Friday, 26 October 2012

Westerleigh sewers meeting

There have been significantly fewer reports of bad odours in Westerleigh village this summer compared to previous years. Some of the smells that have occurred have been described as "sewage" and coming from the drains so Claire and local residents will be meeting Wessex Water and council officers at 10am on Thursday 8th November to see what can be done to address these issues. The Environment Agency have continued to work closely with the abattoir and confirm that they are using "Best Available Techniques".

If you smell a bad odour, please report it to the Environment Agency on 0800 80 70 60, which is free from landlines. If you are concerned it is coming from the abattoir, please also call Tulip on 0117 957 1919.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Temporary footpath diversion

The footpath that runs from Leigh Lane near Cliff Cottage across to the abattoir and up to Westerleigh Road near Kidney Hill will be closed for around four weeks during the six month period starting from 5th November. The alternative route will join Westerleigh Road to the east of the railway bridge. The temporary closure is to enable the construction of the Yate Spur pedestrian and cycle route extension from the M4 to Westerleigh Road.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Street light switch-off update

Over the past 3 years, the council has turned off the streetlights from midnight until 5am in parts of South Glos following consultation with local residents via Parish and Town Councils. In May street lights on main roads were turned off after midnight except for those lights where safety issues were highlighted and agreed. Monitoring results show that traffic accidents and crime have not gone up since the lights were turned off at night. South Glos Council is now drawing up plans to consult with Parishes, Towns and residents in areas where the lights are still on at night and to complete the roll out of the scheme across the rest of South Gloucestershire. Westerleigh Parish had already started its own consultation. Please return the form if you want to highlight any locations where you think there may be safety issues. South Glos is aiming to save £250,000 on electricity and 1,000 tons of carbon emissions each year when the scheme is fully operational.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Planning enforcement - have your say

South Gloucestershire Council is currently consulting on its proposed Planning Enforcement Policy. It will clearly set out the role of the planning enforcement service and how it will ensure sound and consistent decision making. It will also set out service standards and processes for monitoring whether approved planning applications are being constructed in line with the permission.

You can find out more about how to have your say on the consultation website. The deadline for comments is 14th December.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Small grants - apply now

If you are a local voluntary or community group in need of a small grant, now is the time to get your applications in. You can apply for up to £3,000 from South Glos's Small Revenue Grants - do it now on the council’s website. The closing date is 26 November 2012 and if you need help you can call the Grants Helpline on 01454-865865 for an informal chat. The decision on how much to award each group will be made by local councillors at the spring Frome Vale Area Forum.

Badminton Road overnight closure

The A432 Badminton Road will be closed at the railway viaduct from midnight to 6am on 26th October 2012. Pedestrians will be escorted through the site when it is safe to do so.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Have your say on council's parking enforcement policy

In 2007 South Gloucestershire Council introduced decriminalised parking enforcement. This means that for certain offences, council officers rather than the police enforce the law. Since then the Department for Transport have introduced a number of new powers, including some which the council can choose whether or not to take up. At the same time, the council has been developing its own "custom and practice". All these are now being brought together in a comprehensive parking enforcement policy.

You can read the proposed policy and make comments on the Council's website. The deadline for comments is 14 December 2012.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Saturday operating at abattoir

During the run up to Christmas, Tulip will be operating full abattoir and butchery operation on the following Saturdays:
  • 20th October
  • 3rd November
  • 17th November
  • 1st December
  • 15th December 
Livestock will arrive during the mornings, starting from 6.30 and ending between 10.30 and 11.00am. It is expected that all operations will be completed by around 1pm and the blood and animal by-products produced will be collected and removed from the site by 3pm. All the normal management systems will be running to make sure the site complies with Environmental and Food Standards requirements.

Day care services - give your views

You have until Sunday 28th October to tell South Glos Council what you think day services in South Gloucestershire should look like in the future. You can fill in the survey online.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Yate Fire Station Open Day

This Saturday (20th October) Yate Fire Station are holding an open day in aid of Corin's First Steps and The Fire Fighters Charity. There will be a mixture of displays (car extrication, fire rescue, water tower) and fundraiser stalls. A hog roast and refreshments will be available.

Core Strategy - Woodlands Farm and Engine Common

In June and July a Planning Inspector held the public inquiry for South Gloucestershire’s Core Strategy, its planning blueprint for development up to 2027. 

Representatives of the developers tried very hard to convince the Inspector that Woodlands Farm and Engine Common should be earmarked for development. As those of you who have already read the Inspector’s “Preliminary Findings and Main Modifications” will know, he has not accepted their proposals. He agrees with South Gloucestershire Council that rural communities should shape their own areas through Neighbourhood Planning. Sites in these areas would be small scale, up to 30 dwellings.

This is not the end of the story. It is not celebration time for those seeking to protect Woodlands Farm or Engine Common from development.

Although the Inspector endorsed the total number of homes planned for up to 2027, he did not agree with the council that more of the development should happen in the later years. He stated that 1,588 dwellings must be built each year in South Gloucestershire, with an additional “buffer” of 20%. The council has to show through an “Interim Housing Statement” that some of the sites already proposed could be developed sooner than currently planned or identify new strategic sites to cover the shortfall.

The Inspector’s “Preliminary Findings and Main Modifications” is a consultation document and it could be changed.

 A very impressive number of letters were written to point out why Woodlands Farm and Engine Common should not be allocated for development in the Core Strategy. There is the opportunity until November 16th to:
  • welcome the fact that Woodlands Farm or Engine Common has not been identified in the Inspector’s proposals;
  • welcome his support for local communities involvement in planning the future of their areas;
  • state why you believe that Woodlands Farm or Engine Common should not be identified in the Interim Housing Statement as a possible strategic development site. 
Responses can be sent to:

All information about the Core Strategy including the “Preliminary Findings and Main Modifications” is at

If you have any queries, please contact Pat Hockey (

Monday, 1 October 2012

Could you help combat speeding?

Are you worried about speeding in your road? Would you like to get involved in tackling the problem?

Community Speed Watch groups are made up of volunteers who get together to carry out speed checks in their area. Those caught get a warning letter and if caught repeatedly will get a visit from the police. These groups have proved effective elsewhere in tackling speeding.

There are already well established groups in some of our communities, such as Westerleigh and Frampton Cotterell and new ones are in the process of being set up in others, like Coalpit Heath and Codrington.

South Gloucestershire Council has been working to improve support for the groups. They have agreed new kit with the police, which includes a new, lighter speed gun, dictaphones to make it easier to record the details of vehicles, reflective jackets and other useful items. Not only is it hoped that this package will be more effective than the existing ones, it is also considerably cheaper, enabling new groups to be kitted out for under £500 rather than £2000.

Each group has a volunteer co-ordinator. The co-ordinators across South Gloucestershire have got together in a network, with a small steering group. They are happy to support new groups by sending out experienced volunteers to help with the early sessions and are co-ordinating the training, which in the past has been an issue.

New, free software is being used to co-ordinate the data across South Gloucestershire, so that if drivers get caught in different parts of the area they will be recognised as repeat offenders rather than getting multiple first-time letters.

South Gloucestershire Council and the police are working together to support the volunteers more effectively. The groups are to be given better feedback, so they can see the effect they are having. The council will install interactive speed signs twice a year at all speed watch locations and the police will attend some of the speed watch sessions and visit sites where there is a clear pattern of speeding.

If you would like to get involved, please contact your Focus Team for more information.