Friday, 29 December 2017

New Community Learning courses starting January

South Glos Council has announced these Community Learning courses in Yate:.

Please contact Peggy Ralph
Tel : 01454 864507  Mobile: 07860181351
Email :

Subject Venue Day From To Time Weeks
FS English Armadillo
Centre Yate
Wed Jan 17th June 27th 1- 3pm 20
FS English Poole Court Yate Wed Jan 17th June 27th 6.30-8.30 pm 20
FS Maths Yate Library Thu Jan 18th June 14th 10-12 noon 20
FS Maths Yate Library Tue Jan 9th June 19th 7-9 pm 20
Introduction to business skills Yate Library Tue 23rd Jan 17th April 10-12 noon 10
Level 1 Office administration Yate Library Thu 24th April July 3rd 6-9pm 10
Sewing for the soul Yate Library Wed Jan 10th Feb 7th 9.30-11.30am 5
ESOL for Work

Costa Coffee shop
Yate Shopping centre
Thu Jan 25th April 19th 7-9pm 10
IT for Work Yate Library Wednesday Jan 17th March 21st 12.30-2.30pm 10

Thursday, 28 December 2017

Nappy and incontinence waste collections

With the coming change to the smaller black bins, many local residents are worried about disposing of children's nappies and incontinence waste.

Most household waste can be recycled, but if you have a young child or children in disposable nappies, the black bin can fill up quickly. To help families to manage nappy waste South Glos provide a nappy bag collection service.

The one-use purple bags can be put out next to your black bin on collection day, leaving more space for normal non-recyclable household waste inside the bin. Visit for more information. Bags left next to the bin containing normal household waste will not be collected.

We asked South Glos how to dispose of other incontinence waste, and they replied:

"For older children and adults with incontinence we recommend they apply for the extra capacity bin service.  Incontinence waste is usually non-infectious medical waste and therefore can go in with the black bin waste.  This service is free of charge if the need is due to a medical nature"

"If a household is approved then appropriate extra space would be given to help them manage their non-recyclable waste as well as incontinence waste.  This may mean they are approved to keep the bin they have now, or they may be allocated extra space"

Households can email the Waste Management Team on or phone 01454 868000 to request the form to apply for the service. There is also a useful web page for households who may need extra help

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Thinking ahead to the Big Spring Clean

The South Gloucestershire Spring Clean will run from 13 February to 14 May. This is a chance for individuals and groups to help clean up our local area by organising or taking part in a litter pick.

The national Keep Britain Tidy network will be focusing on the weekend of 2-4 March in particular but you can organise your event at any time in the three months. In fact, as the council has limited equipment to offer, choosing a less popular weekend could be a good idea – as well as booking as far in advance as possible.

To get involved, simply register your event by completing this booking form and send it back to – you can find more information on the South Glos website.

Saturday, 23 December 2017

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 (this year he's collecting them for the RNIB) or leave them at Dodington Parish Council for him to collect.

Westerleigh lights raise money for stroke charity

Once again the people of Mill Crescent, Westerleigh have put on a Christmas light display to raise money for charity. This year they've chosen Different Strokes, a charity run by younger stroke survivors for younger stroke survivors.
The Mill Crescent lights have become a local Christmas tradition. Why not pop along and see for yourself? You can find out more about the light display, including some of the special visitors they've had this year, on their Facebook page.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
from everyone in the Liberal Democrat Focus Team

Friday, 22 December 2017

Brimsham development update - ammunition for comments on planning applications

As we told you earlier this week, residents only have until 28 December to put in their comments about the Brimsham development proposals.

Yate Town Council has now lodged a very detailed objection to these planning applications. It shows up the many deficiencies in the design. It may give you ideas for your own comments on applications - you can download the Yate Town Council objections here.

Christmas comes early - Cambrian Drive land saved

We are delighted to let you know that on 20th December Yate Town Council purchased the land behind Cambrian Drive from the developers. We have got conditions on it that mean it will never be built on. This is the land that is currently very overgrown, that developers kept trying to get consent to build on.

After the developers' last, failed attempt, as councillors we set about trying to buy it (thank you to the resident who suggested it). It has taken many months of negotiation, but this week the Town Council took ownership - for £35,000, which is much less than it would have cost if the planning application had gone through.

Cllrs Karl Tomasin and Chris Willmore signing the purchase documents

Thank you to every resident who helped the Liberal Democrat Focus Team fight all the planning applications, putting in objections and backing us. Without all that work the developers might have got consent - and they certainly would not have sold it to us for that sum.

We're delivering a special edition of Focus around the local area, but you can also download the Cambrian Drive Focus Special here.

Yate Town Council staff have already started clearing up the site

Yate Shopping Centre Christmas closing times

There's a useful summary on the Gazette website

Yate Shopping Centre will close for the Christmas break at 4pm on Sunday, December 24. Remember that Christmas Eve is a Sunday, so even Tesco closes at 4pm. The Centre will re-open at 8am on Boxing Day, December 26.

Tesco will open at 9am Boxing Day and close at 6pm. It then goes back to normal trading hours closing again for New Year’s Eve at 4pm and will be open New Year’s Day from 9am until 6pm.

Cineworld cinema will be open as usual up to Sunday, December 24, and re-open again on Boxing Day. Full details on all screenings are available at

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Council Christmas and New Year closures

You can find the various council closure dates here:

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Brimsham Park - last chance to have your say on new houses

Barretts and David Wilson Homes plan to start building in the spring right behind existing houses.
So this is now REAL.

They got outline consent two years ago. We all opposed that as residents and councillors. Butnow this is about trying to make sure the new housing does as little damage as possible to our community. We’ve already given the developers a list of problems we could spot. Now we needyour help in looking at the plans carefully and pointing out the problems YOU can see, to help us try to get the developers/planners to change the plans.

Key features of what the developers want to do include
● their main site compound for up to 10 - 15 years to be in the field at the current end of Randolph Avenue, Close to the back of Pear Tree Hey. (Left hand arrow)
● Access to the show homes, and at least the first 238 houses from Leechpool Way (right arrow)
● The first 238 houses to be immediately behind Pear Tree Hey, Dryleaze and Meadowmead. (Circle on the plan)
● 35% ’Affordable’ housing (but that is not what we would call affordable for young families trying to buy their first home, although it will include social rented housing)
● Terraces of housing backing onto existing housing.
● Houses will block the current footpath through the fields from Randolph to the Park.
● A new northern access to the park, right at the narrowest part of the park, just north of the lake.
● Two new small play areas, one in the field behind Meadow Mead.
● No proposals (yet) for wheelwashing.

Don't wait until after the Christmas break to comment - that could be too late. The legal deadline for comments is before the end of the holidays. So we need to act NOW as residents.

The developers have said they are going to deliver a letter to some homes telling them about the application - make sure that you don’t only tell them what you think. Put your comments in to the planners who actually take the decision.

Go to South Glos Council's planning applications page then search for two applications:
PK17/5388/RM (David Wilson Homes, comments close on 29 Dec) and  
PK17/5389/RM (Barratt Homes, comments close on 28 Dec). Please comment on both.

Please let your Focus Team know your comments too - email Mike Drew on

There are more details on a special Brimsham Park Focus that is being delivered at the moment. If you haven't received your copy yet, you can view or download it from here

Update 22/12/2017: Yate Town Council has lodged a very detailed objection to these planning applications. It shows up the many deficiencies in the design. It may give you ideas for your comments on applications - you can download the Yate Town Council objections here.

Christmas and New Year - Bin collection changes in South Glos

Collections will not take place on Monday 25, Tuesday 26 December or Monday 1 January. This means the collection crews will be working on Saturday 30 December, 6 and 13 January to catch up. Changes to collection days for Christmas and New Year are below.

If your collection is normally: It will take place on:
 Monday 25 December  Wednesday 27 December
 Tuesday 26 December  Thursday 28 December
 Wednesday 27 December  Friday 29 December
 Thursday 28 December  Saturday 30 December
 Friday 29 December  Tuesday 02 January
 Monday 01 January  Wednesday 03 January
 Tuesday 02 January  Thursday 04 January
 Wednesday 03 January  Friday 05 January
 Thursday 04 January  Saturday 06 January
 Friday 05 January  Monday 08 January
 Monday 08 January  Tuesday 09 January
 Tuesday 09 January  Wednesday 10 January
 Wednesday 10 January  Thursday 11 January
 Thursday 11 January  Friday 12 January
 Friday 12 January  Saturday 13 January

Collections will be back to normal from Monday 15 January 2018.

You can recycle wrapping paper and greetings cards without glitter or plastic embellishments. Put wrapping paper with the rest of your recyclable paper and greetings cards with cardboard. Paper or card with glitter or plastic should go into your black bin.

For more info, including how to recycle your real Christmas tree, click here

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Christmas and New Year - pharmacy information

The Asda Pharmacy in Patchway has the best opening hours over Christmas.
Address: Highwood Lane, Patchway, BS34 5TL
Tel: 0117 3172410

Monday 25 December (Christmas Day): 1000-1200
Tuesday 26 December (Boxing Day): 0900-1800
Monday 1 January (New Year's Day): 1000-1800
Specialist Medicines Service: Yes
To find out more about pharmacy opening hours in your area click here

Monday, 18 December 2017

Christmas and New Year - Bus information

Bus services differ depending on who runs them but generally services run as normal up to the 23 December, have special timetables on 24 and from 26 until 31 Dec and then return completely to normal on 2 January.

Here are some useful links:
Stage Coach buses
First Group
Wessex Bus
Travel West (scroll to the bottom to see the information for South Gloucestershire)

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Christmas and New Year - Train services

The Christmas and New Year bank holiday period (23 December 2017 to 2 January 2018) is traditionally the time when a considerable amount of improvement and engineering work is undertaken on Britain's rail network. 

Many train companies will also be making changes to their timetable to match service levels to the number of customers travelling. Please plan ahead and check if your journey is affected as some services will be added, some will be restricted, and some will not be running during this time period.

For more info click here

Saturday, 16 December 2017

Christmas information - posting dates

These are the last posting dates if you want your UK post to arrive before Christmas:

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

You can find dates for other services on the Royal Mail's website

Friday, 15 December 2017

South Gloucestershire Tories refuse to call for end to local NHS cuts

South Gloucestershire’s ruling Conservative group have rejected a motion by the opposition Liberal Democrats, calling for an end to planned severe cuts to the local NHS.

Lib Dem Deputy Leader, Cllr Claire Young (Westerleigh), said: “We asked the Council to call on the Government to halt the so-called “Capped Expenditure Process,” which will see our local NHS singled out for extra NHS cuts along with 13 other areas of the country from next year. Instead, the Conservatives introduced a watered-down motion, which stops short of calling for an end to these planned cuts. 

“The Conservatives say that the NHS should tighten its belt and live within its means – but the Health Service has reached a point where it can’t tighten its belt much further without vital services being lost, and it’s patients who will suffer as a result.”

Lib Dem Councillor Linda Boon (Chipping Sodbury) described to the Council her recent experience of cutbacks in the NHS. After waiting months for a cataract operation, she was told that she was no longer eligible, because NHS policy had changed – meaning she will now have to wait until she is almost blind in the affected eye before she will be able to have the surgery.

Claire concluded: “We are hearing of more and more cases like Linda’s. It is not fair of the Conservatives to pass the buck to local NHS managers to make these sorts of cuts. The decision not to invest more in the local NHS is, ultimately, a political choice and it’s Conservative MPs who must be held responsible for that. The Lib Dems believe that income tax should be raised by a penny on the pound to ensure that the NHS has the extra funding it so desperately needs.”

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

What's on at Yate Library - December 2017

Christmas activities at Yate Library:
  • Thursday 14 December - Christmas Rhymetime - Yate Library, 10.30am to 11am
  • Tuesday 19 December - Christmas crafts - Yate Library, 10.30am to 12 midday
  • Thursday 21 December - Stories around the tree (presented by Yate Library Teen Focus Group) - Yate Library, 5pm to 6pm
Regular events:
  • Teen Focus Group meets monthly (3rd Thursday of the month)
  • Rhymetime for pre-school children: Thursdays 10:30am term time only
  • Exhibition space – Yate library showcases the best local arts and crafts for you to see, enjoy and even buy
  • Lego Club for primary school age children, who must be accompanied by a grown-up.  One Saturday a month at 10:30am to 11:30am
  • DigiLocal Club – Coding Club for 8-14 year olds.  Every Thursday, 6pm to 7pm. Places must be booked – email
Library opening over Christmas and New Year:

Click here for a list of Library Opening Hours over the holiday

For more details please check out the Yate Library web page


Broadband - Connecting South Gloucestershire

Connecting South Gloucestershire is a central government department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sports (DCMS) supported programme bringing faster broadband across South Gloucestershire where it is not economically viable for commercial companies to provide it.

Connecting South Gloucestershire is working with BT to deliver superfast and ultrafast broadband to over 9,000 homes & businesses in South Gloucestershire.

So if you're having problems with slow internet connections, the South Glos broadband website may be of interest.Be warned however that it's technical in places.

South Glos say "Business and residents may need to check that they are able to benefit from our investment, as not all premises within the area may benefit from the fibre upgrade, so residents  need to check on an individual basis. They can do this using the Openreach website - however this is even more technical!

South Glos continue "Should you require support with any of the above, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the broadband team at Connecting South Gloucestershire.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Help for those struggling financially

Last week the Joseph Rowntree Foundation released a report which showed that over 1 in 5 people are now living in poverty, following the first sustained rises in child and pensioner poverty for two decades. Last weekend the entire board of the Government's social mobility commission quit at the lack of progress towards a “fairer Britain”.

This isn't just an issue for the inner cities. As Claire Young discussed on BBC's Sunday Politics West, isolation and lack of services are an extra challenge for those living in rural areas.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with financial difficulties, there is help available. The council have commissioned the South Gloucestershire Advice Services to provide a general advice service with specialist knowledge in the areas of welfare benefit and debt advice to representation at tribunals and information on services for older people. The five organisations that make up the partnership hold drop-ins across South Gloucestershire. You can find out more on the South Glos website.

Monday, 11 December 2017

Further update on warehouse fire

Council officers and Avon Fire and Rescue Service visited the fire site on the industrial estate last week. The building needs to be demolished before the fire can be extinguished completely. Rather than summarise a complicated document here, please check out the detailed information on the South Glos website.

Update 15/12/2017: Demolition of the warehouse has now started - see report in the Gazette

Update 21/12/2017: The fire has now been extinguished. 24/7 security will remain on site over the Christmas period just in case of any further problems - see South Glos warehouse fire page 

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Nibley Lane closed Friday 8 December

Nibley Lane, from Badminton Road A432 to Westerleigh Road, will be closed tomorrow (Friday 8 December) for cleaning. The closure will run from 9.30 am to 2.30 pm.

Good news on Westerleigh smell

Wessex Water have written to Claire Young to say they have planned a Flood Alleviation Scheme to address the flooding and odour issues in Westerleigh. This will introduce a new section of sewer that will take the discharge from the abattoir and bypass the village. The design has been signed off and works are scheduled to commence in September 2018.

They have also agreed to attend a meeting. Claire will be liaising with them and Westerleigh Parish Council to make arrangements.

Friday, 1 December 2017

Great Western rail franchise consultation

Do you use GWR train services? If so, please respond to the Department of Transport's Great Western rail franchise consultation.

There's a few items regarding MetroWest/Greater Bristol Metro and the potential splitting of the local services around Bristol and intercity services to/from Paddington into two different operators. If you're a regular rail user this could affect you.

The consultation is open until 21 February 2018.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Tern Inn redevelopment - appeal submitted

The owner of the Tern Inn and car park in Heron Way has submitted an appeal against being refused planning permission to rebuild the pub and car park as flats.

Some outline documents are on the South Glos Planning Website but the Planning Inspectorate will not consider the appeal until the developer has provided some missing documents. It's not yet visible on the Planning Inspectorate's own "Appeals Portal" but when it does, it will be under Case ID 3190390.

For the back story of this proposal, which has been strongly opposed by local residents and Dodington Parish Council, please check out our previous Tern Inn stories.

Update on warehouse fire

South Gloucestershire Council have released this update following a warehouse fire on the Beeches Industrial estate last month.

"A deep-seated underground fire is still smouldering at the affected warehouse unit and odour from the unit can be detected some distance from the site. This is because the structure is unsafe and it is difficult for the fire service to gain access and tackle the residual heat which causes it to smoulder and periodically reignite"

They go on to warn about prolonged exposure to the remaining smoke in the immediate area.

Please click this link for the full update.

Update 15/12/2017: Demolition of the warehouse has now started - see report in the Gazette

Update 21/12/2017: The fire has now been extinguished. 24/7 security will remain on site over the Christmas period just in case of any further problems - see South Glos warehouse fire page

Chipping Sodbury Victorian Day this Saturday

Don't forget that it's Chipping Sodbury Victorian Day this Saturday (2nd December) from 1 pm to 8 pm.

Lots of fun for all the family - please see the Chipping Sodbury Victorian Day Facebook page for more details.

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Shopping securely online

Action Fraud, the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, have issued the following advice on shopping securely online in the run up to Christmas:

How To Shop Online Safely

Check the web address
Always check you’re on the correct website. Criminals can set up fake websites that have a similar design and web address to the genuine site.
Is it a secure connection?
Web pages you enter personal or financial details into should display a locked padlock sign and have a web address that starts with https. This means your connection to the website is secure.

Don't click on links or attachments within unsolicited emails. The number of online shopping related phishing emails increases significantly during the holiday period.

Bank transfers
65% of Action Fraud reports during the 2016 Christmas period were linked to online auction sites. Don’t pay for goods or services by bank transfer unless you know and trust the person. Payments via bank transfer offer you no protection if you become a victim of fraud.

Monday, 27 November 2017

Wheels to Work Christmas £20 Bike Sale!

Are you, or is someone you know looking for work and in need of help with transport?

Contact your local Job Centre (South Glos only) for a referral before 4 December.

For just £20 you could get a reconditioned bike, lights, and a lock. What's the catch? No catch, but you must be eligible for the Wheels to Work scheme – see below for details.

The nitty gritty – you will be eligible for this scheme if you are:
• recently placed, or currently not in education, training or employment;
• aged over 16 years old
• living or studying in South Gloucestershire
• eligible to work and/or study in the UK
• referred by the Job Centre or an agreed partner organisation
• using the travel training, subsidised bike or bus ticket to access skills, education or employment including interviews
• able to complete an anonymous survey after 3 months.

For more info, please visit the TravelWest South Glos Wheels to Work web page

Friday, 24 November 2017

Men In Sheds chosen as a Good Cause for Tesco tokens

Men In Sheds is one of the Good Causes chosen for the Tesco token scheme between now and the end of the year. If you have a Tesco token please consider choosing them as your Good Cause. They've only recently started but they have an enthusiastic membership who are keen to get the scheme going in Yate and the surrounding area.

There is general information on this page: What is a Men's Shed?

If you're interested - women are welcome as well! - please contact Yate Town Council by email or phone 01454 862595.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Rodford Way No U-turn Legal Consultation

As we reported last January, South Glos Council is consulting on banning U-turns made by east bound traffic on Rodford Way betwwen the Abbotswood junction and the Scott Way / Heron Way roundabout.

The restriction anticipates that eastbound traffic would use the roundabout junction with Scott
Way to return in a westbound direction.

The reson for this is that 10 collisions resulting in injuries have occurred along Rodford Way in this stretch since 2011. Seven of them resulted in injuries to bike riders. The main factor is that vehicles were turning right - doing U-turns at junctions - across the path of people going straight on.

This latest consultation is about making the restriction legally enforceable and putting up the relevant road signs.

You can have your say by responding to the consulation here

The consultation is open until 14 December.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Tell the Council your priorities

Over the last 6 years South Glos Council has already cut £63.6m from its annual budget and they're intending to cut another £10.5m per annum across 2018/19 and 2019/20. Even that leaves the council with a predicted hole of £15.7m by 2021/22 so watch out for more cuts being announced.

What do you think the council's priorities should be? Fill in the budget survey to let them know. Your Liberal Democrat Focus Team will be fighting to protect services for the most vulnerable.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Abbotswood Christmas event Sat 25 November - fun for everyone!

The 4th annual Abbotswood Christmas Event takes place on Saturday 25th November in the Abbotswood shopping centre starting at 4pm. The attractions include:
  • Dodington parish brass band
  • Christmas bazaar
  • Father Christmas  
  • Street magician 
  • Face painting 
  • Living nativity with live donkeys
  • Local school choir 
  •  Big Christmas Lights switch-on by the Mayor of Yate

Monday, 20 November 2017

Consultation events on Ageing Better Plan

We told you recently about South Glos's "Ageing Better" consultation. The Ageing Better Plan aims to guide South Glos's work to support older people (age 65+)

They are holding two consultation events, one of which is a drop in event, open to the public and is taking place on Wednesday 22nd November 2017, Yate Outdoor Sports Complex between 9.30am – 12.30pm. Everyone is welcome and they would encourage everyone to attend, as it is really important that people have their say.

The second event is being held for voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations, on Wednesday 29th November, 10.00 am – 12.00 pm at The Batch, Cadbury Heath.

For full details of the events,  further information, and copies of all consultation documents, please go to the South Glos Ageing Better Plan website link

Early morning closure of part of North Road for cleaning 23 November

North Road, Yate, from its junction with Armstrong Way to the bridge over the River Frome, is expected to close from 6am to 8am on 23rd November so the leaves can be cleaned away.

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Partial victory in health campaign - but more cuts to come

Your Focus Team welcomes news that local health managers have rowed back on proposals to cut the upper age limit for which women are eligible for IVF treatment on the NHS after protests - but more cuts are to come.

Faced with a growing deficit, NHS chiefs proposed a series of cuts to local health services, including limiting fertility treatment to women between 30 and 35 years of age. They already only fund one treatment, rather than the NICE recommendation of up to 3. They have now decided to keep the age limit for IVF treatment at 40. However they are still proposing that any woman whose partner has a child from a previous relationship will not be eligible for IVF treatment. On top of this, we have been warned that there will be millions in cuts announced after the New Year.

Together with Bristol and North Somerset, South Gloucestershire is one of only 14 areas in the country targeted for extra cuts under the Conservative Government’s Capped Expenditure Process. Many of our NHS services are already being stretched close to breaking point. We are calling for greater investment in the NHS so that health managers can concentrate on how to improve services, not how to cut them. Thank you to everyone who has already signed our petition to protect local NHS funding. If you haven’t already, you can sign it here.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Consultation on new homes starts next week

All four West of England councils have now agreed that the consultation on the Joint Spatial Plan (JSP) should go ahead so it will start on 22nd November. The JSP proposes:
  • 1,800 new homes at Coalpit Heath
  • 2,000 homes plus employment land on the edge of Yate, between Engine Common and Nibley and down to Westerleigh, with at least 1,000 being built by 2036 
  • 1,200 at Charfield 
  • 3,000 at a new garden village at Buckover, with at least 1,500 of them being built by 2036 
  • 500 at Thornbury 
Some headlines have given the impression that the plan has already been approved - it has not. A Planning Inspector will hold a public inquiry next year to decide if the plan is sound and whether any changes are needed to make it sound. They will see any comments you make in the consultation, which runs until 10th January 2018.

This will be your last chance to have your say - don't leave it to others. Once the plan has been adopted it will be too late to change where the new development goes. 

The new South Glos Local Plan will just be adding in the details and possibly allocating smaller sites. It can't put the homes in a different place entirely from that allocated in the JSP.

The JSP document, supporting evidence and details of how to make a submission will be published online at on 22nd November. If you would like to help spread the word to those who aren't online, please contact us.

Friday, 17 November 2017

Road closures coming up Pucklechurch to A46

South Glos Council has announced road closures on Feltham Rd (Pucklechurch) and Pucklechurch Rd (Hinton) for essential resurfacing 23 Nov-8 Dec. A diversion route has been signposted - this is a popular cut-through between the A46 and Pucklechurch.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Time to nominate community heroes

Nominations are now open for The Chair’s Community Awards 2018. If you know a volunteer or group who has gone the extra mile to help your community, please nominate them using the forms available on this page by 5th January.

Suggested areas of contribution include community development, promoting equality, arts, sports, play, environment, working with older or young people, advice and advocacy and being a good neighbour. The chosen nominees will be notified in February and invited to a prestigious awards evening on 7 March to receive their awards. The Lord Lieutenant of Gloucestershire, Dame Janet Trotter, attends the awards ceremony and selects an individual from the winners to receive a special Lord Lieutenant’s Award.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

No online access to South Glos Council this weekend - Library Open Access also affected

Due to essential electrical work all of South Glos Council's online forms will be unavailable this weekend from 6pm on Friday 17 November until 4pm on Sunday 19 November 2017.

What's more, Open Access will not be available in libraries from Friday evening until Monday morning. IT services will also not be available in libraries in staffed opening hours. South Glos apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Volunteers start major tree planting programme at Wapley Bushes

Wapley Bushes Conservation Group is carrying out a major programme of tree planting this autumn and winter, to deal with the threat of Ash Dieback Disease. This disease is carried by a fungus. Mature trees are the most affected - they lose their leaves and the crown dies back. It's within a dozen miles of Wapley Bushes Local Nature Reserve. If something isn't done now, within twenty years we will have lost all the high canopy in Wapley Woods.
The Conservation Group has come up with a scheme to plant other large native species throughout the woodland. This season they will be planting 90 to 100 trees - Oak, Lime, Black Poplar, Whitebeam and Wild Service trees. They are all native to the West of England area.

Hopefully members of the local community will come along and help preserve this wonderful woodland. Families with children are particularly welcome - it's really planting for the future. The Conservation Group supply the trees, the tools and gloves, people just need to wear wellies or stout footwear.
The first planting morning will be at 10.00 am on Saturday 18 November at the Shire Way entrance to the Nature Reserve, opposite the road entrance to Cherington, BS37 8US. There will also be planting sessions on Sunday 18 February and Saturday 18 March. The trees and preparation work are being financed by the landowners, Dodington Parish Council.

Monday, 13 November 2017

Special Educational Needs and Disability advice

Supportive Parents provides the Special Educational Needs & Disability Information, Advice and Support (SENDIAS) Service in South Gloucestershire, as well as Bristol and North Somerset.  They are an independent organisation offering free, confidential and impartial advice to parents, children or any young person aged 16 – 25, about SEND. You can find out more on their website.

Friday, 10 November 2017

Network Rail update - M4 motorway NOT closed this weekend, but Bristol Parkway still closed

Network Rail have told us:

"Due to the progress made with our electrification work on the M4 Blue Bridge last weekend, the motorway will not be closed at Junction 19 this weekend (11/12 November) as previously planned.

We will keep you informed of progress with our upgrade works around the Bristol Parkway area which continue this weekend (11/12) and next (18/19) with no trains calling at the station. Please check before you travel at or"

So the M4 motorway will be open this weekend, but Bristol Parkway Station will still be closed.

Worried about someone sleeping rough?

If you are worried about someone sleeping rough, you can use Streetlink to inform the local council of your concerns. They can then visit the rough sleeper to offer them support and try to help them find accommodation.

You will also find advice on Streetlink's site about where to find help for someone at risk of becoming homeless.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Have your say on access to GPs

Concerns were raised at a recent meeting of the Health Scrutiny Committee that some people find it more difficult than others to access GP and other healthcare services. This could depend on appointment booking systems, public transport, how rural the area they live in is and how close they are to a boundary with another council area.

Healthwatch has agreed to undertake a piece of research on the committee's behalf to find out people’s experiences of accessing GP services. You can share your experiences at:

If you would like to discuss the survey with someone from Healthwatch, please call 01454 543 402.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Make the A46 temporary traffic lights permanent

Cllr Claire Young at the Tormarton junction

Temporary traffic lights have been installed on the A46 at the Tormarton junction while the Bromley Heath viaduct works are being carried out. Local people have told us that overall these have improved safety but the lights will be removed once the viaduct works are complete.

We believe that a permanent solution is needed. We are calling on the council to work with Highways England to resolve any concerns about the manoeuvres allowed and traffic building up on the J18 roundabout so that permanent traffic lights can be installed. If you agree, please sign our petition.

Dodington Parish Council has also written to South Glos asking for these lights to be made permanent. They have also asked for traffic lights at the Nibley Lane bridge - the temporary lights there made things a lot easier for local drivers.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Reminder - Owl Prowl at Wapley Bushes this Friday

Justa  reminder that the Owl Prowl at Wapley Bushes Local Nature Reserve, which had to be postponed last month due to high winds, will take place this Friday 10 November at 7 pm.

This Owl Prowl will be led by well-known local expert Ian McGuire. Ian's owl prowls are a night-time walk in woodlands for all the family where you can learn about British owls through his iPad video presentations and through the evening he will be calling wild tawny owls in the hope that one will call back and possibly fly in for everyone to view.

Owl prowls are suitable for all age groups from 5 to 95 and usually involve a limited amount of walking. They are fun and fascinating and will leave participants much more aware of how amazing owls are and what they need to survive in the wild.

No captive owls are used at this event but Ian's success rate for calling in wild owls is approximately 60% so the anticipation of seeing a wild one is always very great. We're hoping that the tawny owls we saw last time on the edge of Wapley Common may put in an appearance once again.

Meet 7 pm at the Shire Way entrance to the Nature Reserve. Please wear sensible footwear and bring a torch.
(Organised by Wapley Bushes Conservation Group, sponsored by South Gloucestershire Council)

Yate, Chipping Sodbury and Dodington Community Engagement Forum 16 November

The Community Engagement Forum will be meeting 7 pm – 9 pm on 16 November at Poole Court, Poole Court Drive, Yate BS37 5PP.

This is your chance to talk directly to local Police and Fire and Rescue representatives, and Town/Parish and South Glos Councillors about issues of local concern.

There will also be a presentation about the work done by Abbotswood Action Group and the progress made in the Abbotswood area.

Monday, 6 November 2017

Speaking out on housing plans

Last Monday plans for 2,600 homes at Yate and Chipping Sodbury and 1,800 at Coalpit Heath were discussed by the West of England Joint Committee in Bath. Local councillors Claire Young and Pat Hockey attended, with Claire speaking out on the plans. Despite the concerns raised, and despite both the Leader of North Somerset and the Mayor of Bristol saying they hadn't had time to read the document, the West of England leaders voted to recommend the Joint Spatial Plan (JSP) to the four councils.

The BBC asked if anyone would be available for filming the next day in Coalpit Heath. They were expecting one or two people and were astonished by the crowd that turned out at such short notice. They were left in no doubt about the level of concern and while they were there also filmed the danger signs around the old mine shaft that has been fenced off in the corner of the field.

The Joint Spatial Plan will be considered by the South Glos Cabinet at 2pm today and then by all councillors at a meeting at 7pm on Wednesday 8th November in Kingswood Civic Centre. Members of the public are welcome to attend.

If South Glos and the other three councils all approve the JSP for consultation, you will be able to have your say from 22nd November to 10th January. We'll give you more information on how to do this when the consultation starts. 

Consultation on 30 mph limit for Frampton Cotterell

Many drivers from our area go through Frampton Cotterell on their way to and from Bristol. At the moment the stretch of the B4058 Bristol Road from the Church Road traffic lights almost to the Swan is 40 mph.

The proposal is to reduce the speed limit to 30 mph in order to cut the number of accidents. You can see the information and respond to the consultation here - it's open until 17th November.

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Be Winter Ready - some easy advice

Be Winter Ready is a national campaign to encourage people to prepare in case they experience a power cut or gas emergency this winter.

Here's some simple advice:
  • Know your free emergency numbers: In a power cut dial 105 or, for a gas emergency, dial 0800 111999.
  • Prepare your home: Keep a torch handy and get your appliances serviced by a Gas Safe registered engineer to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. 
  • Register as a vulnerable customer: Vulnerable households can get extra support by signing up to the Priority Services Register. If you live in the Midlands, South West or South Wales you can register with Wester Power Distribution here. If you live in a different area you can contact your gas or electricity network to find out more. Visit to find out who your network operator is. 
  • Keep your eyes open: Keep an eye on the weather forecast and, if you have a power cut or a gas emergency, please check on your neighbours. 

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Please vote for Kingsgate Park!

Kingsgate Park in Yate has been nominated as Fields in Trust's UK's Best Park, and it's now up to the public to vote! Voting is open until this Friday, 3rd November.

Please vote here:

Thank you to Yate Town Council and Friends of Kingsgate Park for keeping our park tidy, vibrant and a key asset that's enjoyed by all the community.

Night time closures of Nibley Lane from 6 November

For five nights from 6th November, Nibley Lane between Badminton Road and Westerleigh Road will be closed between 9.00 pm and 6.30 am for roadworks.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Bristol Parkway Upgrade - station AND M4 MOTORWAY weekend closures in November

Update from Network Rail 10/11/2017: "Due to the progress made with our electrification work on the M4 Blue Bridge last weekend, the motorway will not be closed at Junction 19 this weekend (11/12 November) as previously planned.

We will keep you informed of progress with our upgrade works around the Bristol Parkway area which continue this weekend (11/12) and next (18/19) with no trains calling at the station. Please check before you travel at or"

Network Rail say: "Our work to increase capacity at Bristol Parkway will continue over the first three weekends of November during planned closures of the station"

"The project includes the extension of the three existing platforms and the construction of a fourth to serve GWR’s new fleet of Intercity Express Trains. We’re also improving the track layout to allow more trains to use the station. The new platform is due to come into use in December 2017"

Bristol Parkway Station will be closed as follows:
  • Sat 4 - Sun 5 Nov
  • Sat 11 - Sun 12 Nov
  • Sat 18 - Sun 19 Nov
M4 Motorway closures

Network Rail continue: "To carry out installation of electrification equipment on the blue railway bridge over the M4 motorway we need to shut the road. To limit disruption we are doing this overnight"

The motorway is scheduled to be closed as follows:
  • Fri 3 Nov 11 pm - Sat 4 Nov 7 am
  • Sat 5 Nov 9 pm - Sun 5 Nov 8 am
  • Sun 5 Nov 10 pm - Mon 6 Nov 5 am  
  • Fri 10 Nov 11 pm - Sat 11 Nov 7 am
  • Sat 11 Nov 9 pm - Sun 12 Nov 8 am
  • Sun 12 Nov 10 pm - Mon 13 Nov 5am  
Foundation Piling progress

"We made great progress with the electrification of the railway between Swindon and Patchway during the line closure in August/September. However, we still have a number of foundations to install, along with the electrified overhead line equipment"

"Piling between Patchway and Bristol Parkway stations is taking place every Saturday night until February 2018. Our hours of work will be between 21:00 – 07:00. We will also be making the most of an opportunity to install a number of foundations during the daytime in this area on the 11 and 12 November"

"We also have a number of foundations left to install in the Acton Turville, Chipping Sodbury and Old Sodbury areas"

Filton Abbey Wood Station

"Work is continuing to prepare Filton Abbey Wood for more trains as part of our project to double the number of tracks on the Filton Bank between Bristol Parkway and Bristol Temple Meads.  We will be adding a fourth platform to the station, with ramped access to the existing footbridge"

"To support the embankment, we are currently building a retaining wall between the site of the new platform and the residential area that backs on to the railway. We’ll then return at a later date to extend the three existing platforms and lay the new track"

"Pedestrians approaching the platforms from the car park side are being diverted via Nutfield Grove while the existing footpath is closed until the end of 2017"

Monday, 30 October 2017

Giant leap forward for Yate Outdoor Sports Centre

Volunteers, Yate Town Council staff and councillors at YOSC
The facilities at Yate Outdoor Sports Centre have been coming to the end of their working life, but a massive fund-raising campaign by Yate Town Council has now borne fruit. The final piece of the funding jigsaw was put in place today to enable campaigners to start work replacing all the athletics facilities at YOSC. The last part of funding came from "Section106 Monies" - that is money developers have to hand over for sports facilities once they’ve sold their houses.

This marks a key point in the 12 month funding campaign. Project chair Chris Willmore explained
"The athletics at YOSC are used by local schools, hundreds of local young people each week and host national events. For some events it is the best facility in the country. But it was at the end of its life and needed completely replacing"

"To our horror when the estimates came in they were £850,000. We’ve spent six months working flat out to raise the cash to raise the cash to save the Centre"

"We got backing from Sport England. And today we got confirmation of the developer money - that means we have a total of £800,000"

"We’re having a sponsors event next week to which local big firms have been invited do were confident we’ll get the last £50,000, so we can now go out to tender and get cracking"

"This is great news for the amazing volunteers who run YOSC, all the users and for the great project team who have been doing all the work. The project won’t just replace what is there - it will add facilities including making much better provision for paraathletics"

"This is the biggest single project Yate Town Council has ever undertaken. We’re really grateful to all the sponsors, it is brilliant to have got it all covered by grants so Yate Town Council won’t have to borrow the cash, so we’re all excited but nervous. We’re determined to make every penny work for our residents. Yate Town Council took over the track from South Glos council two years ago this week. It was in a sad state after years of neglect. Now with the volunteers we’re turning it back into a facility locals can be proud of. And we will look after it well - nobody wants to have to raise this sort of money again in a hurr!"

"We are looking for sponsors for the last £50,000 - with opportunities to name facilities eg the hammer cage - and have banners for sponsors. For the right sum the whole sports complex - including national facilities - could be named for a sponsor"

"We’re having a sponsors evening on 6 November. iI anyone who had not been invited is interested in coming along please ring Lori Ramsey at Yate Town Council on 01454 866506"

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Staying Healthy in Yate - new leaflet available

South Glos Council has produced a very useful new leaflet called "Staying Healthy in Yate" (but it is useful for quite an area around Yate as well)

It covers all age groups - children and young people, adults, older people - and points to lots of different resources and activities for exercise and physical and mental health.

You can download the leaflet here

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Finch Road - consultation on waiting and stopping restrictions

In the light of the traffic problems around Raysfield School, which have not been helped by the proposal to redevelop the Tern Inn and the Heron Way Shops car park - now gated off by the owner - South Glos Council has launched two consultations:

FINCH ROAD and HERON WAY - Proposed No Waiting at any Time - Raysfield School Area - STATUTORY NOTICE


CHIPPING SODBURY - FINCH ROAD - Protection of School Entrances - No Stopping Order - Raysfield School Area - STATUTORY NOTICE


The proposals are partly to make existing "no parking" lines legally enforceable.

The consultations run until 16 November.

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Draft Joint Spatial Plan published

The latest Draft Joint Spatial Plan has been published. You can read it here (all 337 pages...)

The JSP looks at housing and employment needs up to 2036 (the "plan period"), but makes predictions of need and provision beyond that.

It's being discussed at various West of England Combined Authority meetings and will next go to the 4 member councils. Subject to them all agreeing, it will go out to public consultation.

The plans include:
  • 1,800 new homes at Coalpit Heath, all within the plan period
  • 1,000 homes plus employment land within the plan period on the edge of Yate, at Engine Common, Nibley and down to Westerleigh, plus another 225 homes as a "contingency", and 1000 homes after the plan period
  • 1,200 at Charfield, all within the plan period
  • 1,500 at a new garden village at Buckover, plus another 1500 afterwards
  • 500 at Thornbury, all within the plan period
  • "Contingencies" of up to 775 homes south of Chipping Sodbury within the plan period, plus another 725 afterwards
We will keep you updated and will let you know how to have your say when the consultation starts.

Update 1st November 2017 - South Glos say "In the first half of November, the JSP and proposed engagement plan will be considered by each of the four WoE local authorities. Only once it is approved can it proceed. Subject to approval by the four councils, the proposed public engagement is due to run from 22 November until 10 January, 2018. Following this process, the draft plan, along with all of the feedback received will be sent to the Secretary of State early next year"

Monday, 23 October 2017

Pirate fun at Yate Library this Tuesday

A fun pirate-themed craft session is are being held in Yate Library this half-term.

All activities are free drop-in events for primary school aged children.

The pirate pandemonium sessions are taking place as follows:
Yate Library - Tuesday, October 24, 10.30am to 12pm.
Rhyme-times and story times are also taking place throughout the holiday at selected libraries.

Visit this South Glos web page for details.

South Glos Food Plan consultation

South Glos is looking at developing a Food Plan covering
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Environment and sustainability
  • Jobs and local food economy
They say "A Food Plan in South Gloucestershire will create a vision for improving the food system and culture in South Gloucestershire. It will be a collaborative project that brings together a range of stakeholders that have an influence on food in the region. It will celebrate the good work that is currently happening and highlight the gaps for improvement."

They are now consulting on how to go about developing the Food Plan - you can find out more and have your say here.

The public consultation on the food plan is open until Friday 5th January 2018. The final version of the Food Plan will be launched in Spring 2018.

Saturday, 21 October 2017

New date for Wapley Owl Prowl

The Owl Prowl at Wapley Bushes Local Nature Reserve, which had to be postponed last Friday due to high winds, has now been rescheduled for Friday 10 November at 7 pm.

This Owl Prowl will be led by well-known local expert Ian McGuire. Ian's owl prowls are a night-time walk in woodlands for all the family where you can learn about British owls through his iPad video presentations and through the evening he will be calling wild tawny owls in the hope that one will call back and possibly fly in for everyone to view.

Owl prowls are suitable for all age groups from 5 to 95 and usually involve a limited amount of walking. They are fun and fascinating and will leave participants much more aware of how amazing owls are and what they need to survive in the wild.

No captive owls are used at this event but Ian's success rate for calling in wild owls is approximately 60% so the anticipation of seeing a wild one is always very great. We're hoping that the tawny owls we saw last time on the edge of Wapley Common may put in an appearance once again.

Fri 10 November, meet 7 pm at the Shire Way entrance to the Nature Reserve. Please wear sensible footwear and bring a torch.
(Organised by Wapley Bushes Conservation Group, sponsored by South Gloucestershire Council)

Ageing Better Plan - South Glos consultation

South Glos Council's Ageing Better Plan will bring together the outcomes and priorities that will guide work to support older people (age 65+), the way they will measure progress and how they will work to realise their vision. It is based on data, evidence and consultation with older people and wider partners across the area.

South Gloucestershire Council is now opening the Ageing Better Plan to public consultation between until 12th January 2018.

They are keen to hear views from as wide a range of people as possible; find out what you think of the plan, including how it could be improved, whether they've left out anything that you think is a crucial issue, or how you'd like to get involved in making it happen.

You can find out more and make your views known here.

Friday, 20 October 2017

Wapley Owl Prowl and Dog Walk POSTPONED

This evening's Owl Prowl at Wapley Bushes is being postponed due to forecast high winds.

We have a provisional date of Friday 10 November at 7 pm - we will confirm here.

Sorry for any inconvenience - the Conservation Group will be at the gate this evening to tell anyone who doesn't know it's cancelled.

The Dodington Dog Walk at Wapley tomorrow morning has also been cancelled for safety reasons due to continued high winds.

Yate Spur cycle route - latest update

Here's the latest update about the long-awaited cycle track between Yate and the Railway Path, the cycling "superhighway" between Bristol and Bath. At the moment the Yate Spur only comes out as far as the T junction on Westerleigh Road south of Westerleigh.

  • Westerleigh Road T junction to Broad Lane (Cornerways) - inside the farmer's field up to the former Cornerways Nursery - You will probably have seen the fencing and the signs, with not much work going on lately. They struck a sewage pipe that wasn't on ANYBODY'S maps, and they've had to do some redesign. Work should start again shortly for completion in the Spring, together with appropriate direction signs.
  • Broad Lane - has already been upgraded.
  • Broad Lane to Nibley Lane Corner - the "Westerleigh bypass" - being designed, awaiting funding. This will probably be the last stretch of the whole project.
  • Nibley Lane Corner improvements - recently consulted about - on hold until Spring 2018 because of extra traffic during the Bromley Heath Viaduct work.
  • Section under railway viaduct to Westerleigh Rd mini-roundabout - detailed design nearly complete, awaiting funding
  • Westerleigh Rd mini-roundabout to Yate Common - on hold until January 2018 because of railway embankment work near Chedworth
Once the section alongside Westerleigh Road to Cornerways is done, there will be a continuous link from the Railway Path to opposite Wot Not at the north end of Westerleigh. We are pressing for any outstanding maintenance to be carried out between Broad Lane and Wot Not - it tends to get overgrown from time to time.

When the rest of the path is approaching completion there will need to be proper direction signs for the full length. We are also asking for the narrow part of the path across Yate Common to be reviewed. This will help disabled users too -  there are now "Radar" key gates at both ends, but parts of the path are too narrow for two motorised scooters to pass each other. The details of the widening will of course be discussed with the Friends of Yate Common and Yate Town Council because of the enviromental sensitivity of the area.

We'll keep you posted on Yate Spur progress every few months.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Positive activities for young people - South Glos consultation

South Gloucestershire Council is looking for new ways to deliver positive activities for young people and want to get a better picture of what youth activities (youth clubs, centres, detached and mobile work etc) are needed and where they should be, as well as how they should be provided within available resources.  

In other words, what should South Glos be spending its limited youth budget on?

A needs assessment of young people has been completed and from this South Glos have proposed some areas that they think should be considered for future council funded youth provision. They are now seeking views from young people, organisations and/or potential providers of positive activities. The consultation period runs until Wednesday 15 November 2017 and all the documentation can be accessed here:

There are three different surveys - they are keen to hear from everybody:
  • Survey for children and young people 
  • Survey for service providers 
  • Survey for the wider community, including parents and carers, professionals, local residents and organisations
South Glos are keen to ensure that they have both general comments and comments specific to youth provision in the areas you might cover. If any groups would like somebody to attend and present/discuss the proposals, please contact Sharon Adams  (email or telephone 01454 862549) and she’ll try to arrange for somebody to do that.