What's new pussycats in Nailsea and nearby? This page is mostly crime, court, weather and traffic updates - post 2017 planning issues including new development(s), homes for sale etc all moved to the new Property Peeps pages but many from this date at still here
Don’t be lonely this Christmas in Nailsea
Nailsea people who find themselves home alone at Christmas have been invited to a festive feast at the Trinity Centre.
Master chef Scott Dyer has volunteered to cook a traditional Christmas turkey dinner with all the trimmings accompanied by Christmas pudding and custard for those who would otherwise be eating on their own.
Scott can also cater for people with special dietary needs and non-alcoholic drinks will be served.
The meal is free as everything has been donated by local businesses but for those who wish there will be a donation box for Nailsea Disability Initiative.
It was 25 years ago, that child actor Macaulay Culkin played eight-year-old Kevin McCallister in the famous film series where he gets to eat a plate of cold pasta as his Christmas dinner sitting alone at a dining room table.
But in Nailsea there is no need to be lonely this Christmas as everyone thinking of eating alone has an invitation to the community dinner at 1pm on Sunday, December 25.
This is the third community Christmas day lunch, spearheaded by Lynda Dicks and her helpers and is sponsored by Tesco supermarket, S&R Burchills greengrocers, Nailsea & Backwell Rotary Club, the Lions Club of Nailsea and local churches.
A host of youth groups including schools, brownies, beavers and the Girls Brigade are helping by making Christmas decorations.
There will be Christmas-theme quizzes, games, singing and the obligatory pulling of crackers but no one compelled to join in and for those who like to sit and watch that is okay too.
Lynda said: “It is a real community event.
“If you are on your own, or know anyone who is, please ring me on 01275 853495.
“Transport can be arranged to collect and return our guests.”
So far 60 people have accepted the invitation but there is room for more.
Fathom Events and Twentieth Century Fox are celebrating the 25th anniversary of Home Alone by bringing the beloved holiday family film back to select cinemas for a final encore with month.
Ex soldier posts negative blog about Nailsea visit
An old solider who was zooming around Nailsea on the night of the Christmas fair has complained in his blog about the behaviour of some youths in the town.
Former army corporal Mark Newton from Swansea is on a quest to visit war memorials having already done a tour of the country to raise money for former comrades.
Mark, aged 48, whose service career was ended by a leg injury, takes his two cats Missy and Smudge on the road with him for company.
With a top speed of eight miles an hour he has covered 2,500 miles and has posted online that he has raised nearly £70,000 in donations for the Royal British Legion, Help For Heroes and other charities.
He said: “I’ve a specially adapted trailer with cooking facilities which I tow behind me and all three of us sleep in that of a night time.”
Mark was given permission to park under the foyer at Tesco Nailsea but didn’t find the experience without incident as he couldn’t get an electricity connection easily to charge his vehicle and then youths disturbed his sleep.
He said: “By and large people are very supportive and friendly when they see me, but there have been a couple of idiots along the way.”
Mark said he was ‘a tad poorly’ when he arrived in freezing fog at the High Street supermarket - see photo - and didn’t know whether it was a bug or food poisoning which may have blinkered his view of the town.
He said: “I know all kids aren't bad but those I meet in Nailsea are some of the worst I have come across.
“I came close to battering two that night for throwing plastic bottles at the trailer, this was while I was sat in it.
“In the morning after doing a run out I went back to bed as I still felt terrible, a youngster took my jacket and put it on, it might be for a joke but I didn't see the funny side.
“Then not directly at me, three lads decided to have a biscuit fight – that’s the best way I can describe it - beside me, they were everywhere, some on the trailer.
“On packing up I found that someone had been putting their cigarettes out on the trailer, on the far side where I can't see, extremely unimpressed though no damage appears to have been done.
“Well I say with all honesty and I mentioned this on Facebook on Saturday morning, I was glad to be out of Nailsea.”
Mark said his money-making missions gave him a renewed purpose after being forced to retire from the 1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards in 1992 following an accident while on duty with the UN in Cyprus.
He said: “I dislocated my knee, crushing three out of my four ligaments, as well as my main nerve, as I hit the ground.
“Then when I went in to get it reconstructed I ended up contracting septicaemia.
“After that arthritis set in.”
Apart from the complaints about Nailsea he said he’s had cash stolen from his collection bucket in Portsmouth and his scooter vandalised in the Scottish Highlands.
Army veteran Stuart Martin read the blog and emailed Nailsea People.
Stuart said: “It does not sound if he had a nice time in Nailsea
“This is a shame because this guy is doing such a good job and he was treated disgustingly by certain folk from Nailsea.”
Nailsea People community editor Carol Deacon responded to the criticism.
She said: “My opinion is I think the issue was compounded by Mark not feeling well.
“I was about all weekend as we had the Christmas fair and saw Mark buzzing around.
“Despite the cold he had a very florid complexion and I wondered then if he was running a temperature?
“Unfortunately, because of legal safeguards I couldn't leave the skate rink and talk to him.
“Everyone I came across complimented Nailsea children on their politeness and good behaviour during the event.
“What has marred Mark's opinion is the actions - and I agree not nice - of less than a handful of youngsters.
"Those who used his trailer as an ashtray - he didn't see - could have been much older.
“But I thank Stuart for bringing this to my attention and I will certainly make sure others are told because I don't feel Mark was welcomed properly to our town.
“Sadly, it could have been because many weren't aware he was coming?
“Rest assured we are a very welcoming and knid community and Mark’s observations are in direct contrast to the skate rink operators who remarked that they found the young people of Nailsea very well behaved and polite.”
To donate to Mark's cause go to www.aroundbritain.org.uk.
OFFICAL: Nailsea police move to fire station at Pound Lane
'We told you this weeks ago but police have now released this statement'
Avon and Somerset Constabulary has been in discussions with Avon Fire and Rescue Service regarding a co-location at the fire station following the sale of Nailsea Police Station to retirement developer McCarthy and Stone.
The fire station, which is located on the corner of Clevedon Road and Pound Lane, will become home to the town’s neighbourhood policing team and police enquiry office. The move into the fire station is due to be complete by April 2017.
The Nailsea-based response team will be relocated to a new North Somerset Policing Centre, which is being built near junction 21 of the M5 at Weston-super-Mare. This new facility is also due to be complete and operational by April 2017 and will provide easy access to the whole of North Somerset for the response teams.
Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: “I am delighted that the Nailsea neighbourhood team and enquiry office function will be moving into Nailsea fire station. Nailsea police station is too big for our needs and is costly to upkeep. I know it’s important to local residents that Nailsea maintains a strong policing presence and moving the local policing team into the fire station makes sense.
“Operating out of one base not only ensures value for money, but is more convenient for the community by offering multiple services under one roof, as well as enabling the police and fire to work more collaboratively. I continue to welcome collaborations like this that help reduce over-sized and under used police buildings, in order to focus funding on frontline policing.”
Nailsea Police Station was identified for closure in the Constabulary’s Estates Strategy 2014, due to the fact it is too big and no longer fit for purpose. It was subsequently sold to McCarthy and Stone, who plan to develop the site into retirement apartments.
North Somerset District Commander Chief Inspector Tina Robinson said: “The fire station is located near to the town centre and will provide our officers with a modern, fit-for-purpose facility to patrol from.
“It will also be easily accessible to members of the public who wish to make enquiries with us. We would like to reassure the community that the move will have no effect on the service we provide.”
Avon Fire and Rescue Service Chief Fire Officer Kevin Pearson said: “This move demonstrates that locally we are committed to working more closely with other emergency services.
“Together we can develop better and more efficient ways of working and use existing resources to benefit our local communities.”
Con man preys on pensioners
Police are appealing to the public to be vigilant and to look out for vulnerable neighbours, relatives and friends after several incidents in Nailsea where elderly people have been conned.
Two men, both aged 89, have reported that they have been approached by a stranger who has then managed to con them out of cash during two separate incidents.
The first was at the beginning of November.
The victim was approached outside Tower House surgery.
A man in a car, who claimed to be Swiss, asked for directions to Gatwick Airport.
He handed the victim several cheap watches and asked for cash for petrol, stating he only had Euros. The victim handed over £50 before realising it was a con.
The second happened on Wednesday, November 16 between noon-1pm in the car park of Tesco supermarket, also at Nailsea.
The victim was approached by a man claiming to be Italian and asking for directions to Dover.
He tried to sell the victim some watches and when the offer was declined he asked for money.
The victim offered to give him a small amount and went to the cash point to make a withdrawal, at which point the suspect leaned over him and withdrew £250 from the victim’s account and left.
PC Claire Tanner, of Nailsea Police Station, said: “So far, we have had two reported cases but I believe there may have been more as I have seen posts on the Hello Clevedon Facebook page that outline similar incidents.
"If this is the case, please get in touch with me.
“Victims in cases like this often say they didn’t want to make a fuss or they are embarrassed – but I want people to make a fuss.
"If a stranger approaches you trying to sell you something or asking for cash, walk away.
"Find a shop assistant or someone to help you and get in touch with police.
"Don’t ever let a stranger come to the cash point with you or give them your card, pin number or bank details.
“This person is targeting elderly and vulnerable people and basically conning them out of, what is to the victim, a substantial amount of money.
"It’s also leaving them very upset and distressed as well as being out of pocket.
"I find this personally upsetting.
"It is inexcusable to target vulnerable people this way.”
Avon & Somerset Constabulary has launched a new community safety campaign 'Everything starts with hello' aimed at helping to reduce isolation, vulnerability and crime.
More than half of people aged 75 and over live alone and isolation and loneliness can increase vulnerability to crime.
Older people particularly can be vulnerable to cons, fraud, distraction burglary and online/telephone scams.
However, everyone can make a difference by just saying hello and keeping an eye on people in their local community.
PC Tanner added: “I am appealing directly to the public to get in touch if you have any information that might help me with this case.
"If you see an elderly or vulnerable person being pestered or looking distressed when you are out and about – then please stop, say hello and help them.
"Your presence might deter a thief or con artist.”
The suspect is described as a white man between 35-45 years old.
He didn’t have a beard, glasses or any particularly distinguishing features.
If you have information about any of these incidents, or you have been or know someone who has been the victim of a similar incident then please get in touch with PC Tanner either via the 101 number or by emailing her through the website www.avonandsomerset.police.uk.
Please quote URN: 5216255691
Alternatively, you can call the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. They never ask your name or trace your call.
What a lot of water on route to Nailsea
There were lots of Nailsera commuters mouthing 'I don't like Mondays' when on November 21 the heavens opened and the roads and rail tracks flooded.
Probably not the best time for Avon & Somerset Constabulary to launch a series of speed checks although the Nailsea People posting about the inclusion of Mizzymead Road on its Facebook page reached in more than 4,000 wary drivers.
It was at teatime the railway line from Bristol southwards stopped running because of flooding at Flax Bourton and then Temple Meads was closed temporarily becuase of 'overcrowding' see photos below.
Flooding at Portbury caused problems especially when motorists chanced the huge puddleswith several breaking down in the middle of the vast expanse of water.
The Clevedon Road at Tickenham was waterlogged in parts especially near the M5 underpass and people were reporting it taking them hours to get home.
In North Somerset the main area of focus for flooding was Weston-super-Mare at Summer Lane Pond where water levels rose quickly yesterday risking flooding of nearby properties.
Council crews were out yesterday and through the night dealing with the excess water.
Flood barriers were installe to contain the water and overnight Avon Fire and Rescue installed a pump to take water away from the pond area.
A North Somerset Council spokesman said: "We expect this to be working most of the day today, pumping water at a rate of 4,000 litres a minute.
"It is making a big difference.
"The pump hose goes across Elmham Way at the junction with Worle Moor Gate by Morrison’s.
"Ramps are being used to straddle the hose and traffic restrictions are in place to one lane each way.
"This will cause an issue with tailbacks and motorists are urged to be patient.
"At the roundabout left turn from the A370 from Weston onto Elmham Way two lanes here now merge into one for the hose ramp so motorists should take extra care when approaching the junction.
"We expect the pump to be working for most of day and road closures remain in place either side of the Summer Lane entrance.
"Heron’s Moor and Baytree schools will be closed today, but there are no other reported school closures in our area."
Meanwhile back on our patch people say it is almost back to normal - thanks for photos everyone.
£1 billion council opt-out
North Somerset Council has missed a share of £1 billion government grant by opting out of a devolution deal.
Bristol, Bath & North East Somerset and South Gloucestershire councils voted to give their consent on the Parliamentary Order for the West of England devolution deal.
The Order, issued by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid, seeks to establish the West of England Combined Authority.
It follows the decisions at then end of June to move forward with the proposed £1 billion West of England devolution deal and the subsequent public consultatio in the summer.
The Order was taken to the Cabinet meetings at Bristol and Bath & North East Somerset and full Council at South Gloucestershire Council, where all three gave their consent for the establishment of the West of England Combined Authority.
Bath & North East Somerset Council leader Tim Warren said: “We are pleased to move ahead with this deal, which is essential to delivering on our priorities of improving transport infrastructure, delivering affordable homes, and investing in the skills training needed for the local economy.
“This is the best possible deal for our area – and one that far outweighs any other devolution deal done elsewhere in the country, both in terms of the funding secured and safeguards in place to protect the absolute autonomy of Bath & North East Somerset Council.
“This deal unlocks a billion pounds of funding for our area, and brings decision-making powers, on issues that were previously held in Westminster, closer to local communities.
"It will also ensure that we continue to be at the top table when there are new opportunities to receive funding and investment from central Government.
“I would like to thank everybody in Bath and North East Somerset who contributed to the debate; those who gave us their views and particularly those who have been supportive.”
Bristol mayor Marvin Rees said: “This deal has the potential to be the biggest change in local decision-making powers in the city region for generations.
"The three local authorities have worked hard to create a worthwhile offer to government and tried hard to get the most benefit for local people.
“This deal should bring over nearly £1 billion of spending, along with combined powers over transport, home building, local jobs and training, not to mention fairer chances for everyone to access them and share the benefit of our region’s economic success.
"This is another shift in our ambition to bring power from Westminster to city government.
“This isn’t a cure-all and there will always be some strings attached. Making it truly work in the long term will take a lot of hard graft.
"This is only a first step and as we think ahead to the even greater opportunities offered by future devolution deals, we must ensure this is properly resourced to get the best deal for Bristol and the city region.”
South Gloucestershire Council leader Matthew Riddle, said: “Our deal is among the best negotiated in the country and will bring tangible benefits to people who live and work across the region.
"Once the Order has received Royal Assent, the new arrangements will be in place early next year.”
The next step will be for the Order to be laid before Parliament.
This leads to Royal Assent which is expected to be before the Parliamentary recess at Christmas. Once granted, the councils will have the necessary powers to establish the West of England Combined Authority early next year and hold mayoral elections in May.
Nailsea firm huge fine for health & safety breach
A well-established company in Nailsea has been fined £60,000 for health and safety breaches.
North Somerset Council health and safety inspectors investigated an incident in November 2014 where an employee had fallen two metres causing significant injury while working for Nailsea Power Cleaning Limited.
Simon Whitcombe, aged 41, a storeman who had worked for the company for more than three and a half years, climbed up the racking system to secure a load for lifting by a forklift, as he had no other means to access it safely.
He fell approximately two metres on to the concrete floor sustaining fractures to both heels.
Mr Whitcombe no longer works for the company and is still recovering from the injuries he sustained.
Health and safety officers carried out an investigation and found that the company had failed to comply with their health and safety duties towards their employees.
Inspectors found that the company, which has operated for more than 30 years:
failed to ensure that lifting operations were properly planned;
failed to ensure that employees were adequately trained in the operation of forklift trucks;
failed to ensure that racking was stabilised in the warehouse;
failed to provide a written health and safety policy; and
failed to provide suitable and sufficient risk assessments for their work activities.
On Monday, November 14, Nailsea Power Cleaning Limited director Daniel Baker, which operates from Cherry Orchard Farm in Youngwood Lane, Nailsea pleaded guilty at Bristol Crown Court to two offences under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
The company, which supplies electric, petrol and diesel high-power washers to the trade in the UK, was fined £60,000 and North Somerset Council was awarded full costs of £13,809.
The company has put in place procedures to comply with their duties.
North Somerset Council operations assistant director Mandy Bishop said: “The growth of a family business to a successful medium-size enterprise is commendable but the focus on health and safety failed to keep pace with the expansion of the company.
”The consequences to the employee and his family of this accident were catastrophic and life changing and the fine issued by the court reflected this.”
The offences the company pleaded guilty to are:
1. Failing to discharge a duty contrary to Section 2(1) and 33(1)(a) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974
2. Failing to comply with Health and Safety Regulations contrary to Reg 3(1) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations and Section 33(1)(c) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.
DRUG BUST: Nailsea Neighbourhood Policing Team and the Special Constabulary executed a drug warrant this week. One arrest was made. A supply of drugs and cash was seized from an address at North Street
Fire, police and ambulance
There has been lots of speculation on where Nailsea police officers are going when its station on the corner of Stockway South and Mizzymead Road gets demolished next year.
Originally it was thought the officers would share accommodation at Scotch Horn Centre.
It is hoped when cash-strapped North Somerset Council find the funds to redevelop the Brockway sports and leisure centre it will become a multi-use complex that includes a library, swimming pool and front office police station.
The old police station is due to close in March next year in to make way for retirement homes and with the Scotch Horn option not up and running many premises in the town have been considered including a unit at Crown Glass shopping centre.
Then only last month it was announced that officers were relocating to the former School Togs uniform shop at the Link Road.
A police spokesman said: "We have put an offer on the property which used to be a school uniform shop.
"It is still in the very early stages and no final agreement has been reached."
Well this isn't going ahead and we now learn a move to the fire station is the favoured option.
This will see Avon Fire & Rescue Service, South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust and Avon & Somerset Constabulary all housed on the corner of Pound Lane and Clevedon Road on the northern outskirts of the town.
Plans by McCarthy and Stone to turn the existing police station into a three-storey building with 40 one and two bed apartments including 30 parking spaces were submitted earlier this year.
But final planning approval has been stalled as a Section 106 agreement hasn't been reached.
Nailsea police station was put up for sale last autumn - with a price tag of £1.25 million.
The sale comes as part of a force wide re-organisation to save costs.
M5 Junction 21 improvements
Weston's MP John Penrose has welcomed this week's Government announcement of £750,000 to improve Junction 21 of the M5.
It is the final chapter of a 10 year campaign to cut tailbacks and delays for local residents and businesses.
John said: "This is the final piece of improvement to cut tailbacks and delays to keep J21 moving.
"It's taken 10 years to get it done and finally Westonians have won.
"After this, J21 will be at full capacity and we will need a whole new Junction - J21a - to cope with the next phase of growth.”
Drunken vandal says sorry!
Pay ££s to register for new garden waste collections
Improvements to recycling and waste services will come to North Somerset next year when a new contractor takes over the service and residents are being urged to sign up now for the new garden waste collection service.
But gardeners will have to pay a fee to register.
Biffa has been appointed to collect the area’s household recycling and waste and run its recycling centres for the next seven years after the council’s current contract with Kier expires next February.
The new contract comes into effect on Wednesday, March 1, and changes include an improved food waste collection service for properties with communal recycling, collection of small electrical items, the option of different coloured boxes so residents can sort their recycling more effectively, and a garden waste service using, mainly, bins.
North Somerset Council executive member whose portfolio includes recycling and waste Peter Bryant said: "Garden waste will be collected in bins, not sacks and we’ve made this change largely because of health and safety concerns around the current system.
"Residents will need to register for the new service with a one-off fee of £20 for each bin registered to the property, if they register before Sunday, December 18.”
Bins will be available in three different sizes – 140, 180 and 240-litre – and each property will be allowed up to two bins.
A 180-litre bin is the same size as the majority of North Somerset residents have for their landfill waste.
A 240-litre bin will hold the equivalent of three to four of the bags householders use at the moment.
The bins are much more robust, and will be much easier for the collection teams to manoeuvre.
Smaller garden waste sacks will be available by exception to those properties who use grey sacks for their refuse collection.
Mr Bryant, who is district councillor for the Weston-super-Mare Uphill ward, added: “The new garden waste collection will be available to those residents who register for the service.
“We’ve made the process of opting in as simple as possible.
"There is a reduced fee of £20 per bin if you register before Sunday, December 18.
"After that date the fee will be £25 and we can’t guarantee that your bin/s will be delivered before the new service starts on 1 March.
"So I really would encourage residents to sign up as soon as possible.”
To register click HERE this will take you to an online page where you can sign into MyAccount.
Choose the ‘report or request it’ option and then the option for ‘submit garden waste registration’.
How does the cost of green bins compare with other councils?
North Somerset: £20 one-off registration fee (rising to £25 after 18 December)
South Gloucestershire: £30 annual service charge
Bath and North East Somerset: £42 annual service charge, plus one-off £2.78 delivery charge for the bin
Bristol: £32 annual service charge, plus £21 for the bin
Somerset Waste Partnership: £50-53 annual service charge (depending on area).
Since the current contract began in 2010, North Somerset Council has become one of the top performing councils in the country for recycling with the amount of residual waste generated by each household half what it was in 2006 and well below the national average.
The proportion of waste sent to landfill has dropped from 59 per cent in 2009-10 to 20 per cent in 2015/16 thanks to the improved service and residents’ efforts to recycle more.
This has reduced the cost of sending waste to landfill by about £15m over the same period. Satisfaction among residents is also high, with the service gaining between 87 and 91 per cent in residents’ surveys.
The council was recently named second in a list of local authorities for saving carbon emissions through recycling services.
The Recycling Carbon Index, by Bristol-based waste consultancy Eunomia, says the council saved 108kg of carbon dioxide per person through their recycling services in 2014/15 (just 1kg less than Cheshire West and Chester, the top performing authority).
Mr Bryant added; "We are, of course, keen to ensure the high levels of customer satisfaction are maintained when the service transfers to our new contractor, Biffa, next year. I want to thank all our residents for the efforts they are making to recycle more – it’s better for the environment and there has been an enormous saving in what we spend on sending waste to landfill.”
Scouts say post early for Christmas
For the 17th year running 1st and 2nd Nailsea Scouts and Backwell Scouts have joined forces to deliver Christmas cards throughout the Nailsea and Backwell area.
Last year a total of £1,500 was raised within Nailsea.
A proportion of the money from the sale of stamps is donated to a local charity, so last year £180 was donated to the MS Centre the remainder £1,300 was shared between the two groups to help fund Scout activities and buy new equipment.
Nailsea Scouts would like to thank the people of Nailsea who supported the service by buying stamps and hope we can rely on your support again this year.
We would also like to thank Pring and Co who kindly sponsored our stamps, and also our 'post offices'.
The price of stamps will remain at a very reasonable 25p and will be available from Saturday, November 12, from the following outlets: -
Touts Budgens at Wraxall garage; School Togs, Clevedon Walk; Hunter Leahy estate agetns at High Street; Coens Chemist, Somerset Square; MayNews, also at Somerset Square; Co-op at Hannah More Road and the Grove Stores.
Also various outlets in Backwell.
The last date for posting will be Saturday, December 17 at noon.
CULPRIT BOLTED: You are not going to believe this but someone tried to 'steal' a bench and bin from Nailsea High Street at the weekend. Town orderly Mandy Langham made the discovery while out with her broom barrow and has reported it to Nailsea Town Council and North Somerset Council. Mandy has also put a temporary 'unstable' notice on the seat which she says the culprit(s) tried to unbolt from its base! However, on the Nailsea People Facebook page many comments lay the blame for the damage at a late night driver who reversed into the seat with red break light glass left at the scene...police are investigating...
Drunken youths on rampage
A concerned Nailsea resident has contacted Nailsea People about youths setting fire to a road sign at just gone midnight last night.
He said: "Between 12.15-12.45pm last night a number of youths set fire to a road sign and hedge and garden on the corner of The Perrings and Whiteoak Way.
"Others youths were jumping on cars.
"Information at the scene reports youths were running away along The Perrings, Queens Road and into Station Road last night following a gathering near The Grove.
"Anyone who has information as to who carried out this crime please call the police on 101.
"This could of been so different if the 10ft high flames had reached the home where an elderly resident was asleep - these idiots are mindless and need to be caught soon."
The police currently have a 'requirement to disperse' order in place from August following reports of large groups congregating in Millennium Park and The Grove with instances of drinking and anti-social behaviour.
Scroll down on this page to read more.
A police spokesman said: "We received a call at aprroximately 12.40am on Sunday morning to reports of a hedge being set alight in The Perrings.
"The Whitecross Road street sign was also damaged which may have damaged a nearby bush. North Somerset Council highways advised of damage to the street sign.
"Residents reported shouting but when we arrived there was no one there.
"Search made of local area carried out.
"We have no witnesses to the actual incidents and would be keen to hear from anyone with information and our enquiries are continuing.
"Anyone able to help is asked to call 101 and quote reference Niche 5216224646."
Stephanie Weeks: The problem is they have no respect and their parents obviously don't care where they are and what they are doing. Fingers crossed they get caught and maybe the police should fine the parents as well maybe then they would do something to discipline their children.
John White: What good is it calling the police. You are on your own in Nailsea.
Julia Adams: I saw lady today trying to rescue her hedge today, those youths should be ashamed.
Emma Rowlands: They're bored. And no they don't need more youth clubs or skate parks, they need more clubs, pubs and night life.
Emma Thomas: Surely if they're old enough to be in pubs and clubs, then that means they are grown adults. And old enough to understand what is acceptable behaviour, and what isn't?
Claire Louise Grimsted: This is such idiotic behaviour!!! What's the matter with the youth of today do they not have any respect for anything ? Or even realise that someone or some people could of injured or worse?
Jessica Davies: We are talking about kids in yrs 8 onwards. Not kids that are 16/17 plus - maybe better parenting is a starting point.
Nailsea burglary alert
A large quantity of money was stolen during a burglary in Nailsea and police are appealing for information.
At about 9.30pm on Sunday, September 25, offenders broke into the store in Somerset Square and stole cash.
A CCTV hard drive was also stolen and this was recovered from a pond in Barrow Gurney the next day.
PC Peter Rooke said: “We’re appealing for witnesses to the burglary and potentially the depositing of the CCTV hard drive in the pond in Barrow Gurney.
“Did you see anyone acting suspiciously outside the Poundland store on the evening of the Sunday?
"Did you see any people or vehicles in the area of the pond between that Sunday and the following day?
“If you can help us, please call 101 and give the call handler the reference number 5216214005.”
And in other incidents at The Elms and Lodge Lane an attempted burglary was foiled thanks to a vigilant pet who barked and scared the person off.
Bee-ware alien species sighted in Somerset
Bristol Zoo is urging people to be vigilant following a sighting of the non-native invasive Asian hornet north of the Mendip Hills, in Somerset.
It’s the second time that the hornet, a highly effective predator of insects which can cause significant losses of on honey bees and other beneficial species, has been recorded in the UK.
The first sighting was recorded in Tetbury earlier this month and a nest was located and destroyed.
Conservationists at Bristol Zoo, who have been raising awareness of the threat of the hornets coming into the UK for several years, are asking people to report any sightings immediately.
Avon Invasive Weeds Project Officer based at Bristol Zoo Neil Green said: “The invasive species team at Bristol Zoo are all too aware of the threat that these insects pose in the UK – they could devastate honey bee colonies.
"The hornets seem to be to the north and south of us so it’s vital the Bristol community are extra vigilant.
“We have a huge responsibility to help all organisations such as Defra, the NNSS, The National Bee Unit, The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), The British Beekeepers Association (BBKA) and Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH), among others, who are working tirelessly to respond to any reported sightings and help manage the issue on the ground.”
A surveillance zone has been set up around the Mendip Hills and village of Tetbury and local control centres are in place to coordinate responses.
Bee inspectors have also been deployed to use infrared cameras and traps to locate any nests.
Bee inspectors in Somerset are being supported by nest disposal experts who will use an approved pesticide to destroy any hornets and remove any nests.
The Asian hornet queens are up to 3cm in length, and her workers up to 2.5cm.
They are entirely dark brown or black with a velvety body, bordered with a fine yellow band and pose no greater risk to human health than a bee. They are more likely to be spotted in the daytime as, unlike the European hornet, they cease activity at dusk.
Any sightings of an Asian hornet must be reported immediately.
Members of the public are asked to take a picture and email it with details of the sighting location, as well as their contact details, to email@example.com.
For more information click HERE.
Bristol Zoo Gardens is a conservation and education charity and relies on the generous support of the public not only to fund its important work in the Zoo, but also its vital conservation and research projects spanning five continents.
For more information about visiting Bristol Zoo Gardens click HERE or phone 0117 974 7300.
Somerset After Dark
On the day North Somerset Council launched its stay safe campaign for the dark winter months a serious sexual assault was reported at Weston-super-Mare.
A 40-something woman was attacked in the early hours of Friday, September 23, while walking home along Albert Avenue.
Acting detective sergeant Nick Riley said: “This is a very concerning incident in which a woman was seriously sexually assaulted on her way home from Weston-super-Mare town centre.
“Although we haven’t got a description of the man who carried out this attack, we’re trying to trace anyone in the area who may have seen or heard anything suspicious between 2am and 4.30am on Friday.
“In particular, we want to speak to a man who came to the victim’s aid after she was attacked.
“He’s described as being an older man.
“We’re very keen to identify him as he may have important information for us.
“The victim has attended The Bridge Sexual Assault Referral Centre following her ordeal and she’s being given continual access to all the help and support she needs.”
Call 101 is you have any information the reference number is 5216212731.
The Somerset After Campaign hopes to have people going to carnivals, Halloween and firework events to plan route and parking in advance and to avoid drinking excessive amounts of alcohol.
East Somerset local policing commander Mark Edgington said: “We are working with our partners across the district councils, Trading Standards and Avon and Somerset Fire and Rescue to launch Somerset After Dark.
“The campaign will support our operational activities during the Bridgwater Fair, Halloween, the carnivals and bonfire nights and will include crime prevention, personal safety and travel tips to make sure everyone can enjoy the fun.
“The carnivals have now started and whichever event you are attending over the coming months, there will most likely be heavy traffic in places, so please bear this in mind - aim to arrive at least an hour before either the carnival or fireworks are due to start.
“I would encourage everyone to plan their journey and where you are going to park as people travelling to some of the carnivals and larger fire-works displays can expect some road closures and diversions.
“These have been planned and implemented by the carnival organisers and can be viewed on their websites.”
Chief inspector Edgington added: “We would appreciate the public’s cooperation by being mindful of other people, particularly ‘trick or treating’ at Halloween, which some people can find intimidating.
“During the next month we will be working with local schools, shops and licensees in the run up to Halloween to deliver some key messaging and implement measures to hopefully minimise any anti-social behaviour.
“Have fun but please be sensible, especially in regards to fireworks and alcohol. Remember the basic safety tips so you have a fun night and we can have a quiet night.”
The annual firework display at Nailsea & Backwell Rugby Club kicks-off at 6pm on Saturday, November 5.
Finding somewhere safe to park
Public car parks run by North Somerset Council have again been recognised for their safe parking.
Following independent on-site assessments by the British Parking Association (BPA) and police, nine car parks have retained the Safer Parking Scheme ‘Park Mark’.
The nine are:
Nailsea and Backwell Station at Backwell
Salthouse Fields and Hawthorns, Clevedon
Worle Parkway Station (Diamond Batch), at Worle
Locking Road, Grove Park, Melrose, Hampton and Carlton Street multi-storey all at Weston-super-Mare.
The national ‘Park Mark’ scheme is run by the BPA to reduce crime and the fear of crime in car parks.
Police check the car park is properly managed and maintained and has appropriate levels of surveillance and/or patrols, lighting, signage and cleanliness – all of which contribute to reducing the opportunity for crime.
In awarding ‘Park Mark’ status to the nine council-run car parks, the BPA said: “Park Mark is the only national police accreditation awarded for parking facilities in the UK. It is a public demonstration that your organisation is committed to reducing vehicle crime and anti-social behaviour in your car parks.”
The council’s deputy leader and executive member responsible for car parks, Cllr Elfan Ap Rees, said: “Research shows that personal safety and location are joint priorities when choosing somewhere to park.
"The public want to know where to go for safer parking.
"By using a ‘Park Mark’ car park they can be confident that the environment is safer for them and their vehicle.”
DOWN IN THE DUMPS; You couldn't make it up - one minute North Somerset Council is celebrating winning an award for being a top local authority for recycling and the next it is threatening budget cuts which could see Backwell recycling centre closed on Wednesdays and Thursdays - click HERE to read full Bristol Post story
Waste not, want not
North Somerset Council has come second in a list of local authorities for saving carbon emissions through recycling services.
The Recycling Carbon Index, by Bristol-based waste consultancy Eunomia, says the council saved 108kg of carbon dioxide per person through their recycling services in 2014-15, just 1kg less than Cheshire West and Chester, the top performing authority.
Eunomia’s Recycling Carbon Index assesses the carbon emissions impact of local authorities’ recycling work in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in 2014/15, measuring the kilograms of carbon emissions saved per person by each council’s recycling service.
Overall, recycling schemes of councils in England during 2014/15 saved 3.5m tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, the equivalent of boiling the water for 270 billion cups of tea.
North Somerset Council executive member responsible for recycling and waste services Peter Bryant said: “Thanks to the recycling efforts of our residents, we have consistently been in the top three of the index since Eunomia first published it four years ago.
"Maintaining this level of carbon saving is a fantastic achievement.”
For a free download of the report by Eunomia Research & Consulting Ltd click HERE.
Nailsea drug dealer jailed
A 46-year-old Nailsea drug dealer has been jailed for two years.
Alan Turner, of North Street, pictured top right and among the 19 dealers from across Somerset to receive jail sentences for a combined total of 53 years and four months.
It follows a nine-month long police investigation into the supply of Class A drugs in the county.
Among others jailed were Kyle Pike, 20, of Hopkins Street, Weston-Super-Mare and Lee Crawley, 48, of Lovers Walk, Weston-Super-Mare.
Pike was sentenced to six years and six months behind bars for four counts of supplying heroin and four counts of supplying cocaine in addition to the possession of a firearm while Crawley was given a three year and eight month prison term for four counts of supplying heroin.
In addition to those given immediate custodial sentences, seven other people were given suspended prison terms of up to two years while one woman received a two year community order.
All those sentenced were filmed selling drugs such as heroin and cocaine.
Warrants were later executed at properties in Chard, Cheddar, Crewkerne, Nailsea, Sherborne, Weston-super-Mare, Yatton and Yeovil.
Chief Superintendent Ian Wylie, the area commander for Somerset and North Somerset, said: “We are committed to tackling drug dealing and all the associated crime and anti-social behaviour that comes with it.
“People shouldn’t have to live in places where dealers freely sell their drugs on the streets, in parks or in areas where children play which is what was happening in a number of Somerset towns.
“We always listen to the concerns of our communities but it can take us some time to develop the intelligence we receive and people shouldn’t assume that because they don’t see immediate results, that it isn’t being acted upon.
“The complex nine-month long investigation which has resulted in these sentences is proof of this and has shown that we in Avon and Somerset are in no way a soft touch and will do everything we can to ensure our communities are safe and feel safe.
“I am pleased with the sentences handed down by the judge but I’d like to stress that our commitment to tackling drugs does not end here and we are in this for the long term.
“Local policing teams are making their presence known on the streets and are making them hostile to new dealers moving in, as well as ensuring those looking to buy drugs are put in touch with support services which can help them turn their lives around.”
As well as Turner those receiving immediate prison sentences include:
Anthony Steven Vowles, 32, of Alfred Street, Weston-super-Mare – jailed for 2 years 6 months
Ashley James King, 28, of Laburnum Road, Weston-super-Mare - jailed for 2 years 6 months
Benjamin Richard White, 31, of Brompton Road, Weston-super-Mare – jailed for 3 years
Brian Gary Munson, 44, of Royal Crescent, Weston-super-Mare – jailed for 2 years 8 months
Daniel James Bevan, 29, of Alfred Street, Weston-super-Mare – jailed for 2 years
Daniel Rushworth, 25, of Ivel Court, Yeovil - jailed for 3 years 4 months
Gabriel Lopes, 36, of Holyrood Street, Chard – jailed for 2 years
Krystian Atherton, 41, of Manilla Crescent, Weston-super-Mare - jailed for 2 years
Kyle Christian Pike, 20, of Hopkins Street, Weston-super-Mare – jailed for 6 years 6 months
Lee Mark Crawley, 48, of Lovers Walk, Weston-super-Mare – jailed for 3 years 8 months
Louise Margaret Barnes, 48, of Stafford Road, Weston-super-Mare - jailed for 2 years 8 months
Louise Powell, 35, of Coleridge Road, Weston-super-Mare - jailed for 2 years 8 months
Luke Rugman, 20, of Bell Close, Bristol – jailed for 2 years 4 months
Mark Anthony Kay, 40, of Meadow Street, Weston-super-Mare - jailed for 2 years 8 months
Paul Terrence Clark, 47, of Ashcombe Road, Weston-super-Mare - jailed for 2 years 8 months
Ryan Anthony Love, 32, NFA – jailed for 2 years 6 months
Ryan Gerard Skelhorn, 29, of Gatehouse Close, Bristol - jailed for 3 years
Vincent Martin, 45, of Churchill Road, Weston-super-Mare – jailed for 2 years 8 months
Those receiving suspended prison sentences were:
Joanne Trotter, 54, of Boulevard, Weston-super-Mare - 2 year imprisonment suspended for 2 years
Michelle Leanne Platt, 43, of Orchard Close, Highbridge - 2 year imprisonment suspended for 2 years
Debbi Anita June Huxtable, 34, of South Road, Weston-super-Mare - 2 year imprisonment suspended for 2 years
John Anthony Carr, 34, of Elm Walk, Yatton - 2 year imprisonment suspended for 2 years
Claudia Henriques, 34, of Holyrood Street, Chard - 2 year imprisonment suspended for 2 years
James Studley, 31, of Jubilee Close, Crewkerne - 2 year imprisonment suspended for 2 years
Andrew Martin Lever, 24, of Oborne Road, Sherborne - 2 year imprisonment suspended for 2 years
Patrick Michael Steven Donegan, 30, of Gainsborough Way, Yeovil - 16 months imprisonment suspended for 2 years
Kelly Hart, 35, of Drove Road, Weston-super-Mare also received a 2 year community order.
Yatton motorist, 23, charged with causing death of Alex Gould, 18
A 23-year-old man has been charged with causing death by dangerous driving following an investigation into a fatal collision in Nailsea.
James Bisset, of Yatton, has also been charged with a number of other offences causing serious injury by dangerous driving, driving a motor vehicle while above the legal alcohol limit, driving a motor vehicle with a proportion of a controlled drug over the specified limit and possession of a class A drug (cocaine).
The charges relate to a collision between a car and pedestrians in Clevedon Road, Nailsea, in the early hours of St Valentines Day, February 14.
One of the pedestrians, 18-year-old Alex Gould, died following the collision.
Bisset has been released on bail to attend North Somerset Magistrates’ Court on Monday, October 10.
Ramraiders escape empty handed
Police were called out to reports of criminal damage at the petrol filling station at Tesco in High Street, Nailsea at about 4.45am on Sunday morning.
A glass door, brickwork and some metalwork was damaged and bollards knocked over.
Police say this may have been caused by a vehicle but it is not clear exactly what time the incident happened.
A Tesco spokesman said nothing was taken.
It is believed it it was an attempted ram raid by a gang which had hit another supermarket service station at Portishead.
Anyone with any information is asked to call 101, quoting reference 5216196449.
DOG BITE: Nailsea girl Chloe Penny, aged 12, could be scarred for life after being attacked by Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Click HERE to go to Bristol Post story and video interview with dad Richa
Council cuts include recruitment freeze
Despite setting a balanced budget for 2016i17, North Somerset Council, in common with many other councils, is experiencing additional strain on its budget due to rising costs and a higher demand for services.
This follows continued significant reductions in Government funding.
The council is now implementing a series of measures in order to make an additional £4.5m saving this financial year.
North Somerset has already addressed a £15m funding gap in 2015-16 as part of £55m of savings delivered since 2010.
Part of the strategy to balance the books includes accelerating plans to transform services and also to manage demand by enabling more community-based support and self-help.
As well as targeting a likely overspend in adult social care and children's services, in-year savings measures will include:
re-scheduling of all non-essential maintenance and repairs
suspension of all non-essential training
a vacancy freeze
a review of all agency and temporary placements.
Service managers across the council are also being asked to scrutinise all areas of their work and suspend activities that are not essential in the current year, or bring forward savings planned for next year.
North Somerset Council deputy leader Elfan Ap Rees said the council was facing some tough decisions.
The Hutton and Locking ward councillor said: "We have a duty to protect the most vulnerable in our community but we also have to live within the resources available to us. It is extremely hard to make year-on-year savings when you have already cut £55m.
"Nevertheless, our track record on finding ways to meet the challenges we face gives me confidence that we will fulfil our commitment to protect those who need our help the most.
"I would like to thank all our staff for their continued work and commitment in these difficult times."
New Nailsea bus timetable for September
Bus operators have announced a number of changes to bus services in North Somerset, starting from Sunday, September 4.
And to help people find out more North Somerset Council public transport team is holding a series of roadshow events in council libraries across the area, offering resident the chance to pick up new timetables and speak to bus operators about the changes.
The roadshows will be taking place at:
Clevedon library – Monday, August 22, 10am-noon
Yatton library – Monday, August 22, 2-4pm
Weston-super-Mare library – Tuesday, August 23, 10am-12.30pm
Nailsea library – Wednesday, August 24, 10am-noon
Portishead library – Wednesday, August 24, 2-4pm
First West of England have undertaken a full review of their bus network, with a number of significant changes for North Somerset bus services.
There are minor timetable changes to Weston-super-Mare town services 3 and 7. Service 20 to Burnham-on-Sea will operate its autumn/winter timetable from September 4, operating every 60 minutes until spring 2017.
Service A2 has a revised route in Weston-super-Mare and will now serve Marchfields Way, Herluin Way and Aisecombe Way. Following requests from residents, it will now also serve Locking village.
From September services X1 and W1 will become the X1 and X1A, providing a combined 15 minute frequency between Weston-super-Mare and Bristol, with the X1 serving Long Ashton village and the X1A serving Claverham village.
In Yatton service W1 will no longer be provided while a new service X6A will operate every hour into Bristol via Clevedon and Nailsea, providing a regular link between Yatton and Clevedon.
This new service will work with service X6 to provide a combined 30 minute frequency between Clevedon and Bristol.
Service 6 will be withdrawn and replaced by the X6A for journeys between Clevedon and Nailsea.
Travellers to and from Long Ashton will benefit from a co-ordinated 30 minute frequency on services X1 and X9, which is being introduced at the request of local residents.
There will also be minor changes to the X8 and X9 timetables.
Portishead service X2 will be renumbered as the X4 and service X3 will no longer serve Weatherley Drive.
There will be changes to the timetable but no change to the frequency of services.
First is also introducing double decker vehicles on this route to cater for the growing demand for these services.
In Clevedon, service X5 will now serve Millcross and Yeolands Drive.
Additional journeys will be provided at commuter times for workers travelling to Portbury Docks.
In addition, and following feedback from passengers, the Carmel Bristol services 88A and 88C will now start and finish in Nailsea, removing the layover at Yatton Railway Station and simplifying the route.
The services will operate a revised route in Clevedon, via Southern Way and Old Church Road, increasing the frequency of buses in these areas. Carmel Bristol have also recently introduced brand new vehicles on these routes so passengers can travel in comfort.
To stay up-to-date with news about buses in the area like the North Somerset Public Transport Facebook page.
Nailsea police clampdown on bad behaviour at parks
A dispersal order (Section 35) has been put in place in Nailsea to help police tackle anti-social behaviour in the area.
The order follows reports of large groups congregating in Millennium Park and The Grove, with instances of drinking and anti-social behaviour.
Dispersal orders mean the police can ask anyone causing a problem to leave the area for a certain period of time.
If they do not obey the order, they may be arrested.
Sergeant Mark Raby said: “We want everyone in our community to be able to enjoy the summer safely, but any behaviour which causes damage or leaves people feeling harassed, alarmed or distressed does have to be dealt with.
“Over the summer holidays young people are quite rightly given a bit more freedom.
"Most simply want to spend time with their friends in public places, however they must be mindful of the impact they could be having on others.
“Getting involved in nuisance behaviour could lead to further police action, while a prosecution for criminal behaviour can have serious consequences in the future, such as job prospects.”
People can find out more about tackling anti-social behaviour online by clicking HERE.
Anyone affected by anti-social behaviour can get in touch with the police through their website or via 101.
Alternatively residents can provide information anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Two arrests after Backwell burglary
Police have arrested a 35 year-old man and a 37 year-old woman from Backwell on suspicion of burglary and fraud following a theft in the village.
A burglary occurred between 10pm and 3am on July 30-31at a house near the centre of the village.
Cash, bank cards and other items were taken from the property while the owners were upstairs asleep.
Neighbours had alerted the police, having seen two people behaving suspiciously, before the burglary was actually discovered by the home owners.
The pair were arrested three days later and have been bailed pending further enquiries.
DS Mark Probert, from the Somerset Investigations Team, said: “We are very grateful to the fast-actions of the eagle-eyed neighbours who alerted the police to two people behaving suspiciously.
“Burglary is very much a priority for the constabulary and the PCC and we don’t under estimate the impact it has on the victims, particularly those that happen whilst you are actually at home.
"The long-term effects far out-weigh the initial inconvenience and cost of replacing goods.
“The investigation is ongoing and if anyone has any information about this incident, please contact me via the 101 number and quote reference number 5216168919.
"Alternatively you can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
"They are independent of the police, they don’t ask your name or trace your call and you could earn yourself a cash reward.
“The public are our eyes and ears, keep talking to us and please look out for your neighbours. If you see anything suspicious or you think a crime is in progress please always dial 999.
“I also want to reassure people that there are some very simple steps they can take that will dramatically reduce the risk of becoming a victim of a similar crime:
Always lock your ground-floor doors and windows at night;
Make sure doors and windows are in a good state of repair;
If you have upstairs windows open during warmer weather, use the lockable window-restrictors and make sure they aren’t open wide-enough for someone to get through;
Don’t leave keys, cash, handbags or other smaller items within reach of doors, windows or letter boxes; and
Fit PIR dusk ‘til dawn security lights around your property."
Getmore advice about protecting and securing your home on the police website by clicking HERE.
Catch a poke!
The statue outside the health club at Cadbury House at Congresbury apparently is a ‘Poke Stop’.
It’s on the radar got with the Pokemon Go craze sweeping the country and lots of people are turning up looking to catch the augmented reality critters.
A Cadbury spokesman said: "Naturally people are welcome to stop for a drink or bite to eat while exploring."
More poke peeps at Backwell PO!
The monster-hunting mobile game also has Backwell PO among its pitstops.
Pokemon Go is a mixture of gaming and reality and is the summer holiday 'craze' sweeping the county.
App analytics firm SimilarWeb says Pokemon Go now has more daily users on Android phones in the US than many social media websites.
SimilarWeb says players are using Pokemon Go for an average of 43 minutes a day - that's more than Whatsapp, Instagram or Snapchat.
Since the game makes players walk around to hunt Pokemon, it means an average man playing the game for seven days would burn 1,795 calories - and a woman would burn 1,503.
Converted into a tastier measure, that could be seven small chocolate doughnuts for a man - or six for a woman.
Drugs squad swoop
A Nailsea person was among more than 40 people arrested this week as part of an investigation into the supply of Class A drugs in Somerset.
The Tuesday 18 people were charged with a total of 60 counts of supplying Class A drugs following a series of dawn raids.
Thirteen men and five women, aged between 18 and 65, subsequently appeared at Bristol Magistrates' Court on Wednesday, July 13.
The charges follow a nine-month long investigation into the supply of Class A drugs in Somerset.
Those charged are:
Mark Chapman, 52, of Birchwood Avenue, Weston-super-Mare
Phillipa Birkenshaw, 43, of Birchwood Avenue, Weston-super-Mare
Mark Kay, 40, of Meadow Street, Weston-super-Mare
Kelly Hart, 35, of Drove Road, Weston-super-Mare
Ryan Love, 32 of Drove Road, Weston-super-Mare
Connor Beer, 18, of Moorland Road, Weston-super-Mare
Vincent Martin, 45, of Churchill Road, Weston-super-Mare
Gary Hynam, 46, of Churchill Road, Weston-super-Mare
Joshua Witts, 19, of Stonebridge Road, Weston-super-Mare
Ashley King, 28, of Laburnum Road, Weston-super-Mare
Jannette Mason, 65, of Upper Church Road, Weston-super-Mare
Kyle Pike, 23, of Jasmine Court, Weston-super-Mare
John Carr, 35, of Elm Walk, Yatton
Natasha Reilly, 29, of Marconi Close, Weston-super-Mare
Paul Clark, 47, of Ashcombe Road, Weston-super-Mare
Anthony Vowles, 32, of Alfred Street, Weston-super-Mare
Joanne Trotter, 54, of Boulevard, Weston-super-Mare
Brian Munson, 44, of Royal Crescent, Weston-Super-Mare
On day two police arrested a further 18 people during dawn drug raids at nine properties at Bristol, Cheddar, Nailsea and Weston-super-Mare.
Offences for which the arrests were made include suspicion of supplying Class A drugs, possession of Class A drugs, possession with intent to supply Class A drugs and GBH.
Police also seized a quantity of Class A drugs.
Police said they have now charged 13 more people with drug offences and that eight men and four women will appear at Bristol Magistrates' Court today, Thursday, July 14 charged with a total of 29 counts of supplying Class A drugs.
A 15-year-old boy has also been charged with one count of supplying Class A drugs and has been bailed to appear at North Somerset Youth Court.
Excluding the boy, those charged are:
Louise Barnes, 48, Stafford Road, Weston-super-Mare
John Tseu, 60, Wellington Place, Cheddar
Stefan Russ, 25, Partridge Close, Weston-super-Mare
Krystian Atherton, 42, Manilla Crescent, Weston-super-Mare
Alan Turner, 38, North Street, Nailsea
Benjamin White, 31, Brompton Road, Weston-super-Mare
Debbie Huxtable, 34, South Road, Weston-super-Mare
Daniel Bevan, 29, Alfred Street, Weston-super-Mare
Luke Rugman, 20, Bell Close, Weston-super-Mare
Lee Crawley, 47, Lovers Walk, Weston-super-Mare
Michelle Platt, 43, Lovers Walk, Weston-super-Mare
Louise Powell, 35, Coleridge Road, Weston-super-Mare who is also charged with one count of theft
It is a busy time for Avon & Somerset Constabulary who are also investigating a robbery at the Port Marine Post Office, Portishead on Wednesday, July 13. Two men in grey hoodies went into the Post Office off Pheonix Way at approximately 9.50am. They threatened staff and then stole cash. Police believe they left in red or burgundy hatchback with a registration possibly starting with EH12 and are appealing for witnesses who are asked to call us on 101 quoting reference number 5216153909 alternatively if anyone spots the vehicle they are asked to dial 999.
STOP PRESS: Another 14 people have been arrested in dawn raids as part of the police investigation into the supply of Class A drugs in Somerset. Warrants were executed on Wednesday morning, July 20, at 11 properties in Yeovil, Weston-super-Mare, Chard and 13 men and one women have been taken into custody. This follows two days of activity in the Weston-super-Mare area last week in which a total of 53 people, aged between 15 and 65, were arrested. To date 31 people have since been charged with a combined total of 90 counts of supplying Class A drugs. With the exception of a 15-year-old boy, who was bailed to appear at North Somerset Youth Court, all those charged have appeared at Bristol Magistrates’ Court. Twenty-nine were remanded in custody pending an appearance at Bristol Crown Court on Thursday, August 18, while one woman was released on bail.
North Somerset councillors are due to meet on Tuesday, July 19, to approve the award of a new contract for household recycling and waste services and recycling centres.
The current contract ends in February 2017 and a new contract will come into effect on March 1.
Changes on the horizon include an improved food waste collection service for properties with communal recycling, collection of small electrical items, the incremental introduction of different coloured boxes to help residents sort their recycling more effectively and a garden waste subscription service using predominantly green bins in place of the bags currently in use.
Since the current contract began in 2010, North Somerset Council has become, and remained, one of the top performing councils in the country for recycling.
During the past 10 years, the amount of residual waste generated by each household has dropped year-on-year and, on average, each one now produces much less than half what it did in 2006, and well below the national average.
The combination of an effective recycling and waste service, and residents’ efforts to recycle more have resulted in a reduction in the proportion of waste sent to landfill from 59 per cent in 2009-10 to 20 per cent in 2015-16, reducing the cost of sending waste to landfill by about £15m during the same period.
The current recycling and waste service is also extremely popular with residents, with satisfaction ratings between 87 and 91 per cent across various aspects of the service.
In developing the new contract arrangements, the council has worked hard to ensure these high levels of customer satisfaction are maintained, and that further service improvements are introduced.
Other features include keeping the price affordable in the face of rising costs, and ensuring that the contract can be flexible to deal with future scenarios.
Further improvements in environmental performance will also be delivered, and the new contract will provide employment and training opportunities for local people.
The report going to the full council meeting can be viewed HERE.
No to devolution deal
North Somerset Council has said 'no' to being part of a Greater Bristol despite a £1billion 'bribe' from the government for a West of England devolution deal.
Councillors at Bath & North East Somerset want to remove the requirement for a directly elected mayor.
Two councils South Gloucestershire and Bristol City are due to meet on Wednesday, June 29, to decide whether to accept the deal or not.
However North Somerset is firmly in the no camp.
Portishead councillor Nigel Ashton who is leader of North Somerset said: “I am disappointed that despite all our efforts, the deal proposed by Government is not attractive enough for us to support.
"Devolution of funding from central government is attractive in principle, but not at any cost.
"We have worked hard with our fellow West of England partners to get the best available deal for the area, but too much remains that we are not prepared to support."
it was this week when North Somerset Council hed a special meeting and rejected West of England devolution deal.
Councillors voted not to accept the deal being offered by Government, which includes the requirement for a combined authority and directly elected mayor for the West of England.
Mr Ashton added: “I believe strongly, and this view has been supported by my fellow councillors this evening, that we shouldn’t accept the deal offered in March.
“We have a great track record of successful joint working across the region, and we can continue this without the additional costly and bureaucratic layer of decision-making that a combined authority and metro mayor would bring.
"Prior to the council’s decision we asked our town and parish councils and local residents to give us their views on the proposed deal, and the vast majority have expressed a similar view, and do not want an additional level of government or metro mayor.
“I will be contacting the Bristol mayor and the leaders of Bath and North East Somerset and South Gloucestershire tomorrow to appeal to them to join me in getting a better deal, and one which we can all support.
“We remain committed to continued joint working with our neighbouring councils, and with their support we will unite in going back to Government to secure delivery of a deal that reflects the needs of the West of England.”
The other three councils in the West of England are due to meet on Wednesday, June 29, to decide whether to accept the deal or not.
To readf the orginal story on Nailsea People click HERE.
Shaftesbury Close blaze
Neighbours are trying to help the family made homeless by a house fire at Nailsea.
The blaze in the middle of the night tore through the roof of the semi-detached at Shaftesbury Close.
A family escaped from the burning home and those living next door also had to be evacuated.
A 36-year-old man, six-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl were cared for in the street by ambulance crews and volunteers from the British Red Cross.
It wasn’t until early morning before it was established everyone was safe.
Fourteen firefighters tackled the fire which started shortly after 12.30am on Wednesday morning.
Crews attended from Avonmouth, Bedminster, Nailsea and Clevedon, using two high pressure hoses to douse the flames and stop the fire spreading to nearby homes.
The cause of the fire is being investigated.
A plea for help has been circulated to those living nearby on the estate off Queens Road to support those affected.
STOP PRESS: A Just Giving page has been set up to help mum Shelley Forbes and her family who have lost everything in this fire. Click HERE if you can help and thank you.
Bin-it at Backwell
At first glance this looks like an ‘elephants’ graveyard’ of black wheelie bins spotted at Backwell tip?
Just when you have gone past all the separate skips for household rubbish and the like you see a green field full of the plastic landfill receptacles languishing unloved at the edge of Coles Quarry recycling centre.
Well according to North Somerset Council the photo shows broken bins in the front which are either repaired – fitted with new lids and/or wheels – or recycled.
And behind them there are new and serviceable bins waiting to be delivered to a new home.
There are approximately 87,000 households with wheeled bins and during the last financial year the council delivered 830 new or replacements as a cost of between £15-£20.
During the summer the tip is open seven days a week.
From 8am- 6pm Monday to Friday, 8am-4.30pm Saturday and 9am-4pm Sunday.
To find out more about Backwell Recycling Centre click HERE.
Around 110,000 tonnes of waste is collected from across North Somerset each year.
In 2013 the authority recycled 59 per cent of all waste collected, making it one of the best performing councils in the country.
But around 45,000 tonnes of waste remains after everything that can be recycled, reused or composted has been recovered.
To learn more about waste in North Somerset click HERE which in 2017 is to charge for collecting green waste when a new contractor takes over.
Read more about the Better Nailsea group which has organised a number of litter picks in the town on the Flower peeps page and it you are tired of the amount of litter in North Somerset join Twitter group @NorthSomTwitLit which is determined to alert North Somerset Council of all the trouble spots in its effort to 'help tidy up and keep the west the best!'.
Its current grot spots include rubbish shrewn along the A370 and Wraxall Hill plus the number of discarded Costa coffee cups.
Its latest tweet says ‘UK uses 7 million paper coffee cups a day but only 1% get recycled. Put pressure on your favourite coffee house to recycle more!’.
Final push for new Nailsea skatepark
Nailsea’s new skatepark will open in the next two to three weeks.
It has been completely transformed from an old and semi-derelict wood and metal park to a state-of-the-art concrete structure.
A big cheer for the team behind NSP and contractor Wheelscape who managed to keep to the building schedule despite one or two really wet days.
What started as a 20 months ago is turning into reality.
NSP had massive community support and raised more than £110,000.
It needs just a few dollars more – well a few hundred pounds – so it can replace the cracked asphalt surround with a new concrete base.
The total cost of the contract tops £115,000 so another £3,000 would be good and then it will be all systems go for the official opening date Saturday, July 9, for the 14th Nailsea Community Skatepark Festival.
For the final fundraising push Tout Budgens is collecting tokens and there will be a non-uniform day at Nailsea School on Friday, May 27.
As every little helps if you are still looking to make a donation or can organise a fundraiser for the project, then now is the time to do it, either contact Phil Williams, drop a donation into Nailsea Town Council or give online via Golden Giving by clicking HERE.
See Gallery 2016 by clicking HERE to view progress in pictures.
Police find suspected cannabis plants at Nailsea family home
A man has been arrested on suspicion of producing cannabis after a late night search of a property in Nailsea.
Police arrived at the rented property at Goss Barton at around 11.20pm on Monday to carry out a search of the premises related to another matter.
While conducting the search officers seized nine suspected cannabis plants and growing equipment.
A 30-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of the production of cannabis.
This is the third drugs raid at Nailsea in as many months.
Nailsea policemen win awards
Two Avon and Somerset policing awards went to Nailsea officers.
The awards are given for acts of bravery, lifesaving or determined detective work to serving officers and members of the public.
Presenting the awards at Clevedon Hall, Clevedon, were chief constable Andy Marsh, the High Sheriff of Somerset, Edward Bayntun-Coward, and Angela Yeoman.
The Royal Humane Society Award is a national award for acts of bravery while saving a human life, or in an attempt to do so.
Nailsea-based PC Mark Neal received a Royal Humane Society (RHS) award for giving first aid to a man suffering serious blood loss after self-harming with a knife in an incident in November 2014.
Together with Weston-super-Mare PC Katy Hockey the officers stopped further blood loss for more than an hour until an ambulance was able to attend.
Medical staff believed their actions prevented the man’s death.
Sergeant Mark Raby won the Angela Yeoman award for his support and commitment to improving community safety in Nailsea.
Working as the neighbourhood sergeant for the town for more than two years, PS Raby has been involved in a number of schemes including introducing a Shop Watch radio network which has helped to reduce incidents of shoplifting and increase confidence among retailers and shoppers.
Last year PS Raby gave up a considerable amount of his own time to organise a charity assault course event, raising money for a new skate park for the town’s young people.
Sgt Mark Raby said: “I am really proud to have received this award today but I don’t feel the award is just for me.
“This was a real team effort.
“Every officer, PCSO and staff member on my team who has been involved in the work and projects in Nailsea such as the shop radios, the skate park and the charity events, they all deserve an award.”
A swimming pool for Nailsea moved a small stroke closer this week with news the district council is considering that the Scotch Horn becomes a hub for leisure and community services.
North Somerset Council is set to approve £1 million cost-savings on the way is operates its leisure centres.
Parish Wharf at Portishead has already benefitted from investment.
Next could be a new leisure pool and gym extension at Hutton Moor, Weston-super-Mare, and a gym extension at Strode Leisure Centre, Clevedon.
There is also talk of more artificial turf pitches and last but not least on the agenda for decision at the executive meeting this week is ‘an amalgamation of and investment in a variety of leisure and community services at Scotch Horn Leisure Centre, Nailsea’.
The talk is the library and when its Stockway South station is redeveloped the police too will move to the leisure centre off The Brockway.
At the moment North Somerset has subsided contracts with specialist companies for the running of its leisure centres.
News of this was first reported last April – weeks before the May elections at Nailsea people, under the heading 'Taking plunge at Nailsea'.
The biggest questionmark still to be decided is will they knock it down and start again or add to the existing ramshackle building.
A decision on how to proceed is expected this summer and if confirmed could be up and runningin two years.
To read the original story click HERE.
Sadness for young footballer
Nailsea United stalwart Spencer Lee has written a beautiful tribute on behalf of the club about young player James Colman who sadly passed away aged just 22 years.
Born in the London area the sports mad James had lived and played in North Somerset since the age of five.
After Nailsea School he went to Bath Spa University where he graduated with a first in graphic design in 2014.
Spencer said: "Yesterday’s news came as a massive shock to us all and it is incredibly hard to try to come to terms with what has happened.
"Our thoughts are of course very much with James’ family...as they all suffer such a huge personal loss, the immense size of which we can only start to try and comprehend.
"I personally had the privilege to manage him in many of the 176 games he played for our club and he was quite simply a manager’s dream."
To read the full tribute click HERE.
Funeral date set
Football teams at Nailsea started their games at the weekend with a minutes silence as a mark of respect for James Colman.
Some players wore black armbands.
Pcitured are Nailsea & Tickenham v Yatton Athletic, Nailsea Athletic v Priory and a junior girls team playing at Scotch Horn.
James who died in his sleep is believed to be a victim of sudden adult death syndrome.
The family home of parents Carol and John at Nailsea is filled with cards and floral tributes to James.
His mum Carol, 61, told the Western Daily Press, said: "I want people to know that James did not suffer and passed away in his sleep.
"As a family we are totally devastated and his death has come as such a shock.
"He was such a fit young man.
"He loved football and had played since he was five-years-old.
"We have received so many cards with lovely messages and letters from those who knew him.
"James was a wonderful son.
"He was loving, kind and generous with a great sense of humour.
"He was the sort of person who would do anything for anyone and his family were very important to him." Bristol City fan James –known as Coley to his footballing friends - moved from Kent to Nailsea with his family when he was four-years-old.
James and his girlfriend Hannah had been together six years and had saved up a deposit to buy their first home together.
He attended Golden Valley Primary before moving on to Nailsea School.
James has three sisters Lucy, 25, Clare, 34 and Katie, 32.
His funeral is on Monday, April 11 at 1pm at South Bristol Crematorium.
His family has requested donations to charity in lieu of flowers, from non-relatives, in James's memory. They can be made via funeral directors Arthur Davey in Nailsea
Nailsea drug arrest
A 25 year-old man from Nailsea was arrested for possession with intent to supply class B drugs today, March 4, following drugs warrant in the town.
Officers from the Nailsea Beat Team and Special Constabulary executed the search warrant, under the Misuse of Drugs Act, following information from the community about suspected drug dealing at a property in the West End area of the town.
The man was arrested and bailed pending further investigation. Officers seized a large amount of what is believed to be cannabis, which was bagged up into to street deals.
They also seized other paraphernalia associated with dealing including electronic scales.
Sgt Mark Raby, who led the operation today, said: “We have received community intelligence about suspected dealing at this property.
“We always take information from the public seriously, and based on further police intelligence, we have executed this warrant to deal with the issue and reassure the public that we will take robust action.
“The public are our eyes and ears.
“They know what’s happening in their street, their neighbourhood.
“Please keep talking to us.
“No one wants to live near drug crime.
“It often brings anti-social behaviour with it, including visitors at unsociable hours, noise and other nuisance behaviour.
“We will listen and will continue to take action to deal with it, so get in touch.
“I also want to thank our colleagues from the Special Constabulary who came in and helped us today.”
You can contact us on the 101 number or visit our website www.avonandsomerset.police.uk and report suspected crime online.
Alternatively you can call the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 online by clicking HERE.
They never ask your name or trace your call.
Anyone living, working or going to school at Nailsea is invited to a public meeting to have their say on community safety issues for the town.
The meeting at the Tithe Barn at 7pm on Wednesday, March 9, has been arranged jointly by the neighbourhood policing team, Nailsea Town Council and the Nailsea Community Safety Forum.
Town council clerk Ian Morrell said: “We’d like to see the whole community represented at the meeting – teenagers, business people, pensioners, local organisations – anyone who has an interest in our town. It would be really good to get all the different viewpoints.”
Following the recent tragedy when one young person was killed and another critically injured
some Nailsea parents are asking whether leaving the street lights on all night on the main roads
would make it safer for their children to walk home at night...
As well as local town and district councillors, Neighbourhood Sergeant Mark Raby will be at the meeting.
He said: “Nailsea is a safe place to live and work and we’re committed to working with the community to make it even safer.
“This is an opportunity to come and tell the council and local police about any community safety issues you have and be part of finding solutions.”
The crime statistics for Nailsea last year showed 226 incidents of anti-social behaviour (Clevedon 334, Portishead 456) and 129 of violences and sexual offences (Clevedon 186, Portishead 222).
And while Nailsea arrested no-one for possessing a weapon or recorded any robberies Clevedon had five incidents and Portishead seven.
The population of Nailsea is currently put at 15,630 with Clevedon at 21,281 and Portishead at 22,000.
To read more click HERE.
People are welcome to turn up on the night, there’s no need to book in advance.
Anyone who is unable to attend the meeting can get in touch with the Nailsea neighbourhood policing team through its website by clicking HERE or by calling 101.
You can get in touch with Nailsea Town Council by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maintaining our roads
North Somerset Council has awarded a two-year contract to maintain and improve its roads to Skanska.
The £16m highways services contract will see Skanska working in partnership with the council to look after 679 miles of roads across the district.
As well as maintaining the existing infrastructure, Skanska will support the council to develop the highways network and deliver improvement projects.
Beginning on 1 April, the contract will cover:
carriageway and footway surfacing and maintenance
highway improvement projects
temporary traffic management
North Somerset deputy leader and executive member for highways and transport.Elfan Ap Rees said: "A year ago we took the decision to invest £40m in our roads over the next five years to halt the deterioration in the state of the roads and start to improve them and this contract will help us deliver that.
"Skanska has a strong history of building, maintaining and operating highways across the UK.
"By working together we can use their expertise to make real improvements in the overall condition of our roads and help us to deliver a network that meets road users' needs now and in the future.
"We are committed to improving the transport infrastructure across North Somerset to make it as easy as possible for our residents, businesses and visitors to travel."
Skanska operations director Simon White said: “We are delighted to have won this contract.
"We already have a strong presence in the region and we will be using our experience in the south west to deliver the best possible service. It is also a testament to the high standard of work our teams are already delivering on our contracts in the region.
“Skanska has the capability to deliver a full asset management service for our customers. This helps us to fully understand their requirements from the planning stage through to operating and maintaining the network. We can therefore identify innovative solutions, make informed decisions and can share best practice from other contracts at every stage of an asset’s lifecycle, saving time and money for our clients.”
Skanska delivers other highways services contracts in the south west region, maintaining Highways England's major road network covering Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Dorset and Somerset, as well as providing highways services for Bath and North East Somerset Council and Somerset County Council.
A number of carriageway patching schemes are planned across the district as part of North Somerset Council's commitment to improving the road network. Road patching and drainage works to the tune of £10,000 are planned for Long Aston Road and Weston Road in Long Ashton from Wednesday, March 23, for two days. A temporary road closure will be in force from 9.30am to 3.30pm each day. The diversion route will be Clevedon Road ((B3130), the A370 Long Ashton bypass, Ashton Road ((B3128) and vice versa.
Public car parks run by North Somerset Council continue to be recognised for their safe parking. Nine car parks in the district have again been awarded the 'park mark' Safer Car Park award following on-site assessments by the British Parking Association (BPA) and police. The nine are include Nailsea and Backwell Station at Backwell.
Can we build here?
It is time to talk about plans to build new homes at Nailsea.
On Wednesday, March 2, Nailsea Town Council is having a meeting to discuss some proposals it has received from Barratt Homes regarding the potential design and layout of nearly 200 houses at the Engine Lane site.
Although the deal could net the council some £4 million it has proved somewhat controversial with the neighbours who have formed Nailsea Action Group.
NAG next meet on Wednesday, February 24, 7pm at the Grove Sports Centre & Social Club to no doubt form its own plans before the meeting.
Meanwhile Mactaggart & Mickel want to consult about even more controversial proposals to build 450 homes behind The Uplands.
The property developers have given Nailsea people two dates to have their say:
Tuesday, March 1 2-8.30pm at Grove Sports & Social Club; and
Wednesday, March 2 4-8.30pm at the Trinity Centre at Holy Trinity Church.
You can read about all the proposals in full on the front pages of the January archived pages.
Goodbye date for beautiful boy
Sister Sammie Gould said: "We wish to let friends of Alex know his funeral service will take place on Wednesday, March 2, at 3pm at South Bristol Crematorium.
"Anyone who knew, loved Alex or wishes to show their support for the family are welcome.
"I think we can all agree that Alex deserves nothing less than a beautiful service for our beautiful boy."
Call for tougher
drink drive laws
Local resident Stephen Cosgrove has shared with Nailsea People his letter to North Somerset MP Liam Fox asking for his support.
'Dear Dr Fox, following on from the tragic incident in Nailsea where a young 18-year-old lad has been killed by an 'allegedly drunk' driver, there has been a very natural and heartfelt discussion of the topic on social media,
We constantly see and hear about such incidents and are constantly dismayed by the leniency of our justice system in relation to vehicular homicide in general and death or injury by drunk driver in particular.
A vehicle is a lethal weapon and just does not seem to be seen as such.
Just noticed, also, online, a deplorable six months sentence for a young man who killed a pregnant mother with a powerful, but knowingly faulty, BMW.
Astonishing, lives destroyed and the perpetrator gets off with a six month sentence.
What we need and I believe we should be demanding of you and our political leaders, is stiffer penalties, most especially for those drunk drivers who kill and maim.
Sentences for vehicular homicide are far too lenient - I mean serious sentences.
Kill or seriously injure someone whilst under the influence and over the limit should warrant an automatic life sentence with a high minimum tariff and banned for life from driving.
Incidentally, lowering the blood alcohol limit will NOT dissuade drunk drivers.
They are going to do it anyway, regardless of the limit.
All the latter does is demonise law-abiding, responsible citizens.
Target the serial drunkards.
Fatal accidents caused by drunk drivers have to become automatic murder charges.'
Dr Fox said: “My thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of all those involved in this dreadful tragedy.
“Having had my brother in a near fatal crash and in intensive care for three months, I fully understand what they are going through.
“To lose young lives is a terrible, terrible thing.”
It was in March 2009 that the accident left his younger brother Paul, a languages teacher in East Kilbride, fighting for his life.
Paul was so badly injured in the crash he broke almost every major bone in his body and was left with sight and communication impairment.
He was a victim of a young inexperienced driver who was speeding.
The motorist who pleaded guilty to dangerous driving was jailed for a year and received an eight year driving ban.
Add your name
The petition started by friends of Alex Gould needs more names.
On average 3,000 people are killed or seriously injured each year in drink drive collisions. Nearly one in six of all deaths on the road involve drivers who are over the legal alcohol limit.
Click HERE to go to the website to stop drink driving.
Sending love to lost friend
It feels as if the whole of Nailsea and the wider community is in mourning.
United in grief for Alex Gould and saying prays for his 18-year-old best mate who is still ‘critical’ but ‘stable’ at Southmead Hospital.
Unbelievably more than 55,000 hits have been recorded by people reading the message from the family on Nailsea People Facebook page.
Many have signed the online petition calling for stiffer drink/drive penalties.
Click HERE to add your name.
Sometime in the near future we will want to know more about how two 18-year-old young men who were walking home in the early hours of Sunday morning were the victims of such a tragedy.
But for now I will leave you with photos of the accident site with its flowers, heart-shaped balloon, messages and photos.
This is almost opposite the junction to Southfield Road.
The telegraph pole is fixed, the wall can be rebuilt and the workman can put right the underground cabling which got torn out.
If only they could work a miracle and mend battered young bodies.
Who cares about the stupid car and no comment about the driver.
9.38am TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16
For your information...the man who remains in hospital in a critical but stable condition is aged 18 and not 20 as we were led to believe at the weekend.
EMAIL QUESTION (abridged)
10.22am Tuesday, FEBRUARY 16
There is a persistent rumour in the town that the Volvo crashed because it was involved in a high speed police chase. Can we quash that or not?
10.54am TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16
This rumour is just that – inaccurate.
Our Alex - a loving tribute
On Monday afternoon the family released this tribute and photo of Alex Gould, 18, who died following the road traffic collision in Nailsea yesterday.
"As a family, we are trying to come to terms with a devastating loss of such a wonderful, beautiful, caring, genuine, loving young man with so much to live for and happy in life.
"There aren't enough words to describe what a magical human being Alex was and the loss we feel.
"We were privileged to have him in our lives.
"He was the perfect son, brother, nephew, grandson and cousin.
"We kindly request that you respect our privacy at this unimaginable time and to say a prayer for his best friend who is equally as wonderful. God bless. "
And Mandy Stroud via Twitter is calling for support to strengthen drink drive laws in memory of Alex.
Already hundreds have added their name..
She tweeted: "Needs names come on or once again some1 dies in vain!! nothing will change if no one changes."
Click HERE.to go to petition site which says: "After the death of 18 year old Alex Gould I believe it is time to in force stronger laws and stop letting these people think it is ok to destroy lifes someone needs to take a stand so that this poor lad and many before him have not died in vain so plz sign so maybe something will change in the way they are punished."
One dead, one critical + one drunk driving arrest
Police are appealing for witnesses following a fatal collision at Nailsea earlier this morning, Sunday, February 14.
The incident happened shortly after 5am when a car was in collision with two groups of two people who were walking along Clevedon Road near to the fire station.
A Volvo car was in collision with two men – believed to be 18 and 20 years – and then collided with a man and a woman in their late 20s before hitting a telegraph pole.
The 18 and 20-year-old men were taken to Southmead Hospital with life threatening head injuries, the younger man dying shortly afterwards.
The other man remains in a critical condition.
The woman in her late 20s was also taken to Southmead Hospital – she is not believed to have suffered life threatening injuries.
The man she was with was allowed home after treatment at the scene.
The driver of the car – a Volvo – was arrested on suspicion of drink driving at the scene and remains in police custody.
The road remains closed for a detailed inspection by collision investigators.
It is likely to remain closed for most of the day.
Police are keen to hear from anyone who was in the area at the time of the incident who may have information to help our enquiries.
Anyone able to help is asked to contact the collision investigation unit on the force number 101, quoting reference 5216032526.
9PM SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 14
The 22-year-old man arrested following the fatal collision in Nailsea this morning has been released on police bail, pending further enquiries.
The man from the North Somerset area was arrested on suspicion of: causing death by dangerous driving; driving a motor vehicle while above the alcohol limit; and possession of a controlled Class A drug.
Police enquiries continue into the incident.
Anyone with information is asked to call the collision investigation unit on the force number 101, quoting ref CI/29/16/1053.
NAILSEA PEOPLE FACEBOOK PAGE
SUNDAY some comments from, FEBRUARY 14
Julie Cashman: Woke up at 5am with a massive bang outside my bedroom window so sad for the mother of the poor boy thats passed away couldnt believe what i was seeing. Respect to the police who performed cpr for an hour god knows what took ambulance so long hoping the other man in garden who was not found for an hour pulls through.
Samantha Mildon: As a mother of a son this age who was out last night and did not come home, we went through hell this morning. Thank God he is ok, but my heart goes out to the other families xx
Julie Redman: I feel so sorry for the parents, family and friends of this young lad frown.
David Madden: My prayers go out to all involved.
Dawn Anderson: So sorry to hear this sad news no mother should experience a tragedy like this, my heart bleeds for you.
Michele Sargent: Just horrid news, I hope the police throw the book at the culprit.
Lesley Faith Bowman: The worst news possible for some poor family.
Marina Traversari: Sickening- sending love and deepest sympathy to his poor parents.
Mandy Mansfield: So sad, thoughts are with the families today xx
Irene Carter: Such tragedy, thinking of the poor families of these people...
Darren Hodge: Thoughts go out to family and friends affected by this awful news. From pommies in Australia.
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 15
A teenager who died after a car ploughed into four pedestrians has been named locally as Alex Gould.
The 18-year-old, who went to Backwell School, died at hospital after he was hit by a car in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Mr Gould, who learnt his trade at the City of Bristol College, lived in Nailsea and worked as an electrician at Fuseland Electrical Services.
The Volvo car is thought to have hit Mr Gould and the man before then colliding into another couple, aged in their late 20s, and hitting a telegraph pole.
To read more click HERE.
NAILSEA PEOPLE FACEBOOK PAGE
MONDAY some comments from, FEBRUARY 15
Sabrina Webb: This is devastating,heartbreaking news.
NAILSEA PEOPLE FACEBOOK PAGE
11AM MONDAY, FEBRUARY 15
It is with great sadness that the youngster who lost his life in the tragic Clevedon Road incident has been named by friends as Alex Gould, a former pupil at Backwell School who worked as an electrician and was a keen local footballer. We add this reluctantly but it is has been posted elsewhere by the media and stops speculation. I think yesterday was the worse in Nailsea ...
The talk is of many 'local heroes' at the scene, one pushing the women out of the path of the oncoming car, another giving the driver a 'slap' and another administering CPR before police arrived...
11.30AM MONDAY, FEBRUARY 15
Hope we may be able to confirm ID later today.
The 20-year-old man remains in a critical condition.
Council tax hike in pipeline
A council tax rise - only the second in the past six years - is expected to be agreed by North Somerset Council at its budget-setting meeting this week.
But there are bigger increases in the pipeline despite the council netting some bonus revenue by selling Nailsea sites like Four Oaks school for profit.
On Tuesday, February 16, councillors will discuss the proposed rise of 3.74 per cent.
This is made up of:
a Government levy of 1.99 per cent which will raise £1.7m to help meet the growth and increasing costs of adult social care; and
1.75 per cent increase which will raise £1.5m towards meeting the increasing demand and cost of frontline council services.
It means the average Band D council tax bill for council services in the coming year will be £1,208.40, an increase of less than £1 a week on this year's bill.
The proposal to increase council tax follows a worse than expected provisional financial settlement from the Government which saw a 30 per cent cut in the revenue support grant and changes to the new homes bonus scheme, resulting in the council receiving £8.2m less than this year.
North Somerset MP Liam Fox said: “The latest figure will mean that there is a bit of respite for the district council in what is a very tight settlement.
“With the government still spending around £80 billion more than it raises and with the NHS spending protected, the burden of balancing the budget has to fall elsewhere.
“We are lucky that we have a well run and efficient council to give us value for our money.
“Many will be in a much worse position.”
In a significant policy change the Government also stopped its council tax freeze grant and said it expected all councils to increase council tax by 3.75 per cent in each of the next four years.
In the final settlement received this week the Government announced a one-off transitional grant spread over the next two years which will see North Somerset receive £953,000 next year and £930,000 in 2017-18.
However, the settlement also showed a greater reduction in funding in the following two years – 2018-19 and 2019-20.
North Somerset Council leader Nigel Ashton said: "While this transitional grant is welcome and will be used to soften the impact of more funding cuts during the next four years, it is frustrating that the Government continues to move the goalposts just days before we are due to set our budget.
"Having to put up council tax in order to achieve a balanced budget is very much a last resort, but it is a road we have been forced down.
"Despite our prudent financial planning we are having to make further savings of more than £8.5m in 2016-17, on top of the £55m we have already saved in recent years.
"We will continue to protect frontline services as much as possible.
“Our approach all along has been on redesigning services so that they can be delivered more cost-effectively rather than simply cutting them.
"In addition, we will continue to take a prominent role in supporting economic growth in the district and push forward with our ambitious regeneration plans for Weston town centre.
“Helping to bring forward high-quality development and create jobs remains a key priority for the council."
Weston MP John Penrose has welcomed planned reforms to council funding, and the announcement of £2 million extra government cash for North Somerset this week.
The formula used to calculate how much government cash is provided for each council has not been updated for many years, and has been strongly criticised by campaigners as being opaque and ignoring rural areas.
Secretary of State Greg Clark MP has now committed to update it, and at the same time took the opportunity to announce interim extra government cash for councils like North Somerset which has had the biggest reductions in its revenue support grants in the past.
Mr Penrose said: “Money is tight for everyone, and extra government cash is pretty rare for anything, so this is very welcome.
“But in the long term, the really important thing is the change to the government’s funding formula.
“I’ve been saying for years that local residents get the short end of the stick on government cash, for everything from health funding, schools, police and the council too.
“We’ve made a bit of progress on schools, police and health, but council cash has always been a problem until Greg Clarke’s announcement.
“I will be making the strongest possible case for a fairer, clearer system that properly reflects the needs of Weston and the villages in future.
“It could make a huge difference to councils like North Somerset with large rural areas which, until now, have been under-resourced.”
Bus route across Nailsea lawns
Nailsea resident Ruth Eager wasn’t thrilled to return home to find her Coombe Road front garden churned up by large tyre marks caused by a bus being driven across her lawn.
When timetables were changed in September last year people living on the narrow residential road were surprised to learn they were on a bus route.
Many complained and the route was modified to one-way but fears that the bus would get ‘stuck’ were expressed.
Mrs Eager said: “Along with neighbours living in Coombe Road we were shocked to return from work on Wednesday, Febuary 3, to be greeted with evidence that a bus had decided to take the scenic route through our front lawns.
“This is the bus route that was greatly opposed by residents of Coombe Road and neighbouring Hazlebury Road.
“It beggars belief that a public passenger driver saw fit to do this and it doesn't bear thinking about what may have happened had a child been in a garden at the time.
“We wrote to North Somerset Council asking them to once again reconsider permitting the route as the roads are wholly unsuitable, not to mention the buses themselves are usually empty and cannot be cost effective?”
Weston-super-Mare councillor Elfan Ap Rees who is deputy leader of North Somerset with responsibility for planning, highways and transport sent an official out to Nailsea to investigate.
The result was not to do anything as the council maintained the bus was trying to avoid an obstruction and called on residents to park with more consideration for other road users.
The investigating official said: “As you can see this is a commercially run route providing a service to local residents and a public road so we cannot ban buses from using it.
“I don't know who was responsible for the parking obstruction but had this been an emergency vehicle trying to get through the consequences could have been more serious.
“So while the bus driver was at fault here alternatively he would have been forced to block the road waiting for the parked car to be moved by the owner or police or had to back up which would have been even more dangerous.
“Under the circumstances it surely behoves all users of Coombe Road to act with due consideration for others.”
Mr Ap Rees said: “Having now answered your complaints ,I do not intend to take any further action - thank you.”
Mrs Eager and her neighbours are incensed by the council response they have asked the police and North Somerset MP Liam Fox to intervene on their behalf – watch this space.
To see full extenent of the damage click slideshow top.
STOP PRESS: According to the North Somerset Times the damage is going to be put right.
Abus general manager Tim Loughlin told the newspaper: “The driver has only been with us for a week or so.
"He decided this was the best course of action, but unfortunately that wasn’t the case.
“We fully appreciate the drivers have a difficult job when they come across narrow roads.
"He’s had a strong talking to and he’s been reminded what course of action he should take.
"Hopefully that will never happen again.
“We are currently restoring the gardens with a local landscape firm.”
Playground wee(py) pee
Have you heard about the Nailsea primary school head teacher who has written to parents telling them not to let their children pee in the playground?
Oh dear, I have known grown men pee on the pavement on route back from pub but little children - is the school locked and the pupils have no access to toilets at going home time?
Perhaps one step further than the Darlington primary school head who reprimanded parents for wearing their pyjamas on the school run.
Use front page comment box to have your say.
STOP PRESS: While we chose not to name the school reports on social media, local newspapers and the tabloids did so Hannah More infant and Grove junior schools head teacher Kay Church faced a barrage of publicity.
J21A on M5
A new motorway junction on the M5 near Weston-super-Mare should be built, according to a leading councillor.
And the most obvious place for a new Junction 21A would be at Knightcott on the A371 between Locking and Banwell where an existing bridge straddles the motorway.
The existing Junction 21 which provides access to Weston is already becoming congested with traffic despite improvements during the past couple of years.