Friday, 28 October 2016

Tell us your views on housing

Thank you to everyone who came to our public meeting last week on the proposals for up to 1,500 homes at Coalpit Heath and 2,600 at Yate/Chipping Sodbury. Claire has produced some notes on the meeting and you can let us know your views by filling in this survey.

Since the meeting, Barratt Homes have announced new proposals for Woodlands Farm, so we have added in a question about that. Any homes at Woodlands Farm could be in addition to the 1,500 proposed for the Green Belt around Coalpit Heath, because there is also a requirement in the JSP proposals for 1,000 homes at "windfall sites" around South Gloucestershire.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Woodlands Farm - new planning application

Barratt Homes have written to councillors and people living near Woodlands Farm to say that they will be putting in a new planning application.

The proposals, which they call "Blackberry Park", would involve building up to 215 homes on the site. The above plan is scanned from the document sent out on behalf of Barratt Homes. They say that more information will be available at - Claire Young contacted them as it wasn't available when the letters arrived and has been assured the site will be updated soon.

There will be a public exhibition from 3.30pm to 8.30pm on Monday 7th November in the Manor Hall, Coalpit Heath.

More overnight ring road closures

The west bound carriageway of the A4174 ring road between Wick Wick roundabout and Hambrook traffic lights/Bristol Road junctio will be closed overnight from Monday 31 October to Friday 18 November. The closures will run from 8pm to 6am. The eastbound carriageway will remain fully open during this period, but with no access to Bromley Heath Road towards Downend. Both the westbound and eastbound carriageways will remain open at weekends and all other times.

The work is part of the Challenge Fund project, and will involve removing the existing road surface and laying a new one. Full diversion routes will be in place and will be clearly signed. Once this work is completed, further overnight closures will be put in place for two weeks to resurface the eastbound carriageway towards Yate.

You can find out more about the project and diversion routes at

Monday, 24 October 2016

Next Community Engagement Forum for Frampton Cotterell, Coalpit Heath, Westerleigh and Iron Acton

The next Community Engagement Forum for Winterbourne, Frampton Cotterell, Westerleigh, Coalpit Heath, Iron Acton, Hambrook and Frenchay is at 7.30pm on Tuesday 8th November in the Greenfield Centre. All local residents and organisations welcome.

Friday, 21 October 2016

Blindfold walk in Yate

Cllr Tony Davis and Claire Young with Guide Dogs' representatives and three dogs in Yate Shopping Centre

On Wednesday, Cllr Claire Young, Cllr Tony Davis and Yate shopping centre manger Andy Lowrey got an appreciation of some of the problems faced by visually impaired people when they went on a blindfold walk round Yate Shopping Centre with a trainee guide dog called Vince. You can see how Claire got on here.

They also discussed the challenges of A-frame signs outside shops, vehicles parked on pavements and taxi drivers not wanting guide dogs in their vehicles. They found out how people with visual impairments use smartphones and what the council needs to bear in mind when providing services online.

Thank you to the Guide Dogs charity for arranging the walk. They are always looking for more volunteers to do everything from puppy walking to setting up stalls at fundraising events. For more information on the local branch, see their Facebook page.

Half term events in libraries

If you're looking for something to do with your children or grandchildren during half term, there are a range of free drop-in activities for 4-10 years at the local libraries. These include:

Monday 24 October
Magic mayhem, Thornbury Library, 11am to 12pm

Tuesday 25 October
Ocean commotion Yate Library, 10.30am to 12pm

Spook-tacular Bradley Stoke Library, 10.30am to 12pm Spooky themed craft fun.

Hats off Emersons Green Library, 2pm to 4pm Craft and activity fun.

Wednesday 26 October
Leaf it out Winterbourne Library, 10am to 11.30am Autumn themed fun and crafts.

For more information, contact the libraries by telephoning 01454 868006 or visit There will also be rhyme times and story times for pre-school children, visit for more details.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Housing and transport questions asked of West of England leaders

Last week Claire Young asked the West of England leaders questions about their housing and transport proposals for our area.

Claire submitted written questions about the Joint Spatial Plan and Transport Study (JSPTS) to the Strategic Leaders Board. This is made up of the Mayor of Bristol and the Leaders of South Gloucestershire, Bath and North East Somerset and North Somerset Councils. On Friday the Board was agreeing to the JSPTS going out for consultation. You can read the questions with the answers given here and the statement Claire submitted here

What's clear from the answers is that planners and residents see the world in quite different ways. In her follow-up question, Claire asked the leaders to commit to bridging this gap, so local people can have a say.

South Glos respond to bus petition

South Glos Council has given Claire Young the following response to the petition she submitted calling for the council and bus operators to work together to reinstate the bus links to Southmead, Bristol Parkway and UWE:

I am writing in response to the Petition that you presented to the SGC public Transport Forum on the 10th October 2016 in respect of the changes to the local bus network that were implemented in September 2016.

The petition raised the concerns of the petitioners in relation to cuts to bus services from Yate and the Chipping Sodbury area to Parkway Station, Southmead Hospital and UWE, in particular the loss of direct services and the reduction in frequency of those services that remained. The Petition called upon South Gloucestershire Council to work with local bus operators to reinstate these bus services.

I am able to confirm that South Gloucestershire Council will continue to work with the commercial sector to try and deliver as comprehensive as possible network of bus services to the whole of the South Gloucestershire area. Where public funds are used to provide financial support to services (either entirely or in part) the Council will always seek to obtain the maximum benefit possible within the available funding; it may be that in some cases the most effective use of the funding available is to develop the network by making use of the available interchange points rather than by direct routing.

Where services receive financial support from the Council, we will work with the commercial operator to encourage the development and growth of the service with the aim of making it more sustainable for the longer term.

It is not possible for the Council to automatically replace commercial services that have been withdrawn. Where services are withdrawn we will work with operators and other key stakeholders to identity and investigate possible alternatives, albeit this will need to within the available funding.

Friday, 14 October 2016

Latest libraries consultation launched

When we reported recently on the library cuts, we said there would be a further consultation coming up. That consultation has now started - you can find it here and have until 2nd January 2017 to respond.

There will also be a public meeting in Yate Library at 7pm on Tuesday 1st November and you can also hear more at the next round of Community Engagement Forums. You can find out more details about those here.

Mobile library scrapped

The proposals include scrapping the mobile library. If this will affect you and you'd like to do something positive to help, please get in touch.

Chipping Sodbury Library not saved yet

Contrary to what you may have read in the Bristol Post, there are no plans to build a new Chipping Sodbury Library. What is proposed is that the council would pay for the costs of running the existing building but only if there is a commitment from a group of volunteers to run it. The council would not pay for any staff. Last week Claire Young attended a meeting of Friends group. It was spelt out there by the head of the library service that the council  are looking for volunteers to staff it for at least 15 hours a week, it cannot be a totally unstaffed library.

Have your say on phone box removal

BT is consulting on removing 93 phone boxes across South Gloucestershire. You can see a full list in the consultation document and a map of the approximate locations here. In the Ladden-Frome area these include:
  • Henfield Road, Coalpit Heath
  • Wotton Road, Charfield
  • Dodington Ash
  • North Road, Yate
  • High Street, Iron Acton
  • Bagstone
  • New Road, Rangeworthy
  • Manor Road, Rangeworthy
  • Ruffet Road/Badminton Road, Kendleshire
  • Church Road, Frampton Cotterell
  • Park Lane, Frampton Cotterell
  • Lower Stone Close, Frampton Cotterell
  • Sundays Hill Lane, Falfield
  • Court Road, Leyhill
  • Longcross, Cromhall
  • Heathend
  • Stover Road, Yate
  • Codrington
  • Duck Street, Tytherington
  • Buckover
  • Gloucester Road, Rudgeway
You have until 7 November to make comments, after which they will issue an initial decision, which will be open for another 4 weeks, with a final decision on 15th December.

You can find more information here.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Bus petition handed to First Bus and Council

On Monday, Claire Young handed over our petition to First Bus and council officials at the Public Transport Forum, calling on them to work together to reinstate direct bus links to Southmead Hospital, Bristol Parkway Station and the University of the West of England. The petition contained over 240 signatures.

The withdrawal of the 81 service has left people living in Yate, Coalpit Heath and Frampton Cotterell with fewer buses to Southmead and Parkway. Terminating the 82 at Yate means those living in Chipping Sodbury, Wotton-under-Edge and the villages in between have no direct link at all. In addition, there are now almost no direct buses from the Yate area to UWE.

Claire and others also gave examples of the poor reliability of the 82 service. Having to change buses is bad enough, especially if you are infirm, but it's even worse if you're not sure the other bus will turn up. People will only use a service if they can rely on it.

Friday, 7 October 2016

Public meeting on new housing

Last week, we reported on the publication of the "Towards an Emerging Spatial Strategy" plan, which proposes thousands of new homes in our area. On Wednesday the Conservatives and Labour voted to endorse it for consultation starting next month. Your Focus Team raised our concerns and voted against.

It's important to understand that this document does not say where exactly the development will go. It just talks about broad locations, for example saying there will be up to 1,500 homes at Coalpit Heath, which will require some land to be released from the Green Belt. All the open countryside around Coalpit Heath, except Woodlands Farm, is in the Green Belt. The consultation will be your chance to have your say on the principle of building the new homes in the areas identified, as well as the transport proposals for our area.

Claire Young has called a public meeting for 7.30pm on Thursday 20th October in the Jubilee Room, Manor Hall to help Coalpit Heath residents prepare their responses.

Ring road resurfacing this weekend

The westbound carriageway of the A4174 will be closed between the Hambrook traffic lights and the Wick Wick roundabout this weekend, from 8pm on Friday 7th October to 6am on Monday 10th October. This is so that essential resurfacing work can be carried out.

You can find further information on the project and diversion routes at

Have your say on home care and 1:1 services

South Glos Council is asking for your views on how home care and one-to-one community-bases services should be provided in the future. If you or a member of your family receive such care or you are involved in providing care in any way, you can find out more and have your say on the council's website. You have until 5th January to comment.

Network Rail traffic calming for Dodington Road railway bridge

On Wednesday, Claire Young attended the Network Rail drop-in about the traffic calming they are carrying out around Dodington Road railway bridge. You can view the plans here.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Walking beat surgery for Coalpit Heath

The local police beat team will be carrying out a Walking Beat Surgery in Coalpit Heath from 4pm to 6pm on Sunday 23rd October. You can find out more here.