Monday, 31 January 2011

Frampton Cotterell and Coalpit Heath - have your say on community facilities

Your Focus Team wants your views on improving community facilities in Frampton Cotterell and Coalpit Heath.

Some of the money left over when the council houses were transferred to Merlin has been shared among the South Glos Councillors to spend on schemes in their wards which would benefit local residents, especially the former council house tenants.

In Frampton Cotterell Parish, Cllrs Pat and Dave Hockey are considering an aerial runway at Beesmoor Road Playing Field in partnership with the Playing Field Committee. An aerial runway was the top priority identified by local young people in the recent report issued by Village Action. Pat and Dave are also considering two BBQ units at the Centenary Field in partnership with Frampton Cotterell Parish Council. This would solve the problem of bench seats being burnt when disposable BBQs are lit on them. Please contact Pat or Dave  ASAP if you would like to support or comment on these suggestions.

Claire Young (pictured above outside the Manor Hall) delivered letters and talked to people living in the
former Council houses in the part of Coalpit Heath she represents. Currently, she plans to spend just over £2000 on providing proper dropped kerbs on Rose Oak Lane near the junction with Badminton Road, so residents with mobility problems from Coalville Road and Woodside Road can get to the bus stop on Badminton Road. Claire is proposing that a similar amount of money is shared at the Manor Hall between the disabled toilets, toddler play equipment and plants for the community garden. If you have any comments, please contact Claire ASAP.

A new village hall and shop in Cromhall and new homes in Falfield

Sandra O'Neill discusses new Post Office plans with Gill White

South Gloucestershire Council has agreed to transfer the land it owns in Townwell to Western Challenge Housing Association. This will enable them to build a one bedroom flat and 2 two bedroom houses for rent along with a replacement community shop and post office. Western Challenge has agreed to relocate the portacabin so that the shop and Post Office can remain open until it is replaced by the new, larger permanent building which will be built along with the houses and flats.

Meanwhile in Falfield, South Glos Council has agreed to transfer the Orchard Garage site to Knightstone Housing Association. This will enable them to provide 2 new 2 bed houses for rent in the village. After hearing local residents’ concerns about parking the Council is proposing to provide 5 on street parking spaces for Orchard view residents as well as access to enable them to park in their gardens.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Play time for under 5s in Westerleigh

 New equipment for toddlers and pre-schoolers has been installed in the play area in Westerleigh.

Claire Young said, “Last year local parents told me the play area was lacking equipment for younger children. So I was delighted to be able to use some of the money allocated to councillors from the transfer of the council houses to Merlin to help the Parish Council buy this new equipment.”

Other contributions from Claire’s share of the money have gone towards a new bench for the playing field and a sign for the village pound, both of which have been ordered by the Parish Council, and new items for the village hall kitchen. In Dodington Parish, plans are underway for planting a new community orchard at Wapley Bushes.

Road safety improvements - Nibley Lane now included

The consultation on the planned safety improvements on the B4465 and Westerleigh Road, including lower speed limits, has been delayed until early February. The good news is that Nibley Lane will now been included in the scheme. Watch this space for more information.

If you’d like to be part of a Community Speedwatch in Codrington, please contact Claire ASAP as a training session is being arranged.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Safer Stronger Community Group - lorry update

At Wednesday's Safer Stronger Community Group, there was an update on the problems of lorries on the country roads around Yate. Following a meeting with local councillors in December, it's been agreed to alter the allowed routes for Morrisons' lorries, so rather than being forced to use Latteridge Road or the A432 out through Old Sodbury, they will now also be allowed to use Wotton Road and the A432 through Coalpit Heath. A letter will be sent to the Owner and Operator of the Depot in the next week to inform them of the change.

Schemes for two 30mph sections along the Latteridge Road (Iron Action By-Pass to Crossing Cottage, and, Latteridge Village to Earthcott) will be included as Executive Member schemes in the 2011/12 draft capital programme and subject to normal consultation.

Once the change has been made, there will be further monitoring to see if additional speed limit changes or crossing points are needed.

Other issues discussed at the meeting included parking on pavements, outside Homestead Garage in Westerleigh and in Coalpit Heath. The Safer Stronger Community Group has its own webpage where among other things you can sign up to the group to be updated with information.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Village Action launch website

Village Action, the group putting together the Parish Plan for Frampton Cotterell, has launched a new website for Frampton Cotterell and Coalpit Heath. If there are groups or activities they've missed out, get in touch with them via email or Facebook to let them know.

Monday, 24 January 2011

Flooding updates

Earlier this month we reported on flooding problems in a number of roads around Coalpit Heath.

Following the site meeting, a new drainage pipe will be laid across Ruffet Road and along the footpath to replace the existing stone culvert. Part of the hedge has been removed to enable access and details of the utilites (gas, water, electricity etc) have been requested as these will be needed before the work can be carried out. The site is next on the list after a road closure for a culvert replacement scheduled in Yate next week.

Street Care will be jetting pipes in Serridge Lane to cleanse the drainage system and determine its route.

There were also reports of flooding in Mayshill and the Council's drainage engineer has requested more details from the Fire Brigade.

Safer Stronger Community Group on Wednesday - lorry routing and more

The next Safer Stronger Community Group for Frampton Cotterell, Westerleigh, Coalpit Heath and Iron Acton is on Wednesday 26th Jan 2011 at 7.30pm in St Saviours Church Hall.

One of the hot topics will undoubtedly be the problem of heavy lorries on local roads. South Gloucestershire Officers have been carrying out surveys on Wotton Road, Latteridge Road, Bristol Road and Badminton Road, seeking suggestions to alleviate the worst difficulties. There will be a presentation on the findings from the surveys at the meeting.

Rail shelter fixed at last as First Great Western see sense

At long last the vandalised shelter at Yate station has been fixed - and First Great Western have listened to local Lib Dems and used more vandal-proof materials.

The shelter had been broken since September, with First Great Western insisting it would be too expensive to repair. At a meeting in November, Lib Dem Cllr and train user Chris Willmore suggested to First that instead of replacing the broken panes, yet again, with glass or plastic that gets broken, they should spend to save, and put in the metal mesh with small holes that Lib Dem Yate Town Council has been using successfully on bus stops for years.

They have listened. This is far harder to vandalise (and no, that is NOT a challenge) and people can still see in and out so it feels secure - so with luck our train users should get shelter for a long time. And perhaps First Great Western might even learn the lesson and use this mesh in other places.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Nominate young people for volunteering awards

Do you know a young person aged 16 to 25 who deserves recognition for their volunteering and community action? If so Vinvolved South Glos would like to hear from you.

Once a year Vinvolved celebrate the fantastic work of young volunteers throughout our area. This years’ Celebration Event is taking place on Thursday 10th February 2011, from 7 -11pm at Circomedia, Portland Square, Bristol. There are six award categories including a ‘Best Group’ Award so you don’t have to select just one person from a group – nominate them all! They would also like to hear from volunteers who would like to nominate an organisation they are working with who have excelled in volunteering best practice or have created interesting volunteering opportunities.

You can nominate a volunteer online or for further information contact Vinvolved South Glos by telephone - 01454 317289 / 07528 421395 - or email

Closing date for nominations is Monday 31st January 2011.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Fares rise and another express service is cut

People travelling to and from Bristol by bus need to check the new timetables which will be published shortly.

The bad news is that from February 6th the X42 service which picks up at Coalpit Heath Church at 9.17am and the 6.50pm from Bristol are being chopped. Instead there will be a 342 leaving Chipping Sodbury 7 minutes earlier and 342 leaving Bristol Bus Station at 6.50pm. In addition the fares are going up!

All these changes are being made without any agreement with the Council. Pat Hockey has urged the Executive Member to remind the new Managing Director of First that this is a Showcase Bus Route. The Government allocated a lot of money to these Showcase routes on the understanding that the bus company would be working in partnership to increase the number of passengers.

The good news is that there will be an extra X42 leaving Chipping Sodbury at 8.30am.

There are also slight changes to the X27 from February 7th. They will leave North Corner for Bristol at 7.30am and 7.55am and then in the evening at 5.27pm, 6.36pm and 7.31pm. Saturday services will leave a minute earlier than now.

From Sunday all Adult Single and Return fares will increase by either 10p or 20p, according to distance. Child Single and Return fares will also increase by 10p.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Free bus travel for local young people

South Gloucestershire Council is offering free travel for one weekend to Youth Unltd card holders to raise awareness of the youth discount fares scheme.

The card, which your local Focus Team campaigned for, was introduced in April last year and usually offers tickets for half the adult price on local bus services after 6pm weekdays and all day on weekends and school holidays. But for one weekend only,the 29 and 30 January, Youth Unltd card holders can travel for free on all local bus services (excluding Stagecoach) for any journey which starts and/or finishes in South Gloucestershire.

You can find more information on the South Glos website.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Wickwar light switch-off?

Following the success in Charfield of switching off their streetlights for most of the night, your Parish Council are now in discussion with South Gloucestershire Council to see whether it is will be possible to do the same in Wickwar. A draft scheme has been prepared by SGC for discussion with the P.C. in January and then it will go out to public consultation shortly afterwards.

Each light can be dealt with separately, and for safety reasons, they are likely to be left on at busy road junctions and around the elderly person’s residences in the middle of the village. The switch off times would be approximately 12.30 a.m. to 5.00 a.m. Each light would need a modification, and they are therefore looking at the Autumn of 2011 for a start, if approved.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Ruffet Road flooding

Watch out if you're driving along Ruffet Road today - it's currently flooded at the junction with Coalsack Lane. Claire Young went down there to meet a local resident and the Council's drainage engineer to see what could be done. A team was called in to jet the culverts to try to identify any blockages. For now, it is probably best to avoid the area.

While in the area, Claire and the Engineer also took a look at Serridge Lane, where there have been complaints of water coming up out of the ground and running down the road. This will be investigated further.

Flood warning for Frampton Cotterell and Nibley

The Environment Agency has issued a flood warning for the River Frome from Nibley to upstream of Stapleton including Frampton Cotterell and Frenchay.

Edited at around 1.15pm: The flood warning is no longer in force. For further updates, keep an eye on the Environment Agency website. You can find lots of other useful information there too about preparing for flooding and can sign up to the Flood Warnings Direct service.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Wickwar children's play area officially opened

The much enlarged children’s play area on the King George V Playing Field in Wickwar has now been officially opened. A total of £42,000 has been spent on the area which was jointly funded by the Government Playbuilder Scheme (administered by South Gloucestershire Council) and The Lottery, with a small amount left over from the SGC Housing Revenue Account.

The equipment installed is for a range of ages and the added excitement that this gives is much appreciated by the children. There is now more reason than ever for Mums and Dads to walk their children up to the field for some fresh air and exercise.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Deadline for applying for school places looms

If you have a child due to start infant or primary school in September 2011 (born between 1 September 2006 and 31 August 2007) you need to get your application in by 15 January. You can make your application online and also view the Council's Admission to Schools booklet, which gives more advice on the process.

If you do not submit your application by the closing date of 15 January 2011 your application will be treated as late. This will mean that all on-time applicants will be considered before your application is considered, which may make it less likely that your child will gain a place at your first choice school.

Free electric blanket testing

Residents in South Gloucestershire are encouraged to get their electric blankets tested for free on Tuesday 18 January at Patchway Fire Station.

South Gloucestershire Council is providing the free blanket testing in partnership with Avon Fire and Rescue Service to help prevent the risk of fire caused by old or faulty blankets. Nationally, it is estimated that old or damaged electric blankets can cause 5,000 house fires a year and older people are at greatest risk according to the charity, Age UK.

So if you, or a family member need to get your blanket tested, please book an appointment by calling 01454 863632. Testing will take place between 10am and 3pm.

Top tips for those electric blanket essentials:

1. Have your blanket checked at least every three years
2. Look out for danger signs such as fraying fabric, scorch marks, exposed elements, wetness and loose connections
3. Store blankets flat or rolled up, never folded
4. Switch blankets off at night unless they have a working thermostat control.
5. Electric blankets should carry the British Standard Kitemark and the British Electotechnical Approvals Board (BEAB), or the European safety mark
6. Never buy a second hand electric blanket.

Patchway Fire Station is on Rodway Road, Patchway.

Stidcot Lane resurfacing

Stidcot Lane, between the Rectory Lane and Duck Street junctions, is due for resurfacing during 2011. Prior to that work being done, the edges will have to be patched, before the new surface can be laid. However due to the number of potholes which now affect this lane, some temporary remedial work will have to be done. It is due to be inspected shortly and Howard Gawler has already made sure it is on the Streetcare Task Register for the work to be done as soon as possible.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Police Authority urgently looking for people to comment on budget

The police authority will be running a focus group on the police budget in the Yate area on Tuesday 11th January 2011.

Their focus groups bring together a group of 6-8 local people in a meeting room, to participate in a discussion led by a facilitator. The facilitator puts questions to the people in the focus group, encouraging open debate and discussion between everyone present. The discussions are recorded and the conclusions are fed back to the 17 Members of the Police Authority to inform their decision making.

If you would be interested in participating please contact the Police Authority as soon as possible:

Telephone - 01275 816377 Email -

Engine Common - bid for new homes fails again

South Gloucestershire Council has approved its draft Core Strategy, for the period 2010-2026, which will include the building of approximately 21,500 houses. At the Council meeting on December 15th, Bloor Homes once again tried to get the Council to include their site, in the area surrounding the Yate Town Football Club, for houses and light industrial use. This was not agreed, and is therefore not in the draft Core Strategy.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Delay for stage 2 of Manor Road footway

Streetcare have been unable to finish the Stage 2 of the Manor Road footway due to the snowy weather during December. A short length has to be completed, and the bus shelter has to be reinstalled in its new location. For safety reasons it is being moved about 20m towards the Chaingate Lane junction.

Local councillor Howard Gawler is pleased to hear and see that many walkers, runners and child cyclists are using Stage 1 between Chaingate Lane and Tanhouse Lane, on their way to the Oldwood Lane RUPP, which is a popular, quiet and safe track between Tanhouse Lane and New Rd.

Saturday, 1 January 2011