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Council vehicle destroyed in suspected arson attack at Baileys Court

Posted on Wednesday 23rd July 2014 at 1:20 pm by SH (Editor)

Aftermath of a suspected arson attack on a storage container at the Baileys Court Activity Centre in Bradley Stoke, Bristol.

Thousands of pounds of damage has been caused in a suspected arson attack on storage containers located on the edge of the cricket field at the Baileys Court Activity Centre in Bradley Stoke.

Fire crews from Patchway, Southmead and Soundwell attended the incident shortly after 3am on Tuesday morning (22nd July). On arrival, they found two containers well alight.

The fire was extinguished by four firefighters wearing breathing apparatus using a 45mm jet reel and a high pressure hose.

A spokesperson for the Avon Fire & Rescue Service said it is believed the fire was started deliberately.

The main part of the fire was in a container used by Bradley Stoke Town Council to house its three-wheel ‘tuk-tuk’ maintenance vehicle, which was completely destroyed (photo). The container is also believed to have housed equipment belonging to Bradley Stoke in Bloom (BSiB) and Bradley Stoke Radio.

Smoke and heat damage was also caused to equipment owned by Bradley Stoke Cricket Club stored in an adjoining container.

The Journal has heard from a number of sources that an attempt had been made to break into the containers the previous night (Sunday night / Monday morning).

More: Police appeal for information about the incident »

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Councillors to inspect MetroBus route as planning decision nears

Posted on Monday 21st July 2014 at 10:25 pm by SH (Editor)

Proposed bus rapid transit route in North Bradley Stoke.

Local residents have another chance to have their say on the proposed £102m North Fringe to Hengrove Package (NFHP) MetroBus scheme tomorrow (Tuesday 22nd July) when a sub-committee of South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) convenes in the town for a site inspection visit.

The plans, if approved, would see a number of sections of new bus lane constructed along Bradley Stoke Way, including a long stretch running from the end of the existing bus lane adjacent to the Willow Brook Centre up to Patchway Brook Roundabout (near Aldi). There would also be a major changes on the approach to the Aztec West Roundabout and reconfiguration of the Woodlands Lane junction.

The council’s Development Control (West) Sites Inspection Sub Committee is due to assemble near Patchway Brook Roundabout at around 2.20pm and members of the public will have a chance to give their views on the proposals during a public participation session at the start of the meeting

Anyone wishing to make representations in accordance with the published procedures should meet the committee at the junction of Bradley Stoke Way and Brook Way (adjacent to Pizza Hut).

Representations already received from residents and noted in a report prepared in advance of the meeting include:

  • “Children crossing Bradley Stoke Way to the secondary school etc will have to negotiate a bus lane as well now.”
  • “Impact on Savages Wood, a protected area, is contrary to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).”
  • “Difficulties exiting The Worthies at the southern end of Bradley Stoke Way due to increased traffic flows and road widening.”
  • “Inadequate provision for pedestrian safety at Webbs Wood roundabout on Bradley Stoke Way – children crossing to Primary schools and secondary school. A new crossing is needed as it will become more hazardous.”

Bradley Stoke Town Council has said it has no objection to the planning application, “subject to satisfactory negotiations with SGC regarding a piece of land owned by [the town council]“. This comment is believed to refer to a small parcel of land near Primrose Bridge, dubbed a “ransom strip” by one town councillor, which it is thought would need to be acquired by SGC in order to implement the proposed road widening scheme.

Town councillors did, however, raise concerns about “the impact on the traffic flow along the southern end of Bradley Stoke Way”.

More info: Agenda for the meeting on 22nd July (SGC)

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Bradley Stoke Sikh to be honoured by Ugandan government

Posted on Saturday 19th July 2014 at 9:18 pm by SH (Editor)

Dr Harmandar Singh Gupta.

A Bradley Stoke resident has been announced as one of around 40 recipients of a medal issued to mark a century of Sikh presence in the east African country of Uganda.

Dr Harmandar Singh Gupta, 72, a resident of the Bluebell Gardens retirement home in Savages Wood Road, is planning to return to the country of his birth in September, to receive the Sikh Centenary Gold Medal from a high-ranking representative of the Ugandan government.

The medal is being awarded in recognition of Dr Harmandar’s “free service to poor patients” in the Ugandan town of Mbarara, where he was educated at a missionary school in the 1950s.

Qualifying as a doctor in 1969, after taking an external degree in tropical medicine through the University of London, Harmandar initially worked in the A&E department of a Kampala hospital before returning to Mbarara, where he worked as general medical practitioner.

Following President Idi Amin’s expulsion of Asians from Uganda in 1972, Harmandar settled in Zaire (now known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo), where he served as the doctor to numerous embassies (including those of Great Britain, India, Canada, Angola, Zambia, Cameroon, Ghana. Tanzania and Kenya) and a number of foreign construction companies, such as George Wimpey.

Whilst living in Zaire, Harmandar’s wife, Diljeet Kaur Gupta, used her masters degree in literature to teach the children of embassy workers in a local school.

The couple moved to the UK in 1984 with their three sons, Rimpy, Tim and Ruby, who all attended Clifton College. They bought a nursing home in Weston-super-Mare in 1989, which Mrs Gupta ran until they were forced to sell it in 2011.

Harmandar returned to Zaire in 1990, to receive a knighthood for his services to foreign embassies, an honour conferred by the Chief of the Army (photo below) on behalf of President Mobutu.

More: Moved from Stoke Bishop to Bradley Stoke in 2013 »

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Your chance to contribute to the August 2014 edition of the BSJ magazine

Posted on Friday 18th July 2014 at 8:59 pm by SH (Editor)

Bradley Stoke Journal magazine.

We’re looking for contributions to the August 2014 edition of the Bradley Stoke Journal magazine.

If you (or a group / organisation / business / school you are associated with) have something to say, please get in touch.

Of interest are: News articles, event reports, details of upcoming events (3rd Aug to 7th Sep), news in brief items, photos, etc.

Copy deadline is this coming Monday, 21st July.

If you would like to contribute to our letters page – perhaps you have something to say about things that have been in the news in Bradley Stoke since our July issue, e.g. Ronnie’s fruit & veg stall, the town council’s policy on mobile food traders, overflowing dog waste bins or the mysterious night-time burning smell – please get your letter to us by next Friday, 25th July.

Letters will not be considered for publication unless they are supplied with the author’s name, address and telephone number (more here).

To book advertising for our September 2014 edition, phone 01454 300 400 or email: sales@bradleystokejournal.co.uk

The Bradley Stoke Journal magazine is delivered to all 8,650 homes in Bradley Stoke and a further 800 homes in Little Stoke and Stoke Gifford. Total print run: 10,000 copies.

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People power wins reprieve for Willow Brook Centre fruit & veg stall

Posted on Thursday 17th July 2014 at 3:18 pm by SH (Editor)

Ronnie's Fruit, Veg & Salad stall in the town square at the Willow Brook Centre, Bradley Stoke.

People power appears to have won a reprieve for a popular ‘fruit & veg’ business that had reportedly been told it would have to quit the Willow Brook shopping centre due to objections from the Tesco Extra store within the same development.

Ronnie’s Fruit & Veg began trading in the town square at the centre on 4th June and had been warmly welcomed by Bradley Stoke shoppers.

Stallholder Warren Shepherd told The Journal at the time that there had been “no issues” with the nearby Tesco Extra store, which has an extensive fruit and vegetable department. But barely a month after opening, that situation appeared to have changed, with Mr Shepherd telling shoppers he had been given notice to quit by the Willow Brook Centre management because of “objections from Tesco”.

One customer, Catherine, contacted The Journal on 13th July to say:

“As a local person, I am very unhappy that the fruit & veg market have been told by Tesco that they can no longer trade. Surely, as a democratic country, we can choose where we buy our goods. Tesco just shouldn’t be threatened by the little guys, and that is what they are. Please can we do something about this? Come on good people of Bradley Stoke we can make a difference?”

More than a dozen similar messages had been received by yesterday and similar sentiments were expressed on a number of Bradley Stoke based Facebook groups.

On Wednesday (16th July), Mr Shepherd began a customer petition calling for the stall to be allowed to stay at the centre and he says he had collected 400 signatures by the end of the day.

The Journal approached the Willow Brook Centre management for a statement and they responded this afternoon, saying:

“Both Willow Brook and Tesco are passionate about working with local communities and promoting local businesses wherever possible.”

“Ronnie’s Fruit & Veg stall has been at Willow Brook for a few weeks now on a trial basis and customers have said that they love being able to shop at the stall. We’re really keen to see the stall continue to offer great service to local people and have agreed that they’ll keep their current pitch in the town square.”

Mr Shepherd, who was not trading at the centre today, told The Journal he was pleased to hear the news, but didn’t wish to comment further until he had met with the centre management tomorrow.

More on this story in the August edition of the Bradley Stoke Journal magazine, out 2nd August.

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