Tuesday 31st October 2017
The following is my report since the September meeting of the Town Council:
Elm Park – I have been consulting with the protest group on the representations to South Gloucestershire council in our efforts to protect Elm Park from a possible future road widening scheme. In the event of this being unsuccessful it will be important to follow the progress of the Joint Transport Plan which will be approved by the West of England Combined Authority which should indicate whether or not any future scheme will require the “safeguarded” land.
Filton Library – As reported previously the staffing reductions have been implemented at Filton library and the OpenAcess system has been introduced to increase allow the library to be open at times when no staff are present. To be able to access during non staffed hours it is necessary to go through a 20 minute induction which library members are now doing in increasing numbers. To join an induction session contact the library to enrol.
South Glos Council Scrutiny – Under the new Council Cabinet system the council has set up a Scrutiny Commission which among it’s duties is able to set up start and finish groups on subjects submitted by members. The first 3 groups are about to commence one of them being a study of Priority Neighbourhoods which I suggested because of my concern that the areas used to identify the qualification for Priority Neighbourhood funding and support is far too small. Filton lost it’s designation in spite of me arguing that we have similar issues as others but they cross the community rather than existing in a small area.
Filton Airfield Development – the outline planning application from YTL was considered at the DC West Planning Committee on Thursday 19th October and approved. This was essentially the same in outline as the previously approved BAe application with a few changes which involved the plan to move the station to a location near to the Brabazon Hangar, some taller buildings up to 10 storeys and improvements to Transport routes, particularly in relation to Metrobus dedicated routes. I did express concern about the moving of the station and asked that measures be taken to ensure that as much access as possible is given from Filton, which was acknowledged by the applicants. A proposal for a 30 storey building was withdrawn by the applicants following views of residents during the consultation period I believe.
A further application was approved to ensure that the access from Charlton |\Road is bus access only.
Since the September meeting I have attended the following:
Friday 6th October – I attended a meeting of the Development Control West Planning Sites Inspection Committee. Thornbury
Saturday 7th October – I attended our regular weekly surgery Filton
Tuesday 10th October – as the substitute Lead Member on DC West Planning Committee I attended a meeting of Lead Members with Planning Officers. Yate
Saturday 14th October – I attended our regular weekly surgery Filton
Tuesday 17th October – I attended the public meeting organised by the Save Elm Park Group. Filton
Thursday 19th October – I attended a meeting of the DC West Planning committee as detailed above. Thornbury
Friday 14th July – a meeting of the Policy Adviorsy Group to receive an update on the emerging Joint Spatial Plan Yate
Saturday 21st October – our regular weekly surgery Filton
Between today 25th October and the Council meeting I expect to attend:
Wednesday 25th October – A presentation by Horizon Nuclear Power on the proposed new nuclear power station at Oldbury. Kingswood
Thursday 26th October – a key topic briefing on Fly Tipping and Litter Yate
Saturday 28th October – our regular weekly surgery. Filton.
Written on Wednesday 25th October 2017
Tuesday 25th July 2017
The following is my report since the June meeting of the Town Council:
Elm Park – since the information came to light that a part of the fields had been designated for possible road widening I have been questioning our planning officers to try to determine what is likely to happen next and who will be taking decisions in relation to the final Policy, Sites and Places plan and whether or not the land will be needed, so far I have received replies on the status of the plan and it is clear in the reply, which I note that Ian has reproduced so I won’t do it again, that the decision is taken by the Inspector as to whether it is adopted in it’s current form or not and then it is a decision of the Council to adopt or not.
I am still, as this is being written on 19th July for circulation, trying to determine who would be the decision maker or makers should it be decided that it should be needed. Any decision will be as a result of 2 other documents, the Joint Local Transport Plan and the Joint Strategic Planning Document, both being West of England plans. In which case I believe that the decision would rest with the new “Combined authority”, although they could delegate the work to South Gloucestershire to proceed with. Should I get clarity on this I will report it verbally to Council.
Let me be clear that as S Glos Councillors we will, or by now have, submitting an objection and I have signed the petition that has been created.
Filton Library – As many will have seen, Filton Library is to be closed from Monday 24th July to Saturday 5th August to install the new smart card equipment which will extend inning hours from October, coinciding with a reduction in the libraries staffed hours.
Wallscourt Road South – as a result of the issues raised by residents of Wallscourt Road South I did as promised ensure that the matters were raised with Network Rail and have been assured that problems that existed are being or have been resolved, although the parking issues that are indirectly related and unlikely to be sorted out in the near future.
Member Awarded Funding: the next round of grants is about to commence and will be being advertised shortly
Surgeries: Our councillor surgeries do not take place in August in addition due to the library closure we will also not be there on Saturday 29th July, So our next surgery will be on Saturday 2nd September.
Since the June meeting I have attended the following:
Thursday 29th June – I attended a meeting of the Development Control West Planning Committee. Thornbury
Saturday 1st July – I attended our regular weekly surgery Filton
From Monday 3rd July to Thursday 6th July I attended the Annual Conference of the Local Government Association Birmingham
Saturday 8th July – I attended our regular weekly surgery Filton
Tuesday 11th July – I attended a briefing the Annual Meeting of South West Councils Exete.
Friday 14th July – a meeting of the Development Control West Sites Inspection Panel Thornbury
Saturday 16th July – our regular weekly surgery Filton
Tuesday 18th July – as Labour Lead Member on Planning and Communities, I met together with my Lib Dem counterpart, with the Executive Member for Communities to be briefed on forthcoming decisions, firstly the Area Wide grant processes and the Review of the Parish Councils Charter. These meetings will be part of the new process and will take place when the Executive members have issues that they wish to discuss with the opposition members.
Between today 19th July and the Council meeting I expect to attend:
Wednesday 19th July firstly a briefing on the forthcoming works on the Bromley Heath viaduct due to commence on 24th July, followed by the South Gloucestershire Full Council where we will, amongst other things be discussing the petition opposing the bus lane in Hatchett Road Stoke Gifford.
Saturday 22nd July – our regular weekly surgery, the last until 2nd September
Cllr Roger M Hutchinson
Labour Lead Member for Planning and Communities.
Wednesday 19th April 2017
Tuesday 25th April 2017:
King George VI junction – this has been an issue probably since the junction was changed to what it is now. Some time ago there was a build up of postings on social media asking for the crossover from Filton Avenue North to Filton Avenue South to all traffic as well as questions about the possibility of right turns and other possibilities such as a roundabout. I met with a small number of people and undertook to raise the issues again with South Gloucestershire Council transport officers.
The answer to my questions were always the same that doing that would draw more traffic from the A38 and that Filton Avenue North and surrounding roads would become even more jammed up than they are now.
Two years ago I saw an opportunity to raise it again at the time of the budget and on the basis that the assertions that I continued to receive should be properly looked at an d money was put into the estimates for a modelling of the junction to be done.
As is known the initial work has been completed and officers who carried out the work with their consultants are still of the same view as they were giving initially and in addition they have identified issues in respect of the need to take out the bus lane in order to allow through traffic, which is not an option it seems as it was funded by government and removing it would not be supported by the DfT.
Other issues were looked at, including a filter from the ring road into Filton Avenue South at the KGVI corner, but there remain issues about the pedestrians crossing there, the moving of the bus stop which causes tail backs but there appears to be nowhere that it can be moved to that would be acceptable to homeowners.
It remains clear and understood that this junction is seriously over capacity and that during peak hours it is under considerable pressure plus that when there is an incident on the motorways the road can come to a lengthy standstill, causing serious delays to residents trying to get in or out of Conygre, however the study shows that something radical needs to be done across the network to relieve the pressure on the junction and an increase in safe and reliable public transport system that people will use.
Additionally for a long time concern has been expressed that changes need to be made to allow better and safer options for pedestrians and cyclists, particularly for students walking to school or college.
The report does have proposals to improve this element of the crossing, which cold see the subway closed and better crossing facilities achieved at the junction. This wold be the subject of further work to determine exactly what would be needed and how it would be done.
This is of course a synopsis of what is in a long and detailed technical report. I had hoped that the report would come to the Environment and Community Services committee so that there would be a discussion of the various points and an opportunity for the public to make representations but with the abolition of the committees and a return to a handful of people, Executive Councillors or the whole Cabinet taking the decisions, since the council decided, against the wish of both Labour and the Liberal Democrats to keep the system which gave all members of the council an opportunity to be part of the decision making of the council.
Since the March meeting I have attended the following:
Wednesday 29th March – I attended what was the last meeting of the Environment and Community Services Committee before all decision making is taken over by a small number of Councillors who will be on the Cabinet. I am very pleased to report that this meeting approved changes to the council’s Animal Welfare Charter, which I have led on, to ban the use of snares and the launching of Chinese Lanterns on South Gloucestershire Council owned land. Also approved was arrangements for community wide grants, and proposals for a review/refresh pf the council’s Climate Change Strategy. Kingswood
Saturday 1st April – I attended our regular weekly surgery Filton
Monday 3th April – I attended a briefing on the agenda for the meeting of the Development Control West Committee due to be held on 6th April. Yate
Thursday 6th April – I attended the meeting of the Development control West Planning Committee Thornbury
Saturday 8th April – I attended our regular weekly surgery Filton
Wednesday 12th April – I attended a briefing from two of the Directors of the Merlin Housing Society. Kingswood
Later I attended an information exhibition from Network Rail at Nutfield House to inform residents of the work that will be done over the next few months to add a new platform as part of the 4 tracking of Filton Bank. Filton
Between today 19th April and the Council meeting I expect to attend:
Thursday 20th April – a briefing on the Housing White Paper consultation. Yate.
Friday 21st April – a meeting of the Development Control West Sites Inspection Panel Thornbury
Saturday 22nd April – our regular weekly surgery Filton
Tuesday 28th March
Metrowest Phase 1 – decisions have been taken by the West of England Joint Transport Board to proceed with parts of Phase 1 of MetroWest in reaction to the reported increase in the estimate for the project rising from £58m to between £145m and £175m.
Initially there will be an improvement in the corridor from Severn Beach to Bath and then an initial rail service to Portishead. Importantly for us we are assured that this will not affect Phase 2 which is the Henbury line and includes the new station at Filton North. However there was a decision to double check the work done by Network Rail to ensure that there are no issues similar to those uncovered in Phase 1.
MAF funding – just to report that my allocation of £3000 has been allocated to local groups.
Since the February meeting I have attended the following:
Wednesday 8th March – I attended a drop in session to ensure that I was operating the rules for MAF funding correctly. Yate
In the afternoon I attended the agenda briefing for the meeting of the Environment and Community Services Committee due to be held on the 29th March.
Saturday 11th March – I attended our regular weekly surgery Filton
Monday 13th March – I attended a briefing on the Airfield developments from YTL mostly the same as that given to the last meeting of the Town council. Yate
Wednesday 15th March – I attended a briefing on the issues going to the West of England Joint Transport Board, particularly the hike in costs reported for Phase 1 of the MetroWest rail link to Portishead. Yate
Thursday 16th March – I attended the Annual Filton Priority Neighbourhood Steering Group meeting. This was a well attended and positive meeting, with various reports from Southern Brooks and other partners. Pleasing to note the positive response to the work proposed by the Town |Council on production of a Community Plan Filton
Friday 17th March – I attended the meeting of the West of England Joint Transport Board referred to above as an observer.
Saturday 18th March – I attended our regular weekly surgery Filton
Between today and the Council meeting I expect to attend:
Wednesday 22nd March – a meeting of South Gloucestershire Full Council which is expected to agree a return to the Cabinet system of governance. Kingswood
Friday 24th March – a plenary meeting of the LGA Public Transport Consortium. London
Saturday 25th March – our regular weekly surgery Filton
Written on Wednesday 22nd March 2017
Tuesday 28th February 2017
Road and Traffic Issues – Filton Avenue/A4174 Junction nothing further to report as at the time of writing the Town Council briefing has not taken place.
A38/Filton Roundabout issues – Just to remind members that I reported the following last month: “As reported previously I have been progressing the concerns that have been expressed about issues on the 3 lane section of the A38 and had a site meeting with a South Gloucestershire engineer recently. As a result some additional arrows will be put onto the road to further distinguish the appropriate lanes for drivers and that in relation to the issue of traffic problems where the two lanes go to one on the exit onto Gloucester Road North the southbound traffic lane will be restricted by a ‘double white line’ system to remove any doubt as to what lanes drivers should use to avoid any potential conflict with northbound traffic.
As far as the issue at the crossing goes, engineers and road safety officers are still awaiting information on the precise details from the Police, hopefully I can up-date the council on this next month.”
It will be interesting to see what effect these new measures will have and I am currently pushing for them to be done early, although experience of these things doesn’t fill me with optimism. I would say however that it is difficult to see what we can do with signs and lines to combat the bad driving that leads to many of these issues!
Since the January meeting I have attended the following:
Friday 27th January – I attended a meeting of the DC West Planning Sites Inspection Panel – Thornbury
Saturday 28th January– I attended our regular weekly surgery – Filton
Monday 30th January – I attended a briefing on the planned £500k study on the feasibility of a new junction18a, on the M4 near to Emersons Green Kingswood
In the evening I attended a meeting of the South Glos Public Transport Forum. Kingswood
Saturday 4th February– I attended our regular weekly surgery – Filton
Monday 6th February – I attended an agenda briefing of the DC West Planning Committee in respect of a major site. – Yate
Later I attended a final verifying on the new West of England Combined Authority. -Kingswood
Thursday 9th February. – I attended a meeting of the DC West Planning Committee -Thornbury
Saturday 11th February – I attended our regular weekly surgery – Filton
Monday 13th February – I attended a meeting of the HMO Working Group which will be submitting a report to the next meeting of the ECS Committee. – Yate
Wednesday 15th February – I attended the South Gloucestershire full council which was the meeting that fixed the levels of Council Tax for the coming year with an increase of 4.99% – Kingswood
Between today and the Council Meeting I expect to attend the following:
Wed/Thurs 22/23 February attendance at the LGA Annual Culture, Media and Sport conference. – Bristol
Friday 24th February – The LGA Public Transport Consortium Executive Committee – London
Saturday 25th February – our regular weekly surgery Filton
Tuesday 28th February – South West Councils Resource and Management Committee
Written on Wednesday 22nd February.
Tuesday 24th January 2017
Road and Traffic Issues – Filton Avenue/A4174 Junction Since the last meeting and just before Christmas I received a copy of the Interim report on the modelling study of the Filton Avenue/A4174 Junction, which, as I reported to the last meeting had been discussed by officers with the Chair and Vice Chair of the Communities and Environment Committee a couple of days before.
Following receipt I organised a briefing from the officer responsible which Adam Monk, Ian Scott and I attended yesterday 23rd January, in order for us to be properly informed in order to respond to the consultation with us as local members.
We will all be responding, but also can report that the officer has agreed to brief and consult with a confidential meeting of Filton Town Councillors and no doubt this will be arranged shortly.
A38/Filton Roundabout issues – As reported previously I have been progressing the concerns that have been expressed about issues on the 3 lane section of the A38 and had a site meeting with a South Gloucestershire engineer recently. As a result some additional arrows will be put onto the road to further distinguish the appropriate lanes for drivers and that in relation to the issue of traffic problems where the two lanes go to one on the exit onto Gloucester Road North the southbound traffic lane will be restricted by a ‘double white line’ system to remove any doubt as to what lanes drivers should use to avoid any potential conflict with northbound traffic.
As far as the issue at the crossing goes, engineers and road safety officers are still awaiting information on the precise details from the Police, hopefully I can up-date the council on this next month.
I continue to pursue issues relative to the right turn lanes from Gloucester Road North.
Filton Avenue North – I have again raised the question of the missing speed tables in Filton Avenue following the question at the December meeting and am assured that it is in the maintenance programme for the next financial year. Efforts are being made to ensure that it is done early in the programme and I will be monitoring this to try to ensure that this happens.
Bromley Heath viaduct. – not in Filton but of interest to many residents and employees at our industries who use the ring road is the decision that work must be carried out to strengthen the southern section of the Bromley Heath viaduct which is the section of ring road just after the Hambrook traffic light junction going east.
The extent of the works will mean closing the southern section to all traffic for the duration of the project which is calculated at the moment to b 1 year. As well as the strengthening there is to be major improvements to the safety of cyclists and pedestrians.
As a result all westbound traffic will be diverted onto the northern side, making it one lane in each direction.
Major traffic queues are bound to result and a traffic management plan is being put in place. The work is expected to commence this summer.
Night Lighting — A report to the recent meeting of the ECS Committee of south Los Council gave an up-date on the progress with LED light installation and made it clear that the improvements in technology since the conversions started have reduced costs such that it is now cost effective to keep the new LED lights on but dimmed during the night. There were several benefits to moving to LED lighting not least saving in costs and savings in CO2 emissions. The report said that keeping the lights on over night but mmed would be cheaper but would result in a very small increase in expected CO2 emissions. It is to be hoped that as the LED replacements continue, further gains can be made to eliminate the loss and continue to add to our fight against climate change.
Some lights have been changed to LED in Filton already, but it is not clear when the rest will be done within the programme. I am aware that some streets are going to be easier than others to convert.
Since the November meeting when I last submitted a report I have attended the
Wednesday 30th November – I attended a briefing by the Boundary Commission on the method by which the proposed changes to South Gloucestershire ward boundaries will be conducted. Kingswood
Thursday 1st December- In the morning I attended a meeting of the Development Control West Planning Committee. Thornbury
In the afternoon I attended a consultation meeting on travel plans for Filton Abbeywood Station during the period of construction of the new platform and the 4 tracking of Filton Bank. Bristol
Friday 2nd December – I attended the meeting of the LGA Public Transport Consortium Executive Committee. London
Saturday 3rd December – I attended our regular weekly surgery Filton
Saturday 10th December. -I attended our regular weekly surgery Filton
Tuesday 13th December – I attended a site meeting with a traffic engineer to consider issues at Filton roundabout and the A38 reported above. Filton
Friday 16th December – I attended a meeting of the Development Control West Sites Inspection Panel. Thornbury
Saturday 17th December. -I attended our regular weekly surgery Filton
Tuesday 20th December – I met with representatives of Network Rail and residents of Nutfield Grove to see local issues arising from the work at Abbeywood Station.
Saturday 24th December. -I attended our regular weekly surgery Filton
Wednesday 4th January – I attended the agenda briefing meeting for the ECS meeting due to take place on 18th January Yate
Thursday 5th January – I attended a meeting of the SG Council Self Build Working Group.
Tuesday 10th January – I attended a briefing on the agenda papers for the Joint Transport Board meeting due to take place on the 13th January. Yate
Thursday 12th January – I attended a meeting of the Development Control West Planning Committee. Thornbury
Friday 13th January – I attended a plenary meeting of the LGA Public Transport Consortium. London
Saturday 15th January. – I attended our regular weekly surgery Filton
Saturday 21st January. – I attended our regular weekly surgery Filton
Monday 23rd January – I attended the briefing on the A4174/Filton Avenue junction study mentioned above. Kingswood
Cllr Roger M Hutchinson
Labour Deputy Lead Member for Environment and Communities
Tuesday 22nd November 2016
Tel: 07875 158423 on Facebook Roger Hutchinson and Twitter @rogerhutch