South Gloucestershire Council is lagging behind its neighbours on delivery of electric vehicle charging points. That’s the message from South Gloucestershire Council’s Liberal Democrat Opposition Transport Spokesperson Councillor Adrian Rush.
Commenting, Councillor Adrian Rush said:
“Today we’ve seen South Gloucestershire’s Tories shouting about the fact that there’s a new EV charging hub at the science park. That is welcome, but one EV charging hub doesn’t make up for the fact that EV charging provision across South Gloucestershire is woefully inadequate.
“According to the Department for Transport’s statistics, South Gloucestershire has just 64 publicly available electric vehicle charging points – a lower number per capita than any of our neighbouring councils.
“Further afield, Cornwall has 219 EV charging points - three and a half times as many as South Gloucestershire, but only twice the population.
“The Liberal Democrats have been pressing the administration on this issue and so far we’re not impressed by their response. As is so often the case, South Gloucestershire Council appears to be playing catch up.”
Local campaigner Raj Sood has been chosen to fight the Frenchay and Downend by-election for the Liberal Democrats.
Raj is a well known local activist, having moved to Downend in 2005 and served as a Parish Councillor since 2015. The convenience store on Quaker's Road, which Raj owns and runs, is an important community hub for Bromley Heath, Downend and Frenchay.
Having originally trained as a Civil Engineer, Raj has found his knowledge especially useful in contributing to planning and financial issues considered by Downend and Bromley Heath Parish Council. Now that his children – who attended local schools – are older, Raj wants to use his experience to serve the wider community on South Gloucestershire Council.
Raj Sood said:
“Serving my community, as a retailer, parish councillor or simply as a neighbour and volunteer, is a big part of my life. I would be honoured to have the opportunity to expand that contribution as a South Gloucestershire Councillor.”
Claire Young, leader of the Liberal Democrat Opposition on South Gloucestershire Council, said:
“Raj is a part of the heart of the community in Frenchay and Downend. There can be few residents locally who don’t know him and his understanding of local issues is second to none.
“Raj would make a first-rate councillor for Frenchay and Downend. Up until recently he has worked outside party politics, we are therefore delighted that he has chosen to join the local Liberal Democrat team.”
Councillor Claire Young, Leader of South Gloucestershire Council’s Liberal Democrat Opposition, has written to the local health bosses after residents in and around Yate expressed concern over the distance they were being asked to travel for Covid-19 vaccines.
Councillor Young wrote to Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, together with the local Director of Public Health, the Public Health Team and the Abbotswood Surgery raising these concerns.
Explaining the situation, Councillor Young said:
“Some residents have received letters from NHS England which have made them think they will have to travel to the newly-opened vaccination centre at Ashton Gate – this is not correct. People who are on the priority list for vaccination and have received a letter may travel to the national centre, but they will also be contacted by their GP inviting them to go for a vaccination more locally.”
However, in the Yate area there is another issue: residents registered with the Abbotswood Surgery are being asked to travel to Downend for their vaccination. Green Valleys Heath, which runs it, temporarily closed the Yate surgery 10 months ago and is directing patients to their Downend surgery instead.
Commenting, Councillor Young added:
“It is unacceptable that elderly and vulnerable people from Yate are being asked to travel to Downend to get their Covid vaccine.
“Most people are being offered vaccines locally and it should not be impossible to arrange a system whereby everyone registered with a GP in Yate can get their vaccines in Yate.”
This isn’t the start to the new year we were hoping for. We are now in a national lockdown and we all have to stay at home, only leaving for essential reasons including:
- Essential shopping for things like food or medicine
- To go to work if you cannot do so from home
- To meet your support bubble or childcare bubble
- To seek medical assistance or avoid injury or risk of harm including domestic abuse
- To attend childcare or education for those eligible
- Exercise with your household or support bubble once a day. You can exercise with one other person when you are on your own but should not meet them socially. Do not travel outside of your area to exercise.
If you break the rules you risk a fine of £200 for the first offence, doubling for further offences up to a maximum of £6,400.
To help protect everyone from Covid-19, always remember Hands Face Space and ventilate indoor spaces. Full details of the restrictions can be found on the Government website.
There is support available to help:
- Residents with financial difficulties
- Health and mental well-being
- Vulnerable people and carers
- Education and childcare
- Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities
If you or someone you know needs support in the community, such as with shopping and prescription collection, you can find your local community group here. If you would like to volunteer to help, you can find opportunities here.
The following helplines are available for those in crisis:
Following the announcement last night of another national lockdown, South Gloucestershire’s Liberal Democrats have welcomed the news, but questioned why the Government is continually waiting until too late to act.
Reacting to the Prime Minister’s announcement, Cllr Claire Young, Leader of South Gloucestershire Council’s Opposition Liberal Democrats, said:
“We welcome the Government’s realisation that they have lost control of the spread of the virus, but we cannot understand why yet again they have taken so long to act.
“The decision to switch all schools to remote learning, as the Liberal Democrats have been calling for (and the Conservatives locally mocked) is the right one, but it should have been made before any schools were forced to re-open following the holidays. Only on Sunday the Prime Minister was urging parents to send their children back to school, even as he warned that new tougher measures would be needed.
“School leaders have spent the holidays planning for mass testing and a staggered return to school – time we now know could have been better used planning high-quality distance learning for the coming term, making plans for vulnerable children and children of key workers, and putting in place necessary pastoral care. Parents have been left wondering until the last possible minute whether their children can go to school, which for many has a huge impact on whether they can work and earn money. Most importantly the students themselves have yet again been plunged into uncertainty.
“It’s not just education – the Government’s dithering and lack of planning leaves many other questions unanswered. How will businesses be supported? What will be done for “The Excluded”, those people who have fallen through the cracks of Government support so far? Where are the extra resources to support people’s mental health?
“Whilst we welcome this announcement, the Government’s delay in making it gives us little confidence that they understand the true scale of what it needs to do to get the situation under control.”