Skip to main content

Library reopens

Great News, Congresbury Community Library is ready for re- opening on Monday 21st September. The building has been made COVID safe and our volunteers are ready to help you!

We have had to reduce the number of opening hours to Monday afternoons from 2 – 4 pm and Friday mornings from 10 – 12 . 

We look forward to welcoming you back.

The library is in Station Road next to the Old School Rooms.

Warning over tax office telephone scam

Police warn that fraudsters continue to contact residents claiming to be from HMRC (the Tax Office) telling them that they owe money and that an arrest warrant will be issued if they don’t hand over payment.

A Keynsham resident received a voicemail asking them to call back on a certain number, and when the resident called he was told that he owed money to HMRC and that he would be sent to court if he didn’t pay. The victim was told to purchase Amazon gift cards as the tax office was closed due to the Covid-19 virus and they couldn’t accept debit card payment. Sadly these were purchased and the codes and reference numbers were handed over during another call at significant cost. There has been a similar incident in Cheddar but this time the scam was spotted by a Neighbourhood Watch member.

These offenders are very convincing, using the fear of arrest to panic their victims into handing over payment for the non-existing debts. They may give passwords and fake identity names and “badge” numbers.

HMRC will never telephone to threaten court proceedings as a first contact, and they certainly don’t take gift cards as a means of payment. If you receive one of these calls, hang up immediately. If you are concerned contact your local tax office using a phone number from previous printed communication or from the phonebook. Never use a phone number provided by the scammer.

Yatton man charged with assault

A 48-year-old Yatton man has been charged with racially aggravated assault following an incident on Monday morning.

Richard Penny, of Mendip Road, has also been charged with possessing a knife, threatening a person with a knife and using threatening/ abusive words likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

The charges relate to an incident in a café at approximately 8.50am in which a woman in her 40s was assaulted and another woman, an off-duty detention officer, was threatened. Attending police officers were then threatened with a knife.

Penny has also been charged with another count of using threatening/ abusive words likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress. This charge relates to an incident on High Street, Yatton at about 12pm on Friday, 4 September in which two women were verbally abused.

Penny appeared via video link at North Somerset Magistrates’ Court yesterday where he was remanded in custody pending a hearing at Bristol Crown Court at a date yet to be set.

Rogue Traders / Gardeners (Tree Specialists)

Take care as we have been made aware that there has been a sharp increase in calls relating to bogus “Tree Specialists” who have been preying on the older population within our communities, offering to carry out gardening work. Several residents are reported to have paid vast sums of money for poor quality work to the so called “Specialists” who have also taken the money and never returned to complete the work. 

There are a few things that you should be wary of before allowing anyone into your home or garden.

1. Did they put a leaflet through your door claiming to offer discounts for OAPs? 

2. Do they offer 20 / 30 / 40 % off for calling within a particular time scale of receiving your leaflet?

3. Do they offer Tree work and then claim to offer a host of other services seemingly unrelated?

4. Does it look like a professionally printed leaflet?

5. If you speak to an operator, do not be bullied into committing to their services or an appointment.

6. If they are in your home, phone a friend and ask them to come round.

7. You can ask them to leave at any point during their sales pitch.

These are just a few points to look out for, but the best rule to go by is that if you require any work you should find the person yourself or go by the recommendation of others that you trust.

There are plenty of websites that can steer you in the right direction to find the right company. 

And of course there are some genuine, honest companies so make an informed decision, but remember:

“If you’re not sure, don’t open the door”

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.

Message from North Somerset Council – Online Consultations – respond by 2nd September

The new North Somerset Local Plan 2038

We’re in the early stages of preparing a new local plan for North Somerset. The North Somerset Local Plan will guide housing, jobs and business investment, transport, community facilities and supporting infrastructure in the area until 2038.

It will also shape investment and funding for the infrastructure which will support new homes, workplaces and community facilities for the next 15 years and beyond.

The way we live our lives has changed over the last 15 years and will continue to change in many ways. The Covid-19 pandemic has made us all think about how we plan for the future.

This first stage of Local Plan consultation focuses on the challenges we believe we face in North Somerset and the issues the plan needs to address:

  • the climate emergency and the need to work towards a low carbon future
  • job creation and the allocation of space for business
  • how to provide the right type and number of houses and create new communities
  • creating high quality, sustainable places
  • protecting important green and blue spaces as well as the character of existing villages and towns
  • the future role of the Green Belt.

An online consultation will run for the six-week period Wednesday 22 July to Wednesday 2 September 2020 at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/newlocalplan

The online consultation will be supported by regular updates across the council’s social media platforms. There will be many other opportunities to get involved and have your say but the time to really influence the development of the new Local Plan for North Somerset is now.

The responses received to this summer’s consultation will guide the next stage of creating the plan, which will focus on the choices around the location of future development.

Have your say and help shape North Somerset’s future.

Thank-you
Planning Policy Team

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.

Strawberry Line to London via Lands End

We’ve received this lovely story from Michael Greeves. Unfortunately, the email was hidden in Junk mail, but we think it’s worth publishing, even this late. Apologies to Michael.

If you were planning a 1000 mile cycle ride to raise money to help protect the Swans in London’s Richmond Park, few would include ‘The Strawberry Line’ in Congresbury.

But, that’s exactly what Jamie Gould did. He works in Richmond Park as a gardener where a Cygnet died earlier this year. The swan was killed by a vandal who horrified and disgusted the ‘Friends’ of Richmond Park. To raise funds to help prevent this happening again, Jamie 21 and his friend Alex decided to undertake a mammoth 1000 mile sponsored cycle ride. They originally hoped for £1,000 but it looks like exceeding £1,500.

Starting from London they cycled to Margate and followed the south coast to Lands End in Cornwall. They then rode along the North Devon coast and spent Friday 3rd July 2020 camping at Porlock in Somerset.

Where does the Strawberry Line fit in ? 

I was riding my bike from Congresbury to Sandford, a modest 2 miles along the Strawberry Line on Saturday evening 4thJuly. Having stopped to watch a Buzzard soaring over Thatchers apple orchards, Jamie rode along and asked if there was anything interesting. 

In a very brief conversation he said that his companion ‘Alex’s’ bike had a puncture in Bridgwater and needed a new tyre. The nearest open bike shop being in Bristol so he went by train to get it repaired leaving Jamie on his own following the agreed route.  They were due to stay overnight near Bristol and complete their ride back to London on Sunday 5th July. Completing the 1000 miles in time for work on Monday morning.

For anyone wishing to learn more about the fund raising cause and their journey click on the  link; https://www.gofundme.com/f/jamie-and-alex-1000-mile-cycle-ride

At a time when there is so much bad and depressing news it cheered me up to hear Jamie’s story. I always enjoy seeing the wildlife and the fresh air on The Strawberry Line and will now add meeting Jamie the cyclist raising money for the Swans in Richmond Park to my memory bank.

Michael Greaves

4th July 2020

Burglary at St Andrews Church

The Police have asked for information about this burglary which took place between 11:50pm on 24th and 00:20am on 25th April.

The offenders gained access by forcing the south porch medieval door and stealing two boxes of Foodbank produce before entering the church and departing with nativity figurines. The perpetrators were seen both entering and leaving the building carrying boxes.

The Police would like anyone with information about this incident to contact them by calling 101 quoting reference number: 5220091185, or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Internet Security

The Parish Council has advised us this letter has been circulated widely in Congresbury. It is linked to an app. Concerns have been raised regarding the security of products and services sourced via this app. Users submit their real names and addresses which can be accessed by other users including commercial enterprises. Please read, research and make your own judgement. Stay safe on line.

Two comments were made about this on Facebook. Dave Robins There is nothing wrong with this social Media App… it has 285 people in congresbury and 444 people in Yatton and 80 in Kingston Seymour alone using it daily as we speak… 

it has been live in this area since 2018 and world wide since 2008….
Facebook and Apple have tried to buy it but were refused…. 
the person who has posted this has just followed the misinformed local rumour mill like Chinese 
whispers…the letter may or may not be a scam as described but the App is international…. 
maybe Google the App and have a look on wikipedia….or the recent BBC article which described the App as the Facebook that Mark Zuckerberg wished he had made.

Love Congresbury As was reported yesterday, the app is genuine and can be used well, but it uses people’s names/addresses without express permissions and can be a site for fraudsters-there are safer ways to help your neighbours during this time.

https://www.insidehook.com/…/nextdoor-is-the-go-to…/amp

Nextdoor Is the Go-To Online Destination for Local Scammers - InsideHook

INSIDEHOOK.COMNextdoor Is the Go-To Online Destination for Local Scammers -…