Monday, September 21, 2009

To protect the green belt, or not to protect the green belt...

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I totally agree with letter writer Nicola Harold that we must act urgently to save our green spaces (‘Time to save green spaces is running out’, Post, Sept 21 2009). I have to say that the fight for green spaces is not helped by those politicians who, it appears, face in two opposing directions. We need clarity of principle, policy and action but aren't getting it.

I recently asked Lib Dem Councillor Jon Rogers Bristol’s Executive Member for Transport and Sustainability whether large scale development should be be permitted on green belt land around Bristol…He replied, ‘My colleagues and I have campaigned and won in the recent election with a pledge to “fight the loss of Green Belt” and that remains our policy.’

However, Lib Dem leader of Bristol City Council, Barbara Janke has given her wholeheated and active support to the idea of building a new Bristol City football stadium. Where? In the green belt that separates Long Ashton from Bristol!!

So, what happened to fighting the loss of green belt?? They want to have their cake and eat it!

Lament for St Peter's in Knowle? Andy Sheppard plays in call for hospice to stay open

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This from the Save Our Hospice group I'm active in (15 Addison Road, Victoria Park, Bristol, BS3 4QH,

Press release:

Andy Sheppard plays in call for hospice to stay open

Renowned jazz musician, Andy Sheppard, is supporting the campaigning group urging St Peter’s Hospice not to close their hospice in Knowle. He will accompany members of the local group, Save Our Hospice, when they present a petition to Keith Bonham, MBE, the Chair of the Trustees, at St Peter’s Hospice, Charlton Road, Brentry on Tuesday, 22nd September, at 5.30pm.

Together with many other well-known musicians, Andy Sheppard is very aware of the excellent care provided by the hospice in Knowle, because of his working association and friendship with Heloise Osborne, a long-time producer of jazz concerts, tours and festivals, who died there last November. Nod Knowles, Chief Executive of Bath’s International Music Festival and another close friend and colleague of Heloise Osborne’s said today: “The hospice meant so much to Heloise – it helped her with essential care and effective pain relief and provided friendship and shared understanding with other terminally ill patients in the day centre. Crucially, because it was in South Bristol, she and her loved ones were able to get there without too much difficulty.”

As St Peter’s Hospice have already decided to close the hospice in Knowle, Andy Sheppard will be playing a lament on his saxophone for all the people who may be denied specialist in-patient pain relief and hospice care as a result of this decision. Save Our Hospice invite you to photograph, film and listen to Andy’s playing.

Save Our Hospice has written to all the Trustees urging them to reconsider their decision, and the letter has been tabled for discussion at the Trusteees’ quarterly meeting next Tuesday.

Paula Davis, a member of Save Our Hospice, says: “£300,000 is what is required to repair the Knowle hospice and bring it up to standard. Once gone, it will cost many millions to launch a new hospice in South Bristol and it will probably never be replaced. This is a valuable resource and we really cannot afford to lose 10 hospice beds, especially when the Bristol PCT has set a target of reducing the number of people who die in hospital unnecessarily by 10% each year for the next three years. Where will these people go if they require specialist care? Come on St Peter’s Trustees and Chief Executive! Start an emergency fundraising appeal and we will all support you. It’s easier to keep the Knowle hospice than to start again.”

For further information please ring 07929 897149 or email to speak to:

Paula Davis
Glenn Vowles
Dr Chris Fox, a GP in south Bristol supporting the campaign

*Online version of our petition to be presented along with our paper version: