South Glos Council Report
Frenchay Village Museum
I was really pleased to see that the Planning Committee overturned the planning officer’s recommendation and gave approval for the extension to Frenchay Museum. Local residents understand the importance of Frenchay Museum and the tireless dedication of the volunteers who run it. I am very grateful to all those residents who either spoke in support or sent me messages in advance of the committee meeting. I was able to highlight this level of support in my submissions to the committee and I am sure it played a part in convincing other Councillors to approve the plans.
In my view, granting the planning application was the right decision because the best way of conserving buildings is to ensure they have relevance today and a future use. There is no point in ‘conservation for conservation sake’ that would then lead to a building deteriorating, especially when it is in such a prominent location. I was really pleased that the planning committee listened to local views and the strong support for the proposed extension. I am hopeful that this will just be the start in providing improvements to the public realm around Frenchay and to ensuring that essential facilities are provided locally.
We will now look positively to the future and assist the Frenchay Museum committee in turning these plans into reality.
We know that many residents regularly make the short journey to Downend Library to use the various facilities. One of the common complaints was the lack of a toilet that was open to the public and this often caused issues for parents with young children when using the library.
I am pleased to report that funding was secured for a new toilet to be installed and work is currently taking place. Downend Library will reopen on Saturday 19 March 2022. We hope the additional facilities will help support the vital service that the library provides, especially considering the extra investment that was recently allocated as part of the Council’s budget to improve child literacy.
As we reported last year, Downend Library also operates a housebound library service that is open to residents in Frenchay. Volunteers or staff will deliver books or other materials to residents on a monthly basis. If you would like to sign up for the scheme then please contact Downend Library (01454 864773 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
Cllr Ben Burton