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New bus lane cameras go live in the Stokes

Posted on Thursday 20th September 2018 at 10:17 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of a sign warning of bus lane cameras on Bradley Stoke Way.

A set of five new bus lane enforcement cameras has been installed in South Gloucestershire, three of them at locations along the M1 MetroBus route through Bradley Stoke and Stoke Gifford.

Locally, the cameras are:

  • On the Bradley Stoke Way junction onto the A38 Gloucester Road southbound (Aztec West)
  • On Bradley Stoke Way northbound, just before Patchway Brook Roundabout (near Aldi)
  • On the Stoke Gifford By-Pass northbound, just before Parkway North Roundabout

The camera at the top end of Bradley Stoke Way (Aztec West) went live in early July. As we went to press, all but one of the other four new cameras were understood to be operational.

A penalty charge notice (PCN) will be issued to anyone who infringes the bus lanes and this will include a secure web link to a video showing the offence.

A South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) spokesperson said:

“Each potential infringement will be reviewed by a qualified officer and if there were any mitigating factors, such as needing to pull over for an emergency vehicle, then we wouldn’t issue the PCN.”

Cllr Paul Hughes, SGC Cabinet member for communities, said:

“These new cameras will help us tackle the abuse of bus lanes and bus gates by unauthorised vehicles, and also help ensure that buses and emergency vehicles can reach their destination without unnecessary hold-ups.”

“We are not trying to catch anyone out, we want the cameras to be easily visible and we have made an effort to ensure that signs and road markings are as clear as possible to motorists. Hopefully, motorists will avoid incurring penalties by not driving in lanes reserved for buses.”

The monitoring system uses automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) to identify unauthorised vehicles and generate penalty notices.

More: New cameras cost £178k. Hundreds of PCNs already issued. »

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Another year of “excellent” GCSE results at BSCS

Posted on Monday 17th September 2018 at 9:09 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of top performing GCSE students at Bradley Stoke Community School.

Bradley Stoke Community School (BSCS) students are celebrating another excellent set of GCSE results. The results come quick on the heels of the school’s inspection by Ofsted in May, which saw it rated ‘good’ in four of the areas measured and ‘outstanding’ in two.

A number of subject areas have performed exceptionally well – 70 percent of students achieved the government’s Basics measure in English and maths, with 87 percent of students in English achieving grade 4s or above and 72 percent grade 5s and above, both significantly above national averages. Student outcomes in science were excellent too, even with the significantly more challenging new curriculum. Here, 80 percent of students achieved a grade 4 or above and 53 percent were awarded a grade 5 or above, both well above national averages.

BSCS headteacher Steve Moir, commented:

“I’m absolutely thrilled for our students that their immense hard work has paid off to produce another brilliant year of results.”

“There are so many success stories, not just from the individuals in the spotlight for achieving the top grades, but for every young person who has surpassed their own personal targets and made remarkable progress, sometimes in very challenging circumstances.”

“This success is also the result of the dedication of our amazing staff, as well as the parents and families of our young people who do so much to help and support us.”

“Huge congratulations to all concerned. We wish students every success for the future.”

More: Some of the outstanding individual performances »

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Stokes Singers: Refreshed and ready to go!

Posted on Monday 17th September 2018 at 6:59 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of performers at the end of the Stokes Singers summer concert.

After a memorable end to the choir’s Sing 25 Challenge, Stokes Singers are refreshed and ready to go at the start of our autumn term writes publicity officer Sue Callow.

Our summer concert in July marked the 25th birthday of the choir and was well received by a full house at the Church of Christ the King in Bradley Stoke. Amazing guests Steel Storm from Castle School, Thornbury and the Red Tie Choir from Little Stoke Primary School brought a fantastic energy to the evening. Over £500 was raised for the nominated children’s charity CLIC Sargent and with 70-plus performers joining forces it was certainly an evening to remember.

Although it’s a little early to start Christmas festivities, Stokes Singers’ diary is rapidly filling with invitations to perform in November and December so weekly rehearsals re-start on 6th September. If you’d like to sing with us, this is an ideal time to come along to a Thursday evening rehearsal from 7.30pm until 9.30pm at Coniston Community Centre in Patchway. New members can enjoy their first two rehearsals free of charge while they get to know us and our music. We’re a friendly group, rehearsals with our two Musical Directors Phil Lawrence and Sian Walters are fun and productive and there are no auditions.

Currently we have vacancies in all sections of our 30 strong mixed harmony choir and ladies and men with lower voices would be especially welcome. Take a look at our website and message us via the contact page or call our membership secretary Liz on 01454 614148. It’s always worth letting us know you’re coming so we can meet you at the door and show you around the building.

If you prefer to listen rather than sing, pop a note on your calendar for our Christmas concert on Saturday 8th December at the Church of Christ the King. More information will be available on the website soon when we confirm some rather special Christmas guests.

Either way, we look forward to seeing you soon.

Photo: Stokes Singers summer concert. [Hi-res version on Facebook]

This article originally appeared in the September 2018 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine (on page 31). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to ALL 8,700 homes in Bradley Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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Former mayor resigns from Tory party amid allegations of bullying

Posted on Thursday 13th September 2018 at 11:33 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of Cllr Elaine Hardwick.

A Bradley Stoke town councillor and former mayor has resigned from the Conservative party amid allegations of bullying and harassment believed to have been made by a fellow councillor.

Cllr Elaine Hardwick, who was first elected to the council on a Conservative ticket in 2011 and served as mayor in 2016-17, resigned from the party just days after her membership had been suspended following a disciplinary panel hearing understood to have taken place on 8th August.

The Bristol Post reported having seen an email from Peter Booth, the Conservative Party’s South West regional chairman, saying that the panel had “found no alternative but to uphold the complaints of bullying and harassment made against Elaine Hardwick”.

The final decision to suspend her membership is understood to have been taken by senior figures in the Bristol and South Gloucestershire Conservative Federation (BSGCF), which covers six parliamentary constituencies in the local area.

In response to a request for a statement, Charles Lucas, chair of the federation, replied: “We do not comment on internal party matters.” He added that he would not, in any case, be able to make any comment as Cllr Hardwick had now resigned from the party.

Prior to her suspension, Cllr Hardwick held several senior positions in the local party hierarchy, including deputy chair of BSGCF, chair of the Filton and Bradley Stoke Constituency branch and chair of the local Bradley Stoke branch.

Cllr Hardwick told the Journal that she intends to challenge the suspension decision and is currently taking legal advice. She will, however, continue to attend town council meetings as an unaffiliated councillor.

The Journal has learned that the formal complaint about Cllr Hardwick’s conduct was submitted to the party just days after the town council’s AGM on 9th May, where an unprecedented two-way vote was called to select the next chair of council, breaking a convention established since the council first became wholly Conservative in 2011 that the next chair is agreed in a party group meeting held prior to the AGM and elected unopposed.

The losing candidate, whom Cllr Hardwick had not supported, and two other councillors walked out of the AGM a few minutes after the decision was reached.

The Journal has learned that this humiliating defeat was viewed as the final straw by the aggrieved councillor who filed the complaint against Cllr Hardwick.

This article originally appeared in the September 2018 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine (on page 3). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to ALL 8,700 homes in Bradley Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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