Friday, 28 November 2014

Good news at Frome Vale Area Forum

Last night's Frome Vale Area Forum had a packed agenda:
  • Schemes to introduce 40mph limits on the B4058/B4059 Iron Acton and 20mph limits within Iron Acton and on surrounding roads including Nibley Lane were approved.
  • We awarded New Homes Bonus money to Coalpit Heath Village Hall ("The Miners") to put solar panels on their roof and to Iron Acton Parish Hall for an extension to the entrance lobby
  • Station Road, Coalpit Heath and Lower Chapel Lane, Frampton Cotterell were among four resurfacing schemes we chose for 2015/16.

Healthwatch issues report on Southmead Hospital

Healthwatch, the consumer group concentrating on health and social care, has been consulting patients and the public about their experiences at Southmead Hospital - their report is available here.

North Bristol NHS Trust has responded in fairly general terms - for example, they say "Parking is an area of continuous improvement for us whilst waiting for the completion of the phase 2 development in spring 2016"

The report concentrates on matters within the hospital, so it doesn't really touch on issues such as bus services. Please let Pat Hockey know about any excessive delays or missing services on the Southmead routes.

Warm Up South Gloucestershire

Are you the landlord of a rented property in South Gloucestershire? Is it cold and draughty? If so, take a look at the new initiative Warm Up South Gloucestershire which has been launched by the council this week.

The scheme offers landlords significant help to improve inefficient properties in a bid to protect tenants against cold, draughty houses. It offers a range of measures, including heating upgrades, cavity wall and loft insulation, draught proofing and double glazing. There is also a limited amount of additional support available to landlords for installing a new gas connection if required.

The initiative applies to landlords who own properties with an F or G energy rating, which means they’re very energy inefficient, and offers two thirds off, up to a maximum of £3,000, for home improvement measures.

The council has secured government funding to deliver the measures and work will be completed by a largely local small and medium sized enterprise (SME) supply chain to ensure that South Gloucestershire businesses benefit. The funding was secured in conjunction with Bristol City Council and North Somerset Council who are running their own Warm Up campaigns.

The funding for the scheme is limited, so you need to act quickly to take advantage of it.

If you're a landlord, go to and call 0800 980 09 02 to find out more. If you're a tenant, speak to your landlord about the scheme.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Scrap the severn tolls campaign

A new campaign by local MP Steve Webb and the local Liberal Democrats to scrap the tolls on the two Severn Bridges has got off to a strong start. The ‘no more tolls’ campaign is calling for the toll to be scrapped on the two bridges once the construction costs of the bridges have been paid off in a couple of years’ time. At that point the bridges will return into public ownership and Steve Webb is arguing for remaining maintenance costs to be transferred to the Highways Agency budget so that the tolls can be completely scrapped. An online petition calling for the tolls to be scrapped attracted over 1,000 signatures within a week, with support coming from both sides of the bridge. Speaking to campaigners, Steve Webb said:

“We have always known that the tolls would be needed to pay for the construction of the two bridges. But once the bills are paid, there is no longer any need for a separate maintenance charge for the bridges. We already pay through our taxes for the maintenance of the rest of the highway network, including local motorways, and there is no reason for local people to go on paying for routine maintenance for the bridges"

“We have had a huge positive response to this campaign with people keen to see the tolls scrapped to make it easier for people who live and work on different sides of the bridge, or for those who have family and friends on each side of the Severn. Scrapping the tolls would be good for local businesses and the local economy and we will be stepping up our campaign in the coming months to get the tolls ended”

To sign the petition, or for more information on the campaign visit

Smile campaign

South Glos Council is running a campaign to encourage people to think about the small things that they can do that will make a big difference to other people. Find out more at

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Get more out of your library with new mobile apps

Libraries from across the West of England work together as LibrariesWest. They've just launched free apps for iPads and iPhones and for Android devices. Using the apps you can:
  • Search the catalogue
  • Place reservations
  • Renew your loans
  • Manage your library account
  • Find your nearest library
  • Access eBooks and online resources
  • Follow LibrariesWest on Twitter
The app is available for iOS and Android devices, and Windows Phone and Kindle Fire versions will be available soon. To find out more, including the download links, go to

Next Severn Vale Area Forum on 3rd December

The next Severn Vale Area Forum (covering wards including Charfield) is at 7pm on Wednesday 3 December in Turnberries Community Centre, Thornbury.. Why not come along and have your say?

On the agenda will be information about the council’s budget consultation, applications for the Positive Activities Subsidy (PAS) grants programme and New Homes Bonus (NHB) grant allocations. The Forum will also be asked to identify local roads and/or pavements for resurfacing.

You can view the papers here.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Next Safer Stronger Community Group on 2nd December

The next Frampton Cotterell, Westerleigh, Iron Acton and Coalpit Heath Safer Stronger Community Group meeting will take place at 7.30pm on Tuesday 2nd December at The Brockeridge Centre (Woodend Road, Frampton Cotterell BS36 2LQ). Come along and raise local issues of concern to you.

Monday, 24 November 2014

STOP PRESS - Church Road lights removed

The resurfacing and road markings on the new Church Road bridge have now been completed and the traffic lights removed just before 6pm this evening. Pedestrian facilities will be reinstated in the next couple of days.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Have your say on up to 20 new homes in Westerleigh Village

A public consultation event on possible sites for up to 20 New Homes at Westerleigh village is being held on Monday 1st December 2014, from 4pm to 7 pm, at Westerleigh Village Hall. 

The Parish Council has been working with South Gloucestershire Council to look at the need for a small amount of new housing development at Westerleigh village. This could help to meet local housing needs e.g. for younger people and support existing facilities and services such as the village shop. Any new homes would be allocated in the new planning document, the Policies, Sites and Places Plan (PSP Plan), being prepared by South Gloucestershire Council.

The possibility of a small number of new homes being built in the village was considered at a public consultation event in the village hall this summer, which formed part of the wider consultation on the PSP Plan. The Parish Council has subsequently resolved to ask SGC to undertake an assessment of possible sites for up to 20 new homes at Westerleigh village.

A public exhibition will be held on Monday 1st December 2014, from 4pm to 7 pm, at the Village Hall.

This public event will provide the opportunity for local people to learn more about the possible new housing sites – their advantages and disadvantages. A copy of the exhibition material and the response form will be provided on the Policies,Sites & Places webpage from 8th December 2014 and comments can be made until 9th January 2015.

This is your opportunity to have your say about the future of Westerleigh village.

Volunteers wanted for ‘Frampton End Road tlc Team’

Since Frampton End Road was closed to through traffic earlier this year walkers, cyclists and horse riders are able to enjoy safe use of this narrow, bendy picturesque country lane in the Frome Valley.

Children are able to learn to ride their bikes in safety, much to the delight of their parents. Walkers from Frampton Cotterell, Coalpit Heath, Iron Acton and further afield using the delightful Frome Valley Walkway can now enjoy circular leisure walks including Frampton End Road.

Coalpit Heath resident and ‘veteran cyclist’ Alan Bracey is hoping to form a group of local volunteers to help keep Frampton End Road clean and tidy for all to enjoy. Alan reported “I cycled through Frampton End Road this morning and for the second day running Streetcare are cutting back the hedges and making a very good job of it. I look forward to being part of a regular team to keep it clean. Believe me, this road is now a real pleasure to ride”.

If you would like to be part of the ‘Frampton End Road tlc Team’, please contact Alan on 01454 772837 or email him at:

Your Focus Team is thrilled that local parents are now to be able to teach their children to ride their bikes in safety on Frampton End Road.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Church Road bridge update

Residents will be delighted to know that work on the demolition and replacement of the bridge is due to complete on target by 30 November ready for reopening to 2 way traffic on Monday 1 December.

The seven utility companies have taken turns to divert their services from bypassing the bridge to going over it following the closure over the school summer holidays. The pavements are now being reconstructed prior to the final surface being laid for the road and white lining replaced.

Thankfully the  new composite bridge deck has a 120 year life.

Next Frome Vale Area Forum on 27th November

The next Frome Vale Area Forum (covering wards including Frampton Cotterell, Ladden Brook and Westerleigh) is at 7pm on Thursday 27th November in Chipping Sodbury Town Hall. Why not come along and have your say?

On the agenda will be information about the council’s budget consultation, applications for the Positive Activities Subsidy (PAS) grants programme and New Homes Bonus (NHB) grant allocations.

The Forum will also be making decisions on proposals for a 40mph speed limit on most of the Iron Acton Bypass into Frampton Cotterell and a 20mph limit along Nibley Lane and Hope Road and through Iron Acton village.

Funding has been allocated to introduce both of these schemes in the current financial year. Before they go ahead, however, the Councillors representing the Frome Vale wards have to consider the objections that were made during the formal consultation period. They have the option of going ahead with the advertised proposals, modifying them to take on board objections or abandoning them and leaving things as they are.

The proposals for the Bypass are that the existing 40mph limit on Yate Road should be extended beyond the Esso Garage and the existing 40mph from Frampton Cotterell should be extended to the junction with Bristol Road, Iron Acton.

If you go to the Forum you will be able to let the Councillors know your views before they make their decisions.

You can view the papers here.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Mediation process for Manor Hall and Coalpit Heath Pre-School

Following recent concerns in the community about the future of Coalpit Heath Pre-School, we are pleased to report that the Pre-School and the Manor Hall Management Committee have committed to an independent mediation process, sharing the costs between them. We hope that they will now be given the time and the space to complete this process, not only to help with the immediate issues but also to build a better relationship for the future. In the meantime, we have been assured again that the Pre-School has not been given notice.

Latest on Westerleigh smell

Last month I passed on some reports of smell incidents to the Environment Agency to investigate. The agency believe the most likely cause is related to the handling and storage of Animal by-product (ABP) waste. The waste is collected in a road trailer within a building. The doors of the building are closed and air inside is extracted through a carbon filter, but when the trailer is full, it has to be changed. This occurs once or twice a day and involves opening the doors to the building, removing the full trailer and replacing it with an empty one. This takes 30-45 minutes and could potentially produce an odour detectable away from the site.
To tackle this, an action plan has been agreed with Tulip:
  • Tulip have installed a new cleaning station and have implemented regular housekeeping of the ABP waste area.
  • Tulip, along with the ABP waste contractor, have agreed to cover the full trailer before removing it from the ABP storage building.
  • Tulip are instigating a procedure to regularly check that the carbon filter is operating effectively.
The Environment Agency will continue to work with Tulip to improve all areas of odour control. However, if you are disturbed by odours which you believe to be from the abattoir, they ask you to:
  • Contact Dominic Sugrue of Tulip in the first instance (0117 957 6056, . Tulip are obliged to investigate, they must also record details of the complaint and their response. This information can be audited by the Environment Agency.
  • If the odour persists and the response is unsatisfactory, please also report the odour to the Agency’s hotline (0800 80 70 60).

Friday, 14 November 2014

Call for road safety action around the Manor School

Thank you to everyone who completed Claire Young's survey on speed limits on the roads around the Manor School.

Other local schools have a 20mph limit around them, either permanent or when the lights are flashing. Claire wanted to find out if there was support for this at the Manor, and if so which roads people thought should be included.  A majority of those who filled in the survey supported a 20mph limit on the roads immediately around the school  - Roundways, St Anne's Drive and Henfield Road. On Wednesday, Claire attended the council's committee responsible for transport to present them with the results and call for action.

Dangerous parking was also a concern for many who replied. There are no simple solutions and a number of ideas have been tried over the years, including white lines on the roads and a PCSO working with the children to create flyers to hand out. At the meeting, Claire called for the necessary steps to be taken so that the council's parking enforcement car can be used outside the Manor School to help tackle the problem.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Henfield "signing and lining" proposals

Last night Westerleigh Parish Council considered all the views passed on by ward councillor Claire Young or raised by residents at the meeting and decided to ask South Glos Council to go ahead with the "signing and lining" proposals for Henfield Road.

The "gateway treatment" will be considered for funding at the Area Forum next spring. If funded, there would be further consultation before anything was implemented.

Calling all community heroes

It's time to make your nominations for the Chair's Community Awards 2015.

The annual awards recognise and celebrate the huge contribution local unpaid volunteers make to our communities. The celebration will take place in March and you have until Friday 9th January to nominate your local "community hero". You can do it online at, call 01454 863019 or email

Monday, 10 November 2014

Chance to question the police

The Police and Crime Commissioner, Sue Mountstevens is, holding her next public forum on Wednesday, December 3rd from 6.45 - 9.00pm at The Shire Way Community Centre, Yate, Bristol, BS37 8YS.

It's a chance to hear from North East's Area Commander Chief Superintendent (C/Supt) Caroline Peters, and to ask any questions to the PCC, C/Supt Peters and other senior police officers.

If you would like to attend, you are asked to register here, email the PCC team at or call 01275 816377. They would also like questions emailed to them ahead of the event, so they can bring the relevant information to the meeting and so those who cannot attend can still ask questions. You can also tweet your questions to @AandSPCC using the hash tag #YPCCYV

Friday, 7 November 2014

Update on lights on Church Road

Council Officers have been checking and observing the situation with the Church Road bridge traffic signals. There is no fault on the sensors. They are still of the view that the problems have occurred when heavy traffic is accompanied by a vehicle crossing on red. The sensor then reacts by going into "safe mode" which reduces the the green time on the following cycles.
If after monitoring the situation this evening they believe the problem will continue they will be switching the signals to manual during peak periods on Monday.

Have your say on council budget

Having already cut £43million from its annual budget, South Glos Council is expecting to make tens of millions of pounds more savings in the next few years, as it continues to help the national government reduce the deficit. That means it's more important than ever to have your say on the council's budget.

Find out more at or at one of the local libraries or One Stop Shops. You have until 19th December to have your say.

Please let your Lib Dem Focus Team know your views too. We are committed to protecting the most vulnerable and working with you to find alternative ways of doing things where possible.

Another Living Well with Dementia Roadshow

Anotherr ‘Living Well with Dementia’ roadshow is being held, this time at Turnberrie’s Community Centre in Thornbury on Monday 17 November. These roadshows offer practical, emotional and health advice aimed at anyone who has recently been diagnosed with dementia, their carers or relatives of people 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

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Church Road bridge latest

We are aware there has been a traffic light problem on the bridge works on Church Road. Pat Hockey is investigating.

The road works have been extremely frustrating for local people. We've made sure officers are aware of this and they have given us an update on the schedule. They are currently planning for the footways and carriageways to be completely reinstated and final surfacing complete by the 30th November 2014.

Some people have commented that they are not seeing much work happening. Officers say they are coordinating a complicated set of third party activities, tying in with the utility company programmes, so there may be periods where it would appear nothing is happening. South Glos are also working on the site but not always in the sight lines of other road users. It is to everyone’s advantage to get the job completed and for the council to get off site as delays mean cost.

Could you adopt siblings?

This week is National Adoption Week and South Glos Council is looking for people who would consider adopting siblings, so that brothers and sisters can stay together.

Adopters who have adopted siblings say the idea of having a ready-made family, only going through the adoption process once and enabling children to stay with their brothers and sisters are reasons to adopt brothers and sisters.

For more information about adoption in South Gloucestershire, visit

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Have your say on flood risk mangement strategy

South Gloucestershire Council is currently consulting on its draft Local Flood Risk Management Strategy. More information is available on the council consultation pages and you have until 20th January to comment.