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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.

Spring on the Strawberry Line

25thFebruary 2019 was claimed to be the hottest February Day ever recorded. The sun shone all day and despite the early morning frost, it felt like Spring. The best place to enjoy Spring has got to be the ‘Strawberry Line’.

I was not the only person to take advantage of the glorious weather. Two young Mums were pushing their babies in pushchairs at the same time as answering their phones ! The normal rash of cyclists all trying to beat the speed record for the track and lots of Joggers. One ambitious walker asked how far it was to Wells. Perhaps he had a dose of ‘Spring Fever’.

Michael Greaves

One of the first trees to flower on the Strawberry Line before it gets any leaves is the ‘Sloe’ or ‘Blackthorn’. The delicate white flowers even attracted a wandering Bee.
The warm sunny weather has brought on the Hazel and they are all draped in trailing ‘Catkins’. This should mean we will get an abundant crop of Cobnuts in the Autumn.
I always enjoy seeing ‘Old Mans Beard’. Its one of the winter treats like clumps of cotton wool with the seeds about to fall out and start the process of sowing, growing, flowering and forming seeds all over again. The Strawberry Line is looking good for another 150 years. It will be celebrating its birthday of the first train on 3rdAugust 1869.

Peewits on the Strawberry Line

The recent snow and heavy rain has flooded many of the fields. The saturated ground must force worms and other grubs to the surface providing a good meal for the ‘Peewits’. We were lucky, as they chose the water logged fields along the Strawberry Line between Congresbury and Churchill. In times past they were a regular winter visitor and it was not unusual to see large flocks circling the low lying fields. But not for some time have I seen this number. An unexpected and most welcome treat.

Click to read full article by Michael Greaves

Wassail at the Millenium Orchard

On Saturday 12th January, 2019 at 3pm more than 50 adults, children and pets met at the Youth Club building by the Riverside Car Park to take part in the third village Wassail. The crocodile of folk who were singing and making lots of noise to ward off evil spirits, paraded across the Millenium Green, over the bridge to the orchard. They were led by the Green Man (Brian Kemplay) and the music of Dave Byett with his squeeze box. After a speech by the Green Man the three Congresbury Beauty apples were danced around 3 times in a clockwise direction by villagers making as much noise as possible. The trees were then blessed and two young helpers put toast on the trees & sprinkled cider at their base to encourage new growth and fruit.

Afterwards the revellers returned to the Youth Club to enjoy hot apple juice from the Orchard and a variety of apple cakes made by volunteers from Congresbury Youth Partnership.

Editorial & photographs by Peter Hughes & Bryony Goodesmith

Bowler Ant is national champion

Congresbury bowler Anthony Page is an England champion after winning an indoor tournament in Nottingham last weekend.

Ant won the Disability Bowls England National Singles for Non-classified members at Nottingham at his first attempt.

He won three tough rounds before winning overall in the fourth round 19-13.

“The last round was nip and tuck at first, then I managed to get ahead in the last few ends,” said Ant, aged 45, who lives in Worle.

Champion: Congresbury’s Ant Page

He was brought up in Wolverhampton and first started bowling at age 11 on crown greens.

“My father got me into it. My four uncles played too,” said Ant.

“It was my life. It was everything I did, six nights a week from April to September.

“I got to county standard and played for Staffordshire at junior level.”

He started bowling again in 2017 when he joined Congresbury, and in 2018 won three of the club’s singles titles and reached the final of the men’s championship.

Ant, who works in a supermarket bakery, was born with a condition called scoliosis – curvature of the spine – which is painful at times.

Congresbury Bowling Club’s 2019 season starts on April 13.

New members are welcome. Turn up every Monday at 6pm for coaching. Equipment provided.

The Strawberry Line – 5 years on

Michael Greaves shares his reflections on the last 5 years of the Strawberry line…..

In 2013 I wrote a monthly account of my walks along the ‘Strawberry Line’ from The Old Station to Thatcher’s Cider Factory. Thanks to my Daughter lending me one of bikes, I have taken to the saddle and enjoyed a few leisurely rides along the ‘Old Railway Line’ and thought some might be interested in what’s happened in the last 5 years.

                    

Looking back at my account of September 2013, we were remembering the last train that travelled from Wells to Yatton on 7th September 1963 – 50 years ago. I haven’t seen any accounts of the 55 years that have now elapsed, but a lot has happened in the last 5 years.   Firstly, the Strawberry Line is as beautiful as ever. We are so fortunate to have this open space on our door step. I haven’t been as far as Thatcher’s Orchards for a few years and not since we lost our beloved Black Labrador ‘Minton’. He was the main reason I walked along the Strawberry Line every morning and evening. But, its pure magic and the views are spectacular with wildlife in abundance.  Read more