Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Cabot Circus: best shopping centre in the world?!?!

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This is getting beyond a joke. Good sense, common experience and well thought out honest assessment was recently defied: when Bristol was shortlisted to be European Green Capital; when the city came top of Forum for the Future's Sustainable Cities Index and was called the greenest city in the UK. Now there is yet more ridiculous and laughable hype as the local paper reports that 'Cabot Circus is"best in the world" ', stating:

Cabot Circus in Bristol has been named the best shopping centre of the year - despite being open just two months.

An international panel of expert judges selected Bristol's new £500m retail centre from a shortlist of three leading shopping centres, including Forum Mersin in Turkey and Zlote Tarasy in Poland.

Judges for the MAPIC EG Retail Awards praised the "seamless integration" of Cabot Circus into Bristol and the impact that the 1.5 million sq ft development has had on the rest of the city since it opened in September.

They said Cabot Circus had "changed the entire city and for one shopping centre to do that is quite an achievement".

Bristol City Council Leader Helen Holland yet again goes massively over the top with her 'wonderful' and 'stunning' judgements on this bunch of shops selling masses of imported goods and very inaccurately states that 'Bristol has the most powerful city economy in the UK outside London...'.

If Cabot Circus is so good that its changed the entire city where is the solid evidence, gathered over time? If its about Bristol where does it prominently feature local products? If it's consistent with the green city/capital ambition why the focus on driving to the very large car park? Where are the genuinely green products? Why are plastic bags given out left right and centre?? Why no mention of how it has increased Bristol's already very large and unsustainable footprint?

As I've emphasised before, 'The focus of Cabot Circus is more global economy than local economy, more about a small number of people getting rich than local people meeting their needs. Would it not have been much more valuable to individuals, neighbourhoods and communities in Bristol to get together a proper strategy to maintain and develop shops, services and jobs in each locality? We need development to be localised. Cabot Circus is a million miles from local production for local needs yet this is the pattern of development we need for a happier, healthier, fairer, greener and more convivial city!'

Keep Castle Park Green...

Received the details below from a friend and am passing them on:

Keep Castle Park Green. Come to the public inquiry

Bristol City Council and the developers Deeley Freed are still intent on building on our green space. In a bid to stop this, Castle Park User Group submitted an application to the council to register Castle Park as a Town Green. If successful, the green space will be permanently protected from development. The council and the developers constitute the main objectors to the proposal and the issue is going to a public inquiry.

Support the move to protect our green space for all time.

The public inquiry begins on 1st December 10.00 a.m. at the Old Council House, Corn Street, Bristol.

Assemble 9.15am outside the Old Council House bring banners and placards.

The inquiry is due to run for one week, with two evening sessions.

The times are 10.00am to 5.00pm each day, plus Monday & Wednesday 6.00pm to 8.00pm.

There is more information on the internet at:-