Thursday, 23 February 2017

M32 closures

From 20th March for 11 weeks there will be night time southbound closures of the M32 to enable the central reservation barrier over the Eastville Viaduct to be replaced.

To try to minimise disruption, the contractors will carry out the work between 8pm and 6am Monday to Friday, so the M32 will remain open in both directions during the day. At night the southband carriageway will be completely closed. There may also be times when they need to close a section of the northbound carriageway too, but these times are not yet finalised. They will be liasing with contractors on other nearby projects, such as MetroBus.

Unfortunately they won't be able to lift the 40mph restrictions when this work is complete because futher work needs to be carried out on the viaduct parapets.

If you have any queries or comments about the works and would like further information, please contact the Highways England Customer Contact Centre on 0300 123 5000 or by email:

Police warning following distraction burglary

Following on from last week's Trading Standards warning about rogue traders, this week the police have issued a warning about distraction burglaries after an incident in Yate.

At approximately 11am on Thursday February the 16th, two unknown men attended an address on Priors Lea, Yate, saying that they were there to do some work inside. They pushed a large hole in the ceiling before leaving, saying they would be return to fix it. The victim later discovered that they had stolen a box of valuables.

The Police are reminding residents to be wary of unexpected visitors. Use a door chain whenever possible, and check all other entrances are locked before opening the door. If you are unsure, don’t open the door! Genuine callers will always be prepared to return or wait while you check their credentials.

If you have any information regarding this incident, please contact the Police on 101. Alternatively you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

River Frome flood risks - exhibition 1st March

The Environment Agency is looking into the risk of river flooding in Yate and Chipping Sodbury and what options there might be to reduce this. Their study is at a very early stage.

They are holding a public exhibition in the Charter Suite at Chipping Sodbury Town Hall on Wednesday 1st March from 2.30 to 7.30 pm.

The area involved runs from St Johns Way through the centre of Sodbury, The Elms, The Ridge, then right past the Riverside complex, and out along Greenways Road and Cranleigh Court through to Stover Road. So anyone living in those areas might want to come along - if you're not at risk of flooding yourself, you might still be interested or concerned about potential flood works along the river.

Come along to their public exhibition to find out more about your current flood risk and what might be possible as part of a future flood alleviation scheme.

Your views and your local knowledge really matter! At the exhibition they would like to hear your views on:
  • any flooding problems in the past
  • their initial plans and options
You can call in at any time during the exhibition. They will be on hand to answer your questions, hear your views and to give you more information about flood protection, flood warnings and community flood plans.

Friday, 17 February 2017

Time running out to have your say on Local Plan Prospectus

You only have until next Thursday, 23 February, to have your say on the South Glos Local Plan Prospectus.

As we reported last month, South Glos has to publish a new Local Plan for 2018-2036. One of the things it will do is allocate specific sites for development - so, for example, if the final Joint Spatial Plan (JSP) for the West of England says there should be 1,500 homes at Coalpit Heath, this plan will say more precisely where they should be built. It will also allocate smaller sites, to go towards whatever figure the JSP says South Glos must provide outside the large sites.

Work on the new Local Plan is just starting and the council is asking for your views on what it should cover and what the vision and priorities should be for our area. Your Focus Team does not think large scale developments on the edge of villages is compatible with the vision we supported in the council's Core Strategy, which this Local Plan will replace. What do you think the vision and priorities should be? How would you balance concerns like protecting community identity and our countryside with the need for housing?  You can let the council know what you think by answering questions 2 and 3 of the consultation.

Watermore School to be rebuilt on one site

At the budget council meeting on Wednesday, funding was unanimously agreed to build a new Watermore Primary School on the current junior site, to bring all age groups together. Currently the Reception and Year one classes are in the old Brockeridge School while Years 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 are on the old Highcroft site.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Be alert for rogue traders

South Gloucestershire Trading Standards have issued an alert to be extra vigilant when dealing with unexpected callers at the front door after reports of rogue traders operating in the Yate and Frampton Cotterell areas.

The rogue traders are offering to buy gold or jewellery or carry out, amongst other things, paving, roofing and gardening work. South Gloucestershire Council Trading Standards advise:

  • Do not to deal with unexpected visitors at your door, you do not know who they are or what their history may be.
  • Do not allow any unknown and unexpected visitor into your home. If possible, try to deal with them through a window or use a door chain.
  • Ensure your front and back doors are closed and locked if your attention is elsewhere.
  • If you are unhappy or feel intimidated by the visitor – shut the door and call the police.

If you think you or someone you know may have been targeted by scammers or rogue traders, please contact senior Trading Standards enforcement officer Neil Derrick on 01454 864565 or 07801 200104 as soon as possible. Remember; Not Sure, Don’t Open The Door.

For advice on this and other consumer matters, please contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06, Monday to Friday between 9am-5pm.

Friday, 10 February 2017

Better news about Yate Fire Station

Some positive news on Yate Fire Station. At the end of last year, Avon Fire Authority was consulting on cutting Yate Fire Station from a full time service 24 hours a day to having a full time crew 8am to 5pm and just one crew on call at night. We were very concerned that this could put people in the Yate area at risk - you can see Claire Young's response to the consultation here.

Our Yate colleague Cllr Mike Drew has been working hard with the Deputy Chief Fire Officer to develop an alternative. Instead of taking us down to one on call crew, the Fire Authority has now agreed there will be two part time crews on call. While not the full time crew we wanted, it's a step in the right direction. Thank you to Mike and everyone who has campaigned for a better outcome.

Time running out to have your say on Woodlands Farm application

Don't forget you only have until Wednesday 15th February to comment on the latest Woodlands Farm application. You can view the plans and make your comments online. Don't worry that they don't appear immediately, all comments have to be manually processed and it can take up to 7 days. The case officer has assured me that she is receiving them.

Free health check for over 40s

South Glos Council is encouraging everyone aged between 40 and 74 who has been invited to a free health check to take up the offer.

The aim is to help early diagnosis and the best treatment for high risk conditions including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, kidney disease and certain types of dementia, as well as reducing the risk of having a stroke. Anyone can be at risk of developing these vascular diseases, but the good news is that these conditions can often be prevented – even if you have a history of them in your family.

Nearly 40,000 people have had a NHS Health Check in South Gloucestershire since 2013. Everyone between the ages of 40 and 74, who has not already been diagnosed with one of these conditions or is otherwise ineligible, is invited to have a free NHS Health Check once every five years.

The check only takes around 20 minutes and will involve answering some simple questions about your family history and lifestyle choices along with a blood pressure test and an instant blood test to check your cholesterol level. The results will be discussed with you and further advice and support will be provided if needed. Additional tests and referral to your GP may also follow if required.

For more information visit or ask at your GP surgery.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Barn Dance for St Nicholas Family Centre

At 7.30pm on Saturday 4th March there will be a Barn Dance at St Nicholas Family Centre, Yate BS37 4LG. Tickets are £8 for adults and £5 for children under 12, with they money going towards making further improvements to the family centre. While there for the dance, you will have a chance to see the new kitchen plans. Phone 07788111626 or 07879680118 for tickets, or pay on the door.

Monday, 6 February 2017

Mining talk

The South Gloucestershire Mines Research Group are holding a talk, "Now we know their names", on Wednesday 1 March at about 9:00pm (after the group’s AGM) in the The Miners (Coalpit Heath Village Hall).

The talk is by DP Lindegaard, author of the book “Killed in a Coalpit – Lives of the Kingswood Colliers”. The book is a useful reference for anyone whose family were employed in the South Gloucestershire and Bristol coalfields; the index has over 2000 family names.

Friday, 3 February 2017

82 bus campaign continues

Your Focus Team is continuing to fight for a better 82 bus service, after the last bus of the day was cut in January. On Monday, local councillor Claire Young spoke out again at the South Gloucestershire Council Public Transport Forum.

Losing the last bus of the day is a blow not just to those visiting relatives in hospital but also to workers at the Mall, Cribbs Causeway. They are having to catch buses into the centre of Bristol and back out to places like Yate and Coalpit Heath, getting home very late at night. Your Focus Team is pushing not only for the last service to be restored but also for a later service that would come back from Cribbs after the shops have closed at 9pm.

First Bus said that they had changed the timetable to improve reliability. By reducing the frequency and not having drivers changing mid-route, they said it gave more time to recoup delays, especially at peak times. They admitted that due to roadworks, including the temporary traffic lights in Winterbourne, there had been problems in the first couple of weeks of the new timetable, but they claimed that reliability had improved since, though there was still work to do.

The poor reliabilty is having a knock-on effect on our highly valued Community Transport services. Because people don't feel they can rely on the 82 bus to get them to their hospital appointments, they are turning to Community Transport, while others are being referred by their GPs because they don't meet the strict criteria for the Patient Transport Service. Claire met Green Community Travel representatives on Wednesday to discuss this and other issues.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Try out library Open Access system

Last autumn we reported that South Glos would be introducing a new Open Access system to libraries, so that people can use them outside the staffed hours by using a swipe card and a PIN.

The system is being piloted at Bradley Stoke Library. You will need to upgrade your membership and have an induction to show you how the system works. You will then be able to enter the library from 8am to 9.30pm Monday to Friday, with staff on site 9.30am to 6pm every weekday apart from Wednesday. On weekends, Open Access is between 8am and 6pm and staff will be available 9.30am - 5pm on Saturdays and 11am - 3pm on Sundays. The changes will also see staff available earlier in the day, when it is busier, rather than the evenings.

Overnight single lane closures on ring road

There will be overnight single lane closures on the A4174 ring road at Bromley Heath Roundabout for eight weeks from 6 February, taking place Monday to Friday. These closures will allow preparatory work to be carried out for the Bromley Heath Viaduct maintenance and widening work that will be starting in the summer.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Parish Councils to consider Woodlands Farm application

Westerleigh and Frampton Cotterell Parish Councils will be making their comments on the Woodlands Farm application next week. Parishioners are welcome at the meetings.

The Westerleigh Parish Council Planning Committee will be meeting at 7pm on Monday 6th February on Westerleigh Village Hall. Their full council meeting follows on afterwards.

Frampton Cotterell Parish Council will make their comments at their meeting starting at 7.30pm on Wednesday 8th February in the Brockeridge Centre.

The VALID action group are having a photo taken at 2.30pm on Saturday 4th February where a kissing gate leads to a level footpath going across the farm fields. The best way to arrive at this area is via the cul de sac at the end of Blackberry Drive, postcode BS36 2SL. All residents welcome.