Saturday, 30 November 2013

Local Nature Reserve celebrates triple award success

Wapley Bushes Conservation Group is celebrating triple success, having won three environmental awards this year.

The Nature Reserve has been awarded the prestigious Green Flag Community Award under the national award scheme for well-managed, high-quality public and community parks and green spaces, plus a Level 4 “Thriving” award from South West in Bloom. The Conservation Group’s latest project – a community orchard – also won a Level 3 “Developing” certificate. This project aims to restore heritage varieties of fruit in a new public orchard.

The Conservation Group’s volunteers were officially presented with three awards at their November work morning by Cllr Christine Howard, Chairman of Dodington Parish Council, pictured holding the flag in the photo above.

Cllr Paul Hulbert, who has taken an active part in all the Wapley projects, said “We’ve had a busy year, and it’s good to have our volunteers’ efforts so well recognised. We were particularly pleased to get a Level 3 award for the Community Orchard, which only started two years ago. We would like to thank Dodington Parish Council and South Gloucestershire Council for their support and encouragement.”

Wapley Bushes Conservation Group welcomes volunteers at its regular workdays, including accompanied children. Full details and photos of the reserve are on the Wapley Bushes blog

Friday, 29 November 2013

Frampton End Road closure agreed

The long campaign to close Frampton End Road to motorised traffic ended in success last night when the Frome Vale Area Forum approved the Traffic Regulation Order to close the road to motorised traffic and introduce a 20mph speed limit.

CampaignerNick Carver said, "It has been a long journey but we have finally achieved what we set out to do. I would like to thank everyone involved for their help and support.".

The lanes will now be closed near The Barn, Iron Acton, near Chestnut Farm, Mayshill and near the sharp bends at the Frampton Cotterell end. Details of how the closure points will be secured and access given to those who need it, such as the emergency services and utilities, will be finalised by officers.

Wind turbine approved on appeal

Plans to build a 100kW wind turbine at Wapley, south of the B4465 between Westerleigh and Codrington, have been approved on appeal.

Back in March the DC (East) planning committee refused the application on a majority vote. That decision has now been overturned by a planning inspector, who felt that the benefits of the renewable energy generated outweighed the harmful effects on the openness of the Green Belt.

Help someone suffering from domestic abuse

A seasonal campaign has been launched this week to encourage friends and family to speak out if someone they know is being abused.

The South Gloucestershire Partnership Against Domestic Abuse, who are behind the campaign, includes South Gloucestershire Council, Avon & Somerset Constabulary, Avon & Somerset Probation Trust, Merlin Housing Society, Next Link, Survive, North Bristol NHS Trust, Sovereign Housing Association, Avon & Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership Trust, Victim Support and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group.

The campaign asks friends and relatives to support the person to contact the appropriate services for help. You can seek confidential guidance from charities like Survive or speak to someone you're already in touch with, like a housing officer, your GP, health visitor or social worker. A full list of the agencies you can contact for help and advice is available at

Funding for youth activities

At last night's Frome Vale Area Forum meeting, local councillors allocated funding of £1602 towards an Art and Cafe project at Fromeside Youth Centre. Members were particularly impressed that the ideas had come from the young people themselves. The cafe project will enable young people to get more involved with running the cafe at the centre, hopefully helping some of them to find employment.

There was also a contribution of £1160 towards residential trips for young people with learning difficulties from across South Gloucestershire, £547 for a training and confidence building weekend for young people at St Nicholas Youth Centre and £7000 for an additional night at Brimsham Green, for 13 and 14 year olds.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Reminder - find out more about South Glos Show on Monday

At 7pm on Monday (2nd December) in the Manor Hall, the organisers of the South Glos Show will be making a presentation to Westerleigh Parish Council. Members of the public are welcome to go along to find out more about what's proposed.

Objections to the licensing application are due to be heard by the Licensing Sub-Committee on 17th December.

Have your say at Severn Vale Area Forum

Next Wednesday residents of Charfield Ward can once again have their say at the local Severn Vale Area Forum. It starts at 7pm on Wednesday 4 December in the Council Chamber at the Council Offices in Thornbury. The agenda for the meeting is available on line.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Good news for Frampton Cotterell C of E pupils

Good news for children who go to Frampton Cotterell C of E School. Councillors yesterday agreed funding for interim boiler work.

Monday, 25 November 2013

Local health services delays

Frenchay Hospital is due to close when the new Southmead hospital opens in May 2014. Part of the plan was to have 68 beds ready as part of a Health and Social Care Centre at Frenchay but these plans are so far behind that the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is now saying they will use Elgar House at Southmead until the new Frenchay facility is built.

Cllr Sue Hope, the Lib Dem Health Spokesperson, said, “We’ve asked the Health Secretary to look again at this decision on the temporary beds and have made it clear the unit must remain in future plans. However we couldn’t support the other parties in referring all the plans to the Secretary of State. This will greatly delay planned improvements to services in Yate and across the patch and could put them at risk altogether. This issue is far too important to local people to be a political football.”

Under the CCG’s plans, Frenchay would be without health facilities until the 68 bed unit opens. However they would expand outpatient facilities in Yate and Cossham and add them to those at Southmead and Emerson’s Green, putting them within reach of the vast majority of South Gloucestershire residents. Those plans will now have to be put on hold due to the referral.

Friday, 22 November 2013

Have your say at Frome Vale Area Forum

Next Thursday you can once again have your say at the local Frome Vale Area Forum. It starts at 7pm on Thursday 28 November in Chipping Sodbury Town Hall. The agenda for the meeting is available on line.

Core Strategy latest

The Core Strategy Inspector has now published his report. The good news is that he has supported the strategy for protecting our villages and locating the majority of the massive development required for South Gloucestershire in the North Fringe of Bristol along with extensions to Yate and Thornbury.

He has suggested that Woodlands Farm, Coalpit Heath should be considered for inclusion in the Green Belt. This would be when South Gloucestershire Council reviews the Core Strategy which he requires to be complete by 2018. Meanwhile both Westerleigh and Frampton Cotterell Parish Councils have requested South Gloucestershire Council to give it “Local Green Space” designation in the Planning Document they are preparing to accompany the Core Strategy.

Grange Farm Solar Farm - comment deadline today

Comments on the Grange Farm Solar Farm have to be submitted by today (Friday 22nd November). If you wish to comment go to the planning search page on the South Gloucestershire website and enter the reference PT13/3662/F. We apologise that there was a typo in the reference we published last week.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Free advice and support for carers

Next Friday, 29th November, carers can get free advice and support at an event at the Vassall Centre in Fishponds BS16 2QQ.

The event is being held to celebrate Carers' Rights Day and runs from 12pm to 4pm. You can meet local carers' representatives and carers from Bristol and enjoy some songs performed by the South Glos carers choir "Sing Your Cares Away". There will be information on practical support to help carers and "assistive technology" - devices and systems that aid independent living and send alerts to carers or family members.

There will also be table top discussions regarding recent consultations on the NHS Commitment for Carers and Care Bill eligibility regulations.

This year’s Carers' Rights Day theme is ‘rights, advice, support’ focussing on making sure carers get the information and advice they need as well as practical solutions on how technology can help them in their role. For more information about caring visit To confirm attendance please contact the Carers Support Centre booking line on 0117 9375623 or email

Burglary warning from local police

The South Glos area is currently suffering from a series of burglaries where the elderly are being targeted.

The method is generally to force a rear door or window and the offences are occurring between 7pm and 11pm in the evening, mostly on week days.

The police believe this is because they are not only identifying properties as having elderly occupiers but also because occupants are leaving the light on and the curtains open. They are encouraging residents to make sure all doors and windows are locked and all curtains drawn. If you see any suspicious activity, please call the Police on 999.

Some success for Southmead bus campaign

South Gloucestershire Council has agreed funding for a bus service for visiting times from Chipping Sodbury to the new hospital via Yate, Coalpit Heath and Frampton Cotterell. The NHS funding only covers improving the 581 service to half hourly, requiring a change to another bus at Parkway to get to Southmead.

Local MP Steve Webb who has been leading the “Bus to Southmead” campaign said, “I welcome this step forward but it still leaves staff and any outpatients having to change buses. We need to ensure the NHS keeps its promise to provide most treatment at Yate and Cossham as the extra 581 buses will enable people to get there. We must also try to persuade the bus companies to rethink their decision not to provide a through service commercially”.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Shorthill Road speed table approved

This afternoon Claire Young attended the Planning, Transport and Strategic Environment committee to speak on the item to decide whether or not to approve the speed table on Shorthill Road. The members of the committee unanimously approved it. This is another important hurdle overcome in implementing the Westerleigh traffic calming scheme.

Find out more about Fairtrade

The South Gloucestershire Fairtrade Group (SGFG) will be out and about at Yate Shopping Centre on Saturday 23 November when they will be taking part in a Christmas charity event from 12pm. They will have an information stand featuring information about Fairtrade products, how to become a member of the group and details on how to help the town retain its Fairtrade status.

To join SGFG contact Lydia Nash on 01454 863119 or email

For more information on where to shop local visit or

Friday, 15 November 2013

Nibley Lane to close for cleaning

Nibley Lane is expected to close for cleaning from 9.30am until 2.30pm on 18th November 2013.

Have your say on council budget

It's time to have your say on the council budget - and this year it's more important than ever to let the council know what your priorities are.

Excluding schools, which are fully funded by direct Government grant, South Glos Council spends over £318 million a year providing local services. £103 million of funding for that comes from central Government grants.

In recent years, those grants have reduced as part of cutting the deficit, and that is set to continue. By the end of 2014/15 the council will have reached a savings target of £43 million, through measures including cutting management levels by 40 percent, improving IT and simplifying processes and administration.

Unfortunately tens of millions of pounds of further savings will have to be made by the end of the decade. This will mean reshaping services or possibly even stopping some of them all together. This budget consultation gives you a chance to say which services you think are most important.

There are a number of ways you can do this:
  • Attend one of the budget roadshows:
Wednesday 20 November, Yate Shopping Centre, 1pm to 4pm
Thursday 21 November, Staple Hill Library, 10am to 1pm
Monday 25 November, Kingswood Shopping Centre, 2pm to 5pm
Tuesday 26 November, Sainsburys, Emersons Green, 1pm to 4pm
Wednesday 27 November, Bradley Stoke Willowbrook Centre, 3pm to 7pm
Thursday 28 November, St Mary’s Shopping Centre, Thornbury, 10am to 1pm
Wednesday 4 December, Patchway Hub, 10am to 1pm. 
  • Attend one of the Area Forums. The Frome Vale Forum (which includes Westerleigh, Ladden Brook and Frampton Cotterell wards) is at 7pm on Thursday 28th November in Chipping Sodbury Town Hall. Severn Vale (which includes Charfield) is at 7pm on December 4 in Severn Beach Primary School. 
  • Tweet your comments on Twitter using the hashtag #sgcbudget 
  • Fill in an online survey at 
  • Email: 
  • Telephone: 01454 868154 
  • Write to: FREEPOST RTCT-JXLE-EET South Gloucestershire Council, Budget Consultation, Civic Centre, High Street, Kingswood, Bristol BS15 9TR

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Traffic calming - brief consultation

The consultation on the revised traffic calming proposals ends on Monday 18 November. It's only a brief consultation as the principle of introducing road narrowings has already been consulted on but the details have changed. You can find out more and comment on the South Glos website.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Waverley Road closure

Waverley Road, Yate will be closed for resurfacing this weekend. The road will be planed off overnight on Friday 15th November, between 8pm and 6am. The new surface will then be laid between 8am and 5pm on 16th and 17th November.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

More solar farm proposals

Solar Power South has submitted a planning application for a very large solar farm at Grange Farm, Old Gloucester Road in the Green Belt. It proposes 95,000 solar panels so is larger than the Says Court solar farm at Mayshill, which now has planning permission.

There was a public exhibition in the Grange Hotel for a few hours on August 27th. If you wish to comment on the planning application go to the planning search page on the South Gloucestershire website and enter the reference PT13/3662/F. Comments have to be in by November 22nd.

Unlike AEE, who have agreed “community benefit” funding with Westerleigh Parish Council based on the electricity generated, Solar Power South have confirmed that there is no requirement for them to make any contribution for community benefit.

AEE have also agreed a community benefit contribution with Iron Acton Parish Council, if their proposed solar farm at Green Farm Latteridge gets the go ahead. They will be holding a further public exhibition in the Marshall Rooms in Iron Acton on Monday 18th November from 3pm to 7pm. Afterwards representatives will attend the Iron Acton Parish Council meeting in North Road school.

Edited to correct the reference number for the Grange Farm application. It should be PT13/3662/F - we apologise for any difficulties you may have had finding the application.

Friday, 8 November 2013

Licensing application for South Gloucestershire Show

The South Gloucestershire Show is a major event planned to be held at Windmill Fisheries off Westerleigh Road on 2nd and 3rd August 2014. The organisers hope this will become an annual event. You can find out more at or by calling 01454 222 959.

People living or working close to the site have until 21st November to comment on the recently submitted licensing application. The activities covered are plays, live and recorded music, dance and the supply of alcohol. They have asked for the entertainment aspects to be licensed 10am to 9pm during the event and during the day for soundchecks in the two days before the event. Alcohol would be sold for exhibitor consumption only on the two days before hand and at the event would be served to the general public from 10.30am to 9pm, 9am to 11pm for exhibitors.

Comments must be submitted in writing to or South Gloucestershire Council Licensing Team, PO Box 299, Civic Centre, High Street, Kingswood BS15 0DR. There is guidance on the South Glos website or for further advice call 01454 868001.

The organisers will be making a presentation at Westerleigh Parish Council at 7pm on Monday 2nd December in the Manor Hall, Coalpit Heath. Local people are welcome to attend and ask questions.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Sainsbury's Local event TONIGHT

Don't forget that the information event about the proposal to build a Sainsbury's Local in the Badminton Arms car park is tonight, Tuesday 5th November, at the pub between 5pm and 7.30pm. Afterwards, please let us know your views by completing our very brief online survey.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Find out more about community energy

Energising Communities is an event where you can find out why communities are generating their own energy and what groups are doing elsewhere. The event runs from 11am to 3.30pm on Saturday 16th September in Windhager UK offices, Marshfield, SN14 8SR. The keynote speaker will be Dr Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills. There will be a home-made soup and sandwich lunch for £5.

To find out more and book your place, go to the Marshfield Energy Project website.

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Free events mark history writing month

There are a number of free author events taking place at libraries in South Gloucestershire during November to help celebrate history writing month. They include:
  • An evening with bestselling author of Roman military fiction Ben Kane at Cadbury Heath Library on Monday 4 November at 7.30pm. For more information contact Cadbury Heath Library on 01454 868006 or email
  • A talk by historian and novelist J D Davies, who specialises in 17th century naval history, at Downend Library on Thursday 14 November at 7.30pm. For more information contact Downend Library on 01454 868006 or email
  • A talk by military history author Stewart Binns and fellow Historical Writers Association member Jane Borodale at Emersons Green Library on Thursday 21 November at 8pm. For more information contact Emersons Green Library on 01454 868006 or email
Tickets to all events are free but must be booked through or any South Gloucestershire library.

Friday, 1 November 2013

Latest on Westerleigh smell

During the summer more smells were reported in Westerleigh village, which appeared to be linked to hydrogen sulphide in the sewers. All those involved have been working hard to find a solution. At the end of October, Tulip started using a new chemical to dose their effluent, which has reduced the levels of the gas in their rising main. They will continue to use this while they work with the Environment Agency and independent experts to find a more permanent solution.