Thursday, 29 November 2007

New Yate Health Centre confirmed

Flashback: Cllrs Mike Drew and Ruth Davis checking out plans at the Health Centre
Local councillors have welcomed the granting of planning permission for the new Yate Community Health Centre.

As well as replacing GP surgeries at the current West Walk building and Chipping Sodbury clinic, it will offer many outpatient facilities so that local people often won't not need to go to the major hospitals for tests and clinics.

Building is due to start in early 2008. The West Walk GP practice will move to a temporary building during the works.

Problems in Sodbury - update

Police have warned that drinkers in Chipping Sodbury will face tough action from the police if they are caught acting anti-socially.

As well as the criminal damage we have already reported on, there was violence last weekend including a fight and an assault in the early hours of Sunday. A total of five people were arrested.

Police have said they will operate a zero tolerance policy on drunken behaviour between now and Xmas (We hope they carry on for New Year, as well - Ed.)

Sodbury Town Council's closed circuit TV system system is see as key to identifying people causing vandalism in the Street. The Town Council has agreed £35,000 to upgrade and improve the CCTV system.

Read the detailed Gazette story here.

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Problems in Sodbury, Yate, Shire Way

It's been a bad season for vandalism and other unacceptable behaviour. Shopkeepers and residents in Chipping Sodbury are up in arms about late-night vandalism in the Street - broken windows and other damage.

Meanwhile at Abbotswood a dispersal order is now in effect to deal with anti-social behaviour. Police and Police Community Support Officers now have the power to send unruly groups out of the area. Anyone who refuses to move on, or who returns to the area within 24 hours, could be arrested. (Details on the Avon and Somerset Police website).

Along Shire Way a cable phone and TV box in Blaisdon has been pushed over twice in two days, and at the weekend a large pane of glass was smashed in the bus shelter between Woodchester and Maismore.

Friday, 23 November 2007

Steve Webb on missing data disks affair

There's an excellent post about this issue on Steve Webb's blog here.

Roadworks on road to Westerleigh

On Monday 3 December there will be temporary off-peak signals at the double railway bridge on Westerleigh Road to enable a bridge inspection to take place.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

How lucky do you feel? Climate change and YOU (and me)

Watch this short video for a very clear explanation of the options for dealing with climate change (or the consequences of ignoring it).

Please tell your friends about it, or email them this link to the video:

Thanks to the Earthly Ideas blog for highlighting this video.

Thursday, 15 November 2007

Help make South Gloucestershire a Fair Trade area

If you run a cafe, restaurant or shop, or you are a supplier selling Fairtrade products then South Gloucestershire Council would like to hear from you.

Any organisation supplying, selling or promoting Fairtrade products in the district can get a free listing in the South Gloucestershire Fairtrade Directory. Email details of your organisation and the Fairtrade products you provide to by Friday 30 November 2007.

The free directory will be available from local retailers, libraries, leisure centres and council offices in time for Fairtrade Fortnight in February 2008.

Sunday, 11 November 2007

Free Xmas Park and Ride

Miss the jams and take the Park & Ride bus

If you want to avoid the Christmas traffic on Saturdays in Bristol, one way is to take the free Park & Ride service from UWE in Coldharbour Lane, Frenchay - just follow the "Christmas Park & Ride" signs off the Ring Road.

The bus drops you on the edge of Broadmead and you can catch it back from Lewins Mead or outside the Bristol Fashion (opposite House of Fraser)

Click here for the official leaflet about the service.

Saturday, 10 November 2007

Red light for another anniversary

The Guardian points out that this week has been the 80th anniversary of automated traffic lights in the UK. An experimental set was first installed in Wolverhampton and was switched on on November 5th, 1927. The lights were judged a success and were made permanent the following year.
(Source: Wolverhampton Local History Society)

However these weren't the first traffic lights, because manually operated two colour signals were installed in Westminster in 1868. They were semaphore types, with red and green gas lamps for night use. Unfortunately in 1869 the apparatus exploded, injuring the policeman who was working it.

It was not until 1918 before the first modern-style three-colour automatic lights were installed in Piccadily, London.
(Source: Visual Arts Data Service)

Women's pensions - Steve Webb's campaign gets pension justice

Steve Webb MP has been campaigning to get proper state pension payments for women whose computer records had been lost, so that they weren't receiving credit for periods when they were at home raising children.

Steve was contacted by more than a thousand women who have been affected. Steve and his team identified a dozen key cases and took them to the Department of Work and Pensions, who agreed that they had lost out. One woman has received more than £10,000 in back pension and interest.

The Government has now agreed to trawl through millions of National Insurance Contribution records to identify the people affected - the back payments may add up to tens of millions of pounds.

For the full details, see Steve Webb's blog.

Satnav strikes again

A gigantic lorry was seen going up Nibley Lane this week, despite the weight limit. It only just made it over the narrow curved bridge. Maybe the driver was blindly following a satnav?

We were reminded of this photo from (warning - there's a very irritating flashing advert on that site), pointed out by the Hit By A Thought blog.

Friday, 9 November 2007

Chipping Sodbury Victorian Day is back - Friday 7 December

Following a great demand, from the people and traders of Chipping Sodbury, a group has been formed to organise this year's event. The group is drawn from Sodbury and Dodington Councils, Chipping Sodbury Lions and Rotary Clubs, the Festival Society and traders within the town.

The events start at 2.30pm when school choirs are expected to perform in the street. The evening events are being kicked off with the arrival of Father Christmas between 6.45 and 7.00pm when snow is guaranteed.

The streets will be lined with stalls from local charities and organisations and old time amusements, including a Ferris wheel, Helter Skelter and two children's rides.

Choirs will sing, bands will play and The Bristol Morris Men will dance while a Christmas Farmers Market, including a Hog Roast will be held in High Street.

Come along and join us for your late night Christmas shopping with shops open throughout the evening. As usual the streets will be lined with Christmas lights and trees, decorated by local schools and nursery groups.

Monday, 5 November 2007

Street cabinets damage / cable phone update no. 2

Cllr Mandy Sainsbury, whose phone was affected by the cabinet vandalism, reports that her land line is finally back on.

"I bumped into a rather harassed Virgin engineer on my morning walk. Apparently the idiots poured petrol into the junction box and set fire to it, so Virgin have had to rebuild the whole box".

"Some folk got re-connected ok but some didn't, so the engineers are in the area trying to track down the individual houses that need work to get the lines active again".

"Any blog readers still off should contact Virgin ASAP to get their (I have to say helpful) engineers round".

Sunday, 4 November 2007

First women councillors 100 years ago

It's a hundred years ago this month that the first women councillors were elected in this country, at the elections of 1 November 1907, following the Qualification of Women Act. They started taking office at the first meetings of the new councils, 100 years ago this week.

The first woman mayor, in 1909, was Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, who became mayor of Aldeburgh in Suffolk. She was also the first woman to qualify as a doctor in the UK.

It took another 21 years before women got the same voting rights as men, in 1928. A personal note from the editor - when women were first given full voting rights, my grandmother and her friend arrived a long time before the start of voting. When the polling station opened they walked in together so that they could claim to be the first women to vote under the new law.

This slide show from BBC Woman's Hour gives some interesting insights into the decade 1900-1909.

Friday, 2 November 2007

Make a Noise (but in a library?)

This Saturday (3rd November) is Make a Noise Day in the South Glos libraries. Events will be taking place at all libraries and will include competitions, storytimes, IT sessions and a guest appearance of the Bookstart Bear.

Oh yes, and you can return overdue items without having to pay a fine!

Street cabinets damage / cable phone update

Some phone lines are back on after the firework damage to the Virgin phone cabinet between Blaisdon and Woodchester about a week ago.

However some people are still off - and one neighbour reports "If you ring my number you get a ringing tone but the line in the house is as dead as a dodo. Virgin have no idea when service will be resumed!"

Isn't it about time Virgin sorted it out? Several local residents have said that they can't get any information from Virgin at all.