Liberal Democrat Councillor Claire Young is calling upon South Gloucestershire Council to step in to fund the extension of the 82 service to Chipping Sodbury and the villages beyond.
The call comes after First Bus revealed that they do not intend to extend the 82 service as far as Chipping Sodbury, because they consider it not to be commercially viable to do so. This means that there is still no direct bus route from Chipping Sodbury to Southmead Hospital.
Claire said: “I’m extremely disappointed to hear that First are not prepared to look at extending the 82 service. I have been campaigning alongside residents on this issue for over a year now. Last Autumn, we presented a petition on the issue at the Public Transport Forum and, only earlier this week, First Bus Director James Freeman promised that he would look at ways to improve the 82 service once the Bromley Heath viaduct works have finished.
“However, First Bus’ Commercial Manager has since informed me that they will not be looking at extending the route as part of these improvements, as they do not deem it to be cost-effective for them. This comes as a bitter blow, as our petition proves that there is significant local demand for a direct service to Southmead Hospital from Chipping Sodbury and the villages. The lack of a direct route means that elderly and frail patients and visitors to Southmead have the inconvenience of changing buses as Yate.
“In cases, like this, where a bus service is not deemed commercially viable, but there is real public need, it is possible for the Council to step in and fund it. That’s why I’m calling upon South Gloucestershire’s Conservative Cabinet to fund the extension of the 82 route. It is clear that there is genuine public need for this service, and I hope we can get a cross-party consensus to bring it about.”
At a meeting of South Gloucestershire’s Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee on Friday, Conservative Councillors failed to support a recommendation to review and invest in services at Yate Minor Injuries Unit. The recommendation was moved by Lib Dem councillor Sue Hope and supported by all Lib Dem and Labour councillors on the committee. The Conservatives split with six abstaining and two voting against.
The recommendation states:
There is recognition of the growing demand for services at the Yate MIU; the CCG recognise this and reviews the service with the aim of investing in a service to meet the growing demand at Yate MIU.
The recommendation was passed by 5 votes to 2 with 6 abstentions.
Cllr Sue Hope said: “I brought this recommendation in response to the current three month trial at Yate MIU under which patients are being turned away during the day when the service becomes too busy. We believe that this is a bad policy, which had led to confusion and dismay among patients.
“I was amazed when the Conservatives refused to support our resolution, particularly as health colleagues at the meeting had already said that they were happy to review the MIU service and report back to the committee. I’m pleased that the resolution was passed with the help of Liberal Democrat and Labour councillors.”
Cllr Hope also brought a second resolution:
The CCG reviews its communication strategy with the public; be clear in its objectives and give a clear concise message to the public as to how to access services.
This resolution was passed with 7 in favour and 6 abstentions.
Sue Hope said: “It’s become clear that the CCG and local health providers seriously need to look at how they communicate with residents about services on offer. Not only has there been a lot of confusion about the situation with the MIU, but it is clear that most residents are still unaware of the minor injuries service now available at all South Gloucestershire GP practices.”
The South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) will now report back on both resolutions at a future session of the Scrutiny Committee.
Local Liberal Democrats are calling for South Gloucestershire Council to launch a strategic review of transport needs in Yate, Chipping Sodbury, Dodington and the surrounding villages. The issue is being brought to this week’s meeting of the Council’s new Scrutiny Commission by the Co-Chair of Scrutiny, Lib Dem councillor Claire Young.
Claire Young said: “Local Lib Dem councillors have long pushed for a proper joined-up review into our area’s transport needs including, parking, public transport and our road networks. Until recently we’ve been told that the Council does not have the resources to carry out a strategic transport review for the Yate-area. However, opposition councillors now have an opportunity to put significant issues like this on the agenda through the Scrutiny Commission. We hope that our suggestion will get cross-party support so that we can get on with this review and bring forward ideas to fix Yate-area transport.”
Lib Dem Group leader Ruth Davis (Yate Central): “Claire’s proposed review has the support of councillors from across Yate, Dodington, Chipping Sodbury, and the surrounding villages. This could be a great opportunity to bring together plans to help get Yate moving. In particular, we are keen to look at new bus routes, reducing traffic through Yate town centre, and the possibility of a Park & Ride site at Badminton Road.”
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.”
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