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Sunday, 27 October 2013

Bristol deserves better than this TRASH - we deserve a stadium 

For too long, Bristol has been held back either by Council House inadequacy, or squabbles between local authorities, or else by minority groups holding up or stopping major projects that the city badly needs.  The saga over Bristol City's new stadium is a case in point.

Now, a potentially very exciting plan to house Bristol Rovers in a brand new stadium, with a large conference facility, good travel access, in conjunction with UWE, which has  knock-on effect to enable more affordable housing to be built, is being held up by another minority group.

The unfortunately named 'TRASH' group have set themselves up as a company to lodge a judicial review against the decision, which would see a Sainsburys, and other facilities built on the Memorial Ground. This project funds the brand new stadium in South Glos.

The frustration is that this not only flies in the face of the will of the City, and what is good for the region, but TRASH are fanning fears amongst local traders about what the new development will actually mean.

I am as great a supporter as any of local independent traders, and I am concerned about how TRASH are spinning their case.

No where do TRASH mention that the supermarket development will bring:

  • 400 extra car-parking spaces to the area, for people to use as they go to local independent shops
  • A 'Memorial Park' and green-space to celebrate the famous Memorial Gates
  • A community centre for community use and activity
  • Affordable housing which is so badly needed for the area
  • The potential for local businesses to have free advertising space, targeting anyone using the Sainsbury's. 
No, they present it as an Armageddon, using snippets of reports, not the entirety, to make a misleading and partisan point. 
In areas like Shirehampton, local traders are crying out for a major supermarket to bring people to the area, which will increase their trade. Other supermarkets have not killed Gloucester Road Traders, and it is those other supmermarkets which stand so much to lose from a new Sainsburys. Let alone the fact that the vast majority of shops at the northern end of Gloucester Road are services like cafes, solicitors etc which are not in competition with a supermarket and would benefit from higher footfall. The TRASH campaign also mysteriously ignores the fact that the limiting factor for more people using Gloucester Road for shopping is, yes,  the appalling lack of parking. 400 extra spaces will only help this.

But most galling of all, is that this misleading minority campaign is costing the tax-payer dear, for the delay that they are imposing, as well as Bristol Rovers, and that yet again, and that an exciting future for Bristol is being strangled by a minority group.

On Saturday, I went to the Rovers game at home against  Chesterfield to let people know about the petition to give voice against what TRASH are doing.  If you are frustrated that Bristol is yet again being held ransom, and that it's you and me paying for it,

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