Looking to the new year at The Centurion Pub
Regulars at The Centurion Pub in Twerton celebrated New Year’s Eve with a colourful fancy dress disco.
It was good to see so many people enter into the spirit of the event, with folk up dressed as naval officers, gangsters, pirates and other fun characters.
The atmosphere was exciting, the music was pumping, and quite a sociable gathering of people had come to see the New Year in.
Landlord Gary Ashton and Landlady Becky Barnes have been running The Centurion for 18 months and have just signed a longer lease.
They are looking at ways to develop the pub with Sunday lunches and other ideas.
The Centurion already attracts quite a mix of people from different walks of life. Younger generation people usually spend time in the newly refurbished bar, while some elderly gents like to call in at the lounge area during the afternoon.
Staff hope that in 2013 The Centurion will go on developing into a community pub.
New barber shop in Southdown
A brand new barber shop has opened up next to the Bombay Balti takeaway at Mount Road, Southdown. The Mount Road Barber Shop has been trading since about October 2012.
The Mount Road Barbers have their own Facebook page which is proving popular and is used to send out regular information. Today the page was telling us that they will be open on Christmas Eve.
I called into the shop to get a haircut about a month ago and I thought that the service was good. The young lad ahead of me was getting his tramlines neatly finished off, and he seemed very pleased with them. The shop is building up a customer base as more people discover it, and the prices definitely beat those you get in town.
The other barber shop at Southdown is the ‘Candy Box’ at the bottom of Rushill.
Are councillors “listening to” and “working with” the community?
A newsletter has gone through doors in South West Bath, representing the Liberal Democrat councillors for the Twerton, Westmoreland and Southdown wards.
The newsletter indicates that these councillors are genuinely trying to do some good. For example, we read that Councillor Gerry Curran is setting up a group to maintain the wood in Twerton (contact Gerry at: firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested). All of the councillors plan to launch Community Action Days soon.
The newsletter also claims that these councillors are “listening to” and “working with” local residents. But for reasons of balance, it might be useful to challenge those claims.
Criticisms of what goes on in South West Bath could be as follows.
Ideas that the Twerton councillors are “working with” the community are open to debate, since residents and paid community workers talk about the lack of interest shown in the parts of Twerton south of Twerton Infant School.
Some discrimination against this area is apparent in the actions of the lead Twerton councillor:-
1) Resisting holding PACT meetings in the southern half of Twerton
2) Resisting the development of the Southside Centre
3) Supporting a residents group to hand in a constitution claiming to represent all of Twerton, but then quietly advising them to concentrate on the lower stretches of Twerton
There are also positives signs, including efforts to install a community noticeboard at Wedgewood Road. But a lot of ground has to be covered before the Twerton councillors can be said to be working well with the whole community.
This is the ward covering the area called East Twerton. The Liberal Democrats have not got a good reputation for engagement with residents in Westmoreland. Instead, it is the Independent councillor, June Player, who has risen to the fore as the figure who really engages with the community and inspires community action.
So where do the Westmoreland Liberal Democrats go from here? They have not strongly supported Councillor Player’s work to promote community action. But if they try to prompt community action of their own, they risk generating divides within the community.
The Southdown councillors have shown good engagement with local residents e.g. through their Ward Surgery and support for community projects.
Where they have been weaker, is in not fully supporting existing networks in the community such as the Time Bank, youth services and interagencies. When the RE:generate Trust was commissioned to help residents set up community projects, its workers ignored these existing networks – with the result that projects fizzled out and other workers in the community were undermined.
Councillors must believe in well-connected communities, and not just promote the ‘spin’ surrounding the work of the RE:generate Trust while ignoring the problems that arise. This is a view held by a range of agencies working across South West Bath.
On reflection, there are many positive aspects of these councillors’ work but also significant problems which the newsletter conceals. If this newsletter marks a fresh attempt to work with communities in the New Year, then the above problems need to be addressed.
News bits and pieces, 21st December
Play Ranger Times
The Community Play Rangers organise free play opportunities for children in local parks and open spaces. Parents have said they want the children playing where there is light in the evening.
So now play sessions run on Mondays at the bottom of Roundhill (near the YMCA building) and on Wednesdays at Rosewarn Close, Whiteway. Both sessions are held from 3.30pm to 6.30pm.
Twerton Toy Library
The Toy Library at Twerton is a little known but important resource that helps families to improve their child’s toy learning experience. It is held in The Hut next to Costcutter at Newton Road, opening every other Saturday from 10am to 12 noon.
Dates for the Toy Library are: January 5th and 19th; February 2nd and 16th; March 2nd and 16th; April 6th and 20th; May 4th and 18th; June 1st and 15th; July 6th and 20th; August – shut.
Carols by Candlelight
‘Carols by Candlelight’ will be happening at St Michael’s Church, Twerton, on Sunday 23rd December at 6.30pm. Carols, candles, a (very) big Christmas tree, mulled wine and mince pies await.