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Witness appeal from Police

We are appealing for witnesses to a collision in which a 97-year-old man was injured.

Officers were called to the car park of Morrisons in Summer Lane, Weston-super-Mare, just before midday on Monday 2 December. There were reports of two elderly pedestrians having been in injured in a collision with a car and they were treated at Weston General Hospital for injuries not believed life-threatening or life-changing. The 97-year-old man remains in hospital for treatment. The car driver, a man in his 70s, was spoken to at the scene.

If you saw the collision get in touch, or call 101, quoting log 380 of 2 December.

Residential burglary

An address in Wrington Road, Congresbury, has been burgled on the 4th December between 5pm & 9pm. The resident was currently working and returned to find that many drawers inside had been emptied with clothes thrown on the floor, there were tool marks around the bathroom window suggesting this was the point of entry. Nothing has been reported as stolen.

If you contact the Police about this incident, please call 101 & quote Reference number: 5219280524 or Call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111

Advice from Neighbourhood Watch

With just 23 days to go until Christmas, we want to share with you some top tips to protect yourselves during this festive period so you can all enjoy the festivities & have a happy new year. We all know there are so many scams around at the moment and these appear to change on an almost daily basis, but please do not be alarmed. Common sense always prevails and as they always say “if it seems too good”.

The Golden Rules:

Never give out your bank details (Pin / Password) EVER.

Not sure don’t answer the door, it’s your home!

Be very wary of following links you are sent via email, go through your own trusted sites.

Don’t be bullied on the phone, HANG UP

Please do not advertise what’s in your home, only put waste out on collection day.

Leaving your home unattended? Put the lights on a timer or ask a friend to visit or park on your drive.

(And please check on your neighbours, if you see papers / post building up on the doorstep, just check)

Click here for full Christmas Security advice

Christmas Concert Tuesday 17th December 2019

Charity number: 1159398

A member of

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Congresbury Singers will be performing their popular annual Christmas concert in St Andrew’s Church at 7.30pm on Tuesday 17th December. As usual this will be a fusion of seasonal, traditional, serious and light-hearted readings, music and carols.

The evening will include both secular and religious themes. Audience participation can be expected. Judging by previous concerts, it is guaranteed to be an entertaining and inspiring start to the festive season, so early booking is advised. They look forward to seeing you in St Andrew’s Church, Congresbury on Tuesday 17th December at 7.30pm and afterwards for mince pies, a glass of wine and plenty of chat.

Tickets cost £8.00 (children free) and can be obtained in advance from Congresbury Post Office, members of the choir or on the door.

Community café raising funds for air ambulance

Congresbury community café is following its successful Macmillan coffee morning when it raised £650 for Macmillan Cancer Support by raising funds for the Great Western Air Ambulance.

The café is supporting two paramedics who live in the village, Helen Hart and Greg Leach, to  host a fundraising event on Saturday 23 November from 9 – 1pm, all proceeds will go to the air ambulance charity.

Meanwhile, on Saturday 30 November the Big Quiz is back at the Old School Rooms at 7.30pm raising funds for the community café. Teams of 4 – 6, tickets cost £8 per person including a light supper and are available from Ron Hall: 01934 830085 and the café on Wednesday and Friday mornings.

The Nottingham Knockers are back!

There have been reports of “Nottingham Knockers” operating in the Congresbury & Churchill areas. These are cold callers who usually tell residents that they are ex-offenders trying to go straight, then try and sell poor quality and over-priced cleaning products. The police want to remind residents they are under no obligation to answer the door to anyone they don’t know or aren’t expecting. If you do talk to them, they are supposed to be able to provide a valid Pedlar’s Certificate and should leave your property when asked.

Police always recommend using a door chain and asking to see the identification of unexpected callers.

• if you are suspicious of a caller ring 999 straight away • keep your cash in the bank, not at home • keep windows and doors secured if you’re not in the room • set up a No Cold Calling Zone – contact your local Council Trading Standards Office

Remember, genuine callers: • expect you to check their identification before opening the door • would never try to rush you by claiming there’s an emergency • will happily make an appointment to come back when you can have a relative or friend with you

Villagers back Neighbourhood Plan

The Neighbourhood Planning Steering group would like to thanks residents for voting in the referendum on Thursday. The Old School Rooms was the venue for the vote on the question ‘Do you want North Somerset Council to use the Neighbourhood Plan for Congresbury to help decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?’

The result was that 86 per cent of those that voted were in favour of the Neighbourhood Plan. Turnout was just under 28 per cent. The next stage is that North Somerset council formally adopt the plan at a council meeting scheduled in November.

Several members of the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group and councillors attended the count as observers including Di Hassan, Tom Leimdorfer, Dawn Harrison, Ray Clarke and Mike Greaves.

Liz Greaves, clerk to the parish council, noted that the Neighbourhood Plan is very ambitious in its content and it was very important that the community responded and voted in favour of the plan which covers the period up to 2036.

Both North Somerset and the parish council will now take the plan into consideration when making planning decisions and the parish council can start working towards the community actions outlined. Any additional Community Infrastructure Levy from any future developments can be put into funding some of the projects.

“Many thanks again to all those who supported the plan which has taken almost four years of hard work to get to this stage. North Somerset council planning officers must also be thanked for advising and supporting the steering group throughout all of the development stages,” said Ms Greaves. If you have any queries with regard to the plan please contact the Parish Office.

Fire in workshop

Fire crews tackled a blaze in a workshop off the A370 in the early hours of Thursday.
Avon Fire & Rescue issued the following statement: At 2.41am, crews from Clevedon, Winscombe, Yatton, Weston and Southmead fire stations were called to a fire in a private workshop on Bristol Road in Congresbury.
On arrival, firefighters used one high pressure hose reel and two ground monitors to extinguish the fire.
They also removed four cylinders for cooling and evacuated three people. The cause is thought to be accidental.
Photo: Courtesy Clive Burlton

Burglaries update

Security advice from our PCSO’s
Please note that the 3 burglaries in Congresbury were all committed at the rear of the properties. All 3 had side gates but unfortunately they were unlocked and allowed easy access. This is the same method used in other villages in North Somerset. I recommend that all side gates are locked / bolted top and bottom and preferably solid in structure. Please make it as hard as possible for opportunist thieves to succeed. If you would like any specific Crime Prevention advice please contact: PCSO Marie Broomfield – 8879@avonandsomerset.police.uk or
PC Paul Morris – 2955@avonandsomerset.police.uk

Village burglaries

A number of homes were broken into at Brinsea Road, Congresbury, on Monday 9 September. One property was entered between 2.45 and
4.30pm after the offender(s) kicked in the back door. An untidy search
was then made before cash and jewellery were stolen. If you contact the Police about this incident, please quote Reference number: 5219208198

A window was prised open to enter another home, thought to have been between 10.30am and 3.15pm. Jewellery was targeted and keys to a car were taken in order to steal the car from the driveway. The blue Jaguar was found a short distance away although the keys are still missing. If you contact the Police about this incident, please quote Reference number: 5219208091

While investigating these burglaries, police have come across a third offence in Brinsea Road. In this case a search of the main bedroom has been made, but it is unsure what has been stolen at this time. If you contact the Police about this incident, please quote Reference number: 5219208226

If you have any information regarding these incidents, contact the Police on 101. Alternatively you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111

Congresbury joins the Parish Councils’ Airport Association

Congresbury is to join the Parish Councils Airport Association (PCAA) at a cost of £75 a year. At Monday’s meeting, councillors heard the PCAA’s Phil Collins explain that the organisation kept a watching brief on Bristol Airport and its expansion plans. Those plans included an increase from 8 million passengers a year to 12 million. Mr Collins added that the number of jobs likely to be created, if the expansion was approved, would be minimal and low wage.

Less well known was the plan to include a change in flight schedules that would result in more night flights during the summer months. Read more

CRAG’s report from Parish Council meeting

CRAG was well-represented at Monday’s meeting (19 August) of Congresbury Parish Council’s planning committee. The agenda item which attracted CRAG members was the appeal by Gladman to the Planning Inspectorate against North Somerset Council’s rejection of the scheme for changes to Wrington Lane.

Committee chair Michael Greaves summarised the council’s objection to the scheme, stating that Wrington Lane was totally inadequate for more traffic, a situation that would be exacerbated by the development at Cobthorn Way. Read more

Cricket book captures 175 years of village life

A new book celebrating 175 years of village cricket opens up a window on life in Somerset through the Victorian and Edwardian eras to the present day.

The book, published by Congresbury Cricket Club in association with Congresbury History Group, tells much more than the story of cricket in the village over the generations.

“The more research I did, the more people I spoke to, the more I realised how the fabric of village life and the development of cricket were intertwined,” said local historian and author Clive Burlton.

The book, with 112 pages, 60,000 words and 250 images draws on the archives held by both the cricket club and the history group as well as recounting the memories of villagers and players, past and present. 

Clive, a club vice president, explained: “Among the many nuggets we’ve found is a photograph and an account of a 1907 men v women cricket match in the village with men batting left-handed with broomsticks!

“We also found recipes for all sorts of cakes and pies written by village ladies with known links to cricketers of the time which sparked the idea for a cricket tea bake-off at the Congresbury Fete on June 29.”

The oldest document uncovered is the scorebook from 1919. The first match after World War One was against Weston-super-Mare – the two clubs met again in April this year in a pre-season friendly almost 100 years later. 

The book tells far more than the story of Congresbury CC, looking at the development of cricket in North Somerset from the middle of the 19th century with extensive use of newspaper archives since the 1850s.

175 Years of Village Cricket will be launched at The Old School Rooms in Congresbury on Friday June 21 with a presentation by Clive Burlton starting at 7.30pm. Doors open at 7pm.

The book was designed and produced by Bristol Books and can also be obtained online at www.bristolbooks.org

Celebratory Tea for Tom and Di

A celebratory party was held on Sunday at the Old School Rooms, to thank Tom Leimdorfer and Di Hassan for the immense amount of work they have done for the village. Tom was Ward Councillor for 16 years and Di was a parish councillor for 10 years, 6 of which she served as chair. They steered the community through some very difficult times and were thanked during a tea party of over 100 people. Liz Greaves arranged the planting of trees for the occasion and the party processed to the Community orchard and paddock at the Milllennium Green, where they were photographed at the field maple for Tom, and the Quince for Di. It was a very memorable and happy occasion for all who attended and just shows what a special village this is. 

We wish Stuart Treadway (the new ward councillor) and Arthur Hacking (the new chair of the parish council) the very best in their endeavours.

Somerset Methodist Circuit Spring Harvest 2020 in Minehead

Congresbury Methodist Church is hoping to take a group from the Circuit to Spring harvest at Minehead for 4 nights from 13th – 17th April 2020. The theme next Easter will be ‘Unleashed – the Acts Church for Today’. Over the 5 days there will be a programme of worship, speakers, workshops, bible study and leisure activities, including full use of all the Butlins entertainment on sight, including the swimming pool and rides! Read more

Village hall project ‘to move forward’

Congresbury Parish Council and the new village hall project team have reviewed the 418 responses to the recent survey, which showed 266 respondents did not support the council taking out a public works loan. 

The survey generated a lot of comment but only 28 per cent of households responded. Obviously this is disappointing and the Development Committee have confirmed their commitment to move the project forward. The project has come so far and many villagers, village organisations and businesses have put a lot of time and effort in support of the project. We can now focus on other funding options.

The project is in a good place with:
– grant funding helping us to progress the community share offer and up to £100,000 of matched equity funding available, subject to a formal application.
– an expanding pool of volunteers.
– the community café making such a promising start we are going to open on the third Saturday of each month – 18 May, 15 June, 20 July & 17 August – until the end of the summer, from 9 – 1pm.

Congresbury needs a new village hall and community centre which not only provides a ‘home’ and supports our sports clubs but will provide a broader range of modern facilities and activities for all age groups in a growing village. As an example in the 2007 Parish survey, young people said they wanted somewhere to meet and chat with their friends. The new building will provide that.

The new village hall is a part of the Council’s Neighbourhood plan and we will continue to work with them to make the new building happen.

Ian Sheppard

Fish return to the River Yeo

Three years ago the River Yeo lost most of its fish to cormorants using the river in Congresbury as a fast food outlet on their way to Blagdon Reservoir.

Cormorants are blamed for loss of fish in the Yeo

Once again, the miracle of nature has happened and fish are back in our river. Over the Easter weekend we were blessed with sunshine and clear water in the River Yeo. Looking over the Millennium Bridge the sunshine illuminated the river bed and to my delight and surprise, there were shoals of roach! Some of the fish appeared to be 12 inches long, but there were dozens of smaller fish enjoying the fine weather and no doubt the water insects emerging from their winter hibernation.

Roach return

The River Yeo was once one of the best rivers in the area for coarse fishing and several fishing clubs leased fishing rights for their members. We even had a trout fishing club who stocked the river from the Tumbling Weir to Iwood Bridge. Regretfully, poaching and predators such as minx and cormorants as well as pollution brought about their demise. 

As the old saying goes ‘One swallow does not make a summer’ but a few fish might mean our river is returning to its former glory. Please don’t tell the cormorants.

Michael Greaves