This indpendent website, founded in January 2011, aims to bring you a comprehensive round up of stories sourced from the police, local councils and community groups in Patchway.

Patchway school placed in ‘special measures’ following damning Ofsted report

Posted on Saturday 26th November 2016 at 7:05 pm by SH (Editor)

Patchway Community College, Patchway, Bristol.

Patchway Community College (PCC) has been placed in ‘special measures’ following the publication of a damning report by Ofsted inspectors who visited the secondary school in early October.

Assigning the lowest possible overall rating of ‘inadequate’, lead inspector Kathy Maddocks concluded that standards at the school have declined in recent years, and criticised school leaders and governors for being too slow to implement necessary changes.

The quality of teaching at the school is described as “poor”, pupils do not make sufficient progress in a range of subjects and measures to guarantee pupils’ safety are “weak”.

All five of the individual effectiveness measures assessed by the inspectors resulted in an ‘inadequate’ grading.

One of the few positive observations contained in the report is that pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities are “achieving well”.

Inspectors do, however, note that the new headteacher, Karen Cornick, only took up the post four weeks prior to the inspection and remark that “there is evidence of her positive impact already”.

In a letter sent to parents on 21st November , the headteacher describes the report as a “huge blow” and points out that, while the school had much-improved outcomes at GCSE and Post-16 in 2015/16, the inspection team had been obliged to consider progress over the last three years.

As a consequence of being placed in special measures, the school’s governing body has been in further discussions with the Olympus Academy Trust (which it had already approached about joining back in January 2016) and the Regional Schools Commissioner.

The trust, which already incorporates two local secondary schools (Bradley Stoke Community School and Abbeywood Community School), issued a statement saying it was “frustrated that an agreement has still not been reached about levels of funding support for Patchway from the Department for Education (DfE) and the Education Funding Agency (EFA) in order for Patchway to join the trust”. The statement added: “We hope there will be a swift resolution by the DfE and EFA so that learners and staff at Patchway are able to benefit from joining the trust without further delay.”

Parents and carers of students at PCC have been invited to attend a meeting at the school on Monday 28th November when the proposal to join the Olympus Academy Trust will be further explained, along with the school’s plan for addressing the key issues arising from the Ofsted inspection.

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HRH The Princess Royal attends topping out ceremony for new Concorde hangar

Posted on Thursday 24th November 2016 at 9:36 am by SH (Editor)

HRH The Princess Royal on a visit to Aerospace Bristol.

Aerospace Bristol has celebrated a major milestone in the construction of the new home of Concorde, with a topping out ceremony for the museum’s Concorde hangar attended by HRH The Princess Royal.

The £19m museum is currently taking shape at a site on the northern side of the former Filton Airfield, alongside Hayes Way, the road which links the A38 with The Mall at Cribbs Causeway [map].

The Concorde hangar will be home to Aerospace Bristol’s star attraction: Concorde 216. Designed, built and tested in Bristol, she was the last Concorde to be built and the last to fly. Due to open in summer 2017, Aerospace Bristol will offer more than just Concorde, taking visitors on a fascinating journey through time: from the earliest days of flight, when Boxkite biplanes flew over the Avon Gorge, through to the modern day, revealing the latest technologies of today’s aerospace industry and telling the amazing stories of ordinary people achieving extraordinary things.

HRH The Princess Royal toured the site and met with Aerospace Bristol volunteers, who are hard at work preparing the exhibits for display in the new museum, then unveiled the first piece of a feature wall: a specially engraved aeroplane sculpture to mark the occasion.

As Aerospace Bristol’s Patron, Her Royal Highness was also presented with a framed print of a magazine cover from the museum’s extensive historical archives. The Bristol Review cover, first published in Autumn 1957, shows a photograph of Princess Margaret, Princess Anne and Prince Charles on the steps of a BOAC Britannia as HM The Queen Mother set out from London for Rhodesia.

More: Major milestone towards opening of museum in summer 2017

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Volunteer custody visitors needed in Patchway

Posted on Tuesday 20th September 2016 at 9:27 pm by SH (Editor)

Patchway Police Centre, Gloucester Road, Patchway, Bristol.

Wouldn’t you want someone checking on your welfare if you were detained in custody? If so, Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Sue Mountstevens wants you to consider becoming an independent custody visiting volunteer.

Independent custody visiting is a vital part of the work of the Avon and Somerset Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and we are looking for people from north Bristol and the surrounding areas to join the team.

Custody visiting is the well-established system whereby volunteers visit police stations to check on people in police custody; the conditions in which they are held and that their rights and entitlements are being observed.

PCC Sue Mountstevens said:

“This is a great opportunity for someone looking for an exciting and rewarding volunteering role. In volunteering as an Independent Custody Visitor, you are enabling me to hold the police to account on behalf of local people.”

“By gaining independent insight into police custody and reporting your findings to me we can ensure policing is transparent and that local people have confidence in their police service. Do something different, become a custody visiting volunteer now!”

Visits to police stations by volunteer custody visitors are unannounced and can be made at any time. The independent volunteers check that cells and other facilities within custody such as the toilets and food preparation areas are clean.

Over 270 independent custody visits were made between April 2015 and March 2016, and of the 2,404 detainees in custody during these visits, over 1,400 were spoken to by independent custody visitors.

More: Volunteers needed at Patchway Police Centre, Gloucester Road »

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Highwood Road bus lane camera nets council more than £180k in just nine months

Posted on Sunday 21st August 2016 at 9:14 pm by SH (Editor)

Bus lane on Highwood Road, Patchway, close to the Coniston Road junction.

Nearly 6,000 fines, netting a total of more than £180,000 for South Gloucestershire Council, have been issued to drivers caught by a single enforcement camera on a bus lane in Patchway.

The astonishing statistics, verified by the Journal, were revealed after a frustrated motorist used a Freedom of Information (FoI) request to find out how much money the council is making from the camera on Highwood Road, which went live less than a year ago on 1st October 2015.

The response stated that 5,892 penalty charge notices had been issued, raising £187,539.

Derek Hunt, 49, told the Bristol Post he believes the council has deliberately made the road layout confusing and accused it of “stealing” motorists’ hard-earned cash.

He was caught using the bus lane after he failed to make the obligatory left turn into Coniston Road when driving along Highwood Road from the direction of The Mall.

The bus lane is one of two to be installed in South Gloucestershire last year. The other is at Brierly Furlong/New Road in Stoke Gifford, close to the Parkway railway bridge.

A third camera was recently installed on the northbound A38 Gloucester Road approach to the Aztec Roundabout.

In all cases, enforcement commenced after a two week grace period during which warning notices (letters) were issued in place of penalty notices.

A South Gloucestershire Council spokesperson said:

“Prior to undertaking enforcement of bus lanes, the council made a decision that the use of camera technology was the most appropriate way of undertaking this enforcement.”

“The locations where cameras were to be installed, including the Highwood Road bus lane, were reviewed to ensure that the bus lane signage and markings were appropriate and clearly visible so that drivers would be aware of the bus lane and would not be caught out. To further support this, additional signage warning of the bus lane and the enforcement of it were installed at the locations.”

More: Stoke Gifford camera nets £47,541 in same period »

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McCarthy & Stone consults on Charlton Hayes proposals

Posted on Friday 8th July 2016 at 9:32 am by SH (Editor)

Artist's impression of proposed McCarthy & Stone development at Charlton Hayes.

Local residents gathered at an exhibition at Patchway Community Centre on 28th June 2016 to discuss proposals to develop two brownfield sites at Charlton Hayes with Retirement Living apartments and high-quality Assisted Living (Extra Care) accommodation. The sites are known as MU5 and MU6 and are located at the southern end of Charlton Boulevard, close to Hayes Way.

The exhibition was held by Your Life Management Services (a joint venture between McCarthy & Stone, the UK’s leading retirement housebuilder, and Somerset Care, a not-for-profit care provider).

The early proposals that were on display will, if approved, develop vacant brownfield land, which is allocated for development in the Charlton Hayes masterplan, with around 40 one- and two-bed Retirement Living apartments and 60 Assisted Living (Extra Care) accommodation units, along with professional landscaping and car parking for residents, visitors and care providers.

Local residents and senior community figures (including elected representatives of South Gloucestershire Council and Patchway Town Council) attended on the day to view the plans, meet the development team and provide initial feedback on the proposals, which are due to be submitted formally for consideration in the coming months.

The information displayed at the consultation event may now be viewed online here: Sites MU5 and MU6, Hayes Way, Charlton Hayes

Simon Mantell, McCarthy & Stone regional managing director, said:

“The public exhibition was an excellent opportunity for us to understand the views of the local community and I would like to take this opportunity to thank people for their constructive comments and questions.”

“We have worked hard to ensure our proposals represent a sensitive development which complements the local area with high-quality materials and a design that develops this vacant part of Charlton Hayes. We believe this site is an ideal location to provide much-needed Retirement Living and Assisted Living accommodation in South Gloucestershire, which will also assist in freeing up family homes for other residents living locally.”

More: Comments may be submitted up to Tuesday 12th July »

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