Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Yate SSCG meeting rescheduled for 13th April

The Yate Safer Stronger Community Group meeting that was cancelled at the last minute on 23rd March has been rescheduled for 7pm on Monday 13th April in Yate Library. You can find the agenda here. The meeting covers an area that includes the Dodington Parish part of Westerleigh ward.

Monday, 30 March 2015

Pre-School update

Claire Young was saddened to learn that Coalpit Heath Pre-School has been given notice to leave the Manor Hall at the end of the academic year as the two parties have not been able to resolve their differences.

As a parent, Claire knows that this will be a very worrying time for the parents involved. She has spoken to both the owner of the Pre-School and the Chair of the Trustees and has offered, as she has done previously, to facilitate a meeting between them. Obviously she has no control over either organisation, but she is more than happy to do what she can to help find a way forward for the benefit of the children. When we have any more news, we will pass it on.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Holiday activities in local libraries

Once again our local libraries are running activities in the school holidays for children. They include craft sessions, Horrid Henry creative writing sessions and story and rhyme time for younger children. More details are available on the South Glos website.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Are you registered to vote?

On Thursday 7th May we will be electing an MP, South Glos councillors and Parish Councillors. To vote in these elections you must be registered by Monday 20 April. Find out more on the South Glos website.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Next chance to apply for grants

Community groups have until 10th April to apply for grants to be awarded at the July meetings of the Area Forums.

Frome Vale Area Forum, which covers an area including Frampton Cotterell, Ladden Brook and Westerleigh wards, has £21,450 left for community grants, while Severn Vale Area Forum, whose area includes Charfield Ward, has £48,599 left. It is also possible to apply for New Homes Bonus and Positive Activities Funding (the latter is for provision for young people).

More information and links to the online application system are available from this page.

Applications can be made throughout the year, which decisions being taken in July, September, December and March, but the money available will reduce as the year goes on. The amount available will be updated on the Grants page after each meeting.

Friday, 20 March 2015

Progress in Severn Bridge tolls campaign

Local MP Steve Webb has welcomed the announcement in the Budget of plans to cut tolls when the Severn Bridge returns to public ownership in 2018.  But he has said that his ‘no more tolls’ campaign will continue until the whole charge is scrapped.

You can read more on Steve's website and sign the petition at www.stevewebb.org.uk/nomoretolls

Reminder - Post Office consultation

As we say thank you and goodbye to Steve and Sarah at Coalpit Heath Post Office, don't forget to respond to the consultation on moving the service to the Nisa store, Village Roots.

You can find the details on the Post Office Limited website and can reply by:

  • filling in their online questionnaire linked to from that page
  • picking up a form at the Post Office
  • writing to "FREEPOST Your Comments"
  • emailing comments@postoffice.co.uk 
The branch code is 191511. You have until 27th March to respond but if you're responding by post they advise sending at least 2 working days (ie not Saturday and Sunday) before the deadline.

Top Yard referred back to planning committee

Having reviewed the application, officers advised councillors that the Top Yard planning application should go back to the DC (East) Planning Committee with a revised report reflecting recent case law. Claire Young was pleased to propose this at Wednesday night's council meeting. Her fellow councillors agreed. It's hoped it will go to the 23rd April meeting.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

South Glos agrees to submit plan to Inspector

At Wednesday night's South Gloucestershire Council meeting the Policies, Sites and Places Plan was approved for submission to the Planning Inspector.

It had already been agreed at a meeting last week that more time was needed to consult people on the Local Green Spaces before the council can decide the final list of sites to be put forward. The council will make a decision on that at a future meeting.

As at last week's meeting, Claire Young explained local people's concerns about the Gypsy and Traveller site policies, which would take land out of the much valued Green Belt. She was one of a number of councillors to vote against the plan being submitted. Once again she also had to defend local residents who had opposed extra housing in Westerleigh, this time in response to a document circulated to all councillors by the agent for one of the landowners.

There will be a six week consultation period on the plan, with responses being passed to the Inspector. This will be your final opportunity to make representations if you are unhappy with what South Glos Council proposes. The separate consultation on the green spaces will run in parallel.

We will let you know how to respond to both these consultations when the details become available.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Badminton Road, Coalpit Heath roadworks

There's an article on the Gazette website about the Bristol Water roadworks currently underway on Badminton Road in Coalpit Heath. Three way traffic lights will be used until 19th March and two-way traffic lights will then be put in place until the works finish, expected to be on 13th April.

Monday, 16 March 2015

Next Safer Stronger Community Group meetings

The next Safer Stronger Community Group meetings are:
  • Yate (which covers the rural part of Dodington Parish in Westerleigh ward) - 7pm on Monday 23rd March at Children's Centre, Cranleigh Court Road, Yate, BS37 5DW
  • Frampton Cotterell, Westerleigh, Coalpit Heath & Iron Acton - 7.30pm on Monday 30th March 2015 at 7.30pm at Westerleigh Village Hall, Shorthill Road, Westerleigh BS37 8QN. 
Everyone is welcome to attend to raise local issues.

Friday, 13 March 2015

Policies, Sites and Places update

At Policy and Resources committee this afternoon, the majority of the committee voted for the Policies, Sites and Places plan to go forward to Council on Wednesday.

It was agreed that more time was needed to consult local people on the Local Green Spaces before the council can decide the final list of sites to be put forward. This means you will have another opportunity to comment on sites like Woodlands Farm.

Claire Young explained how important all of the Green Belt in Westerleigh ward is to local people, and therefore voted against the plan because the Gypsy and Traveller site policies would take land out of the Green Belt. She also defended local residents who had opposed extra housing in Westerleigh after a public speaker at today's meeting intimated that there had been "mob rule" at the Parish Council meeting where the decision was made to drop the proposals.

If Council approves the plan for submission to the Inspector on Wednesday, there will be a six week consultation period on the plan, with responses being passed to the Inspector. This will be your final opportunity to make representations if you are unhappy with what South Glos Council proposes.

In parallel, South Glos will run a consultation on the Local Green Spaces, with responses going to the council not the Inspector. The council will need more evidence of the special importance of a piece of land to the local community before it can be designated.

We will let you know how to respond to both these consultations at the time.

Action on road safety

Last week's Frome Vale Area Forum saw local councillors winning support for a number of highway safety schemes in our area:
  • In Tytherington, an existing school bus stop point will be moved, dropped kerbs south of the lay-by improved and a coloured road surface introduced to highlight the crossing point. The scheme will also provide a new crossing point at the Stowell Hill/New Rd junction and a small area of coloured
    road surfacing and the existing pavement will be extended from its current end in New Rd to Stowell Hill. Contact Howard Gawler if you have any questions.
  • The first phase of the Church Road proposals will be implemented. There will first be further consultation, taking into account suggestions from residents during the previous informal consultation period. Contact Pat and Dave Hockey for more information.
  • The second phase of traffic calming proposals for the rural part of Henfield Road, around the sharp bend at the junction with Ram Hill, will go ahead. Monitoring last year showed a significant number of vehicles were travelling well in excess of the 30mph speed limit, despite it being a blind bend with a junction on it. There will be further consultation on the proposals before implementation. Contact Claire Young to find out more.
  • Further traffic calming measures will be investigated on Westerleigh Road between the railway bridge and Broad Lane and on Shorthill Road after complaints from residents about some of the measures implemented so far. The outcome of the investigation will be a set of proposals for consideration for funding next year. Again, contact Claire Young for more info.
Claire also highlighted the results of her survey on a 20mph limit around the Manor School, in an effort to get it prioritised in the roll-out of 20mph limits to schools that don’t currently have them.

Successful prosecution in relation to fly tipping on Nibley Lane

A landscape gardener from Bristol was fined £220 and ordered to pay £500 in costs after being found guilty of duty of care offences that led to waste being fly tipped at Nibley Lane, Westerleigh.You can read more here.

The Lib Dems on South Glos Council secured a one year continuation of funding for the council's enviro-crime service, which has a great track record of successful prosecutions in cases of fly tipping. We would have preferred this funding to have been an ongoing commitment but the other parties had different priorities.

69A Park Lane hair salon application approved

Yesterday the DC (West) planning committee unanimously approved the application to turn part of the ground floor of 69A Park Lane into a hair and beauty salon and create a second storey for living space.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Top Yard - officers recommend it goes back to planning committee

At the end of February, the DC (East) planning committee voted by a narrow majority to approve the Top Yard application but Cllr Alan Lawrance referred it up to council, so that it could be debated there.

The council meeting is next Wednesday (18th March). Officers have reviewed some recent case law and feel that members should have a report that sets out how those apply to this application. They also think that the members making the decision should have made a site visit. They are therefore recommending it goes back to the DC (East) committee for determination with a revised report to take account of the recent case law.

The agenda for the council meeting is here:


and the specific report on Top Yard here:


Wednesday, 11 March 2015

TV interference?

A local resident recently informed Claire Young that since the new 4G phone mast was installed on Badminton Road  they have had problems with Freeview reception (in particular, having no signal for BBC1 and ITV3). Having contacted at800 an engineer was sent out within 4 days and rectified the problem. You can ring them on 0333 31 31 800.

at800 say they sent postcodes to addresses that could be affected at the beginning of February, but people do sometimes mistake these for advertising flyers and discard them.

Frampton End Road clean up this Saturday

In November we reported that local resident Alan Bracey (pictured left with his bike) was looking for volunteers to help keep Frampton End Road clean and tidy for all to enjoy. The first clean up event will take place this Saturday 14th March. If you would like to join in, the volunteers are meeting at 9.30am outside Frampton End Road. Shovels and brooms will be provided. If you have any queries, please contact Alan on 01454 772837 or email him at: aljenbracey@blueyonder.co.uk

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Grant success for local groups

A number of groups in the Ladden Frome area were successful in getting grants at last week's Area Forum:
  • Floral Friends of Frampton - £1840
  • Tytherington Rocks FC - £1000
  • Wickwar Wanderers FC - £1250
  • Wickwar Pre-School - £1212
  • 1st Wickwar Brownies - £1240
  • Frampton Cotterell Male Voice Choir - £750

Monday, 9 March 2015

Update on new electricity substation at Nibley

The work relating to the new electricity substation at Nibley slipped from October. The shutdown is now expected to happen on 21st May, with work prior to that which will involve digging up the road.

Update on Westerleigh road surfacing problems

Last autumn the council patched Westerleigh Road through Westerleigh village, in preparation for it being resurfaced this summer.

Soon after residents reported the surface was already breaking up and officers informed Claire Young that lab tests were being carried out to identify if there was a problem with the materials. They now have the report back and it has identified some irregularities with the quality of material supplied. Discussions are ongoing with the supplier on how to resolve the problems.

Friday, 6 March 2015

Policies, Sites and Places Plan - what next?

Over the last year we've been reporting regularly on the progress of South Glos Council's Policies, Sites and Places Plan. The next big step will be taken on Wednesday 18th March when South Gloucestershire Council as a whole will be voting on what should be submitted to the Planning Inspector. The meeting starts at 7pm in Kingswood Civic Centre and you are welcome to attend.

Before that, on 13th March, the Policy and Resources committee will be making its recommendation to the council. The agenda for that meeting has now been published and it includes a link to the plan.

There were a number of issues of concern to local residents in last year's consultation. Your Focus Team has been putting the views of local residents to officers as the plan progresses.

In the Ladden Frome area:
    • Rangeworthy Parish Council has decided there should be 20 new homes in the village to meet local need.
    • Westerleigh Parish Council decided not to go ahead with up to 20 new homes at Westerleigh village, so the plan doesn't include that proposal.
    • Iron Acton Parish Council has identified that the village needs a small number of extra houses. Because these would be in the Green Belt it will be a “Rural Exception Site” and not included in this Plan.
    • It's proposed that Coalpit Heath, Frampton Cotterell and Winterbourne should have separate development boundaries to reflect the fact they are separate communities. The boundary for Frampton Cotterell will be extended to take in The Meads development.
    • The plan still proposes intensifying some gypsy and traveller sites (that is, adding extra pitches without extending the boundaries) and also designating all temporary sites or those restricted to particular families as permanent sites, taking the land out of the Green Belt.
    • The pieces of land officers are recommending to be designated as Local Green Space hasn't been published yet. Many local people have been hoping Woodlands Farm would be one of them, but it could be affected by a recent Inspector ruling elsewhere in the country that a site of 19 hectares was too large an area to be designated.
    If the council agrees that the plan should be submitted, there will then be a 6 week consultation. Any responses you make will be passed to the Planning Inspector who will decide if the plan is sound. This gives you another opportunity to make your views known if you are not happy with what South Gloucestershire Council has decided. We will let you know how you can comment at the time.

    Focus Team backs local young people

    At last night’s Frome Vale Area Forum, your Focus Team voted to protect youth funding for the Frampton Cotterell, Coalpit Heath and Westerleigh area and also to support a new project at Transition Skate.

    Following the controversial closure of the Brockeridge Youth Club at the end of last May, Frampton Cotterell Parish Council has had to hand back more than £3,000 they were granted by the Area Forum to provide the service throughout 2014/15. Your Focus Team won the backing of their colleagues to earmark this money for youth provision in 2015/16 in Frampton Cotterell, Coalpit Heath and Westerleigh, rather than being spent elsewhere.

    Dave Hockey said, “Having been closed for nearly a year, it’s going to take a real effort to kickstart the new club. This is likely to need some outreach work to make contact with young people when they are out and about around our villages. Frampton Cotterell Parish Council has invested in local young people since the Brockeridge Youth Club was opened in May 2000. The working group was hugely impressed by what we saw at Chipping Sodbury Youth Club, I hope it’s opened my Parish Council colleagues’ eyes to what can be achieved and that they will put in a really strong application to make best use of the funding that we agreed to earmark.”

    Claire Young said, “Last year I investigated where the young people from my ward were going for youth activities, so I know the Brockeridge Youth Club was attended by people from Coalpit Heath as well as Frampton Cotterell. It would be fantastic if outreach work could help the young people in the surrounding rural areas too.”

    Councillors also voted to give £3750 to Transition Skate, based in the old Fromeside Youth Centre, to run a project working with local schools and providing a mentoring service. The project would engage with young people with challenging behaviour or at risk of being excluded.

    Get involved in local services

    Did you know that Frampton Cotterell Parish Council offers facilities including allotments and play areas, a park and pavillion? Or that Westerleigh Parish Council looks after everything from a village pound to a woodland and a fishing lake (where Parishioners can get a free fishing permit for one rod).

    Parish Councils are the tier of local government closest to the community. They are funded by an annual precept - which you'll see on your council tax bill - and provide an increasing range of services. All the Parish Councils in South Gloucestershire will be up for election on the same day as the local and general elections (7th May) so if you fancy getting more involved in your community, now's your chance.

    Information on how to stand for election is available on the South Glos website.

    Thursday, 5 March 2015

    Thinking of quitting smoking?

    Wednesday 11th March is No Smoking Day. This year's theme is "I'm proud to be a quitter" and involves inspirational stories from people who have stopped smoking. Smokefree South Gloucestershire are working wtih the British Heart Foundation (BHF) to help smokers who want to quit by creating a supportive environment - and highlighting how Smokefree South Gloucestershire can help.

    For more information visit www.southglos.gov.uk/smokefree

    69A Park Lane application to be decided next week

    Last Friday the DC (West) planning committee members visited 69A Park Lane, where the owner is hoping to turn part of the ground floor into a hair and beauty salon and create a second storey for living space. Although the site is in Frampton Cotterell ward, it is close to the boundary with Westerleigh ward and concerns had been raised on both sides, so both Pat and Claire spoke in the slot for local councillors. Residents' concerns included parking, highway safety, the impact on the Green Belt and whether this was the right location for a commercial property.

    A decision will be made by the committee next Thursday, 12th March. The meeting starts at 11am and is in Turnberries Community Centre, Bath Road, Thornbury, BS35 2BB. You can read the agenda and the report on this application online.