Friday, 30 March 2012

Last chance to have your say on Yate Leisure Centre plans

You only have until tomorrow (Saturday 31 March) to have your say on plans by Circadian Trust, who run the South Glos leisure centres, to make changes at Yate and Thornbury Leisure Centres. Under the plans, Yate Bowls Club and other bowlers who currently use Yate would be expected to use Thornbury instead and the bowls hall at Yate would be converted into a home for King Edmund Acrogymnastics Club.

Information on the plans and feedback forms are available at both leisure centres and King Edmund Acrogymnastics Club. Alternatively you can respond online. There is a dedicated helpline and email address for anyone with any queries: 0800 073 1047 or .

Inspector sets date for public inquiry on Core Strategy

Thank you to all who took the time to respond to the consultation on South Gloucestershire’s Core Strategy. Across the whole of South Gloucester shire most comments were seeking to protecting Woodlands Farm from development .

We understand that Barratt Homes will be seeking to have Woodlands identified for development in the Core Strategy rather than making a planning application at this stage.

The Inspector who will be holding the Public Inquiry into the proposals in the Core Strategy has announced that it will start on Tuesday 19th June in Kingswood Civic Centre. He will have a pre- meeting about it on Tuesday 17th April also in Kingswood Civic Centre.

These will be open to the public so if you are interested you can turn up. Anyone wishing to speak at the Examination in Public will have to put in a request by Tuesday 12th April.

Frampton Cotterell Parish Council will be discussing whether they will seek to be represented at their meeting on 4th April, 7.30pm in the Brockeridge Centre. Westerleigh Parish Council next meet on 2nd April, 7.15pm in the Manor Hall, Coalpit Heath.

The Save Woodlands Farm action group are keen to get as many posters up as possible as the inspector may make a site visit. If you would like a poster at cost price, please contact Richard on 01454 776693 or .

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Have your say on children and youth services TONIGHT

Make sure you have your say on South Gloucestershire Council’s plans for its services for children and young people. The consultation website says:
We believe we need to shift our emphasis from providing services to everyone towards supporting those who are most in need – and from reacting to problems towards preventing problems from happening.
The Council would be looking to partners such as the town and parish councils to take on the running of the youth centres and children’s centres. Last week Lib Dem Councillors submitted a number of questions to the Exec Member for Children and Young People raising concerns.

There will be a drop-in session 7pm-9pm tonight, Thursday 29th March, at the Ridings International Winterbourne Academy and another 7pm-9pm on Monday 2nd April in Shireway Community Centre, Yate. You can find out more about the consultation and make your comments on the Council’s website.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Nibley Lane closed on Friday

Nibley Lane is expected to close on Friday 23rd March between 9.30am and 2.30pm for deep cleaning.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Could you be a Community First Responder?

Great Western Ambulance Service are looking for volunteers to train as Community First Responders. They are also creating a database of locations of defibrillator machines that are held in the community. If you are aware of one, please contact Further information on volunteering can be found on the Great Western Ambulance website.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Local forum tackles accident blackspots

Frome Vale Area Forum hoped to avoid further accidents like this one when they allocated money to reducing the speed limit on the B4058
Last month, the Lib Dems successfully amended South Gloucestershire’s budget to devolve more of the highways budget to the local area forums. As a result, the Frome Vale Area Forum had an additional £50,000 to allocate at its March meeting. The Forum used this money to tackle three accident blackspots in our area.

Reducing the speed limit on the B4058

The Forum’s top priority was reducing the speed limit on the B4058 between Iron Acton and Frampton Cotterell. Iron Acton resident Mark Curtis told the Forum of his experience of being shunted from behind into the path of an oncoming car while waiting to turn into his drive. He said he felt fortunate to have escaped the accident with whiplash, concussion and cuts to his head, nose, hand and legs and that it was lucky that his wife who is 5 months pregnant and his two year old son were not in the car at the time.

Speaking about the decision to award £21,000 to the scheme to reduce the limit to 40mph,  Mr Curtis said, “It is long overdue and will hopefully be altered sooner rather than later!  I would have liked 30mph where the houses are but 40mph is a definite step in the right direction.”

Dave Hockey said, “I suggested that we went for the schemes with the worst accident records, to make the best use of the money available to us. It has long seemed ridiculous that the speed has been restricted on the straight portion of the B4058 but not where the houses are, where people need to turn in and out of their drives. I am delighted we have now been able to put this right.”

Pat Hockey said, “This is localism in action and a good example of why we asked for more of the highways budget to be allocated by local councillors at Area Forums. We were able to listen to what a local resident has to say and take action.”

Improving safety on the A432 at Old Sodbury and the A46

The Area Forum also allocated money to road safety schemes on the A432 between Smarts Green and
Commonmead Lane
and the A46 between Cross Hands and Petty France. Cllr Sue Hope said, “I am delighted that the Area Forum now has more say on tackling serious road safety issues. These roads have dreadful accident records, including a number of fatalities, and I hope these schemes will change that.”

Supporting local groups

Earlier in the evening the Forum had allocated money to a range of local groups. Ones from the Ladden-Frome area included Crossbow Pre-school, Wickwar Pre-school, Dodington Parish Band and the 1st Frampton Cotterell Scout Group.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

School transport update

Claire Young attended last week's Children and Young People's select committee to speak on the proposed removal of free school transport from Westerleigh to Pucklechurch. Officers confirmed that although the removal of free transport to denominational schools is intended to save money, they are not expecting significant savings from the changes to rural areas transport, instead it is about "equity". Claire queried the high admin figures being quoted for the discretionary fare scheme and asked for a breakdown of figures, as it would be terrible for families to be disrupted only for the council to end up spending more.

Claire made it clear that the starting point was not wanting the free transport to stop, but if it does the transitional arrangements need to be significantly beefed up, with free transport continuing for children already at the school. Parents may not have understood the intricacies of the legislation on school transport when choosing the school. She also queried whether the service could be guaranteed to run if some parents opted to make alternative arrangements. Officers said the Executive Member would consider all the responses to the consultation when making the decision, so if you are unhappy with the proposals, make sure you respond.

You have until 27th April to comment on the plans. You can do that online, email comments to or write to Strategy, Access & Planning AdminDepartment for Children & Young People, PO Box 2082, Castle Street, Thornbury BS35 9BQ. Please let Claire know your views too.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Friday, 9 March 2012

More bus news

First Bus has announced that they are increasing most adult return fares on services in Bristol and South Gloucestershire by between 10p and 30p from 1st April (ones operating in and out of Bristol Bus Station are unaffected except for the X39 Bristol-Bath). The price of the FirstDay tickets has been frozen though - so for a ticket covering Zones 1, 2 and 3, which includes our area, it will still be £6, which is cheaper than the return fare to Bristol.

First has also introduced a Customer Charter, which promises money back in the form of free travel up to the value of the original journey if one of its buses leaves a defined timing point more than one minute early, more than 20 minutes late or fails to operate at all. This onlyapplies if the company is at fault. So you can claim if the bus breaks down or the driver doesn't report for work but not if heavy traffic or bad weather slows your journey.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Come along and have your say tonight

The latest Frome Vale Area Forum is at 7pm tonight (Thursday 8th March) in Chipping Sodbury Town Hall - and it's never been more important to come along.

Last month the Tory executive in South Gloucestershire agreed to a Liberal Democrat budget proposal that aspects of the government funded New Homes Bonus and more of the highways budget should be devolved to local Area Forums. Tonight Frome Vale Area Forum will be allocating an extra £50,000 to local transport schemes, as well as allocating grants to community groups and giving you a chance to have your say on how localism should work in our area. This is a real chance to say how money should be spent in our area now and influence how decisions are made in the coming years.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Good and bad news on the buses

There is both good and bad news for users of the 342 and X42 bus services, which serve Coalpit Heath and Nibley among other places.

The bad news is that the 18:05 X42service from Bristol to Chipping Sodbury is being withdrawn from 1st April. First have told officers that due to the delays on the 342 services in the evening peak period they often have two vehicles operating the corridor at the same time. They argue that the 342 gives a greater degree of consistency and will meet the greatest passenger demand.

The good news is that the Sunday/Bank Holiday service is improving from 2 hourly to hourly, also from the start of April.

There are other changes to times and timetables should be available shortly on the Council's website.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Safer Stronger Community Group meeting tonight

The latest meeting of the Frampton Cotterell, Westerleigh, Iron Acton and Coalpit Heath Safer Stronger Community Group is tonight (Tuesday 6th March) at 7.30pm in Iron Acton Village Hall. As well as giving you a chance to raise issues, there will be an item on the Green Dog Walkers scheme and updates from Village Action and Avon Fire and Rescue.

Monday, 5 March 2012

New threat to Westerleigh-Pucklechurch school transport

Conservative-run South Gloucestershire Council is once again looking to remove the free school transport from Westerleigh to Pucklechurch. Under the plans, which you can read more about on the Council's website, children that currently use the service would be forced to pay a fare of £360 per year from September 2013 if they wanted to continue to use it. Parents would be responsible for transporting new pupils to school, unless spare seats were available. No charge would be made for low income families. The proposals would only effect children travelling to Pucklechurch School. There would be no change for any children travelling to the nearest primary school in Yate, who are entitled to transport due to there being no safe route to school. The changes are part of a review that would also see an end to free transport to denominational schools. You have until 27th April to comment on the plans. You can do that online, email comments to or write to Strategy, Access & Planning AdminDepartment for Children & Young People, PO Box 2082, Castle Street, Thornbury BS35 9BQ. Please let Claire know your views too. This issue will be discussed at the Children and Young People's Select Committee meeting which starts at 2pm on Wednesday 7 March in Kingswood Civic Centre. Members of the public are welcome to attend.

Friday, 2 March 2012

Have your say on Westerleigh Rd/Shorthill Rd plans

You have until 31st March to have your say on plans for safety improvements on Westerleigh Road and Shorthill Road in Westerleigh. You can view and comment on the proposals online. Don't forget to comment on those parts of the plans that you support as well as raising any concerns you might have.

The proposals include:
  • moving the downhill interactive speed sign further up Shorthill so that drivers are warned to slow down earlier
  • extending the 30mph speed limit up to the traffic lights on Shorthill and to the other side of the railway bridge on Westerleigh Road
  • a pedestrian refuge near the village hall to make it easier to cross the road and to encourage cars to slow down
  • improving the signage at the railway bridge to make drivers more aware they are entering a village
  • "dragon's teeth" road markings on the approach to the village in both directions to warn drivers to slow down
The plans also try to address some of the issues raised in the disability walkabout that took place last summer (see left). As well as the pedestrian refuge on Shorthill Road, there is a proposal to build out from the corner of the village green to enable dropped kerbs to be put in. This would enable everyone, including wheelchair users, to cross at the point where visibility is greatest.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Big tidy up at the Manor School

During the Big Spring Clean 2012, the Manor School, Coalpit Heath will be holding a big tidy up on Thursday 15th March, 3.30pm – 4.30pm. The big tidy up is part of a week-long focus on the environment that will include gardening, a visit from SITA (the council's waste contractors) and other outdoor events. If you'd like to join in, just turn up on the day.