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.