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.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Developer consults on housing at Trinity Lane, off St John's Way

Developer Cotswold Homes is asking for local people's views on a proposed housing development at Trinity Lane, off St John's Way, Chipping Sodbury (Trinity Lane is the road that goes up to the golf course)

They describe their scheme like this: "A total of 60 dwellings is proposed in a mix of detached, semi-detached and terraced housing; a small number of flats and bungalows are also proposed to address local housing needs for smaller affordable, and accessible lifetime home properties"

The sorts of questions they are asking are:
  • Do you consider that open market and affordable housing are required in this location?
  • What types of affordable housing are most needed in the area (i.e. rented or shared ownership, family housing or flats)?
  • Are there any infrastructure constraints in Chipping Sodbury or wider area that the proposals should be looking to help address?
  • What recreational facilities do you think would be most appropriately incorporated into the area of public open space that the development will provide (for example play area, trim trail, ecological areas, pond etc.)?
  • Having reviewed the draft plans for the site do you have any comments on the emerging layout?
  • Do you have any suggestions with regards to the appearance of the housing put forward?
  • Would you suggest a contemporary or traditional design approach in respect to the appearance of the new dwellings?
  • Would you suggest any changes to improve the proposals?
It's a good idea for developers to carry out early consultations with the public like this, but note that this is not an official consultation - they intend to apply for planning permission during the summer. If you answer their questionnaire, please bear in mind that they are assembling evidence to make their planning application more likely to be successful.

The consultation website can be found here.


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

Beating the Bounds of Yate Common

After all the problems on Yate Common lately, here's some good news - an event for all the family.

Come and join the Friends of the Common and the Yate Town Mayor. On Rogation Sunday each May, an ancient custom, Beating the Bounds is practised on The Common in Yate.

The Reverend, Town Mayor, Friends of the Common and local residents will walk the boundaries of The Common this coming Sunday, 21st May 2017.

Traditionally, children are turned upside down at the corners to teach them the boundaries of their Common, which they must protect.

Beating the Bounds of Yate Common starts at 3pm from the St Briavels Drive entrance of Yate Common. The walk is suitable for pushchairs and takes about 60 to 90 minutes.

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"