Hanham & Longwell Green Voice March 2024

Page 1

Labour's Damien is elected as Kingswood's final MP

LABOUR’S Damien Egan has won the Kingswood by-election and earned a place in the history books.

He overturned a majority of more than 11,000 to win the seat held by the Tories’ Chris Skidmore since 2010.

Mr Egan will be the last MP for Kingswood, as the constituency is being abolished after 50 years.

He will serve until the general election, which must be called by the end of the year, and will be fought on new constituency boundaries.

Mr Egan has already been selected to contest the new Bristol North East seat.

Full story: Pages 4 and 5

Teaming up

High St business Glam Squad sponsors the kit for a new girls' football team, Boco U9s, who have made a successful start.


Green Belt battle

Campaigners are battling to save the Green Belt as plans for housing in the area are considered by the council.

PAGES 6 & 7

Claudia retires

Longwell Green's Claudia Fragapane has announced her retirement from competitive gymnastics at the age of 26.


Birthday dance

3D Dance in Hanham has marked its 18th birthday with a spectacular concert.


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Damien Egan after the result was announced, watched by Sam Bromiley (Con), Nicholas Wood (Ukip), Rupert Lowe (Reform), Andrew Brown (Lib Dem) and Lorraine Francis (Green) Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer with Damien Egan on a visit to Damien's old school, now Hanham Woods Academy

Hanham & Longwell Green Voice contacts


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April deadline

Our March edition deadline is March 20. To ensure your news or letter is included, please contact us by then. Advertisers are also asked to contact us by the same date.

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Letters for publication can be sent to the above email addresses or by post to Letters, Hanham & Longwell Green Voice, 16 Ashmead Business Centre, Ashmead Road, Keynsham, BS31 1SX. The editor reserves the right to edit your letter.

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Further details of the complaints process can be found on the Voice website here, or can be obtained by contacting the Publisher.




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for any services offered. Opinions are not necessarily those of the editor. Hanham and Longwell Green Voice is distributed each month to residents. If for some reason you do not get a copy, please collect one from local pick-up points. Feedback is always welcomed, contact Emma Cooper on 0117 908 2121 or sales@hanhamandlongwellgreenvoice.co.uk This month 9,500 copies will be distributed around Hanham and Longwell Green.

A member of the

Five generations of girls

Five generations of girls gathered when Angela Hurse met her great-great-granddaughter Arabella-Rose for the first time. Angela, who lived all her life in Kingswood before moving toa care home in Keynsham last summer, is pictured with daughter Lorraine Fox 62, grand-daughter Laura Stevens, 41, and great-granddaughter Leilah Stevens, 21.

Book your trip to tip

RESIDENTS could soon have to book a visit to one of South Gloucestershire Council’s Sort It recycling centres.

The council says that to comply with a new law limiting DIY waste such as rubble and plasterboard that people can bring to recycling centres without charge it has to start recording how much is being disposed of “limit the number of visits made by residents disposing of this waste”.

People are being asked to have their say in the consultation section of the council’s website, which has more details on how the scheme would work.

It can be found at tinyurl.com/yc3fxj3u.

Anyone who is not online can call 01454 868009 for help in making a response, before the deadline of April 1.d

Popular toddler group needs a leader Christ Church, Hanham is looking to employ an enthusiastic, creative & friendly


to develop and grow a popular faith-based toddler group. Can you organise and enable fun filled stay & play sessions on a Tuesday morning, term-time only?

For details email Jenny Cresswell, Team Administrator at ta.hanhamandkingswood@gmail.com or visit our Facebook Page @ChristChurchHanham.

For an informal chat telephone Sharon on 0117 9678195

Closing date Friday 5 April 2024. Interviews will be held on 18 April.

March, 2024 2 hanham&longwellgreenvoice To advertise, contact Emma on 0117 908 2121 Or 07715 770448. Email: sales@hanhamandlongwellgreen voice.co.uk Follow us on Twitter @ twitter.com/Hanham LWGvoice Find us on Facebook www.facebook.com/ hanhamandlongwell greenvoice
Hanham and
Green Voice is independent. We
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End to free parking as council sets budget

COUNCIL tax in South Gloucestershire will increase by 4.99 per cent from April after councillors approved next year’s budget.

Parking charges are now set to be introduced to many council car parks across the district, which are currently free. The changes are intended to raise £1.5 million a year for the cash-stricken council.

Fees for having a garden waste bin collected will also double, from £30 to £60, to help balance the books. The budget for the next financial year, which begins this April, was passed by a majority vote during a full council meeting on Wednesday, February 21.

The council voted for a 4.99 per cent rise, the maximum permitted without calling a referendum. Two per cent of the money raised will be spent meeting the continually rising costs of providing adult social care.

The decision means that the South Gloucestershire Council element of a council tax bill for an average Band D property will be £1839.54. Additional precepts are charged by town and parish councils, the Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner, and the Avon Fire Authority, which are set by those bodies and are itemised separately on the bills that householders will receive from the council.

Councillor Claire Young, the Liberal Democrat council leader, told the meeting: “There have been significant financial challenges facing the council and the wider local government sector. There’s been a woeful lack of funding from the Conservative government in Westminster, and this has led to us making some difficult decisions.

“Despite the challenges thrown at us, we are delivering on our twin goals of action on the cost of living and climate crises for the people of South Gloucestershire. This budget prioritises the wellbeing of people in need, aiming to provide essential cost-of-living support while upholding crucial services and taking decisive action against the climate and nature emergencies.”

She added the council was planning to invest in sports activities for secondary schools, energy efficiency measures to cut heating bills, and free meal vouchers for pupils during school holidays.

Co-leader Cllr Ian Boulton, Labour, added: "We are prioritising the issues that local people have told us are important. We are doing everything we can to minimise the impact of reduced funding from Government in real terms and the ongoing challenges that residents are facing through rising costs.”

This is the first budget put forward by the new Liberal Democrat-Labour coalition, following the election last year.

Conservative opposition councillors criticised the financial plan, as many people responding to a public consultation opposed the parking charges and higher fees for garden waste bins. They urged the coalition leaders to find ways to save money in the council’s budget elsewhere.

Cllr Samuel Bromiley, leader of the Conservative group, said: “The reality of this budget is clear: new and increased charges heaped on residents; a complete failure to identify new efficiency savings; proposed investments that have been poorly thought through; and a clear message to local people that their views matter not one iota.

“Your priorities are wrong and you’ve tried to cover yourselves in the smokescreen of blaming national government, but residents can see through this. They’ve told us that they don’t want parking charges, but parking charges are what they’ll get. They’ve said they don’t want to pay higher fees for green waste, but higher fees are what they’ll get too.”

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Damien Egan (Labour): 11,176

Sam Bromiley (Conservative): 8,675

Rupert Lowe (Reform UK): 2,578

Lorraine Francis (Green Party): 1,450

Andrew Brown (Lib Dem): 861

Nicholas Wood (UKIP): 129

Turnout: 37.11%

Tory to Lab swing: 16.7%

Electorate: 67,103

No of votes cast: 24,905

Kingswood's new MP

KINGSWOOD'S new MP has promised to show his new constituents that "politics can be different" after his by-election victory.

Labour's Damien Egan overturned a majority of more than 11,000 to win the seat vacated by Conservative Chris Skidmore.

Mr Egan said his first priority would be to "get to work" quickly on issues that had come up on doorsteps during the campaign, including access to NHS dentists and doctors, crime and the cost of living.

In an interview with the Voice after his election was confirmed, Mr Egan said: "The fact that there's no NHS dentists (taking on new patients) anywhere in Bristol is huge. People are also finding it really hard to get to a doctor."

He told of a woman in

Soundwell Road, who had had to call her doctor’s 117 times in an attempt to get an appointment.

The new MP said people had also raised concerns about policing and feeling unsafe, and about rising prices.

He said: "The cost of living isn't just a slogan, this is people's lives, people telling me how they feel like they're not living but existing. People are working really hard, they're doing extra hours, life is very tough for people at the moment."

He also spoke about shop crime. "There's been a spike in shoplifting. I spoke to the PDSA and British Heart Foundation, two charity shops in Kingswood - they are having to get their volunteers to shut areas of the shops because they've got such an issue,” he said.

In his victory speech after the count, Mr Egan, who grew up in Kingswood and attended

Our Lady of Lourdes primary and Hanham High schools, said: "Thank you for giving me your trust, and for allowing me to serve the community that I'm from. It's a trust that I promise to repay, to show you that politics can be different, and it can make a difference."

The Kingswood constituency is being abolished at the next general election, which has to take place in the next 10 months.

Mr Egan will be Labour's candidate for the new Bristol North East constituency, which will include the town of Kingswood plus Staple Hill and Mangotsfield, and the Eastville, Frome Vale, Hillfields and Lockleaze wards in Bristol.

Longwell Green, Hanham and Parkwall & Warmley wards will join Keynsham in a new North East Somerset and Hanham constituency. Labour has not yet selected its candidate to go up

March, 2024 4 hanham&longwellgreenvoice To advertise, contact Emma on 0117 908 2121 Or 07715 770448. Email: sales@hanhamandlongwellgreen voice.co.uk n NEWS

promises 'different' politics

against the Tory Sir Jacob ReesMogg.

Mr Egan said he would not ignore constituents he might only be representing for a few months.

He said: "I think I've even people, making sure they've got a responsive MP representing and putting their voice in Parliament."

The decision of Chris Skidmore, who had held Kingswood for the Conservatives for nearly 14 years, to force a by-election placed the area in the national political spotlight and heaped more pressure on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

Mr Skidmore, a former energy minister and champion of the UK's commitment to net

zero carbon emissions, quit over the government's Offshore Petroleum Licensing Bill, which would "cause future harm" through the promotion of new oil and gas production.

The Conservatives chose their group leader on South Gloucestershire Council, Sam Bromiley, to defend the seat.

His campaign focused on two main issues – opposition to the council's Local Plan proposals to allow new homes to be built on Green Belt land between Shortwood and Warmley, and the fact that Mr Egan had been the directly-elected mayor of Lewisham in London before the by-election was called.

Cllr Bromiley left Thornbury Leisure Centre without giving interviews after the result was declared in the early hours of February 16. He later issued a statement on social media, which said: "Thank you to all those

who voted Conservative in the Kingswood by-election.

"I have thoroughly enjoyed the last few weeks meeting residents and hearing about their concerns and ideas for our area.

"Looking forward to keeping the conversation going!"

Reform UK, the successor to the Brexit Party selected as its candidate Rupert Lowe, a businessman, farmer and ex city banker who is based in the Cotswolds.

Mr Lowe's 2,578 votes exceeded the size of Labour's majority and was the first time the party had achieved over 10% of a Westminster by-election vote. He said afterwards that those who voted for him had "sent Westminster a message".

A spokesperson for South Gloucestershire Council said it had applied for £189,000 from the government to cover the total cost of running the by-election.

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Hands off our Green Belt – campaigners

HUNDREDS of people across the Kingswood area have put in comments to South Gloucestershire Council on its proposals for housebuilding for the next 15 years.

Many are concerned about plans that could mean thousands of homes being built on the Green Belt between Shortwood and Warmley and hundreds more in Oldland Common and Hanham.

The Save Our Green Spaces group organised a petition on the change.org website that attracted 2,239 signatures by the time the public consultation ended on February 16.

The petition says: “South Gloucestershire Council has a plan to build 4,240 new houses on Green Belt and virgin land on the eastern fringe of Bristol

– from Oldland Common, Bridgeyate, Warmley, Siston, Hanham to Shortwood and Lyde Green. The re-classification of protected Green Belt to development land is unjustifiable on a number of environmental, practical, social and historical factors.”

Campaigners gathered outside South Gloucestershire Council’s offices on February 15 to highlight their objections by holding up a giant ‘cheque”.

Protest organiser Alex Duck said: “Whilst we appreciate the need for additional housing, until all brownfield sites, empty office blocks, derelict houses and infill is utilised, our Green Belt must remain sacred. Our Green Belt is protected. If the Green Belt status can be removed by a simple consultation, what future

lies in store for the protected green spaces across the UK.

“Nowhere is safe. Hands off our Green Belt!”

Parish councils and other organisations have also made extensive responses, with one describing SGC’s emerging Local Plan as “unimaginative and

inward looking” and urging it to think again.

The council will consider all feedback before finalising its Local Plan, which will set out where in South Gloucesterrshire the homes needed by 2040 will be built.

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Residents gather at Kingswood Civic Centre to highlight their petition

Renewed efforts to

CAMPAIGNERS are urging people to put in fresh objections to proposals from housebuilders Redrow for fields at The Batch in Hanham.

The developers have come up with revised plans to develop the site, south of Hencliffe Way, which is in the Green Belt.

Hanham and District Green Belt Conservation Group and Hanham Say No to Redrow group say that although the new plans – now for 140 homes – are not significantly different from the originals, people should tell the council again that they oppose them.

They say the application is a speculative one. The land is in the Green Belt and there are no exceptional circumstances that would mean Parliament could remove it. The campaigners say the site is close to ancient woodland and development would wreck the landscaope.

They are also concerned about the pressure more new homes in Hanham would put on services including GP provision, schools and roads.

South Gloucestershire Council received about 800 objections to Redrow’s scheme, which has not yet gone before

on The Batch

a planning committee for a decision.

The campaigners say that the developers were given many months by the council to amend their proposals but opponents have only three weeks to

comment on them.

Responses need to be made on the council’s planning website by March 8.

The reference is P23/01330/O.

To advertise, contact Emma on 0117 908 2121 Or 07715 770448. Email: sales@hanhamandlongwellgreen voice.co.uk March, 2024 7 hanham&longwellgreenvoice Offices in: Bradley Stoke | Central Bristol | Clevedon | Henleaze | Keynsham | Nailsea Portishead | Staple Hill | Thornbury | Weston-super-Mare | Worle | Yate wards.uk.com Need legal advice? We offer expert services for you, your family and your business Solving your legal problems ...locally Get in touch: 0117 986 3504 16 High Street, Keynsham, Bristol BS31 1DJ n NEWS

BEACON Rise Primary School in Kingswood has retained its Outstanding judgement from Ofsted in its first inspection since 2011.

Schools with the top rating were exempt from inspection until 2020 and are now judged under a different framework, meaning that many no longer qualify.

But the team of four inspectors who visited the 630-pupil school in Hanham Road in December said it was Outstanding for its quality of education, leadership and management, children’s behaviour and attitudes and their personal development, and early years provision.

They noted a “palpable sense of aspiration” in Beacon Rise and said pupils had a thirst to learn and achieved exceptionally well.

“Pupils are immensely proud of their school. They attend regularly and are punctual. Pupils’ behaviour is exemplary. They are polite and well mannered. Pupils

Rise retains

demonstrate high levels of care and consideration for each other. They are respectful to staff and visitors,” their report said.

Among other positive comments, Ofsted said:

• Children get off to an excellent start to their education in the Reception Year.

• The school prioritises reading. It is threaded into every subject. Children learn to read as soon as they start school.

• The school curriculum is highly ambitious. It sets out the knowledge and skills pupils need to learn.

• Staff have a deep knowledge of the curriculum.

• Pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) make strong progress throughout

the curriculum and participate fully in school life.

• Governors provide highly effective support and challenge to school leaders. Staff and governors are dedicated to children, pupils and families in the community.

The inspectors highlighted the school's promotion of equality and diversity - "it supports pupils to understand that 'everyone is ‘unique in their own way’" - and its cultural passport, which gives children the chance to visit art galleries and hear live music.

They also praised the opportunities given to pupils to participate in community events and take on leadership roles, enabling them to develop a sense of responsibility and compassion.

"Pupils develop a sense of empathy and agency through charitable initiatives," the report said.

The school said in a statement: “We are immensely proud of the students at Beacon Rise and are thrilled that the hard work of our children and staff has been recognised.

“For us it is all about giving the children the best experience that we can, filled with opportunities that they may not have elsewhere.

“This latest result is one part of a wider picture of the school; we hope that parents and the wider community continue to work with us to make Beacon Rise even better for the children in the future.”

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Lifesaving lessons

STUDENTS at King’s Oak Academy learned how to cope in a water emergency during lessons from the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).

Lifeboat volunteer Geoff Vian delivered five educational workshops to various year groups.

Students were taught what to do in the case of a water emergency, learning vital – and potentially life-saving – information. They also enjoyed an opportunity to get hands-on interactive experience with some of the kit that RNLI crew members use on board their vessels.

Dan Jackson, from King’s Oak, said: “It was brilliant having Geoff visit. It is really important that pupils know how to keep themselves safe."

B ig Bake begins

CULINARY talents were on display during the first heat of the annual Cabot Learning Federation Big Bake contest at King’s Oak Academy.

Taking part were King’s Oak Academy, John Cabot Academy, Wallscourt Farm Academy, Hanham Woods Academy and Post 16 students.

The technical challenge saw secondary students bring in homemade cakes to decorate while primary pupils were provided with cupcakes. The judges were Andrea Lewis from The Feisty Feeder, and CLF Executive Principal Jon Jones.

Wallscourt Farm were primary winners and JCA took the secondary prize. The finals are due to take place on March 20.

What a story!

A TEACHER at Cabot Learning Federation's Post 16 centre in Kingswood has seen her second novel published.

Jen Faulkner's book What Goes Around comes two years after her debut novel Keep Her Safe.

Jen has an MA in creative writing from Bath Spa University. She has run creative writing sessions for a charity in Bristol and volunteered at Mothership Writers, a year-long programme of writing workshops for new mothers run by the novelist, Emylia Hall.

Jen said: “I am very lucky that I get to be a teacher and a writer; both are extremely rewarding careers. Hopefully I can inspire students to follow their dreams as I have mine.”

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Ellacombe Pharmacy now offers NHS-funded treatments for a variety of conditions

Local Bristol Pharmacist Ade recently played a prominent role on TV explaining the new national ‘‘Pharmacy First’’ Scheme, built on a successful local pilot, enabling accessible local NHS care - here are the details: Come one ..Come all!

The Pharmacy First scheme now offered in Ellacombe Pharmacy enables all members of our community, in fact, anyone in Bristol and South Gloucestershire, to visit us as a first port of call for NHS care for various conditions. Video consultations are also available. Our service is broader than the national one and includes:

Sinusitis for children and adults 12 years and over.

Sore throat for children and adults 5 years and over.

Earache (acute otitis media and externa) for children and adults one year and over. Infected insect bite for children and adults 1 year and over.

Impetigo for children and adults 1 year and over.

Shingles for adults 18 years and over.

Uncomplicated urinary tract infections in women 16 to 64 years.

Infected eye treatment for children aged over 30 days to 2 years

As ever, we will continue offering prescriptions, OTC treatments and childhood, COVID, seasonal and travel vaccinations to the community.

Free NHS treatment?

This is an NHS-funded service, so any supply will be like receiving NHS prescription items. After consultations with a pharmacist, people with symptoms suggestive of these conditions will be provided with advice, where clinically appropriate, supplied a prescription-only treatment, including antibiotics or other medicines. The consultation notes will be added to your NHS record.

If the pharmacy team cannot help with the condition, the patient will be referred to the appropriate healthcare access point such as a GP surgery or A&E. We will also help to support evidence-based self-care because many conditions can be managed without needing urgent NHS care.

Not about antibiotics: this is making the


TRACT INFECTION (women, aged 16 to 64 years)


(children aged 30 days to 2 years)


(adults and children aged 1 year & above)



0117 9322293

24 Ellacombe Road, Longwell Green, BS30 9BA

Best NHS Clinical Care Accessible

Bedminster Pharmacy will not be dishing out antibiotics ‘willy-nilly’. The pharmacist will assess your needs and provide you with evidencebased care using the same NHS guidelines and tools employed by all clinicians.

Will this help local GP access?

The NHS hopes this scheme will make getting the help people need easier and quicker while freeing up 10 million GP appointments for more complicated needs. GP surgeries will also be referring people directly to our service.

We have long campaigned for this, and we already had prescribing clinicians who could only provide private care, so this is a most welcome development for the health of communities around the country but is just a first step in the right direction – the Welsh Pharmacy First scheme covers 26 conditions!

It’s great news that people across Bristol can access more NHS care from us. For details, call 0117 9853388 or visit www. pharmacyfirstbristol.com

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Pharmacy 24 Ellacombe Rd, Bristol BS30 9BA 0117 932 2293 Find us at:

Police knife crime plea: 'This needs to stop'

POLICE have written to parents in Bristol and South Gloucestershire in the wake of three deaths and several injuries from knife crime.

A letter, jointly signed by Superintendent Mark Runacres and Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees, has been shared by schools, including Hanham Woods, John Cabot and King's Oak academies.

It explains the actions being taken to help keep children and young people safe, which include extra police patrols near schools and a new campaign on youth knife crime.

The letter follows the fatal stabbing of Darrian Williams, 16, in Rawnsley Park in Eastonin February by two people wearing masks, who rode off on bikes.

Darrian was picked up by a motorist after running out to nearby Stapleton Road. The driver stopped in Old Market, where paramedics tried to save him, but he died at the roadside, at around 6pm.

Two 15-year-old boys, one from Bristol and one from South Gloucestershire, were arrested the following day and later charged with murder.

Less than a week earlier, another boy of 16 suffered lifethreatening injuries when he was stabbed at McDonald’s, in The Horsefair.

A 19-year-old Fishponds man, Joel Binnings, has been charged with attempted murder and possessing a knife in public in connection with the incident.

At the end of January,Mason Rist, 15, and Max Dixon, 16, who were stabbed to death in Knowle West in January.

A total of 14 people have been arrested in connection with the killing of Mason and Max on January 28. Five have been charged with murder – teenagers aged 14, 15, 16 and 17, and a 44-year-old man.

Other stabbings have taken place in Eastville and St Werburghs.

The violence led to police applying for temporary enhanced stop and search powers, which allowed them to search anyone in a designated area without needing reasonable grounds for suspicion.

Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Peter Warren said: “Children and young people are being seriously injured and killed on the streets of Bristol, and this needs to stop."

He said the force was stepping up measures in the short term and in the longer term would work with other services to understand and tackle the root causes of serious violence.

Initiatives already under way include a partnership with NHS South West and HeartSafe to install bleed control kits across Avon and Somerset, with 200 expected to be in place by April 2024.

Weapon surrender bins have also been installed across the force areas. Find out more

Boys’ deaths were shocking and senseless n MESSAGE FROM AVON & SOMERSET PCC

I AM deeply saddened by the recent shocking and senseless deaths of two boys, aged only 15 and 16, at the end of January in South Bristol.

The grief being felt by the families of those boys and the impact it will have on their loved ones, as well as the wider community, is unimaginable.

Preventing knife crime and stopping young people from coming to harm must be at the forefront of all our minds.

This is an area of focus for our Violence Reduction Partnership, which provides education, mentoring, and employs a community-based approach to prevent these tragic crimes.

Additionally, to encourage people to safely discard any knives and weapons they are carrying, Avon & Somerset Police have installed weapon surrender bins across the area.

Lifesaving bleed control kits designed to provide emergency

help for someone who suffers a traumatic injury are also being installed alongside defibrillators.

I also want to focus on the process of police misconduct hearings, as this is something many people are rightly asking about this month.

I am proud to have lobbied for significant changes aimed at increasing the chief constable’s power to act on police officers who have been found guilty of misconduct. One of the outcomes of this, which comes into effect from May, is that chief constables will be able to terminate the employment of officers found guilty of gross misconduct. This move marks a pivotal step towards upholding the highest standards of integrity and professionalism within law enforcement.

One of the most notable adjustments is the composition of the panels responsible for adjudicating cases of


Formerly, only one independent panel member (IPM) was mandated to sit alongside a chief constable in a hearing.

The revamped structure now necessitates the inclusion of two IPMs, bolstering the impartiality of the decision-making process.

Consequently, my office is actively recruiting new IPMs to partake in this crucial aspect of police oversight.

The imperative for these reforms is underscored by the instances of police misconduct showcased in the Channel 4 documentary ‘To Catch A Copper’, which shines a spotlight on the need to addressing such issues decisively and transparently.

If this is an issue you are passionate about, I urge you to put yourself forward. These roles offer an invaluable opportunity to contribute to the integrity of

about bleed kits and surrender bins here - https://www. avonandsomerset.police.uk/ report/weapons-knives/

• A football match took place at Mangotsfield United's ground to raise money for the families of Mason and Max. It was hosted by the Showmen's Guild, who played a team from Knowle West.

The two boys' mothers led the teams onto the pitch for a balloon release before kick-off, with a banner saying: "Only cowards carry knives".

• Prison chaplain Larry Harvey is urging young people thinking of carrying knives, and concerned families, to contact him for a "different perspective".

Larry said: "If you don't carry a knife you can't use it.

"Taking someone's life will cost you yours."

He asks anyone who wants to talk to call him on 07825 321358.

With police and crime commissioner Mark Shelford

our law enforcement system.

I am also pleased to lend my support to the government’s forthcoming ‘Stop! Think Fraud’ campaign.

As the National Association of Police and Crime Commissioners economic and cybercrime lead, I recognise the critical importance of equipping individuals with the knowledge and tools to safeguard themselves against fraudulent activities.

By fostering awareness and vigilance, we can collectively mitigate the impact of fraud and protect our communities from financial harm.

To advertise, contact Emma on 0117 908 2121 Or 07715 770448. Email: sales@hanhamandlongwellgreen voice.co.uk March, 2024 11 hanham&longwellgreenvoice n NEWS
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A game-changer! Supporters hail £2.6m lottery grant to revamp Kingswood Park

PLANS to transform Kingswood Park have been given a huge boost with a £2.6 million grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

South Gloucestershire Council and community group the Friends of Kingswood Park have been working together on a project to restore and enhance the park, which is expected to cost a total of almost £3.4m.

The council says the lotto grant – the biggest awarded to a green space or park in the district - means the volunteer group can realise its goal of "bringing the park back to its former glory".

Restoration of the park is part of the council’s £25m Kingswood Masterplan to regenerate the town centre to make it a better place to live, work and visit.

The park, which opened in 1934, is the only significant green space in Kingswood centre.

The council says the money will fund improvements including an expanded play area with better equipment, an improved performance space and mobile refreshment facility.

There will also be accessible toilets, including a 'Changing Places' facility for people with severe physical disabilities, with hoists, curtains, adult-sized changing benches and extra space to accommodate carers.

Signs will be improved, and walls, gates and railings and other heritage features restored. Access will be improved by building a new ‘missing link’ footpath to create a full circuit of the park, along with the installation of new access ramps.

There are also plans to resurface paths and plant fruit trees and "wildlife-friendly" native trees and hedges.

A three-year programme of community events and activities will be funded to allow people to learn about the park’s heritage and improve their well-being.

The council's cabinet member for communities and local place Leigh Ingham, who is also a

Friends of Kingswood Park members, volunteers and South Glos Council officers celebrate news of the award in the park

Kingswood councillor, said: "We are absolutely thrilled that the National Lottery Heritage Fund has granted this considerable support to rejuvenate and improve Kingswood Park.

“The funding is a gamechanger in terms of how we’ll be able to transform and update the park for the benefit of residents and the wider local community.

"As ward member I understand how much of a positive impact this investment into the local community will have, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the help and support of the Friends of Kingswood Park. We would like to extend our sincere thanks for their continued work and commitment."

National Lottery Heritage Fund regional director Stuart McLeod said: “We’re thrilled to support Kingswood Park and their vision to create an accessible green space for the community.

For more information on the restoration project visit tinyurl. com/yc7dky5v



Longwell Green BS30 9DU


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'Pocket Rocket' Claudia announces retirement

CLAUDIA Fragapane, who won four gold medals at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014, has announced her retirement from competitive gymastics at the age of 26.

Claudia, from Longwell Green, plans to continue coaching and running choreography workshops.

She said: "It feels like the right time. I’m really happy with my career; gymnastics has been my whole life for as long as I remember, but now I’m ready to flick over a new chapter. Gymnastics has given me more than I could put into words. I’m excited to continue working in the sport that has made me who I am.”

A spokesman for British Gymnastics said: "Claudia pushed the boundaries of our sport and her impact on gymnastics will go down in history. She is a brilliant ambassador for the sport and we are excited to see the impact she will make as she shifts her focus to supporting the next generation to be their best."

Claudia, dubbed the Pocket Rocket by commentators, started in the sport at Bristol Hawks in Easton when she was six. She said: “From my first session at Bristol Hawks I said ‘I want to go to the Olympics’. I don’t think I knew how hard that would be at the time! But I absolutely loved the competitive side of gymnastics, I loved working hard to achieve what I wanted to.

"Once I started to get selected for squads, I just had this hunger to achieve more and more, and be the best I could be. Once my heart is set on something, I do everything I can to get there, and I think that’s why I know that now is the right time to hang up my leotard from elite gymnastics.”

Claudia, who was named BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year 2014, achieved her Olympics dream when she competed in the Rio games in 2016. A year later, she won a bronze mdeal at the World Championships in Montreal.

She swapped the gym for the ballroom as a contestant on BBC 's Strictly Come Dancing, where she reached the semi finals with AJ Pritchard but she returned to her sport and was part of the women's team that won gold at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

Claudia says the support of her parents, Paolo and Teresa, and her four sisters has meant the world to her.

“I feel so lucky to have had them cheering me on, Knowing your family are behind you 100% is a special feeling. ”

To advertise, contact Emma on 0117 908 2121 Or 07715 770448. Email: sales@hanhamandlongwellgreen voice.co.uk March, 2024 15 hanham&longwellgreenvoice
Join our team of journalists Part-time reporting and editing roles available on our Hanham & Longwell Green and Kingswood Voice monthly papers. Possible opportunities on some of our other titles in Bristol and South Glos too. Interested? Email your CV to news@hanhamandlongwellgreenvoice.co.uk n NEWS
Claudia at the Commonwealth Games 2022, above with teammates, and right, in action

£1.6m for mines study

A STUDY to test the potential for former mines to be used to heat homes has been given £1.6 million in funding.

Metro Mayor Dan Norris announced the study, backed by the government’s Coal Authority and Historic England, to see if water warmed naturally deep underground in old mine workings by geological activity can be brought to the surface to provide viable domestic heat.

The process would involve using pumps to raise the temperature to the level required for heating and hot water.

Mr Norris says there is the potential to heat more than 100,000 homes in the region, where almost a quarter sit above flooded coal mines.

Winning ways

A NEW girls’ football team has got off to a successful start.

Boco U9s, coached by Ben White, Mark Earney and Andy Parsons, have won seven out of eight league.

The team’s kit is sponsored by Bex Collier, of Glam Squad in Hanham High Street.

She said: ”I’m so pleased to be able to support the girls this season and hope more and more local girls can join Boco. The girls and parents came down to the salon and they were the most lovely, polite group of young girls. I can’t wait to see how they do this season and hopefully celebrate at the end of the season with them.”

Concern over family assessment unit

PEOPLE living next to a planned new family assessment unit in Kingswood have raised fears over anti-social behaviour and parking problems. The unit will be created in a quiet cul-de-sac and used by social workers to assess if troubled parents are capable of caring for their children.

A three-bedroomed house on Woodchester will be converted into a family assessment unit after South Gloucestershire Council granted planning permission.

Councillors on the development management

committee on February 15, heard concerns from some neighbours.

The unit will provide a safe environment for children or babies and their parents to receive support for about 12 weeks, and then return to independent living if safe to do so. But residents living nearby said the parking and nature of the clients could lead to their houses losing value.

One resident said: “There’s understandably a high level of upset and anxiety about the proposed plans, with unfamiliar residents moving in and out of

the family assessment unit every 12 weeks, and a high turnover of staff, support workers and visitors. We’re highly concerned about the possibility of antisocial behaviour. Woodchester has very little space leftover for additional parking.”

Referrals would be taken from local authorities and family solicitors. The maximum number of clients would be three mothers or fathers with one child each. There would be a maximum of three family support workers during the day but only one support worker at night.

Occupants would not be allowed visitors to the property. Interaction between parents and their children would be assessed by family engagement workers, a psychologist and social workers. Some neighbours objected to the plans because they feared the family assessment unit would increase traffic and make it harder for them to park their cars.”

Councillors on the cross-party committee voted to approve planning permission for the unit.

March, 2024 16 hanham&longwellgreenvoice If it’s News Email: news@hanhamandlongwellgreenvoice.co.uk Steve Bellamy Car pets •Home selection carpet and vinyl’s •Huge selection of carpets and vinyl chosen in the comfort of your own home •Free quotations without obligation to purchase •No pressure selling •Professional service established for over 30 years •All inclusive prices, no hidden extras, the price quoted is the price you pay Tel: 07860 441776 or 0117 2565994 LOW OVERHEADS = LOWER PRICES We will better any like for like all inclusive quote
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From heart failure to a new life of love

A WOMAN given just two days to live has recovered thanks to the support of staff at a Cadbury Heath care home.

Simone, 70, was able to leave Brunelcare’s Little Heath Care Home and move in with her long-term partner Winston on Valentine’s Day.

Simone, who has seven children, 28 grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren, had been admitted to the BRI in March 2023, after being diagnosed with heart failure. Six months later, Simone was transferred to Little Heath for end-of-life palliative care.

When she arrived at Little Heath, she weighed only 48.6kg and was struggling to eat. She couldn’t get out of bed and could barely move or speak.

Simone, who has previously worked as a nurse and a midwife, said: “I was given two days left to live when I came to Little Heath. I just accepted it because I was close to the end, but a little voice inside me said ‘Don’t give up’. The thought of my partner, and my family kept me going.”

Simone is looking forward to starting the next chapter of her life with her partner. Simone and Winston have been together for

14 years after meeting at a bus stop in Bristol.

Simone said: “I was so shy that I asked a window cleaner if they knew who Winston was before I went up to talk to him. He’s Jamaican, so when we first started going out I went to his flat and he cooked me some traditional Jamaican food. It was lovely! We hit it off right away and we’ve been together for 14 years!”

Before being admitted to Little Heath, Simone hadn’t walked for five years and used a wheelchair. However, since receiving care and support from the physiotherapist

Celebrating Handel Cossham

A CONFERENCE is being held to mark the bi-centenary of the birth of Handel Cossham.

The industrialist, philanthropist, educationalist and politician, who left money to found Cossham Hospital following his death in 1890, owned local collieries including Parkfield and Brandy Bottom, which lie beneath the area from Lyde Green to Pucklechurch.

The conference is being held in Thornbury, the town where Cossham was born in 1824, at Turnberrie's Community Centre in Bath Road on April 13 from 10am to 4.30pm.

Organised by Avon Local History & Archaeology and Bristol & Gloucestershire Archaeological Society, places can be booked online at www.alha.org.uk, via Eventbrite or by writing to William Evans, 5 Parry’s Grove, Bristol BS9 1TT.

and team of carers at Little Heath, she now weighs 70kg and can walk with little to no help.

Simone said: “The carers at Brunelcare took such great care of me, even at night! They’d take it in turns to see me, wash my hair, put my face cream on. They would even make me amazing chocolate sundaes so I could eat.”

Alongside the nursing care, Simone also took part in lots of activities at Little Heathsinging, colouring, art, basketball, and would even get up and dance to her favourite song: ‘Hips Don’t Lie’ by Shakira.

Simone said: “Coming here saved my lifeI’m going to miss it here a lot. From my heart, I’ve never known such excellent nurses. They are amazing, and it’s a miracle that I was brought here. They make you feel so at home, cheer you up and keep you happy.

Tara, Simone’s primary carer at Brunelcare said: “It’s a bittersweet moment, as we don’t want to say goodbye to Simone, but it’s what we’ve wanted, to see her be able to go back home. We’re going to visit her when she’s back because we’ll miss her, and we’re so happy to see how well she’s done.”

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A lot of bottle ...

I’VE written a few times about our affiliation with the world of British Comedy – we’ve sold everything from Ronnie Barker’s handwritten ‘Fork Handles’ script to Tommy Cooper’s famous Fez. But there is one programme in particular that attracts more bidders than any other: Only Fools & Horses.

You may remember, back in 2021 we held the official Only Fools & Horses 40th Anniversary Auction – and sold many items from the show including props, scripts, costumes and even a certain threewheeled van! Since then, we’ve regularly sold iconic items from the series. Perhaps most notably, are several bottles of the fictional ‘Peckham Spring.’ As I type this, we are a few days away from selling the fourth bottle we have discovered.

The 1992 Christmas episode ‘Mother Nature’s Son’ saw Del-boy ‘discover’ a natural ‘spring’ on his recently acquired allotment – in reality it was a hosepipe linked to a nearby tap. The success of the ‘spring’ led to the Trotter family flat being transformed into a bottle plant where thousands of bottles of ‘Peckham Spring’ were filled from the kitchen tap and sold to members of the public. The episode ends when it is discovered the bottles glow in the dark due to a recent chemical spillage in the local reservoir.

Around 200 bottles – both empty and filled – were specially made for the episode by the production team, and anyone lucky enough to be present in the studio during filming was sent home with one as a souvenir. Around fifteen bottles have been sold at auction over the years, and there are around another ten or so known in private hands. They are rare, they are desirable and they are important pieces of comedy history.

What is a bottle of Del-boy's ‘Peckham Spring’ worth? Well –they tend to sell for anything from £2,000 to £5,000 depending on provenance and condition. I think Del Boy would be proud, don’t you? If you have a bottle of Peckham Spring – get in touch!

Andy Stowe, Auctioneum Ltd



It is lovely to see the snowdrops, crocus and daffodils which brighten up the grey, damp days we seem to be having. A sign that hopefully Spring is on the way with some warmer weather.

At our January meeting we were entertained by Sarah Hemmings reading some of her poetry. Sarah is a poet and a librarian at Cadbury Heath library. She was encouraged to write poetry by her teacher at school and then went on to win a poetry competition to be mentored by the poet Fiona Benson.

Sarah has written a book of poems entitled Night After Night in the Quiet House. Sarah read a selection of poems from the book which were very thought provoking. She also spoke about the benefits of belonging to a library and the many activities that take place there for all ages.

In February we had a games night, we played Bingo and Scattergories which caused many laughs. This was followed by social time where we could talk to friends and welcome our visitors with a cup of tea or coffee and cake, of course!!

On a very wet evening some


members ventured out to enjoy a quiz which was fun and got the grey cells working! A trip to Windsor with a boat ride has been arranged for later in the year which members are looking forward to. Other social events, a craft day, parties and coffee mornings are all in the planning stage.

At our meeting in March we shall be trying to get fit with an evening of Zumba.

We have lots of groups that our members can participate in. There are book clubs, walking groups, knitting group, skittles and social suppers. On the first Thursday of the month, we meet at The Chapel Coffee Shop in Longwell Green for Tea and Chat.

Longwell Green WI regular meetings are on the third Friday of the month at 7.30pm at Longwell Green Community Centre and new members are always welcome. If you are interested in visiting, please get in touch by email at longwellwi@ gmail.com, telephone 0117 9864782 or come along on the meeting evening. We shall look forward to meeting you.

It was all about ‘Lurve’ at Longwell Green Probus retired men's club on St Valentine’s day at Warmley Community Centre. Each lady was presented with a red rose on arrival together with a kiss from the King of Hearts with a compilation of love songs playing in the background. Members supplied photos of their wedding day and these were shown during lunch and, after a short break, the ‘King’ introduced several members who told us how they met their spouses interspersed with videos and presentations. A good time was had by all! The club is planning several trips, events and holidays all including spouses during the year so, if this interests you, t give our membership secretary, Mike, a bell on 07817094147 or just come along to Warmley Community Centre on the first Wednesday of any month.

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To advertise, contact Emma on 0117 908 2121 Or 07715 770448. Email: sales@hanhamandlongwellgreen voice.co.uk T: 0117 967 1000 E: info@auctioneum.co.uk www.auctioneum.co.uk Auctioneum, 1 Hanham Business Park, Memorial Road, Hanham, Bristol BS15 3JE March, 2024 18 hanham&longwellgreenvoice n ANTIQUES



n INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY CELEBRATION Connect and celebrate with women and communities across Bristol, Saturday 2 March 2024, Bristol City Hall, 10am – 5pm. Over 50 workshops, all welcome, free transport, creche, interpreting and accessibility support available. For more information go to: www. bristolwomensvoice.org.uk or emailinfo@bristolwomensvoice. org.uk


n YOGA CLASSES AT HANHAM COMMUNITY CENTRE - Monday evenings 7-8 pm All levels including Beginners welcome. To book your place or for further information please email yogashula@hotmail.com or Tel 07949333548.


n LIP READING CLASS, 1.303pm at North Common Village Hall, Millers Drive, BS30 8YH. Contact Mary Hall 07790 283939, lipreadingmary@yahoo.com

n TUESDAY CLUB a social group meet every Tuesday 1.45-3.45pm at Longwell Green Community Centre


CLUB Adult Play - Tuesday & Thursday evenings and Sunday afternoons. Monday, Wednesday & Friday mornings, 9.30am - 11 am. Beginners' session coaching - Wednesday 7-8pm. Junior coaching - most early evenings. New players welcome. Fully qualified LTA coaching. See website for details www. hanhamtennisclub.co.uk


GROUP meet at 2pm on the first and third Tuesday of each month at the United Church, Bath Road, Longwell Green BS30 9DU (opp. Aldi). Please phone Maureen on 0117 9322341



CLUB Retired and semi-retired Professional and Businessmen: Meet 2nd and 4th Wednesdays 10-12 at Longwell Green Community Centre. Please contact our Membership Secretary, Mick Funnell: 0117 932 4104 or email bcprobusclub@gmail. com to arrange a visit. Website: https://barrscourtprobus.org/

n BARRS COURT LADIES CLUB: Wives and partners of the Probus club members meet 10-12 on the second Wednesday of each month at the United Church, Bath Road, Longwell Green. Website: https:// barrscourtprobus.org/


CLUB meets at Warmley Community Centre on the first and third Wednesday of each month.. New members welcomefor details contact Mike on 07817094147


Every Weds 7-10pm at Hanham Community Centre, see www. hanhambridgeclub.co.uk.


SOCIETY: We are a friendly club who welcome photographers of all abilities to share our hobby. Meetings are at 7,30p.m. Wednesday evenings at Hanham Methodist Church, 26 Chapel Rd, Hanham, Bristol BS15 8SD.

Visit https://www.hanhamphoto. org.uk or contact Geoff Mallin by email geoffmemsechps@gmail.com.

n RWP BADMINTON CLUB play at Hanham woods Academy 6.30-



KINGSWOOD Rotarians have regularly supported Children’s Hospice South West at Christmas time with a collection at the Tesco Superstore in Brislington. Tesco customers have always been very generous and this time £500 was donated in just one day.

When Heidi Roberts, Area Fundraiser for CHSW, was presented with the cheque at Kingswood Rotary Club’s January meeting, she explained that £500 could pay for a forest school session for five bereaved families, which would give them time to remember loved ones and to support each other.

Kingswood Rotary Club, which includes members from Downend, Frenchay, Longwell Green, Cadbury Heath, Hanham

7.30 social club, 7.30-9.30 league club. Visitors welcome, please look at the website for more details

n LIP READING CLASS, 10amnoon, Warmley Community Centre. Termtime only. Contact Mary Hall 07790 283939, lipreadingmary@ yahoo.com


n ‘STAND UP REACH OUT’ A social group meet every Thursday 2-4pm at Longwell Green Community Centre for different activities.

n HANHAM ART CLUB We are friendly group that meets on a Thursday evening at Hanham Community Centre 7pm-9pm. New members welcome from beginners to the more experienced. For more information contact Hilary on 07880548481 or email tweenuk2003@yahoo.com

n TAI CHI MOVEMENTS FOR WELLBEING (TMW) - gentle, nourishing, easy to learn. Wesley Memorial Church Hall, Bryants Hill, BS5 8QS Thursdays 1.30pm. £8/class. Trial class free. Contact Helen helenc@ tmwtraining.com 07968 361129

TAI CHI MOVEMENTS FOR WELLBEING (TMW) - gentle, nourishing, easy to learn. Wesley Memorial Church Hall, Bryants Hill, BS5 8QS Thursdays 1.30pm. £8/class. Trial class free. Contact Helen helenc@tmwtraining.com 07968 361129

n AVON SCALE MODEL SOCIETY: As a friendly long standing local model making club, we meet at Longwell Green Community Centre on the Third

and Almondsbury, is pleased to help such a worthwhile provision serving the South West.

Kingswood Rotarians have also been pleased to support a project abroad with a focus on young people. Over the past five years the club has funded the rebuilding of two rural schools using a bequest from Roy Stone MBE. The second of these schools was completed late last year, and the Rotary Club was happy to receive a letter of appreciation from the school.

Rotary Clubs work to serve the community and make a difference.

To find out more about how you could be part of what we do, contact Harvey Henson at harveyhenson@yahoo.co.uk.

Thursday of every month at 8pm. All subjects in all scales are covered,aircraft, AFV,s cars, bikes, sci-fi, etc. New members are always welcome. Please phone Ian on 0117 9603435


n LONGWELL GREEN WI meet on the third Friday of the month at 7.30pm at Longwell Green Community Centre. New members are always welcome. Email longwellwi@gmail.com or tel. 0117 9864782.

n TAI CHI FOR PARKINSON'S: Weekly beginners Tai Chi & Qi Gong class for people with Parkinson’s disease, their families and carers. Lincombe Barn, Downend. BS16 2RW. Fridays (term times) 10.15 – 12.15 including tea / coffee break. Contact: Claire - Claire@Taichibodyandmind. co.uk (07769 857672) or Sarah - buqiworks@gmail.com (07815 662844)

n CROFT END SILVER BAND Hanham Tabernacle, Tabernacle Road, practice 7.15pm - 8.45pm. Players needed on all sections , all ages welcome and training given. We are a happy Band with a good atmosphere. More details contact Rob (Chairman) on 07788 473404

n LONGWELL GREEN SHORT MAT BOWLS CLUB, Fridays 13.30-15.30 At Longwell Green Community Centre. Bowls provided. For information please E:mail maryjcoles@hotmail.co.uk 0797 2062449 0117 9606454


NIGHT, meets normally first Friday of each month at 8 pm. Bar available. For details please contact Marian.r.summerill@gmail.com, or ring 07503 989880.

March, 2024 19 hanham&longwellgreenvoice To advertise, contact Emma on 0117 908 2121 Or 07715 770448. Email: sales@hanhamandlongwellgreen voice.co.uk
Kingswood Rotary’s president presents the £500 cheque to Heidi Roberts, of CHSW

Work begins on High Street revamp

WORK is under way on improvements to Hanham High Street.

The area has been awarded nearly £400,000 for the project which includes:

• an informal crossing point and bollards outside the Co-op shop

• a disabled access ramp and other refurbishments to the public toilets

• planters and new planting areas on the high street

• seating and cycle stands

• resurfacing of corner of Laburnum Road and High Street

The work also includes removing graffiti from the high street area.

South Gloucestershire Council has developed the scheme in consultation with residents and the Hanham High Street Partnership Group, which includes Hanham Parish Council and local traders.

Nicola plans her travels

A FAMILIAR face will be missing from Hanham High Street after the end of this month.

Nicola Bartlett, who has run Eclectic Gift Shop for eight years, is moving the business online. She is planning to travel with her husband Carl and to work digitally. She has already set up a YouTube channel, That Girl Goes Digital.

Nicola says she is proud of all she has achieved at the shop, which has won a number of awards and been recognised as one of the best small businesses in the UK.

She has organised numerous seasonal trails in the High Street and encouraged people to shop locally.

The final day at Eclectic will be March 23 - but Nicola says the area might not have seen the last of her, as she is planning to run some Makers' Markets later in the year. Look out for more details of her plans in the April Voice!

Share your story! Email us at news@hanham andlongwell greenvoice.co.uk 0117 370 1710 bristol@rightathome.co.uk www.rightathomeuk.co.uk/bristol If it’s News Email: news@hanhamandlongwellgreenvoice.co.uk March, 2024 20 hanham&longwellgreenvoice n NEWS

250 dancers in birthday show

3D Dance was founded in 2006 and holds weekly training sessions and classes at Hanham Community Centre as well as in Emersons Green Village Hall.

With a huge cast of dancers to accommodate on stage and a sold-out audience of 800 family members and supporters, the


show was held at a bigger venue, Trinity Academy in Lockleaze.

Pupils as young as four took part in the event, showing off routines they had been practising at weekly classes for months.

Dance teacher Louise Hopton said: “All of our pupils and staff worked so hard to put together a fun show, to entertain our


audience and celebrate our 18th birthday in style.

“It was a showcase of routines from all classes.

“We are a Street Dance School but we also included our theatre classes in our show this year.”

The dance school also runs adult dance classes and exercise sessions for older people.

Innovation is in our region’s DNA

AS your Metro Mayor, and as a West of England resident, I am incredibly proud of our great region’s history of science and innovation.

It is a history centuries in the making, to which Europe’s largest supercomputer, focused on AI, is yet another world-beating recent addition.

There’s Brunel himself, that genius of engineering who ‘built the world’; Bathonian Caroline Herschel, the first woman to receive a salary as a scientist; Concorde, which was built and maintained in Filton; even the world’s first hollow chocolate Easter egg.

The West of England has always been, and continues to be, home to vital industries, iconic inventions and awesome achievements.

In short, innovation is in our region’s DNA. And it’s absolutely key in today’s world - to our physical health, to our region’s economic pros pects, and to our place nationally and globally.

I’ve always said the West of England has the potential to be an innovation engine. The Mayoral Combined Authority I lead has the ambition to make that a reality.

That’s why, since I was elected Mayor, a key focus of my Mayoral Combined Authority has been building the West’s innovation creden tials, and further putting our incredible region on the map as the place to innovate – to create the high-quality jobs locals deserve.

I am proud of all we have achieved so far. The West of England region is an innova tion leader.

Our people and firms excel at innovation, while big investments are being made towards solving regional and global challenges alike.

We’ve become the nation’s 5G logistics test bed, seen via the incredible links between Avonmouth Docks and the Gravity smart campus in Somerset - soon to be home to the biggest gigafactory in the whole


Or how about the fact we’ve built England’s largest wind turbine, that we’ve launched Space West - the second biggest space cluster in the UK - and we’re working hard to harness the power of the Severn Estuary to kickstart the age of tidal, right here in the West.

But with the world now in the foothills of the fourth industrial revolution, I want us to go even further.

Because I fully recognise there are some pretty big challenges we need to overcome to become the innovation engine I know we can be.

Some of the most beautiful places to live in our rural towns and villages are let down by poor access to the online world.

And right now, not everyone in our part of the world has access to the digital skills they need which is vital for success today.

That’s why, through things like my

The 18th birthday show came only one year after the dance school staged a 15th anniversary show, which had been delayed by two years because of the pandemic.

For more information about the dance school, call Louise on 0775 403 9059 or visit the 3D Dance Bristol Facebook page.

Metro Mayor Dan Norris writes for The Voice

soon-to be-launched Innovation Prospectus, and other measures, the needs of West of England resi dents are at the heart of my innovation plans.

Our region is a powerhouse of scientific talent - and it’s time we realised our true potential.

My Mayoral Combined Authority will con tinue to provide the purpose, power, resources and leadership necessary to do just that.

March, 2024 21 hanham&longwellgreenvoice To advertise, contact Emma on 0117 908 2121 Or 07715 770448. Email: sales@hanhamandlongwellgreen voice.co.uk
A DANCE group based in Hanham celebrated its 18th birthday in style, with a show featuring more than 250 performers.

Modern look for centre

KINGSWOOD town centre is set for a triple boost this month.

Plans have been unveiled for the modernisation of Kings Chase shopping centre, a deal is close on the former Wilko store and the indoor market is having a facelift (and now has a butcher’s shop).

South Gloucestershire Council is committed to a £5.5m revamp of Kings Chase and has put in a planning application. It’s part of a wider £25m scheme to improve the High Street area.

A spokesperson said: “We have exciting plans to carry out refurbishment work at Kings Chase Shopping Centre in Kingswood and have submitted a planning application to erect new external signs and timber

LGBTQ+ fostering information event

Come and find out more about becoming a foster carer for South Gloucestershire Council

Tuesday 26 March, 6.30 - 8pm

South Gloucestershire Council, Badminton Road, Yate, BS37 5AF

March, 2024 22 hanham&longwellgreenvoice

Managers at Brunelcare’s Deerhurst Care Home, in Soundwell, decided to buy the equipment after taking part in a dementia empathy training programme with an external company.

Care home manager Lesley Hobbs said: “The suit is amazing and so insightful.

"The dementia empathy suit has weights around the ankles and knee pads to restrict the movement and speed of the wearer.

"There are tinted goggles that affect the wearer's peripheral vision alongside the colours around them.

"The gloves that are worn are connected to a machine that makes hands shake, meaning control of movements and coordination were thrown out.

"You can wear headphones that play a continuous tinnitus sound, and the neck brace reduces the full and able movement of the neck.

"It was fascinating, and I believe all of our carers should experience the suit as part of an induction process.”

One carer said: “Standing up was an effort, walking was challenging, simple tasks proved difficult and emotions were running high. I felt frustrated and wanted to give up, especially whilst flicking through a newspaper.

"At times I felt sad and lost whilst other people communicated around me as I couldn’t hear what they were saying.”

Dementia empathy training course have now been run for 60 employees at Deerhurst.


A LOCAL author has set up a u3a group called Writing Family History, it meets monthly in the local area – contact Helen Parker-Drabble at h_parker_drabble@hotmail.com for more details.

Have you been researching your family? For many, exploring family history is a journey of self-discovery and connection. It links us to the broader human experience and provides a context for our challenges and triumphs. It can give us a sense of place, purpose, and continuity.

Understanding our family allows us to appreciate the resilience, experiences, and cultural heritage that have shaped our existence. But why stop there? Leaving a legacy can enable us to contribute to our community, or family narrative, creating a bridge between generations. Your legacy could be a printed photo album, including family stories, recipes, mini biographies of your ancestors, a collection of your memories, or a quilt made up of your late parents' clothes.

Bristol u3a (you in your third age) is dedicated to life-long learning and is open to anyone with some time to spare.

Writing Family History is just one of the 150-plus diverse interest groups running across Bristol. Annual membership is just £20, with no additional costs for joining multiple groups.

Find out more by contacting learnlaughlive@bristolu3a.org.uk.

Care home staff try out dementia empathy suit

March, 2024 23 hanham&longwellgreenvoice To advertise, contact Emma on 0117 908 2121 Or 07715 770448. Email: sales@hanhamandlongwellgreen voice.co.uk ALLOTMENTS AVAILABLE HANHAM HALL Hanham Hall Development have allotments available for the wider community to rent. Join a friendly community of growers who share knowledge, skills and resources. If you are interested in renting an allotment, please contact robyn@pinnaclepm.co.uk for further information
A CARE home is giving staff training with an "empathy suit" to enable them to experience the physical effects of living with dementia.
Staff at Deerhurst care home in Kingswood try out the dementia empathy suit. "At times I felt sad and lost," one participant said

GCCC welcome back Alleyne as head coach

MARK Alleyne has been appointed head coach at Gloucestershire County Cricket Club on a three-year deal.

Alleyne, Shire’s most decorated player with nine trophies and a County Championship promotion to his name, will join at the beginning of March to take charge of the remainder of pre-season training.

Alleyne, 55, is hugely popular with the Shire’s fan base. A mural of him was painted on to the walls of the Seat Unique Stadium in 2019 and his career in numbers features at the ‘Legends Walkway’ area of the ground,

He said: “There is a really exciting blend of youth and experience at Gloucestershire and that’s why when the opportunity came up, I didn’t give it a second thought. I can’t wait to get started and am excited to see what the future holds.”

The club is gearing up for the new season with two major signings, Australian internationals Cameron Bancroft and Beau Webster.

Bancroft, 31, who will be available for all forms of cricket, played at Gloucestershire for a short stint in 2016 and a whole season in 2017. A top-order batter, he has amassed 14,500 domestic runs and 10 Test match appearances for his country.

He said: “I love playing county cricket and the opportunity to play all formats with the club is something I’m really excited about. With a new coach and a really talented playing group I’m looking forward to the season ahead.”

All-rounder Webster, 30, is eligible to play in Shire’s T20 Vitality Blast campaign. He will also be available for selection for Gloucestershire’s County Championship fixtures against Yorkshire and Glamorgan in June.


Tasmanian Webster, who is 6' 6", excels in T20 cricket in Australia and has had recent success in the Big Bash League.

Meanwhile, GCCC is mourning one of its greatest players, Mike Procter, who died in February.

The South African played a total of 482 matches for the Shire between 1965 and 1981, scoring 20,072 runs and taking 1,113 wickets in first-class and List A cricket. At the peak of his careers, Gloucestershire was affectionately nicknamed ‘Proctershire’ in recognition of his achievements.

Procter was a regular and popular visitor to the Seat Unique Stadium in Bristol and last visited the Club during Gloucestershire’s County Championship match vs Worcestershire at Cheltenham College in July last year.

He was an avid supporter of the Gloucestershire Exiles and kept in close contact with many of his former teammates with whom he became lifelong friends.

A spokesman said: “Everyone at Gloucestershire Cricket is deeply saddened by Mike’s death and would like to send their best wishes to Mike’s family during this terribly sad time.”

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Mark Alleyne returns to the Shire


PAGE Park Bowls Club is holding its popular course to train new bowlers to basic level from April.

The course is open to anyone aged 12 and over, and will be held at the club for seven consecutive Saturdays from April 20, from 10am to noon.

Five qualified Bowls England coaches will lead the course, with all equipment provided except for flat-soled shoes, which people need to bring.

There will be an initial registration fee of £5 and a charge of £5 per session to cover costs.

To register your interest, please contact Don Willcox on 07718 306623 or email donwillcox@hotmail.co.uk.

People who take part do not have to join the club, but all members need to have completed the course.

Applicants will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more details visit www.pageparkbowling.org.uk.


ANYONE walking near Keynsham

Bowling Club on a Saturday late in January would have heard more than 50 members shouting encouragement to the horse on which they had placed their bet.

The club was holding its first race evening, arranged by club secretary Dave Hockney and his family. David was on the PA, hosting the evening, while the technology was masterminded by his son Duncan.


There were eight races on video, each featuring eight horses that were introduced by a form statement. The form did not necessarily reflect the order in which the horses finished!

Money was paid out on the first two in each race, and the winnings were calculated by Duncan and his wife Hann and paid out by treasurer Roger Price.

The evening included a superb supper of chilli and rice cooked by David’s wife Ann. All

DOWNEND Short Mat Bowls Club continues to thrive and now has a team - Downend Colts - in the Bristol and District Short Mat Bowls league.

The team really hit the ground running, winning their first four matches, but came a cropper against the two Winterbourne teams before picking up more points with a narrow win at Whitchurch.

A visit to Midsomer Norton saw another defeat, to leave the Colts with five wins and four losses resulting in a current mid-table position.

who attended agreed it was an enjoyable evening, which the club hopes can be repeated..

The winter months have been kind to our green, which under the management of green manager Derek Packer is looking superb.

Members are looking forward to the green’s opening in midApril. Until then, there are still social events to attend, plus monthly coffee mornings.

The club has also entered teams in various Avon competitions held at Bristol Bowls Centre, including the Avon Challenge Cup where the Club narrowly beat Whitchurch in the first round.

The club meets on Monday and Thursday afternoons in Christ Church Parish Hall and is open to new or experienced bowlers, those who want competitive bowling or those who just enjoy social bowling.

Anyone interested in joining the club should call 0779 136 6894 or find us on Facebook.

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Send us your sports club's news
If it’s News Email: news@hanhamandlongwellgreenvoice.co.uk March, 2024 26 hanham&longwellgreenvoice n PUZZLE PAGE T 1 H Y R 2 O I D R A A S 3 P I T 4 C H O H 5 I P 6 K 7 N 8 E E 9 E A O Y A 10 C I D S E N L 11 E G S The FIEND 1 6 4 4 5 3 8 9 5 6 2 9 7 3 6 4 9 5 6 7 1 5 2 Txtpert Across 1 8497643 (7) 3 7748 (4) 5 447 (3) 7 5633 (4) 10 2243 (4) 11 5347 (4) Down 1 8722432 (7) 2 7274 (4) 4 863 (3) 6 7246 (4) 8 6673 (4) 9 3937 (4) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Use the phone keypad to decode the clues. For example: 2 could be A, B or C ... and 5678 could be LOST Theme: Human body 1 3 2 4 1 Txtpert Each row, column and square (9 spaces each) needs to be filled out with the numbers 1-9, without repeating any numbers within the row, column or square. Solutions For younger readers Easier sudoku Rules the same as the Fiend, but only four numbers in each box, row and column Find the Differences! NOTE After feedback from readers, we have made The Fiend SLIGHTLY easier! Find the differences in these pictures ... then colour them in!



The Griffin public house at Bridgeyate was until relatively recent times the site of weekly Stock Market or Farmers Market that probably took place for over a hundred years.

Stock enclosures were permanently in place, and the Market featured local produce of all kinds together with the sale of livestock.

The photographs (courtesy of the Gloucestershire Gazette) picture the Market in 1971 and 1975.

Kingswood Heritage Museum would like to hear from any of our readers who remember the Market at the Griffin. If you have any memories that you would like to share please contact us on 0117 960 5664 or by email at: kingswoodmuseum@gmail.com

Museum reopening

The Museum will reopen for the new season on the Easter weekend.

The Museum will be open from 2.00 pm to 5.00 pm on Saturday 30th March, and from 11.00 am to 5.00 pm on Sunday 31st March and Easter Monday, 1st April.

This season’s new exhibitions focus on the Kingswood area as well as Warmley, Bridgeyate, Webb’s Heath and Syston.

The railways in our area will be featured in two new exhibitions:

• A presentation of photographs of the railways in Staple Hill, Mangotsfield, Warmley and Bitton

• In April only, an exhibition – “On and off the Rails” – telling the story of railways across South Gloucestershire.

Volunteer opportunities

Kingswood Heritage Museum always welcomes new volunteers. The Museum would be particularly interested in hearing from anyone interested in helping with marketing or in managing or helping to run our café. If you are interested in helping the Museum in any capacity, please either: email us at kingswoodmuseum@gmail.com or call us on 0117 960 5664

To advertise, contact Emma on 0117 908 2121 Or 07715 770448. Email: sales@hanhamandlongwellgreen voice.co.uk March, 2024 27 hanham&longwellgreenvoice
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