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Residents congratulated for recycling efforts

Posted on Thursday 18th January 2018 at 8:17 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of a 'Romaquip' recycling collection vehicle.

New figures released by South Gloucestershire Council indicate that their new weekly kerbside recycling collections, which began in June 2017, are having a positive effect.

An additional 1,279 tonnes of recycling has been collected, which is a 14 percent increase, including an extra 600 tonnes of paper and cardboard, an extra 364 tonnes of food waste and an extra 315 tonnes made up of plastics, cans and textiles.

Weekly collections mean that householders don’t have to store as much material between collections and the council saves on the financial cost of disposing of black bin waste (not to mention the benefits for the environment).

Waste that cannot be recycled is disposed of either as ‘energy from waste’ or into landfill. With the council having to pay at least £101 to dispose of every tonne of black bin waste in this way, the extra 1,270 tonnes of recycling has allowed it to save around £130,000 since weekly collections began.

The council’s Cabinet member for communities and tourism, Cllr Heather Goddard, said:

“This is fantastic news – I am so pleased that the changes we have made to make recycling easier for residents are paying off. Our communities deserve a real pat on the back for their efforts.”

“Our new waste strategy is all about reducing the waste we send to landfill, which is expensive and no good for our environment. Before we launched our new strategy, 52 percent of waste put into our black bins could have been recycled from home. This first response to making recycling easier is very encouraging.”

More: "The next step is to reduce the size of people’s waste bins" »

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Conservation group review of the year

Posted on Monday 15th January 2018 at 10:10 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of volunteers from the Three Brooks Nature Conservation Group taking a tea break.

By Sara Messenger of the Three Brooks Nature Conservation Group and Bradley Stoke Green Gym

We’ve seen many highs and lows on the reserve this year. The highs being winning the battle of the balsam, seeing our biodiversity increase, excited kids, the otters, our first swan ringing, the kingfishers, a brown long-eared bat being heard for the first time, being cheered on by the wagging tails and “thank yous” from those passing by, and the really great bunch of volunteers who turn out five times a month in all weathers to make the reserve a better place for everyone. We’ve had more than our fair share of lows though. We lost two group members, Charlotte Edwards and Colin Davies, ash dieback arrived to blight our trees, constant vandalism and graffiti scar the reserve, the lack of noctule bats by the lake and the death of our cygnet Angelo.

The year has been incredibly busy and we’ve seen many changes, including the works currently being undertaken by Wessex Water and, as part of British Science week, holding a Tree Measuring Day. Our committee changed when Andrew Deakin was finally persuaded to join it, Becks Sankey was co-opted to take on the information board project and the knowledgeable David Baker stepped down as chairman and was replaced by Paul Smith. Several of the group have completed the brushcutter training course and are now being sent on a first aid course, although we are hoping they never get to use that training! Bradley Stoke Town Council generously funded the Green Gym with branded polo shirts and high viz vests as well as supporting the conservation group with an annual grant. And, with South Gloucestershire Council and professional ecologist Rupert Higgins, we have agreed a new five-year management plan. Not bad for a group who are all unpaid volunteers, juggling their commitment to the reserve along with family and careers.

More: Green Gym has clocked up nearly 2,000 hours of work on site »

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Council’s astonishing U-turn over left-turn ban

Posted on Saturday 13th January 2018 at 9:55 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of no left-turn signage at the Hambrook lights.

Commuters who travel between Bradley Stoke and destinations in East Bristol have welcomed an astonishing council U-turn on a hugely unpopular ‘no left-turn’ restriction at the Hambrook lights, which they claimed was adding upwards of ten minutes to their journey times.

The restriction, which applied to traffic approaching the lights on the B4058 Bristol Road from Winterbourne, had been introduced on a trial basis from Monday 13th November as part of the traffic management measures associated with the Bromley Heath Viaduct (BHV) repair works on the A4174 Ring Road.

Explaining the move, South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) said the need for left-turning traffic to join the contraflow on the A4174 was leading to “queuing along the B4058 of vehicles travelling straight ahead or turning right”. Vehicles wishing to travel eastbound on the ring road would now need to turn right at the lights and travel around the roundabout at Junction 1 of the M32.

However, in the days after the change came into force, many motorists chose to ignore the recommended diversion and go straight ahead at the lights, leading to increased congestion in Frenchay. There were also reports of vehicles continuing to make a sharp left turn at the lights once they had reached the carriageway of the A4174.

Reactions on the council’s dedicated BHV Facebook page were overwhelmingly negative, with hundreds of comments describing the restriction as “absurd” and “ridiculous” and pointing out the side effects on congestion in the wider area.

More: Council’s decision reversed after just two days »

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Festive farewell for Little Acorns staff

Posted on Tuesday 9th January 2018 at 10:58 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of Noleen Clarke (3rd from left) and Natalie Robbins and some of the children.

Little Acorns Pre-School, based at the Jubilee Centre in Bradley Stoke, said a sad farewell to two long-serving senior members of staff at a special function held on Friday 8th December.

Natalie Robbins, manager, and Noleen Clarke, deputy manager, who have both worked at the setting for 15 years, were given a festive send-off as children staged a Christmas production in their honour.

Speaking of her time at Little Acorns, Natalie commented how lovely it had been to build relationships with local families and, in many cases, care for a succession of siblings coming through the pre-school. Some of the children from her early days have since returned on work experience placements, which she said was particularly moving. She added:

“I’m going to miss everyone at Little Acorns and I would like to wish them all good luck. It’s been an honour being such a big part of the children’s lives and I hope to still see them around in Bradley Stoke.”

Noleen said she would miss working with the pre-school owners, the “brilliant” staff and all the children. She added:

“I can’t believe it’s been 15 years. It’s been very rewarding watching the different generations come through. Every day is different, which makes it such a rewarding experience.”

“Bradley Stoke has become a much more diverse community in recent years and it has been fascinating to learn about the different cultures and languages of our families, who have been so supportive.”

More: Pre-school owners wish the pair well »

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