Thursday, 31 March 2016

Calling young archaeologists

Are you - or do you know - someone aged 16 to 18 who is interested in archaeology?

As a result of a bequest from the late Mick Aston, the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society (BGAS) will provide bursaries of up to £300 per year to support young people living in Gloucestershire, including South Gloucestershire, and Bristol, aged between 16 and 18, to undertake archaeology work based placements.

You can find out more on the BGAS website.

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Rail disruption over late May Bank Holiday

From Saturday 28th to Monday 30th May (the late May Bank Holiday weekend) Network Rail will be closing the lines between Bristol Temple Meads, Bristol Parkway and Severn Tunnel Junction and Gloucester. They are doing this so that they can upgrade the signalling in the area, to enable them to run more trains north of Bristol in the future. Trains from Yate will be replaced with buses in both directions.

For more information, see

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Disruption for rail users

Local rail passengers face disruption in the autumn, as the Severn Tunnel will be closed for electrification work.

The tunnel will be closed from 12 September until 21 October. Rail services between South Wales, Bristol Parkway and London and also between South Wales, Patchway and Bristol Temple Meads and beyond will be diverted or curtailed for the duration. There is more information on GWR's website.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Easter Holiday activities in libraries

During the Easter holidays there are a range of fun activities planned in our local libraries. These include for primary aged children:

Tuesday 29 March
Boats, trains & planes
Emersons Green Library, 2pm to 4pm
Transport themed crafts and activities.

Sunday 3 April
Get creative
Emersons Green Library, 11am to 2pm
Craft activities.

Monday 4 April
Pirate pranks
Thornbury Library, 11am to 12pm
Pirate themed crafts and stories.

Tuesday 5 April
Monsters and bunny rabbits
Yate Library, 10.30am to 12pm
Craft fun.

Wednesday 6 April
The great eggscape
Winterbourne Library, 10am to 11.30am
It’s not just chicks that come from eggs… join us to make some snapping, slithering and stomping crafts.

Thursday 7 April
Feathered friends
Emersons Green Library, 2pm to 4pm
Bird themed crafts.

There will also be Rhymetimes and Story times for pre-schoolers - for further details visit

Visit to find your nearest library and for details of events. And if you value your libraries, don't forget to respond to the council consultation here and sign our petition here.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Merlin development plans update

Merlin recently held drop-in events in Coalpit Heath and Iron Acton to update residents on their redevelopment plans.

The housing society has nearly finished building the first 39 new homes in Coalpit Heath, replacing "non-traditional homes" that were in a poor state of repair and expensive to heat. In the next couple of months they're going to be starting work to build another 72 new homes in Coalpit Heath and Iron Acton to replace 44 existing properties.

They will also be redeveloping the garages in Coalville Road to provide 2 new bungalows and 2 flats. They told local councillor Claire Young they are looking to carry out the demolition in winter 2016/17, then start work in early summer 2017 with the aim to be complete before the following winter.

Throughout the Coalpit Heath developments, residents will be able to drop in to the site welfare facility on Oldlands Avenue between 10.30 and 12 on Thursdays to raise any queries or issues they have.

You can read more on their website.

Nibley Lane to close for cleaning

Nibley Lane is expected to close for cleaning from 9.30am until 2.30pm on Tuesday 29th March.

Monday, 21 March 2016

Yate, Dodington and Chipping Sodbury SSCG next Tuesday

Following the changes to the Safer Stronger Community Group boundaries, the rural part of Dodington Parish that is in Westerleigh ward is now covered by the Yate, Dodington and Chipping Sodbury SSCG. The first meeting of this new group is on the 29th March at 7pm in Yate Library and will include information on the current consultation on Library Services.

Friday, 18 March 2016

Local volunteers win awards

Last night Claire spent an inspiring evening with volunteers from across South Gloucestershire who were being presented with Chair's Community Awards.
Local winners included:
  • Celia Morrish, who volunteers for Great Western Ambulance Charity
  • Jason Bidwell, who started Frampton Cotterell Harriers
  • Paul Hulbert, who among other things is involved with Wapley Woods and the orchard for the future
  • Eileen Holcombe and Shirley Owen, who provide hot lunches at Paul's Place and help the charity in other ways
  • Mary Head, who is active in a long list of voluntary groups and activities inside and outside of South Gloucestershire, including many involving St Saviour's Church
  • Trevor Thompson, who as well as volunteering at St Saviour's has spent a lot of time sharing his great knowledge of local history
Well done and thank you to you all.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

West of England devolution deal announced

You may have heard in the news about the devolution deal for the West of England. There will be a public consultation in April and May before the four councils involved make their decision in June. You can already read the deal for yourself online.

Tax avoiders not welcome

The Liberal Democrats have won cross-party backing for a motion to stop companies involved in tax avoidance bidding for contracts with the council.

Leader Ruth Davis proposed that the council should adopt similar guidelines to central government, where companies bidding for large contracts must self-certify their tax compliance. HMRC estimate that every year, billions of pounds are lost by companies exploiting loopholes, and complying with the letter of the law, instead of the way it was intended.

Ruth said: “The council and the country can’t afford to have companies taking us for a ride. If they want to be paid by the public sector, they have to be paying their taxes properly.”

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Triathlon to raise money for charity

Last Thursday, local councillor Claire Young attended the launch event for The Players Sprint Triathlon. The event will be held on 2nd October and is in aid of the West of England MS Therapy Centre.  You can find out more at

Friday, 11 March 2016

Help for those in fuel poverty

If you live in fuel poverty, don't have a central heating system and your property has an Energy Performance Certificate Rating of E, F or G, you could be eligible for a grant of up to £4,000 to have a new central heating system installed. The funding is available until 31st August 2016.

You can read more here. Further information and energy efficiency advice is available by calling the Warm and Well advice line on 0800 500 3076, by emailing warm& or by texting ‘WARM’ to 83010.

Anyone considering installing a central heating system should also ensure that their home is insulated. You may be entitled to a grant for cavity wall and loft insulation through the Warm and Well scheme, which can save £160 per year on fuel bills. All grants are subject to a survey and availability.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

#RegAFriend today

If you're a young person who's registered to vote, why not encourage your friends to join you?

The Electoral Commission is working with the National Union of Students to encourage more young people to register, by sharing photos of their "voter cross" and using the hashtag #RegAFriend before 18th March.

To register to vote just visit to fill in the online form via desktop, mobile or tablet.

Anyone aged 16 and above can register but you can only vote once you reach the age of 18. This is a vital year to be registered to vote, with the EU Referendum on 23rd June. The decision made that day could affect everyone for decades to come.

Also on 5th May we will be voting for the new Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner.

You can find out more about the campaign here.

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Change of diversion route for Dodington Road railway bridge works

The council have listened to the concerns about the diversion route for the Dodington Road railway bridge works that Claire Young raised on behalf of residents at last Thursday's Area Forum. They asked Network Rail to change the route and it is now confirmed as:

via Bowling Road, Culverhill Road, Rounceval Street, Bowling Hill, Station Road, Link Road, A432 Kennedy Way, A432 Cotswold Road, A432 Smarts Green Roundabout, A432 Badminton Road, A46 Bath Road, Wapley Road, Sodbury Lane and vice versa

Don't forget that there's a drop in for you to ask questions from 4pm – 8pm on Tuesday 15 March in Chipping Sodbury Town Hall.

At the Forum Claire also raised residents' concerns about how the Dodington Road and Kingrove Lane bridge works would interact. They will overlap, as they will be working on Dodington Road bridge between 23 May and 3 June and Kingrove Lane between 13 April and 8 August. However, both bridges will remain open to pedestrians and (dismounted) cyclists and horse riders. Also traffic flows across Kingrove Lane bridge are expected to be low enough to be marshalled.

Monday, 7 March 2016

Finding out about planning applications in your area

If you would like to get notifications of planning applications near your home, go to the following page on the South Glos website:

and select the “Map” tab. Zoom in on your property and then click on “Save map extents search”. If you’ve not used the system before you’ll have to register at this point, otherwise you need to log in.

You can then give the search a title and select the “Yes” button next to “Notify me via email about new search results”.

Friday, 4 March 2016

Grants for local groups

The Frome Vale Area Forum had some tough decisions to make on grants on Thursday night, with very little money left in the pot for this year. Normally at this time we'd be able to allocate money for the coming financial year, but with the axing of the Area Forums there is no coming year's money to allocate. Details are not yet clear on how the grant system will work.

Two local groups were successfully in winning funding. Fromeside Gymnastics club were granted a total of £1740.52 and the Floral Friends of Frampton £300.

Road safety wins at Area Forum

A number of local road safety schemes got the go ahead at last night's Frome Vale Area Forum. After listening to the concerns of residents, councillors chose schemes including:
  • Introducing a crossing point on Wotton Road, Iron Acton, outside the primary school
  • A red surface treatment to highlight the existing crossing points in Rangeworthy
  • Processing a Traffic Regulation Order to reinforce the existing `No Stopping’ marking outside Frampton Cotterell C of E Primary School
Local people also came along to talk about the schemes they would like the council to investigate in preparation for carrying them out in the future. The Forum could choose three from a long list. Two of the chosen ones were in our area - investigating a 20mph limit on Ram Hill and a 7.5T weight limit on Dodington Road. Thank you to those who came along to speak in support.

Earlier in the meeting we had heard about the work Network Rail plan to do on the bridge, which local people are concerned will reduce visibility. The forum members also asked for their concerns on this and the need for the completion of the pavement to be raised with the Chair of the Planning, Transport and Strategic Environment Committee.

Consultation events at libraries

If you'd like to speak to someone about the library cuts, there will be drop-in sessions at the libraries, including:
  • Thornbury - 9 March, 2pm to 7pm
  • Bradley Stoke - 12 March, 10:30am to 1pm
  • Chipping Sodbury - 19 March, 9:30am to  1pm
  • Yate - 2 April, 9:30am to 1pm
  • Emerson's Green - 7 April, 2pm to 7pm
  • Winterbourne - 19 April, 2pm to 7pm    

Reporting child abuse

A national awareness campaign highlighting the crucial role people can play in reporting child abuse and neglect launched this week.

Child abuse is any action by another person – adult or child – that causes significant harm to a child. It can be physical, sexual or emotional, but can just as often be about a lack of love, care and attention.

Neglect covers the ongoing persistent failure to meet a child’s basic needs. It may include failing to provide adequate food, shelter, clothing, or medical treatment. It can also include failure to protect a child from harm or danger and failing to ensure proper care or supervision.

Emotional abuse can include bullying, making a child feel worthless or unloved, inadequate, deliberately silencing them or frequently causing a child to feel frightened or in danger.

You can report child abuse or neglect in the following ways:
  • Call South Gloucestershire Council on 01454 866000 Monday to Friday during usual office hours, 8.45am to 5pm Monday to Thursday and 8.45am to 4.30pm Fridays. Outside of office hours and at weekends contact 01454 615165.
  • Report it online at where more details on the campaign will also be available.

Dodington Road - bridge works update

At last night's Frome Vale Area Forum, Network Rail gave a brief update on their plans for increasing the height of the parapets on the railway bridge on Dodington Road, near Chipping Sodbury School.

The bridge will be closed to vehicles from 23 May to 5 June 2016 to enable them to safely carry out the work. This will followed by a series of Saturday night closures, on 28th May, 4th, 11th, 18th and 25th June and 2nd July. A pathway will be kept open for pedestrians.

Network Rail are holding a drop-in for you to ask questions from 4pm – 8pm on Tuesday 15 March in Chipping Sodbury Town Hall.

At the meeting local councillors once again challenged the Network Rail representatives on how the increased height will impact on visibility for motorists and suggested they should explore alternative options. However, subject to approval of the materials for the top section of the parapet extensions they have permission to carry out the work. Claire Young also raised the question of whether it was appropriate for the official diversion to go down Dodington Lane. Officers agreed to look into this.

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Technical problems with petition fixed

Last week we invited you to sign our petition if you agree that protecting services like youth provision and libraries is more important than cutting 50p per month off the green bin charge. We are sorry that we had some technical problems, but they are now fixed and the petition is accepting signatures.