Gill Kirk writes

January 10 2018
Gill Kirk writes

May I start this message by wishing everyone a happy new year, and thanking all those groups who organised events over the Christmas period that were enjoyed by so many.

May I start this message by wishing everyone a happy new year, and thanking all those groups who organised events over the Christmas period that were enjoyed by so many. The festivities began on 2nd December with a parade of amazing hand made paper lanterns around the Square and the switching on of the lights on our very own sustainable, ‘living’ Christmas tree, planted in Gainsborough Square to grow year on year with future generations of Lockleaze residents. Special thanks to Rachel Varley for turning the community’s wishes and fundraising efforts into reality and organising the planting and lighting up of this living tree.

We are lucky to have so many voluntary and community groups contributing to our community life, especially around Christmas, including the wonderful churches in the area, local schools and The Hub,  Buzz cafe and North Bristol Advice Centre who do so much good work behind the scenes and offer the space and support that enable so many community activities to take place.

I want to give a special shout out to the new Lockleaze Singing Group who enriched our Christmas events this year by leading the carol singing so beautifully. This group only started a few months ago but has been growing steadily in numbers (and confidence!)  and were invited to sing at a Westbury residential home for the elderly this Christmas, as well as supporting all our  local events. They welcome new members, meeting on Thursday evenings 6.30-7.30pm  at St Mary’s Church, Gainsborough Square. Please drop in to Buzz cafe to speak to Maria if you are interested in joining, the priority is to sing for fun, wellbeing and relaxation!

Thank you to everyone who attended the public consultation events on the proposals  for new housing in Lockleaze, both on the Romney House site and empty land on Constable/Crome Rd. The Lockleaze project team from the Council planning department have taken on board all responses to the consultation and on-line survey, as well as taking into account the draft Lockleaze neighbourhood development plan, to ensure that new housing will integrate well with the existing residential areas. This is an exciting time for Lockleaze in that finally empty sites will have homes built on them, and we want residents voices to be heard in the planning stage so that we create communities people will want to live in and we will all feel proud of. This also means ensuring there are enough school places and access to GP surgeries, these vital considerations are all part of the planning process.

Finally I would like to say good luck to our friend, community development worker Samantha Parker, who is moving to a new role in Hartcliffe, having made a very special contribution in Lockleaze. We are very grateful for all she has done (not least helping to set up the Singing Group and quiz nights at the Hub!) and wish her all the best for the future.

Cllr Estella Tincknell and I will be starting our regular  drop in advice surgeries again this year, we are planning to be at the Hub on the first Saturday of each month, times still to be confirmed but likely to be around lunchtime! Please do come and see us if you would like to discuss anything, and you can email and phone on our usual numbers (councillor details here)

Gill Kirk

Councillor for Lockleaze (Labour)