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Police advice about fraud

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YOUR HELP is NEEDED at Neighbourhood Watch

To help build and develop our online support, and engage more broadly across Avon and Somerset, as well as making much better use of social media and social apps, we are looking for volunteers with social media and IT skills to join us. We are also looking for volunteers to lead and develop the support for Neighbourhood Watch, Rural Watches, and the new Community/Keep Safe Schemes.

These are exciting developments, and if you would like to help and take up a leading role, please get in touch at info@asnwa.org.

It does not matter where you live in Avon and Somerset, as long as you have an internet connection and are willing to help develop our online support – we would be delighted to hear from you.

Dr. Egils Praulitis Avon and Somerset Watch

Revamp for Neighbourhood Watch

Plans to integrate and expand the promotion and awareness of Neighbourhood Watch communities across Avon and Somerset have been announced.

“We have been working with the police Rural Affairs Unit to provide support for Farm Watch and Horse Watch – alongside our existing Neighbourhood Watch commitments and our representation of NW on the national NWN body,” says Dr. Egils Praulitis of
Avon and Somerset Watch

“Bringing Watches closer together makes a lot of sense, as it not only strengthens crime prevention, it also raises public awareness – and reflects the approach already adopted in other police regions.”

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Bus times are changing

Bus times are changing from this Sunday, May 31, as part of First Group’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Please read their statement regarding social distancing especially if you can go upstairs. Also please listen to the driver. If you are refused entry if the bus is full it’s for your safety as well as theirs. The bus company are following strict government guidelines.

For information click on this link https://www.firstgroup.com/bristol-bath-and-west/news-and-service-updates/coronavirus-covid19-service-information

Warning on loft insulation scams

Neighbourhood Watch coordinators based in Churchill and Langford are warning that once again loft insulation scams are doing the rounds.

These people will call you to advise that you may be entitled to a free quote or a government grant or that you may have recently had your loft insulated and they may offer additional services. There is a reason they are contacting you, please do not be drawn in. 

If they were a genuine good company they would have enough work without the need to cold call you; furthermore if you needed their services you could contact them in your own time when it is convenient to you. A call back on one of the numbers used proved it was unobtainable.

Do please remain vigilant to this and advise your friends and neighbours where possible, observing government guidelines on social distancing.

Burglary in Southside

An outbuilding has been burgled in Southside, Congresbury between 2pm and 9:30pm on May 22. The outbuilding, described as a lodge, is located in the rear garden of the property and had been left insecure while the occupant went out.

Upon returning a Nintendo Switch and laptop computer were noticed missing the following morning and a window handle was pointed in the upright position.

A footpath runs behind the lodge to Southlands and Well Park with may prove to be an access route for the offender. 

If you contact the police about this incident, please call 101 & quote Reference number: 5220111813 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Potential Scam by Pro Day UK

We have received notification from Avon & Somerset Police on behalf of Trading Standards about potential scam calls coming to our area.

Pro Day UK have been calling on behalf of Bath & North east Somerset to offer ”virus ventilation and sanitation due to lock down”. The company do not represent our local authority so any calls should be considered a scam.

If you have any information regarding this or other incidents contact the Police on 101 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111

Glut Market

Good morning everyone, a few of you will know us from the Community Cafe ( Sandie and Jan) as you know we had a Glut Market Stall there which was very well used and raised money to keep the Cafe running. As we have had to close due to this dreadful virus we wondered if you would still like to donate your surplus plants, veg, fruit, berries, in fact anything from your allotment etc I have provided a Glut table on my drive where I will sell them at a much reduced price obviously, proceeds to go to the Cafe as normal. Social Distancing will always be adhered to money can be dropped into collection box. I am next to the church, on Pauls Causeway the cottage with all the flowers on the wall, table is behind the gate. Jan has grown various plants and we have had these for sale over the past few weeks and they have all gone, our neighbours donated 4 cucumber plants yesterday and they have been sold. Any donations of items will be taken in at night whilst there is a chance of frost etc. Stay safe all of you, hope you like this idea.

Travel disruption expected as bridge transported to Bath

We’re alerting road users to potential disruption on Tuesday 19 May when an abnormal load travels through our area.

Sections of a bridge are being transported from Belgium to Bath.

On Tuesday morning, 19 May, two loads will be escorted by police along the M4, M32, A4174, A4, A36 and A367 to Corn Street, Bath.

Each is 5.2m wide and 34m long and is expected to travel no faster than 12mph.

Road users should expect disruption and ideally avoid the route between 10.30am and 12.30pm.

Bath and North East Somerset Council has more information about the bridge on its website

Speeding complaints double

Avon and Somerset Police have stepped up traffic patrols having seen the weekly number of complaints around speeding double in the weeks during lockdown. The dramatic increase comes as some drivers choose to abuse quieter roads by driving well in excess of speed limits, putting other road users including families and cyclists taking daily exercise at risk.

From 23 March to 22 April, police traffic units detected 1,391 drivers exceeding the posted speed limit, including travelling over 45 mph in a 20 mph zone, and over 70 mph in a 30 mph zone. Of this figure, 144 were high end offences with motorists travelling so fast that they will automatically face prosecution due to the severity of their offences.

Read more here

Big names boost mental health charity

The hunt is on to uncover the hidden artistic skills of the South West and beyond, with the launch of a new online talent competition by the North Somerset mental health charity Vine Counselling Services, based in Congresbury. 

Unlock Your Talent is an online talent festival created by multi-award winning musician and songwriter Rachel Mason in collaboration with the charity. 

Launching this week, top prizes include platinum recording packages and singing, art, dance and photographic masterclasses. Internationally renowned artists including Strictly Come Dancing professional dancer Karen HauerDeke Sharon, the musical director of the Pitch Perfect movies, Ruti (winner of The Voice 2018) and Hamilton cast member Aaron Lee Lambert, to name but a few, will be joining the judging panel. 

Contestants of all ages are being invited to demonstrate their abilities across a broad spectrum of artistic platforms including dance, music, drama, art, photography, film making, graphic design, make up, poetry and short story writing. 

When Rachel learned that the charity’s finances had been seriously affected by the covid-19 pandemic, she decided she would do something to help. Calling upon her celebrity contacts through her work as one of the top vocal teachers in the UK and a judge for Sky One’s Sing: Ultimate A Cappella, she has organised the Unlock Your Talent Festival with the aim of raising funds for the charity whilst at the same time inspiring people to embrace art during these stressful times. 

“I was thinking about how I could support people during lockdown – and it suddenly occurred to me that I could create one big event that would tick lots of boxes including supporting young people and encouraging good mental health,” said Rachel. As the UK’s current Freelancer of the Year, she also wanted to help self-employed people who are suffering at the hands of covid-19. 

As a vocal teacher and mentor to young musicians, Rachel, who often works from her North Somerset studio, is also aware of how many young people are feeling bereft having put so much effort into their art, music, media and dance GCSE, A Level and degree coursework, only to be told that it will not be marked by teachers or examiners. She is hoping that the festival will encourage them to enter and show off their work to industry professionals from all over the world. Participants will be asked to make a small donation of £5, £10 or £20 for each entry via Just Giving. 

Vine Counselling Services offers donation-based professional counselling to people in the community who are struggling due to bereavement, stress, anxiety, abuse, isolation, loneliness, family problems and other issues. During the covid-19 lockdown, Vine has set up a video and telephone service to enable the charity to continue to offer support during this difficult time until face-to-face counselling can be resumed. 

Liz Linnitt, Director of Vine Counselling Services, said: “We know many people are experiencing immense pressures and different challenges during these unchartered waters of lockdown and others may need more support when we are navigating a new ‘normal’. We’re doing our very best to continue to provide our crucial services but our fundraising is being seriously impacted because we’ve had to cancel many planned events. We hope the Unlock Your Talent Festival will encourage people to explore the joy of art and at the same time, bring in some much-needed additional funds for the charity. We’re extremely grateful to Rachel for supporting us.” 

Go to www.vinecounselling.org for more information about entering plus the prizes, judges, and categories. Participants must submit their work via a video or photograph.  Closing date is 31 May 2020.

The night the Luftwaffe dropped in on Congresbury

This Friday the country will celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE Day – marking the allied victory in Europe.

VE Day in Wrington Lane, 1945. Picture courtesy Clive Burlton

Our picture, courtesy of Clive Burlton, shows residents of Wrington Lane celebrating VE Day in 1945. 

Clive says that this Friday, they are going to attempt “a safe distanced replication as a doffing of the cap to that generation…”

Clive and Chris Short of Congresbury History Group have also updated the story of ‘The Night the Luftwaffe dropped in on Congresbury’. It ended up with the crew of a Heinkel bomber who had to bail out being captured near Kent Road – where Tesco Express is today – by members of the Home Guard; another behind Wrington Lane near where Verlands is today and another near the Star Inn on Rhodyate Hill by another Home Guard from the Congresbury Platoon. You can read the full account here.

VE Day – May 8th

Official commemorations will begin at 11am with a national moment of remembrance and two minutes’ silence.

11am | The Nation Remembers BBC One will lead a poignant two-minute silence to mark the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War.

2.45pm | The Announcement of Victory Winston Churchill’s historic speech will also be broadcast – providing a fascinating insight into what the public will have heard on that significant day all those years ago.

8pm | The People’s Celebration Viewers can also tune in to a special programme on VE Day on BBC One, which will see some of the UK’s biggest stars (Katherine Jenkins, Beverley Knight), sing a rendition of the iconic ‘We’ll Meet Again’, by Vera Lynn. Throughout the show, we will hear from the real stars of the night, the people who still remember that historic evening and can tell us what it was like, first hand.

9pm | The Queen’s speech: The Queen herself will be giving a special address to the nation (her second during the coronavirus pandemic), at 9am on 8th May – which is the exact same time that her father, King George VI, spoke to the UK 75 years ago, on the actual VE Day.

This is a test post to link to Facebook

Have you seen this man?

Wanted: David Broad

Police are appealing for the public’s help to locate wanted man David Broad. 

Broad, aged 32, from Banwell, is wanted on a recall to prison and also in connection with two burglaries – one in Edinburgh and one in Twickenham. 

He is known to frequent the Weston-super-Mare area and is described as white, 6ft 4ins, of proportionate build, with blue eyes, short ginger hair, and he has tattoos on his wrists/arms. He has an Irish accent.

If you have information which could help locate him, please call Avon & Somerset Police on 101 and give the call handler the reference number 5220040970.

A brief history of Broad Street

Chris Short of Congresbury History Group thought this would be of interest to all of us during lockdown. As he notes, this is not a definitive history, but “a light-hearted attempt to rekindle memories and provide a bit of diversion during this difficult period.” Click here to read it.

Fair Day in the early 1900s. Picture courtesy Congresbury History Group

Burglary at St Andrews Church

The Police have asked for information about this burglary which took place between 11:50pm on 24th and 00:20am on 25th April.

The offenders gained access by forcing the south porch medieval door and stealing two boxes of Foodbank produce before entering the church and departing with nativity figurines. The perpetrators were seen both entering and leaving the building carrying boxes.

The Police would like anyone with information about this incident to contact them by calling 101 quoting reference number: 5220091185, or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.