Friday, 26 June 2015

Worrying noises from Government about Yate Minor Injuries Unit

Focus Team councillors demanding better use of the MIU

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

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

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

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Developers get bad press two weeks running

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

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

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

Monday, 22 June 2015

Potholes, the Power of the Press and Focus

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

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

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

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

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Yate Rocks to the music this weekend

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Top Tips on staying safe from rogue traders and distraction burglars

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

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

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

There is more advice at:

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

It's Festival Week in Chipping Sodbury!

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

Monday, 15 June 2015

Voluntary organisation networking events in early July

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

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

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

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

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

Venue: Poole Court, Poole Court Drive, Yate, South Gloucestershire, BS37 5PP
Time: 9.30am - 12.30pm
Further details: Jackie Lawton,, 01454 865205

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

Venue: The Park Centre, High Street, Kingswood, South Gloucestershire, BS15 4AR
Time: 9.30am - 12.30pm
Further details: Alice Payne,, 0117 960 4186

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

Venue: Bradley Stoke Evangelical Church, Baileys Court Road, Bradley Stoke, Bristol, South Gloucestershire BS32 8BH. (Please note: The postcode will take to The Bailey’s Court Inn. With the pub on your left drive to the next roundabout, go straight ahead and the church is on your right)
Time: 10.00am - 1.00pm
Further details: Kate Ross,,  01454 868570

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Community Learning open day at Yate Library Tue 16 June

10.00-12.00 IT drop-in

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

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

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

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

Contact details for booking and to find out more:
  • Telephone 01454 864613
  • Email

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

Monday, 8 June 2015

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

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

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

Please call 01454 864154 to book your place.

Friday, 5 June 2015

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

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

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

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

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

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

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

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

Monday, 1 June 2015

Railway path closure

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

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

You can read the full details from the council here.