Thursday, 19 January 2017

Tern Inn now officially an "Asset of Community Value"

 The Tern Inn on Heron Way and the associated car park, the subject of a planning application to demolish the pub and build 28 flats on the site, has now been declared an "Asset of Community Value".

Dodington Parish Council and the Birds Residents Group applied for the ACV status so that if the landowner decides to sell, the community will have six months to put a bid together.

The ACV will be recorded at the Land Registry, but the landowner can appeal against the ACV decision.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Another big planning consultation

No sooner is one planning consultation out of the way, than another one comes along.

By the end of 2018, South Glos has to publish a new Local Plan for 2018-2036. It will review and eventually replace existing local planning documents, including the Core Strategy and the Policies, Sites and Places Plan.

The Joint Spatial Plan for the West of England, which was consulted on before Christmas, will set out the overall amount of residential and employment development and where it should be located in the West of England, as well as the infrastructure to support it. One of the things that the new South Gloucestershire Local Plan will do is to allocate specific sites for development - strategic sites at the locations identified in the JSP and smaller, non-strategic ones.

The Local Plan will also set out the planning policies that will be used when the council determines planning applications.

Work on the new Local Plan is just starting and the council wants your views on the "prospectus", a document setting out the programme for preparing the plan and the proposed scope. They also want you to share your priorities for the area and how the council will deliver new development.

You can have your say online until Thursday 23rd February.

Monday, 16 January 2017

Council tax to increase for social care?

Have you had your say on the South Glos budget yet?

An extra question has now been added to the consultation. Last year South Glos took up the option to charge an extra 2% of council tax as an "adult social care precept" to go towards the spiralling costs of providing care to the vulnerable. It had been expected that this would continue at 2% for the following years but in December the Government announced a proposal that councils could introduce the rise sooner  – so they could increase council tax by up to 3% in 2017/18 or 2018/19 but still could not exceed 6% in total over the three year period 2017-2020. South Glos want to know your views on this. You can have your say online until 23rd January.

It is hard to see how South Glos can plug the funding gap without taking up this proposal but the Liberal Democrats nationally do not think this is the answer to the crisis in social care. Using council tax to raise the money will disproportionately burden the less well off in our communities and poorer parts of the country will be less able to raise money in this way than wealthier ones. Led by our health spokesperson and former Health Minister Norman Lamb we are pushing for a cross-party agreement on funding for health and social care. Is it time to put a penny on income tax to secure the future of the NHS and social care?

Friday, 13 January 2017

Happy Birthday to us!

Today - 13th January - is the tenth anniversary of the Liberal Democrats' Local Focus blog, covering Yate, Chipping Sodbury, Dodington and the surrounding areas.

In those ten years we've published around 1700 stories. Local information, campaigns, election results - you name it, we've done it. Just like our "big sister" the Focus magazine that our volunteers deliver to every house in the area.

Our very first story was about Network Rail removing trees from the embankment near Rodborough.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Nibley Lane to close for cleaning Monday 16th January

Nibley Lane is expected to close for cleaning from its junction with Badminton Road to its junction with Westerleigh Road between 9.30am and 2.30pm on Monday 16th January. 

Monday, 9 January 2017

Abbotswood Action Group open meeting coming up

The next open meeting of the Abbotswood Action Group will take place on Tuesday 17th January at 7.30pm in the Abbotswood Inn pub. Everyone is very welcome to join in - they are hoping for as many neighbours and local residents as possible to come along.

It as an opportunity for anyone and everyone who lives and/or works locally to get together and chat about ideas, issues and offer opinions about things which are going on in the Abbotswood and surrounding area of Yate.

Each year Abbotswood Action Group organises and runs 4 annual Community Events - Spring Clean Up, a Summer Event, Apple Day and Christmas Lights Celebration. The Group has lots more planned for this New Year.

Please do come along if you would like to find out more.

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Yate Spur cycle consultation - please send in your views now

Focus Team members Paul Hulbert and
Claire Young at the Shire Way drop-in session
This week's drop-in session at Shire Way was very well attended - 66 residents came along to find out more about the cycle path proposal and to voice support and/or concerns. Please could everyone now let South Glos have their views by email or letter. Full details of the scheme and how to comment are on the South Glos website. The consultation closes on Sunday 15 January.

This is the next stage of linking our area to the Ring Road cycle path and the Bristol and Bath Railway Path so that we're no longer out on a limb as far as cycle routes are concerned.