Thursday, 29 November 2012

Woodlands Farm latest

As we feared, Barratt Homes are taking the opportunity before the council’s Core Strategy is finally in place to put forward their proposals for Woodlands Farm again.

This proposal is in no way supported by the Core Strategy. The Inspector has said that 30 houses would be the maximum in a development in a village. He has also supported the council’s view that communities should be involved in any changes to their boundaries through Neighbourhood Planning. When responding to the Inspector’s proposals, South Glos strongly rejected his request for more housing to happen in the next five years and said that if land did have to be found it should be in Thornbury, not Coalpit Heath.

Have your say at Area Forum tonight

The Frome Vale Area Forum meets tonight (Thursday 29th November) at 7pm in Chipping Sodbury Town Hall. Have your say on the council budget and highway maintenance plus there is an open session where you can raise topics of concern to you. You can find the agenda on the council's website.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Progress on Westerleigh traffic calming plans

The next stage in plans to introduce traffic calming to Westerleigh village are up for consultation.

Earlier in the year, South Glos asked local people for their views on proposals to reduce the speed of traffic on Shorthill Road and Westerleigh Road. Based on the comments made, officers have been drawing up plans to extend the 30mph limit, put in a raised speed table by the village hall and create road narrowings at the entrances to the village. The first two of these require Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) and the council has just published the Statutory Notice, part of the formal legal process it has to go through. You can view the notices and make comments via the following links:

Officers are still working on plans for the road narrowings.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Getting it right for people with learning difficulties

The South Gloucestershire LINk has recently produced a DVD: GPs are there to listen to us. Getting it right for People with Learning Difficulties.

They sent postal surveys and had face to face conversations with people with learning difficulties about their experiences of using their GP services. You can view the DVD on You Tube or via their website.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Broadband progress

There were two pieces of news this week in the fight for faster broadband for our communities.

On Monday, South Glos Council announced that, in partnership with Wiltshire Council, it has chosen British Telecom as the preferred bidder to provide superfast broadband to premises across the South Gloucestershire and Wiltshire area.

Then on Wednesday the EU ruled that the Broadband UK scheme was in line with state aid rules. Over the summer Steve Webb MP spoke personally to the minister responsible for broadband, Ed Vaizey, to urge him to get this barrier removed. Now that has happened, we should see progress on delivering superfast broadband to those areas currently struggling with slow speeds.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

A good week for independents

Congratulations to independent candidate Sue Mountstevens who will be sworn in tomorrow as the first Police and Crime Commissioner for Avon and Somerset.

Also congratulations to George Ferguson, the newly elected Mayor for Bristol. South Gloucestershire works closely with Bristol and the other West of England councils on shared concerns like transport.

We wish them both well and hope that they will be able to work effectively with local communities for the good of the whole region.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Vote today for the Police and Crime Commissioner

The whole of our area has an election today for the new post of Police and Crime Commissioner.

The new Commissioner will cover the whole of the Avon and Somerset police area, so it's going to be an important job.

 A lot of people are asking what the PCC will do, so here are a few key points:

What are the objectives for the new Commissioner? 

The PCC is supposed to bring a public voice to policing and hold our police force to account for delivering the kind of policing you want to see. Their aim will be to cut crime and to ensure your police force is effective.

 What will the PCC actually do? 

  • engaging with the public and victims of crime to help set police and crime plans 
  • ensuring the police force budget is spent where it matters most 
  • appointing, and where necessary dismissing, the chief constable. 
So this is a key appointment. If we elect the wrong candidate, we could find our local police services cut drastically. 

What are our choices? 

Lib Dem candidate Pete Levy has served in both the civilian and military police and has been a member of the Police Authority for several years, so he's got lots of relevant experience. He has pledged to keep police services rather than cut them - you can read all about his proposals on his blog. You get two votes, a first and a second preference, so naturally we suggest that you give Pete Levy your first preference vote.

There are three other choices - Conservative, Labour and Independent. You can read about the various candidates here - but there's one key difference between them. The Conservative candidate has a record of cutting funding for police services - in Somerset he chopped the council funding for PCSOs, the Police Community Support Officers who provide much of our local police front line. So please don't even give the Conservatives your second preference.


Monday, 12 November 2012

Survey for older people

If you are an older person or work with older people, Age UK in South Gloucestershire need your opinions. You can access their short survey online at .

Friday, 9 November 2012

What should South Glos housing priorities be?

South Glos Council wants to know what you think should be its housing priorities over the next five years. It is drawing up a new Housing Strategy so that it has a clear plan on how to tackle the major housing issues that affect people in South Gloucestershire.

The consultation focuses on four key areas - housing and the economy, our health, our communities and our place. You have until January 11 2013 to visit to have your say.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Have your say on Frampton End Road

Over 750 local people signed a petition to improve the safety of Frampton End Road, especially for walkers, cyclists and horse riders. You can now have your say on options for closing Frampton End Road to through traffic and a 20mph speed limit. You can view the details and make comments on the South Glos consultation website.

Letters about the consultation have been sent to everyone living on Frampton End Road, Mays Hill and Station Road, Iron Acton. Black/yellow information signs have been put up at the junctions of Church Road/Frampton End Road, Badminton Road/Mays Hill (on both spurs) and Station Road/Bristol Road to notify people who use the roads but don't live on them. The feedback from the consultation will be considered by the council's Planning, Transport and Strategic Environment Committee at its meeting at 3pm on 30th January in Kingswood Civic Centre. Members of the public can attend and speak.

Consultation on plans for 20mph speed limits on other roads in the area (including Nibley Lane) will now take place separately at a later date so that officers can discuss the proposals with the Parish Councils first.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Could YOU help link Westerleigh to the National Cycle Network?

Work is under way on the section of cycle path from Westerleigh to the M4 bridge (the part from Yate to Westerleigh will follow afterwards). Volunteers are needed to work one day a week to help prepare, lay and construct the dust path, assisting South Gloucestershire council's Streetcare team of contractors.

The work parties are every Sunday, with the next one being held this Sunday 11th November from 9am until 4pm. If you can't attend for the whole day, the volunteers would be very grateful for whatever time you can spare - be it just for a couple of hours or maybe a morning or afternoon shift. You would be made most welcome.

Thanks to those volunteers who have already given their time to the project and helped lay the first 150 yards of path. Phase 1, Pucklechurch Coxgrove Hill to the M4 bridge, was a great success and was enjoyed by all the volunteers who took part, and it's hoped to replicate this success for Phase 2.

Work includes spreading and laying path dust surface prior to rolling. Some rubbish clearance of the path is also needed.

It's moderately hard work, but fun and very rewarding. You will be helping to build a fantastic local community resource for the future.

If you would like to join this cheerful band of volunteers, please call Matt Skidmore on 07553 052183, or email him on for more details.

The rendezvous point for workers to meet in the morning is the level crossing next to the Network Rail depot off Westerleigh Road, via Murco Oil Depot entrance. For more detailed directions please contact Matt on the number above.

Work will be between the hours of 0900 until 1600hrs. You will be made most welcome and your services would be put to good use to further this exciting local project. Please wear sturdy workwear boots and old clothes/overalls.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Bus service changes

With effect from Sunday 4th November there are some changes to First services affecting our area. Passengers are advised to check timetables before travelling - the new timetables are on the South Glos Council bus timetable page

Service 327 (Bristol - Yate)
  • Monday to Saturday there will two additional journeys at 20:50 and 22:50 from Bristol to Yate.
  • Monday to Saturday there will be an additional and later last journey at 2140 from Yate to Bristol.
Service 329 (Bristol - Yate)
  • The Monday to Saturday evening Service 329 will be withdrawn.
  • The Sunday and Public Holiday daytime journeys operated by another operator will continue to operate.
  • The following Monday to Saturday evening journeys will be withdrawn:
       20:50 Bristol, Bus Station to Yate, Shopping Centre
       22:45 Bristol, Colston Street to Yate, Shopping Centre
       21:37 Yate, Shopping Centre to Bristol, Bus Station
       23:37 Yate, Shopping Centre to Bristol, Colston Street
  • Please see changes to Service 327 and Service 342 for details of alternative journeys.
Service 342/X42 (Bristol – Chipping Sodbury)
  • Monday to Saturday there will be an additional Service 342 journey at 22:30 from Bristol to Chipping Sodbury. This additional journey will mean that there is now an hourly service from Bristol to Chipping Sodbury throughout the evening.
  • The Monday to Saturday 22:17 Service 342 from Chipping Sodbury to Bristol, Colston Street will terminate at Bristol, Bus Station and re-timed to depart at 22:30.
  • Monday to Saturday 23:15 Service 342 from Bristol, Colston Street to Chipping Sodbury will start from Bristol, Bus Station at 23:30.
  • Monday to Friday 05:50 Service 342 journey from Chipping Sodbury to Bristol will be brought forward to 05:40.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Clearing leaf fall

From Monday 5th November, South Glos Council's Street Care team will be concentrating on clearing leaf fall rather than routine street sweeping. Initially this will be for a period of four weeks, but it depends on the weather. The mechanical footway sweepers will continue to sweep the town centres, but no other routine sweeping will be done. You can report areas with heavy accumulations of leaf fall by: