Monday, 20 June 2016

Purple flower at large in Newtown...

Another guest post from Debbie cousins about local wildlife:

Many Newtown gardens are currently bursting into life in a purple haze, thanks to this common garden plant. It is a type of Campanula or Bellflower and although it isn’t a native plant, bees and other insects love it. Recently I was tidying up my front garden and two people stopped to remark on this plant: one said how lovely the purple plant was, while a neighbour asked if it was a weed or whether it was meant to be there? There are a number of definitions for what a weed is, but the most popular is probably ‘A wild plant growing where it is not wanted and in competition with cultivated plants’. So it’s not a ‘weed’ as it isn’t a wild plant, but rather it is a cultivated plant that can get a bit rampant!

Due to its open flower structure, it is popular with pollinating insects such as bees and I recently photographed a female red-tailed bumblebee busy collecting pollen from the flowers. She seemed to be weighed down by the pollen baskets on her hind legs that she uses to collect the pollen.

So while this Bellflower might need keeping under control so that it doesn’t swamp all of your other plants, please retain some of the cheerful blooms for people and wildlife to enjoy!

Friday, 10 June 2016

Areawide permit parking for Park Ward and Crescent Road safety?

Above: map showing current residents’ parking situation in the south of Park Ward. A bigger version can be found at the end of the council report linked to below.

Following a number of petitions from residents in Park Ward asking the council to look into permit parking, the council is proposing developing and consulting on an areawide scheme. These petitions (and the survey for Holmes Road down to Green Road which isn't indicated on the map) have been prompted by existing parking problems, the general creep of residents’ parking and the prospect of a large residents’ parking scheme in the Redlands area.

More information can be found in the council report here:

As the report says there are a number of schemes ahead of this one in the queue, so unfortunately I suspect it will be a while until the scheme is developed, and consulted upon but we will keep up the pressure.

We don’t believe residents’ parking on its own will solve our parking congestion problems. We will keep up the pressure for better walking and cycling facilities, cheaper public transport and car sharing schemes.

The same report splits out Crescent Road safety measures into a separate stream of work which will hopefully get going as soon as possible. As there are now three large schools on this stretch of road, usage has increased and so have issues.

We will keep working to improve the area. We will also keep you informed (email me if you want to get updates on schemes in your road: Let us know what you think.

Tackling Palmer Park puddles

This was from a while ago, but we have made a bit of progress tackling some of the puddles in Palmer Park. Still some way to go though. Where is the worst puddle at the moment?

Dear Cllr Williams

Thank you for your enquiry about the drainage problems in Palmer Park. I can advise the following in relation to the actions we discussed:

The drain on the corner of the footpath outside the football courts (D1 on your original plan) has now been cleaned and connected into the nearby soakaway (SA). The adjacent footpath (F3) has also been re-profiled to prevent puddling. This work was completed a week ago and we expect to see a significant benefit when it next rains.

The drain on the main driveway that was blocked (D3) has been cleaned. I will now put all of these drains onto the twice annual cleaning programme.

I have not yet received quotations for installing soakaways at the two other areas of footpath that flood (F1 and F2). I will arrange for these and let you know the likely costs as soon as possible.

Please let me now if you have any further questions about this matter.

Monday, 6 June 2016

Redlands parking meeting June 2016...progress

Kizzi and I attended the Redlands parking scheme meeting. I had to leave the meeting early to help put James to bed, but just before I left, after a bumpy start, things were looking promising for putting the scheme on pause – as we have been asking for.

One of the Labour councillors backing the scheme said that if there was lots of opposition to the scheme, as there was at the meeting, through the public consultation which finishes on Friday then the scheme could be put on hold.

So please respond to the consultation. We are also delivering a letter updating residents. If you have time to deliver a road let us know (

Together we can make a difference and pause the scheme so a better one can be developed with residents, hospital staff and visitors to the hospital.

Finally, well done to John for organising the meeting and well done everyone for turning up.