Thursday, 25 October 2007

Weekly food waste campaign success

Liberal Democrats across South Gloucestershire are today celebrating that their long campaign for FREE weekly kerbside collection of food waste in the green bins has been successful. The scheme is set to go ahead for all residents by the end of 2008.

“This is great news” said Cllr. Dave Hockey (Lib Dem – Frampton Cotterell). “We have been campaigning on this since 2005 and our success means:

  • good news for local residents because weekly collection will cut problems with smelly food waste and free up space in their black bins;

  • good news for the environment since methane gas, a bi-product of biodegradable waste buried in landfill sites, is 21 times more damaging to the environment than carbon emissions;

  • good news for council tax payers who are set to avoid penalties rising from £1m per year in 2009 to over £5m per year by 2020”.

“One down, one to go” added Dave Hockey. “SITA know from their own Customer Satisfaction Survey carried out at the start of 2007 that residents are even more keen to see the introduction of kerbside collection of plastic bottles, which the Liberal Democrats have been campaigning for strongly over many years – watch this space!”.

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

South Glos goes text friendly

Following a suggestion by Lib Dem councillors, you can now text South Gloucestershire Council with general enquiries about services, thanks to the launch of a text messaging service.

By saving the number 07950 080 111 to your mobile phone, you can text in your enquiries - maybe to tell South Glos about a problem while you're out and about. The new service will also help people with hearing impairments.

Texts will go directly to the council's customer services contact centre where staff will try to answer your enquiry and respond by text during the next working day.

Texts may be subject to the normal charge by your mobile phone network provider.

To find out more about this service please visit the South Glos website.

Gordon Brown says no to Frenchay Hospital Review

At Prime Minister's Question Time Gordon Brown has refused to consider an independent review of the Frenchay Hospital decision. See Steve Webb's blog entry here.

Saturday, 20 October 2007

Lib Dems call to account Tory plans to halt Nibley park-and-ride

Liberal Democrat Councillors are appealing to the South Gloucestershire Conservative Administration to rethink their decision to put the Nibley park-and-ride on hold. Councillors Pat Hockey and Claire Young (pictured above at the site) are among five Liberal Democrat councillors who have asked that the decision be reconsidered at the next meeting of the Planning Transportation and Strategic Environment select committee on the 28th of November 2007.

The Executive Member issued a press release and started the decision making process without any consultation, despite having made a commitment a few weeks earlier that he would continue the practice of always consulting appropriate Councillors before publishing his proposed decisions. This leaves very little time to object – and certainly cuts out the local people from having their say.

As the Tories have always claimed in the past that their Transport Policy is based on Park & Ride where does this leave us? They criticised the Lib Dems for not progressing Nibley fast enough as it was to be the first of the proposed “necklace of Park & Ride ” sites to combat the traffic jams.

There is no need for the Tories to take the Nibley money for the P&R at Parkway as they are now suggesting. This was planned to go ahead this year anyway. It can only be used for rail passengers in the short term until the problem of extra buses through Stoke Gifford has been solved. We have Yate station if we want to travel to Bristol or the MOD by train. It certainly won’t do anything to cut the queues on the Ring Road and through Coalpit Heath and Winterbourne!

Claire Young said “Whatever concerns local residents had about the P&R site, I am sure, like me, they will be even more concerned that there may now be other plans for it that we aren’t being told about”.

Grants for local organisations

If you are involved in a local charity or community group, you may want to apply for a South Gloucestershire Council Small Grant. You have until 19th November to get your application in and can apply online. The Grants will be allocated at the Frome Vale Area Forum in March.

Unusually at the September meeting the Capital Grants had been undersubscribed so there is a small pot of money still available. The Council is therefore running a second round of Capital Grants at the same time as the Small Grants.

Friday, 19 October 2007

Lib Dem Leadership - have YOUR say

If you've been thinking about joining the Liberal Democrats, and you would like a say in who the new Leader will be, now is the time to join. Our understanding is that if you join before 4pm on 31 October you will be able to vote in the leadership election.

You can join the Lib Dems online here or you can contact any of the local Focus Team.

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Local Democracy Week

This week is Local Democracy Week - you can learn more at the Local Democracy Campaign website. Yesterday Claire Young visited a local primary school to compare notes with members of the School Council and see if there was anything they could learn from each other. Afterwards there was a chance to sample a school dinner.

Saturday, 13 October 2007

Detailed plans for new Council offices

The detailed plans for the new Council offices at the junction of Badminton Road and Stover Road are now available online. You can view them using the Search planning applications service on the Council's website. The reference number is PT07/3002/R3R.

Consulting the over 50s

South Gloucestershire Council are currently running a consultation on their draft strategy for the over 50s. You can find it at The consultation runs until 20 Dec 2007 and a photo and poetry competition is being run as part of it.

Thursday, 11 October 2007

Applying for a school place?

If you're applying for a school place for next year, it's vital that your application meets the deadline of 4.30pm on Friday 19 October, otherwise it will be treated as a late application and dealt with after those received on time. With further postal strikes possible, the safest bet is to apply online at or hand deliver your form to Student Access and Support Team, South Gloucestershire Council, Department for Children and Young People, Riverside Court, Bowling Hill, Chipping Sodbury, South Gloucestershire BS37 6JX.

There's also another alternative - if forms are handed in to ANY main South Gloucestershire office they can be put into the internal post, which is collected and delivered twice a day. You can save your time/petrol and go to the nearest main office, for example Yate One-Stop Shop.

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Civic Service

The five South Gloucestershire Councillors from this area attended the Civic Service at Tortworth Church on Sunday. Sandra O'Neill (Charfield) is currently Chair of Council and the host for this event. As well as Councillors and Council officers, there were representatives from the emergency services and a whole range of community organisations. The collection was split between the church and Paul's Place, Sandra's chosen charity for the year, which has its base near Coalpit Heath.

Afterwards attendees were able to take a tour of Leyhill Open Prison.

Safer Stronger Community Group in the news

The Gazette have covered last week's Safer Stronger Community Group meeting.

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Frampton Cotterell/Westerleigh Safer Stronger Community Group

Last night the Safer and Stronger Community Group met at the Zion Church Hall in Frampton Cotterell to set the priorities for the next quarter. The top priorities were:

  1. Drugs and anti-social behaviour at Crossbow park and Park Farm

  2. Speeding at Westerleigh

  3. Westerleigh Village Weight Restriction

MP dishes it out for Meals on Wheels

To help celebrate national Meals on Wheels Week, Steve Webb MP visited King Edmund School and helped to dish up the dinners.

Meals on wheels is 60 years old and here in South Gloucestershire the service is changing to a new and innovative scheme where school kitchens are used to provide fresher and more nutritional meals to older and disabled people.

Six schools are already signed up to the new look service, St Chad's Patchway Primary School, Bradley Stoke Community School, Hanham High School, Kingsfield Secondary School, King Edmund Community School and Mangotsfield Secondary School.

By the end of the year the scheme is expected to roll out to the rest of the district. The benefit to clients is that they will be eating the same fresh and organic produce used by the school meals service, and, they have a direct link with the local school, bringing communities closer together.

When they let the new assistant chef out of the kitchen, Steve helped to deliver meals to the local area.

Picture: Steve Webb and Cllr Howard Gawler delivering to Mrs Jones of Yate.