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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

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– Bank card expiry: Fraudsters claim to be from the victim’s bank and say their card is no longer valid.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/

Developer Gives Land for Bats

A celebration of the transfer of land from Strongvox to Yatton and Congresbury Wildlife Action Group (YACWAG) was held on Friday 18thMarch on site at Cobthorn Way, Congresbury, with the Chair of North Somerset Council, Cllr Richard Westwood, unveiling the site interpretation board with Bill Richardson, Planning Manager for Strongvox , and Tony Moulin, Chair of YACWAG.

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Left to right Tony Moulin (YACWAG), Bill Richardson (Strongvox), Cllr Richard Westwood (Chair, North Somerset Council)

YACWAG’s new Cobthorn Reserve in Congresbury is being created especially for bats. This ground-breaking new project has been facilitated by North Somerset Council working with Natural England through the planning process, and has resulted in the developer Strongvox giving a field of about two and a half hectares to YACWAG to manage for bats forever.

When 38 new houses were built in Furnace Way, a larger area of farmland was lost as a feeding ground for bats. In order for Strongvox to gain planning permission on this sensitive site, North Somerset Council ruled that the developer had to compensate for lost habitat by creating a nature reserve on part of the site to give the bats continuity. There are only about 12,000 Greater Horseshoe Bats in the UK – which is their stronghold – and amazingly 500-1000 of them are living close to Congresbury. Their preferred landscape is one with grazing animals and tall, wide hedges with scattered flowering trees that attract insects. The Cobthorn Reserve will provide this kind of habitat. Grazing by livestock is especially important in this project because young bats need a particular kind of dung beetle to feed on. YACWAG members have been busy thickening up the hedges with additional hedge plants and their graziers, Jo and Andy Milward, will be providing the animals to produce the essential dung.

Councillor Mark Canniford, Executive Member for Business, Economy and Employment at North Somerset Council, said: “I’m pleased to see the Cobthorn Reserve in Congresbury come to fruition. It’s a fantastic example of how planning can be used to have a positive impact on wildlife. This type of protection is important to North Somerset Council and is carefully considered throughout our Local Plan.”

YACWAG Chair, Tony Moulin, said, “We are very excited and immensely proud of the achievement for wildlife at Cobthorn. Local people can be assured that the nature reserve will never be built on, that they will always have ‘nature as their neighbour’. We hope that more such schemes will follow this excellent example of planning gain for biodiversity. It is exciting that we will be able to give these rare bats a handy ‘eat-in restaurant’ on our new reserve with plenty of dung beetles on the menu.”

Local people will be able to find out more about the reserve at an Open Day to be held on Saturday 14th May.

For more information please contact Tony Moulin 01934 834282 or 0744 384 35

Portrait of a Greater Horseshoe Bat by Daniel Hargreaves

Warning on gov.uk scam email

A new scam email claiming to come from gov.uk has been reported. It advises that a number of National Insurance numbers have been disabled following reports of fraudulent activity. The email states that if you are the recipient of such an email then your NIN, as they state, has been disabled and you must reactivate on the Red (Start Now) button shown on the attached document. 

If you receive one of these emails, please do not follow the instructions and do not click on the red (Start Now) button, simply delete it immediately. 

Please click on this link to familiarise yourself with the scam.

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.

20’s Plenty for North Somerset

Dear All,

Following the Zoom meeting yesterday evening, the presentation slides are available on Dropbox at
https://www.dropbox.com/s/6lo3eg6y5h9un15/20mph%20presentation%20N%20Somerset%20supporters.pptx?dl=0
I also attach a ‘ How to Set Up a 20mph campaign’ leaflet
The advantages of setting up a local campaign for your town or village are that firstly other supporters have a local point of contact where they live, and there is access to the very helpful campaigners-only discussion group run by  the national ‘ 20’s Plenty for Us’ organisation.   Anyone wanting to find out more about organisations backing 20 mph  in North  Somerset, ( or elsewhere) then has an easy way to find your contact details via the ‘ 20’s Plenty ‘ website, www.20splenty.org, then going to ‘ Who we are, Local Campaigns and Places’.  Please do consider setting up a local campaign.  ’20’s Plenty for Us’ provides campaign materials, advice, research and resources, and deserves our support.

A 20’s Plenty for North Somerset Facebook page has been set up, which you are all warmly invited to join and contribute to.  It will provide a useful point of contact for sharing ideas.    If anyone would like to set up a Twitter or other social media group, please do get in touch.  All contributions and comments are welcome.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1404083953292502

It was very useful, and much appreciated, to see Cllr James Tonkin and Rob Thomson of NSC Highways at our meeting yesterday, and to hear their views.  We now know that there are numerous, probably in excess of 8,  Town and Parish Councils who have applied for consideration of 20 mph speed limits, which a Highways Team is working through, at the rate of 1 or 2 a year.   Austerity and the pandemic continue to take a serious toll on local authorities country-wide, but fortunately there is  Housing Infrastructure and Active Travel funding available to bring in North Somerset traffic schemes, including a speed reduction scheme.

We also know now that the draft policy document on 20 mph speed limits, following the report to the Executive on 7th January 2020, is still in draft.  This allows the possibility of a new policy for North Somerset, one which will benefit more towns and villages more quickly, by bringing in an authority-wide policy of 20 mph for residential streets, as many Traffic Authorities in the UK already have. That will be a decision for North Somerset Councillors to make, who will be invited to a separate ’20’s Plenty for North Somerset’ meeting later on this month.   This gives us the chance, as supporters of a lower 20 mph limit, to get in touch with our communities and our councillors to spread the word.

Working from the Report to the Executive on 20 mph speed limits which was considered in January 2020, a comparison between that and current government policy,as set out in the Department for Transport Circular 1/2013,  has been prepared by a member of 20’s Plenty for Sandford, also attached.   Click here for report. This may be useful to you as background, as it talks about the issue of  North Somerset Highways’ rejection of wide- area 20 mph limits for our County.  We have yet to see the draft policy document from 2020, so that can’t as yet be commented on, but it is expected to follow the Report fairly closely, as that is what was voted on by Councillors.

We are looking forward to hearing from you all.

Sincerely,

Cresten and Ian for
20’s Plenty for Sandford

Tax Refund Scam by phone or email

If you get some unexpected news that you’re owed a ‘refund’ from the Tax Office, it may seem like good news. But, remember that with the self-assessment deadline looming on January 31, fraudsters will be bombarding people’s email inboxes and phones with fake offers of tax refunds. They may also cold call victims, or text or email links which will then take them to a false page, where their bank details or money will be stolen.

Over the past year, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has received nearly 900,000 reports from people about suspect contact – including over 620,000 reports from people about bogus tax rebates.

Never give out your personal information or click on links or download information from unexpected emails. If someone calls you out of the blue and makes you feel under pressure, just put the phone down to give yourself time to think. Details of suspect calls or emails claiming to be from HMRC can be forwarded to phishing@hmrc.gov.uk and texts to 60599.

Reliable Carer needed

Friendly, reliable Carer needed for my wonderful mother – who lives between Wrington and Langford. Regular Saturday and Sunday morningshifts available. Car essential. 

Responsibilities would include personal care, manual handling and food preparation. 

If interested in joining a fantastic small team who help my mum maintain her independence at home, please contact Jess on 07595 024 811 or message me for details.

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.

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.

Coffee morning

Anniversary Coffee Morning, in aid of Children’s Hospice South West. Saturday 25th April in the Methodist Hall, Congresbury. 10am to 1pm. £1.00 entry, to include tea or coffee and biscuits. Bedding plants and produce for sale. Tombola.

Police call on public to sign-up for counter-terrorism training

An award-winning counter terrorism training course – originally devised in partnership with Marks and Spencer – is being made available to the public for the first time and Avon and Somerset Police is calling on members of the public to sign up and help protect the UK.

The ACT Awareness eLearning package was previously only available to staff working in crowded places like shopping centres and entertainment venues and participants needed to be signed up by their employees.

Now Counter Terrorism Policing has decided to open up the training to anyone who wants to become a CT Citizen so they can learn how to spot the signs of suspicious behaviour and understand what to do in the event of a major incident.

The decision to offer the training to the public was not made in response to the recent attack in London. However, that tragic event, when two people lost their lives to terrorism, was a stark reminder of the ongoing threat and the need for vigilance.

Assistant Chief Constable Stephen Cullen said: “ACT Awareness eLearning is especially useful for anyone working in or regularly visiting crowded places.

“Developed alongside industry experts more than one and a half million modules have already been completed.

“The course has been so popular, with nine out of 10 users saying they would recommend it, we want to open it up to as many people as possible.

“The threat level remains at Substantial – meaning an attack is likely – so giving everyone the chance to be extra eyes and ears for police and local security teams help to keep all communities across the Avon and Somerset area safe.

“The festive period is obviously a very busy one – so this is a good time to join up and become a CT Citizen.”

ACT Awareness is made up of seven modules that take a few minutes each to complete. You can pause and re-join at any time. In total it takes just 45 minutes – so less than an hour of your time could help to prevent an attack or help save lives if one was to happen.

The course is hosted by online training specialists Highfield. To register and start learning, click here.