Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Special Needs and Disability advice

Supportive Parents provides the Special Educational Needs & Disability Information, Advice and Support (SENDIAS) Service in South Gloucestershire, as well as Bristol and North Somerset.  They are an independent organisation offering free, confidential and impartial advice to parents, children or any young person aged 16 – 25, about SEND. You can find out more on their website.

Monday, 30 October 2017

Night time closures of Nibley Lane

For five nights from 6th November, Nibley Lane between Badminton Road and Westerleigh Road will be closed between 9pm and 6.30am for roadworks.

Friday, 27 October 2017

Housing plans - Coalpit Heath and Yate area

The housing plans for our area made it into the Bristol Post earlier this week - but what they didn't make clear is that this is not a done deal. There is still a chance to have your say.

What the draft Joint Spatial Plan (JSP) says

You can read the full draft JSP here. The key points for Coalpit Heath are:
  • Around 1,800 new homes by 2036
  • Up to 5ha of employment land
  • Vehicular access off Badminton Road/Frog Lane, Roundways and Woodside Road
  • New local centre including one, possibly two, primary schools, a local retail outlet and community facility
  • Contributions to a new or expanded secondary school in the wider area
In the Yate area it proposes:
  • A minimum of 2,000 homes, with at least 1,000 to be built by 2036, to the north west of Yate, stretching round from Engine Common to Nibley.
  • New employment land west of Yate, stretching from the Badminton Road down to the double railway arches on the edge of Westerleigh.
The site to the south of Chipping Sodbury is now being held as "contingency" - so if homes aren't being built quickly enough elsewhere, it could be released at one of the 5-yearly reviews of the plan. Planners say around 1,500 homes could be built here, up to 775 before 2036. The site to the north of St John's Way is now considered to be too small to be a strategic development location, but developers have already put forward plans for part of it.


The developments at Coalpit Heath and north west and west of Yate would be expected to provide or contribute to a strategic transport package including:
  • Metrobus extension to Yate and Chipping Sodbury
  • A432 Park and Ride
  • Yate Rail Station enhancement
  • Winterbourne and Frampton Cotterell Bypass
  • strategic cycle route
  • local bus services. 
The Yate development would also be likely to require an on-site rail crossing and a new rail bridge across Nibley Lane. There is no mention of a Yate link road to any new motorway junction.

Chances to speak up

The JSP is currently going through a process of being approved for consultation. Members of the action group VALID and your local Focus Team attended the Infrastructure Board meeting on Monday to speak and will be in action again at the West of England Joint Committee meeting in Bath this coming Monday.

There will also be chances to speak at both the South Gloucestershire Cabinet meeting at 2pm on 6th November and the Council meeting at 7pm on 8th November (both at Kingswood Civic Centre).

Have your say in the consultation

If the consultation goes ahead, it's expected to run from 22nd November to 10th January. When it starts, we'll let you know how to have your say.

Housing plans - Buckover, Charfield and Thornbury

The housing plans for our area made it into the Bristol Post earlier this week - but what they didn't make clear is that this is not a done deal. There is still a chance to have your say.

What the draft Joint Spatial Plan (JSP) says

You can read the full draft JSP here. The key points are:
  • Around 3,000 homes would be provided in a new garden village at Buckover, with at least 1,500 of them being delivered by 2036.
  • Around 1,200 homes in a number of developments at Charfield
  • Another 500 homes at Thornbury before 2036 plus around 5ha of additional employment land on land at Crossways east of Morton Way

All of these developments would make financial contributions towards local and strategic transportation schemes, including potentially:

  • M5 J14 improvements
  • Charfield rail station re-opening
  • local bus service improvements
  • local highway, foot and cycle improvements.
Buckover and Thornbury developments would also contribute towards:

  • Metrobus Extension to Thornbury & Buckover Garden Village
  • A38(N) Park & Ride

It says in the policy for Buckover that "Consideration will also be required to ensure the A38 can continue to act as an effective relief road to the M5 without detriment to the new resident’s health & wellbeing."

The Charfield developments would also contribute towards "a comprehensive Wotton Road environmental enhancement scheme, new and improved foot and cycle connections through the village and to key local destinations such as Renishaws, KLB school and Wotton-under-Edge, and including a new Charfield circular public right of way route".

Chances to speak up

The JSP is currently going through a process of being approved for consultation. Members of the action group TRAPP'D and your local Focus Team attended the Infrastructure Board meeting on Monday to speak and will be in action again at the West of England Joint Committee meeting in Bath this coming Monday.

There will also be chances to speak at both the South Gloucestershire Cabinet meeting at 2pm on 6th November and the Council meeting at 7pm on 8th November (both at Kingswood Civic Centre).

Have your say in the consultation

If the consultation goes ahead, it's expected to run from 22nd November to 10th January. When it starts, we'll let you know how to have your say.

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Have your say on access to GPs

Concerns were raised at a recent meeting of the Health Scrutiny Committee that some people find it more difficult than others to access GP and other healthcare services. This could depend on appointment booking systems, public transport, how rural the area they live in is and how close they are to a boundary with another council area.

Healthwatch has agreed to undertake a piece of research on the committee's behalf to find out people’s experiences of accessing GP services. You can share your experiences at:


If you would like to discuss the survey with someone from Healthwatch, please call 01454 543 402.

Worried about someone sleeping rough?

If you are worried about someone sleeping rough, you can use Streetlink to inform the local council of your concerns. They can then visit the rough sleeper to offer them support and try to help them find accommodation.

You will also find advice on Streetlink's site about where to find help for someone at risk of becoming homeless.

Friday, 20 October 2017

STOP PRESS - Draft Joint Spatial Plan published

The latest Draft Joint Spatial Plan has been published. You can read it here.

The plans include:
  • 1,800 new homes at Coalpit Heath
  • 1,000 homes plus employment land on the edge of Yate, at Engine Common, Nibley and down to Westerleigh
  • 1,200 at Charfield
  • 1,500 at a new garden village at Buckover
  • 500 at Thornbury
We will keep you updated and will let you know how to have your say when the consultation starts.

Yate Spur cycle route - latest update

Here's the latest update about the long-awaited cycle track between Yate and the Railway Path, the cycling "superhighway" between Bristol and Bath. At the moment the Yate Spur only comes out as far as the T junction on Westerleigh Road south of Westerleigh.

  • Westerleigh Road T junction to Broad Lane (Cornerways) - inside the farmer's field up to the former Cornerways Nursery - You will probably have seen the fencing and the signs, with not much work going on lately. They struck a sewage pipe that wasn't on ANYBODY'S maps, and they've had to do some redesign. Work should start again shortly for completion in the Spring, together with appropriate direction signs. 
  • Broad Lane - has already been upgraded. 
  • Broad Lane to Nibley Lane Corner - the "Westerleigh bypass" - being designed, awaiting funding. This will probably be the last stretch of the whole project. 
  • Nibley Lane Corner improvements - recently consulted about - on hold until Spring 2018 because of extra traffic during the Bromley Heath Viaduct work. 
  • Section under railway viaduct to Westerleigh Rd mini-roundabout - detailed design nearly complete, awaiting funding 
  • Westerleigh Rd mini-roundabout to Yate Common - on hold until January 2018 because of railway embankment work near Chedworth 
Once the section alongside Westerleigh Road to Cornerways is done, there will be a continuous link from the Railway Path to opposite Wot Not at the north end of Westerleigh. We are pressing for any outstanding maintenance to be carried out between Broad Lane and Wot Not - it tends to get overgrown from time to time.

When the rest of the path is approaching completion there will need to be proper direction signs for the full length. We are also asking for the narrow part of the path across Yate Common to be reviewed. This will help disabled users too - there are now "Radar" key gates at both ends, but parts of the path are too narrow for two motorised scooters to pass each other. The details of the widening will of course be discussed with the Friends of Yate Common and Yate Town Council because of the enviromental sensitivity of the area.

We'll keep you posted on Yate Spur progress every few months.

Library activities this half term

If you're looking for something to keep your primary school age children occupied this half term, why not try out some of the fun activities at our local libraries.

Pirate pandemonium
Pirate themed crafts.
  • Thornbury Library - Monday 23 October, 11am to 12 midday 
  • Yate Library - Tuesday 24 October, 10.30am to 12 midday 
  • Winterbourne Library - Friday 27 October, 10.30am to 12 midday
Pumpkin pandemonium
Frightfully fun Halloween themed crafts.
  • Filton Library - Monday 23 October, 2pm to 3.30pm 
  • Patchway Library - Wednesday 25 October, 10.30am to 11.30am 
  • Bradley Stoke Library - Thursday 26 October, 10.30am to 12 midday
Autumn antics
Seasonal crafts and activities.
  • Downend Library - Monday 23 October, 2.30pm to 3.30pm 
  • Staple Hill Library - Tuesday 24 October, 10.30am to 11.30am 
  • Emersons Green Library - Tuesday 24 October, 2pm to 3.30pm
Up, up and away
Have some fun making crafts with a flying theme.
  • Cadbury Heath Library - Tuesday 24 October, 2pm to 3pm 
  • Kingswood Library - Wednesday 25 October, 2pm to 3pm 
  • Hanham Library - Thursday 26 October, 2pm to 3pm
For younger children there are free pre-school story times and rhyme times  - visit www.southglos.gov.uk/childrenslibrary for details.

While you're at the library you could book your induction session for the new Open Access scheme. This will allow you to use some of the libraries, including Yate, Winterbourne and Thornbury, from 7:30am to 8:30pm by using your card to get in during unstaffed times. You can also book by going online to www.southglos.gov.uk/OpenAccess

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Burn Awareness Day

Wednesday 18th October is National Burn Awareness Day.

The aim of the day is to raise awareness of how to prevent burns as well as what to do if they do happen.  Children along with the elderly are especially vulnerable to burns and scalds as their skin is thinner and therefore burns quicker. Over 600 children a month require admission to an NHS Burns Service following a burn or scald injury and thousands more are seen by A&E departments. The highest number of burns and scalds are due to hot drinks, which can still scald a child's skin 15 minutes after being made.

If someone is burnt, the advice from the British Burn Association is to Cool, Call and Cover:

  • Cool the burn with running cold tap water for 20 minutes and remove all clothing and jewellery (unless it is melted or firmly stuck to the wound)
  • Call for help: 999, 111 or local GP for advice
  • Cover with cling film or a sterile, non-fluffy dressing or cloth. Make sure the patient is kept warm.
For more information visit http://www.cbtrust.org.uk/national-burn-awareness-day/

Friday, 13 October 2017

More Yate station improvements

Great news for commuters as the ticket machine at Yate Station is about to be covered, meaning the machine is less likely to break and will be easier to read on sunny days. Queuing at the ticket window will also be covered, with more shelter on the platform once you’ve got your ticket. Thanks to the Lib Dem Focus Team for putting in funding bids and finally persuading the authorities to pay up!

If you are interested in campaigning for more station improvements, the next Friends of Yate Station meeting is at 7.30pm on 1st November.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Advice on hate crime

Next Friday there will be a drop-in session for those needing advice on dealing with hate crime.

Between 10am and 1.30pm on Friday 20th October staff from South Glos Council, Avon and Somerset Police and agencies such as SARI (Stand Against Racism and Inequality) will be in Yate Shopping Centre's West Walk. Anyone can ask questions about hate crime or hate-related incidents and get information and advice. If you can’t make this session, or for more information on hate crime including how to report it, visit: www.southglos.gov.uk/hatecrime

Have your say on activities for young people

Are you a young person or part of an organisation who is or would like to be involved in providing positive activities for young people?

If so, now is the time to have your say on how South Glos Council should support activities for young people. You can find out more on their consultation website. There are three separate surveys for young people, the wider community (including community and statutory organisations) and positive activity providers (current or potential youth work providers).

The deadline for comments is Wednesday 15th November and a final decision will be made next March.

Monday, 9 October 2017

Codrington Broadband update

It's hoped that work to upgrade broadband in Codrington will be finished by the end of this month.

To check whether your house or business is being upgraded, use the Openreach line checker at:


If it's not available, try again later. When working, if you are being upgraded it should show "In scope" and state that an FTTP solution is being used (that is, fibre to the premises, rather than just to the nearest green box). Note that there is still the possibility that technical issues stop your property being upgraded.

Once the infrastructure work is complete you will need to order an FTTP package from an ISP. An Openreach engineer will then need to visit your property to replace the line with a fibre optic cable and install a box inside your home.

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Nibley Road overnight closure

Nibley Road will be closed between Badminton Road and Westerleigh Notice from 9pm on 11th October to 6.30am on 12th October so work can be carried out.

Grants Advice sessions

Are you a community group looking for advice on how to apply for Member Awarded Funding or Area Wide Grants?

If so, you can book a 30 minute slot between 10am and 1pm on Monday 6 November. The sessions take place at the Council Offices, Badminton Road, Yate, BS37 5AF. To book a place, please contact the team on 01454 865865 (Mon-Fri 9am to 4pm) or grants@southglos.gov.uk. It would be useful to know when booking which subject area you are interested in.

Friday, 6 October 2017

Plans from housing drop-ins

Now that the drop-in events on the new housing proposals are coming to an end, you can see all the materials used at them here.

The proposals for the Yate/Sodbury area include housing coming round from north of the football club down towards the top of Nibley, employment to the west of the current business parks along Nibley Lane and then mixed housing/employment in the land between Nibley Lane and the railway arches. If these and the Coalpit Heath proposals go ahead, there would be very little separating the villages from Yate.

The submission draft of the JSP will be going to an extraordinary meeting of the West of England Infrastructure Advisory Board in Bristol on 25th and the next meeting of WECA will be 2pm on 30th October at the Bath Guildhall. Papers for that will be available on 20th October. It will then be coming to the South Gloucestershire Cabinet on 6th November and full council on 8th November.

Over the winter there will be a consultation and all submissions will be sent with the submission draft to the Secretary of State. The plan will then be tested at an Inquiry.

Tories refuse to back recommendation to invest in Yate Minor Injuries Unit

Local councillors outside Yate MIU
At a meeting of South Gloucestershire’s Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee last Friday, Conservative Councillors failed to support a recommendation for the Clinical Commissioning Group to review and invest in services at Yate Minor Injuries Unit.

The recommendation was moved by Lib Dem councillor Sue Hope and supported by all Lib Dem and Labour councillors on the committee. The Conservatives split with six abstaining and two voting against.

The recommendation states:

"There is recognition of the growing demand for services at the Yate MIU; the CCG recognise this and reviews the service with the aim of investing in a service to meet the growing demand at Yate MIU"

The recommendation was passed by 5 votes to 2 with 6 abstentions.

Sue Hope said: “I brought this recommendation in response to the current three month trial at Yate MIU under which patients are being turned away during the day when the service becomes too busy. We believe that this is a bad policy, which had led to confusion and dismay among patients"

“I was amazed when the Conservatives refused to support our resolution, particularly as health colleagues at the meeting had already said that they were happy to review the MIU service and report back to the committee. I’m pleased that the resolution was passed with the help of Liberal Democrat and Labour councillors”

Cllr Hope also brought a second resolution asking for the CCG to review its communication strategy with the public, be clear in its objectives and give a clear concise message to the public as to how to access services. This resolution was passed with 7 in favour and 6 abstentions (all Conservative)

Sue Hope said: “It’s become clear that the CCG and local health providers seriously need to look at how they communicate with residents about services on offer. Not only has there been a lot of confusion about the situation with the MIU, but it is clear that most residents are still unaware of the minor injuries service now available at all South Gloucestershire GP practices”

The South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) will now report back on both resolutions at a future session of the Scrutiny Committee.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Another local history event

The Frampton Cotterell and District Local History Society are holding a talk by John Penny, “The Port of Bristol “, on  Wednesday 18 Oct 2017 at 7.30pm at Zion Church, Woodend Road, Frampton Cotterell BS36 2HY.   All welcome, entry is £4 or free to members (annual subscription £15) Light refreshments will be available.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Campaigning for better buses

On Monday Claire Young once again took our campaign for improving local bus services to the South Glos Public Transport Forum.

Claire reminded the First Bus Director James Freeman of the 82 bus service petition she presented last autumn and followed up again at the Forum earlier this year. As well as better reliability, we are calling for the reinstatement of a direct bus service from Chipping Sodbury (and the villages beyond) to Southmead, Parkway and the Mall and a later bus service for people who work at the Mall to get home after it closes.

Mr Freeman said that their records showed that since they switched the 82 service to run out of a different depot, reliability has improved (do let us know if this isn't your experience). They're considering options for improving the service but will only implement them once the Bromley Heath viaduct works have finished. Let us know if you have any comments on what you would like to see and we'll pass them on.

Claire also challenged First Bus on the age of buses being used on the 47 and X47 service into Bristol. They are planning changes to the Yate-Bristol corridor, which should bring good news, but again this will be once the viaduct work has finished. Contact us if you would like us to pass on your views about how they could improve the services.

Update: From a subsequent email it appears that First Bus have ruled out extending the 82 bus service beyond Yate before anyone has had the chance to get back to them with their suggestions.