Thursday, 24 December 2009

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

New footway on Manor Road

Construction of the new footway on Manor Road, between Chaingate Lane and Tanhouse Lane, is due to start on 4th January (weather permitting) and is expected to take 4 weeks to complete.

Unfortunately, due to the narrow width of the road, Manor Road will need to be closed to motorised vehicles for the duration of the works, although a pedestrian and cyclist route will be maintained. An alternative route using the B4058 and B4059 will be signed for diverted vehicles. The existing bus service will continue, but will take the following diversion route:-

Manor Road (North) – Chaingate Lane – B4058 – B 4059 – North road (including a U turn south of Tanhouse Lane) – Yate town centre.

The island at the junction of the B4058 and Chaingate Lane will be removed to enable buses to make the necessary movements.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Rubbish and recycling collection update

Thanks to icy roads and pavements, delayed starts and traffic problems, the problems with bin collections continue. Because Saturdays are already being used to catch up on Christmas public holidays, SITA won't be able to use them to catch up on the weather-related delays. Therefore black bin and green box collections are being prioritised for collection before Christmas Day and green bin collections are being suspended, except for households on the food waste trial.

If you are awaiting a collection, please leave your black bins and green boxes out if it is safe to do so, otherwise take them in and set them out again by 7.00am each morning.

At this stage the Sort It Centres remain unaffected by the weather.

New Council offices - cycling and pedestrian links

As well as consulting on parking restrictions around the new Council offices on Badminton Road, the Council are asking for your views on improvements to cycling and pedestrian facilities in the area. You can find more information online.

Monday, 21 December 2009

Refuse collections in snowy weather

Although all of SITA’s collection crews worked today, they have been unable to complete all their collections due to the bad weather. Slippery road and footpath surfaces, lifting mechanisms freezing on the vehicles and drivers of other vehicles not driving with sufficient care and attention have all combined to cause problems.

Black bins have not been collected from some roads in Coalpit Heath and Frampton Cotterell and Dodington Ash and parts of Engine Common have not had their recycling collection. Leave your bins out and the crews will collect them as soon as possible.

Recycling over Christmas

The SORT IT centres will be closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day but will otherwise be open as normal, including on Bank Holiday Monday. Don't forget you can recycle your real Christmas tree either cut up in your green bin or at your local SORT IT centre. Unfortunately you cannot recycle Christmas cards or wrapping paper but there are often bins for cards in local supermarkets.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Litter - could you help?

It was clear from the survey that Steve Webb and your local Focus team carried out in June that clearing our streets and open spaces of litter is very important to many of you. We asked South Glos Council's Street Care team to tackle a number of locations, which they did. Unfortunately, all too soon the litter returned.

The Manor School playing field was highlighted by a number of people as a litter hotspot and was also raised at the last Safer Stronger Community Group meeting. Could you spare some time to help pick litter on the field with other volunteers? If so, please contact .

Frampton already has a litter picking team up and running - to join, please ring 864222 or email .

Watch this space for news of The Big Spring Clean 2010, South Glos Council's annual litter campaign.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Reminder - get involved in improving health servicse

A quick reminder that the South Gloucestershire LINk (Local Involvement Network) now has a website where you can find out how to get involved in improving health and care services locally. On the site you can find out more about the LINk and all the events it is organising.

Monday, 14 December 2009

Have your say on new parking restrictions

South Glos Council have announced plans to introduce waiting restrictions on roads around their new Badminton Road Council offices.

Claire Young and other local Councillors recently met officers to discuss plans to tackle the impact on traffic of the new offices. With just over 300 parking spaces for around 700 desks, there are worries that employees will park on local roads despite attempts to encourage them to use other forms of transport.

The Council's answer to this is to introduce parking restrictions and they want to hear your views now. For more information and to make comments, go to the consultation on the South Glos website. Let Claire know what you think too by emailing

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Have your say on Westerleigh crossing plans

Last December, the Frome Vale Area Forum voted to support the creation of a new crossing on Westerleigh Road by Westerleigh's Old Post Office.

After a pedestrian count showed that numbers were too low for a zebra crossing to be viable, officers drew up plans instead to narrow the road, provide a length of new footway by the bus stop, adding tactile pavement areas and using bollards to prevent parking on the footway. You can now have your say on these plans on the South Glos website.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Lane in Coalpit Heath to be closed

The lane that runs from Coalpit Heath Post Office through to Bell Road will be shut from today until 21st December inclusive so that drainage works can be carried out. Residents will still be able to access their properties. There has been a long history of flooding at this site and your Focus team has been pushing for it to be sorted.

Frome Vale Area Forum - this Thursday

Frome Vale Area Forum starts at 7pm on Thursday 3rd December, in the Shire Way Community Centre. As well as an open session to talk about issues that concern you, there will be presentations on waiting restrictions around the new Council offices and fly tipping. The Committee will be making decisions on local transport schemes.

Monday, 30 November 2009

Shire Way to be resurfaced

Starting this Friday, 4th December, the Council will be resurfacing Shire Way, Yate. work will start at roughly 8am, going on until 5pm, and there will be temporary traffic lights in place until 11th December, when the works are expected to end. Bad weather may delay the works so watch out for updates in the local press or radio.

Friday, 27 November 2009

Nibley Lane to close on Tuesday

The section of Nibley Lane north of Badminton Road running up to Iron Acton will be closed on Tuesday 1 December 2009 between 9.30am and 2.30pm to allow street cleansing and drainage works to take place. Residents will still be able to access their properties.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Taxi marshal scheme for Chipping Sodbury

Those of you who went out in Chipping Sodbury last Friday or Saturday night may have seen the new taxi and street marshals in operation. The scheme follows a similar one in Kingswood. The marshals will work on Fridays and Saturdays between 10pm and 2am, maintaining a safe, orderly queue at the taxi rank outside the George, assisting the police and taxi drivers, helping prevent anti-social behaviour and crime and watching out for unlicensed taxi drivers.

Local Councillor Dave Hockey, who led a Council review into tackling anti-social behaviour, has welcomed the move. “Once our review found that a taxi marshal scheme in Kingswood was a real success I was keen to see one in Chipping Sodbury. I have been pushing for it to be operational in the run up to Christmas and over the New Year period when Chipping Sodbury will be at its busiest - the extra protection provided will I am sure be much appreciated by all involved.''

Monday, 23 November 2009

Roadworks in Coalpit Heath

Tomorrow, Tuesday 24th November, there will be temporary traffic lights outside No232a Badminton Road, Coalpit Heath so that the road can be repaired.

Friday, 20 November 2009

What improvements would you like to see at Yate Station?

What improvements would you like to see at Yate Station? More shelters? Better information? Let us know by commenting on this post or by emailing

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Inspector gives her approval for “Windmill Green”

Sadly the Inspector has decided that the objections of hundreds of local people are not enough and has overturned the Council’s refusal of the “Windmill Green” planning application. Barratts will now be able to build 220 homes plus offices and a shop on the fields next to Park Farm.

Your local Focus team is appalled at this decision, which suggests local opposition and local needs count for nothing against Government demands for thousands of new homes to be built. We have raised the issue of how South Gloucestershire Council's handling of large scale applications could be improved with those currently running the Council. We don’t want this community or any other in South Gloucestershire to suffer in this way in future.

Thank you again to everyone who helped the fight against this development.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Read all about South Gloucestershire

This Saturday (21st November) there's a chance to buy local heritage books at Yate Library. Local heritage groups and authors from all over South Gloucestershire will be selling their books between 10.00 am and 4.00 pm.

Monday, 9 November 2009

New way to have your say on health

The South Glos LINk (Local Involvement Network) have got a new website where you can have your say on local health services even if you're not a member of the LINk.

The LINk's job is to find out what people think of our local health and social care services, what new ones they might need and what they think of plans for the future then work with the people who plan and run the services to improve them.

As well as commenting on local issues, you can also find out about the latest news, forthcoming LINk events and become a member.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Opening of Yate Health Centre delayed

The opening of the new Yate Health Centre, seen on the left behind the newly re-opened library, has been delayed due to a problem with the ventilation. It is now hoped it will be opened in late January/early February, once the problem has been investigated and fixed.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

You helped say "No" to Windmill Green

A very big thank you from the FOCUS TEAM to all those who returned the petition slips in our FOCUS SPECIAL and signed the petitions, on-line, in local shops and in the Brockeridge Centre. We have delivered "thank you" notes and sent e-mails, but there were so many signatories we haven’t been able to thank you all personally.

We are also very grateful to all those who were able to make the trip to The Ship in Alveston and those who helped to make the case against the proposals for 220 houses, a store and offices at Park Farm. It was important to let the Inspector know the impact that they would have on our residents and local community.

Claire told the Inspector about the concerns that had been raised by some of you with her. Dave reported on the 2 surveys which have been done in our villages, both of which clearly indicate that further large development would be unwelcome to the vast majority of local residents. He also described the flooding and sewage problems, supplying the Inspector with photographs to illustrate them. Pat enlarged on the objections raised by Frampton Cotterell Parish Council after listening to all the local people who turned up when it was considering the planning application. She gave the Inspector copies of the bus timetables to show how difficult it would be for people to get to work without adding to the traffic jams. She also included copies of our Village Design Statement and our Heritage Walks booklet to show how much we value our villages and our countryside.

Sadly sitting through three days of listening to a very aggressive Barrister attacking the Officers from South Gloucestershire Council who were defending their refusal reasons, was a very depressing experience. If the Inspector dismisses this appeal it will be because she didn’t just listen to the professionals. She will have listened to how local people feel about the proposals from local people themselves!

Building safer, stronger communities

There is still time to have your say on the Safer Stronger South Gloucestershire Partnership Strategy 2009 to 2013 Building safer stronger communities together.

You can view and respond to the consultation online any time before November 30th.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Crime "average" locally

There's a new website showing crime statistics by area. You just put in your postcode and it reports the statistics for different types of crime.The information on the map is at beat area level. The Frampton Cotterell beat (which includes Coalpit Heath, Westerleigh and Iron Acton as well as Frampton Cotterell), Yate beat (which includes Dodington South) and the Charfield and Ladden Brook beat are all average for the Avon and Somerset constabulary.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Falling leaves

From today (Monday 26th October) South Glos Council will be suspending their routine mechanical sweeping programme in order to divert the sweepers to clearing leaf fall. They are starting this earlier than usual as they are expecting the wet and windy weather over the weekend to lead to significant leaf fall this week. The situation will be reviewed in mid-November.

The sweepers will be targeting known problem areas and also responding to reports from the public. If you come across any streets requiring leaf clearance, you can report them to the Street Care Helpdesk on 01454 868000 or e-mail
From today until 30th November, local voluntary and community groups can apply for Revenue Grants from South Glos Council..

Whereas capital grants are used to buy or enhance land or buildings or buy and replace equipment, machinery and vehicles, the revenue grants are for general running costs.

For more information, visit the South Glos Council website.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Community group in need of a laptop?

The BT Community Connections scheme gives community and charitable organisations to apply for a laptop and a year's free broadband connection. For more information see the scheme website.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Meet Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg

Nick Clegg, Leader of the Liberal Democrats will visit Bristol on 26th October for the latest in his Nick Meets… public meetings across the UK. You have the chance to ask ‘any questions’ in this open invitation forum.

The meeting will be held in Hall 2, Colston Hall, Colston Street, Bristol, BS1 5AR and will start at 6.30pm.

You can book a free ticket online.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Deadline looming for school place applications

You only have until 4.30pm on Friday (23rd) to apply for a primary or secondary school place for September 2010.

Due to the planned postal strikes by Royal Mail workers next week, South Gloucestershire Council is strongly advising any parents who have yet to submit an application for a school place to do so online or in person.

You can apply online at If you prefer to fill in a paper application form, you can hand deliver it to the Student Access and Support Team, South Gloucestershire Council, Department for Children and Young People, Riverside Court, Bowling Hill, Chipping Sodbury, South Gloucestershire, BS37 6JX or to the Yate One Stop Shop in Kennedy Way.

Parents who are unable to complete the application form online or by hand should contact the Children and Young People’s Information Service as soon as possible by calling 01454 868008.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Roadworks - Westerleigh and the Folly pub

Today (19th October) there will be temporary traffic lights outside The Cottage, Westerleigh, to enable work on the water supply.

Tomorrow (20th October) there will be traffic lights outside The Folly on Westerleigh Road for "sign face work" to be carried out.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Cycling City exhibition

Yesterday Claire Young attended the Yate Spur Cycling City drop-in event at the Shire Way Community Centre. The route remains largely unchanged since the last event in Westerleigh and comments from that event will be taken into account with the ones made at this latest exhibition.

Safety at the Nibley Lane junction is still a concern and some residents had heard that the Council was planning to make Nibley Lane one way only. Officers yesterday told Claire there are no firm proposals on that yet and have promised to get back to her with more information.

Kidney Hill roadworks

On Thursday 15th and Friday 16th October, there will be temporary three-way traffic lights at the Kidney Hill junction at Westerleigh to allow overhead work on power cables.

Elsewhere, work continues to install new, real-time-information-ready bus stops along the A432 Badminton Road between Yate and Downend.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Nominations wanted for Sports Awards

You have until Friday 30th October to nominate people for the 2009 South Gloucestershire Sports Awards. You can find more information on the South Glos website.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Don't forget - Cycle City event tomorrow

If you would like to see the plans for the new cycle route linking Mangotsfield to Yate, drop in to the Shire Way Community Centre in Yate between 1.30pm and 7.30pm tomorrow (Tuesday). For more information, see the consultation online.

Help out at Ram Hill

If you fancy helping to preserve our mining heritage, why not join the Friends of Ram Hill Colliery for a work party on Sunday 18th October at the Ram Hill site? It will begin around 10am and end by 3pm and you can join them for whatever period suits you. Work ranges from cutting back bushes to moving stones. For more information, ring the Chair, Steve Hillyard, on 0117 923 6595.

Monday, 5 October 2009

Would your organisation like a free cycle stand (or four)?

Life Cycle UK in conjunction with SGC are running the “Take-a-stand” scheme. This provides local community groups, small shops and businesses up to 4 cycle stands for free (the organisation has to install them). If you are interested, see where you can download an application.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Safer Stronger Community Group - latest priorities

The three priorities chosen at this week's meeting of the Frampton Cotterell, Coalpit Heath, Westerleigh and Iron Acton Safer Stronger Community Group were:
  1. Continued push vs ASB at The Park.
  2. Speeding on Park Lane.
  3. Parking on pavement at School Road - Mount Close junction.

Local rail consultation

Local people have until 27th November to comment on the future of rail services in the area. Network Rail have published a draft "Route Utilisation Strategy" for Great Western services, including mainline services through Bristol and local services such as those from Yate.

The document suggests that there could be an hourly service between Yate and Weston-super-Mare and also an hourly service from Portishead to Gloucester, stopping at Yate. If these proposals came into force there would then be two trains an hour between Yate and Bristol, although investment of more than £2 million would be required at Yate station to enable trains to turn round. The strategy says that this would only be feasible with 'third party investment', which means the local authority and/or developers putting in significant funding.

Urging people to have their say, local MP Steve Webb said, "This vision for rail services in the West over the coming decade offers real potential for improvements for hard-pressed commuters. A regular twice-hourly service between Yate and Bristol would help to improve the quality of service, though we would need assurances that those trains had enough carriages to cope with peak levels of demand. But this document is only a draft and we therefore need to be sure that these improvements are retained in the final version, due to be published in the New Year. I would therefore encourage anyone who cares about local rail services to register their support for investment at Yate by responding to the consultation".

Those wishing to comment can e-mail or write to 'Great Western RUS Consultation Response, Network Rail, Floor 4, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9AG.

Friday, 2 October 2009

Traffic lights at Kendleshire crossroads

In the next week there will be four-way temporary traffic lights at Kendleshire crossroads so that kerb buildouts can be created.

Yate Library reminder

Just a reminder that Yate Library closes this Sunday (4th October) before re-opening in the new building on Monday 19th October. During the closure, staff will be moving the library network and stock and undergoing training.

While the library is closed, there will be an extended hours service at Chipping Sodbury Library - Tuesday – Saturday 9.30 – 5.00. Users can of course use any other South Gloucestershire Library in the area.

Personal Checkout event

If you would like advice on any of these topics:
  • Training & employment advice
  • Welfare & benefit advice
  • Debt & legal advice
  • Business advice
  • Healthy eating & lifestyle advice
  • Home energy advice
  • Leisure & libraries advice
  • Reduce, reuse, recycle advice
  • Housing advice
  • Care advice
  • Council tax advice
  • Digital switchover advice

and much more then get along to the "PersonalCheckout" event being run by South Glos Council and its partners from 3-7pm on 21st October in Yate Library.

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Cycling City exhibition - route via Westerleigh

A public exhibition is planned on Tuesday 13th October 2009 between 1.30pm and 7.30pm at Shire Way Community Centre, Yate showing details of the proposed new cycle route between Station Road, Yate and the end of the existing Bristol and Bath Railway Path at Coxgrove Hill.

More information on the proposals can be found online.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Government thinks again on housing?

The Government has announced that it will be looking again at plans to build more than 32,000 new homes in South Gloucestershire, many of them in the Green Belt.

The most recent draft of the 'Regional Spatial Strategy' (RSS) for the South West proposed that over 32,000 houses should be built in South Gloucestershire by 2026, more than 10,000 more than local people believe is needed to meet local need. Following a legal challenge to a similar document for the East of England, the Government has now announced that it will be setting up a new 'sustainability appraisal' for the South West to think again about whether the approach to identifying housing sites is the best way forward. This review is expected to be completed in the New Year.

Local MP and countryside campaigner Steve Webb MP said, "At long last, the Government has agreed to look again at whether the planned location for all these houses is really sustainable. We have been arguing for years that these plans risk destroying the valuable countryside which we all value so much. It is a shame that it took legal action for the Government to finally start listening. It is therefore vital that this further review is not simply a whitewash but does look properly at the way these tens of thousands of houses could have a devastating effect on the qualify of life in our area".

Monday, 28 September 2009

Safer Stronger Community Group on Tuesday

The next meeting of the Frampton Cotterell, Westerleigh, Iron Acton and Coalpit Heath Safer & Stronger Community Group (SSCG) is on Tuesday 29th September at the Manor Hall, Coalpit Heath at 7.30pm. The meeting is open to the public and everyone is welcome.

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Friday, 25 September 2009

Want to improve healthcare locally?

The South Gloucestershire LINk (Local Involvement Network) is a network of local people,
organisations and groups that want to make health and social care services better, open to anyone who receives health or social care services in South Gloucestershire.

The LINk is holding a Stakeholder’s Open Meeting from 6pm -8pm on Wednesday 6th October in Bradley Stoke Community School, Fiddlers Wood Lane, Bradley Stoke BS32 9BS. There you will be able to find out about its work so far, its plans for the future and hear the announcement of its Core Management Group.

Refreshments will be provided. To book a place please contact Genise Hilton on 0117 9589348 or

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

New parking charges at local stations

On Sunday, huge increases in car parking charges were introduced by First Great Western. The daily charge for parking at Bristol Parkway has gone up by more than a third from £5 per day to £6.90, whilst the charge at Yate has more than doubled from £1 to £2.10. Train companies are looking for new sources of revenue because the current low level of inflation means that they are not allowed to increase many of their principal rail fares this year. However, there is a risk that these very high car parking charges will simply put people off using the train altogether and force even more people onto the roads.

Local MP Steve Webb said, "These huge increases in car parking charges are outrageous. It is ridiculous that the Government tries to cap the cost of rail travel by putting a limit on fare increases but stands idly by while the train companies simply rake in the money through increases in car parking charges. First Great Western should also think again. If higher car park charges put people off travelling altogether then the company will be doing long-term damage to its business by this short term measure".

Steve said that he was also concerned that the large increase in charges at Yate would worsen the problem of rail commuters parking in the residential side streets near to the station. He said that he would now be writing both to the Department of Transport and to First Great Western to protest about the increases.

Have the police gone the extra mile for you?

Avon and Somerset Police have just launched the third Community Policing Awards. The Award Categories are:

  • Neighbourhood Beat Manager of the Year
  • PCSO of the Year
  • Special Constable of the Year
  • Neighbourhood Team of the Year
  • Outstanding Customer Service Award

For more details and to nominate someone online, go to the dedicated awards website.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Fancy some star-gazing?

A stargazing evening has been organised by conservation groups in Chipping Sodbury and Yate to give local people the opportunity to learn more about the sky at night.

The free event will start at 7pm on Tuesday 29 September in the Watkins Room, Old Grammar School, High Street, Chipping Sodbury.

The evening will begin with a presentation by Callum Potter of the Cotswold Astronomy Society. If the skies are clear participants will then proceed to the wildflower meadow on St John’s Park estate to view the night sky, at approximately 8pm. People wishing to attend the viewing of the night sky without attending the presentation should meet at the River Frome bridge on Wickwar Road at this time.

The event, which is supported by South Gloucestershire Council, is open to all. Budding stargazers should bring along their own binoculars or telescopes if they have them. In the event of thick cloud the evening will be restricted to the presentation in the Watkins Room.

For more information please contact Chris Giles at South Gloucestershire Council on 01454 863725.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Nibley Lane closed on 23 September

Nibley Lane will be closed on 23 September 2009 between 9.30am and 2.30pm for street cleansing and drainage maintenance. Access to properties will be maintained during the works.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Help say "No" to Windmill Green

If you would like to help protect the fields next to Park Farm from disappearing under 220 houses and flats, offices and a shop, please sign our petition. You can also let one of the Focus Team know by phone, email or letter that you would like your opposition to the proposed building put on record.

If you are available on October 20th/21st, you might also like to attend the Public Inquiry in The Ship, Alveston and even speak against the development.

Pat Hockey is representing the Parish Council at the Inquiry. She and others will be discussing how to make the most impact at the Inquiry at Frampton Cotterell Parish Council Planning Committee meetings on Monday October 5th and 19th in the Brockeridge Centre at 7.30pm. Please come along for further information, to let us know if you are going to help or have any suggestions – or contact us.

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Changes to local bus services

First have announced changes to some of the local bus services with effect from 27 September.

Timetables for the X42 and 342 services have been adjusted to reduce some journey times, notably in the late evening when journeys have been decreased by just under ten minutes (end to end).

First's website says that on "Service X27 the timetable has been altered slightly to improve punctuality and reliability" - the only change we can see is that they have altered an ingoing stop in Bristol, so the X27 will now drop off at The Haymarket (Stop Rg) instead of Bond Street (Stop B).

Local bus timetables are available on the South Glos bus timetable web page - if a service has changed, the new is shown as "from 27 Sept 2009 until further notice".

Some relief for overcrowded Yate rail passengers

First Great Western is putting an extra carriage on an overcrowded morning service from Yate via Filton Abbey Wood and Bristol Parkway to Bristol Temple Meads. From December there will be three carriages on a re-timed train at 8.16 am, instead of just two carriages at 8.09 am.

This follows a campaign by the Friends of Yate Station and Steve Webb MP, who took a senior First GW manager on the train to show how overcrowded it was.

This still leaves an overcrowding problem in the evening service back from Temple Meads.

Steve Webb described the changes as just a small step forward and commented "It's good news but we need three carriages on all peak services. We also need to be confident that trains will always turn up. They should also be running with greater frequency."

So how about it, First Great Western? You'll be able to take some people into Bristol but you won't be able to bring them back. That's not exactly integrated thinking.

For more details see the Evening Post report here.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Waste plan - more detail on Yate

The West of England Partnership, made up of the four unitary authorities covering the old Avon area, is currently developing a plan setting out where waste facilities should be sited. Earlier in the year, we expressed concern that no specific site was stated for Yate, making it hard for local people to comment. They have now published a document that identifies a "Strategic Area" within Yate and they would like your views on it by 1st October. Contact details can be found on this page.

Frome Vale Area Forum tonight

The Frome Vale Area Forum starts at 7pm tonight (Thursday 11th September) in Frampton Cotterell Primary School. There will be an open session for you to raise issues that concern you, an update on the new Yate Community Health Centre and Southmead redevelopment, and the committee will allocate capital grants.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Autumn events

If you'd like to get out and about this autumn, there is a range of fun and often free events being run by South Gloucestershire Council with local organisations and community groups. Whether you fancy bat detecting, making apply juice or foraging for fungi, you can find out more in this online leaflet.

Monday, 7 September 2009

Local food and drink festival

The fifth year of South Gloucestershire's "Taste" local food and drink festival runs from Saturday 12 September to Sunday 11 October. Events include the chance to visit Shipton Flour Mill, a tour of Thornbury Castle and vineyard and a butter making demonstration. For more information visit the South Gloucestershire Local Food website.

While we're on the subject of food, today sees the launch of the Love Food Hate Waste campaign, which aims to get all of us to waste less food. A food waste diary competition is being run, more details on the South Glos website.

Friday, 4 September 2009

Heritage Open Days coming up

This year's Heritage Open Days run from Thursday 10th to Sunday 13th September. They include a chance to go on a guided tour of the remains of Ram Hill Colliery near Coalpit Heath on the Sunday. The information leaflet is available to download from the South Glos website.

Coal mining buffs might also like to attend the free Open Day at Oldwood Pit between Yate and Rangeworth. There will be guided tours approximately every half an hour 2-6pm on Saturday and 11-5pm on Sunday, so it will be possible to visit both Ram Hill and Oldwood in the same weekend. More information can be found on the South Glos Mines Research Group website.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Composting application to be resubmitted

SITA have withdrawn their application for a composting facility near Tormarton but intend to re-submit a revised application later in the autumn. They say that this will include additional supporting information that has been collected following consultation with the Highways Agency and Environment Agency.

Your local Focus team has welcomed the withdrawal, for which they have been campaigning, but now awaits the new application. We will of course keep local people informed.

Yate Safer Stronger Community Group tonight

The Yate Safer Stronger Community Group will meet tonight (Thursday 3rd September) at 7pm in the Courtside Suite at Yate Leisure Centre. Come along to air your views on issues in the Yate beat, which includes the rural part of Dodington Parish.

Monday, 24 August 2009

Coalsack Lane to close on Wednesday

Coalsack Lane will be closed on 26 August between 9.30am and 2.30pm so that the road can be cleaned and maintenance work carried out on the drainage system. People will still be able to access properties along the road during the works.

Friday, 21 August 2009

MP urges action on spiralling unemployment

Local MP Steve Webb has called for urgent Government action to tackle the spiralling level of unemployment in this area. Although it remains well below the national average, the number of people out of work and claiming benefit has more than trebled in the last year.

Steve said, "It is a source of great concern that unemployment levels are rising rapidly in our area. There is a danger that the Government concentrates all of its attention on traditional unemployment 'blackspots' and neglects areas such as ours which have had low unemployment in the past but are now being hard hit by the Recession."

"I am urging the Government to ensure that local JobCentres have more resources to assist those who are unemployed. We also need to make sure that the banks lend money to the many viable local businesses who are struggling to raise finance".

If you are a local employer being hit by the recession, Steve would like to hear from you. You can find all his contact details on the front page of his website.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Free testing for electric blankets

If you would like to have an electric blanket tested free of charge (normal cost £20) and can get to The Pavillion, Elm Park Filton on Friday 18th September, please book an appointment by calling 01454 863632.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Worried about local roads and pavements?

Your Focus team is receiving complaints about the state of the local roads and pavements. The number of potholes and uneven surfaces are causing particular problems for cyclists. Cracked pavements are difficult for people with mobility problems and for buggy pushers.

South Glos Council has put extra funding into highway maintenance this year but clearly it isn't enough to do all that is needed. Woodside Road, Ram Hill, Broad Lane, Newlands Avenue, Fernleaze, Vicarage Road, The close, Lower Chapel Lane, Rylestone Close, The Land, Harris Barton and Henfield Road are all either scheduled to be done or have been done already this financial year.

If you spot particular problems, contact Street Care on 01454 868000 or online.

Monday, 10 August 2009

We say no to Windmill Green

If you want to help protect the fields next to Park Farm make a note in your diary for October 20th. That is when the three day Public Inquiry into Barratts proposals for 220 houses starts. It will be held in the Ship Inn at Thornbury.

Local residents made it very clear to Frampton Cotterell Parish Council when they came along to the planning committee meeting that they found these proposals totally unacceptable. Many more of you signed a petition. South Glos Council refused the planning application and will be defending its decision at the Inquiry held by a Government Inspector.

Frampton Cotterell Parish Council has agreed that Pat Hockey should represent it at the inquiry. It is very important that the Inspector can clearly see that she is speaking on behalf of local residents!

Friday, 7 August 2009

More change in Yate

Yate town centre has seen a lot of development recently and there is more to come. Tesco now has permission to build its new store in Yate (you can read more in the Gazette). Also Yate Town Council has agreed its half of the joint funding with South Glos Council for the Youth Cafe.

The new Health Centre is still on track and the NHS are asking people to come up with a name for it.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Get involved in improving health services

Do you receive health or social care in South Glos? Do you want to help make the services better? Then why not join the LINk (Local Improvement Network)? The next meeting is taking place in Westerleigh village hall on Monday 3rd August from 2pm to 4pm. There will be a short talk from the Independent Complaints and Advocacy Service. For more information ring Sarah Booker on 0117 9589351 or 0117 9589349.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Latest swine flu advice from Council

You can read the latest swine flu advice from South Glos Council on their website. In particular, they stress that if you need anti-viral medication, rather than go out yourself and risk spreading the illness to other people, including health professionals, you should ask a "flu friend" to collect the medication on your behalf.

If you have children, you can find the latest information about schools, nurseries, pre-schools, children's centres and other services online.

Monday, 20 July 2009

The safe way to dispose of energy-saving light bulbs

Did you know, energy saving lightbulbs should not be put in your black bin? Instead, save them up for your next trip to the nearest Sort It centre, where they will be treated as hazardous waste.

Reminder - put First Bus on the spot

If you want to put First Bus on the spot about local services, get along to Thornbury Council offices at 3pm this Wednesday (22 July). Representatives of the bus company will be attending the Planning, Transportation and the Strategic Environment select committee and members of the public can ask questions or hand in petitions.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Yate library latest

It looks like the refurbishment of Yate library may be finished ahead of schedule, with Monday 19th October pencilled in for the re-opening.

The library closed last October and the service has been operating from 23 South Parade in Yate Shopping Centre. There won't be room to run the usual summer holiday activities in these temporary premises but there will be activities at other libraries including Chipping Sodbury, Emerson's Green and Winterbourne.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Put First Bus on the spot

Later this month, you have the chance to put questions to representatives of First Bus.
Jenny MacLeod, Operations Director, and Simon Cursio, Commercial Director, are attending the Planning, Transportation and Strategic Environment Select Committee on 22 July to respond to councillors’ questions and concerns.
Pat Hockey, who chairs the committee, said, "Members of the public are always welcome to attend our select committee meetings, to raise issues, ask questions or present petitions. If you can't make it along yourself, you can contact your local councillor and ask them to raise questions on your behalf".

The meeting will be held at 3pm on 22 July, in the Council Chamber, the Council Offices, Castle Street, Thornbury. If you would like to speak, please contact Gordon Moss on 01454 86 3014.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Reminder - deadline for comments on latest sites

If you want to make comments on the latest round of Gypsy and Traveller sites, you only have until Monday to do so. You can find out more on the South Glos website.

One of the seven extra sites, the land at Little Acre, Dyers Lane, Iron Acton, has now been withdrawn by the landowner. The remaining six are:

New sites

1. Land at Tanhouse Lane, Yate – Proposal is for 10 residential pitches and 2 transit pitches.

Existing Gypsy and Traveller Sites

2. Moor Paddock, Westerleigh Road, Westerleigh – Proposal is for an additional 3 residential pitches and 1 transit pitch.
3. 56 Ram Hill, Coalpit Heath – Proposal is for 1 additional residential pitch.
4. Giddy End, High Lane, Winterbourne - Proposal is for 1 additional residential pitch.
5. The Meadows, Parkfield, Pucklechurch - Proposal is for 1 additional residential pitch.
6. 85a Parkfield Road, Pucklechurch - Proposal is for an additional 1 - 2 residential pitches.

Speeding in Codrington

In June, the interactive "Speedvisor" sign made a return visit to Codrington. As more than one in seven drivers was exceeding 46mph in the 40 limit, the sign will be re-installed at a later date and the police have been informed of the results.

Monday, 6 July 2009

Traffic lights at Westerleigh

On Wednesday 8th July there will be traffic lights at the railway bridge on Westerleigh Road at Westerleigh to enable the bridge to be inspected.

Friday, 3 July 2009

Roadworks - Badminton Road near viaduct

There will be temporary traffic lights on the A432 Badminton Road near the railway viaduct on 7th July to allow tree work to be carried out.

Monday, 29 June 2009

Closure of section of ring road

The Eastbound carriageway of the A4174 Ring Road will be closed to all traffic between the Hambrook traffic signal junction and the Bromley Heath Roundabout from Friday 3rd July 2009 at 8pm until Monday 6th July 2009 at 5am. If bad weather stops the work being carried out then, it will be done the following weekend (10th to 13th July).

This section of road is being closed so that a defective bridge movement joint in the carriageway can be replaced. At the same time, the road across the viaduct will be resurfaced and other maintenance work carried out.

A contraflow will be put in place but significant delays should be expected and motorists are advised to find alternative routes if possible.

Gypsy and Traveller consultation event

Don't forget, there is a drop-in session 4pm to 8pm on Monday 29th June in the Courtside Suite at Yate Leisure Centre where you can ask questions about the extra sites suggested during the previous consultation.

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Still time to see Wapley Flower Festival

Floral Fantasy - Wapley Flower Festival runs until tomorrow, Sunday 28th June, in St Peter's Church, Wapley. The event, staged by Chipping Sodbury Floral Society, only happens once every three years. The church is open from 9am for viewing and morning coffees, lunches and cream teas are available. There will be a Festival Evensong to end the event at 6.30pm on Sunday.

Brockeridge-Highcroft merger latest

At the end of last year, South Glos Council carried out a consultation on a proposal to merge Brockeridge Infant and Highcroft Junior schools. They have now given parents an update on the plans. The key issues from the consultation were:
  • both schools have strong support from parents and the community
  • the Brockeridge site is held in affection locally and people are concerned about how it might be used if it was no longer a school
  • there was a strong view that if the schools are to merge on the Highcroft site, new buildings should be provided
  • there is continuing concern about current and projected pupil numbers, the resulting school budgets and therefore issues of staffing, class organisation and the quality of education for the children
  • if the schools merge, there's a clear preference for the Council to sponsor the new school

You can read the report on the consultation online.

What is now proposed is that the amalgamation should go ahead in September 2010 but the school will continue to use both sites until new buildings can be provided on the Highcroft site.

A formal statutory notice of amalgamation will be published in early September 2009. There will then be six weeks for further comments before the Independent Schools Adjudicator makes the final decision.

MP forces Government to u-turn on MP's pensions

Local MP Steve Webb has succeeded in forcing the Government to re-think its plans to increase the amount of money taxpayers put into the MPs' pension scheme. You can read more on Steve's blog.

Friday, 26 June 2009

Waste consultation deadline extended

New information about a site in Bath and North East Somerset has now been included in the Revised Site Assessment Document on the West of England's website. Because of this extra information, they have extended the deadline for commening until 31st July 2009.

Funders Fair

CVS South Gloucestershire are running a Funders Fair on Thursday 9 July 2009, 9.00am - 2.00pm at Yate Outdoor Sports Complex. This is an opportunity for local groups to gain information and advice directly from representatives of key funders, including The Big Lottery, Quartet Community Foundation, Children In Need and South Gloucestershire Council, and to network with other groups who are addressing similar fundraising issues. More information including booking details at:

Monday, 22 June 2009

Change of date for Safer Stronger Community Group

In a change from the date and venue advertised in the Westerleigh Focus, the next Frampton Cotterell and Westerleigh Safer Stronger Community Group will be on Tuesday 30th June in St Saviour's Hall. This group now covers the Parish of Iron Acton as well as Frampton Cotterell and Westerleigh Parishes.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Decision on new homes delayed

Your Focus team has long campaigned against Government plans for thousands of new homes to be built in South Gloucestershire. We had expected a final decision on the numbers from the Secretary of State by the end of June. Now though it has been delayed indefinitely due a legal challenge to a similar plan elsewhere in the country. Until the implications of that can be considered, no new timetable can be set for the decision. We will keep you posted.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Don't forget - Cycle City drop-in event today!

Last year South Glos and Bristol were named England's first "Cycling city". Government funding totalling £11.4 million has been awarded to make cycling attractive to more people. This funding will be matched by Bristol and South Glos councils and their partners.

One route being looked at is the "Yate spur" linking the Bristol-Bath Railway Path and the Avon Cycleway to Yate. Local Councillor Claire Young has arranged for a drop-in session to be held today (Thursday 18th June) from 2pm to 7pm in Westerleigh Village Hall.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Cutting out the junk mail

Cutting out junk mail can save you time and help the environment. To cut down on addressed items, you can sign up with the Mailing Preference Service. For unaddressed items delivered by the Royal Mail, see the information on their website. For other unaddressed items, see the Direct Marketing Association's website.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Waste consultation progress report

Earlier in the year, the four authorities that used to be Avon ran a consultation on the Joint Waste Core Strategy Preferred Options. They have published a progress report, including a summary of the responses to the consultation.

If you have any futher views, you can email or write to:The West of England Partnership OfficeFloor 1 Wilder HouseWilder StreetBristolBS2 8PH before 17th July.

Highways Agency withdraw objection to composting plant

The Highways Agency have withdrawn their objection to the proposed composting facility near Tormarton. You can read their letter on the South Glos website.

Monday, 15 June 2009

See "The Age of Stupid" this Friday

Sustainable Thornbury, a Town in Transition, are screening the environmental/climate change film “The Age of Stupid” at Cossham Hall in Chapel St, Thornbury this Friday (June 19th). It starts at 7.45pm and admission is £3. Refreshments will be available from 7.15pm when the doors open.

It will be followed by a Q&A with a panel made up of Steve Webb MP, Paul Ashford (member of the International Panel on Climate Change-IPCC), Ian Page (member of International Futures Forum) and Chris Sunderland (Agora).

Extra gypsy and traveller sites suggested

South Gloucestershire Council has published details of seven extra sites that were suggested during the last Gypsy and Traveller consultation.

The extra sites that have been suggested are a mixture of completely new sites and extra pitches on existing sites:

New sites:
1. Little Acre, Dyers Lane, Iron Acton (4 - 6 residential pitches)
2. Land at Tanhouse Lane, Yate (10 residential pitches and 2 transit pitches)

Existing sites:
3. Moor Paddock, Westerleigh Road, Westerleigh (additional 3 residential pitches and 1 transit pitch)
4. 56 Ram Hill, Coalpit Heath (additional 1 residential pitch )
5. Giddy End, High Lane, Winterbourne (additional 1 residential pitch)
6. The Meadows, Parkfield, Pucklechurch (additional 1 residential pitch)
7. 85a Parkfield Road, Pucklechurch (additional 1 - 2 residential pitches)

You only have until Monday 13 July to provide any relevant information you may have on these extra sites. Officers are stressing that this isn't a full consultation, that will come later, and the sites haven't been assessed in as much detail as the original seventeen. You can find more information on the South Glos website:

There will be a drop-in session in the Courtside Suite at Yate Leisure Centre on Monday 29 June 2009 from 4pm until 8pm.

You can email any information to:

or write to:

Spatial Planning Team
South Gloucestershire Council
The Council Offices
Castle Street
South Gloucestershire
BS35 1HF

We had expected the report on all your replies to the previous consultation to be published in May. Instead a report covering comments on all 24 sites will be published in the autumn, along with the draft list of sites for submission to the Government. Your Focus Team is unhappy about the delay, which means extra months of uncertainty for residents, but officers say the Council cannot comment on the suitability of the previous sites before they have publicised the extra ones. When the draft list is published in the autumn there will be another full public consultation.

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Wapley Woods - a priority

At last week's Yate Safer Stronger Community Group, which covers Dodington Parish, one of the top priorities identified was to tackle groups of youths setting fires in Wapley Woods. The youth service will liase with the youths and follow up work will be done in schools to prepare for the leaving parties next year.

Another priority was engaging young people in the Safer Stronger Community Group meetings. For more about the meetings, see the Avon and Somerset police website.

New bus stops on Badminton Road

As part of the Greater Bristol Bus Network project, ten bus stops on Badminton Road will either have their existing bus shelters replaced or shelters installed for the first time. They are being installed in readiness for "real time information" kit to be added. With buses also fitted with the appropriate kit, this will allow bus users to see when the next bus is expected to arrive at the stop.

The bus stops are:

Outside 160 at Station Road junction
Outside 139 at Station Road junction
Junction with South View Crescent
Outside 197 at Heathcote Drive junction
Outside 236 at Heathcote Drive junction
Opposite 263 at Church Road junction
Outside 263 at Church Road junction
Opposite New Inn
Outside New Inn
Junction with Nibley Lane

If you have any comments on any of these bus stops, please contact Claire Young.

Friday, 12 June 2009

Chipping Sodbury Festival now underway

Leak fixed

The roadworks on Badminton Road in Coalpit Heath were worth the temporary inconvenience. The South Glos team traced the leak to a Bristol Water pipe and the water company has now repaired the leak and reinstated the road.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Social afternoon for carers

Today (Wednesday 10th) and Friday there will be a social afternoon for carers held at Paul's Place (Coalpit Heath Cricket Club). These events have been organised as part of Carers week. For more information or to book a place call 01454 862357 or email .

For more information on all the activities being organised across the area, look on the South Glos website.

Finding the leak

In this case, a water leak in Badminton Road, Coalpit Heath. Traffic lights are in place so the road can be dug up to find the source of water which has been pouring down the road for some months now. Inevitably this is causing some delays but it's important the problem is fixed as it is beginning to damage the road.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

European election results for the SW

South West seats result: Con 3 seats, UKIP 2 seats, Lib Dem 1 seat, Green 0, Lab 0 in 5th place - Well done Lib Dem Graham Watson!

Full voting figures from BBC here

Monday, 8 June 2009

In need of capital funding? Hurry!

A quick reminder - if you are involved in an organisation that would like to apply for a capital grant from South Glos Council you only have until 15th June to get your application in. More information on the South Glos website.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Coming soon - Chipping Sodbury Festival

Chipping Sodbury Festival will be held between 12th June and 21st June. There are more than 50 events - indoors, outdoors, daytime, evening, free and paying.

Check out the Chipping Sodbury Festival website for details of all the events.

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Police urge residents to secure their properties

Following a rise in rural burglaries in the Badminton and Chipping Sodbury area, the police have urged residents to leave valuables out of sight and make sure doors and windows are locked when they are not in the room. Read more in the Gazette.

Monday, 25 May 2009

Don't forget - another chance to have your say on health

Tomorrow (Tuesday 26 May) there will be a chance to share your views on local health and social care needs as part of an event in Yate Shopping Centre to celebrate Family Week. For more information, take a look at the consultation website.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Joint Parishes Garden Competition 2009

The 2009 Garden Competition is a joint competition between Yate, Sodbury, Dodington and Westerleigh and is open to all residents and schools within the Parishes. The closing date for schools has gone by, but you can enter your own garden up until 15 June.Application forms for the 2009 Joint Parishes Garden Competition are now available to download from this page on the Yate Town Council website.

Monday, 18 May 2009

Joint Waste Core Strategy Preferred Options Consultation

Earlier this year, the West of England partnership carried out the Joint Waste Core Strategy Preferred Options Consultation (we blogged about it here). This was of particular interest to people living near the trading estates on the western edge of Yate as some of the options included a waste treatment plant there.

The partnership are currently considering all the responses and from 5th June you will be able to view a summary of responses and other information on their website There will then be a further chance to have your say until 17th July.

Friday, 15 May 2009

Don't forget - have your say on health tomorrow

Tomorrow (Saturday 16 May) there will be a chance to share your views on local health and social care needs at a Meet and Greet event in Yate Shopping Centre. For more information, take a look at the consultation website.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Tormarton composting facility - Environment Agency withdraw their objection

The Environment Agency have written to South Gloucestershire Council to say that they are now prepared to conditionally withdraw their objection to the planning application for a composting facility near Tormarton. This follows the submission of further technical information by the applicants to the Environment Agency regarding odour management as part of the Environmental Permitting process.

However, there is still the holding objection to the application by the Highways Agency which needs to be resolved before the application could be reported to Committee. There is no indication at this stage of the timescale for the Highways Agency to lift their holding objection.

You can read the letter on the South Glos website.

Monday, 11 May 2009

Apply now for capital grants

Voluntary and community groups in our area have five weeks from today to apply for grants for capital projects. More information on the Community Grants page of the South Glos website.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

New bus timetable details

The new timetables are available from the South Glos Council website's
Bus Timetables page.

Look down the page, and you will see that each bus that has changed has two timetables - look for the ones labelled "10 May 2009 - until further notice"

Quick links for our most popular local buses:

327 & 329 Yate - Winterbourne - Bristol

342 Chipping Sodbury – Yate - Bristol

482 & 483 Chipping Sodbury - Cribbs Causeway

581 Hanham - Chipping Sodbury via Bristol Parkway

N50 Bristol City Centre – Chipping Sodbury night bus

X27 Yate - North Yate - Winterbourne - Bristol

X42 Chipping Sodbury – Yate - Bristol

IF you're interested in reading more about Steve Webb's debate in parliament earlier in the week, you can read Steve Webb's speech and the minister's reply in the Hansard report here. Be warned, it's word-for-word so there are a few pages of it. Watch out for the mention of our sister blog, "Focus on Sodbury, Yate and Dodington".

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Where to find information on swine flu

This useful swine flu web page from NHS Choices gives lots of useful information about swine flu, plus a symptoms checker and links to other information sources.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

MP leads debate on public transport

Today Northavon MP Steve Webb used a debate in Parliament to challenge the Government over what he called the 'shambles' of public transport in Bristol and South Gloucestershire. The MP led a 30 minute debate on the 'regulation of local bus services'. The Lib Dem MP called for the debate in the light of the recent cuts by First Bus, including the withdrawal of the X27 service, with no consultation and a minimum of notice. Speaking ahead of the debate, Steve Webb said:

"The way public transport is run in our area is a disgrace. We have one dominant company that provides an expensive service and cherry picks the best routes. They are happy to work with councils on the high-profile 'showcase' routes, but pick and choose the rest. Public transport used to be about public service but these days it is purely about private profit. The Government could have got tough with the bus companies through its recent Local Transport Act but instead just tweaked the rules. The new Act did nothing to stop First scrapping the X27 with little notice, and now local taxpayers are having to pay to keep the service running".

The debate raised some interesting points.

First Bus says they're not allowed to subsidise less economic routes from their profitable ones - but the Government doesn't agree. Transport Minister Paul Clark said he didn't know any legal reason why this should be so.

The Minister also said that Councils should get powers to force companies to run routes and to cap fares by the end of the year - if of course South Glos are willing to take up the challenge.

More detail on Steve Webb's blog.

Steve Webb will be talking about this on Radio Bristol at 7.30 am tomorrow morning (Wednesday 6 May)

The BIG picture - have your say on health

Until 31st July, South Gloucestershire Council and NHS South Gloucestershire are carrying out a consultation on local health and social care needs. They are very keen to get the views of those who can get a "raw deal" from these services and will be holding meet-and-greet events to get the views of everyone involved, including children and young people, older people and people with disabilities.

There will be two events in Yate Shopping Centre where you can have your say:

  • Meet and Greet - 10am-2pm on Saturday 16 May - a chance to meet the people involved in this consultation and share your views on 'The Big Picture' For Health and Wellbeing in South Gloucestershire

  • Family Week Event 10am-4pm on Tuesday 26 May - another chance to share your views as part of an event to celebrate Family Week

For more information, including events being held elsewhere, see the consultation website.

Friday, 1 May 2009

Confirmed swine flu case at Downend School

You may have heard on the news that there is a confirmed swine flu case at Downend School. South Glos Council have issued this press release. For more information on swine flu see the Council's regularly updated information page.

Thursday, 30 April 2009

Gurkhas victory

Last night the House of Commons voted for a Lib Dem motion rejecting Labour's stance on the Gurkhas. More on the victory in Steve Webb's blog.

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Event for businesses

Local businesses may be interested in "Smart investments in the South West for a Green Economic Recovery", a half-day seminar on the European, regional and local contribution to the economic recovery. It will take place on the morning of Thursday 14 May 2009 in Emerson’s Green Village Hall, Emerson Way, Emerson’s Green, South Gloucestershire, BS16 7AP.

For more information contact George Kousouros at South Gloucestershire Council
( before 7 May 2009.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Frog Lane - Sixty Years On

This Saturday and Sunday (2nd and 3rd May) there will be a free exhibition in Coalpit Heath Miners' Institute (Village Hall) marking sixty years since the closure of Frog Lane pit, the last Coalpit Heath coalmine. You can view it from 7.30pm-11pm on Saturday and 12.30-2.30pm and 7.30pm-10pm on Sunday.

After that it moves to the Yate and District Heritage Centre from 14 May to 4 July.

ETA: Those interested in the mining history of our area might also want to look at the latest newsletter for the Friends of Ram Hill Colliery.

Monday, 27 April 2009

Buses - a partial victory

Just to let you know that South Glos Council has responded to our petition and all your emails. They've agreed to subsidise the X27. Key points are:

Good news:
- Hourly X27 service retained from Yate via North Yate, main road past Iron Acton, Winterbourne to Bristol.
- It will bypass Bristol Bus Station and continue to the Centre, which will be helpful for some people
- No problem with tickets if you're changing to another bus in Bristol because it's still run by First

Bad news:
- Only two X27 buses before 0900, instead of five (standing room only?)
- No X buses for South Yate loop
- South Yate / Birds drop from daytime service of two X buses plus one slow service per hour, to two slowcoach services only

Watch out for coverage on tonight's ITV West news if you see this before then. We'll post more details here in due course.

Have your say on health and social care in South Glos

The South Gloucestershire Local Involvement Network (LINk) is holding a public event on Thursday May 21st 2009 from 2pm until 4pm or 6.30pm until 8.30pm at BAWA, 589 Southmead Road, Filton BS34 7RG.

Becoming part of the LINk is your chance to have a say on health and social care in South Gloucestershire. Refreshments will be provided.

For more information and to book limited transport and crèche places (these must be booked by May 1st) contact Genise Hilton on 0117 9589348 or .

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Voluntary Voices

South Gloucestershire Voluntary Sector Forum has organised a "Voluntary Voices" event for all members of voluntary and community groups in South Gloucestershire - volunteers, staff and trustees. The event will take place at 2.00pm – 4.00pm on Monday 27 April in the Greenfield Centre, Winterbourne, BS36 1NJ.

They will be discussing the South Gloucestershire Safer & Stronger Communities Partnership Strategy Consultation April – July 2009 and there will be an update on the Local Area Agreement, covering the results of the Third Sector survey and planning the next steps in "Participation in Regular Volunteering".

Please contact Gillian Graham on 01454 865205 or email info@cvs-sg to register your interest.

FREE launch event for new walks leaflets!

For some time a dedicated band of local walkers and councillors have been working on a series of leaflets based on walks between local churches.

The leaflets will be launched at an open event in Chipping Sodbury Town Hall on Saturday 2nd May from 10 am to 12 noon. There will then be an organised walk from St John's to St Mary's Church in Yate.

Please come drop in, collect your FREE walks leaflets and maybe join us on the inaugural walk!

Friday, 17 April 2009

Teenager to move home because of bus cuts

The Gazette is running a rather depressing bus story this week. (The coverage is good, but the details are depressing)

P.S. You can still have your say - email Cllr Brian Allinson, the Conservative Councillor who will be deciding about replacement services. His email is

And please sign up to the Save Our Buses in South Gloucestershire campaign.

Friday, 10 April 2009

Bus cuts - what you can do THIS WEEKEND

South Glos now has to make its mind up how much it wants to spend towards plugging the gaps left by First Bus. The person who will make the decision is Cllr Brian Allinson, the Conservative South Glos cabinet member responsible for transport issues.


His email address is

Tell him –
- Where you live
- How you and your neighbours and friends are affected by the bus cuts
- What you want him to do about it


Thursday, 9 April 2009

400 name petition handed to South Glos

You may have seen on ITV's West Country Tonight last night that the first stage of our bus cuts petition has been handed to South Glos Council. The petition is ongoing - if you haven't signed up yet, do it now!

The 400 name petition, calling for immediate action to restore adequate bus services for the areas affected by the First Bus cuts to the services from Yate and Chipping Sodbury through Iron Acton and Winterbourne, was presented to the Council's transport select committee by Liberal Democrat councillor Paul Hulbert. He said, "The effects of this are profound. People have contacted me saying that because of the lack of buses some people will have to move house and move away from their communities. Some people will have to give up their jobs or will have much reduced employment opportunities."

"There are elderly people who are now mobile but will be trapped because they cannot walk far enough to reach the nearest bus service."

"Many people will spend much longer every day getting to work and back. And there are hidden price rises too - even if there are some replacement services, many people will have to pay more to travel because different companies won’t accept each others’ tickets."

In just over three weeks 400 people have signed up to the Save Our Buses in South Gloucestershire petition on paper, online and on Facebook. More than 80 people have left individual messages on the petition at explaining the effects on their lives and their communities.

There is particular concern about the disappearance of the X27 service. Steve Webb MP said "Whilst South Glos has not yet committed any money, it has invited local bus companies to say what they would charge for running a service, possibly on a somewhat reduced timetable. The Council will shortly decide whether or not to fund this 'emergency' tender."

"It is therefore vital that anyone who wants to see the X27 maintained contacts the councillor in charge of transportation, Brian Allinson (, as a matter of urgency to let him know how important it is that the Council finds the money."

"We do not have long to act if we want to ensure that the service continues after May 10th, so please ensure that Cllr Allinson knows how much local residents want the Council to find the resources to keep the bus on the road."

Cllr Hulbert commented, "What we need is a bus service that actually meets community needs, not just what suits First, with South Glos papering over the more obvious cracks. We will continue to collect signatures to keep up the pressure."

Monday, 6 April 2009

Subsidy hope for axed bus service?

Saturday's evening post carried a report on a meeting between Steve Webb, First, villagers at Iron Acton and local councillors (click link for full story) including Yate and Frampton Cotterell. Hope for some services, provided that South Glos can be persuaded to subsidise.

At the meeting First's commercial director Simon Cursio was told how axing of the X27 on May 10 would affect local people. Students told how they would be unable to get to college and others said that older people without their own transport might have to move house.

South Gloucestershire Council has put out an emergency tender to replace the X27 and despite not yet finding the money to pay for it, hopes to have a bus back on the road, though at a reduced frequency - it sounds like they considered a full replacement service but felt the council couldn't afford it.

Steve said: "This was a very productive meeting. As well as highlighting the damage that the loss of this route would cause for local residents, we concentrated on how we can fight to keep it going after May 10."

"It is vital that the council finds the cash to keep the service going, routes it through Iron Acton as before and in the longer term consults with local residents in Yate and along the route about the timings which would be of most value to them."

"Residents stressed they would be cut off if the service was to cease, both in north Yate and in Iron Acton."

"One young resident said the end of the service came right in the middle of her A-level exams and that she would have to live somewhere else in order to be able to get to college."

Mr Cursio was also presented with seven pages of detailed comments and views that people had sent in to the Save Our Buses in South Gloucestershire campaign website.

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Temporary lights by railway viaduct

There are temporary traffic lights on the A432 Badminton Road at the railway viaduct on the edge of Coalpit Heath to allow a manhole cover to be re-bedded. The roadworks are expected to last until Tuesday 7th.

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Save Our Buses campaign goes live on Facebook too!

Our campaign "Save Our Buses in South Gloucestershire" now has its own Facebook group. If you're on Facebook or know anyone who is, please look at / join the group.

A quick link to get you there is - you'll need to sign in with your Facebook ID.

Also - or if you're not on Facebook - please visit the campaign website and petition at where you can sign the petition online, join our email group and print off petition forms.

There are also regular updates here, and on our sister Focus blog for Sodbury, Yate and Dodington and of course on Steve Webb's blog

Please spread the word!

Safer Stronger Community Group priorities

The priorities agreed at Wednesday's meeting were:

1. Rural burglaries.
2. CCTV, Lower Stone Close.
3. Speeding and parking in locality of schools.

There was also a discussion about how the meetings are run and how we might bring in the "Stronger" element as well as the "Safer".

More information about the local beat neighbourhood can be found on the Avon and Somerset website.

Monday, 30 March 2009

Safer Stronger Community Group on Wednesday

The latest Frampton Cotterell and Westerleigh Safer Stronger Community Group is on Wednesday 1st April at 7.30pm in Westerleigh Village Hall. Come along and raise issues that are affecting you and your community.

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Green scheme will lead to lower bills

Money-saving “Smart Meters” will soon be available to borrow free from libraries across South Gloucestershire, thanks to a successful proposal made by the Liberal Democrats at the South Gloucestershire Council meeting this week.

Smart meters measure the electricity being used by home electrical appliances and enable users to find ways to reduce their electricity consumption. When a library loan scheme was introduced last year in York, the overwhelming demand for the meters meant that the number available for hire had to be doubled.

Bringing the scheme here was the brainchild of local Councillor Dave Hockey (pictured right with a smart meter). Speaking after the meeting he said, “I am delighted that South Glos Council unanimously backed this Lib Dem proposal which has proved to be so popular with local residents in York. Residents will now have the chance to borrow a smart meter for a week to check which of their appliances are the heaviest users of electricity in time to take action and cut both their bills and their carbon footprint - brilliant!'”

Friday, 27 March 2009

Lib Dems keep up the pressure on bus cuts

Local Lib Dem Councillors kept up the pressure for action on the recently announced bus cuts at Wednesday's meeting of South Glos Council.

They won cross-party support for a motion calling on the Tory Cabinet Member responsible for transport to negotiate with all bus operators to achieve a number of key improvements and to recognise the importance of improving public transport in the area in time for the opening of the new Badminton Road Council offices.

But Tory and Labour Councillors voted against an amendment suggesting a timescale for implementing Nibley Park and Ride and criticising the delay in passing on information about the cuts.

Local Councillor Claire Young, who proposed the motion, said, “We are seeing a vicious downward spiral in the bus services in the Yate area. People in places like Iron Acton and North Yate face being cut off not only from employment and services in Bristol but also in central Yate. Nibley and Coalpit Heath saw cuts last summer and will now lose the only remaining daytime express service.”

“Against this background of dwindling services, the Council will be introducing hundreds of employees at the new Badminton Road Council offices. Local residents are very concerned about the impact the new offices will have on them, whether through increased parking in residential roads or greater congestion.”

Claire reminded fellow Councillors of the shelved Nibley MMI project. “Had this been implemented as planned, it would already have been taking cars off the local roads and supporting the viability of the bus services. Instead services have been slashed, fares increased, congestion worsened, while the Executive Member apparently waits for new services to appear so that the site can be implemented without subsidy.” She urged the Executive Member to look at the problems in the area as a whole rather than trying to fix issues in isolation.

Yate Councillor Ian Blair, who proposed the amendment, said that the Executive Member met with First Bus in early February. "I believe he should have told members and the public about the bus cuts sooner. The first local Councillors knew was a letter from First Bus only a day before the announcement. This simply isn’t enough time to enable Councillors and residents to mount a proper challenge.”

Earlier in the meeting, Lib Dem transport spokesperson Pat Hockey challenged the Executive Member on the action he was taking to deal with the cuts.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Bus cuts - more of your comments

The "Save Our Bus Services" petition is still open - please click here to sign the petition - and ask your friends to do the same.

Here is another selection of your comments - you can read the latest ones on the petition web page.

I am a 17 year old female and i live in Iron Acton i rely on the bus to travel to Yate as my school and friends are based there. When i herd about the bus being stoped i was very worried as too how i would travel to Yate. I live with my grandmother and so it is difficult to get a lift.

What a selfish decision First Bus has made with no consultation with the people who use the bus as their only means of transport, especialy when we are being encouraged to leave our cars at home and use public transport.

Same proposals as last year only we had a 'consultation' that time. This year no consultation, we'll just put thru' last years plans. It was said that other bus companies are available or will be available, that's okay especially when you have already paid First over a thousand pounds for your current ticket. I doubt there would be a refund. Additionally because of long term problems we have to go regularly to the eye hospital at various times of the day, absolutely no chance for services to arrive on time to get us there for 0845am- this means leaving currently at the latest 0720 otherwise you catch the fishponds downend/frenchay/hambrook and m32 traffic - thanks First

We need a good public transport service to reduce car use and support our communities.

I catch the X27 in peak commuting times and the bus is always packed. I find it hard to believe that the route is not affordable at peak times. The times of buses on the alternative 327 are not suitable due to childcare arrangements. It is ridiculous to cut bus services, introduce CPZ parking in inner Bristol areas and then talk about a congestion charge.

This is my only means to arrive at work on time - please please reconsider!

We are already .8 mile from bus stop now will be 2-3miles.

This is the result of Tory deregulation of bus services, bring bus services back in to the public sector

We have just started using the bus again for reasons of conservation of energy & reducing stress - & now you make it impracticable



The bus service is being cut yet again! I am annoyed about this and need your influence to sort this out.

I am incensed about this issue! I fought for years to get a bus service to Brimsham Park/North Yate and now that it is there, they're going to take it away. It is my only means of transport and without it, I will lose my independance.

This bus service is very important to the community of Yate - I use it to get to work, as well as recreationally because I want to a) save money on parking and b) help reduce congestion and emissions, and without it, this is impossible!

I think this is absolutely disgraceful that First Bus can just cancel a bus service which a lot of elderly, young people and workers rely on to get them into the Town Centre and Bristol. It has left my 70year old mother with no public transport at all, this is not acceptable.

A cheaper regular service is needed urgently,not cancelling a service altogther. I caught the X27 today & the bus was full, so how do we commute to Bristol centre now?

I use the X27 to get to and from work in Bristol. Without this bus I am going to face a half hour walk very early in the morning to catch a bus from the centre and a half hour walk back at night. Adding an hour onto an already long day.

The X27 is well used and on the return journey is almost completely full.

I think it is atrocious that these cuts are being made in an age where we are constantly being encouraged to leave our car at home - we can't do that without a decent transport system!

The X42 is not a suitable alternative as I will have to use my car to get to it being unable to walk the distance to access it. Also it will be full before it leaves Yate.
No promised Metro, no promised park and ride - now no bus. Pushed back into our cars we will then get slapped with congestion charge at some point. Great planning everybody!!

This decision is unacceptable and against the Public Interest and isdicriminatory to people who have to use public transport especially the elderly

My daughter gets the X27 into college each day and would have to leave much earlier to get the 327. She is in her final year of A levels and works long hours in the library. Getting into college quickly makes her long day much more bearable. The X27 is a vital service for many students like her- it gets them into college on time without long delays travelling through half of north Bristol(which is what the 327 does- painfully). Over two years of poor time keeping, often rude and aggressive drivers and overcrowding on the X27 we have spent a considerable amount of money investing in First Bus. A company with such a poor name for service should be doing its utmost to improve customer relations, not anger its client group of travellers.

Please do not reduce the X42 service to peak times only, 342 journey is a nightmare.

After being pleased with the recent improvements made to the X27, news that it will be cancelled is very disappointing. I will lose ~6hrs a week, most of which will be spent on an unpleasantly overcrowded bus. I will also have to cancel one of my classes as I won't be home early enough to go. It is a shame that South Gloucestershire buses cannot take over.


The X27 and X42 are the buses I use to get to college every day, the X27 being the one closes to where I live.

If these services go in May, then the annual bus pass I bought in September is effectively useless as I'll never be able to get into college on time in the mornings on the 342.

I was outraged although not shocked when I was informed of this move by First Bus. It frankly does not shock me what a truly below average service First provide, (in fact they are not worthy of the name First).

I left North Yate eight years ago, and even back then the service was abmysmal. My mother and grandmother live in the area where the service will be cut. It is not safe for lone females or children to walk in the dark to the shopping centre to catch the bus.

Such a shame a reliable customer focused company can't overthrow First.

Commuters in Yate have my sympathy. I really hope First have a change of heart and leave the service in place.

Just why are they cutting this vital link?

keep the bus !

Surely this service has seen a smaller number of passengers during off peak times due to the very hard winter and this will certainly pick up during the warmer weather. Every bus service is bound to have peaks and troughs during the day. I wonder what Justin Davies would do if he lived on this route and used the bus to get to work? Regarding the bus fares how can First justify putting fares up due to the price they paid for fuel and yet now fuel prices have drastically reduced we have not seen a reduction in fares. Perhaps they should put the customer and not shareholders first -they should be supplying a PUBLIC SERVICE. How on earth did we get to this situation. Most other major cities have a very good, affordable and efficient service e.g. Cardiff,why not us?

From Winterbourne there are currently three X27s between 7 and 8 am, at 7:09, 7:26 and 7:41 - this is too much, but could be reduced instead of stopped completely. Whenever I took the 327 it took an extra half an hour (at least) to get home because of the traffic through Frenchay at around 5 pm.

Im a regular user of the buses from yate to bristol, as i work as the bristol kids. I am outraged that, once again, first are cutting the services. Just when things are working down, another change!!!

I absolutly agree with everything the petition says. First is an horrendous service but, unfortunatly for its citezen's, it is the main public transport in the Bristol area and so is relied upon by large amounts of people. Cutting a number of buses is just adding to thier already extremely bad name! Why, at this time of huge enviromental concern, does it feel like those who are trying to help are constantly being pushed to just give up and get a car. First buses truly are Worst buses!!!

If first cut this service there is a chance I will lose my job!

I live on the east side of brimsham park. Now they have removed this service it's pretty much an equal distance for me between the shopping centre or the train station. And the train is a lot cheaper than the busses. The only reason I used to get the bus was for the convenience but they have removed this now and they certainly don't win on cost.