Monday, 29 April 2013

Free child car seat safety checks today at Yate Fire Station (Mon 29 April)

South Gloucestershire Council's Road Safety Team and Avon & Somerset Police are carrying out free child car seat safety checks today (Monday 29 April) between 8.30am and 4pm at the Fire Station on Station Road, Yate.

So far 44 seats have been checked and 8 out of 10 were found to require adjustment. Similar events will be held in South Gloucestershire between June and August.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Solar Farm application - have your say

AEE Renewables have submitted their application for a solar farm at Says Court Farm, in the countryside to the west of Nibley Lane.

You can view the details and make any comments you may have on the South Glos website. The closing date for comments is 1st May.

The best map is shown as "PLANNING STATEMENT(APPENDIX A: LOCATION PLAN)" - the South Glos location plans are muddy and not easy to locate the site from.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Have your say on bus fares

You can now have your say online as part of the First Bus fare review process. They are hoping to hear from both bus users and those who don't currently use the bus. The survey is available here:

You have until 29 June to fill it in. If you know people who would like to respond but who aren't online, hard copies will be available at the Travel Shop in Bristol Bus Station from the end of April. First Bus have also organised some events where people can have their say in person:

  • Monday 22 April: Clifton Downs Shopping Centre, from 9am until 5pm
  • Wednesday 24 April: The Galleries Shopping Centre (near the post office), Bristol, from 9am until 5.30pm
  • Wednesday 24 April: Bristol Bus Station – Travel Shop, Marlborough Street, Bristol, from 11am until 4pm
  • Thursday 25 April: Willow Brook Shopping Centre, Bradley Stoke, from 11am until 7pm
  • Thursday 25 April: Bristol Bus Station – Travel Shop, Marlborough Street, Bristol, from 8am until 11am and 4pm until 7pm
  • Friday 26 April: Kings Chase Shopping Centre, Kingswood, from 9am until 5pm
  • Friday 26 April: Bristol Bus Station – Travel Shop, Marlborough Street, Bristol, from 10am until 12.30pm

Monday, 15 April 2013

FREE courses for adults whose first language is not English

2 Free ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) courses starting in May:

English and Life in the Community – for those who have limited English language skills
and need to improve their speaking and listening skills
The Armadillo, 10am-12noon, 10 sessions, 8th May-17th July 2013

English for Work – for those who are more confident with English but need to improve
their skills for job seeking and the workplace
The Armadillo, 1pm-3pm, 10 sessions, 8th May-17th July 2013

There will be an assessment and enrolment session at Yate Library
on Tuesday 30th April from 2-4pm.  Please come along - pre-enrolment is essential
Please attend if you want to enrol on either course. 

For more information please call Maggie on 01454 864613

Join the Discover Festival

South Gloucestershire Council is currently planning the 2013 Discover Festival which will take place 12th September to 1st November 2013. The first Discover Festival in 2012 saw over 6,000 people attending 186 events across the local area and had themes around heritage, food, nature, arts, health and wellbeing, and also special events for people aged 50+. The Festival is organised by South Gloucestershire Council working in partnership with community groups and businesses.

For this year’s festival the council is inviting businesses, community groups or organisations to organise an open day, a talk, a walk, a taster session or a performance to promote their group or area to allow them to showcase their work and encourage new members to join. Previous examples of events at Discover include food tasting sessions, drawing classes, history talks, nature walks, workshops on tracing your family tree, and an open day at a local brewery.

If you are involved in a group or business that would like to organise an event you can register at before Friday 3 May.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Oil spills - what to do

Every year there are several pollution incidents in South Gloucestershire caused by faulty or badly maintained domestic heating oil pipes and tanks. Leaked oil can be very difficult and expensive to clean up. In some circumstances residents have had to move out of their houses for months because of the fumes from leaked oil.

The Environmental Protection team at South Glos has a leaflet online that gives advice on how to prevent an oil leak, what to do if you find a leak and the law relating to tanks and spillages.

Saturday, 13 April 2013

New courses - IT for the workplace and for job seekers

South Glos have announced two new courses designed to improve local people's IT skills:

IT for the Workplace

This course is specifically for those requiring skills for the workplace (including voluntary work)

- Do your IT skills need an overhaul to keep up with the demands of your job?
- Do you want to improve your IT skills for your CV?

This FREE course will equip you to use Microsoft Office software for use in an office environment

The course will include:
•    Word
•    Excel
•    Internet
•    Mail Merge

Yate Library Wednesdays 6.30pm-8.30pm
8 sessions starting Wednesday 5th June 2013

For more information or to enrol call 01454 864613
or email

IT for Job Seekers

This course is specifically for those adults who are currently seeking employment

- Do you want to improve your IT skills to help you to find employment?

This FREE course will help you to:
•    Create your CV
•    Use Universal Job Match to search for jobs
•    Send emails with attachments
•    Use Microsoft Word software

Yate Library Wednesdays 1-3pm,
8 sessions starting 5th June 2013

For more information and to enrol, please call 01454 864613
or email

Have your say on health and wellbeing strategy

You have until 15th May to have your say on the draft Health and Wellbeing Strategy for South Gloucestershire. This is the document that will set out the priorities to make sure that local health and care services meet the needs of local people in the coming years.

The draft strategy includes priorities such as health and care providers making it easier for people to make healthy lifestyle choices, for example by providing advice on stopping smoking or taking more exercise. It also highlights the fact that health is generally poorer in some parts of South Glos than others.

You can view and make your comments on the strategy online.

Friday, 12 April 2013

South Gloucestershire Welfare Grant Scheme

Changes contained in the Welfare Reform Act 2012 mean that certain elements of the discretionary Social Fund scheme will be replaced by new locally based provision delivered by local authorities.

From 1 April 2013 crisis loans and community care grants were replaced by the welfare grant scheme. These changes mean that you can no longer apply for certain parts of the social fund.

You may be able to get some help if you are

    in a crisis
    in an emergency
    in receipt of certain benefits
    on a very low income
    live in South Gloucestershire
    looking for a home in South Gloucestershire

Please apply on line using South Gloucestershire welfare grant scheme or call 01454 868899.

Bids for funding for youth activities

South Gloucestershire Council has set up a new grants programme to encourage young people to participate in positive activities across South Gloucestershire. At the recent area forums, money was awarded to support work at a number of existing youth clubs in the area. The remaining money will be allocated at meetings later in the year.

Funding from the Positive Activities Subsidy Grants Programme is available for organisations working with young people aged 13 to 19 years old (or up to 25 years old for young people with learning difficulties and disabilities). Priority will be given to:

  • Organisations who can demonstrate that young people have been involved in the decision making process and in selecting activities
  • Applications from young people who may experience additional barriers to accessing positive activities. The council would like to encourage applications from young people from different equality groups
Quartet Community Foundation has been appointed by the Council to manage and administer fund. Applications forms can be downloaded from their web site. When applying for a grant you also need to include:
  • A copy of your organisation’s constitution or set of rules
  • A copy of your organisation’s most recent accounts or financial information
  • A list of the names and addresses of the management committee
  • A copy of your child protection policy if you work with children and young people
For further information and a full set of funding criteria please contact Quartet Community Foundation on 0117 989 7700 or visit

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Support a local charity by watching football!

A quick plug for a charity fundraising football match on Saturday week (20th April) in aid of local anti-bullying charity BullyWatch: "There will be a Community Shield football Match on 20th April at Yate Town Football club between our local clubs Dodington FC and Cesson FC 3pm kick off. There will be a raffle and auction and everyone is welcome. The cost will be £2.00 on the gate". Well done to Julie Oakley for organising.

Update: This event raised £650 for BullyWatch. And the final score? Dodington FC 3, Cesson FC 2. Well done to all concerned!

Jubilee Garden celebration Day this Saturday

Jubilee Garden is on the junction of Kennedy Way and Sundridge Park, Yate - the opposite corner to Lidl.

On Saturday 13 April from 10am to 2pm ther will be an event organised by Walking To Health:
  • Help to plant a meadow
  • Tea party and refreshments available
  • Speak to one of a  travel planners for information and advice
  • Hear all about Yate in Bloom
  • Try the Smoothie Bike – make your own smoothie with pedal power!
  • Find out about local gentle walking groups and outdoor activities for all abilities.

Also, have your say! Organisers would like to hear from residents about whether further developments of the park would be welcomed, including renovation of the underpass at Jubilee Garden.

Stop the alien invaders - join the Big Pull this summer!

Himalayan Balsam is an extremely invasive weed that is threatening parts of the Frome Valley Walkway and other areas. It smothers our native flowers and causes erosion and flooding.

Big Pull community workdays are being planned this June/July to remove it from the Walkway between Station Road and Goose Green Community Nature Area in Yate.  This tenacious invasive plant is currently just on the edge of Goose Green and we are very keen to prevent it spreading into the Community Nature Area and further along the River Frome.

This summer's workdays are Saturdays 1, 15, 29 June and 13 July from 10am to 1pm, meeting at the far end of Celestine Road, Yate, BS37 5HB. All ages are welcome. Gloves, free refreshments and snacks are provided. there is no need to book. Long sleeved clothing advised and sun cream and a hat if the weather is hot.

The Big Pull work days are being organised by the South Gloucestershire Council Wild4life Project and Avon Invasive Weeds Project. If you are part of an organisation or group interested in being involved in a workday on an alternative day they would love to hear from you - please ring 01454 863556.

Chipping Sodbury School consult on Co-operative Trust

The Governing body of Chipping Sodbury School is consulting on a proposed change of category from a Voluntary Controlled to a Foundation school, and at the same time acquiring a co-operative charitable trust, to be called the Chipping Sodbury School Co-operative Trust. You can find out more and have your say on their website.

Council tax guide

This year the council is saving money by not including a printed council tax guide in every council tax bill. Instead you can find it online or you can write to the council or call 01454 868003 for a printed copy.

Last chance to have your say on supported bus routes

South Gloucestershire Council is currently asking for views on those bus services that it supports that are up for tender this year. These include a number of services in our area.

 84 Yate - Charfield - Wotton under Edge 
 86 Wotton-under-Edge - Hawkesbury Upton - Yate - Kingswood
 482 / 483 Chipping Sodbury - Winterbourne - Cribbs Causeway & Aztec West
 620 Bath - Yate - Old Sodbury 

plus the Sundays and Bank Holidays services on this route:
 622 Chipping Sodbury - Thornbury - Cribbs Causeway

A decision will be made by members as to whether these services
a) continue in their current form
b) continue but with changes to route and/or timings
c) cease service

To find out more and have your say visit the consultation page before tomorrow, Friday 12th April.

South Glos Capital Grants about to open for business

Are you a voluntary group working in South Gloucestershire? Do you serve your local community to make their lives better? And would a small grant from South Gloucestershire Council help you do it?

All these grants are designed for volunteer groups that want to develop projects and provide activities that meet local needs.  They can include art and culture, children and play, community safety, developing communities, enhancing the natural and built environment, learning activities, promoting equality and tackling poverty, sports, and supporting vulnerable people.

The Capital Grants have no lower limit and you can apply for up to £3000.

If you would like to apply for funding, applications can be made from Monday 29 April 2013. You have 6 weeks to apply (closing date is 10 June 2013) - lots of help is available.

Applications can be made online at the Council’s grants web page as soon as the scheme opens. Yopu are welcome to phone the Grants Helpline on 01454-865865 for an informal chat.

Monday, 8 April 2013

A major cinema for Yate is in sight at last!

The owners of Yate Shopping Centre have announced a consultation on plans for a cinema complex on the land at the back of the Overflow Car Park. At a press conference with Steve Webb MP - a long-term campaigner for the cinema - proposals were revealed for a six-screen cinema complex, six restaurants and three or four shop units. There will be extra parking spaces, and over 150 jobs will be created.

The plans will be presented to Yate Town Council this week, and then they will be put on display in one of the shop units in the Shopping Centre. The public will be able to come along and quiz the developers about the scheme.

Once any fine-tuning has been done there will be a formal planning application. If all goes well the cinema could be open by Christmas 2014 or Easter 2015.

You can read the Shopping Centre press release here:

We'll post more details as we get them. And no, the first film won't be "Bridge Over the River Frome"!