Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Loan Bike Scheme – try before you buy

If you’ve not cycled for a while and would like to get back on a bike for fitness, leisure, or an easy and stress-free way to get to work, then why not give the Loan Bike scheme a try.

The Loan Bikes scheme is different from a daily Bike Hire as their quality bikes can be borrowed for up to a month, absolutely FREE of charge, and are a great way to boost your confidence and discover if cycling is for you before investing in a new bike.

The loan bike scheme is open to anyone who lives, works or studies in Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset. More details here.

Friday, 15 September 2017

Reminder - drop-in events

Next week sees the first of the drop-in events on the housing proposals for our area, including 2pm to 8pm on Friday 22 September at Coalpit Heath Village Hall/The Miners.

The full list of events is:

Charfield:
Wednesday 20 September at Charfield Memorial Hall, 2-8pm

Coalpit Heath
Friday 22 September at Coalpit Heath Village Hall/Miners Institute, 2-8pm

Thornbury:
Friday 29 September at Armstrong Hall, 2-8pm

Yate and Chipping Sodbury:
Wednesday 4 October at Sodbury Town Hall, 2-8pm

Buckover Garden Village:
Friday 6 October at Falfield Village Hall, 2-8pm

Also, if you weren't able to get to the M4 J18a drop-in at Westerleigh Village Hall on Monday, there is another chance to find out more and have your say at Shire Way Community Centre from 4pm to 7pm on Tuesday 19 September.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Aviva Community Fund

The Aviva Community Fund is now open for applications for funding from £1,000 up to £25,000 for an important cause in your community.

All you have to do is enter a project for your community organisation – even if you took part previously – and tell them what a difference these much-needed funds could make. You can find out more here.

Yate Swimming Pool to reopen at end of October

Yate Leisure Centre have announced:

"We are pleased to announce to all Active Customers, that both of our Swimming Pools will be opening again at the end of October following major redevelopment works. This is a little later than originally envisaged."

"Both pools will be re-filled with water during early October. This is to enable the building contractors to monitor and test the integrity of the new pools. The water will then be gradually heated prior to opening for general use."

"We are really excited that we are nearing completion and the reopening date. We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your patience and continual support."

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Local history talk next Wednesday

The Frampton Cotterell and District Local History Society are kicking off their 2017/18 season of talks next Wednesday with one entitled “A Trip to Jerusalem – Pubs and Pub Signs” by Mike Rowland. It starts at 7.30pm on Wednesday 20th September in the Zion Church, Woodend Road, BS36 2HY. All welcome, entry is £4 including light refreshments or free to members (annual subscription is £15).

Monday, 11 September 2017

Reporting smell complaints in Westerleigh

Last week there were more odour complaints in Westerleigh village. The Environment Agency have asked the abattoir to investigate. They also stress that when there is an odour, please ring the abattoir first on 0117 957 1919 . It is much easier for staff to investigate the problem when it is happening. A new manager is dealing with the complaints.

If the problem persists, please then ring the Environment Agency hotline on 0800 807060. It is really helpful for them to be able to speak to complainants directly.

Friday, 8 September 2017

Latest on Winterbourne International Academy

The uncertainty surrounding the future for Winterbourne International Academy has been resolved with news that the Department for Education has confirmed that “in principle” approval has been given for Winterbourne to join the Olympus Academy Trust. You can read more about what this means in this letter from the Interim Leadership.

On Friday 1st September Yate International Academy joined Greenshaw Learning Trust, as had already been agreed earlier this year.

Reminder - Junction 18a drop-in on Monday

On Monday (11th September) there will be a drop-in event from 4pm to 6.45pm at Westerleigh Village Hall where you can find out more about the proposals for a new junction 18a on the M4.

More information can be found at http://www.southglos.gov.uk/M4J18a and if you can't make this event, there are others, including 4pm to 7pm on Tuesday 19th September at the Shire Way Community Centre, Yate.

It's important that everyone lets the council know their views on these proposals, as any new junction could have a major impact on our area. We're keen to hear from you too - please fill in our very brief survey here.

New bus service for Tytherington and Rangeworth

Stagecoach West has introduced a useful new service from Chipping Sodbury to Cribbs Causeway via Yate, Rangeworthy, Tytherington and Thornbury - full timetable here.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Parking around the Manor School

After a long delay, the proposed new parking restrictions around the Manor School in Coalpit Heath have now been formally advertised.

There are actually two consultations because two Traffic Regulation Orders are needed - one for the yellow zig zag lines, which will be shortened so that they are enforceable, and one for double yellow lines. Hopefully these will help prevent the dangerous parking that local people have often suffered at school times. You have until 22nd September to have you say.

Proposed 20mph limit around Chipping Sodbury School

South Glos is proposing introducing a 20 mph speed limit around Chipping Sodbury School. It will include the following roads: Bowling Road, Claypit Hill, Dodington Road, Gullivers Place, Lilliput Avenue and Lilliput Court. You can find out more and have your say before 22 September here.

Proposed 20mph speed limit round St Andrew's School

South Glos is proposing introducing a 20 mph speed limit on Butcroft Lane, Church Lane and Rectory Lane in Cromhall. You can find out more and have your say before 22 September here.

Friday, 1 September 2017

Last chance to have your say on South Glos ward boundaries

The South Glos Council wards will be changing at the next local elections in 2019, with the total number of councillors being cut from 70 to 61 and the number of voters being represented by each councillor becoming more equal.

The Local Government Boundary Commission for England has published their draft recommendations for the new boundaries. You can find all the details, including interactive maps, on their website.The consultation runs until 6th November 2017 and is your last chance to have your say before their proposals are finalised.

These are the criteria the Commission must follow when drawing up electoral arrangements:

  • To deliver electoral equality where each councillor represents roughly the same number of electors as others across South Gloucestershire.
  • That the pattern of wards should, as far as possible, reflect the interests and identities of local communities.
  • That the electoral arrangements should provide for effective and convenient local government. 
You need to take account of these if you are suggesting different ward boundaries.

It's just as important to say if you like the changes proposed as if you don't. 

Note that the external boundary of South Gloucestershire won't change, just how the area within it is divided up into wards. Nor will they be changing external Parish boundaries.

However, Parishes and Parish wards within Parishes are being used as the building blocks of the new wards. Because of this, some Parishes will have their internal ward boundaries changed and others will have Parish wards created for the first time.  For example, they propose moving the boundary between the Coalpit Heath and Westerleigh wards of Westerleigh Parish so that all the houses on Henfield Road, The Hollows, Cook's Lane and Bitterwell Close are in the Coalpit Heath ward. There would still be 7 Parish Councillors for Coalpit Heath ward and 2 for Westerleigh ward.

How will it affect our area?

If these proposals go ahead:

  • Charfield ward would be unchanged. 
  • Westerleigh and Ladden Brook wards would disappear.
  • Frampton Cotterell ward would be enlarged to become a three member ward, covering the parishes of Frampton Cotterell, Iron Acton, Rangeworthy and Tytherington and the (slightly enlarged) Coalpit Heath ward of Westerleigh Parish.
  • The Westerleigh ward of Westerleigh Parish and Dodington South ward of Dodington Parish, which are both currently in Westerleigh ward, would move into an enlarged Boyd Valley ward.
  • Wickwar Parish would move into a new Sodbury Vale ward, which also takes in large parts of the current Cotswold Edge ward.

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 healthchampions@southernbrooks.org.uk. 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 http://www.southglos.gov.uk/M4J18a

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 transport.policy@southglos.gov.uk - 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 www.southglos.gov.uk/AWG 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 grants@southglos.gov.uk

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 www.southglos.gov.uk/grants

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 www.southgloslibdems.org.uk/letsgetyatemoving 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 www.networkrail.co.uk/westernupgrade and for more about rail services during the Bristol Parkway closure go to gwr.com/bristolparkway2017 or crosscountrytrains.co.uk/bristol2017

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.

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Cutting waiting times by shutting out patients


Your Focus Team was shocked to learn that Sirona, who run the Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) in Yate, are being allowed to shut the doors to new patients when they're busy so they can meet their waiting time targets.

Of course there is no guarantee if you're redirected to A&E that you'll be seen any more quickly there than if you'd been allowed to wait at the MIU. Neither Southmead or the Children's Hospital are easy to get to from Yate, especially when injured. This seems to be about meeting targets, not meeting the needs of patients.

Claire Young is asking for your experiences of being turned away by the Yate MIU during the advertised opening hours. Please fill in our short survey  - the more evidence we have, the better we can speak up for you. We have already heard from a number of disgruntled users, including someone who travelled from Thornbury with two young children, only to be told they would have to go to Bristol Children's Hospital, and another who found the unit closed 2 hours early.

Find out more about fostering

South Glos are currently looking for foster carers for every background to care for children and young people who have had a difficult start in life. You can find out more at a Fostering Information Evening in Yate on Thursday 3 August. It runs from 7pm to 9pm at the Badminton Road Council Offices.

For more information, call the fostering team on 01454 866423, email fostering@southglos.gov.uk or visit www.southglos.gov.uk/fostering

Summer reading challenge

Once again libraries in South Gloucestershire are inviting all 4 to 11-years-old to take part in the Summer Reading Challenge. This year’s theme is Animal Agents, based on a detective agency staffed by a variety of clever animals – furry, scaly and slippery – who are out to crack a case at the library with a little help from their friends. The challenge, which involves reading six books, runs until 16th September.

 You can find out more about the challenge and a range of free activities running through the holidays at www.southglos.gov.uk/childrenslibrary

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Climate change coffee morning

At 10am this Saturday, 29th July, the WWF are holding a Climate Change Coffee morning in the Ridgewood Cafe, Yate. This will be a chance to find out more about the Climate Coalitiion, how climate change is affecting the local community and what action you can take. You can find out more at https://www.facebook.com/events/408149509578801/

Friday, 21 July 2017

M4 J18a proposals - ways to have your say

South Gloucestershire Council have published proposals for a new junction 18a on the M4. They are in the early stages of a feasibility study and you will have a chance to have your say in a formal consultation starting next month. You can pre-register your interest in the consultation here.

Last week Claire Young attended an open-air meeting at Pucklechurch about the junction. There is strong opposition there to the Eastern proposal, which would involve building a link road near the village. You can read what the Parish Council has to say here.

 

There were mixed views expressed on the western proposal, close to the science park. Westerleigh village residents who attended were worried that either option would lead to a big increase in traffic through their village. Your Focus Team raised concerns about the limited scope of the feasibility study when the council decided to accept the money from the Government to carry it out. We do not think any option should go ahead without action to prevent serious knock-on impacts on the surrounding roads and communities.

Claire has been helping Westerleigh Parish Council to arrange a drop-in session where officers from South Gloucestershire Council will be available to answer your questions and hear what you have to say. It will take place from 4pm to 6.45pm on Monday 11th September in Westerleigh Village Hall.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Yate Spur cycle route progress (and delays)

There's good news and bad news 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 - Construction starts this month, taking 4 months 
  • Broad Lane - has already been upgraded 
  • Broad Lane to Nibley Lane Corner - the "Westerleigh bypass" - being designed, awaiting funding 
  • Nibley Lane Corner improvements - recently consulted about - on hold until Spring 2018 because of expected heavy traffic during the Bromley Heath Viaduct work 
  • Section under railway viaduct to Westerleigh Rd mini-roundabout - being designed, awaiting funding 
  • Westerleigh Rd mini-roundabout to Yate Common - on hold until January 2018 because of railway embankment work near Chedworth
Once the section from 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.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Early warning of train delays

On Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 September Network Rail will be testing the overhead wires in the Reading area, which will have an impact on all Thames Valley and High Speed Services. What that means for people travelling from our area is that services will operate hourly from Bristol Temple Meads and London Paddington with amended calling patterns and some extended journey times.  You can find out more at https://www.gwr.com/travel-updates/planned-engineering/reading2017

Friday, 14 July 2017

Have your say on services for sexual assault victims

The Police and Crime Commissioners, the Police service and NHS England are working together to plan and buy Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) services in the South West of England. SARCs are a special service where victims and survivors of rape or sexual assault can receive immediate help and support. These services will go live on 1st October 2018 and replace existing services.

If you would like to have your say on the new SARC service, you can find out more here. Ideally, they would like comments by the end of July, but they will continue to consider comments until third week in August.

Libraries to close temporarily for updates

Yate, Thornbury and Winterbourne Libraries will be closing for 2 weeks each to install the equipment for users to access them during unstaffed hour sunder the new seven-day-a-week opening arrangements, due to start in October. Borrowers will be able to gain access with an upgraded library card.

If your local library is closed for a few days, you will be able to access another library relatively close by. You can still make reservations and renew books online and you won’t get a fine if your book is due back while the library is closed.

The project has been designed so that neighbouring libraries will not be closed at the same time.

The closing dates are:

  • Winterbourne Aug 3 - Aug 18 
  • Thornbury Aug 9 - Aug 23 
  • Yate Aug 21 - Sep 5 

Click here for more information about library services in South Gloucestershire.

Temporary speed limit on A46 at Tormarton

South Glos Council is temporarily introducing a 40mph speed limit on the A46 for 450m north of the junction 18 roundabout from 24 July for the duration of the Bromley Heath viaduct works. They have already installed traffic lights to control the B4465 junction during that period.

Friday, 7 July 2017

Bromley Heath viaduct works latest

We've previously reported on the works to the Bromley Heath viaduct on the Ring Road, which will have major travel implications across our area. Although the Government was not prepared to stump up any more cash, the West of England Joint Committee did recently agree funding from the Local Enterprise Partnership Economic Development Fund (EDF) to reduce the work from 52 weeks to 33 weeks.

At the Frampton Cotterell drop-in officers confirmed that while they are not now planning to do many of the road closures they’d originally considered, they will be keeping the situation under review and have done the legal paperwork so they can put closures in place quickly should the need arise. If you missed that drop-in, there are two still to be held:

Longwell Primary School, Monday 10th July, 6:00pm – 8:00pm Dodington Parish Council Hall, Finch Road, Tuesday 11th July, 5:00pm – 7:00pm

Traffic management will be put in over the weekend of Saturday 22 to Sunday 23 July, and the actual maintenance work will start on Monday 24 July.

For more information please visit www.southglos.gov.uk/bhviaduct.

No decision on Woodlands Farm this month

There will be no decision on the "Blackberry Park" application on Woodlands Farm this month. The next DC (East) planning committee meeting was due to take place next week. Given the issues raised by members of the committee following last week’s site visits, all the applications have been deferred to a later date.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Help Frampton Cotterell in Bloom

Frampton Cotterell is being judged for the Britain in Bloom competition on Monday 10th July. In 2015 the village was awarded silver gilt pennant and Floral Friends of Frampton (FFF) have been busy re-potting planters & hanging baskets for the summer. They would like people to try to keep the village free of litter and check the frontage of their properties for things like weeds along the edge of the pavement or road over the coming weekend.

Monday, 3 July 2017

Fire safety advice

South Glos Council has published some fire safety advice on its website, along with links to more comprehensive advice on the Avon Fire Service website.

Friday, 30 June 2017

Planning committee visits Woodlands Farm


Today members of the DC (East) planning committee visited Woodlands Farm to view the site and hear the concerns of local people and councillors. As yet, we don't know which committee meeting the decision is likely to be taken at - we'll keep you updated.

Latest on Westerleigh smell

Following recent odour complaints, the Environment Agency have visited Westerleigh abattoir to carry out a compliance assessment. They have asked the owners, Tulip, to make a number of improvements and will take further steps if these are not completed by the deadline given.

If you experience an odour that you think may be caused by the abattoir, please call them on 0117 9571919. If the odour persists, please also contact the Environment Agency’s hotline (0800 807060).

Thursday, 29 June 2017

20mph limit for Frampton Cotterell C of E School

As part of their programme to introduce 20mph speed limits around schools, South Glos Council is consulting on introducing one on the following roads in Frampton Cotterell:

Beaufort Road, Brookside Drive, Foxe Road, Meadow Mead, Mount Close, Park Row, Prospect Close, Rectory Road, Robel Avenue, School Road, Thornhayes Close, Western Avenue, Winchcombe Road and Witney Mead

You can find out more and have your say on the council's website - you have until 20th July to have your say.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Planning committee to visit Woodlands Farm


Next Friday, 30th June, the DC (East) planning committee will be visiting Woodlands Farm, Coalpit Heath. Barratt Homes are hoping to build up to 215 houses on the site, which they call "Blackberry Park".

The committee members are expected to arrive at the site at about 10.50am. Members of the public are very welcome to attend - last time there was an application for Woodlands Farm large numbers turned up to show their opposition. There will be 10 minutes for someone from the objectors to speak, as well as 3 minute slots for South Glos and Parish Councillors. We will be meeting by the kissing gate that leads into the fields between St Saviour's Rise and Blackberry Drive - as shown by the green star on this map.

You can view the agenda for the site visit here - it includes a link to the case officer's report.

Many people will be at work or school next Friday morning but there is another way to show local opposition. This Saturday, 24th June, a photographer from the Gazette is coming to the fields at 11am. Please meet by the kissing gate that leads into the fields between St Saviour's Rise and Blackberry Drive - and encourage your friends and family to be there too.

Rail electrification - more noisy work ahead

Major electrification work will be taking place in our area from 19 August to 15 September, night and day. Some of the work will be noisy and deliveries to Network Rail compounds along the route (e.g. Shire Way access point) will be made by road, so nearby roads will experience an increase in traffic.

The work will be on the main line from Royal Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire, to Patchway/Filton junctions, via Old Sodbury, Chipping Sodbury and Yate to Westerleigh Junction.

In addition, from 2 September to 15 September 2017, the work area will extend to include Westerleigh Junction towards Yate station, Coalpit Heath, Winterbourne, Stoke Gifford and Bristol Parkway station, up to Patchway/Filton junctions.

Network Rail say "We are electrifying the line to bring passengers quieter, more frequent and more reliable services between London Paddington and Cardiff"

The work includes:
  • Carrying out the piling required to install the foundations which will support the electrification equipment. That's the really noisy part. 
  • Installing the equipment, including trackside masts and overhead wires at some locations. 
  • Installing electrification equipment in Chipping Sodbury tunnel. 
  • Improving flood resilience at Chipping Sodbury sidings. 
  • Preparing Bristol Parkway station for the arrival of new InterCity Express trains, including the construction of a fourth platform. 
How can you find out more?

Network Rail are setting up a dedicated web page at www.networkrail.co.uk/westernupgrade - it contains more detailed information about the work they will be carrying out and will be updated regularly as the project progresses. It also has a useful introductory video.

Network Rail will also be running drop-in sessions, when members of the project team will be on hand to explain the work and answer your questions. The sessions nearest to us are:

  • Thursday 29 June, Coalpit Heath Village Hall, 4.30pm to 7pm
  • Tuesday 4 July, Ridgewood Community Centre, Yate, 4.30pm to 7pm
  • Tuesday 11 July, The Old School Rooms, St Michael’s Centre, Stoke Gifford, 4.30pm to 7pm
  • Wednesday 12 July, Chipping Sodbury Town Hall, 4.30pm to 7pm
  • Tuesday 25 July, All Saints Church Hall, Winterbourne Down, 4.30pm to 7pm

If you have any questions about the work, you can email Network Rail at crwest@networkrail.co.uk or call the 24-hour National Helpline on 03457 11 41 41. For updates, you can follow them on Twitter @networkrailwest

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Have your say on Health and Wellbeing Strategy

A consultation is underway on a new strategy to guide the work of the South Gloucestershire Health and Wellbeing Board to improve the health of everyone living and working in South Gloucestershire. It will be adopted by the organisations that make up the Health and Wellbeing Board and sets out four key areas for action:

  1. Improve educational attainment and raise aspirations through promotion of health and wellbeing in schools and colleges
  2. Promote and enable positive mental health and wellbeing throughout life
  3. Promote and enable good nutrition, physical activity and a healthy weight at all ages
  4. Maximise the potential of our built and natural environment to enable healthy lifestyles and prevent disease 
The consultation runs until Monday 21 August. More information about the Strategy and details of how to give your feedback is available online at www.southglos.gov.uk/hws. Copies of the consultation materials are also available at Libraries and One Stop Shops.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

More roadworks on B4465 Codrington Road

South Glos Council will be undertaking essential works on the B4465 between 3 and 14 July. For quite a bit of the time the road will be closed at two locations:

Site ‘A’ is at Watts Barn, where works involve the installation of road gullies and a new drainage system.

Site ‘B’ is located in Codrington village itself. The works comprise of carriageway reconstruction / resurfacing. The limits of the surfacing are from the Wishing Well Public house westwards for 500m through the village.

The closure times and plans for temporary traffic signals are as follows:

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Temporary closure of Yate Road

Yate Road will be closed for up to 5 days from 26th June from the junction with Armstrong Way to approximately 50m south of the road over rail bridge. This is to allow urgent repair works to be carried out on the bridge. The 7.5t Weight Restriction on the A432 Station Road between its junctions with Longs Drive and Westerleigh Road will be temporarily suspended. The diversion route will be B4059 Iron Acton Way, B4059 Goose Green Way, B4059 Link Road, A432 Kennedy Way, A432 Station Road, A432 Badminton Road, B4059 Stover Road and vice versa.

Do you have a road safety concern?

Since the Area Forums were scrapped, the council needed a new way to handle the local road safety schemes. If you have a road safety concern, you can now ask the council to investigate it by submitting the Highways Investigation Request Form. You will need the support of at least one local ward member and parish councillor on behalf of the parish council.

Highways officers will assess your request to see if a viable scheme is likely. If it is, it will be added to the Local Transport Investigation List and once a year will be scored and prioritised along with all the other schemes on the list. The 15 highest scoring will be investigated.

Once investigated, three things can happen:

  1. If there is a simple, low cost solution, that will be programmed to be implemented immediately.
  2. If a more involved scheme is needed, it will be entered on the Local Transport Priority List.
  3. If no scheme is recommended, you will be told no further action will be taken.
Once a year all the schemes on the Local Transport Priority List will be scored and prioritised and given an estimated cost. The top scoring schemes will go on the council's Capital Programme for the following financial year.

You can see the lists of possible future Investigation and Implementation schemes online. You can also see the Capital Programme for 2017-18.

You can find out more about the process here.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Your views on bus services

South Glos Council currently subsidises a number of bus services in our area. They are now asking for your views on these in an online survey.

Printed copies will be available at all South Gloucestershire libraries and One Stop Shops and there will also be roadshow events:

Saturday 24th June, 11.00-14.00, Yate Shopping Centre
Tuesday 27th June, 10.00-14.00, Willow Brook Centre, Bradley Stoke
Friday 30th June, 10.00-14.00 The Mall, Cribbs Causeway
Thursday 6th July, 11.00-14.00 St Mary’s Shopping Centre, Thornbury
Wednesday 12th July, 08.00-10.00, Bristol Parkway Station

The consultation runs until 3rd September.

Friday, 16 June 2017

Have your say on changes to Policies, Sites and Places Plan

Following the hearing sessions on the Policies Sites and Places Plan (PSP Plan), a number of Main Modifications to the plan are now being released for public consultation. You have until 24th July 2017 to have your say using the official response form. You can only make comments on the Main Modifications, not on any other part of the PSP Plan.

The Schedule of Main Modifications, a response form, along with supporting information are available to view online here.

 The Planning Inspector for the examination will consider comments received on the Main Modifications, before publishing her Report on the overall soundness and suitability for adoption of the PSP Plan.

Cream tea for carers

On Wednesday 21 June, from 10am to 12 noon, Time 4 Carers are hosting a cream tea in the Jubilee Room at Manor Hall, Coalpit Heath. Time 4 Carers offer social events for carers throughout the year.

For more information contact Time 4 Carers on 07597 278204 or email time4carers@gmail.com

Weekly recycling starts next week

Don't forget that from the week beginning 19th June 2017 your recycling will be collected every week. You can find out more at www.southglos.gov.uk/wastestrategy

Friends of Ram Hill Colliery AGM

The Friends of Ram Hill Colliery are holding their Annual General Meeting at 7.30pm on Wednesday, 21st June in Coalpit Heath Village Hall (Miners’ Institute).

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Rural funding surgeries

The West of England Rural Network is holding funding surgeries for farmers, rural businesses, startups and community organisations based in rural South Gloucestershire. This will be an opportunity for businesses and organisations to find out about the current funding and support available (including European funding) to help develop businesses, community services and cultural offer of the West of England.

The surgeries are being held at 4pm on Tuesday 20th and Thursday 29th June in the King George V Memorial Hall, Rangeworthy. For more information see https://www.facebook.com/westofenglandrdp

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Yate Spur cycle path - Westerleigh Road to Broad Lane

Work on the Westerleigh Road to Broad Lane section of the Yate Spur cycle path has now been scheduled to start on 3 July 2017. It's expected to last for four months.

Crowd funding for Winterbourne Medieval Barn

Last September Winterbourne Medieval Barn won Heritage Lottery Funding and they are now working hard to raise the required matched funding.

They've been chosen to take part in a "double your donation" project, which means that for every £1 you give, NESTA and HLF will match it. The fund is only available until 24th July. So take at look at  www.crowdfunder.co.uk/winterbourne - and share the link with your friends.

Monday, 12 June 2017

Reminder - Bromley Heath Viaduct Meeting tomorrow

We have previously reported on the major works being undertaken on the Bromley Heath Viaduct on the A4174 ring road, which could take up to a year and will have a massive impact on the road network in our area.

Previously the council was proposing to close a number of roads off Badminton Road in Coalpit Heath. Local residents were concerned about how this would affect their own daily lives and also the trade for local shops. I have spoken to the relevant highways officer, who has told me that they have listened to people's concerns and are not now proposing to close the roads.

You can find out the latest plans at a drop-in event at Frampton Cotterell C of E Primary School, Rectory Road BS36 2BT tomorrow (Tuesday 13 June) from 6pm to 8pm.

For the next 3 weeks the council will be installing temporary traffic lights at the junction of the B4465 Westerleigh Road and the A46 Bath Road. Works will be carried out between 9.30am and 3.30pm.

For more information please visit www.southglos.gov.uk/bhviaduct - if you cannot make the Frampton Cotterell drop-in event, you might like to attend one of the others planned around the area.

Friday, 9 June 2017

Thornbury and Yate General Election result 2017

The results of the 2017 General Election in the Thornbury and Yate constituency are as follows:

  • Luke Hall (Conservative) 28,008 ELECTED
  • Claire Young (Liberal Democrats) 15,937
  • Brian Mead (Labour) 6,112
  • Iain Hamilton (Green) 633
Congratulations to Luke. Many thanks to everyone who supported us, and to all those who worked so hard on our campaign.

Friday, 26 May 2017

Fair Funding for Schools campaign



Claire Young recently joined thousands of people marching for fairer funding for our schools - parents, children, teachers and fellow Lib Dems - at the Fairer Funding for Schools rally.

The Liberal Democrats would invest £6.9bn more in our schools and colleges over the next parliament, to ensure no school and no child loses out. That would mean £26m more in schools and colleges in South Gloucestershire, including £1.3m to protect the Pupil Premium, introduced by the Liberal Democrats to help the most disadvantaged children.

In contrast, the Conservative government is proposing deep cuts in many school budgets - schools with the most disadvantaged children are likely to face the biggest funding cuts. According to figures from teachers' unions NUT and ATL, local secondary schools face cuts equivalent to up to a dozen teachers. Primary schools face cuts of 1, 2 or 3 teachers.

You can look up the impact on your local school here: http://www.schoolcuts.org.uk - it's noticeable that although Claire has pledged to support the campaign against the school cuts, at the time of writing neither the Conservative nor the Labour candidates for this constituency have even responded.

Claire has been continually pressing for clarity about the situation at Winterbourne and Yate International Academies and supporting parents campaigning for better funding for schools. Please support our campaign by signing our petition at www.claireyoung.org.uk/schoolcuts

The photo shows Claire with fellow Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidates Stephen Williams and Karen Wilkinson at the Fair Funding for Schools rally.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Half term holiday activities in South Gloucestershire libraries

South Gloucestershire’s libraries have a range of fun activities planned to help keep children entertained over the half term holidays including story times, rhymetimes and crafts. All activities are free drop-ins for primary school aged children unless otherwise stated.

Find your nearest library at www.southglos.gov.uk/libraries

Tuesday 30 May

Feathered friends
Emersons Green Library, 2pm to 4pm
Crafts and activities.

All around the world in 60 minutes
Filton Library, 2pm to 3pm
Crafts and stories.

Fantastical fairy tale crafts
Patchway Library, 10am to 11.30am

A jungle jaunt
Staple Hill Library, 10.30am to 12pm
Craft fun.

Spring into summer
Thornbury Library, 11am to 12pm
Crafts and stories.

Mini beasts
Yate Library, 10.30am to 12pm
Crafts and activities.


Wednesday 31 May

Maytime mayhem and madness
Kingswood Library, 2.15pm to 3.15pm
Spring themed crafts.

Go wild
Winterbourne Library, 10am to 11.30am
Jungle themed craft drop-in.


Thursday 1 June


Under the sea
Bradley Stoke Library, 10.30am to 12pm
Craft fun.

Fantastical fairy tales and nursery rhymes
Cadbury Heath, all day 9am to 5pm
Drop in throughout the day for fun crafts and activities.

Carnival capers
Downend Library, 10am to 11.30am
Crafts and activities.

Spring surprise
Hanham Library, 2pm to 3pm
Crafts and activities.


Friday 2 June

Fantastical fairy tales and nursery rhymes
Cadbury Heath, all day 9am to 5pm
Drop in throughout the day for fun crafts and activities.


Saturday 3 June

Fantastical fairy tales and nursery rhymes
Cadbury Heath, all day 9am to 5pm
Drop in throughout the day for fun crafts and activities.


Some libraries will also be holding free story time and rhymetime sessions for babies and toddlers and their parents or carers to enjoy stories, action songs and rhymes together.

For more information visit www.southglos.gov.uk/childrenslibrary, follow them on Facebook.com/sgloslibraries or Twitter @southgloslibs, or telephone the libraries on 01454 868006.

Friday, 19 May 2017

Railway modernisation - Great Western main line

GWR have told us that work to widen the platforms at Bath Spa has now been successfully completed and Network Rail have moved on to work on the track around Swindon and Chippenham.  This will affect rail services through Didcot Parkway, Swindon, Chippenham and Bristol Parkway over the late May bank holiday (27-29 May) and the weekend of 10 and 11 June.  Full details of the revised arrangements are on their dedicated web page www.gwr.com/Swindon2017

There will then be further work at Chippenham from Saturday 8 July through to Sunday 16 July.  Services between London and Bristol Temple Meads will be diverted and there will be a reduced service for Swindon and Bath Spa during this period.  More details are on www.gwr.com/Chippenham2017 where they also set out arrangements for weekend replacement services to Westbury and Melksham.

There will be additional staff at stations to help customers and they are using both traditional and social media, as well as information at stations and at ticket sales points, to highlight the changes. 

GWR say: "We want the electrification upgrade to be as painless as possible, of course we recognise that any timetables changes, however temporary, cause some inconvenience, but these works will allow us to put brand new ten car trains on this route in 2017, and the work has to be completed while we continue to run services"

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Vehicles vandalised in Frampton and Coalpit Heath

Between Friday 5th May and Friday 12th May,  the Frampton Cotterell police beat has received 19  reported cases of criminal damage to vehicles - tyres being slashed overnight  using a small bladed article, perhaps a Stanley knife.

Damage has been caused in the following areas.
  • Beesmoor Road- Frampton Cotterell
  • Station Road - Coalpit Heath
  • Lower Chapel Lane -  Frampton Cotterell
  • Meadow View - Frampton Cotterell
  • The Close - Coalpit Heath
  • Brookside Drive - Frampton Cotterell
  • Rectory Road- Frampton Cotterell
  • Watermore Close- Frampton Cotterell
The total damage is now more than £2000. There were previous incidents of criminal damage in Frampton Cotterell and Coalpit Heath in March.

10 vehicles had either their windows smashed, side mirrors hit off or their tyres slashed. This damage has had not only a financial impact on the victims but also emotional, causing one elderly victim to suffer a fall, because she was unable to use her vehicle. 

Police are appealing to anyone who may have any more information regarding these incidents to contact the police or report anonymousely via Crimestoppers. If you have been a victim of criminal damage too please report it via 101. 

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

More of B4465 Westerleigh Rd to close for resurfacing

There are going to be road works on another length of the B4465 Westerleigh Road from just west of Codrington to just east of Springs Farm.

The usual alarming notice says that the closure "will be operative from the 3 July 2017 for a maximum period of eighteen months. The closure however may not be implemented for the whole of the period but only when signs are in position and only for so long as is necessitated by the works which are anticipated to be of 1 WEEK duration."

So one week in the next eighteen months - once again, if the warning signs are up, the road is closed; if they're not, it's still open.

The official diversion is incredibly long - via Emersons green, Coalpit Heath, Yate, Chipping Sodbury and the A46 - but that's really for heavy vehicles. Local people will doubtless know the short way round!

Monday, 15 May 2017

Many young people not registered to vote - but there's still time

Young people aged 17 or 18 are being urged to register to vote in time for the General Election on 8th June.

New figures just released by the Electoral Reform Society show that the proportion of school leavers on the electoral roll dropped by over a quarter between 2013 and 2016 – with most of these missing voters now eligible to vote in this election. Shockingly, in one parliamentary constituency 75% of young people are not on the voting register. This follows the change from registration by household, to each voter having to register individually.

Claire Young, Liberal Democrat candidate for the Thornbury and Yate parliamentary consituency, said:

"This election is about the type of country we want to live in, a chance to change Britain's future. Young people will be living with the results for many years to come. It's vital that they get a say in that future"

"Whatever your age, if you haven't already registered, you need to do so before 11:59pm on 22 May if you want to be able to vote in the General Election on 8 June. You can do it online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote - you may need to have your National Insurance number at hand to prove who you are"

Friday, 12 May 2017

Ram Hill temporary closure coming up

South Glos have published a legal notice that they intend to close a short section of Ram Hill 160 metres south of Broad Lane for drainage works for around a week, some time after 29 May. It could be any time between then and November next year - just watch for the notices when they're going to do it.

They advise an alternative route from Ram Hill via Serridge Lane and Henfield Road, then back onto Ram Hill.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Nibley Lane Iron Acton to be closed for cleaning Wed 31 May

South Glos have told us that the length of Nibley Lane from Holly Hill to Badminton Road will be closed for cleaning shortly. The notice says some time between 31 May and 4 June, but they anticipate it being 9.30am–2.30pm on Wed 31st.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

It's Rogue Trader Week!

The police are asking all Neighbourhood Watches (and observant locals) to help them. They are asking that you give them information on anyone currently working in your neighbourhood, especially anyone doing driveways, roof repairs and garden work.

Whilst the vast majority of workmen are legitimate they are targeting those whose intention is to provide a poor service at an inflated cost, and who are looking for the potential to steal cash and valuables. Please give them any details you can provide of those working in your area, especially descriptions and registration numbers of vehicles and the people driving them.

Revised planning application for Woodlands Farm site in Coalpit Heath

Barratt Homes and and David Wilson Homes have submitted a revised proposal for the "Blackberry Park" site at Woodlands Farm, Coalpit Heath. As before it proposes 215 homes, with road access off Park Lane.

The developers say that their revised plans answer a number of issues that South Glos raised about the previous application, for example restricting the part of the site where there would be taller (2.5 to 3 storey) buildings to a small central area.

The plans and documents are visible on the South Glos planning website http://developments.southglos.gov.uk/online-applications/ - search for application number PT17/0215/O.

You can submit your comments online until the deadline of 26 May 2017.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Warning to dog owners

During the bank holiday weekend local vets dealt with a number of dogs with symptoms of poisoning. Three of those dogs had been at Wapley Common. In one case the vet suggested that the dog had eaten something natural like very mouldy food, mouldy poop etc. We have established that at least two of the dogs had eaten poop in the same location, the picnic field. So we now suspect that this was from an infected animal. The area has been checked and nothing else has been found, and no weedkiller etc is used in the area.

There have been some other cases in the wider area recently. In one place - not Wapley - some chicken carcasses had been thrown out on public land. Elsewhere at least one dog tried to eat something that looked like dog food, and was immediately violently sick. Add to this the number of common plants that are poisonous to dogs, all we can suggest is that owners keep a very close eye on what their dogs might try to eat while they are out and about.

Activity in fields east of Roundways, Coalpit Heath

Residents have been concerned about activity going on in these fields, so we asked South Glos officers to find out what is going on. It's important to note that no planning application has been submitted or decided.

We have been told that Bloor Homes, the developers who are promoting potential development through the Joint Spatial Plan, have been undertaking ground investigation works to better understand the locations of bell pits and other features related to historic mining, which is an issue that has been raised locally and will need to be fully investigated before any final decisions are made. This would have been undertaken with the land owner's permission.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Update on M32 Eastville viaduct works

Since starting work at the end of March, contractors have been making good progress with the removal of the central reservation barrier at the Eastville Viaduct on the M32. Over the last two weeks they have been removing the worn-out barrier.

They are now working to remove covers and install steel plates to 49 manholes and inspection chambers to provide a flat surface on which the new concrete central barrier can be placed.

They now moving into a new phase of work, with the overnight traffic management changing from the beginning of May. Instead of being closed between Junctions 2 (Fishponds) and 3 (Bristol City Centre), the M32 will be closed southbound from Junction 1 (Hambrook) and Junction 3 (Bristol City Centre). A fully signed diversion taking traffic via the A4174, A38 Gloucester Road and the A4044 Bond Street will be in place instead.

The closures mostly affect the southbound carriageway, but there may be times where they need to close the northbound carriageway too.

To keep updated with the closures of the M32, please visit www.trafficengland.com. You can also follow @HighwaySWEST on Twitter for updates.

If you have any concerns or issues regarding these works you can contact the Highways England Customer Contact Centre on 0300 123 5000.

Caravan crime warning

A few nights ago there was an unsuccessful attempt to steal a caravan in Ram Hill, causing damage.  The thieves then returned and tried again. Once again they were unsuccessful but caused even more damage in their attempt. A caravan was also stolen in Rangeworthy recently so it could be the same gang going around.

We suggest that neighbours be extra vigilant, noting details of any suspicious persons or vehicles - perhaps particularly those equipped with towbars, and report any suspicious activity to the police. If a crime is in progress then use the '999' system. It would also be wise to check your existing caravan and trailer security.

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Yate Spur cycle route - general support but some concerns remain


The results of the consultation on the latest parts of the Yate Spur cycle route have been published by South Glos - full details here - scroll down and click on "Consultation Feedback Statement".

This consultation - including a very busy exhibition at Shire Way Community Centre - covered Westerleigh Road between the mini-roundabout and the Common and a refuge on the Nibley Lane arm of the Nibley Lane/Westerleigh Road junction.

In brief, the responses to the consultation were very positive. A total of 67 responses were received:

  • 49 responses were in support of the scheme (73%)
  • 3 responses objected to the scheme (4%)
  • 15 responses stated no preference either for or against the scheme (22%)
The South Glos report responds to all of the points made, and many of the points have been taken into account in the final design.

Local cyclists still have worries about the plans for the Nibley Lane junction, where South Glos say "Funding limitations mean we are unable to carry out a radical remodelling of the junction.... The provision of a mini roundabout has been considered but there is insufficient space available to provide one that provides sufficient visibility without taking additional land which would increase time and costs significantly". In answer to the concerns, South Glos say "the proposals will be subject to the Road Safety Audit process which should identify any safety issues with the proposals"

The likely timing of the path works is now:
  • Westerleigh Road (Shire Way to Rodford Way) section starting July
  • Nibley Lane junction late 2017 / early 2018
That will leave two gaps:
  • Under the Rodford Elm railway arch to join the existing Westerleigh Road path to the new section - this needs engineering design that has to be agreed with Network Rail, who have already agreed in principle. Design discussions are in progress.
  • The "Westerleigh bypass" from Nibley Lane to Dodmoor Crossing. The design is being done this year, and again network rail have agreed in principle. Some land ownership needs to be clarified in case the route is not all on Network Rail land.
The gradual progress is welcome, but with some reservations about Nibley Lane junction. When the whole scheme is complete - hopefully by April 2019 - there will be a safe cycle (and pedestrian) route from Yate to the Bristol - Bath Railway Path and the Ring Road Path.

Friday, 21 April 2017

Claire Young to fight General Election battle for Lib Dems in Thornbury and Yate


Well known local councillor Claire Young says she is looking forward to the General Election. She will be the Lib Dem candidate for the Thornbury and Yate constituency, working to regain the seat that was held until two years ago by Steve Webb.

Claire is currently the South Glos councillor for Westerleigh ward, and deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats on South Gloucestershire Council. She has many years of experience of helping local people and campaigning with them to get things done. Recent campaigns have included working with bus users to press for improvements to the Southmead 82 bus service, speaking up on behalf of parents and pupils about the difficulties at The Ridings Federation schools and challenging the Conservatives' poorly thought through development plans for our towns and villages.

Claire said: “Theresa May repeatedly said she would not be holding a snap election. I am ready for the challenge ahead and will be looking forward to standing up for the people of the Thornbury and Yate constituency”

Southmead bus improvements to include later last service

First Bus have responded to pressure from Cllr Claire Young, Dodington Parish Council and local campaigners by adding an extra bus at the end of the day, Mondays to Fridays. From 30th April, the last service back from Southmead will be at 8.30 pm (instead of 7.15 pm), calling at Cribbs Causeway at 8.45 pm, Bristol Parkway Station at 9 pm and Frampton Cotterell at 9.11 pm, reaching Yate at 9.26 pm.

The full timetable is available here

Please be sure to show your appreciation for this later journey by making use of it and help to encourage usage by making your family, your friends, work colleagues or anyone else you know who uses the 82 service aware of this positive change to the service.

Let’s hope that the changes of service management First promised us recently will result in better reliability.

Length of B4465 Westerleigh Rd to close for resurfacing

The B4465 Westerleigh Road is going to be resurfaced (surface dressing) from the top of Shorthill Road to Wapley Road just west of the Wishing Well pub.

The notice rather alarmingly says that the closure "will be operative from the 15 May 2017 for a maximum period of eighteen months. The closure however may not be implemented for the whole of the period but only when signs are in position and only for so long as is necessitated by the works which are anticipated to be of 8 weeks duration"

However the actual works will only take a couple of days, but they need the weather to be pretty dry. Hence the pessimistic timescales on the notice.

In summary - if the warning signs are up, the road is closed; if they're not, it's still open.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Ram Hill Colliery Open Day

There will be an Open Day at the historic Ram Hill Colliery on Monday 29 May from 10.30 am to 4.00 pm.

You will be able to visit this 19th century mine site, with the remains of the mine shaft, horse-gin, bunkers and Dramway. You will also be able to take a walk through the Woodland area and enjoy some refreshments .

You can find the Colliery across from 1 Railway Cottages, Broad Lane, Coalpit Heath, BS36 2TY

The Friends of Ram Hill Colliery offer guided walks, and recommend sensible footware. Dogs and children must be supervised, with respect shown to this registered Heritage England site. Donations welcome.

For more information please check out www.ramhillcolliery.org.uk or contact Liz Hillyard on 01179 236595

Don't make things easy for criminals

Our local police tell us that at some point between 9am on Wednesday April the 12th and 3.30pm on Monday the 17th, unknown person(s) forced entry to a residence on The Ridge, Coalpit Heath by smashing a pane of glass in the rear patio door. It’s not yet clear whether anything was stolen. Apparently that a garden tool was been used to cause the damage to the door. The Police would like to remind residents to lock away any tools that could be used to assist burglars.

If you have any information regarding this incident, please contact the Police on 101, quoting Niche number: 5217084937. Alternatively you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

Friday, 14 April 2017

Stephen Williams for Metro Mayor

On the 4th May, we have the chance to choose a new "Metro Mayor" for our region, covering South Gloucestershire, Bath & North East Somerset and Bristol. The Metro Mayor will have powers over important issues like transport, housing, the local economy, skills and jobs - on a par with the Mayor of London.

As a former Government minister,  Liberal Democrat Stephen Williams has the experience to be a strong voice for our area. Working closely with the local Focus Team, he understands the problems we face here in South Gloucestershire, and has set out his plans to tackle them in his manifesto. You can find out more about Stephen on his web site and Facebook page.

Overnight ring road closures

There will be overnight closures of the ring road next week as South Glos Council will be carrying out more resurfacing work from Tuesday 18 April to Friday 21 April.

The resurfacing will take place between the Hambrook traffic lights (Bristol Road) to the Bromley Heath Roundabout eastbound on Tuesday 18 and Wednesday 19 April and between the Bromley Heath Roundabout to Wick Wick roundabout westbound on Thursday 20 and Friday 21 April. This will involve overnight closure of the westbound and eastbound carriageways of the A4174 between Hambrook traffic lights/Bristol Road junction and Wick Wick Roundabout between 8pm and 6am. During the overnight closures, traffic will not be able to access part of the A4174 ring road. Full diversion routes will be in place and will be clearly signed.

The westbound and eastbound carriageways will remain fully open at all other times.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Grants for local projects

Once again in 2017/18 South Gloucestershire councillors will have £3,000 each to allocate to community projects or to spend on additional council services that benefit people in their ward. It is up to individual councillors how they go about making their allocations - if you have a project in mind, please contact your local councillor or councillors to discuss it.


Tuesday, 11 April 2017

April Police Beat Surgery

The April Beat Surgery for the Frampton Cotterell beat (which also covers Coalpit Heath, Westerleigh and Iron Acton and the surrounding areas) will be held from 6pm to 7pm on Friday 21st April in the Brockeridge Centre, Woodend Road, Frampton Cotterell. This is your chance to meet your local Neighbourhood Policing Team to discuss any issues or queries you may have.

The police have also issued advice on keeping your homes secure as the warmer weather arrives. They warn that it only takes a moment for a sneak thief to get into your property and steal a handbag, wallet or other portable valuables. They advise:

  • Remember to make sure your door is locked by turning the key - some ‘paddle and stub’-handled doors might seem to be locked by lifting the handle, but can still be opened from outside. 
  • Take the keys out of the lock of doors and windows and keep them safely out of sight.
  • Fit motion sensing security lights around your property
  • Keep tools locked up in a secure shed or garage
  • Make sure garden furniture and wheelie bins can’t be moved to gain access to upstairs windows
  • Lock up and sett the alarm, if you have one, at night as well as when you go out
  • Hide your keys and handbag or wallet safely out of sight 
  • Keep cash in the bank and jewellery and other high-value items with a specialist secure storage company
  • Keep photographs and a description of items with sentimental value 
For more advice, visit the Avon and Somerset Police website. police website.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Questions raised about Winterbourne International Academy

Last week a representative of the Regional Schools Commissioner (RSC) for the South West, who plays a key role in re-brokering academies, attended a meeting of South Glos Council's Children, Adult and Housing Committee. Local councillor Claire Young took the opportunity to ask questions about Winterbourne International Academy (WIA).

Claire raised the concerns of parents, staff and most importantly the pupils caused by the ongoing uncertainty about the future management. She was told that they are waiting to see this summer's exam results. The RSC wants to be sure that Olympus Academy Trust (OAT) and Castle School Education Trust (CSET) have the capacity to provide the support WIA needs without undermining their existing schools. WIA has complex financial liabilities, so it's important too that OAT and CSET have the time to carry out proper due diligence.

Claire also expressed concern about a report in the Bristol Post making allegations about how large payouts were made. Unfortunately there was no response to her questions about what investigations will be made into the situation at Winterbourne or more generally what will be done to prevent people moving on and repeating the errors at other schools.

Friday, 7 April 2017

Positive news on 82 bus

Campaigning last autumn for improvements to the 82 bus
After many months of campaigning with bus users for improvements to the notoriously unreliable 82 service, we are delighted to be able to report some more positive news.

Alan Barrett of First Bus attended Dodington Parish Council on Wednesday to give councillors and parishioners an update on the problems affecting the 82.

He said that at the end of April they would be transferring responsibility for running the 82 service to the team that currently runs the more reliable 46 and 47 Yate to Bristol services. It is hoped this will improve reliability.

We have also been calling for the 82 to continue to Chipping Sodbury and beyond, as it did before the cuts last September. He said that once they have resolved the reliability issues they would look again at this - and he promised to come back to the Parish Council to get their feedback on any proposals before making the final decision.

Several times he mentioned the representations we'd made at the Public Transport Forum meetings in October, when Claire Young presented a petition, and January. Thank you again to all who signed the petition, you really helped to make an impact.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Find out more on recycling service changes

In the summer, South Glos Council will be launching a simplified recycling service, with weekly collections for paper, cardboard, plastics, cans, cartons and glass, alongside the existing weekly food waste collections. You will be able to put all recycling out every week.

You will still need to sort your recycling for collection but can choose to use green boxes instead of bags for plastics and cardboard or stick with your existing bags. You will be able to get extra green boxes if you need them.

Once the new service is up and running, your black bin will be replaced with a smaller one, which will still be collected fortnightly. If you have extra needs, you may be able to get extra capacity.

You can find out more about the changes online and there are also roadshows across South Gloucestershire. In and around our area these include:

Tuesday 11th April, 3:30pm - 4pm,  Bradley Stoke - Leisure Centre
Wednesday 19th April,  2:30pm - 4pm,  Thornbury - Leisure Centre
Thursday 20th April.4pm - 5:30pm,  Yate - Leisure Centre
Tuesday 25th April, 10am - 2pm,  Sainsburys - Downend
Tuesday 10th May 10am - 2pm,  Winterbourne High street
Saturday 20th May, 10am - 6pm, Waitrose - Chipping Sodbury
Tuesday 6th June, 9:30am - 4:30pm, Yate Shopping Centre
Wednesday 14th June, 9am - 4pm, Willowbrook Centre - Bradley Stoke
Tuesday 20th June, 12pm - 4pm, Charfield Village Hall
Tuesday 27th June, 10am - 6pm, Waitrose - Chipping Sodbury 
Wednesday 12th July, 10am - 3:30pm,  Sainsburys - Downend
Thursday 20th July, 10am - 2pm Winterbourne High street

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Flood risk plans now online

At the Environment Agency's drop-in exhibition on the risk of river flooding in the Yate and Chipping Sodbury area in March, local councillor Claire Young asked them to make the plans available online for those who couldn't attend.

They have now published the plans on their website. If you would like to make comments, you can email them to mark.goldingay@environment-agency.gov.uk

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Bromley Heath Viaduct works - initial traffic proposals

We've previously reported on the Bromley Heath viaduct works on the ring road, which will involve the southern viaduct being closed for up to a year. South Glos council has published traffic management proposals for our area during the works.

A number of people have raised concerns about these proposals. Claire Young has discussed these with the relevant highways officer, who has reassured her that all the concerns people are raising will be taken into account when drawing up the final plans.

All public meetings are currently on hold because of the “purdah” period for the Metro Mayor election. There will however be further public drop-ins in May and June, including:
  • 6-8pm Tuesday 9th May at Frampton Cotterell C of E School
  • 10am-12 noon Saturday 27th May in Emerson’s Green Village Hall
South Glos Council has made bids to both the Department for Transport and the West of England Partnership for additional funding in order to shorten the works.

For more information about the work visit www.southglos.gov.uk/bhviaduct

If you have any questions please contact the council at bhviaduct@southglos.gov.uk

Monday, 3 April 2017

Mysterious noise keeps Coalpit Heath residents awake

Last week residents of Coalpit Heath complained of loud noises coming from the railway keeping them awake at night.

Network Rail were carrying out piling work as part of the electrification of the railway. Claire Young contacted them to express concern that residents had not been notified in advance and asking that this happens before any future work. A representative of Network Rail apologised and promised to take it up with their Communications Team.

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.