Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Chipping Sodbury Library to close for repairs

The Town Lands Trust who own the building that hosts Chipping Sodbury Library is carrying out urgent repairs to the floor. These will involve excavating the basement in the rear half of the library, so the service will be moved to the back of the Grammar School from Tuesday July 31st until Wednesday August 29th.  The library will be closed on four days -  Friday July 27th, Saturday July 28th, Friday August 31st and Saturday September 1st to move shelving, book stock and equipment.

Although the library will operate normally, there will unfortunately be no access to public computers or the fax.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Have your say on changes to Council Tax benefits and discounts

Councils across the country are currently developing schemes to replace council tax benefit.

South Gloucestershire Council is proposing a scheme which is broadly similar to the current council tax benefit, which maintains the premiums and allowances for 2012/13 with the exception of removing the second adult rebate. Currently, second adult rebate can be claimed by people whose own income is too high to receive council tax benefit but who have other adult(s) in the household whose income is low.

There will be no change to the amount of help pensioners currently receive. People who have reached the age for state pension credit will be assessed under a national scheme which will be decided by the government. The national scheme is likely to be very similar to the current one.

These proposals will not fully cover the reduction in central government funding for the scheme. Rather than reduce other services to meet this shortfall, the council is proposing to review some of the council tax discretionary discounts that are going to be introduced from 1 April 2013 and apply an additional levy on properties that have been left empty for two years or more.
For more information about the council’s proposals and to have your say, you can:
The consultation runs until 9 October.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Share your views on future of registration service

South Gloucestershire Council is reviewing the way it provides registration services for births, deaths and marriages.

Currently the service offers pre-booked appointments at Frenchay, Kingswood, Thornbury and Yate. The council now proposes to concentrate the service at two locations - Frenchay and either Kingswood or Thornbury.

You can find out more and have your say on the council's website. The consultation finishes on 3rd August.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Could YOU be a volunteer advisor to help tackle fuel poverty?

Do you live in South Gloucestershire, are you over 50? Do you want to make a difference in your local community? The Centre for Sustainable Energy is looking to recruit volunteers who are keen to learn about energy and willing to share their knowledge in the community.

A session for potential volunteers is being held at Yate Library on Tuesday 24th July 2012. If you are interested in helping older people at risk of, or already suffering from, fuel poverty then please visit the CSE website.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Major award for local beauty spot as Wapley Bushes wins Green Flag

Wapley Bushes has won the Green Flag Community Award 2012, the national award scheme for well-managed, high-quality public and community parks and green spaces.

The entry combined Wapley Bushes Local Nature Reserve, including the recently-planted Jubilee Hedge, with the new Orchard for the Future, which aims to restore heritage varieties of fruit in a public orchard.

It is particularly pleasing that Wapley has gained the Community Award because it recognises the efforts of all the volunteers from Wapley Bushes Conservation Group and other organisations, with the support of Dodington Parish Council and South Gloucestershire Council.

The award will be presented at the next Wapley Work Morning on 8th September, meeting at the Shire Way gate at 10.00 am.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Woodlands Farm discussed at hearing

Claire and Pat both attended the Examination in Public (EIP) on July 12th, along with some local residents. Barratt Homes' representative certainly pushed very hard to persuade the Government Inspector that he should identify Woodlands Farm as an area suitable for development. He claims that because the combined populations of Winterbourne, Frampton Cotterell and Coalpit Heath is larger than the population of Thornbury, it should be regarded as a town suitable for an urban extension rather than a village in the Rural Areas section of the Core Strategy. South Gloucestershire Officers strongly opposed these views.

Barratt Homes' representative hasn’t just made these points on 12th July. He has managed to secure a place at many of the sessions throughout the EIP. This included the final session on July 18th when he was determined to continue making his point right up to the close of play.

The Inspector clearly feels that the Council has not identified sufficient land for development, at least in the early years. South Gloucestershire Officers have addressed this by agreeing some changes to phasing and also to carrying out a review within 10 years. Developers were suggesting a suspension of the Core Strategy to enable it to be changed now. Barratt Homes suggested just suspending the housing figures, so that developers who had planning applications ready for submission could have them dealt with without these being in place!

The Inspector closed the EIP stating that it would take him 3 to 4 weeks to consider everything and propose any modifications which he felt were necessary for him to assess the Core Strategy as “sound”. Any proposed changes would have a 6 week public consultation period before he made his final decision. He estimates that this will be around the end of October.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Yate bus station - keeping up the pressure

On Friday Claire Young (on the right in the photo) joined other Focus councillors and council officers at Yate bus station to discuss how to tackle the remaining problems. You can read more on our sister blog.

Manor School evacuated

The Manor School in Coalpit Heath has been evacuated this afternoon after a number of children fell ill over the course of the morning. Emergency services are attending the school and parents have been notified. For the latest information, please see the South Glos website.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Nibley Lane closure

Nibley Lane is expected to be closed between Badminton Road and Westerleigh Road from 9.30am until 2.30pm on 4th July 2012 for deep cleaning.