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CRAG takes on developers at public inquiry

Congresbury Residents Action Committee (CRAG) has decided take on a development company at a public inquiry due to take place later this month. CRAG made the decision to fight Gladman Homes after North Somerset council’s U-turn to approve a decision to allow building.

In August 2016, North Somerset planners cited four good reasons for opposing an appeal lodged by Gladman Homes for their application to build 50 dwellings on land off Wrington Lane.

Now six months later, following advice from planning officers, the council has done a 180 degree turn and approved the plan – even though they had already approved a scheme by Sunley Homes for 38 houses in a nearby field.

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Barbara Elverd 1936-2017

 

Barbara Elverd who was a popular and well-known figure in the village

Barbara Ruth Summerell was born in the Bird in Hand Pub, Nailsea on February 12, 1936. She was one of nine children. Later in 1958 she married Terry Elverd. They moved to Mulberry Road, Congresbury in 1965 where Stephen and Phillip were born.

Barbara will be remembered in Congresbury as one of Edith Wilson’s right hand people at the Playgroup in the Methodist Hall. She was also a lollipop lady for many years and  worked in the wool shop, Needles & Pins alongside Maureen Budd in the Precinct which was owned by Maureen Bewes.

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Volunteer opportunity

If you have ever wanted to help your local community now is your opportunity to volunteer with the Avon Community Resilience Team (CRT).

The purpose of the Avon CRT is to support communities within Avon to be able to be better prepared to cope with adverse situations like the effects of a storm, high winds and flooding. Volunteers will help reduce the demand put on the emergency services and be a link between the community and blue light services.

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Marquee after the show

As yet no one is using the Horticultural Society marquee after the summer show on Saturday 1st July. Organising a “do” after the show as a great way to make money for your Society. We are happy for you to use it free of charge and the only cost is lighting and chairs if required. If you are interested then please contact Liz English on 834333.

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Action group on high alert

Congresbury Residents Action Committee (CRAG) was placed on high alert this week in readiness for a coming battle with land agents Gladman. After last week’s surprise u-turn by North Somerset Council’s planning committee, CRAG has decided to take on the developer’s plan for 50 houses in Wrington Lane.

The council had already approved a plan for 38 homes on Wrington Lane and has now accepted a further 50 on a road that, protesters claims, is barely adequate for current traffic volumes, said CRAG’s Mary Short.

CRAG will provide the main opposition to the developers if there is a public inquiry next month. “CRAG has a pretty good track record of organising for a public hearing and we’ll be ready to give Gladman the same treatment that saw Barratt Homes lose two years ago,” added Mary.

This will involve leaflets, a survey of local residents, the organising of witness statements and how to respond to cross-examination if it should get that far. CRAG is aware that Gladman could decide to withdraw from the public inquiry at the last minute.

John Mills

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Wyn Daniel 1951-2017

Wyn Daniel: a hugely popular figure in the village

Wales and rugby were two main strands running through the DNA of Wyn Daniel, a well-known local rugby player and popular teacher, who died suddenly aged 65.

Born in Cardigan. Wyn spent most of his early life on his parents’ small farm in Pembrokeshire. He was always involved in sport, but his passion was rugby, and he gained a County schoolboys cap in Pembroke and competed at national level in the shot put.

Studying as a teacher in Cardiff, he met his future wife, Carolyn, also a student there, and they married in 1974.

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Residents Action Group vow to fight Wrington Lane development

Congresbury Residents Action Group (CRAG) was angry but determined to fight on this week after North Somerset Council betrayed the village and decided to approve a new building scheme.

Most of the council’s planning committee followed the u-turn by officers and agreed to the proposal for 50 houses on land off Wrington Lane, Congresbury.

Despite passionate, well-informed arguments from local councillor Tom Leimdorfer and CRAG members Susan Hibberd and Peter Walton, a majority of the committee followed the party line and approved the scheme.

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Village Stores robbers caught

Two thieves who robbed a shop in Congresbury on Tuesday, were caught and arrested within minutes of the crime.

Two men, both wearing hoods and with their faces covered, entered Congresbury Village Stores at approximately 5pm.

One man attempted to steal items from behind the counter but when challenged by staff left the store with a cash tin and handbag, before making their escape in a red Ford KA.

Driving off down the A370 towards Weston-Super-Mare, they didn’t get far before they were stopped by police near Puxton Park and arrested.The stolen property was recovered from the car and the two men, 42 and 46, were taken to Bridgwater Custody Centre.

PC Simon Broad, from the Somerset Investigations Team, said: “We understand that an incident of this nature can be extremely distressing for shop staff, who in this case acted very courageously in challenging the thieves.

“I want to reassure the local community, that crimes of this type are relatively uncommon in villages such as Congresbury.

“The police unit who responded, two Firearms Officers from our Tri-Force Operations Department, were quick to locate and deal with the suspects, which I hope provides further reassurance to local residents.

“If anyone has any information about this or any similar crimes, then I would like to hear from them. Please call me via the 101 number, quoting reference number: 5217028307.”

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Say Hello to your elderly neighbour and help them to be safe

Sometimes all it takes is a simple ‘hello’ from a neighbour to make an elderly or vulnerable person feel less isolated and more safe, say police.

Everyone has a part to play in reducing opportunities for thieves to strike. If you’re a family member, neighbour or carer of an elderly or vulnerable person, please help to keep them safe and independent by giving them some good advice and reminding them to think about their personal safety.

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Villagers angry at lack of consultation

Congresbury residents living on and near Wrington Lane are furious that North Somerset Council has not written to them about a proposal to make the road even narrower than it is at present.

They want to be given the chance to comment formally on a last-minute road amendment from Gladman Developments to their application to build 50 houses on this country lane. North Somerset Council wrote to only a few homes very close to the proposed development asking for their comments.

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Police Report – Congresbury thief caught red-handed

An eagle-eyed Special Constable caught a thief red-handed on Friday night 13/01, when he noticed a suspicious vehicle just before midnight.  The officer was on patrol around the Congresbury area when he noticed a van parked across the gateway of a field. Given the late hour, the officer went to investigate and his suspicions were confirmed the driver ran away as he approached. Fortunately he didn’t get far and was detained by the officer.
Items including a ride-on lawn mower, tree shredder/chipper, a generator, a hedge trimmer and tree pruners were found in and near the van and officers later confirmed that two separate garages had been broken into and the items recovered matched those that were taken.
The 34 year-old man from Hewish was arrested on suspicion of two non-dwelling burglaries and was taken to Patchway Custody Centre. He has been released on bail pending further investigation. The officers were able to reunite the property with the rightful owners.
 If you have information about suspected crime in your area you can either email the Police via the website, call us on 101 or text a new number 81819 we have launched which will allow the public to text information directly to the Rural Crime Team, who will be able to assess and action the intelligence quickly and efficiently. This text number is specifically for rural and agricultural crime information and is being trialled for three months.
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REMARKABLE RESULT AT PLANNING MEETING

On Wednesday afternoon, 11th January, North Somerset Planning and Regulatory committee met to consider the Gladman application for 50 houses on a field off Wrington Lane. The application has been roundly condemned by hundreds of residents, Congresbury Parish Council and Congresbury Residents Action Group. North Somerset planners had not decided in time and the matter is now the subject of an appeal for non-determination to be heard in March. Planning officers have already recommended refusal of the development in a strongly worded Statement of Case to the Planning Inspectorate. By Wednesday 4th January this sturdy document had been watered down, so that pedestrian safety was now being cited as the only planning reason for refusal.  To read the whole report please click here gladman-planning
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Afternoon Woman’s Institute

The Congresbury afternoon WI meet in the Methodist Hall on the 3rd Wednesday of each month at 2.15 and are a small, very friendly group, always happy to welcome visitors and new members.
Further information from our President, Val Harding, on 01934 833396 or the Secretary, Susan Hibberd, on 01934 833544

Click here for the 2017 programme

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Quad bikes stolen

A garage at Hill Park, Congresbury, was broken into overnight 31 December-1 January. Items stolen include quad bikes, motor bikes and a mountain bike.

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Boxing Day walks enjoyed

Boxing Day walkers on Cadbury Hill

Boxing Day walkers on Cadbury Hill

The Annual Boxing Day walk enjoyed good weather and the 50 walkers took two routes, one walked over Cadbury Hill and the photograph shows the panoramic view looking over the Village and beyond to Crooks Peak and Exmoor. The second group walked alondg the River Yeo and then followed a circular route back via the Strawberry Line to enjoy mince pies and sherry in the Old School Rooms.

Most of the walkers then retired to The Plough where the Mendip Morris Men did their annual Boxing Day display to a large crowd of onlookers. The highlight was perhaps the children who were invited to join in and take part in this ancient custom.

Michael Greaves

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The Strawberry Line on Boxing Day 2016

Silver Springs Fishing Lake on Boxing Day. Sketch by Michael Greaves

Silver Springs Fishing Lake on Boxing Day. Sketch by Michael Greaves

Michael Greaves reflects on the changes seen along the Strawberry Line following the annual Boxing Day walk

 In 2013 I wrote a monthly series of articles about ‘Life on the Strawberry Line’.

On Boxing Day morning the annual Village Walk gave me the opportunity of looking at the changes that have happened in the last four years. Fortunately, the Strawberry Line is still there and being used by increasing numbers of walkers, cyclists and horse riders. The  downside is that more traffic is using the old railway line with a solar farm and a new farm house having been built towards Churchill.

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Police Alert!

Between 19-22 December two boxes of wine were delivered to a property in Kent Road, Congresbury. Boxes were left in the front porch of the property by a delivery company and were later stolen.

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Safety warning from Avon & Somerset Police

As Christmas approaches there are plenty of new gadgets that parents and carers may be thinking about buying for their children. But before you wrap up your presents, have you checked out the safety features?

The following links will help

Tech gifts general http://www.saferinternet.org.uk/blog/tech-gifts-christmas

Various Internet providers http://www.saferinternet.org.uk/advice-centre/parents-and-carers/parental-controls-offered-your-home-internet-provider

Various Devices http://www.saferinternet.org.uk/blog/all-i-want-christmas-wii-u

Smart TV’s

http://www.saferinternet.org.uk/advice-centre/parents-and-carers/parents-guide-technology/smart-tvs

Forwarded on behalf of Kate Blackburn, Youth Project Co-ordinator

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