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Man, 33, charged with attempted murder

James Richardson, 33, has been charged with two counts of attempted murder after a man and a woman, both in their 60s, were found seriously injured near the Henley Lane area of Yatton at about 3pm on Saturday 10 April. Both remain in hospital.

Richardson, of no fixed address, will also face one count each of assaulting an emergency worker and breaching a restraining order.

He has been remanded ahead of appearing at North Somerset Courthouse.

Local officers have been conducting additional reassurance patrols in the Yatton area since the weekend.

Man arrested after Yatton attack

A man is in police custody after being arrested on suspicion of attempted murder following an incident in Yatton.

Police and paramedics were called to the Henley Lane area of the village at about 3pm on Saturday after a man and a woman, both in their 60s, were found with serious injuries at an address. They both remain in hospital.

A 33-year-old man was arrested in the Kewstoke area overnight.

Chief Inspector Jess Aston said: “Our investigation is at an early stage, but at this time we believe this to be an isolated incident.

“Although there is not believed to be a heightened risk to public safety, people can expect to see an increased high-visibility presence in the area over the coming days with additional reassurance patrols planned.

“We’d urge anyone concerned about what has happened this weekend to speak with one of those officers on patrol and they will happy to talk to you. Alternatively, the local team can be contacted through our website as normal.”

Enquiries into what happened are continuing and any witnesses who could assist the police investigation are asked to contact them through the Avon & Somerset website or call 101 and give reference number 5221076615.

Update on plans for new sports and recreation facilities on Congresbury’s King George V Fields

Plans to upgrade the facilities at Congresbury Recreation Club, first revealed in November, are gathering momentum.

The new plan, called Project Construct, envisages the demolition and rebuilding of the existing Rec Club on the same footprint and a new separate changing room pavilion for the cricket and tennis clubs. The existing tennis clubhouse will be demolished (see site plan below).

“We are updating the village on the progress we have made. Support from the villagers of Congresbury is important,” said Congresbury Cricket Club president Les Owen who is leading Project Construct. 

‘’We are shortly to begin a ‘pre-application’ consultation on the plans with North Somerset planners following which we will communicate with villagers again with the proposed buildings details. Our aim is to make a formal submission for planning approvals within the next few months. Alongside this we will start the fund-raising phase,” said Les.

Michael Greaves, chairman of the King George V Playing Fields Trust, said: “Replacing a dilapidated Rec Club and building a new changing room pavilion will not just benefit the cricket and tennis clubs but the whole village.

 “The cricket ground and recreational playing fields have been a central part of village life since the 1930s. We want to make sure this continues to be so for generations to come.”

There will be a new changing rooms building for cricket and tennis with a tennis viewing area, and four multi-use changing rooms with shower and toilet facilities that will meet the needs of all sports and recreation users of the Fields

The plans also include a new Recreation Club building with separate sports and lounge bars. The social space will be considerably bigger than in the existing building through the release of the existing changing rooms and showers space.

It retains much of the existing kitchen appliances and cupboards – renewed at the end of 2020 – and will have a larger bar serving area. 

The two separate social areas can be turned into a single function room for larger recreational, social or private functions greatly increasing the potential use of the new building

Project Construct is working on an estimated cost in the region of £600,000 – a figure that will be firmed up once the detailed plans have been finalised. 

The project has already secured significant funding pledges while additional sources of funding and grants are being explored and discussions have started with potential grant funders such as the England Cricket Board (ECB) “I think it’s fair to say that we are starting on a firm financial footing,” said Les. The developer is the King George V Trustees which is a registered charity and donations will be eligible for Gift Aid and higher rate tax relief.

PLEASE TAKE A FEW MOMENTS TO COMPLETE THE SHORT SURVEY ABOUT THE NEW DEVELOPMENTS BY CLICKING ON THIS LINK

If you want to get more involved including offering financial assistance please email newrecclub@gmail.com with your contact details. Many thanks.

BACKGROUND

The fields were gifted to the village in 1935 by Donald Harvey who bought them from the Walter brothers. The brothers sold the land on the condition that it would substantially benefit the playing of cricket and that the whole area would be used as a playing fields and recreation ground in perpetuity for the inhabitants of Congresbury. In turn, Donald Harvey gifted the land to the National Playing Fields Association (now called Fields in Trust) through the King George V Playing Fields Trust which is managed by the King George V Playing Fields Trustees.  Each of the parish council, the cricket, football and tennis clubs, the Royal British Legion and St Andrews school may nominate a trustee and the Trustees have power to appoint additional trustees to assist them. The Trustees can delegate the day to day running and administration of the Fields to a committee, which is now the Congresbury Recreation Club.

The current Rec Club was built by the cricket club in 1963 with an anticipated 25-year lifespan. It is remarkable that it has survived more than twice as long as that, but it is hardly surprising that it is becoming increasingly difficult and costly to repair and maintain. It is no longer fit for purpose.

Congresbury Recreation Club

In 1969, with the consent of the Trustees, the three main sporting bodies – cricket, football and tennis – formed Congresbury Sports Club and, shortly after, it became the Congresbury Recreation Club, benefitting from a bar licence secured by the cricket club as far back as 1953. Initially the bar was open only at weekends in the summer.  In 1970 the bar was open every evening in the summer and manned by volunteers until 1974 when a decision was made to employ a bar steward on a part-time basis.

Today the Rec Club has 250 members, both sporting and social, up from 150 in 2017-18 and 160 in 2018-19. Chairman Andy Elvin said that this increase was almost certainly as a result of recent changes put in place to make the club more inclusive.  Membership represents almost one in 10 of the adult population of Congresbury (based on the 2011 national census).

“Obviously Covid curtailed most of the activities last year but I am sure when we are back to normality we will see further growth in sports and social membership and additional usage by the community as a whole,” said Andy. “We are very excited by the plans for a new building”

The club has set itself an ambition of doubling membership over the next few years trying to reach between 15-20 per cent of the adult population in the village with increased use of the fields for sport and recreation by juniors

Congresbury Cricket Club

While cricket has been played in the village for more than 175 years, the club didn’t move to its present ground until the mid-1930s when the land was gifted. There is a clause in the Trust that, so long as there is a cricket club in Congresbury, the cricket area of the fields must always be kept as a cricket ground

The club has some 100 members including youngsters and, more recently, girl and women players. It has benefited from the national launch of All Stars cricket aimed at five to eight year olds, and Dynamos for the under-11s. 

Women’s cricket is a priority for the ECB.  A Congresbury CC women’s team started playing competitively in 2019. The focus on youth and diversity has helped boost membership at a time when many cricket clubs are suffering a decline in fortunes.

The club regularly hosts junior county matches but has had to turn down requests to host junior county girls’ matches because of the current inadequate changing facilities – a situation which gives an added imperative to Project Construct’s plans.

“New changing rooms are essential for us to meet the demands of the modern game, increase participation and attract the calibre of players we need,” said chairman Geoff Wilcock. ‘’Four flexible use changing rooms will enable us to grow our girls’ and women’s section and to increase the amount of girls’ and women’s cricket played through the ability to host away teams’’

The club has two senior sides: the 1st XI plays in the West of England Premier League and the 2nd XI in the Bristol & District league. It also has youth teams at most age levels and strong links with Somerset County Cricket Club with several Congresbury youngsters playing for the county.

During the summer months many children in the village participate in the various cricket activities with their parents spectating and using the Rec Club facilities. Sunny Friday evenings at the KGV fields have become a real focal point for recreation and social activity in Congresbury

Congresbury Tennis Club

Tennis club membership has grown from under 70 in 2018/19 to 114 in 2020 including 29 juniors. The Club has ambitious plans to build a fourth court within the next three years to meet the increasing demand.

The Club is this season increasing from two men’s league teams to four and from one to two ladies’ teams, as well as increasing the number of mixed teams and implementing an internal singles box league.  It has also taken on two additional coaches over the last year.

“We want to increase junior coaching, offer cardio tennis and walking tennis for injured, less mobile and older players, and provide disabled access to the courts with the potential for wheelchair tennis,” said chairman JL Hagger who notes that a fourth court would allow a ‘pay-and-play’ scheme for those who don’t want to join the club but still play occasional tennis. 

The club believes that the new more flexible changing rooms and a modern Rec Club with enlarged social facilities would allow it to recruit more players while raising additional funds through more social events.

Congresbury Football Club

The club has run three teams over the past five seasons and averages around 60 members each season. The 1st team plays in the Somerset County League and the reserves and 3rd team in the Weston & District League. Some 40 per cent of players live in the village with another 15-20 per cent having either grown up in Congresbury or having strong connections in the village, explained chairman Stu Smith.

A lack of volunteers means the club does not at present run junior teams. “If we were approached by interested parties, we would be keen to support re-establishing junior football,” says chairman Stu Smith. “The same would also stand with regard to Women’s or Veterans’ teams.”

The Football club is responsible for the upkeep of the Broadstones Park playing fields and associated buildings. The Rec Club is used as the clubhouse since alcohol cannot be sold at Broadstones. Visiting teams are invited back to the Rec for refreshment after matches. 

“Wider community participation in the Rec Club can only bring the football club to more people’s attention and would hopefully lead to more support in terms of volunteers, spectators or players and may even help in the formation of new teams,” said Stu.

Manhunt after couple assaulted

Police want the public’s help to locate a man following an incident in Yatton on Saturday afternoon.

A man and a woman were assaulted at a residential address in the Henley Lane area shortly before 3pm. Both had sustained serious injuries and were taken to hospital by paramedics.

A man was seen leaving the area shortly after the incident. He’s described as white, approximately 40 years old, about 5ft 6ins and had sandy-coloured wavy shoulder length hair. He was said to be wearing a tan-coloured top and bottoms, which have been likened to a workman’s clothing.

Officers have been searching the surrounding area this afternoon, supported by the NPAS police helicopter, and remain in the area.

Anyone who sees a man matching the above description in the North Somerset area is asked not to approach him, but instead call 999 and give the call-handler log number 556 of Sat 10 Apr. Anyone with further information about the incident itself, should call 101.

20’s Plenty for North Somerset Zoom meeting for Supporters, Town and Parish Councillors Tuesday 6th April 7.30 pm

Dear All,

You are invited to a Zoom meeting for 20’s Plenty for Us North  Somerset supporters on Tuesday April 6th at 7.30 pm, hosted by the 20’s Plenty Campaign Manager Anna Semlyen.  Please pass this email on to Councillors, and anyone else you think would be interested in attending the Zoom.

Anyone with an interest in road safety and lowering speeding on residential streets, and on streets used by walkers and cyclists, residents,  and Parish and Town Councillors, are invited to attend the Zoom.

After a well attended supporters first Zoom meeting earlier this month, a Zoom meeting for District Councillors will take place on 31st March, when the topic of bringing in default 20 mph limits across North Somerset will be discussed.

 Area wide 20 mph limits for streets where people live, shop, walk and cycle have been put in by many local authorities, and over 21 million people in the UK benefit from their local authority’s decision to adopt a 20mph default speed limit for most residential streets.

North Somerset Council policy on local speed limits is for Town and Parish Councils to apply individually for a traffic scheme, which are carried out by Highways at the rate of 1 or 2 a year, paid for by the Town or Parish Council. There is currently a waiting list. 20 mph limits are quicker and easier to implement, at around £3 per head of population, and are 7 times more cost-effective than isolated zones with physical calming.

20’s Plenty North Somerset is a group set up by local campaigners.  There are several ’20’s Plenty ‘ campaign groups in North Somerset, and there is now a 20’s Plenty North Somerset Facebook page   https://www.facebook.com/groups/1404083953292502.
More information can be found at https://www.20splenty.org/


Anna Semlyen is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: 20’s Plenty for N Somerset Town and Parishes & Supporters Meeting Q&A & tactics for #ActOn20mph

Time: Apr 6, 2021 07:30 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83141873374?pwd=VHoreGdrZ3hFdUJtVVAyTStqdlpGUT09

Meeting ID: 831 4187 3374

Passcode: 20mph

Best wishes

Anna Semlyen, 20’s Plenty for Us Campaign Manager, T: 07572 120439 Anna.s@20splenty.org

www.20splenty.org, Follow us on Twitter @20splentyforus or @AnnaSemlyen1

20’s Plenty for Us

…making your place a better place to be

Taxi firms urged to be alert to child trafficking

Police have visited taxi offices and taxi ranks in North Somerset to raise awareness and educate staff on the signs of child exploitation.

Police officers, who work on Operation Topaz – Avon & Somerset’s child criminal and sexual exploitation disruption team – attempted to book taxis to Birmingham or London in cash while accompanied by volunteer cadets.

Out of 25 taxi offices visited, one noticed something wasn’t right with the situation but didn’t know how to safeguard the child. Another driver was able to recognise a child was being trafficked and put appropriate safeguarding measures in place.

The remainder failed to spot the signs of child exploitation and allowed the officers to book the taxis. The plain clothed officers immediately explained the purpose of the exercise after trying to book the taxi.

Taxi services had been offered training under Operation Makesafe – an awareness exercise developed by West Yorkshire Police– but few took part.

All services visited have now been offered training to provide their staff with the tools to be able to recognise child exploitation.

Child exploitation happens when a child under 18 is given things like money, phones, clothing, accommodation, and/or affection in exchange for performing a sexual act or dealing drugs. They are tricked by a person who has power over them because of their age or status in to believing there is a relationship.

Prevention Officer and Coordinator Androulla Nicolaou from Operation Topaz says: “Thousands of children and young people, some as young as 12, are exploited sexually and criminally every day in our communities. This operation, which is the first we have run with taxi services, is just one of the initiatives we’re using.

 “Taxis are sometimes used by perpetrators to transport young people for the purpose of abuse and exploitation. As a driver or someone who works on a booking desk, you may overhear concerning conversations a young person is having on the phone.

“Drivers are in a unique position to be able to spot child exploitation from occurring, and managers of these services have a responsibility to ensure suitable measures are in place to keep children safe.

“Children travelling alone or with an adult that doesn’t appear to be family will be more obvious and easier to spot,” she said.

Garden shed theft

A garden shed in Bristol Road, Congresbury, was broken into between March 21 and 23.

The offender/s ripped off the lower section of the shed door and stole three chainsaws and a hedge cutter before making off.

Police urge people to take care of your gardening equipment and keep it secure in a locked shed.

Consider running a chain between more expensive items and securing the shed with a padlock. Mark your property so it can be identified and consider additional options such as security lights (even solar lights) and rounding screw heads on hinges.

Any information please contact the Police on 101 quoting Ref number: 5221061972 stating NHW Release or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Sweet success

Families gathered to buy sweets from a stall set up outside the Old Inn on Saturday. The pub’s friendly staff offered a refreshingly novel activity that proved extremely popular.

Youth Club damaged

Congresbury Youth Partnership leaders are extremely angry and disappointed that someone has recently caused a considerable amount of damage to the Youth Club. 

In trying to gain entry to the building the intruder or intruders damaged the door lock and broke two of the windows. The bill for these repairs is going to be considerable.

The Parish council has also had to deal with incidents of vandalism around the ball court and on the Millennium Green including clearing up glass bottles that have been deliberately smashed on the children’s slide.

CYP leaders say that they appreciate that everyone is feeling fed up with the present lock down rules — but this sort of behaviour helps no one. The CYP has limited funds and money spent on repairs to the Youth Club impacts on the activities and experiences the CYP can provide in the community.

 If you have seen or know of any criminal activity around the Youth Club area please let the CYP know or report it to the police. The local PCSO has been informed of the various incidents and is keen to stop such anti-social behaviour.

Avon & Somerset police says that the damage could be either anti-social activity or a failed attempt at gaining entry.

Any information please contact the police on 101 quoting Ref number: 5221058869 stating NHW Release or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Call to oppose new homes plan

Many villagers will know of the years of frustration suffered by residents of Wrington Lane with seemingly endless schemes by land agents Gladman and construction firm Bovis Homes to build on a field off the lane.

Plans to build 50 houses have been  thwarted by the foresight of North Somerset councillors – and Tom Leimdorfer in particular – when outline planning permission was granted subject to a continuous footway being provided along the lane before construction could begin.

Over the years, Gladman have tried several wheezes to get round this perfectly reasonable condition but have failed because the lane in several places is just too narrow to allow a proper pavement alongside the carriageway.

Now there is a new effort following a merger between builder Bovis and Linden Homes. Enter the Vistry Group with new pretty drawings of houses and trees and hedgerows, and details of wild flowers and play areas. 

Their tactic is to ignore the question of access. It is as if the site exists in splendid isolation where real-life problems do not happen. In their fantasy world, practicalities like access to and from the site for construction, service and emergency vehicles, along with the safety of pedestrians and cyclists are banished.

But the firm is not stupid – it must be assuming that the rest of us are so busy worrying about Covid that we would not notice that it has included the application under Reserved Matters in a previous application made two years ago.

Says CRAG’s Mary Short: “This is clearly an attempt to get approval before residents have time to object by the deadline of 15th March – please don’t let them get away with it.”

To register objections to this cunning plan, go to North Somerset Council’s website and under Planning Applications, go to 19/P/1657/RM. When you’ve found the application, scroll down to find “make a comment.”

If you do want to comment we would suggest that you look at a document called the Design and Access Statement – DAS Rev A published on the web site on 17th February.

We suggest that any comments are focussed on issues or concerns about the latest drawings and the site layout.

There is no need to comment about access from Wrington Lane because as you will recall  this is a separate issue. In 2017 when Gladman secured outline planning consent North Somerset Council stipulated that no residential development would be allowed until the works detailed in an agreed roadways scheme to improve the footway and carriageway along Wrington Lane had been completed. 

John Mills

Attempted theft of motorbike

A motorcycle was damaged during the early hours of February 23rd between 00:00 and 7am while parked on the owner’s driveway in Weetwood Road, Congresbury.

Avon and Somerset police report that the offender or offenders had attempted to move the bike but would have found this very difficult with a rear lock on the wheel and break. Giving up halfway down the driveway, the motorcycle was dropped on its right side damaging the handle grip, brake lever and pedal.

Any information please contact the police on 101 quoting Ref number: 5221039389 stating NHW Release or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Airport appeal over expansion refusal

Bristol Airport has submitted an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate against North Somerset Council’s decision to refuse planning permission for the expansion of the airport. To find out more, click on this link

If anyone wishes to make further comments to PINs, or modify/withdraw previous representations, can do so online at https://acp.planninginspectorate.gov.uk or by emailing Leanne.palmer@planninginspectorate.gov.uk. The deadline is Monday 22nd February.

Village starts 20mph campaign

Sandford villagers have launched a 20’s Plenty For Us campaign with the aim of asking North Somerset council to bring in a 20mph speed limit for residential areas throughout North Somerset. The group is asking for Congresbury to join the scheme.

20’s Plenty is a not-for-profit organisation which was formed in 2007 to help communities who want a more liveable street environment by setting a mandatory 20mph limit for most roads.  Around 25 per cent of the UK population now live in local authority areas where most streets have a speed limit of 20mph.  More information can be found at www.20splenty.org

 Sandford organisers note that Bath,  Bristol, Oxford and Cardiff are among the authorities which have successfully adopted 20mph limit schemes. Sandford’s campaign leaflet which contains contact details, can be viewed here or downloaded

.

Sports centre campaign takes off

Residents of Congresbury and other Mendip villages have shown huge support for a scheme to save Churchill Sports Centre. An online survey of residents has received more than 1,000 responses in just one week. 

Calling themselves Mendip Villages Fitness, the group of ex-members of the Centre, instructors, councillors and residents, wants to test the level of support for its reopening after lockdown.

“We are delighted by the huge response” said one of the organisers, Churchill’s Jill Maycock. “It shows how much the sports centre is wanted in our locality.

“Many of our kids learned to swim at Churchill pool, and recently it was an important community centre. If it remains closed, what’s the alternative for children wanting to learn to swim or keep fit? 

“The nearest pools are either Clevedon or Hutton which means greater car use, which North Somerset Council wants to discourage,” said Jill.

The group believes that if support continues to grow, North Somerset will have to find a way to fund the reopening.

John Mills

Residents can complete the survey at: www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/MendipVillagesFitness. The deadline for completion is March 7th.

New homes plan – reasons to object

Congresbury residents should know that there is a substantial development in the pipeline for our neighbours at Wrington.

Objections to the scheme for 71 houses at Butt’s Batch have to be with North Somerset Council by 26 January.

Although it falls outside the remit of CRAG, there is little doubt that if it succeeded, the addition of at least another 150 cars on our roads would add to the ever-increasing traffic problems in this corner of North Somerset.

Details of the scheme, planned for a field off the road between Wrington and Langford, can be found on the Keep Wrington as Wrington website accessed via CALRAG’s page.

The Wrington site lists a number of planning reasons why people might want to object including:

contribution to urban sprawl

unsustainability in that residents would use cars to travel to work and access local services

increase pollution and contribute to the climate emergency which is against council policy.

Says CRAG: “This is another example of a development scheme which is undesirable for many reasons.

“It would obviously contribute to greater car use because there is no public transport to support an influx of commuters. And that goes against the council policy of reducing pollution. 

“Such a development would have a detrimental impact on the Wrington Vale landscape; would increase hazards to pedestrians and cyclists and have an adverse impact on an area already subject to regular flooding.”

John Mills

Scam scare

Police warn vulnerable elderly people to be alert to a scam, after incidents in North Somerset.

Between Wednesday 25 November and Thursday 3 December there were five incidents reported, with four happening on Tuesday and Wednesday. All have involved calls to people in their 70s, 80s or 90s living in Clevedon or Portishead.

In each case someone has telephoned impersonating a police officer. They claim the householder’s bank account has been used for crime and insist on cash being withdrawn, which they say they need as “evidence” and is collected from the house.

Telephone fraud alert

Two elderly residents in the Clevedon area have been the subject of serious fraud.

Both received telephone calls today, December 2, from people claiming to be police officers – one from Luton and the other allegedly from Bristol. The supposed officers were very persistent and even asked one of the victims to call 191 to check their identity with a colleague. This was a clever ploy, as the line had not been disconnected and the phone was merely handed to an accomplice.

In both instances they were asked to attend their banks, and were advised by the fake police how they could get around the security measures / questions. On arrival the victims withdrew thousands of pounds between them, which was later collected from their homes by a courier. A password was given by the fraudster to use when handing the money over to the courier to make it even more convincing.

Avon and Somerset police say that this type of fraud can occur anywhere, so always be wary of unexpected calls. Never give out any personal details, especially financial account numbers or passwords. If you have any concerns, hang up immediately. Contact the bank or organisation they claim to represent using a mobile or different phone in case the offenders are still on the line. Never use any telephone numbers provided by the fraudster. Police will never ask you to attend your bank or withdraw cash.

Bats, balls, bullets and bombs – Congresbury remembers

 With the sound of the Last Post quietly fading on the North Somerset breeze following last week’s understandably muted commemorations, history group member and cricket club vice-president, Clive Burlton wondered just how the members and families associated with Congresbury Cricket club fared during World War One and its aftermath 100 years ago

Click here to read the full story.

Advice about Halloween

This Halloween, we’re encouraging people to have fun at home so they can stay safe and help control the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). We want you to have fun this Halloween, but please consider how you might do things differently this year and plan ahead so that you can celebrate safely:

  • If you can, celebrate at home
  • Remember the rule of 6 for indoor and outdoor gatherings
  • If you go out trick or treating, wear a mask and keep 2m apart
  • Always go trick or treating with an adult, don’t knock on doors where there is a sign saying ‘no trick or treat here’ and only go to houses where you know the residents
  • Remember road safety, always look carefully before crossing the road and be visible
  • Don’t take sweets from communal bowls, only accept sweets that are in wrappers and keep your hands clean
  • Throwing eggs and flour at houses causes criminal damage. You could be arrested
  • Although Halloween is supposed to be spooky, be considerate to those who don’t take part and be careful not frighten vulnerable people

There are plenty of ways people can have fun at home, from pumpkin carving to watching scary movies or trying some spooky recipes. You could create a themed display, have a trick or treat hunt at home or host a virtual Halloween costume contest.

Halloween can be unnerving for people who are elderly, vulnerable or live alone. They may be at a higher risk of becoming victims of crime if they feel isolated or alone, but there are lots of things you can do to help your neighbours feel safe:

  • Start by just saying ‘hello.’
  • Ask if they would like you to check if they are ok on Halloween with either a visit or a call
  • Ask if they would like you to download and print on of our ‘sorry, no trick or treaters here’ posters below so they can display it in their window

If you’re a shopkeeper please remember not to sell eggs or flour to young people and selling fireworks to under-18s is an offence.

Click here for no trick or treaters poster

Click here for eggs and flour shopkeepers poster

Warning of phone scams

The Police have seen a vast increase in the number of telephone scams in recent weeks from fraudsters claiming to be from HMRC, TV Licencing, Amazon, Utility Companies and many others. What do most of these have in common? When they call you be it an automated call or a person on the phone, most will eventually ask you to press number 1 on your keypad to be connected to a particular department (Please do not do this). 

Why did that department not contact you in the first instance? Because they need you to press 1.

The most likely outcome is you will be connected to a premium rate phone line charging an extortionate rate for absolutely nothing at all. 

Please take care and be wary of any unexpected phone calls.

If you receive a call and you think it is fraudulent then please report it to Action Fraud at this link below:

https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/contact-us

Bigger, better Rec Club plan for village

Plans to upgrade Congresbury Recreation Club to provide better sports and social facilities have been launched.

The move comes as ambitious plans for a new village hall have been shelved. The new hall would have replaced the existing Rec Club.

Called Project Construct, the Rec Club plan is being backed by the trustees of the King George V Playing Field whose chairman Mike Greaves notes have “a primary duty to support and enable sport and recreation on the fields. 

“The trustees are aware that the existing recreation and changing facilities have deteriorated and are in need of upgrade or replacement,” said Mr Greaves.

A project sub-committee of the Rec Club has already carried out a feasibility study and is now looking to produce detailed plans and costs and develop a funding strategy.

Project Construct is being chaired by cricket club president Les Owen and includes representatives of the tennis, cricket and football clubs as well as the Rec Club.

Its remit is to consult widely with the sports and recreation clubs as well as the wider community to make sure that, wherever possible, the project meets their needs for the provision of sports and social facilities in Congresbury.

The current Rec Club was built in the 1960s and is now well past its best with outdated changing rooms that don’t have separate female facilities. This has, for example, prevented the cricket club hosting some county junior matches.

Initial plans envisage a new changing block shared by cricket and tennis clubs with the old changing rooms incorporated into the rebuilt Rec Club to give a much larger footprint allowing for a multi-use communal area.

Illuminated Pumpkin Trail

Middlecombe nursery are raising money for Feed The Homeless having built an all day illuminated Pumpkin Trail at the nursery. It’s an ideal visit for young and young at heart to see illuminated pumpkins donated by local business displayed in a theatrical setting. Free entry but donations to the charity encouraged!

The Trail is open 10am—7:30pm.  from Wednesday this week at Middlecombe nursery, Wrington road.

New Village Hall Project To Close

The new village hall project has struggled over the last year or so and that has now come to a head. The George V trustees (Parish Council cricket, football and tennis clubs, British Legion and St Andrews school) who manage the playing fields, feel it is time for a change of approach.  The Recreation club who have been working on an alternative plan have been given up to two years to progress their plan.

Ian Sheppard for the project said ‘Pre covid we were making progress with potential grant funders and a construction company provided budget costing of just over £1,075,000, for a community hub with a floor area 616m2 including a large hall, which was a priority. This would have allowed significantly more sport and recreation and broader range of activities for the people of the village.’

‘It has taken a long time to get here but a combination of the lease conditions, the King George V Trustees decision which means our planning permission will lapse during the initial period of the alternative plan, the Parish Council’s reluctance to set aside s106/CIL monies for a future building and possible limitations of grant funding as a result of Covid means we are closing the project down.’

‘Whilst we have not managed to fulfil the vision for a community hub catering for all age groups to meet the needs of the village, villagers will still be able enjoy a range of freshly brewed coffees and delicious home-made cakes in the community café, set up originally to raise funds for the project.’

‘We would like to thank our volunteers for their efforts, the people who made financial pledges and the local business who supported the project. We wish the Recreation club well with their endeavours’. Ian Sheppard

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.

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.

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.