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Village family launches online gift shop

A Congresbury family has opened an online Christmas gift shop, offering local deliveries and no-quibble returns.

Ellie Munro, of Silver Street, says the shop previously traded as the Green Room boutique shop in Hay-On-Wye. She says: “We have a huge range of items that will make perfect gifts for your loved ones this Christmas. We can deliver our products safely and conveniently to people in our community and beyond, and we want especially to help those who cannot shop as we would all much prefer to during these difficult times. 

“We can offer local delivery, collection from Congresbury or Clevedon giving complete peace of mind to those who may be unaccustomed to online shopping.”

For more details click here

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 They claim the householder’s bank account has been used for crime and insist on cash being withdrawn, which they say they need as “evidence” and is collected from the house.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.

Road closures announced

North Somerset council has issued advanced warning that Stock Lane, Langford (B3133 ) will be closed from Monday November 23 for four weeks to complete drainage improvement and carriageway resurfacing works. 

This will be to complete phase one of drainage works and will be for 24 hours a day.

Phase two of the drainage works are anticipated to start on Monday 4 January for two weeks and will also be for 24 hours a day. 

Phase Three, surfacing works, are anticipated to begin on Monday 18 January and last for five days working 8pm to 6am. 

Stock Lane will be closed from its junction with the A38 to its junction with Langford Road. Diversions will be in place.

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.

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.