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.