Monday, 31 May 2010

Core Strategy - have your say on local planning blueprint

The consultation on South Gloucestershire Council's Draft Core Strategy is important to anybody interested in how and where development will take place up until 2026 - so don't be put off by the title! As well as thousands of new homes in the Patchway, Cribbs Causeway and Harry Stoke areas, proposals include 2,400 at North Yate.

There are many other important issues such as housing densities, parking standards, employment in villages as well as towns, wildlife corridors, climate change, play and dealing with the extra traffic.

You can view the document on the South Glos website and hard copies will be in libraries and One Stop Shops. There will be exhibitions and Planning Officers to help at local shopping centres and before the local Safer Stronger Community Group meetings - details of these are on the website.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Buses to be rerouted while Station Rd Yate is closed

Station Road, Yate will be closed in 3 phases between from 1-26 June (see previous story)

This will affect bus services 327, 329, 342, X27 and X42.

According to the First Bus website:
"Throughout the period services 327, 342 and X42 will not be able to serve Station Road adjacent to Yate Shopping Centre and will use Kennedy Way instead"

"During Phase 3 of the closure between 21-26 June, services 329 and X27 will also be diverted. Both will be unable to serve the normal section of route along Station Road, Church Road, Greenways Road and Gravel Hill Road. All buses will use Goose Green Way as an alternative between Peg Hill and Kennedy Way at this time. Temporary bus stops will be sited on Goose Green Way at the currently redundant bus shelters"

"For more information please contact Customer Services 0845 602 0156 or call Traveline 0871 200 22 33 (calls cost 10p per minute plus network charges)"

Obviously it's the 329/X27 diversions that will have the greatest effect on passengers. We do not currently have information about rerouting of other bus companies' services, but we expect that they will make similar arrangements.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Yate Minor Injury Service to open 7 days a week from 22 June

The Minor Injury Service at the new Yate West Gate Centre will now open on the 22nd June. NHS South Gloucestershire says that it will offer a seven-days-a week drop-in service, for children and adults, to treat a whole range of minor injuries from cuts to sprains, from bites to shoulder and leg injuries.

All patients will be seen by an Emergency Nurse Practitioner or an Emergency Care Practitioner who have a wide experience of dealing with minor injuries, and a digital X-ray facility is available on site.

Patients do not need to make an appointment, and the new Minor Injury Unit will be open seven days a week 8.30am – 7.30pm Monday to Friday and 10am – 2pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Roger Pedley, Director of Primary and Community Care, explained "NHS South Gloucestershire appointed the NHS provider of the Minor Injury Service in the autumn of 2009 and together we have explored ways of extending the service to cater for some patients who require more complex care and who therefore need a trolley. In order to achieve this expanded service for Yate and the surrounding areas we need to do some minor alterations to the MIU unit".

Monday, 24 May 2010

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Rodford Way accident update, police ask for witnesses

A police spokesman has told the Gazette:

"A 33-year-old man was taken to hospital with serious injuries, where he remains in a serious condition"

"Anyone who witnessed the incident is asked to call the police collision investigation unit on 0845 456 7000"

Full Gazette Rodford Way story here

The Rodford Way traffic situation is already due to be discussed at the Yate Safer Stronger Community Group meeting at Poole Court on 3 June, starting at 7pm. At this meeting South Glos Council is due to report on the result of a second pedestrian survey at the site of the previous fatality. Members of the public are welcome to attend.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Yet another accident on Rodford Way, Yate

Around 9 pm this evening (Sunday 23 May) there was another accident on Rodford Way involving a car and a pedestrian.

It was on the westbound carriageway just at the start of the junction with Chargrove.

An ambulance and half a dozen police cars attended, and the ambulance crew were working at the accident site to stabilise the casualty. Police closed off both carriageways.

The accident took place only a short distance from the site of the fatal road accident in November 2008, since when local people and councillors have been campaigning for improved crossing facilities on Rodford Way.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Station Road, Yate to close for major works

Road works are to be carried out at Station Road (B4060) in Yate from 1st-26th June. These will involve upgrading an existing pedestrian crossing, widening Station Road (to accommodate three lanes on the approach to Morrison’s roundabout), amending an existing island and carrying out three utility connections. The road will then be resurfaced. The work will be done in three phases:

Phase 1. 1st June – 13th June. Civils work. Morrison’s Roundabout to JunctionThe Glen. Access to all roads and car parks will be available at all times via Link Road.

Phase 2. 14th June – 20th June. Carriageway Resurfacing. Morrison Roundabout to Church Road Junction.

Phase 3. 21st June – 26th June. Carriageway Resurfacing. Church Road Junction to Link Road Roundabout.

The road will be subject to a closure for the duration of the works and a diversion route (Kennedy Way – Link Road) for traffic will be set up. Access to properties fronting the site will be available for the majority of this closure. However there will unfortunately have to be short periods of time when they will have to resurface across junctions which will restrict access. Every effort will be made to keep disruption to local residents to a minimum for the duration of the works. The dates may change due to bad weather or problems with equipment.

Lib Dems sort out Tory bin contract with SITA

On Monday Lib Dem Councillors persuaded the Cabinet to add a legally binding minimum recycling-recovery target of 50% to its revised contract with SITA and to revise arrangements to encourage people to reduce waste.

Cllr. Dave Hockey said after the meeting “It’s a good job we were on the ball and made sure that this key target is to be included in the revised contract for SITA and is legally binding.
"This target is made possible because at long last the Tory administration has finally accepted the benefits of providing the kerbside plastic bottle and food waste ollection service that residents and Lib Dem Councillors have been demanding for many years.
"The Tories have already failed with the 50% target which they promised just 2 years ago would be achieved by March 2010”.

Cabinet also agreed that Waste Management Officers should investigate the possibility of residents being able to purchase baskets that could be inserted in existing wheelie bins, as suggested by Cllr Ruth Davis, Lib Dem Group Leader. There could be a black one for storage of cardboard waste which, under the new scheme, is to be recycled rather than composted.

Cllr. Davis said, “Since plastic bottles and food waste are to be taken out of the black bins, there should be plenty of spare space in which to store the cardboard. I’m sure many residents will want to store the cardboard securely rather than have it tied up with string and left next to the bins. Similarly there could be a green one for plastic bottles, so the unused space in both bins could be better used, as there will already be another bin for food waste.”

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Waste campaign success

Pictured left to right: Lib Dem Councillors Sue Hope, Claire Young, Dave Hockey, Pat Hockey and Marc Scawen.

Years of campaigning by your Lib Dem Focus Team have paid off with news that by March 2011 there will be kerbside plastic bottle collections and weekly collection of food waste in South Gloucestershire.

Cllr Dave Hockey, the Lib Dem spokesperson on waste, said, "This is good news for local residents and the environment.

Kerbside collection of plastic bottles will mean many more are recycled rather than being dumped in landfill, saving oil and avoiding massive financial penalties for the Council, which would be passed on to Council tax-payers

Food waste currently makes up more than a third of the waste in our black bins and in landfill generates methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Experience elsewhere in the country shows that when residents see how much food they're throwing away, they cut waste, saving hard-pressed households money in these difficult economic times.

Residents have been demanding these services for years and despite the Lib Dems proposing plastic bottle collections 5 years running at budget time, the other parties did not back us. The current Tory administration has failed miserably to achieve its high-profile target of recycling or composting more than half our waste by the end of March 2010. Thank goodness we've finally got our message through to them." 

Composting plans dropped

Your Focus Team has welcomed news that plans for a composting facility near Tormarton have been dropped. Over the past two years, Lib Dem Councillors have repeatedly raised concerns about the choice of technology but despite plenty of evidence of problems elsewhere in the country were told that their fears were unfounded. Now the Council is introducing a new waste strategy that does not require an In-Vessel Composter (IVC) to be built and which will lead to food waste eventually going to some sort of anaerobic digester.

Now attention turns to alternative uses for the Tormarton site. Cllr Sue Hope says, “Before this site was earmarked for the composting facility, I had called for a Park and Share facility to be set up there. Now this major stumbling block is out of the way, I have asked South Gloucestershire Council to look at the proposal again as a matter of urgency. Many motorists already leave their cars in the car park attached to the picnic site while they share a lift along the motorway. Often vehicles overflow into surrounding roads. Expanding the parking would improve road safety, by keeping parked cars out of the narrow country lanes, and help the environment, by encouraging car sharing.”

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Steve Webb gets ministerial post

Steve Webb has just become Minister of State in the Department for Work and Pensions.

Congratulations, Steve!

An excellent appointment - there aren't many people who know more about pensions than Steve does.

Full list of ministers from the Guardian here

Steve Webb writes about the coalition

Steve has written a detailed piece on his blog on the logic that led to the Con - Lib Dem coalition government, and what could have happened if other alternatives had been tried.

Read Steve's blog post in full here: A real rollercoaster

Friday, 7 May 2010

Steve and supporters after the election result is declared at the count

Steve Webb elected with 7000 majority, taking over half the vote

Steve Webb has been elected as the first MP for the new constituency of Thornbury and Yate with a majority of 7116 over the Conservatives, taking just over half the vote.

Full results:

Thomas Beacham (Independents Federation UK) 126
Anthony Clements (Independent) 58
Roxanne Egan (Labour) 3385
Jenny Knight (UKIP) 1709
Matthew Riddle (Conservative) 17916
Steve Webb (Liberal Democrat) 25032

Congratulations to Steve and all his team.