Friday, 22 August 2014

Have your say on Private Sector Housing services

South Glos council is currently consulting on proposals which will affect the work of Private Sector Housing services as it looks to save £168,000 a year (approx. 24%) from its budget by 2015/16 as part of the council’s savings programme.

Services that could be affected include:
  • Disabled adaptations
  • Enforcement of housing standards
  • Empty homes
  • Home energy conservation
  • Home renovations
  • Licensing of houses of multiple occupation
  • Landlord accreditation 
You can find out more at and you have until 10th October to comment.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Check your smoke detector

Have you had a smoke detector fitted by Avon Fire and Rescue service? Unfortunately there was a faulty batch. If you test your smoke detector and find it isn't working please call the fire service on 0800 1412561 or email for advice. The fire service can't give a definite timescale for when the faulty ones were fitted, but the problems to date relate to some that were fitted more than 6 months ago.

Of course regardless of who fitted your smoke detectors, it's worth checking them regularly.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Free part time courses: South Glos Community Learning prospectus now available

The latest Community Learning prospectus for September 2014-July 2015 is now available offering a range of FREE part-time courses in our local area. These courses courses can help you gain a qualification, improve job skills, help your children's learning, and become more involved in your local community

Courses include Maths, English, computer and IT skills, job seeking and interview skills, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), confidence building, wellbeing and more.

How about "Getting the most from your tablet or iPad", for example? That's a 6 week course running at Yate Library.

Click here to view the prospectus with full details.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Don't lose your vote

By the end of this month, you should receive a letter from South Glos Council telling you if you need to take action to join the new Electoral Register.

Most people who are currently registered have been added to the new register automatically, and the letter will let you know if this applies to you. Some people have not been added to the new register automatically and these people will need to re-register. The letter will tell you if you are in this group, and what you need to do to re-register.

The letters are a result of a new registration system called Individual Electoral Registration (IER). The aim is to modernise the way people register to vote and help tackle electoral fraud. You may need to take action to join the new individual electoral register, even if you are currently registered to vote.

Under the new system:
  • everyone is responsible for registering themselves (under the old system the ‘head of household’ could register everyone who lived at their address) 
  • you can now register online 
  • you need to provide a few more details to register (your national insurance number and date of birth). This is to make the electoral register more secure. These details are checked against government records to help make sure that registrations are genuine. 
If you're not on the electoral register, you won't be able to vote in next year's elections. You could also be at risk of an £80 fine if you don't respond to requests for information from the council and you need to be registered to apply for credit, as credit reference agencies use the register to prevent fraud.

If you are a South Gloucestershire resident and you haven’t received a registration letter by the end of August then please contact the electoral services team by calling 01454 863030 or by emailing If you need to register or re-register please visit

Monday, 18 August 2014

Touch Card launched

First Bus has launched the first phase of its smart card programme. Instead of paper tickets, passengers will be able to use a Touch Card to store up to three FirstWeek or two FirstMonth bus tickets.

The Touch Card, which is free from First’s travel shops or by ordering online, will be available to adults using FirstWeek or FirstMonth inner or outer zone tickets in Bristol. In the coming months use will be expanded to include other passenger groups in the region. To enable users to track what tickets they have stored on their cards and track usage, Touch Card users are given access to their own account via the website:

Further developments are planned including allowing customers to top up their cards online. First is also working with the West of England Bus Operations Association and local authorities to enable passengers to use their Touch Card on all bus operators.

To order your Touch Card online go to:

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Local bus service changes from 31 August 2014

First Bus and Wessex have announced the following changes to buses in the Yate / Sodbury / Dodington area:


Service 46/ X46 (Bristol – Yate/ Chipping Sodbury)
  • The timetable is being adjusted to provide additional capacity
  • There will be earlier first Monday to Friday journeys on Service 46, and two additional early morning, Monday to Friday, journeys on Service X46 as well. 
Service 82 (Southmead Hospital – Chipping Sodbury)
  • With support from South Gloucestershire Council, the route of Service 82 is being extended
    Buses will start and terminate in Chipping Sodbury (rather than Yate) operating via Station Road, Bowling Hill, High Street and Wickwar Road.
  • These changes mean that there will then be a direct link from Chipping Sodbury to Cribbs Causeway and Southmead Hospital (but no direct services for South or North Yate, unfortunately)
  • The timetable is also being adjusted to improve the punctuality and reliability of the service.
Service 81 (Kingswood – Yate) 
  • The timetable is being adjusted slightly to improve the punctuality and reliability of the service.


Service X27 (Yate – Bristol)
  • This service is withdrawn after Saturday 30 August (As one of our readers comments, "Many commuters who have used the service for some years now and who work in the Anchor Road area are annoyed at the prospect of having to walk from Marlborough Street Bus Station or catch another bus")
Service 622 (Chipping Sodbury – Cribbs Causeway)
  • On Monday to Saturday this service will be provided by another operator. Wessex will continue to operate the Sunday and Bank Holiday service.

Are you eligible for free childcare?

If you have a two year old and your household income is less than £16,190 then you may be entitled to up to 15 hours of free childcare a week, which will be available from September 1.

The Lib Dems in Government introduced the scheme to improve the outcomes of children from disadvantaged backgrounds. The free childcare can be in a nursery or pre-school setting or with a childminder.

For more information see or call 01454 868008. You will need your National Insurance number to hand.