Filtonvoice March 2024

Page 1

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No rise in town council precept charge - Page 4

Unpopular parking fees get green light. Page 9 and reaction, Page 14

Residents to 'bear brunt' of more HMOs - Page 6

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Contacts Richard Coulter Editor and publisher

0777 555 0607 |

You can find Filtonvoice on Facebook www.facebook. com/filtonvoice and on Twitter @filtonvoice


Shane Gibson Editorial and Advertising sales

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COMPLAINTS If you have a complaint about anything in the Filtonvoice, contact the Editor using the details below. We take complaints seriously and aspire to follow the Code of Conduct of the NUJ (National Union of Journalists), which holds journalists to a high standard of behaviour. Further details of the complaints process can be found on the Voice website, or can be obtained by contacting the publisher, below. EDITOR’S NOTE: Filtonvoice is independent. We cannot take responsibility for content or accuracy of adverts, and it is advertisers’ responsibility to conform to all relevant legislation. We cannot vouch for any services offered although we have used some of the services. Opinions are not necessarily those of the editor. Filtonvoice is distributed each month to all Filton residents. If for some reason you do not get a copy, please get in touch or collect one from Filton Library. Feedback is welcomed, call editor Richard Coulter on 0777 555 0607 or

Filton Town Council chair Tom Mewies was prepared for the rain at last year's festival. Opposite, the festival back in 2019

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March, 2024





Entertainment for all at Filton Festival

Filton Festival is returning to the top field at Elm Park – with the popular event reverting to a Sunday and in term time. Last year's event, which was effectively rained out, was held on Millennium Green for the first time. The 2024 festival will be held

on Sunday, June 23. Town councillors think that with the new leisure centre up and running, it makes sense to take advantage of the facilities available. A firm has been appointed to run the festival at a cost of £17,100 to the council and, along

with a range of attractions, music and food, they have promised large marquee areas in the event of bad weather. Town councillors approved the plans at a meeting in February. Events firm Apex Marquees answered councillors' questions

at a finance committee meeting and said they would deliver a 'high quality festival, appealing to local people (with) entertainment and activities for all ages'. They added they would like to help grow the event until it is a 'staple part' of the Filton community. Among the proposals are: • A main stage for local and professional music groups • A second stage to showcase local talent, such as dance groups • A kids' zone with a range of activities • A youth club area • A marquee called 'community street' for local groups • 'Craft alley' for individuals who sell crafts. • There will also be sales of food and drink from a range of selected provider Apex also pledged to provide 'nice' toilets, security and effective waste management to ensure high recycling rates.

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March, 2024

Council to press on with controversial budget plans By Adam Postans, LDRS reporter Council leaders are set to rubberstamp plans to double the cost of garden waste collections and introduce car parking charges in South Gloucestershire despite huge opposition from residents. Cuts to the council tax reduction scheme (CTRS) – benefits that help the poorest households pay the bill – and shorter library opening hours are also included in the local authority’s annual budget. Parking fees were opposed by nearly 70 per cent of people who responded to the local authority’s public consultation (see full story, page 9), while a majority objected to rises in green bin subscriptions from £30 to £60. A final decision will be made on the spending plans later this month (February). The coalition’s pledge to listen

to residents was challenged by opposition Conservatives at a council meeting where the budget was debated and the results of the consultation revealed. Labour and the Lib Dems said the decision to introduce car parking charges was made by the previous Tory administration in a carefully disguised line in last year’s budget about bringing in more money but without saying where from. Council tax will rise by the maximum 4.99 per cent permitted by government, including two per cent for social care. There were two main options on how to chop £400,000 from the CTRS – one costing about 1,500 households £18 a week and the other seeing more than 5,000 families only 75p a week worse off, and while the consultation results were “inconclusive”,

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kids, and debt and benefits advice for an extra 680 complex cases. There will be a pilot scheme to help landlords reach minimum property energy efficiency standards.

officers are recommending the latter. The proposed budget is balanced over the next three years, with a £6milllion shortfall in 2027/28 after the use of reserves and a £9million gap to address the following year. Band D council tax will rise to £1,839.54, excluding the police and fire authorities’ much smaller precepts. The budget also includes an additional £1million for children’s services, free school meals for one week at Easter and one in the summer for 6,500

Town Council precept - no rise Filton Town councillors have voted to maintain the precept - the part of council tax which pays for town council services at last year's levels, meaning no increase for residents. This means paying households will contribute around £6 per week for town council services. It is understood this could mean around £10,000 in reduced revenue for the council due to fewer properties paying, for example if they are occupied by students.

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March, 2024





Man jailed after stabbing his mother in Filton

A man who tried to kill his mother after she got off a bus near Filton has been jailed for attempted murder. David Sosa Salomon, pictured, stabbed his mother several times in February last year. He was convicted after a trial in December after a trial at Bristol Crown Court and received a 19-year sentence on Friday 9 February. Jurors were told during the trial the public intervened to help the woman when she was attacked by Salomon. The 37-year-old drove from his temporary caravan home in Oldmixon Crescent, Westonsuper-Mare on Tuesday 28 February 2023 to Filton. He waited near a pub in Filton Avenue that afternoon until the bus his mother regularly boarded stopped.

When she alighted from the bus, Salomon used a knife to attack her. Members of the public intervened to help protect the victim and to get Salomon to drop the knife. They called the

police and officers arrested Salomon at the scene. He admitted wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, but was convicted by a jury of attempted murder at the end of last year. The victim thanked members of the public who came to her aid and their efforts were also praised by the judge. Officer in the case, Detective Constable Paul Davey, said: “David Sosa Solomon had a pre-meditated plan to attack his mother and subjected her to a horrific level of violence. “The victim required stitches in hospital after the attack, but it is through good fortune and

the commendable bravery of the public that she was not more seriously injured.” Lucy Coleman, Senior Crown Prosecutor in the Crown Prosecution Service said: “The jury carefully considered the evidence and found David Sosa Salomon guilty of attempting to murder his mother in broad daylight as she got of a bus in Filton. “They rejected his explanation that his intentions were limited to causing her really serious injury. “She was subjected to what much have been a horrifying attack as he stabbed her in the neck with a knife before subjecting her to a more sustained attack as she lay on the ground. But for the remarkable bravery of members of the public the defendant’s intentions may well have been realised.”

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March, 2024

Residents to 'bear brunt' of more HMOs in Filton

By Adam Postans, LDRS reporter Councillors have unanimously approved yet another two large houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) in Filton despite fierce local opposition. The town’s residents are “bearing the brunt” of new bedsits as more homes are turned into shared accommodation, largely for students, a planning committee was told. Neighbours and Filton Town Council said the immediate

areas around both houses – 7 Northville Road (pictured, right) and 27 Third Avenue (pictured, left) – were already swamped with HMOs. But once more their objections were thwarted because new council policies introduced over the last two to three years, that aimed to restrict how many new bedsits could be allowed in a street, only count officially licensed HMOs for five or more occupants – and there are not too many of these.

The development management committee voted in favour by 9-0 for both buildings to become seven bedsits. Planning officers said car parking was not an issue despite concerns as enough spaces would be provided to meet council rules. Ward Cllr Adam Monk (Labour, Filton) told the meeting on Thursday, January 18: “We’ve had lots of applications for HMOs on Northville Road and I would question the density issue on this occasion. “The residents have to live with the consequences of your decisions, and parking on this road is exceptionally difficult.” An officer said there were nine licensed HMOs out of 155 homes in the “locality” of 7 Northville Road, a three-bedroom semidetached family home, which equalled 5.8 per cent – below the 10 per cent threshold – and 4.9 per cent of HMOs within 100

metres, which was less than the 20 per cent limit. A report to the committee said: “The use of the property as a large HMO would not have any unacceptable impacts on neighbouring occupiers.” Cllr Monk said he had concerns about the property in Third Avenue and that the house was “exceptionally close” to a primary school. An officer said the application to change the mid-terrace building from a small HMO to a large one was acceptable. The report to committee said: “Given that the access is acceptable, and a policy compliant level of parking is provided, then the development is acceptable in terms of parking and transportation. “Concerns relating to the nearby primary school and its impact on the existing on-street parking are noted.”

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March, 2024





Grant to bring new life to high streets Plans are afoot to bring new life to Filton high streets with the unveiling of a new grants programme. South Gloucestershire Council launched the Vacant Commercial Property Grant Scheme at the end of January, and it is in place to bring vacant commercial high street units back in to use across the region. The scheme – funded by the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund – is available to landlords with vacant commercial high street properties, as well as new and existing businesses and enterprises looking to start trading. Filton is one of eight areas across South Gloucestershire eligible for the scheme. The maximum grant award amounts range from £2,500 to

£25,000. It can fund extensions and improvements to buildings, fit-out costs, and new equipment. Match funding of 25 per cent is required from those applying. South Gloucestershire Council’s Service Director for

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March, 2024

Cargo container workspaces to open at Brabazon Left to right: Alice Burling, chief operations officer at Forward, Gavin Eddy, founder and CEO at Forward, Sally Cordwell, CEO of Aerospace Bristol, and Seb Loyn, planning and development director at YTL Developments


Brabazon is soon to be home to Bristol's original shipping container workspace, Boxworks. Forward, which runs the innovative studio space – designed for small businesses and start-ups – is moving from Bristol Temple Meads, where the eye-catching containers have provided a launchpad for over 80 local firms for the last seven years. Gavin Eddy, founder and CEO at Forward said: "We are really excited to be relocating Boxworks to Brabazon. It sets the standard for innovative workspaces, and offers a long-term opportunity to create and nurture a new cluster of ambitious and exciting businesses at Brabazon." Brabazon is the new neighbourhood being built by YTL Developments on the former Filton Airfield. It will encompass hundreds of homes, a community hub,

student accommodation, as well as a 19,000-capacity arena. The 20 private studios at Boxworks measure 28sqm and are suitable for up to 6 to 8 people each. Super-insulated to be energy efficient, users can expect them to be cool in summer, warm in winter and quiet all year round. Heating, lighting, parking, cleaning and broadband are all included and units can be provided furnished or unfurnished. Members of Boxworks at Brabazon will also have access to additional facilities at the neighbouring Aerospace Bristol museum. Boxworks at Brabazon is expected to open to new occupiers from April 2024. For more information about available spaces and rates, please contact boxworks@

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March, 2024





Unpopular parking fees get green light

By Alex Seabrook, LDRS reporter Drivers will pay an estimated £1.5 million every year in new parking fees to South Gloucestershire Council. Despite two thirds of people responding to a consultation opposing the new parking charges, council bosses are pressing ahead with their unpopular plan anyway. In Filton, South Glos runs the car parks, at Church Road, pictured; Filton Abbeywood Station; and Station Road. The parking fees will first be introduced to councilowned car parks across South Gloucestershire, before on-street parking fees are brought in too. The council is hoping that the extra income means fewer cuts have to be made to essential public services. Council bosses were urged to drop their parking plan during a cabinet meeting on Monday,

February 5. But the changes are still likely to go ahead, and form a major part of the council’s budget for the next financial year, beginning this April. One respondent said: “It will reduce support for local businesses and events, put people off volunteering and helping others in the town, and reduce people’s attendance at local dentists and opticians, so impacting public health. The number of public transport alternatives are small and diminishing. People will go

elsewhere, shop online or not volunteer for local causes.” Conservative Councillor Erica Williams voiced her support for residents. She said: “This policy would be damaging for local businesses, high streets and residents. The results of the budget consultation are overwhelmingly clear.” Over 1,800 people responded to the council’s consultation on its budget, and almost 70 per cent opposed the new fees. Older people were more likely to oppose the fees than younger

residents. But the council did listen to the consultation, according to Liberal Democrat Cllr Claire Young, leader of the council. Cllr Young said: “We’re going to maintain an element of free parking, and we will consider work permits where that’s appropriate. We can’t simply not do the parking charges without providing alternative means of generating that income. “We are taking into account the things people have said, in providing that free element and the work permits.” The income raised through fees will be spent on maintaining the road network and fixing potholes, as well as helping fund social care or education and minimise the amount of cuts needed to services. • Turn to P14 to read Cllr Adam Monk's response to MP Jack Lopresti's February column regarding the new parking fees.

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March, 2024

Filton planning applications in February



(Use Class C4). Approve Certificate of Lawfulness

30 Northville Road Erection of 1no. garden room. 24 Fifth Avenue Erection of 2 storey annexe with 6no. additional bedrooms (for 6 people) for main 6 person large House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) (Sui Generis). 16 Clyde Grove Erection of a single storey side and rear extension and two storey rear extension to form additional living accommodation. 19 Gayner Road Installation of hip to gable roof extension, 1no. rear dormer and alterations to extension roof. 11 Bude Road Demolition of existing single storey extension and garage. Erection of two storey side and rear extension to form additional living accommodation (resubmission of P23/03261/HH).

55 Mortimer Road Erection of annexe ancillary to the main dwelling. 20 Mayville Avenue Change of Use of Residential Dwelling (C3) to small House of Multiple Occupation for up to 6 persons (C4) as defined in the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 (as amended) to include new access. 29 Rannoch Road Erection of two storey side extension and single storey rear extension to form additional living accommodation. 606 Filton Avenue Change of use from dwelling (Class C3) to small House in Multiple Occupation (Class C4) for 4 people as defined in the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 (as amended)

Decisions Village Hotel Club Bullfinch Close Installation of 12 Electric Vehicle chargers and bays and associated works. Approve with Conditions 82 Conygre Grove Installation of hip to gable roof extension, 1 rear dormer and creation of flat roof over side. Erection of single storey rear extension. Approve Certificate of Lawfulness 6 Sixth Avenue Installation of rear dormer and roof lights to front roof facilitate a loft conversion. Approve Certificate of Lawfulness Building 20R Golf Course Lane Erection of GRP technical enclosure with access path over flat roof. Approve with Conditions 63 Kipling Road Certificate of Lawfulness for existing use as a small house in multiple occupation for 3-6 people


24 Glebelands Road Installation of hip to gable roof extension and 1 rear dormer to facilitate change of use from small house of multiple occupancy (HMO) (Class C4) to 8 bedroom large HMO (Sui Generis) for up to eight people including vehicle parking, bin storage and cycle parking. Approve with Conditions 1 Branksome Drive Change of use from small HMO (class C4) to an 8 bedroom large HMO (Sui Generis) for up to 8no. people including alteration to existing access, parking and associated works as defined in the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 (as amended). Approve with Conditions To keep up-to-date with the latest planning applications and decisions across Filton, visit: beta.

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March, 2024





South Glos is getting worse, say locals By Alex Seabrook, LDRS reporter Almost half of survey respondents say South Gloucestershire became a worse place to live over the past two years. Just three per cent of people said the district had become a better place to live, as new figures show a stark decline in satisfaction with local services and living standards. Two thirds of people responding to a recent budget consultation from South Gloucestershire Council said they were satisfied with the local area, down from over three quarters two years ago, and 85 per cent a decade ago. Over 1,800 responded to the consultation on the budget. Councillor Claire Young, the Liberal Democrat council leader, said the grim figures were due to a national trend that the public believe the “world as a whole is

going downhill”. During a cabinet meeting on Monday, February 5, she was asked why residents’ satisfaction is declining. Conservative Councillor Rachael Hunt said: “A number of indicators show a downward trend compared with last year’s results, for example the council’s net satisfaction score is down by more than five percentage points on last year. The proportion of residents who say they are satisfied with

how the council runs things is down almost 10 per cent on last year.” The Liberal Democrats have been in power in South Gloucestershire since May last year, in a coalition with Labour. They took over from the Conservatives, who had run the council since 2007. Figures in the consultation report show a steep decline in satisfaction since at least 2013. Cllr Young said: “I think

that reflects a national trend. I think there is a general public perception that the world as a whole is going downhill. I think this fits into that national trend.” Asked why South Gloucestershire has become a worse place to live, survey respondents most often mentioned the “worsening condition of the roads”, followed by “too much housing without adequate infrastructure”. Others mentioned changes to the high street in Thornbury, and a lack of maintenance of public areas and footpaths. Above: Graph shows responses to the question: Has South Gloucestershire become a better (green) or worse (red) place to live?

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Filton Town Council Flying the flag Filton Town Council has adopted South Gloucestershire Council's flag flying policy for the flagpole at Elm Park. From March, we will: • Fly the Union flag every day, except on certain occasions where other flags may be flown (such as Armed Forces, Commonwealth for example or other flags which may promote civic pride). • Raise various commemorative flags on weekdays in line with the Government guidance as detailed below

• • • • •

Raise the Armed Forces Flag on the Monday prior to Armed Forces Day for one week Raise the Progress Rainbow Flag over the Pride weekend in July (Fri-Mon) Raise the Commonwealth Flag on Commonwealth Day in March Raise the Red Ensign on Merchant Navy Day in September Raise the United Nations flag on United Nations Day in October

2024 dates 9 January Birthday of the Princess of Wales, Union February LGBT History Month, Rainbow 11 March, Commonwealth Day, Union 23 April St George's Day, St George 6 May Coronation of His Majesty The King, Union 17 June Official Birthday of HM The King, Union 21 June Birthday of the Prince of Wales, Union

24 June Armed Forces Day, Armed Forces 12 July Pride weekend (fly from Fri-Mon), Progress Rainbow 3 September Merchant Navy Day, Red Ensign 8 September Accession of HM The King, Union 24 October United Nations Day, United Nations 10 November Remembrance Day (2nd Sunday in November), Union 14 November Birthday of HM the King, Union

Clockwise from top left: Union flag, Red Ensign, United Nations, Progress Rainbow

Council meetings February 27th, 7pm, Full Council Active Nation Filton, Studio 1

March 12th, 7pm, Full Council Finance & General Purposes Active Nation Filton, Studio 1 19th, 7pm, Planning Committee Active Nation Filton, FTC Council room 26th, 7pm, Full Council Active Nation Filton, Studio 1

CONTACT FILTON TOWN COUNCIL Office Opening Hours The council offices are open to the public Monday to Friday 9.00 am-1.00pm and appointment only 1.00pm – 5.00pm The Council Offices are located at Elm Park, Filton, South Gloucestershire, BS34 7PS. Call The Town Council Office 01454 803918 Email the Town Council Office Council Enquiries –

ELM PARK | FILTON | SOUTH GLOUCESTERSHIRE | BS34 7PS Town Clerk: Lesley Reuben Web: Tel: 01454 80 3918

VACANCY FOR A TOWN COUNCILLOR IN THE NORTHVILLE WARD The opportunity has arisen for Filton Town Council to co-opt a member of the local community onto the Council. To be eligible you must be 18 years old or over, of good character and have been registered on the Filton electoral roll for at least 12 months. If you are interest in standing you will need to give a short presentation to Council about yourself and what qualities you could bring to the role of Town Councillor 26th March 2024 at 7p.m. Please notify the Town Clerk, Lesley Reuben by midnight on 12th March if you would like to be considered. If you require any further information the please contact the Town Clerk.

Filton Town Council

ELM PARK | FILTON | SOUTH GLOUCESTERSHIRE | BS34 7PS Town Clerk: Lesley Reuben Web: Tel: 01454 80 3918 Summary of Post Contract Type: Advert Start Date: Closing Date: Interview Date: Salary: Weekly Hours: Location: Job Category:

VACANCY FOR MOBILE STREET CLEANSER Full Time/Permanent 19th February 2024 18th March 2024 TBC RLW currently £12 per hour 37 Elm Park, Filton Outdoor/Manual/grounds

Main Duties An exciting opportunity has arisen for a Street Cleanser, to keep the Filton streets, open spaces and bus shelters clean and clear of litter and graffiti. Duties will include: Using equipment to assist in the operation of keeping Filton clear of litter. The post holder will be required to work on a rota over 5 days out of 7 to include every 3rd weekend. Selection Criteria Please include information on how you meet the criteria on your application form. Essential • Full Driving Licence • The ability to work on your own and as part of a team is essential. • Good communication skills • Basic IT skills & literacy skills, to complete relevant documentation. • Ability to organise and prioritise your daily tasks. • Ability to undertake physical tasks in all weather conditions and on all surfaces. • A problem-solving approach & understanding of Health and Safety requirements. Desirable: • Ideally experience of working within in a similar role or in a similar environment. • Have knowledge of how local government, local authorities or other large organisations operate. Additional Information If you would like an informal chat about the role please contact Lesley Reuben, Town Clerk 01454 80 3918 To request an application form and full job description, please contact:



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March, 2024

Filton MP Jack Lopresti


Out and about in South Gloucestershire

recently visited the bridge connecting Cuckoo Lane in Winterbourne Down with Emersons Green and Bromley Heath (see photo). Highways England outlined that they are working to a planned 2-3 year timescale and they have assured me that they are in constant communication with local authorities, businesses and residents to try to minimise disruption. I am working with Conservative colleagues on South Gloucestershire Council in calling on the Labour/Liberal coalition to reconsider their recent plans and continue to provide car parking free of charge. Many local residents have already signed our petition which can be found at: www. I was invited to the Village Shop at Stoke Gifford Retirement Village. It was nice to meet the

new proprietor, Avakash Patel, who provides an excellent service to the residents. It was great to discuss his plans for refurbishing and rebranding, and the exciting prospect of a post office counter. I attended the Bristol North Veterans’ monthly Breakfast Club at the Toby Carvery in Bradley Stoke. There was a very interesting and informative talk from Alan Rowe about veteran’s charity the BATON. Any funds donated to the BATON are often used for emergency support as well as to assist individuals striving to improve their personal situation. I was delighted to visit Cribbs FC with Pitching In. Grassroots football clubs like Cribbs rely on volunteers to put on match days – if you are interested in volunteering, I encourage you to visit: I am always extremely keen to promote job creation and apprenticeship opportunities

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locally, especially in the aerospace and defence manufacturing sector. Promoting apprenticeships in aerospace and defence manufacturing, protecting jobs working with national government support for these vital industries, and continuing to press the government to increase defence spending are some of my priorities. To that end, I asked the Prime Minister about upscaling our

industrial defence manufacturing capacity, putting it on a war footing so that we may continue assisting our friends in Ukraine and replenish our own stocks. The Prime Minister responded: “Excellent point. In a word – Yes!” Following a recent visit to Ukraine, I renewed my determination to strengthen ties between the UK and Ukraine. There is huge scope for increased collaboration between our two countries in all sectors, especially defence manufacturing, as we continue to increase support to the Ukrainians in their efforts to eject the Russians from their land, rebuild and strengthen their defences as part of their future deterrent. l As always, should you need my help, my office is open Monday to Friday, 9am - 6pm. Please telephone me on 01454 617783 or email me at:

COMMENT: CLLR ADAM MONK Jack Lopresti MP’s comments about parking charges in the last edition of the Filton Voice were disappointing. What the Conservatives don’t say is that the council’s plans to introduce parking charges didn’t come from the current administration. They were in last year’s budget, and from the previous Conservative administration. On P113 of the February 2023 council papers, it states a “review of income generating opportunities” of £5m over four years. At the time, we demanded to know what exactly this £5m entailed and were rebutted, being told it was for the next administration to work out. When we formed a new administration following the local elections in May, we were advised that the £5m figure was made up almost entirely of parking charges – something the Conservatives did not disclose at the time. For Mr Lopresti to say this is “unnecessary” demonstrates how out of touch he is with the

financial realities of 14 years of Conservative government. You don’t have to look far to read reports about the financial pressure local councils are under at the moment. Central government funding to South Gloucestershire Council has been slashed by 40% compared to a decade ago. As a result, we’re having to implement £40m worth of efficiencies and service cuts over the next three years to balance our books, which is required by law. We have investigated ways to find the £5m we would need to reverse the parking charges put in the budget by the Conservatives, but we simply couldn’t. Despite the difficult financial situation, I have been listening to residents’ concerns about parking charges. That’s why we’re committed to maintaining some element of free parking across the district. We understand people are unhappy with the changes. I am too. But we have to play the hand we’ve been dealt and take grown-up, financially responsible decisions. That is what residents expect of their local council, and nationally, a future Labour government.

To advertise, contact and on 0770 674 1200 or Richard on 0777 555 0607

Diana Henry’s Poulet Au Vin Blanc (Chicken With White Wine) Ingredients (serves 4) • 8 chicken thighs, or a mixture of chicken joints, skin on • 15g unsalted butter • 1 tsp olive oil • 4 shallots, peeled and sliced lengthways • 2 cloves garlic, grated to a purée • 100ml dry white vermouth • 200ml dry white wine • 6cm celery stalk • About 6 parsley stalks and 1 tbsp chopped parsley • A few long chives plus ½ tbsp chopped chives • 2 sprigs tarragon plus the chopped leaves of 6 sprigs • 225g slim carrots or baby carrots, trimmed at the top (if the tops are neat you can leave them, but clean well) • 100g green beans, topped but not tailed • 150g peas, podded weight • 1 egg yolk • 100ml double cream

Introduction She has an entire cookbook devoted to chicken (A Bird in the Hand),, so expect poulet perfection in this classic from Diana Henry.

Method 1. Heat the butter and oil in a large pan. In batches, brown the joints all over, getting a good colour on them. Be careful not to let the fat burn because you’re using unsalted butter and a little oil this should be possible. Remove the joints to a dish as they’re ready.

If you feel the egg yolk is too rich for your tastes, the cream alone will suffice.

4. Check to see whether the chicken is cooked. If it is lift it out of the pan with a slotted spoon and cover to keep it warm. Remove the herb bundle. 5. Add the beans to the pan

2. Add the shallots to the pan

and cook for about 3 minutes, then ladle about 75ml of the

and cook until they’re soft but not coloured. Put the garlic in

chicken cooking liquor into a cup. Mix in the egg yolk and a

the pan and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the vermouth and

couple of tablespoons of the cream. Add this to the pan along

wine and cook until the liquid is reduced by half.

with the peas and the rest of the cream, leave the lid off and,

3. Put the celery together with

without letting it boil, simmer until it thickens. By the time this happens, the peas and beans

the parsley stalks, the long chives and the sprigs of tarragon and tie them with kitchen string. Put this in the pan with the

Top Tip

liquid is getting too low add some just-boiled water.

carrots. Return the chicken to the pan, including any juices that have run out of it, and season. Bring to a gentle simmer, cover the pan and cook for 35 minutes. Check every so often – if the

will be cooked. The sauce should be the thickness of single cream. If it gets too thick, add water. 6. Toss in the chopped herbs, check the seasoning and put the chicken back in the pan. Heat through, spooning the warm sauce up over the chicken.



T: 0777 555 0607

March, 2024



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.

NOTE After feedback from readers, we have made The Fiend SLIGHTLY easier!

1 4


For younger readers

Find the differences in these pictures ... then colour them in!

4 5 3

9 5

6 7

2 9 3 6 4 9 5 6 7 1 2 5 Use the phone keypad to decode the clues. For example: 2 could be A, B or C ... and 5678 could be LOST

Easier sudoku Solutions #037 Txtpert 7























16 17

Solution: Page 23

To advertise, contact and on 0770 674 1200 or Richard on 0777 555 0607






Down Clues: 1. Small amphibian (4) 2. Baby’s bed (4) 3. Flexible, insulated electrical cable (4) 4. Colour used to describe hair (6) 6. Sharp sound (6) 8. Untidy manner (5) 9. To encourage (6) 10. Overcoming an opponent (6) 13. A sign or event (4) 14. Device for giving light (4) 15. Strike or hit (4)










2 4 1





Across Clues: 1. Shearable woolen fabric (6) 5. Citrus-based Japanese sauce (5) 7. Type of cookie (9) 10. Ridge of sand (4) 11. Examine (4) 12. Electric cooking (9) 16. Extraterrestrial (5) 17. Paranormal transference (6)









6 10




Down 1 8722432 (7) 2 7274 (4) 4 863 (3) 6 7246 (4) 8 6673 (4) 9 3937 9(4)






Across 1 8497643 (7) 3 7748 (4) 5 5 447 (3) 7 5633 (4) 10 2243 (4) 11 5347 (4) 8










Rules the same as the Fiend, but only four numbers in each box, row and column




Mini Crossword

Theme: Human body 1

Copyright of - Keeping Kids Busy



Find the Differences!



Greenfingers… the Alan Titchmarsh column He’s a magnificent broadcaster, gifted gardener, brilliant author and all-round horticultural visionary. This month, Alan Titchmarsh talks about readying your garden for the spring season… and beyond!

healthier blooms and reduces the risk of disease. Do the same with alpines as they begin to flower - this not only enhances their appearance but also protects them from damp soil.

As the days grow longer and the air becomes warmer, there is so much to do and so little time to do it, so while I will rattle through a long list of possible jobs, remember you can only do as much as you can do, and it’s about prioritising rather than trying to get absolutely everything done.

Another important task is the rejuvenation of willows and dogwoods, because pruning these down to the base stimulates vigorous new growth, ensuring lush foliage and vibrant colours. Then there’s your forced bulbs once they’ve faded indoors, plant them out in the garden.

So… starting with flowers, manage your spring bulbs correctly. For daffodils and other spring bulbs, remove any developing seedheads, yet allow the foliage around them to die back naturally. Spring is of course the perfect time to finish pruning your roses – as well as planting new ones if you feel like it! – as early trimming ensures

Now is also the perfect time to plant lilies and other summer-flowering bulbs in pots and borders. Tidying up these borders by removing established and newly-germinating weeds, then generously mulch with garden compost, which not only nourishes the soil but also helps with the retention of moisture and weed suppression.

fact, pop your spinach under there at the same time); while tomatoes, chillies, sweet peppers and aubergines should go indoors. Early potatoes can be planted in trenches or large tubs, depending on space, while parsnips require a long growing season, so sow them as soon as the soil warms up.

For a natural touch, sow wildflower seeds in trays or modules to create a minimeadow. This will also add pollinators and beauty to your garden.

Feeding cabbages and other brassicas with nitrogenrich fertiliser is essential for their growth, while planting strawberries in a hanging basket is a clever way to protect them from slugs.

Moving to fruits and vegetables, it’s crucial to start early to get the most out of your garden. To avoid carrot root fly, sow carrots under cloches or fleece (in

And to return to the start, while you can’t get everything done, the effort you do put in now will lead to a lush, productive, joyful bounty later in the year. Happy gardening!

FREE EVENTS AT FILTON LIBRARY IN MARCH Contact the library at or call 01454 868006















9TH 11AM-12PM lub! SATURDAY Get creative in our new art club!

Art C




Rhymetime Councillor Surgery


Wednesday 10:30-11:00

Saturday 9.30-10.30


Alternate Saturdays, 11am-1pm


Saturday 2nd Saturday 16th Saturday 30th


Saturday 13th Saturday 27th

Join the friendly volunteers and help keep the garden great for all to enjoy. No experience necessary, just turn up on the day. Tools and guidance provided.

Filton Community Garden, Gloucester Road North, Filton BS34 7PF Online updates at:

MONDAY 11TH 11:15-11:45AM

Come along to a very special Stories & Play session during British Science Week! Hear a STEM themed story and play & learn together with STEM activities suitable for pre-school children and their adults.

It’s Filton Library’s 75th Anniversary! Pop in to find out more about our history!

Filton Community Garden



Want to meet new people? The Filton Bookworms meet on the first Friday of each month at 2pm at Filton Library. All adults are welcome! Email the library for more info or to join!






Stories & Play!

This month we are making cards for mother’s day. For kids ages 4+, the second Saturday of each month.


First and Third Saturday of each month (March 2nd & 16th) 10:30 to 11:30 Join us for creative Lego fun! Our themed sessions are perfect for kids aged 4-11. There's no need to bookjust come along!

March, 2024





Boys’ deaths were shocking and senseless 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 misconduct. Formerly, only one independent

Way A Head

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

With Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Shelford 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.

JOB OPPORTUNITIES: 1 x PLAY MANAGER, 1 x ASSISTANT PLAY MANAGER (PERMANENT / FIXED-TERM) Looking for an engaging leadership role working with children? Henry’s After School Club, based at Horfield C of E Primary School, is a charitable organisation currently looking for a Play Manager and an Assistant Play Manager to lead its lovely team of Play Workers. Hours: Monday to Friday, 28 - 35 hours per week (term-time only) Rate of pay: £14.50 – £16.75 p/hr, dependent on experience (subject to increase from April 2024)

Way A Head is a premier Hair Salon in the Filton area. Since 1980, we’ve offered a wide range of services and products to give you the elegant and fabulous look that you deserve. Give us a phone call to book an appointment or enjoy our walk-in services. Our friendly team are looking forward to seeing you

702a Filton Ave, Filton, Bristol BS34 7JX 0117 969 2701

What we are looking for: • Enthusiastic individuals who are passionate about working with children and have the right skills, experience and personality to lead our busy, fun and dynamic team • Minimum childcare-related Level 3 qualification essential, additional qualifications desirable Key responsibilities include: • Day-to-day development, delivery and management of our high quality child-centred playscheme • Developing and maintaining a safe, stimulating environment

To request an application form or for further information about these roles, please email: (No CVs please)

Theseposts postswill willclose closewhen whenfilled; filled;interviews interviewstotobebeheld heldininFebruary. March These Henry’s is committed to safeguarding and these posts will be subject to an Enhanced DBS Check and satisfactory references. Visit to learn more about us!

Got a story or any other inquiry? Call Richard on 0777 555 0607 or email


T: 0777 555 0607


March, 2024

What's on in Filton ... email St Peter’s Church: Services

Sunday 3 March 10am Eucharist and 5pm Youth of God Sunday 10 March Mothering Sunday 8.30am and 10am Eucharist. 6pm Taizé * in the Lady Chapel Sunday 17 March 8.30am and 10am Family Eucharist Sunday 24 March 8.30am and 10am Eucharist with Church Parade to celebrate Palm Sunday Sunday 31 March Easter Day 10am Eucharist and 6pm Evensong with Benediction Midweek Said Eucharists are on Wednesdays at 7pm and Thursdays at 11am. Holy Week Services Monday 25 March 7pm Taizé Tuesday 26 March 7pm Stations of the Cross Wednesday 27 March 7pm Eucharist Maundy Thursday 28 March 7pm Liturgy of the Last Supper with foot washing Good Friday 29 March 2pm Liturgy of the Last Hour Easter Eve Saturday 30 March 8pm Easter Vigil service Taizé service Based on the calm, contemplative practice of prayer from the Taizé community in France, this is a beautiful, quiet service of reflection on the 2nd Sunday of each month at 6pm. It is a great way to carve out an hour for yourself in the busyness of the week, spending time together in quiet, candlelit prayer.

Social and Church Groups Our Mothers' Union meets on 2nd Thursday at 2pm in the Coffee Shop. Again, full details on the website.

Brabazon Belles (a social group for women) meet on the first Monday of the month at 7pm in the church hall. Our Open House group meets every Tuesday in the church hall from 9.30 11am for tea, toast, and companionship. Our friendly choir meets for rehearsals every Friday at 7pm in the church. Time to Grieve. Grieving the loss of a loved one? Time to Grieve offers you a space to talk about your loved one with a trained bereavement counsellor and to meet others in a similar situation. 10.30 - 11am on the first Wednesday of every month.

Community Coffee Shop

Our friendly, welcoming coffee shop is open from Monday to Friday, 10am 1pm for hot and cold drinks, homemade cake and hot snacks and soup. Suggested donation £1.50 per item. We have a wonderful hairdresser in the coffee shop who is happy to cut people's hair in return for a donation to the church. She is usually in the coffee shop on Wednesday mornings if you would

OVER 30s DANCE PARTY at the superb BAWA Club, Filton on the FIRST Friday of every MONTH (NO dance in August or January) It’s the ideal night out for the 30-60 age range. Come dance and socialise amongst a friendly, lively crowd. Dancing Thru’ the Decades includes Motown, Soul, Club Classics… Music you can relate to. Club times are 9 ‘til 1. Last entry 11pm – very smart casual. No t-shirts or trainers and gents required to wear collared shirts. Entry: £8. www. Facebook: @Luv2mingle like a quick trim. We also offer free soup and a roll to anyone in need of a hot meal. Thursdays from 10am. Why not join us on Toasty Tuesdays from 10am for a hot drink and some toast. You can find more information about all of this, and read our weekly news sheet, by going to www.stpeterschurchfilton. com and if you have any queries, please contact the Rector, or the administrator, who will be only too happy to help. and

St Andrew's Methodist Church Regular Services Sundays Morning Service 10.30 am. Little Lights (for children whose parents are attending worship). Please join us and you will receive a warm welcome. Tuesdays Wesley Guild, alternate Tuesdays, 2.15 pm. Thursdays Rainbows (Term-time) 5.00pm Fridays (Term-time) St Andrew's Baby and Toddler Group, 10.00 am – 11.45 am, £2 per family, includes refreshments. Play, crafts, chat and singing time. Saturday Outside groups also regularly hire our newly refurbished multi-use church.

FACE Mondays: 12.30-1.30pm Tai Chi, £3 entry 7-9pm The Hangout youth club for young people aged 13-25, with social or learning disabilities, £2 entry Tuesdays: 10am-12pm Coffee Club (tea & coffee morning for older folk), donations welcomed 5.30-6.30pm Rise youth club for School Years 3 & 4, £2 entry 7-8.30pm Shine youth club for School Years 5 & 6, £2 entry Wednesdays: 2.30-3.30pm first Wednesday of each month, Goldies Sing & Smile sing-a-long sessions. £3 donation to Goldies. 7-9pm Outbreak youth club for School Years 7-13, £2 entry Thursdays: Silver Surfers (over 50s IT support drop-in) 10am-12pm, £3 including refreshments. 1.30-2.30pm Low Impact Fitness session, £3 entry 7-9pm Illuminators social club for adults aged 20+ with social or learning disabilities, £2 entry Fridays: 10am-12pm “Coffee & Chat” coffee morning for anyone who would like to come for refreshments, conversations and join in crafts and games together. Donations welcomed. 1–3pm Creative Writing, Donations welcomed. Contact: FACE, Youth Centre, Elm Park, Filton, BS34 7PS. 0117 9691938 /

Girl Guiding Rainbows – age 4 - 7 years - Tuesday 16:45-17:45 & Thursday 17:15 – 18:15 Brownies - age 7 - 10 years - Tuesday 17:45-19:15 Guides - age 10 - 14 years - Tuesday 19:30 – 21:00 Rangers - age 14 - 18 years - Tuesday 19:30 – 21:00 To register your daughter, go to Girlguiding UK website and follow the link 'Register my daughter'

1st Filton Scouts Beavers age 6-8, Tuesday 5:30 – 6:30 & Wednesday 5:45 – 6:45 Cubs age 8-10, Monday and Thursday 6:30 – 8pm

Sip 'n' Chat Coffee morning Thursday 7 March 10.00 am - 12.00. Enjoy a cuppa, a cake and a chat - all welcome.

Scouts age 10 -14, Tues 7 – 8:45pm

Messy Church 9 March 3.30 pm - 5.15 pm. Crafts, fun and food for all the family. Children must be accompanied by a responsible adult at all times. For bookings email: standrewsfilton@gmail. com. For all other enquiries, please Tel 0117 987 2143.

The group is based in Scout HQ, Nutfield Grove, Filton, BS34 7LJ. All sections are open to boys and girls.

Men In Sheds Filton The DIY group, which aims to tackle loneliness and isolation among men aged over 50, operates from the Scout hut in Nutfield Grove, providing a space to socialise, build, share skills and drink tea. Men in Sheds Filton is part of a national movement, initiated by Age Concern Cheshire in 2009 and sustained by the UK Men’s Sheds Association. The group runs every Wednesday, from 9.30am-12.30pm. Call John Cahill 07986053005

SHE7 Tuesday: Bingo 7.30pm - 9.00pm Wednesday: Over 50s lunch, Cooked lunch, pudding and tea/coffee for just £3.50. Please ring 0117 969 5130 to book and arrive by 12.15pm. Wednesday: Bristol Taiko - Japanese Drumming 7.00pm - 8:30pm, £5 per session

International Plastic Modellers Society Avon Meetings are held on the 3rd Wednesday in the month from 7:30pm for 8.00pm at: BAWA Healthcare & Leisure, 589 Southmead Rd, Filton, Bristol BS34 7RG. Contact the club at:

Ukulele Filton We are an enthusiastic group of ukulele players, who meet to strum along and sing on Monday evenings, at 7.30 pm. We will be at St Andrew’s Methodist Church, Elm Park. New members are very welcome to join us there. No previous experience needed. We have spare ukes for you to try, and plenty of help in getting you started. For further details, phone Sue on: 07504561 831

Bristol Scrabble Club

Bristol Scrabble Club meets every Wednesday evening from 7pm until 10pm at the Filton Community Centre. Elm Park Filton BS347PS. New members are welcome and first visit is free so come along and give us a try. For more information ring Sheila Hinett 01179570792 or 07435316458. Alternatively email shinett@blueyonder.

Bristol Sugarcraft Guild We are a small friendly group who meet every third Saturday of the month 2pm to 4pm at St Andrews Church, Elm Park, Filton. If you would like to learn to make sugar flowers and models we hold demonstrations and also workshops with instruction. Beginners are very welcome. Please call Jean Kington on 01454 314178 or Carole Hyams on 0117 956 8037 for more information.

To advertise, contact and on 0770 674 1200 or Richard on 0777 555 0607

March, 2024




What's on in Filton ... email Zumba Fitness

pop, so there is something to please everyone.

Zumba fitness class @St Andrews Methodist Church on Fridays 7pm. Term time only, £6 per session, booking required. For more info please contact Anna, 07513398547 Anna-Reade/2308790

We are a very friendly bunch so please give us a try – what’s there to lose and you might find yourself with an absorbing new hobby and lots of new friends in the process. For further information please ring Dot on 07870 984760 or go to our website www. We look forward to meeting you. We are performing at a Nursing Home in Kingswood on the 6th March and at the Ebenezer church in Filton Avenue on the 13th March at 2pm. For further information ring Dot on 07870 984760 or have a look on our website. There will be no rehearsals at St. Teresa’s on these either of these dates.

Ebenezer Church

Horfield Townswomen’s Guild We will be meeting at St Andrew's Church Hall on the 2nd Wednesday afternoon of each month (except August) at 2pm to 4pm. We welcome new members. For more information, please contact Edna on 9495413.

Community Garden Gardening Get-togethers continue on alternate Saturdays 11am to 1pm Join the friendly volunteers and help keep the garden looking great for all to enjoy. All abilities welcome, just turn up on the day wearing suitable clothing and bring your own gloves. Tools and guidance provided. March 2, 16th, 30th April 13, 27th April. For updates and more info visit or email communitygarden@

Filtones Afternoon Choir Our long-established mixed voice choir is looking to recruit new members in 2024. Adults of all ages, and all voice ranges are welcome from soprano to bass. We meet every Wednesday afternoon from 1.45-3.45 p.m. at the St Teresa’s Community Rooms, (behind the church) at 71 Gloucester Rd North BS34 7PL Come along and try us out for four weeks free, with no audition and no commitment. We hope you may then like us enough to want to stay and join our happy band of singers. We sing an eclectic mix of songs from musicals to spirituals and

Sundays Sunday Service 10.30AM – 12PM Wednesdays Footprints – Senior Citizens Community Group 2PM – 3.30PM Thursdays Taste Café 10.30AM – 12.30PM (Term time only) Foodbank Outlet 1PM – 3PM If you are at crisis point and struggling with food, then please contact the foodbank about getting support. Call 0117 472 5172 Fridays Community Breakfast 9AM – 10.30AM Simple breakfast of bacon butty, cereal toast and hot drinks for £1.50 Toys available for pre-school children. After School Hangout 3.30PM – 5PM (Every two weeks during term time) Different zones with crafts, games books, homework space and a free meal.) For families with primary school aged children. For more information about Ebenezer Church visit or call the church office on 0117 9791399

Concord Wind Band We are a friendly, mixed ability band, playing music for fun. We rehearse at the Beechwood Club, Beechwood Rd, Fishponds, Bristol. BS16 3T every Friday 7.30pm to 9.30pm, with a tea break. We welcome new members. Contact Jayne on 07880724948

Filton Bookworms Are you interested in joining a reading group? Come along to the Bookworms monthly reading group at Filton Library! 1st Friday of each month at 2:00pm If you are interested in Joining, please as inside the library. Our next meeting will be March 1st. If you are interested in Joining, please as inside the library. Phone: 01454 868006 or Email:

North Avon Speakers Club

associated with Toastmasters International. We usually meet every first and third Thursday of the month at BAWA Filton, 7:15pm to 9:30pm. We have prepared speeches, but also Table Topics, which are a fun way to help members and guests practice impromptu speaking. Our speeches and table topics, usually get evaluated afterwards by members of the club, in the meeting itself, so that we can all improve at our public speaking skills! After our meetings some members and guests usually also go to the nearby lounge/bar at BAWA. Please email for more information.

Filton Garden Club We meet at 7.30pm on the first Wednesday of every month, (except January). We are a very friendly club & welcome new members. If you enjoy interesting talks and slideshows on various aspects of gardens, plants etc., and day trips to gardens of interest, please come along & join us. We meet at St. Andrew's Church, BS34 7PS

Dance Moves Keep Fit Tuesday, 2-3pm at St Peter's Church Filton. Have fun whilst improving your general wellbeing. Suitable for all ages. For further information, contact Eileen Scott, Tel. 07969929733/ email

Short Mat Bowls We are a friendly group that meets Thursdays 1:45pm to 4pm at the Filton Community centre, Elm Park Filton, BS34 7PS. New members are welcome, and the first visit is free, then each session £3. Contact Alan Riley on 07957295287 or email

Keep Fit Class @ St Teresa’s Social Centre Want to stay active and improve your well-being? Why not try your local exercise class at St Teresa's Social Centre in Filton on Mondays 7.15pm to 8.15pm. Work at your own level. All abilities welcome.

Royal Air Forces Association – Bristol Branch Every 2nd Wednesday of the month we run Veterans lunch at our club, The lunch is for veterans of all services and widows of Service men. Come and meet like-minded others for companionship and make new friends. If help is needed we can point you in the right direction. Open from 12pm, lunch is at 1pm until 3pm. The price is £7 for two courses. Address 38 Eastfield, Westbury On Trym, BS9 4BE Please ring 0117 0470775 to book.

Filton Historical Group Programme of Talks – Autumn 2023 to Spring 2024 Wednesday 28 February - 7.30 pm ''The Myths & Legends of Sabrina, Goddess of the River Severn' - Nicola Haasz 'Lothlorian' Wednesday 27 March - 7.30 pm 'From Brunel to HST and Beyond' - Roy Ackerill Wednesday 24 April – 7.30 pm 'The Victorian Fight Against Filth' - John Stennard These talks will be held in St. Andrews Church, Elm Park, Filton. All talks will start at 7.30 pm. There is plenty of free parking available in the adjacent Church car park. Those who wish only to come to selected talks will be asked to pay £5 per session. Please pass the information on these talks to anyone you feel might be interested. We welcome all comers, especially new members. Tel: 0117-9424378 e-mail:

Filton Pétanque Club Come and try a game of Pétanque - the French game of boules. No equipment needed initially, just wear flat, trainertype shoes, and dress for the weather. Wednesday evenings at 7.00pm. Sunday mornings at 10.30am. Venue: the boule piste, Elm Park, next to the community garden. website

Northavon Singers Northavon Singers would like to welcome more singers to their four-part all-age (18+) choir. Rehearsals are weekly at St Peter’s Church Hall, Filton, every Wednesday at 7.30 pm –9.30 pm We sing concerts in local churches and visit South Gloucestershire care homes during the year with all sorts of music from swing to classical. We would love to see Bassists and / or Tenors (willing to have a rehearsal) come along and see if they like us! Come and join us! or phone 0117 9699206

Functional Skills Maths Course Free maths course for over 19’s who do not hold a level 2 maths qualification. Mondays 9:30am to 11:30am at FACE Please contact Louise Gillett, South Glos. Community Development Worker on 07720 143 891 or email: louise.gillett@

We are a public speaking group

Got a story or any other inquiry? Call Richard on 0777 555 0607 or email


T: 0777 555 0607



Plans to improve standards for renters opposed by landlords

By Alex Seabrook, LDRS reporter Landlords in Bristol are opposing new plans for licences which aim to drive up living standards for renters. Last week Bristol City Council approved new landlord licensing schemes, which will leave many having to pay hundreds of pounds to apply for licences for each home they let out. Over a quarter of homes in Bristol are privately rented, a much higher proportion than the national average. The licence fees paid by landlords will help the council hire and pay inspectors to check that certain homes meet standards, and potentially demand improvements. The cabinet approved the new schemes during a meeting on Tuesday, February 6. But many landlords responding to a public consultation on the plans objected to the new fees, saying they would unfairly heap extra costs onto landlords already complying with standards. The changes will affect houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) across Bristol including Horfield, as well as other privately rented homes in Cotham, Easton, Bishopston and Ashley Down. These areas were chosen as a high

proportion of homes there are rented and many are in poor condition. Licences for HMOs will cost about £1,800, with discounts offered for relevant safety and energy performance certificates. Comments made by landlords said the licences would be “a waste of time”, “completely anti-landlord” and “bureaucratic overkill”. Meanwhile, comments in favour said “landlords should be forced to make their properties habitable”, “bad landlords need to be held accountable” and the plans “make total sense”. The council previously set up landlord licensing schemes in some parts of Bristol, which led to thousands of properties being inspected and a similar number of improvements made. Council bosses are expecting to raise millions from new licence fees, which will be spent on inspections. Letting agents and landlords responding to the consultation criticised the cost of the licences. They also warned the extra fees could lead to higher rents for tenants, less affordable housing getting built, and some landlords leaving the market meaning fewer homes available to rent.

With NHS dentists hard to find, local people are rightly concerned about their mouth health. But there might be an alternative. In her regular series of columns, Sarah-Joy Lendon, the 'Virtual Hygienist', offers tips on how you can take steps yourself to reduce your need to visit the dentist


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