New survey seeks views on issues surrounding the Bearpit.

A survey has been drawn up by Councillor Ani Stafford Townsend and other local ward councillors on behalf of the local Bearpit stakeholders including Bristol City Council, Avon and Somerset Police, the Bearpit Improvement Group and the Bearpit traders.

The objective is to gather a clear picture of how people in Bristol feel about the Bearpit and the issues that surround it.

Screen Shot 2015-12-11 at 11.49.14Over the last five years, tremendous strides have been made in making the Bearpit, once a place associated predominantly with drinking, drug use and anti-social behaviour, into a welcoming space for the people of Bristol. This has been achieved through a great partnership between the various stakeholders and the space has undergone a real transformation. It has seen a flowering of art and performance, served as a place to gather for meetings to discuss the issues of the day and, at the same time, has continued to provide a place for homeless people to sit and, where necessary, to sleep. The work of all those involved, and the positive activity generated, has brought the Bearpit to life and made it a space for people to spend time rather than rush through it as quickly as possible or take a route to avoid it altogether.

In recent months, however, anti-social behaviour has been increasing. This could be due to a number of factors, including the closure of a local hostel and squats. Although the situation has improved slightly in recent weeks due to an increased police presence, the behaviour of some of the people using the space remains a problem. A key part of the strategy for maintaining the Bearpit as a vibrant space is to encourage people to use it, whether as a route to somewhere else or as a place to linger, have a coffee or buy some groceries. If people are discouraged from using the Bearpit in this way, then there is a danger that it will revert to the no-go area it was before the improvement work started.

The survey is one of the results of recent meetings of the various stakeholders to analyse and work out a solution to the problem. Key to this is ascertaining how people feel about the Bearpit and the behaviour of some of those who use it. The feedback will be very helpful in the formulation of the strategy to manage the situation and to ensure that the Bearpit continues to be a vibrant part of the Bristol landscape.

The link to the survey is here. It’s multiple choice, will take no longer than five minutes to complete and is entirely confidential. Please do complete it and help us to continue the work.

Survey link: