Thursday, 30 April 2015

Witches Hat playground to open tomorrow (Friday May 1st)

The newly refurbished Witches Hat playground will be officially opened at 4 pm tomorrow. All young people welcome!

The new mini skate will open the following week on Friday 8th May, and there will be a free onsite workshop event on Sunday 10th May from 10.00am to 4.00pm. 

Update 1/5/2015:  The mini skate park will now open around 12 May becasue they're waiting for a vital part. We'll keep you posted.

Update  2/5/2015: The workshop event will still take place on Sunday 10th May from 10.00 am until 4.00 pm, with lots of different activities. There is a chance hat the mini skate park may be open by then too, it all depends on that part arriving.

Police announce Local Beat Surgery programme at Ridgewood and Abbotswood

Come and meet your local Neighbourhood Policing Team at their convenient Local Beat Surgeries. You can talk to them about any issues or concerns and get crime prevention advice.

Ridgewood Community Centre, Station Road, Yate

Tues 5th May 2015  10-11am
Tues 2nd June 2015 10-11am
Weds 24th June 2015 10-11am
Tues 14th July 2015 10-11am
Thurs 13th August 2015 10-11am
Weds 9th Sept 2015 10-11am

Corinne’s cafĂ©, Abbotswood, Yate

Weds 6th May 2015 10-11am
Weds 3rd June 2015 2-3pm
Tues 23rd June 2015 10-11am
Weds 15th July 2015 10-11am
Tues 4th August 2015 2-3pm
Weds 2nd Sept 2015 2-3pm
Tues 22nd Sept 2015 10-11am.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Yate Town Council grants now available

Yate Town Council promotes an active community in Yate by awarding grants annually to non-profit making organisations. These organisations work for the benefit of Yate parishioners, with the intention of improving the range of services and activities in the town.

If your organisation is in need of some financial assistance and provides a beneficial service or activity for the community of Yate you can submit a grant application form to Yate Town Council for consideration.

Application forms can be obtained either by calling into Yate Town Council Offices at Poole Court, Poole Court Drive, Yate, BS37 5PP,  by telephoning 01454 866507 or email Alternatively you can download an application form from the Town Council website  Applications must be completed and returned to Yate Town Council Offices by 26th June 2015.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Wapley bridge replacement timelapse film

Courtesy of Network Rail. Very impressive!

This video shows the replacement of Sergeant's Farm Bridge,  which links Shire Way to Wapley Common and the Wapley Bushes Local Nature Reserve.

Autism awareness

South Glos Council were awarded a grant through the Autism Innovation Fund to run an Autism Awareness Project with the Mobile Library Service.

Volunteers, with a supervisor, are accompanying the Mobile Library on each of the routes in April and May to raise awareness of autism.

The dates for the visits locally are:

Fri 1 May - Coalpit Heath, Frampton Cotterell and Henfield
Tues 5 May - Westerleigh
Wed 3 June - Charfield, Cromhall, Rangeworthy, Tortworth, Tytherington and Yate (North Road)

Monday, 27 April 2015

Wapley Bridge - Network Rail opening event tomorrow (Tuesday 28 April)

With only a day's notice, Network Rail have said that they are having an official opening event at the bridge at 11.00 am tomorrow (Tuesday 28 April) to which local residents are invited.

Dodington Parish Council will organise a community celebration in a few weeks time - we'll let you know.

Good news for users of the Railway Path

The Bristol and Bath Railway Path between Teewell Hill and west of Staple Hill tunnel will reopen on Friday 1 May, just in time for the first May Bank Holiday weekend.

This section of the path had to be closed so a bridge could be widened. This provides new footways for pedestrians and improved cycle facilities. The council has also used the closure to carry out essential maintenance work to the Staple Hill tunnel.

There is still some additional work to carry out over the new three months that will require short term closures from time to time. Any such closures will be clearly signposted in advance and the council will keep residents notified via their website and social media.

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Wapley footbridge is now open!

The new Sergeant's Farm Bridge opened yesterday evening, and people seem to like it. 

There's a motorbike barrier and a kissing gate, which can be opened fully to let wheelchairs through if you have a RADAR key.

The slope looks manageable for anyone pushing a wheelchair or a buggy.

The span of the temporary bridge across the railway was removed overnight.

Well done to Network Rail's contractors Murphy, and also to all involved from Dodington Parish Council and South Glos Council's Public Rights of Way section.

The Big Pull 2015

The Big Pull is run by South Glos council, as part of the Wild4life project, and the Avon Invasive Weeds Forum.

Himalayan Balsam is a plant which is rapidly spreading across the UK invading the banks of our rivers and streams, smothering our native plants and causing flooding. Pulling it up is the easiest way to control it.

Last years campaign was very successful, with 106 volunteers - including many local people - helping to clear a 675m stretch along the River Frome. Here’s what some pullers had to say about it:

‘Great morning – something very therapeutic about pulling up that balsam!’
‘Nice to meet new people and meet old friends.’

The organisers provide the equipment and guidance, you provide the pulling power.

Join us for a free Big Pull morning on:
    Saturday 31 May
    Saturday 7 June
    Saturday 28 June
    Saturday 12 July

The mornings run from 10am to 1pm. Meet at the far end of Celestine Road, Yate, BS37 5HB.
  •     All ages are welcome and there’s no need to book
  •     Free refreshments and snacks provided
  •     Please wear strong outdoor footwear and weatherproof clothing
  •     Long trousers and sleeves advised and sun cream and a hat if the weather is hot
For further information or to discuss any access needs please contact or call 01454 863556.

Saturday, 25 April 2015

The NHS and what the parties promise

There's a lot of activity in Yate today concerning the National Health Service. The Labour Party is holding an "NHS Day" at their pop-up shop, and members of the campaign group 38 Degrees are collecting signatures for their campaign "Save Our NHS". This level of interest shows how concerned the public are about the NHS - it's one of this country's unique and most treasured features.

It's worth looking at what the major parties have put in their manifestos about NHS funding. The respected health and social care think tank The King's Fund has looked at the size of the funding challenges facing the NHS and what the various parties are proposing in their manifesto. The latest King's Fund article says that though both the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives are promising to fill the projected £8 billion funding gap, "there is a lack of clarity about the Conservative promise, which could amount to a bit more than £8 billion depending on the period the pledge covers. Importantly, with no details on the path the Conservatives will take to reach their promise, there is a worry that the bulk of the increase could come in the later rather than (as needed) earlier years of the next parliament"

Worryingly the Labour Party proposal falls far short of filling the gap (so what are they going to cut in the NHS?) - you can see how much lower the red line is in this graph from the King's Fund article, which is well worth reading in full.

So if you hear the Labour Party talking about being the defenders of the NHS, ask them how they are going to fund the shortfall. And if you hear the Conservatives saying they are matching the Lib Dem pledge, ask them for the details they still haven't provided.

Oh yes, and who came up with the idea to create the NHS in the first place? The Liberal Party. William Beveridge (who was also involved with the introduction of Old Age Pensions) wrote the Beveridge Report for the wartime government, and it was implemented by Atlee's post-war Labour government. See the BBC History website for more details.

Friday, 24 April 2015

New Wapley bridge may open any day

It's possible that the new Sergeant's Farm Bridge, which links Shire Way to Wapley Common, may open as soon as tomorrow (Sat 25 April).

If all goes to plan tomorrow, we understand that Murphys have Network Rail's permission to remove the temporary bridge overnight Saturday/Sunday. Fingers crossed...

They have been installing the new boundary fence for the Network Rail compound. At least in the short term the path from the bridge will emerge at the zebra crossing, then people will be able to walk along the short length of tarmac on the edge of Shire Way and then follow the path back into the ashtrack.

It is hoped to organise a modest celebration event in the near future, possibly involving a local school. We'll keep you posted.

Celebrate St George's Day in style at Yate tomorrow

This year's Yate St George Celebrations at the Heritage Centre and St Mary's Green will be the biggest St George event in the area, with a full day of entertainment and activities for the whole community. There will be mumming, morris dancing, brass band, Punch and Judy, archery, history activities and even St George himself will be in attendance.

For more details and the timetable please check out the Yate and District Heritage Centre website

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Farewell to Kay

R.I.P. Kay Crowe, 1944 - 2015
Campaigning stopped today as we said our final farewell to our dear friend and council colleague of many years, Kay Crowe. A real "community builder", a true campaigner for many causes, an enthusiast in everything she did, and a mainstay of her family.

We'll miss you, Kay.

Monday, 13 April 2015

Never mind the TV debates...

... what happened when the candidates for Thornbury and Yate went head-to-head for the first time?

At the start of the General Election campaign the five candidates for this constituency took part in their first ‘hustings’ meeting. Young people attending sixth forms across Yate and Chipping Sodbury, and voting for the first time at this General Election, organised a meeting at Yate International Academy, attended by over 100 sixth formers. What was THEIR verdict on all the candidates for this seat after quizzing them?

Before the hustings, in a secret ballot the Tories were neck and neck with Steve Webb, with the other parties trailing.

But after a two hour head-to-head grilling of all the candidates things changed.

In an exit poll at the end of the event the Tory vote halved from 25% to 12%, while Steve Webb's vote surged from 25% to 43%.

After testing the candidates on all sorts of issues, the young people's verdict was clear. THEY want Steve Webb to win - they see him as the best person to help deliver the future they want for themselves and their world.

You can hear the candidates at the following public hustings meetings:

Tues 14th April – 7pm
Armadillo, Station Road, Yate, Bristol, BS37 4FW
(organised by Federation of Small Business)

Thurs 16th April – 7.30pm
Zion United Church, Woodend Road, Frampton Cotterell, BS36 2HY

Tues 21st April – 7.30pm
Thornbury Baptist Church, Gillingstool, Thornbury, BS35 2EG

Thurs 23rd April – 7.30pm
Cranleigh Court Chapel, Cranleigh Court Road, Yate, BS37 5DQ

When people hear Steve and what he has been able to achieve with residents locally and nationally it strikes a chord.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

That's inflation for you!

Electioneering was in full swing yesterday, with local Liberal Democrat Focus Team members talking to shoppers at Yate Shopping Centre. "Would you like a balloon?" seems to be a very good conversation starter.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

New Youth Cafe session for LBGTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning)

There's a new monthly Youth Cafe session in Yate for young people aged 14-19 who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans or Questioning. It will run at the Armadillo from 7pm to 9 pm on the last Sunday of every month, starting on Sunday 26 April.

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Local Dementia Awareness Sessions - spend just an hour of your time

As well as sessions for particular local organisations, Yate's Dementia Friendly Town initiative is running three public sessions at Poole Court, Poole Court Drive, Yate BS37 5PP. There are still a few spaces left on the first session, which takes place this Tuesday:

Tuesday April  7th   10.30-11.30
Monday May 11th   10.30-11.30
Monday June 8th     10.30-11.30

For more information or to book your place please contact Debbie on 01454 866512  or

(You'll probably be OK if you just turn up this Tuesday, but please book for sessions if you can)

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Easter post no. 2 - Easter Egg Extravaganza Event, Easter Monday

The Easter Egg Extravaganza Event is coming up on Easter Monday (6th April) in Kingsgate Park.

Easter post no. 1 - bus services

First Bus have made the following announcement regarding their Easter services (for other operators, please check individual websites):

Easter services for the West of England - over Easter, we will be running the following services:

Good Friday (Friday 3 April)
- Buses will operate Sunday/Public Holiday timetables. This includes Bath Park & Ride services (21, 31 & 41).
- The Bristol Airport Flyer (Service A1) will operate a normal Monday to Friday service.

Saturday 4 April
- Services will operate normal Saturday service.

Easter Sunday (Sunday 5 April)
- Buses will operate Sunday/Public Holiday timetables.
- No Park & Ride will operate in Bath (Services 21, 31 & 41).

Bank Holiday Monday (6 April)

- Buses will operate Sunday/Public Holiday timetables. This includes Bath Park & Ride services (21, 31 & 41).
- The Bristol Airport Flyer (Service A1) will operate a normal Monday to Friday service.

Please note: If it says Sunday/Public Holiday timetable and your bus service does not normally run on a Sunday/Public Holiday it will not run on this day.

Now the election campaign really begins

Parliament has now been dissolved, and the election campaign is well under way. Steve Webb was unanimously adopted as the Liberal Democrat parlaimentary candidate for the Thornbury and Yate constituency at a meeting of Lib Dem members in Chipping Sodbury Town Hall this week. Steve will be very busy for the next few weeks because quite apart from campaigning he's still the Minister of State for Pensions - the government doesn't finish until the election result is known.

Meanwhile local Lib Dems have been out on the streets talking to as many voters as possible, though you may well have seen us at other times - we make a real effort to keep in contact between elections, either on the doorstep or via our regular Focus and other leaflets.

If you would like to help Steve's campaign in a practical way you can email Steve on or click here if you would like to make a financial donation to our campaign.