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Singing workshop

Congresbury Singers – Come & Sing Workshop, Choruses from Handel’s Messiah for Community Choirs on Sat Jan 14th 2023, Memorial Hall, Congresbury from 10.30-4.30 – £20 inc music & refreshments 

Entry/info 07729159139 or

Learn how to code

Code Club runs on Mondays in term time and is open to all young people. The club has several really good retired programmers who help members with Scratch, Python and Arduino, using computers and Raspberry Pi. At the moment, the club has capacity to take a few extra would=be coders.   Interested people could drop in any Monday, between 3.30 and 6pm,  to the youth club by the ball court in Congresbury and find out more, or contact Alex Ballard at or 07894338995. Alex would also be interested in talking to adult volunteers who could help with these sessions.

CRAG blames council as it pulls out of Wrington Lane footway fight

CRAG, Congresbury Residents’ Action Group, has stopped its fight against the Wrington Lane footway scheme. Here, CRAG secretary Viv Tomkinson, explains why.

“After a long, increasingly frustrating and expensive fight, I have to tell you that CRAG has sadly had to decide to withdraw our challenge to the Wrington Lane footway scheme.

“We have been opposing this development for over 7 years. As most of you know, construction of the footway was necessary before the 50 houses could be built. CRAG has always maintained that the footway scheme could not be delivered without encroaching on private land.

“After years of trying to convince North Somerset Highways Department and the Planning Officers of the veracity of our claim, eventually even employing an ‘expert witness’ boundary surveyor and a specialist land and property disputes solicitor, but the NSC officers still obstinately claim that the footway can be delivered using only land that is part of the public highway and indeed they have again said this in their most recent response which we received in the last week.

“We believe they are wrong but we have decided, after deep thought and consideration, that we have to  face the reality that we cannot stop the development 

“We know that  it would now cost North Somerset Council a great deal of money to stop Vistry.

“In order to make a legal challenge against NSC we would have had to instruct a barrister to take court action and this would have incurred fees costing tens of thousands of pounds.

“It would also put an unacceptable strain on the residents because NSC have in their latest response stated that it is the residents who would need to be named in any court action.

“So, it is now a question of damage limitation. We need to be sure that the outcome for the residents most directly affected by the delivery of the footway suffer minimal damage to their land, hedges, walls and lawns. Some residents will be losing hedges and the ends of their driveways. Residents are now in discussion with the contractors about what exactly will be done, and how it will be made good afterwards. 

“CRAG owes a huge debt of gratitude to these residents, who have been under enormous pressure from the developers over recent years. 

 “We are also extremely grateful to all CRAG supporters who have submitted objections and supported our challenge to this development. And also for the donations from supporters and the support given by the Parish Council which helped us pay the legal costs and the costs of the boundary surveyor’s report to progress our challenge to NSC’s position.

“We do know that the impact will extend further than just the part of Wrington Lane required for the footway scheme and we understand the worries that all of you will have about how life will change in Wrington Lane after this development is completed.

“We also appreciate the upset caused to all those households affected by the developers’ frequent inconsiderate abuse of the conditions under which they were supposed to carry out the preparatory works on the site.

“CRAG blames North Somerset Council for the whole debacle. The previous administration should never have approved the planning application. Officers seem to have acted with no scrutiny from Councillors regarding our arguments, and have not enforced the site regulations about the construction process  in spite of frequent complaints from residents. We intend to have all these issues investigated and are engaging with our local Councillor about this. We will be submitting a complaint to NSC and we will escalate our complaint to a higher level if this is necessary.

“We hope you understand why we have taken this decision, but please be assured that CRAG will continue the fight against other inappropriate development within our community.”

Public living rooms plan to keep people warm

With the price of energy set to rise this month, North Somerset Council and its partners in the North Somerset Together network are working together to develop a network of public
living rooms across the area to help people keep warm this winter. Public living rooms are safe, welcoming and non-judgemental spaces for people to come together to stay warm and perhaps enjoy a hot drink and a biscuit. These venues will also have information to help people who might be keen to learn more about the support available to tackle the cost of living crisis.
The sorts of venues that might be suitable for hosting public living rooms include community buildings, sports venues, places of worship,libraries and any organisation willing to make a space available for people to use.
Cllr Mike Bell, North Somerset Council’s deputy leader and chair of North Somerset’s cost of living working group said: “We are a council that cares about people and addressing the cost of living crisis is the top priority for every member of the council’s Executive. No-one should have to go cold this winter. We know already that some of our residents are worried they might have to choose between heating and eating, so to help we want to create a network of places across North Somerset where people can keep warm.
“Our goal is to create a directory of all the places available to our residents across the public, private, health and voluntary sectors and to ensure this information is clearly promoted so everyone who is feeling the cold knows where they can go to get warm, stay warm and enjoy a little company and some hot refreshments.”

To enable public living rooms to be set up or maintained, grants of up to £1,000 will be available to organisations in North Somerset. The grants are funded by North Somerset Council, supported by Alliance Homes, grant funding. Applications will be accepted from North Somerset agencies and community-led organisations delivering services for people in North
Somerset. More information about the scheme and grant application process is available on the council’s website at
The North Somerset Together Network will promote the directory of public living rooms as soon as they begin to be established with the hope that more venues will become available as news of the initiative spreads across North Somerset.
Cllr Bell added: “Our ambition is that all communities across North Somerset that need a public living room have at least one that their local residents can use to help stay warm and well.”

Residents ‘furious at road closure plan’

Residents of Congresbury are up in arms about a decision to close a road for up to five months to accommodate work on a controversial housing scheme.

More than 200 householders will be affected by the temporary closure of Wrington Lane, due to be imposed next week by North Somerset Council.

Members of Congresbury Residents Action Group (CRAG) reported that homeowners in the lane and surrounding roads are “incandescent” with rage over the notice issued under provisions of section 14 of the Road Traffic Act 1984.

Work is scheduled in three phases. The first phase, due to start on 3rd October includes the section down to Cobthorn Way. Phase Two covers the section from Cobthorn Way to Wrington Mead with Phase Three from Wrington Mead to the junction with the A370.

Residents have individually expressed their anger to MP John Penrose, district councillor Phil Neve, North Somerset Council and contractor Vistry Homes.

CRAG chair Mary Short said the action by North Somerset Council was totally unreasonable. “There are people with limited mobility, elderly folk and parents with young children who will become virtual prisoners in their homes if they cannot use their cars. Many residents in the area rely on their cars to get to work, to go for appointments and shopping etc. and have no idea what access they will have.”

The planned road closures would operate from 8am to 5pm weekdays with “occasional Saturdays from 8am to 1pm.”

Apart from Wrington Lane itself, the closure would directly affect access for residents of Cobthorn Way, Weetwood Road, Wrington Mead, Ward’s Hill, Verlands and Furnace Way.

The Council responded to one resident: “I am sorry that you are concerned about the works that are proposed to take place in Wrington Lane. Please be reassured that access is maintained for residents and emergency vehicles. The works are programmed in a phased manner so access can be maintained.”

The background to this case, which has blighted residents for more that six years, involves a dispute over land ownership. The housing project was only granted on condition that the developer provided a footway in the Lane before building work began.

The Council claim that that the footway can be built on public highway land. Residents dispute this, and have evidence that the footway will need land which is part of their property and has never been adopted as public highway land. 

John Mills

Congresbury History Group

Wednesday 21st September 7.30pm in the Methodist Hall. Steve Osman: The Swiss Air Crash of April 1973.  It is now nearly 50 years since this terrible tragedy, which affected many Congresbury families, occurred. Steve Osman will tell us the story behind this disaster.

Book of Condolence

The Book of Condolence for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is in the St Congar’s room at the back of the Old School Rooms . Entry is opposite the Parish Office, not through the main hall. The room will be open 9-5 this week for residents who wish to sign and spend a moment in quiet reflection. The Book will be closed at 5pm on Tuesday 19th September, the day after Her Majesty’s funeral.

A370 crash appeal

Police are appealing for witnesses and dashcam footage following a collision on the A370 at Congresbury on Friday afternoon

Officers are investigating the circumstances around a collision between a motorcycle and a car, which happened at around 12.30pm near the Esso garage.

One person has been taken to hospital by air ambulance with injuries which are believed to be life-threatening. Their family are aware and being supported by specialist officers.

Police are asking any witnesses, or drivers with dashcam footage, to come forward and call us.

If you can help, please call 101 and give the call handler the reference number 5222212042, or complete our online appeals form.

Songs for Long Nights

Congresbury Singers performing “Songs for Long Nights – Tales & Tunes for coming of Winter”.

Saturday, 19th November, Memorial Hall, Congresbury. Tickets £10, inc refreshments @ PO, Re-Store, on door.

Rec Club redevelopment meeting

There will be a second public meeting on Monday September 5th at 6.30pm to discuss plans to demolish the existing Rec Club and replace it with a two-storey building.

This meeting, to be held in the Rec Club, follows the publication of the full plans last week by North Somerset council. You can find details of the plans by clicking here