Friday, 30 June 2017

Street art project for Abbotswood underpass

Abbotswood Action Group are organising a street art project in the underpass by the precinct. The project will be led by an organisation called Paintsmiths. The dates for the project are as follows:
  • Workshops at the Youth club: Friday 7th July, Tuesday 11th of July (7pm to 9pm)
  • Workshops at the shops: Monday 24th 11am to 1:30pm and Tuesday 25th (5pm to 7:30pm)
  • Painting In the Underpass during the week of: Monday 24th to Friday 28th July
More information about Paintsmiths can be found here: http://www.paintsmiths.org/

Abbotswood Action Group would love to see anyone who is interested at the workshops.

It's actually 30 years since the previous mural was done - local people of a certain age will remember the alien with a basketball. Does anyone have any photos of it? If so, please email paul.hulbert@gmail.com - if they're prints, we would be happy to scan them and let you have the prints back.

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Have your say on the South Glos Health & Wellbeing Strategy

Public consultation has opened on a new joint strategy to guide the work of the South Gloucestershire Health and Wellbeing Board (HWB) over the next four years to improve the health of everyone living and working in South Gloucestershire.

The JHWS sets out four key priorities where the Board feel their work can improve the health and wellbeing of people living and working in South Gloucestershire. These are:
  • Improve educational attainment and raise aspirations through promotion of health and wellbeing in schools and colleges
  • Promote and enable positive mental health and wellbeing at every stage of life
  • Promote and enable good nutrition, physical activity and a healthy weight throughout life
  • Maximise the potential of our built and natural environment to enable healthy lifestyles and prevent disease
The JHWS is keen to receive your thoughts and opinions on the draft strategy. This consultation is open until midnight on 21st August 2017.

Lots more information, including the draft strategy and the consultation questionnaire, can be found on the consultation website here

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Do you have a road safety concern?

Since the Area Forums were scrapped, the council needed a new way to handle the local road safety schemes. If you have a road safety concern, you can now ask the council to investigate it by submitting the Highways Investigation Request Form. You will need the support of at least one local ward member and parish councillor on behalf of the parish council.

Highways officers will assess your request to see if a viable scheme is likely. If it is, it will be added to the Local Transport Investigation List and once a year will be scored and prioritised along with all the other schemes on the list. The 15 highest scoring will be investigated.

Once investigated, three things can happen:
  1. If there is a simple, low cost solution, that will be programmed to be implemented immediately.
  2. If a more involved scheme is needed, it will be entered on the Local Transport Priority List.
  3. If no scheme is recommended, you will be told no further action will be taken.
Once a year all the schemes on the Local Transport Priority List will be scored and prioritised and given an estimated cost. The top scoring schemes will go on the council's Capital Programme for the following financial year.

You can see the current lists of possible future Investigation and Implementation schemes online. You can also see the Capital Programme for 2017-18.

You can find out more about the process here.The links above may change as time goes on, but the links on the process page should take you to the latest versions.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Could YOU be a library volunteer?




Chipping Sodbury Library was earmarked for closure last year due to South Glos plans to save money, but following a local campaign it will now stay open on the condition that it is run by members of the community.

Friends of Chipping Sodbury Library are now looking for around 40 people to work shifts at the facility on a regular basis.

The library will be handed over to the community on the last weekend of September, with volunteers taking over running it during the first week of October.

They will work in shifts of around four hours, with the library expected to be open for 14 to 16 hours each week.

SGC are helping with some of the costs involved, including building maintenance, but the everyday job of running the library will be down to members of the community.

If you're interested, please contact the library for further details.

Monday, 26 June 2017

Picnics and Play events - Saturday 15 July 2017, 12 noon to 4 pm

Do you have neighbours you've never met? Have you ever thought it would be nice if someone organised a community get-together near where you live? Perhaps you (with help) could organise s neighbourly picnic!

Abbotswood Action Group is encouraging people from the lcal area to host a "bring and share" picnic with games and activities on your nearest green space or tarmac play area.

AAG will be happy to help with invites, encouragement and advice. They also have a small fund to help with purchases of play equipment if needed for your picnic (first come first served!)

All the picnics will be put on a map so people can wander around and enjoy different activities.

If you and a group of neighbours would like to join in, please contact Rob on 07890 569196, speak with a member of the AAG committee, or email community.aag@gmail.com

Quite a few picnics have already been registered. Dodington Parish is planning one at Woodchester Play Area, where you can give your views about improvements to the play area and meet your local councillors. Kelston Close residents and Solon South West Housing Association are running a picnic and fun afternoon at QE2 Kelston Close playing field, and lots more gatherings are already being planned.

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Yate Spur cycle path - B4465 to Broad Lane Westerleigh

Work on the Westerleigh Road to Broad Lane (Westerleigh) section of the Yate Spur cycle path has now been scheduled to start on 3 July 2017. It's expected to last for four months.

This is the stretch that starts from the T junction south of Westerleigh, where they recently put in a crossing near the cottages. It will run up inside the farmer's field to what was previously Cornerways Day Nursery, the old school building.

One more small length in the bigger project!

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Free Couch to 40k Bike Course starting 1st July

Have you got a bike resting idle in your shed, garage or propped under the stairs? Do you lack confidence about your ride skills, what to wear or how to train for fitness? If so, SportsPound's Couch to 40k bike course might be right for you!

Cycling is an ideal way to build your fitness as it’s weight bearing which makes it gentle on your joints. They're going to start off with advice on what to wear, how to use your gears properly and how best to train, ride assertively and stay safe. They will also supply you with suggestions on pleasant cycling routes in South Glos.

They then take you to a closed road site to practice your skills and get used to riding. There will also the option of a bike MOT so you can check how roadworthy it is. The next part of the course is ‘virtual’ which you do at your own pace and convenience over the following 9 weeks, using a smartphone app (ypu can also log in and update your progress manually). The organisers will suggest suitable meeting points for you to get together with others and ride together from hubs around South Gloucestershire.

Finally everyone comes back together on Sunday 3rd September for our 40k ride. Starting at Page Park Staple Hill you’ll follow a traffic free route that takes you 40km (25 miles) through South Glos to Bath and return.

You can click here to find out more and to sign up or check out SportsPound on Facebook

Friday, 23 June 2017

Tern Inn planning application refused


The planning application to demolish the Tern Inn and build flats on the site and the adjacent car park has just been REFUSED. This very popular local pub and live music venue and the car park were recently classed as "Assets of Community Value" (ACVs). The pub was forced to close on 11 June because the owner refused to renew the lease, and the property has since been boarded up.

The key reasons for refusal were:
  • Taking away the pub and the car park would have a very negative impact on the Heron Way Local Centre
  • The proposal would remove the pub, listed as an ACV, without an alternative within 800 metres, which is against South Glos planning policy
  • It would also mean the loss of the Local Centre Car Park, also an ACV, without any alternative
  • The scheme would not have enough parking and delivery space, and it would push vehicles out onto the main road. The overall effect has been classed as "severe" and "detrimental to the travelling public"
The full decision notice can be seen here

So what might happen now? There are three possibilities:
  • The landowner could appeal against the decision - this is the most likely. In that case the Government will appoint an independent inspector who would hold a hearing locally.
  • The owner might submit a different scheme, and the planning process would start all over again
  • The owner might concede defeat and consider negotiating with other interested parties
This is one small step towards getting the pub and the car park back, but nothing is guaranteed. Local people and Dodington Parish Council, who have supported the campaign all the way, will need to keep up the community pressure.

You can find the Birds Resident Group on Facebook.

Yate Rocks this weekend!

The popular Yate Rocks Festival will take place in Kingsgate Park again this weekend. The main music festival 12.00 - 8.00 pm on Saturday 24 June will have a wide range of music from local bands such as Toby, Tail Lights, Uncle Buck, Limited Edition, Elevation, Atlantic, Fire Blisters, and the Yate Rock Choir.

There will be dance shows, arts and crafts, refreshments and children’s games and activities.

On Sunday morning there will be a church service from 10.30am to 12 noon, followed by a picnic in the park at 1.30pm.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Temporary closure of Yate Road


Yate Road will be closed for up to 5 days from 26th June from the junction with Armstrong Way to approximately 50m south of the road over rail bridge. That's the road that runs from the big roundabout on the Iron Acton road, heading south to join up with Stover Road.

This is to allow urgent repair works to be carried out on the bridge. The 7.5t Weight Restriction on the A432 Station Road between its junctions with Longs Drive and Westerleigh Road will be temporarily suspended.

The diversion route will be B4059 Iron Acton Way, B4059 Goose Green Way, B4059 Link Road, A432 Kennedy Way, A432 Station Road, A432 Badminton Road, B4059 Stover Road and vice versa.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Advice sessions on South Glos Member Awarded Funding

Last year South Glos launched the Member Awarded Funding (MAF) scheme that gives Councillors the opportunity to make awards to projects and services that benefit residents in their ward. From 1 April 2017 each councillor has an allocation of £3,000 to award to local projects and services before 31 March 2018.

South Glos is offering voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations and Town or Parish Councils the opportunity to drop-in at one of their advice sessions to meet with a Grant Officer for help and support with the MAF process, such as:
  • How to register your organisation on the grants on-line system
  • How to create or revise policies
  • How to apply to your Councillor(s)
  • How to complete an application form
  • How to apply if your project crosses ward boundaries
The sessions are being held in Room 0013 at the Council Offices, Badminton Road, Yate, BS37 5AF:
  • Wednesday 21 June 09:00-13:30
  • Monday 24 July 09:00-13:30
  • Monday 14 August 12:30-15.30
For more information please contact the Grants Helpline, Mon-Fri, 9am to 4pm, on 01454 865865 or grants@southglos.gov.uk.  The sessions are open and so please do just drop-in. However, if you would prefer to book a place, please contact the team to arrange.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Retirement flats proposed for green space in densely packed development

Councillors and residents at Normandy Drive

A development company has announced plans to build upmarket retirement flats on land at Normandy Drive, Yate, that was previously promised as community space.

Churchill Retirement Living has announced the proposals, claiming the development would meet an “urgent need” for elderly housing.

But residents who bought their homes from previous landowner Taylor Wimpey say they were told that the land would be kept for community use.

The only community space on the densely-packed development is a small nature reserve area on land that was unsuitable for building anyway, and there is no provision for children to play safely. Elswick Park is also one of the most congested areas in Yate for parking.

Local councillors are opposed to the proposals.

“We have fought hard to stop this land being built over completely, it was meant to be used by the community. There has been no discussion with local councillors about these latest plans” said Cllr Ruth Davis. 

More roadworks on B4465 Codrington road


South Glos Council will be undertaking essential works on the B4465 between 3 and 14 July. For quite a bit of the time the road will be closed at two locations:

Site ‘A’ is at Watts Barn, where works involve the installation of road gullies and a new drainage system.

Site ‘B’ is located in Codrington village itself. The works comprise of carriageway reconstruction / resurfacing. The limits of the surfacing are from the Wishing Well Public house westwards for 500m through the village.

The closure times etc are as follows:



Local premises will shortly receive a letter with more details.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Wanted - your views on bus services


South Glos Council currently subsidises a number of bus services in our area. They are now asking for your views on these in an online survey.

Printed copies will be available at all South Gloucestershire libraries and One Stop Shops and there will also be roadshow events:

Saturday 24th June, 11.00-14.00, Yate Shopping Centre
Tuesday 27th June, 10.00-14.00, Willow Brook Centre, Bradley Stoke
Friday 30th June, 10.00-14.00 The Mall, Cribbs Causeway
Thursday 6th July, 11.00-14.00 St Mary’s Shopping Centre, Thornbury
Wednesday 12th July, 08.00-10.00, Bristol Parkway Station

The consultation runs until 3rd September.

Have your say on changes to Policies, Sites and Places Plan

Following the hearing sessions on the Policies Sites and Places Plan (PSP Plan), a number of Main Modifications to the plan are now being released for public consultation. You have until 24th July 2017 to have your say using the official response form. You can only make comments on the Main Modifications, not on any other part of the PSP Plan.

The Schedule of Main Modifications, a response form, along with supporting information are available to view online here.

The Planning Inspector for the examination will consider comments received on the Main Modifications, before publishing her Report on the overall soundness and suitability for adoption of the PSP Plan.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Weekly recycling starts this week

Don't forget that from the week beginning 19th June 2017 your recycling will be collected every week. You can find out more at www.southglos.gov.uk/wastestrategy

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Rail electrification - noisy work ahead

Major electrification work will be taking place in our area from 19 August to 15 September, night and day. Some of the work will be noisy, and deliveries to Network Rail compounds along the route (e.g. Shire Way access point) will be made by road, so nearby roads will experience an increase in traffic.

The work will be on the main line from Royal Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire, to Patchway/Filton junctions, via Old Sodbury, Chipping Sodbury and Yate to Westerleigh Junction.

In addition, from 2 September to 15 September 2017, the work area will extend to include Westerleigh Junction towards Yate station, Coalpit Heath, Winterbourne, Stoke Gifford and Bristol Parkway station, up to Patchway/Filton junctions.

Network Rail say "We are electrifying the line to bring passengers quieter, more frequent and more reliable services between London Paddington and Cardiff"

The work includes:
  • Carrying out the piling required to install the foundations which will support the electrification equipment. That's the really noisy part.
  • Installing the equipment, including trackside masts and overhead wires at some locations.
  • Installing electrification equipment in Chipping Sodbury tunnel.
  • Improving flood resilience at Chipping Sodbury sidings.
  • Preparing Bristol Parkway station for the arrival of new InterCity Express trains, including the construction of a fourth platform.
How can you find out more?

1. Network Rail are setting up a dedicated web page at www.networkrail.co.uk/westernupgrade which will be available from Monday 19 June. It contains more detailed information about the work they will be carrying out and will be updated regularly as the project progresses. It also has a useful introductory video.

2. Network Rail will also be running drop-in sessions, when members of the project team will be on hand to explain the work and answer your questions. The sessions nearest to us are:
  • Thursday 29 June, Coalpit Heath Village Hall, 4.30pm to 7pm
  • Tuesday 4 July, Ridgewood Community Centre, Yate, 4.30pm to 7pm
  • Tuesday 11 July, The Old School Rooms, St Michael’s Centre, Stoke Gifford,
    4.30pm to 7pm
  • Wednesday 12 July, Chipping Sodbury Town Hall, 4.30pm to 7pm
  • Thursday 13 July, Trinity Primary School, Acton Turville, 6pm to 8pm
  • Tuesday 18 July, Old Sodbury Village Hall, 4.30pm to 7pm
  • Tuesday 25 July, All Saints Church Hall, Winterbourne Down, 4.30pm to 7pm.
3. If you have any questions about the work, you can email Network Rail at crwest@networkrail.co.uk or call the 24-hour National Helpline on 03457 11 41 41. For updates, you can follow them on Twitter @networkrailwest



Friday, 16 June 2017

Tern Inn - flats recommended for refusal

The Planning Officer has now compiled his very detailed report on the proposed flats development on the site of the Tern Inn and car park at Heron Way. In summary, the report recommends refusal because of:
  • The effect on the Heron Way shops
  • The loss of the Tern Inn, which is listed as an Asset of Community Value
  • The loss of the car park, which is also listed as an Asset of Community Value
  • The added on-street congestion and effect on visibility 
As well as the petitions against the development, there were 309 objections to the scheme but only 3 people who wrote in to support it. There were strong objections from Dodington Parish Council, Yate Town Council, Cllr Claire Young and Luke Hall MP, plus of course the Birds Resident Group.

The report will now go to South Gloucestershire Council to decide whether to allow or refuse the planning application.

If the application is refused, the developer can appeal to a government inspector. Alternatively they might put in a different planning application for the same site.

We'll keep you posted with any news.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Temporary traffic lights coming at A46 / B4465 junction

Temporary traffic lights will  be installed shortly at Dodington Ash, where the road from Westerleigh and Codrington meets the A46. The lights are needed because this will be a major diversion route when work is taking place on the Bromley Heath viaduct on the Ring Road.

The installation work will take place between 9.30 am and 3.30 pm from now until 2 June. The temporary lights will then be in operation for the duration of the viaduct works, which will be aroind 52 weeks (or 33 weeks if South Glos find the money to work extra hours to speed up the viaduct works)

Friday, 9 June 2017

Thornbury and Yate General Election result 2017

The results of the 2017 General Election in the Thornbury and Yate constituency are as follows:
  • Luke Hall (Conservative) 28,008 ELECTED
  • Claire Young (Liberal Democrats) 15,937
  • Brian Mead (Labour) 6,112
  • Iain Hamilton (Green) 633
Many thanks to everyone who supported us, and to all those who worked so hard on our campaign.