Friday, 31 March 2017

Local highway schemes funding approved

A number of local highway and transport schemes were among those approved for 2017/18 at a South Glos committee meeting on Wednesday:
  • Next phase of the Yate Spur cycle route – £150k of funding is confirmed for 17/18, with the remaining £400k to complete the work in 2018/19 to be confirmed following a funding bid submission.
  • 30mph limit and other changes on the B4058 Bristol Road between the Winterbourne boundary and Perrinpit Road
  • Three pairs of dropped kerbs in Frampton Cotterell - Lower Stone Close/Upper Stone Close, Goose Green/ Ryecoft Road and Woodend Road/Brockeridge
  • Northbound cycle lane on A432 at Cuckoo Lane
  • 20mph speed limit on Ram Hill
  • Improvements to bus stops at Bridge Farm, Bristol Road, Iron Acton
  • Waiting restrictions review at Emerald Green Business Park
  • Amendments to existing 7.5t weight limit on Gibbs Lane, Codrington
  • Resurfacing the road and upgrading the traffic lights at the B4058 Bristol Road junctions with Latteridge Road and Wotton Road.
A number of waiting restrictions around schools are still to be completed. Claire Young has chased up those for the Manor School and has been told it will be another 11 weeks before they are advertised.

An investigation of an accident cluster site at Kendleshire Crossroads was carried forward from the current year. Highways officials will also be investigating:
  • a cycle path from Henfield Crossroads to the Science Park
  • the installation of a traffic island on Bristol Road near Court Road
  • the transport issues raised in the Frampton Cotterell Parish Plan, including speed of traffic, HGVs, pavement parking and cycle improvements
Much of the above work is being funded from money specifically given to the council by the Government for transport schemes, so it cannot be spent on other things.The council also gets funding from developers to deal with the impact of new development on transport. In our area this includes:
  • parking restrictions around the new Sainsbury's by the Badminton Arms, Coalpit Heath - thank you to everyone who submitted reports and photos of the problems caused by lorries
  • 20mph limit on Wylington Road, The Meads, Frampton Cotterell
Latteridge Road, Iron Acton will be resurfaced and Westerleigh Road, Codrington will have surface dressing carried out.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Advice about money and debt

Did you know you can get advice about money and debt as well as council services at the Yate One Stop Shop? Talking Money and South Glos Council are working together to provide advice on issues including benefits, debt and housing. You can drop in between 2pm and 4pm on Thursdays and find out more about this and other services online.

Monday, 27 March 2017

Litter picking in Westerleigh village

Volunteers are need for a community spring clean in Westerleigh village. Litter pickers should meet outside Ye Olde Inne at 10am on Sunday 2nd April. Equipment will be provided.

Friday, 24 March 2017

Unsung heroes receive awards

Nearly thirty unsung heroes and their families attended the 2017 Chair’s Community Awards at South Gloucestershire and Stroud College’s WISE Campus last week.

The annual awards recognise and celebrate the valuable contribution local unpaid volunteers make to life in South Gloucestershire.

Locally, Andrew Edgington, received a Community Award for his work as a founder member of the Good Neighbour Scheme and as part of Village Action. There were Long Service Community Awards for Anne and Tony Moulsdale, for serving on Henfield Hall committee for over 45 years, Bryan Quinlan, for his work in Rangeworthy over 56 years as an extremely active member of the Court Players, and Margaret Bracey for collecting money for the Royal British Legion for over 70 years and her work as a member of the Women's Royal Voluntary Service. Wapley Bushes Conservation Group received a Group Award.

Well done to all the winners!

Conservatives scrap committees

Conservatives have scrapped the decision making committees on South Gloucestershire Council in favour of a centralised ‘Leader and cabinet'. These means some decisions will be taken behind closed doors by a single cabinet member after talking to an officer, while others will be made by a cabinet of just a few Conservative councillors.

Councils in Britain were forced to adopt cabinets after Tony Blair came to power, but when the Liberal Democrats were in Government councils were given a choice.  In 2012, South Gloucestershire was one of the first in the country to return to open, democratic decisions made by committees sitting in public.

This time power will be even more concentrated in the hands of just a few councillors. Five years ago, we used to have a number of scrutiny committees looking at different areas of policy. This allowed people to specialise in particular areas of policy to scrutinise based on their interests and expertise. Now we will have a single scrutiny commission of 15 councillors trying to cover everything. The vast majority of councillors will not be part of either the cabinet or the scrutiny commission.

Police looking for "critical friend"

Could you be a "criticial friend" to the Police and Crime Commissioner and Avon and Somerset Constabulary on the use of police powers? If you are interested, you have until 12 April to apply to join the Scrutiny of Police Powers Panel that is being set up. For more information visit

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Replacement for Jorrocks House approved

An application to replace the bungalow called Jorrocks House in Westerleigh with three new houses has been narrowly approved by the DC (East) Planning Committee.

Local councillor Claire Young referred it to the committee after residents, the Parish Council and the council's Conservation officer expressed concerns about the scale of the developement. After the site visit, the applicant reduced the height of the houses by 1.2m. Members voted by 7 votes to 6 to approve this revised design.

Farm/Horse Watch number to change

The information text line for the rural community is to continue but with a brand new and long-term number 07492 888109. If you have previously saved 81819 please now delete and replace with this new number.

Please remember this is not a number to use to report crime or to call for police assistance and it will not be monitored 24/7. The number can be used to report information of people/vehicles seen behaving suspiciously in the rural community, potentially stolen goods etc. Alternatively you can report a crime online via or if it's a matter which requires immediate police attendance then dial 999. You can still also pass on information anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Monday, 20 March 2017

Nibley Lane to close for cleaning

Nibley Lane, between its junction with Badminton Road and its junction with Westerleigh Road, is expected to close for cleaning from 9.30am until 2.30pm on Wednesday 29th March.

Friday, 17 March 2017

82 bus service problems continue - but new evening journey promised

Local resident Ian Muirhead and
Cllrs Claire Young and Paul Hulbert

Along with her Focus team colleagues, Claire has been campaigning for a more reliable 82 bus service with a later bus back from the Mall. Sadly, we are still regularly receiving complaints about late running and cancelled buses, as covered by the Gazette newspaper this week. However there is some good news - from 30th April there will be a later journey for people returning from the Mall at 8.30pm.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Future of the Over 50s Forum

The South Glos Over 50s Forum is for all residents who are over 50 years old. They are now holding meetings around the area in a bid to reach out to more people. The upcoming meetings locally are:
  • Tuesday 28th March, 10am to 12 noon - Thornbury Methodist Church, High Street, Thornbury
  • Thursday 30th March, 2pm to 4pm - The Ridgeway Community Centre, Station Road, Yate
For more information, email

Vandalism in Coalpit Heath and Frampton Cotterell

A number of incidents of vandalism have occurred locally:

  • At approximately 10pm on Friday March the 10th, someone damaged both wing mirrors and smashed the passenger’s side window on a car parked on The Causeway.
  • Between 9pm on Friday March the 10th and 9am the following morning, someone slashed both drivers’ side tyres of a vehicle parked on Wylington Road, Frampton Cotterell. 
  • Another two vehicles were damaged on Lower Chapel Lane, during the same time period, with the bodywork being keyed on one vehicle and the wing mirrors kicked off the other.
  • Between 11pm on the Friday night and 7am the next morning, all four tyres of a car parked on St Saviour’s Rise were slashed. 
  • A tyre was also slashed on Hither Mead at around the same time, as was another on a car parked on Fernleaze, Coalpit Heath.
  • Between 10.30pm on Friday March the 10th and 6.30am the following morning, someone broke off the wing mirrors of a vehicle parked on Woodend Road, Frampton Cotterell
If you have any information regarding these incidents, please contact the Police on 101. Alternatively you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

Yate, Chipping Sodbury and Dodington Community Engagement Forum

The next Community Engagement Forum for Yate, Chipping Sodbury and Dodington (which includes the rural part of Dodington Parish) is at 7pm on Monday 27th March at St Nicholas Family Centre, Abbotswood, Yate BS37 4LG.

Monday, 13 March 2017

Help pick litter at Wapley Bushes

There will be a litter pick and conservation morning at Wapley Bushes on Saturday 25th March 2017 from 10am until 12 noon. Meet at the Shire Way entrance to the Nature Reserve. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Litter pickers, black sacks, disposable gloves will be provided.

Friday, 10 March 2017

Flood risk drop-in

Last week local councillor Claire Young and a number of her colleagues attended an Environment Agency drop-in looking at the risk of river flooding in the Yate and Chipping Sodbury area and options for reducing it.

One of the at risk areas identified was Nibley. There they were suggesting property-level measures such as flood gates and non-return valves, as larger scale measures are not considered viable at this point.

On other sections of the river options included widening the channel and creating flood storage covering up to 20 hectares, with capacity equivalent to 80 Olympic-size swimming pools. Claire took the opportunity to discuss how this would affect properties downstream at places like Frampton Cotterell and was assured that the flood storage area at Tubbs Bottom would reduce the risk downstream.

The Environment Agency stress they are at a very early stage of their study and they do not have funding to implement any options at this stage. The majority will have to come from other public or private sources, including developers. Claire asked the agency to make the exhibition materials available on their website.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Drop-in on electrification

If you regularly travel via Bristol Parkway, you may be interested in a drop-in on rail electrification that Network Rail are holding from 4.30pm to 7.30pm on Tuesday 14th March. The event will be held in The Old School Rooms, The Green, Stoke Gifford, BS34 8PD.

Their upcoming work includes:

  • Stabilising the embankment next to the Filton line
  • Setting up a compound off Hunts Ground Road
  • Repairs to Bristol Road/Hatchet Road bridge
There will be a team on hand to answer your questions.

Funding awarded to local groups

This year the old Community Grants were scrapped and replaced with a scheme where each councillor has £3,000 to spend on projects that benefit communities in their ward. Westerleigh Ward Councillor Claire Young allocated £1,500 to Coalpit Heath Cricket Club to buy sight screens, which they need at the level they are now playing at, and £1,500 to St Saviour's Church Hall to go towards replacing their unreliable and inefficient boiler.

For groups that benefit a large part of South Gloucestershire, there will be a chance to bid for South Glos-wide funding. A decision on how the scheme will operate is expected to be taken at the next Environment and Community Services committee meeting later this month.

Friday, 3 March 2017

New shelter at Yate Station

Lib Dem Metro Mayor Candidate Stephen Williams met
Yate councillors Mike Drew, Sue Walker and Ruth Davis and
 Parliamentary Candidate Claire Young to discuss further
improvements at Yate Station
Passengers at Yate railway station will soon be able to buy their tickets in the dry, thanks to a new shelter that is being installed over the ticket machine and kiosk. The roof could be treated with anti-solar glare material to make it easier for passengers to see the screen on the machine.

Your Focus Team has been campaigning with local rail users for improvements at the station for many years, after winning the battle to get it re-opened in the 1980s. Last year Yate Town Council submitted a funding bid for a shelter for the ticket machine and met South Glos transport officials to push for action.

Last week Stephen Williams, the Liberal Democrat Metro Mayor candidate, met rail campaigners at the station to discuss further improvements. As Metro Mayor, Stephen would push for extra trains and carriages to tackle the overcrowding at Yate, as well as re-opening stations like Charfield.

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Bristol to Chipping Sodbury Night Bus to stop running

First Bus have decided to stop running the weekend 47A Night Bus service from Bristol through Downend, Frampton Cotterell, Coalpit Heath, Yate and Chipping Sodbury after the end of April. This means that the services at 1.31 am and 3.31 am Saturday and Sunday will stop, and the last bus will be 11.35 pm from Bristol Bus Station.

These late night buses have in the past been supported by town and parish councils along the route, but now First have have doubled the amount of money they want as a council subsidy, and the passenger numbers have fallen - on average only 13 passengers are using each bus.

Other bus companies have been contacted, but they wanted even more money to run the service. It's just not economic any more - councils would have been paying First a subsidy of £6 for every passenger journey. Many young people now use the internet to arrange their own lift-sharing and prefer that to the bus.

This service has been running for more than ten years. We're sorry to see the end of it, but if you add up the subsidy and the £4 bus fares for 4 people, it comes to more than the cost of a taxi. At £6 subsidy per person First have simply priced the bus off the road.

In recent years this service has been supported by Yate Town Council, Dodington Parish Council, Downend and Bromley Heath Parish Council, Frampton Cotterell Parish Council, Mangotsfield Parish Council, Sodbury Town Council and Westerleigh Parish Council.

Driving refresher roadshow for older drivers

A free refresher driving roadshow for people aged 60 and over in South Gloucestershire is being held at Longwell Green Community Centre from 1.30pm to 4pm on Thursday 9th March.

The roadshow aims to address modern changes to vehicles, and also how your own driving skills and habits may have changed, with advice on how you can go about updating those skills. The event will be relaxed and friendly with useful information to help improve people’s knowledge and confidence, as well as offering valuable health advice.

There will be a number of information stands on offer, a driving simulator to test reaction times, and free eye tests, along with a presentation covering subjects such as driving licences, changes in the highway code, safer driving at night, and effects of medication. Representatives from public health, the fire service and the local neighbourhood policing team will be present, and anyone who attends will also receive a free copy of the latest edition of The Highway Code.

Upcoming police beat surgeries

The Frampton Cotterell police beat team, which also covers Coalpit Heath, Westerleigh, Iron Acton and the surrounding areas, will be holding beat surgeries at the Brockeridge Centre, Frampton Cotterell from 6pm to 7pm on the following dates:

  • Wednesday 22nd March
  • Friday 21st April 
  • Monday 22nd May 
  • Wednesday 21st June

Chance to raise local issues

The next Community Engagement Forum for Winterbourne, Frampton Cotterell, Westerleigh, Coalpit Heath, Iron Acton, Hambrook & Frenchay takes place on Tuesday 7th March 2017 at 7.30pm in The Greenfield Centre, Park Avenue, Winterbourne, BS36 1NJ. Guest speaker will be Trevor Wilmot talking about Neighbourhood Watch.