Incoming leader of South Gloucestershire’s opposition Liberal Democrat group, Claire Young, will propose a ban on disposable cups at council-run facilities at this month’s meeting of Council. If the Council approve the motion on May 16th, it is believed that South Gloucestershire will be the first local authority in the country to take such a radical step.
Claire Young said: “We decided to take this step after a question from my colleague Cllr John O’Neill to the Conservative Administration revealed that the council used a shocking 36,000 disposable cups in 2017 – none of which can be recycled, because of the materials used. Like a number of other local authorities, South Gloucestershire has offered discounts for people who use reusable cups, but this clearly hasn’t solved the problem.
“We all have a duty to leave the planet in a decent state for our children. Eliminating the wasteful use of disposable cups is only a small step, but I firmly believe that public bodies like South Gloucestershire Council should be leading the way, not trailing behind. If the council wants local residents to reduce the amount of waste they throw away, then it really should practice what it preaches.
“I would call upon South Gloucestershire councillors of all parties to support this Liberal Democrat motion and pave the way for other local authorities to follow our lead.”
Conservative-run South Gloucestershire Council has been forced to put on hold experimental road closures in Ruffet Road and Coalsack Lane, Kendleshire due to start today after protests from residents.
Residents reacted angrily when the closures were announced on 17th April, less than two weeks before they were due to come into effect. Over 600 people signed a petition started by the Kendleshire Golf Course for the closures to be put on hold while the community was consulted.
Local Councillor Claire Young (Liberal Democrat, Westerleigh ward) said:
"People agree that something needs to be done to make the notorious Kendleshire Cross Roads safer and stop unsuitable traffic using the narrow country lanes. I have long championed the Quiet Lanes Scheme in this area but there has always been proper consultation with local people before any changes are made. Introducing such drastic measures without talking to the community first is a big mistake.
"Around 30 local people attended the meeting on Ruffet Road that I arranged with officers. It was unfortunate that the Cabinet Member had to leave before he heard all the points of view. I am delighted however that he has now recognised local concerns and paused the plans so these can be investigated.
"I also secured a promise from officers that they would hold a face-to-face consultation event locally, rather than relying simply on people sharing their views online. They need to make sure everyone can have their say."
If you would like to take part in the online consultation, you can do so here.
Liberal Democrat Councillors in Yate have welcomed proposals by South Gloucestershire Council officers to turn the former Woodleaze care home into supported housing for young people leaving care.
Yate Central Councillor Ruth Davis said:
“This is by far the best proposal for the Woodleaze site that has been brought forward. This scheme would provide much-needed supported accommodation for up to 20 young people close to Yate Town Centre and its public transport links. This is the only realistic alternative to the whole site being sold off for commercial housing, with all the extra pressure that would put on Yate’s existing services and roads.”
Yate North Councillor Mike Drew said:
“If the site were sold for housing that would put many more cars on already busy local roads. Using the existing building to support young people should mean fewer cars and less disruption for residents. All options will soon go out for public consultation and we would encourage residents to make their views known.”
South Gloucestershire Council’s opposition Liberal Democrat Group have announced Westerleigh Councillor, Claire Young, as their new Group Leader. Cllr Young was elected by her fellow Lib Dem councillors at a meeting in Yate last night. She will now lead her party into the local elections in 2019 against the ruling Conservative group.
Claire Young said: “I am grateful to have the chance to lead South Gloucestershire’s largest opposition group at a crucial time for our area. Nationally and locally the Conservatives are cutting services to the bone. Council tax continues to go up and up, but the state of our roads and services gets worse and worse. In next May’s crucial local elections, local people have a chance to elect a Lib Dem-lead Council and send the Conservatives a message that they can’t take South Gloucestershire for granted anymore.”
“I would like to pay tribute to my predecessor, Ruth Davis, who has led the South Glos Lib Dem Group for thirteen years, and who has always been a terrific champion for local people and community causes. She is a great mentor and friend and I’m honoured to be following in her footsteps.”
Outgoing Lib Dem Group Leader Cllr Ruth Davis said:
“I am delighted that Claire has been chosen as my successor, and I have every confidence that she is the best person to lead the fight for better public services in next May’s elections. Although I am stepping down as group leader, I am not going anywhere. I hope to be re-elected as councillor for Yate Central in 2019, so I can continue to stand up for local residents.”