Friday, 31 January 2014

Nightmare mud path gets priority action

Yesterday, just two days after Tuesday’s meeting on site with South Glos Streetcare Foreman and a Public Rights of Way Officer at the Hilly Field to view the nightmare mud path, the scraper was in operation getting rid of a foot of mud from the path.

Today, huge Hanson’s lorries delivered the stones ready for Streetcare to load, transport, tip and level the newly resurfaced path.

A representative from Western Power agreed to share the cost of the resurfacing on Monday when they visited the site with Councillors Dave & Pat Hockey to view the muddy path nightmare left after their contractor’s vehicles had hauled logs up the footpath / bridleway. Western Power had arranged to cut the trees back to protect their power lines next to the path.

Cllrs Dave and Pat Hockey would like to thank all involved for their prompt action. It will enable schoolchildren from Frampton Cotterell and Coalpit Heath to be able to walk and cycle on this designated ‘Safer Route to School’ without getting so horrendously muddy.

Your views on anti-social behaviour

Avon and Somerset Police are running an online survey about anti-social behaviour. If you're using a desktop or laptop you can fill it in here and there is also a mobile and tablet version. The survey closes on Sunday 9th February, 2014.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Volunteers clear Village Pond

Last Thursday Village Action plus TCV (The Conservation Volunteers) cleared a lot of the rushes from the 'Village Pond' on Park Farm to make more space for the fish and ducks.

The pond was drained and cleared about 2 years ago but not enough soil was removed to get rid of the rush roots and they quickly took over the pond again.

Latest bus timetable changes

From 2nd February, First is changing the timetable of some early morning and early evening 342/X42 journeys.

The following Monday to Friday early morning departures from Chipping Sodbury to Bristol Bus Station will be brought forward by either five or ten minutes: 0540 hours, 0635 hours, 0655 hours, 0710 hours.

In addition, the following Monday to Friday departures from Bristol Bus Station will also change: 0645 hours departure brought forward by five minutes, 1725 hours and 1755 hours departures pushed back by five minutes.

Full details of all the changes First are making are available on their website.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Flu vaccinations for two and three year olds

The annual flu vaccinations are now being offered to healthy two and three year olds.

Previously it was only offered to children with a condition that puts them at risk from the effects of flu. Now all children who were aged two or three on 1st September 2013 will have the chance to get vaccinated.

The vaccination is administered via a nasal spray, so no injection is required. It has also proven more effective in preventing flu in children than other vaccines.

Local GP practices in South Gloucestershire are currently contacting parents of children in the target age group to arrange a vaccination appointment. If you aren't contacted and think you should have been, do contact your surgery.

Monday, 27 January 2014

Aero museum plans and the air ambulance

Last Monday Claire Young and Howard Gawler were among a group of councillors visiting Filton Airfield to look at plans for the new Bristol Aerospace Centre. The proposals include a new home for the Bristol Concorde, Alpha Foxtrot, which has been preserved at Filton since it made the last Concorde flight in 2003. More information is available on the Bristol Aero Collection website.

Afterwards the councillors had an opportunity to find out more about the Great Western Air Ambulance service.  The charity is currently raising money to buy a new helicopter - if you'd like to support them, check out their website.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Says Court Solar Farm construction

Earlier in the month, Westerleigh Parish Council and ward councillor Claire Young met representatives of AEE Renewables, who applied for planning permission for Says Court Solar Farm, and Sun Edison, the company that are going to construct and run it. The meeting was prompted by residents' concerns that some test piling had taken place outside the hours allowed by the planning permission.

Sun Edison apologised for that and gave assurances that they would be sticking to the permitted working hours (08:00 until 18:00 Monday to Friday, and 08:00 until 13:00 on Saturday with no Sunday or Bank Holiday working). Work was due to start this week, with the main task being to construct the on site roads need during the construction phase. The noisiest phase will be the piling, planned to start in the last week of January and last for approximately 3 weeks.

You can find out more, including the presentation they gave, on their blog. Keep an eye on it for news on the progress of the works. It all needs to be finished by the end of March because then the subsidies go down (and with it the level of community benefit).

Superfast broadband for more villages

Charfield, Rangeworthy and Wickwar are the latest South Gloucestershire villages to benefit from a multi-million pound superfast broadband partnership between South Gloucestershire Council, Wiltshire Council, and BT.

The first homes and businesses in these villages will be able to order fibre broadband services by summer 2014.

The £35.6 million project, which is also funded by the UK Government’s Superfast Britain programme, is rolling out fibre broadband to more challenging areas that fall outside the private sector’s commercial plans.

Charfield Councillor John O'Neill said, "This is exciting and welcome news for Charfield who have been eagerly awaiting this news. We anticipate a huge take up rate in Charfield from residents and business. This is considered an asset that will streamline many companies and more importantly a great tool for children’s education needs.

Westerleigh - more work on double railway arches

Network Rail have submitted notices to carry out works on the double railway bridges over Westerleigh Road, as you enter the village from Yate. The works are in 3 stages and will involve the use of two way temporary traffic lights. The dates are 30th January until 8th February, 17th February until 26th February and 5th March until 7th March 2014.

Hopefully we will not have the problems we had last time as the road will not be closed.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Action needed on Hilly Field path

The path across the Hilly Field has been left unusable after Western Power brought their heavy plant and vehicles down to carry out tree surgery work and take the logs away last week.

Local councillors Pat and Dave Hockey are calling for it to be made usable again for the schoolchildren, dog walkers, horse riders and others who use it on a daily basis.

Dave said, "Residents and would be path users are appalled. The route round the roads is much longer and less safe for children walking and cycling to school every day. Western Power must accept their responsibility and help to sort out the problem that caused the path to be unusable as a matter of priority."

The water in the tracks has subsided but it will be back on Friday and Monday when very heavy rain is forecast.

Merlin Housing information event

Merlin Housing Society is holding an information event to show their final plans for their redevelopment sites in Coalpit Heath. It runs from 4.30pm to 6.30pm on Wednesday 29th January 2014 in the Miners Club, Coalpit Heath. All are welcome to attend.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Good news - no Woodlands Farm appeal

The deadline has now passed for Barratt Homes to lodge an appeal against the council's refusal of their application to build hundreds of new houses on land at Woodlands Farm. The good news is that they haven't done so.

Well done and thank you to all those involved in the campaign to save this important green space. Unfortunately this doesn’t mean that we won’t see another application at some point.

Nominate your community heroes

Nominations are now open for the Chair's Community Awards 2014.

The annual Chair’s Community Awards recognise and celebrate the valuable contribution local unpaid volunteers make to life in South Gloucestershire. This year’s celebration of community work and volunteering takes place in May and you have until Friday 21 March to nominate your local 'community heroes'.

You can nominate your community hero online at

Alternatively, call 01454 863019 or email

Deadline for nominations is Friday 21 March and the winners will be invited to a ceremony at the South Gloucestershire & Stroud College WISE campus in Filton on Sunday 18 May.

Monday, 20 January 2014

The BIG Spring Clean 2014

It's nearly time to "spring" into action again during the BIG Spring Clean.

Residents, businesses, parish councils and community groups are invited to get involved between 1st March and 30th April 2014. Last year 64 groups took part in the campaign, with 2,000 volunteers collecting 400 bags of rubbish to improve the local environment. You can request free bin bags and gloves and can also borrow litter pickers and hoops (litter picking equipment is available to loan throughout the year). After the event, the council can arrange to collect and dispose of the rubbish and recycling. Recycling is encouraged and different types of bags can be provided.

You need to register by Friday 21 February to take part. Download a booking form from:

Alternatively you can request a form by emailing or calling 01454 868000.

Friday, 17 January 2014

Changes to services for children and young people with special needs

From September 2014 the service for all children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities and their families will be changing as a result of changes in the law. South Gloucestershire Council wants to go further and is asking for input from everyone involved - the children and young people themselves, families and carers, service providers, the health service, schools, the voluntary and community sector and a wide range of professionals - to help shape the future service.

You can find out more about the proposals and comment on them on the council's website:

Information is also available from all South Gloucestershire Libraries and One Stop Shops until 24 February 2014 and there will be a series of events and workshops advertised on the website.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Renewables and landscapes - have your say

South Gloucestershire Council is currently running two consultations on planning documents - one on guidance for renewables the other on an assessment of our local landscapes.

The council is consulting on its Draft Renewables Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) until Friday 7th March. This is intended to help our area achieve its renewables targets, give guidance on what needs to be included in applications and how they will be judged and encourage communities to get involved in projects.

You can view the documents and have your say at:

Comments will help to shape the final document, which is expected to be adopted by the council in May.

Lib Dem planning spokesperson Pat Hockey explains, "Enabling a meaningful proportion of needs for electricity and heating to come from renewable sources is a key part of the Council’s Climate Change Strategy. It is important for residents to understand how it is proposed to do this and let us know whether they agree with it."

"The Landscape Strategy dates back to 2005 and there have been significant changes over the years. As renewable energy installations often have an impact on the landscape it seems a good idea to review the Landscape Strategy at the same time. We hope that local people will turn to the pages that assess the landscape that is familiar to them and let the Council have their views. This will be an important document for deciding on planning applications, not just those for wind turbines and solar farms."

You also have until Friday 7 March 2014 to comment on the Draft Landscape Character Assessment. You can do this online at:

Friday, 10 January 2014

Red Cross Healthy Homes project

The Red Cross Healthy Homes project provides information and support with:
  • keeping warm at home, energy efficiency and affording your energy bills
  • preventing fires and falls
  • maintaining independence
  • promoting well-being
If you would like a free home visit and free winter warmth pack or if you would like them to visit a centre or group you attend to give a general talk about the Healthy Homes Project please contact Ellen Devine at H& or 0117 9415041.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Nibley Lane to close for cleaning

Nibley Lane is expected to close for cleaning from 9.30am until 2.30pm on Tuesday 14th January 2014.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Charfield leads the way on street lights

LED street lights are to be installed in Charfield this month as the first stage of a South Glos-wide roll out of the new technology.

Nearly 300 new lights are being installed in Charfield during January, reducing the parish’s street lighting costs from £11,000 to £3,500 per year and cutting related carbon emissions from 45 to 10 tonnes. Over the next decade, the new technology will be gradually installed in all of South Gloucestershire’s 30,000 street lights from May 2014, as part of a rolling investment programme.

Local councillor John O'Neill said, "Charfield has led the way with part night lighting and now with the new LED lighting technology. This will make for long term savings on our carbon reduction target and the South Gloucestershire Council budget which will benefit all Council Tax payers."

Last chance to apply for 2014 primary school places 15 January

Is your child due to start primary school this year? The deadline to apply for South Gloucestershire primary school places is 15 January. Applications can be submitted online or by post - for further information and an application form, visit