Posts Tagged ‘Bradley Stoke Town Council’

By-election set to see around 6,700 voters called to the polls in Bradley Stoke South

Posted on Wednesday 4th March 2020 at 3:54 pm by SH (Editor)

Bradley Stoke Town Council.

A by-election to fill a vacant seat representing the South ward on Bradley Stoke Town Council looks almost certain to take place in the last week of March.

The vacancy arose after Nikki Hallur, a Conservative councillor elected just eight months ago in the May 2019 poll, handed in her resignation in mid-January, citing “personal reasons”.

A notice of election to fill the vacancy was published on 20th February and a poll will take place on Thursday 26th March, subject to more than one valid nomination being received.

The Journal understands that at least two separate groups submitted the necessary number of ten local elector signatures in order to force a by-election.

Had a by-election not been requested, the vacancy would have been filled by ‘co-option’, a procedure which effectively involves the remaining 14 council members appointing someone of their own liking.

As we went to press, two of the minority parties on the Conservative-led council, Labour and the Citizens Movement Party UK, had already announced their intention to field candidates.

The by-election will see around 6,700 residents called to vote, many more than in previous town council by-elections due to a decision by the Boundary Commission to reduce the number of wards in Bradley Stoke ahead of the May 2019 poll.

Following the recent resignation, the make-up of the town council is 11 Conservative, 1 Labour, 1 Citizens Movement Party UK and 1 independent, so the result of the by-election will not affect overall control of the council.

The cost of staging the by-election, which will fall on the town council, has been estimated by Cllr John Ashe to be in the region of £7,000 to £8,000.

In the May 2019 poll, when all South Gloucestershire and town or parish council seats were up for grabs, turnout in the Bradley Stoke South ward (represented by seven seats on the town council) was just 26 percent. Turnout for a single-seat by-election is likely to be lower.

The Conservatives won all seven seats in the ward on that occasion, attracting 63.9 percent of the total votes cast, with Labour Party candidates on  21.9 percent and independents 14.2 percent.

More: Voters will also be called to the polls just six weeks later »

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Light pollution issue leads council to restrict opening hours of new car park

Posted on Tuesday 4th February 2020 at 9:07 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of the new car park extension at Brook Way Activity Centre (looking north).

A newly opened £37,000 extension to the car park at Bradley Stoke Town Council’s Brook Way Activity Centre site is having to be closed off by 4pm each day because of a dispute over light pollution.

The new parking zone has been constructed on part of the former hard court sports area at the site (pictured below), which had lain unused for many years.

In order to access the 18 new parking bays, vehicles need to negotiate a short incline, because the surface of the extension intentionally sits higher than that of the existing car park.

As previously reported, the split-level design was necessary to comply with a planning constraint which forbade deep excavation of the former hard court area for fear of damaging tree roots.

Following the opening of the extension in November, residents of neighbouring properties in The Common, which runs along the southern boundary of the site, have complained of light pollution caused by the headlamps of vehicles ascending the incline to reach the new parking bays.

In a letter sent to the town council, the chair of Stoke Lodge and The Common Parish Council says the headlamp issue is affecting up to four properties in The Common. Residents say the beams of light are traversing up and down the front of their properties, reaching as high as the roof ridge and passing windows at all levels.

The residents claim the car park “contravenes the planning permission and is breach of environmental law” and insist that it should not be used until remedial measures have been put in place by the town council.

A condition on the planning permission granted for the car park extension required the town council to submit a landscaping plan which “should expressly demonstrate how it mitigates against the impact of headlights from cars using the parking area” and the subsequently submitted plan was approved by South Gloucestershire Council. However, the residents claim that the approved scheme provides no cover in winter and some additional screening formed of wind-break fabric is ineffective against light pollution.

More: Extension closed after 4pm AND when activity centre unstaffed »

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Councillor’s resignation could trigger costly by-election

Posted on Monday 3rd February 2020 at 6:40 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of Nikki Hallur.

The resignation of a Conservative councillor on Bradley Stoke Town Council just eight months into a four-year term of office could lead to a costly by-election.

Nikki Hallur, who won one of the seven seats representing the Bradley Stoke South ward in the May 2019 election, handed in her notice of resignation in the second week of January, citing “personal reasons and work commitments”. A ‘Casual Vacancy for a Councillor’ notice has subsequently appeared on the town council’s noticeboards and website.

According to the notice, an election will be held to fill the vacancy should ten electors (residents) living in the ward request one by 5th February.

If no request for an election is received by that date, the town council will fill the vacancy by ‘co-option’, a procedure which effectively involves the remaining 14 council members appointing someone of their own liking.

Speaking at the January meeting of Full Council, where the resignation was formally announced, mayor Tom Aditya (Conservative) asked members to be “mindful” of the financial cost of a by-election, which would fall on the town council.

The mayor’s comments were presumably directed at the three non-Conservative members of council, who might be expected to consider forcing a by-election in the hope of increasing their respective group’s representation.

Following the recent resignation, the make-up of the council is 11 Conservative, 1 Labour, 1 Citizens Movement Party UK and 1 independent, so a by-election for a single seat would not affect the balance of power.

Five (single ward) by-elections were contested in Bradley Stoke between 2008 and 2013, but there have been none since.

Also speaking at the Full Council meeting, Cllr John Ashe (Conservative) warned of the likely increased cost of a by-election after the Boundary Commission reduced the number of wards in the town to three (from seven previously), ahead of the May 2019 elections. This would be a consequence of having a much larger electorate in the ward.

Cllr Ashe said that, from memory, the last by-election in Bradley Stoke had cost the town council around £4,500. He estimated that, with the larger ward size, it might be in the region of £7,000 to £8,000.

More: Council maintains contingency fund for by-election costs »

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Work set to start soon on Brook Way car park

Posted on Sunday 6th October 2019 at 8:21 pm by SH (Editor)

Image showing outline location of new parking bays on the hard court area (indicative only).

Work to create 20 new parking spaces at Bradley Stoke Town Council’s Brook Way Activity Centre site could finally get under way in October, more than six years after redevelopment proposals were first put forward.

The future of the dilapidated hard court area at the centre has been the subject of much controversy, not least when, in September 2013, 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 showed that 59 percent of respondents wanted to see additional parking facilities provided at the site, with just 20 percent supporting the need for a “new building” of some form.

A working group formed to consider the results of the consultation failed to produce any formal reports over a period of more than two years and, in the words of Cllr Elaine Hardwick, was deemed to have “died a death” by July 2016.

In that month, the town council agreed to use earmarked reserves to extend the car park at the Brook Way site, remove the hard court and create a grassed ‘village green’.

A planning application for the proposed scheme was subsequently submitted, in April 2017, to South Gloucestershire Council (SGC). However, it was later withdrawn after SGC officers had expressed concerns about the loss of trees and the potential for excavation works to damage the roots of some retained trees.

A planning application for a revised scheme was submitted in January 2018 and consent was granted in May 2018.

In the approved scheme, 20 additional parking bays will be created within the footprint of the hard court. In contrast to the previous scheme, no deep excavations of the hard court surface will be carried out. Consequently, there will be a “graduated incline” between the existing car park area and the new parking bays.

More: Contractor’s quote of £37,650 accepted »

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