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Appeals issued after spate of woodland fires

Posted on Tuesday 18th June 2019 at 9:41 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo showing the aftermath of a small unauthorised fire in Savages Wood, after it was extinguished by a fire service crew.

The neighbourhood police team in Bradley Stoke is asking parents and carers to speak with their children about the dangers of starting fires after firefighters were called out five times over a period of less than two weeks to deal with small fires in a local wood.

Fire service crews from Patchway, Kingswood and Portishead fire stations attended the incidents, all of which were located in Savages Wood (behind Bradley Stoke leisure Centre). Two of the incidents were separated by less than three hours (on Sunday 12th May).

High pressure hose reels were used to extinguish the fires in three of the incidents with an aqua backpack and a bucket being used in the other two. In all cases, it is thought that the fires had been started deliberately.

Police attendance was not required on 12th May, however, following a further incident on 13th May, they were made aware that fire crews had spoken with teenagers who were in the area about “the risks and dangers of starting fires”.

On Friday 17th May, a member of the public called to report a tree stump had been set on fire in woodland near to the skate park. The call came in just before 7.30pm and patrolling officers attended within five minutes. Fire crews put the fire out by 7.45pm. Police say there were a number of teenagers in the area at the time, however no one was able to identify those responsible for starting the fire.

The Kingswood crew that attended the 13th May incident tweeted a photo showing a pile of large aerosol cans on the woodland floor, with the message: “Spent time emptying and making these aerosol cans inoperable after the fire was out.” It is not clear whether any aerosol cans had been thrown onto the fire. The Journal understands that staff at the nearby Tesco extra store have been asked to be on the alert after someone reported seeing boys buying a large quantity of hair spray aerosol cans at the self-service tills two days earlier.

There have also been reports of youths setting fire to aerosol cans and using them as flame throwers at the nearby skate park.

More: Council says fires, including BBQs, are not permitted on its land »

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Meet the new mayor: Councillor Tom Aditya

Posted on Sunday 16th June 2019 at 8:54 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of Cllr Tom Aditya (left) being congratulated by the previous office holder, Cllr Ben Randles.

Councillor Tom Aditya has been elected as the new mayor of Bradley Stoke. He was formally handed the chain of office on Wednesday 15th May at Bradley Stoke Town Council’s annual general meeting, held at the Jubilee Centre.

Tom, who represents the Bradley Stoke South ward, has been a councillor since 2011. He has served on various committees of the council and has chaired the Planning, Transport and Environment Committee and served as deputy mayor. Cllr Aditya takes on his new role, not only as the first Asian mayor in Bradley Stoke, but also in South Gloucestershire. He is also understood to be the first person of Indian origin to be elected to such a role in South West England.

Tom, a management consultant and financial adviser, is originally from Kerala, South India. He has studied at various places including the USA. He moved to the UK in 2002 and settled in Bradley Stoke. His wife works for the NHS (Renal Transplant) and his children attend local primary and secondary schools.

Tom is a passionate community campaigner and his interest in advocating social harmony stretches beyond the boundaries of Bradley Stoke. Since 2007, Tom has been involved with South Gloucestershire Council’s Equalities Forum, which enabled him to reach out to various communities in the region. He was also a trustee of the Southern Brooks Community Partnership. Currently, Tom serves as vice-chairman of the Police Strategic Advisory Group, the Community Engagement Forum and as a member of the Avon and Somerset Police Scrutiny Panel. Tom is also the chairman of the Bristol Multi-Faith Forum. He told the Journal that he sincerely hopes his time in office as mayor will allow him to promote more community cohesion and he is keen to involve a wider sense of inclusion for all residents.

More: Wants to see more residents actively involved in the community »

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Nature conservation group report for May

Posted on Friday 14th June 2019 at 10:08 pm by SH (Editor)

Scouts from the 1st Stoke Gifford Group standing on a large fallen tree during a bat walk.

An update from Sara Messenger of Bradley Stoke’s Three Brooks Nature Conservation Group.

Pollution

Photo of a pollution sheen on the surface of water in Stoke Brook.

On Wednesday 1st May, we received the unwelcome news that we had pollution in our brooks again, and it was again coming from Stoke Brook by Sherbourne’s Brake. Reg Ward kindly doubled back to get some photographs for us, as these are required as evidence, and it was reported to the Environment Agency. The oily pollution had travelled through Forty Acres (Stoke Gifford) and I believe they also reported the problem. Although some areas still have oily patches, we think we have been lucky this time, as we haven’t found any signs of  lasting damage,

Savages Wood paths

Unknown to us, our paths had, for some, become a bit of a campaign issue. We are well aware of the state of the paths and have been lobbying the land owners (SGC) for many years for them to be improved; unfortunately their tree officers believed that a more solid path would have a negative impact on the tree roots and therefore the length of the trees’ lives. Path making methods have improved over the years and we were finally able to agree on a method which protects the tree roots while providing a path that does not resemble the Somme at its worst. In April 2018, we put together a grant application – which was unsuccessful, but after some tweaking, a second application was submitted in December 2018 which was approved. We are very pleased to finally be able to announce that the Enovert Community Trust has given us a grant of £25,000 which will shortly be used to improve more than 500m of woodland paths at the northern end of the reserve in Savages Woods. The total project budget is £29,444, so the extra funding has come from a combination of match funding supplied from South Gloucestershire Council’s Member Awarded Funding (MAF) Streetcare budget, the Conservation Group’s own funding, which came from our small reserves, and £2,152 of further MAF funding from Cllr Brian Hopkinson.

More: BSCS primary phase wildflowers and Scout’s bat walk »

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New play equipment installed at Jubilee park

Posted on Thursday 13th June 2019 at 9:34 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of new play equipment.

Bradley Stoke Town Council (BSTC) says it has received “great reviews” from users of a new £16,000 suite of play equipment recently installed at the Beacon Play Area on the town’s Jubilee Green.

The new equipment, designed to offer physical challenges to young people from the ages of 3 up to teen ages, replaces items installed ten years ago that had become unsafe due to timber rot.

BSTC’s premises manager John Rendell told the Journal:

“We are delighted with the fantastic new play challenge recently installed in the Beacon Play Area. It provides some much-needed play space for children and we have received great reviews from local users who regularly attend the site.”

‘Phase two’ of the upgrade is to install a community shelter which parents can use in bad weather (whilst keeping an eye on their children using the play area). Mr Rendell says it is hoped that this will be installed “towards the end of July, in readiness for the busy summer months”.

He added:

“This particular play area offers something different to the other more traditional play areas in the town and has always been extremely popular with local residents. It doesn’t have the more common metal swings, but it has a sand pit for the very young to enjoy, slides, a nest swing and a climbing net, along with the new play challenge.”

“We plan to continue to make improvements going forward to further enhance this popular play space for the benefit of all users.”

The play park is located on the green next to the Jubilee Centre, Savages Wood Road BS32 8HL.

Photo of new play equipment.

This article originally appeared in the June 2019 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal magazine (on page 15). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH (except August), to ALL 8,700 homes in Bradley Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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