Friday, 23 February 2018

Confusion over recycling rules

The new weekly recycling system was supposed to make it easier for people to recycle their waste but for some residents that hasn't been the case.

Having been contacted by local people confused by the recycling instructions on the bin hangers, Claire Young questioned the relevant council Cabinet Member at last week's council meeting.

The bin hanger says that items of the same kind should be grouped together in boxes. What some people weren't clear about was the fact that if you only have a small amount of recycling, you can put it all in one box. You just need to group similar items together within it.

Unfortunately it appears the collection crews aren't clear either. One crew refused to collect recycling presented in a single box and left new recycling bags with flyers insisting residents must use those.

This is absolutely not the case. You don't need to use bags at all, you can put all your recycling in one, two or more green boxes. Just make sure that you group similar items together to make it easier for the crews to sort.

You can find more detailed advice here. If you think your recycling has been rejected when it was presented correctly, you can report a missed collection here. If you need to speak to someone you can call 01454 868000. Do let your Focus Team know if you are having ongoing problems.

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Call for regeneration action

Local councillor Claire Young has called upon South Gloucestershire Council to kick-start the regeneration of the “western gateway to Yate.”

Although on the edge of Yate, most of the industrial estates are in Westerleigh and Iron Acton Parishes. With the Conservatives proposing thousands of new homes in the area, it's vital we have the jobs to go with them and an improved Yate station that links all the different forms of transport together.

The recent sale of Stover Road Trading Estate and the development of the new Local Plan make this the ideal time to look again at this issue. At last week's council meeting, Claire asked the Leader of Council to bring together the owners of all the trading estates and involve local councillors in the process. He was non-committal but your Focus Team will keep pressing for action.

South Glos Mines Research Group - AGM and talk

The South Glos Mines Research Group are holding their AGM and what they jokingly refer to as a “Boring” Talk on Wednesday 7th March 2018 in the Miners (aka Coalpit Heath Village Hall).

The AGM is 7:30pm for a prompt 8:00pm start followed at about 9:15pm by a short talk by David Hardwick on Boreholes in South Gloucestershire. Non-members are welcome for a charge of £2.

Monday, 19 February 2018

Coalsack Lane to close for repairs

Coalsack Lane will be closed from Monday 26th February to allow repair works to be carried out.

Friday, 16 February 2018

Budget passed with £36m in cuts and 5.99% council tax increase

On Wednesday the Conservatives on South Gloucestershire set a budget containing £36 million in cuts in 2019-2022, including over £16 million from adult and children's social services. This was despite a 5.99% council tax rise, including 3% for social care services.

Last week Claire Young chaired a detailed scrutiny of the budget where the Conservatives admitted they don't yet know how many of these cuts will be made. While the Liberal Democrats support some elements, such as the ongoing commitment to keeping free parking to support our town centres and  money for school improvement, we could not support a budget with so many holes and no proposals of how to fill them.

Councils across the country are being squeezed by the Conservative Government. An amendment, seconded by Claire, was passed noting with dismay the ongoing reduction in central government Settlement Funding for South Gloucestershire Council and its impact on the council's core spending power.

Council car park extension approved

Last week the planning committee unanimously approved the application to extend the car park at the Badminton Road council offices. Having listened to the concerns raised by residents and ward councillor Claire Young, an additional condition around lighting was added to try to limit the impact on local residents. However local residents remain concerned about the impact the extension will have on them.

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Claim a partial power of attorney refund

If you applied for lasting powers of attorney (LPA) or enduring powers of attorney (EPA) between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2017, you can claim a refund of part of your fee. More information is available on the Government website.