Thornbury Town and District Residents Association

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Public Meeting 16th March Press release

News release         Public Meeting 16th March 2022


Full house with 300 people attending.

At the first two public meeting last autumn attendance was 100 and then 200, so public opinion is steadily increasing despite what Toby Savage is saying that the High Street closure to through traffic & pedestrianisation is a DONE DEAL



At a Public Meeting called by Thornbury Town and District Residents Association on Wednesday 16th March over 300 people attended, which is the maximum seating capacity for the Conference Hall at Thornbury Leisure Centre

The meeting was held to allow residents of Thornbury and the outlying surrounding villages the opportunity to learn of recent activity by South Gloucestershire Council in their bid for funding of the proposed closure to through traffic & pedestrianisation of the High Street in the market town of Thornbury

The council claim that funding is a DONE DEAL, since in November 2021 they submitted an Outline Business Case to West of England Combined Authority (WECA) which was considered by the Joint Committee of WECA on 28th January. The funding was agreed subject to the council working up a Full Business Plan and further assessment by the Chief Executive of WECA. Toby Savage chose this route for funding since it denied the Metro Mayor the opportunity to vote. Dan Norris the Metro Mayor is on record as saying he would only support the funding if there were Full, Fair and respectful Consultations with the community


At the meeting John Reynolds and Malcolm Best explained that they had spent several days trawling through the Outline Business Case and believed there are:

Serious and significant errors, miscalculations and misrepresentation of facts and data within the OBC

Some of the modelling tools used for impact assessments are totally inappropriate for use in the context of the proposed High Street development. 

As a result, the Value for Money Statement is vastly overstated and should not be accepted as currently calculated in the OBC.

KEN _ FOR FURTHER INFORAMTION PLEASE SEEN ATTACHMENT of letter to SGC dated 11th March 2022 sent to David Perry – Chief Executive, Nina Philippidis, Head of Financial Services , Toby Savage – Leader, South Gloucestershire Council

The Residents Association believe that the OBC needs to be started again from scratch

As John and Malcolm went through each of six main headings (SEE ATTACHMENT FOR THE SIX ITEMS) and broke down their findings in detail explaining the problems with the OBC there were gasps of astonishment, laughter and several bursts of applause as the hall began to understand the depths of the problem which SGC had created for themselves in preparing and publishing this document as a source of funding

They explained that SGC would need to revise the OBC starting from scratch in order to produce a credible Full Business Case

It was indeed unfortunate that Toby Savage – Leader of South Gloucestershire Council, Luke Hall – MP for Thornbury & Yate and Jayne Stansfield – Mayor of Thornbury Town Council had sent their apologies for being unable to attend the meeting. They would have learnt a lot about the problems South Gloucestershire Council are causing and the depth of public feeling first hand that remains even after 2 years since the High Street was first closed

The Residents Association believe that the initial survey taken in the depth of the pandemic in Autumn 2020 was seriously flawed. The questions and manner in which the results were later interpreted did not constitute a Full, Fair and Respectful Consultation


Although Luke Hall and Toby Savage proudly announced the return of buses to the High Street in November there is still no sign of them. There was resounding support at the meeting for an immediate return of buses to the High Street 7 days a week in a vote with well over 95% of those attending the meeting in favour

The meeting was then asked to vote on whether one way THROUGH traffic should be allowed and whether two-way traffic system should return as it was in 2020 before the start of the pandemic. Again over 95% of those attending the meeting were in favour of both options

Our local elected representatives continue with this project against the wishes of the community


The attendance of Dan Norris was acknowledged by the Chairman of the meeting and Dan said “ it is not often that a politician is applauded so warmly whilst raising from his seat”


Rob Galpin and Gil Gilmore took questions from the floor and asked the meeting what should happen next

There were suggestions for attracting national publicity by means of a protest march, lobbying South Gloucestershire Council meetings, referring the scheme to the Ombudsman and a legal challenge

Other suggestions from the floor of the hall, which were acknowledged by the Metro Mayor, included asking South Gloucestershire Council to hold a Full, Fair and Respectful Consultation or to hold a Referendum. Either of these would be possible since the scheme drawings are still not completed

The Residents association will consider which of these actions would be most appropriate

Those attending the meeting filled out contact forms and along with existing members of TTaDRA they will be circulated with information about future events and proposals


Those who are interested to learn more about the problems with South Gloucestershire proposal for funding and the Outline Business Case are referred to the Residents association website

Dan Norris the Metro Mayor attend the Public Meeting and was met with a very warm reception


There is a series of Face to Face meetings being held by SGC to explain their latest drawings and detail for the High Street

Thee are being held:


The Residents Association requested that the public attend these the face ot face sessions in strength, listen to the council’s proposals and then inform the council representatives as to how the proposals do not the community’s needs and then inform them what is really required what is really required


Monday 21st March                            2.30 to 4.30pm     Library                   6.00 to 7.00pm     T             Turnberries

Monday 28th March,   Wednesday 30th March,   Monday 4th April            all 10.00 to 3.00pm             Library

Thursday 7th April                                Market day walkaround

If you cannot attend email your points to