Friday, 24 March 2017

Unsung heroes receive awards

Nearly thirty unsung heroes and their families attended the 2017 Chair’s Community Awards at South Gloucestershire and Stroud College’s WISE Campus last week.

The annual awards recognise and celebrate the valuable contribution local unpaid volunteers make to life in South Gloucestershire.

Locally, Andrew Edgington, received a Community Award for his work as a founder member of the Good Neighbour Scheme and as part of Village Action. There were Long Service Community Awards for Anne and Tony Moulsdale, for serving on Henfield Hall committee for over 45 years, Bryan Quinlan, for his work in Rangeworthy over 56 years as an extremely active member of the Court Players, and Margaret Bracey for collecting money for the Royal British Legion for over 70 years and her work as a member of the Women's Royal Voluntary Service. Wapley Bushes Conservation Group received a Group Award.

Well done to all the winners!

Conservatives scrap committees

Conservatives have scrapped the decision making committees on South Gloucestershire Council in favour of a centralised ‘Leader and cabinet'. These means some decisions will be taken behind closed doors by a single cabinet member after talking to an officer, while others will be made by a cabinet of just a few Conservative councillors.

Councils in Britain were forced to adopt cabinets after Tony Blair came to power, but when the Liberal Democrats were in Government councils were given a choice.  In 2012, South Gloucestershire was one of the first in the country to return to open, democratic decisions made by committees sitting in public.

This time power will be even more concentrated in the hands of just a few councillors. Five years ago, we used to have a number of scrutiny committees looking at different areas of policy. This allowed people to specialise in particular areas of policy to scrutinise based on their interests and expertise. Now we will have a single scrutiny commission of 15 councillors trying to cover everything. The vast majority of councillors will not be part of either the cabinet or the scrutiny commission.

Police looking for "critical friend"

Could you be a "criticial friend" to the Police and Crime Commissioner and Avon and Somerset Constabulary on the use of police powers? If you are interested, you have until 12 April to apply to join the Scrutiny of Police Powers Panel that is being set up. For more information visit http://www.avonandsomerset-pcc.gov.uk/Openness/Scrutiny/Scrutiny-of-the-use-of-Police-Powers.aspx

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Replacement for Jorrocks House approved

An application to replace the bungalow called Jorrocks House in Westerleigh with three new houses has been narrowly approved by the DC (East) Planning Committee.

Local councillor Claire Young referred it to the committee after residents, the Parish Council and the council's Conservation officer expressed concerns about the scale of the developement. After the site visit, the applicant reduced the height of the houses by 1.2m. Members voted by 7 votes to 6 to approve this revised design.

Farm/Horse Watch number to change

The information text line for the rural community is to continue but with a brand new and long-term number 07492 888109. If you have previously saved 81819 please now delete and replace with this new number.

Please remember this is not a number to use to report crime or to call for police assistance and it will not be monitored 24/7. The number can be used to report information of people/vehicles seen behaving suspiciously in the rural community, potentially stolen goods etc. Alternatively you can report a crime online via http://www.avonandsomerset.police.uk or if it's a matter which requires immediate police attendance then dial 999. You can still also pass on information anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Monday, 20 March 2017

Nibley Lane to close for cleaning

Nibley Lane, between its junction with Badminton Road and its junction with Westerleigh Road, is expected to close for cleaning from 9.30am until 2.30pm on Wednesday 29th March.

Friday, 17 March 2017

82 bus service problems continue - but new evening journey promised

Local resident Ian Muirhead and
Cllrs Claire Young and Paul Hulbert

Along with her Focus team colleagues, Claire has been campaigning for a more reliable 82 bus service with a later bus back from the Mall. Sadly, we are still regularly receiving complaints about late running and cancelled buses, as covered by the Gazette newspaper this week. However there is some good news - from 30th April there will be a later journey for people returning from the Mall at 8.30pm.