T john’s residents’ association newsletter icon

T john’s residents’ association newsletter


St. JOHN’S RESIDENTS’ ASSOCIATION NEWSLETTER


SPRING 2009


NOTICES – ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING


This year’s Annual General Meeting will be held on Wednesday 29th April at 7.30pm in the Apostle Room at Clifton Cathedral on Pembroke Road. As usual we plan to keep the meeting short, about one hour in duration, and there will be an opportunity for you to meet with other neighbours for a glass of wine afterwards.


All members are invited to attend the AGM but we do request that you pay your 2009/2010 annual subscription (£3 per household or £2 for individuals), if you have not already done so, at the door when you arrive. We are introducing payment of subscriptions by Bank Standing Order, which should save trouble both to members and to street reps.  Forms for this will be available at the AGM, but if you would like to receive one directly please contact the Treasurer (details at the end of this newsletter). We also welcome new members to the meeting, so please encourage your neighbours to come along. We hope to see you there. If you cannot attend then could you let your street rep, the Secretary or the Treasurer have your subs as soon as possible please (cheques payable to "SJRA" or "St John's Residents' Association"). The Annual Accounts 2008-09 will be available on the SJRA website from the 24th April.


Penny Beynon from Bristol Trading Standards has kindly offered to be our guest speaker. Her presentation is called “Too Good to be True” and gives information and advice on scams. We will have an open forum to discuss other local issues and members of the committee will be there to talk to individuals after the meeting. If you have any suggestions for issues to be raised at the meeting, please let me know.


Derek Miller - Secretary


^ NEWSLETTER EDITOR


Unfortunately, after 5 years, I am unable to continue as Newsletter Editor and this is my last newsletter. We are therefore looking for someone to take on this role which involves producing 3 – 4 newsletters per year, getting the newsletter copied and distributing them to street reps, which can easily be done at a committee meeting. Most articles are written for you by other committee members. If you are interested then please contact the Secretary, Derek Miller.


^ E-NEWSLETTER AND E-COMMUNICATION


If anyone wishes to receive the newsletter electronically and/or to receive other important news by e-mail, please could you give your e-mail address to the Treasurer, at the address at the end of the newsletter? Please state which you want to receive electronically. Note that these will be by blind copy so other people will not see your e-mail address.


PLANNING


Bristol Neighbourhood Planning Network has won the award for ‘Best Practice Community Involvement led by a Community Body’ presented by the South West Planning Aid and the Royal Town Planning Institute December 2008.


Of the two major sites of concern to us, 1-3 Alma Vale Road has made considerable progress. We noted a year ago that an application to build a student hostel there had been withdrawn. Since then, we have had useful meetings with the developers, and they submitted a much more acceptable application, in which the Victorian villa is restored and the repair garage replaced by three small houses. This application (08/04456) was approved on Feb 9th.


On the other site, the old ABC Cinema in Whiteladies Rd, there has been less progress. It once seemed that Waitrose might develop the building as a supermarket, but they found an alternative site in the Triangle. Meanwhile, another party had leased the building and had submitted an application to turn it into, in effect, a nightclub. But as noted in our report on Licensing, this proposal met with very strong opposition and has now been withdrawn. Meanwhile, sadly, the building continues to decay.


Last December saw a third major application, to build a room on the roof of the existing nightclub, Platform 1 in Whiteladies Rd, and turn the rest of the roof into an outdoor smoking terrace from which the noise would spread far and wide. This extraordinary proposal, not surprisingly, also met with strong opposition and was refused planning permission on March 2nd.

Another site on which we await developments is Garaways garden centre, in Chantry Rd, which closed some months ago, as noted in the last Newsletter. We have had a useful meeting with a representative of the owners, and suggested possible uses for the site, but so far there has been no application for redevelopment and in the present economic climate it may be some time before one appears.


Among smaller applications, there have been four to turn front gardens into car parking, and of these two were granted and two refused; and a number of flat conversions have been approved. There is currently an application for the two garages next to the old Edwards garage in Alma Vale Road. Finally, we were puzzled by the work going on in the front garden of 6 Miles Rd, without apparent planning permission. An application has now been submitted to create a door into the basement (08/02212), though not yet approved.


Bob Chambers


LICENSING


In the last newsletter we noted that Henry J Bean had closed, but it has since reopened under new management, with the name bSb (which stands for "bristol Stylish bars"). The new owners applied for a licence to sell alcohol until 2 am, which - together with RCAS (Redland and Cotham Amenities Society) - we strongly opposed. Several members of RCAS came to the hearing on Feb 19th and testified very effectively to the noise and anti-social behaviour in and around that part of Whiteladies Road. With their help, Roger Mortimer of RCAS and I persuaded the Licensing Sub-Committee not to grant the hours asked for, but that instead the place should stop selling alcohol at midnight, and close half an hour later. This leaves the two nightclubs, Platform 1 and the (much smaller) Bijou, across the road from Platform 1, as the only places selling alcohol after midnight.


A much larger threat was posed, for a while, at the old ABC Cinema where the new lease-holder applied to open a large "Entertainment Centre" called Vanity – a nightclub, in all but name – to stay open till 4.30 am and serve alcohol till 4 am, all week. We printed a large number of leaflets urging residents to oppose this, and distributed them (with the help of RCAS and Oakfield Residents' Association) over nearby streets. As a result, 78 letters of objection were received by the Council, and the application was withdrawn, but it may well reappear, and it will then need renewed opposition.


Very recently, two other bids for late opening have been submitted. Henry Africa has changed its name to Sasparilla (a mis-spelling of the American soft drink), and applied to stay open and serve alcohol till 2 am on Friday and Saturday nights. And the small restaurant now called Tequila Max is changing its name to Papaji's House of Teas, and has applied to stay open and sell alcohol till 1 am every night except Sunday, when it would close at midnight. Along with RCAS and others, we shall be strongly opposing these two applications. We do urge you most strongly, if you are concerned for the future well-being of this area, to write to the Licensing Office, Princess House, Princess St, Bedminster, BS3 4AG, objecting to any other late-hour applications like these when you become aware of them.


Equally important, if your sleep is disturbed by shouting and the banging of car doors after midnight, or if you suffer from any kind of drunken vandalism, do please register a complaint with the police and with the noise control section of Council. PC Alex Facer is the Licensing Enforcement Officer and she can be contacted either by phone on 0117 945 5037 or by e-mail at AlexFacer@avonandsomerset.police.uk. Noise problems should be reported by phone on 0117 922 3810 in office hours, or in an emergency after hours (7.30 to midnight, Sun-Tue; to 1 am, Wed-Thur; to 3.30 am, Fri-Sat) on 0117 922 2050; or by e-mail to pollution.control@bristol.gov.uk.


Bob Chambers


^ NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH


By being a member of SJRA you automatically become a member of the relevant Neighbourhood Watch scheme. The NHW scheme continues to help reduce crime and assists in the development of neighbourliness. By everyone being more conscious of the possibility of a crime being committed and taking appropriate action, however small, we can help maintain the safety of our area.


Within the SJRA area there are 4 NHW sectors. Each sector has its own Co-ordinator and contact persons. We are currently seeking someone to volunteer to act as Co-ordinator for Sector 2. The role is not very demanding and involves linking with contact people in the area. Further details are available from Ernie Peck, SJRA Co-ordinator on 0117 973 0429. The Co-ordinators are:

Sector 1 – Ernie Peck – Apsley Road, Beaufort Road, 106-118 Pembroke Road

Sector 2 – vacancy – Miles Road, Duchess Road, 68-104 Pembroke Road, All Saints Road

Sector 3 – Elinor Whitaker – 21-51 & 22-60 St Johns Road, Hurle Crescent, Hurle Road, Chantry Road, Whatley Road

Sector 4 – Ian Mitchell – 5-19 & 2-20 St Johns Road, Thorndale (& Court & Mews), Alma Vale Road, Alma Court

A Ringmaster system exists through which Wendy Hull, North Bristol NHW Administrator, sends ‘ringmaster’ messages from the police giving warnings of crimes in the area. If you would like to receive such messages, please email Elinor Whitaker at elinorwhitaker@blueyonder.co.uk and she will arrange for them to be forwarded to you.


Crime Prevention Thoughts Fortunately over the last 6 months or so, the incidence of crime in our area has decreased. We should, however, always be conscious of the need to be vigilant and take some basic actions to help protect our property and belongings. With the approach of spring/ summer, we should particularly remember

  • to be particularly aware of leaving doors and windows open and unattended.

  • to ensure newspapers/mail deliveries are stopped or dealt with, if you are going away.

  • to ensure some lights are automatically turned on whilst you are away. Make your home looked occupied. Can a neighbour come in and draw the curtains on a daily basis?

  • to secure our garages and sheds as bicycles, electrical and garden tools are prime targets.


It is advisable to note all serial numbers where applicable and/or mark your valuable property, using an ultra-violet pen marker. Mark with your post code and house number e.g. 26/BS6 6UQ.


Members can now list items of their property on the Immobilise National Property Register. This is a free service and greatly increases the chances of getting one’s property back if it is lost or stolen. All major Police forces can access the Immobilise site, so wherever the property is found, it can be traced and returned to its rightful owner. The web site for registering items (such as mobile phones, iPods etc.) is http://www.immobilise.com/.


Car crime remains a problem, so please remember to secure your vehicle and keep all belongings out of sight.


PC 278 Jez Burstow (0117 945 4417, Jeremy.Burstow@avonandsomerset.police.uk) is the Beat Manager for Clifton East, which includes the SJRA area. He is supported by PCSO 7068 Sue Passmore (0117 945 4455, Susan.Passmore@avonandsomerset.police.uk) and PCSO 9758 Richard Yule (Richard.Yule@avonandsomerset.police.uk) all at Redland Police Station, Lower Redland Road, Bristol BS6 6SU. Beat surgeries for Clifton East are held at Clifton Down Shopping Centre (near the entrance) weekly, every Thursday between 10:00am and 1:00pm.


Remember, if you see a crime in progress, at risk of being committed or an offender is still on the scene or nearby, then call ^ 999; if you see anything suspicious then get descriptions, car registrations etc. and call the Police on 0845 456 7000. As well as alerting them to potential problems this also gives them the power to stop and search should this be necessary.


Further advice about home and business security is available on the Avon & Somerset Police website at http://www.avonandsomerset.police.uk and follow the link to Crime Reduction and Community safety.

http://www.crimereduction.gov.uk also has plenty of information for reducing crime.


ENVIRONMENT


Please can everyone remember to sort the recycling etc. in their bins properly – if it is incorrectly sorted the bin-men may refuse to take it, leaving it to blow around the neighbourhood.


You can report blocked drains to the council by phoning them on 0117 922 2100 or e-mailing them at customer.services@bristol.gov.uk (or see http://www.bristol.gov.uk/streetcare/).


Uncut hedges, shrubs and trees continue to be a problem on the streets – please keep yours under control especially at this time of year when they are growing quickly.


At this time of year the seagulls become more active and start looking for nesting sites. If you have ever had any nesting on your roof or chimneys then you will know what a horrendous noise, mess and commotion they make and that they can start dive-bombing people. If you want to avoid this inconvenience to yourself and your neighbours then, if you have access to your roof, a quick spray of an animal deterrent such as “Cat-a-Pult” can keep them away. Alternatively you can put anti-gull spikes onto your roof/chimney stacks. You can look up companies that will do this in the Yellow Pages under Pest & Vermin control or, for DIY solutions, do an online search for something like “gull deterrent spikes”. Note that it is illegal to disturb a nest once it is there, so deal with it early and if spraying put it in your diary for next year as well!


^ THE CORNER CLUB


Now into its 20th year, the Corner Club provides an opportunity for elderly people who are frail and housebound, and who live in and around the Clifton area, to get out of their homes and meet people. Some funding is provided by Bristol City Council, the Club does a lot of its own fund raising and many organisations, including the St John’s Residents’ Association, give donations.

The Club meets every Monday in the Apostle Room at Clifton Cathedral, and runs from about 10.00am to 3.00pm. The day starts with coffee and biscuits and a chance to play scrabble or cards, or just generally socialise. Once a fortnight there is an exercise session. This is followed by a hot lunch around mid-day and entertainment, such as slides, music or quizzes, in the afternoon. The session finishes with a cup of tea and some cake.


The cost to members is £3.00 for the day. For those who have mobility problems there is a limited amount of help from volunteer drivers. The Club has about 30 regular members and at present there is a waiting list to join.


Should you wish to become a volunteer helper at the Club (they particularly need volunteer drivers to bring members in and to collect them) please contact the Corner Club Coordinator, Sue Ryan, on 0117 956 9061.


^ USEFUL INFORMATION


Crimestoppers is completely independent of the Police. It is an independent charitable trust. Informants will NOT have to declare any personal details, nor appear in court/police station or any other public place associated with the information that they give. Crimestoppers is NOT a substitute for the 999 Emergency Call system but is, merely, an information gathering service. They want to know what you know – not who you are0800 555 1111.


The local Police web-site is http://www.avonandsomerset.police.uk. There is also an interesting site about the police helicopter and what it has been doing at http://www.westerncounties.org.uk.


The Whiteladies Road Farmers Market has now become a regular fixture. It takes place on the 1st Friday of each month between 8:30am and 1:00pm and on the 3rd Saturday of each month between 9:00am and 2:00pm on the corner of Whiteladies Road and Apsley Road. All of the produce is locally grown or made and includes meat, fruit, vegetables, bakery, cheese, preserves, wild food and more. The market is organised by Sustainable Redland, further details are at http://www.sustainableredland.org.uk/home/farmers-market/ and the contact is johnnywood@blueyonder.co.uk.


Edwards Garage, formerly of 1 Alma Vale Road, has now moved again from near Asda to 54 Duckmoor Road in Ashton. This is a now a permanent site for them and their telephone number is 0117 963 1950. They do a collection and delivery service which works very well.

 

Contact the Telephone Preference Service on 0845 0700707 or http://www.tpsonline.org.uk to prevent unsolicited telephone calls. Contact the Mail Preference Service on 0845 703 4599 or http://www.mpsonline.org.uk to prevent unsolicited mail. Contact Royal Mail on 08457 950 950 to stop receipt of 'un-addressed' junk mail.


To check for ‘scams’ go to http://www.oft.gov.uk or go to http://www.google.co.uk and type in ‘Urban Myths’ plus a subject (e.g. carjacking or prize) in the search box. This will reveal all manner of current scams on your chosen subject.


Bristol City Council’s main switchboard is 0117 922 2000 and the website is http://www.bristol.gov.uk.


AOB


If any readers have any ideas for what they would like to see in the Newsletter, then please tell the editor or other committee member. Even better, if you have something relevant that you can contribute then we would be delighted to hear from you.


News is sometimes available, along with current and previous copies of the Newsletter, on the SJRA website which is http://www.digitalbristol.org/members/sjrra/sjrra1.html (note the double ‘r’s).


SJRA members may attend committee meetings if they wish. Please contact Derek Miller if you wish to do so.


David Jepson (Chairman) DJLRDP@aol.com

23 St John’s Road, BS8 2EY 0117 909 0748


Derek Miller (Secretary) derekmiller66@hotmail.com

GFF, 9 Osborne Road, BS8 2HA 0117 973 3081


Patrick Benham (Treasurer) pandp.benham@blueyonder.co.uk

3 Duchess Road, BS8 2LA 0117 946 7295


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