Friday, 30 October 2015

Have your say on new "20mph when lights flash" signs for Watermore

The council is proposing to install two new ‘20mph when lights flash’ signs in The Causeway and Meadow View to help slow traffic approaching Watermore Primary School. You have until 5th November to have your say - you can find the details and comment online.

Church Road bridge wins award

The new Church Road bridge has picked up a Prime Minister's Better Building Award in the category of Civil Engineering Project of the Year (up to £10m).

The new bridge is one of the first in the UK to be made from layers of glass and carbon fibres bound together with a tough resin in a process more commonly seen in advanced passenger aircraft manufacturing. The materials used are resistant to frost, extreme temperatures and de-icing salts that can cause problems in steel and concrete bridges, and require no painting or waterproofing. It is estimated that this could reduce the bridge’s maintenance costs by up to 35 per cent over its 120-year lifetime. It also needed less time to install than a conventional bridge.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Wapley Agincourt 600 event

Well done to everyone involved in organising the Wapley Agincourt 600 event. Alongside the more formal aspects, such as the opening service and procession to Sir John Codrington’s tomb, there was a wide range of entertainment for the hundreds of people attending to enjoy. A photo album has been started here - and the organisers would welcome further contributions.

Monday, 26 October 2015

Halloween advice

Avon and Somerset Police have issued advice for trick or treaters, householders and shopkeepers in the run up to Halloween. They even have posters for you to to download and print out.

Friday, 23 October 2015

Don't forget the clocks go back this weekend

Don't forget to put your clocks back one hour Saturday night/Sunday morning - especially if you are heading to an event on Sunday like the Agincourt 600 celebration at Wapley Church!

Half term activities for children

Once again a range of fun activities for children will be taking place in South Glos libraries over half term. All are free drop-ins for 4 to 11-year-olds unless otherwise stated and include:

Tuesday 27 October
Castle fun
Yate Library, 10.30am to 12pm
Crafts and activities.

Pumpkins, bats and witches’ hats
Bradley Stoke Library, 10.30am to 12pm
Spooky craft activities.

Wednesday 28 October
Halloween rumpus
Winterbourne Library, 10am to 11.30am
Spooky crafts and activities.

A Puppy Called Dez
Thornbury Library, 11am to 12pm
Find out about guide dogs, meet a puppy and play some games. Suitable for children aged 8 to 10-years-old.

Winnie the Witch
Winterbourne Library, 2pm to 3pm
Join Winnie and Wilbur on a magical literacy journey. Have fun with a basic introduction to comprehension, description and characters in these free workshops run by Explore Learning.
Suitable for children aged 4 to 7-years-old. Contact your local library to book a place or call 01454 626764.

Thursday 29 October
Autumn antics
Emersons Green Library, 2pm to 4pm
Fun, autumn themed crafts.

Saturday 31 October
Yate Library, 10.30am to 12pm
Spooky crafts and activities.

Ghouls, gunk & goo
Yate Library, 2.30pm to 4pm
A get messy experience.

There will also be Rhyme times and Story times for pre-school children. For further information on all these activities and more visit

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Update on Yate Spur Cycle Path

Claire Young recently met officers to discuss the latest plans for the Yate Spur cycle path.

The original plans for this year included the link between the crossing on Westerleigh Road and Broad Lane. Unfortunately land ownership issues have delayed this. The following is now planned for this financial year (that is, by the end of March 2016):
  • They have already started on improving the Broad Lane track to the west of the railway. This involves scraping the existing surface off off, building it up, widening it and providing a new surface. They will take this through to the houses at Dodmore Crossing, rather than stopping at the railway line, which will improve the right of way for all users and help cyclists who are linking through to the cycle route signed via Besom Lane and across Wapley Common.
  • Putting in level crossing gates where the existing cycle path crosses the railway line south of Westerleigh Road – this will hopefully be complete by Christmas.
  • Once the gates are in place, the direction signs will be installed.
  • Addressing 3 or 4 locations between the M4 and the new level crossing where water has been running across the path causing rutting – this will probably be done after Christmas.
  • To avoid the track going across the Network Rail training centre car park next to the level crossing, a short length of track will be built to take people out on to the Murco access road.
  • Officers are looking at a request from the cycle forum to take the path round the corner from the crossing point on Westerleigh Road to the crossing where the bus stop is on the road down into the village.
  • During February half term, the road part of Broad Lane will be resurfaced and reconstructed in part.
  • It is also hoped to do the section between Nibley Lane and the railway bridge by the Shire Way roundabout, but this wouldn’t include taking the path through one of the unused arches, the path would run down on to the road somewhere before the bridge.
  • Some of the funds will be used to undertake surveys for later sections.

The funding for 2016/17 isn’t confirmed yet, but the Yate Spur is still the council’s priority for using any money they are allocated from the Local Growth Fund. The top priority for next year would be to complete the section from Kidney Hill to Broad Lane, ideally in late spring/early summer, but that depends on resolving the land issues. Officers would then assess what could best be done with any remaining money – whether that’s starting the Dodmore Crossing to Nibley Lane section, doing some work on the other side of the railway bridge on Shire Way or taking the path through one of the railway bridge arches. There is unlikely to be enough funding to finish everything in the next financial year.

How can you help?

Although volunteers helped build some of the earlier sections, that isn’t really an option with the current work. You might be able to help maintain the existing path though. Sustrans Rangers currently cover the Bristol and Bath Railway path up as far as Coxgrove Hill, it would be great if this could be extended up the Yate Spur. If this is something you might be interested in, please contact Viv Mundy the Sustrans Volunteer Project Officer ( or Michael Pearce who is the local contact for Sustrans Volunteers on the Bristol to Bath path & Yate Spur (

Monday, 19 October 2015

Update on Westerleigh smell

Claire Young recently met representatives of the Environment Agency, Wessex Water and Tulip abattoir to discuss odour problems affecting Westerleigh village.

Over recent years, Tulip have made significant changes to how they operate to reduce the risk of smells, including making the whole process more enclosed. This has improved the situation greatly. However residents have recently reported odours from the sewers in the village.

Tulip are concerned by these reports and keen to address any potential issues. As a result, Tulip have now installed a new chemical dosing system to tackle hydrogen sulphide in the sewer (this is the gas that has a “rotten eggs” smell). Dosing has begun and an immediate impact on hydrogen sulphide levels has been recorded, virtually eliminating the hydrogen sulphide. They are also carrying out a wider effluent review, with the help of an external expert, to identify a longer term solution. They won’t stop the chemical dosing until they have an alternative in place.

It is really important that if you experience a very strong smell, particularly inside your home, you report it while it is happening. To enable the Environment Agency to fully investigate and take appropriate action, the odour has to be smelt by an authorised officer. Tulip have asked Claire to give out a new contact number for them, 0117 9571919, which is answered 24 hours a day. If the odour persists, please also contact the Environment Agency’s hotline (0800 807060).

Tulip have also briefed the livestock lorry operators not to park outside the site next to houses. However, on occasion a new driver may not be familiar with the briefing. Please contact Tulip if livestock lorries are parked outside your house.

The Environment Agency don’t regulate smells to the point of no odour leaving the boundary. Brief or faint smells would not be something they would enforce, providing Tulip are following the agreed methods of odour control. Where they would investigate is if strong smells persist for a long period of time.

Friday, 16 October 2015

Grants for community groups

There is still time to apply to South Glos for the next round of grants for community groups. The closing date is 17th November and decisions will be made at the Area Forum next March.

You can find out more information about how to apply here. The amounts left to allocate for each forum are for the decisions the Area Forum will be making this year about the previous round of grant applications. When they make decisions on this round of applications in March the Area Forum will be allocating money from next year's budget. The amount will be set as part of the budget setting process in February.

Celebrate local link to Agincourt

On Sunday 25th October, there will be an event at St Peter's Church, Wapley to celebrate an important local link to the Battle of Agincourt, which took place 600 years ago.

The Battle of Agincourt, part of the Hundred Years War, took place on St Crispin's Day, 25th October in 1415 near the village of Agincourt. The #wapley600 event celebrates the area’s links with Sir John Codrington, who was the standard bearer of King Henry V at the battle, when the English forces defeated a larger French army.

The event runs from 10am to 4pm, finishing with an evening service from 6.30 pm to 7.30 pm. For more information, see

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Have your say on services to help people live independently

South Glos wants your views on proposed changes to Housing Related Support.

Housing Related Support (previously known as Supporting People), includes services to help people to live independent lives in the community, especially around acquiring and retaining suitable accommodation. It does not include personal care or domestic services.

The council is proposing to bring the several different services currently in place together into a single, Housing Related Support service

You can find out more and have your say at:

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Wales and West roadworks rescheduled

Last week we reported that Wales and West Utilities were due to carry out roadworks that would have required stop/go boards on Badminton Road between 9th and 13th October. Concerned that this coincided with the patching work being carried out by the council, Claire Young contacted officers at South Glos. They have informed her that the Wales and West Utilities work will now take place between 16th and 20th.

Monday, 12 October 2015

Reminder - chance to find out more about local history project

A quick reminder that next Wednesday, 21st October, the South Gloucestershire Mines Research Group is hosting a talk by Anne Lovejoy of the Know Your Place Project team. It is 7.30pm for an 8pm start and will be held in the Miners (Coalpit Heath Village Hall). The cost for non-members is £2.

Know your place is a web-based local history project allowing the comparison of new and historic maps of the area on-line. Photos can be attached and anyone can add their own. The talk will explain how the project works and how volunteers can extend the information available.

Friday, 9 October 2015

Have your say on how the council helps keep our communities safe

South Glos is asking for your views on the future of its Community Safety and Anti-social behaviour team. You can find out more and have your say here until the 24th December.

Meeting with officials over smell in Westerleigh

Unfortunately after several years when the odour problems in Westerleigh had improved, in recent weeks there have been some significant issues, including a recurrence of smells via the sewers. Claire Young has been in contact with the Environment Agency and Wessex Water and will be meeting officials next week to discuss the next steps.

Don't forget the Environment Agency advice if an incident occurs. 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).
It really is important to report incidents as and when they happen, to give the best chance of resolving the problem.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Wooden structure at 20 Boundary Road approved

The large wooden structure in the garden of 20 Boundary Road and the fence was approved by the planning committee this afternoon.

More road works on Badminton Road?

It's good to see Badminton Road being patched, despite the resulting queues caused by the temporary lights. However it now appears that Wales and West Utilities will be adding to the chaos with Stop/Go boards around the Oakwood Gardens junction from 9th to 13th October. Claire has contacted the Street Works team to find out more.

Warning from the police

At last week's Safer and Stronger Community Group meeting, local beat manager PC Finbar Simmons warned people about a series of dwelling burglaries that have happened in Bristol. The properties are being attacked due to the nature of their exterior door handle - a paddle / stub exterior door handle.

The design is that once the door is shut you cannot open the door again from the outside using the paddle / stub handle on the exterior. Victims they believe that once the door is closed that means their door is locked and their home is secure. This is not the case. These doors are still easily opened and this is why burglars are specifically targeting homes with these handles.

The 2 methods of entry of burglars are as follows:
  1. They put their hand in through the letterbox and use a stick or pole to knock down the interior door handle, which then opens the door. If the door was locked using the key, and the key is still in the door, some offenders hook the key out of the lock and use it to unlock the door from the outside.
  2. They place a small screwdriver / bradawl in at lock height which disengages the releaser of the lock, which then makes the exterior handle work and the door can be opened. This style leaves very little visible damage to the door, and can only be seen upon very close inspection.
If the victims used their keys to lock the doors and took the keys out of the lock, then offenders could not break in using the above methods.

Victims also believe that by lifting the interior door handle that means the door is locked. Again this is not the case, it purely engages the lever hooks into the frame, but once the offender disengages the releaser in the lock using a tool, this allows the offender to open the door using the exterior door handle as the mortice lock has not been locked using the door key.

Cycle path update

Due to land issues, plans for spending this year's funding for the Yate Spur cycle path have had to be rejigged. Instead of working on the part from Kidney Hill up to Broad Lane, highways officials are bringing forward improvements to Broad Lane track, which weather permitting will have started this week. They also hope to do work on a couple of other sections. Local councillor Claire Young will be meeting officers next week to find out more.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Engage Festival next Saturday

The Engage festival runs from 10am to 5pm on Saturday 17 October 2015 at WISE Campus, Filton. It celebrates the diversity of cultures across South Gloucestershire’s communities, through food, performances and activities. More information, including a timetable of events, is available online.

Ram Hill bus concerns

At last week's Safer and Stronger Community Group meeting, local beat manager PC Finbar Simmons reported back on the concerns raised at the previous meeting that buses were speeding on Ram Hill.

Between them, the police and Community Speed Watch visited Ram Hill nine times to check the speed of buses. Because they weren’t trying to gather evidence with regards to prosecution, they could do it more discretely, and they tried a number of different positions, including on the steep hill. Eight buses were found to be doing under 30mph, one other was slightly over but still below the enforcement level.

The conclusion was that although there is a perception they are speeding, perhaps because of their size on a comparatively narrow road, there is no evidence they are routinely doing so.

There is still the question of whether 30mph is appropriate on this road. Prior to raising this issue on behalf of residents at the last meeting, ward councillor Claire Young had asked highways officials at South Glos to add investigating a possible 20mph limit on this road to the list of highways schemes to be considered for future selection. That is a long process though, even once a scheme is selected. In the meantime, if you have any views, please contact Claire.

Friday, 2 October 2015

How could maternity services improve?

The NHS Maternity Review wants to hear what you think is good about maternity services and what could be done to improve them. The consultation is open until 31 October to anyone with an interest in maternity, including women and their families, professionals, commissioners and other organisations. You can have your say here.

Road works next week

Anyone who has travelled through Coalpit Heath on Badminton Road will have seen the large illuminated signs warning of road works starting on Monday.

Also starting next week are night time roadworks on the A4174 ring road, between Emerson's Green and Kingswood. The works will be undertaken between the hours of 8pm and 6am, during which time the road will be closed to all traffic and signed diversions put in place. During the daytime traffic may have to run on a temporary surface so speed restrictions will be in place. The work is expected to last until 22nd October, but dates could vary due to problems like poor weather.

Have your say on adult social care changes

South Glos Council is looking to increase its income from adult social care charges. Three areas are being considered:
  • Telecare (sometimes known as “Piper Lifeline” or the “Life Line Service”)
  • Deferred Charges of care fees
  • Home Care Charges (for home care and community based support)
Service users who already receive subsidised charges will not contribute any more, only self-funders will be affected. Further information is available here:

You have until 31 October 2015 to have your say.

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Paul's Place Fashion Show

There will be a Fashion Show and Sale in aid of Paul's Place on FASHION SHOW & SALE In aid of  Thursday 29th October at 7.00 pm for 7.30 pm in the Greenfield Centre, Park Avenue, Winterbourne. Tickets are £5.50 and a full range of sizes will be available with an opportunity to try before you buy. For tickets and further information, please contact Paul’s Place on 01454 777236.

Harvest events

Orchrd Harvest DayThis weekend is a popular one for harvest events. Winterbourne Medieval Barn is holding its Orchard Harvest Day 11am - 4pm on Sunday 4th October. As usual there will be all things apple, food and drink to consume on site or take away. There will also be ferret racing, falconry, archery and a working medieval kitchen. Entrance is £2 for adults, under 16s go free. Car parking will be available next to the barn at £2 per vehicle, all proceeds going to the charity Paul’s Place. Note that the diversion due to work on the M4 motorway bridge will not be in place so you will be able to travel along Beacon Lane.

Also on Sunday, St James, Westerleigh is holding a harvest lunch at 12.30pm. More info including a booking link is available on their website.

Businesses in Codrington can apply for broadband connection vouchers

Following a request from a resident, a South Glos official has liaised directly with Central Government's Super Connected Cities Programme team to get Codrington postcodes added to the eligible postcode list. The scheme gives businesses a connection voucher of up to £3,000 for faster, better broadband. You can find out more and apply here: