Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Community Engagement Forum date moved

The Community Engagement Forum for Yate, Chipping Sodbury and Dodington (which replaces Safer Stronger and the Area Forum) has unavoidably had to be postponed to 21 November, 7 pm in the Main Hall at Chipping Sodbury Baptist Church, High Street, Chipping Sodbury.
  • Mark King, the Head of Street Care and Transport for South Glos Council will be attending
  • The meeting will also include an update on the Libraries consultation
  • Plus how a Community Plan can benefit YOUR Community
If you have any issues or concerns you would like to raise please email your local chair via

Below are just some of the concerns that have been raised by residents at CEF meetings which members of the group have been able to take forward on their behalf:
  • Concerns from residents about Health Care provision in the area; Clinical Commission Group, North Bristol Trust and Sirona Health all attended the next meeting to answer residents questions.
  • Speeding and Parking concerns in the area, work undertaken by Avon and Somerset Police, Community Speedwatch, Police Camera Van and South Gloucester Highways to investigate the concerns.
  • Supermarket trollies being abandoned in the area, the group worked with local supermarkets and SGC departments to investigate ways to reduce the problem.
  • Antisocial behaviour and damage to vehicles in Yate, investigated by Avon and Somerset Police

Friday, 7 October 2016

Blooming good results for local nature groups

Lilliput Park

All five local entries for the 2016 South West In Bloom awards have been given the top grade of 'Outstanding' in the Neighbourhoods category. This recognises the effort put in by our dedicated groups of volunteers and the support given by Dodington Parish Council and Yate Town Council.

The award winners are:
  •     Dodington Allotment Association (Dodington)
  •     Friends of Kingsgate Park (Yate)
  •     Friends of Lilliput Park (Dodington)
  •     Wapley Bushes Local Nature Reserve (Dodington)
  •     Wapley Common and the Orchard for the Future (Dodington)

Representatives of the groups were presented with their awards at the South West In Bloom ceremony in Taunton.

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Thousands of new homes in our area?

A plan that could change the character of our area has been published this week.

The "Towards an Emerging Spatial Strategy" plan proposes:

  • 1,500 new homes at Coalpit Heath 
  • 2,600 around Yate and Chipping Sodbury
  • Up to 1,000 homes at Charfield
  • Up to 600 homes at Thornbury 
  • 2,200 homes at a new garden village at Buckover near Thornbury 
That's on top of all the houses we already knew about.

The plan, drawn up by Conservative-run South Gloucestershire Council in collaboration with the three other West of England Councils, will go out for consultation in November.

This will come as a huge shock to many local people. It's striking that under these proposals most of the new homes we need are being concentrated in just a few communities to the north of Bristol.

Will these proposals create places where people want to live, where they can access services like doctors, dentists and schools and where they can easily get to the places they need to go? Will there be truly affordable homes for those who so desperately need them? Do you think the loss of the Green Belt, which is already very narrow, is a price worth paying for new roads? How does this fit with the Conservatives' promise to protect the Green Belt?

You can view the plan here.

The plan also talks about transport infrastructure, in the tables on pages 26, 29 and 30, where it includes mention of a "Coalpit Heath distributor road", and later on page 46 it says of the Yate to Bristol corridor:

"We are proposing a package of highway and public transport schemes including a link to a new junction on the M4 from the A4174 Ring Road (along with smart motorway management), park and ride, a new road north from this junction to Yate, and a MetroBus extension to Yate from Bristol along the A432. The new road to Yate and the MetroBus extension form a package, with road space on the A432 prioritised for public transport and cycling."

A map on the same page suggests the new road could impact on Westerleigh village. On the other hand it could provide a route for the articulated lorries instead of going via the Latteridge and Wotton Roads

It's vital we all have our say on these plans.There will be a consultation from 7th November to 19th December - we will let you know then how you can make your views known.

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

View plans for Dodington Road bridge traffic calming this Wednesday

There will be a drop-in event on plans for traffic calming around the Dodington Road railway bridge on Wednesday 5th October from 4pm to 7pm in the sports classroom at Chipping Sodbury school, Bowling Road.

 In August it became apparent to Network Rail that there would be a reduction in visibility due to the railway bridge works.

Network Rail have now agreed a solution with South Gloucestershire Council with the following features:

  • Single speed pillows on the north and south approaches to the bridge
  • Road markings to be repainted where necessary
  • An additional “SLOW” painted on the road on the south approach
  • New solid centre line to be painted on the carriageway
  • Post-mounted signs warning of speed pillows
Network Rail will pay for these works, which will require a road closure.  This will then leave them free to erect the parapet extension on the west side of the bridge, which they haven't been able to complete due to the visibility concerns.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Our local heritage - can you help?

On Wednesday, Focus Team Cllr Claire Young (also our Parliamentary Candidate) attended a heritage briefing in Yate. There were presentations from a whole host of local heritage projects of all sizes, including the £90 million Aerospace Bristol and ones even closer to home like Winterbourne Medieval Barn, Yate Heritage Centre and the South Gloucestershire Mines Research Group. They are always keen to have new people involved so if you have an interest in local history, do get in touch with them.

The Know Your Place mapping project is currently asking for your help in two ways. Firstly, they’d like you to visit their site and give them feedback by answering their survey. Secondly, they are challenging all researchers, volunteers, museums and heritage organisations across the area to add 10 records on to Know Your Place in 10 days to help them build a rich, shared map of our local heritage.

Claire was also told about a project bringing QR codes to War Memorials.  A QR (or Quick Response) code is like a 2 dimensional bar code that you can scan with your phone or tablet. The idea is to place QR codes next to each war memorial, which you can scan with your phone or tablet to take you straight to a website where they are gradually placing as much family and military history as possible about each person named. The research is being undertaken by volunteers from the various South Gloucestershire museums, heritage centres and local history groups. Anyone interested in helping should contact their local group or email

Would you like to see our posts on Facebook? Join the Facebook Group Focus on Sodbury, Yate and Dodington

Monday, 26 September 2016

Second Friends session for popular Lilliput Park

Lilliput Park, between Heron Way and Chipping Sodbury, is very popular with people of all ages. The Lilliput Conservation Group run work mornings in the park on the first Tuesday of each month (e.g. Tuesday 4 October), but they have had requests for local people to organise a weekend session.

The first weekend work morning will be on Saturday 15 October from 10 am until 12 noon, meeting at the Kingfisher Road gate. All ages are welcome, but children need to be accompanied by responsible adults. Suitable footwear should be worn, and gloves would be useful.

Dodington Parish Councillor Paul Hulbert, who is a regular at the work sessions, said "There will be something for everyone - digging and tidying, cutting back the bushes, and litter picking. People can work at their own pace"

For more information please check out the Lilliput Conservation Group page on Facebook, or contact Paul on 07771 562505.