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Just wondered if I am the only person who thinks that it is outrageous that North Somerset Council has turned down £30,000 of funding that is already available from Portishead Town Council to upgrade and improve the play equipment at the Lake Grounds? I have spoke to the Town Council and they have confirmed that the money can only be spent on play equipment and that they feel that the Lake Grounds play equipment needs updating. Apparently NSC rejected the funding because according to them the Lake Grounds playground is 'adequately equipped'. Please give me your feedback as to your thoughts on this because if there are a few of us who agree that NSC shouldn't be making decisions like this without asking us (the residents who pay our Council Tax!) first , then I will happily pursue this by setting up a quick survey to see what our true feelings about the Lake Grounds playground are. Thanks.

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By ceramicsqueen at 13:03 on 13/09/12

          
 
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    Having watched how our local councillors, especially those who also 'represent' the town on North Somerset Council blatantly ignored the wishes of hundreds of local people who supported a skate park at the lake Grounds, I don't believe they will act any differently in this matter. There was talk of the Town Council taking over the leaseholds of a number of areas of the town to save NSC money, so why don't they offer to take over the running of the Lake Grounds and then they would become the landlords and would no longer be able to pass the buck back at NSC everytime there is a dispute over landlords consent for the area. The town council claimed to support the skatepark application in the same way they now claim to support the play equipment and yet those on the town council who serve on NSC always go back on the decisons made at town council and oppose everything at NSC level. It seems party politics is more important than peoples wishes.

    By sarahmac at 14:11 on 13/09/12

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    Thanks for the feedback,sarahmac. I am hopefully going to get an article in next week's North Somerset Times regarding this but as you say, this goes way beyond the playpark. We need to let NSC know that we are not happy with them dictating what we can and can't do within our own town. And the Skatepark and Bandstand refusals plus their management of the open air pool when it was their responsibility, are all part of the wider argument of what the Lake Grounds are and who has the right to access and enjoy them. Watch this space!.......

    By ceramicsqueen at 15:00 on 13/09/12

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    A local hostelry last night was buzzing following residents' accounts of what happened at the town council meeting yesterday. This town's residents obviously have some spirit and the town councillors were certainly told off good and proper. Good for the public. I believe in the policy of praise when parish councils do good but also tell them when they are not up to scratch. I do wonder from what I heard whether Portishead would be better having town councillors who just act for the town and not the unitary authority as well. Better still, only those who are not assigned to a political party should stand for election and decision making powers should be given back to them. Was anyone on this link at the meeting? Do please tell what happened.

    By thurti365 at 15:54 on 13/09/12

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    It's about time these councilors listen to what the people want not what they want we have to live here some of them don't

    By jojomojomoto at 16:30 on 13/09/12

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    I have been to council meetings in the past and stopped attending when it became quite obvious that not a single councillor actually took on board our opinions. There is an arrogance about the whole procedure that has very little to do with the councils purpose being to represent those who voted for them. I would agree with thrti365 about only independent councillors being allowed to stand as party loyalty seems to be the bottom line on all decsions made. But having said that, I was foolish enough to vote for Cllr Jolley who once elected changed his independent allegience to the Conservatives and to make matters worse actually moved away from Portishead whilst still claiming to represent us. If the town is not worthy to live in then he should stand down as councillor as most people aren't even aware of his departure.

    By sarahmac at 18:03 on 13/09/12

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    Thank you for your comments. Even over just the past few days whilst speaking to friends and other parents, it is apparent that there is a feeling of unrest with how the town is being run at the moment. I have spoken to North Somerset Times and they are going to run the story about how we want to collect evidence of how people are feeling about this decision. Please read the paper next week which will tell you how to get involved and respond to a quick survey that we have developed; this will be available at the beginning of next week. In the meantime, please email the Lake Grounds play equipment action group on lakegrounds_play_equipment@hotmail.co.uk to let us know your opinions. We will be compiling all the responses to present them to Portishead Town Council and North Somerset Council as soon as possible. Thanks again.

    By ceramicsqueen at 12:14 on 14/09/12

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    There is a view, which I share, that the Lake Grounds is full.
    Already for the last 30 years we have had difficulty in getting enough money allocated to carry out adequate maintenance. We just do not want any more attractions pulling in more people. Indeed we could do without the fairground ride thing.
    We need to spread the load by putting attractions elsewhere in the town.

    By BarryW at 16:49 on 14/09/12

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    Yes, quite agree that there should be no fairground or concessions type rides - they are expensive, noisy and not in keeping with the Lake Grounds environment. However, the Lake Grounds is a public amenity built by and for the residents of Portishead so from that perspective I think it is important that we are able to enjoy them and use them as that is what they were created for. I am interested in your comment that we should spread the load - have you got any ideas as to where we could place a play park that has enough space for equipment that caters for children up to the age of 12, plus pram parking space plus seating, bins, toilets and potentially a refreshment area? Because that is what socialising and letting children run around and enjoy themselves needs these days because as parents we are not allowed simply to let our children outside and make their own fun these days like we used to. Shame, but that is the society that we have to raise our children in now..............

    By ceramicsqueen at 19:02 on 14/09/12

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    Councilor Walters, you say you do not want to attract more people to the area and yet the Portishead Tourism Group exists solely for that purpose. Play equipment and a skatepark would provide leisure facilities for a vast age range of youngsters and yet you oppose these things even though the Town Council promised to support it yet would not back it at North Somerset. Surely it was the town council that you are part of that gave planning permission to the fairground ride that makes the area look such a mess. I was told rcently that some local residents thought it was so unsightly that they made a youtube video about it but i have yet to see that. Surely amenities for our own youth should be a priority or don't our increasing generations of youngsters deserve to be shown soime respect by the councillors who make these insane decsions?

    By sarahmac at 09:16 on 15/09/12

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    Sarahmac I would put a link up for the youtube video but one of my friends was removed from the site for doing just that but is well worth a watching

    By jojomojomoto at 09:44 on 15/09/12

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    To CeranicsQueen.
    There is a site alongside the Parish Wharf leisure Centre, which already has a climbing wall and a multi-purpose-games-area , [a MUGA], and close the the Youth Centre building, which in my view, could take extra equipment for older youngsters.
    To sarahmac.
    So, I do not agree with all the aims of the Portishead Tourist Group. Tourism is often to the detriment of residents.

    PS the Lake Gounds was financed and built by Bristol City Council who brought workers by train each day. This was in about 1910.

    By BarryW at 16:44 on 15/09/12

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    Thank you jojomoto, if you have the link could you email it to me at keysarahsarah@hotmail.com as a few friends have now said they've seen it and I feel a bit left out :-)

    Interesting that Councillor walters does not want tourists in the town. surely people visiting the town and spending money especiallly at the Lido and the cafe at the Lake Grounds bring income to help these local businesses survive? The council were quick enough to bring all the extra housing which obvioulsy menat more families who would need extra school places and equipment for young people. And yet a skatepark which i understand was hugely supported was denied and now Cllr Walters suggests that the already overdeveloped areas around the marina get more development when there is cartainly ample space with the blue railed area at the Lake. It baffles me what type of person actually sits on the council in this town and who they actually represent.

    By sarahmac at 09:36 on 16/09/12

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    In my opinion schools and leisure facility's should have been built by the builders who built all the houses as part of the contract

    By jojomojomoto at 12:17 on 16/09/12

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    Thank you for all the comments - it looks like this whole issue of what is 'allowed' at the Lake Grounds has opened a can of worms! To me this issue goes much further than simply the play equipment; as a few of you have quite rightly pointed out, there seems to be a small minority who are making decisions on behalf of the rest of us without consulting us and to me, that is both worrying but also wrong.
    I will get in touch with PSP and also Lies Stanley now to see if there is any way that the Lake Grounds Play Equipment action group can help - I think we are all after the same thing: clarity as to what the Lake Grounds are in terms of a public amenity, how we should be allowed to use them and who is allowed to dictate when we can't.
    In the meantime, please look out for our article in next week's paper and PLEASE let me know your opinions one way or another so that we can gather some evidence to support or contest North Somerset Council's decision.
    Thanks again - I love it when people power makes a difference!

    By ceramicsqueen at 17:55 on 16/09/12

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    Firstly thank you to jojomoto for emailing me the link to the video's. What a wonderfully satirical outlook on what appears to be an ongoing and unresolved problem with local political dithering.
    I must agree it is time that the way local decisons are made are questioned more and not allowed to be dictated as they appear to be at present. I can't understand why a skatepark supported by so many people in Portishead can be refused by what is quite clearly the party political workings at Weston rather than a decsion being made by need and what appears to have been a wonderfully community spirited attempt to do nothing more than provide a facilty for our young.
    Maybe too many councillors have had their feet under the table for too long and their smugness needs to be questioned, who knows?
    I also wonder if these are the same people who made the insane decison to close St Barnabus School, it would at least explain why such incompitence is rife.

    By sarahmac at 19:18 on 16/09/12

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    Sarahmac,

    Go onto you tube and put in Portishead in boom, or portisheads jewel in the crown, and you will find what you are looking for.

    Hope you see this post soon as once a council member see it they will press the 'Report' button and this post will be removed, and I may well be blocked from Portishead People - Happend before so no doubt it will happen again!

    By The_old_goat at 14:53 on 17/09/12

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    Thank you the-old-goat, I was emailed the link and have watched the collection of videos which I applaud loudly and would recommenbd to all. I think the most worrying part of those videos which should be a warning to others concerned about the ongoing behaviour of certain councillors was at the end of one of the videos the comment left said 'this is about more than just skateparks' or words to that effect and sadly I think that is true as we no longer know who is trustworthy and who or what our councillors represent. They certainly do not represent me or anyone I know who lives here.
    Is honesty and transparency too much to ask from those who are entrusted to hold public office?

    By sarahmac at 15:16 on 17/09/12

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    The_old_goat and sarahmac - thanks again for the replies. The_old_goat - just to let you know that your comment is still online as of 16.30 today!
    Quick question to everyone re: this ridiculous decision about the play equipment funding........does anyone know how people become town councillors? I always vote but don't particularly remember any of the names that I have seen as part of this thread? Maybe we should be concentrating on how we update our councillors to more accurately reflect 21st century Portishead?!

    By ceramicsqueen at 16:34 on 17/09/12

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    i think the problem is the way people vote. they no longer vote for whom is best for the town, the ones who bother to vote still vote for their old faithful parties and aren't interested in anything but. That is why the town will always be run by the Tories especially as the last time an Independent gained the trust of the people to stand as Indepenedent and get elected, the first thing he did on winning the seat was change his allegience to the Tory party and abide by their party decisons rather than what the electorate expect of him. (he also quite quickly moved from the town he so claimed to love). One of the other Tory councillors was also a Liberal but changed her loyalties to the Tories to ensure she kept her position io the council. The only way to address the problem is to remove party policy from local politics and get only people genuinely with the communities problerms at heart to stand and support that person. i think the last genuione councillor of such persuasion was a Mrs Stanley who felt compelled not to stand agin when it became clear how the inner workings of the council were far from democratic and based on personal agends rather than public need or necessity.
    It still baffles me why play equipment for youngsters is such a threat to the surroundings of the Lake Grounds and I can only think (after my husband pointed it out) that the councillor who has opposed so many of these improvements lives near the area and does not want it on his doorstep. that became totally obvious when the skatepark decison was called to a scrutiny panel at which our councillors stood up and lied openly to prevent the skatepark getting landlords consent even though it already won planning permission.
    My husband also claims that such comments get removed from this site as the other writer mentioned which does make me wonder what these councillors have to hide. Would be nice to find out especially as the invite to use this site asks for comments about the council.

    By sarahmac at 16:53 on 17/09/12

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    Yes, when I spoke to a NSC Officer they 'unofficially' told me that the REAL reason all of the Lake Ground requests are rejected is because a certain Town councillor (won't name individuals here) lives at the Lake Grounds and believes that if more people use the Lake Grounds it will too busy, noisy and play areas will attract undesirables....... My comment was that the Lake Grounds is a public amenity that existed LONG before they bought their house there!
    I have had a lot of supportive feedback already this week from friends and fellow parents and so I have now set up the Lake Grounds Play Equipment Campaign (LG-PEC) on Facebook so if you are interested in joining our fledgling group please email lakegrounds_play_equipment@hotmail.co.uk and we can invite you to the group. I still feel that we can challenge them but we do need more people to stand up and be counted.......

    By ceramicsqueen at 18:34 on 17/09/12

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    Unfortunately the council appear to be a law unto themselves and are shown full support in their behaviour by the local MP. And the final decision will always be made by these same people manipulating the system and others to get the end result they want. It is amazing how far back these very suspect decisions have been made by the same people having trawled back through data available on the internet in one afternoon but it does convince me how corrupt local politics has become. I have also just read in the paper today that the one local councillor responsible for blocking Lake Grounds plans has just revealed another of his lies as last year he claimed that a developer would help provide a skatepark on the condition that it was built in the grounds of Gordano School, something the school denied at the time. Today he is telling us that the same developer had offered a bit of land off Harbour Road for a skatepark two years ago. So why did he allow the supporteres ofg teh skatepark to go through the costly palnning application if this offer had been around for two years. It makes me wonder what he is getting from it all apart from a guarantee that any skatepark or play equipment will be as far from his own neighbourhood as is possible. There is nothing preventing the Town Council from taking over the running of the Lake Grounds and over riding this farcical behaviour as they would effectively become the landlords who could give consent without the aforementioned councillors party political support that is holding up progress on these matters for a few more generations of youngsters.

    By sarahmac at 20:16 on 17/09/12

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    aaah, Wing Trucks! It seems that my previous posting on this site seems to have truly got under your skin, enough for you to repost it after all this time and then respond to your own reposting.
    Obviously one issue with this site is the ability for people to write under pseudonyms, using them as barricades from which to pop up, throw a snidy little grenade and then hide again. If reported they simply re-register under another guise.
    Well Wing Trucks- I've a proposition for you. Rather than snipe away using your pseudonym as cover why not meet wih me to discuss what is a very serious matter concerning our town. I shall bring evidence to corroborate what I have previously stated on this site, on other sites, and publicly at Town Council meetings and you can bring some personal ID.
    You can name the time and place, preferably a pub please, and I'll even pay for your drink (as long as you are old enough to go into pubs or drink alcohol, obviously).
    How about it?

    By liese_stanley at 14:45 on 18/09/12

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    Having now had time to further study this subject, one thing baffles me. It appears that the last writer on here and another lady Ann Hennessey have gone to a lot of trouble ensuring that members of the public have been kept informed of the scandalous nature in which councillors have conducted themselves with the planning application for the skatepark. Yet rather than be thanked for their efforts some people choose to attack them at any given opportunity. Do these people really want a town where councillors act in such a way to flourish or would they rather the truth of the matter was bought to the forefront before immoral and possibly illegal decisions become so ingrained they become the norm. I applaud these two ladies as I would not have known any of what the council have been up to without the trail of factual revelations they have left scattered over the internet. I have also just started to read the many pages of the skatepark site and how the kids have been fundraisng for years and I intend to read it all over the next few days as it is what communities should be about not dodgy backroom deals. And to whomever made and shared those youtube videos, providing it is all factual you also deserve to be applauded. Council decisons and methods should be transparent and honest and people should be very concerned when they are not because one day it could be your turn to be on the end of it.

    By sarahmac at 16:05 on 18/09/12

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    @ ceramicsqueen. well done for making an effort to publicise the matter of childrens equipment at the Lake Grounds, I feel it is the perfect place, theer is ample room for that and a skatepark in that corner of the grounds so fail to see why they are being refused. I am not on facebook but will try and look into it. Sarah.

    By sarahmac at 16:16 on 18/09/12

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    For anybody really interested in the subject of play equipment at the Lake Grounds may I suggest that you go onto Portishead Town Council website. Click the tab on the left labelled "Town Council", next click tab "Recreation and Works" again on the left. Start reading Rec and Works minutes from 2010 (Year tabs at the top) through to and including 2011.
    Don't worry- this isn't quite as boring as it sounds- you can scan down the minutes quickly just looking for bold heading of "Proposed Play Equipment: Lake Grounds". It will become very apparent, very quickly the frustration in progressing initiatives for youth in this town.
    And yes, it is outrageous that after all of this time nothing has materialised.
    However, on your side for this one, Ceramicsqueen, should be Cllr Pasley, the district and town councillor for the area including the Lake Grounds. In March meeting of 2011 Rec and Works he seconded the proposal for the installation of the proposed play equipment at the Lake Grounds.
    To be honest,(and perhaps unfairly) it raised my suspicions at the time as we were so close to an election and he had previously been so intently and vociferously against the skatepark in an adjacent location.
    However, I am sure that if you contact him to argue your case at North Somerset Council that he will stand by the proposal to establish facilities for the town's older children at the Lake Grounds so that families can spend quality time together even if their children are no longer toddlers. Good luck!

    By liese_stanley at 18:49 on 18/09/12

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    Still getting to grips with how council works but surely as a councillor Mr Pasley represents our wishes and addresses our concerns not just his own so even if he were 'intently and vociferously' against the skatepark in that location he should put his own personal differences aside as a councillor and honour and respect the ewishes of the people who fought so long and hard and appear to have been in a huge majority in favour of the Lake Grounds location. Either this man represents or he doesn't and if not then I feel he should not be holding a post that is meant to be a servant of the people not a master of the people. That simply makes the whole democratic process unsustainable but would explain why so few people vote these days. Just my opinion but if people don't question these things what next?

    By sarahmac at 19:02 on 18/09/12

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    A question to Mrs Stanley, hope you don't mind but you seem quite knowledgable on the matter. As there is already play equipment at that part of the Lake Grounds why does more play equipment create so much fuss. Surely expanding an already established play area within those blue railings isn't detrimental to anything else in the area?

    By sarahmac at 19:04 on 18/09/12

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    Sarahmac,
    I agree it is difficult to understand what reasons there could be for not further developing the area with either a skatepark or play equipment to include older children. However, in fairness, local residents have every right to raise concerns.
    With regard to the skatepark these included predominantly noise and anti-social behavior concerns.
    Noise levels were measured (a grind rail attached to a hollow box was put through it's paces by a skater- about as loud a noise as you could expect, bearing in mind the proposal for a quieter concrete construction) and found to be acceptable by North Somerset officers.
    Police had always been supportive of the location but there was a surprising last minute concern regarding anti-social behaviour, apparently raised at a meeting between Cllr Pasley and the area commander, I believe. However after further discussions and agreed conditions with the Skatepark Project the Police withdrew an initial objection.
    Locally, after much public consultation and an incredibly well-publicised planning application, over 400 residents wrote supporting the Lake Grounds site. Just over 30 objected. This included a majority of support from those living in Coast ward itself, where the Lake Grounds lies.
    People must decide for themselves why despite town council support, planning consent (achieved at appeal), both police and overwhelming public support some North Somerset councillors and executive members decided to not back or allow landlords consent for the area. I understand that the same arguments for not granting landlords consent are now being used for the proposed play equipment.
    However, as mentioned before, the difference this time is that Cllr Pasley did support the Lake Grounds Play Equipment proposal and, as district councillor for the Lake Grounds, should, I guess, now be arguing the case to proceed with North Somerset Council.

    By liese_stanley at 19:38 on 18/09/12

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    Thank you for that Liese, I have still to read through the skatepark history on their website but it does appear something very underhand has happenned somewhere. Seems a shame as I don't see what threat an activity that would probably deter anti-social behaviour could possibly be but my sons are grown up now and I remember their frustration at the lack of progress whilst they were looking for decent skate park facilities locally. They used to go to Nailsea where the council really did and still do support the skatepark and young people more than here.

    By sarahmac at 19:53 on 18/09/12

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    Thank you ladies for providing further information on these issues. But without wishing to sound rude, I do just want to say that the addition of play equipment to a play ground that already exists is different to the addition of a new facility e.g. a skatepark. Please let me say that I completely agree with the skate park at the Lake Grounds but I don't want certain councillors using a previous case to cloud the current issue so that people aren't open to a new campaign. However, once we have asked residents whether they want the play equipment at the Lake Grounds or not, we will have actual evidence and not conjecture to show our councillors and hopefully this will strengthen the case for all of us who wish to use the Lake Grounds for what it is- a lovely, family friendly community amenity. So thank you very much for your feedback, Liese; we will definitely follow up Cllr Pasley's 'support' of new play equipment.

    By ceramicsqueen at 20:11 on 18/09/12

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    I really hope that you are successful with your new campaign ceramicsqueen.

    The point I was trying to make was that the same causes for concern are raised whenever the Lake Grounds is discussed and the fact that there is much evidence to allay these fears.
    Also do read the Rec and Works minutes, for background info. We consulted with over 180 children (school years 5 and 6 plus older youth club members) allowing them to decide what equipment, they themselves, would most like to see there.
    Prior to this, as a town council we were on the point of agreeing to spend £40,000 on a space net, which after consultation was actually way down on the children's own list. What a shame that would have been!
    If you wish to see what pieces of equipment they chose, the town council should still have copies on record. However, I imagine that there are now even newer and more interesting pieces available. I would also add that my own conversations with the young people of Portishead throughout the consultation period resulted in there being a clear need to extend the age range past 12. There do seem to be plenty of pieces of equipment that successfully cover this.

    As a mother of 3 children ranging in ages from 4 to 14, I would still love for us to be able to spend time together, in one area, where there is something for them all to enjoy. As you say, a family-friendly community amenity.
    And again, good luck.

    By liese_stanley at 21:09 on 18/09/12

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    Thank you, Liese. I really hope I can push this topic into the general arena as I get the feeling that a lot of people have just given up because they are so used to being ignored or let down by the Councillors, I am sorry to say.
    If you do want to keep up with what we are (planning to do!) doing, then please search for Lake Grounds Play Equipment Campaign LG-PEC on Facebook and ask to be added to the group.
    Thanks for your help and guidance though; I will follow up all of what you say and try to get someone to take at least a LITTLE bit of notice!

    By ceramicsqueen at 21:55 on 18/09/12

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    The Survey compiled by the Lake Grounds Play Equipment Campaign: LG-PEC group is now available. Please email lakegrounds_play_equipment@hotmail.co.uk for a copy or ask to join the Lake Grounds Play Equipment Campaign LG-PEC Facebook group to download a copy.
    There are also going to be hard copies available at Morgan Westley, Ashburys and Lakehouse Nursery from tomorrow.
    So PLEASE give us your feedback and let's see if we can resolve this issue to everyone's satisfaction.
    Thank you.

    By ceramicsqueen at 00:03 on 19/09/12

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    Is it possible to join this facebook group thing without actually joining facebook as I don't mind signing petitions and the like but I would not like to become part of a protest movement that causes disruption but has little effect or any chance of making things change. facebook seems to be littered with protest groups but none seem to have any effect my husband seems to think. The play equipment campaign should have been made a priority of the local council in my opinion and its quite disturbing when these things have to be organised by other groups when the whole purpose of a council is to ensure these matters are dealt with for our benefit. I will of course be signing the petition and writing to the local council even though they seem very powerless to do anything about anything.

    By sarahmac at 16:54 on 19/09/12

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    Sarahmac - as far as I know you can't join a Facebook group with out a Facebook account but that's not a problem. If you email us on our email address lakegrounds_play_equipment@hotmail.co.uk then we will send you a copy of the survey. And it is a SURVEY that we have decided to do and not a petition because the Council get inundated by petitions and tend not to take much notice of them.
    By undertaking a survey of local residents' opinions, we feel that we are providing the Council with some objective evidence that they have to take notice of because they made this decision without undertaking a consultation and that is just not on (if not illegal actually!)
    So please do email us or if you prefer, pop into Morgan Westley or Ashburys as they have the surveys ready and waiting. I should know - I delivered them myself today!
    If enough of us question the Council's decisions then they will have to sit up and take note. I am not sure that we can get them to change their mind but we REALLY hope to start getting some of our Councillors very worried because there is a growing number of people who want to replace the old fashioned way of doing things here with people that actually care about the town that they live in and have chosen to raise their children in. So please, join us as together we have more of a voice! Thanks.

    By ceramicsqueen at 20:34 on 19/09/12

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    Dear ceramicsqueen, can you just tell me please if this is an independent resident survey and that the survey will have someone's contact name on it rather than just an email address. Also I am interested to know if the town councillors are aware you are carrying out this survey and if any of them are directly involved with your campaign group and involved in the production of the survey? If not, you could ask the council for a grant surely to help with costs. So pleased it is a survey rather than a petition as I agree wholeheartily with your sentiments on this.

    By thurti365 at 20:56 on 19/09/12

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    Hello thurti365. Yes, this is an independent resident survey.....well, as independent as it can be when we are trying to change a Council decision!
    There is no contact name on the survey as we created it when it was just a group of mums having a chat thinking about what we could do. We didn't want to have just one person as a spokesperson at that point which is why we created the generic email address.
    However, now that we have made it into the paper (yes, that is us on p11 of today's North Somerset Times and it is me that they have quoted) I think we may have to re-think how we present ourselves as a group, especially as membership of the FB group hit 60 today! So thanks for the feedback.
    With regards to the Town Council, I have spoken with Ros Cruse (Chairperson of the Rec & Works group), Rachel Tranter (Deputy Clerk) and she has informed the new Town Clerk. The group is planning to contact all the Town Councillors by letter and provide them with a copy of the survey. But it is all quite time consuming at the moment and we just haven't had time to organise the mailshot yet.
    So please join the Facebook group or send me an email (see details in previous posts) as we could really do with all the help we can get! And if you can get a grant to cover my costs and time so far, that would be great!!!
    Thanks again for your feedback.

    By ceramicsqueen at 22:54 on 19/09/12

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    Have just picked up a copy this morning and will get it back to you asap. Have also told other people, good luck.

    By sarahmac at 11:07 on 20/09/12

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    Thank you, sarahmac - we appreciate your support. There are still a lot of people who don't know what's going on so telling other Portishead residents is vital.
    If you want to send us an email so that we can contact you and keep you up to date with things then please do. Otherwise, I am quite happy to let you know the latest on this Discussion forum.
    Thanks again.

    By ceramicsqueen at 12:45 on 20/09/12

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    Dear ceramicsqueen, I am confused as to why you think I can get a grant for you to cover your costs and time. It is usual for the person needed the grant to apply for it and I am sure the councillors you are interfacing with can help you.
    The only question I have regarding your sterling work and those who undertake other causes around Portishead, is why the councillors are not doing more? It was a district council decision not to give permission but this town has district councillors acting for them. Yet the public seem to do all the running around for those councillors and then I am sure the councillors will take the credit having done none of the work.

    The other thing I am finding it hard to comprehend is why the district councillor at the Lake Grounds said that the area had reached its capacity. If this is his feeling, then why is someone suggesting that he can help the latest campaign for play equipment? Having so much time on my hands, I am reading a wealth of documents and I also cannot for the life of me fathom why the Lake Grounds Ward Councillor criticised the skatepark group for not getting landlord's consent before planning permission, yet isn't this what the Recreation & Works Group have done on the play equipment? Has he criticised his own council as well? Forgive me for not understanding it all, but to me this all seems very messy. Commonsense tells me from looking at the available literature on the local authority website, that there is no reason why the skatepark and the play equipment could not both be entertained because although they were on the same site, they were on different parts of that site. I would have liked to have seen the bandstand too!

    Rather than just campaign for the children's play equipment, can't everyone get together and campaign to the local authority for all three on the basis there is no sound reason for refusing permission for any of the proposals?

    By thurti365 at 11:00 on 21/09/12

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    I had a walk along the esplanade before lunch and was surprised really at how much space there is by the cafe and still fail to see what difference more play equipment would make in an established play area?

    By sarahmac at 13:15 on 21/09/12

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    Thurti365 - thanks for your post. I was joking when I suggested the grant! I had assumed that you were too as it is nigh on impossible to actually get a Councillor to listen to people when they have a seemingly sensible suggestion, never mind actually getting them to provide funding for community based activities.
    So I think that we are definitely on the same page as I totally agree with you - the whole situation is a mess. And this is in part caused by a lack of strategy on behalf of NSC which means that all of these separate projects are dealt with on a linear, one by one basis rather than, as both you and I and others realise, sitting down as a group and addressing the Lake Grounds situation as a whole and therefore planning its usage and sustainability for the next few years (this is what happens in most businesses - strategic planning saves time and resources but NSC really don't seem to have got their head around such things yet).
    And we considered all getting together (because that would be more sensible) but unfortunately, the Skate Park revives a whole load of issues that weren't resolved and we decided - rightly or wrongly - that if we align ourselves with other Lake Grounds issues our specific request i.e. play equipment, would simply be buried in red tape because that is how this Council tries to bore everyone into submission.
    So glad you are still on board. Please forward me any other suggestions and I hope you have filled in your survey!
    Thanks.

    By ceramicsqueen at 13:22 on 21/09/12

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    Sarahmac - I agree with you and that is why I was upset the NSC used the excuse that the play area was already adequately when it blatantly isn't because the real reason for them rejecting the offer of funding is because a few people apparently don't want to see the Lake Grounds 'overdeveloped'. Now, as someone who tries to be objective about these things, that is why I instigated a survey rather than a petition because I wanted to find out whether it is a few people or whether the majority of residents in Portishead feel that the addition of play equipment will over develop the Lake Grounds.
    So, we shall wait and see, and obviously if the majority of responses are against the play equipment then I shall take it no further.
    I also want to clarify your comment on the other posting about the High Down expansion.
    The reason that the majority of people on the play equipment campaign FB group are also in the expansion discussion is that I am a High Down parent. Therefore, when I asked for help, the majority of other people I know in Portishead are also High Down parents.
    So please don't think that there is any conspiracy etc. I just happen to have children who go to High Down and I also happen (at the same time, by co-incidence) to be a parent to a child who expressed their frustration with the equipment at the Lake Grounds so I followed it up with the Council.
    Thanks again for spreading the word - we have had a number of survey s back already and within the next couple of weeks, we will let you know what the results say and the hard copies of the surveys will be available for anyone who wants to see them

    By ceramicsqueen at 13:39 on 21/09/12

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    No thoughts of conspiracy, just wondered why suddenly people were sitting up and taking action, shame it hasn't happenned previously and more support was shown for other matters associated with providing for the youngsters of the town. You've probably already thought about it but maybe getting the Gordano School to hand out the survey to their pupils as was done a few years ago would also get feedback from the youngsters who would be using the equipment. And before the person who uses this site to stir the waters accusses me of hypocrisy, a survey is not a petition.

    By sarahmac at 13:48 on 21/09/12

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    Thanks sarahmac. We weren't sure if schools are able to hand out surveys to pupils; we are going to ask High Down and we have some parents from St Peters in the group so they were going to check as well. But it is interesting to know that Gordano did this before so maybe I will just ring round all the schools and ask. It''s just finding the time!........
    I have only lived in Portishead for 5 years and there have been a number of things that I am unhappy about but I believe that it is only people power that can change things and also people have to be passionate about their campaign, so to be fair I have picked my battles as there is not even time in the world to campaign for everything that is needed in Portishead.And as thurti365 mentioned, the whole point of this is that we should have Councillors who we have elected (and yes, I ALWAYS vote) who listen to concerns and campaign on our behalf. Otherwise, I do wonder what they are actually doing?
    Thanks again.

    By ceramicsqueen at 14:03 on 21/09/12

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  • Profile image for liese_stanley

    More relevant information regarding play equipment at the Lake Grounds can be found on the North Somerset Council website.

    Click on top tab" Environment"
    Click on No 1" Online Planning Application Search"
    Click" Online Planning Applications Service" (2nd down list)
    Type in" Lake Grounds"
    Click on October 2009 listing 09/P/1856/F
    Scan down to list of documents and click on listing of
    08 Sep 2010 Appeal Correspondence Whole Doc / Thumbnails THIRD PARTY
    A PDF file will open and scan to page 8(PDF page indicated as you pull the right cursor to scan downwards), look at particularly point 9 out of 10 that is very relevant to this subject.

    They don't make it easy to find this stuff do they!!!

    By liese_stanley at 17:24 on 21/09/12

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    @ ceramicsqueen. I was chatting to my sister who lives in Weston this morning and she wondered if you has seen this article. It appears NSC are handing over control of the play areas in Weston to the Town Council. Surely if Portishead Town Council took over the running of our towns play areas, especially the Lake Grounds then there would be no problem with installing both the new play equipment and the much needed skate park as the Town Council claim to fully support both projects and have only been prevented from doing so by NSC. It would probably go a long way to boosting the town councils popularity also if they agreed to it, after all the money for the equipment is already in place and the skate park project has always said it woul be raisning finance from sources other than the taxpayer so it would surely solve two problems in one go. No doubt it would also mean the bandstand could also be provided.

    http://tinyurl.com/cmelhvg

    By sarahmac at 13:31 on 22/09/12

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    Oh dear it would seem that I have stumbled on information regarding the Parish Wharf location for a skatepark or play equipment that some have found too sensitive. I find subterfuge can only exacerbate a situation whereas good honest , factual information helps. Obviously not everyone on this forum feels the same but why not, if we can all learn from it. I must be careful however now not to contravene Rule 3.

    By thurti365 at 14:17 on 22/09/12

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    The Parish wharf area was the initial choice of the Portishead Skatepark Project (PSP). However, this was ruled out by planning officers because of potential noise issues for surrounding apartments and houses (the water makes the matter worse with "audio bounce-off"). The criteria for distance from housing is 100m- further details available on PSP website.
    The area was revisited again by a group of town and district councillors, independently of the PSP, later in the process and again ruled out by environment officers for the same reasons.

    By liese_stanley at 15:22 on 22/09/12

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    Just to be clear the area at Parish wharf is also referred to as "Station Rd" in more recent documents from the council.

    By liese_stanley at 15:23 on 22/09/12

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    Hey Danpan- haven't heard back from Wing Trucks yet regarding my offer to meet, but why not come out from behind your pseudonym and join us. Deal is I bring proof of anything that I may have stated on this site and you bring personal ID.

    By liese_stanley at 09:21 on 23/09/12

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    Can I just say that as the person that originally asked the question about the Lake Grounds play equipment (yes, that was what we were all originally speaking about....it seems SO long ago since I asked the question!) that I feel very uncomfortable about some of the more recent postings on this forum.
    Everyone has the right to their own opinion and should be allowed to express it whatever that opinions is. However, the expectation - on a public forum - is that your opinions should be polite, non-personal and non-defamatory.
    Can I ask that if anybody wants to address individuals, then please go and start your own topic so that we can continue to discuss what REALLY matters to us? Which, on this forum, is North Somerset Council's refusal to grant consent for more play equipment and the potential reasons as to why they believe that is the right decision.
    Thank you all for your support. And I also wanted to let you know that we have had a pretty good response to the survey so far but we need more responses to show that we are open to opinions from EVERYONE in Portishead (and beyond, if appropriate).
    We are also currently working on an electronic version of the survey and as soon as that is ready, I will post a link to it.
    Thanks again and keep spreading the word!

    By ceramicsqueen at 11:46 on 23/09/12

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    Oh dear, it would seem that once again my revelation of factual information regarding the playground equipment proposal was not what some wanted to see. Now why would that be? To ceramicsqueen, I have sent you the same wording via your website link and at the same time have sent it to someone I think may be able to circulate it for me and even post it on the YouTube site that has previously been mentioned. If anyone else wants to see my words, I would be delighted to send you a copy if you email me at thurti365@gmail.com. To liese_stanley, thank you for your help and I accept your suggestion and will pass your name to others who like me, have a healthy interest in the facts even if others don't.

    Despite its faults, this forum has given me the glorious idea of using my time more constructively and seeking help to start a website where only the facts can be reproduced after written documentation has been provided in evidence. Anything that is posted will remain on view, no matter what!

    By thurti365 at 19:54 on 23/09/12

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    For those of you that are genuinely interested in this issue, and yes I still believe that is the majority of us in this thread, the online version of the Survey is now available.

    There is now no excuse - send this link to everyone you know and ask them to let us know how they are feeling about this issue.

    It is simple: the more responses we receive, the stronger our case is to North Somerset Council. And we want to hear from you whatever you think because the strength of our argument is that we asked what YOU want to do with the play park at the Lake Grounds - they didn't..........

    Here is the link:
    https://bristol.qualtrics.com//SE/?SID=SV_1TZUJhzqKQksGRD

    You can link to the Survey straight from here or cut and paste this link into your browser and off you go. Send this to friends, family, anyone who you think uses/ has used/ doesn't use the Lake Grounds. They don't have to live in Portishead, they just need to have an opinion about what the play park at the Lake Grounds is all about........

    Happy Surveying!

    https://bristol.qualtrics.com//SE/?SID=SV_1TZUJhzqKQksGRD

    By ceramicsqueen at 23:57 on 23/09/12

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    The online version of the survey is really helping to boost the number of respondents!

    https://bristol.qualtrics.com//SE/?SID=SV_1TZUJhzqKQksGRD

    Looks like we are going to have a good amount of information and findings to feedback to North Somerset and Portishead Town Councils.
    Please keep letting people know about the survey - just cut and paste the link into your emails to pass it on. Thank you!

    By ceramicsqueen at 00:01 on 26/09/12

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    The online version of the survey is really helping to boost the number of respondents!

    https://bristol.qualtrics.com//SE/?SID=SV_1TZUJhzqKQksGRD

    Looks like we are going to have a good amount of information and findings to feedback to North Somerset and Portishead Town Councils.
    Please keep letting people know about the survey - just cut and paste the link into your emails to pass it on. Thank you!

    By ceramicsqueen at 00:02 on 26/09/12

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  • Profile image for ceramicsqueen

    The online version of the survey is really helping to boost the number of respondents!
    https://bristol.qualtrics.com//SE/?SID=SV_1TZUJhzqKQksGRD
    Looks like we are going to have a good amount of information and findings to feedback to North Somerset and Portishead Town Councils.
    Please keep letting people know about the survey - just cut and paste the link into your emails to pass it on. Thank you!

    By ceramicsqueen at 00:02 on 26/09/12

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