Friday, 29 May 2015

Chair raised over £13000 for two charities

Well done to former Ladden Brook councillor Howard Gawler for raising around £13,000 for his two chosen charities while Chair of South Glos Council. The charities were the Great Western Air Ambulance Charity (GWAAC) and the Hosanna Primary School Support Group based in Yate, which helps children at a school in Kampala, Uganda.

Howard set a new standard for daredevil methods of fundraising by Chairs when he did a tandem sky dive (see photo on the left). Having handed over his chain of office on Wednesday he can now enjoy his retirement.

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Have your say to protect our countryside

Now is the time to have your say on protecting our much valued countryside.

Before the election, South Glos Council voted to approve the submission of the Policies, Sites and Places (PSP) Plan to the Planning Inspector. This has now been published on the South Glos website and you have until 5pm on 2 July 2015 to make comments, which will be passed to the Inspector. This is your last chance to have your say if you don’t agree with something in the plan. Residents and local councillors expressed a number of concerns at the meeting in March.

As well as the plan, the council has published a number of other supporting documents – more details are on the website.

What can you comment on?

Comments should focus on whether the Plan was prepared according to the legal requirements and whether it is “sound”. This is explained in more detail on the consultation pages on the South Glos website

How do you comment?

The best way to comment is using the Council’s online consultation system. If that is not possible, you can respond by email to or by post to:

Strategic Planning Policy and Specialist Advice Team
South Gloucestershire Council
Environment and Community Services Department
PO Box 299
Civic Centre
High Street
BS15 0DR.

The representation form (and guidance note) and statement of representations procedure are available for download. Any representations will be sent to the Planning Inspector and will be made public.

What about the green spaces?

In March councillors decided that more work was needed on the list of pieces of land that local people wanted protected as Local Green Spaces. A further informal consultation will start in June, with formal consultation on the final list later in the year. We’ll explain how to respond to these consultations when they start.

What next?

Once all representations to the PSP Plan Consultation have been received, the Council will submit them along with its proposed submission version of the Plan and its supporting documents to the planning inspector. If you would like any further information, please contact the Strategic Planning Policy Team at or on 01454 863469.

Concerned about bees?

If you're concerned about the plight of our bees and other insects and what we can do to protect them locally, you might be interested in the Pollinators Project Meeting being held on Monday 15th June 7.00-9.00pm at Bailey's Court Activity Centre, Bradley Stoke, BS32 8BH.

The speakers will be Dr K Baldock from Bristol University, Clare Dinham from Buglife and Sally Pattison from South Gloucestershire Council. Refreshments will be provided  (probably with a honey theme!). RSVP to 

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Join the Lib Dem fightback

Since the election more than 14,000 people have joined the Liberal Democrats nationwide, including dozens in our local area, showing that people want to campaign against the impact that a right-wing Tory government is likely to have on our public services and our communities.

We will be running many local and national campaigns over the coming months and years and if you would like to be part of the team we would be delighted to involve you. You can join the party via the website at or by contacting any member of the local team. Everyone who is a member at 4pm on 3rd June will be able to vote for the next party leader.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Railway path closure

A section of the Bristol and Bath Railway Path will be closed between 1 and 19 June for essential resurfacing and maintenance work.

The path will be closed from the railway station at Bitton in a south east direction to the Bath and North East Somerset boundary at Saltford. The council will try to reopen the path on weekends where possible and a signed diversion will be in place throughout.

You can read the full PR from the council here.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Half term activities in local libraries

Next week is half term and our local libraries have a range of fun activities planned:
Tuesday 26 May

By the seaside
Summery seaside crafts
Yate Library, 10.30am to 12pm

Out of this World
Space themed crafts
Emersons Green Library, 2pm to 4pm

Wednesday 27 May

Get the bug
Join us to make butterflies, bugs and bees
Winterbourne Library, 10am to11.30am
Most suitable for 3 to 10-year-olds

Fun and games
Games and puzzles to make and play
Thornbury Library, 11am to 12pm

Saturday 30 May

Beside the seaside
Seaside crafts
Bradley Stoke Library, 10am to 11.30am

All activities are free drop-ins for 4 to 11-year-olds unless otherwise stated. There are also Rhymetimes and Story times for pre-school children.

For a full list for all the libraries in South Glos visit or

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Statement regarding the Manor Hall and Coalpit Heath Pre-School

Wendy Silcock, a parent of a child at Coalpit Heath Pre-School, has made a proposal which is currently being considered by the trustees and the owner of the Pre-School. She has made the following statement on behalf of both parties, which we agreed to help publicise:

To Parents of Pre-school children and fellow Parishioners
I don’t have to remind you that a lot has happened over the last few months which has led to a break down in the working relationship between the Coalpit Heath Pre-school and the Management of Manor Hall.  At the heart of this maelstrom stand a group of children who just need relaxed, happy Pre-school provision.  I am looking for your support in my endeavours to frame a more acceptable situation to be in place for them in September. 

As a priority I wish to support the smooth transition between Pre-school and ‘big school’ for this year’s leavers.  It is the least the children deserve and our responsibility as adults is to ensure this.  Secondary to this I am seeking to facilitate a less stressful environment for the remaining children at the Pre-school.

I am releasing this statement with the full consent of both Pre-school and Trustees with whom negotiations are in progress.  These negotiations are private, not secret and joint statements will be released at the appropriate times.

With your forbearance I hope you will allow me to pursue this objective unfettered by negative emotions and comment.  In return I promise to be transparent regarding the results of any progress made.  I realise this is asking for a lot of trust from all concerned but can assure you that my motivation is to act on behalf of the children of our community.

I respectfully request that if you wish to make comment about this that you do so directly to me via Manor Hall or Pre-school as I will not be responding to any fb posts at this time. 
Wendy Silcock
On behalf of Coalpit Heath Pre-school and Trustees of Manor Hall”

Friday, 15 May 2015

Charity events this weekend

There are a couple of events raising money for Christian Aid this weekend:
Saturday 16th May is Jessica’s Coffee morning and plant sale at The Lilacs, Station Road, Iron Acton BS37 9TA.  10am-1pm. Children welcome.  Cake and raffle stalls.  Donations to Christian Aid and St Saviour’s Church

Sunday 17th May, 2:30-4pm Train Rides and Cream Teas at Bridge House, Rectory road, Frampton Cotterell BS36 2BN.  Organised by Churches Together.  Proceeds to Christian Aid.

Badminton Road night closures for resurfacing

The council will be closing Badminton Road, Yate overnight (8pm-6am) starting on 19th May to enable roadworks to be carried out. The notice allows the closures to happen for up to 21 nights, but they will only happen as needed. 

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Damson Bridge closure

Down Road is expected to close at Damson Bridge for approximately four hours on 24th May 2015 so that damaged valve covers can be replaced.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Coalpit Heath Post Office move confirmed

Post Office Limited has sent out letters and emails to people who responded to the consultation confirming that Coalpit Heath Post Office will be relocating to the Nisa store.

The letter explains how they've responded to the feedback and says that posters will be displayed at the Nisa store to let customers know when the move will take place. You can read the letter in full here.

It's fantastic news that we won't lose this vital service for our villages. Well done to the owner for taking it on and thanks to Steve Webb for his help in negotiating the move.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

South Gloucestershire Election Results for our area

Thank you to everyone who supported the Lib Dem Focus Team candidates in the local elections. 

John O'Neill, Pat and Dave Hockey and Claire Young were all re-elected to South Gloucestershire Council but sadly Duncan Goodland missed out on holding the Ladden Brook seat that was previously held by Howard Gawler.

The local results in full:

Frampton Cotterell

Ladden Brook


In South Gloucestershire as a whole, the Conservatives now have a majority with 40 out of the 70 seats. The Lib Dems have 16 and Labour 14.

Friday, 8 May 2015

Parliamentary election in Thornbury and Yate - full results

Luke Hall has taken the Thornbury and Yate parliamentary seat for the Conservatives, with a majority of 1495.

The full results of the parliamentary election are as follows:
  • HALL Luke Anthony - Conservative     19,924 ELECTED
  • HAMILTON Iain Adams - Green      1,316
  • MARTIN Russ - UKIP     5,126
  • ROBERTS Hadleigh Vaughan - Labour     3,775
  • WEBB Steven John - Liberal Democrats     18,429

Congratulations to Luke Hall and many thanks to Steve for his 18 years of service to our area.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Polling day reminder

Thursday 7th May is Polling Day.

Thank you to everyone who has given us a warm reception on the doorstep and told us how much they value the hard work the local Focus Team does all year round.

Please help us to continue that work by voting for John O'Neill in Charfield Ward, Pat and Dave Hockey in Frampton Cotterell Ward, Duncan Goodland in Ladden Brook Ward and Claire Young in Westerleigh Ward - and Steve Webb for MP. In some areas there will also be Parish Council elections.
  • Polling stations are open from 7am to 10pm.
  • You don't need your polling card but it helps.
  • If you have a postal vote and have not yet completed and returned it, you can still take your ballot paper in person to the polling station on Thursday.
The General Election votes will be counted on Thursday night/Friday morning and the South Gloucestershire and Parish Council ones on Friday afternoon. Results will be made available on the South Glos website.

Nibley Lane to close for cleaning

Nibley Lane (between Badminton Road and Westerleigh Road) is expected to close for cleaning between 9.30am and 2.30pm on Tuesday 12th May.

Anger as phone mast ruins TV reception

Residents living near the 4G phone mast that's been installed on Badminton Road have complained to Claire and Steve at the loss of "Freeview " TV reception it's caused. They took it up with "at800", an organisation set up to deal with this problem. "at800" told them they can provide free filters if you only have Freeview in your house but they won't help with Sky reception problems or with Freeview if you also have a TV that uses Sky or cable.

Steve said, "I am not impressed by the way this is being handled. Local residents are the entirely innocent victims. Some have had to spend their own money getting this sorted out or have had to wait in for repeat visits from engineers."

Contractors also failed to promptly remove the old 3G mast, but this was sorted after Claire contacted the council. Claire said, "Local residents have been treated very badly. If you are having problems, please let us know."

Monday, 4 May 2015

Good news on Post Office

The owner of the NISA has agreed to take on the Post Office. A formal announcement is expected soon. Steve Webb has been helping with the negotiations.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

The local dimension

As the General Election gets nearer and dominates the national media, people may overlook the local elections that are being held as well.

The key priorities of the South Gloucestershire Liberal Democrats are set out in the Liberal Democrat Vision for South Gloucestershire, our manifesto for the 2015 Local Elections. The priorities are set out under five main headings:
  • Ensuring fairness and empowering communities
  • A healthier and more caring place to live
  • Helping to get South Gloucestershire moving
  • Keeping our area green for future generations
  • A stronger local economy that will benefit everyone 
The full manifesto is available to read here.

Your South Glos candidates are:

Charfield ward - John O'Neill
Frampton Cotterell ward - Pat and Dave Hockey
Ladden Brook ward - Duncan Goodland
Westerleigh ward - Claire Young

If you would like to help your local Focus Team candidate(s) in the final days of the campaign or on polling day, please click on their name to contact them.