Everyone in Southmead knows the importance of the Ranch and the huge place it has in the history of the estate. There are so many families that have used the playground for three generations and it is one of the lynchpins of our community. Last summer there was a sense of joy and relief as we celebrated with Learning Partnership West (LPW) at the Ranch as they committed to the playground for 5 years. However, at the end of half-term there was once again concern across Southmead as rumours started to spread that LPW were leaving and the Ranch’s future was once again in doubt.
At the time of writing we still don’t have clarity as to the position of LPW. We know that the 5-year contract is on the table but has not made to fund work with young people aged 11-18. LPW have been involved with all conversations and have been aware of the changes since February 2017, months before they hosted the party in Southmead. However, what the past few weeks has demonstrated, once again, is the passion and commitment of Southmead.
Within hours of the news coming from the Ranch, a petition was up and running and Suzanne Simons gave an amazing interview on Radio Bristol. Cllr Brenda Massey and I know how much the Ranch means to everyone and we are determined to make sure it stays open and remains a vibrant, safe and happy place to play for today’s children.