Friday, 17 November 2017

Consultation on new homes starts next week

All four West of England councils have now agreed that the consultation on the Joint Spatial Plan (JSP) should go ahead so it will start on 22nd November. The JSP proposes:
  • 1,800 new homes at Coalpit Heath
  • 2,000 homes plus employment land on the edge of Yate, between Engine Common and Nibley and down to Westerleigh, with at least 1,000 being built by 2036 
  • 1,200 at Charfield 
  • 3,000 at a new garden village at Buckover, with at least 1,500 of them being built by 2036 
  • 500 at Thornbury 
Some headlines have given the impression that the plan has already been approved - it has not. A Planning Inspector will hold a public inquiry next year to decide if the plan is sound and whether any changes are needed to make it sound. They will see any comments you make in the consultation, which runs until 10th January 2018.

This will be your last chance to have your say - don't leave it to others. Once the plan has been adopted it will be too late to change where the new development goes. 

The new South Glos Local Plan will just be adding in the details and possibly allocating smaller sites. It can't put the homes in a different place entirely from that allocated in the JSP.

The JSP document, supporting evidence and details of how to make a submission will be published online at www.jointplanningwofe.org.uk on 22nd November. If you would like to help spread the word to those who aren't online, please contact us.

Partial victory in health campaign - but more cuts to come

Your Focus Team welcomes news that local health managers have rowed back on proposals to cut the upper age limit for which women are eligible for IVF treatment on the NHS after protests - but more cuts are to come.

Faced with a growing deficit, NHS chiefs proposed a series of cuts to local health services, including limiting 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. They have now decided to keep the age limit for IVF treatment at 40. However they are still proposing that any woman whose partner has a child from a previous relationship will not be eligible for IVF treatment. On top of this, we have been warned that there will be millions in cuts announced after the New Year.

Together with Bristol and North Somerset, South Gloucestershire is one of only 14 areas in the country targeted for extra cuts under the Conservative Government’s Capped Expenditure Process. Many of our NHS services are already being stretched close to breaking point. We are calling for greater investment in the NHS so that health managers can concentrate on how to improve services, not how to cut them. Thank you to everyone who has already signed our petition to protect local NHS funding. If you haven’t already, you can do so here.

Public consultation on new school building

There will be a public consultation session on the new school building at Watermore Primary School. The drop-in will be held from 2.45 to 7pm on Tuesday 28th November at the Meadow site (the old Highcroft Junior School site).

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Temporary closure of North Road for cleaning

North Road, Yate, from its junction with Armstrong Way to the bridge over the River Frome, is expected to close from 6am to 8am on 23rd November so the leaves can be cleaned away.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Volunteers start major tree planting programme at Wapley Bushes


Wapley Bushes Conservation Group is carrying out a major programme of tree planting this autumn and winter, to deal with the threat of Ash Dieback Disease. This disease is carried by a fungus. Mature trees are the most affected - they lose their leaves and the crown dies back. It's within a dozen miles of Wapley Bushes Local Nature Reserve. If something isn't done now, within twenty years we will have lost all the high canopy in Wapley Woods.

The Conservation Group has come up with a scheme to plant other large native species throughout the woodland. This season they will be planting 90 to 100 trees - Oak, Lime, Black Poplar, Whitebeam and Wild Service trees. They are all native to the West of England area.

Hopefully members of the local community will come along and help preserve this wonderful woodland. Families with children are particularly welcome - it's really planting for the future. The Conservation Group supply the trees, the tools and gloves, people just need to wear wellies or stout footwear.

The first planting morning will be at 10.00 am on Saturday 18 November at the Shire Way entrance to the Nature Reserve, opposite the road entrance to Cherington, BS37 8US. There will also be planting sessions on Sunday 18 February and Saturday 18 March. The trees and preparation work are being financed by the landowners, Dodington Parish Council.

Time to nominate community heroes


Nominations are now open for The Chair’s Community Awards 2018. If you know a volunteer or group who has gone the extra mile to help your community, please nominate them using the forms available on this page by 5th January.

Suggested areas of contribution include community development, promoting equality, arts, sports, play, environment, working with older or young people, advice and advocacy and being a good neighbour. The chosen nominees will be notified in February and invited to a prestigious awards evening on 7 March to receive their awards. The Lord Lieutenant of Gloucestershire, Dame Janet Trotter, attends the awards ceremony and selects an individual from the winners to receive a special Lord Lieutenant’s Award.

No online access to council this weekend

Due to essential electrical work all of South Glos Council's online forms will be unavailable this weekend from 6pm on Friday 17 November until 4pm on Sunday 19 November 2017. Open Access will not be available in libraries from Friday evening until Monday morning. IT services will also not be available in libraries in staffed opening hours. South Glos apologise for any inconvenience caused.