Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Thursday 8th May decision day for Sainsbury's Local application

It's been confirmed that the Development Control (East) planning committee will consider the Sainsbury's Local application at their meeting starting at 3pm on Thursday 8th May in Kingswood Civic Centre.

You can view the agenda online. As you can see from the report, the officer recommendation is approval, with a long list of conditions. This is just the officer recommendation, it will be for the committee members to make up their minds on the day.

There are 5 minute slots for supporters and objectors to give the committee their views. If you would like to speak, you don't have to give notice but it's best to contact Paul Johnson, the Democratic Services officer who supports the committee, to get yourself on the speaker list. His email is Paul.Johnson@southglos.gov.uk

Parking can be difficult on the roads around the Civic Centre, so if you are attending please allow plenty of time. Although the meeting starts at 3pm, there is another large application before this one on the agenda, the Yate cinema application, so be prepared to be at Kingswood for some time.

If you have any questions, please contact Claire Young.

Monday, 28 April 2014

Church Road finally re-opens

On Sunday afternoon Church Road finally reopened to traffic. As we previously reported, the road was closed on 7th April to move utilities (gas water, electricity and telecoms) apparatus from the existing bridge over the River Frome onto a temporary bridge over the river. The works were planned to take two weeks to complete. All the utility companies coordinated their activities on site and everything went to plan until Bristol Water found obstructions underground that were not on any records. This meant that their diversion works were more complicated than originally expected and additional specialist components had to be fabricated (see picture below). As a result the bridge had to be closed for three weeks rather than two.

The hole shown in the picture on the left will remain until Bristol Water have been able to confirm that laboratory tests show the quality of water going through the diverted water mains is up to the required standard.

This process normally takes several days to complete so temporary three way traffic lights are in operation for Church Road at the junction with Bridge Road / Park Lane (see right). These lights will remain in place until the water quality is confirmed as satisfactory and the mains water diversion is connected and in operation.

There will be another closure for six weeks from 22 July over the peak summer holiday period while the bridge is demolished and replaced and the services reconnected across it. Local Lib Dem Councillors, Dave and Pat Hockey, are keen to ensure that South Glos Highways Engineers look closely at all of the possible risks of delays. They will also make sure that the problems associated with the diversion arrangements over the last 3 weeks are carefully considered and addressed in time for the planned six week closure.

Friday, 25 April 2014

Church Road to remain closed until Sunday

Last week, we reported that the Church Road bridge works had had to be extended by a week due to unforeseen underground obstructions. These hampered work to divert cables and pipes from the existing bridge deck onto the adjacent temporary bridge. Unfortunately a further delay is needed to complete the works and make it all safe for reopening. The bridge is now due to reopen at 2pm on Sunday.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Make sure you're registered to vote!

If you want to vote in the European Parliamentary elections on 22nd May and you are not already registered to vote, the last day to register is 6th May. You can find out more about registering online.

You can find out more online about your local Lib Dem MEP Graham Watson, who is standing for re-election. The national Lib Dem website explains why the Lib Dems want us to be IN Europe IN Work.

Targetting hate crime

Have you been the victim of hate crime or harassment? Do you live in fear of physical attack or damage to your property?

The "Working together to stamp out hate crime and harassment" conference aims to bring together individuals who are at risk with representatives of public bodies that can help protect them. It takes place between 9am and 1pm on Monday 12 May 2014 at BAWA, Southmead Road, Filton. You can register online or by calling 01454 868224.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Living well with dementia

If you or someone in your family has recently been diagnosed with dementia, you can get practical, emotional and health advice at the first in a new series of ‘Living Well with Dementia’ roadshows takeing place at Chipping Sodbury Town Hall on Friday 25 April.

The roadshow is intended to provide people with the information they need to understand their diagnosis and make the most of living with dementia. There will be a welcome and overview from a local GP and you will receive a specialist's guide to medication and treatment. There will be talks on managing your legal affairs and a practical session focusing on memory techniques and tips. Experts will be on hand to answer any of your questions and there will be a range of stalls featuring information which is available from local organisations, including support aimed at carers. You will also be able to view a new DVD, featuring local people with dementia and their partners talking about their diagnosis and living well with dementia.

The free event runs from 10.30am to 1pm however places must be booked in advance by using one of the following methods:
For more information and details of future roadshows visit www.southglos.gov.uk/dementia

World Book Night events

Next Wednesday 23rd April is World Book Night, an annual celebration of reading and books. Enthusiastic readers from around South Gloucestershire will be handing out free books in their communities.

There are 61 individual book givers taking part across South Gloucestershire this year, all keen to share their favourite books from the specially selected official World Book Night list. The full list of this year’s titles is available online at www.worldbooknight.org

This year, the Reading Agency has launched a new way of getting involved in World Book Night called Community Book Giving. This allows everybody to take part in the gifting of books without applying to give away copies of the official books donated by publishers for the occasion.

Anyone can sign up as a community giver and be responsible for giving away a book of their choice on 23 April, either taking it from their own bookshelves, or buying it new or second hand. Special World Book Night branded stickers and bookplates will be available from libraries, participating bookshops or available to download online, so that books can be officially branded as part of the celebrations. Find out how to get involved at www.worldbooknight.org

There will also be World Book Night events in local libraries, including:
  • Quiz night 7.30pm in Emerson's Green Library (entrance £1 per person on the door, please reserve your team's place at www.southglosevents.eventbrite.co.uk
  • Quiz night 7.30pm at Winterbourne Library (£3 per person on the door including refreshments and a prize for the winning team). 
  • "Count me in", a theatrical interactive bingo night by Poetry Can 7.30pm-9.30pm at Yate Library. Tickets are £3 for non-library members and £2.50 for members, book your ticket at www.southglosevents.eventbrite.co.uk, by visiting the library, or pay on the door.
  • Staff from Thornbury Library will be handing out free copies of World Book Night titles at a mystery location in Thornbury during the morning of Wednesday 23 April.

Extra week for Church Road roadworks

South Glos Council has announced that the first phase of works to replace the road bridge on Church Road, Frampton Cotterell, is to continue for a further week. The delay has been caused by unforeseen underground obstructions, which have hampered work to divert utility apparatus (that's cables and pipes to you and me) from the existing bridge deck onto the adjacent temporary bridge.

Teams worked last weekend and will continue this Bank Holiday weekend to progress the works. It is anticipated that the bridge will reopen on Friday 25 April at 5pm and traffic diversions will remain in place until this time.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Yate Station reopening 25th anniversary coming up!

Yate Railway Station was one of the first in the country to reopen after the Beeching closures of the 1960s. This year is the 25th anniversary of the station's reopening in 1989 after a major campaign by local people.

On May 18th 2014 from 12.00 noon till 3.00 pm there will be a special celebration event organised by the Friends of Yate Station. It will feature stalls, a brass band, afternoon tea, vintage and railway display, a heritage tent to share artefacts and memories and a visit by Baroness Susan Kramer, Minister of State for Transport.

See Yate Town Council's website for more information as it is confirmed.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Ram Hill Colliery - visit and volunteer

Ram Hill Colliery are planning to hold their next Open Day 10am-4.30pm on Monday 26th May (a Bank Holiday). Their AGM will be at 7pm on Wednesday 21st May at the Miners Institute (Coalpit Heath Village Hall).

They are always looking for volunteers to carry out various tasks at the site, usually between April and October on Wednesdays and the 2nd Sunday of the month 10am-4pm. If you are interested please contact David Godden for more details.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Solar Farm connected in time

Last week the Says Court Solar Farm (pictured here from the Bristol to Yate train) was connected just in time to secure the higher rate of Community Benefit for Westerleigh Parish. Under the agreement, some of the money has to be used in conjunction with Avon Wildlife Trust for on site ecological improvements. The rest will be used for environmental projects in the Parish.

Roadworks latest

As these pictures show, work is well underway to divert the utilities ready for the replacement of the Church Road bridge later in the year.

When the bridge was closed as planned on Monday, South Glos Street Care Officers were on hand to make sure that there was no chaos. Despite the signs put up weeks ago to alert drivers to the closure, there were still plenty turning round in the road. Some of course may not normally use Church Road and so were unaware of the closure.

The closure was planned for the start of the Easter school holidays so traffic levels were lighter than usual. Hopefully the diversion of all of the utilities will be complete by 21st April as planned before the end of the Easter school holidays.

Unfortunately the council is also having to undertake repair work on Badminton Road to the south of Coalpit Heath. The temporary traffic lights are causing delays, especially as many people are using this route as part of an alternative route to Church Road. Local councillor Claire Young raised residents' concerns about this with the Head of Street Care and the council is extending the working day for the gangs to make sure the work is finished as quickly as possible. The lights are being controlled manually to help the flow of traffic and work that was going to require Westerleigh Road to be closed has been postponed to avoid adding to the problem. You can read more from the council on this on the South Glos website.

Event for LGBT young people

The Diversity Trust and CVS South Gloucestershire are organising an event for LGBT young people in the Yate area on Sat 3 May. You can find out more on the Trust's website.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Temporary road closure for Westerleigh traffic calming

A temporary road closure notice has been published for Shorthill Road starting from 16th May. Fingers crossed this means the work won't wait quite as long as we thought.

Friday, 4 April 2014

Temporary bus diversions during Church Road closure

While Church Road is closed for the first stage of work on the weak bridge, bus services will be diverted.

From Monday 7th to Thursday 17th April, services 327, 581, 482/3, 81 and 82 will operate their normal route from Yate centre to the station, then divert via Stover Road, Yate Road B4059 and Bristol road B4058 before resuming the normal route. The Bristol to Yate services will follow the reverse of this route.

For passengers who require bus services from the Church Road area, arrangements have been made with Severnside Transport for the 222 bus service to divert hourly Monday to Friday. The route to be taken is Church Road (part unaffected) Clyde Road, Park Lane and Beesmoor Road and then towards Yate Shopping Centre where connections to the other bus services are available. This service will also operate on Saturday 12th April 2014 as a direct shuttle service between Coalpit Heath and Yate Shopping Centre only for connections.

You can find all the timetables for the temporary services here. First bus have a page about the diversions to their services on their website.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

New recycling collections and removal of bring banks

New recycling collections were introduced alongside the garden waste subscription this week. You can now put out cartons (Tetrapaks) such as those used for juice, milk and chopped tomatoes and small electricals such as toasters and hairdryers in your green box.

Your plastic bottle bag can now be used for a wider range of mixed plastics. As well as bottles you can include things like:
  • yoghurt pots 
  • margarine tubs
  • plastic punnets
  • meat trays 
You can't put out:
  • black plastic - e.g. ready meal trays, as it confuses the optical sorting machine at the processing plant 
  • rigid plastics - e.g. children’s toys 
  • plastic films - e.g. cling film and carrier bags, although many supermarkets collect the latter
  • polystyrene 
Not only will this help the environment, but with the cost of sending waste to landfill spiraling it's vital that we recycle more. Even at current costs, these new services are expected to pay for themselves.

South Glos Council is consulting on removing the recycling bring banks in the car parks of supermarkets, village halls and social clubs. All of the materials are now collected with the fortnightly recycling collections and the money saved will be reinvested to provide recycling services for all flats, which they haven't had to date. It would be welcomed by people who have asked for the banks to be removed to free up extra car parking spaces and would cut back on the litter and commercial use that have been problems at some of the sites. Bring banks at Sort It centres and those operated by charities or other organisations would not be affected.

If you have any comments, you can find a list of the affected sites and make your views known online by 25th April.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Sainsbury's application to be decided in May not April

At last week's site visit, the committee chair said the Sainsbury's application would be decided at their April meeting. The case officer has now said it will not be ready until the following committee meeting, starting at 3pm on Thursday 8th May in Kingswood Civic Centre.