South Gloucestershire Council last night voted in favour of a Lib Dem amendment to rethink the Conservative Cabinet’s controversial plan to widen Hatchet Road as part of the MetroBus scheme.
The amendment, proposed by Liberal Democrat Transport Spokesperson, Pat Hockey, came after more than 3,000 local residents signed a petition calling for the Hatchet Road bus lane scheme to be reconsidered, due to its destructive impact on local green spaces.
Cllr Hockey’s amendment replaced a Conservative motion, which would have given a strong presumption in favour of carrying on with the scheme as planned. The amended Lib Dem motion, passed by Council, requires transport officers to reconsider all options for this part of the MetroBus route, and report back to the Cabinet in the Autumn.
Pat Hockey said: “MetroBus is an essential part of the South Gloucestershire’s infrastructure needs, but the current plan for a bus lane up Hatchet Road is not fit for purpose. A number of Stoke Gifford residents came to support their petition and spoke in compelling terms about their concerns over the loss of parkland, trees and hedgerows that would be caused by the road-widening.
“On top of this, the planned bus lane only runs one way, meaning that the MetroBus is likely to get stuck in traffic half of the time! To destroy precious green space without achieving the proposed objective of MetroBus is ridiculous. I’m glad that we were able to fight local residents’ corner and convince the Council to go back to the drawing board.”
Text of the motion as amended and carried
Council requests that the transport officers re-examine plans for the route of MetroBus from Hatchet Road roundabout to Parkway Station, investigate whether the CPME Scheme can be delivered in a different way, and prepares a paper to bring to a public Cabinet meeting in the Autumn for this issue to be discussed further which will lead to these proposals going out for further consultation.
The original master plan for the old Sea Stores site included a community arts venue on land at the front of the site. A previous attempt by Taylor Wimpey to build homes on the site failed but Churchill Retirement Living has now announced new plans.
Local councillor Ruth Davis (Liberal Democrat, Yate Central) said, "We have fought hard to stop this land being built over completely, it was meant to be used by the community. There has been no discussion with local councillors about these latest plans."
Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Thornbury and Yate Claire Young said, "People in the area have told me there is nowhere else for their children to play games locally without crossing busy roads. Parking on the narrow streets is also a massive issue. It is vital local people have their say in what the land is used for."
Young people aged 17 or 18 are being urged to register to vote in time for the General Election on 8th June
New figures just released by the Electoral Reform Society show that the proportion of school leavers on the electoral roll dropped by over a quarter between 2013 and 2016 – with most of these missing voters now eligible to vote in this election. Shockingly, in one parliamentary constituency, 75% of young people are not on the voting register. This follows the change from registration by household, to each voter having to register individually.
Claire Young, Liberal Democrat candidate for the Thornbury and Yate parliamentary constituency, said:
"This election is about the type of country we want to live in, a chance to change Britain's future. Young people will be living with the results for many years to come. It's vital that they get a say in that future"
"Whatever your age, if you haven't already registered, you need to do so before 11:59 pm on 22 May if you want to be able to vote in the General Election on 8 June. You can do it online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote - you may need to have your National Insurance number at hand to prove who you are."
The Liberal Democrats have announced that £4m of the party's additional health funding in South Gloucestershire from putting a penny on income tax would be ring-fenced for mental health services.
This would help to deliver on 12 key priorities, including improving waiting time standards for mental health care on the NHS and providing support for pregnant women and young people suffering from mental health problems.
The Liberal Democrats will also set out to end the inappropriate use of force against people with mental ill health, end out of area placements for mental health patients and prioritise national action to reduce the number of suicides.Read more
The Liberal Democrats have announced they would invest £26m more in schools and colleges in South Gloucestershire over the next parliament.
The funding for South Gloucestershire would reverse cuts to frontline school and college budgets, protect per pupil funding in real terms and ensure no school loses out from changes to funding arrangements.
£1.3m of the funding would be spent on protecting the Pupil Premium, introduced by the Liberal Democrats to help the most disadvantaged children.