob’s area of interest is parks and green spaces. A meeting will be held soon for local green spaces volunteer groups and anyone wishing to start such a group. Rob is looking to continue the success of local groups working together that has resulted in successful events and projects, including 3 new play areas.

Jim Donaldson of St Aidan’s Church, announced that the St George Community Fair, the free event for all local groups to showcase what they do, will be held again on Saturday 3rd March, 2018 in St Aidan’s Church and Church Hall on Fir Tree Lane. Donations from any groups in the financial position to do so, would be very welcome. All donations will go to the Bourne Family Project which provides free support to families including adult counselling and play therapy in the St George and Kingswood area. Jim will be sending out invitations to all groups who have participated before. Any groups new to the event can email comms@stgeorgecommunity.org.uk for Jim’s contact details.

The introductory part of the meeting helped everyone to know who they wanted to talk to in the networking part of the meeting. Just one of the pieces of information shared was about the start of a new arts project “Be Creative” starting in St George with a partnership between existing local groups and expertise formerly based at the Pip n Jay church.

The topic for this meeting was grants.

• why apply for grants,
• why grants are rejected,
• why grants are successful,
• what you HAVE to do if you are successful,
• easy grants to apply for
• where to find grants.

With 5 groups in the room who had applied for more than 4 grants, 5 who had applied between 1 and 4 times and two groups who had never applied for a grant this made for a lively and informative 30 minute session with Nigel wielding the pen and Susan encouraging the discussion..


What 30 minute topic do you want at the next meeting?

Suggestions for topics included:
– tips for running events
– how to increase involvement in the SGCN and other groups across our diverse community.

What would you like the topic to be?
Would you be willing to run the session on this topic?
Email comms@stgeorgecommunity.org.uk with your ideas.

We will be setting the date for our next meeting soon. Look out for posters in local noticeboards, emails from us, check our website, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

A huge thank you Nigel and Maxine for making the studio of Black Iris Images available for this meeting.

We hope to see you soon.

Groups represented at this meeting were:
Friends of Dundridge Park
Friends of Troopers Hill
Playing Out
St Aidan with St George church
Friends of St George Library
St George in Bloom
Friends of Gladstone St Park
Friends of Kingsway Youth
Be Creative
St George Park Community Garden
Bethesda Methodist Church
Wellspring Community Allotment
St George Community Association

Network Meeting 1st November

The St George Community Network working group met last week to finalise the details of the meeing we are organising on Wednesday 1st November.

One of the aspects of the old Neighbourhood Partnership that people most liked was the opportunity for community groups across the area to get together to share experiences and learn from each other.

We are aiming to hold get togethers every four months or so to allow this to happen.

The focus of our first meeting will be on discussing grants that are available to community groups and sharing the experience of those who have applied in the past; both those that have succeeded and those that haven’t. There will also be ample opportunity for general networking and discussions of other subjects.

While this is not a public meeting, it is open to everyone in the area who is either part of a community group or who is interested in starting one.

The meeting will be from 7.30 to 9.00pm at The Old Hauliers Arms, Pile Marsh BS5 9NT, a poster advertising the event is shown below and will soon appear on the various notice boards around the area.

Please spread the word to anyone who you think might be interested.

SGCN Working Group Elected

At the meeting at St George Library yesterday (Wed 5th July) the St George Community Network elected its first Chair and the Working Group which will run the day-to-day activities of the Network for the next 12 months.

SGCN also formally adopted its terms of reference.

Rob Acton-Campbell was elected as chair, other Working Group members are Diane Jones, Fiona Russell, Grenville Johnson, Jo Chesterman, Nigel Williams & Susan Acton-Campbell.

The Working Group will meet next month to agree future meeting dates and other aspects of the SGCN’s organisation.

There are vacancies on the Working Group and also ambitions to form other sub-groups to cover issues like planning and traffic & transport. If you would like to take an active role in running this new organisation then please get in touch network@stgeorgecommunity.org.uk.

The group is determined to spend as little time as possible on organisational matters and meetings and to focus its energy on improving live in St George.

We also agreed to organise a public meeting later this month to discuss the Council’s ‘Your Neighbourhood’ consultation. We will email and post details once they are finalised. Details of the consultation including a list of consultation events organised by the Council around the city are at www.bristol.gov.uk/council-spending-performance/your-neighbourhood-consultation-2017

St George Community Network Meeting Wednesday 7.30pm

(Originally sent to our email list 3rd July 2017)

A reminder that there will be a meeting of the St George Community Network at St George Library at 7.30pm on Wednesday 5th July.

We are aiming to keep the formal business of the meeting as short as possible to allow time for a general discussion about how the Network will work and how we should agree on priorities for action.

The agenda:

1. Formally agree the name for the new organisation.
2. Agree terms of reference – draft here
3. Elections – chair etc.
4. Communications – website, email-list, twitter, facebook, notice boards, meetings, other methods.
5. General discussion – how the new organisation will operate, priorities, who will do what?
6. Agree future meetings / get togethers etc.

We hope to see you on Wednesday, if you would like to get involved but can’t make the meeting please email network@stgeorgecommunity.org.uk