Friday, 25 September 2015

Sort It Centre changes

South Glos Council is making some changes at the Sort It Centres.

From 1 October the opening times for all of the Sort It centres will change to 8.30am to 4.30pm. These times will apply all year round (except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day) and mean that the Little Stoke site will reopen on a Wednesday.

Other changes planned for 2016 include a resident vehicle registration scheme, where all residents will need to register their vehicle to access the sites, and an electronic van permit scheme for all vans. These measures will help to reduce the number of people from neighbouring council districts and commercial users from visiting the sites.

The existing automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) system will be updated and used to implement the registration schemes. You will be able to register online, over the phone or at the One Stop Shops. The council will let everyone know when they can start to register later this year.

The Lib Dems were concerned about how the changes might affect small business owners and employees who also use their work vehicle for personal use. We secured a change to the proposals and officers are now working on a way to make sure people in that situation can still access the Sort It Centres.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Your local Focus Team head to Bournemouth

Members of your local Focus Team have been in Bournemouth this week for the Lib Dem conference. Not only is it where members decide party policy, it's also a great opportunity to get training, attend fringe events on a whole range of topics and exchange ideas with people from across the country.

The conference finished with a fantastic speech from the party's new leader, Tim Farron, which you can see below. If after watching it you think you share the same values, why not join the party? You can join online or contact any of your local Focus Team.


Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Nibley Lane to close for cleaning

Nibley Lane (between Badminton Road and Westerleigh Road) is expected to close from 9.30am until 2.30pm on 29th September 2015 for cleaning.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Have your say on 20mph on schools near Manor School

In November last year Claire Young attended the committee responsible for transport to present the findings of her survey on speed limits on the roads around the Manor School.

The council is now consulting on proposals to introduce 20mph speed limits on the following roads: Burcombe Close, Coalville Road, Dormer Close, Heath Gardens, Henfield Road, Rathbone Close, Rose Oak Drive, Rose Oak Lane, Roundways, South View Crescent, South View Rise, St Anne’s Drive, Station Road, Watters Close and Woodside Road.

You can view the proposals and comment online until 9th October.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Have your say at Safer Stronger Community Group

The next Safer Stronger Community Group for Frampton Cotterell, Westerleigh, Coalpit Heath and Iron Acton will be held on Tuesday 29th September at 7.30pm at the Brockeridge Centre (Woodend Road, Frampton Cotterell, BS36 2LQ). As well as the usual opportunity to raise priorities for action and get updates on previous priorities, there will be a presentation on the Victim Support Project for Anti-Social behaviour.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Bus fares rise

At the start of this week, First West of England raised bus fares on longer journeys.

The following tickets (bought on bus, at a First Travel Shop or via PayPoint) now cost:
Bristol & Bath Outer Zones
  • Day £6.50
  • Week £23.80
  • Month £86.40
  • Year £907
  • 10 Journey £27
  • Family Day (5 people max 2 adults) £13
West of England Zone
  • Day £7.50
  • Week £27
  • Month £103.50
  • Year £1,134
  • Family (5 people max 2 adults) £15
The above fares are for an adult - children aged 5 – 15 get a 50% discount, young people aged 16 – 21 or students with a valid Student ID receive 30% discount. Single tickets across the West of England will not change and prices will be frozen for customers using mTickets or First’s ‘Touch’ smart card. For more information see the First Bus website

Planning site visit next week

The DC (East) planning committee members will be visiting 20 Boundary Road, Coalpit Heath at around 12 noon on Friday 25th September. Officers have recommended approval for the application for the wooden structure in the front garden. You can read the report here.

Monday, 14 September 2015

New Post Office opens

Postman Pat joined Paul's Place founder Kath Aldom and former MP Steve Webb to officially open the new Post Office in Village Roots (the NISA store) this morning.

Steve thanked Edwina and her team for their efforts and joked that in 18 years as an MP he never opened anything that wasn't already actually open so this was a world first. Kath Aldom talked passionately about the importance of community and supporting local businesses.

It was then time for the official ribbon cutting. Pat was rather too tall for the Post Office area but gamely knelt down to pose for pictures. Then Kath cut the ribbon and it was open for business. One of the services the new post office will be offering is passports - and Dave was their first customer.

Apologies to anyone who expected the opening to be at 1pm as advertised. Unfortunately it was changed at the last minute. If you were hoping to meet Postman Pat there is another chance to see him on Saturday 19th September between 2pm and 3pm.

Friday, 11 September 2015

Events this weekend

With the Discover festival in full swing, there are a number of local events this weekend.

St Saviour's Church is having an open doors weekend, open 10am-4pm on Saturday and 11am-3pm on Sunday (plus services at 8am, 10am and 6pm). There will be children's activities all day Saturday and they will be doing a short walk to St Peter's Frampton Cotterell starting at 1.30pm to raise money for the Gloucestershire Historic Churches Trust. Afterwards you can have a cup of tea at St Peter's and walk to Bridge House where the trains will be running (50p per ride).

On Sunday the Friends of Ram Hill Colliery are holding an open day from 10am to 4.30pm. You can tour the remains of the 19th century coal mine, visit the woodland area, Dramway connection, engine house and horse gin. Refreshments are provided and there is wheelchair access to most of the site. Sensible footwear recommended. For more information see

Slightly further afield, Winterbourne Medieval Barn and Winterbourne Parish Church are opening their doors on both 12 and 13 September (2pm to 5pm). The church is located next door to the Medieval Barn, so offers a great opportunity to view both buildings in one visit.

For more Discover 2015 events, see

Don't forget - new Post Office opening on Monday

The shop fitting is all completed at Village Roots (the NISA) and the new Post Office will officially open for business at 1pm on Monday (14th September).

Edited: It will now be opening at 11am. Kath Aldom, founder of Paul's Place, will officially open it and Postman Pat will be there too.

Beech Hill Farm refused, Mafeking Hall approved

Yesterday the planning committee turned down the retrospective application for the caravan storage at Beech Hill Farm, Westerleigh. The applicant had asked for the application to be deferred to enable them to bring forward a report on the contamination of the site, which formed part of their Very Special Circumstances argument. However the majority of committee members decided to go with the officer recommendation.

The majority of members also supported the officer recommendation to give the go ahead for the change of use for the pre-school at Mafeking Hall, Serridge Lane. Members did stipulate that they should only be given one month to comply with the conditions related to the highways impacts rather than three as officers had suggested.

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Dodington Road railway bridge

It's now nearly three years since Westerleigh Councillor Claire Young and highways officials from South Glos met Network Rail representatives to talk about their plans for raising the parapets on the railway bridge on Dodington Road, Chipping Sodbury. At the time we had expected the work would be done by 2014 but nothing has happened. Now though a temporary road closure notice has been published. This enables the road to be closed at the bridge for the works at any time in the 18 months from 4 January 2016, although the work is expected to take two weeks. The work is being done as part of the electrification of the line.

Have your say at Severn Vale Area Forum

The next Severn Vale Area Forum (which covers Charfield ward) is at 7pm on Wednesday 16 September at Turnberries Community Centre, Bath Road, Thornbury. On the agenda will be the allocation of grants and a progress update on the highway schemes for which we have previously allocated funding. There will also be the usual open session where you can put questions to councillors and officers.

Have your say at Frome Vale Area Forum

The next Frome Vale Area Forum is at 7pm on Thursday 17th September at Chipping Sodbury Baptist Church, High Street, Chipping Sodbury. On the agenda will be the allocation of grants and a progress update on the highway schemes for which we have previously allocated funding. There will also be the usual open session where you can put questions to councillors and officers.

Friday, 4 September 2015

Foster carers wanted

The council is always looking for foster carers from all walks of life to care for children and young people who have had a difficult start in life. Next week they are holding another Fostering Information Evening where you can find out more about what it involves. It will be held at the council offices, Badminton Road, Yate on Tuesday 8 September from 7pm to 9pm.

For more information, call the fostering team free on 0800 206 1443, email or visit

Have your say on child health services

The South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) wants to hear your views on their new plans for integrated children's community health services. To find out what they're proposing and let them know what you think please take a look at between 3rd September and 25th November 2015. If you have any questions, you can contact or 0117 976 6600.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Free local courses

If you're looking to get back into work or improve your skills, why not sign up for one of the following free courses?

  • Steps into Work - 12-3pm on Tuesdays for 4 weeks starting on Tuesday 6th October at St Nicholas Family Centre  
  • Improve your Maths - Mondays 7-9pm at Yate Library
  • IT For Work - Tuesdays  7-9pm at Yate Library
  • Improve your English - Wednesdays 9.30-11.30am  at Yate Library
To book a free place go to the enrolment sessions at Yate Library 5-7pm on  Monday 7th September or 10-12 noon on Thursday 10th September or ring 01454 864613.

Planning committee to consider Beech Hill Farm and Mafeking Hall next week

Next Thursday 10th September the Development Control (East) Planning Committee will be considering applications for Beech Hill Farm and Mafeking Hall in Westerleigh ward.

You can see the agenda online, including links to the officer's reports. Beech Hill Farm is recommended for refusal and Mafeking Hall is recommended for approval with conditions.The meeting starts at 3pm in Kingswood Civic Centre.

Time to discover your local area

Claire Young with then South Glos Chair Howard Gawler
 at the launch of last year's Discover Festival
Photo provided by Rich McD Photography
Once again, the Discover Festival will be bringing together events from local community groups, businesses and council services that showcase our local area. Discover 2015 runs from 10th September to 30th October and you can find full event details at

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Horticultural show this weekend

This Saturday, 5th September, starting at 2pm St Saviour's Church will be holding their annual Horticultural Show. For more information, see their website.