Tuesday, 25 February 2020


If you live in Yate and you are 60+ would you be interested in becoming a' Champion' - Yate Town Council has worked with outside experts consulting and listening to local residents to identify an ambitious plan called Yate Ageing Better. The aim is to make our whole town more age friendly. A key part of the plan is to find older residents willing to be champions. A champion will - keep their ear to the ground, alert the Ageing Better group when they hear problems, and share news and ideas with people they know or groups they attend. Does that sound like you? If so, could you ring Leah on 01454 866506. Some Champions may also decide to get stuck into making change happen - and that would be great, but not every Champion will want to do that.

Monday, 24 February 2020

Birds - Tree planting

Local councils and groups have been working with South Glos on the first year of a major tree planting programme. Across South Glos around 8,250 young trees have been planted. 

In Dodington Parish local councillors worked with residents to find out where they did and didn't want trees. For example they didn't want trees that would block where children play.

In Lilliput Park a class of children from Raysfield School planted 100 trees, helped by South Glos and Dodington staff and by volunteers from Avon Wildlife Trust Southwold Group. Before Christmas the same partnership helped schoolchildren create a wildlife flower area.

South Glos also planted trees near Goldcrest play area and along hedges around Abbotswood School, Kelston Close and near Chedworth. 

In all about 800 trees were planted in the parish. The extra trees will improve air quality and capture something between 0.5 and 5 tonnes of CO2 a year, bringing health improvements for local people.

Many of the trees will  have pollen rich flowers and fruit, ideal for birds (e.g crab apple, cherry and rowan), so there will be definite biodiversity gains.

Saturday, 22 February 2020

FREE Leisure Centre activities for people with Dementia and their carers

Yate Leisure centre runs FREE sessions on Mondays - with singing, tea and coffee and chance to use a range of sports facilities for people with dementia and their carers. To find out more ring or email Mike at the Leisure Centre - mike.jones@circadiantrust.org or 0300 333 0300

Friday, 21 February 2020

Ladden Gardens Play Area Fiasco

If you were planning a new play area on the new development in north Yate, would you put it within 30m of the existing well loved play area in the current park, Brinsham Fields?  Well that is what the planners are insisting the developers do. Instead of using the money to put more equipment in the current play area, they are insisting they build a new one just yards away - which means money gets wasted on unnecessary fencing, bins etc, when they could use that money in the existing fenced play area to put in more equipment.  It will mean a teenage kickabout area being with 30 m of houses.

But don't blame the developers. They were willing to talk to the Friends of the Park and the Town Council who run the park about a better solution. But S Glos officials were insisting it had to be separate.

Yesterday, the Friends of the Park, and Cllrs Chris Willmore and Mike Drew took the issue to the highest level, at South Gloucestershire Strategic Sites Committee. They showed officials and councillors the problems, they asked for them simply to agree to come to the negotiating table to find a better solution.

South Gloucestershire refused. They insisted on ploughing ahead and giving the green light to this crazy situation. Lib Dem and Labour Councillors voted for Mike Drew's proposal to get everyone round a table to sort it out. But the Tories, none of whom live anywhere near Yate pushed through the officer recommendation. 

The Friends of the Park raise money from all sorts of sources to improve our park, to see money being wasted just yards away is disappointing. We still hope we can work with the developers to get around this crazy mess.

(Picture: The red mark is the play area S Glos is insisting the developers put in, the blue one is the current play area in the park, which has lots of space for more equipment)

Thursday, 20 February 2020

Zero Tolerance to Graffiti in Yate: Graffiti Busters

  • Led by the Focus Team, Yate Town Council  has launched a new, FREE graffiti removal service to residents. Call 01454 856506

    Lead Councillor on graffiti, Alan Monaghan has made it clear that graffiti is not something the Town Council or residents are willing to accept in Yate.  

    The Council is proud to launch our own Zero Tolerance Scheme offering FREE graffiti removal for householders - any resident in Yate can use this service. 

    The Town Council has purchased specialised steam cleaning equipment and has introduced a ‘One Stop’ graffiti reporting service.

    To try to prevent the problem, the council is working with South Glos’ Anti-Social Behaviour and Community Safety Team and The Local Beat Team, who have created an active Problem-Solving Plan.

    Detached youth workers are working with young people to highlight the problems graffiti causes.  The council are also working with Virgin Media and BT Openreach to identify and clean the green and grey communication cabinets that have been attacked by spray can vandals.

    How can you help?

    You can help by reporting graffiti attacks, but we’ve identified that some of the graffiti tags round here are from groups based in Bristol.   Do you know who your younger family members are hanging out with?  Involvement with graffiti often leads to more serious crime.

Wednesday, 19 February 2020

Doing up Millside park and playzone

Members of the Focus Team on Yate Town Council have been working with officers to raise cash to add a new multi play unit at Millside , and expand the sculpture trail in the park with more wood carvings and interpretation boards to extend play and help children to learn about their natural environment through play..

This will replace the carvings vandalised last summer.
We are delighted to announce we have now got £45,155 so we can go ahead with the project).

(You may have seen reports of this in the newspaper a couple of weeks ago, but that was a press release from someone who had not been involved in the grant process, and just heard we had an application in and we were likely to get the money.) Now it has been confirmed.

We are also working to raise the money to put in a grit or gravel path through the park, as particularly at the Goose Green Way end, it gets extremely muddy.

Tuesday, 18 February 2020

Have your say on S Glos plans to increase charges to elderly and disabled residents.

South Glos Council is considering making changes to the charges paid by people newly accessing the care system who are paying the full cost themselves. The new arrangements would come into effect on 1 June 2020. There are three changes proposed:
  • New users of dementia, learning disability and specialist day care would be charged £96.30 per day.
  • New purchasers of community-based services would be charged a £295 one-off arrangement fee and an annual charge of £75.
  • Service users may also become eligible for a £295 fee if they decide to change providers (and ask the Council to arrange it) for a reason not related to their care needs.

More details can be found on their consultation webpage:https://consultations.southglos.gov.uk/consult.ti/Fees2020

Do please have your say before their deadline of 17 March. These fees would mean someone would be paying nearly £100 a day for specialist day care. 

And by charging £295 for people to change provider, they risk locking vulnerable people into having to use a provider that they find they don't like.  Vulnerable people may not reply - but you can. 

Want get out playing sport again?

Old Sodbury Roadworks

The whole section of the A432 from the bend at the eastern end of Old Sodbury up to the Cross Hands lights is going to be closed from 16 March - 4 April  each evening from 8m until 6am. There will be a lot of noise.  There will be diversions, but best to steer well clear!

Monday, 17 February 2020

train problems this spring

News from GWR affecting our local trains this spring. 
  • Track renewals affect trains between London Paddington and Bristol or South Wales on Saturday 29 February and Sunday 1 March
  • Track renewals also affect trains between London Paddington and Bristol or South Wales as well as Gloucester and Bristol Parkway on Sunday 8 March
  • Bridge replacement and tunnel work will affect trains between Bristol Parkway and Newport over the Easter period from Saturday 11 to Sunday 19 April
  • Further work affects trains between Bristol Parkway and Newport as well as Bristol Temple Meads and Bristol Parkway on the weekends of 25/26 April and 2/3 May
  • Trains also run to an amended timetable when only two tracks are available between Bristol Temple Meads and Filton Abbey Wood on Sunday 17, 24 and 31 May
More details are at  gwr.com/Bristol

Yate Minor Injury Unit update

Claire Young and the Focus Team have  been pursuing the health authorities for improvements and more services at Yate MIU. Today we received the following from the NHS commissioning team who decide where more services go.

We THINK this is good news, though it is in NHS speak.

"As part of our strategies for urgent care, the implementation of a new BNSSG-wide contract for adult community health services from April, and our development of integrated locality services, we are actively discussing opportunities for further development of hubs, including in Yate"

We will keep you posted. 

Sunday, 16 February 2020

Do you have a group looking for a regular meeting space?

The former YMCA hall has been done up. It is now available to local groups to rent, afternoons and evenings. it has a kitchen area, and a hall. Not quite as big as the Parish Hall next door, it can seats 60 ish but is also great for meetings of 12 - 20 people.  (It's 8.66m x 6.16m ). £9.30 an hour to hire.

For bookings or to look round call 01454 866251.

You can find it on Station Road, one of the three community buildings by the small Tesco. It's the own nearest the town centre.  BS37 5PQ

(The photo shows the Focus Team members who managed to raise the cash to buy this for continuing community use and get it done up)

Saturday, 15 February 2020

Focus Team win cash for Yate Outdoor Disabled Sports

At last, we have got confirmation that we will be getting a grant for more kit for disabled sports at Yate Outdoor Sports Complex. (You may have seen reports of this in the newspaper a couple of weeks ago, but that was a press release from someone who had not been involved in the grant process, and just heard we had an application in and we were likely to get the money.) Now it has been confirmed.

This is £57,618 for track and field equipment for disabled athletes at YOSC and some additional drainage work.

If you've never been to YOSC or don't know where it is, it is worth going up to have a look. You could pop in and have a drink in the bar and find out more.

A committee, made up of councillors from  the Focus Team  have raised over £1.5MILLION to do the site up since South Gloucestershire transferred it back to Yate Town Council. South Glos had let it get run down, but it now  brand new athletics track and field, a target sprint  facility, brand new all weather surface for hockey and football, grass pitches and work starts next week on a new multi use indoor sports building. All paid for by money the committee has raised from local businesses, councils, Sport England and developers.

The entire facility is run by a group of volunteers, called YOSC Ltd - transforming it from a site that lost £190k a year when S Glos run it, into a self financing project without putting up charges!

Princess Anne visited the site last year to congratulate the councillors and volunteers who have transformed the facility.  So if you are interested in sport, and have not been, do check it out.

(Head for Brimsham Green School and just beyond the School you will find the access road)

Photo - users, volunteers, members of the Focus Team, town council staff and contractors at the handover of the upgraded facilities.

Thursday, 13 February 2020

Abbotswood Play is OPEN

The fencing is down, the new Abbotswood Play equipment by the shops is OPEN

There are still things like bins  and signs to be done, but it has passed its safety certificate today, so it can be used.

Here's the giant ant and the web - just two of the new pieces of equipment - alongside new paving and seats.  They're very different from the usual play area kit so worth checking out.

The whole design is the result of consultation with local residents, and the Abbotswood Action Group. Installed by Yate Town Council's Play Area group who raised the money to do what residents were asking for.  Do let Cheryl Kirby or Tony Davis from the Focus Team if you spot teething problems.

Howard Lewis Park new play equipment

Have you visited the new play equipment in Howard Lewis Park?

If you've not been there before, it's on the Ridge (the area by the tree sculpture)  behind the shops.  Why not visit the local shops whilst you are there too.

The photo shows the Mayor, others members of the Focus Team and Town Council staff at the opening - who were involved in raising the funds and making it happen.

If you have ideas for how to improve the play areas in our town, please contact your Focus Team.

Tuesday, 11 February 2020

MORE roadworks on Goose Green Way

Starting 2 days after the Randolph Ave roundabout works, there will be a major resurfacing job on Goose Green Way from just south of where Greenways Road bridge crosses it, down to the Link Road roundabout.  Works will be noisy and run from 8pm to 6am.

Goose Green Way & Randolph Ave closed for noisy night resurfacing

The section of Goose Green Way  coming into Yate approaching the Randolph Ave roundabout, and the entrance to Randolph Ave is going to be closed from  8pm until 6am from 26th Feb until the work is done.
South Glos say this will create a significant amount of noise. The road will be closed so all access to Brimsham Park will be from Peg Hill - and all traffic coming into Yate will need to use other roads such as Greenways Road.

South Glos says that they will do their best to ensure people can still get to their properties, but ' there may be periods of time when access will be unachievable.

Here's the plan showing the area they will be resurfacing.

Want some new IT skills?

This really friendly small group provides 1:1 support for whatever you are trying to do on your computer or smart phone - from how to switch it on, right through to advanced excel. It will help you with projects like writing up holiday diaries or inventing a spread sheet.  You can pick which morning you want to go to, and go for as  many weeks as you want.  The Brockridge is easy to get to by bus (it is about 5 mins walk down Woodend Road from the bus stop nearest the Miners Institute on the Badminton Road at Coalpit Heath). Yate residents very welcome.

Monday, 10 February 2020

Can't wait? Looking for a loo

Have you ever encountered that moment when you are desperate for the loo and there isn't a public look around? The Can't wait scheme is designed to tackle that.

If you spot this sign, it means the shop or building has agreed to make their private toilets available to disabled people with an urgent need. with have a 'can't wait' card. 

The Focus Team has  got all Yate Town Council's buildings to join the scheme  - so you can use their loos if you're a card holder.

If you run a business or community building in our town, could YOU sign up and display a postcard in your window to support the scheme.

If you would like to support the scheme or need info on how to get a Can't Wait card, following the link below:

Sunday, 9 February 2020

Rodford Way and Shire Way Speeding

Residents who came to the town council meeting  and their councillors
Residents from the Rodford Way and Shire Way areas met with Town Councillors from the Focus Team to identify a 6 point action plan to try to tackle  speeding, particularly late night speedsters, and other problems on Shire Way and Rodford Way. Since then we've taken advice from other communities who have encountered similar problems, the police have been out doing speed checks. Residents have been advised to call the police when they get late night problems - if we don't log the problems then the police won't allocate resources to sort it.

Saturday, 8 February 2020

Play area and 'pavilion' plans behind Meadow Mead

Developers have put in plans for a play area and 'pavilion' right behind the houses in Meadow Mead to be used for community events. 

Two years ago, when developers first put in plans, they included an aerial cableway. Residents got a promise it would be removed. But it is back in on the latest plans. And on top of that they have added a wooden ' Pavilion' for public events, right behind houses. It will not be locked, will not have doors or windows, but will be flat roofed (ideal for climbing on). The Focus Team have written to residents alerting them to the plans, so they can comment. We've put the plan for the play area and the pavilion drawing below to give you an idea of what they propose. You can see where the existing Meadow Mead houses are at the bottom of the plan (number 6, is 6 Meadow Mead).

 Yate Town Council has objected, saying the play equipment should be in the park, in the existing play area within yards of this, not right behind houses.  Residents have been lodging objections. If you want to see what is planned and add your comments go to  the S Glos planning site:

https://developments.southglos.gov.uk/online-applications/ and put in the application number PK18/0529/RM

Friday, 7 February 2020

Are you a bus user? Want to improve bus services?

Focus Team members campaigning for better bus services
If you're reading this sitting on a bus, or use buses/ would like to use them, please could you check out the new plans for buses across the whole area around Bristol (called the West of England Bus Strategy).

There is a survey form and a set of proposals.

If you want to get better services here in Yate it would be really helpful if EVERYONE filled it in. The more people fill it in, the more likely they are to notice that we want better and cheaper services.

Most of the document is stuff that of course we want - but don't forget to add in details about what really frustrates you about buses round here at present. Take it as a chance to get things off your chest.

Just click on https://travelwest.info/projects/transport-consultations/west-of-england-bus-strategy

URGENT - SEND (Special Education Needs Review) SURVEY & MEETING 10 Feb

If you have any experience of the way children with special needs are supported in schools here - or worry about funding please contribute your views. Claire Young and your Focus Team have  been  supporting parents arguing for better funding for schools and children with special needs.Now current and future children with special needs,  need your support, by feeding into the review. To find out more about groups working to get improvements to special needs support here look for 'SEND Emergency' on facebook 

The Ofsted re-visit will take place from Monday 10 to Wednesday 12 February 2020. The Ofsted/CQC team will be keen to speak to as many children and young people and their parents and carers as possible, specifically about the weaknesses identified in the written statement of action (WSOA) for special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).You can complete an online survey ahead of the re-visit, from 12 noon on Monday 3 February to 12 noon on Friday 7 February. Parents and carers who would like to take part in this survey can follow this link: https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/SouthGloucestershireRe-Vis…/ .

There will be an open meeting of parents and carers and the Ofsted/CQC re-visit team. The meeting will take place on Monday 10 February at BAWA, 589 Southmead Road, Filton, BS34 7RF from 7pm until 8.30pm. Please register your interest in attending the open meeting through South Glos Parents & Carers (the local SEND Parent Carer Forum).https://www.sglospc.org.uk/shop/ofsted-cqc . - you can find more info about the meeting there. 

For full details of the re-visit and how you can contribute your views visit www.southglos.gov.uk/SENDrevisit

Nibley Lane closed 13 Feb

Nibley Lane, Yate will be closed on Thursday 13 February from 9.30am – 3.30pm for cleansing work. This involves litter clearance, gully emptying and road sweeping. South Glos say they cannot do this work safely without closing the road. 

The alternative route is via Badminton Road, Station Road, Westerleigh Road and vice versa. They've apologised for the inconvenience caused. It will also mean Station Road is a lot busier that day.

Wednesday, 29 January 2020

Flooding on Greenways Road

We hope this might now be over. After years of problems with water  coming from the Quarry direction across the road towards Wiltshire Ave and Dorset Way  - new ditches have been put in to try to prevent water reaching the road.
The Local Flood Authority (South Glos Council)  have got the quarry to carry out investigations. They identified a lot of water ponds at the top of the hill following use of the dust suppression machines (something we and residents had been pointing out). They are now going to carry out dye tests to see whether the water at the top is the source of the problem. They are going to monitor the new ditch over a period, and compare that with the dust suppression system use as well to see if there is a link.  The aim is to find a more permanent solution.
Meanwhile, let us hope the new ditch helps. Thanks to the dogged residents and councillors who have fought to get action - and to the officers who are on the case.

The photo shows the problem on the right, at the start of the works.

Tuesday, 28 January 2020

Feel better in Feburary -

News of communnity events (text from Abbotswood Action)
Supporting Feel Good February, Take 5 4 U is coming to Abbotswood!

Every Friday in February, 10 - 11am take a little break from reality and let us look after you. Free refreshments and activities available at every session! Come and join in the fun or simply have a few minutes breathing space from the stresses of every day life.

7th - Healthy snacks and lunches. Pop in for some new recipe inspiration to liven up your lunchbox and take a tasty treat away with you to nibble on the way home.

14th - Self care. One of our volunteers is kindly offering hand massages to our guests. Sample some different scented oils to make the experience completely unique to you.

21st - Colour yourself calm. Access our range of colouring books for a few moments of relaxed creativity. We have books for children and adults as it's half term... Or join in with a group freestyle creation.

28th - Guided relaxation. We've nearly made it through the winter so join our volunteer in a guided relaxation session. Head home feeling refreshed and ready for spring.

Hosted by the community drop in service, St. Nicholas Family Centre, Chargrove.

As part of this  Abbotswood action are putting together a booklet of recipes for health lunches or snacwellbeingks. If you have any favourites you would be happy to share, please send them via the Abbotswood action Facebook page or email community.aag@gmail.com

Monday, 27 January 2020


Rodford Way to be Closed - for resurfacing

(Photo - members of the Focus Team on the Sundridge Park / Rodford Way corner, taken at the start of Jan as part of arguing for the massive potholes to be surfaced)

GOOD NEWS: Rodford Way from the Kelston Close junction to the Shire Way junction is going to be resurfaced - some of the potholes, particularly on the corners are huge, deep and dangerous, so this is long overdue.

But it means closing the road......

South Glos has made the closure orders. The order says it will close the road from 6 April for up to 18 months!! We've checked and they think it will only be for a fortnight, but haven't pinned down exact dates.  We asked them about residents  in Bredon, Glenfall Abbotswood and all the other roads and all the Abbotswood businesses. They have today confirmed that they are waiting for the outcome of some coring tests they have been doing to work out how deep the work will need to be - then they will know how long.

But that have promised that all residents and businesses whose only access is from the closed road will have their access at all times - though there might be some delays in getting access.  Watch out for signs giving you advance warning.

Roadworks warning Iron Acton bypass and Westerleigh

Roadworks in all directions:

1, Latteridge Road  Iron Acton  - the Latteridge bends. 3 - 18th Feb - this road will be closed from the junction with the B4058 Bristol Road to just past the railway crossing for major resurfacing. The closure will be in place from 8pm to 6am every night and a signed diversion will be in place. There will still be access for residents. 

2 Latteridge lights - 3 - 18 Feb  - the actual lights and the junction area will be resurfaced at some point during that fortnight. It will be closed for 2 nights to do the work. 

3 Westerleigh Road between Westerleigh and Pucklechurch - 17 - 21 Feb. In order to build a new island refuge outside the Crematorium, as part of a pedestrian improvement scheme, South Glos council is CLOSING the road (again, you recall a closure last year slightly further along). According to the Council the closure will only be in place on the stretch of road outside the crematorium, with access to properties  maintained.  Access to the crematorium will be from the Westerleigh end only. Details are at: https://consultations.southglos.gov.uk/consult.ti/Westerleigh_Ped_Scheme/consultationHome?fbclid=IwAR3wmWptrw7As1WaaqhkSVY6A970l0xkVeI6C8DJy3ZtTZxEBXA9t-vTf8g


Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Work starts on Abbotswood's new play area

Work has started on doing up the grass  and paved area at Abbotswood. Yate Town Council is doing the work  with money the Focus Team won. Here's the master plan, but what you finally see on site might be a bit different, as some changes are being agreed on site as works progress, eg to make sure there is still plenty of room for the Christmas Tree and  reindeer. We need to ensure these important December visitors have the space they need. If you have any comments about what is being done, or questions, contact Tony Davis - who is on the town council group who are organising the improvements and funding them.

Here's a photo of the work taken by Abbotswood Action Group through the fencing.....

Tuesday, 21 January 2020

Church Road Potholes
Some good(ish) news. Drivers will have noticed the patch repairs done a year so ago now have their own potholes. South Glos hoped the patches would last until they could afford a complete resurface. No such luck. Officials have now promised the Focus Team they will do some more temporary patching - but have also found the money to do the full resurfacing it so desperately needs in 2020-21 financial year. They're trying to schedule it for the school holidays, as closing Church Rd in term time would be (even more than usually) chaotic! 

Monday, 20 January 2020

Happy to Chat?

New ' Happy to Chat' signs are springing up on benches around town. The first ones are at St Mary's Green and Kingsgate Park. Sit there if you are happy to chat to others. Done by Yate Town Council following an idea from the police to combat loneliness. If you know of a bench that should have a sign please tell the Focus Team.