Planning Inspector says no to Alveston Apartments

Councillors Maggie Tyrrell and Shirley Holloway are celebrating with local residents since hearing the news that a planning application has been turned down on the site of Alveston House Hotel at the junction of Alveston Hill and the A38. Site owners had wanted to replace this landmark building at the entrance to the village with a three-storey development of apartments.

Cllr Maggie Tyrrell said “We’re so relieved that the Planning Inspector who heard the Appeal on this application agreed with local people that such a development was wrong for this site. It would have been a very urban look on the edge of the village, with apartments built right to the edge of the site, dominating the corner and completely changing the rural character of the area. The decision to turn the application down was absolutely the right one.”

Cllr Shirley Holloway added “The owners of the hotel have told local people that they now intend to keep the hotel running. I do hope that they can make a success of the business and that local people will support them in this enterprise. We really don’t want to be faced with another planning application like this last one.”

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South Glos Lib Dems react to Vince Cable stepping down

Last night, Sir Vince Cable announced he will be stepping down as leader of the Liberal Democrats in May.

In a statement emailed to members Vince said,

“I indicated last year that once the Brexit story had moved on, and we had fought this year’s crucial local elections in 9,000 seats across England, it would be time for me to make way for a new generation. I set considerable store by having an orderly, business-like, succession unlike the power struggles in the other parties.

“So I wanted you, our members, to know that, assuming Parliament does not collapse into an early General Election, I will ask the party to begin a leadership contest in May.”

Cllr Louise Harris, Lib Dem Parliamentary Candidate for Filton and Bradley Stoke, praised the MP for Twickenham.

“While other party leaders have made false promises, vague statements and flip flopped over red lines, the Liberal Democrats have shown leadership and courage in putting livelihoods, public services and jobs before petty party politics through Vince’s stewardship during difficult times.

“Although Vince stepping down is a great loss for the party, we are thankful for his service. However, I’m eager to see what the future holds for our party. We have so many talented, capable MPs and future leaders in the Liberal Democrats. I am in no doubt that the new leader shall rise to the occasion, fill Vince’s big shoes and lead the Liberal Democrats into a new age.”

Council group leader and Parliamentary Candidate for Thornbury and Yate, Claire Young responded.

“Vince has provided stability in a time of great political uncertainty. As party leader he’s offered wisdom and economic expertise not found in any other party.

"I’m looking forward to seeing what is next for us. Here in South Gloucestershire we have a proven track record and I’m excited to showcase our local manifesto in the next few weeks.”

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Lib Dems: Yate residents will feel “once bitten, twice shy” over Tory pre-election promises for a Park & Ride

The real white elephant: Hunt’s Ground Park & Ride, which the Conservatives built with the money that had been earmarked for Nibley Park & Ride. Years after it was built it is still barely used.

South Gloucestershire Liberal Democrats have welcomed renewed council proposals for a Park & Ride for Yate, but say “they will believe it when they see it” – pointing out the Conservatives scrapped similar plans shortly after the 2007 election and divert funding elsewhere…      

Cllr Claire Young, Leader of the Liberal Democrats on South Gloucestershire Council, said: “Back during the 2007 council election, the Lib Dems and the Conservatives both campaigned on the delivery of a Park & Ride at Nibley. The Conservatives won the election and promptly scrapped the Park & Ride plans and diverted the money to a pet project in a Tory cabinet member’s ward. Now, two months away from the next council election, and the Conservatives are promising to deliver the Park & Ride they have blocked for the past twelve years! Local residents will be forgiven for feeling a sense of ‘once bitten, twice shy.’ While we welcome any move in the direction of delivering a Park & Ride, history shows that the Conservatives cannot be trusted to deliver for Yate residents on this issue.”

“It’s clear that the Conservatives are still, at best, lukewarm in their commitment to delivering a Park & Ride for Yate. At Thursday’s meeting of Cabinet, Conservative Council Leader, Toby Savage dismissively said that a Park & Ride at Nibley “would have been a massive white elephant” if it had gone ahead in 2007 when they first promised it. That’s pretty rich given that when the Conservatives scrapped plans for the Nibley Park & Ride, they diverted the money to a barely used alternative (pictured) near Parkway Station!”

Cllr Mike Drew (Yate North) said: “If people want to know why Yate transport has remained stuck in the slow lane for so many years, Toby Savage’s dismissive remarks about the Nibley Park & Ride are very revealing. Yate’s transport needs are always an afterthought for the Tories. We could have had a Park & Ride up and running for over 10 years if they hadn’t scrapped plans in 2007. Local people will see through this cynical attempt to get votes at election time. Such promises are easily made and easily broken. We need a Park & Ride with enough parking spaces to serve the growing population of the Yate area. Yate’s Lib Dem councillors will keep fighting for the project to be delivered as we have done for years.”

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Conservatives renege over key election promise to phase out green waste charges, while sneaking out price hikes for anti-waste schemes

Local Liberal Democrat councillors have charged the ruling South Gloucestershire Conservative group with hypocrisy over their failure to rule out green waste charges, despite having made it the key plank of their 2015 election campaign. Far from ending charges, the Conservatives are actually making it more expensive for South Glos residents to reduce the waste they produce – sneaking out hikes in the cost of compost bins (up 20%) and reusable nappy kits (up 13%).

Lib Dem Council Group Leader, Cllr Claire Young said: “The Conservatives came to power in South Gloucestershire in 2015 on the back of a promise to phase out green waste charges. This featured on the front page of their local election manifesto. Back before the last election one Conservative councillor went so far as to suggest that lives would be put at risk if the green waste charge was not scrapped! Yet four years on and the charge is still with us and isn’t even being cut this year, let alone scrapped.

“The Conservatives owe the people of South Gloucestershire an apology for making this flashy and unrealistic promise before the last election, and then failing to deliver on it after four years in power. After this, why should anyone believe what they say going into the local elections this May?”  

Lib Dem recycling spokesperson, Cllr Tony Davis said: “To add insult to injury, the Conservatives have just slipped out a raft of price hikes to services designed to help residents reduce waste. Compost bins have gone up in price, making in more expensive for residents to compost at home and avoid the green waste charge. And reusable nappy kits will see a price hike of a whopping £17.40. The risk is that with this extra cost to residents, we will see more unrecyclable disposable nappies going into black bins and being sent off to be incinerated. This is bad for residents and bad for our environment.

“These changes have been slipped through after the Conservatives cancelled the last Council meeting before the election, because there was apparently nothing of importance left to discuss! Local residents have been cheated of their last chance to come along and let the Conservatives know what they think about how they are running the Council.”

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Swindon Honda closure “horrible news” for South Glos

Liberal Democrats in South Gloucestershire have had their say after Honda confirmed rumours that its Swindon plant will close, costing 3500 jobs.

Claire Young, Lib Dem candidate for Thornbury and Yate and South Glos Liberal Democrat Group leader, says:

“Brexit has helped deliver another devastating blow for industry in the South West. Our thoughts have to be with the 3500 workers concerned about their futures today, and also for all of those working for suppliers and other businesses reliant on Swindon Honda who are now in a precarious position. This is not about cars or manufacturing, it’s about people’s lives including workers living in South Gloucestershire.

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