Saturday, 27 September 2008

Energy savers wanted!

South Gloucestershire residents are being asked to take part in anew energy saving competition.

Communities will go head to head in the competition to see who can reduce their energy consumption the most over a 6 month period. Winners will be awarded an Eco Hamper for each household as well as tickets to travel to an International Awards Ceremony in Brussels.

All participants will receive a variety of energy saving gadgets and eco goodies throughout the competition, including energy saving lightbulbs, eco kettles and hot water tank jackets, and will have the chance to win spot prizes of standby saver gadgets, water powered clocks, fridgesaver plugs and wind up radios and torches.

Competition organisers are looking for 10-15 households in South Gloucestershire

To take part or find out more contact the Severn Wye Energy Agency ( on 0800 512 012.

(Thanks to our sister blog for this item)

Time to apply for local grants

The next round of Revenue Grants will run from Monday 29th September with a closing date of 3rd November.

South Glos Council's website says: "Small grants are awarded to local groups to develop projects and provide activites that meet local needs"

"Categories of work include art and culture, children and play, community safety, developing communities, enhancing the natural and built environment, learning activities, promoting equality and tackling poverty, sports and for supporting vulnerable people"

You can apply online on the South Glos website. Select G from the A-Z then Grants, Community Grants.

Concerned about local ambulance services?

The South Gloucestershire LINk, set up to enable the whole community to have a say in local health and social care issues, is currently gathering views on local ambulance services for the Great Western Ambulance Joint Health Scrutiny Committee.

You can send comments to by the 10 October on how
satisfied you are with ambulance services in your area, anything you would
like to change about the ambulance services in your area and any issues that
you think the committee should consider in more detail.

Local MP Steve Webb challenged the Great Western Ambulance Service earlier in the year about the impact on journey times of Frenchay being downgraded.

(Thanks to our sister blog for this item)

Rodford Way Vodaphone mast - latest

Dodington Council has objected to the mast application - their very detailed comments are now visible on the South Glos website, along with objections from local residents.

This week Cllrs Mandy Sainsbury and Paul Hulbert met Vodafone's agents, who have promised to take another look at several sites they had previously discounted. They should be making contact again in the next few days - we'll keep you posted.

In the meantime the existing application still stands, and you only have until 2nd October - that's Thursday - to get your objections in.

To view or comment on the application, go to the South Glos Planning website. In Reference Number, enter PK08/2533/PN1 and click the Search button.

Scroll down and click on any document to read it. To comment, look for the link Comment on Application just under the row of green buttons - it's not at all obvious.

Alternatively you can email your comments to, quoting Planning Application number PK08/2533/PN1.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Cranleigh Court buses - good news

Wessex Connect will be increasing its 482 Chipping Sodbury to Cribbs Causeway service to give hourly buses from next January.

This means that people in Cranleigh Court, which lost its First Bus service last month, will also now have an improved service to Yate Shopping Centre. This is particularly important because of the closure of their local post office.

Well done, First, and congratulations to Steve Webb MP and local councillors who have been campaigning against local bus cuts. Cll Ian Blair, who led the campaign, commented "This is great news for people who need to get up to the shopping centre to use the only remaining post office".

New website for Yate area

An excellent new website for the Yate area has just appeared - MyYate at It's got local information and news, and welcomes event information from local organisations.

They are also compiling a local map that will be free from Ordnance Survey copyright restrictions.

Please check it out now - we're adding it to our "Local Links" in the sidebar.

King Edmund - The Ridings consultation

South Gloucestershire Council are now consulting on plans for King Edmund School and The Ridings to become academies within the Federated Academy Pathfinder Programme (which will include the technical legal closure of the existing schools).

You can read more about the consultation on the South Glos website.

Monday, 22 September 2008

Rodford Way Vodafone mast - get your views in now!

The full details of the Vodafone mast application are now visible from the South Glos planning application website. Search for Reference Number PK08/2533/PN1.

Normally the page would have a link saying "Comment on the Planning Application" - but it's missing.

So just email your comments to, quoting Planning Application number PK08/2533/PN1.

Comments need to reach South Glos not later than 2nd November.

Councillors Paul Hulbert and Mandy Sainsbury making local people's views clear.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Police appeal for witnesses to Yate assault in early hours

The Avon and Somerset Police website says:

Police in South Gloucestershire are appealing for witnesses after a man was assaulted in Yate Shopping Centre.

At around 2.30am on Sunday, September 14, 2008, the 22-year-old victim was walking through the shopping centre when he was set upon by four or five men.

The victim was head butted and suffered a cut lip as a result.

Police would like to speak to anyone who may have witnessed the assault as it is known that there were a number of people in and around the shopping centre at the time.

Anyone who can help is asked to contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Driver assaults cyclist in Rodford Way, fractures shoulder - did you witness it?

The Avon and Somerset Police website says:

Police are appealing for witnesses following an incident that occurred at Rodford Way, Yate, on Tuesday 16th September 2008 at 2.15 pm.

The incident occurred when a yellow Iveco truck cut up a cyclist who was dressed in a bright yellow cycling top. The cyclist banged on the side of the truck with his hand. The truck driver then stopped his vehicle in Rodford Way and pushed the cyclist off of his bike as he cycled past. This caused the cyclist to fall off and fracture his shoulder.

The incident blocked the road and caused a small traffic jam.

The cyclist was taken to hospital by ambulance.

We believe there were several witnesses in the vicinity at the time of the incident including the driver of a Sainsbury's truck who stopped to assist the cyclist.

If anyone has any information about this incident they are asked to contact Staple Hill Police station on 0845 456 7000.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Yet another mast proposed for "Phone Mast Alley"

Blaisdon residents, including Cllr Mandy Sainsbury, are protesting about a proposed mobile phone mast in an area which will shortly be crowded with them.

This small area of Yate already has one O2 phone mast built (you can see it in the background on the right), plus approval for a "3" mast as well. Now Vodaphone wants to erect a third mast within only a few yards - you can see on the aerial photo just how close together they would be.

Click here to see detailed map from Google Maps.

What's more, there's yet another approved "3" site at the eastern end of the main road, just a couple of hundred yards away. And we know that T-Mobile may want to put a mast a similar distance west.

"Enough is enough"

Cllr Paul Hulbert, who also lives in Blaisdon, said "Whatever your opinion about mobile phone masts, this sort of clustering is clearly overdevelopment. We're exploring all possible ways of objecting to the Vodaphone mast".

We'll keep you posted here with extra details as we find them. The application is not on South Glos Council's website yet - we'll let you know when it appears, and advise you about how best to object.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Reminder - change of venue for Area Forum

In a break from recent practice, this Thursday's Frome Vale Area Forum will be held in the Main Hall at Frampton Cotterell Primary School (rather than the Ridgewood Centre, Yate). Doors open at 6.15pm for a 7pm start and the agenda includes a chance to give your views on the Government proposals to impose 33000 new homes on South Gloucestershire, decision making on grants and an open forum for your to have your say on whatever is concerning you.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Stop the tidal wave of new housing

The Government has upped the development allocation for South Gloucestershire to 32,800 new houses. Yes, we need affordable housing. No, we don't need this many houses - especially without the infrastructure to support them.

They're planning to shut our major hospital, Frenchay. They're planning to cut the number of hospital beds. The roads are beginning to seize up already. And the Government has deleted public transport proposals like the Yate rail turnback from their consultation (this is vital to get more trains to stop at Yate Station)


(1) Tell the Government what you think (by 17 Oct) by responding to their consultation:
- online at - register with the government "Consultation Portal" (click "Login" top left, then "Register") and then comment on section HMA1
- or on paper - get an official form from Poole Court or by ringing the government on 0117 900 1743. On Section B of the form, you should say that you oppose the Secretary of State's changes.

(2) Sign our petition (by 3 Oct) so that Steve Webb can present the petition in the special debate in Parliament - online at or by filling in the form on the special Focus leaflet that's being delivered at the moment. Watch for it dropping on your doormat!

(3) Come to Steve Webb's next public meeting - We've already held two in this area, and there's another one at King Edmund School, Yate at 7.30 pm on Thursday 2nd October. Come and hear the latest news and support the campaign.

Friday, 5 September 2008

Anti-skid surfacing at new traffic lights near Westerleigh

Anti-skid surfacing is going to be laid on Westerleigh Road, Shorthill Road and at Shorthill Crossroads - where the new traffic lights have been installed recently on the B4465.

This will mean temporary traffic lights replacing the new permanent signals while the work is carried out.

Thanks to our sister blog for this item.

Make sure you get your vote!

It's that time of year again when the Register of Electors forms start arriving on our doormats. This is the form that makes sure that you can vote at elections. The electoral register also gets checked if you apply for credit.

It doesn't take long to fill out the form or if there are no changes you can simply do it by telephone. Remember to tick the right-hand column if you don't want your details used for marketing (if you do it over the telephone they will confirm if you have that box ticked).

Thanks to our sister blog for this item.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Taking a dim view

With the atrocious weather lately, and evenings starting to pull in as autumn creeps up on us, it's worth reminding any teenage cyclists you know to get their lights working.

This evening we encountered one lad without any lights at all. Fortunately he was wearing a light coloured shirt, so he was a little more visible than he might have been.

Picnic in the Park postponed

Because the weather forecast is bad, Yate Town Council has decided to postpone the Picnic in the Park event scheduled to take place in Kingsgate Park this coming Sunday, 7 September.

Monday, 1 September 2008

Massive housing proposals - a quotable quote

Stephen Fry on Radio 4 this morning reminded his audience of a slip of the tongue attributed to John Prescott:

"The Green Belt is a Labour policy, and we intend to build on it"

Enough said...

Nibley Lane to close on Thursday

Nibley Lane, Yate (from its junction with Badminton Road to its junction with Westerleigh Road) will be closed on Thursday 4 September 2008 between 9.30am - 2.30pm to enable street cleansing works to be undertaken.

(Thanks to our sister blog for this item)

Walking in the Frome Valley - 11 September

There will be a six-mile organised walk on Thursday 11 September, starting at Wickwar Rd Car Park, Chipping Sodbury at 10.30 am.

The walk - organised by the Avon Frome Partnership, the Friends of the River Frome and South Glos Council - will explore wildlife and heritage along the river.

Call 0117 922 4325 to book a place, and don't forget to wear sturdy footwear.

More from the Gazette here.