Lib Dems call for an inquiry into Primary to Secondary transition

South Gloucestershire Liberal Democrat councillors have called for an inquiry into how local schools handle the transition between primary and secondary education. This was previously identified as a major area requiring improvement by an Education Commission Report in 2014.

Liberal Democrat spokesman for Education, Cllr Ian Blair, said: “South Gloucestershire has long struggled with the problem that, despite having some excellent primary schools, many of our pupils have difficulty when they reach secondary school, and do less well than their primary school grades would suggest they should. It was a major conclusion of the 2014 Education Commission’s report that South Gloucestershire schools should create a Year 5-8 ‘learning pathway’ focusing on things like literacy, numeracy and resilience, in order to help children making the transition between primary and secondary school. We are calling for a one day inquiry to see what progress has been made in the three years since that report.”

Lib Dem Cllr Claire Young, who is bringing the issue to Council’s Scrutiny Commission said: “Anyone with children will know that the move from primary to secondary can be a big step. We need to work with schools to make sure that they are doing everything in their control to support pupils in making the jump between primary and secondary successfully, so that they can continue to build on their potential.”    


Local Councillors meet with Network Rail to discuss lack of clarity over electrification plans

South Gloucestershire Councillors Sue Hope (Cotswold Edge) and Claire Young (Westerleigh), and Chair of Acton Turville Parish Council Chris Farrell, have met with Network Rail managers to discuss the ongoing rail electrification works, and to relay the concerns of local residents.   

Read more

Threatened IVF cuts show that our NHS is being seriously underfunded, say local Lib Dems

South Gloucestershire Liberal Democrats have launched a petition calling upon the Conservative Government to increase funding for our overstretched NHS. This comes after the news that local NHS managers are having to consider restricting IVF eligibility to women aged 30-35, in order to help close the local NHS funding gap of £80 million a year.   

Read more

Liberal Democrat Councillors win concession for local residents on Hatchet Road widening

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.


Anger at threat to community space

normandy_drive.jpgLocal people have been angered by plans to build retirement homes on land they were promised would be used for a community building.

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."
The developer, Churchill Retirement Living, is currently consulting on residents' views. The consultation runs until 14th June at