Monday, 27 December 2010

B4509 accidents - keep a log

Charfield councillor Sandra O’Neill is asking people to keep a log of accidents on the B4509 at Tortworth. She says, “I would like to keep a log of any accidents that happen
as not all are reported to the police. Please can you help by contacting me regarding any accident that you may see.”

Friday, 24 December 2010

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Planning for our future - where we are now

Last week the Cabinet and Council approved the Core Strategy, the planning blueprint for South Gloucestershire until 2026, with a number of changes. These have now been published. There will not be a formal consultation but there will be an opportunity to make comments up until Friday 18 February, only on the changes. The following documents can be accessed on the South Glos website:

Schedule Summary Report, December 2010 - the main issues raised in representations to the Pre-Submission Consultation Draft Core Strategy and the Council's response;
Schedule of Proposed Changes to the Core Strategy, December 2010;
The proposed changes version of the Core Strategy, December 2010;
The South Gloucestershire Core Strategy Sustainability Appraisal and Appendices, dated March 2010 with December 2010 updates; and
Changes to the Proposals Map, December 2010.

The Council will not formally respond to any further comments received, but any comments, together with earlier representations and other information, will be submitted to the independent Inspector appointed to hold the Examination into the Core Strategy, as matters to be taken into consideration. The Council expects the Core Strategy to be formally submitted to the Government no later than March 2011 for independent examination.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Snow latest

South Glos have a severe weather page where you can find out the latest on Council services during the current snowy weather. Tonight, we've been told that:

All roads are currently open and South Glos Council will continue to work around the clock to keep main roads open and routes into all communities.

Waste Collections

Most collections have been completed despite the slippery conditions and there will be an extra vehicle out tomorrow to help catch up with the properties that haven't had their food waste collected today. Providing the situation doesn't detoriorate further, they hope to be back on track by the end of tomorrow. SITA say:

If the bad weather has prevented us from collecting your waste and/or recycling please take your materials back in and present them on the next scheduled collection day. Should the bad weather continue beyond week commencing 27th December we will review this arrangement. To check the latest arrangements over the Christmas and New Year period please check the Council website or listen out on local radio for any further updates.

Day Care Centres

Currently only Downend and Chipping Sodbury Day Care centres have closed. Other arrangements are being put in place to give people appropriate support.


Libraries closed at 4pm today but are scheduled to resume normal services tomorrow unless there are further weather problems.

You can find out more about helping you and your family cope with severe weather on the South Glos website. If you know of any vulnerable people who may need extra help in these conditions, for example because their heating has broken down, let the Council or your local Councillor know.

Green Dog Walkers to tackle dog fouling

Cllr Claire Young (right) with Cllr Linda Boon and her dog Cocoa

Dog owners could soon be helping to tackle dog fouling in a scheme that would see responsible owners wearing armbands and carrying extra bags to hand out to other dog walkers.

At a meeting of South Gloucestershire Council last week, the Liberal Democrats won backing for a proposal to investigate a Green Dog Walkers scheme for South Gloucestershire. One such scheme, which originated in Scotland, has spread across the UK and even won an award from the Kennel Club.

Local Councillor Claire Young, who proposed the idea, said after the meeting, “Dog fouling is not just unpleasant, it is a health hazard, particularly for young children. It’s also a difficult issue to tackle, with only two dog wardens to cover the whole of South Gloucestershire. That’s why I think it’s important to get responsible dog owners involved in tackling the irresponsible or ill-prepared minority who give everyone else a bad name. By wearing an armband or putting a special collar on their dog, and carrying extra waste bags, owners can not only be a visible reminder to their fellow dog walkers but also make sure they have no excuse not to clean up after their dogs.”

Cllr Linda Boon, said, “As a dog owner, I always carry extra bags for picking up mess left by other dogs as well as my own, and I know there are others who do the same. I would be very happy to hand out a spare bag to someone caught out without one. A Green Dog Walkers scheme would make our commitment more visible and send a message to other owners that everyone has to clear up after their dogs.”

Chipping Sodbury Town Councillor, Adrian Rush, said, “Some people seem to find it embarrassing to pick up the mess and carry it in a bag to a bin, but surely it is far more embarrassing to leave a mess that could put children at risk. A green dog walkers scheme is about changing attitudes in a friendly, non-confrontational way.”

Claire got thinking about how to involve the responsible majority of the dog owning community in tackling the problem after taking part in a community litter pick on the Manor School playing field. She was interviewed on Radio Bristol this morning - listen again here (starting just after 42 minutes) or read the article on the BBC website.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Park Lane closed overnight on 19th December

Park Lane, from its junction with Heather Avenue to the A432 Badminton Road, will be closed from midnight to 8.30am on Sunday 19th December so that the railway bridge can be repaired.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Don't be put off clearing snow and ice

Last winter there were reports in the media that people were put off clearing snow and ice for fear of being sued if someone later fell. The Government has tried to reassure the public - you can find their advice online.

£371,000 extra for schools in Thornbury & Yate constituency

The government has unveiled further details of the Pupil Premium – a key Liberal Democrat policy which will ensure the most disadvantaged children in our country get the help they need.

From April next year every school in England will get £430 for each child in their school on Free School Meals. Based on latest estimates from Sarah Teather MP, Minister of State at the Department for Education, this will mean at least an extra £371,520 for schools to spend on the students who need it most in the Thornbury & Yate constituency.

Each year between now and 2015 the amount spent in our constituency will rise – by 2015 we will be spending a total of £2.5bn nationally on the pupil premium.

This is money on top of what is already being allocated for schoolchildren – no school will lose money as result of the Pupil Premium. And it will be given to Head Teachers to spend at their discretion on what they think works best for their school – be it extra one-to-one classes, breakfast clubs or after-school clubs.

The Pupil Premium was one of four key front page manifesto commitments on which the Liberal Democrats fought the last General Election. Making it a reality will help improve the social mobility and life chances of hundreds of thousands of children from less privileged backgrounds over the coming years.

That is the real difference our party is making in government.

Fun for children at our local libraries

If you're looking for something to entertain the children this Christmas, take a look at what's going on in our local libraries.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

You can now recycle envelopes

At tonight's Council meeting it was announced that you can now put envelopes of any colour in the paper recycling, providing you remove any plastic windows from them.

Recycling over Christmas

With Christmas Day falling on a Saturday this year, there will be no change to your bin collection day, everything will be collected as normal. This also means that no extra waste will be collected. If you haven't received any of your new containers or have any concerns about the new recycling scheme, please call the Council's Contact Centre on 01454 868000. You can find some tips on the Council's website.

Yate SORT IT! centre

The Yate SORT IT! centre will be CLOSED on the following days during the holiday period:

Saturday 25 December
Sunday 26 December
Saturday 1 January

and the following days are treated as Bank Holidays with reduced opening hours:

Monday 27 December – 8.00 am – 4.00 pm
Tuesday 28 December – 8.00 am – 4.00 pm

For all other days the site will be open as usual:

Weekdays: 8.00 am – 4.15 pm
Saturdays: 8.00 am – 4.00 pm
Sundays: 9.00 am – 1.00 pm

Christmas trees

If they are not too big, Christmas trees can be chopped up and put into your green bin. The trunk or branches must be no more than 4 inches in diameter and the bin lid must close. Please remove all decorations. If your tree is too big then it can be taken to your nearest SORT IT!* Centre where it will be separated out for composting.

Christmas cards

Christmas cards cannot be recycled as part of the normal collections due to the plastic, tinsel etc attached. The Woodland Trust card recycling scheme this year involves TK Maxx, Marks and Spencer and Homesense and locally, you can recycle cards at these stores:

ASDA Longwell Green - Starting 29/12/10 until 21/01/10
ASDA - Cribbs Causeway - Starting 29/12/10 until 21/01/10
Sainsbury's - Emersons Green - Dates to be confirmed

Wrapping Paper

Wrapping paper cannot be collected as part of the kerbside collection service for the same reason as cards cannot be collected.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Watch out for bogus Council officials

South Glos Trading Standards warn that suspected Rogue Traders are posing as Council officers and purporting to carry out property surveys and asking for personal financial details. Trading Standards advice on keeping safe is:

  • Council officers will have identification, which can be verified by contacting the relevant local authority
  • Never give personal or financial details to strangers unless you are satisfied you know who you are giving them to
  • Do not allow anyone to enter your home unless you know who they are
  • Remember, it is your front door! It is not rude to close it on someone if you feel uncertain or unsafe.

If you would like to report a scam or would like further advice on this or any other consumer issue, please contact Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06. If you feel you have fallen victim to such a scam, report it to the Police.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Nibley Lane closed Tuesday 14 December

Nibley Lane, from Badminton Road A432 to Westerleigh Road, will be closed from 9.30am to 2.30pm on Tuesday 14th December for deep cleaning and drainage maintenance.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Another update on the "Westerleigh smell"

Wessex Water say that there was a fault with the level control system at the Kidney Hill pumping station and it was pumping continuously. They planned to fix this on Monday afternoon. They are also hoping to install odour monitors in the sewer later this week to confirm the dosing of the new dosing system is effective at stopping smells from the pumping station discharge.

Monday, 6 December 2010

Westerleigh smell - hope of a solution?

It looked like good news last Thursday when Wessex Water told Claire Young the dosing system to stop odorous discharges was now in place and operational at Kidney Hill. Unfortunately the next day residents were reporting a bad smell but we gather this had improved by Sunday. Please let Claire know of any problems, as well as reporting them directly to Wessex Water. A copy of their Code of Practice for Enquiries and Complaints can be found on their website.

Prior to the update from Wessex Water, Claire had arranged with the South Glos environmental health team for monitoring tubes to be given to people experiencing odorous gases coming back through the sewers into their houses. In the event of gases coming into a property, these tubes can be used to test the levels. Alison Howard is acting as the contact on this (tel 01454 312195).

Claire has also asked Tulip to produce a summary of their complaints procedure that can be shared with local people and of the planned improvements arising out of the audit carried out by the Environment Agency.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Grants for local groups

Are you involved in a local group that would be interested in applying for a small grant from South Gloucestershire Council? The latest round of Small Revenue Grants opened for applications on Wednesday 1st December with a closing date of 4th January 2011. If you are are interested, you can find out more on the South Glos website.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Pedestrian crossing in Coalpit Heath fixed

A resident reported to Claire Young yesterday that the pedestrian crossing on the Badminton Road in Coalpit Heath near the junction with Woodend Road was cycling through the phases even when no pedestrian was there. Claire passed the details on and the lights have now been fixed. If you spot any further problems with these or any other traffic lights in the area, please call Siemens directly on 0800 854229. The line is open 24 hours a day 365 days a year and is the quickest route to getting a problem fixed.

Reading Station closed over Christmas

Reading Station will be closed for redevelopment between December 27, 2010 and January 2, 2011.You can find out more on the First Great Western website.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Celebrating Brockeridge School

At the end of this term, Brockeridge Infant School will close to become part of the new Watermore Primary School. On Thursday 16th December the school will be holding a Victorian Open Day to celebrate Brockeridge and its place in the heart of the community since 1846. There will be an exhibition in the hall from 9.30-11.30am and 1.30-5.30pm, where you will be able to look at photos of past pupils and staff, read the old log books to find out what happened in the olden days and meet staff and governors, past and present. Refreshments will be available. Anyone who has ever had an association with the school will be welcome to attend.

At 5.30pm there will be a short closing ceremony where the children will be singing the "Brockeridge Song" for the last time.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Frome Vale Area Forum - this Thursday

If you have an issue you'd like to raise or would like to know more about the Council's Sreet Care services, come along to Shireway Community Association at 7pm on Thursday 2nd December for the Frome Vale Area Forum.

Snow information

St Saviour's Church, Coalpit Heath on Tuesday morning

With the possibility of more snow on the way, now would be a good time to bookmark South Glos Council's snow page, which gives up to date information about any services affected by the weather.

Anti-bullying campaign

The UK Youth Parliament are launching a huge new survey for children and young people across the South West who are or have ever been bullied, as part of their regional anti-bullying campaign. You can fill in the survey online. It closes on Friday 17th December 2010.

Monday, 29 November 2010

Nibley Lane parking

Residents and local councillor Claire Young met a highways engineer in Nibley Lane this morning to look at changes to the yellow lines there. Following the recent resurfacing, the lines needed reinstating, but having seen "no parking" cones all the way down to the river, residents were concerned the double yellow lines might extend that far. The engineer was able to reassure everyone that the cones were actually there to keep the road clear so it could be swept.

Residents wanted double yellow lines around the junction with the Badminton Road to be reinstated, as there have been problems with cars parking there, but wanted the road outside Rockleigh to be free of restrictions. On the other side of the road, it was agreed to take the yellow lines down to the entrance of the Bird Farm to make it easier for people exiting. The engineer sprayed yellow paint to show where the lines should now end and said the Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) relating to the lines would be amended when they were tidying up all the TROs for the restrictions around the new council offices.

Finding out what matters to you

Your local Focus Team has been busy knocking on doors with surveys to find out the issues that matter to you. If you're not in when we call, please return the survey to the Freepost address (no stamp required!) and if you'd like to talk to us about an issue, please contact us using the details on this site.

Have your say on nuclear power station proposals

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) will be holding a consultation event in Thornbury next month. It will give local residents the chance to hear how the Government’s proposed policies for energy have changed and also to ask questions about the inclusion of Oldbury in the list of potential new nuclear power stations.

Representatives from DECC will attend the meeting, as part of the national consultation on the revised Draft Nuclear National Policy Statement, which runs until 24 January. The listing of proposed sites for new nuclear power stations is part of the national policy statement. The DECC representatives are planning to give a presentation and answer questions afterwards.

The meeting will take place on Thursday 16 December, 7pm – 9pm, Severnside Hall, Thornbury leisure centre.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Yate waste facility latest

The Joint Waste Core Strategy is a planning document that sets out where waste facilities should be provided in the West of England. It is currently going through its independent Examination by the Planning Inspectorate and the hearing sessions finished on Tuesday. Yate Town Council made representations about the plans for a waste facility on the trading estate to the edge of Yate.

On Wednesday, the West of England authorities submitted their proposed changes. There is no further consultation. The Inspector will now consider all the information in preparing his factual report for the Partnership Authorities. It is anticipated this will be no later than 28th January 2011. The Inspector's final report will follow. Further information will be available on the West of England website as it becomes available.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Campaign to make Frampton End Road safer

Local residents are campaigning for Frampton End Road to be closed to through traffic.

The single track road between Frampton Cotterell and Iron Acton, which forms part of the Frome Valley Walkway, has numerous blind bends and in many places has no verges for people to escape to if a vehicle comes speeding along. A number of animals have been killed or injured in accidents and residents think it is only a matter of time before a human life is lost. Ramblers, horse riders and cyclists are backing the campaign.

You can read more, including a link to an electronic version of the petition, on the Gazette website.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Latest on new recycling collections

The new recycling services start on Monday (22nd November). You should receive your new containers by Sunday afternoon, but some people won't get their plastic bottle bags due to the ship carrying them being delayed. Instead you will be given two large clear plastic bags as a temporary measure or you can use any other sturdy re-usable bag you might have, such as an Ikea bag or a "bag for life". Don't use lightweight plastic carrier bags. If you haven't received your new containers by Sunday evening, please ring the Contact Centre on on 01454 868000 Monday to let them know. This is also the number to ring if you have any other enquiries.

Some people are concerned about the fact cardboard will no longer be allowed in the green bins. Initially, the advice was to put it inside the largest cardboard box you are sending for recycling or to put it under your green been. Now we are told you can place cardboard in a sturdy re-usable bag and place it by the side of the bins. The cardboard will be collected and the bag returned.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Do you know someone who would like help getting online?

If you know someone who would benefit from being online but isn't, point them in the direction of a session being run in Yate libary in association with the BBC's First Click campaign.

First Click provides an easy to use website which teaches the basic skills required to use the internet. The South Gloucestershire community learning team will be available at a drop-in session between 10.30am and 12.30pm on Monday 29th November in Yate Libary to give people a helping hand. Community learning will be running free IT courses at selected libraries in the New Year. People attending the drop in sessions will have the opportunity to enrol on them.

You can find out more about the First Click campaign online.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Resurfacing of the A432 in Yate

From today, Stover Road will be closed and the lights at the junction with the A432 Badminton Road will be replaced with temporary ones so that the road can be resurfaced and the detector-loops cut. The estimated completion date is 17 November.

Similar work is being carried out at the junction of Station Road and Cranleigh Court Road. It's hoped this will finish by Sunday.

Flat rate bus fare success for Yate & Chipping Sodbury - now what about the villages?

Local transport campaigners are celebrating the news that you will soon be able to travel anywhere in Yate & Chipping Sodbury for £1. The flat rate will apply on all buses within the towns run by Wessex Connect and Severnside Transport buses.

Yate Town Councillor Chris Willmore said, “This is something we’ve been fighting for for over three years. It makes taking a bus within the town cheaper and simpler. People will be able to get on the bus knowing exactly how much it will cost them and knowing it won’t be an arm and a leg.”

Cllr Sue Walker, Chair of Friends of Yate Station, said, “Now it’s cheap enough, we all need to get out there and use the buses so we don’t lose them. This flat rate fare will be a real boon for rail users, who up to now have had to fork out nearly as much for the short bus ride to the station as they have for their rail tickets in some cases. Taking a bus to the station and then travelling further afield will now be a real option for many more people.”

This is great news for people living in Yate and Chipping Sodbury, including the Stover Road area, but Westerleigh councillor Claire Young would like to see something similar for the surrounding villages. “When it can cost over half as much to get the bus from Coalpit Heath to Yate station as it does for the train trip from there to Bristol and back, it’s no wonder people are put off using the services.”

The Hopper ticket will cost just £1 single or £1.50 return and will be valid in a zone extending from St Johns Way, Chipping Sodbury in the East to the Badminton Road Council offices in the West.

The following services will be covered by the Hopper ticket:

* X27 Yate to Bristol via Brimsham Park
* 84 Yate to Wotton-Under-Edge via Chipping Sodbury
* 85 Yate to Emersons Green
* 86 Wotton-Under-Edge to Kingswood (South Gloucestershire) via Chipping Sodbury and Yate
* 87 Chipping Sodbury to Longwell Green via Yate
* 88 Chipping Sodbury to Iron Acton via Yate
* 200 Chipping Sodbury to University of the West of England
* 482/3 Chipping Sodbury to Cribbs Causeway via Yate
* 581 Chipping Sodbury to Hanham via Yate
* 620 Tetbury to Bath via Yate and Chipping Sodbury
* 622 Chipping Sodbury to Cribbs Causeway via Yate
* 689 Yate to Bristol via Pucklechurch

Please note that if you buy a return ticket, you will need to use the same company's buses coming back.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Campaigners hopeful of winning battle on rail shelters

Local rail campaigners are winning their battle to keep Yate commuters dry this winter. Last month, rail user Chris Willmore slammed First Great Western’s decision to leave Yate commuters with no shelter from the rain after Perspex panels in the shelters were destroyed by vandals. At Monday’s Friends of Yate Station meeting, she and other campaigners met representatives of the rail company face to face to push for action.

After the meeting, Chris Willmore said, “First Great Western are now investigating using the sort of metal mesh with holes that Yate Town Council has used successfully on its bus shelters, such as the one on Church Road. We are delighted, as this will give a longer term, vandal-resistant solution. Anyone who has waited for a train in the recent wet and windy weather will be keen for the shelters to be fixed as soon as possible.”

The photo shows local rail campaigners and Lib Dem Focus councillors Chris Willmore, Wully Perks and Martin Monk doing a spot of amateur weather forecasting - currently an essential skill for Yate rail passengers.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Clearing fallen leaves

From Monday, South Glos suspended the routine mechanical sweeping programme to concentrate on clearing leaf fall - targetting known problem areas and responding to requests from residents reported through the Street Care Helpdesk. Initially the sweeping programme will be suspended for three weeks.

If you want to report a concern, please contact Street Care on 01454 868000 or e-mail .

Friday, 29 October 2010

Details of new recycling collections

You can now find full details of the new recycling collections on the Council website.

Foray for Fungi

Ever wondered how to tell the difference between mushrooms and toadstools? Find out on Monday 1st November at Wapley Bushes. Meet at 2pm at the Shire Way entrance for a two hour foray with Justin Smith.

Monday, 25 October 2010

A listening council?

South Gloucestershire residents will have to get a massive 2,500 signatures on a petition to require their Council to debate an issue after Tory and Labour Councillors blocked Lib Dem plans for a lower figure.

At last week's Council Meeting, the Lib Dems argued that 500 was a large enough number to deter time wasters and said there should be the option to debate any petition or explain why not. They expressed concern about the impact on people in rural areas, as small communities would struggle to get 2,500 signatures.

Frampton Cotterell Councillor Pat Hockey said, “If we send out the message that we are interested in the issues raised by petitioners and ready to debate them, they may come along and make Council meetings more lively and worthwhile. If 500 people want their Council to debate something then I certainly believe it must be important and that it is our duty as a listening council to do so.”

Dave Hockey added, “The Council claims on its website that ‘We’re committed to getting involved – working with, listening to and involving local people in our decision-making and action.’ Our proposal would have put those words into action. Why are the other parties so afraid of discussing what local people would like to be done?”

Pat Hockey explained the reasons behind the Lib Dem proposals on Radio Bristol this morning, just after the 7 o'clock news.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Look for owls at Wapley Bushes

On Monday 25th October you can join Ian McGuire for a twilight walk searching for owls at Wapley Bushes. Meet at the Shire Way entrance at 7.30pm.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Interested in archaeology?

Are you interested in forming an archaeology group and undertaking research into your local historic environment?

South Glos Council has recently launched SCARP (South Gloucestershire Community Archaeology Research Project) to encourage local communities to get involved in archaeology. Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the project will provide training to local archaeology groups in non-intrusive archaeological techniques and provide the opportunity for people to become Heritage Wardens, undertaking conservation of threatened archaeology in South Gloucestershire.

If you are interested in forming a group, are part of an existing history society who would like to start doing archaeology, or are an already existing archaeology society, contact Paul Driscoll on 01454 862175 or email .

Friday, 8 October 2010

Community Festival of Culture

The 2010 South Gloucestershire Engage Festival is taking place on Saturday 16 October at the WISE Campus, Filton between 10am and 6pm. More than 250 performers will be taking part in a variety of live performances, youth and environmental activities, interactive information stalls, and an impressive feast of Indian, Mediterranean, Chinese and British food. For more information, visit the South Glos website.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

First Great Western refuse to repair Yate Station shelter

Rail user, Chris Willmore (pictured above), has slammed First Great Western's decision to leave Yate commuters with no shelter from the rain whilst they wait for their train.

At the best of times it is a scramble for the hundreds of commuters waiting for morning trains from Yate to Filton and Bristol to find space in the tiny shelter. But now, even the shelter will not protect them from the rain. All but one panel of the shelter is broken, and rail users were horrified when First refused point blank to repair them.

Chris Willmore, who reported the problem and asked for action said, "This is mad. It leaves users with no shelter. There had been some vandalism, but the police have caught the culprit. Now we need the shelter back. Otherwise we are saying the countless decent rail users, who pay huge sums to use the train must wait in the wind and rain, unprotected. I can see why they didn't repair it whilst the culprit was at large, now he has been caught they should restore it."

"We will be taking it up with First face to face at the next Yate Station Users Group - but frankly First seem more interested in trying to persuade passengers to plant flower beds than actually providing a service to train users."

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

"Windmill Green" - reserved matters consent granted

“Windmill Green” has now got its reserved matters consent. This means that building can go ahead in line with the final plans which can be viewed on the South Glos website. Dave and Pat Hockey have pointed out that this is a very unsuitable name and understand that it may be changed to a name that they suggested, The Meads or Frampton Meads, which reflect old field names.

Your Focus Team was disappointed not to get the main play area relocated to a more central position. This was not possible because the Government Inspector that over-ruled the Council’s refusal of planning consent, agreed this location as part of the outline planning permission. The pedestrian access off Park Lane has been moved further away from the bend and South Glos Planning Officers haveagreed to try to persuade the developer to fund a safer way of getting across this busy road. We are assured that the arrangements for play both on this area and throughout the site will be exciting and interesting for children of various ages.

The shop is still included in the plans but Barratts have indicated their intention to put in a further planning application to replace it.

Friday, 1 October 2010

Link Road, Yate to close for 5 weeks from Mon 11th October

Link Road will be closed for five weeks while preparatory works are carried out for the extension to Yate Shopping Centre.

However, shoppers will still have access to the Shopping Centre and the Total petrol station from the Kennedy Way direction on a temporary access road. Buses will also access the existing bus station along this temporary road. Traffic can then rejoin Link Road by taking a left turn out of the shopping centre car park.

Traffic wishing to use the overflow car park can access Link Road from the Station Road end and will have to leave by a right turn. All other traffic that normally uses Link Road will be diverted along Kennedy Way and Station Road.

The aim is to get the disruption out of the way before the busy Christmas opening in late November.

The contractors will be widening Link Road on the eastern (overflow) side; diverting the cycle and foot paths; infilling the Link Road underpass; and installing traffic management measures. The bus station remains unaffected although work will follow to build the new station ready for opening early in 2011.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Badminton Road resurfacing

Claire Young has been given the following dates for the resurfacing work on Badminton Road and Station Road in Yate:

Station Road, Yate: From its junction with Westerleigh Close to North Road
20:00hrs on Friday 29th October - 06:00hrs on Monday 1st November 2010

Station Road, Yate: At its junction with Cranleigh Court Road
20:00hrs on Wednesday 3rd November 2010 - 06:00hrs on Thursday 4th November 2010
20:00hrs on Thursday 4th November 2010 - 06:00hrs on Friday 5th November 2010

Badminton Road, Yate: From the new joint at North Road down to the roundabout outside the new offices (inc. remaining area in Stover Road)
20:00hrs on Friday 5th November 2010 - 06:00hrs on Monday 8th November 2010

Badminton Road, Yate: From the new joint at North Road down to the roundabout outside the new offices (inc. remaining area in Stover Road)
20:00hrs on Friday 12th November 2010 - 06:00hrs on Monday 15th November 2010

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Bus shelter farce

The scheme to replace bus shelters on the "Showcase corridors" like the A432 with ones capable of being equipped to display "real time information" has not been without its problems. In Coalpit Heath, a number of the new shelters had to be resited, in one case only after months of badgering from a resident with the help of local Councillor Claire Young.

Now you Lib Dem Focus team is shocked to learn that some of the replacement shelters won't be displaying "real time information" after all.

Cllr Ian Blair said, “I was appalled when perfectly good bus shelters in Yate were ripped out and disposed of without warning, replaced by what I believe is a lower standard of shelter, and shelters were erected at new locations without consulting any of the residents affected.”

“The justification we were given was that the new shelters could be fitted with kit providing ‘real time information’ for bus users about when buses would be arriving at the stops. We are now told that not all the shelters will get this equipment which begs the question, why did they take the old ones out? This is a shocking waste of tax payers’ money, especially at a time when every penny of spending needs to be justified. Why did the Council’s Conservative Cabinet Member responsible for transport let this happen?”

Monday, 27 September 2010

Badminton Road temporary traffic light delays to continue

It now looks like the work to put overhead electricity cables along Badminton Road underground will continue into November.

Local food and drink festival starts Friday

The 6th ‘Taste’ Local Food & Drink Festival runs from Friday 1 October to Sunday 17 October and gives you the chance to find out about local food and drink producers. Some of the local events include:

  • A demonstration of how to joint different types of poultry and French trimming a loin of pork at the Tortworth Estate Shop 6.30-7.30pm on Tuesday5 October (booking required)
  • Chipping Sodbury Festival of Food on Saturday 9 October, including a chocolate workshop, cake decoration, waffle making, beer tasting, bread tasting and an extended farmers' market. Find out more at
  • Brewery tour at Cotswold Spring Brewery from 10am-4pm on Saturday 9th October.
  • An Orchard Harvest Day at Winterbourne Medieval Barn on Sunday 10 October from 10.30am - 3.30pm
  • Dairy farm/conservation tour at New House Farm, Tytherington at 11am on Sunday 10 October (booking required)
  • Another brewery tour, this time at Wickwar brewery, on Saturday 16th October from 10am-4pm

More information on the 'Taste' site.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Local organisations win grants

At the September Frome Vale Area forum, the following organisations in the Ladden-Frome area were awarded grants:

The Manor Hall Coalpit Heath - £1,200 towards the installation of disabled toilets
Wickwar Playing Fields Association - £1,200 towards vital access safety Improvements
Friends of Ram Hill Colliery - £1,000 towards a scheme of work for restoration
Dodington Parish Band - £1,200

Westerleigh smell - an open meeting

There has been an ongoing problem with a bad smell in Westerleigh. On Monday 4 October the Parish Council are holding an open meeting in the Village Hall to which representatives of Tulip, Wessex Water and the Environment Agency are invited. The representatives will be given a chance to address the meeting and there will then be a question and answer session. Flyers will be going out to all residents.

Claire Young has been working with the Parish Council in the run-up to this meeting. The South Glos environmental health team are unable to take action under "nuisance" legislation because the offence does not arise on a "premises" (sewers are not classed as such). They have however been redirecting enquiries to the Environment Agency and were able to provide contacts for the Parish Clerk to invite to the meeting.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Safer Stronger Community Group on Tuesday

The next meeting of the Frampton Cotterell, Westerleigh, Coalpit Heath and Iron Acton Safer Stronger Community Group is on Tuesday 28th September 2010 between 7.30pm and 9.30pm in Iron Acton Village Hall. There will be reports on previous priorities, including the light switch off trial between Wayleaze and Alexandra Road and the chance to set some new priorities for the coming months.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Construction lorries in the Quiet Lanes Scheme

If you see any construction lorries in the Quiet Lanes Scheme covering Henfield, Ram Hill and Kendleshire, please make a note of as many details as you can and pass them on to Claire Young (

New bus link to Emersons Green NHS Treatment Centre

If you are visiting the NHS Treatment Centre at Emersons Green, you can now catch a bus from Sainsbury's to the centre, linking in with the services to the supermarket. The bus is fully accessible for those with mobility restrictions and buggies. You can read the timetable online.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Stover Road lights

If you've found yourself stuck in long queues at the Stove Road/Badminton Road junction lights, there is hope that the problems may be fixed soon.

When Claire Young passed on complaints from residents, they informed her that all the vehicle detecting loops for the traffic signals are damaged. Although Siemens have made some temporary alterations to alleviate the situation, they have only been partially successful and the traffic signals are not functioning at their optimum. The loops will be repaired in October when Badminton Road is resurfaced.

Police awards

If you would like to nominate a police officer or member of staff for an award recognising their hard work, now's your chance. The Avon and Somerset Police are looking for nominations for their fourth Community Policing Awards. To find out more and make a nomination visit the website.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Celebrating Age Open Day

Living (dlc), the local Disabled Living Centre, is holding a “Celebrating Age”OPEN DAY at the Vassall Centre, Gill Avenue, Fishponds, Bristol BS16 2QQ on Wednesday 29th September 2010 10:00 am – 3:00pm. Admission is free, as is the tea/coffee and cake, and all are welcome. For information please phone 0117 9653651.

Monday, 20 September 2010

Have your say on Council budget

Back in July, Lib Dem group leader Cllr Ruth Davis won the Council's backing for a full public consultation on the Council's budget, similar to the Bristol City Council Big Budget Conversation. With the current serious economic situation the Council faces some tough decisions and the Lib Dems felt it was important that local people should have a say on how those decisions might affect the services they use. You can take part in the discussion here.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Footpath closure

Footpath PMR7 from Westerleigh Road to Howsmoor Lane will be closed until the end of March 2011 while construction work takes place.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Getting into public life

If you are interested in representing your local community, whether as a local councillor, school governor or magistrate, but don't know where to start, there is a free community learning programme to support you.

The 10 week course starts at 7pm on Monday 27 September in Yate Library. For more information, see the leaflet online.

If you are interested in standing as a Liberal Democrat Councillor in next year's elections, for South Gloucestershire Council or your local Town or Parish, please contact a member of your Focus team.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Better disabled access at polling station

On 6th May, people who tried to use the disabled access at the Manor Hall polling station found it was locked due to the pre-school operating in an adjacent room. Staff would unlock it on request, but this clearly wasn't helpful for those who turned up without someone able-bodied to access the building via the steps to ask on their behalf.

Claire Young took up the complaints and it has now been agreed that the polling station will move to the Newman Room, with the pre-school moving to the Jubilee Room. This means that the door at the top of the concrete ramp can be left open at all times and everyone should have good access.

The count will still be held in the larger Jubilee Room, as more space is needed and at that time of night the pre-school obviously won't be operating.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Visit Ram Hill Colliery and other heritage sites this weekend

Over the next few days there are a whole range of ways you can find out more about our local heritage.

The Friends of Ram Hill Colliery will be holding an open day at the site on Sunday 12th September from 10am until 4pm,with guided tours from 10.15 to 2.30pm. In nearby Coalpit Heath you can visit St Saviours Church on Saturday (10.00am – 3.00pm) and Sunday (2:00pm – 4:00pm).

You can visit Wickwar Town Hall by appointment on Fri 10th and Sat 11th September 10.00am – 4.00pm (contact Mrs P. A. Trull, or 01454 299120.

You can find out more on these and many other events by viewing the South Glos Heritage Open Days leaflet online.

If you're interested in places further afield, look at the national Heritage Open Days website.

Frome Vale Area Forum tonight

The Frome Vale Area Forum is at 7pm this evening at Frampton Cotterell C of E School. Along with the usual open session for you to raise issues, there will be displays on the Joint Local Transport Plan and South Glos Council's review of licensing policy and the committee will be making decisions on grants for local organisations.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Have your say on transport - this Tuesday

South Gloucestershire Council and the other three councils that make up the West of England Partnership are currently putting together the Joint Local Transport Plan for the next 15 years. There will be a consultation event in Yate Shopping Centre on Tuesday 7 September from 11am to 3pm. Residents can complete a questionnaire at or pick up a paper copy at the library, where you can also read the draft plan. The consultation deadline is Monday 4th October.

Monday, 16 August 2010

Protect yourself from distraction burglaries

Trading Standards are advising residents of another way to help protect themselves from distraction burglaries. Recently men falsely claiming to be from the waterboard
have been linked to distraction burglaries.

To protect vulnerable residents from these types of crime, the Priority Service Register has been set up by the Home Heat Helpline. Vulnerable residents can set up a security password for all dealings they have with representatives of utility companies.

To contact the Priority Service Register and arrange a password, contact 0800 33 66 99 or visit the website. If you have fallen victim to such a crime, contact the Police.

Friday, 13 August 2010

Doorstep callers warning

South Glos Trading Standards are warning people to watch out for doorstep callers.

Rogue traders are visiting homes offering to paint roof tiles with a micro porous roof coating which is suspected to be totally unnecessary, and it is believed that standard paint is being used at grossly inflated prices. Cold callers are also offering to repave driveways, paint roof tiles and repair fascias and then using a range of rogue trader tactics.

Bear the following in mind to help protect you from falling victim to these rogue trading practices:

• Be wary of traders who cold call - genuine traders rarely need to drum up business;
• Beware, rogue traders use high pressure, aggressive and intimidating selling tactics to get you to agree to a contract or pay a higher price than that quoted;
• Remember that if you enter into a contract in your home, you should be given written notice of your right to cancel that contract. Failure by the trader to give you those details may constitute a criminal offence!

For consumer advice contact Consumer Direct on 08454 040506.

If you are interested in setting up a No Cold Calling Zone in your street, contact Trading Standards on 01454 864419 or at

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Involved in a local voluntary group?

If you're involved in a local voluntary group or social enterprise, you might be interested in the following.

The RDPE Community and Social Enterprise Funding is a possible source of funding. They warn that they expect to run out of money before the scheme ends.

If you'd like to find out about other funding possibilities and network with people from other voluntary groups, why not attend the Funders Forum from 9.30am to 3.30pm on Wednesday 15th September at Turnberries in Thornbury. You must book in advance as places are limited - ring 01454 865205 or email .

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Have your say on housing strategy

South Gloucestershire Council are updating their housing strategy and would like to know what your thoughts are on the "Next steps in delivering More Housing, More Choice-Affordable, Sustainable and Better Quality". You can find out more on their website. The deadline for comments is 30th August 2010.

Monday, 9 August 2010

Flashing blue light and siren behind you - what do you do?

Strangely there's not much in the Highway Code about this, but a new activity on the Avon Fire and Rescue website will get you really thinking about it.

This isn't your usual boring survey - it's really thought-provoking, and the results will help design a public education and awareness campaign about what you should do to help emergency vehicles get through. Please give it a go!

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Bus fare increases from today

From today (Sunday 8th August), First Bus are increasing all single and return fares in the Bristol Area by 10p for adults and 5p for children, except for longer distance peak returns (those costing over £4 for adults or £3 for children). The First Day ticket in Bristol remains unchanged at £4 for adults.

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Joint Waste Core Strategy - the next stage

The four authorities that used to be Avon have been developing a Joint Waste Core Strategy (JWCS) setting out where new waste processing sites should go. On 30th July 2010 they submitted the JWCS Submission Document to the Secretary of State for independent examination. The Secretary of State will appoint a Planning Inspector to examine the ‘soundness’ of the Core Strategy, considering the representations received.

As part of the examination, the Inspector is likely to hold a public hearing. This is currently expected to take place in November 2010, but will be subject to confirmation from the Planning Inspectorate.

The Joint Waste Core Strategy and other supporting documents are available to view on the West of England Partnership’s website.

Friday, 6 August 2010

Are you 14-18 years old and a bus user?

Have you got your Youth Unltd discounted bus pass?

If you are a young person in full-time education living in South Gloucestsrshire, the Youth Unltd card gives you half price adult fares on single and return journeys. It is not valid for day/weekly/monthly/annual tickets. You can find out more on the South Glos website.

Yate International Academy building project to go ahead

Education Secretary Michael Gove has announced that Yate International Academy is among the building projects that will go ahead after all, despite a delay while government cuts were being decided.

Steve Webb MP said "I am delighted that the building project at Yate International Academy has been given the go-ahead today"

Meanwhile the Winterbourne International Academy building scheme will have to wait a while for a decision - the government list describes the situation as "capital allocation for notification after spending review", presumably the the Comprehensive Spending Review in October.

Click here for full official list of projects.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Speed checks on Church Road

Speeding on Church Road has been an ongoing concern for local people. The Camera Safety Partnership have now found a suitable site to park their mobile speed camera and the speed data shows that enforcement is justified, so this month they will be starting to operate this as a "Community Concern" site.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Only 3 more days to have your say on planning blueprint

Don't forget you only have until this Friday (9th August) to have your say on South Gloucestershire Council's Draft Core Strategy. This planning blueprint is important to anybody interested in how and where development will take place between now and 2026 and how all the infrastructure will be provided to support it.

You can view the document on the South Glos website and hard copies are in libraries and One Stop Shops.

Steve Webb explains the issues at a recent public meeting in Yate

Monday, 26 July 2010

Yate Youth Venue and Cafe - the Armadillo is coming!

Chris Willmore explains the building and the way the Youth Venue and Cafe will be run

Several of the key committee members at the launch

Representatives of local organisations examine the plans

Yate Youth Venue and Cafe project was officially launched at two very well attended sessions last week, when representatives of local organisations and councils came to Poole Court to hear the details of the project.

This striking new building, which has already been nicknamed "The Armadillo", will be constructed on the side of the Leisure Centre and extend towards the roundabout.

Cllr Chris Willmore explained that it is not intended to be a youth club - it will be a cross between a students union and a social enterprise cafe, with young people very involved in running it. Young people have already been very involved in the design and the steering group.

This is a joint project of Yate Town Council and South Gloucestershire Council. The core funding is secure to build the venue and to provide core opening hours, but they are now seeking sponsorship for many of the facilities within the building and to have more sessions each week.

Work has just started on the ground and the building should open in April next year.

Local Councillor Claire Young took the opportunity to discuss how young people from the rural areas can access the cafe, especially in the evenings. Watch this space for more on that.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Mine shaft collapse update

Your Focus Team has now met a representative of the Coal Authority to look at their plans for tackling the collapsed mine shaft in Woodend Road.

The work is due to start on Monday 26th July with the aim of completing it in the school holidays as the diversion will send traffic past Highcroft School. Notice has been short because of the time taken to confirm the problem was caused by coal mining and to secure the funds for the repair.

The road will only be closed between the Ridge and Badminton Road (some people have been misled by the closure warning sign being located the other side of the Post Office). You will still be able to access both the Post Office and the NISA by road if coming from the Lower Stone Close direction. Initially the route will be closed to pedestrians as well as vehicles but they hope to open up a path on one side of the road or the other once they've established exactly where they will be working.

Having confirmed the position of the shaft, they will fill it and dig trenches around it to fill with concrete to form a "collar" on which the shaft cap can sit. There will need to be a break of several days to allow this concrete to cure before the rest of the work can be completed, so if they seem to have abandoned work, don't assume they're taking a long tea break! The road will be fully reinstated before they leave.

If are not one of the residents or business owners that has been contacted directly by the Coal Authority and you have any queries in the next couple of weeks, please contact Claire Young.

Perrinpit Road closure extended

The temporary closure of Perrinpit Road has had to be extended due to unforseen circumstances. The road is now expected to re-open on Thursday 29 July.

Charfield Station - tell South Glos what you think

Thank you to everyone who responded to our survey on the possibility of re-opening Charfield Station (pictured left, with John and Sandra O'Neill). Many people supported the idea, but others raised concerns about parking problems, increased congestion in the area and road safety, particularly on Station Road and at the junction of Station Road and Wotton Road. Some suggested alternative sites.

South Gloucestershire Council is currently consulting on its Draft CoreStrategy, a planning blueprint for the area until 2026. In the Draft Core Strategy, the Council is proposing to safeguard 0.84 ha of land at the former Charfield Station and adjoining land to the S.E. for a station and car parking. It is included in the Rural Package covered in PolicyCS7 on page 52 and described on page 58 in para 7.9. The possibility of re-opening Charfield Station is also mentioned in the RuralAreas section in para 16.12 on page 146.

You can view the Draft Core Strategy on the South Gloucestershire Council website and hard copies are available to view in libraries and One Stop Shops. You have until 6th August to make your comments.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Mine shaft repairs to close Woodend Road

Woodend Road will be closed to pedestrians and vehicles between Badminton Road and The Ridge for up to 6 weeks starting on Monday 26th July. This is to allow the Coal Authority to repair a collapsed mine shaft. Your local Focus team will be meeting a representative from the Coal Authority to discuss the repairs later this week.

Badminton Road pavement resurfacing

On 26th and 27th July there will be disruption for traffic on Badminton Road between the Stover Road and Westerleigh Close junctions due to the pavements being resurfaced. Work will start at about 8am and end at about 5pm each day.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Perrinpit Road closed this week

Perrinpit Road will be closed this week for urgent repairs. Access to properties will be maintained at all times. The alternative route will be B4427 Old Gloucester Road, B4059 Latteridge Hill, B4058 Bristol Road and vice versa.

Monday, 12 July 2010

Driver prosecuted for breaking Westerleigh weight limit

A lorry driver from Weston-Super-Mare has been fined £115 and ordered to pay £583 in costs for driving a 13 tonne heavy goods vehicle through the 7.5 tonne weight restriction in Westerleigh.

Read more on the South Glos website.

Friday, 9 July 2010

Go wild at Woodfest! - Ridge Wood Sunday 18 July 11am - 5pm

This popular woodland festival returns thanks to South Glos, the Friends of Ridge Wood and Hanson Aggregates.

Once again Woodfest will feature a wide variety of free woodland based workshops, walks and events for people of all ages. You can try out traditional woodland crafts such as wood turning using a pole lathe, stone carving (booking required), willow weaving and charcoal making. Many of the workshops will involve using a variety of green woodworking techniques to make products from fallen timber in the woodland.

There will be lots for for families, including bush craft workshops, storytelling, children’s forest school activities, flag printing, guided walks, talks, nest box building and woodland barbeques.

More details are available from South Glos on 01454 863725.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Litter picking on Manor Playing Field

Back in March, volunteers collected 12 bags of rubbish from the Manor School playing field. Now there's another chance to tidy up this well-used field. On Saturday 3rd July, people will be meeting up after the School Fair (which is due to end at 4pm but tidying up may start from as early as 3pm). If you would like to help, the Friends of Manor School will be down on the school field, so just ask a member for a bag.

Friday, 25 June 2010

Temporary traffic lights in Westerleigh

The will be temporary traffic lights on Westerleigh Road, at the twin railway-over-road bridges on Tuesday 29th June to enable a bridge inspection to take place.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Latteridge Road closure delayed

The bank was due to be repaired in July/August by installing a “PERMACRIB RETAINING WALL”, a wooden slatted wall built at an angle which was identified as the best solution by a geotechnical report. This would mean closing the road for about 4 weeks right in the middle of harvest when over 8000Tonnes of grain would be delivered in over 1000 tractor/lorry movements to Heal’s farm for storing and/or drying. It would be impossible to divert these via any other local roads.

Pat and Dave Hockey went along to a meeting of local farmers, representatives of Iron Acton Parish Council, South Gloucestershire Officers and the consultant. The work will now be delayed until after the harvest.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Chance to raise local issues

The latest Safer Stronger Community Group meeting for Frampton Cotterell, Westerleigh, Coalpit Heath, Iron Acton and the edge of Yate will take place at 7.30pm tomorrow, Wednesday 23rd June, in St Saviours Church Hall. This is your chance to have your say on how we can make our communities safer and stronger.

One issue may be the light switch-off trial in the lane between Wayleaze and Alexander Road in Coalpit Heath (left). This was started in response to vandalism and other anti-social behaviour carried out be people hanging around under the light in the lane. In the past when the light has been broken, the issues have stopped because people don't like hanging around in the dark. It appears it may indeed have reduced the problems for people whose properties back on to the middle of the lane, but unfortunately there has been an incident closer to the Wayleaze end, lit by a different street light. This has been a long-running issue and we would very much like your views on tackling it.

There will also be a chance to find out more about the Council's draft Core Strategy, the document setting out where thousands of new homes should go by 2026. There will be a display and officers will be on hand for the hour before the main meeting to help. Turn up at 6.30pm to find out more!

Monday, 21 June 2010

Yate Minor Injuries Unit opens on Tuesday 22 June 2010

The Yate Minor Injuries Unit opens at the Yate West Gate Centre tomorrow, Tuesday, 22 June 2010. It has lots of extra facilities for the town, including X-ray equipment. This could save you a VERY long wait at Accident and Emergency!

It will be open every day including bank holidays (Monday - Friday 2.30am - 7.30pm, Saturday & Sunday 10am - 2am).

The MIU treats:

sprains and strains
cuts and grazes
arm, lower leg and foot injuries
bites- human, animal or insect
minor burns and scalds
minor head injuries
broken noses and nosebleeds
eye problems such as scratches, foreign bodies in the eyes

They have a very helpful web page on the NHS South Glos website.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Windmill Green - detailed planning application

You can read and comment on the detailed planning application for "Windmill Green" on the South Glos website. The deadline is 23rd June.

Wapley Bushes Nature Reserve - evening walk, Tuesday 22 June, 7pm

Come and join an evening walk round Wapley Bushes Local Nature Reserve with Rupert Higgins of Wessex Ecological Consultants, the expert who has just revised the Reserve Management Plan. This will be an opportunity to find out about how the Reserve is looked after and the plans for the next five years. Everyone welcome - meeting at the Shire Way gate. Please wear suitable footwear.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Living (dlc) exhibition

Living (formerly the Disabled Living Centre) are holding an exhibition of new equipment from 10am-3pm on Thursday 1st July at The Vassall Centre, Gill Avenue, Fishponds, Bristol BS16 2QQ. Admission is free and all are welcome. You can find out more on their website.

Monday, 14 June 2010

Waiting restriction review - have your say!

Now that South Gloucestershire Council's Badminton Road offices are open, the new waiting restrictions that were introduced on the surrounding roads are being reviewed. If you have any comments to make, please email by
Wednesday 30th June 2010.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Walk the River Frome in a day - Sunday 4 July 2010

Take the Challenge!

Follow the River Frome for 20miles from its source at the edge of the Cotswolds to the River Avon in Bristol. A lovely walk along the river valley that winds its way through a variety of attractive landscapes, filled with wildlife and local heritage.

A coach to the start point leaves Bristol at 8am. Additional pick ups at Frenchay, Winterbourne, Frampton Cotterell, Yate and Chipping Sodbury. Finish at your coach pick up point for a shorter walk.

Walk starts at 9am. Approximate finish time (Bristol): 7pm

For more information and to book your place, contact:
Paula Spiers, Avon Frome Partnership Officer
Tel: 0117 922 4325

Maximum 60 places
Cost £3 per person, payable on booking

You are welcome to join at the start point but parking is limited and you must make your own return transport arrangements.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

BAC 100 Centenary Parade this Sunday

This Sunday a cavalcade of vehicles, old and new, will drive through Bristol as part of the BAC 100 centenary celebrations, marking 100 years of transport development in the Bristol area. Vehicles will set out from the Rolls Royce site on Gypsy Patch Lane between 1.30 and 2pm and return between 2.30pm and 3.30pm. The static display will be open from 10.30am-5pm.

Update: There will be AA signs to direct the public. They will go in via gate 1 and be directed into the main Rolls Royce car park, with the display placed around Whittle building.

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Coalpit Heath welcomes mining conference

Friday evening saw the start of the National Association of Mining History Organisations' annual conference which this year is being hosted by Coalpit Heath. Local MP Steve Webb and Cllr Claire Young welcomed people to the conference before enjoying a fascinating talk by Mark Horton on the key part Bristol played in the Industrial Revolution.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Yate Minor Injury Service to open 7 days a week from 22 June

The Minor Injury Service at the new Yate West Gate Centre will now open on the 22nd June. NHS South Gloucestershire says that it will offer a seven-days-a week drop-in service, for children and adults, to treat a whole range of minor injuries from cuts to sprains, from bites to shoulder and leg injuries.

All patients will be seen by an Emergency Nurse Practitioner or an Emergency Care Practitioner who have a wide experience of dealing with minor injuries, and a digital X-ray facility is available on site.

Patients do not need to make an appointment, and the new Minor Injury Unit will be open seven days a week 8.30am – 7.30pm Monday to Friday and 10am – 2pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Roger Pedley, Director of Primary and Community Care, explained "NHS South Gloucestershire appointed the NHS provider of the Minor Injury Service in the autumn of 2009 and together we have explored ways of extending the service to cater for some patients who require more complex care and who therefore need a trolley. In order to achieve this expanded service for Yate and the surrounding areas we need to do some minor alterations to the MIU unit."

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Have your say on local planning blueprint

The consultation on South Gloucestershire Council's Draft Core Strategy is important to anybody interested in how and where development will take place up until 2026 - so don't be put off by the title! As well as thousands of new homes in the Patchway, Cribbs Causeway and Harry Stoke areas, proposals include 2,400 at North Yate.

There are many other important issues such as housing densities, parking standards, employment in villages as well as towns, wildlife corridors, climate change, play and dealing with the extra traffic.

You can view the document on the South Glos website and hard copies will be in libraries and One Stop Shops. There will be exhibitions and Planning Officers to help at local shopping centres and before the local Safer Stronger Community Group meetings - details of all these are on the website.

The consultation finishes on 6th August.

Friday, 28 May 2010

Buses to be rerouted while Station Rd Yate is closed

Station Road, Yate will be closed in 3 phases between from 1-26 June (see previous story).

This will affect bus services 327, 329, 342, X27 and X42.

According to the First Bus website:
"Throughout the period services 327, 342 and X42 will not be able to serve Station Road adjacent to Yate Shopping Centre and will use Kennedy Way instead."

"During Phase 3 of the closure between 21-26 June, services 329 and X27 will also be diverted. Both will be unable to serve the normal section of route along Station Road, Church Road, Greenways Road and Gravel Hill Road. All buses will use Goose Green Way as an alternative between Peg Hill and Kennedy Way at this time. Temporary bus stops will be sited on Goose Green Way at the currently redundant bus shelters."

"For more information please contact Customer Services 0845 602 0156 or call Traveline 0871 200 22 33 (calls cost 10p per minute plus network charges)."

Obviously it's the 329/X27 diversions that will have the greatest effect on passengers. We do not currently have information about rerouting of other bus companies' services, but we expect that they will make similar arrangements.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Station Road, Yate to close for major works

Road works are to be carried out at Station Road (B4060) in Yate from 1st-26th June. These will involve upgrading an existing pedestrian crossing, widening Station Road (to accommodate three lanes on the approach to Morrison’s roundabout), amending an existing island and carrying out three utility connections. The road will then be resurfaced. The work will be done in three phases:

Phase 1. 1st June – 13th June. Civils work. Morrison’s Roundabout to JunctionThe Glen. Access to all roads and car parks will be available at all times via Link Road.

Phase 2. 14th June – 20th June. Carriageway Resurfacing. Morrison Roundabout to Church Road Junction.

Phase 3. 21st June – 26th June. Carriageway Resurfacing. Church Road Junction to Link Road Roundabout.

The road will be subject to a closure for the duration of the works and a diversion route (Kennedy Way – Link Road) for traffic will be set up. Access to properties fronting the site will be available for the majority of this closure. However there will unfortunately have to be short periods of time when they will have to resurface across junctions which will restrict access. Every effort will be made to keep disruption to local residents to a minimum for the duration of the works. The dates may change due to bad weather or problems with equipment.

Lib Dems sort out Tory contract with SITA

On Monday Lib Dem Councillors persuaded the Cabinet to add a legally binding minimum recycling-recovery target of 50% to its revised contract with SITA and to revise arrangements to encourage people to reduce waste

Cllr. Dave Hockey said after the meeting “It’s a good job we were on the ball and made sure that this key target is to be included in the revised contract for SITA and is legally binding.
This target is made possible because at long last the Tory administration has finally accepted the benefits of providing the kerbside plastic bottle and food waste ollection service that residents and Lib Dem Councillors have been demanding for many years. The Tories have already failed with the 50% target which they promised just 2 years ago would be achieved by March 2010”.

Cabinet also agreed that Waste Management Officers should investigate the possibility of residents being able to purchase baskets that could be inserted in existing wheelie bins, as suggested by Cllr Ruth Davis, Lib Dem Group Leader. There could be a black one for storage of cardboard waste which, under the new scheme, is to be recycled rather than composted. Cllr. Davis said, “Since plastic bottles and food waste are to be taken out of the black bins, there should be plenty of spare space in which to store the cardboard. I’m sure many residents will want to store the cardboard securely rather than have it tied up with string and left next to the bins. Similarly there could be a green one for plastic bottles, so the unused space in both bins could be better used, as there will already be another bin for food waste.”

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Composting plans dropped

Your Focus Team has welcomed news that plans for a composting facility near Tormarton have been dropped. Over the past two years, Lib Dem Councillors have repeatedly raised concerns about the choice of technology but despite plenty of evidence of problems elsewhere in the country were told that their fears were unfounded. Now the Council is introducing a new waste strategy that does not require an In-Vessel Composter (IVC) to be built and which will lead to food waste eventually going to some sort of anaerobic digester.

Now attention turns to alternative uses for the Tormarton site. Cllr Sue Hope says, “Before this site was earmarked for the composting facility, I had called for a Park and Share facility to be set up there. Now this major stumbling block is out of the way, I have asked South Gloucestershire Council to look at the proposal again as a matter of urgency. Many motorists already leave their cars in the car park attached to the picnic site while they share a lift along the motorway. Often vehicles overflow into surrounding roads. Expanding the parking would improve road safety, by keeping parked cars out of the narrow country lanes, and help the environment, by encouraging car sharing.”

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

School merger delayed until January 2011

Due to concerns about the tight timetable for appointing a Head Teacher Designate and making other preparations for the merger of Brockeridge Infant and Highcroft Junior Schools, South Gloucestershire Council applied for a delay in implementation until January 2011. This has been approved by the Schools Adjudicator.

Claire Young wrote to the Chair of the Temporary Governing Body on behalf of parents who had a number of practical concerns about the delay. For example, would parents of new starters have to purchase a uniform for just one term then a new uniform the following term. The Chair wrote back to say they recognise these concerns and promising to keep parents involved.

Monday, 17 May 2010

Police surgery: Iron Acton Village Hall on 20 May at 6pm

South Gloucestershire police will be holding a police surgery for the residents of Iron Acton on 20 May at 6pm in the Village Hall.

This Surgery has been arranged following the serious incident which took place in Latteridge Road, Iron Acton on Thursday 29 April, where a body of a male was found in suspicious circumstances.

The surgery is for the local community and will provide the opportunity for residents to meet with the police and staff from South Gloucestershire Council’s Safer and Stronger Communities team to discuss any concerns and get community safety and crime prevention advice.

All local residents of Iron Acton are more than welcome.

Coalpit Heath to host mining conference

From 4th to 6th June 2010, the National Association of Mining History Organisations (NAMHO) will be holding their conference, "Fuelling the Industrial Revolution", in South Gloucestershire.
The conference is being hosted jointly by South Gloucestershire Mines Research Group (SGMRG), Hades Caving Club and Friends of Ram Hill Colliery (FoRHC) and will be based at the Miners Institute in Coalpit Heath. You can find out more information and book your place online.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Waste campaign success

Pictured left to right: Lib Dem Councillors Sue Hope, Claire Young, Dave Hockey, Pat Hockey and Marc Scawen.

Years of campaigning by your Lib Dem Focus Team have paid off with news that by March 2011 there will be kerbside plastic bottle collections and weekly collection of food waste in South Gloucestershire.

Cllr Dave Hockey, the Lib Dem's spokesperson on waste, said, "This is good news for local residents and the environment.

Kerbside collection of plastic bottles will mean many more are recycled rather than being dumped in landfill, saving oil and avoiding massive financial penalties for the Council, which would be passed on to Council tax-payers

Food waste currently makes up more than a third of the waste in our black bins and in landfill generates methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Experience elsewhere in the country shows that when residents see how much food they're throwing away, they cut waste, saving hard-pressed households money in these difficult economic times.

Residents have been demanding these services for years and despite the Lib Dems proposing plastic bottle collections 5 years running at budget time, the other parties did not back us. The current Tory administration has failed miserably to achieve its high-profile target of recycling or composting more than half our waste by the end of March 2010. Thank goodness we've finally got our message through to them."

Steve Webb gets ministerial post

Steve Webb has become Minister of State in the Department for Work and Pensions.

Congratulations, Steve!

An excellent appointment - there aren't many people who know more about pensions than Steve does.

Full list of ministers from the Guardian here

Friday, 14 May 2010

Steve Webb writes about the coalition

Steve has written a detailed piece on his blog on the logic that led to the Con - Lib Dem coalition government, and what could have happened if other alternatives had been tried.

Read Steve's blog post in full here: A real rollercoaster

Friday, 7 May 2010

Steve Webb elected with 7000 majority, taking over half the vote

Steve Webb has been elected as the first MP for the new constituency of Thornbury and Yate with a majority of 7116 over the Conservatives, taking just over half the vote.

Full results:

Thomas Beacham (Independents Federation UK) 126
Anthony Clements (Independent) 58
Roxanne Egan (Labour) 3385
Jenny Knight (UKIP) 1709
Matthew Riddle (Conservative) 17916
Steve Webb (Liberal Democrat) 25032

Congratulations to Steve and all his team.

Monday, 26 April 2010

South Avenue parking permit clarification

Following a query from a resident of South Avenue, officers have clarified how the parking permit scheme works. South Gloucestershire Council has agreed to issue up to 2 permits to residents to cover their own and visitors' vehicles. The parking permits are not vehicle specific and therefore could be used for either residents or visitors. If two permits are not sufficient a detailed case would need to be made to request an additional permit and it would need to be considered against the level of demand on the rest of the cul-de-sac.

Time to apply for Capital Grants

Local community groups have five weeks from today to apply for the 2010/11 round of Capital Grants. More information on the South Glos website.

Friday, 23 April 2010

General Election candidates hustings in Frampton Cotterell 27th April

All the General Election candidates for the new Thornbury and Yate constutuency will be at the Zion Church, Woodend Road, Frampton Cotterell from 7.30 to 9.00 pm on Tuesday 27th April.

Undecided? Want to see the candidates in person? Please come along.

(With many thanks to all who organised this event.)

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Facebook to encourage people to register to vote

The BBC reports that Facebook is working with the Electoral Commission to persuade people to sign up to vote if they're not already on the electoral roll.

Facebook users who visit the site over the weekend will be offered a link to a page that lets them enter details online.

The deadline for voter registration for the 6 May general election is 20 April - later than in previous elections.

It is estimated that more than 3 million potential voters may not be registered.

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Polling stations

You will probably have received your polling cards for the forthcoming general election. If you live in the rural part of Dodington Parish, you may have noticed that your polling station is Westerleigh Village Hall, not Wapley Church as it was in the 2007 local elections. There is still time to get a postal vote if that would be easier for you - for more information see the South Glos website.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Steve Webb answers public questions - item in The Independent

The NHS, dealing with unemployment, cutting the deficit - Steve responds to an interesting range of questions from readers of The Independent:

Read the article here.

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Chance to have your say on local issues

The next Frampton Cotterell, Westerleigh, Coalpit Heath and Iron Acton Safer Stronger Community Group meeting will take place at 7.30pm on Wednesday 7th April in Westerleigh Village Hall.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Chance to see inside new Council offices

Tomorrow night (Wednesday 31st March) at 7pm there will be a chance for local people to see inside the Council offices. To arrange a place on the tour, please ring Lisa Hooper on 01454 863858.

Monday, 29 March 2010

More local roads being resurfaced

Down Road, Winterbourne Down will be closed from 29th March to 1st April so that it can be resurfaced. This will involve planing off the old surface and laying a new one between Kendleshire Farm and the western side of the bridge over the river.

There is also a great deal of work going on around the new Council offices, with both resurfacing and pedestrian/cycle path works on Badminton and Stover Roads.

On Westerleigh Road in Westerleigh there will be temporary traffic lights on Tuesday 30th and Wednesday 31st March so that the road can be repaired.

Friday, 26 March 2010

Wapley Road, Codrington closed tonight

Wapley Road in Codrington will be closed from 8pm tonight (Friday 26th March) until 6am tomorrow morning for further resurfacing work.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Thanks to litter pickers

Thanks to everyone who turned up on a wet, miserable Saturday afternoon to pick several sackfuls of litter from the Manor School Playing Field. If you'd like to help out with future litter picks, please email Claire Young. And don't forget there's a chance to clean up the Glebe Land, Rectory Road, Frampton Cotterell this coming Saturday (27th March). Be there at 10.30am if you can help.

Blueprint for South Gloucestershire - the next stage

The Core Strategy is a document that will set out a planning blueprint for South Gloucestershire until 2026. On 8 March the Council’s Cabinet approved for public consultation the South Gloucestershire Core Strategy Pre-Submission Publication Draft and supporting Sustainability Appraisal. You can now access these documents along with reports on the consultation undertaken to date on the South Glos website.

Although public consultation on the Pre-Submission Publication Draft Core Strategy has now started with comments on the document and the Sustainability Appraisal welcome up until the end of July, the formal consultation period will not start until after the general election.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Did you see accident in Coalpit Heath?

Police are appealing for witnesses and information after a cyclist and a silver Mercedes Vito panel van collided in Coalpit Heath on Monday (15th March).

The collision happened on the Badminton Road about 25-50m away from Southview Crescent, opposite Woodend Road at around 7pm. The cyclist is in a serious condition in Frenchay Hospital. Anyone who was in the area at the time is asked to contact the road policing unit at Almondsbury on 0845 456 7000.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Bogus callers musical

At 10am on 30 March The Solomon Touring Theatre will be performing "Trickster", the bogus caller musical, at Yate Leisure Centre. Free tickets are available from Chipping Sodbury Police Station or by contacting .

Thursday, 18 March 2010

New bus services

On 4th April, some new and changed bus services start to support the Green Travel Plan for the new Badminton Road Council offices:
  • Service 85 Emersons Green – Yate (proposed service 688) will operate every half hour Mondays to Fridays via Blackhorse and Coalpit Heath. A few evening peak journeys will also extend to/from Chipping Sodbury.
  • Service 86 Kingswood – Yate – Wotton-u-Edge: Service renumbered from 686 with only minor timetable changes.
  • Service 87 Longwell Green – Chipping Sodbury (proposed enhancement to service 686) will operate during peak times only. It will also serve Kingswood, Emersons Green, Coalpit & Yate.
  • Service 88 Chipping Sodbury – Iron Acton (proposed service 630) will operate hourly Mondays to Fridays via Yate Shopping Centre, North Yate and Station Road.

The new services for Coalpit Heath and Iron Acton are very welcome, especially as the 88 will pick up in Iron Acton High Street where the X27 no longer goes. Your Focus team continues to campaign for a bus to link Westerleigh with Yate station.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Wapley Road to be resurfaced

Parts of Wapley Road, Codrington are to be resurfaced on 18th and 19th March. The traffic will be controlled with a Stop and Go operation throughout the works and people will still be able to access their properties. The work will take place between 8am and 4.00pm and motorists are advised to consider alternative routes. As always, bad weather or other factors might delay the work.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Charfield Hill cycle improvements

The Council is proposing to extend the on-pavement westbound cycle path on the B4058 Charfield Hill and install an advisory cycle lane on the road to the top of the hill. You can read more and have your say on the Council's website.

Parking restrictions starting 6 April

The parking restrictions around the new Badminton Road Council Offices will come into force on 6 April, in time for people moving into the offices. The scheme will be monitored for three months and changes made if necessary. You can read the report on the decision on the South Glos website.

Positive Moves - event for young people with learning difficulties

On 2 April, there will be an event for 16-25 year olds with learning difficulties (and their parents/ carers) at St Andrews Methodist Youth Centre, Elm Park, Filton, BS34 7PS (between Filton Police Station + Elm Park fields). It's aimed at giving young people and their families the contacts, information and confidence they need to be able to ‘soar’ more easily into adulthood. For more details contact: 0117 9691938 or .

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Update on IVC

All seems to have gone quiet on the future of the In Vessel Composter planned for Tormarton. A Scoping Opinion, which is is required before a full application is submitted, has been submitted. Alternative technologies could be the way forward, but to date no further news is available on the future of this site.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Looking for grants?

Local community grants in search of funding might like to look at the Quartet Community Foundation website. If you get your skates on, you might be able to benefit from some of this financial year's Grassroots Grants, the deadline for which is the end of March.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Campaigners celebrate extra rush-hour train from Yate

Claire Young, Wully Perks (Vice-Chair) and Sue Walker (Chair) of Friends of Yate Station and Steve Webb MP at Yate Station

Following pressure from local MP Steve Webb and the Friends of Yate Station, First Great Western have agreed to put on an extra morning commuter train from Yate in the new timetable to be introduced in May.

Late last year, the MP held a meeting at his Yate office with First Great WesternChief Executive Mark Hopwood to register his complaint about overcrowding on rush-hour trains between Yate and Bristol. The company considered these concerns and has now announced that from May there will be an additional train leaving Yate at 0712, calling at Filton Abbey Wood, Bristol Parkway and Bristol Temple Meads before going on to Westbury. This is a train thatwas previously running empty through the station, starting in Cheltenham Spa and only beginning to pick up passengers at Bristol Parkway.

Commenting on his web site, Steve Webb said:"An extra morning train from Yate to Abbey Wood and Bristol is a big step forward. For passengers who have had enough of overcrowding on the later trains, this will provide an additional option of a less crowded earlier train. For workers with some flexibility on working hours it may mean that they can then travel back home slightly earlier, and thereby avoid the peak rush-hour trains out of Bristol in the evening. Coming on top of the additional carriage that we have secured for the 0815 service, this is another sign that where we campaign effectively we can get things improved".

In addition to the new 0712 service, there is an improvement in service for those travelling to Swindon, with the 0740 service now going on from Bristolto Swindon without the need for changing trains.