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.