By Cllr Helen Godwin, COUNCILLOR FOR SOUTHMEAD
With Cllr Brenda Massey, Deana Perry from Team Southmead, and Tracey Edwards-Brown from Linkage, I have been touring many of Southmead’s sheltered accommodation blocks to meet residents and assess the condition of the buildings. The project was inspired by the work that was done in The Woodnook, behind Glencoyne Square.
When Brenda, Deana, Ian Thornley and I first went to the Woodnook it was in a state of disrepair due to vandalism and anti-social behaviour within the block. By working closely with the wonderful residents and their families, the police, the council and voluntary groups, within a year the Woodnook common area was transformed into a warm, cosy space for residents to meet, spend time together and hold events – it was even visited by Radio Bristol.
Deana fed back that she was concerned that people in other blocks were having similar issues and felt isolated and ignored by the council. And so, armed with packets of biscuits, a notepad and, more often than not, my 4 year old son Leo, we arranged a series of meetings at Millpool Court, Haweswater, Port Elizabeth House, and Kirkstone Gardens. We still have more work to do – please let us know if you would like us to visit you!
These meetings have often been attended by Bristol City Council staff who have been able to expedite repairs, answer questions on common areas and offer support to residents. We have heard about issues with blocked gutters, drains, fly-tipping, damp, inconsiderate workmen, bins, rotten windows, outstanding repairs and much more, and I am pleased to say in most cases we have seen quick progress from the council.
But these coffee mornings are about more than just complaints. As your local councillors and volunteers we want to make sure that all of Southmead has a voice and feels listened too. We understand that not everyone can be online, or able to get into town to see the council and we hope by coming to you we can also tell you about some of what is happening locally by way of groups like Knit and Natter, Men’s Shed, or the Over 50s lunch club. And we can even help you organise a coffee morning at home with our friends from the Travelling Teapot – another amazing idea that came out of The Woodnook.
If you would like us to come and see you in your block or sheltered accommodation feel free to phone me, Councillor Helen Godwin on 07774 012 839.