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Fine weather forecast for Carnival Saturday

Posted on Friday 22nd August 2014 at 8:08 pm by SH (Editor)

2013 Bradley Stoke Carnival.

The weather is looking set fair for tomorrow’s Bradley Stoke Carnival, which starts with a colourful internationally-themed walking carnival parade, leaving the Brook Way Activity Centre [BS32 9DA] at 1pm and then parading down Brook Way to Jubilee Green [BS32 8HL].

The parade is open to everyone and all community groups and individuals are invited to join Bezerkaz Circus’ stilt walkers and other performers.

Jubilee Green will play host to a family funfair, classic and kit car displays, stalls, face painting, ice cream seller, licensed bar, live music, a demonstration area (hosted by Bradley Stoke Radio) and free drumming workshops. Music acts include The Twerzels (Wurzels tribute band), Dave Harris, Mia and Tuesday Eagle, Spin Sister and S.A.M.S Band.

Key timings: 11am Funfair opens; 12pm Carnival field opens; 2pm (approx) Carnival parade arrives; 3pm: Live music starts; 7.15pm (approx) Stage closes.

A 1950 vintage red bus will be providing ‘free of charge’ short bus rides around the north of Bradley Stoke, leaving and returning via a dedicated temporary bus stop just outside Jubilee Green and running from 2pm to 5pm.

A number of hot air balloon ascents from the Jubilee Centre site are planned over the carnival weekend (weather permitting). The forecast is currently looking good for launches at 6am and 7pm on Saturday and Sunday.

For the latest carnival news, visit the Bradley Stoke Carnival page on Facebook.

More: Full carnival programme to view and download »

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Wooden posts prove no deterrent as travellers return to Bradley Stoke Way

Posted on Friday 22nd August 2014 at 9:13 am by SH (Editor)

Illegal traveller encampment on Bradley Stoke Way. [Credit: Tim Bull]

A group of travellers with more than ten vehicles has set up camp on a grass verge alongside Bradley Stoke Way overnight (Thursday 21st/Friday 22nd August).

The same strip of land, near Primrose Bridge (between Aldi and the Willow Brook Centre), was the site of a ten-day illegal traveller encampment in June.

Three vehicles were seen at the site shortly after 10pm last night and by 6.15am this morning the encampment had grown to include at least eleven vehicles.

The land on which the travellers are camped is owned by South Gloucestershire Council (SGC), which was widely criticised during the June episode for taking a “weak” approach to resolving the situation.

Following the previous encampment, Bradley Stoke mayor Cllr John Ashe, frustrated at SGC’s lack of action, arranged for a set of four wooden posts to be installed on the access ramp to the site in an effort to “prevent another incursion”. This morning, only two of the posts remain and one of two trees planted on the ramp only last week has also disappeared.

Town and district councillor Ben Walker, who was highly critical of SGC during and after the June encampment, has already written to Amanda Deeks, SGC’s chief executive, saying:

“Here we go again. Travellers on the same piece of land but this time, they removed a tree and two timber posts to gain access.”

“This is criminal damage and forced entry so these travellers should be charged as such and removed from site TODAY.”

“Another weak approach and drawn out negotiation simply won’t do this time.”

Local MP Jack Lopresti was also critical of SGC for apparently preferring to “persuade” the travellers to move on, rather than taking legal action. He even raised the matter in parliament (on 30th June), where he was told by Secretary of State Eric Pickles that: “… if  action is taken promptly, the law is adequate”.

Photo: Traveller encampment at 6.15am this morning. [Credit: Tim Bull]

Read more: Reader comments (on the BSJ Facebook page).

UPDATE (at 3pm on 22nd August): The office of Jack Lopresti MP has issued the following statement:

Today Jack Lopresti, Member of Parliament for Bradley Stoke has demanded that South Gloucestershire Council take swift action to move on the Travellers illegally pitched on Bradley Stoke Way.

Last night around 11pm travellers broke onto the embankment on Bradley Stoke Way to illegally pitch there, in doing so causing considerable damage to the foliage and wooden bollards present.

Jack said:

“I am very disappointed to see travellers, again, illegally pitched on Bradley Stoke Way. This morning my office has been in contact with the Chief Executive of South Gloucestershire Council and the police to ensure that this situation is in hand and that all is being done to evict the trespassers and that prosecutions are made for the criminal damage that has been done to the site. I have also asked the police to ensure that all vehicles on site are road worthy, taxed and insured.”

“I’m deeply irritated to see travellers back on this site just over a month since they were last evicted. Despite the solid efforts of Bradley Stoke Mayor, John Ashe and his team of local Councillors to ensure this situation didn’t occur again the sluggish bureaucracy and poor leadership shown by South Gloucestershire Council have stunted those efforts and let down the people of Bradley Stoke.”

“I will be working with local councillors to ensure that South Gloucestershire Council and the police moves the travellers on as expediently as possible.”

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Using pedal power to help fight blood cancer

Posted on Tuesday 19th August 2014 at 7:49 pm by SH (Editor)

Participants at the 2013 Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research Bikeathon.

Cyclists in the Bristol area are being urged to sign up and set their wheels in motion to raise money for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research at the Martin Dean Bristol Bikeathon on 21st September 2014.

Over 100 riders are expected to take part in the event at the Willow Brook Centre, Bradley Stoke and turn their pedal power into cash to help fund vital research in Leukaemia, Lymphoma and other blood cancers.

This event offers two rides; one is a family-friendly 15-mile ride suitable for riders of all ages, using local pathways and quiet roads and the other is a 50-mile cycle through the beautiful South Gloucestershire countryside.

Martin Dean.

For 2014 the Bikeathon has been renamed the Martin Dean Bikeathon after a local resident (pictured) who sadly passed away from Leukaemia in September 2012. He was an avid cyclist and also one of the founder members of the local Stokes Cycling Club, who Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research are teaming up with to stage the event.

Bikeathon organiser Jo Bray said:

“The Bikeathon is a perfect opportunity to out, get fit and join in the fight against blood cancers, which affect thousands of people in the UK each year. We haven’t held the event at the Willow Brook Centre before and it’s the perfect opportunity to use our local town square. With stalls, games, face painting, bouncy castle and Bradley Stoke Radio being put in place after the cyclists have gone, we hope it’s going to be a fun day out for everyone.”

More: How to enter the Martin Dean Bikeathon »

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BSCS A-level results buck national trend

Posted on Friday 15th August 2014 at 9:46 pm by SH (Editor)

A-level high-achievers at Bradley Stoke Community School (l-r): Sophie Maxted, Alex Shoferpoor and Joe Whetter.

Bradley Stoke Community School (BSCS) appears to have bucked the national trend in A-level results by maintaining its average points score per entry from last year of 208 and achieving a big increase in average points per student to 733 (683 last year).

Executive headteacher Dave Baker said there were some phenomenal individual successes at both A2 and AS levels, including:

A2 examination results

  • Alex Shoferpoor A*A*A* + A at AS
  • Sophie Maxted A*AA + A at AS
  • Joe Whetter AAA + Dist* in Y12
  • Daisy Hodgkinson A*AA
  • Cara Hodgkinson A*AB

AS examination results

  • Peter Smyth AAAB and A in EPQ
  • Matt Portch AAAB
  • Alex Sargent AAAB
  • Shannon Robbins AAAC
  • Harry Willis AABB and B in EPQ
  • Josh Machado AABC
  • Gemma Jones Dist*AA

Across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the BBC reports that there has been a slight fall in A* and A grades and the pass rate is down for the first time in over 30 years.

More: Dip in headline figures at Abbeywood Community School »

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Office complex set to be demolished to make way for care home

Posted on Tuesday 12th August 2014 at 7:55 pm by SH (Editor)

Fountain Court, New Leaze, Bradley Stoke, Bristol.

A collection of office buildings on a large site in north Bradley Stoke looks set to be demolished to make way for a care home after South Gloucestershire Council granted outline planning permission for a proposed redevelopment scheme.

Under the plans, Fountain Court, a group of five two-storey office blocks on the north side of Woodlands Lane, located between Woodlands Park and The Orchard public house, will be replaced by a care home with 80 beds and 8 ‘close care’ apartments.

It is expected that 80 ‘full-time equivalent’ jobs will be created by the new care home, split over three shifts.

Permission was granted despite objections from Bradley Stoke Town Council, which claimed the plans contain inadequate/insufficient parking provision, and a neighbour living opposite the site, in Ottrells Mead, who said the application “failed to fully consider the detrimental effect it will have on the surrounding dwellings and the long term prosperity of Bradley Stoke”.

Officers assessing the application expressed concern that changing the designated use of the site from Class B1 (business) to Class C2 (residential institution) might result in a reduction in the number and range of jobs available in the local area. However, they noted that “the premises have remained largely vacant in a large part for a number of years” and that “there is a profusion of vacant offices of the Fountain Court standard”.

Outline permission was granted on condition that a ‘reserved matters’ (detailed) planning application is made within the next three years.

The applicant has also submitted, as a fallback position, prior notification of a change of use from offices to dwelling houses, to which the council has raised no objection. Such a change is classed as ‘permitted development’ by current Town and Country Planning legislation.

This article originally appeared in the August 2014 edition of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine, delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,450 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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