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Community Cafe new opening times.

Situated at the rear of Debbie Fortune estate agent in Bridge House, Broad Street, and generously donated by Debbie, the cafe is attractively furnished and is totally manned by volunteers. Offering a variety of speciality teas, coffees, and other drinks, together with a choice of delicious homemade cakes, baked by villagers.

The cafe is now open on Wednesdays and Fridays 9 – 1pm and alternate Saturdays 9.30-1pm. Approached through the high double wooden gates on Broad Street, there is a charming enclosed courtyard, with 4 tables in the gazebo and 4 not under cover.  Dogs are not allowed in the café but may be left in the courtyard where water and tying up facilities are available.

Saturday dates are – 31st October, 14th November, 28th November, 12th December, 9th January 2021, 23rd January, 6th February, 20th February.

Developer wants feedback on 90-home Park Road plan

M7 Planning Limited and Stonewater Housing Association have teamed up to progress a planning application for land at Pineapple Farm for up to 90 dwellings (including 30% housing), public open space and the retention of an ecological buffer along the boundary of the site.

The land is situated behind Park Road and would be accessed from Mulberry Road. The developer has asked Congresbury Parish Council to direct residents to their website which is www.your-feedback.uk/pineapple-farm where residents can view the plans and provide feedback.

The Parish Council has not responded to the developer and was made aware of the plans during the public participation section of the Full Council meeting on 12th October 2020.

The Parish Council will consider the application and respond in the usual manner to North Somerset council when the application has been submitted. However, this does provide an opportunity to provide initial feedback to the developer in this consultation stage.

Successful Coffee Morning

The community cafe and Debbie Fortune estate agent’s coffee morning on Friday 25th raised £610 for Macmillan cancer support.

Thanks go to the volunteers who manned the cafe, covered the cafe’s costs, and donated the homemade cakes as well as those who donated throughout the day.

If you missed it there is the option to donate online through the website – https://www.macmillan.org.uk/donate.

Be alert to catalytic converter thefts, police tell drivers

Police are asking motorists to be vigilant following a recent increase in thefts of catalytic converters from vehicles.

Catalytic converters are attractive to thieves due to the current high prices of the metals inside them, and because they are relatively quick and easy to steal. Hybrid cars such as the Toyota Prius, which have more valuable catalytic converters, are particularly likely to be targeted.

During the past six months, Avon and Somerset police have seen a spike in these types of thefts at Park and Rides in North Somerset, Bath, Bristol and Taunton. Neighbourhood police are carrying out targeted patrols of the affected areas.

Police have also been visiting local scrap merchants to remind them of their responsibilities. Under the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013, dealers must request photographic identification and proof of address from people selling scrap to them. The law also bars cash payments for scrap.

If you see someone acting suspiciously around a vehicle, report it to police on 101. Ideally, provide a vehicle registration/make/model and colour, and a description of the suspects.

If you witness a crime in progress, call 999.

You can help to deter thieves by:

• Parking your vehicle in a secure garage overnight or somewhere that makes it difficult for thieves to access its underside
• Parking where neighbours and passers-by could see anyone tampering with the vehicle
• Installing motion activated security lighting or CCTV
• Marking your catalytic converter with a commercially-available etching kit or fitting a ‘cat’ clamp or alarm. This can also help police trace the item and prove a theft, helping us bring offenders to justice.

You can find more crime prevention advice on the Avon and Somerset website.

Safety reminder

If you are home alone and feel vulnerable, whenever you answer the door remember to LOCK, STOP, CHAIN, CHECK.

LOCK: secure all your other outer doors as the person at the door may intend to distract you while an accomplice gets in through a back door
STOP: think about whether you’re expecting anyone
CHAIN: put the door chain on or look through the window or spyhole to see who’s there
CHECK: ask for an identity card and examine it carefully – you can always tell the caller to come back another time when someone will be with you.

New Scam

Police have been made aware very recently of a new scam.

An email is titled HM Courts & Tribunals Services and will state in the subject “Your Fixed Penalty Notice Ref:” followed by a series of numbers.

In the actual email itself it will explain the total cost is £25 with a delivery date of 7am to 7pm.

The location for the supposed offence simply states “United Kingdom”

the “Click here to Pay” link has been deactivated.

Please, if you receive this in your inbox do not fall for it and advise others that may be unaware.

COMMUNITY CONNECT

Community Connect is a free Council funded service in North Somerset for people over 50 offering information, advice and support to help people live independently at home, improving wellbeing and addressing social isolation and loneliness. The service is run in partnership by CURO and The West Of England Rural Network (WERN), the latter being a Village Agent service for the villages of North Somerset including Congresbury.

Village Agents can help with a wide range of issues including accessing care support, claiming benefits, providing safety equipment in the home, support for carers, transport issues, befriending and issues of social isolation. This free and confidential service can be accessed by contacting your local Village Agent, Bill Wallace, on 01275 888803 during normal office hours.

Police commissioner wants to hear your views

Do you have thoughts on your local police service?

Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Sue Mountstevens wants to hear your views about police and crime services in your community.

Please see the attached document and follow the link to take the survey, which will help the police understand which issues matter most to you.

Take the survey by clicking on this link

Library reopens

Great News, Congresbury Community Library is ready for re- opening on Monday 21st September. The building has been made COVID safe and our volunteers are ready to help you!

We have had to reduce the number of opening hours to Monday afternoons from 2 – 4 pm and Friday mornings from 10 – 12 . 

We look forward to welcoming you back.

The library is in Station Road next to the Old School Rooms.

Warning over tax office telephone scam

Police warn that fraudsters continue to contact residents claiming to be from HMRC (the Tax Office) telling them that they owe money and that an arrest warrant will be issued if they don’t hand over payment.

A Keynsham resident received a voicemail asking them to call back on a certain number, and when the resident called he was told that he owed money to HMRC and that he would be sent to court if he didn’t pay. The victim was told to purchase Amazon gift cards as the tax office was closed due to the Covid-19 virus and they couldn’t accept debit card payment. Sadly these were purchased and the codes and reference numbers were handed over during another call at significant cost. There has been a similar incident in Cheddar but this time the scam was spotted by a Neighbourhood Watch member.

These offenders are very convincing, using the fear of arrest to panic their victims into handing over payment for the non-existing debts. They may give passwords and fake identity names and “badge” numbers.

HMRC will never telephone to threaten court proceedings as a first contact, and they certainly don’t take gift cards as a means of payment. If you receive one of these calls, hang up immediately. If you are concerned contact your local tax office using a phone number from previous printed communication or from the phonebook. Never use a phone number provided by the scammer.

Yatton man charged with assault

A 48-year-old Yatton man has been charged with racially aggravated assault following an incident on Monday morning.

Richard Penny, of Mendip Road, has also been charged with possessing a knife, threatening a person with a knife and using threatening/ abusive words likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

The charges relate to an incident in a café at approximately 8.50am in which a woman in her 40s was assaulted and another woman, an off-duty detention officer, was threatened. Attending police officers were then threatened with a knife.

Penny has also been charged with another count of using threatening/ abusive words likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress. This charge relates to an incident on High Street, Yatton at about 12pm on Friday, 4 September in which two women were verbally abused.

Penny appeared via video link at North Somerset Magistrates’ Court yesterday where he was remanded in custody pending a hearing at Bristol Crown Court at a date yet to be set.

Rogue Traders / Gardeners (Tree Specialists)

Take care as we have been made aware that there has been a sharp increase in calls relating to bogus “Tree Specialists” who have been preying on the older population within our communities, offering to carry out gardening work. Several residents are reported to have paid vast sums of money for poor quality work to the so called “Specialists” who have also taken the money and never returned to complete the work. 

There are a few things that you should be wary of before allowing anyone into your home or garden.

1. Did they put a leaflet through your door claiming to offer discounts for OAPs? 

2. Do they offer 20 / 30 / 40 % off for calling within a particular time scale of receiving your leaflet?

3. Do they offer Tree work and then claim to offer a host of other services seemingly unrelated?

4. Does it look like a professionally printed leaflet?

5. If you speak to an operator, do not be bullied into committing to their services or an appointment.

6. If they are in your home, phone a friend and ask them to come round.

7. You can ask them to leave at any point during their sales pitch.

These are just a few points to look out for, but the best rule to go by is that if you require any work you should find the person yourself or go by the recommendation of others that you trust.

There are plenty of websites that can steer you in the right direction to find the right company. 

And of course there are some genuine, honest companies so make an informed decision, but remember:

“If you’re not sure, don’t open the door”

Warning on Amazon scam

Police are warning of a potential scam involving automated telephone calls claiming to be from Amazon stating that you have opened an Amazon Prime Account.

You are then told if you wish to cancel you should press 1 on your keypad.

The call is then transferred to a fraudster posing as an Amazon operative who will then advise you the purchase went through as a result of a “Security Flaw” on your computer.

They will then ask for remote access to your computer to “rectify this problem”. This is to steal your personal information.

Remember never allow anyone to remotely access your personal computer if they have contacted you.

The helpful guidance attached has been sourced from the Genuine Amazon Website – click here to read it.

Message from North Somerset Council – Online Consultations – respond by 2nd September

The new North Somerset Local Plan 2038

We’re in the early stages of preparing a new local plan for North Somerset. The North Somerset Local Plan will guide housing, jobs and business investment, transport, community facilities and supporting infrastructure in the area until 2038.

It will also shape investment and funding for the infrastructure which will support new homes, workplaces and community facilities for the next 15 years and beyond.

The way we live our lives has changed over the last 15 years and will continue to change in many ways. The Covid-19 pandemic has made us all think about how we plan for the future.

This first stage of Local Plan consultation focuses on the challenges we believe we face in North Somerset and the issues the plan needs to address:

  • the climate emergency and the need to work towards a low carbon future
  • job creation and the allocation of space for business
  • how to provide the right type and number of houses and create new communities
  • creating high quality, sustainable places
  • protecting important green and blue spaces as well as the character of existing villages and towns
  • the future role of the Green Belt.

An online consultation will run for the six-week period Wednesday 22 July to Wednesday 2 September 2020 at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/newlocalplan

The online consultation will be supported by regular updates across the council’s social media platforms. There will be many other opportunities to get involved and have your say but the time to really influence the development of the new Local Plan for North Somerset is now.

The responses received to this summer’s consultation will guide the next stage of creating the plan, which will focus on the choices around the location of future development.

Have your say and help shape North Somerset’s future.

Thank-you
Planning Policy Team

CRAG – NSC CONSULTATION INFORMATION

Congresbury Residents Action Group (CRAG) has emailed supporters to highlight North Somerset Council’s latest consultation document linked to the development of a new local plan. The closing date for comments is 2nd September.

Titled “Challenges for the Future”, it invites residents to respond to 13 questions and states that NSC need to ensure that over 20,000 new homes are built by 2038 – roughly equivalent to two towns the size of Clevedon.

CRAG’s officers – chair Mary Short and secretary Viv Tomkinson – state in their email: “We feel it would not be appropriate for CRAG to respond to this consultation process as it is focused on seeking individual responses. Plus, we feel that it is important for individual responses to be made to demonstrate where there is strength of opinion about certain issues.”

Mary and Viv give the example of a question about whether the Green Belt boundary should be adjusted, and cite the case of a proposal for three new villages to be built on land identified as the Vale, West of Long Ashton. 

Currently designated as Green Belt, this land is crossed by major roads, including South Bristol link road, and hosts a landfill site and a golf course. It is near Bristol and all the transport links leading into and out of it, as well as the new Metro bus service, at least one Park and Ride and several cycle routes. Development here would not swamp the existing settlements, state CRAG officers.

CRAG has previously commented that adjustment of the Green Belt boundary would release land in more sustainable locations for housing development and deliver much needed housing and employment opportunities. “We believe that this is still a valid argument,” say Mary and Viv.

“Some people may also wish to comment on the question of the Bristol Airport expansion. This is not mentioned in the document although there is a section on the Climate Emergency challenge.”

They conclude: “It should be relatively straightforward to submit your comments on line via the NSC web site and we do hope that you will do so.”

Attempted Residential Burglary

A home in Wrington Mead, Congresbury has been the subject of an attempted burglary on the 7th August between 6:30pm and 7pm. CCTV shows the two male offenders approach from the rear garden via a wooden panel fence which was levered open by a crowbar. Once inside the garden they then approached the rear door but were unsuccessful in gaining entry and made off promptly. One of the males was described as wearing a face mask and a dark baseball cap.

To contact the Police about this incident, please call 101quoting Reference number: 5220177670 Neighbourhood Watch / Crimestoppers on 0800 555111, thank you.