Following a vote of the local party membership Stephen Williams was this afternoon selected as the Liberal Democrat candidate for Metro Mayor for the West of England to be held on Thursday 4th of May this year.
Following a series of hustings in front of the party membership in Yate, Bath and Bristol, the former Local Government Minister and MP for Bristol West Williams secured the Liberal Democrat nomination ahead of Simon Cook in the membership vote.
Speaking to party members following the final hustings meeting in Bristol Stephen Williams said:
“It’s an honour to be selected, I am determined to win this election and deliver real change for people in the West of England”.
“My main priority will be continuing economic prosperity, but by tackling the main constraints that hold us back – the lack of affordable housing, and the woeful state of our public transport.”
“This election is a clear choice between me and the inexperienced Conservative candidate. Our region needs the strongest possible leadership and with my experience, I can offer just that”.
“I will also stand up for the majority of people who voted to remain in the European Union, and will work with the business community to persuade the Conservative government to keep us in the single market and avoid a disastrous hard Brexit which will risk jobs and livelihoods particularly in the aerospace and manufacturing industries.
Congratulating him on his selection Claire Young, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Thornbury and Yate, added:
"The Metro Mayor will need to work with and challenge the government for more power and resources if this devolution deal is going to make a difference to the day-to-day lives of people across the West of England. Stephen has a wealth of experience and a positive track record of working in local government and at the highest levels in national politics."
Many congratulations to Steve Webb on being awarded a Knighthood for Political and Public Service in the New Year Honours.
As our MP for 18 years, he was a passionate local campaigner, dedicated to helping people in our constituency. He was also a highly regarded Minister for Pensions for five years. Thanks to Steve, the state pension is protected by the "triple lock", people have more freedom about how they use their pension pots and millions of low paid workers are saving for a pension for the first time. It's great to see his hard work both locally and nationally being recognised.
Steve has been keen to say that his honour is the end result of a fabulous team effort over so many years. If you would like to help continue this, please get involved. You can get in touch at http://www.southgloslibdems.org.uk/volunteer
As we approach the Christmas and New Year period, we thought it might be useful to bring together in one place some information about the availability of local services over the holiday period. This includes everything from opening hours for emergency chemists to arrangements for recycling your Christmas tree.
We hope that this information is helpful. May we take this opportunity to wish you and your family a very Happy Christmas.
Bin Collection Dates
There are some changes to waste and recycling collection over the Christmas period:
|If your collection should be:||It will take place on:|
|Monday 26 December||Tuesday 27 December|
|Tuesday 27 December||Wednesday 28 December|
|Wednesday 28 December||Thursday 29 December|
|Thursday 29 December||Friday 30 December|
|Friday 30 December||Saturday 31 December|
You can check your precise date and what will be collected at http://www.southglos.gov.uk/environment-and-planning/recycling-rubbish-and-waste/check-your-collection-date/
Recycling your Christmas Tree
Before you recycle your tree remove all decorations, pots and stands.
Using the garden waste service
Green bin collection (subscription only): If you have subscribed to the garden waste service you can put your tree into or next to your green bin. Alternatively you can buy a single use garden waste sack for £2 from your nearest library or Country Stores at 48 High Street, Marshfield, SN14 8LP. Just attach the sack to the tree for a special one off collection after Christmas. If your tree is over 6ft, it must be cut up into smaller sections for collection or taken to the Sort It recycling centre
Taking it to a recycling centre
You can recycle your tree at one of four Sort It recycling centres. Real Christmas trees need to go into the skip for garden (green) waste, not the wood waste skip. Don’t forget to remove all decorations, pots and stands before recycling.
Out of Hours Pharmacies Times
You can view all opening times for South Gloucestershire pharmacies over the Christmas period here: https://www.southgloucestershireccg.nhs.uk/your-health-local-services/health-services/self-care-pharmacies-and-gps/gp-pharmacy-opening-hours/
Train engineering times over the Christmas period
From Saturday 24th December until Thursday 29th December London Paddington will be closed to all rail services. This will mean that GWR rail services will start and finish at Ealing Broadway, from where you can take the underground or a bus. However, the station does not have step-free access. So if you are travelling with heavy luggage or find steps difficult for any reason you will need to change at Reading and use services from there to London Waterloo. Unfortunately that will mean a longer journey.
You can find out more on the GWR website.
Certain buses in the West of England will be running different timetables over the Christmas period. Some may be running Saturday timetables on weekdays, or running Sunday & Public Holiday timetables on public holidays. Some are running special timetables which are neither their weekday nor weekend timetables.
More information is available here.
Broadband campaigners have welcomed the announcement that a number of villages across the Thornbury and Yate area will get a better, more future-proof service.
Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Thornbury and Yate, Claire Young, said:
"We are delighted that South Gloucestershire Council has finally listened to our pleas for a more future-proof solution taking fibre all the way to individual houses. We have been campaigning with people living in the rural areas who know that the simply upgrading the lines going into the green cabinets to fibre doesn't work. If your house is connected to the cabinet by a long copper wire your broadband will still be slow and unreliable. Yet until now tax-payers' money has been spent on this out-dated solution in South Gloucestershire."
Cllr Sue Hope (Lib Dem, Cotswold Edge) said:
"This is great news for the villages that will be upgraded. Broadband is becoming an essential service, with everything from booking a doctor's appointment to tracking what your MP is up to happening online. Our businesses need fast internet access to remain competitive, it's central to the modern economy."
She added, "There will still be villages crying out for faster broadband, places like West Littleton where Claire and I met campaigners in the summer. We will keep fighting until all our residents have broadband access that's fast enough for today's needs and well into the future."
Statement from South Gloucestershire Liberal Democrats on the withdrawal of the Oasis Community Learning bid to take over Winterbourne International Academy:
Eva Lily Fielding, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Filton and Bradley Stoke and Claire Young, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Thornbury and Yate, said:
"We welcome today's news that Oasis Community Learning has withdrawn its bid to take over Winterbourne International Academy. They faced overwhelming opposition from parents, students, teachers and the local community. Well done to everyone involved in the campaign.
This is not the end of the story. The Ridings Federation still has a Financial Notice to Improve hanging over it and needs a recovery plan to get it back on track. We're sure everyone locally will want to work together to ensure a bright future for both Winterbourne International Academy and Yate International Academy."
"This has also thrown up wider issues about how the Government deals with academies that face difficulties. Parents have been shocked by the lack of transparency and the fact that there is no direct way for them to have their say. I have written to the National Schools Commissioner expressing concerns not just about this situation but also the wider questions it raises."