It was great to be out carol singing in Podsmead on Wednesday 20th December.
Working with the local PCSOs from Gloucestershire Constabulary and the Blackbridge Charitable Community Benefit Society, we were able once again to hold an event in Earls Park, and then later on in Scott Avenue.
For the first event we had The Salvation Army Gloucester band, and many thanks to Phil Webb and his colleagues for leading the music.
For choirs we had members of the Ecclesiastical Insurance Gloucester staff choir, which my wife Vicki runs, and the City of Gloucester Community Choir which we co-run, and the community sang along heartily. There was a brilliant turn out at both events and at Earls Park we had some lovely singing from young and old. We also had appearances from Santa 🎅
Ecclesiastical have generously offered to double any donations made on the night to the Salvation Army, which is fantastic news.
There were refreshments and more singing at Scott Avenue and my thanks go to Debbie, Debbie, Jim and Kelly-Marie for all they did to organise the events.
Truly the community spirit in Podsmead is alive and well.
I was pleased to see that the street sign on Podsmead Road, which was covered over with vegetation, has now been uncovered at my urging. It took quite a while what with both councils telling me it was the responsibility of the other. Some of these small jobs are taking too long to get done.
I was very sorry to see the Club at Tuffley Park close earlier this year, when the company running it went into liquidation. I sympathise with anyone who lost money through cancelled events.
I have been in regular contact with the city council, who own the building, about its future. There has been much interest from local firms, charities and organisations in taking it over.
I am adamant that the tenant who takes this on will need to run it as a genuine community resource. I would expect to work proactively with them, as well as the excellent Friends of Tuffley Park 🌳 to bring the Club on and embed them in the Podsmead community.
At the moment the council are still responding to questions from interested parties, and once these are answered they will be convening a panel to review the shortlisted applicants. I hope to be a part of this panel as the local city councillor.
The building needs some repairs due to the recent bad weather and being empty for so long, so it unlikely to be open until the new year.
I will continue to work proactively with the council to bring this valuable community resource back into use as soon as possible.
After residents contacted me about the new traffic calming scheme on Tuffley Avenue, I have been liaising with the Highways manager for the area and raising my concerns.
One point I have mentioned several times is that traffic is building up around the entrance to Newark Road, as there is a buildout and speed bump installed very near to the exit/entrance from Newark onto Tuffley Avenue.
Residents have found it very difficult to get out of their road, especially in the mornings.
The county council have agreed with me and the residents that a KEEP CLEAR box is needed and this will be carried out in the new year.
Christmas shoppers in Gloucester can enjoy an early Christmas present with parking for free this December to help support city centre businesses.
Gloucester City Council is helping to encourage shoppers to support local and independent retailers in the run up to Christmas by offering free parking after 3pm on Thursdays.
The offer will apply to the Eastgate Shopping Centre and Kings Walk Shopping Centre car parks which have over 600 spaces between them. The free parking will allow shoppers not to feel rushed and to enjoy late-night shopping too.
Also to celebrate Small Business Saturday and to back Gloucester’s wealth of independent businesses, three car parks will be free all day on Saturday, 2 December – Westgate Street, Station Road and Hare Lane North Car Park.
Gloucester BID will also launch its Reindeer Trail as part of Small Business Saturday, to help shoppers to get into the festive mood and will also be bringing out a new map showing people where Gloucester’s unique and thriving independent shops can be found.