Saturday, 21 October 2017

New date for Wapley Owl Prowl

The Owl Prowl at Wapley Bushes Local Nature Reserve, which had to be postponed last Friday due to high winds, has now been rescheduled for Friday 10 November at 7 pm.

This Owl Prowl will be led by well-known local expert Ian McGuire. Ian's owl prowls are a night-time walk in woodlands for all the family where you can learn about British owls through his iPad video presentations and through the evening he will be calling wild tawny owls in the hope that one will call back and possibly fly in for everyone to view.

Owl prowls are suitable for all age groups from 5 to 95 and usually involve a limited amount of walking. They are fun and fascinating and will leave participants much more aware of how amazing owls are and what they need to survive in the wild.

No captive owls are used at this event but Ian's success rate for calling in wild owls is approximately 60% so the anticipation of seeing a wild one is always very great. We're hoping that the tawny owls we saw last time on the edge of Wapley Common may put in an appearance once again.

Fri 10 November, meet 7 pm at the Shire Way entrance to the Nature Reserve. Please wear sensible footwear and bring a torch.
(Organised by Wapley Bushes Conservation Group, sponsored by South Gloucestershire Council)

Ageing Better Plan - South Glos consultation

South Glos Council's Ageing Better Plan will bring together the outcomes and priorities that will guide work to support older people (age 65+), the way they will measure progress and how they will work to realise their vision. It is based on data, evidence and consultation with older people and wider partners across the area.

South Gloucestershire Council is now opening the Ageing Better Plan to public consultation between until 12th January 2018.

They are keen to hear views from as wide a range of people as possible; find out what you think of the plan, including how it could be improved, whether they've left out anything that you think is a crucial issue, or how you'd like to get involved in making it happen.

You can find out more and make your views known here.

Friday, 20 October 2017

Wapley Owl Prowl and Dog Walk POSTPONED

This evening's Owl Prowl at Wapley Bushes is being postponed due to forecast high winds.

We have a provisional date of Friday 10 November at 7 pm - we will confirm here.
EDIT - THIS NEW DATE HAS NOW BEEN CONFIRMED

Sorry for any inconvenience - the Conservation Group will be at the gate this evening to tell anyone who doesn't know it's cancelled.

The Dodington Dog Walk at Wapley tomorrow morning has also been cancelled for safety reasons due to continued high winds.

Yate Spur cycle route - latest update

Here's the latest update 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 - You will probably have seen the fencing and the signs, with not much work going on lately. They struck a sewage pipe that wasn't on ANYBODY'S maps, and they've had to do some redesign. Work should start again shortly for completion in the Spring, together with appropriate direction signs.
  • Broad Lane - has already been upgraded.
  • Broad Lane to Nibley Lane Corner - the "Westerleigh bypass" - being designed, awaiting funding. This will probably be the last stretch of the whole project.
  • Nibley Lane Corner improvements - recently consulted about - on hold until Spring 2018 because of extra traffic during the Bromley Heath Viaduct work.
  • Section under railway viaduct to Westerleigh Rd mini-roundabout - detailed design nearly complete, awaiting funding
  • Westerleigh Rd mini-roundabout to Yate Common - on hold until January 2018 because of railway embankment work near Chedworth
Once the section alongside 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.

When the rest of the path is approaching completion there will need to be proper direction signs for the full length. We are also asking for the narrow part of the path across Yate Common to be reviewed. This will help disabled users too -  there are now "Radar" key gates at both ends, but parts of the path are too narrow for two motorised scooters to pass each other. The details of the widening will of course be discussed with the Friends of Yate Common and Yate Town Council because of the enviromental sensitivity of the area.

We'll keep you posted on Yate Spur progress every few months.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Positive activities for young people - South Glos consultation

South Gloucestershire Council is looking for new ways to deliver positive activities for young people and want to get a better picture of what youth activities (youth clubs, centres, detached and mobile work etc) are needed and where they should be, as well as how they should be provided within available resources.  

In other words, what should South Glos be spending its limited youth budget on?

A needs assessment of young people has been completed and from this South Glos have proposed some areas that they think should be considered for future council funded youth provision. They are now seeking views from young people, organisations and/or potential providers of positive activities. The consultation period runs until Wednesday 15 November 2017 and all the documentation can be accessed here:

There are three different surveys - they are keen to hear from everybody:
  • Survey for children and young people 
  • Survey for service providers 
  • Survey for the wider community, including parents and carers, professionals, local residents and organisations
South Glos are keen to ensure that they have both general comments and comments specific to youth provision in the areas you might cover. If any groups would like somebody to attend and present/discuss the proposals, please contact Sharon Adams  (email sharon.adams@southglos.gov.uk or telephone 01454 862549) and she’ll try to arrange for somebody to do that.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Advice on hate crime

This Friday there will be a drop-in session for those needing advice on dealing with hate crime.

Between 10am and 1.30pm on Friday 20th October staff from South Glos Council, Avon and Somerset Police and agencies such as SARI (Stand Against Racism and Inequality) will be in Yate Shopping Centre's West Walk. Anyone can ask questions about hate crime or hate-related incidents and get information and advice. If you can’t make this session, or for more information on hate crime including how to report it, visit: www.southglos.gov.uk/hatecrime

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

More Yate Station improvements

 

Great news for commuters as the ticket machine at Yate Station is about to be covered, meaning the machine is less likely to break and will be easier to read on sunny days. Queuing at the ticket window will also be covered, with more shelter on the platform once you’ve got your ticket. Thanks to the Lib Dem Focus Team for putting in funding bids and finally persuading the authorities to pay up!

If you are interested in campaigning for more station improvements, the next Friends of Yate Station meeting is at 7.30pm on 1st November.

Go wild at Wapley this weekend - dog walk and owl prowl



There's a dog walk with a difference at Wapley this Saturday - you don't have to have a dog! If you fancy a morning stroll in the countryside, with or without a dog, please join the Discover Dodington Dog Walk at 10.00 am from the Shire Way entrance to the Wapley Bushes Local Nature Reserve, opposite the road entrance to Cherington.

And as we've previously told you, there's an Owl Prowl at Wapley Bushes Reserve this Friday,  20 October 2017. You'll be able to join local expert Ian McGuire for a twilight owl prowl through the Wapley Bushes nature reserve. Please wear warm clothes and sturdy footwear and please bring a torch too. Meet at the Shire Way entrance at 7.00pm.

Road works alongside Iron Acton Road

For people who may be wondering what the works next to the Iron Acton road near Cog Mill are for - they are part of a massive sewer scheme, the Frome Valley Relief Sewer.

This runs from Iron Acton to Bradley Stoke, and will carry waste water from places like North Yate to the sewage treatment works in Avonmouth.

The sewage system has been inadequate for years, and Cllr Dave Hockey has been fighting to get a decent system to stop sewage overflowing into the river at peak times.

More details of the project are explained here.

Monday, 16 October 2017

Grants advice sessions - updated

Are you a community group looking for advice on how to apply for Member Awarded Funding or Area Wide Grants?

If so, you can book a 30 minute slot on the dates and times below. The sessions take place at the Council Offices, Badminton Road, Yate, BS37 5AF.

There has been a lot of interest, so South Glos are running several extra sessions.

To book a place, please contact the team on 01454 865865 (Mon-Fri 9am to 4pm) or email grants@southglos.gov.uk. It would be useful to know when booking which subject area you are interested in.
  • Wednesday 1 November 2017: 16:00 - 19:00 (30 minute slots)
  • Monday 6 November 2017: 10:00 - 13:00 (30 minute slots)
  • Friday 10 November 2017: 09:00 – 15:00 (30 minute slots)

Low cost computer scheme for people on benefits and charities

South Glos Council has teamed up with an IT provider to offer a range of low cost professionally refurbished computers to eligible residents and registered UK charities in South Gloucestershire. Both desktop and laptop computers are available under the scheme in a range of performance/price combinations, costing between £99 and £149. All have Windows 10 fitted.


To apply for a low cost computer you must meet at least one of the following criteria:

    Housing Benefit
    Income Support
    Jobseeker’s allowance
    Pension credit
    Disability Living Allowance
    Attendance Allowance / Constant Attendance Allowance
    Carer’s Allowance
    Incapacity Benefit / Employment and Support Allowance
    Disability element of Working Tax Credit
    Universal Credit

Registered UK charities are also eligible for this scheme.



More details are available here, and you can apply at any South Glos library.

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Codrington Broadband update

It's hoped that work to upgrade broadband in Codrington will be finished by the end of this month.

To check whether your house or business is being upgraded, use the Openreach line checker at:

https://www.homeandbusiness.openreach.co.uk/fibre-broadband/when-can-i-get-fibre

If it's not available, try again later. When working, if you are being upgraded it should show "In scope" and state that an FTTP solution is being used (that is, fibre to the premises, rather than just to the nearest green box). Note that there is still the possibility that technical issues stop your property being upgraded.

Once the infrastructure work is complete you will need to order an FTTP package from an ISP. An Openreach engineer will then need to visit your property to replace the line with a fibre optic cable and install a box inside your home.

(Note - We appreciate that most of our visitors are from the urban area, but some local people who have broadband problems of their own have been interested in what's happening in the villages. Hence this post appearing on this blog)

Friday, 13 October 2017

Yate Twinning talk - Why did the German Democratic Republic fail? - Fri 3 November


Yate and District Twinning Association (twinned with Bad Salzdetfurth in Germany) present a talk by Professor David Clarke of Bath University at Yate Library, Yate Shopping Centre.

Entry to this fascinating talk is only £3.00 including light refreshments.

The event is on Friday 3rd November, starting at 7.30 pm.

For further information please email info@yatetwinning.co.uk
or contact Chairman Martin Monk on 01454 853175.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Grants advice sessions

Are you a community group looking for advice on how to apply for Member Awarded Funding or Area Wide Grants?

If so, you can book a 30 minute slot between 10am and 1pm on Monday 6 November. The sessions take place at the Council Offices, Badminton Road, Yate, BS37 5AF.

To book a place, please contact the team on 01454 865865 (Mon-Fri 9am to 4pm) or email grants@southglos.gov.uk. It would be useful to know when booking which subject area you are interested in.

Update: South Glos have now organised two more sessions. You can now book for any of these dates:
  • Wednesday 1 November 2017: 16:00 - 19:00 (30 minute slots)
  • Monday 6 November 2017: 10:00 - 13:00 (30 minute slots)
  • Friday 10 November 2017: 09:00 – 15:00 (30 minute slots)


 

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Studies approved for new Yate and Chipping Sodbury Metrobus, Park and Ride

The West of England Combined Authority, which consists of council leaders from Bristol, South Gloucestershire and Bath & North East Somerset (B&NES) councils and Metro Mayor Tim Bowles – have agreed £1.2million to investigate whether it is financially viable to go ahead with 21 transport projects which include four new MetroBus routes around Bristol, six new park and ride sites, and other transport projects.

Among the studies is an outline investigation into the A432 corridor to Yate and Chipping Sodbury, including MetroBus, a strategic cycle route, Park and Ride, Yate Station enhancements and a bypass for Winterbourne and Frampton Cotterell.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Owl prowl at Wapley Bushes Local Nature Reserve - Fri 20 October

This Owl Prowl will be led by well-known local expert Ian McGuire. Ian's owl prowls are a night-time walk in woodlands for all the family where you can learn about British owls through his iPad video presentations and through the evening he will be calling wild tawny owls in the hope that one will call back and possibly fly in for everyone to view.

Owl prowls are suitable for all age groups from 5 to 95 and usually involve a limited amount of walking. They are fun and fascinating and will leave participants much more aware of how amazing owls are and what they need to survive in the wild.

No captive owls are used at this event but Ian'sy success rate for calling in wild owls is approximately 60% so the anticipation of seeing a wild one is always very great. We're hoping that the tawny owls we saw last time on the edge of Wapley Common may put in an appearance once again.

Fri 20 October, meet 7 pm at the Shire Way entrance to the Nature Reserve. Please wear sensible footwear and bring a torch.
(Organised by Wapley Bushes Conservation Group, sponsored by South Gloucestershire Council)

Monday, 9 October 2017

Nibley Lane overnight closure 11 October

Nibley Road will be closed between Badminton Road and Westerleigh Road from 9pm on 11th October to 6.30am on 12th October so work can be carried out.

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Tern Inn - Birds Resident Group meeting 16th October

There will be a public meeting of the Birds Resident Group on 16th October.

The local community have been campaigning tirelessly for a year now to try to stop unwanted development of the Tern Inn and car park site. A planning application for this site requesting 26 new flats was turned down by South Gloucestershire Council earlier this year.

Although the pub closed in June of this year due to the developer not offering a lease renewal, this is not the end of the matter and residents and councillors have continued to work behind the scenes. This meeting is a chance to find out more about the current position in respect of the planning application/appeal, and how matters may progress in the coming months.

This is a vital opportunity to ask any questions you may have, and to make sure that the campaign is aware of the community’s wishes.

The public meeting will be held at 8pm on Monday 16th October at Dodington Parish Hall (Finch Road). This meeting is being held jointly by the Birds Resident Group and Dodington Parish Council.

Everyone is welcome and we look forward to seeing you there.

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Plans from housing drop-in sessions now available online

Cllr Claire Young at the Yate and Chipping Sodbury drop-in

Now that the drop-in events on the new housing proposals have come to an end, you can see all the materials used at them here.

The proposals for the Yate/Sodbury area include housing coming round from north of the football club down towards the top of Nibley, employment to the west of the current business parks along Nibley Lane and then mixed housing/employment in the land between Nibley Lane and the railway arches. If these and the Coalpit Heath proposals go ahead, there would be very little separating the villages from Yate.


The proposals for Chipping Sodbury are for development areas on the south side of the railway, running from opposite the middle of Robin Way to south of Smarts Green roundabout. This means both sides of Dodington Road / Claypit Hill except the Chipping Sodbury School playing field, as far south as the Dodington Lane junction.

The submission draft of the Joint Structure Plan will be going to an extraordinary meeting of the West of England Infrastructure Advisory Board in Bristol on 25th, and the next meeting of the West of England Combined Authority will be 2pm on 30th October at the Bath Guildhall. Papers for that will be available on 20th October. It will then be coming to the South Gloucestershire Cabinet on 6th November and full council on 8th November.

Over the winter there will be a consultation and all submissions will be sent with the submission draft to the Secretary of State. The plan will then be tested at an Inquiry.

Friday, 6 October 2017

Tories refuse to back recommendation to invest in Yate Minor Injuries Unit

Local councillors outside Yate MIU
At a meeting of South Gloucestershire’s Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee on Friday, Conservative Councillors failed to support a recommendation for the Clinical Commissioning Group to review and invest in services at Yate Minor Injuries Unit.

The recommendation was moved by Lib Dem councillor Sue Hope and supported by all Lib Dem and Labour councillors on the committee. The Conservatives split with six abstaining and two voting against.


The recommendation states:
"There is recognition of the growing demand for services at the Yate MIU; the CCG recognise this and reviews the service with the aim of investing in a service to meet the growing demand at Yate MIU"
The recommendation was passed by 5 votes to 2 with 6 abstentions.

Sue Hope said: “I brought this recommendation in response to the current three month trial at Yate MIU under which patients are being turned away during the day when the service becomes too busy. We believe that this is a bad policy, which had led to confusion and dismay among patients"

“I was amazed when the Conservatives refused to support our resolution, particularly as health colleagues at the meeting had already said that they were happy to review the MIU service and report back to the committee. I’m pleased that the resolution was passed with the help of Liberal Democrat and Labour councillors”

Cllr Hope also brought a second resolution asking for the CCG to review its communication strategy with the public, be clear in its objectives and give a clear concise message to the public as to how to access services. This resolution was passed with 7 in favour and 6 abstentions (all Conservative)

Sue Hope said: “It’s become clear that the CCG and local health providers seriously need to look at how they communicate with residents about services on offer. Not only has there been a lot of confusion about the situation with the MIU, but it is clear that most residents are still unaware of the minor injuries service now available at all South Gloucestershire GP practices”

The South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) will now report back on both resolutions at a future session of the Scrutiny Committee.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Campaigning for better buses


On Monday Claire Young once again took our campaign for improving local bus services to the South Glos Public Transport Forum.

Claire reminded the First Bus Director James Freeman of the 82 bus service petition she presented last autumn and followed up again at the Forum earlier this year. As well as better reliability, we are calling for the reinstatement of a direct bus service from Chipping Sodbury (and the villages beyond) to Southmead, Parkway and the Mall and a later bus service for people who work at the Mall to get home after it closes.

Mr Freeman said that their records showed that since they switched the 82 service to run out of a different depot, reliability has improved (do let us know if this isn't your experience). They're considering options for improving the service but will only implement them once the Bromley Heath viaduct works have finished. Let us know if you have any comments on what you would like to see and we'll pass them on.

Claire also challenged First Bus on the age of buses being used on the 47 and X47 service into Bristol. They are planning changes to the Yate-Bristol corridor, which should bring good news, but again this will be once the viaduct work has finished. Contact us if you would like us to pass on your views about how they could improve the services.

Update: From a subsequent email it appears that First Bus have ruled out extending the 82 bus service beyond Yate before anyone has had the chance to get back to them with their suggestions.

Monday, 25 September 2017

Talk: the Wild Owl TV Garden – A Wildlife Haven in Suburbia - Fri 6 October

A fascinating illustrated talk by local expert Ian McGuire, who shows what can be done in an ordinary suburban garden. There will also be displays from our local wildlife groups.

Fri 6 October, 7.30 pm at Dodington Parish Hall, Finch Road, Chipping Sodbury
(Organised by Dodington Parish Council)

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Busy environmental weekend coming up

Lots of green things to do this weekend - all free!

Fri 22 September
The Conservation of British Owls – illustrated talk by local expert Ian McGuire
7.30 pm at Yate Library
(Wapley Bushes Conservation Group, sponsored by South Gloucestershire Council)

Sat 23 September
Kennedy Way Pond work morning
The Southwold Group of the Avon Wildlife Trust will be working at local wildlife haven Kennedy Way Pond, on the corner with Link Road, Yate, carrying out vegetation clearance and general management. Meet at the pond (near the cinema end of the Riverside car park) at 10am.
(Southwold Group of Avon Wildlife Trust)

Sun 24 September
B
icycle Safari – discover local nature on two wheels with expert Ian McGuire. Family friendly, under 12s must be accompanied by an adult.
Bicycle Safari sets off at 11.00 am from Riverside car park next to cinema BS37 4AY
(Joint Cycleway Group)
Come along and meet Dr Bike from 10.15 am to have your bike checked or find out more about safe cycling with family and friends (South Gloucestershire Council Bikeability Team)

Tuesday, 19 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

Monday, 18 September 2017

Men In Sheds - event 5 October


Are you interested in making things, working with wood, working in a team doing things for others?

Yate Town Council are organizing a free drop in event for anyone interested in hearing more about the startup of an over 50’s ‘Men in Sheds’ group in Yate.

The event is taking place on Thursday 5th October 2017 from 12.30pm-2.30pm at the Armadillo Youth Café and Venue (the purple building next to Yate Leisure Centre).

The Town Council has invited local established Men in Sheds groups to come and share their experiences with those attending and have asked if they could bring along some examples of items that they have created/mended within their sessions or information on other activities.

There will be displays with information relating to existing Men’s Sheds and information about how to set up and run the sheds. Yate Heritage Centre are also bringing along examples of historic local tools. 

Refreshments including free coffee, tea, bacon butties (veggie alternative) and biscuits will be on offer during the event.

This is a very informal meeting for anyone who would like to hear more about the project and would like to help shape the future of the group.

For more information about the event or project please get in touch with Yate Town Council, they would love to hear from you! (Poole Court Drive, Yate, South Gloucestershire, BS37 5PP. Email info@yatetowncouncil.gov.uk or phone 01454 866506)

Friday, 15 September 2017

West of England Strategy - consultation until 27 September

The West of England Combined Authority is consulting on its high-level plans for delivering economic growth for all, under three pillars:
  • Businesses that succeed 
  • World class skills for employment 
  • Infrastructure fit for the future 
They are keen to get the views of businesses, organisations and individuals - you can find out more and comment here

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Last chance to have your say on South Glos ward boundaries - runs until 6 November

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:
  • The Birds area will become part of the Dodington two member ward
  • Chipping Sodbury will become a one member ward
  • The Westerleigh ward of Westerleigh Parish and Dodington South ward of Dodington Parish, which are both currently in Westerleigh ward, will move into an enlarged two member Boyd Valley ward.
  • There will be a a new Sodbury Vale one member ward, which take in large parts of the current Cotswold Edge ward
  • There would be a minor boundary change between the Yate North and Yate Central town council wards

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

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"

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Chipping Sodbury School area - 20 mph speed limit consultation - open until 22 September

South Gloucestershire Council is consulting on a scheme is to reduce traffic speeds in the vicinity of Chipping Sodbury School, which will make walking and cycling to school more attractive. The proposal is to reduce the speed limit from 30mph to 20mph along roads in the vicinity of the school, in line with the other schools in the area.

The following roads are affected by this scheme:
  • Bowling Road
  • Claypit Hill
  • Dodington Road
  • Gullivers Place
  • Lilliput Avenue
You can find full details and comment here

Monday, 11 September 2017

Aviva Community Fund - applications open 12 September 2017

The Aviva Community Fund offers you the chance to get 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.

The Aviva Community Fund opens on 12 September 2017 - you can find out more here.

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Memory Cafe at Chipping Sodbury Baptist Church

The Memory Cafe is run by the church with the help of the Rotarians and is very relaxed and friendly - family and careers welcome - tea, coffee and cake provided. Activities quizzes, word search dominos etc. Help, support and an opportunity to share experiences.

1st and 3rd Tuesdays 10.30am to 12.00noon
Chipping Sodbury Baptist Church
High Street
Chipping Sodbury
01454 313023
Email office@cs-bc.org.uk

Friday, 8 September 2017

Temporary traffic lights on Nibley Lane

There are temporary traffic lights on the narrow bridge on Nibley Lane between Badminton Road and Westerleigh Road. Concrete barriers have been put in place where the fence has collapsed, so the road is now only one vehicle wide at that point.

The fence - which had previously been damaged by vehicles crashing into it - appears to belong to Network Rail, so we have no information about how long the traffic lights will be there.

Nibley Lane is a popular rush-hour cut through, so delays are likely at peak times (though it makes that blind bridge safer)

Monday Lunch Club particularly for older members of the community

There is a Monday Lunch Club at St Nicholas Family Centre, Abbotswood, Yate aimed particularly at older members of the community every Monday, starting 11th September (excluding Bank Holidays) at 12 noon for 12.30 pm.

Soup and a roll with dessert only £3.50, which can't be bad!

Contact details -
Tel: 01454 324712
Email: st.nicholas.abbotswood@hotmail.co.uk
Website www.stnix.co.uk

Also on Mondays at St Nix:
Friendship Club 10.00 to 11.30 am (£3) Chair based activities and games with tea and biscuits among friends
This is 4U 2.30—3.30 pm (free) Play table games, chat and make new friends

St Nicholas uses Green Community Travel  - please contact them if you need help getting there.

Station Road Area, Yate - Waiting Restrictions Review - have your say before 15 September

South Glos Council is consulting on waiting restrictions around Station Road.

All day parking is taking place in roads off Station Road by people working in local offices and commuters using Yate Railway station who do not want to pay for car parking in the station car park.  South Glos say that the demand for on-street parking and associated obstructive parking is causing access and visibility difficulties for local residents.

The idea is to provide waiting restrictions to deter all day and often obstructive parking in Cranleigh Court Road (shops layby), Folly Bridge Close, Longs Drive, Moorland Road, and Station Road.

You can read more details and have your say here

Thursday, 7 September 2017

New 622 bus route between Chipping Sodbury, Yate, Thornbury and Cribbs Causeway


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


Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Heritage Open Days 2017

It's nearly time 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.

Community Spaces Network Celebratory Event 2017

Are you involved in a community spaces volunteer group? Then come along to the annual Community Spaces Network Celebratory Event on Wednesday, 27 September 2017 from 17:30 to 21:00 at the Nest Cafe and Community Centre in Page Park, Staple Hill, BS16 5LU.

It's a good event and an excellent opportunity for networking and getting new ideas.

You'll need to register - if your group hasn't received an invitation, please email the Community Spaces Team 

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Nibley Lane to close for cleaning Tue 5 September

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.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Have your say on M4 Junction 18a options

South Glos Council has 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 

Both these options could have major traffic implications for our area, especially the parts around Westerleigh Road, Rodford Way and Shire Way. Unless proper links are provided to AND ROUND Yate, to meet up with the Iron Acton road, these roads will have to carry a lot more through traffic and Westerleigh village could grind to a halt. And no, completing the Road to Nowhere wouldn't do a thing to help - it's in the wrong place.

Cllr Claire Young has helped Westerleigh and Dodington Parish Councils to arrange drop-in events as part of the consultation:

  • Monday 11 September, 4 pm to 6.45 pm at Westerleigh Village Hall, Shorthill Road, Westerleigh, BS37 8QN 
  • Tuesday 19 September, 4 pm to 7 pm at 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.

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Could YOU become a Health Champion?

Southern Brooks Community Partnerships 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, 22 August 2017

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.


Thursday, 17 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.

Tuesday, 15 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.

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 us, please do sign our petition at www.southgloslibdems.org.uk/letsgetyatemoving and pass it on to friends and family members who you think will support us too.


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 image), 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. These works will create a significant amount of noise and South Glos Council apologises in advance for any disruption caused.

Monday, 14 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

Wednesday, 9 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.

Friday, 28 July 2017

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

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

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.

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/

M4 Junction 18a 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 running for eight weeks starting the week commencing 21 August. You can pre-register your interest in the consultation here.

Last week Claire Young and other Focus Team members 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 Pucklechurch 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. 

Unless there are proper connecting routes there will also be major effects on areas in South Yate and Dodington. We do not think any option should go ahead without action to prevent serious knock-on impacts on the surrounding roads and communities.

Monday, 24 July 2017

Early warning of train delays 16 and 17 September


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 here.

Friday, 21 July 2017

Traffic delays Sunday 30 July as giant transformer on the move


On Sunday 30 July National Grid will be transporting a very large piece of new equipment to Iron Acton substation. The lorry carrying it will be 57 metres long by 5 metres wide and weigh 231 tonnes. Due to the size and weight, the lorry will travel between 10 and 15 miles per hour.

The vehicle will start from Avonmouth Port in Bristol on 30 July at 9.00, arriving at Iron Acton substation in the late afternoon. It needs to avoid hazards such as weak bridges and narrow turning points, so the route is quite indirect:

Avonmouth docks - M49 - M4 - M5 northbound to Junction 13, then returning southbound to Junction 14, where it will exit onto the B4509.

Then Cromhall, Bagstone and Rangeworthy, and then following the B4059 until it reaches Latteridge village, close to its final destination.

If anyone has questions or concerns, they can contact National Grid's Community Relations team on 0800 073 1047. They are available seven days a week 7.00 – 19.00.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Bromley Heath viaduct works from 22 July - reminder and details




We’ve already 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. So the extra cash is being taken from other regional projects, it's not "new money".

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

South Gloucestershire Council have put together some very clear web pages on the project here

One key issue is the best routes to avoid some of the jams. For example, to get to the M32 the Winterbourne route from Yate will be better than going via Coalpit Heath. The same web page shows the changes at Winterbourne traffic lights.



Monday, 17 July 2017

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, 14 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 alongside 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, 12 July 2017

Brinsham Park Event - fun for all the family

Come and join in this Sunday 16th July in Brinsham Fields from 1.00pm till 4.00pm. Bring your dogs along for a 'Fun Dog Show', 'Tempation Alley' and a Tug of War, free treasure hunt for all the children and other activities.  See you there?

Monday, 10 July 2017

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 hoursunder the new seven-day-a-week opening arrangements, due to start in October. Borrowers will be able to gain access ith 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.

Friday, 7 July 2017

New Youth Bus for Yate


Yate Town Council has launched a new Youth Bus sothat youth workers can get out and about and  keep in contact with local youngsters aroud the town. The bus is called the Urbie - the Urban Vehicle for Information and Education - and it replaces an older, smaller vehicle that the Town Council used successfully for many years.

Yate Town Council are very grateful for the support of local organisations and businesses including Merlin Housing Society, the Avon and Somerset Police Community Trust, Renishaw, One Stop Carriers for Causes, Sodbury and Yate Business Association and Yate and District Rotary Club.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Railway Inn site latest


As local people will know, the historic Railway Inn was recently demolished despite local objections. The pub sign now peeks rather sadly above the site hoardings.

The developers then submitted an application for outline planning permission, but South Gloucestershire Council has refused to accept this and asked for full layout details before takinga decision on the application. They have been given until July 6th to provide the extra information, or the planning officer will recommend that the application is turned down.


Yate Town Council has raised concerns about the parking arrangements, and has urged that the new building should be made to match the historic style of nearby premises.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Picnic, Play and Plan for Woodchester Play Area - Sat 15 July, 12pm to 3pm


Dodington Parish Council are inviting local residents to a Community Picnic at Woodchester Play Area to help them plan improvements. At the moment the Parish Council only runs the infants play area, but they are negotiating to take over the larger play equipment and the open space from South Gloucestershire Council.

"We would like local people's ideas on how to make the play area better" said Cllr Paul Hulbert "So we're running a 'Picnic, Play and Plan' session for residents - and their children! - to come along and meet us"

"We would like to hear from people of all ages. We're particularly interested in what of the existing play equipment people think works well, and what doesn't. Maybe people have seen equipment somewhere else that would be good at Woodchester"

"We're also keen to get community views on priorities for where money needs to be spent. For example, should we prioritise modernising the oldest equipment, or perhaps putting a fence round the whole play area to keep dogs out? Or do the teenager facilities like the basketball net and the goal need improving?"

"Light refreshments will be provided – please bring your own picnic. We’ll even have a barbecue going so that you can cook your own food. Councillors will also be happy to discuss any other local issues people have on their minds"

For more information, please phone 01454 866546 or email dodingtonpc@southglos.gov.uk

This will be one of the Picnic and Play events coordinated by Abbotswood Action Group.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Bromley Heath Viaduct - more cash, extra public meeting, but more chaos



Back in April we reported about the works to the Bromley Heath viaduct on the Ring Road. We are pleased to tell you that the West of England Joint Committee has agreed extra cash so that the works will be speeded up, so that the project (and the traffic problems) will only last 33 weeks rather than 50 weeks or so.

However the work is likely to have massive travel implications, particularly in the rush hour. Not only for people who use the A4174 but also for people who travel through Westerleigh or use the Westerleigh Road through Codrington  or the A432 through Old Sodbury. People are going to be using very different routes to try to give the chaos a wide berth, so travel changes as far away as the A46 are being put in place, e.g. the temporary traffic lights at the A46 / B4465 junction.

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.

Bearing in mind that the traffic diversions and holdups will affect drivers from our area, South Glos Council has arranged two more residents engagement meetings covering the proposed traffic management measures and recommended traffic routes:
  • Longwell Primary School, Monday 10th July, 6:00pm – 8:00pm
  • Dodington Parish Council Hall, Finch Road, Tuesday 11th July, 5:00pm – 7:00pm
Details of the project and the work involved are available at www.southglos.gov.uk/bhviaduct

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.

Topics covered include:
  • what to do if you have a fire
  • preventing electrical fires
  • preventing kitchen fires
  • planning your escape route
  • fire safety in blocks of flats 
  • smoke alarms 
Well worth a read.

Friday, 30 June 2017

Street art project for Abbotswood underpass

Abbotswood Action Group are organising a street art project in the underpass by the precinct. The project will be led by an organisation called Paintsmiths. The dates for the project are as follows:
  • Workshops at the Youth club: Friday 7th July, Tuesday 11th of July (7pm to 9pm)
  • Workshops at the shops: Monday 24th 11am to 1:30pm and Tuesday 25th (5pm to 7:30pm)
  • Painting In the Underpass during the week of: Monday 24th to Friday 28th July
More information about Paintsmiths can be found here: http://www.paintsmiths.org/

Abbotswood Action Group would love to see anyone who is interested at the workshops.

It's actually 30 years since the previous mural was done - local people of a certain age will remember the alien with a basketball. Does anyone have any photos of it? If so, please email paul.hulbert@gmail.com - if they're prints, we would be happy to scan them and let you have the prints back.

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Have your say on the South Glos Health & Wellbeing Strategy

Public consultation has opened on a new joint strategy to guide the work of the South Gloucestershire Health and Wellbeing Board (HWB) over the next four years to improve the health of everyone living and working in South Gloucestershire.

The JHWS sets out four key priorities where the Board feel their work can improve the health and wellbeing of people living and working in South Gloucestershire. These are:
  • Improve educational attainment and raise aspirations through promotion of health and wellbeing in schools and colleges
  • Promote and enable positive mental health and wellbeing at every stage of life
  • Promote and enable good nutrition, physical activity and a healthy weight throughout life
  • Maximise the potential of our built and natural environment to enable healthy lifestyles and prevent disease
The JHWS is keen to receive your thoughts and opinions on the draft strategy. This consultation is open until midnight on 21st August 2017.

Lots more information, including the draft strategy and the consultation questionnaire, can be found on the consultation website here

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

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 current 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.The links above may change as time goes on, but the links on the process page should take you to the latest versions.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Could YOU be a library volunteer?




Chipping Sodbury Library was earmarked for closure last year due to South Glos plans to save money, but following a local campaign it will now stay open on the condition that it is run by members of the community.

Friends of Chipping Sodbury Library are now looking for around 40 people to work shifts at the facility on a regular basis.

The library will be handed over to the community on the last weekend of September, with volunteers taking over running it during the first week of October.

They will work in shifts of around four hours, with the library expected to be open for 14 to 16 hours each week.

SGC are helping with some of the costs involved, including building maintenance, but the everyday job of running the library will be down to members of the community.

If you're interested, please contact the library for further details.

Monday, 26 June 2017

Picnics and Play events - Saturday 15 July 2017, 12 noon to 4 pm

Do you have neighbours you've never met? Have you ever thought it would be nice if someone organised a community get-together near where you live? Perhaps you (with help) could organise s neighbourly picnic!

Abbotswood Action Group is encouraging people from the lcal area to host a "bring and share" picnic with games and activities on your nearest green space or tarmac play area.

AAG will be happy to help with invites, encouragement and advice. They also have a small fund to help with purchases of play equipment if needed for your picnic (first come first served!)

All the picnics will be put on a map so people can wander around and enjoy different activities.

If you and a group of neighbours would like to join in, please contact Rob on 07890 569196, speak with a member of the AAG committee, or email community.aag@gmail.com

Quite a few picnics have already been registered. Dodington Parish is planning one at Woodchester Play Area, where you can give your views about improvements to the play area and meet your local councillors. Kelston Close residents and Solon South West Housing Association are running a picnic and fun afternoon at QE2 Kelston Close playing field, and lots more gatherings are already being planned.

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Yate Spur cycle path - B4465 to Broad Lane Westerleigh

Work on the Westerleigh Road to Broad Lane (Westerleigh) 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.

This is the stretch that starts from the T junction south of Westerleigh, where they recently put in a crossing near the cottages. It will run up inside the farmer's field to what was previously Cornerways Day Nursery, the old school building.

One more small length in the bigger project!

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Free Couch to 40k Bike Course starting 1st July

Have you got a bike resting idle in your shed, garage or propped under the stairs? Do you lack confidence about your ride skills, what to wear or how to train for fitness? If so, SportsPound's Couch to 40k bike course might be right for you!

Cycling is an ideal way to build your fitness as it’s weight bearing which makes it gentle on your joints. They're going to start off with advice on what to wear, how to use your gears properly and how best to train, ride assertively and stay safe. They will also supply you with suggestions on pleasant cycling routes in South Glos.

They then take you to a closed road site to practice your skills and get used to riding. There will also the option of a bike MOT so you can check how roadworthy it is. The next part of the course is ‘virtual’ which you do at your own pace and convenience over the following 9 weeks, using a smartphone app (ypu can also log in and update your progress manually). The organisers will suggest suitable meeting points for you to get together with others and ride together from hubs around South Gloucestershire.

Finally everyone comes back together on Sunday 3rd September for our 40k ride. Starting at Page Park Staple Hill you’ll follow a traffic free route that takes you 40km (25 miles) through South Glos to Bath and return.

You can click here to find out more and to sign up or check out SportsPound on Facebook

Friday, 23 June 2017

Tern Inn planning application refused


The planning application to demolish the Tern Inn and build flats on the site and the adjacent car park has just been REFUSED. This very popular local pub and live music venue and the car park were recently classed as "Assets of Community Value" (ACVs). The pub was forced to close on 11 June because the owner refused to renew the lease, and the property has since been boarded up.

The key reasons for refusal were:
  • Taking away the pub and the car park would have a very negative impact on the Heron Way Local Centre
  • The proposal would remove the pub, listed as an ACV, without an alternative within 800 metres, which is against South Glos planning policy
  • It would also mean the loss of the Local Centre Car Park, also an ACV, without any alternative
  • The scheme would not have enough parking and delivery space, and it would push vehicles out onto the main road. The overall effect has been classed as "severe" and "detrimental to the travelling public"
The full decision notice can be seen here

So what might happen now? There are three possibilities:
  • The landowner could appeal against the decision - this is the most likely. In that case the Government will appoint an independent inspector who would hold a hearing locally.
  • The owner might submit a different scheme, and the planning process would start all over again
  • The owner might concede defeat and consider negotiating with other interested parties
This is one small step towards getting the pub and the car park back, but nothing is guaranteed. Local people and Dodington Parish Council, who have supported the campaign all the way, will need to keep up the community pressure.

You can find the Birds Resident Group on Facebook.

Yate Rocks this weekend!

The popular Yate Rocks Festival will take place in Kingsgate Park again this weekend. The main music festival 12.00 - 8.00 pm on Saturday 24 June will have a wide range of music from local bands such as Toby, Tail Lights, Uncle Buck, Limited Edition, Elevation, Atlantic, Fire Blisters, and the Yate Rock Choir.

There will be dance shows, arts and crafts, refreshments and children’s games and activities.

On Sunday morning there will be a church service from 10.30am to 12 noon, followed by a picnic in the park at 1.30pm.

Thursday, 22 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. That's the road that runs from the big roundabout on the Iron Acton road, heading south to join up with Stover Road.

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.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Advice sessions on South Glos Member Awarded Funding

Last year South Glos launched the Member Awarded Funding (MAF) scheme that gives Councillors the opportunity to make awards to projects and services that benefit residents in their ward. From 1 April 2017 each councillor has an allocation of £3,000 to award to local projects and services before 31 March 2018.

South Glos is offering voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations and Town or Parish Councils the opportunity to drop-in at one of their advice sessions to meet with a Grant Officer for help and support with the MAF process, such as:
  • How to register your organisation on the grants on-line system
  • How to create or revise policies
  • How to apply to your Councillor(s)
  • How to complete an application form
  • How to apply if your project crosses ward boundaries
The sessions are being held in Room 0013 at the Council Offices, Badminton Road, Yate, BS37 5AF:
  • Wednesday 21 June 09:00-13:30
  • Monday 24 July 09:00-13:30
  • Monday 14 August 12:30-15.30
For more information please contact the Grants Helpline, Mon-Fri, 9am to 4pm, on 01454 865865 or grants@southglos.gov.uk.  The sessions are open and so please do just drop-in. However, if you would prefer to book a place, please contact the team to arrange.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Retirement flats proposed for green space in densely packed development

Councillors and residents at Normandy Drive

A development company has announced plans to build upmarket retirement flats on land at Normandy Drive, Yate, that was previously promised as community space.

Churchill Retirement Living has announced the proposals, claiming the development would meet an “urgent need” for elderly housing.

But residents who bought their homes from previous landowner Taylor Wimpey say they were told that the land would be kept for community use.

The only community space on the densely-packed development is a small nature reserve area on land that was unsuitable for building anyway, and there is no provision for children to play safely. Elswick Park is also one of the most congested areas in Yate for parking.

Local councillors are opposed to the proposals.

“We have fought hard to stop this land being built over completely, it was meant to be used by the community. There has been no discussion with local councillors about these latest plans” said Cllr Ruth Davis.