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Council backtracks on proposed library cuts

Posted on Monday 17th October 2016 at 10:50 pm by SH (Editor)

Bradley Stoke Library (temporary entrance during redevelopment work in 2016).

South Gloucestershire Council has backtracked on controversial plans to close or severely restrict opening hours at many of its libraries after thousands of people voiced opposition to a range of cost-cutting options outlined in a recent public consultation.

Instead, councillors have voted to investigate the use of a new technology, known as ‘Open Plus’, which it is claimed allows users to access the full range of library services without the need for staffing. This technology includes access using pre-approved library cards, and the use of CCTV for security and the identification and management of problems. Users are able to issue and discharge stock themselves, using existing self-service facilities, and access IT facilities.

The new technology would allow registered members to use library facilities for 11 hours a day, seven days a week, between 9am and 8pm.

It had already been decided that Bradley Stoke Library would utilise Open Plus technology, and this is currently in the process of being installed, in parallel with the leisure centre redevelopment. The council now says it will use the Bradley Stoke site as a “pilot”, to help identify how the new technology could be rolled out across South Gloucestershire.

If the decision is made to implement the Open Plus solution, it would require the council to make a one-off capital investment of up to £400,000.

The council’s Environment and Community Services (ECS) committee has also agreed to recommend a preferred option that would reduce the library service savings target from £650,000 to £500,000 (per annum, ongoing), which will help retain a higher level of staffed hours than had previously been envisaged. In the case of Bradley Stoke, these would reduce from the present 45.5 hours to 35 hours a week.

More: Further consultation to be launched on Open Plus approach »

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Two-week reprieve on MetroBus lane closure

Posted on Sunday 16th October 2016 at 10:03 pm by SH (Editor)

New TEN-WEEK lane closure set to start at Aztec West in mid-October.

MetroBus contractors Alun Griffiths Ltd have announced a two-week reprieve on the start date for a new peak-time lane closure on Bradley Stoke Way.

The nearside lane on the westbound approach to the Aztec West Roundabout was expected to be closed full-time for ten weeks from Monday (17th October), but Griffiths now say that, for the first two weeks of this period, the lane will only be coned-off between 9.30am and 4pm. Thereafter, i.e. from Monday 31st October, the lane will be closed full-time.

The lane closure, which is expected to last until Christmas, is necessary to allow the construction of a new bus lane that will allow buses to by-pass the roundabout when making a left turn from Bradley Stoke Way onto the southbound A38.

Work on this section of the MetroBus route had been delayed due to the discovery of an unchartered gas main, an issue which has now been resolved by Wales & West Utilities, who were due to vacate the site last Friday.

The reopening of the right-turn out of Woodlands Lane is dependent on the completion of the work on Bradley Stoke Way, due to the need to synchronise the traffic lights at the Woodlands Lane junction with those at the Aztec West Roundabout.

A spokesperson for Griffiths said:

“The lane closure is regrettable, but necessary to complete the work that will enable us to get the Woodlands Lane junction fully functional by Christmas. We are aware that this is likely to cause delays, but the work is unavoidable in order to complete the scheduled work safely and on time.”

More: Narrow lanes introduced on southbound A38 »

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Recruitment drive at Bradley Stoke United

Posted on Saturday 15th October 2016 at 9:49 pm by SH (Editor)

Bradley Stoke United FC players.

Local youth football club Bradley Stoke United (BSUFC), which runs teams for under-5s (reception school year) through to under-18s, has ambitious plans for expansion and is looking to recruit more players and sponsors.

Following the appointment of new committee members in June, the club has launched a new website on the popular Pitchero platform and recently recruited around 20 new players at an open skills and training session for players in the U6 to U11 age range.

Established in April 1998, the club stages an annual tournament in June, which this year attracted around 100 teams and 800 people from the local area and further afield, e.g. South Wales.

Phil Townsend, vice chair, says while the club currently has 134 registered players, the new committee is aiming to have 200 youngsters playing regularly and enjoying football with BSUFC.

The club’s U5 and U6 (school year 1) teams, which were officially launched on 5th October, are called Bradley Stoke Tigers (reflecting the club colours of red and black stripes). Several local schools are promoting the initiative and there has already been a lot of interest.

The club is especially keen to recruit players into its U7, U8 and U9 squads, which all have willing coaches but sometimes lack the numbers to arrange and play friendlies.

The U10 to U18 squads all have experienced coaches and the teams play league and cup football to a good standard.

The Tigers through to U11s train every Wednesday on AstroTurf at Goals North Bristol, Wise Campus, New Road, Stoke Gifford BS34 8LP.

Apart from its annual tournament, the club stages an annual awards party and a Christmas party, and has several other events in the planning, such as trips to England matches, trips to St George’s Park (the English Football Association’s national football centre) and an annual tour.

Phil adds: “At BSUFC, our objective is regular football for all, i.e. everyone gets a game!”

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This article originally appeared in the October 2016 edition of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine, delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,500 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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Baileys Court School marks 20th birthday

Posted on Friday 14th October 2016 at 11:08 pm by SH (Editor)

Celebrations to mark the 20th anniversary of Baileys Court Primary School, Bradley Stoke. L-r: Julie Barnett (teacher and lead for anniversary celebrations), Martin Telfer (deputy headteacher), Andrew Davey (governor) and Andrew Lynham (headteacher).

Celebrations to mark Baileys Court Primary School’s 20th anniversary got under way on Tuesday 20th September with a series of special activities that culminated in a giant birthday picnic for staff, parents and children.

Pupils and parents had been asked to design and bake a cake to celebrate the school’s birthday and bring it along to the picnic. Many of the entries featured the Bailey Bird, a symbol that appears on the school’s uniform badge and on most communications coming from the school. It is said to originate from a set of curtains hanging in the hall when the school first opened! The high standard of entries made it difficult to select a winner, but the judges eventually concurred and the victorious cake was ceremonially cut and shared with everyone present.

Celebrations to mark the 20th anniversary of Baileys Court Primary School, Bradley Stoke. Birthday cake competition entries.

A special ‘friendship bench’ was also unveiled, which will serve as a permanent reminder of the anniversary celebrations.

Earlier in the day, pupils created a huge line around the school buildings and joined hands to give the whole school a big hug. Every child also designed and made a special birthday-themed badge to wear at the picnic and they enjoyed a special lunch prepared by the kitchen staff.

The day’s activities were coordinated by class teacher Julie Barnett, who has been with the school since it opened twenty years ago. She said:

“I am proud of everything that we have achieved as a school. Everyone who has passed through the doors has contributed to where we are now. Despite all the changes, Baileys Court still has the same fantastic ethos running through its core – one of striving to create lifelong learners who are supported by a team of dedicated and enthusiastic adults who are willing to go the extra mile. The 20th anniversary gives us a chance to focus on our successes and how far we have come, but also to continue to focus on the future. It is a very special place to work.”

More: School’s history displayed in newspaper cuttings and photographs »

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Bradley Stoke man in team attempting 45-mile charity walk around Bristol

Posted on Thursday 13th October 2016 at 10:13 pm by SH (Editor)

L-r: Jamie Bramhall (Corporate Account Manager, Penny Brohn) with charity walkers Rich Carroll, Chris Wroe and Neil Thompson.

On Saturday 15th October four walkers (‘The White Walkers’) will be attempting to walk the 45-mile Community Forest Path, which encircles the city of Bristol, in under 24 hours. By completing their ambitious challenge, the team hopes raise more than £1,000 for local cancer charity Penny Brohn UK.

Neil Thompson, who lives in Bradley Stoke, will be joined by Chris Wroe, Rich Carroll and Julian Rigby. Neil, Chris and Rich all work for National Friendly in Bristol, while Julian has been selected for his navigational skills.

Known by enthusiasts as the Green Man Challenge, completing the walk in under 24 hours qualifies for the title of woodwose, the proper name for the wild men and wild women who haunted the imaginary forests of medieval Europe – and entirely appropriate for anyone mad enough to conquer the Community Forest Path!

The team will be starting and finishing the route at the Clifton Suspension Bridge, walking anti-clockwise through Dundry, Keynsham, Winterbourne Down, Bradley Stoke and Blaise Castle along the way.

Neil says they intend to set off at 5am to try to make the most of daylight hours, but are prepared for lots of walking under torchlight as they closely follow their map.

He adds: “We have tried parts of the route to try to avoid mistakes on the day and have done 30 mile plus walks before, but I guess nothing really prepares you for the rigours of an all-day walk.”

“We’ll be armed with plenty of food and drink, plus plasters, spare socks etc. to see us through.”

“We may have to take a break because it’s so hard walking cross country, especially when it’s dark and the grass is getting longer, but we are focussed on the 24 hour deadline.”

Neil explains that he chose to take on the challenge of the Community Forest Path because it takes in both Pensford (where he’s from originally) and Bradley Stoke (where he lives now).

More: "Make a difference" by donating via »

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