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.