Thursday, 30 June 2011

Business Park's longer working hours plans go to committee

The Development Control (West) planning committee will make their decision on plans to extend working hours at Ram Hill Business Park at their meeting next Thursday. Last week the committee visited the site and heard from residents and local councillor Claire Young about the impact the proposed changes would have.

You can view the agenda and reports online. The meeting is in Thornbury Council Chamber and starts at 2.30pm on Thursday 7th July.

Yate X-ray change not so transparent!

As you may have read in the Gazette, from 30th June NHS South Gloucestershire intend to stop the extended evening hours of the X-ray facility in the new Westgate centre, with the facility closing at 5pm. They say that very few people have been using the evening service, so it's not worth running.

This raises several questions:

Why didn't they consult anybody locally about this? They didn't tell anyone that numbers were low, despite all the excellent joint working in the run-up to the opening of the centre.

Why are the numbers low? Have people been told that they can get their X-rays done locally, or out of "normal hours"?

Your Focus Team has been pushing for this issue to be looked at properly before the final decision is made. Councillors asked for an emergency meeting with local health chiefs and achieved a breakthrough. The change of hours has already been put in process, but is now being treated as a suspension whilst discussions take place, not a permanent decision.

Local councillors are working with health chiefs to draw up a survey that asks you, the residents of the area what hours you want the Minor Injuries Unit and X-ray open, and why you've chosen to go to X-ray or A and E at Frenchay rather than the MIU / X-ray at Yate.

We also want to find out how the move of A and E exclusively to Southmead will affect your choice of where to go in a crisis (bearing in mind that Frenchay will only have a MIU at Frenchay exactly equivalent to Yate's) .

The health authorities are pulling together data and then are going to work with local councillors to do a public survey between now and the end of September. So, it is not saved yet, but the final cut has been suspended. Please watch this space for more news...

Monday, 27 June 2011

Park Lane closure

Park Lane is due to close between Heather Avenue and Badminton Road on Sunday 3rd July to allow the railway bridge to be inspected. South Glos have applied for a 5 day closure order but officers expect the works to be from 2pm to 10pm on the Sunday.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Village walkabout highlights mobility issues

(L-R) Eve Carey, Dee Bidwell, Claire Young, Julie Morse
 South Glos Highways Officers and local councillor Claire Young recently joined residents for a walk round Westerleigh village to see the difficulties disabled residents face getting about.

Mrs Morse (pictured with the wheelchair) asked for the site meeting so that officers could appreciate how hard it is for people with mobility problems to access village facilities like the church, village hall and pubs. Among the problems highlighted were narrow pavements, overhanging vegetation and the lack of dropped kerbs.

One option discussed that might be considered in the future if funding became available was putting dropped kerbs outside the church and on the village green, with a small piece of path across the green linking the two. This is the route many people use to cross the road, as it gives the best visibility in both directions, but grass is not a good surface for wheelchair users. We would be interested to know people's views on this.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

The future of Filton Airfield

If you are interested in the Planning Blueprint for South Glos, the Core Strategy, there is now an extra publication you may like to look at and perhaps comment on.

The decision by BAE Systems to close Filton Airfield means there is a large area of land that will be left vacant. The Government Inspector who will be holding the Examination in Public has asked South Glos Council to put forward their views for discussion on what should happen about this.

You can find the Council's Filton Airfield Position Statement online, as well as in libraries and at One Stop Shops.

Any comments on the suggestions have to be made by July 29th to

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Planning committee to visit Ram Hill Industrial Estate.

The planning committee is due to visit Ram Hill Industrial Park this Friday in relation to three planning applications there. The estimated time of arrival is 12 noon, though given they are the last applications on the agenda there is a risk there will be a delay. Claire Young will speak as the local member. To find out more you can read the officer's reports online.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Yate SSCG on Thursday

The next meeting of the Yate Safer Stronger Community Group (which covers the Dodington Parish part of Westerleigh ward) will be on Thursday 23rd June at 7pm in South Glos Council's Badminton Road offices. As well as the opportunity to raise issues, there will also be an update on the Armadillo and a presentation from the Community Lead Group for the Priority Neighbourhood in south Yate.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Outline drawings for new shelter at Yate Bus Station

This week the Yate Focus Team received outline plans for the new shelter at Yate Bus Station, so that you can see where the new shelter might go. Click on the links for the seven-bay version and the six-bay version
Unfortunately there's nowhere near here with this particular model, but here's a photo of one of these shelters at Treliske Hospital in Truro - there are others at Heathrow, Manchester and Leeds.

It has been confirmed that the design has been developed to provide a level of vandal-proof protection, and it should be covered by the Yate Centre CCTV system.

The Yate Focus Team are awaiting some details on seats and have requested these along with quotes for the shelter and the signage.  When Yate Town Council discussed the outline plans earleir this week they asked for lighting proposals and details about the CCTV coverage.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Funding conference for community groups

CVS South Gloucestershire are holding a conference for charities, voluntary organisations, community groups and social enterprises serving South Gloucestershire. It will be a chance to meet major funders, get advice from experts and have a one-to-one funding surgery.

The event takes place from 9.30-4.30 on Wednesday 6th July 2011 at the WISE Campus, Filton. You can find more information on the CVS website.

SSCG meeting tonight!

The latest meeting of the Frampton Cotterell, Westerleigh, Iron Acton and Coalpit Heath SSCG will be held tonight starting at 7.30pm in Iron Acton village hall. This is a chance to discuss how we make our communities safer and stronger with representatives of South Glos Council, the police, the fire service and other public bodies.

Friday, 10 June 2011

Planning and tipping applications approved

Yesterday the Development Control (West) planning committee considered the Beech Hill Farm tipping and Mayshill in-vessel composting facility applications. Local councillor Claire Young spoke on residents' concerns on both applications.

After some discussion of the highways issues and how rejected loads should be dealt with, the committee granted a 2 year temporary permission for the Mayshill composting facility. They added a condition requiring a travel plan and, if there isn't more specific legislation covering it, a requirement that rejected loads are taken away immediately in the van that delivered them.

Highways issues were also the main concern with the Beech Hill Farm tipping application, but the committee decided to approve the application in line with the officer's recommendation.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

The First Year as a New MP - meet Duncan Hames MP in Chipping Sodbury 24 June

Ever wondered what happens behind closed doors in Westminster? Come and listen to a new MP talk about his first year in Parliament.

Duncan has had an extraordinary first year in Parliament since being elected as MP for Chippenham in 2010. He has become a Parliamentary Private Secretary to a Lib Dem Minister, and has seen more about how Government works in one year than most people do in ten.

This lecture is in memory of Heather Larkins, a former Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Northavon who sadly passed away. All proceeds go towards sending a young person to experience Liberal Democrat Autumn Conference in September.

Chipping Sodbury Town Hall, Friday 24 June, 7.30 pm.

Tickets £5 each (£1 if under 21) from Joanna Wallis on 0117 9574119 or email    Alternatively, pay on the door.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Box Hedge Farm Events application - have your say

A planning application has been submitted by Box Hedge Farm Events. You can view the application on the South Glos website - the deadline for comments is 8th July. Following a meeting with Claire Young and the applicant, the Parish Council has arranged an open meeting to discuss the application at 7pm on Monday 13th June in Westerleigh Village Hall.Your Focus Team has been delivering letters with the latest Focus to alert local people to this meeting.

Friday, 3 June 2011

Update on Tafarn Bach

John and Howard discuss the problems these difficult road works are causing
The good news is that the Tafarn Bach roadworks should be finished by the end of June.
Before then the road will have to be closed, probably on June 12th,19th and 26th. Diversions will be signed but if you want further information, call in at Charfield Post Office.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Planning committee to consider tipping and composting applications

On Thursday 9th June, the Development Control (West) planning committee will consider the Beech Hill Farm tipping and Mayshill in-vessel composting facility applications. The case officer has recommended approval for the tipping and a 2 year temporary approval for the composting application.

You can view the agenda for the meeting, with links to the officer's reports, online.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

New pedestrian refuge for Church Road

Church Road will be closed off-peak between 6th and 9th June so that the new pedestrian refuge can be installed. Pat and Dave Hockey secured funding for this much-needed facility to improve safety for all pedestrians, especially children walking to school.