Archive for the ‘Bradley Stoke Town Council’ Category

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Meet the new mayor: Councillor Ben Randles

Posted on Sunday 17th June 2018 at 9:11 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of Cllr Ben Randles (right) being congratulated by the previous office holder, Cllr Andy Ward.

Councillor Ben Randles has been elected as the new mayor of Bradley Stoke.

He was formally handed the chain of office on Wednesday 9th May at Bradley Stoke Town Council’s annual general meeting.

Ben, who represents the Lakeside ward, was first elected as a town councillor in a by-election in October 2013. He has chaired both the Finance Committee and the Youth, Leisure and Amenities Committee, as well as being the press spokesperson for the past four years. He takes up his role with the unusual ‘claim to fame’ of being the first councillor appointed to the position of mayor who was born after the formation of the council in 1992!

Ben has lived in Bradley Stoke since his family moved here in 1997 from Chichester, West Sussex; attending Baileys Court Primary School, The Ridings High School and the University of the West of England. He remembers seeing Bradley Stoke as a building site and has fond memories of spending time on the local nature reserve and enjoying being outdoors in the area as a child.

Ben has always been interested in local politics and local governance. While in secondary school, he become old enough to vote for the first time and is grateful that the school was very keen to promote politics and encourage the students to get involved. However, his first engagement with politics started even earlier, back in primary school as an elected member of the School Council. Ben recalls a significant memory:

“I remember being in school (Year 5) on the day of the attacks in New York on 11th September 2001. My teacher at the time, Mr Higginson, attempted to explain to a group of 9-year-olds what had happened and why things like that happen more generally across the world. He explained how we in the UK express our differing ideas in a non-violent way through democracy. Given, it’s not always that simple, but it really struck a chord with me.”

More: Looking forward to ceremonial responsibilities »

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Mayor presents end-of-term charity cheques

Posted on Monday 11th June 2018 at 9:56 am by SH (Editor)

Photo of Cllr Andy Ward presenting a charity cheque to Matt Eager, fundraiser and rider for Freewheelers EVS.

The annual general meeting of Bradley Stoke Town Council on 9th May saw outgoing mayor Andy Ward present cheques to his two chosen ‘charities of the year’.

In accordance with the mayor’s wishes declared at the start of his term in office, Freewheelers Emergency Voluntary Service (commonly known as ‘Blood Bikes’) and Cardiomyopathy UK were awarded equal shares of the amount collected over the year, with each receiving £ 4,381.

The money handed to the groups derives from fundraising events organised by the town council over the past 12 months, principally the Community Festival in June and the firework display in November.

Freewheelers EVS operates a fleet of motorcycles (along with volunteer riders) that provides a free out-of-hours medical courier service to hospitals in the south west. It can be used to transport blood, pathology and microbiology specimens, patients’ notes, x-rays, breast milk, medication and other medical supplies.

Cardiomyopathy UK provides support and information to people affected by the heart muscle disease cardiomyopathy. It works extensively with medical professionals to ensure best practice in the diagnosis and treatment of cardiomyopathy and campaigns for members of affected families to have genetic tests and regular heart checks.

More: Photo of Cardiomyopathy UK cheque presentation »

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New plans submitted for car park extension at Brook Way Activity Centre site

Posted on Tuesday 20th February 2018 at 10:15 pm by SH (Editor)

Indicative plan of proposed changes at Brook Way Activity Centre.

Ambitions to provide additional parking spaces at the combined doctors’ surgery and community centre site at Brook Way have taken a step forward with the submission of a revised planning application for the redevelopment of the dilapidated hard court area.

The move comes four months after Bradley Stoke Town Council withdrew its previous planning application because officers at South Gloucestershire Council had indicated they were minded to refuse consent due to concerns over the “unnecessary” removal of ten trees and the potential for root damage to a number of others.

The revised scheme proposes the provision of an additional 20 parking bays within part of the area currently occupied by the hard court. The remainder of the court area will have its hard surface removed and be converted to green open space.

In contrast to the previous plans, the new parking bays will use the existing hard surface “as is”, i.e. no deep excavation will be carried out to bring the finished level of the bays down to the level of the existing car park. Consequently, the finished scheme will have a “graduated incline” between the two areas.

Significantly, no new parking bays will be created on the doctors’ surgery side of the car park. Previously, eight of the twenty new spaces were to be created on this side, with the surgery agreeing to contribute £4,000 to the cost.

More: Uncertainty over council’s chaining-off policy »

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Setback for car park extension at Brook Way

Posted on Thursday 2nd November 2017 at 9:42 pm by SH (Editor)

Hard court area with overlay saying@ "Additional car parking and green space here?"

Bradley Stoke Town Council (BSTC) has suffered a setback in its ambitions to redevelop the dilapidated hard court area in the grounds of Brook Way Activity Centre after officers at South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) indicated they were minded to refuse planning consent for a proposed scheme that would see the area converted to additional car parking spaces and green open space.

The news comes exactly four years after the then mayor Cllr Brian Hopkinson proposed the construction of two new buildings on the site, one for a charity and the other for youth provision.

A subsequent public consultation on the future of the area showed that 59 percent of respondents wanted to see additional parking facilities provided at the combined community centre and doctors’ surgery site, with just 20 percent supporting the need for a “new building” of some form.

After a working group set up to consider the results of the consultation failed to produce any formal reports or recommendations over a period of more than two years, the matter came back to Full Council in July 2016, where it was unanimously decided to use earmarked reserves of up to £50,000 to convert the hard court area to green open space and extend the car park.

A planning application was subsequently submitted to SGC (in April 2017), for a scheme that would create 20 additional parking spaces at the site, with 12 of these being created by expanding the existing car park into the area currently occupied by the hard courts and the other eight being created on the doctors’ surgery side of the access road. The remainder of the hard court area would be converted to green open space, with a new footpath being created to link this to the access road.

Plans showed that ten existing trees on the site would need to be “relocated” as part of the work.

Signs that all might not be well with the application emerged in June, when councillors were told that SGC’s tree officer had expressed “concerns about the loss of some trees”.

More: Town council decides to withdraw planning application »

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