Monday, 24 August 2009

Community planting at St Nicks - can you help?

St Nicholas Family Centre at Abbotswood is creating a new outdoor area for all the groups that use the centre.

They are aiming to have a "grand community planting" on Saturday 26 September, from 9.30am to 12.30 pm.

Please put this date in your diary, and come along and help.

Friday, 21 August 2009

£2 an hour to park in Chipping Sodbury?

Outraged shoppers recently rounded on Tory Councillor Melody Gall as she called for a £2 an hour parking charge for Chipping Sodbury.

In a meeting discussing how to tackle the all day parkers who block up most of the parking in Chipping Sodbury, Melody Gall, a Conservative Councillor on Sodbury Parish Council ,repeatedly urged the solution of charging for parking, suggesting £2 for an hour would discourage all day parking.

Chris Willmore, a Lib Dem Councillor from neighbouring Yate who frequently shops in Sodbury, branded the idea 'bonkers'. She said "It would also discourage shoppers - the very thing we need to encourage. The aim is to help bring trade into our shopping centres. Charging to shop in Sodbury would kill it. We need to get rid of the all day parkers, who are blocking up Chipping Sodbury so there is no space for the shoppers to park outside the shops, rather then punishing the shoppers."

Chris Willmore urged officials to convert more parking to 1 and 2 hour limits in Chipping Sodbury - so shoppers can park, rather than all day parking driving out custom. She added "If we don't do something, Chipping Sodbury High St will die as a shopping centre - and we need both Yate Shopping Centre and Chipping Sodbury to do well to provide local choice".

MP urges action on spiralling unemployment

Local MP Steve Webb has called for urgent Government action to tackle the spiralling level of unemployment in this area. Although it remains well below the national average, the number of people out of work and claiming benefit has more than trebled in the last year.

Steve said, "It is a source of great concern that unemployment levels are rising rapidly in our area. There is a danger that the Government concentrates all of its attention on traditional unemployment 'blackspots' and neglects areas such as ours which have had low unemployment in the past but are now being hard hit by the Recession."

"I am urging the Government to ensure that local JobCentres have more resources to assist those who are unemployed. We also need to make sure that the banks lend money to the many viable local businesses who are struggling to raise finance".

If you are a local employer being hit by the recession, Steve would like to hear from you. You can find all his contact details on the front page of his website.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Sea Stores consultation time extended

As the planning application wasn´t available on South Glos´s website for a few days, the consultation for the Sea Stores has been extended until 2 September 2009.

Therefore, the plans will remain on display in the foyer at Poole Court until Friday 28 August.

Please use this opportunity to give your views on this important development.

New Yate Health Centre and Library on schedule

There's a lot going on at Yate Shopping Centre. Peacocks and Bon Marche have just opened in the old Woolworths store, and progress is good on the Health Centre (pictured) and the new Library. The Library is currently ahead of schedule, and should open in mid-October, with the Health Centre opening in mid-November.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Name wanted for Cambrian Drive housing development

South Glos has reached the stage with the housing scheme where they want a name for it, and as usual they have asked the Town Council for ideas.

If you have any suggestions (no doubt local residents can think of some rude ones....) please let us know as soon as possible, and we'll pass them on.

Yate Town Council tends to try to use old field names, but in this case, if anyone can think of something that commemorates the fact we used to have a green there that people played on, that would be even better.

Friday, 14 August 2009

Yate Tesco getting ready for rebuild

Yate bus station, which will be revamped as part of the Tesco rebuild

Agreement has now been reached on the highway works involved with the rebuilding of Tesco. The works directly involved with the rebuilding will start shortly, and Tesco have agreed to make a major contribution to other highway improvements around the town centre.

Yate Town Councillor Chris Willmore said ""We have waiting a long time for the green light. I am sure shoppers in Yate will be delighted to get rid of the current cramped outdated store and
get a new one. It will be massive, not just a replacement for the current store, but one of those enormous Tescos: great for local shoppers, as long as it does not push yet more local shops out of business, or gridlock our town centre."

Temporary bus stops will be installed in the Overflow Car Park starting in November, and a 3000 square foot temporary Tesco store will be erected by Xmas, just along from the East Walk toilets.

Building of the new Tesco is scheduled to start in January/February, and it is planned to open by Xmas 2010. Once the temporary Tesco has been removed, work can start on building extra shop units on East Walk - hopefully the business climate will have picked up by then. No doubt there will be competition to have shops near Tesco because of all the passing trade.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

New South Glos office - parking problems ahead?

As the new South Gloucestershire Council office nears completion on the fringes of Yate, there are doubts about whether the car parking will be adequate. Even with optimistic car sharing figures, it is calculated that there will be a need for 594 parking spaces, and they have only supplied 332. This means that a third of the employees will have to change travel plan habits, or find on street parking.

There is a Green Travel Plan which includes a shuttle bus from Emersons Green, but initial ideas for shuttle buses round Yate have suddenly been dropped.

And the offices will stop work at a time that coincides with the evening traffic peak, when Badminton Road is already jammed.

Yate Town Councillors have asked for an urgent meeting with South Glos travel planners to try to avoid this very predictable problem.

Monday, 10 August 2009

Youth Cafe - all systems go

In a groundbreaking initiative being watched nationally, Yate Town Council has won its long struggle to get a youth cafe for the town. There is no model anywhere in the UK that will offer quite the blend of facilities from the commercial (not for profit) café / disco to the upstairs training and development opportunities.

A £1.3 million complex will now be build between the leisure centre and the roundabout. No trees will be removed (except the very small straggly one by the path to Morrisons). It will provide a 7 day a week informal cafe venue for young people from all over the town to gather, meeting the needs they have expressed - with rooms behind in which a range of youth services will be provided. Young people have been involved at all stages of the design.

Now it's time for you to have your say. The current designs will be shown at a special exhibition at Yate Lesiure Centre 1 - 11 September. There will be a drop in session where representatives from Yate Town Council and South Gloucestershire officers will be present to answer questions on Monday 7 September from 2.00 - 8.30pm. Comments are needed that week, as the final design will be signed off as soon as the comments can be considered and acted on.

Cllr Chris Willmore, who has led the project, paid tribute to the town councillors and the young people who have stuck with the project through thick and thin. "They could have settled for second best, but held out for what will be an amazing facility - there are few communities in this country that would back their young people in this way. I am really grateful that Yate Town Council unanimously agreed to put £650,000 into the scheme, and that officers at South Gloucestershire have worked with us to find£650,000 from their funds"

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Rodford Way accident site - why the secrecy?

We've been told that South Glos officers are preparing a report about last November's fatality at Rodford Way for the Cabinet Member responsible and the Director of Planning, Transportation and Strategic Environment.

We have asked for the report to be released to our local councillors at the same time - we want a LOCAL input, before someone takes a decision and it's all set in stone.

Watch this space...

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Sea Stores planning application - your chance to comment

The Sea Stores planning application is open for comments until 19 August. Details are available from the South Glos website here

There are masses of documents and papers, so you may find it easier to pop into Poole Court, where there will be an exhibition of the proposals in the foyer until Monday 17 August.

==== Update 13-08-09 ====

The South Glos system isn´t showing this application now - maybe they have a problem, it was there the other day. We suggest that you visit the Poole Court exhibition to view the plans.

==== Update 15-08-09 ====

Apparently S Glos were updating their system. The application is now visible again at the link above.