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CRAG NEWS

A developer in the village of Congresbury has warned residents that it will start to remove a historic meeting place within a few days.

Residents of Wrington Lane have been told that construction company Vistry will begin grinding down a granite rock outcrop, known as the “Mansbury Mound” because it occupies the centre of a site where it wants to build 50 houses.

Used as a play area by generations of children who called it the pirate ship, the mound may have been used in mediaeval times by the community as a meeting place and for open air court cases.

Despite strong opposition, permission was granted for 50 houses on the site by the former North Somerset Council back in 2016. But there was a caveat attached to the decision. It stated that no building could start until a safe footway had been provided for pedestrians along Wrington Lane.

And that has stopped the development in its tracks for more than five years. The reason? Land to construct a footway, belongs to the residents, and without that, there is not sufficient room for a footway and a suitable carriageway width.

CRAG chair Mary Short is in no doubt where the blame belongs: “The former North Somerset Council should never have allowed a development of this size in a narrow lane. Residents have quite rightly opposed the development and have suffered years of planning blight as a result.”

Local residents of the Lane have taken legal advice and believe that Vistry do not have authority to start work on the site while the footpath question is unresolved.

In the meantime, said Mary, all Congresbury residents should call on North Somerset Council to stop the destruction of an historic feature.

* Historical note: Known as a local “hundred” the term was the division of a shire for military and judicial purposes under common law. Until the introduction of districts by the Local Government Act 1894, hundreds were the only widely used assessment unit between parish and county. A Hundred of Congresbury existed by 1084 and consisted of the manors of Congresbury, Wick St Lawrence and Iwood.

Open day at bowls club

Congresbury Bowling Club is one of more than 800 across England to have signed up to Bowls England’s Big Weekend which is designed to encourage newcomers to the sport.

The club in Mill Leg will be open from 10.30-12.30 this Sunday (May 29th) and promises a warm welcome to those who want to have a go. Equipment is provided and you are asked to wear flat soled shoes (trainers are ideal) to protect the green. Light refreshments will be available and the members’ bar will be open from midday.

You can find out more from the Bowls England website by clicking on this link

Attack on village allotments

Villagers have been greatly saddened by an arson attack on the village allotments during Saturday night and are now disturbed that unwelcome visits have continued this week. Two allotment plot holders arrived early on Sunday morning and saw the old shed (often used to shelter from the rain or have a rest) had been set on fire. They managed to put out the fire with buckets of water but it took ages to douse the smouldering timbers. The contents, including a long bench, chair and even the First Aid tin box had been set alight at some time during the night. The floor at the back and part of the structure had burnt through but fortunately the back wall (which is right next to the electricity station) held. There could have been a very serious situation if the fire had spread. It is also suspected that storage boxes on allotments were also tipped and emptied out by the same thoughtless vandals. Western Power and the Police had to be informed, of course and given all the details. It’s so sad to see such a valued village asset damaged in this way – and worrying that 3 teenagers were seen in the daytime (Monday lunchtime) and late night Tuesday having a picnic and leaving all the meal deal packaging behind. They also broke bamboo canes just for the fun of it and even threw broken grass onto a well kept plot next to the shed. If only the young people realized how much the allotments mean to the plotholders and how hard they work to keep them tidy and get crops to grow well. A space which seemed safe and peaceful now seems threatening. We ask everyone to be vigilant in watching out for any antisocial behaviour which destroys village property. 

Gifts for Retired Postmaster and Postmistress

In April a collection was started for our excellent Postmaster and Postmistress who have retired after 35 years.

On Wednesday 11th May, Jagtar and Sukhvinder with their daughter Harpreet attended a presentation, kept very small at their request, in the Community Cafe.  The very generous amount of £510 was collected from the village community, enabling the presentation of an engraved crystal vase, a bouquet and a retirement cake, with the balance of the collection in vouchers.  
Jagtar made a brief speech thanking us all. The Seehras are remaining in the village, and will continue to be a supportive  part of our community in their new roles.The cafe was provided free for the occasion by Debbie Fortune Estate Agents.

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Police – Be alert for courier scams

Police are advising that in 2021 alone, 3,625 people across the country were victims of courier fraud with loses totalling more than £15.2 million.

An analysis of data from the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) has highlighted four modus operandi (MOs) that are now more commonly being used by fraudsters:

– Bank card expiry: Fraudsters claim to be from the victim’s bank and say their card is no longer valid. The scammers ask for the pin number and then send a “courier” to collect the card before using it for fraudulent purposes

– Purchasing high end items: The suspects pretend to be police officers and ask the victim to help with an undercover operation by purchasing expensive items like watches, jewellery and gold. Once the item is bought, the victim will hand over the item to the criminals

– Counterfeit cash/ bank investigation: A person claiming to be the police or bank official informs the victim that they need to help with a banking corruption investigation. The victim is told to withdraw a large amount of money and the cash is picked up later by a “courier” to “check for fingerprints or to identify counterfeit bank notes.”

– Computer takeover: The fraudsters telephones the victim, purporting to be from their internet service provider, saying that they have had an issue with their internet connectivity and the victim is due compensation. The victim is persuaded to download a remote access application, giving the suspects access to their home computers. The fraudster persuades the victims into thinking they have been paid too much compensation and the victim then withdraws cash to pay the money back, which is later collected by a “courier”.

If you think you’ve been a victim of fraud, contact your bank immediately and report it to Action Fraud online at police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.

Clevedon Literary Festival – 9th to 12th June

The More Than Words Clevedon Literary Festival returns for 2022!

Hosted over four days, this year’s Festival will bring music, art, spoken word, film and photography to the forefront of Clevedon’s cultural community.

Tickets Now On Sale! 

MORE THAN WORDS is Clevedon’s Literary Festival of poetry, prose, performance, art, music and fun. We will engage the local and wider literary communities in opportunities to share and celebrate the written and spoken word and related art forms for mutual benefit. This will be achieved through high quality readings, open mics, public art, multidisciplinary events showcasing local talent, published authors, nationally recognised poets and performing artists, and fostering creative development for adults, young people and children. For more details https://www.clevedonliteraryfestival.uk/programme-2022/

Planning Application 3 Hill Park Congresbury BS49 5BT

DateFri 06 May 2022
Application TypeFull Planning Permission
DevelopmentPrior approval request for the erection of a single storey rear extension with a flat roof that would 1) extend beyond the rear wall of the original house by 4.0 metres; 2) have a maximum height of 4.0 metres and 3) have eaves that are 3.5 metres high

Link to full details

Congresbury Break In

A male broke into a home on Chestnut Close in Congresbury at approximately 1am on Thursday May the 5th. It is thought the he had reached through an open small window and has opened a larger one to gain entry, and has then taken two gold chains from the occupant.

If you have any information about this incident, please call the Police on 101 and quote Reference number: 5222105736. Alternatively you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111

Congresbury Singers Show

“Another Op’nin, Another Show” by Congresbury Singers Sat July 2nd, 7.30 at War Memorial Hall, Congresbury inc refreshments £10 – tickets from PO & Re-:Store, Congresbury

Burglary in Wrington Lane

A home has been burgled between 7:30am and 4:20pm on Thursday (April 28th) in Wrington Lane, Congresbury. The offender gained entry via a rear door, without the apparent use of force. Once inside a messy search had been conducted with all cupboards being searched, the only obvious item being stolen was a jam jar containing foreign currency. The offender made off via the same method of entry.

Any information please contact the Police on 101 quoting reference number: 5222100605 stating NHW release. Or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Coffee morning and plant sale

Annual Coffee Morning and plant sale in aid of Children’s Hospice South West is this Saturday (April 30th) at Congresbury Methodist Church Hall from 10am to 12 noon. Plants for sale – suitable for gardens or tubs. Cakes, jams and tombola. Entry £1 to include coffee or tea and biscuits. 

Burglary in High Street

A home in Congresbury’s High Street was burgled late on Wednesday night.

It happened between 11:20pm and 11:30pm. The vulnerable resident was awoken by noises downstairs and went to investigate. The offender had gained access via the garage door and onwards through an integral doorway, where they then stole a wallet from a coat hanging in the hallway. The wallet contained cash and bank cards. It is understood they made off the same way they came in.

If you have any information please contact the Police on 101 quoting reference number: 5222093715 stating NHW release or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Community cafe supports new charity

The community café’s ‘Supporting the community initative’ with Debbie Fortune estate agents has raised £400 for the Little Rascals baby and toddler group. www.facebook.com/littlerascalscongresbury

FND Hope UK

For the next two weeks the cafe in Broad Street is supporting a small charity, FND Hope UK. Dr Helen Bolter who lives in the village, is a trustee of the charity, and asked for help to raise money and raise awareness. The charity is supporting a couple of villagers.

Functional Neurological Disorder (FND) is a problem with the functioning of the nervous system which does not send and receive signals to or from the body correctly. It can affect men, women, and children. It produces disability and impairment of quality of life that is similar to that seen in people with Parkinson’s or epilepsy. 

The following is from a patient detailing how FND is affecting them:

“In late 2020, I had a mild head injury.  I was unable to walk and had other symptoms so the doctors thought I had had a stroke, but my brain scan was normal. My left leg was weak and shaking so bad that I couldn’t stand or walk.  I was diagnosed with FND.  I sometimes need a wheelchair, have pain and feel very tired on most days but I have found not being able to continue the job I enjoyed as the worst part of having FND.  I have physio and am waiting for a place on a neurology rehab unit. I have not given up hope of getting better but I wish more people knew about FND so more people understood me.”

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Hunt the cheeky chicks!

During the Easter holiday Congresbury Library has 12 cheeky chicks in hiding. Find the chicks and win a prize! You can hunt for the chicks every time you go to the library as they are always on the move!

There are also a number of colouring sheets available for children to take home.

Easter-chicks

Protesters say No to Park Road plans

CRAG was out in force at The Precinct on Saturday, demonstrating against the proposed new housing estate behind Park and Mulberry roads. Leaflets were distributed to shoppers explaining why the 90 house estate on Park Farm field is socially and environmentally a bad idea. Resident Amie Price-Bates summed up the feelings of many: “The importance of green space, both socially and mentally has become clear since the pandemic.”
CRAG believes the scheme is unsustainable because of the distance from surgeries, schools and public transport links which will encourage greater car use. Amie stressed the need to get objections registered by April 7. Go to North Somerset Council’s website, search for planning applications and enter the reference 22/P/0459/OUT.

Bowling club set to welcome new players

The outdoor lawn bowls season starts at Easter and Congresbury Bowling Club is extending a welcome to potential new players.

The club in Mill Leg was founded in 1945 and is one of the leading clubs in North Somerset with a strong focus on inclusivity and especially junior bowls.

Open evenings start on Monday April 18th from 6pm. See below for full details.

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Petition to save X2 bus service

Local mum Leonie Hart has launched a petition to try to stop First Bus from axing the X2 service.

She says: “It’s hard to begin to express the impact that the loss of the X2 will have on my life. I have a chronic health condition, ME which has a considerable effect on my mobility, and thus the bus to Yatton is a lifeline to get to the dentist, doctor, vet, shops and the station plus social groups. I have primary aged children and often use the bus with them as my mobility means it’s impossible to get any further than the immediate Congresbury village amenities otherwise. 

“There needs to be more focus on sustainable transport options for environmental reasons plus the rising cost of fuel especially with such limited transport options already serving rural areas. The loss of this service would not only mean that local people are more dependent on their cars to access local amenities, but that those for whom driving isn’t an option will be increasingly isolated and unable to live independently.”

Congresbury Parish Council will discuss the matter at its next meeting.

If you want to join Leonie and sign the petition click on this link  https://chng.it/jKqZhGgjsc