Monday, 24 December 2012

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all our readers from your Focus Team.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Christmas recycling collections

You can find out when your recycling will be collected over Christmas on the South Glos website.

Share the gift of time

Some older people feel lonely and isolated or need help to get out and about. South Glos Council has funded 5 organisations to help support older people.

You can find out more on the Precious Time website. There's information for residents, potential volunteers and organisations, stories about some of the amazing work already going on and a section where you can pledge an action.

There is also a "Being a Welcoming Organisation" toolkit to help groups welcome and involve older people.

 If you would like more information on volunteering or are in need of support, email or call 01454 862356.

Friday, 21 December 2012

Magic your old carpets away - courtesy of South Glos

At the moment around 1600 tonnes of carpets and underlay at Sort It!* Centres has been going gone to landfill each year because there hasn't been a way to recycle it .

From 14 January however there will be a new carpet recycling service at each of the four Sort It!* Centres at Yate, Mangotsfield, Stoke Gifford and Thornbury, with clearly signed containers.

Collected carpets will be taken away and shredded to use as a sustainable alternative to coal in cement kilns. Even better, there is no waste from this process as the ash is then used as an ingredient in manufacturing the cement. Clever!

Technology is being developed to separate recyclable fibres optically and extract the polypropylene content of the carpets and convert this into a plastic pellet to sell back to the plastic manufacturing industry. 

Duvets, pillows, cushions and cushions from soft furnishings will also be accepted in with the carpets, potentially increasing recycling rates even more. 

The new system should achieve a reduction of 222 tonnes of CO2 each year. Well done to all involved!

Nominations open for community awards

Do you know someone whose work in your community deserves to be recognised? If so, you have until 22nd February to nominate them for a South Gloucestershire Chair's Community Awards. You can find out more on the South Glos website.

Interested in health?

NHS South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is recruiting for a lay member representative on their Governing Body. The member will be responsible for Patient and Public Involvemet and Equalities and this is a paid position. You can find out more online.

The South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust is also looking for Governors. They are holding an event where you can find out more at Aztec West Hotel on Friday 11 January 2013. To find out more visit their website.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Have your say on Police and Crime Plans

For the first time ever there will be a Police & Crime Plan for each of the six policing districts of Avon and Somerset. The views of residents, community groups, businesses and victims of crime are being sought to make sure that the Police and Crime Commissioner and the police are concentrating on the things that matter to local people.

The Police and Crime Plan for Avon and Somerset and the six policing districts of Bristol, North Somerset, Somerset West, Somerset East and South Gloucestershire will set out the vision, aims and objectives for the new PCC Sue Mountstevens' term in office.

You can have your say online or you can call the Commissioner's office on 01275 816377 or email for a hard copy of the survey.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Committee to decide on Engine Common application

The Development Control (East) planning committee will consider the Bloor Homes application for Engine Common as an urgent item at their meeting tomorrow, Thursday 20th December.

The meeting starts at 3pm in the Civic Centre, Kingswood and you can find the agenda online. You can read the report here.

The application is being considered because Bloor Homes has appealed against non-determination, and the Council is required by the Planning Inspectorate to state the reasons for refusal had the Council had the power to determine the application.

Mental health news

The Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust is asking people who care for someone who uses their services to complete their latest survey. These surveys are conducted twice a year to help the Trust track the experience of carers and assess whether the improvements they are making are effective. You can complete the survey online.

South Glos Council is currently looking for groups and organisations to bid for funding to support initiatives that will involve and benefit people with mental health problems. They are particularly keen to hear from organisations that would not necessarily see themselves as "Mental Health" organisations but may have interesting ideas. Ideas put forward by people with mental health difficulties include  a Friday night supper club, a choir, a drama group, radio project, photo exhibition, steam train enthusiasts and various sporting ideas. For more information email but hurry - expressions of interest have to be in by 8 am on Monday 21st January 2013.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Could you help older people get cooking?

Let's Get Cooking for Older People is a new national project funded by the Health Lottery targeting people over 55. It aims to reduce isolation, increase confidence and independence, help people cook for themselves more often and provide information on healthy eating.

Now they are looking for volunteers to help set up two Cooking Clubs in South Gloucestershire. An information session is being held on January 16th and training will take place in February over 2 days.

You can find out more at Let's Get Cooking's website or there is a flyer on the South Glos website.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Have your say at Safer Stronger Community Group

The latest Frampton Cotterell, Westerleigh, Coalpit Heath and Iron Acton Safer Stronger Community Group is at 7.30pm on Tuesday 18th December 2012 in Iron Acton Village Hall (postcode BS37 9UH if you are using a Sat Nav for directions). Come along and have your say on how we can improve our local communities. Topics on the agenda include an update on youth services and road safety issues.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Help stop spread of ash disease

South Gloucestershire Council is asking local people to report sightings of a fungal disease killing local ash treea in order to prevent it spreading further.

Ash die back originated in Europe and has spread into the UK, including parts of South Gloucestershire. Symptoms of the disease include leaf death, with dead leaves typically hanging on the tree. This is followed by death of the tree’s branches.

As well as reporting suspect sightings, if you have an affected tree on your land it needs to be burnt on site to destroy spores that spread the disease. You can find more information on the council's website. Trees on private land are the responsibility of the landowner, and the council website includes advice on choosing a tree surgeon for people who may need to deal with affected trees.

Members of the public can report suspected sightings of the disease by telephoning 01454 868000 or emailing the team at .

Friday, 14 December 2012

Good news on school transport

The pupils already travelling by bus from Westerleigh to Pucklechurch school will continue to travel for free from September 2013 until they leave the school or move house.

You may recall the decision earlier in the year to end discretionary rural school transport. At the time we expected that pupils already travelling from Westerleigh to Pucklechurch would have to pay £120 per term from September 2013.

Officers have looked in more detail at the children affected. The nearest school, Wellesley, has no current vacancies. The routes to any primary school from Westerleigh are classed as hazardous. The decision has therefore been taken on balance to continue to provide free transport to Pucklechurch for the existing children as "hazardous route" transport.

For entrants to school in September 2013 onwards, any transport will be on the same basis as applies generally across the Authority, taking into account expressed parental preferences, home to school distances, nearest school and the nature of the route. The basic assumption is that you will only get free school transport if you put your nearest school as your first choice and there is no safe route to school or it is further than 3 miles away. But officers have listened to the concerns that Claire Young raised at the committee meeting about how the admissions and transport policies work together in rural areas. They will be monitoring the position closely.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Nibley Lane to close for cleaning

Nibley Lane is expected to close for cleaning between Badminton Road and Westerleigh Road from 9.30am until 2.30pm on Thursday 6th December.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Wind turbine proposed near Wayleaze, Codrington Road

A planning application has been submitted for a wind turbine on land near Wayleaze, Codrington Road. You can find out more and make comments online.

Potential development in Westerleigh village

A planning consultant will be at the Westerleigh Parish Council meeting on Monday (7.15 in Westerleigh village hall) to make a presentation on "potential housing land adjoining Westerleigh village boundary garden land between Westerleigh Road, Drovers Way and the single track railway (behind Burma House and Bella Vista, Westerleigh Road)". This land is currently in the Green Belt and outside the village development boundary. In his initial report on the South Glos Core Strategy, the Inspector supported the council's stance that communities should be involved in any changes to their development boundaries, through Neighbourhood Planning or other means. He also said that developments in the countryside should be no more than 30 dwellings.

Yate Safer Stronger Community Group on Monday

The latest Yate Safer Stronger Community Group meeting is at 7pm on Monday at Yate Leisure Centre. All members of the public are welcome to attend raise issues and work with others to make our communities safer and stronger. The Yate group covers an area including the rural part of Dodington Parish, which is in Westerleigh Ward. Local councillor Claire Young has to be at another meeting that evening but has asked the officer who supports the group to raise the issue of speeding on the B4465.