Friday, 3 July 2015

Free learning opportunities for people over 50

Are you over 50, and interested in getting back into learning, and maybe progressing on to further study? This innovative taster programme run by South Gloucestershire and Stroud College may be for you.

There are two courses: Monday 13th July – Wednesday 15th July and Wednesday 15th July  - Friday 17th July. Each day will start at 9.30 and finish no later than 4pm.

Both sessions will take place at SGS's state of the art WISE campus, New Road, Stoke Gifford. Bristol, BS34 8LP (plenty of free parking available)

Click here for details of the programmes
  •     Free Lunch each day
  •     Free tea/coffee with biscuits/cakes
  •     Free Maths qualification
  •     Option of choosing 3 fun and interactive sessions
  •     Sessions include
  •             2 Art options – Painting/Photography
  •             Sport options – Gentle gym (strength and conditioning) or bowls/Table tennis/Golf
  •             First Aid at home
  •             Technology – Tablets, Skype, Emails/Using the Internet to save time & money – Ebay, Uswitch, Online shopping, On line banking, Booking trips
  •     A chance to have an amazing 3 days, meet likeminded people and just have fun!

Frome Vale Area Forum next week

The Frome Vale Area Forum (which covers Yate, Dodington and Chipping Sodbury) takes place on Thursday 9th July at 7pm at Shireway Community Association, Yate.

As well as the usual open session where you can have your say on local issues, the agenda includes the allocation of community grants, presentations about food/waste recycling plus a presentation from BT about broadband.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Lib Dem leadership contender visits Yate

Tim Farron MP, one of the two contenders for the Leadership of the Liberal Democrats, met local party members at Poole Court this week for a no-holds-barred question and answer session.

He answered a wide range of questions from the crowded meeting, ranging from the economy and defence to how to rebuild the Lib Dems after the disappointing result at the General Election.

The other leadership contender is Norman Lamb MP, who visited Yate in February. The result of the election will be announced on 16 July.

In line with the national trend, local membership of the Liberal Democrats has risen considerably since the General Election.

Friday, 26 June 2015

Worrying noises from Government about Yate Minor Injuries Unit

Focus Team councillors demanding better use of the MIU

A letter from Jeremy Hunt, the Secretary of State for Health, has cast doubts on the effectiveness of Yate MIU in reducing the number of people going to casualty at Southmead Hospital. Although he hasn't shared his evidence, he's using that as an excuse to stop the project for another MIU at Cossham Hospital.

But the health service locally is hindered by the lack of services being provided at the Yate MIU:
It doesn't open on Saturday afternoons when lots of sporting and children's accidents happen
It shuts its doors early when they've got too many patients (i.e. they haven't got enough staff to deal with a rush). People still have to go to Southmead for outpatient clinics that could be delivered locally.

Some parts of the service work well, such as the walk-in X-Ray facility, where you can often be seen very quickly. But until this very good facility if opened and staffed properly, it won't have the desired impact on Southmead casulaty numbers. We need to make sure that we keep the services we've already got, and stop the Government even thinking that it's ineffective. More clinics and longer hours please!

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Developers get bad press two weeks running

Unhappy Focus Team members outside the site
that developers want to put housing on

It's not often that a company makes front page newspaper headlines (in the wrong way) two weeks running, but the developers of Elswick Park have done just that. First they were up in court for not complying with requirements of their planning permission to carry out landscaping works. They got off with a conditional discharge (that's legal language for a rap over the knuckles) because they suddenly rushed in and planted some trees at the wrong time of year - they'll probably die. Why didn't they just do their planting when they were supposed to? You can read more on the Gazette story here.

Now they're trying a land grab on an area that was promised to be for public use, the space facing Kennedy Way at the front of the development. They want to maximise their profits by building more housing on the area. It was supposed to be allocated for a community centre, as the Gazette explains here. Money being put before communities again - developers seem to think that they can change the rules as they go along.

Monday, 22 June 2015

Potholes, the Power of the Press and Focus

"This road isn't all it's cracked up to be" - Members of the Focus Team pointing out a large patch of Station Road that is breaking up.

We've been nagging South Glos about various potholes and road defects. Last Wednesday we went out with a Gazette photographer to photograph some road problems in Station Road at Yate. Even before the photos were published in the Gazette or in Focus, South Glos have marked the defects out for repair.

Let's hope they get fixed soon. But what we now need is that whole area of road sorted. Or are they saying we have to go to the press about every pothole?

Is there a pothole or a road problem that's irritating you? Let your local Focus Team member know - click here for a full list of Focus contacts.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Yate Rocks to the music this weekend

The ever popular music festival in Kingsgate Park returns this weekend under the new name of Yate Rocks!

The big music day is Saturday 20 June, with live music from noon to 8pm. Groups featured are The Mangled Wurzels, Limited Edition, Skeeter, Goodnight Lois, Uncle Buck, Hitshot, Tundra and Progress Is Made.

Dance groups Stagecoach, Glitterbugs, Pure Dance, Redds Dance Group and Street Cred will entertain, and there will be arts and craft stalls, a beer tent, a bungee trampoline and fun rides for children, plus  demonstrations by local gym clubs and cheerleaders.

Sunday 21 June is more of a chill-out day, with Praise in the Park from 10.30 to 12.00, and the traditional Picnic in the Park in the afternoon from 2.00 to 4.00 with entertainment including The Westerly Wind Band.