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Sunday, 26 July 2009

The sun shines on Shire's Big Picnic

At 11.55am, things were looking a bit ropey. The sky was threatening rain, and the only sign of anyone coming to Shire's Big Picnic was a mum with a pushchair some way off, and a dog walker.

But I needn't have worried. Pretty soon, local residents were flooding down to the Lamplighters land in Shirehampton to unfurl their picnic rugs for a peaceful demonstration against the Council's possible plans, under their Parks and Green Spaces Strategy, to put The Daisy Field and Lamplighters Land up for building development.

Over 250 people turned up to Shire's Big Picnic, which is a formidable demonstration of just how much this land is valued by the people in Shirehampton. And sitting there on the grass beside the river, it is easy to see why. This land is one of Bristol's beauty spots. For most cities, this area would be the jewel in their crown. It would be madness to build over it.

It was also very good to see people of all ages sitting down together as a community. Shire's Big Picnic demonstrated that although good facilities for play are important, with just a picnic rug, a bit of food and the company of your friends, family and neighbours, a wonderful day can be had by all.

Lots of people have said to me that Shire's Big Picnic should become an annual event. I am hoping that our campaigning will safeguard this land so Shire's Big Picnic can become a stapel part of the local calendar for many years to come.

If you would like to do your bit to protect the Daisy Field and Lamplighters Land from building development, please sign Cllr. Siobhan Kennedy-Hall's petition HERE

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Less of the bad language, please!

Fed up of reading council-speak documents, full of words that seem to mean nothing at all? Read my Daily Mail blog about it HERE

And send me your 'top-ten' awful politi-speak words and phrases...

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Westbury Park Community Fair

There are summer fetes and fairs everywhere at the moment. I love things like that ( which I suppose is a good thing, being a candidate) - and I invariably leave with a bag of stuff I had told myself I wouldn't buy: odds and ends and usually crockery from bric-a-brac stalls and the inevitable home-made cake.

I particularly like the idea of a street-fair, like Westbury Park's fair which was held yesterday. It was absolutely packed, the entertainment -which included what my mum would call a 'good old-fashioned' punch and judy show- was superbly organised and by the looks of things, a healthy amount of money was raised. In fact, I wonder how much money has been raised in total fetes like this across Bristol this year?

I like fairs like this because they always show how much community spirit really is out there, beneath the headlines of recession, an atomised society and family breakdown. And there's something very sturdy about this tradition: I hope and suspect that for many a year to come, regardless of headlines, there will be events like this, with bric-a-brac and cake stalls we just can't resist.