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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,

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Pretty Nostalgic at Kings Weston House

Jane Austen dancing. Expected to see a BBC camera crew somewhere.
Norman Routledge and his team have done so much to resurrect our Kings Weston House - it was very good to see it put to such good use in a display of designer, 'Pretty Nostalgic' 's work, and other arts, crafts and cultural stalls.

Pretty Nostalgic were very instrumental in the decorating of Kings Weston House, advising and providing some of the beautiful wall-paper and other features seen in the house.

It was a fantastic day, with crowds of visitors and an array of artistic, sustainable living stalls and activities available. For Christmas purchases, look no further than Pretty Nostalgic, and for a fine day out, no further than our own Kings Weston House!
What better wedding venue than Kings Weston House?!

Sunday, 13 October 2013

It's Class War on our trains! Standard vs First ...

Last week, I travelled some distance across the country, costing me a grand total of £82 ( no, none of that was paid by you, the tax-payer!) to give a speech.  (Many people actually get paid for giving speeches. I've obviously got something badly wrong.)  Anyway, I paid quite a hefty fare for my train journey only to find, joy of joys,  that standard class was absolutely chokka. People were slotting themselves into luggage-rack gaps, had filled the buffet car and some had taken up camp in the carriage corridors themselves. Happy days.

It was then I had a brainwave. Surely the little table, just past the Class-Barrier of the buffet-car, on which free copies of The Times are often arrayed for First Class customers wouldn't be actually First Class?

I squeezed down the train, past the buffet, to confirm my suspicions. The carpet didn't actually begin until after the little table-bit at the end of the carriage. What's more, I reasoned, one pays for a First Class seat, surely? Throwing caution (and images of 'MP travels in First Class with Standard-Class Ticket' headlines) to the winds, I perched myself on said little table, tucked my feet in, and muttered to myself about how much I'd just paid for this dubious comfort.
Grrrrr. Very annoying. Especially when you've been sitting in a packed Standard Class luggage rack.

What made things more galling is that the First Class carriages were virtually empty. More muttering. After some considerable amount of time squished up on a small table, this is why I have quite a bit of sympathy for calls to re-think the Standard:First Class ratio on trains.

You can read a bit more about it here:

Friday, 4 October 2013

Help Rebuild Lawrence Weston Football Club's Clubhouse!

Only red-tape is  stopping this lot rebuilding their club-house...
"They get burnt down, but they get up again..."  But they are getting very fed up with it. And with good cause. Their club's been burnt down twice in nine years.
Each time they've had to rebuild it, but this time, it turns out the Council under-insured the property and they can't get the club-house they need rebuilt.
Another sting in the tail is that because they used their initiative and put up a temporary club, (portacabins) which has now been there for several years, the Council is under less pressure to cut through the red tape to rebuild their club for them. 

And if that wasn't enough, the final sting is that there is more than enough expertise, willingness and resource for the club members to rebuild their club themselves, at a fraction of the cost it would take through all the council-methods.  It's red-tape madness at its worst. True, some council officers have been doing their best to help - but that's been some years now and to be honest, it's just madness that they haven't been able to build their club house. 

This is a superb club, which is about so much more than just football - it is a hub of the community, full of great people, bringing everyone together.  Please sign our petition  to , er, focus minds, in the Council for sorting this disgrace out.  This year, it's the club's 20th Anniversary. Read more about it in The Post  What better way to celebrate 20 years than have the Council cut through it's lunatic red-tape, and help this club get their club-house rebuilt.

Never let it be said that the club is not hugely hospitable! Even to MPs.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Team outing - the Return to Raj Pavillions

If Masood (far left) likes a curry, it's definitely good...
I blogged many moons back about the glory of the curries at Raj Pavillions in Horfield ( just down from the Inn on the Green ) - and guess what, nothing's changed. So for a bit of a staff outing, we all went to the Raj Pavillions, where I regailed my long-suffering team with tales of how good the food was.

Masood is a bit of curry connoisseur, and is often known to bring in his own tempting culinary concoctions into the office where we all drool and regret the Tesco sandwiches we've brought in. To be honest, I was a bit worried about brining Masood out for a curry. His was a high standard to live up to...

But sure enough, the team at Raj Pavillions laid on a spread which amazed us all. It's what a real curry ought to be. Hot, yes. Chillis, yes. Good with beer - Yes. But also packed with layers and layers of delicate, beautiful spices and flavour.  Once again, thanks.

Do you know of a great curry place or restaurant I should visit? Let me know! Leave a comment here...