Cycle campaigners welcome funding

Local Lib Dem Campaigners on the Yate Spur

Long time campaigners for improved cycling routes have welcomed funding for outline business cases for a cycle path on Alveston Hill and completing the Yate spur.

Cllr Claire Young, Leader of the Lib Dems on South Glos Council, said:

“After we submitted a petition to council in 2014 calling for the completion of the Yate spur, the next stage was funded, but since then progress has stalled. The missing link may be just a small part of the route, but fixing it brings huge benefits. By connecting the growing town of Yate to the Bristol Bath railway path, the Yate spur makes it safer for people to cycle to work and for leisure. It also helps people from Westerleigh to walk and cycle to Yate. I hope this funding will make that possible.”

“I’m calling for the business case to look at other potential links into the Yate spur, to make cycling an option for many more people.”

Cllr Maggie Tyrrell, Deputy Leader of the Lib Dems on South Glos Council, said:

“A safe cycle route from the Alveston to Thornbury has always been a priority of ours. Alveston Hill is a problem because it’s not wide enough to separate cars, bikes and pedestrians and the cost of extra land has held up progress. We hope enough money can now be found to buy the necessary land, on top of the cost of building a dedicated cycleway, to make this a reality. We look forward to seeing more information and getting this scheme underway as fast as possible.”

Stephen Williams, the Liberal Democrat candidate for the West of England Mayor, said:

“Everyone should be given the confidence to ride a bike for leisure or travel along a safe route. Safe cycle routes would be a top priority for me as West of England Mayor.”

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Liberal Democrats ask HSBC to save Yate branch

HSBC Bank, Yate

Local Liberal Democrat Councillors in Yate have expressed their disappointment at plans to close the HSBC Bank in Yate Shopping Centre.

It was announced earlier this week that, as part of a nationwide re-structure, HSBC would be closing a number of branches in the UK, including the local branch in Yate.

Cllr Claire Young, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group on South Gloucestershire Council, commented:

“The news of the planned closure to the HSBC bank in Yate is of great concern to the community, particularly with the potential loss of jobs in the local area and the loss of a locally accessible banking service”

Cllr Ben Nutland, Councillor for Yate North on South Gloucestershire Council, added:

“This bank is a vital life line for many of our local businesses and elderly residents, some of whom aren’t able to do online banking and would struggle to get to either Thornbury or Bristol if the one in Yate is closed.

“We will be pushing for a rethink and working to make sure those who can't use alternatives are supported.”

Which? research has found that more than a third of bank and building society branches have closed in less than five years and customers are increasingly being encouraged to bank online. But when questioned many adults said they would struggle with basic banking tasks if they could only use websites or apps to manage their bank accounts.

Claire, Ben and the local Liberal Democrat team are launching a petition and writing a letter to the CEO of HSBC asking for the decision to be reconsidered.

As things stand, HSBC intend to close the branch in June 2021. You can sign the petition here:

Save Yate HSBC Petition

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South Gloucestershire woefully behind on Electric Vehicle charging – Rush

Vehicle Charging

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.”

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Liberal Democrats select local shopkeeper Raj Sood for Frenchay and Downend by-election

Raj Sood at Downend Shopping Centre

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.”

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Residents should be offered vaccinations as locally as possible – Young

Vaccination

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.”

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