Clifton eNews - August 2020

Good morning,

Welcome to Clifton eNews! This is our regular newsletter to let you know what's going on in City Hall and Westminster. We hope you find it useful and informative, but if you have any questions or comments then please don't hesitate to get in touch.

In this edition:

1. Looking after Clifton

2. Council payoffs continue

3. Residents’ parking permit fiasco

4. Consultation on houses of multiple occupation

5. Holy Trinity clock bells silenced

6. New Covid-19 test centre opening at Victoria Rooms

7. Ways you can have your say!




1. Looking after Clifton

Local Liberal Democrat Nicholas Coombes has been fixing street issues across Clifton.

He has reported pavement problems on Victoria Square, Frederick Place, Queens Road and Tottenham Place, as well as the broken Goldney Road sign. The council has already started to make repairs.

“Many Clifton residents we speak to say they are concerned about uneven pavements,” said Nicholas Coombes. “I’m happy to do my bit to look after our neighbourhood.”

You can report a street issue at


2. Council payoffs continue

Bristol City Council has spent millions on unreported payoffs to council staff.

Twenty-four former staff were given over £100,000 each in exit payments since 2016 by the Labour-run council. Government guidance says that big payoffs should be approved by the full council, but none of the payments were.

This is the latest revelation in an investigation that has been led by Lib Dem councillors in to a series of payouts to departing council staff, including an unnecessary payment of £98,000 to a Chief Executive who left after only 7 months.


3. Residents’ parking permit fiasco

Residents will no longer be notified when their parking permit expires, but they will still be fined.

This is the result of the council’s decision to outsource the residents’ permit system, but not to transfer the necessary information. The Labour run council claim that data protection rules stop them from providing information to enable payment reminders.

Many residents have already been disadvantaged by the switch to digital only permits, introduced without any warning or consultation. Without a paper permit or a reminder email, many users could get caught out.

“This latest frustration is the result of the council’s inept contracting,” says Clifton Liberal Democrat Nicholas Coombes. “I have taken it up with the Mayor and will press for a resolution.”

Permit users will need to re-register at


4. Consultation on houses of multiple occupation

Houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) are common in our area. The council is currently seeking views about how we can manage these properties to protect tenants and encourage balanced communities. Have a look at the proposals and submit your suggestions by 11 September.


5. Holy Trinity clock bells silenced

The clock at Holy Trinity church in Hotwells will no longer strike the hours.

The vicar and churchwardens have decided to temporarily silence the bells following complaints from neighbours. They are investigating the potential to only sound the hours during the day, but this would require a costly change to the mechanism.

Holy Trinity want to work with their local community to find a compromise, but are unable to fund any changes alone.


6. New Covid-19 test centre opening at Victoria Rooms

A new Covid-19 testing site has been opened in our area at the rear of the Victoria Rooms on St Paul’s road. Anyone with symptoms, no matter how mild, will be able to book a swab test which will give results the following day. Tests can be booked online at or by calling 119.

You can find out the list of symptoms at the NHS website:


7. Ways you can have your say!

There are a number of open consultations which you can contribute to at the moment. They allow your thoughts to be heard on a range issues that affect our area.

The council are consulting about improvements to the A4018/A37 transport corridor, which includes Whiteladies road. They want to hear your thoughts about making this route better for cyclists, pedestrians and public transport. You can submit comments up until 11th of September here:

Post-pandemic we must transition to more sustainable forms of transport and this includes encouraging walking and cycling in our area. The council have set up an interactive map where you can suggest possible improvements to cycling and walking infrastructure in our area. Add your thoughts here:

Cycling group Cycle Sunday have launched proposals to establish a new cycling and walking route around the Downs. This would see new, wider paths be installed as well as a new crossing on Circular Road. You can find out more and have your say at:



If you'd like to know more about our work and the goings on in City Hall then look out for our paper newsletters delivered around Clifton or follow us online on Facebook or Twitter!


Best Wishes,

Nicholas Coombes

Clifton Liberal Democrats

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