Cllr Claire Young, Leader of South Gloucestershire Council's Liberal Democrat opposition, has called for all local primary schools to temporarily move to remote learning, until at least the 18th January.
Councillor Young said:
"It is clear that the Government has failed to get on top of the spread of the new variant of the virus.
"Throughout the pandemic, the Government has dithered and delayed making necessary and inevitable decisions.
“Many parents and teachers have been calling for schools to remain closed this week since before the holidays, and yet still this Government is saying that schools outside London must reopen as normal.
"It is impossible to believe that, given what we now know about how quickly and easily the new variant of the virus spreads, transmission will be brought under control and safety of staff and students can be ensured without a temporary closure of schools.
“By refusing to make unpalatable decisions until the last minute, the Government is letting down teachers, parents and most importantly students. Without knowing whether or not schools will reopen, teachers are unable to plan how best to deliver education, parents do not know if they will be able to go to work and children are left in limbo.
"Locally and nationally the Liberal Democrats are calling on Government to act now.”
Earlier today, Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader and Education Spokesperson, Daisy Cooper MP, called for all primary schools in England to remain closed for the next two weeks and for the Department for Education to publish a credible plan for schools to reopen safely later in the month.
Here’s some useful information about opening times and other changes over the festive period:
South Gloucestershire Council
You can find information about the council’s Christmas and New Year opening times and service changes on their website.
The Sort It recycling centres will be closed on 25, 26 December and 1 January. They are open as normal on the 27 to 31 December. Find a tip or recycling centre.
More information on using the recycling centres during Covid-19.
Waste and recycling collection changes
From 25 December until 11 January, your normal collection days will change. You should have had a bin hanger with the details of the changes and the schedule for the next year. You can also check the changes to collection days on the council’s website.
Recycle your real Christmas tree
If you have a real Christmas tree, you can recycle it. If you have a garden waste subscription you can cut up the tree and put it in your green bin, or you can put the whole tree next to your green bin if it is under 6ft tall.
If you do not have a garden waste subscription, you can buy a garden waste sack from your local library (£2.30) and attach it to your tree with string (no plastic) and request a one-off garden waste collection. Alternatively, trees can be recycled at the recycling centres.
The Active Centres’ Christmas and New Year opening times are online.
Councillor Claire Young, Liberal Democrat Leader of the Opposition on South Gloucestershire Council has written to the Conservative Leader of the Council, asking for urgent clarification of the rationale behind today’s Government decision to keep South Gloucestershire in Tier 3, whilst moving Bristol and North Somerset down into Tier 2.
In an open letter to Councillor Savage, Councillor Young has asked the Leader of the Council to press the Government to urgently release the rational behind today’s decision.
Councillor Young said:
“Over the course of the pandemic the Government’s communication and messaging has been confused and confusing. More and more people are struggling to understand which rules they are meant to be following. Today’s decision, without explanation, will do nothing to bolster public confidence in the rules.
“I am asking the Leader of the Council to urgently clarify with his colleagues and friends in Central Government, why the decision has been taken to place South Gloucestershire and Bristol in separate Tiers.”Read more
Lib Dems urge Chancellor to increase support for South Gloucestershire's 6,610 Universal Credit claimants
Stephen Williams, Lib Dem candidate for West of England mayor, has condemned the Chancellor for failing to introduce a comprehensive plan to save jobs. 31,595 people in the West of England - 6,610 of whom live in South Gloucestershire - are currently on Universal Credit.
Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson Christine Jardine criticised Rishi Sunak's "constant chop-and-change approach", urging him to put in place a proper plan to protect jobs as the Government still struggles to get a grip over rising cases of coronavirus.
The figures revealed that 5.1% of people of working age in West of England, and 3.7% of those in South Gloucestershire, are on Universal Credit.
The Liberal Democrats urged the Conservative West of England Mayor Tim Bowles to join their calls for the Chancellor to ensure that the furlough scheme remains in place until at least June 2021. The Lib Dems also want the Government to overturn their decision to ignore the 3 million individuals still locked out of any Government coronavirus support schemes.
This follows the Liberal Democrats' call for the Prime Minister to negotiate a 6 month Brexit Adjustment Period to give local businesses crucial breathing space when the transition period finishes on 31st December.
Stephen Williams, Liberal Democrat candidate for the Mayor of the West of England said:
"These unemployment figures reveal just how many people in the West have been let down by this Conservative Government. Too many families will be worrying about how they're going to put food on the table this Christmas thanks to Rishi Sunak's failure to keep his promise that no-one would be left behind.
"That is why the Liberal Democrats have urged Tim Bowles to join us in urging the Chancellor to roll out more support for people in the West of England. Unfortunately, the pandemic is far from over and it is crucial we see the Government step up to support the most vulnerable in the coming months."
Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson Christine Jardine said:
“The Chancellor's constant chop-and-change approach to the furlough scheme and his inability to put together a comprehensive plan to save jobs is taking a huge toll.
“The Government must ensure furlough stays in place until at least June – and extend support to the three million people who still remain excluded from any support whatsoever. Just as crucially, Ministers must ensure there is an Adjustment Period for businesses before new trade rules begin, to avoid a second spike in redundancies.”Read more
The Liberal Democrat councillors for Frampton Cotterell have welcomed news that bollards are due to be installed to at the entrances to Hoover’s Lane in the New Year to prevent fly tipping.
The lane, which is also known as Hover’s Lane and runs between Frampton End Road and Bristol Road, is a popular route for walkers and horse-riders but also a fly tipping hotspot. Last autumn Cllrs Tristan Clark and Claire Young met officers there to discuss local concerns and officers promised to talk to landowners about possible solutions. Covid delayed progress but in October Claire attended a further site meeting to discuss options.
It has now been agreed that bollards will be installed to prevent vehicle access to the bridleway. The bollards and fixings will be designed to be difficult to remove or damage and those authorised to access the lane in a vehicle (eg the council and landowners) will be able to fold them down. They will be spaced so horses and people can pass safely between them and will have hi-visibility, reflective tape around them so they can be easily seen and avoided.
Work to install the bollards is planned for January, providing the order arrives.
Cllr Claire Young (Lib Dem, Frampton Cotterell) said:
“I’m delighted that the council is installing bollards to prevent fly tipping on this lane, after we raised local people’s concerns. Fly tips are an eyesore, a danger to wildlife and expensive for landowners and the council to clear up. We will of course continue to push for action to prevent fly tipping on Frampton End Road.”
Cllr Tristan Clark (Lib Dem, Frampton Cotterell) said:
“After raising the recurring problem of fly tipping along the bridleway with council officers 18 months ago we welcome these new security measures. The illegal dumping of waste is a blight on our countryside and we’ll continue to work with the council to stop it from happening”
Cllr Jon Lean (Lib Dem, Frampton Cotterell) said:
“Fly tipping on Hover’s lane has been a long-standing problem. I welcome this solution which deters fly tipping whilst retaining access to the lane for authorised vehicles and other lane users.”Read more