Archive for the ‘General News’ Category

New parking restrictions at Stoke Gifford Co-op

Posted on Wednesday 16th January 2019 at 3:59 pm by Laura Mortimore

Photo of Parking conditions signage. Photo of parking conditions signage (detail).

Residents of Stoke Gifford may have noticed some new signs being placed around the car park of the local Co-operative store over the last few days.

The store, located on North Road, has implemented new parking restrictions which were put into place as of Monday 14th January.

A spokesperson for Southern Co-op said:

“From 14th January, the car park connected to our store in North Road, Stoke Gifford will be limited to two hours of parking. This is to deter all-day parking. The car park will remain free to use.”

Cameras have been set up to monitor the parking and if the two-hour maximum stay is breached, you are at risk of receiving a £100 parking charge notice (PCN).

For more information, visit the store’s Facebook Page.

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Cost of replacement railway bridge rockets by at least £20m

Posted on Tuesday 15th January 2019 at 9:30 pm by SH (Editor)

Photomontage of the proposed replacement railway bridge on Gipsy Patch Lane, looking westwards

Council in race against time to secure extra funding in order to achieve planned 2020 implementation date.

Plans to replace the narrow-arched railway bridge on Gipsy Patch Lane with a much wider concrete structure have been thrown into turmoil following the revelation that the work could cost tens of millions of pounds more than was originally estimated.

The bridge replacement forms a major element of the Cribbs Patchway MetroBus Extension (CPME) scheme, which will provide a direct express bus link between Bristol Parkway railway station and The Mall bus station via the forthcoming new developments on the Filton Airfield site.

The cost of the CPME scheme, which includes highway works to create new bus lanes on some sections of the route, was originally estimated at £35m, to be funded through an allocation from the West of England’s Economic Development Fund (EDF), subject to approval of a full business case submission.

In 2015, South Gloucestershire Council chose to proceed with a wider design for the Gipsy Patch Lane railway bridge than had originally been envisaged, adding £5m to the overall CPME scheme cost, subject to an additional funding source being identified.

But with the council now ploughing ahead with its plan to implement the Gipsy Patch Lane bridge replacement during a 12-day closure of the railway over Easter 2020, it has been told by Network Rail that the costs for the work are likely to be “significantly higher” than originally estimated, bringing the overall CPME scheme price tag to between £60m and £75m (an increase of at least £20m).

With the Network Rail tendering process still under way, the reasons for the cost increase have been deemed commercially sensitive, so they have not been revealed to the public.

More: Council is negotiating a ‘break clause’ with Network Rail »

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Pub regular’s fundraising goes Above & Beyond

Posted on Sunday 13th January 2019 at 7:30 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of the charity cheque presentation in front of the Beaufort Arms.

Local resident Tony Giles spends his Sunday afternoons at the Beaufort Arms, located on North Road, Stoke Gifford, raising money for local charities. Since January 2018 he has raised an impressive £2,000, which he has chosen to donate to the Above & Beyond charity which raises funds for hospitals in Bristol.

Tony has been raising money at the Beaufort Arms for nearly 30 years with his weekly meat raffle and games of ‘higher or lower’. He estimates that over the years he has probably raised about £50,000, which has all gone to local charities.

Above & Beyond is a Bristol-based charity which aims to raise funds to ensure patient care is the very best it can be in Bristol city centre hospitals. With the money that they receive from donors and supporters they fundraise to:

  • Create welcoming environments
  • Provide world class facilities and the latest technology
  • Fund innovative research
  • Support staff training and development

As the charity supports a wide variety of departments across the Bristol hospitals, Tony usually specifies which area he would like to donate the money raised to. This time, he wanted the £2,000 raised to go to the Children’s Hospital; more specifically, the cancer and cardiac wards.

Having a heart condition himself; Tony has spent a lot of time in hospital and knows what a scary place it can be, especially for children. This is one of the reasons why he chose Above & Beyond to donate the money to. He says:

“I really enjoy raising the money. As my heart function is so low, I don’t get about so much, so this gives me something to do. I want to give something back so I make sure that I always choose local charities and departments that don’t get much financial support.”

More: "Tony is an amazing guy with a massive heart of gold" »

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Could a volunteering opportunity in Guiding be your New Year’s resolution?

Posted on Wednesday 2nd January 2019 at 7:27 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of Alix Evans.

By Alix Evans, Frome Valley Division Commissioner and leader at 2nd Stoke Gifford Rainbows.

By the time you’re reading this you’ve probably eaten all the turkey and mince pies you can stomach, and you may be thinking of some changes you can make for the New Year. One of the best decisions I ever made was to return to Guiding as a volunteer leader – and I’d like you to consider doing similar. Volunteering is scientifically proven to improve health and wellbeing – and although I’m biased, I’d say Guiding is one of the best ways to improve your skills and experiences whilst having lots of fun.

Having been a Brownie when I was little, I knew the sorts of things that girls in Guiding get up to – having fun, building life skills and creating friendships that last long after their time in a unit. So when my daughter’s Rainbow unit was in danger of closing due to lack of volunteers, I stepped up and took on the mantel of Lavender. Since then, I’ve also become assistant leader at Brownies (as Hedgehog) and recently became Division Commissioner (DC), which means I support all the Guiding units in the local area. Being the DC has made me all the more aware of how hard it is for lone leaders – those who run a unit single-handedly – and this is why I’m concentrating on that in this issue of the Journal.

Like many things, being a leader on your own is hard – there’s no one to bounce ideas off, no one to cover if you’re ill or away with work, and no one to give you that little boost if an activity goes a bit awry. There are 26 units in Frome Valley Division, which covers the local area, and there are at least five with a lone leader.

The ways you can get involved are many and varied, and are on a sliding scale of commitment and involvement. I’d love to recruit people who are able to give hours and hours of their time face-to-face with the girls, however I know that we all lead very busy lives and for some of us that’s just not possible. And it’s not true that only women can volunteer – leaders are women only, but unit helpers and other support roles are open to men and women, subject to successful DBS clearance.

For those who want to help but can’t commit to weekly meetings, you could volunteer with a unit in a support role, such as being their treasurer – you don’t have to attend meetings with the girls, you just manage the accounts on behalf of the leader and keep them up to date for annual checks.

Or, if you can do one week a month perhaps, you could be a unit helper – and either turn up on the night as a spare pair of hands, or get involved in planning trips and activities under the leader’s supervision. This is how I would recommend anyone unfamiliar with Guiding gets started – really test it out before you commit!

More: Training workshops and support from mentors »

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