Friday, 9 December 2016

Action group on housing set up

Residents have set up an action group, VALID (Villagers Against Local Intended Development), to
campaign against the proposals for 1,500 homes to be built at Coalpit Heath and the "Blackberry Park" plans for Woodlands Farm. To get involved or to ask to be kept updated, email

VALID are organising a group photo to be taken at 2pm on Saturday 10 December at the entrance to the Roundways fields near the Manor School. Everyone welcome.

Another 82 bus service cut

First Bus has announced yet another cut to an important bus service. This time the No. 82 service from Southmead Hospital via Cribbs Causeway to Yate will lose its last journey of the day. From 8 January the last bus will leave Southmead at 7.15 pm from Monday to Friday, almost an hour earlier and well before the end of visiting time.

This impacts people who work at Cribbs causeway too, not to mention shift workers boarding at other points along the route, and anybody who attends SGS Filton College in the evening. It makes it very hard for young people and those on minimum wage who work at the Mall, for example - their last bus will now be 7.30 pm instead of 8.24 pm.

If you use this service, please contact First and ask for the later journey to be brought back.

Claire Young has spoken  to a South Glos transport officer, who said it was a decision made commercially by First Bus and he would be speaking with them about the changes at their next review meeting.

Monday, 5 December 2016

Response from National Schools Commissioner

Today Claire Young received a response from the National Schools Commissioner, Sir David Carter, to her email of last week regarding the problems at The Ridings Federation. You can read her original email here and his response here.

Christmas rail disruption

From Saturday 24th December until Thursday 29th December London Paddington will be closed to all rail services.

This will mean that GWR rail services will start and finish at Ealing Broadway, from where you can take the underground or a bus. However, the station does not have step-free access. So if you are travelling with heavy luggage or find steps difficult for any reason you will need to change at Reading and use services from there to London Waterloo. Unfortunately that will mean a longer journey.

You can find out more on the GWR website.

Friday, 2 December 2016

Oasis withdraw Winterbourne International Academy bid

Oasis Community Learning has withdrawn its bid to take over Winterbourne International Academy. You can read their statement here.

This is welcome news for the many local people who have been campaigning to stop their bid. Last Saturday, hundreds of parents and students were joined by teachers and community representatives, at a peaceful demonstration outside Winterbourne International Academy. Well done to all involved in the campaign.

This is not the end of the story. Last month, the Education Funding Agency sent The Ridings Federation a Financial Notice to Improve. The Federation must get a recovery plan in place within the timescales set out. It's important that everyone locally comes together to ensure a bright future for both Winterbourne International Academy and Yate International Academy. The commitment shown in recent weeks suggests they will.

This process has also thrown up wider issues about the process for "re-brokering" academies that face difficulties, which lacks transparency and formal routes for parents to have their say . Earlier this week, before the announcement from Oasis, Claire Young wrote to the National Schools Commissioner asking questions about this situation but also asking for him to feed the wider concerns into the review of Multi-Academy Trusts currently being conducted by the Commons Select Committee on education.

Yate spur cycle path update

Consultation is expected to start soon on new parts of the Yate spur cycle path. South Glos Council will be looking for your views on them providing a shared use cycle/pedestrian path along the western side of Shire Way between the mini-roundabout and the Common and a refuge on the Nibley Lane arm of the Nibley Lane/Westerleigh Road junction. Depending on the feedback, construction of both is expected to take place next summer.

The engineers are awaiting results from ground investigations before starting the design of the section going under the Shire Way railway bridge in early 2017. They are liasing with Network Rail, who they hope will approve the design in the spring so construction can take place in the summer. Progress is also being made on a legal agreement with the landowner to enable the Westerleigh Road to Cornerways section to be completed, hopefully next spring.

That leaves the section from Dodmoor Crossing to the Nibley Lane junction. The engineers aim to approach landowners, process legal agreements and develop the design during 2017, so it can be constructed in 2018 if funding is available.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Calling all business owners - let's hear YOUR views on Brexit

The Liberal Democrats are asking business owners across the country about what impact they think Brexit will have on their businesses and what they are looking for from Government to reduce any negative impacts. Out and about in Chipping Sodbury earlier this week, we found that some had already felt the impact of the slump in the pound, with the cost of imported goods rising rapidly. If you're a local business owner, please complete our survey online before 12th December.