Lib Dem councillors: confusion and lack of capacity at Yate MIU must be addressed

At the Council’s Health Scrutiny Committee this morning, Liberal Democrat councillors have raised local residents’ concerns about the state of services at Yate Minor Injuries Unit.

Cllr Claire Young (Westerleigh) said: “There is continued confusion about what services are on offer at the MIU. It’s not always reasonable to expect patients to understand the distinction between a minor ailment and a minor injury. This isn’t helped by the fact that staff sometimes seem confused themselves. Recently, a resident was turned away by a receptionist at the MIU and told she should see a GP, despite having an inflamed and broken foot – precisely the kind of injury that should be treated at the MIU. Much of this confusion could be resolved if the NHS provided a walk-in surgery for minor injuries and minor ailments at the MIU site, rather than redirecting patients to services elsewhere.”

Health Scrutiny councillor, Sue Walker (Yate Central) said: “The MIU management’s policy of turning patients away at busy times continues to cause significant problems. A resident in their seventies was recently turned away three times in one day. Clearly this is unacceptable. The MIU should be provided with the resources to increase capacity and opening hours, rather than managing demand by turning injured people away.”  

Cllr Young added: “Staff are trying their best with the resources they have been given, but clearly the MIU is struggling to cope with demand. After the recent fire at the BRI, patients were told that there would be extended opening at Yate MIU. Instead, patients were being turned away from the MIU as early as 1.30pm. Increasing capacity at the MIU would help it to cope with emergency situations like this in the future.”

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Lib Dem disappointment as South Gloucestershire Tories back Government badger cull

Lib Dem disappointment as South Gloucestershire Tories back Government badger cull

South Gloucestershire’s ruling Conservative Group have rejected a Lib Dem motion condemning the Government’s decision to extend their badger cull operation to our local area. Instead, the local Conservatives proposed an amendment calling for the culls to continue.

Proposer of the Lib Dem motion, Cllr Ruth Davis, said: “Our motion backed the campaign by Avon Wildlife Trust and the RSPCA to stop the extension of the Government’s failed cull policy across the West of England. After five years of badger culls, there is no scientific evidence that there has been a reduction in bovine TB in any of the initial pilot areas. Sadly the Conservatives voted down our call on the Government to rethink this cruel, costly, and ineffective policy.”  

Seconder of the motion, Cllr Pat Hockey, said: “The Conservatives introduced an entirely rewritten motion calling on the badger culls to go ahead – completely ignoring the Avon Wildlife Trust and RSPCA’s concerns over animal welfare and the ineffectiveness of the culls in tackling TB. In the end a compromise motion was reached, calling for the Government to prioritize the development of effective TB vaccines and research for a cure, but falling short of our call to stop the cull. It’s extremely disappointing that South Gloucestershire Conservatives refused to consider the evidence presented by two of our leading animal welfare charities and, instead, doggedly insisted that the culls must continue.”

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Lib Dem victory on disposable cup ban

Liberal Democrat Councillors are celebrating victory after their proposal to ban disposable cups was passed by South Gloucestershire Council tonight, with minor Conservative amendments.

Proposer of the motion, Cllr Claire Young said: “I’m delighted that our idea has received support across the Council. South Gloucestershire is now among the first local authorities in the country to take the radical step of banning the use of disposable cups at its offices. This will save around 36,000 non-recyclable cups being thrown-away each year and I’m extremely pleased the Lib Dems have been able to provide leadership to the Council on this important environmental issue.”

Seconder of the motion, Cllr Mike Drew, said: “We were disappointed that the Conservatives decided to amend the motion to remove the commitment to implement this change by the end of the year. It should be possible for a well-run local authority to make this change in that timeframe. We will now hold the administration to account to ensure that they don’t drag their heels in carrying out this change.”

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Lib Dems seek permanent solution at dangerous junction

Councillor Claire Young presented a petition of 514 residents and commuters at last night’s South Gloucestershire Council meeting asking the Council to find a permanent solution to improve safety on the A46 at Tormarton.

The crossroads formed by the A46 Bath Rd, Acton Turville Rd and the B4465 are currently uncontrolled despite high traffic volumes. Residents had reported that temporary lights at the junction during the recent Bromley Heath Viaduct works had significantly reduced the risk of collisions.

Claire said: “Over 500 people put their name to our petition, which just goes to show the strength of feeling in the area about this problem.

“Residents have put up with the danger posed by crossing or joining the A46 for far too long. The improvement brought by the temporary lights really brought that to people’s attention.

“Similar junctions across South Gloucestershire are controlled by traffic lights and have been for a long time. My petition calls on the Council to work with Highways England to install a system that can give those residents back the safety they gained from the temporary lights, but phased properly to avoid causing delays on what is an important route.”

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Lib Dems welcome Conservative climb-down on planning changes

Leader of South Gloucestershire Lib Dems, Claire Young, has welcomed the decision by newly elected Conservative leader, Toby Savage, to pull controversial new changes to South Gloucestershire’s planning process from tomorrow’s meeting of Council.

Claire said: “I welcome this change of tack from the new Tory leader. Residents and opposition leaders were given no warning of these proposed sweeping changes before last week, and it looked as if the Conservatives were planning to push them through without cross-party consultation. I welcome Cllr Savage’s apology for the way this was mishandled and look forward to working with him in a constructive way to improve these proposals before they are brought back to Council in July.” 

“In particular, I would call upon Councillor Savage to take this opportunity to rethink the way residents are being cut out of the planning process by these Conservative proposals. We feel the move to ban members of the public from site inspections and to scrap planning meetings at Thornbury are particularly anti-democratic. With thousands of new houses being proposed around Thornbury and Charfield under Conservative plans, to choose this moment to move all planning hearings to Kingswood is a double insult to residents in the affected locations.”

  

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