Friday, 27 July 2012

Ideas for the summer holidays part 2, a walk on the wild side

Some more ideas for parents - checking out our local green spaces. Children love wildlife!

Wapley Bushes Local Nature Reserve

Woodland, meadows and lots to explore - you can get a leaflet from the Tourist Information Bureau or check out the Wapley blog. Wapley has recently won the Green Flag Community Award as an outstanding public space.

Ridge Woods 

A lovely walk through historic woodland - see their MyYate page and the Ridge Wood website.

Yate Common

Grassland and woodland to explore - it's bigger than you think! Check them out here

Kingsgate Park

Our biggest local play area, with something for all ages of children. Plus the new water feature area, which is great fun -make sure the children bring their wellies!

Everyone knows the big lake where you can feed the swans and the ducks. But have you explored the long pond in the nature reserve section?

Check out the park here

Brinsham Fields

Another great wildfowl lake, with excellent play areas - details here.

Look out for the giant wood carvings here and in other parks!

Other parks and open spaces to visit

Do you know all of these?
  • Lilliput Park
  • Goose Green
  • Lye Field
  • St Marys Green
  • Tylers Field
  • Wellington Road
  • Jubilee Park
  • Sodbury Common
Plus of course all the local play areas.

And further afield?

Check out these suggestions from the Avon Wildlife Trust 

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Chipping Sodbury Library to close for repairs

The Town Lands Trust, who own the building that hosts Chipping Sodbury Library, is carrying out urgent repairs to the floor. These will involve excavating the basement in the rear half of the library, so the service will be moved to the back of the Grammar School from Tuesday July 31st until Wednesday August 29th.  The library will be closed on four days -  Friday July 27th, Saturday July 28th, Friday August 31st and Saturday September 1st to move shelving, book stock and equipment.

Although the library will operate normally, there will unfortunately be no access to public computers or the fax.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Rodford School site consultation

South Gloucestershire Council is going to apply for planning consent for a possible future residential development on the site of the former Rodford Primary School, Barnwood Road, Yate.

The Council has appointed consultants to develop a concept plan and an outline planning submission for the site, and now it wants to consult with local residents. This is your opportunity to view the plan, raise any questions you may have and give your opinion.

Please note that the plan you will see is for overall concept only. This means that it is merely describing the issues to be taken into consideration in planning the development; it is not a plan of an actual proposed development on the site.

The concept plan will be on display at Yate Library, 44 West Walk, Yate, from 1st – 10th August 2012. ‘Comments Forms’ will be available for you to express your views.

The Council’s consultants, Kendall Kingscott who undertook the concept plan work will be present, with an officer from South Gloucestershire Council, at the library on 7th August 2012 from 3.00 - 7.00pm, to answer any questions about the proposals for the site.

The consultation documents are available online here - the consultation closes on 17 August.

Have your say on changes to Council Tax benefits and discounts

Councils across the country are currently developing schemes to replace council tax benefit.

South Gloucestershire Council is proposing a scheme which is broadly similar to the current council tax benefit, which maintains the premiums and allowances for 2012/13 with the exception of removing the second adult rebate. Currently, second adult rebate can be claimed by people whose own income is too high to receive council tax benefit but who have other adult(s) in the household whose income is low.

There will be no change to the amount of help pensioners currently receive. People who have reached the age for state pension credit will be assessed under a national scheme which will be decided by the government. The national scheme is likely to be very similar to the current one.

These proposals will not fully cover the reduction in central government funding for the scheme. Rather than reduce other services to meet this shortfall, the council is proposing to review some of the council tax discretionary discounts that are going to be introduced from 1 April 2013 and apply an additional levy on properties that have been left empty for two years or more.
For more information about the council’s proposals and to have your say, you can:

The consultation runs until 9 October.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Ideas for the school holidays part 1, Yate Beach and playschemes

A few ideas for parents...

Yate Beach

Monday 23 July to Sunday 29 July 19 August (Thanks to Yate Shopping Centre for extending it!), in the middle of the Shopping Centre. 60 tonnes of sand, buckets spades and deckchairs, plus traditional entertainments. Open Monday – Saturday 9.00 – 4.30 and Sunday 10.00 – 4.00. See here or Facebook for details.

Yate Town Council playschemes

Yate Open Access Play Scheme funded by Yate Town Council and run by Childrens Playlink will run every weekday commencing Monday 23rd July until Friday 17th August 2012. Sessions are held at Yate Parish Hall and provide fun for 5 to 15 year olds. No need to book, just turn up.

Play 4 All funded by Yate Town Council and run by Childrens Playlink will run every Thursday between 26th July and 23rd August 2012 in Kingsgate Park from 2pm to 4pm. Free activities for all. No need to book, just turn up.

Click here for Yate Playscheme details

Dodington Parish Council playschemes

Dodington Parish Hall, Finch Road, Chipping Sodbury
Monday 25 to Friday 29 July and Monday 1 to Friday 5 August, 9.30am to 1.15pm.
 No need to book, just turn up, but places are limited - first come, first served. Ages 5 to 11.

Abbotswood Primary School, Kelston Close, Yate
Monday 8 to Friday 12 August and Monday 15 to Friday 19 August, 9.30am to 1.15pm
No need to book, just turn up, but places are limited - first come, first served. Ages 5 to 11.

Click here for Dodington Playscheme details

Sodbury Town Council playscheme (Leo's Den)

Sodbury's playscheme is is held Old Sodbury School but a minibus from Chipping Sodbury is provided for children who require it. The playscheme runs Mon - Fri 6th to 17th August, 9.30am to 1.00 pm. You need to register - click here for Sodbury Playscheme details.

Share your views on future of registration service

South Gloucestershire Council is reviewing the way it provides registration services for births, deaths and marriages.

Currently the service offers pre-booked appointments at Frenchay, Kingswood, Thornbury and Yate. The council now proposes to concentrate the service at two locations - Frenchay and either Kingswood or Thornbury.

You can find out more and have your say on the council's website. The consultation finishes on 3rd August.

The suggestion is that a service in two locations would be open much more of the week, as opposed to just a couple of days at Yate, but of course people would have to travel further to get there. Which would you rather have? A local service or an all-week service? Please have your say.

The proposal would not stop people getting married at Poole Court - that's a separate arrangement.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Major award for local beauty spot as Wapley Bushes wins Green Flag

Wapley Bushes has won the Green Flag Community Award 2012, the national award scheme for well-managed, high-quality public and community parks and green spaces.

The entry combined Wapley Bushes Local Nature Reserve, including the recently-planted Jubilee Hedge, with the new Orchard for the Future, which aims to restore heritage varieties of fruit in a public orchard.

It is particularly pleasing that Wapley has gained the Community Award because it recognises the efforts of all the volunteers from Wapley Bushes Conservation Group and other organisations, with the support of Dodington Parish Council and South Gloucestershire Council..

The award will be presented at the next Wapley Work Morning  on 8th September, meeting at the Shire Way gate at 10.00 am.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Could YOU be a volunteer advisor to help tackle fuel poverty?

Do you live in South Gloucestershire, are you over 50? Do you want to make a difference in your local community? The Centre for Sustainable Energy is looking to recruit volunteers who are keen to learn about energy and willing to share their knowledge in the community.

A session for potential volunteers is being held at Yate Library on Tuesday 24th July 2012. If you are interested in helping older people at risk of, or already suffering from, fuel poverty then please visit the CSE website.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Yate Bus Station - keeping up the pressure

Focus councillors met South Glos officials on Friday to discuss the outstanding problems
We've been having another go at S Glos about the problems at Yate Bus Station. At a meeting on Friday we were told for example that the gaps at the bottom of the panels are "part of the standard design" and would cost thousands of pounds to change. We said that obviously the design was wrong, and we could find much cheaper ways of covering over the gap - we're going to get some quotes.

Back in May it was agreed that double sided poster boards for paper timetables would be put next to the electronic timetable sign. South Glos's technical staff then decided that would be impossible because it would stick out a few inches into that wide walkway. So we've asked for the timetable boards to be angled so that they don't  cross the edge of the walkway - simple really!

The electronic and poster timetable boards will then be fitted with infills underneath so that they stop a lot of the wind whistling through the shelter entrance, as we'd originally intended. South Glos will put a temporary fence in the position so that people can comment on it.

The existing paper timetables (currently on temporary small boards inside the shelter) are not very detailed - we've asked for some more detailed timetables to be laminated and stuck up until the big poster boards are in place.

It's clear that at busy times there isn't enough room in the shelter, so we've asked South Glos to investigate putting an extra shelter the other side of the walkway, in front of the bike stands.

Thanks to the members of the public who gave us comments at the meeting - they were very useful. For example, we found out that the Wessex bus times have disappeared from the electronic sign, so we're having this looked into.

We'll keep you posted...