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Appeal for information following burglaries in Stoke Gifford, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge

Posted on Wednesday 22nd January 2020 at 11:59 am by SH (Editor)

Police cordon tape

Police are asking residents of the Stokes to be mindful of their home security following a number of recent burglaries in the area.

A total of five burglaries have been reported to have occurred at properties on Hambrook Lane in Stoke Gifford, Dorcas Avenue in Stoke Gifford, Bibury Avenue in Stoke Lodge and Bush Avenue in Little Stoke, all between 2pm and 8pm on Thursday 16th January.

In each incident, burglars have gone around the back and entered the property by either forcing or smashing the rear door.

A number of items have been stolen including jewellery, electronic items and cash.

Police are appealing for members of the public who were in the area at the time to get in touch if they noticed any vehicles or individuals acting suspiciously. They are also asking local residents to review any private CCTV footage or dash-cam footage that might be able to assist in their investigations.

Anyone with information is asked to call 101, quoting reference number 5220012476

Alternatively, you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers 100 percent anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via their anonymous online form. No personal details are taken, information cannot be traced or recorded and you will not go to court or have to speak to police when contacting Crimestoppers.

Read more Police offer tips for securing your home and its boundaries »

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Stoke Gifford Co-op to close on 31st January

Posted on Tuesday 21st January 2020 at 8:38 pm by SH (Editor)

Co-operative store in Stoke Gifford. Bristol.

The Co-operative Food store in North Road, Stoke Gifford (located in the former Parkway Tavern premises) is to cease trading on 31st January.

Notices announcing the closure are currently on display at the shop, with an additional message saying: “It’s been lovely serving the Stoke Gifford community”.

The North Road convenience store is one of two Co-op stores in the Bristol area that will close this month, the other being the one on Gloucester Road, Bishopston, which is set to cease trading later this week.

A spokesperson for Southern Co-op said the “difficult decision” to close the Stoke Gifford store had been made “after lengthy consideration due to challenging market conditions and a significant decline in performance over the last few years”.

Southern Co-op will still continue to operate its 13 other retail stores in and around Bristol including the one in Long Down Avenue, Cheswick Village.

Simon Eastwood, Southern Co-op’s chief operating officer for retail, said:

“Colleagues at these stores are part of the local community and have done a lot to support local causes along with our other stores in Bristol. This is just one reason why we don’t take decisions like this lightly and only close a store when we have exhausted all other options.”

“As a food business, we continue to evolve and develop our offering to meet the changing needs of our customers, but unfortunately, market conditions and competition have had a greater impact on these two stores than others.”

“This does not in any way reflect negatively on the hard work and commitment of our colleagues.”

More: Twelve members of staff may be offered transfers »

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Admiral's Yard Self Storage, Little Stoke, Bristol.

Roundabout screens cost taxpayer £22,000

Posted on Sunday 19th January 2020 at 7:29 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of a visibility screen in the central reservation of the B4057 Winterbourne Road.

A pair of controversial ‘visibility screens’ installed on the approaches to the Winterbourne Road / Hatchet Road roundabout cost over £22,000 to install, the Journal can reveal.

The purpose of the screens, which are formed of an array of metal sheets, is to obscure the view of motorists approaching the roundabout (along either the Winterbourne Road or Gipsy Patch Lane), thereby discouraging them from making an early decision as to whether to enter the roundabout or not, in the hope that this will reduce the number of collisions (see further explanation below).

However, the counter-intuitive concept of improving road safety by obscuring drivers’ views has been questioned by many Journal readers and local councillors.

The three ward councillors for Stoke Gifford, Ernie Brown, Keith Cranney and Brian Allinson have expressed “strong opposition” to the installation of the screens and have challenged the “process and action taken”, allegedly without their knowledge or consent.

However, a spokesperson for South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) denied that the work had been carried out without due consultation, saying:

“We consult with local members and town or parish councils when highways schemes such as this are proposed. Stoke Gifford Parish Council and local ward members were emailed about this particular scheme on 15th May 2019 and we received no responses.”

In response to a request to provide more details about the justifications for the scheme, the Journal received the following response from SGC:

“The site was highlighted during annual collision concentration site analysis in 2018/19, which prompted further analysis of a longer collision record.”

“In the five years between January 2013 and February 2018, the period initially considered during analysis, there were twelve collisions at the roundabout. Five of these collisions involved a vehicle entering the roundabout from either of the B4057 approaches and colliding with another vehicle on the roundabout. All five of these collisions involved either a cyclist or motorcyclist being hit by a vehicle entering the roundabout.”

More: Success claimed for screens at another location in South Glos »

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Abbeywood judged ‘good in all areas’ by Ofsted

Posted on Friday 17th January 2020 at 8:51 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of headteacher Dave Howe with students.

Staff, governors and students at Stoke Gifford’s Abbeywood Community School are celebrating after receiving an overall ‘good’ grading from Ofsted following an inspection which took place on 19th & 20th November 2019.

The full ‘Section 5’ inspection judged the school ‘good’ in all five assessment areas, replicating the result of the school’s last full inspection in October 2014 following its incorporation into the Olympus Academy Trust in January 2013.

In their report, the team of four inspectors observe that the trust, headteacher and school leaders are “ambitious to provide a high-quality education to all pupils,” adding that “the values of the school are clear and underpin the school’s management decisions”.

The inspectors found that students are happy at the school, noting that: “They say that it feels safe and that people are kind to each other. Pupils are very positive about their school; they value it and like it.”

Governors are praised for their role in driving the school forward. The inspectors noted that they are well informed and hold the headteacher and leaders to account. They also noted that governors visit the school, talk to pupils and survey staff.

Staff told inspectors they like working at the school and said they feel very well supported.

The Ofsted report adds: “Leaders are considerate of the workload of staff when developing new initiatives within the school and as a result there is a positive staff ethos.”

Areas identified for improvement are bringing detailed curriculum planning to the same standard across all subject areas and encouraging students to ask for help when they are unsure in class.

More: Headteacher pays tribute to staff »

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