Thursday, 31 August 2017

Nibley Lane to close for cleaning

Nibley Lane, from its junction with Badminton Road to its junction with Westerleigh Road, is expected to close for cleaning from 9.30am until 2.30pm on Tuesday 5th September for street cleaning to be carried out.

Heritage Open Days

It's nearly for the Heritage Open Days, which give everyone a chance to find out about our local history.

Unsurprisingly given the importance of the industry locally, there will be several events where you can find out about our mining history. These include Brandy Bottom Colliery (Friday 8 September: 1000 - 1600, Saturday 9 September: 1000 - 1600, Sunday 10 September: 1000 - 1600), Ram Hill Colliery (Sunday 10 September: 1000-1630) and Oldwood Pits Coal Mine (Saturday 9 September: 1400-1700 and Sunday 10 September: 1100-1530, tours every half hour).

You will also be able to visit Winterbourne Medieval Barn (Saturday 9 September: 1400-1700 and Sunday 10 September: 1400-1700) and St Saviour's Church (Friday 8 September: 1100-1300, Saturday 9 September: 1100-1500 and Sunday 10 September: 1100-1100; Service 1000). For more details of these and other local events, go to the Heritage Open Days website.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Could YOU become a Health Champion?

Southern Brooks Community Partnership are currently recruiting community volunteers who live and/or work in Yate to learn: more about health and wellbeing; where to gain support to improve health; and hold the skills to have a 'health chat' with friends, relatives and neighbours as well as other residents of Yate to make steps to health improvement. It's a great opportunity to gain knowledge and take action without a regular commitment. The role comes with a free level 2 qualification in health.

 There will be information sessions in September:

  • Monday 4th 3-7 pm, Cadbury Heath Library 
  • Monday 18th 12-1 pm, Yate - Ridgewood Cafe, Ridgwood Buildings, 244 Station Rd, Yate BS37 4AF 
  • Thursday 21st 10-11 am, Patchway - Southern Brooks Training Room, 2nd Floor, Coniston Community Centre, Patchway BS34 5LP 
  • Friday 22nd 1-2 pm, Kingswood - Park Centre, High Street, Kingswood BS15 4AR 
  • Monday 25th 6-7 pm, Patchway - Southern Brooks Training Room, 2nd Floor, Coniston Community Centre, Patchway BS34 5LP 
For more information please contact the Contact Health Champion Co-ordinator on 01454 868570 or email Please contact them to confirm your place at one of the sessions.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Frome Valley Relief Sewer work

After years of campaigning throughout the ‘noughties’ about sewage pollution spills in the River Frome resulting in sanitary towels, condoms and raw sewage being left stranded on the banks of the river in Frampton Cotterell Parish, Cllr Dave Hockey is delighted that Wessex Water are making good progress with the final stage of the Frome Valley Relief Sewer. The £15 million project will divert sewage from the rapidly growing Yate/Sodbury area via the new large pipe from Cog Mill, Iron Acton to Bradley Stoke on onwards from there to the Avonmouth Sewage Treatment Plant.

Dave said, “It took a 10 year campaign and a summit meeting hosted by former Lib Dem MP Steve Webb with Senior Executives of Wessex Water and the Environment Agency to get a commitment to take action on this serious pollution problem. Local residents were appalled by the sewage spills. It is great that action is now being taken to deal with the problem - let’s hope the new scheme is successful and will bring to an end sewage spills in the Frome Valley.”

New Community Learning Courses - many free

South Glos Council has launched its prospectus of new courses for 2017-2018. There will be information and enrolment sessions at Yate Library:

  • Tuesday 5 September - 10.00am to 12noon 
  • Thursday 7 September - 5.00pm to 7.00pm

Check out the Community Learning web page for full details - click on the "Prospectus" link.

Friday, 25 August 2017

Have your say on J18a options

This week South Glos Council launched a consultation as part of a feasibility study into options for a new motorway junction, 18a, to link the M4 with the A4174 ring road. The consultation runs until Monday 16 October. This could have a major impact on our area so it's vital everyone has their say.

The Conservative-run council are looking at two options:

Western route

This route would use Westerleigh Road and the A4174 ring road adjacent to Lyde Green in Emersons Green. This would mean the new Junction 18a could be located to the north west of the Lyde Green development. It would require some realignment to the M4 itself.

Eastern route

This route explores the potential of building a link road and junction to the north and west of Pucklechurch. This would require the creation of a new link road, but a new motorway junction could be accommodated without the need to realign the M4.

You can find out more and have your say at

Claire Young helped Westerleigh and Dodington Parish Councils to arrange drop-in events as part of the consultation:
  • Monday 11 September, 4pm to 6.45pm at Westerleigh Village Hall, Shorthill Road, Westerleigh, BS37 8QN 
  • Tuesday 19 September, 4pm to 7pm at the Shire Way Community Centre, Yate, BS37 8YS 
Details of other events can be found on the consultation web page. Any questions can be emailed to - and do let us know your views too.

Grants for community groups

Are you involved in a community group that benefits residents across South Gloucestershire? Do you need some financial support?

If so, you can now apply to South Glos Council for an Area Wide Grant (AWG). The maximum grant is £3,000, though higher awards may be possible for exceptional projects. You can find out more by visiting and registering your group with the online grants system. Once you've done that, you can request an application form by contacting the Grants Helpline on 01454 865865 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm) or emailing

If you're looking for funding for a project that helps residents in just some parts of South Gloucestershire, don't forget about the Member Awarded Funding, where each councillor has £3,000 to spend on local projects that benefit residents in their ward. Do get in touch with us if you're considering making an application.

Area Wide Grants have been missing since the Conservatives scrapped the Area Forums and with them the grants that were decided at the Forum meetings and replaced them with Member Awarded Funding. Money was set aside from last year's grant pot for area wide grants but the scheme is only now being put in place to award them. Unfortunately decisions will be made by a single Cabinet Member, rather than a committee of members as it would have been in the past - another example of power being concentrated in the hands of a few.

 To view all of the grants available through South Gloucestershire Council visit

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Cold caller banned

A man who had repeatedly ignored advice given to him by Trading Standards has been handed a Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO) following his conduct when he cold called an older person in Coalpit Heath.

Kevin Lee was ordered to carry out 80 hours of unpaid work, banned from cold calling for two years through the CBO and ordered to pay back over £2,600 costs after pleading guilty to a single fraud offence and one of an aggressive commercial practice. He cold called the home in Coalpit Heath with his tree surgery business.

If you suspect that rogue traders may be operating in your area or may have fallen victim to one, report it to the police or Trading Standards.

Friday, 18 August 2017

Sign our petition on NHS funding

We recently reported on the difficult choices local NHS officials are facing due to the funding crisis in the health service. Most controversially they are proposing to limit fertility treatment, which is already not being provided in line with national recommendations.

We have now launched a petition calling on the Government to increase funding - you can sign it here.

Don't forget to respond to the NHS consultation too.

Have your say on Ram Hill 20mph limit

Last year local councillors at the Frome Vale Area Forum listened to residents' concerns and gave the go ahead for an investigation into a 20mph limit on Ram Hill.

This year funding was agreed to implement the proposals that came out of that investigation. A consultation is now underway. You can find out more and fill in the questionnaire online until 6th September.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Urgent consultation - Yate Town Centre Waiting Restrictions

South Glos Council is consulting on waiting restrictions in the streets around the Town Centre and about reducing the Leisure Centre and Kennedy Way car parks from 12 to 4 hours maximum stay.

You can find the full details and a plan of the proposals here - you need to give your views by THIS FRIDAY, 18 AUGUST.

STOP PRESS - They have extended the consultation until 1 September because some of the consultation letters were returned marked undeliverable.

The roads affected are: Broadway, Church Road, Cleeve Road, Elmgrove Crescent, Firgrove Crescent, Gleneagles, Highway, Home Orchard, Kennedy Way, Lawns Road, Link Road, Melrose Avenue, Orchard Close, Painswick Drive, Ridgeway, Stanshawe Crescent, Station Road, Sundridge Park, Swan Field, The Glen, Tree Leaze, Turnpike Close, Walnut Avenue, Westerleigh Road.

Whatever your views about this scheme, it's yet another example of inadequate consultation by South Glos:
  • Virtually no publicity for a significant consultation
  • Only 3 weeks to comment
  • Over the summer holidays, so many people will only have a week to respond
  • Only accepting comments online - what about people who don't have internet?
What's the point of consultations if you don't do them properly?

Let's Get Yate Moving

What's more, Yate has now got to a size where it needs a decent size "two-way" Park and Ride site, with all-day parking for people travelling to Bristol and the North Fringe, plus parking for people working or spending long times in the Shopping Centre and the public buildings nearby.

The Liberal Democrat Focus Team has been running a 'Let's Get Yate Moving' campaign since 2014 to ensure that the Yate and Chipping Sodbury area gets the transport infrastructure it desperately needs. If you support this too, please do sign our petition at and pass it on to friends and family members.

Abson Road closed daytime 21 Aug to 1 Sep

Abson Road, a popular cut-through between Pucklechurch and Wick, will be closed to all traffic from 21 August to 1 September for essential resurfacing work (patch repairs to defective areas). Diversions will be in place (see map above), access to properties and amenities fronting the site and whose only access is from the closed road will be available at all times although delays may occur. The work will start at approximately 7.30am and remain in place until approximately 4.30pm.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Consultation on changes to Gibbs Lane weight limit

A consultation has started on changes to the Gibbs Lane, Codrington weight limit.

The aim is to implement an enforceable 7.5 Tonne weight restriction, to prevent Gibbs Lane being used as a through route by HGVs. As with all environmental weight limits, HGVs will still be permitted to load/unload at premises along Gibbs Lane. The proposed scheme is to amend the existing Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) for the weight limit on Gibbs Lane and to install new signs.

You can find out more and have your say here until 28th August.

Friday, 11 August 2017

Housing plans - dates for your diary

Last year, the West of England consulted on a Joint Spatial Plan (JSP) proposing:
  • 1,500 new homes at Coalpit Heath
  • 2,600 around Yate and Chipping Sodbury
  • 1,000 homes at Charfield
  • 600 homes at Thornbury
  • 2,200 homes at a new garden village at Buckover near Thornbury
The next round of consultation will take place in the autumn and judging from where they're holding the drop-in events, they are pressing ahead with these locations. The full list of drop-in events is:
  • Charfield Event – Charfield Memorial Hall - Wednesday 20th Sept 2 – 8pm
  • Coalpit Heath Event – Coalpit Heath Village Hall/Miners InstituteFriday 22nd Sept – 2 – 8pm
  • Thornbury Event – Armstrong Hall –Friday 29th Sept – 2 – 8pm
  • Yate Event – Sodbury Town Hall – Wednesday 4th October - 2 – 8pm
  • Buckover Event – Falfield Village Hall – Friday 6th Oct – 2 – 8pm

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Blackberry Park application refused

After a lengthy debate, the DC (East) Planning Committee refused on a split vote the Barratt Homes "Blackberry Park" outline application for up to 215 homes on land at Woodlands Farm. Local campaigners were there to have their say and show their support for protecting the site.

Barratt Homes now have the option to appeal against the decision. We will let you know if this happens.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Reminder - railway electrification work

As we've previously reported, for 4 weeks from 19th August Network Rail will be carrying out electrification work between Royal Wootton Bassett and Westerleigh junction. Some of the work will be noisy.

From 2nd to 15th September, the work will be extended to include Westerleigh Junction, Coalpit Heath, Winterbourne, Stoke Gifford and Bristol Parkway station, up to Patchway/Filton junctions and Bristol Parkway station will be closed. Trains will still be running using diversionary routes, with rail replacement bus and coach services in place for some journeys.

For the latest on the railway upgrade works go to and for more about rail services during the Bristol Parkway closure go to or

If you have any questions about the work and missed the earlier drop-ins, there is another one planned at The Old School Rooms, St Michael’s Centre, Stoke Gifford on Thursday, August 17 from 4.30pm to 7.30pm.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Have your say on Adult Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing Strategy

South Gloucestershire Council is consulting on the Adult Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing Strategy for 2017-2022. The strategy will guide local work to improve mental health for all adults living and working in South Gloucestershire over the next 5 years. You have until Friday 6th October to comment - find out more here.

Friday, 4 August 2017

Woodlands Farm - decision next week

The "Blackberry Park" application for up to 215 homes at Woodlands Farm will be decided at the DC (East) planning committee meeting next Thursday. The meeting starts at 3pm in Kingswood Civic Centre and the public are very welcome to attend. There will be up to 5 minutes for objectors to speak. The case officer has recommended that the application be approved. You can read their 66 page report online.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Cuts to local health services

Faced with a growing deficit, NHS chiefs have proposed a series of changes to local health services to cut costs. You can find out more about their plans and how to have your say on their website.

Most controversially, they are proposing to limit fertility treatment to women between 30 and 35 years of age. They already only fund one treatment, rather than the NICE recommendation of up to 3. This would mean that access to fertility treatment was even more limited. Your have until 15th September to have your say on this - some of the other consultations finish as early as next week.

During the recent election, the Liberal Democrats proposed putting an extra 1p in the pound on income tax to increase NHS funding. Across the country, we are seeing the consequences of under funding.

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Campaigners lobby for climate change action

Last Saturday campaigners, including local councillor Claire Young, attended The Climate Coalition's Week of Action coffee morning in the Ridgeway Cafe in Yate. They discussed ways to tackle climate change at a local level then afterwards went to lobby the local MP to demand action from the government on the national changes necessary to support local action.

Issues covered included giving certainty about feed-in tariffs to volunteers trying to get community energy projects off the ground, requiring new homes being built in our area to be 'zero carbon' and improvements to public transport. Sadly, from scrapping energy regulations for new homes to cutting feed-in tariffs for renewables, the Conservatives have a poor record on supporting low carbon policies.