Thursday, 31 March 2011

Still time to register to vote or apply for a postal vote

There is still time to register to vote or apply for a postal vote for the local elections on 5th May.

Registering to vote

To vote, you must be on the electoral register. If you have moved in since 15 October last year, you will need to re-register at your new address to be able to vote there. If you are unsure if you are registered to vote please contact the helpline on 01454 863030.  The deadline for applications to vote at these elections is 5pm on the 14th April 2011 but it's best to make sure you are registered as early as possible.You can download the form from the South Glos website.

Voting by Post or Proxy 

If you want to apply to vote by post, or want to change your existing postal or proxy voting arrangements, the deadline for South Glos to receive your form is 5pm on 14th April. New proxy voting applications can be received up until 5pm on the 21 April. Download the postal or proxy forms from the South Glos website.

Postal votes will be issued on the 18th April 2011 by first class post.

Wickwar - Downs Road new safety signs

 The new signs and chevrons have just been installed. This will hopefully make this dangerous corner safer, and more obvious, for all drivers to take at a reduced speed. This has been partly paid for by CEMEX related to their plans to extend the quarry. The entrance to King George V Playing Field has now been widened to improve visibility, and the realignment of the wall opposite is underway. This will dramatically improve visibility for drivers entering Wickwar.

Take Note 2011 Festival

Take Note 2011 gives you a chance to sample the best local amateur and youth music at free events at your local library.

The events for Yate Library are:

Saturday 2 April
2.15-2.45pm   Yate Choral Society
3.00-4.00pm    Dodington Parish Band

Thursday 7 April
2.00pm    Raysfield Primary School

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Council wins case against car traders

Residents have been very unhappy about the large advert for a car sales company in the field by the viaduct on Badminton Road. It's been a real eyesore.

Claire Young is delighted to be able to report that it has been removed after South Glos Council's planning enforcement team won the day in court yesterday. The car firm involved were fined £2,000 with £500 costs for display of adverts without consent. Fingers crossed this will deter other traders from using illegal advertising.

New 30mph limit coming to Cromhall

With a 30mph speed now in place through Rangeworthy, Charfield councillor, Sandra O'Neil felt it was very unsatisfactory that the same Wotton Road through Cromhall should continue with a 40mph limit.

Sandra, pictured left with husband John, said, "The heavy lorries and constant stream of cars travelling between Yate and the motorway all go through Cromhall and Tortworth as well as Rangeworthy. It is just as difficult for local residents to walk to school with their children or to cross the road."

Sandra succeeded in convincing the other councillors on the Thornbury & Severn Vale Area Forum that this was a priority. They agreed to allocate funding from their local transport budget to enable the 30mph speed limit to go ahead for Cromhall.

Rangeworthy 30mph speed limit in place

The new speed limit has now been installed and is in force and enforceable. Flashing warning signs will be installed near the P.C. Car Park and in New Rd.

This had been requested by Rangeworthy Parish Council to reduce the danger from lorries going through the village at the time when children were walking to school. The flashing reminder sign opposite the Rose and Crown, has been recording the number and speed of vehicles, but not details of individual vehicles.

Rethink forced on care home closure timetable

At last week's South Glos Council meeting, there was a debate on the Council's care home closure plans, triggered by local resident Mr John Williams presenting a petition with over 2600 names at Cabinet. During the debate, Lib Dem Alan Lawrance won cross-party backing for a rethink of the closure timetable.  Read more on the South Glos Lib Dems website.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Site visits for Beech Hill tipping and Mayshill composting facility applications

This Friday (1 April) the development control committee will be doing site visits for the Beech Hill tipping and Mayshill in-vessel composting applications that we reported on previously.

They are expected at Beech Hill at 10.20 and Mayshill at 10.50, but obviously these times can only be estimates. Claire Young and the Parish Council will have the opportunity to speak and there are also slots for any supporters or objectors but they are time-limited, so if there are more than one it makes sense to agree on a spokesperson. The committee won't be making any decisions, the visits are just so that they can see the sites and consider anything that it might be difficult to see from the plans. You can see the agenda and read the reports on the South Glos website.

Yate bus station - sign our petition! But who will pay?

If you've taken the bus to Yate recently, you'll probably know that the new bus station needs a radical redesign. The Gazette reports that Tesco is keen to have a permanent indoor shelter, just across from where its new megastore is under construction.

The problem is that this would cost £40,000 to £60,000. Yate Town councillor Chris Willmore, who has been leading calls to have it rebuilt, said: "As soon as it opened we held an emergency meeting with representatives from First Bus, the council, shopping centre owners Dominion and Tesco"

"Rather than focus on which of them was responsible for this mess, we urged them to focus on finding a solution. Tesco and Dominion were committed to getting a solution quickly. The council unfortunately started talking about the fact a change would need planning consent, which would take six to eight weeks"

"People before technology"

Cllr Willmore talked about the complaints from people getting soaked while waiting for the bus. She said "Interactive bus signs should be here in April but we have warned the council that if they end up putting in that expensive technology before they have got the basics right, like shelter from the rain, they will have to account to the public. The public quite rightly want to be dry as their first step"

South Glos Council has said that that they are waiting to hear from Tesco or the shopping centre owners Dominion about options for a redesign.

Click here to sign our online petition to sort out Yate Bus Station, or join our Facebook group.

What can be done about the lorries?

 Angry Action Group members representing the residents of Rangeworthy and Cromhall had a meeting with South Gloucestershire’s Cabinet Member responsible for Transport along with the Officer advising him. Although accepting his apology they remain dissatisfied with the explanation of why he decided to respond to the Latteridge Road Action Group’s petition by removing the long standing requirement for lorries associated with the Morrison’s Depot to use Latteridge Road and why no consultation had taken place.

Local Councillor Howard Gawler joined them and has also apologised for not ensuring that consultation was taking place before any decision was made. South Gloucestershire Officers had been carrying out surveys on Wotton Road, Bristol Road and Badminton Road while Latteridge Road was closed. Comparing the routes taken then with those from earlier surveys, the recommendation had been that there would be so few extra lorries choosing to use Wotton Road that it wouldn’t make any difference. Local residents strongly disagree with this. They are now awaiting the outcome of the Cabinet Member’s promised reconsideration of his decision.

The only real way to alleviate the problems caused by these enormous lorries which travel between Yate and the motorways is to locate the distribution warehouses where there are more suitable access roads. Howard along with Pat Hockey, the Councillor representing residents living along Latteridge Road as well as part of Wotton Road and Bristol Road, last week won the backing of other South Gloucestershire Councillors to request officers to investigate the possibilities of preventing further use of premises in Yate as distribution centres when they are vacated. This would help achieve the aim to improve the number and mix of jobs for people living in Yate.

Monday, 28 March 2011

Big Spring Clean - surprise find

Local resident Paul Bailey with Dave and Pat – they were helped by Brenda Edwards who sadly had to leave before the photos were taken.
 Dave Hockey made a surprising find when helping with the Big Spring Clean at the Village Green on Park Farm, Frampton Cotterell on Saturday. Dave explains, "I spotted some litter scattered on the pavement by the entrance on Beesmoor Road. When I got closer to pick it up and put it into my black sack I realised it was a bright red Britania savings book with a sum of money in it. I hope I can return both safely to the owner."

‘We cleared a lot of rubbish from the village green and pond. Paul Bailey and I had waders on and we managed to clear all of the litter and debris from the pond. But walking in the pond was tricky due to the mud and the water went over Paul’s waders at the deep end - that’s real commitment! I hope local residents (and the ducks in the pond) appreciate our efforts and that they help to keep the area litter free in future."

The team found hundreds of undelivered Observer papers from last September in the hedge around the village green along with lager cans, an umbrella, BBQ stove lid, plastic bottles, wine bottles, plastic bags and food wrappers. In the pond along with the ducks were a Streetcare cone, lengths of broken wooden fencing, a large food caddy, loads of plastic bottles, tin cans and a thong!

Engine Common - disaster!

Local residents are horrified at the proposal put forward by Bloor Homes and Sydney Freed Holdings to build hundreds of new homes and offices all over Engine Common. Local Councillor Howard Gawler  met some of them to look at the open countryside that would be lost.

“These fields with their grazing horses and wild life  are really important,” he said. “They are not only a beautiful view for people living nearby, they ensure that people living in the expanding town of Yate have easy access to the countryside where they
can enjoy a walk with their children and dogs”.

Local residents are forming an Action Group to ensure the strength of feeling against these proposals is made very, very clear. Steve Webb MP has added his support. Although South Gloucestershire Council is not proposing development here in the planning blueprint for the area, the developers will be able to put forward their case to a Government Inspector at the Public Inquiry into the Core Strategy and the Council could be overruled. Please sign the Action Group petition by going to

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Stidcot Lane resurfaced

 Users of Stidcot Lane, between Tytherington and the Wotton Road had been aware for many months that the road was in an appalling condition.

When Streetcare had to close the road for the resurfacing of the Rectory Lane bend due to frost damage, they took the opportunity to survey the whole 900m stretch back to
Duck St. They agreed with local councillor, Howard Gawler, that the road needed to be resurfaced as an emergency job. This was quickly done over a 5 day period.

Streetcare apologised for closing the road unexpectedly and at short notice, but to do it between peak hours would have taken two weeks and been considerably more expensive.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Update on community facilities

Following consultation on local facilities, orders have been placed for an aerial runway (similar to the one on the left) for Beesmoor Road Playing Field and two BBQ units for the Centenary Field.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Street lights off at night in Frampton Cotterell

Dave Hockey would like to thank local residents for the high level of support given to this project in the consultation carried out late last year. By the time you read this article 392 street lights in Frampton Cotterell Parish will have been fitted with a smart, selfcalibrating photocell which turns them off after midnight until about 5am.

The photographs show Lee Clarke from South Glos. Council’s Street Lighting Team with a photocell in his hand and another of Lee fitting one to a light in Upper Stone Close. This scheme will save an estimated £3,710 electricity costs and 23,335 kilograms of carbon emissions each year - it is good for the Council tax payer and for the environment. The cost of the change will be recovered in under a year and a half. 192 streetlights have been left on all night in line with South Glos. Council Policy. A review of the scheme is planned for March 2012 – in the meantime, any problems will be dealt with as they arise.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Pat Hockey appointed governor at new school

Pat Hockey, pictured left with Parish Cllr Jenny Rowan, has been appointed as a governor of the new Watermore Primary School.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Disabled living open day

Living (dlc), the disabled living centre, are holding their next drop in day on Wednesday 23rd March 2011 from 10:00am – 3:00pm in the Vassall Centre, Gill Avenue, Fishponds. Admission (and refreshments) are free, occupational therapists will be available and there will be a range of equipment designed to make your life easier.

Poor TV reception?

Some Coalpit Heath residents have a poor TV signal, making it difficult to use Freeview. Claire contacted Digital UK who referred her to the BBC. The BBC says that each person who is experiencing problems will have to make their own individual complaint. Go to or call 08700 100 123 for more info.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Manor School playing field clean up

A small band of volunteers including teachers, parents, pupils and local councillor Claire Young turned up to pick litter on the Manor School playing field this afternoon. The good news is that there was much less litter along the hedge that runs beside Southview Crescent than at last year's Big Spring Clean event, when it was a real hot spot. Let's hope it stays litter-free!

Friday, 18 March 2011

Councillors and officials experience Frampton End Road dangers

Frampton End Road was
built for people and

South Gloucestershire’s Cabinet Member and Director responsible for Transport and a Senior Highways Officer walked the entire length of Frampton End Road on a cold morning in February to experience it for themselves.

Local councillor Dave Hockey and residents joined them to discuss the hazards on this winding, narrow road and to talk about the accidents that have taken place on it involving horses, walkers, cyclists, vehicles and property.
...not for motor cars, vans and

Council Officers will now collect data on the traffic using the road. Your Focus Team will keep you informed on the proposals they bring forward to make it safer for those using it to enjoy the countryside.

Sainsbury's lorry success - and don't forget to comment on road safety scheme

When the B4465 safety review didn’t recommend a weight limit, Claire Young contacted some of the firms whose lorries regularly use the route to discuss lorry routing. Sainsbury’s has now agreed to send lorries from their Emerson’s Green distribution centre along the ring road to the M4 rather than going to junction 18 via Westerleigh and Codrington. Some of the lorries come from other depots so if you see Sainsbury’s lorries on the route, please let Claire have the registration number so Sainsbury’s can contact the depot involved.

Don't forget you only have until Monday 21st to comment on the B4465, Westerleigh Road and Nibley Lane Casualty Reduction scheme - more details here.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Lower speed limits for Nibley Lane

Under the proposed road safety scheme for the B4465, Westerleigh Road and Nibley Lane, the current national speed limit on Nibley Lane between Badminton Road and Westerleigh Road would be reduced to 40mph. If you would like to look at the detailed plans or make comments, you can do so on the South Glos website. But hurry - the deadline for comments is Monday 21st March.

Residents who completed our surveys in the autumn were also worried about speeding in Nibley Lane between Nibley and Iron Acton. Officers are now investigating whether a 30mph limit could be introduced there, perhaps at the same time as a scheme to make Frampton End Road safer in response to the petition presented to South Glos in December.

New activities for young people?

Following concerns raised in last year’s survey, Claire Young has been talking to South Glos youth workers about possible new activities for young people in Westerleigh, Codrington, Dodington and Wapley. Three options are:

  • drama project in Westerleigh in the summer
  • transport to boxing in Yate
  • transport to the “Armadillo” youth cafe in Yate
If you are aged 14-19 or someone in your household is, email to let Claire know which of these are of interest.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Your views on Yate transport problems

South Glos Council’s planning blueprint (“Core Strategy”) aims to regenerate the industrial estates to the west of Yate, to create a wider range of jobs and a more attractive approach to the town. The planners are looking at the transport problems in the area. They are already aware of a whole host of issues including:
  • The need for improvements at Yate station
  • Heavy traffic on Badminton Road and Station Road at peak times
  • The difficulty getting into and out of South Avenue and houses on Badminton Road
  • The narrowness of the bridge on Stover Road
  • The problems caused by lorries wrongly going down North Road
If you have any other concerns you’d like to feed in at this early stage, please contact Claire Young.

Handy Van South Glos - free security checks, subsidised minor repairs

Free Security Checks
Handyvan South Gloucestershire Council operate a free home safety and security check for all owner occupiers and private tenants in the South Gloucestershire area. Improving the security of your home, will help reduce the risk of burglary and unlawful entry, making you feel safer.

All work is carried out free of charge, to British Standards and insurance Industry requirements. The service is funded by South Gloucestershire Council and supported by the Avon and Somerset Police and Avon Fire and Rescue Service provides a free security service including crime prevention advice and home security products for:

* Properties at risk of burglary
* Vulnerable people
* Victims of crime domestic violence and hate crime
* General home safety and falls/accident prevention checks with remedial action

Subsidised Minor Household Repairs
South Gloucestershire Council operate a subsidised Minor Household Repair Service. The aim of this service is to enable people to maintain their independence in their own homes.

The minor household repair service is restricted to jobs of less then 3 hours at a subsidised rate of £10.00 per hour and will typically consist of:

* Small building repairs, odd jobs (e.g. fitting curtain rails or shelves)
* Small plumbing jobs, (e.g. tap washers, leaks, blocked sinks.
* Small carpentry jobs, (internal door repairs, flat pack building)
* Gutter cleaning, cracks in paths, small plaster repairs

The service is available to vulnerable residents who are over 60 years of age, and to people of working age with disabilities. This service is not available to Housing Association or Private Landlords.

For more information please contact or telephone 01454 863857.

Beech Hill Farm - another application for tipping

View Larger Map

Beech Hill Farm - blue line shows tipping boundary, pointer shows access from Westerleigh Road

Back in 2007 Beech Hill Farm, "the place that sells the fireworks" just under the railway bridge from the Shire Way roundabout, was refused planning permission for significant tipping. They've now submitted another application.The site is just across the railway from Rodborough and Chedworth.

Westerleigh Parish Council and Dodington Parish Council have objected - comments include that the application should be refused on the ground of traffic problems and disturbance to nearby properties. As the alternative approach routes - Westerleigh village and Nibley Lane - have weight limits, this would mean all significant lorry movements coming down through the Dodington/Yate estate roads.

Should permission be approved restricted hours should be imposed, avoiding worstening the dangerous junctions at Nibley Lane and Shire Way mini-roundabout at peak hours, i.e. before 0930 and after 1600 Monday-Friday.

Make your own comments - the Planning Application reference number is PT07/2338/F, and you can submit comments to South Glos here - the closing date is 1 April.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Watch out for paving contract scam

South Gloucestershire trading standards is urging local residents to be very careful signing home improvement contracts when dealing with doorstep salespeople.

Legally you are entitled to a seven-day cooling off period after signing a contract with a door-step trader. During that time you can back out of the agreement with no consequences. However, several block paving businesses which operate in the region are suspected to be routinely back-dating contracts when they are signed by customers, preventing them from exercising their right to back out.

The workmen then turn up at the customer's property,  usually when they are not at home, and start digging up the driveway. When the customer complains, the business may refer them to the contract which makes it look as if it was signed over a month ago.

It is a criminal offence for doorstep traders not to give customers a written notice of their right to cancel the agreement within seven days of signing it, but this may be waived by the customer only if they sign to say that work can start immediately. Most block paving businesses give such written notice, but some use the tactic of writing an earlier date on the contract so that they can effectively start work immediately and it looks as if the customer has already had their seven day cooling off period.

Anyone entering into such an agreement is recommended to check any date that is written on the agreement straight away and make the salesperson correct it if an earlier date is written on there. If you feel that you have been duped by this method and the work has started within the seven days without your consent, please report the business to Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Orchard planting day a success

Claire Young, Paul Hulbert and Graham White (front left to right) with Parish Councillors, members of Wapley Bushes Conservation Group and local people at the orchard planting

On Saturday, local South Glos councillor Claire Young joined Dodington Parish Councillors, members of Wapley Bushes Conservation Group and local people to plant a community orchard on Wapley Comon and nearby.

More than 40 trees were planted, with those on the Common being local types of apple plus a few plums of a rare local variety.

"It's good to do something so traditional yet so future-looking", said Dodington Parish Cllr Paul Hulbert, who organised the event. "We're very grateful to expert Graham White - known locally as Mr Fruit - who guided us through the planting."

Claire Young commented, "This was a great way to spend a beautiful spring morning - fresh air, good company and exercise with a legacy that should last years."

The planting was jointly funded by Dodington Parish Council and South Gloucestershire Council. Claire explained, “When South Glos transferred its council houses to Merlin Housing Association, there was a small amount of money left in the Housing Revenue Account. Each South Glos councillor has been able to choose schemes that would benefit people in their wards, so when local people suggested a community orchard I thought that it would be just the right project for the rural Wapley area. Not only will local people be able to pick the fruit in years to come, this is also going to be an important gene bank, helping to protect local varieties that may have useful traits.” 

Sunday, 13 March 2011

New Road, Rangeworthy to be resurfaced

New Road, Rangeworthy will (weather permitting) be resurfaced from Tuesday 15th to Thursday 17th March. The work will start at around 7am and go on until 5pm each day and traffic will be controlled with Stop/Go signs.

Friday, 11 March 2011

Census day coming soon

The 2011 Census will take place on Sunday 27th March. It will provide a snapshot of the population that will be really important in deciding how much funding our area receives for schools, health services and so on. Your questionnaire should be with you by 12th March - if not, please contact the helpline 0300 0201 101.

You can complete the census or get help or more information on the official 2011 Census website.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Clothing Collection Leaflets

South Gloucestershire Council's Trading Standards officers and neighbourhood police are warning people to be wary of door-to-door leaflets asking for unwanted clothing.

There is currently a red and white flyer asking to collect clothes for a charity called ‘Breaking the Waves’. The website on the flyer does not exist and the telephone number provided does not connect. The police have some concerns and are currently investigating.

The only way to guarantee that donations benefit good causes is to deal only with charities you know are genuine, or take unwanted items direct to a charity shop.There are concerns that some clothing collections are just done for commercial gain and that the public are being misled by false claims.

If you are in any doubt about door-to-door flyers like this, or any others offering goods or services, contact Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06.

Composting facility proposed in Mayshill

An application has been submitted for a small-scale in-vessel composting facility next to the Mayshill Industrial Estate. The technology proposed uses Ag-Bags (usually used for storing animal feed) as the enclosed container. You can view the plans and make comments on the South Glos website. You have until 16th March to make comments.

Celebrating Age Festival - get bids in now

South Gloucestershire Council, Age Concern, the Senior Citizens Forum and Southern Brooks Community Partnership are staging the second South Gloucestershire Celebrating Age Festival, for people aged 50+ from Saturday 18 June to Friday 1st July 2011.
The organisers are aiming to have a wide range of activities and events during the festival, the goal of which is:

• To provide a range of fun, enjoyable, informative and stimulating events for older people many of which link to ongoing activities
• To encourage older people to take part in activities in their local community
• To celebrate the positives of ageing and the range of activities older people can take part in South Glos.
• To raise the profile of older people in our community
• To reach a mix of older people from different communities

One way you can get involved now is to bid for funding for an event or activity. The organisers say:
Events that receive funding will be publicised in the festival programme. The sorts of events to think about are: trips out to places of interest, lunch events, arranging talks, arranging taster sessions of different activities, musical or dance events. The emphasis should be on existing members enjoying the event as well as attracting new people. We welcome applications from all sorts of groups…you might be a craft group, a sports and social club, a group attached to a place of worship, a dance group, a skittle group, a darts team, a carers group, a group for older people from an ethnic minority….applications are welcomed from all, and we are keen to see a wide range of events funded across South Gloucestershire.
Application forms must be returned to by 31st March 2011.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Big Spring Clean 2011 events

Could you spare an hour or two to help clear up one of the litter hotspots in our villages?

As part of the Big Spring Clean 2011, there will be events on the Manor School Playing Field, Coalpit Heath and Park Farm, Frampton Cotterell.
The Manor School playing field is used not only by school children but also footballers and the local community. Come along at 2pm on Saturday 19th March to lend a hand. Gloves and black sacks will be provided.

The ducks on the village pond at Park Farm are thriving. They give a lot of pleasure to so many people of all ages who love to see them. But litter is a problem, not only in and around the pond but also amongst the trees which border Heather Avenue, around the Village Green and along the public footpath. If you can spare an hour or so to help clear litter fromn this lovely spot between 10.30am and 1pm on Saturday 26 March, that would be great. Gloves and black sacks will be provided along with a skip for the litter.

Funding for local traffic schemes

Local Councillors won funding for a number of traffic schemes at the recent Frome Vale Area Forum.

In Westerleigh, £7000 will be spent investigating how to tackle speeding traffic on Westerleigh Road and Shorthill Road.In 2008, Claire Young secured funding for the crossing point at the bus stop on Westerleigh Road, with the twin aims of making it safer to cross and slowing the traffic, but this and the white hatching on Shorthill Road haven't managed to solve the speeding problem. Now the money is available for this to be investigated thoroughly.

Last year the Area Forum funded an investigation into the problems stopping buses getting through Iron Acton High Street. Now the Forum has provided £8000 to implement the waiting restrictions recommended in the review.

The Forum also proposed to give £8000 towards impementing the results of the speed limit review on the B4509 route from B4508 Hammerley Down to Wickwar, a scheme that also involves Severnvale Area Forum.

The Forum also asked the Transport Exec to look at extending the footpath on Perrinpit Lane, a scheme too large to be dealt with from the Area Forum budget.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Update on road resurfacing

Due to supply problems, some of the road resurfacing in our villages has had to be rescheduled:

Beesmoor Road, Coalpit Heath 24th and 25th March
Meadow View, Frampton Cotterell 9th March
The Spinney, Frampton Cotterell 23rd March

Community orchard planting this Saturday!

Dodington Parish Council, South Gloucestershire Council and the Wapley Bushes Conservation Group are coming together to create a Community Orchard by planting groups of fruit trees at various places around Wapley Common.

Conservation Group members and friends will be meeting on Saturday 12th March starting at 10.00 am from the Shire Way access to the Nature Reserve, next to the zebra crossing near Cherington. Local people are very welcome to join in – if possible they should bring a spade, gloves and suitable footwear.

The planting session will start with a workshop led by local supplier “Mr Fruit” (Graham White). “We’re used to planting woodland trees, but fruit trees are more fussy and we want to do it properly” said Cllr Paul Hulbert. “Our vision is that we’re planting a community orchard for the future, where our children and grandchildren will be able to come and pick delicious fruit straight from the trees.”

Tim Fairhead of the Wapley Bushes Conservation Group said “Fruit trees used to be a common part of the rural landscape but there are fewer orchards today. When the community orchard was being planned, we found some examples of a rare local plum variety. Planting the new trees will increase the biodiversity of our area, and they will also become a biological resource for future generations.”

The project is being funded jointly by Dodington Parish Council and by South Gloucestershire Council. Cllr Claire Young explained, “When South Glos transferred its council houses to Merlin Housing Association, there was a small amount of money left in the Housing Revenue Account. Each South Glos councillor has been able to choose schemes that would benefit people in their wards, so when local people suggested a community orchard I thought that it would be just the right project for the rural Wapley area.”

Working group to act on smell

Westerleigh Parish Council and South Gloucestershire Councillor Claire Young have set up a working group with Tulip (the owners of the abattoir), Wessex Water and the Environment Agency to tackle the foul smells that have been affecting Westerleigh village.

Claire after the initial meeting of the working
group, which was hosted by Tulip
The group had an initial meeting on Monday 28th February to pool data and agree the next steps. It has not been possible to identify the source or sources of the smells from the logging done so far, so more extensive, widespread monitoring will be carried out before the group meets again in April. It’s very important that you keep letting Claire and the Parish Council know about any incidents as well as reporting them to Tulip and Wessex Water. Please give as much information as you can, such as:

  • Date and time
  • Exact location where you can smell it
  • Whether you can smell the odour inside your house or only outside
  • Whether it seems to be coming from any particular point, for example, around a drain cover or whether you can simply smell it in the air around you
  • A description of the smell – is it like rotten eggs, human sewage, rotting vegetation or something else?
  • What the weather is like at the time and what it had been like before the smell occurred – is it raining heavily, has there been a long period of dry weather beforehand?

Don’t forget that if gases are coming back into your house via the drains, South Gloucestershire Council’s Environmental Health team can provide monitoring tubes to test for Hydrogen Sulphide (the gas that smells of rotten eggs).

Claire and the Parish Council will keep working with residents to get this problem resolved.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Mobile film show - Saturday 12th March

On Saturday 12th March two films will be shown at Crossbow Community Centre. For young people, there is Johnny Depp in "Alice in Wonderland" (doors open 5.40pm for a 6pm start) while adults can enjoy "Inception" (doors open 8pm for an 8.15pm showing).

If you could help with setting out chairs and so on, please contact Jen Dunford.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Roads to be resurfaced in Coalpit Heath and Frampton Cotterell

The following roads are due to be resurfaced as part of the Council's "micro asphalt programme":

Rose Oak Lane - 4th March
Meadow View and The Spinney - 7th March
Beesmoor Road - 8th and 9th March

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Better security for Yate station

Yate rail campaigners have welcomed the news that CCTV cameras are to be installed at the town's station. The Friends of Yate Station were told at a meeting on Monday that eight cameras will be installed to increase security at the site, which has suffered repeated vandalism.

Lib Dem councillor Sue Walker, who chairs the group said, “I'd like to thank everyone who has worked to make this happen. Yate rail users were left out in the wet and cold this winter because the shelters were damaged, which shows how a few mindless vandals can make waiting for a train a misery for everyone. I hope criminals will think twice when these cameras are in place."

She added, "The station has been without a ticket machine for some time thanks to vandalism. First Great Western said they wouldn't replace it while there were no CCTV cameras on site. I hope once there are that they will think again."