Posts Tagged ‘Bradley Stoke Town Council’

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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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Council steps in to replace lost berry trees

Posted on Monday 5th March 2018 at 9:32 pm by SH (Editor)

Waxwing pictured at the Willow Brook Centre. [Photo credit: Chris Teague]

Bradley Stoke Town Council (BSTC) has stepped in to ensure that, in future years, there will be a plentiful supply of food for a rare category of occasional visitor to the town.

In recent winters, the town has become well known amongst the bird watching community as a favoured feeding ground for waxwings, unusually coloured birds which are native to Scandinavia and Russia, but who sometimes migrate to the UK when local food supplies run low.

They are attracted to Bradley Stoke by the area’s above average density of rowan trees, whose berries constitute the birds’ favourite food source.

“Irruptions” (influxes) of waxwings have been noted locally in three of the last seven winters and the one last year drew scores of bird watching enthusiasts to the Willow Brook shopping centre, where the birds spent several weeks stripping the rowan trees of berries.

But the birdwatchers’ delight turned to anger when contractors at the centre started uprooting some of the rowan trees, leading to protests and heated exchanges on social media.

The centre management responded by saying that the trees were in a poor condition and were being substituted with other species in a rolling maintenance programme that had begun two years earlier. Altogether, 28 rowans were removed over two years, although the centre says it has since planted five new ones and a few others remain on the site.

Following last year’s controversy, Cllr John Ashe asked if the town council might consider planting replacements, and it has now agreed to purchase 60 rowan trees which will be planted in two separate locations within the town’s Three Brooks Local Nature Reserve. Some will be planted on the bank of the Tump and the others alongside the community orchard.

More: Trees will be planted by Green Gym and Conservation Group »

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Fireworks raise £4,000 for mayor’s charities

Posted on Tuesday 5th December 2017 at 11:45 pm by SH (Editor)

Bradley Stoke Town Council fireworks display.

This year’s Bradley Stoke Town Council fireworks display was again a great success.

Numbers attending the free event were up on last year and this was reflected in a healthy increase in voluntary charity donations.

This year, a total of £4,119 was raised for the mayor’s charities through donations, with £3,629 of the total coming from bucket collections and the remaining £490 coming from on-site traders (donut and burger vans).

The charities being supported by this year’s mayor, Andy Ward, are Cardiomyopathy UK and Freewheelers Emergency Voluntary Service.

Speaking at a recent council meeting, Cllr Ward gave thanks for the “outstanding support” from the volunteer marshals and bucket collectors, who came from a range of local groups, as well as council members and staff.

This article originally appeared in the December 2017 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine (on page 14). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,500 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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