Friday, 23 December 2016

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Drop-in exhibition for Yate Spur cycle path


As we told you last week, South Gloucestershire Council is consulting on plans for the next stage of the Yate Spur cycle path to link our area to the Ring Road cycle path and the Bristol and Bath railway path.

The plans propose changes to the Westerleigh Road / Nibley Lane junction and creating a joint pedestrian / cycle path alongside the length of Westerleigh Road between the mini-roundabout and the big Rodford Way roundabout.

South Glos has arranged a drop-in at Shire Way Community Centre on Thursday 5 January from 4pm to 8pm to give an opportunity to see a display of the plans and to discuss them with the StreetCare Team.

You can also click this link to see the plans and comment online

When you’re reading the plans, please bear in mind that they’ve mislabelled the section between the roundabouts as part of “Shire Way”, when it’s actually Westerleigh Road.

The consultation closes on Sunday 15th January.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Views wanted on Dodington Road traffic calming


Back in September, South Glos Council asked Network Rail to install traffic calming measures on Dodington Road. Highways officials were concerned about reduced visibility caused by Network Rail raising the parapets on the bridge ready for the electrification of the railway line.

The work will be carried out by the council but Network Rail will pay for it. There is a legal process to go through to install speed cushions and the consultation on the proposals has now started. You can view the plans and comment online until 11th January 2017.

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Caravan storage at Beech Hill Farm allowed on appeal

Last year, to the dismay of hundreds of local people who'd signed a petition, the planning committee refused the application to allow land at Beech Hill Farm, Westerleigh to continue to be used for storing caravans. The applicant appealed and this week it was announced that the appeal had been allowed and the use can continue.


This will be a relief for many local caravan owners, and there will be a few less cars parked on local estate roads because of caravans on driveways.

To read the decision, go to the planning applications search page and search for the reference number PK15/1339/F. Select the documents tab and click on the image of a document next to "APPEAL DECISION AND COSTS".

Monday, 19 December 2016

Yate fire station to lose full-time status?

Avon Fire and Rescue Service needs to save £5 million a year thanks to cuts in the funding it gets from Government. They are now asking you to have your say on their proposals on how to do this.

Their ideas include Yate station losing its full-time status - instead of it being staffed by crews 24 hours a day, it will only be staffed in the day time with "on-call" firefighters (Retained Duty System) at night. Retained Duty System crewing adds 3.5 minutes to target response time from the moment of the call to the fire engine leaving the station overnight, including the evening rush hour.

This takes Yate Fire Station back to more or less where it was in 2009. The 2009 change to a 24 hour duty system was because of higher risk in a growing, and now still growing area. According to the consultation, the number of fires in the area has reduced so the full-time crewing is no longer justified.

However we have been told that the reduction in fires is that is because of the large amount of preventative and community work that has been carried out. But this work is done by full-timers, who will now be available only in the daytime, unless extra overtime costs are incurred.

You can find out more and have your say on the Avon Fire and Rescue Service website until the end of December.

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Santa's sleigh on practice runs Monday and Wednesday


This Monday (19 Dec) the International Space Station rises in the West (Bristol direction) at around 5.08 pm and goes down in the East at 5.14 pm. If there's no cloud it will definitely be visible - the pass is classed as "bright".

There's another chance to see "Santa's Sleigh" on Wednesday from 5.01 pm to 5.05 pm, but it will be much lower. Weather permitting, the Monday pass will be much easier to spot.

Details of other passes are available from:
http://www.meteorwatch.org/space-station-times-december-2016.html

Just the thing for families with small children. We can't promise that you'll see any reindeer, though some children have reported that they've seen Santa waving...

Please save your stamps for charity!

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

With the festive season getting underway, here is some information you might find useful over the Christmas and New Year period.

Christmas Last Posting Dates

Tuesday 20 December - 2nd Class and Royal Mail Signed For®
Wednesday 21 December - 1st Class and Royal Mail Signed For®
Thursday 22 December - Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed®
Friday 23 December - Special Delivery Saturday Guaranteed

Waste and Recycling

There are some changes to waste and recycling collection over the Christmas period.


If your collection should be on:   It will instead take place on:
Monday 26 December Tuesday 27 December
Tuesday 27 December Wednesday 28 December
Wednesday 28 December Thursday 29 December
Thursday 29 December Friday 30 December
Friday 30 December Saturday 31 December

You can check your precise date and what will be collected on the South Glos website.

Your tree might not even be up yet, but once the festivities are over you can recycle real trees in a number of ways:
  • If you have subscribed to the garden waste service, you can put your tree into or next to your green bin.
  • You can buy a single use garden waste sack for £2 from your nearest library and attach it to the tree.
  • You can take it to one of the Sort It recycling centres and put it in the garden waste (not wood waste) skip.
Whichever you do, don't forget to remove all the decorations, pots and stands first and if it's over 6ft tall you must cut it up into smaller sections if you're having it collected. 

Out of Hours Pharmacies Times

Over the Christmas and New Year period, many pharmacies are closed. You can find out which ones are open here.

Trains
As we posted earlier this month, from Saturday 24th December until Thursday 29th December London Paddington will be closed to all rail services.

This will mean that GWR rail services will start and finish at Ealing Broadway, from where you can take the underground or a bus. However, the station does not have step-free access. So if you are travelling with heavy luggage or find steps difficult for any reason you will need to change at Reading and use services from there to London Waterloo. Unfortunately that will mean a longer journey.

You can find out more on the GWR website.

Bus services
Over Christmas and the New Year some buses will be running to different timetables from normal. You can find out more on the TravelWest site.

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Time running out to have your say on housing plans!


Don't forget, you only have until the end of Monday 19th December to have your say on plans to build thousands of homes in our area (See our previous post here)

The West of England Joint Spatial Plan (JSP, or in plain English "What might be built where"!) proposes:

  • 2,600 around Yate and Chipping Sodbury
  • 1,500 new homes at Coalpit Heath
  • 1,000 homes at Charfield 
  • 600 homes at Thornbury 
  • 2,200 homes at a new garden village at Buckover near Thornbury
Although the final plan will only talk about broad locations, as part of the supporting evidence the West of England has produced a series of "dashboard" maps showing where they think the development could be accommodated at each location.You can view those maps here (Yate and Chipping Sodbury are on page 27)

Local councillors Claire Young, Ruth Davis
and Mike Drew at the recent drop-in
We know it's a very busy time of the year but it's vital that as many local people as possible have their say on these plans. To do that, go to the JSP consultation home page. From there, you have two options. You can view an interactive version of the document, where you can make your comments  as you go along. Alternatively, you can download a PDF of the whole document and fill in the online survey
You don't have to answer all the questions. If you think there are reasons why the houses could not be built at a particular location, you can put those in answer to question 5. For example, people in Coalpit Heath are concerned about the old mines under the fields. If you think the West of England is taking the wrong approach to deciding where all the new houses should go, you can explain why in answer to question 6. This would also be the place to suggest an alternative strategy.
At the same time, the West of England is also consulting on a Joint Transport Study (JTS). This proposes transport improvements for the different parts of the West of England (or again in plain English, "How on earth are people going to get round when all the houses are built"). To view the plans and make your comments, go to the JTS consultation home page. Again, you can view an interactive version of the document or download a PDF and fill in the online survey.

Monday, 12 December 2016

Yate Spur cycle path consultation - Westerleigh Rd and the Nibley Lane junction

 A consultation has just opened on new parts of the Yate spur cycle path. South Glos Council are looking for your views on them providing a shared use cycle/pedestrian path along the western side of Westerleigh Road between the mini-roundabout and the Common and a refuge on the Nibley Lane arm of the Nibley Lane/Westerleigh Road junction. Depending on the feedback, construction of both is expected to take place next summer.

We have stressed that the Nibley Lane junction has additional problems - it's not an easy junction at the best of times - and that nearby residents will need proper consultation about the Westerleigh Road length. So this consultation isn't just for cyclists - if you drive along Westerleigh Road or you live in Chedworth or Rodborough you will have a particular interest in the proposals. The consultation is open until 15 January.

The council engineers are awaiting results from recent ground investigations before starting the design of the section going under the Shire Way railway bridge in early 2017. They are liasing with Network Rail, who they hope will approve the design in the spring so construction can take place in the summer. Progress is also being made on a legal agreement with the landowner to enable the Westerleigh Road to Cornerways section to be completed, hopefully next spring.

That leaves the section from Dodmoor Crossing to the Nibley Lane junction. The engineers aim to approach landowners, process legal agreements and develop the design during 2017, so it can be constructed in 2018 if funding is available.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Kingsgate Park Christmas Event Friday 16th Dec 6pm.

Kingsgate Park Christmas Event in Kingsgate Park on Friday 16th December 2016 at 6pm.

This is an event for all the family, so please come along for a sing along, mince pie and glass of mulled wine (soft drinks will also be served)

Monday, 5 December 2016

Christmas rail disruption

From Saturday 24th December until Thursday 29th December London Paddington will be closed to all rail services.

This will mean that GWR rail services will start and finish at Ealing Broadway, from where you can take the underground or a bus. However, the station does not have step-free access. So if you are travelling with heavy luggage or find steps difficult for any reason you will need to change at Reading and use services from there to London Waterloo. Unfortunately that will mean a longer journey.

You can find out more on the GWR website

Friday, 2 December 2016

Don't forget it's Chipping Sodbury Victorian Day tomorrow

Fun for all the family, 1pm to 7.30 pm. Father Christmas arrives on his sleigh at 7.15 pm!


First Bus announces cuts to Southmead bus service


First Bus has announced yet another cut to an important bus service. This time the No. 82 service from Southmead Hospital via Cribbs Causeway to Yate will lose its last journey. From 8 January the last bus will leave Southmead at 7.15 pm from Monday to Friday, almost an hour earlier and well before the end of visiting time.

This impacts people who work at Cribbs causeway too, not to mention shift workers boarding at other points along the route, and anybody who attends SGS Filton College in the evening. It makes it very hard for young people and those on minimum wage who work at the Mall, for example - their last bus will now be 7.30 pm instead of 8.24 pm.

If you use this service, please contact First and ask for the later journey to be brought back.

As for public consultation, what public consultation? South Glos Council's website doesn't even mention the early finish - it just says "Service 82 – First Bus (Southmead Hospital – Cribbs Causeway – Yate) timetable amended to improve punctuality but frequency remain the same across all days of operation, no change to route"

What's more they haven't even written to local councils (not to ours, anyway) to give notice of the changes so that we can object. South Glos Council doesn't seem to be able to do anything about it either - government cuts mean that they haven't got the money to subsidise routes or journeys that bus companies decide they don't want to run.

Flashback - it was only in August that First reduced the service frequency between Yate and Southmead, chopped the Chipping Sodbury link to Southmead and got rid of most of the services to UWE, as we reported here

Did we mention that First Bus is one of the contenders to run the MetroBus system? As and when this gets to Yate with a splendid new service, how long will it be before they begin to stop journeys that they see as inconvenient? Based on their record of cutting services in the Yate area, are they really fit to be bidding for MetroBus?

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Calling all business owners - let's hear YOUR views on Brexit


This morning our Lib Dem parliamentary candidate Claire Young was in Chipping Sodbury with Cllrs Linda Boon and Adrian Rush. They were asking local business owners what impact they thought Brexit would have on their businesses and what they were looking for in a Brexit deal to reduce any negative impacts. Some said they had already felt the impact of the slump in the pound, with the cost of imported goods rising rapidly. If YOU'RE a local business owner, please complete our survey online at http://www.claireyoung.org.uk/business_survey before 12th December.

Your views will be fed into the Liberal Democrats' National Consultation on Brexit. The Tory Brexit Government has not got to grips with the complexities of leaving the EU. The Liberal Democrats will be challenging the Government at every opportunity to make sure the concerns of businesses locally and across the country are heard.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Study into new motorway junction

At last Wednesday’s Environment and Community Services committee, it was agreed that South Gloucestershire Council would accept £500,000 funding from the Government to carry out a feasibility study into linking the M4 with the Avon Ring Road (A4174) with a new junction 18a. The study has to be completed by spring 2018.

Ahead of the meeting, Lib Dem Focus Team councillors asked officers to clarify whether this would also look at the link road to Yate proposed in the Joint Transport Study (JTS). They were advised that the offer of funding from the Department for Transport is very specifically for a new motorway junction and link to the ring road, but the study would consider interaction with other potential schemes emerging from the JTS, such as a link to Yate. They tried unsuccessfully to get an amendment clarifying this but it will have been minuted.

Monday, 14 November 2016

Time to have your say on thousands of new homes

It's now time to have your say on the proposals for thousands of new homes in our local communities.

You can find the Joint Spatial Plan (JSP) consultation at: 
https://www.jointplanningwofe.org.uk/consult.ti/JSPEmergingSpatialStrategy/consultationHome

and the Joint Transport Study (JTS) consultation here:
https://www.jointplanningwofe.org.uk/consult.ti/JTSTransportVision/consultationHome


We have been pressing for more information about where the houses would go and have been told repeatedly that this is a high level planning document talking about broad locations only, more detail would come in future consultations. We were therefore somewhat surprised to find at the drop-in exhibition in Chipping Sodbury a map of Yate and Chipping Sodbury with the countryside around it divided into sections and text headed “Potential Development Areas”. On further investigation, we found that maps were available for all the areas identified for housing.

The information is also available online, hidden away in a document at the end of the list of technical papers. You can find it here:
https://www.jointplanningwofe.org.uk/gf2.ti/-/756738/23264517.1/PDF/-/Towards_the_Emerging_Spatial_Strategy_Assessment_of_Strategic_Development_Locations_Beyond_Settlement_Boundaries_Location_Dashboards.pdf

You'll need to look at page 27 for Yate and Chipping Sodbury, and page 37 for Coalpit Heath.

On the page for Yate/Chipping Sodbury it says:

  • Northwest Yate has good proximity to the rail station, Badminton Road and existing employment areas, hence there is considered potential in a broad band sweeping from fields north of Yate Town Football Club & south of Mission Road around to the B4059 and turning south to Nibley Lane and the river Frome and continuing south across the Badminton Road including fields west of the Business Park. 
  • Chipping Sodbury remains relatively compact with good proximity to the High Street from the periphery. Fields either side of Trinity Lane (north of St.Johns Way) but respecting the common and recreational facilities, and south of the railway between Dodington Road/Claypit Hill and north of Kingsgrove Common are therefore also considered to offer potential. 
  • In total it is considered up to 2,600 dwellings could be delivered in these 3 locations within the plan period.
On the page for Coalpit Heath it says:
  • Given good proximity to employment opportunities and other services in the North & North East Bristol Fringe, Yate rail station & the Badminton Road, there is considered potential on relatively unconstrained land from the rail line northwards, west of Roundways to Frog Lane at Coalpit Heath for up to 1,500 dwellings and supporting facilities
Given that west of Roundways is in the existing village, we can only assume that is a typo and they mean east.

There are also maps for Charfield, Buckover and Thornbury.

It's also important to understand that although the JSP and JTS are being consulted on together, they are two separate documents. If you want to see what they think are the transport mitigations needed to support the development, they are set out in the JSP in Table 1: Strategic Development Locations and the rationale for inclusion in the emerging spatial strategy. For the Yate/Chipping Sodbury development, those are:

  • Station improvements 
  • Metrobus 
  • Park and Ride 
  • Pinchpoint schemes and junction improvements 
  • Winterbourne Frampton Cotterell bypass 
For Coalpit Heath the list is the same, but minus the station improvements. There is no mention of the new M4 motorway junction or the link road from there to Yate being needed to mitigate the development. However in the Joint Transport Study it says: “The new road to Yate and the MetroBus extension form a package, with road space on the A432 prioritised for public transport and cycling.”

There will be another drop-in at Coalpit Heath Village Hall (The Miners) from 1pm to 7pm on Monday 21st November where you can speak to planning officers.

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Drop-in events on housing proposals


The consultation starts next week on the proposals for up to 2,600 new homes around Yate and Chipping Sodbury, 1,500 at Coalpit Heath, 1,000 at Charfield, 600 at Thornbury and 2,200 at a new "garden village" at Buckover near Thornbury, along with a range of transport proposals. That's on top of the current plans,

South Gloucestershire Council will be holding drop-in events in the five areas most directly affected:

YATE/ SODBURY
WHERE: Chipping Sodbury Town Hall
WHEN: Thursday 10 November, 1 – 7 pm

CHARFIELD 
WHERE: Charfield Memorial Hall
WHEN: Tuesday 15 November, 1 – 7 pm

COALPIT HEATH
WHERE: Coalpit Heath Village Hall
WHEN: Monday 21 November, 1 – 7 pm

THORNBURY 
WHERE: Armstrong Hall, Thornbury
WHEN: Friday 25 November, 1 – 7 pm

BUCKOVER 
WHERE: Falfield Village Hall
WHEN: Monday 28 November, 1 – 7 pm

Even if you live in a village that is not specifically mentioned in the proposals, it is well worth getting along to one of the events. For example, the housing proposals at Yate, Chipping Sodbury and Coalpit Heath would involve the release of Green Belt land, which could mean building out towards these villages like Westerleigh, Nibley, Wapley, Dodington and Codrington. Transport proposals such as a link road between the M4 and Yate could clearly have an impact on these communities too. 

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Tern Inn and car park under threat from development

Around 100 local residents came to Dodington
Parish Council's meeting on 2 November
to protest against the development
A developer has put in a planning application to demolish the Tern Inn at Heron Way and build 28 flats on the site, including the car park which is heavily used by parents at Raysfield School and customers of the Heron Way shops.

Local residents have organised a petition against the proposal and will be meeting at 7pm next Wednesday (9 November) to discuss their next steps. They have also set up a Save the Tern Inn Facebook Page. There is also a Facebook group "The Birds Residents Group" that you have to request to join.

Dodington Parish Council is researching the proposal and the background and looking at how best to represent residents' views, but it is South Glos Council that will approve or refuse the plans.

If you have views on the development, please please make comments on the South Glos Council planning application page. You can read the proposal and see other people's comments here (the plans are towards the bottom of the list) and then press the Make a Comment button on the same page to make your own views know. You have until 15 November to do this (NOT 18 Nov as we said earlier), but we suggest that you do it soon in case you forget! If you think of something extra later, you can always make another comment before the 15th.

Different people will have different priorities - maybe you're a local resident, a user of the pub, a school parent or staff member, a customer of the shops, or several of these. Here are a few things you might like to consider. Please feel free to use these ideas, but it's best if you put your views in your own words rather than copying and pasting - South Glos councillors and officers will take more notice of them.


TRAFFIC AND PARKING
  • The private car park has for many years been used by parents at school drop-off and pick-up times to avoid parking on the very congested Heron Way.
  • This development would displace many more cars onto Heron Way, which is already curved and narrow.
  • The result would be increased dangers on this popular Route To School.
  • The planning application should not be determined solely on the extra parking required by the proposed flats, but should take into account the traffic and parking displaced by the proposal.
  • A detailed traffic survey needs to be undertaken at 0830-0930 and 1500-1545 on school days (these extended periods cover the Pre-School as well as the Primary School)The parking shown allocates 8 visitor spaces for the new flats, but no spaces for the existing shop units and maisonettes
  • (edited 04/11/2016) The parking shown allocates 8 visitor spaces for the new flats, but no spaces at all for the existing shop units and maisonettes.
  • (added 04/11/2016) The Design and Access Statement says “if at all possible, the Local Authority suggested a potential planning benefit to serve the existing shops and assist with community concerns to demonstrate 6 parking spaces allocated for community use” – Does this mean they would want to put another road access onto the space in front of the shops, which they also own? 

DESIGN
  • The high density and low parking provision is very reminiscent of the nearby Normandy Drive development that has caused so many problems with vehicular access.
  • When Normandy Drive was constructed it was based on ill-founded Government parking limits that have since been withdrawn. What are the current South Gloucestershire requirements?
  • Even considering the meagre parking proposed for the new flats, many of their occupants will park out on Heron Way, causing traffic holdups and increased danger.

JUSTIFICATION
  • The Design and Access Statement refers to the Draft DPD's Chipping Sodbury Town Centre Summary, which is not relevant. This site is not part of the Chipping Sodbury Town Centre area, as would have been obvious if the designers had consulted the map on page 17 of the document they are quoting (http://www.southglos.gov.uk//documents/3-Chipping-Sodbury-@-May-2015.pdf)
  • Moreover the 1-2 bedroom homes in that Town Centre were an aspiration of Chipping Sodbury Town Council, but this site is part of Dodington Parish not Sodbury.

EFFECT ON EXISTING BUSINESSES AND DWELLINGS
  • Pub: As many of the comments on the Planning Application say, this is not a “former pub” (as the developers originally claimed) but an active business and community hub, even though the site owners would like to see it run down. The community would rather see investment in the pub to make it more viable.
  • Shops: The shop units have recently been considerably improved and are developing into thriving businesses. The proposals would take away the parking that they need to survive, and the rank of shops would soon deteriorate again. In addition there seems to be no provision for waste storage or collection from the shops.
  • Maisonettes: Existing residents would lose their parking and again be displaced onto Heron Way.

PLANNING HISTORY
  • The proposals would not only remove the main car park, they also use the service yard at the back of the shops and maisonettes.
  • What were the requirements of the original planning permission for the shops and maisonettes? Do the present proposals infringe parking that was required at the time?

Monday, 24 October 2016

Library consultation - phase 2




South Glos Council has been thinking about the responses to the library consultation earlier this year and has now come up with a new set of proposals. The effects for our area are as follows:
  • Savings target reduced from £650,000 to £500,000 (within a budget of £2.6million, so about 20%)
  • Staffed opening hours to be reduced by a smaller amount than proposed in consultation phase 1
  • "Swipe card" access allowing opening hours to be extended
  • Mobile library service to be replaced with community centre based libraries across South Glos
    and run by volunteer groups, plus the the esisting home visit service
  • Chipping Sodbury Library to be run by volunteers, with professional staff providing background support. The council’s library service would also provide stock and IT support
  • Book Fund to be reduced by £81,000 (28%)
Full details are on the South Glos website

There will be a public meeting at Yate library on Tuesday 1 November at 7pm.

The consultation is open until 2 January - please have your say!


Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Community Engagement Forum date moved


The Community Engagement Forum for Yate, Chipping Sodbury and Dodington (which replaces Safer Stronger and the Area Forum) has unavoidably had to be postponed to 21 November, 7 pm in the Main Hall at Chipping Sodbury Baptist Church, High Street, Chipping Sodbury.
  • Mark King, the Head of Street Care and Transport for South Glos Council will be attending
  • The meeting will also include an update on the Libraries consultation
  • Plus how a Community Plan can benefit YOUR Community
If you have any issues or concerns you would like to raise please email your local chair via community.engagement@southglos.gov.uk

Below are just some of the concerns that have been raised by residents at CEF meetings which members of the group have been able to take forward on their behalf:
  • Concerns from residents about Health Care provision in the area; Clinical Commission Group, North Bristol Trust and Sirona Health all attended the next meeting to answer residents questions.
  • Speeding and Parking concerns in the area, work undertaken by Avon and Somerset Police, Community Speedwatch, Police Camera Van and South Gloucester Highways to investigate the concerns.
  • Supermarket trollies being abandoned in the area, the group worked with local supermarkets and SGC departments to investigate ways to reduce the problem.
  • Antisocial behaviour and damage to vehicles in Yate, investigated by Avon and Somerset Police

Friday, 7 October 2016

Blooming good results for local nature groups

Lilliput Park

All five local entries for the 2016 South West In Bloom awards have been given the top grade of 'Outstanding' in the Neighbourhoods category. This recognises the effort put in by our dedicated groups of volunteers and the support given by Dodington Parish Council and Yate Town Council.

The award winners are:
  •     Dodington Allotment Association (Dodington)
  •     Friends of Kingsgate Park (Yate)
  •     Friends of Lilliput Park (Dodington)
  •     Wapley Bushes Local Nature Reserve (Dodington)
  •     Wapley Common and the Orchard for the Future (Dodington)

Representatives of the groups were presented with their awards at the South West In Bloom ceremony in Taunton.

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Thousands of new homes in our area?

A plan that could change the character of our area has been published this week.

The "Towards an Emerging Spatial Strategy" plan proposes:

  • 1,500 new homes at Coalpit Heath 
  • 2,600 around Yate and Chipping Sodbury
  • Up to 1,000 homes at Charfield
  • Up to 600 homes at Thornbury 
  • 2,200 homes at a new garden village at Buckover near Thornbury 
That's on top of all the houses we already knew about.

The plan, drawn up by Conservative-run South Gloucestershire Council in collaboration with the three other West of England Councils, will go out for consultation in November.

This will come as a huge shock to many local people. It's striking that under these proposals most of the new homes we need are being concentrated in just a few communities to the north of Bristol.

Will these proposals create places where people want to live, where they can access services like doctors, dentists and schools and where they can easily get to the places they need to go? Will there be truly affordable homes for those who so desperately need them? Do you think the loss of the Green Belt, which is already very narrow, is a price worth paying for new roads? How does this fit with the Conservatives' promise to protect the Green Belt?

You can view the plan here.

The plan also talks about transport infrastructure, in the tables on pages 26, 29 and 30, where it includes mention of a "Coalpit Heath distributor road", and later on page 46 it says of the Yate to Bristol corridor:

"We are proposing a package of highway and public transport schemes including a link to a new junction on the M4 from the A4174 Ring Road (along with smart motorway management), park and ride, a new road north from this junction to Yate, and a MetroBus extension to Yate from Bristol along the A432. The new road to Yate and the MetroBus extension form a package, with road space on the A432 prioritised for public transport and cycling."

A map on the same page suggests the new road could impact on Westerleigh village. On the other hand it could provide a route for the articulated lorries instead of going via the Latteridge and Wotton Roads

It's vital we all have our say on these plans.There will be a consultation from 7th November to 19th December - we will let you know then how you can make your views known.

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

View plans for Dodington Road bridge traffic calming this Wednesday

There will be a drop-in event on plans for traffic calming around the Dodington Road railway bridge on Wednesday 5th October from 4pm to 7pm in the sports classroom at Chipping Sodbury school, Bowling Road.

 In August it became apparent to Network Rail that there would be a reduction in visibility due to the railway bridge works.

Network Rail have now agreed a solution with South Gloucestershire Council with the following features:

  • Single speed pillows on the north and south approaches to the bridge
  • Road markings to be repainted where necessary
  • An additional “SLOW” painted on the road on the south approach
  • New solid centre line to be painted on the carriageway
  • Post-mounted signs warning of speed pillows
Network Rail will pay for these works, which will require a road closure.  This will then leave them free to erect the parapet extension on the west side of the bridge, which they haven't been able to complete due to the visibility concerns.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Our local heritage - can you help?

On Wednesday, Focus Team Cllr Claire Young (also our Parliamentary Candidate) attended a heritage briefing in Yate. There were presentations from a whole host of local heritage projects of all sizes, including the £90 million Aerospace Bristol and ones even closer to home like Winterbourne Medieval Barn, Yate Heritage Centre and the South Gloucestershire Mines Research Group. They are always keen to have new people involved so if you have an interest in local history, do get in touch with them.

The Know Your Place mapping project is currently asking for your help in two ways. Firstly, they’d like you to visit their site and give them feedback by answering their survey. Secondly, they are challenging all researchers, volunteers, museums and heritage organisations across the area to add 10 records on to Know Your Place in 10 days to help them build a rich, shared map of our local heritage.

Claire was also told about a project bringing QR codes to War Memorials.  A QR (or Quick Response) code is like a 2 dimensional bar code that you can scan with your phone or tablet. The idea is to place QR codes next to each war memorial, which you can scan with your phone or tablet to take you straight to a website where they are gradually placing as much family and military history as possible about each person named. The research is being undertaken by volunteers from the various South Gloucestershire museums, heritage centres and local history groups. Anyone interested in helping should contact their local group or email museums@southglos.gov.uk

Would you like to see our posts on Facebook? Join the Facebook Group Focus on Sodbury, Yate and Dodington

Monday, 26 September 2016

Second Friends session for popular Lilliput Park



Lilliput Park, between Heron Way and Chipping Sodbury, is very popular with people of all ages. The Lilliput Conservation Group run work mornings in the park on the first Tuesday of each month (e.g. Tuesday 4 October), but they have had requests for local people to organise a weekend session.

The first weekend work morning will be on Saturday 15 October from 10 am until 12 noon, meeting at the Kingfisher Road gate. All ages are welcome, but children need to be accompanied by responsible adults. Suitable footwear should be worn, and gloves would be useful.

Dodington Parish Councillor Paul Hulbert, who is a regular at the work sessions, said "There will be something for everyone - digging and tidying, cutting back the bushes, and litter picking. People can work at their own pace"

For more information please check out the Lilliput Conservation Group page on Facebook, or contact Paul on 07771 562505.

Friday, 23 September 2016

Stop Disability Hate Crime in South Gloucestershire - event 12 October

  • Have you ever been called names because you are disabled?
  • Have people attacked you or your possessions?
  • Find out what is happening and how you can help to stop it
Join SARI (Stand Against Racism and Inequality) for an afternoon to find out more about disability hate crime and the organisations that can help:

Wed 12 October, 12.00 pm - 4.30 pm at the Vassal Centre, Gill Avenue, Fishponds, Bristol BS16 2QQ.

Click here to book your place, phone SARI on 0117 9420060, or email sari@sariweb.org.uk

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Sprint Triathlon for charity - 2nd Oct

On Sunday 2nd October, the Players Sprint Triathlon will be taking place at The Players Golf Club near Codrington. Consisting of a 750m open water swim, 20km bike ride and 5km run, it will be raising money for the West of England MS Therapy Centre. For more information visit mstherapybristol.org.uk/triathlon

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Works on M32 to extend bus lane

Road works to extend the M32 bus lane into Bristol are planned to start before the end of September. The existing south bound bus lane is being extended from Junction 3 to the railway bridge that crosses the motorway.

MetroBus's contractors will also be removing and replacing the central reservation, upgrading drainage and ducting, and installing Average Speed Cameras. The road works and improvements will take seven months and will finish in Spring 2017.

To minimise disruption the M32 will still be open whilst the road works take place, but there will be evenings when motorists will be diverted at Junction 3 via the slip roads on and off the motorway. There will also be two narrow lanes in both directions at Junction 3 for the installation of the south bound bus lane.

After work for the south bound bus lane has finished there will still be two lanes for general traffic in each direction.

Planning your journeys

The Travelwest website contains up to date travel information about road works in the West of England region:

Highways England also provides live traffic information for the motorway network via their website at www.highways.gov.uk/traffic or from a phone or mobile device at m.highways.gov.uk

Improving public transport

Extending the M32 bus lane will speed up bus journeys for MetroBus passengers, it will also mean quicker journeys for passengers on other bus services that use the motorway. Improving the reliability of bus services will encourage more people to leave their cars at home, reducing congestion for everyone.

The bus lane is part of a number of bus priority improvements that will make some bus journeys between the University of the West of England, Bradley Stoke and the city centre up to 30 minutes quicker. These improvements are for MetroBus, a smarter way of travelling that will speed up bus journey times, relieve congestion and reduce levels of pollution. MetroBus services will start in Autumn 2017.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Community family bike rides Sep 25, Yate

As part of the South Gloucestershire Discover Festival there will be two community family bike rides on Sunday 25 September at 11.00 am and 1.00 pm.

The rides start from Yate Library and will cover a distance of approx 5 miles, taking about 1 hour to complete. Please bring your own bike and wear a helmet.

The event is free but you'll need to register here for the 11.00 am event or here for the 1.00 pm event

For more events please check out the Discover Festival website - there's something for everybody!

Monday, 19 September 2016

Community group looking for funding?

Tesco have announced some important changes to the Tesco Bags of Help funding scheme which may be of interest to any community groups seeking  project funding in the Yate area.

In order to give Tesco customers a more frequent say on where their money goes, as of today the Tesco Bags of Help grant scheme will now be permanently open for applications from community groups.

Bags of Help will now see the money raised by the 5p bag charge in Tesco stores in England, Wales and Scotland opened up to a greater range of projects that support community participation in the development and use of open spaces. Projects that will now get the green light as a result of the funding will include volunteer training, physical improvements of open spaces, equipment purchases, community events and sports and leisure activities.

Following a public vote, three projects in each of the 200 Tesco regions will receive a grant each month, with first place receiving up to £5K, second place up to £2K and third place up to £1K.

Groups can apply by following this link

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Abbotswood Autumn Apple Day Saturday 1 October



This is a seasonal celebration of autumn and apples with the Abbotswood Action Group community.It's loads of fun and there will be interesting and creative activities for all ages. Admission is free and refreshments will be available. Well behaved dogs on a lead are welcome to come along too.

Location: St Nicholas Family Centre garden and Abbotswood precinct, Chargrove, Abbotswood, Yate, BS37 4LG, 11am - 3pm.

Friday, 16 September 2016

Winterbourne Medieval Barn - Orchard Harvest Day, Sunday 2 October

Orchard Harvest Day will be held on Sunday 2 October from 11am – 4pm.

The most popular annual event at the Barn!   Visit the wonderful medieval barn dating from 1340s. Celebrate and discover the bounty of local orchards, locally-produced food and drink together with displays of local crafts and rural skills. Adults £2, children under 16yrs FREE.  Come and see traditional cider making using a Victorian stone apple mill and taste the results! Of course they will be paying homage to the Great British Orchard with cider making demos, apple display and we may have expertise on hand to identify varieties of apple – so bring yours along!

Enjoy locally-produced hot food, cold ice-cream from the Icicle Tricycle, locally-brewed beer and cider, or tea and cakes.   Marvel at the work of the medieval craftsmen who built the magnificent Barn and experience the thrill of seeing a peregrine falcon, play skittles, find out all there is to know about weaving, basket making, bees and honey, or try your hand at archery.  Sing along with the Frampton Shantymen – audience participation is not optional - or cheer the Winterbourne Down Border Morris dancers as they step-hop to traditional hornpipes, jigs and polkas.  Children will love seeing the pigs, geese and llamas, and can enjoy a variety of games and activities including the very popular ferret-racing.

A parking charge of £2 per vehicle will be collected on behalf of Paul’s Place; a local charity for disabled people. Access dogs and well behaved dogs on a lead are welcome. The ground is uneven in places and extra care may be needed by those with limited mobility.




Winterbourne Medieval Barn has won the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund, and South Glos has just appointed a Project Manager and a Funding Consultant with HLF money, to steer a bid for £1M from the Heritage Lottery Fund to bring the Medieval Barn into full community use. As part of this bid for funding, the Barn itself has to raise £400,000 by December 2017.  It is a unique historical building and we hope that all South Glos residents will be able to appreciate its amazing architecture.

More information is available on their website www.winterbournebarn.org.uk

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Use your local park? Have your say!

UK Parliament would like to hear your views about your local park.

The Communities and Local Government Committee is investigating public parks and wants to know what you use your park for, or if you use it at all. We also would like to know how you feel about your park and its role in your community.

If you would like to complete a short questionnaire, click here. The questionnaire shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes to complete.

Your answers to these questions will help inform how the Committee questions local authorities, the Government and other organisations about how parks are funded and how parks can best be supported.

If you would like to let them know more about your experiences of your local park then please look at their Public Parks inquiry page to find out how. If you'd like to tweet about why your park matters to you, please use the hashtag #myparkmatters.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Winterbourne Medieval Barn - drama to commemorate the Battle of the Somme, Sunday 18 September


'A Day’s Work' - Sunday 18 September, 3pm

A Musical drama to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme.  Using original songs, spoken verse, monologue and dialogue, ‘A Day’s Work’ tells the story of a group of farm labourers, members of a mummers’ team, who join up, or refuse to join up, and meet finally on the first day of The Somme.  The show examines war, love, courage and cowardice through this new script and songs with a cast of highly respected performers.

Refreshments will be available to purchase during the interval.  Visitors are welcome to bring a picnic to eat in the grounds from 12.30pm.  Tickets cost £15 adults, £5 for under 16s, and are available from Daisy's Cafe, Flaxpits Lane, Winterbourne, or on the gate subject to availability.

What was the Battle of the Somme?

In the summer of 1916, British and French armies launched a joint offensive against German forces in the Somme region.  General Sir Douglas Haig had hoped to break German lines and bring the deadlock of trench warfare to an end. So on 1 July 1916, British troops rose from their trenches and advanced across no man’s land. But this ‘Big Push’ was ineffective and advancing soldiers were met by a hail of German gunfire. On that day alone the British Army suffered 57,470 casualties with 19,240 deaths, making it the bloodiest day in British military history.

The Battle of the Somme continued for 141 days to 18th November 1916, by which time British casualties had risen to 419,654, and total casualties on all sides reached more than one million. It was a pivotal battle, with tanks being deployed by the British Army for the first time, and crucial military lessons were learned which contributed to the eventual allied victory in 1918. But the Battle will forever be remembered for its devastating death toll and appalling human cost.  For many families, it remains the most painful and devastating battle of the First World War.

Winterbourne Medieval Barn has won the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund, and South Glos has just appointed a Project Manager and a Funding Consultant with HLF money, to steer a bid for £1M from the Heritage Lottery Fund to bring the Medieval Barn into full community use. As part of this bid for funding, the Barn itself has to raise £400,000 by December 2017.  It is a unique historical building and we hope that all South Glos residents will be able to appreciate its amazing architecture.

More information is available on their website www.winterbournebarn.org.uk

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Street Care using the Road to Nowhere

The South Glos Council's Street Care team are going to be using the end of the Road to Nowhere nearest the Badminton Road offices as a temporary storage and compound area to support the implementation of the new waste strategy. This is the bit north of the railway line, at the end of Culvert Avenue - it's NOT the part of the Road to Nowhere on the Yate Common side.

Initially the site will be used to store vehicles overnight while the existing yard at Dean Road is re-developed. The site will then be used to store the new recycling vehicles and finally will provide space to support the changeover of household bins. All the activity is temporary, they will be off the site by the end of 2017 and no waste will be stored on the site at any time.

This week they have cleared the overgrown vegetation and will be laying some additional gravel over the next few days before securing the front and back with a fence to link the existing side fences. The large rocks will stay in place at the entrance until the site is fully secured. Once in use there will be additional security.

Monday, 12 September 2016

Partial reprieve for libraries but mobile library to be scrapped



After a consultation which attracted 3,600 responses, the Conservatives were forced to rethink their original plans for library cuts but unfortunately the new plans are very much a mixed bag.

The good news is that people in Chipping Sodbury have come together to save their library as a volunteer-run service and several other communities have offered to run libraries in village halls and other venues.

The use of new technology to open library buildings for longer is also welcome. Those aged 16 and over will be able to register to access libraries with their library card when staff aren't present. Children will have to be accompanied by an adult.

Unfortunately staff hours will still be cut significantly and the mobile library service will be scrapped altogether. That currently serves over 50 communities, many in our rural areas. The council says it can support up to 10 community libraries. If you will be affected by the loss of the mobile service, please let us know.

Back when the budget was set in February, your Focus Team made it clear we felt services like libraries were more important than shaving a small amount of the green bin charge. Many people have told us they agree. Unfortunately when we backed an amendment to that effect, we were outvoted.

There will now be a consultation on the proposals for each library, for example on which days and times staff should be present. We'll let you know when you can have your say. The changes are due to be made in October 2017.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Westerleigh traffic calming concerns

Cllr Claire Young in Westerleigh
In 2015, the Frome Vale Area Forum supported an investigation into further traffic calming measures in Westerleigh after complaints from residents about some of the measures implemented so far. These include concerns from local cyclists about the safety of the pinch points.

Unfortunately the final outcome of the investigation has been delayed by the departure of the officer who was handling it. Local councillor Claire Young has been talking to officers to get things back on track and on Wednesday met the officer now working on the investigation and a senior manager from Street Care on site to go through the list of problems residents have raised.

We will update you when we have more information.

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Reminder - Severn Tunnel to close on Monday

The Severn Tunnel will be closed between Monday 12 September and Friday 21 October but Great Western Railway are keen to reassure you that their services will still be running  - with trains being diverted or replaced by buses.

Alternative timetables will operate throughout the work, with journeys to London taking about 35 minutes longer and Bristol 45 minutes longer. This is essential work towards bringing electrification through to Cardiff and Swansea.

Full details of the changes are on their website.

Friday, 9 September 2016

Wapley Bushes Bat Walk tonight






Join Wapley Bushes Conservation Group for a twilight stroll in search of bats. Bat detectors provided. Wear warm clothes and stout shoes or boots and bring a torch.


Accompanied children very welcome - they love being in the "creepy woods" in the dark!

Meet at the Shire Way entrance to Wapley Bushes (opposite Cherington), Yate, BS37 8YA, 7:30 - 9:15pm.

Thursday, 8 September 2016

New memory cafe opening in Chipping Sodbury 20 September


The new ‘Oasis Memory CafĂ©’ will be opening in Chipping Sodbury later this month.

The Alzheimer’s Society are supporting Chipping Sodbury Baptist Church in this new venture, which will run fortnightly from Tuesday 20th September.

Chipping Sodbury Baptist Church Hall, 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month, 10.30 am – 12 noon

OPENING ON TUESDAY 20TH SEPTEMBER

A fun and informal gathering for those with memory problems and any form of Dementia to come along with carers, family and friends to enjoy being together and meeting people in a similar situation.

The Cafe is free but there will be a donation box for those who wish to contribute.

For more information contact Sally or Jean on 01454 313023 or email office@cs-bc.org.uk

Chipping Sodbury Baptist Church
In partnership with the Rotary Club of Chipping Sodbury
Supported by Alzheimer’s Society

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Winterbourne Medieval Barn event - Heritage Open Days with Bell-ringing 10 and 11 September



Heritage Open Days with Bell-ringing from the Lichfield Diocesan Mobile Belfry
Saturday 10 September  11am - 5pm and Sunday 11 September 12.00 - 5pm

National Heritage Open Days celebrates England’s fantastic architecture and culture by offering free access to properties across the country that are usually closed or charge for admission.  Winterbourne Medieval Barn is an outstanding and unique building of national importance now owned by South Glos Council.  Built by Thomas de Bradeston in 1342, just a few years before the Black Death hit in England, only three barns of this scale are recorded as built by gentry’ families, and Winterbourne is the only survivor. It was built using the green-timber construction methods which were the cutting-edge technology of that period. It is a fine example of a raised-cruck construction, and one of the largest and earliest raised-cruck barns. 

The Lichfield Diocesan Mobile Belfry will be installed in the Barn throughout the weekend and bell-ringers will be on hand to demonstrate their skill and let you have a go at ringing. St Michaels Church next to the Barn will also be open over the weekend and offering tower tours. They will have CCTV coverage of the church bells so that you can see them in action.

Free entry.  Access dogs and well behaved dogs on a lead will be welcome. 

Winterbourne Medieval Barn has won the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund, and South Glos has just appointed a Project Manager and a Funding Consultant with HLF money, to steer a bid for £1M from the Heritage Lottery Fund to bring the Medieval Barn into full community use. As part of this bid for funding, the Barn itself has to raise £400,000 by December 2017.  It is a unique historical building and we hope that all South Glos residents will be able to appreciate its amazing architecture.

More information is available on their website www.winterbournebarn.org.uk

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

New national emergency number for power cuts


There’s a new FREE number to call if you have a power cut

105 is a new number that you can call to report or get information about a power cut. It will put you through to your local electricity network operator – the company that manages the cables, wires and substations that bring electricity into homes and businesses in your area.

105 is a free service for people in England, Scotland and Wales, and you can call the number from most landlines and mobile phones. It doesn’t matter who you choose to buy your electricity from - anyone can call 105.

You can also call 105 if you spot damage to electricity power lines and substations that could put you, or someone else, in danger. If there’s a serious immediate risk, call the emergency services too.

Don’t be left in the dark.  Call 105.

To find out more, visit powercut105.com


POWER CUT TIPS

What should I do during a power cut?
  • Switch off all electrical appliances that shouldn’t be left unattended, ready for when the power comes back on.
  • Leave a light on so you know when the power cut has been resolved.
  • Check to see if your neighbours are okay.
  • Wrap up warm.
  • Contact your electricity network operator to report the power cut, either by calling 105 or via their other channels. Visit powercut105.com for details of your local network operator.
How can I prepare for a power cut?
  • Keep a torch handy – it’s much safer than using candles.
  • Get a battery-powered or wind-up radio (useful for keeping up to date with relevant local news).
  • Keep warm – keep a blanket and warm clothing handy, and fill a vacuum flask or hot water bottle.
  • Stock your cupboard with food and drink that doesn’t require electricity to prepare it.
  • Keep your mobile phone and laptop fully charged.
  • Check your network operator’s website or social media channels for updates.
Can I use my phone during a power cut?
  • Cordless phones probably won’t work during a power cut. They take their power from the mains and most don’t have battery back-up. 
  • Traditional corded phones will work – you might want to keep one handy so you can plug it in and make phone calls if you have a power cut. 
  • In most cases, mobile phones will work if they are charged.
I’m on the Priority Services Register. Should I now call 105?

The Priority Services Register is for people who might need extra support during a power cut; for example, people who need electricity for vital medical equipment. If you are on the Register and you have a power cut, you should continue to call the phone number that you have been given.

Monday, 5 September 2016

Free rail travel for groups

SEVERNSIDE RAIL COMMUNITY TRAVEL PROJECT

Residents' associations, youth clubs and any other local organisations/charities working with disadvantaged communities in the West of England area (Bristol, Bath & North East Somerset, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire) are eligible to apply for a FREE GROUP TICKET, valid for a date and destination of their choice. Please note that the destination needs to be broadly within the West of England area.

There is NO LIMIT to how many times a single organisation can apply for a free group ticket, but please make sure you are involving as many different people as possible in each outing.

To avoid overcrowding on train services, the MAXIMUM NUMBER of people allowed to travel for free in each outing is 20. This includes any accompanying persons, staff and/or volunteers. Individuals cannot apply directly.

To check if your organisation/charity/group is eligible to take part in this initiative or if you need more information, please contact the project manager: Dr Miriam Ricci, miriam.ricci@uwe.ac.uk Tel: 0117 32 83798. If you are eligible, Miriam will give you a password to complete the application form for the free group ticket.

More details are available here

Sunday, 4 September 2016

National Walking Festival: Frampton Cotterell Ram Hill and the Dramway Walk - Wed 7 September

Miners Village Hall, Badminton Road, Coalpit Heath, BS36 2QB
Wednesday 7 September, 10:30 to 11:30

Join South Gloucestershire Walking For Health and Stepping Forward to celebrate the rich network of recreational paths. Free, led by trained volunteers. This is one of a series of walks - you can find the leaflets which have been produced about each of the paths here.

Long and short walk available - interesting local history walk and talk. Will last approximately one hour.

No booking required.

Click here for a listing of all the Discover Festival events

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Introduction to Youth Work course

Interested in youth work? Find out more on this Introduction to Youth Work course - details below.


New course brochure for Community Learning

To find out about *FREE South Glos Community Learning courses starting in September, come along to one of the  enrolment sessions at #SouthGlos libraries. Check out dates on their website and put them in your diary now!

*Terms and conditions apply for free enrolment

And some EXTRA courses that aren't in the brochure:
  • Steps to Confidence -  Armadillo, Yate   10 am - 12 noon on Wednesdays
    Starting on 5th 0ctober until 16th November 16th (six weeks)
  • Steps to Confidence –  Yate Library  9.30 - 11.30 am  on Wednesdays
    Starting 11th January until 15th February (6 weeks)

Friday, 2 September 2016

Weather stops Ring Road closure 2 to 5 September

South Glos Council has announced that the planned closure of part of the A4174 ring road this weekend for resurfacing work has been postponed.

Due to the wet weather forecast for this weekend (2-5 September), the planned resurfacing work on the westbound carriageway of the A4174 between Bromley Heath roundabout and Hambrook traffic lights has been postponed.

Further updates will be provided by South Glos Council when this postponed work has been rescheduled.

However there will still be a full overnight closure of the A4174 eastbound carriageway between Wick Wick and Lyde Green roundabouts between 8pm and 6am from 5 to 9 September. The road will be fully open during the day and at weekends.

Advance warning signs will be displayed and alternative routes will be clearly signed.

Something for everyone at the South Glos Discover Festival 2016

South Gloucestershire Discover Festival is now underway with a wide range of LOCAL events covering crafts, nature, learning, heritage, food, arts, getting active, and wellbeing.

Check out the Discover Festival website to pick the events you would like to attend!

Living Well with Dementia roadshows

Three ‘Living Well with Dementia’ roadshows will be held locally in 2016/17.

This initiative is part of Better Care South Gloucestershire, the programme to improve and enhance health and care services in our area. It’s run by the NHS and local authority, but it involves everyone: individuals and their carers, community and voluntary groups, health and care providers and their staff.

The first roadshow is on Tuesday 27 September 2016 2pm – 4.30pm at Ridgewood Community Centre, 244 Station Road, Yate BS37 4AF

The roadshows are intended for anyone who has recently been diagnosed with dementia, and their carers or families.


They will cover practical, emotional and health advice and information, plus reassurance that you’re not on your own.

Further events will be:

Wednesday 12 April 2017 2pm – 4.30pm at Hanham Community Centre, 118-124 High St, Hanham BS15 3EJ

Monday 10 July 2017 6pm – 8.30pm at BAWA Community Centre, 589 Southmead Road, Filton BS34 7RG

Contact details:
Email: cchengagement@southglos.gov.uk
Web: www.southglos.gov.uk/dementia
Phone: 01454 862356

West of England MS Therapy Centre Triathlon

The West of England Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre is organising its first annual triathlon to raise funds for the Centre. The Players Sprint Triathlon is taking place on Sunday 2nd of October 2016 at The Players Golf Club, one of the region's most prestigious golf courses.

The sprint triathlon will consist of:
  • 750m swim in the golf course’s open-water lake
  • 20km cycle through the picturesque country lanes
  • 5km run on the championship golf course itself
You can enter as an individual or you can grab a couple of friends and take on one component of the triathlon each.

The event includes:
  • Secure bike racking
  • Chip timing
  • Support with training
  • Free swimming hat
  • Medal and goody bag for all finishers
  • Changing and showering facilities
  • Free parking
The event is limited to 120 places so register today to avoid disappointment at mstherapybristol.org.uk/triathlon. For more information contact Emma on 01454 628725 or email triathlon@mstherapybristol.org.uk

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Careers Fair next week aimed solely at deaf and disabled people

A careers fair aimed solely at deaf and disabled people will held in Southmead next week. Bristol Community Transport offering free transport and the event itself is free.

The evnt will run from 10am to 4pm on 9 September 2016 at the Greenway Centre, Doncaster Road, Southmead, Bristol BS10 5PY

The careers fair is open to all Deaf, Hard of Hearing People, and Disabled People. It will be fully accessible. A range of employers will be seeking to engage with Deaf and Disabled People from apprenticeship to experienced. Further details can be found here

Please book your place via Eventbrite here

Friday, 26 August 2016

Yate Spur cycle path update


Work on the section of the cycle path between Nibley Lane and the Shire Way railway viaduct (pictured above) was completed earlier this summer. It'll make more sense, of course, when it's joined up at the ends.

In recent weeks, it’s been confirmed that South Glos has secured £400,000 for further work this financial year.

In September the council will be starting a consultation on a pedestrian refuge at the Nibley Lane junction, the path under the viaduct and the Shire Way section. The council is also working towards securing land for the Westerleigh Road to Broad Lane section.


While it’s good to see further progress being made, more funding will be needed in future years for the construction of the path between Dodmoor Crossing and Nibley Lane, to complete the "Westerleigh cycle bypass". This is arguably one of the parts of the route that will bring the biggest safety improvements.

We need to keep up the pressure to make sure this important cycle route is completed. If you haven’t done so already, you can sign our petition at tinyurl.com/cyclelink