Friday, 23 February 2018

South Glos consultations: Special Educational Needs /Disability, climate, social housing, sports facilities

Lots of South Glos consultations are around at the moment. Let's hope that some of them result in actions rather than just intentions:

Draft Special Educational Needs and/or Disability Strategy, 2018-2023. Deadline 12 March

Climate Change Strategy 2018-2023, aims to help South Glos become climate resilient with a thriving Low Carbon economy and lifestyle. Deadline 12 March

Proposed changes to Homechoice Re-housing Policy: how they assess applications for and allocate social housing. Deadline 26 March

Draft Playing Pitches, Indoor and Built Sports Facilities Strategies from South Gloucestershire Council, who seek your comments. Deadline 24 April

Other South Glos consultations are available from the Public Consultation home page

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Get ready to retune your TVs again - 27 February

Following a decision by Ofcom, channels in the UHF band currently used for digital terrestrial television (DTT) are being reallocated for the development of future mobile services. Freeview viewers (and those with other services that use Freeview channels, like YouView) will need to retune their TV equipment when changes take place in their area.

The biggest change in this area will be on 27 February 2018, when the main Mendip transmitter frequencies are changed. If you get your signal from one of the local relay stations you can find out changeover dates from this page .

Don't forget that you will need to retune Freeview digital recorders and Freeview set-top boxes as well. Further changes are due in the second quarter of 2019.

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Rural broadband latest

There is good news for some of our villages, with fibre broadband being delivered to new parts of communities including Coalpit Heath, Codrington, Dodington, Tytherington and Westerleigh. To find out what broadband speeds and packages are available to you, contact your chosen Internet Service Provider (ISP). Note that broadband speeds will not automatically improve, you need to order a suitable package.

Some parts of Codrington have had their upgrade delayed due to the need to close a road. They hope to complete deployment in Codrington by the end of February 2018.

An extra 4,300 homes and businesses will get ultrafast and Next Generation Access broadband by the end of 2018 and Openreach have now confirmed which areas will be included. As with previous phases of the scheme, not all premises within postcodes will be upgraded and individual householders/businesses should check via the Openreach website.

For more information on the rollout of broadband across South Gloucestershire see this website.

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Have your say on new South Glos Local Plan

South Gloucestershire Council has started a consultation on the new Local Plan, which will set out how the development proposed in the Joint Spatial Plan for the West of England will be delivered in South Gloucestershire. The consultation will run until 30th April and documents are available to view on the Council’s website at

A hard copy of the consultation document is available to view from 8.45am - 5pm Mondays to Wednesdays and 8.45am - 4.30pm Thursdays and Fridays, at the Council’s One-Stop Shops, which are located at:

  • Patchway One Stop Shop, The Patchway Hub, Rodway Road, Patchway BS34 5PE
  • Kingswood One Stop Shop, Civic Centre, High Street, Kingswood BS15 9TR
  • Yate One Stop Shop (access via West Walk), Kennedy Way, Yate BS37 4DQ
There will also be public drop-in events. The nearest to us is 6-8pm on Tuesday 20 March at the Ridgewood Community Centre, Yate (BS37 4AF). Details of all the events are available at

Part 2 of the document introduces the proposed strategy for delivering the development:
  • building out the developments already allocated in the council's Core Strategy
  • maximising the use of brownfield land within the urban areas
  • building the 5 large scale Strategic Development Locations set out in the Joint Spatial Plan for the West of England (Coalpit Heath, North West and West of Yate, Thornbury, Buckover and Charfield)
  • smaller scale development in the rural areas. 
Yate is one of the areas being looked at for maximising the use of brownfield land in urban areas and the question about how to approach development in the rural areas affects all our villages. The consultation document also sets out what is happening with the Strategic Development Locations and how the local communities will be involved further but does not ask specific questions around those.

The council would prefer you to use the response form available online to make comments. If you are unable to do so, you can submit comments by email to or by post. There is no need to submit comments in multiple different ways.

Monday, 19 February 2018

Distraction burglary alert

Our local police have issued the following alert:

"At some point between 1.30 and 2.15pm on Tuesday 30 January, an unknown male knocked on the back door of a home in Harescombe. He had gone by the time the elderly resident got there, but then knocked on the front door. He claimed that he had hit their garage with his car and the homeowner went to have a look. No damage could be seen, and when the caller left it was discovered that jewellery was missing, and it seems that another offender has entered through the front door when the resident was at the garage, at the rear of the property"

"The offender was described as being a white male, about 5ft 10in tall, with cropped brown hair. He was clean shaven and spoke with an Irish accent. Please view the attached E-fit of the suspect. If you contact the police about this incident, please quote Reference number: 5218022392"

"If you have any information regarding this incident, contact the Police on 101. Alternatively you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111"

Charity brass band concert - Wonderful World - 16 March

Dodington Parish Band, in association with Dodington Parish Council, are giving a concert on Friday 16th March 2018 at 7:30 pm to celebrate the life of long-serving parish councillor Cliff Phelps, who died last year. Brass band music was one of Cliff's passions.

All proceeds will be split between good causes of Cliff's choice – the eating disorder charity B-eat and Dodington Parish Band. Tickets cost £5 each from the Parish Office at Dodington Parish hall in Finch Road.

Sunday, 18 February 2018

South Glos budget passed with £36m in cuts and 5.99% council tax increase

On Wednesday the Conservatives on South Gloucestershire set a budget containing £36 million in cuts in 2019-2022, including over £16 million from adult and children's social services. This was despite a 5.99% council tax rise, including 3% for social care services.

Last week Claire Young chaired a detailed scrutiny of the budget where the Conservatives admitted they don't yet know how many of these cuts will be made. While the Liberal Democrats support some elements, such as the ongoing commitment to keeping free parking to support our town centres and  money for school improvement, we could not support a budget with so many holes and no proposals of how to fill them.

Councils across the country are being squeezed by the Conservative Government. An amendment, seconded by Claire, was passed noting with dismay the ongoing reduction in central government Settlement Funding for South Gloucestershire Council and its impact on the council's core spending power.