Archive for the ‘General News’ Category

Public left in dark over proposed roundabout improvements

Posted on Monday 16th September 2019 at 8:31 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of Great Stoke Roundabout (a.k.a Rabbit Roundabout).

The results of a public consultation on proposed capacity improvements at a major roundabout on the border between Bradley Stoke and Stoke Gifford will not be released until just one week before a funding decision is made on the £2.3m scheme, the Journal can reveal.

The consultation on the proposed work at Great Stoke Roundabout (a.k.a. Rabbit Roundabout) took place in February and March 2019 and it was stated that a feedback report would be prepared and published ahead of a decision being made by South Gloucestershire councillors on “proceeding with the scheme and seeking funding from the West of England Combined Authority (Weca)”.

The consultation documents also stated that, subject to receiving funding, “construction could commence in autumn 2019 and … take one year to complete”, which raised concerns the work might run concurrently with planned road closures on Gipsy Patch Lane from early 2020 in connection with the scheme to replace the railway bridge.

However, the response to a recent enquiry submitted by the Journal has revealed that the Weca funding application has already been made, raising questions about South Gloucestershire Council’s (SGC’s) commitment to genuine community engagement.

In response to our enquiry, an SGC spokesperson said:

“Earlier this year, the West of England Combined Authority (Weca) approved an outline business case for a preferred scheme to increase vehicle capacity and reduce queuing times at Great Stoke Roundabout in Stoke Gifford. We ran a public consultation, including several drop-in sessions during February and March 2019, and invited people to fill in a questionnaire about the proposed scheme.”

More: Decision on funding expected in October »

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Your chance to get into singing this September

Posted on Monday 9th September 2019 at 9:23 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of choir members pictured prior to their 2019 summer concert.

After a well-earned summer break, Stokes Singers are keen to tune up for the start of our new season when weekly rehearsals start again on Thursday 5th September.

Singing is what brings us all together, writes founder member Sue Callow, and we can’t wait to meet up and get going. I really miss my singing family and it will be good to see everyone again and catch up on the news.

Singing is frequently in the media these days. The Sing Up Foundation (singupfoundation.org) reports that singing lowers cortisol and relieves stress and tension, as well as boosting confidence. Singing is a mindful activity as it needs you to switch off from your busy thoughts and focus totally on what you’re doing.

Singing is also a great social activity which creates a strong sense of community, and learning a new skill is a proven way to keep the brain in good shape.

Singing strengthens the immune system so it could be the perfect way to ward off those bugs that come with the cooler weather and, as an aerobic activity, it increases overall health. It sounds like an all-round winner!

If you love to sing and would like to give a community choir a try, why not come along to a Stokes Singers rehearsal? Our current venue is Coniston Community Centre in Patchway, which is a welcoming, accessible building with free car parking right outside.

We’re very fortunate to have not one but two talented musical directors who are a great partnership. Sian Walters and Philip Lawrence are both trained teachers and professional musicians and, although their styles are very different, they work well together to make rehearsals fun but challenging. They both have a wealth of knowledge of singing techniques and are able to offer advice to both experienced and novice singers on how to get the best from your voice.

More "September is a great time to join us" »

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Honours and farewells at 1st Bradley Stoke Scouts’ AGM

Posted on Sunday 8th September 2019 at 8:31 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of some of the young people who received award certificates at the AGM

Parents, youngsters and adult volunteers gathered at Brook Way Activity Centre on Wednesday 10th July for the Annual General Meeting and family BBQ of 1st Bradley Stoke Scouts.

As well as the usual elements of the AGM, bringing together the Scout Council to agree the annual report, thank Dunkley’s for auditing the accounts and nominate members of the executive to run the group, they celebrated a number of awards for young people and adults alike.

The Bronze, Silver and Gold Chief Scout Awards are the highest badges in Beavers, Cubs and Scouts respectively and represent work undertaken during their entire time in each of the sections (between two and four years). Amongst the adult volunteers, group fundraiser and active support unit manager Belinda Hodgson and group chair Nick Nelson received District Commissioner Awards from Clive Mason for their contribution over a number of years.

Clive himself had recently left as group scout leader on “promotion” to district commissioner, after ten years service, and the group presented him with a number of gifts, including an engraved torch (Ed: it’s a Scout thing!).

The evening was rounded off with the family BBQ, giving young and old the chance to get to know each other across the sections, as well as meet leaders, especially important for those ‘moving up’ to higher sections later in the year.

The group is always looking for more volunteer leaders to prepare the young people as they develop skills for life. For more information, have a look at the group’s website at 1st.bradley-stoke-scouts.org/home/join-1st-bss

Photo: Some of the young people who received award certificates at the AGM (the complete list is shown in the Roll of Honour below). Click to enlarge; hi-res version on Facebook | Flickr | Google.

More: Roll of Honour 2018-19 »

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Consultation launched on new waste strategy

Posted on Sunday 18th August 2019 at 8:12 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of Cllr Rachael Hunt, Cabinet member for communities, at Yate Sort-It Centre.

South Gloucestershire Council’s (SGC’s) proposed new Resource and Waste Strategy, covering the period 2020 to 2030, incorporates aims to further improve recycling rates in the district, but also includes measures to reduce our consumption of raw materials, especially single-use plastics.

A 14-week public consultation on the draft strategy document was approved at a Cabinet meeting on Monday 17th June.
Ambitious, legally binding targets outlined in the document include recycling 65 percent of waste by 2035 and 70 percent of packaging by 2030.

Current recycling rates are just under 60 percent, with the projected recycling rate for 2018-2019 being 58.3 percent. However, the council admits that the results of its annual waste analysis in 2018 show that it “has more to do” in order to divert waste from the black bin into recycling. It is estimated there are (annually) 10,268 tonnes of food waste disposed of in the black bin that could be recycled. In an effort to reduce this, the council says it will continue to promote its weekly food waste collections and encourage residents to reduce avoidable food waste in line with national campaigns such as ‘Love Food Hate Waste’.

The new strategy does not include any changes to kerbside collections, although from April next year bulky household items (such as sofas and mattresses) will be taken to a new facility to be shredded, removing metals, wood and rigid plastics for recycling. The remaining material will be sent for energy recovery, with the aim of zero going to landfill.

Proposed measures to promote sustainable alternatives to single-use plastic items include sharing knowledge with businesses and communities and promoting the ‘Refill’ campaign locally.

More: How to respond to the consultation »

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