Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Jazzing up Sodbury - Kenny Ball is on his way!

Chipping Sodbury Jazz Festival (featuring Kenny Ball and his Jazzmen) will held on the weekend of 29th-31st July 2011.

Tickets at £18.50 are available from the Tourist Information Centre, Penny Farthings and Vickers Stationers,  or email info@visitchippingsodbury.com

For the full Jazz Programme click here

Check out the Visit Chipping Sodbury, the website of the Chipping Sodbury Chamber of Commerce, for many more events happening in the town, local businesses and much more.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Yate bus station improvements - online survey closes this Tuesday

We're planning to close our online survey at 9 pm tomorrow (Tuesday 24th), so that we can pull everything together ready for South Gloucester's consultation deadline later in the week.

You can view the outline options from the links in the box in the right hand column of this blog. Then you can complete the survey online, or download the form and print it if you prefer.

Update 24/05/2011: The online survey is now closed. We'll report back on this blog with details of the survey findings. But our petition is still open - see the link in the right hand column

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Traffic lights in Westerleigh this Monday (23 May)

There will be temporary traffic lights outside Copp Cottage on Westerleigh Road in Westerleigh on Monday 23rd May to facilitate tree cutting.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Bus station survey consultation - have you filled in the survey yet?

We're getting some very interesting comments on our bus station survey - have you given us YOUR views yet?

You can view the outline options from the links in the box in the right hand column of this blog. Then you can complete the survey online, or download the form and print it if you prefer.

Update 19/05/2011: The South Glos deadline for replies is 27th May. We will collate the replies that come via us just before then and send them to South Glos, and then we'll publish a summary here. South Glos have not indicated how quickly they will take a decision after that.

Thanks to the Gazette for publishing a link to this blog, as the consultation isn't on the South Glos website.

Update 24/05/2011: The online survey is now closed. We'll report back on this blog with details of the survey findings. But our petition is still open - see the link in the right hand column

Arts festival on your doorstep

Take HeArt is an arts festival which brings together the very best local amateur art groups for a week of exhibitions at Yate Library throughout May and June.

The festival is a great opportunity to see some wonderful art, find out about local art groups and maybe even purchase your very own masterpiece made in South Gloucestershire.

It's already been running for a couple of weeks, but here are the remaining dates:

  • Thursday 19 May to Tuesday 24 May - Doynton Painting Group
  • Thursday 26 May to Tuesday 31 May - Frome Valley Artists
  • Thursday 2 June to Tuesday 7 June - Palettes of Pleasure
  • Thursday 9 June to Tuesday 14 June - Winterbourne Down Art Group
  • Thursday 16 June to Tuesday 21 June - Hanham Art Club
  • Thursday 23 June to Tuesday 28 June - Patchway Watercolourists
The exhibitions can be viewed during library opening hours which are Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays  9.30am – 7pm, Saturdays 9.30am – 5pm and Sundays 11am – 3pm (except for bank holidays)

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Woodlands Primary School to join Yate International Academy? South Glos consultation

South Glos Council is now carrying out the public consultation about the proposal to join Yate International Academy to form a 3-19 "all through" academy within the Ridings Federation of Academies. Click here to view the proposal and have your say.

You may recall that we covered this proposal a few weeks ago.

Responses have to be in by Wednesday next week, 25th May.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Did you witness the accident at Mayshill yesterday?

Avon and Somerset Police are looking for witnesses to the accident near the New Inn that closed the A432 Badminton Road today. More information can be found on the police website.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Could Brimsham Park development field become a village green?

Residents near the proposed massive housing development to the north of Yate have suggested protecting a key field by giving it village green status. They want the field next to Randolph Avenue and Leechpool Way to become a buffer zone between the new and existing houses.

Town councillor Chris Willmore is investigating the idea on behalf of residents, but she warns that it won't be easy because it is necessary to distinguish general use from the people using the footpaths.

She said: "I think there are legal problems about rights of way so it will not be a home run.

"Residents will be asked for evidence about how often the field is used, what it is used for and if people think they have a right to use it.

"But it is a possibility and is certainly worth carrying out a data survey before we give a reasoned judgment."

Yate Town Council will be sending leaflets about the proposal to all the residents in Brimsham Park next month.

Please don't forget to sign our petition against the Brimsham Park development!

The Gazette has more details about the village green proposal here

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Reaction to local election results

After Thursday’s local elections, the Liberal Democrats now hold 21 of the 70 seats on South Gloucestershire Council. Commenting on the results, Lib Dem Group Leader Ruth Davis said, “I am obviously very disappointed that good colleagues lost their seats due to national issues, despite focusing on local matters. They will be sorely missed both by us and for the hard work they did in their communities. I would like to thank them and those councillors who stood down for all their years of public service”

“In other seats, the public had faith in our record of working locally for the benefit of all residents, and we had some excellent results. We are very pleased that we managed to win 19 out of a possible 22 seats in Steve Webb’s Thornbury and Yate constituency, securing more than 50 percent of the vote”

South Gloucestershire Council will continue to be run by a minority Tory administration. Cllr Davis said, “We will be working hard to hold the administration to account. We want to grasp the opportunities for more local decision making and involvement that the Lib Dems are promoting in Government. We will continue to act as local champions and work with residents on the issues that matter to them”

Click here for more news of South Gloucestershire Liberal Democrats
Click here to join our Facebook Group

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Yate Bus Station options - please tell us what you think

South Glos has sent out some ideas for comment, but their ideas lack detail and don't answer the key questions. All they've done is give three options for where the shelters could go - two of which are so far from the actual bus stops that they will leave elderly and disabled people having to sprint to the bus with their shopping, so they would be useless.

They haven't produced any designs which show what the shelters will be like - and of course that is the main thing we are all worried about. And they have given no information about seating, or the reversing bays.

The questions they have asked for comments on are equally the wrong questions. Nice to be asking us about how and where we would like bus time information, but actually, the top priorities for us as users are issues like:

  • Where do you want seats? (in the shelters and very close to the bus pick up points for the less agile)
  • What type of seats? (backs and arms would be nice)
  • How many?  (well at least four times what we have got at present for starters - what do people think).
  • What sort of shelter do you want? (four sides, see through, more than one entry so we feel safe, sides right to the ground so we don't get horrid drafts round our ankles, vandal resistant)
So we've posted the Council's plans and questions to our web site. Please click on each of these links to see the plans:
Please look at these plans and decide which of them you prefer, or maybe you would want to see something different. The rectangles would be conventional bus shelters, the triangles indicate the entrances, and "RTI" means Real Time Information boards.

(In case you're having problems figuring out what is where on the plans, the bus bays are at the bottom of the plan. The main Link Road is up the right hand edge, and the pathway towards the shops runs up into the top left hand corner)

Then please complete our more detailed questionnaire here
Update 24/05/2011: The online survey is now closed. We'll report back on this blog with details of the survey findings. But our petition is still open - see the link in the right hand column

    Friday, 6 May 2011

    Yate Bus Station - quick update

    We've had sight of the new plans but they are very short of detail. There is no design for the replacement shelter, and there are no details for the seating - the plans are just blobs on a map.

    We'll post a link to them as soon as we can - sorry for the delay, which is because of involvement with the referendum count.

    Yate Town Council election results May 2011

    YATE CENTRAL (3 seats)

    CHIVERS Michael John Labour - 242    
    DAVIS John Anthony Lib Dem Focus - 720 ELECTED    
    FORD John Paul Lib Dem Focus - 680 ELECTED    
    WALKER Sue Lib Dem Focus - 830 ELECTED

    YATE NORTH (4 seats)

    DREW Mike Lib Dem Focus - 1421 ELECTED    
    NORTHAM  Kion Kevan Conservative - 659  
    PERKS Wully Lib Dem Focus - 1256 ELECTED    
    ROBBINS Mike Lib Dem Focus - 1319 ELECTED    
    TESTA Russell Antony Guy Labour - 292    
    WILLMORE Chris Lib Dem Focus -1208 ELECTED

    YATE SOUTH EAST (3 seats)

    ADAMS Arthur Frank Lib Dem Focus - 903 ELECTED    
    CHOWDHRY Aziz Lib Dem Focus - 847 ELECTED      
    DAVIS Tony Lib Dem Focus - 965 ELECTED      
    WATTS Cynthia Marie Conservative - 321    
    WATTS Fred Conservative - 314

    YATE SOUTH (2 seats)

    LAWRANCE Alan Lib Dem Focus - 568 ELECTED    
    MCGRATH Michael Paul Labour - 165    
    TROTTER Cleone Lib Dem Focus - 497 ELECTED    

    YATE WEST (5 seats)

    BLAIR Ian William Johnston Lib Dem Focus - 1108 ELECTED    
    DOLLIN Mike Independent - 356    
    EVAN-JONES David Lib Dem Focus - 963 ELECTED    
    EVAN-JONES Sue Lib Dem Focus - 949 ELECTED    
    LEE Annabelle Louise Labour - 428    
    MONAGHAN Alan Lib Dem Focus - 967 ELECTED    
    MONK Martin William Lib Dem Focus - 977 ELECTED    
    WILLIAMS David Penry Conservative - 399    
    WILLIAMS Sonia Gertrude Conservative - 375

    Sodbury Town Council election results May 2011

    SODBURY NORTH EAST (5 seats)

    CROOK Sally Lib Dem Focus - 537 ELECTED    
    JOBBINS Paul Lib Dem Focus - 561 ELECTED    
    PEMBLE Steve Conservative - 365    
    ROBINS Paul Lib Dem Focus - 580 ELECTED    
    SMITH Paddy Conservative - 435 ELECTED    
    YOUNG Paul William Conservative - 383 ELECTED

    SODBURY SOUTH WEST (5 seats)

    BOON Linda Lib Dem Focus - 429 ELECTED    
    BROWN Graham Reginald Labour - 159   
    GALL Melody Anne Conservative - 312    
    GALL Rod Conservative - 297    
    KENDALL James Lib Dem Focus - 350 ELECTED    
    LLOYD Mark William Bruce Independent - 231    
    LUND Jane Lib Dem Focus - 342    
    NEWMAN Deborah Jean Conservative - 311    
    RUSH Adrian Lib Dem Focus - 388 ELECTED    
    WHITTLE Paul John Conservative - 420 ELECTED    
    WHITTLE Wendy Anne Conservative - 398 ELECTED    

    OLD SODBURY (5 seats)

    ALLARD John Peter Conservative - 197 ELECTED    
    ANTHONY Dave UKIP - 121    
    BARRITT Rob Conservative - 137 ELECTED    
    CAMPBELL Iain Independent - 79    
    DOWNES Pat Semi Retired Florist - 134 ELECTED    
    TILY Paul Leslie Independent - 144 ELECTED    
    WILLIAMS Andy Independent - 179 ELECTED

    Dodington Parish Council election results May 2011


    BOON Linda Lib Dem Focus - 663 ELECTED    
    DAVIS John V Lib Dem Focus - 636 ELECTED    
    RUSH Adrian Lib Dem Focus - 570 ELECTED    
    STEPHEN Gloria Lib Dem Focus - 613 ELECTED    
    WHITTLE Paul John Conservative - 382    
    WHITTLE Wendy Anne Conservative - 361    


    ADAMS Barry Lib Dem Focus - ELECTED without contest
    COTTERELL Patricia Janet Lib Dem Focus - ELECTED without contest
    CROWE Kay Lib Dem Focus - ELECTED without contest
    HOLBROOK Dafydd Lib Dem Focus - ELECTED without contest
    HULBERT Paul Lib Dem Focus - ELECTED without contest
    LANE David Independent - ELECTED without contest
    PHELPS Clifford Lib Dem Focus - ELECTED without contest
    SAINSBURY Mandy Lib Dem Focus - ELECTED without contest

    DODINGTON SOUTH (3 seats)

    GIDDINGS Jane - ELECTED without contest
    HOWARD Christine Mary - ELECTED without contest

    South Gloucestershire Council election results May 2011

    CHIPPING SODBURY (2 seats)

    BOON Linda Lib Dem Focus - 1606 ELECTED     
    BROWNLIE Donald Lawrence Labour - 278     
    RUSH Adrian Lib Dem Focus - 1461 ELECTED     
    SPRINGER Rudi Labour - 257     
    WHITTLE Paul John Conservative - 1198    
    WHITTLE Wendy Anne Conservative -1085

    DODINGTON (2 seats)

    BYFIELD Michael John Labour - 294      
    HOLBROOK Dafydd Lib Dem Focus - 1340 ELECTED     
    JARVIS Christine Ann Conservative - 429     
    LAWRANCE Alan Lib Dem Focus - 1324 ELECTED     
    PEARCE David George Labour - 285     
    RUNDLE Jason Colin Conservative - 452 

    YATE CENTRAL (2 seats)

    BEER Dennis Powsland Labour - 295     
    CHIVERS Michael John Labour - 360     
    DAVIS Ruth Brenda Lib Dem Focus - 1506 ELECTED     
    WALKER Sue Lib Dem Focus - 1601 ELECTED     
    WATTS Cynthia Marie Conservative - 484     
    WATTS Fred Conservative - 451

    YATE NORTH (3 seats)

    BLAIR Ian Lib Dem Focus - 2223 ELECTED     
    BURGESS Colin Ronald Labour - 505     
    DREW Mike Lib Dem Focus - 2304 ELECTED     
    LANGLEY Kath Labour - 581     
    MCGRATH Michael Paul Labour - 544     
    NORTHAM Kion Kevan Conservative - 891     
    ROBBINS Mike Lib Dem Focus - 2207 ELECTED     
    WILLIAMS David Penry Conservative - 864     
    WILLIAMS Sonia Gertrude Conservative - 784

    Other ward results are available from the South Glos website

    Wednesday, 4 May 2011

    Details from the doorsteps

    One of the good things about campaigning is the range of issues we uncover or hear from voters. Here is a small selection from the last few days:

    • The number of HGVs ignoring weight limits in Chipping Sodbury - like the massive lorry that miraculously managed to get round the corner at the War Memorial end of Hatters Lane
    • The problems people have trying to find bungalows that will accommodate a large wheelchair
    • The lack of public loos that will take a motorised wheelchair
    • The number of people who don't look outside their front doors regularly. We've knocked on a few doors to tell them there's a parcel outside - sometimes it's been there for days.
    We're sure there are many more local issues that you want to tell us about, so please contact Steve Webb or one of the Focus Team (see the full list here)

    The Focus Team has been working for you for 30 years
    (Sometimes it feels like longer! - Editor)

    We're not around only at election time - unlike some others. Please vote for us - just look for the "bird" symbol on the ballot paper!

    Tory South Glos hands land and money to developers

    Recent decisions by the Conservative administration on South Glos Council have tilted the balance well in favour of developers.

    Firstly, they've allocated the Frenchay Hospital land for housing in their Core Strategy. This not only means that there would be no hope of getting a hospital back there, however much our area grows with all the new housing they propose here. It also means much more traffic on the routes to the main employment areas for our town - Bristol and the North Fringe. So it'll take you longer to get to work, and a lot longer to get to our nearest hospital, Southmead.

    What's more the Tories have let developers off £450,000 - yes, nearly half a million pounds - of contributions towards open space and public transport that they had already legally agreed so that they could get planning permission. That's money taken out of our community pocket and going straight into the developers' coffers.

    It's time this Tory administration paid more attention to local people, not big business. It's very simple:


    Tuesday, 3 May 2011

    LibDem Focus councillor finds finance for much-needed paths

    Focus Team members Jane Lund, Adrian Rush and Linda Boon
    check out the new path behind Chipping Sodbury School
    Cllr Linda Boon has found some local funding to surface a path at the back of Chipping Sodbury School, linking Gaunts Road to Dodington Road and Culverhill Road. This provides a safe walkway for residents of roads like Greenhayes and Smarts Green to places like Chipping Sodbury and Lilliput Park, where Linda's money has also financed path improvements. This shows how local initiatives can deliver small but well-focused much-needed improvements - we need more locally decided schemes like this.

    Is your cat confused about the voting system referendum on Thursday?

    Monday, 2 May 2011

    Horseshoe Lane junction now closed to cars

    Cllrs Linda Boon and Adrian Rush celebrate the road
    closure with local residents Marilyn and Roy Vickers
    Horseshoe Lane in Chipping Sodbury is a little cut-through that local people have been campaigning to have closed to motor traffic at the junction with High Street. Together with removing a one-way restriction, this now provides a safe route for pedestrians and cyclists to the High Street and also down to Hounds Road via the "back lane".

    Victims can track crimes online (Avon and Somerset Police)

    Avon and Somerset Police have launched a new online service for victims of crime.

    TrackMyCrime is now being offered to all victims of crime across Avon and Somerset. It will allow them to track the progress of their crime as it's investigated by police officers by providing access toinformation extracted from police systems.

    Deputy Chief Constable Rob Beckley said: "We've introduced TrackMyCrime to keep victims informed about the status of their crime in a more streamlined and efficient way. It combines policing with modern technology and gives victims more choice about how they want to receive information from us."

    The system will revolutionise the service that victims receive. It will cut the time spent waiting for police officers to call them back about their crime as they will automatically be updated either by e-mail or text as officers fill in information on police computers.

    Victims can also send messages back to the investigation team and view information about their stolen or damaged property.

    Scott Fulton, Head of eServices, for Avon and Somerset Police said; "No-one wants to be the victim of a crime but if you are then you want it to impact on your life as little as possible. We developed this system to provide victims of crime with more choice about how they are updated and with a better service.

    "You can check your bank account and track parcels on-line, it makes sense to provide a service where you can check details about your crime too."

    To access the site go to http://asp.trackmycrime.police.uk

    Note that this only applies to new crimes, and if you say you want to use the service when you report the crime.