Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Read about autism

Your local library has a new collection of books that you might find helpful if you are living with autism or Asperger's, or know someone who is.

The books have been recommended by people with autism and those who live or work with them, including the library service and the South Gloucestershire Autism Planning Group. They provide information and advice, support for living well, advice for relatives and carers, plus personal stories. The interactive list can be found online.

The books can be borrowed free of charge for a special extended loan period of six weeks, and if the book you want is not on the shelves when you want it, the library can get hold of it for you, also free of charge.

It's also worth noting that libraries belong to the Safe Places Scheme. This scheme provides locations for adults with a learning difficulty or vulnerable people to get help when they are out and about. For more information visit www.southglos.gov.uk/safeplaces.

Monday, 28 December 2015

Another recycling option

You may not be aware that you can recycle clean plastic bags, wrapping and film at the Sort it Centres. Of course since the introduction of the charge for carrier bags many people are reusing those, but this is one way to cut back on the amount of packaging going into your black bin.

Sunday, 27 December 2015

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Please save those stamps!

Most of our local charity shops collect used stamps - foreign, UK commemorative or just plain "ordinary" stamps - and sell them on to dealers. Please keep all those stamps you get at Xmas or indeed any time of year and take them in.

Alternatively you can drop them off to Paul Hulbert at 35 Blaisdon (he's collecting them for Cancer Research) or leave them at Dodington Parish Council for him to collect.

Useful information this Christmas

Here's a round-up of links to Christmas opening times and other information you might find helpful during the holiday period.

Contacting the council

  • The South Glos customer services contact centre will be closed from Christmas Eve afternoon (from 1pm) until 8:45 am on Wednesday 30 December 2015. The offices will also be closed on 1 January 2016. Please note that the adult care contact centre will be open until 5pm on Christmas Eve. When the offices are closed calls will be diverted to a service which deals only with emergencies.
  • One Stop Shops will be closed from Christmas Eve afternoon (from 1pm) until Wednesday 30 December 2015. They will also be closed on 1 January 2016.
  • You can continue to report issues or apply for services using the council's online forms which will be dealt with after the offices reopen.
More information on council services over Christmas and the New Year period is available here.

Recycling and waste
You can find the Christmas and New Year opening times for the local libraries here.

Bus times
Bus timetable information is available from Travelwest.

Train times
The Network Rail website provides information on travel during the holiday period.

Health services and pharmacies
South Gloucestershire CCG provides this advice on what to do if you are injured or feel unwell. They also have details of pharmacy opening times for Christmas and New Year. They advise anyone with long term health conditions to get their medication before Christmas Eve.

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas to all our readers!

Mill Crescent Westerleigh Christmas lights raising money for BUST

Mill Crescent Christmas lights last year
This year the Mill Crescent Christmas lights will be raising money for B.U.S.T (Breast Cancer Unit Support Trust), established in 1991 at Frenchay by patients and now based at Southmead Hospital. The funds raised by BUST and its supporters enable the clinicians to buy advanced equipment before it is available through NHS funding,with the aim of prevention, early detection and better treatment.

Monday, 21 December 2015

Pharmacy opening times over Christmas and the New Year holidays

Pharmacy opening times

Find out which pharmacies are open in South Gloucestershire over Christmas and the New Year holidays
- See more at: https://www.southgloucestershireccg.nhs.uk/your-health-local-services/health-services/gp-pharmacy-opening-hours/?utm_source=hootsuite#sthash.cjDJlwRs.dpuf
Find out which pharmacies are open in South Gloucestershire over Christmas and the New Year holidays.
Make sure you're prepared for changes to opening times by:
  • Booking routine appointments well in advance.
  • Ordering and collecting repeat prescriptions while your GP practice and pharmacy are open.
- See more at: https://www.southgloucestershireccg.nhs.uk/your-health-local-services/health-services/gp-pharmacy-opening-hours/#sthash.X32FTNiJ.dpuf
Find out which pharmacies are open in South Gloucestershire over Christmas and the New Year holidays.
Make sure you're prepared for changes to opening times by:
  • Booking routine appointments well in advance.
  • Ordering and collecting repeat prescriptions while your GP practice and pharmacy are open.
- See more at: https://www.southgloucestershireccg.nhs.uk/your-health-local-services/health-services/gp-pharmacy-opening-hours/#sthash.X32FTNiJ.dpuf
Find out which pharmacies are open in South Gloucestershire over Christmas and the New Year holidays.
Make sure you're prepared for changes to opening times by:
  • Booking routine appointments well in advance.
  • Ordering and collecting repeat prescriptions while your GP practice and pharmacy are open.
- See more at: https://www.southgloucestershireccg.nhs.uk/your-health-local-services/health-services/gp-pharmacy-opening-hours/#sthash.X32FTNiJ.dpuf
Click here to find out which pharmacies are open in South Gloucestershire over Christmas and the New Year holidays.

Please don't forget to book routine appointments well in advance, and order and collect repeat prescriptions while your pharmacy and GP are still open.

Pharmacy opening times

Find out which pharmacies are open in South Gloucestershire over Christmas and the New Year holidays
- See more at: https://www.southgloucestershireccg.nhs.uk/your-health-local-services/health-services/gp-pharmacy-opening-hours/?utm_source=hootsuite#sthash.cjDJlwRs.dpuf

Friday, 11 December 2015

Survey - TV interference caused by phone masts

Since the summer, people have been contacting the Focus Team about problems with their Freeview TV signal following the installation of new 4G phone masts in the place of old 3G ones.

There is a service, at800, that was set up to help with these problems. However, they won't help if you have access to an alternative service on one TV - such as Sky or Virgin Media - even if you have other TVs in the house that can only use Freeview. We've also heard of a number of cases where the filters they've supplied have not been enough to fix the problem and people have ended up having to take time off work to wait in for engineers to visit.

We're trying to gather evidence of the extent of the problem and have created a short survey. If you've been affected, please fill it in here.

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Free Christmas events at South Glos libraries

Once again libraries across South Gloucestershire are getting into the festive spirit during December and the Christmas holidays with a fun-filled programme of activities, including storytimes, rhymetimes and crafts. All activities are free unless otherwise stated.

Here are our local events:

Friday 11 December
Christmas rhymetime
Yate Library, 10.30am to 11am
Festive songs and rhymes for pre-school children.

Saturday 12 December
Festive family singalong
Yate Library, 11.30am to 12pm
Seasonal songs for everyone to join in and enjoy.

Wednesday 16 December
Christmas storytime
Chipping Sodbury Library, 2pm to 2.30pm
Festive fun for pre-school children

Thursday 17 December
Stories and songs around the tree
Yate Library, 5.30 to 6.30pm
Christmas fun for 3 to 8-year-olds.

Tuesday 22 December
Just chillin’
Yate Library, 10.30am to 12pm
Winter crafts drop in for 4 to 9-year-olds.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Low-cost computer scheme launched in South Gloucestershire

A low-cost computer scheme is being piloted across South Gloucestershire in a move at helping targeted groups access the internet more easily.

A range of starter desktop and laptop PCs are being made available to anyone who is on low income, receiving certain benefits or experiencing other disadvantages.

The equipment, which is available through an IT provider is professionally refurbished, ready to use and includes a 12-month warranty.

The aim of the scheme is to help people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford a PC with a view to using it to look for work or access online training and learning.

Councillor Heather Goddard, Chair of the Communities Committee, said: “Not owning or having ready access to a computer can be an obstacle to people who are looking to find work or to acquire new skills or knowledge through online learning.

“This pilot scheme will help those unable to afford a computer through subsidised and supported assistance.”

Prices start from around £85 which includes a fully-licensed version of Microsoft® Windows 7, Microsoft® Office 2010, 12-month warranty and free delivery.

Residents must receive at least one of the following to be eligible for these special Microsoft® Office system prices:

·       Income Support
·       Jobseekers Allowance
·       Pension Credit
·       Disability Living Allowance/Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
·       Attendance Allowance/Constant Attendance Allowance
·       Carer’s Allowance
·       Incapacity Benefit/Employment and Support Allowance
·       disability element of working tax credit

Registered UK charities can also take advantage of this special deal.

For anyone who meets any of the following criteria there are computers available without Microsoft® Office 2010 but still including Microsoft Windows 7 and starting at around £100:

·       65 years or older
·       receiving means-tested benefit
·       are an unpaid carer
·       are registered disabled
·       living on a low income
·       have a child entitled to free school meals
More information on the scheme is available at https://www.southglos.gov.uk/lowcostcomputer

To take advantage of this special deal please visit any of the organisations listed below. You will be asked to complete a simple application form and may also be asked for proof of eligibility for the scheme.

To order you will need either a valid PayPal account, credit or debit card or, alternatively, you can pay in cash at any of our libraries.

Assistance with ordering is available at these organisations. All of our libraries also offer an introductory session on setting up your new computer and a range of free online courses to help you through the basics.
For more information and how to order visit:

Any South Gloucestershire library

For details of your nearest library visit www.southglos.gov.uk/libraries or phone 01454 868006

Banjo Island Community and Sports Association
The Batch Community Centre
8a Park Road
BS30 8EB
07984 073968 (Jackie)

Southern Brooks Community Partnerships
Coniston Community Centre
BS34 5LP
01454 868570

Carers Support Centre
Vassall Centre
Gill Avenue, Fishponds
Bristol BS16 2QQ
0117 939 2562

Juice Community Project
56-60 Newton Road
Cadbury Heath
BS30 8EL
01454 302 302

Age UK South Gloucestershire
67 High Street
South Gloucestershire
BS35 2AW
01454 411 707

Monday, 7 December 2015

Have your say on cycling strategy

This week South Glos Council launched a consultation on its draft Cycling Strategy.

The council’s vision for cycling is that South Gloucestershire will become a place where people of all ages and abilities will feel happy to cycle, from ages 8-80. The strategy aims to deliver that vision. You can view it and have your say on the South Glos website until 15th January 2016.

If you would like someone to talk to your group or organisation about these proposals, please email consultation@southglos.gov.uk or telephone 01454 868195.

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Over 50s facilities in Yate - survey and prize draw

If you are over 50 you are invited for a free cup of tea or coffee in the Pop Inn Cafe, Yate in exchange for completing a survey. You don't have to live in Yate itself to answer it, just be a user of the services in the town.

All surveys completed before Wednesday 23rd December will be entered into a prize draw. The winner will be advised and all results will be posted online.

You can download the survey here.

Friday, 13 November 2015

Father Christmas is coming to Abbotswood!

Christmas at Abbotswood was a big success last year - let's make it even bigger this year!

Fun family event on Saturday 28 November from 4.00 pm.

  • Christmas Fayre from 4pm
  • Santa arrives at 5pm
  • Abbotswood and Wellesley school choirs at 530pm
  • Big Christmas Lights switch-on (Santa and the Mayor of Yate) at 6pm
  • Followed by music from Westerleigh Brass Band
Please come and join us!

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Celebrate local link to Agincourt

This Sunday, 25th October, there will be an event at St Peter's Church, Wapley to celebrate an important local link to the Battle of Agincourt, which took place 600 years ago.

The Battle of Agincourt, part of the Hundred Years War, took place on St Crispin's Day, 25th October in 1415 near the village of Agincourt. The #wapley600 event celebrates the area’s links with Sir John Codrington, who was the standard bearer of King Henry V at the battle, when the English forces defeated a larger French army.

This free event runs from 10am to 4pm, finishing with an evening service from 6.30 pm to 7.30 pm. For more information, including parking and Park and Ride, see https://wapleyagincourt.wordpress.com/

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Local fund raising for Syrian Crisis Appeal

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) around 12 million people have been displaced by the fighting in Syria. Of these over 4 million have fled to surrounding countries and more than 7 1⁄2 million are displaced within Syria itself. With winter approaching stories of hardship and suffering are already on our TVs and newspapers. With winter approaching it can only get worse.

Yate Town Council have come together with Yate Parish and Chipping Sodbury Rotary Club to support the initiative of two weeks of funding raising from Friday 16th October to Friday 30th October within the community aiming at collecting cash to go directly to the British Red Cross Syrian Crisis Appeal.

On Friday 16th October they are holding a coffee morning, with Councillor Tony Davis, the Mayor of Yate at Poole Court  from 10.00am till 12.00noon, all are very welcome to attend.

If you are able to bring a cake along or give donations, all will be gratefully received.

More events are planned, and community groups are encouraged to see what they can organise.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Abbotswood Autumn Apple Day on Saturday 3 October

The Abbotswood Autumn Apple Day will be held this Saturday, 3 October, from 11am to 3pm, in the Abbotswood Precinct and Community Garden.  This fabulous feast of autumnal activities and seasonal celebration includes:
  • Apple juicing – bring your own empty bottle.  Apples for juicing warmly welcome!
  • Free refreshments
  • Bouncy castle and giant outdoor games
  • Willow weaving
  • Apple bobbing and jam making
  • Baby toddler foot printing!
  • Hedgehog Rescue
  • Bunting workshop
  • Creative activities with Make it Mentoring
  • Green Community Transport and information about a wide range of local groups
  • Music from the U3A Ukulele band and other music acts
Refreshments and all activities free (including bouncy castle!)


DR BIKE will also be attending the event so bring along your bikes for a free service by a bike mechanic (poster attached)

FAMILY DOG SHOW  - Organised by Abbotswood Vets.

BOCCIA – have a go at this popular Paralympic sport which is a form of indoor bowls.  Suitable for all ages and accessible for all.

Come along and enjoy the day with Abbotswood Action Group, Jacobs Well and the other volunteers - please spread the word among your family, friends and neighbours!

Monday, 28 September 2015

Public meeting on Syrian Refugee Crisis

Yate Town Council in partnership with Reverend Ian Wallace, Team Rector of Yate are holding a public meeting in response to the Syrian Crisis at the Community Room in Tesco’s, Yate Shopping Centre at 6.30pm on Thursday 1st October 2015.

The Yate community are welcome to attend to view their ideas of how we can work to raise funds for the Red Cross to provide aid for the Syrian Refugees.

If you are interested in lending support as an individual or belong to a group please attend the meeting on Thursday 1st October or contact info@yatetowncouncil.gov.uk or call 01454 866506.

Nibley Lane closed for cleaning 29 September

In case you haven't seen the notices, Nibley Lane (between Badminton Road and Westerleigh Road) is expected to close from 9.30am until 2.30pm tomorrow (29th September 2015) for cleaning.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Have your say about Abbotswood this Thursday

Do you live in or near Abbotswood? Or maybe you shop at Abbotswood, or use the doctor, the dentist, the vets or the takeaways? Perhaps you attend the church, or members of your family go to groups or clubs at St Nicks? Then you will find the Abbotswood Action Group meeting this Thursday (24 September) interesting and useful.

Abbotswood Action Group is a voluntary organisation that is working hard to improve Abbotswood and the surrounding area. At Thursday's meeting, as well as some brief business (it's their AGM) there will be workshop sessions to find out what you think about Abbotswood, the changes that have been made recently and what the next steps should be.

Please come along and meet the people involved in the various Action Groups - you may well find that there's something you want to join in with.

The meeting begins at 7pm in the main hall of the St Nicholas Family Centre, Abbotswood. It starts with refreshments - drinks, nibbles and hopefully CAKE! - and should finish at 9pm.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Interested in health issues around Yate? Important meeting on Monday

The Yate Safer Stronger Community Group meeting at 7pm on Monday 14th September will feature a Question and Answer Session with Southmead Hospital, Yate Minor Injuries Unit and the Clinical Commissioning Group. This should make for an interesting meeting, as they won't all be able to blame someone else for any issues raised.

The meeting will be preceded at 6pm by a drop-in exhibition on Healthy Lifestyles.

The venue is Cranleigh Court Chapel, Cranleigh Court Road, Yate BS37 5DH.

Monday, 7 September 2015

Consultation on Minor Injuries services - deadline 11 September

What would improve minor injuries services in South Glos - more services at GP surgeries, or extended services at Yate Minor Injuries Unit?

The South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group is looking at a 24 month trial of increased services at GP surgeries, covering:
  • sprains and strains
  • cuts and grazes
  • minor fractures
  • minor head injuries 
  • wound infections
  • minor burns and scalds
  • bites – insect, animal and human
  • minor eye injuries such as scratches, foreign bodies in the eyes
  • nose bleeds
  • injuries to the back, shoulder and chest

They say that the new services "would be available between 8.30am and 6.30pm Monday to Friday. We are also considering options for providing a service outside of these hours – details of which will be shared once they are available... The CCG is also looking to arrange a new X-ray service as part of the proposal, where GPs and patients would get the results shortly after the time of the X-ray instead of several days later"

What do YOU think? Bear in mind that there have been calls for the Minor Injuries Unit at West Gate, Yate to offer more services and to be open longer (e.g. Saturday afternoons, when most sporting injuries happen)

Please complete the Commissioning Group's survey

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Happy 50th Birthday Yate Shopping Centre!

Well done to the Management Team of Yate Shopping Centre for puting on such a range of events for this weekend's 50th Anniversary celebrations!

Cllr Tony Davis, Mayor of Yate, cut the birthday cake watched by Andy Lowrey, Manager of Yate Shopping Centre

Cllr Tony Davis and Sue Bruten unveiled the mural that commemorates the history of the Shopping Centre. Sue designed the mural based on ideas from local schoolchildren and members of the community - the youngest contributor was 5 years old, and the oldest was 95.

Friday, 7 August 2015

Protecting access to Sort It centres

At South Glos Council's last Communities Committee, anyone who uses a works van as their only vehicle was nearly banned from using South Gloucestershire’s Sort It centres for their personal waste. Fortunately we were able to change the Conservative's proposal.

It originally said that vehicles will need to be registered to use the Sort It centres and “any vehicle registered to a business will be declined”. If this had passed, anyone who owns or works for a small business who has their work van as their only vehicle would have been stopped from using the Sort It centres. They would have had no way to dispose of their personal household waste.

Claire Young successfully proposed an amendment asking officers to come up with a scheme to enable those people to continue to use Sort It centres. They will only be allowed to transport household waste, not business waste, but it's right that they should be able to access these services like other residents. Your Focus Team thinks it's important to stand up for the people who run and work for our local small businesses.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Have you had a bike stolen?

Avon and Somerset Police recently arrested five people and seized seventy stolen bikes after a year long investigation. As of 29th July, twenty eight of these had no known owners and photographs have been posted here:


If you think one of the bikes might be yours, call 101.
You can read more on the story here.

Friday, 31 July 2015

Safety check on bad decisions removed

At the last South Gloucestershire Council meeting the Conservatives used their majority to remove the rights of opposition councillors to force a rethink on bad decisions.

Previously the lead member for any of the political groups on a committee could “refer up” a decision to full council for further debate, if they felt a mistake had been made or more information was needed to make a properly informed decision. Only a few months ago this safety check was used when the planning committee initially decided to approve the planning application for Top Yard in Westerleigh. Given the chance to review their report and consider case law, officers changed their recommendation from approval to refusal and the application was eventually refused. If our former colleague Alan Lawrance had not had the opportunity to refer up the original decision the application would have been approved and there would have been no way to overturn that.

By referring a decision up to council it also gave a chance for concerned members of the public to go along and have their say. Almost every council in the country has some ability for minority political groups to force administrations to think again. Obviously ultimately the majority view will prevail, as you would expect in a democracy. Sometimes though, having heard differing views or got more information, they make a different decision from their original one. Isn’t that also something you would expect in a democracy? As we saw with Top Yard, referring up was one way to help the council make better decisions. Why is the new administration afraid of that scrutiny?

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

South Glos show this weekend

The 2015 South Gloucestershire Show takes place this Saturday and Sunday (1st and 2nd August). The show is held at the Windmill Fishery Showground situated just off the Westerleigh Road between the Henfield cross roads and Westerleigh. More information can be found on their website.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Planning committee to consider caravan storage site

The application to continue caravan storage at Beech Hill Farm  is to be considered by the South Glos planning committee later this summer. Officers have recommended refusal on Green Belt grounds. A site visit is expected to take place on Friday 28th August.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Changed circumstances? URGENT if you're claiming Single Person Discount on Council Tax

If you're claiming Single Person Discount on your Council Tax but your circumstances have changed, you have until Saturday 1st August to take advantage of a short amnesty to tell the council.

Maybe you are a single parent and one of your children has turned 18 or you've started renting a spare room out to a lodger. If you tell the council about this before Saturday 1st August the change will not be backdated to 1 April 2015. If you don't, action will be taken on any discount incorrectly claimed.

If you think this might apply to you - or if your circumstances have changed the other way and you think you could now be claiming Single Person Discount where you weren't before - you can call 01454 868003, email counciltax@southglos.gov.uk or call into one of the council's One Stop Shops.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Success again for Wapley Bushes

Wapley Bushes Local Nature Reserve and the Orchard for the Future have won the Green Flag Community Award for the third year running - the only Green Flag Award in South Gloucestershire.

The Green Flag Award scheme recognises quality parks or green spaces. In total, 1,582 parks, cemeteries, universities, shopping centres and community gardens in the UK have met the high standard needed to receive the Green Flag Award or the Green Flag Community Award.

The Green Flag Awards are judged by an army of more than 700 green space experts, who volunteer their time to visit applicant sites and assess them against eight strict criteria, including horticultural standards, cleanliness, sustainability and community involvement. The Green Flag Awards Scheme is run by the environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy.

Obviously Wapley Bushes Conservation Group, who manage the Reserve, and landowners Dodington Parish Council are very pleased with this success. They are now looking forward to hearing the results of their South West in Bloom award entries.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Progress report on Rodford Way traffic issues

Flashback - Paul Hulbert and Tony Davis
at the Abbotswood junction
Proposals are being developed to reduce accidents and hazards at the Rodford Way / Abbotswood junction and the offset junction between Shire Way, Rodford Way and Sundridge Park. Ideas on the table at the moment are as follows:
  • Prohibiting U-turns on Rodford Way near the Abbotswood junction, with a short length of central island being put in the mouth of Abbotswood (to reduce the near-misses between U-turning traffic and vehicles continuing along the road)
  • An advisory 20 mph limit on Rodford Way near the Kelston Close junction, marked by flashing lights, at school opening and closing times (to avoid the dangers to families crossing at these busy times)
  • Changing the slip lane priorities at the offset junction and making the cycle lanes more obvious there (to reduce the unacceptable rate of cyclist casualties at this junction)
 These ideas may change as the plan is worked up - we'll keep you informed.

Monday, 20 July 2015

Kelston Close changing rooms upgrade under way

A major upgrade is now under way to Dodington Parish Council's changing rooms at the QE2 Playing Fields, Kelston Close. The £84,000 project has been helped considerably by a £25,000 grant from community programme Barclays Spaces for Sports, partnered with sports charity The Football Foundation. A further £7,000 contribution is coming from South Gloucestershire Council’s New Homes Bonus scheme, and Dodington Parish Council is funding the balance of £52,000.

The new funding for the QEII Playing Field follows previous grants totalling £68,000 from Barclays and the Football Foundation since 2006. These grants were used to pay for a multi-use games area (MUGA), to deliver a three-year sports development plan and to organise holiday sports tournaments for young people.

The changing rooms, which are mainly used by football players on the Parish Council's very popular pitches, date from many years ago when the facilities were the playing fields for King Edmund School (now Yate International Academy)

The works include new showers, accessible toilets, landscaping and general building improvements. At the moment the layout is mainly designed for male players, but Dodington is also aiming to make the changing rooms suitable for any female teams they may have in future.

Friday, 3 July 2015

Free learning opportunities for people over 50

Are you over 50, and interested in getting back into learning, and maybe progressing on to further study? This innovative taster programme run by South Gloucestershire and Stroud College may be for you.

There are two courses: Monday 13th July – Wednesday 15th July and Wednesday 15th July  - Friday 17th July. Each day will start at 9.30 and finish no later than 4pm.

Both sessions will take place at SGS's state of the art WISE campus, New Road, Stoke Gifford. Bristol, BS34 8LP (plenty of free parking available)

Click here for details of the programmes
  •     Free Lunch each day
  •     Free tea/coffee with biscuits/cakes
  •     Free Maths qualification
  •     Option of choosing 3 fun and interactive sessions
  •     Sessions include
  •             2 Art options – Painting/Photography
  •             Sport options – Gentle gym (strength and conditioning) or bowls/Table tennis/Golf
  •             First Aid at home
  •             Technology – Tablets, Skype, Emails/Using the Internet to save time & money – Ebay, Uswitch, Online shopping, On line banking, Booking trips
  •     A chance to have an amazing 3 days, meet likeminded people and just have fun!

Frome Vale Area Forum next week

The Frome Vale Area Forum (which covers Yate, Dodington and Chipping Sodbury) takes place on Thursday 9th July at 7pm at Shireway Community Association, Yate.

As well as the usual open session where you can have your say on local issues, the agenda includes the allocation of community grants, presentations about food/waste recycling plus a presentation from BT about broadband.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Lib Dem leadership contender visits Yate

Tim Farron MP, one of the two contenders for the Leadership of the Liberal Democrats, met local party members at Poole Court this week for a no-holds-barred question and answer session.

He answered a wide range of questions from the crowded meeting, ranging from the economy and defence to how to rebuild the Lib Dems after the disappointing result at the General Election.

The other leadership contender is Norman Lamb MP, who visited Yate in February. The result of the election will be announced on 16 July.

In line with the national trend, local membership of the Liberal Democrats has risen considerably since the General Election.

Friday, 26 June 2015

Worrying noises from Government about Yate Minor Injuries Unit

Focus Team councillors demanding better use of the MIU

A letter from Jeremy Hunt, the Secretary of State for Health, has cast doubts on the effectiveness of Yate MIU in reducing the number of people going to casualty at Southmead Hospital. Although he hasn't shared his evidence, he's using that as an excuse to stop the project for another MIU at Cossham Hospital.

But the health service locally is hindered by the lack of services being provided at the Yate MIU:
It doesn't open on Saturday afternoons when lots of sporting and children's accidents happen
It shuts its doors early when they've got too many patients (i.e. they haven't got enough staff to deal with a rush). People still have to go to Southmead for outpatient clinics that could be delivered locally.

Some parts of the service work well, such as the walk-in X-Ray facility, where you can often be seen very quickly. But until this very good facility if opened and staffed properly, it won't have the desired impact on Southmead casulaty numbers. We need to make sure that we keep the services we've already got, and stop the Government even thinking that it's ineffective. More clinics and longer hours please!

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Developers get bad press two weeks running

Unhappy Focus Team members outside the site
that developers want to put housing on

It's not often that a company makes front page newspaper headlines (in the wrong way) two weeks running, but the developers of Elswick Park have done just that. First they were up in court for not complying with requirements of their planning permission to carry out landscaping works. They got off with a conditional discharge (that's legal language for a rap over the knuckles) because they suddenly rushed in and planted some trees at the wrong time of year - they'll probably die. Why didn't they just do their planting when they were supposed to? You can read more on the Gazette story here.

Now they're trying a land grab on an area that was promised to be for public use, the space facing Kennedy Way at the front of the development. They want to maximise their profits by building more housing on the area. It was supposed to be allocated for a community centre, as the Gazette explains here. Money being put before communities again - developers seem to think that they can change the rules as they go along.

Monday, 22 June 2015

Potholes, the Power of the Press and Focus

"This road isn't all it's cracked up to be" - Members of the Focus Team pointing out a large patch of Station Road that is breaking up.

We've been nagging South Glos about various potholes and road defects. Last Wednesday we went out with a Gazette photographer to photograph some road problems in Station Road at Yate. Even before the photos were published in the Gazette or in Focus, South Glos have marked the defects out for repair.

Let's hope they get fixed soon. But what we now need is that whole area of road sorted. Or are they saying we have to go to the press about every pothole?

Is there a pothole or a road problem that's irritating you? Let your local Focus Team member know - click here for a full list of Focus contacts.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Yate Rocks to the music this weekend

The ever popular music festival in Kingsgate Park returns this weekend under the new name of Yate Rocks!

The big music day is Saturday 20 June, with live music from noon to 8pm. Groups featured are The Mangled Wurzels, Limited Edition, Skeeter, Goodnight Lois, Uncle Buck, Hitshot, Tundra and Progress Is Made.

Dance groups Stagecoach, Glitterbugs, Pure Dance, Redds Dance Group and Street Cred will entertain, and there will be arts and craft stalls, a beer tent, a bungee trampoline and fun rides for children, plus  demonstrations by local gym clubs and cheerleaders.

Sunday 21 June is more of a chill-out day, with Praise in the Park from 10.30 to 12.00, and the traditional Picnic in the Park in the afternoon from 2.00 to 4.00 with entertainment including The Westerly Wind Band.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Top Tips on staying safe from rogue traders and distraction burglars

It is that time of the year when the police see a rise in cold callers, rogue traders and distraction burglars. The local team have issued the following top tips on staying safe:

 · Check the identity of the caller by telephoning the company they claim to be from. Use the telephone numbers listed in your local directory or provided independently by your service provider.
· Genuine callers won't mind making an appointment for a date when you can have someone with you. This gives you time to check their identity too.
· Never use companies who make unsolicited calls, who don't provide contracts, or who offer to do work for cash.
· Call a neighbour or friend nearby to come along and check out the caller before you open the door to them.
· Many service providers provide password schemes and it can be helpful to sign up to these. When unannounced callers knock at your door they should know the password if they are genuine.
· Keep doors locked and windows secure at all times.
· Where possible, have a safety chain fitted and always attach the chain before opening the door to strangers.
· Remember it's your doorstep, your decision.
· Check whether traders are members of the Local Authority Assured Trader Schemes (www.oft.gov.uk) or the government Trust Mark scheme (www.trustmark.org.uk).
· The key message is: 'Not sure? Don't open the door'
· If you suspect a rogue trader is at your door dial 999

If you know anyone who is not online who might benefit from this advice - an elderly or vulnerable friend or relative for example - why not print these tips off for them. And keep an eye out for neighbours who might be vulnerable to tactics employed by rogue traders and distraction burglars.

There is more advice at:

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

It's Festival Week in Chipping Sodbury!

It's that time of the year again, and Chipping Sodbury Festival is in full swing. Here are just a few of the highlights:
  • This evening (Tue) - Music in the Street
  • Wed - Forever, the Abba tribute
  • Thu - Tessitoura performing Cosi Fan Tutti
  • Fri - The Fabulous Baker Brothers
  • Sat - Carnival and Street Fayre
  • Sun - Festival Songs of Praise and Cycle Rides
For full details of all the events and ticket details, check out the Chipping Sodbury Festival website.

Monday, 15 June 2015

Voluntary organisation networking events in early July

If you're involved in a voluntary organisation, you could benefit from these FREE local events in early July, organised by CVS South Gloucestershire, Southern Brooks Community Partnership and Community Ignite.

WORKING TOGETHER - three local networking events for organisations, community groups and social enterprises in South Gloucestershire.

Come to your local event in Yate, Kingswood or Severn Vale.

Working Together is designed to:
  • focus on fundraising, volunteering and communication
  • provide a networking opportunity for people who are leading local organisations
  • give information about the help and advice available from CVS South Gloucestershire, Southern Brooks Community Partnerships and Community Ignite (Kingswood)
The event will combine presentations, workshops and group discussions. A light lunch will be provided. Feel free to bring along promotional material for your group to share with others.

Area: Yate locality, South Gloucestershire
Date: Wednesday 1July

Venue: Poole Court, Poole Court Drive, Yate, South Gloucestershire, BS37 5PP
Time: 9.30am - 12.30pm
Booking: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/working-together-yate-locality-one-of-three-local-networking-events-for-organisations-community-tickets-17157524618 
Further details: Jackie Lawton, Jackie.Lawton@cvs-sg.org.uk, 01454 865205

Area: Kingswood locality, South Gloucestershire
Date: Tuesday 7 July

Venue: The Park Centre, High Street, Kingswood, South Gloucestershire, BS15 4AR
Time: 9.30am - 12.30pm
Booking:  http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/working-together-kingswood-locality-one-of-three-local-networking-events-for-organisations-tickets-17154342099
Further details: Alice Payne, alice.payne@communityignite.org.uk, 0117 960 4186

Area: Severn Vale locality, South Gloucestershire
Date: Thursday 9 July

Venue: Bradley Stoke Evangelical Church, Baileys Court Road, Bradley Stoke, Bristol, South Gloucestershire BS32 8BH. (Please note: The postcode will take to The Bailey’s Court Inn. With the pub on your left drive to the next roundabout, go straight ahead and the church is on your right)
Time: 10.00am - 1.00pm
Booking: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/working-together-severn-vale-locality-one-of-three-local-networking-events-for-organisations-tickets-17157093328
Further details: Kate Ross, kateross@southernbrooks.org.uk,  01454 868570

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Community Learning open day at Yate Library Tue 16 June

10.00-12.00 IT drop-in

Take better picture on your smartphone or tablet and learn how to edit them
No need to book

10.00-12.30 Job Skills drop-in
Advice on CVs, applications and interviews
No need to book

12.45-1.45 Games and puzzles
Fun maths
Phone to book a place, or take your chance on the day

1.45-2.45 Creative Writing
Put your imagination to work on stories and poems
Phone to book a place, or take your chance on the day

Contact details for booking and to find out more:
  • Telephone 01454 864613
  • Email community.learning@southglos.gov.uk

Plus Info Stand all day:
  • Information about free courses in Maths, English, IT. ESOL, Health and Wellbeing, Work-related Skills, Family Learning and more
  • Course brochure
  • Goodie bags and freebies

Monday, 8 June 2015

Something new for Mums and Babies - Mother and Baby Sensory Dance

Starting 7 July 2015 for 4 weeks, these 45 minute sessions at Yate Children’s Centre, Cranleigh Court Road, Yate are designed to encourage gentle interaction and physical movement between mums and   babies (under one year old) set to music.

Using colourful everyday items  such as feathers, scarves and puppets, the sessions include:-
  • Gentle massage and mobilisation warm-up
  • ‘Feathers’ - Using colourful feathers to stimulate skin and calm
  • Bouncing babies to stimulate oxygen flow and warm up arms and hands for mothers
  • ‘Peepo’ – using puppets to stimulate eyes and create a playful atmosphere
  • ‘Runaway Train Dance’ – to move around and encourage interaction between mothers
  • ‘Pilates’ – working on core and back muscles whilst bouncing babies on knees
  • Lastly a well-deserved gentle massage and cool down!

Please call 01454 864154 to book your place.

Friday, 5 June 2015

Health meeting 22 June - your chance to quiz Southmead and Minor Injuries Unit

The next meeting of the Yate and Dodington Safer Stronger Community Group will be on the theme of Health. It will be held on Monday 22 June at St Nicholas Family Centre, Abbotswood, Yate BS37 4LG.

There will be with a drop-in exhibition on various health topics from 6pm. This will be followed by the meeting at 7pm, which will be attended by representatives from both Southmead Hospital and Yate Minor Injuries Unit and will give you an opportunity to ask questions of these organisations.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Join the Lib Dem fightback - and this week's special offer

Since the election more than 15,000 people have joined the Liberal Democrats nationwide, including dozens in our local area, showing that people want to campaign against the impact that a right-wing Tory government is likely to have on our public services and our communities.

We will be running many local and national campaigns over the coming months and years and if you would like to be part of the team we would be delighted to involve you. You can join the party via the website at www.libdems.org.uk or by contacting any member of the local team.

Now for this week's special offer - everyone who is a member at 4pm on 3rd June will be able to vote for the next party leader.This is YOUR chance to have an influence on future Lib Dem party policy.

Monday, 1 June 2015

Railway path closure

A section of the Bristol and Bath Railway Path will be closed between 1 and 19 June for essential resurfacing and maintenance work.

The path will be closed from the railway station at Bitton in a south east direction to the Bath and North East Somerset boundary at Saltford. The council will try to reopen the path on weekends where possible and a signed diversion will be in place throughout.

You can read the full details from the council here.

Monday, 11 May 2015

Nibley Lane to close for cleaning 12 May

Nibley Lane (between Badminton Road and Westerleigh Road) is expected to close for cleaning between 9.30am and 2.30pm tomorrow, Tuesday 12th May.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Dodington Parish Council election results May 2015

  • BOON Linda Ann - Liberal Democrat Focus Team     885 ELECTED
  • PARSONS Annette Maria Elizabeth - Liberal Democrat Focus Team     855 ELECTED
  • RUSH Adrian Samuel - Liberal Democrat Focus Team     793 ELECTED
  • STEPHEN Gloria Elsie - Liberal Democrat Focus Team     861 ELECTED
  • WHITTLE Paul John - Conservative     623

  • ADAMS Barry John - Liberal Democrat Focus Team ELECTED without contest
  • BARRETT-WAINES Keely Amie - Independent ELECTED without contest
  • FITT David John - Independent ELECTED without contest
  • HULBERT Paul Aidan - Liberal Democrat Focus Team ELECTED without contest
  • JONES Philip - Conservative ELECTED without contest
  • LANE Dave - Independent ELECTED without contest
  • PHELPS Cliff - Liberal Democrat Focus Team ELECTED without contest
  • (Plus one vacancy)

  • HOWARD Christine Mary - Independent ELECTED without contest
  • ZAPATA Chris Antony - Independent ELECTED without contest
  • (Plus one vacancy)
All the existing councillors who stood again were re-elected. There are two new faces on Dodington Parish Council - Annette Parsons (Liberal Democrat Focus Team) and Phil Jones (Conservative)

Sodbury Town Council election results May 2015

  • ALLEN Brenda Mary Osyth - Liberal Democrat Focus Team     679 ELECTED
  • BALL James - Conservative     687 ELECTED
  • GOUGH Jack - Liberal Democrat Focus Team     634 ELECTED
  • MORSE David Ivor - Independent     396
  • O`ROURKE Philip Lawrence - Liberal Democrat Focus Team     614 ELECTED
  • RADMALL Desley Joy - Independent     400
  • SMITH Paddy - Conservative     658 ELECTED
  • TUBBY Steve - Conservative     583

  • BOON Linda Ann- Liberal Democrat Focus Team     631 ELECTED
  • CREER Rob - Conservative     644 ELECTED
  • HAYS Chris - Conservative     599 ELECTED
  • RUSH Adrian Samuel - Liberal Democrat Focus Team     557
  • WHITTLE Paul John - Conservative     566 ELECTED
  • WHITTLE Wendy Anne - Conservative     558 ELECTED

OLD SODBURY (5 seats)
  • DOWNES Pat - Independent     151 ELECTED
  • GIBSON Scott Kane  - Conservative     145
  • NUEVO Juan - Independent     234 ELECTED
  • RUMNEY PhiL     162 ELECTED
  • TUCKER Jane - Conservative     199 ELECTED
  • WILLIAMS Andy - Independent     212 ELECTED
Lib Dem Focus team have one fewer Sodbury Town Councillors than in 2011, with Adrian Rush losing his seat by just ONE vote.

Yate Town Council election results May 2015

YATE CENTRAL (3 seats)
  • CAMPBELL Ben - Liberal Democrat Focus Team ELECTED unopposed
  • GAWN John Henry - Liberal Democrat Focus Team ELECTED unopposed
  • WALKER Sue - Liberal Democrat Focus Team ELECTED unopposed

YATE NORTH (4 seats)
  • DREW Mike - Liberal Democrat Focus Team     1954 ELECTED
  • EDMONDS Chris - Liberal Democrat Focus Team     1648 ELECTED
  • FORD John Paul - Liberal Democrat Focus Team     1568 ELECTED
  • NORTHAM Kion Kevan - Conservative     1403
  • WILLMORE Chris - Liberal Democrat Focus Team      1693 ELECTED


  • CHOWDHURY Aziz - Liberal Democrat Focus Team     1225 ELECTED
  • KIRBY Cheryl Anne - Liberal Democrat Focus Team     1356 ELECTED
  • MARSHALL Margaret Ann - Liberal Democrat Focus Team     1469 ELECTED
  • MCGRATH Michael Paul - Labour     526

YATE SOUTH (2 seats)
  • DAVIS Tony - Liberal Democrat Focus Team     744 ELECTED
  • SHAW Jon - Conservative     399
  • THOYTS Penny - Liberal Democrat Focus Team     641 ELECTED

YATE WEST (5 seats)

  • BLAIR Ian William Johnston - Liberal Democrat Focus Team     1549 ELECTED
  • DAVIS John Anthony - Liberal Democrat Focus Team     1515 ELECTED
  • DOLLIN Mike - Independent     646
  • MONAGHAN Alan - Liberal Democrat Focus Team     1346 ELECTED
  • PERKS Wully - Liberal Democrat Focus Team     1396 ELECTED
  • TOMASIN Karl Dominic - Liberal Democrat Focus Team     1175 ELECTED
  • WILLIAMS David Penry - Conservative     939
  • WILLIAMS Sonia - Conservative     879
The Liberal Democrat Focus Team have retained all 17 seats on Yate Town Council, with newcomers Ben campbell, John Gawn, Chris Edmonds, Cheryl Kirby, Penny Thoyts and Karl Tomasin replacing retiring councillors.

South Gloucestershire Council election results May 2015


  • BOON Linda Ann - Liberal Democrat Focus Team     1862 ELECTED
  • CHANNON David Michael - Labour     429
  • CREER Rob - Conservative     1736 ELECTED
  • LANGLEY Kathleen - Labour     448
  • RUSH Adrian Samuel - Liberal Democrat Focus Team     1614
  • WARREN Callum Jake - Conservative     1630
This represents a loss of one seat from Lib Dem Focus Team to Conservative. Thank you Adrian Rush for your valued service on South Glos Council.

DODINGTON (2 seats)
  • DAVIS Tony - Liberal Democrat Focus Team     1592 ELECTED
  • FLETCHER Ann - Labour     498
  • JONES Phil - Conservative     879
  • MARTIN Russ - UKIP     920
  • SHAW Jon - Conservative     734
  • STEPHEN Gloria Elsie - Liberal Democrat Focus Team     1375 ELECTED
  • WARD David - Labour     371
Lib Dem Focus Team held both seats, and experienced Dodington Parish Councillor Gloria Stephen now joins South Glos Council.

YATE CENTRAL (2 seats)
  • ABRAHAM Peter David - Labour     481
  • DAVIS Ruth Brenda - Liberal Democrat Focus Team     1798 ELECTED
  • GARNER Roy - Conservative     982
  • MCGRATH Michael Paul - Labour Party Candidate     532
  • SUTTON Adrian - UKIP     831
  • WALKER Sue - Liberal Democrat Focus Team     1962 ELECTED
  • WATTS Fred - Conservative     884
Lib Dem Focus Team held both seats with existing councillors Ruth Davis and Sue Walker.

YATE NORTH (3 seats)
  • BLAIR Ian William Johnston - Liberal Democrat Focus Team     2466 ELECTED
  • DAVIS John Anthony - Liberal Democrat Focus Team     2330 ELECTED
  • DOLLIN Mike - Independent     418
  • DREW Mike - Liberal Democrat Focus Team     2653 ELECTED
  • FLETCHER Brian - Labour     676
  • MAGGS Alan William - Labour     534
  • NORTHAM Kion Kevan - Conservative     1566
  • RING Steven - UKIP     1048
  • SIMPSON Fred - Labour     552
  • WILLIAMS David Penry- Conservative     1840
  • WILLIAMS Sonia - Conservative     1725
Lib Dem Focus team held all three seats, with Yate Town Councillor John Davis now joining South Glos Council.
In nearby wards, the Lib Dems held the South Glos seats in Westerleigh,  Cotswold Edge, Frampton Cotterell and Charfield but lost Ladden Brook to the Conservatives.

The makeup of councillors on the new South Glos Council is:
  • Conservatives 40
  • Liberal Democrats 16
  • Labour 14
This gives the Conservatives a majority on South Glos.

Details of the results in other South Gloucestershire Council wards can be found on the South Glos website elections pages

Friday, 8 May 2015

Parliamentary election in Thornbury and Yate - full results

Luke Hall has taken Thornbury and Yate parliamentary seat for the Conservatives, with a majority of 1495.

The full results of the parliamentary election are as follows:
  • HALL Luke Anthony - Conservative     19,924 ELECTED
  • HAMILTON Iain Adams - Green      1,316
  • MARTIN Russ - UKIP     5,126
  • ROBERTS Hadleigh Vaughan - Labour     3,775
  • WEBB Steven John - Liberal Democrats     18,429
The majority was 1495.

We congratulate Luke Hall and hope that he will be as good an MP for our constituency as Steve Webb has been.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Please use your vote - a family story

The first time all women in the UK had a vote, my grandmother and her friend apparently queued up early at the polling station and walked in together as soon as the doors opened, so that they could claim to be the first. Please use your vote today.

The Editor

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Five Green Laws - a key Lib Dem policy

One of the policies that distinguishes the Liberal Democrats most from the other major parties is the Five Green Laws, aiming to put green commitments at the heart of the next Parliament’s legislative programme.

The five green laws will include regulations to cut household bills by increasing energy efficiency, legal targets for clean air and water, radical waste reduction plans, the introduction of a decarbonisation bill and reforms to planning law to encourage cycling.

Lib Dem Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change Ed Davey said: “The Lib Dems are the only party to have nailed their green credentials to the mast, and set out how this radical agenda will be delivered in a way that is both credible and affordable.

“Protecting the environment is in the Lib Dem’s DNA, and having these five Green Laws on the front page of our Manifesto shows our intent.

“From day one of the next Parliament we will have our green commitments on the table, from cleaning up the air we breathe, to greening the energy and transport we use.”

So waht are the five green laws?

Zero Carbon Bill

Introducing a Zero Carbon Britain Bill in the next parliament to end Britain’s adverse impact on climate change for good by 2050.

Zero Waste Bill

Treble fines and claw back £500 million for the taxpayer by clamping down on organisations which fly-tip to deliberately evade tax and review the tax structure across landfill, incineration and collection.

Green Homes Bill

New Green Homes Bill will insulate up to 10 million homes by 2025 and offer at least £100 a year off Council Tax for ten years when energy improvements are carried out.

Nature Bill

Establish the Natural Capital Committee on a statutory footing to provide advice to Government to ensure that nature is at the heart of government decision-making and that government departments are held to account for achieving progress against commitments to improving the natural environment.

Green Transport Bill

Transport has a significant role to play in reducing carbon emissions. In the UK, transport is responsible for around 25% of our carbon emissions and is the fastest growing source of carbon emissions. We will bring forward a comprehensive package of transport policies to continue to build a people-centred, sustainable, safe travel system that helps the economy grow.

A quick video summary of Lib Dem national policies

This 1 minute video from Sky News encapsulates what we're proposing to do:

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

The local dimension - A stronger local economy that will benefit everyone

South Gloucestershire is the economic powerhouse of the West of England and this has helped to keep unemployment well below the national average. But more needs to be done to ensure that our local economy benefits everyone.

We will:
  1. Expand and promote apprenticeship schemes that provide real experience and prospects for our young people.
  2. Work with businesses, schools and colleges to make sure people have the skills they need to help our local economy to thrive and create jobs.
  3. Continue to improve broadband connectivity throughout rural and urban areas and to give residents more choice over their broadband provider.
  4. Ensure even better support for new and existing businesses.
  5. Keep local high streets the centres of our communities.
 Our record of action...

By working constructively with central government and the Local Economic Partnership we’ve helped to foster strong employment growth across South Gloucestershire.

This is an extract from the Liberal Democrat Vision for South Gloucestershire, our manifesto for the 2015 Local Elections.

The local dimension - keeping our area green for future generations

Caring for our environment has always been a key Lib Dem principle. Over the past four years we have worked to increase the amount of rubbish South Gloucestershire recycles. We will use green space designation powers to help keep our area green for future generations.

We will: 
  1. Use the Council’s planning powers to protect green spaces to the same level as the Green Belt.
  2. Work to ensure more affordable housing is available locally (including through support for self-build schemes) while ensuring that neighbouring authorities also take their fair share.
  3. Protect the local Green Belt from unsuitable developments.
  4. Continue to improve recycling rates and increase the range of items that can be recycled.
  5. Reduce the Council’s carbon emissions through energy saving and increased use of renewables.
Our record of action...

We delivered on our 2011 manifesto commitment to collect Tetrapaks for recycling as well as mixed
plastics and small electrical items. We’ve also pushed the council to cut its energy bills and carbon footprint.

This is an extract from the Liberal Democrat Vision for South Gloucestershire, our manifesto for the 2015 Local Elections.

Monday, 4 May 2015

The local dimension - Getting South Glos moving

The local Lib Dem team have worked hard over the years to help improve
public transport across South Gloucestershire. We will continue to campaign hard to protect and
increase local bus and train services and to take steps to reduce congestion and improve our roads.

We will:

1.   Make it easier for people to walk and cycle safely.
2.   Improve roads and tackle potholes.
3.   Reduce congestion through our towns and villages.
4.   Open new Park and Share and Park and Ride sites.
5.   Work with bus companies to improve services and reliability, reduce fares, and introduce smart cards.
6.   Support improvements to rail services including MetroWest and half hourly trains between Bristol
and Yate.

Our record of action...

We’ve consistently campaigned for more bus services for under-served areas. Lib Dem councillors successfully campaigned for the extension of the hourly 82 bus service connecting Yate to Southmead so that it now also serves Chipping Sodbury and Charfield.

This is an extract from the Liberal Democrat Vision for South Gloucestershire, our manifesto for the 2015 Local Elections.

The local dimension - Health and caring

South Gloucestershire has some brilliant and caring health professionals. But  services are still not always as good as they should be. We will work closely with residents and the local NHS to help drive up standards and improve support for carers.

We will:
  1. Lobby for greater support and recognition for carers in South Gloucestershire.
  2. Foster stronger partnership with your local NHS to help enable better local services.
  3. Increase emphasis on helping people to lead healthier lives and doing more to help tackle chronic health problems caused by smoking, alcohol and drugs.
  4. Support more work to help to tackle the stigma surrounding mental health.
  5. Work in partnership with the police to help tackle anti-social behaviour and create a sense of safety for all.
Our record of action...

We have consistently campaigned for more health services to be provided at Yate, Thornbury and elsewhere so you don’t have to travel to Southmead unnecessarily.

This is an extract from the Liberal Democrat Vision for South Gloucestershire, our manifesto for the 2015 Local Elections.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

The local dimension - Ensuring fairness and empowering communities

As the General Election gets nearer, people are losing sight of there being local elections as well. This is the first of a series of posts looking at the Liberal Democrat manifesto for South Gloucestershire, and what it means in our area. First of all, what are the issues for local communities?

Despite reduced funding from central government, the local Lib Dems have consistently worked to protect those in greatest need to help create a fairer society. Localism is at the heart of everything we do. We will continue to ensure that important decisions are not simply left to council officers and that residents have a real voice in local decision-making.

We will:
  1. Prioritise the protection of services for vulnerable residents and fight for fair access to services for rural residents.
  2. Maintain the Council’s commitment to a living wage and continue to lobby the Council’s suppliers and providers to do the same.
  3. Empower local communities and residents by ensuring that they have a voice in decision-making through town/parish councils and area forums.
  4. Continue to support local voluntary groups through area forum grants.
  5. Look at ways of improving the standards of accommodation available for private tenants.
Our record of action...

The local Lib Dems ensured that a proportion of New Homes Bonus money is given to the areas where the new homes have been built, so those that take the pain get the gain.

This is an extract from the Liberal Democrat Vision for South Gloucestershire, our manifesto for the 2015 Local Elections.

Scam warning - gutter clearance

We understand that some residents have had people knocking at the door, claiming to have cleared the gutters unsolicited and asking for money.

Please warn vulnerable friends and family members not to fall for this, and just to shut the door. You may wish to inform the police if this happens to you.

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Witches Hat play area officially opened

The revamped Witches Hat play area was opened yesterday by Cllr Wully Perks, the Mayor of Yate.

And here's a satisfied customer testing the slide!

There will be a free onsite workshop event on Sunday 10th May from 10.00 am until 4.00 pm, with lots of different activities. There is a chance that the mini skate park may be open by then too, it all depends on that part arriving.

Yate Riverside cinema development progressing well

Work on the Yate Riverside cinema and retail development is going on well. From some angles you may be able to see that the first steelwork frame is now up. Yate Shopping Centre says that they expect the "topping out" to happen in July, with the retail and restaurant units opening in December and the cinema by next Easter.

For the statistically minded, the foundations involve about 2500 cubic metres of concrete - enough to fill an Olympic size swimming poole, though we wouldn't want to swim in it afterwards! - and 500 tonnes of steel.

Friday, 1 May 2015

Bank Holiday bus services

First Bus have announced that they will be running a Sunday timetable on all their services across the West of England on Monday 4th and Monday 25th May.

More details of First Bus services are available from their website.