Friday, 30 September 2016

Thousands of new homes in our area?

A plan that could change the character of our area has been published this week.

The "Towards an Emerging Spatial Strategy" plan proposes:
  • 1,500 new homes at Coalpit Heath 
  • 2,600 around Yate and Chipping Sodbury
  • Up to 1,000 homes at Charfield
  • Up to 600 homes at Thornbury 
  • 2,200 homes at a new garden village at Buckover near Thornbury 
The plan, drawn up by Conservative-run South Gloucestershire Council in collaboration with the three other West of England Councils, will go out for consultation in November.

This will come as a huge shock to many local people. It's striking that under these proposals most of the new homes we need are being concentrated in just a few communities to the north of Bristol.

Will these proposals create places where people want to live, where they can access services like doctors, dentists and schools and where they can easily get to the places they need to go? Will there be truly affordable homes for those who so desperately need them? Do you think the loss of the Green Belt, which is already very narrow, is a price worth paying for new roads? How does this fit with the Conservatives' promise to protect the Green Belt?

You can view the plan here.

The plan also talks about transport infrastructure, in the tables on pages 26, 29 and 30, where it includes mention of a "Coalpit Heath distributor road", and later on page 46. It says of the Yate to Bristol corridor:

"We are proposing a package of highway and public transport schemes including a link to a new junction on the M4 from the A4174 Ring Road (along with smart motorway management), park and ride, a new road north from this junction to Yate, and a MetroBus extension to Yate from Bristol along the A432. The new road to Yate and the MetroBus extension form a package, with road space on the A432 prioritised for public transport and cycling."

A map on the same page suggests the new road could impact on Westerleigh village. On the other hand it could provide a route for the articulated lorries instead of going via the Latteridge and Wotton Roads

It's vital we all have our say on these plans.There will be a consultation from 7th November to 19th December - we will let you know then how you can make your views known.

View plans for Dodington Road traffic calming

There will be a drop-in event on plans for traffic calming around the Dodington Road railway bridge on Wednesday 5th October from 4pm to 7pm in the sports classroom at Chipping Sodbury school, Bowling Road.

 In August we reported that such a scheme might be on the cards after a reduction in visibility due to the railway bridge works was identified.

Network Rail have now agreed a solution with South Gloucestershire Council with the following features:
  • Single speed pillows on the north and south approaches to the bridge
  • Road markings to be repainted where necessary
  • An additional “SLOW” painted on the road on the south approach
  • New solid centre line to be painted on the carriageway
  • Post-mounted signs warning of speed pillows
Network Rail will pay for these works, which will require a road closure.  This will then leave them free to erect the parapet extension on the west side of the bridge, which they haven't been able to complete due to the visibility concerns.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Works at Westerleigh abattoir

Tulip Ltd, the owners of the abattoir at Westerleigh, have informed local councillor Claire Young that as part of their commitment to improving any potential impact they have on the local area and their neighbours, they are upgrading their effluent treatment plant.

The first set of works will take place on the weekend of 1st and 2nd October. The main effluent tank will be emptied, cleaned and installed with new aeration pumps to help control and limit the production of odour in the tank. There is an increased risk of odours in the area while this work is being carried out. Tulip ask for your continued patience during these essential works and apologise in advance for any inconvenience caused.

Friday, 23 September 2016

Our local heritage - can you help?

On Wednesday, members of your Focus Team attended a heritage briefing in Yate. There were presentations from a whole host of local heritage projects of all sizes, including the £90 million Aerospace Bristol and ones even closer to home like Winterbourne Medieval Barn, Yate Heritage Centre and the South Gloucestershire Mines Research Group. They are always keen to have new people involved so if you have an interest in local history, do get in touch with them.

The Know Your Place mapping project is currently asking for your help in two ways. Firstly, they'd like you to visit their site and give them feedback by answering their survey. Secondly, they are challenging all researchers, volunteers, museums and heritage organisations across the area to add 10 records on to Know Your Place in 10 days to help them build a rich, shared map of our local heritage.

We were also told about a project bringing QR codes to War Memorials. A QR (or Quick Response) code is like a 2 dimensional bar code that you can scan with your phone or tablet. The idea is to place QR codes next to each war memorial, which you can scan with your phone or tablet to take you straight to a website where they are gradually placing as much family and military history as possible about each person named. The research is being undertaken by volunteers from the various South Gloucestershire museums, heritage centres and local history groups. Anyone interested in helping should contact their local group or email

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Living Well with Dementia roadshow

If you or a member of your family has recently been diagnosed with dementia, you are invited to a ‘Living Well with Dementia’ roadshow on 27 September. The event, which is free to attend, will take place from 2pm until 4.30pm at Ridgewood Community Centre, Station Road, Yate (postcode for Sat Nav: BS37 4AF).

The roadshow will offer practical, emotional and health advice and is intended to provide people with the information they need to understand their diagnosis, find out what support is available to them and learn how to live well with dementia. During the roadshow, experts will be on hand to answer questions, and attendees will receive a guide to the services and support available. There will also be talks on managing your affairs and the help that’s on offer from Age UK, the Alzheimer’s Society and the Memory Service.

You can book your free place at, by emailing or ringing 01454 862356. For more information and details of future roadshows visit

Monday, 19 September 2016

Sprint Triathlon for charity

On Sunday 2nd October, the Players Sprint Triathlon will be taking place at The Players Golf Club near Codrington. Consisting of a 750m open water swim, 20km bike ride and 5km run, it will be raising money for the West of England MS Therapy Centre. For more information visit

Friday, 16 September 2016

Have your say on 20mph speed limits in Frampton Cotterell

South Glos is consulting on introducing a 20mph speed limit on the following roads within the Meads:
  • Wylington Road 
  • Seymour Place 
  • Syms Avenue 
  • Green Crescent 
  • Walter Road 
  • Christy Close
You can view the proposals and have your say online before 26th September.

The council is also consulting on having a 20mph limit around Frampton C of E Primary school on the following roads:

  • Beaufort Road
  • Brookside Drive
  • Foxe Road
  • Meadow Mead
  • Mount Close
  • Park Row
  • Prospect Close
  • Rectory Road
  • Robel Avenue
  • School Road
  • Thornhayes Close
  • Western Avenue
  • Winchcombe Road
  • Witney Mead
You have until 6th October to comment on these proposals.

Anti-social behaviour in Boundary Road area?

Local councillor Claire Young has received a complaint about anti-social behaviour in the Boundary Road area and on Thursday found this empty canister lying on Ridgeway at the junction with Boundary Road. If you have any information, you can contact the local police beat team via their web page. You can also report a crime online but if a crime is ongoing or someone is in danger you should call 999 for an urgent response.

Westerleigh Parish Council meeting re-scheduled

The Westerleigh Parish Council meeting that was due to be held on Monday 12th September was cancelled. Instead the Finance and GP Committee meeting that was due to be held on Monday 19th September has been replaced by a Full Council meeting, preceded by a Planning Committee meeting at 7pm. More information about meetings can be found on the Westerleigh Parish Council website.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Winterbourne Medieval Barn - drama to commemorate the Battle of the Somme, Sunday 18 September

'A Day’s Work' - Sunday 18 September, 3pm

A Musical drama to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme.  Using original songs, spoken verse, monologue and dialogue, ‘A Day’s Work’ tells the story of a group of farm labourers, members of a mummers’ team, who join up, or refuse to join up, and meet finally on the first day of The Somme.  The show examines war, love, courage and cowardice through this new script and songs with a cast of highly respected performers.

Refreshments will be available to purchase during the interval.  Visitors are welcome to bring a picnic to eat in the grounds from 12.30pm.  Tickets cost £15 adults, £5 for under 16s, and are available from Daisy's Cafe, Flaxpits Lane, Winterbourne, or on the gate subject to availability.

More information is available on their website

New phone number for power cuts

There’s a new FREE number to call if you have a power cut
105 is a new number that you can call to report or get information about a power cut. It will put you through to your local electricity network operator – the company that manages the cables, wires and substations that bring electricity into homes and businesses in your area.
105 is a free service for people in England, Scotland and Wales, and you can call the number from most landlines and mobile phones. It doesn’t matter who you choose to buy your electricity from - anyone can call 105.
You can also call 105 if you spot damage to electricity power lines and substations that could put you, or someone else, in danger. If there’s a serious immediate risk, call the emergency services too.
Don’t be left in the dark.  Call 105.
To find out more, visit
What should I do during a power cut?

  • Switch off all electrical appliances that shouldn’t be left unattended, ready for when the power comes back on.
  • Leave a light on so you know when the power cut has been resolved.
  • Check to see if your neighbours are okay.
  • Wrap up warm.
  • Contact your electricity network operator to report the power cut, either by calling 105 or via their other channels. for details of your local network operator.
  • Keep a torch handy – it’s much safer than using candles.
  • Get a battery-powered or wind-up radio (useful for keeping up to date with relevant local news).
  • Keep warm – keep a blanket and warm clothing handy, and fill a vacuum flask or hot water bottle.
  • Stock your cupboard with food and drink that doesn’t require electricity to prepare it.
  • Keep your mobile phone and laptop fully charged.
  • Check your network operator’s website or social media channels for updates.
  • Cordless phones probably won’t work during a power cut. They take their power from the mains and most don’t have battery back-up.
  • Traditional corded phones will work – you might want to keep one handy so you can plug it in and make phone calls if you have a power cut.
  • In most cases, mobile phones will work if they are charged.

How can I prepare for a power cut?
Can I use my phone during a power cut?
I’m on the Priority Services Register. Should I now call 105?
The Priority Services Register is for people who might need extra support during a power cut; for example, people who need electricity for vital medical equipment. If you are on the Register and you have a power cut, you should continue to call the phone number that you have been given.

Friday, 9 September 2016

Partial reprieve for libraries but mobile library to be scrapped

After a consultation which attracted 3,600 responses, the Conservatives were forced to rethink their original plans for library cuts but unfortunately the new plans are very much a mixed bag.

The good news is that people in Chipping Sodbury have come together to save their library as a volunteer-run service and several other communities have offered to run libraries in village halls and other venues.

We also welcome the use of new technology to open library buildings for longer. Those aged 16 and over will be able to register to access libraries with their library card when staff aren't present. Children will have to be accompanied by an adult.

Unfortunately staff hours will still be cut significantly and the mobile library service will be scrapped altogether. That currently serves over 50 communities, many in our rural areas. The council says it can support up to 10 community libraries. If you will be affected by the loss of the mobile service, please let us know.

Back when the budget was set in February, your Focus Team made it clear we felt services like libraries were more important than shaving a small amount of the green bin charge. Many people have told us they agree. Unfortunately when we backed an amendment to that effect, we were outvoted.

There will now be a consultation on the proposals for each library, for example on which days and times staff should be present. We'll let you know when you can have your say. The changes are due to be made in October 2017.

Reminder - Severn Tunnel to close on Monday

The Severn Tunnel will be closed between Monday 12 September and Friday 21 October but Great Western Railway are keen to reassure you that their services will still be running  - with trains being diverted or replaced by buses.

Alternative timetables will operate throughout the work, with journeys to London taking about 35 minutes longer and Bristol 45 minutes longer. This is essential work towards bringing electrification through to Cardiff and Swansea.

Full details of the changes are on their website.

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Discover festival launched

The Discover Festival is running again this autumn. It gives you a chance to discover and enjoy something new in our area.

This weekend there will be a series of Heritage Open Days. Over the coming weeks there will be over 280 events, many of them free, on the themes of Crafts, Nature, Learning, Heritage, Food, Arts, Active and Wellbeing.

To find out more visit or like

Street Care using the Road to Nowhere

The council's Street Care team are going to be using the end of the Road to Nowhere nearest the Badminton Road offices as a temporary storage and compound area to support the implementation of the new waste strategy. Initially the site will be used to store vehicles overnight while the existing yard at Dean Road is re-developed. The site will then be used to store the new recycling vehicles and finally will provide space to support the changeover of household bins. All the activity is temporary, they will be off the site by the end of 2017 and no waste will be stored on the site at any time.

This week they have cleared the overgrown vegetation and will be laying some additional gravel over the next few days before securing the front and back with a fence to link the existing side fences. The large rocks will stay in place at the entrance until the site is fully secured. Once in use there will be additional security.

Westerleigh traffic calming concerns

In 2015, the Frome Vale Area Forum supported an investigation into further traffic calming measures in Westerleigh after complaints from residents about some of the measures implemented so far. These include concerns from local cyclists about the safety of the pinch points.

Unfortunately the final outcome of the investigation has been delayed by the departure of the officer who was handling it. Local councillor Claire Young has been talking to officers to get things back on track and on Wednesday met the officer now working on the investigation and a senior manager from Street Care on site to go through the list of problems residents have raised.

We will update you when we have more information.

Monday, 5 September 2016

Finding out about our mining heritage

The next Ram Hill Colliery Open Day will be held on Sunday 11th September between 10am and 4.30pm. Guided walks and refreshments will be on offer. Visitors are advised to take care under foot and children and dogs should be supervised. Donations welcome. If you have any queries, please call David and Marian Gooden on 0117 932 2602.

You can also visit Oldwood Pits at Tanhouse Lane, Rangeworthy (BS37 7PZ) this weekend. There is nothing accessible underground due to flooding, but you can see the mine office, mining artefacts and displays and as part of a guided tour you can see the pit shaft and drift mine entrance. Tours are every half hour between 2pm and 5pm on Saturday 10th September and 11am and 3.30pm on Sunday 11th September. No need to book in advance, you can book your tour on arrival. Any queries, please call David Hardwick on 01454 299053.

These events are part of the Discover Festival.

Friday, 2 September 2016

Time running out to have your say on plan

Time is running out to have your say on the revised Policies, Sites and Places Plan. You have until 7pm on Thursday 8th September to have your say.

The plan provides detailed planning policies that the council will use when making decisions on planning applications and also protects some of our much valued open spaces by designating them Local Green Spaces but not all.

Formal consultation on 20mph limits in Coalpit Heath

You have until 22nd September to have your say on the proposed 20mph limits on:

Burcombe Close, Coalville Road, Dormer Close, Heath Gardens, part of Henfield Road, Rathbone Close, Rose Oak Drive, Rose Oak Lane, Roundways, South View Crescent, South View Rise, Station Road, St. Annes Drive, Watters Close, Woodside Road.

This is the formal advertisement of the draft order, the next step in the legal process for changing a speed limit. You can view the proposals and comment here.

Ring road works postponed

The planned closure of part of the A4174 ring road this weekend for resurfacing work has been postponed because of the wet weather forecast. The work was due to take place between the Bromley Heath roundabout and Hambrook traffic lights. The work will be rescheduled for a later date.

The full overnight closure of the eastbound carriageway between Wick Wick and Lyde Green roundabouts between 8pm and 6am from 5 to 9 September is still expected to take place. The road will be fully open during the day and at weekends.