Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Severe weather information

With snow predicted Thursday and Friday, you can find out the latest information on local services and get other cold weather advice on the South Glos Council website.

It's obviously a particularly difficult time for people who are sleeping rough - if you are aware of someone, you can send an alert to StreetLink via the StreetLink app or via so they can be visited and get the support they need.

Chance to raise local issues on Tuesday

The next Community Engagement Forum covering the area including Frampton Cotterell, Coalpit Heath, Westerleigh, and Iron Acton area is on Tuesday 6 March 7.30pm at the Greenfield Centre, Park Avenue, Winterbourne BS36 1NJ. The meeting gives you a chance to raise local issues and will include a presentation on fostering in your local community. For more information see

Monday, 26 February 2018

Tackling loneliness

A recent survey by Contact the Elderly showed 1/3 of people had noticed a lonely older person in their community and been concerned, and 40% did not feel confident that they knew how they could help.

South Gloucestershire Disability Network are hosting an information evening for community members to find out:

  • How to approach this situation
  • What you can do to help
  • What schemes exist to help isolated people locally 
The event will take place on Tuesday 20th March at Chipping Sodbury Town Hall. Registration starts at 6pm, after which attendees can have some nibbles and a look around stalls of local organisations should they wish. The main event will start at 6.30pm, to end around 8.30pm.

The event is aimed at businesses, workers, volunteers and members of the community who have, or might have, contact with lonely people, but who may not be sure what they can do to help. The aim is to increase confidence and provide some new skills in approaching situations with potentially lonely people, as well as provide attendees with information about schemes which may be of use to others in the community – for example First Contact and Community Connectors.

Booking is essential via Eventbrite.

Friday, 23 February 2018

Confusion over recycling rules

The new weekly recycling system was supposed to make it easier for people to recycle their waste but for some residents that hasn't been the case.

Having been contacted by local people confused by the recycling instructions on the bin hangers, Claire Young questioned the relevant council Cabinet Member at last week's council meeting.

The bin hanger says that items of the same kind should be grouped together in boxes. What some people weren't clear about was the fact that if you only have a small amount of recycling, you can put it all in one box. You just need to group similar items together within it.

Unfortunately it appears the collection crews aren't clear either. One crew refused to collect recycling presented in a single box and left new recycling bags with flyers insisting residents must use those.

This is absolutely not the case. You don't need to use bags at all, you can put all your recycling in one, two or more green boxes. Just make sure that you group similar items together to make it easier for the crews to sort.

You can find more detailed advice here. If you think your recycling has been rejected when it was presented correctly, you can report a missed collection here. If you need to speak to someone you can call 01454 868000. Do let your Focus Team know if you are having ongoing problems.

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Call for regeneration action

Local councillor Claire Young has called upon South Gloucestershire Council to kick-start the regeneration of the “western gateway to Yate.”

Although on the edge of Yate, most of the industrial estates are in Westerleigh and Iron Acton Parishes. With the Conservatives proposing thousands of new homes in the area, it's vital we have the jobs to go with them and an improved Yate station that links all the different forms of transport together.

The recent sale of Stover Road Trading Estate and the development of the new Local Plan make this the ideal time to look again at this issue. At last week's council meeting, Claire asked the Leader of Council to bring together the owners of all the trading estates and involve local councillors in the process. He was non-committal but your Focus Team will keep pressing for action.

South Glos Mines Research Group - AGM and talk

The South Glos Mines Research Group are holding their AGM and what they jokingly refer to as a “Boring” Talk on Wednesday 7th March 2018 in the Miners (aka Coalpit Heath Village Hall).

The AGM is 7:30pm for a prompt 8:00pm start followed at about 9:15pm by a short talk by David Hardwick on Boreholes in South Gloucestershire. Non-members are welcome for a charge of £2.

Monday, 19 February 2018

Coalsack Lane to close for repairs

Coalsack Lane will be closed from Monday 26th February to allow repair works to be carried out.

Friday, 16 February 2018

Budget passed with £36m in cuts and 5.99% council tax increase

On Wednesday the Conservatives on South Gloucestershire set a budget containing £36 million in cuts in 2019-2022, including over £16 million from adult and children's social services. This was despite a 5.99% council tax rise, including 3% for social care services.

Last week Claire Young chaired a detailed scrutiny of the budget where the Conservatives admitted they don't yet know how many of these cuts will be made. While the Liberal Democrats support some elements, such as the ongoing commitment to keeping free parking to support our town centres and  money for school improvement, we could not support a budget with so many holes and no proposals of how to fill them.

Councils across the country are being squeezed by the Conservative Government. An amendment, seconded by Claire, was passed noting with dismay the ongoing reduction in central government Settlement Funding for South Gloucestershire Council and its impact on the council's core spending power.

Council car park extension approved

Last week the planning committee unanimously approved the application to extend the car park at the Badminton Road council offices. Having listened to the concerns raised by residents and ward councillor Claire Young, an additional condition around lighting was added to try to limit the impact on local residents. However local residents remain concerned about the impact the extension will have on them.

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Claim a partial power of attorney refund

If you applied for lasting powers of attorney (LPA) or enduring powers of attorney (EPA) between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2017, you can claim a refund of part of your fee. More information is available on the Government website.

Monday, 12 February 2018

Broadband latest

There is good news for some of our villages, with fibre broadband being delivered to new parts of communities including Coalpit Heath, Codrington, Dodington, Tytherington and Westerleigh. To find out what broadband speeds and packages are available to you, contact your chosen Internet Service Provider (ISP). Note that broadband speeds will not automatically improve, you need to order a suitable package.

Some parts of Codrington have had their upgrade delayed due to the need to close a road. They hope to complete deployment in Codrington by the end of February 2018.

An extra 4,300 homes and businesses will get ultrafast and Next Generation Access broadband by the end of 2018 and Openreach have now confirmed which areas will be included. As with previous phases of the scheme, not all premises within postcodes will be upgraded and individual householders/businesses should check via the Openreach website.

For more information on the rollout of broadband across South Gloucestershire see this website.

Friday, 9 February 2018

Have your say on new Local Plan

South Gloucestershire Council has started a consultation on the new Local Plan, which will set out how the development proposed in the Joint Spatial Plan for the West of England will be delivered in South Gloucestershire. The consultation will run until 30th April and documents are available to view on the Council’s website at

A hard copy of the consultation document is available to view from 8.45am - 5pm Mondays to Wednesdays and 8.45am - 4.30pm Thursdays and Fridays, at the Council’s One-Stop Shops, which are located at:
  • Patchway One Stop Shop, The Patchway Hub, Rodway Road, Patchway BS34 5PE
  • Kingswood One Stop Shop, Civic Centre, High Street, Kingswood BS15 9TR
  • Yate One Stop Shop (access via West Walk), Kennedy Way, Yate BS37 4DQ
There will also be public drop-in events. The nearest to us is 6-8pm on Tuesday 20 March at the Ridgewood Community Centre, Yate (BS37 4AF). Details of all the events are available at

Part 2 of the document introduces the proposed strategy for delivering the development:

  • building out the developments already allocated in the council's Core Strategy
  • maximising the use of brownfield land within the urban areas
  • building the 5 large scale Strategic Development Locations set out in the Joint Spatial Plan for the West of England (Coalpit Heath, North West and West of Yate, Thornbury, Buckover and Charfield)
  • smaller scale development in the rural areas. 
Yate is one of the areas being looked at for maximising the use of brownfield land in urban areas and the question about how to approach development in the rural areas affects all our villages. The consultation document also sets out what is happening with the Strategic Development Locations and how the local communities will be involved further but does not ask specific questions around those.

The council would prefer you to use the response form available online to make comments. If you are unable to do so, you can submit comments by email to or by post. There is no need to submit comments in multiple different ways.

Frome Valley Relief Sewer on TV

On Thursday local councillor Dave Hockey featured in a BBC Points West news story on the Frome Valley Relief Sewer - you can watch the extract here. Dave has been campaigning for the last two decades on this issue. Let's hope the new sewer will make a difference.

Half term activities in libraries

South Gloucestershire Libraries have lots of fun activities for children and families this February half term. All activities are FREE drop-ins, most suitable for primary school aged children. Children must be accompanied by an adult. More information is available online.

Yate Community Engagement Forum

The next Yate Community Engagement Forum, which covers an area including the rural part of Dodington Parish, is being held at 7pm on Thursday 15 February at St Nicholas Church, Chargrove, Abbotswood, Yate BS37 4LG.

The meeting will include a drop in event on Your Community Cares before the Community Engagement Meeting at 6.30pm where you can speak to representatives from the Police, Neighbourhood Watch, Next Link (domestic abuse), DH&I (drug and alcohol service) and the Anti-Social behaviour team.

For more information see

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

New mental health website for children and young people

This week is Children's Mental Health Awareness Week and a new Mind You website for children and young people ( has been launched to promote mental health and emotional wellbeing in South Gloucestershire.

It has separate sections for children, young people, parents and carers and professionals and was designed with input from local children and young people. It suggests practical ways to improve their wellbeing and guidance on where to go if they need more support.

Kidney Hill to be closed on Monday

Kidney Hill, Westerleigh will be closed for roadworks all day on Monday 12 February. This is the length of road that runs from the Broad Lane junction (next to what used to be Cornerways Day Nursery) down to the T junction with the main road.

Monday, 5 February 2018

TV historian to give talk in Frampton Cotterell

Well known historian and TV presenter Prof Ronald Hutton will be giving a talk, "Tudor History- Bloody Mary", at 7.30pm on Wednesday 21 February at the Zion Church, Woodend Road, Frampton Cotterell, BS36 2HY. All welcome, entry is £4 or free to members of Frampton Cotterell and District Local History Society (annual subscription £15). Light refreshments are included.

Friday, 2 February 2018

Consent given for 3 new houses in the Green Belt on Bristol Road

Local residents and Frampton Cotterell South Glos Councillors are horrified that consent has been given for three new houses in the Green Belt on Bristol Road.

At the planning committee meeting on 25th January, the application to build 3 new houses on Green Belt land in a paddock between the bungalow at 119 Bristol Road at the entrance to the former Sunbeam Nursery site and the front garden of 127 Bristol Road was approved by councillors despite strong objections from local Cllrs Pat and Dave Hockey, Frampton Cotterell Parish Council and several local residents.

When the planning officer’s report was written and the recommendation for approval was given, no account was taken of the reason why the Government Inspector turned down a recent appeal in May 2015 against refusal of planning consent “for the erection of a triple garage with accommodation above” in the front garden of 127 Bristol Road because it “was found to disturb the openness of the site and thereby the Green Belt”.

This should have been taken into account by the Planning Officer before the recommendation was made – so should the grade of the land (Grade 2 – “Very good” agricultural land). These issues were only investigated at Dave Hockey’s request when he realised they had not been considered.

Local residents stated in their objections to this application that:

  • The recommendation for approval sets a dangerous precedent.
  • If this application is approved it will open the floodgates.
  • If this application is approved houses will be built all the way along Bristol Road in the Green Belt.
  • The Green Belt should be protected for all, not disregarded for the short term financial interest of a few. 
 A recorded vote was taken so the split along political party lines can be seen.

To find the details of the planning application, go to the planning application search page and enter reference number PT17/2904/O .