Thursday, 29 May 2014

Have you had your bin hanger?

By now you should have had a "bin hanger" on your black bin explaining about the round changes. It's important to read this carefully because not only may the day you put your bin out be changing but also what goes out on which weeks.

From June 2nd, the black and green bins will go out on the same week, with the recycling box going out the other week. Check your bin hanger to see which week your plastic and cardboard go out. If you have any problems, visit or call 01454 868000.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Weather worry for Church Road work

Torrential downpours are putting the timescale of the Church Road bridge demolition and replacement in doubt. The work is very dependent on the water levels in the River Frome, which are currently high due to all the rain. We wait to see what the impact will be if we have another wet summer like two years ago.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Dairy application latest

Last week Claire Young attended the Dodington Parish Council Planning Sub-Committee meeting, along with the applicant for the dairy farm at Wapley and concerned residents. At the meeting, the Parish Council asked for it to be referred to committee and for a site visit to look at concerns about the scale and location of the proposed dairy building. There were also worries about the impact on the water course. Claire has written to the case officer indicating that this is what she will do if the recommendation is for approval.

Monday, 26 May 2014

Success for Beesmoor Road Playing Field pavillion roof application

At the recent Frome Vale Area Forum, Pat Hockey’s proposal seconded by Dave that the full amount of £9, 991 should be paid from the New Homes Bonus funds to Beesmoor Road Playing Field Committee so they could reroof the pavilion was unanimously approved by the Area Committee.

Pat stated that the roof has been in dire need of replacement for many years. Dave explained to the Area Committee that Beesmoor Road Playing Field Committee (BRPFC) does raise funds each year through car boot sales in the summer to help run and maintain the field and play equipment on behalf of the village. £9,991 was however far beyond their accumulated funds.

The bid which was submitted by Alison Lee on behalf of the Committee stated that the Football Club aimed to get the pavilion reroofed over the summer in time for the new season. Because the existing roof contains asbestos, the appropriate measures will need to be taken when it is removed.

We are delighted that this bid was successful – well done BRPFC.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Badminton Road phone mast to be upgraded

Vodafone have notified South Glos that they are going to replace the Badminton Road phone mast with a 4G one a few metres away and install three new cabinets. This is not a full planning application and the council cannot stop them installing the new mast but can comment on its position and design. Claire Young knocked on doors of those closest to the site and fed back comments to Vodafone. You can comment on the South Glos website by going to the Simple Search page and searching for PK14/1841/PN1. The deadline for comments is Monday 9th June.

Friday, 23 May 2014

Yate Station Celebration - and looking to the future

Twenty five years ago Yate station reopened, following a major campaign by local people. This enabled Pat Hockey, pictured second from right in the cake cutting photo and at that time Joint Chair of Avon County Council’s Planning and Transport Committee, to get approval for the scheme to go ahead. 

The Friends of Yate Station organised a special celebration event last Sunday with stalls, a brass band, afternoon tea, vintage and railway display, and a heritage tent to share artefacts and memories. The sun shone and the cake was stunning! Sarah not only made it but also helped Baroness Kramer cut it (see above).

The Friends of Yate Station have helped get many improvements in recent years, like improved cycling parking, a ticket machine, new flower beds and the attractive plaque in the picture above. Baroness Kramer is the Transport Minister so we made sure she knew we need more trains, including later evening ones and earlier ones on Sunday. There's always plenty more to do, so if you are a regular user of the station why not get along to one of the meetings and get involved? You can find out more on the Yate Town Council website.

More pictures of the day are available on Facebook.

Half term events in local libraries

Libraries across South Gloucestershire are holding an exciting programme of free activities for young people during the school holidays. These include rhymetimes, stories, crafts and activities, with fun themes ranging from springtime to under the sea.

All activities are free drop-ins for 4 to 10-year-olds unless otherwise stated. Some of those local to our area are:

Tuesday 27 May
Pirate craft fun
Yate Library, 10.30am to 12pm

Wednesday 28 May
Under the sea
Fishy and watery crafts that will make you look forward to your summer holiday at the sea side.
Winterbourne Library, 10am to 11.30am

Thursday 29 May
Mosaic madness
Make a mega mosaic mural to decorate the library and mini ones to take home.
Emersons Green Library, 2pm to 4pm

Some libraries will also be holding free story time and rhymetime for babies and toddlers and their parents or carers to enjoy stories, action songs and rhymes together.

Tuesday 27 May
Story time for 2 to 5 year olds
Emersons Green Library 2pm to 2.30pm

Winterbourne Library 9.30am to 10am

For more information, contact the libraries on 01454 868006.

Henfield Paddock application referred to committee

Following a meeting with concerned residents, Claire Young has referred the Henfield Paddock application to the DC (East) planning committee. A site visit is expected to take place on Friday 20th June (note this is different from the date given at the meeting, as Claire had been given the wrong set of committee dates). If it went to the next committee meeting after that, it would be Thursday 3rd July.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Westerleigh traffic calming - a change

It was great to see work finally underway on the Westerleigh traffic calming scheme - but there was concern earlier in the week about the location of the road narrowing on Shorthill Road.

The plans that were consulted on showed it being where the 30/40 speed limit change was at the entrance to the village but the narrowing has actually been installed between the first two houses. Claire Young contacted the engineer who explained that it was moved due to the effect the road narrowing would have in the previous location. Due to the width of the road it wasn't possible to reduce the width much as Shorthill Road is a bus route. It was also on a bend and a gradient. This posed a road safety risk. Unfortunately this change of design wasn't communicated to residents, Claire or the Parish Council, for which the engineer has apologised.

Appeal for house in Lower Stone Close dismissed

A planning inspector has dismissed the appeal against the planning committee's refusal of an application to build a new house in the front garden of 15 Lower Stone Close, Frampton Cotterell. The Inspector concluded that the proposal's design shortcomings and the harm it would cause outweighed its benefits. Local residents had raised concerns and Pat Hockey referred it to the planning committee after officers recommended approval.

Still time to vote!

If you haven't already voted in the European elections, there's still time to do so - the polls close at 10pm. You don't have to have your polling card with you, it just makes the process a little quicker if you do.

A different voting system is used for the European Elections than the local and general elections. Rather than voting for an individual candidate, you vote for a party (or independent candidate), and each party will fill the seats they win with the candidates from their list. If you vote Lib Dem today, you will help to re-elect Graham Watson MEP.

Gospel Hall and housing plans refused

Proposals to demolish buildings at the old Rentokil site in Frampton Cotterell and replace it with a Gospel Hall and 3 detached houses have been refused by the DC (West) planning committee.

There were lots of residents from around the site present to speak in the debate, both for and against. Cllr Pat Hockey proposed the refusal, on the grounds that approving it would involve losing critical local employment opportunities within the village. Both the South Glos Core Strategy and the National Planning Policy Framework seek to protect employment uses in rural areas. If it turns out impossible to keep a site in employment use then some housing should be allowed with the employment use and then, as a last resort, if this fails, just housing. Cllr Dave Hockey seconded the motion and it was passed with no opposition and just two abstentions.

Friday, 16 May 2014

Frenchay A&E moving to Southmead on Monday

The children's A&E has already moved from Frenchay to the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children. At 2am on Monday 19th May, the A&E (Emergency Department) at Frenchay will close. Instead you will have to travel to Southmead. You can find out more about the move on the North Bristol Trust website.

Don't forget Yate station celebration this Sunday

Twenty five years ago Yate station reopened, following a major campaign by local people. This enabled Pat Hockey, at that time Joint Chair of Avon County Council’s Planning and Transport Committee, to get approval for the scheme to go ahead. Now it's time to celebrate! This Sunday (18th May) from 12.00 noon till 3.00 pm the Friends of Yate Station have organised a special event with stalls, a brass band, afternoon tea, vintage and railway display, and a heritage tent to share artefacts and memories.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Tell us why Woodlands Farm is special

Both Westerleigh and Frampton Cotterell Parish Councils have asked South Gloucestershire Council to designate the land at Woodlands Farm as “Local Green Space”. For this to happen, the Government requires it to be considered very special to local people, so we need evidence to show why it should be protected.

Local resident Stella Beecher (pictured above left speaking at the site visit for the planning application last April) has already compiled information about the links with celebrated children’s author Dick King-Smith. If you think Woodlands Farm is very special it will be really helpful if you would write to Claire Young or Pat Hockey to tell us why as soon as possible.

Monday, 12 May 2014

Westerleigh Road closure rescheduled

The closure of Westerleigh Road between Cookes Lane and Coalsack Lane to enable drainage works to be carried out was postponed because the original date clashed with the Church Road closure. It's now been resceduled for 1 week starting from Friday 30th May. Street Care will be working through the weekend to get the road reopened as soon as possible.

Friday, 9 May 2014

Yate cinema wins approval

"And... Action!" - Planners give
go-ahead for Yate Cinema

Planning permission has now been granted for the Yate Cinema and the associated retail development, a decision which has been hanging on a knife edge. The 8th May meeting of the DC (East) planning committee gave the go-ahead after a detailed debate led by Lib Dem councillors Pat Hockey and Alan Lawrance.

In the vote that followed the scheme was approved by five votes to nil. The Conservative councillors on the committee felt unable to support the proposal, so they all abstained.

This is the culmination of a ten year campaign by Steve Webb MP and the Focus Team to get a cinema for Yate - what really swung the decision was the massive local support for the proposal, as demonstrated by Steve Webb's cinema petition.

The team at Yate Shopping Centre are to be congratulated on putting together a viable commercial proposal even in these difficult times. They say that building is scheduled to start next January, and opening around October 2015. So we could have a local multi-screen cinema up and running within 18 months.

Bin collection day changes

Watch out for your new bin calendar 'hanger' between 12th and 23rd May.

SITA are changing the collection rounds from 2nd June to accommodate the new materials you can now recycle and to cope with the major new developments being built around South Glos. It's important to read the hanger carefully because you may have a new collection day and there are changes to which items are put out on which weeks.

From 2nd June the fortnightly schedule will change so that black and green bins will go out together, with the green recycling box being collected in the other week. Plastics and cardboard will be collected on alternate weeks, the hanger will say which, while food waste will continue to be collected weekly.

If you don't get a bin hanger by Monday 26th May, please contact the council on or by calling 01454 868000. You can check your collection schedule online at any time via

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Sainsbury's Local application given the go ahead

Plans to build a Sainsbury's Local Store in the car park of the Badminton Arms pub in Coalpit Heath were given the go ahead today by the DC (East) planning committee.

Despite impassioned pleas from local traders and residents to turn it down because of the impact it would have on the existing village shops, a motion to do that proposed by Pat Hockey was voted down. The committee went on to support the application by 7 votes to 3 with 3 abstentions.

A large crowd of objectors turned out and extra time was allowed so that a Westerleigh Parish Councillor, local trader Edwina Pennell and resident Kath Aldom could all have their say. Ward councillor Claire Young talked about the results of the survey she carried out, which attracted over 200 responses, and Frampton Cotterell councillor Dave Hockey spoke of the importance of protecting local independent shops, as set out in the Village Design Statement for the two villages. He read out a letter from the owners of Coalpit Heath Post Office demonstrating the effect the application was already having.

When the result of the vote was declared, there were cries of dismay from the packed public gallery. As news of the decision sunk in, there was a clear message from local traders - "Use us or lose us".

Application for dairy farm following wind turbine approval

Following the approval on appeal for a wind turbine south of the B4465 at Wapley, the applicant has now made an application to South Glos for a dairy on the land. You can find the details online (if for any reason that link doesn't work, please go to the planning application search page and enter the reference number PK14/1112/F).

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Have your say at Area Forum

The latest Area Forum meetings take place next week:

Severn Vale (including Charfield ward) - Wednesday 14 May, 7pm, Turnberries Community Centre, Thornbury 
Frome Vale (including Frampton Cotterell, Laddenbrook and Westerleigh wards) - Thursday 15 May, 7pm, Frampton Cotterell Primary School, Frampton Cotterell

The meetings will include an open session where you can have your say on any issue affecting our area and you can also join in the discussions before any formal decisions are made. We will be making decisions on the latest New Homes Bonus applications and receiving progress reports on local transport schemes.

For more information visit

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Volunteer for the Summer Reading Challenge

Are you, or do you know, a young person who would like to help children to enjoy reading?

Every summer, South Glos libraries run a Summer Reading Challenge to encourage children to keep reading during the holidays. Over 7000 took part last year. South Glos is currently looking for volunteers to get involved in a variety of activities from talking to children about the books they are reading and helping them to choose what to read next, to helping with the summer activities and creating displays in the library. The closing date for applications is Monday 16 June. Volunteers must be aged 14 or over.

As well as being a great way to help others, being a Summer Reading Challenge volunteer is also an opportunity for young people to get new skills and experience for their CVs. This year’s Summer Reading Challenge runs from 12 July to 13 September, and the theme is Mythical Maze. Once again children are challenged to read six books to collect their very own medal and certificate.

For more information on how to get involved ask a member of staff at any South Gloucestershire library, phone 01454 868451 or email

Apply for a grant

Local voluntary groups can now apply for a grant of up to £3,000 from South Gloucestershire Council to benefit their local community.

The old grant system has been streamlined and the Area Forums will be making a decision on grants up to four times per year. The grants are available to groups to develop specific projects and provide activities that meet local needs. Projects can include a range of topics including arts and culture, sport, children and play, community safety, developing communities, supporting vulnerable people to promoting equality and tackling poverty.

If you would like to apply for funding, applications for the first round can be made up until the closing date on Monday 2 June. For more information and to make an application visit Alternatively, you can call the helpline Monday to Friday between 9am and 4pm on 01454 865865, or email

Monday, 5 May 2014

May Day Fun on the Green

The sun shone, the crowds came - everyone had a great time.

Children from Iron Acton and Frampton Cotterell schools both did superb maypole dancing displays which were thoroughly enjoyed and roundly applauded. Some of the entertainment on offer was a bit scary if you didn’t like heights but the kids had a whale of a time. Many stalls were doing a roaring trade, especially the hot dog stall and the beer tent!

Loads of Frampton Cotterell and Coalpit Heath residents and their children celebrated the closure of Frampton End Road and walked, cycled or scooted to Iron Acton. 

Congratulations to Iron Acton on another superb event.