April 2024: Opinion

Our money could be better spent

To my utter astonishment and concern I understand that £600,000 funded by the West of England Mayor is to be spent ‘tarting up’ the 80 metres or so of Princess Victoria Street at a cost of £7,500 per metre which have already been closed off with signage and flower boxes. This was at a substantial cost and to the detriment of local residents to become a so called amenity area. It was rejected by 67% of the local community and was forced through against their wishes by the Green councillors.

A similar £600,000 project has already been carried out on Cotham Hill, but it is very difficult to see exactly what this very large sum of money has been spent on. The roadway was re-surfaced in red for the use of pedestrians and bicycles only, lots of new signage and new flower boxes (at £1,000 each) being exactly the same model as are in Princess Victoria Street now.

In comparison, in Waterloo Street adjacent to the proposed Princess Victoria Street scheme, the road surface has now all but totally broken up and to my certain knowledge it has not been re-surfaced for over 40 years only being patched up from time to time. The One Way signs and road markings are now largely missing and the road has become a death trap due to regular two-way traffic.

£50,000 was extracted from the residents of Canynge Square in addition to the supposed £100,000 from council funds to fill in a comparatively small hole which appeared three years ago in the square gardens. These gardens are owned by the council after acquiring them gratis during WWII for a water tank, the council having previously refused to return the garden to the residents who currently pay for its upkeep. At the local playground, again council owned, it was refurbished (badly I understand, needing extra remedial work) largely from public crowdfunding and from a charity at a cost of over £100,000. The spoil heaps from the playground refurbishment need yet more money to remove. These to me are eye-watering sums of money.

I therefore do wonder and have great concern on what is really going on regarding allocation and control of spending in Clifton.

It is not difficult to find other projects in Clifton and nearby on which over a million pounds could be better spent. Closer scrutiny and tighter financial control of public and other funding being allocated to current projects to the neglect of others more needy is urgently needed.

Dr Don Shapland, Clifton

Have you lost some cash?

Shortly after midday on Monday February 19, I found a sum of money on the pavement near the junction of Whiteladies Rd and Cotham Hill, presumably dropped without intent.

I would of course be happy to return this to the rightful owner, but, to make sure the claimant is genuine, ask them to specify the sum, the permutated denominations of notes and/or coins, and the condition thereof.

Francis Harvey

Support on offer for unpaid carers

DO you look after someone? Or perhaps you know someone who does?

Families, friends and neighbours often provide crucial care for someone who couldn’t manage without their help.

You could be caring for a relative, partne or friend who is ill, frail, disabled or has mental health or substance misuse problems. 

Carers Support Centre runs monthly carers support groups for unpaid carers in Bristol and South Gloucestershire.

The groups are safe, confidential spaces to meet with other carers to share information and provide support for each other.  

We also run an online group for those who can’t make it in person.

If you would like to join one of our groups, please contact CarersLine on 0117 965 2200 from Monday to Friday, 10am-1pm or Monday to Thursday, 2-4pm, or email carersline@carerssupportcentre.org.uk.

Adrian Robson, Carers Support Centre