What's new pussycats in Nailsea and nearby? This is mostly crime, court, human interest received too late for front page, weather and traffic updates - planning issues including new development(s), homes for sale all moved to Property Peeps pages. Breaking news pages pre 2019 are in the archives...
Closing Nailsea High Street to all traffic
Moves are afoot to close Nailsea High Street to traffic.
The idea is being investigated by James Tonkin who is ward councillor for Nailsea West End and serves on North Somerset executive with special responsibility for planning and transport.
James says no decision has been taken he would just like to know what people think.
The success of the eat:nailsea October event saw stalls line the High Street without the red tape of other town centre events when organisers had to put up barriers and charge a nominal fee to enter designated areas selling items other that food.
On Saturday, December 21, Nailsea farmers and craft market will use Somerset Square and High Street to sell goods but with no community stalls as in the past to negate licensing laws.
Nailsea Town Council chairman Jan Barber said: “I can remember well the disaster it was last time it was closed to through traffic in the 1990s when I was on Avon County Council, so I am against it.
“I was surprised it was suggested.
“It should have done it when the road was first paved, and everything looked so good.
“Now the road surface is crumbling, and several traders rely on residents parking outside the front.
“Sam Bird's TV is opposed as is Furniture Additions as they rely on transporting their goods.
“Also, I suspect people buying fish and chips like to park on the High Street in the evening.
“However, residents with small children probably prefer it closed to traffic.
“I think North Somerset may do a consultation and some traders may prefer it but last time it was deemed a 'ghost town' without the traffic.
“If it is pedestrianised a lot of money would need to be spent to do it properly as opposed to the half-hearted attempt with a few planters blocking the entrance as per last time.
“Will the government come up with the sort of money necessary to make it look really good?
Nailsea Independent Traders discussed the idea at its December breakfast meeting.
Councillor Mike Bird wasn’t at the meeting but he said: “I’m told there was a good discussion around the pedestrianisation of the HIgh Street.
"I’ve also had other emails this week from people in High Street and I think it would be a good idea to organise a meeting of all HIgh Street trader with the town council fairly soon.
"I’ll look to organise something in the new year.
"The challenge over Christmas is to think of positive steps we can make to improve business generally in Nailsea, promote the High Street and town centre.
One shopper said: "I have very mixed feelings about closing the High Street on a permanent basis.
"This is because I remember last time is was difficult to police but perhaps with our elderly demographic, we won’t have same concerns as I can’t see marauders on mobility scooters being a concern?"
Home Additions owner Alan Goddard said they move would sound a death knell to his shop.
Alan said: “We would go out of business within six months if the High Street was permanently closed.
“I am not against is being closed once a month for market day.”
But Mr Tonkin said there is no half-way measures as a monthly Saturday road closure free is approximately £1,000.
This news comes in the same week that Nailsea People learn North Somerset Council executive will consider introducing charges to car parks and roads in Nailsea at its meeting on Tuesday, January 7. If agreed further consultation would be carried out. It is expected to take 18 months to consult and implement any changes. Also at this meeting councillors will discuss proposed charges of £50 per household per year for the collection of a 240 litre green garden waste bin.
NAILSEA CHRISTMAS MARKET
Saturday, December 21
Stalls selling fresh local produce including:
Organic Vegetables and
CROWN GLASS SHOPPING CENTRE
Filled with craft stalls and hot food stands selling oven pizzas, stew, dumplings and hot chestnuts
under the Christmas tree
10am-2pm Santa Claus
10am-2pm festive Punch & Judy
11am-noon Barley Rye will be singing carols
10am-2pm fundraising morning at Home Additions for Spring Of Hope ladies night shelter in Bristol
Made in Nailsea
Nailsea School students who helped create a beautiful mosaic to brighten up a brick wall in the town centre were among those at the first official photocall.
Others who were busy with end of term school festive activities would be at a second picture opportunities.
But there was a line-up of dignitaries representing all of those who had contributed and you can read the original story in full on the School Peeps page HERE.
Pictured are five young people with head teacher Dee Elliot from Nailsea School, Nailsea in Bloom horticulturalists and Nailsea town councillors who had supported the project.
Led by Fran Newton who said: “The community project, originally conceptualised back in 2010 and coordinated by me has now reached its first major stage.“The mosaic artwork consisting of three large panels has been created to enhance a blank and uninspiring wall space to the side of New Look and provide residents and visitors with an informative and colourful space to relax near.”
PHOTO CALL: For those involved in project led by Fran Newton (in yellow coat) and below one of the original articles on Nailsea People School Peeps page, children from Golden Valley Primary School and Nailsea Town Council past and present chairmen Jan Barber and David Packham
The nature panel has a robin, dragon fly, ladybird, trout, bluebells, dormouse, bats, fox, frog, acorns and swan and was devised by pupils of Golden Valley Primary School as a tribute to Friends of Trendlewood Park, Stockway North Nature Reserve, Nailsea Environment and Wildlife Trust who maintain and nurture our beautiful green spaces.
And Nailsea today shows the farmers’ market, 65 High Street, library, Nailsea in Bloom, carnival, guides and scouts, theatres, 999 services, sports and Tithe Barn among its panels by Nailsea School students.
To read the panel explaination in full click HERE.
UPDATE: One week later a group of young people representing Golden Valley Primary School are pictured by head teacher Kevin Lynch at the base of their artwork.
Approximately 300 pupils, aged from Year 2 up to sixth form were asked to come up with suitable designs.The history panel consists of a tractor, war memorial, evacuee children, horse and cart, winding tower, glass vase, apple and cider making, mining, glassworks, telephone box and the evangelist and teacher Hannah More made by Hannah More Infant and Grove Junior School pupils.
From Nailsea with love
Three Nailsea police officers went to Kenya in late November to take early Christmas presents for needy children.
Among the parcels they took were pre-loved clothes donated by well-wishers, rugby and footballs, new T-shirts from the beer and cider festival, stationary, pens, pencils and colouring felt tip pens.
This was a return visit for some, and this time a couple of nurses accompanied the 21-strong group which included Nailsea Police Station chief inspector Leanne Pook, PCSO Marie Broomfield and sergeant Mark Raby.
Witnessing in 2018 first-hand the poverty and neglect suffered by young people inspired them to want to return.
Sergeant Mark Raby said: “Last year a few of us went to Kenya to work in a rescue centre at Amboseli for young girls aged eight to 18 who had been subjected to female genital mutilation (FGM), forced marriages or dangerous situations."
The officers worked alongside The Divinity Foundation which is the charity behind this project.
Mark added: “This was in the south of the country and while in Kenya we also visited an orphanage in Nairobi and some outlying villages.
“This trip affected all of us – the children have very little or nothing but the one thing they have is sport.
“Out in the villages we saw barefoot players kicking a ball made of mesh wire and leaves.
“Everyone on the trip paid their own fares and expenses and we raised monies at an 80s disco to give to the charities supporting these children.
“While out there we worked in a rescue centre for girls who have suffered FGM or abuse we also taught life skills in isolated villages.
“Seeing children with nothing smile when being given items from the people of Nailsea was a proud moment.
“We would like to thank the Nailsea community including Nailsea & Backwell Rugby Club, Nailsea Junior, Selkirk. Nailsea & Tickenham football clubs who all donated items towards this trip.”
SAVE THE PLANET: Flooding, pollution, loss of wildlife - end of the world? Have your say at a public meeting hosted by Nailsea Town Council climate emergency working party. This is on Wednesday, December 4, 6-7pm, at the Tithe Barn, Church Lane. Nailsea Town Council declared a climate emergency in September 2019. This working party was formed and has since met twice to formulate and discuss ideas on how Nailsea Town Council as an individual council can reduce its carbon footprint along with exploring how, as a community, we can all work together to become more environmentally friendly. Everyone is invited to this open meeting to discuss ideas on how people can reduce Nailsea’s environmental impact. The working party will then investigate and shortlist ideas with a view to implementing positive change in 2020.
RBL poppy collection stolen from church
St Andrew's Church in Backwell, North Somerset was broken into on Monday, November 11, - Armistice night - by thieves who targeted the safe in which the money from two Remembrance services had been stored.
The Rev Dr Katy Garner said much of the money was in envelopes and hadn't yet been counted, but it was believed to contain more than £1,000 collected in two services for donation to the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal.
She said the churchwardens and congregations were enormously upset by the targetted theft, which also caused extensive damage to doors and the safe.
Katy, who was licensed as rector in July, said: "I sat on Sunday in the services alongside a disabled veteran from World War 2 and the thought that anyone could take money from these men and women and the thousands who are helped by the Royal British Legion is just sickening.
"We are all deeply upset."
The two services on Sunday were attended by more than 300 people, including war veterans and many children.
Police are investigating the break-in.
A special service will be held in the church next Sunday morning at 10.15am when a new collection for the Royal British Legion will be held.
Villager Val Keay was so sickened by the theft she has set up a Replenish Backwell's Stolen Remembrance Money Go Fund Me online account.
Val said: "Some mindless individual(s) broke into the church overnight and stole donations given by young and old across our community."
This account has already raised hundreds of pounds.
To donate click HERE.
Others have reported that collections at the bowling club, leisure centre and guide and scout HQ were all targetted the same night.
Nothing was taken from the guide and scout HQ but the culprits caused quite a bit of damage.
To see happier photographs from Remembrance services go to Gallery 2019.
Pub fun day raises money for CHSW
The Royal Oak fun day raised hundreds of pounds for the Children's Hospice South West.
The bank holiday event at the High Street pub was a great success with barbecue, bouncy castle, reptile show, music, outside bar, tombola, face painting, stalls and a sweet shop.
And it raised £861 for CHSW.
Landlady Gemma Mamo and the Royal Oak team visited Charlton Farm at Wraxall on one of its monthly Open Days to present the funds.
Gemma said afterwards: “Thank you to everyone who came along and helped us support such a worthy cause. It was a fantastic day at the Royal Oak and we’re really excited to do another event in future to support the hospice as well.
"All the team worked really hard to make the day a success but we couldn’t have done it without our customers’ generosity.
"Thank you to everyone who got involved on the day and made it happen.”
CHSW community fundraiser Emma Parker said: “We are so grateful for the support of the community of Nailsea.
"Gemma and the team at the Royal Oak brought everyone together for a day of family entertainment while also raising vital funds and awareness of the local children’s hospice, which supports more than 220 families from across North Somerset and beyond.”
CHSW’s Charlton Farm opens its doors once a month to people in the community wanting to find out more about the care and support it provides to local children and families.
Visits can be made by appointment only at www.chsw.org.uk/open.
PHOTO: CHSW Emma Parker (centre) receives a cheque from The Royal Oak team
The next major fundraiser this year is Bristol’s biggest festive fun run, Santas on the Run. The 2k course, which begins at Lloyds Amphitheatre and winds its way round Bristol Harbourside, is suitable for all ages and abilities and takes place on Sunday, December 8. It’s a sponsored event with every Santa encouraged to raise as much money as possible to help CHSW care for local children and families at its hospice just outside Nailsea.
Brave scouts sleep rough in Backwell
It was a horrid November night as a group of hardy Scouts and Explorers huddled down under tarpaulins to help raise monies for Help Bristol’s Homeless.
A spokesman said: "They survived what can only be described by onlookers from inside the warm, dry, cosy WI Hall as a thoroughly miserable night under tarps and cardboard and in so doing raised an amazing total, including gift aid, of £2,700, with a few donations yet to come in.
"Hopefully they may also now have more understanding and empathy with what less fortunate members of our society have to endure on a regular basis, and a better idea of what difficulties their donations will help to relieve."
The 60-strong Backwell group of 11 to 18-year olds planned sleeping rough to raise both awareness and funds for local homeless charities for Friday, November 1.
Headed by Explorer leader Iain Rhodes the sleepout saw the group construct makeshift shelters from cardboard and other scrap materials in Backwell WI Hall car park.
Iain said: “The sleepout has now become a regular item on our annual calendar and is the third time we’ve done it. "Our young members have a big input in to what we do and this issue is always one that they care about and want to get involved in supporting."
RECYCLING BINS: North Somerset Council is removing the recycling bins at the Clevedon Road car park from Friday, November 29. The reason 'due to persistanty fly-tipping' see picture. In better news the muck dumped near Posh Spice Indian restaurant is being investigated and Nailsea Town Council clerk Jo Duffy who was alerted by councillors who read Nailsea People post is talking to the district council about getting the area cleared...
RUBBISH TIP: Nailsea appears to have its own 'unofficial' dump. It is behind the shops at the Tesco end of the High Street. We are told North Somerset environment officers said it had to be moved from the back of the Indian restaurant close to the kitchen but the instructions were misunderstood and the rubbish including several old mattresses were only moved a few feet. Nailsea People Facebook readers commented that other areas are affected including an old loo outside the Royal Oak pub, furniture dumped on Wraxall hill, roadsides littered with discarded items at Failand, Barrow Gurney and Dundry. They also complained about the council being either ineffectual or hampered by red tape…we are told Nailsea Town Council is on the case...
New Nailsea focus group needs volunteers
Future ambitions and priorities for North Somerset Council are being developed and residents are invited to help shape them.
The new corporate plan will guide the direction of the work of the council, demonstrating how it will ensure that it continues to provide vital services and improve the area for all residents, while balancing budget challenges.
The council wants residents’ help in shaping those plans and is keen to listen.
Leader of the council, Cllr Don Davies, said: “We are ambitious for North Somerset, but we also need to be realistic. Budgets continue to be tight and our population is growing, so it’s vital that we prioritise and have a robust plan to deliver our agenda.
“As an organisation we want to be better at listening to our residents and communities which is why we’re asking you, our residents, to get involved in helping us shape our future plans.”
A number of focus groups for up to 10 people for each session have been arranged:
10am – midday, Saturday 26 October, Folk Hall, Portishead
2pm – 4pm, Monday 4 November, The Campus, Weston-super-Mare
4.30pm – 6.30pm, Tuesday 5 November, Tithe Barn, Nailsea
6pm – 8pm, Wednesday 6 November, Weston Museum.
If you would like to volunteer to help shape council plans for the future register your interest to join a focus group session by emailing email@example.com.
The original deadline has passed but they are still looking for volunteers.
Travel expenses can be claimed if required.
Backwell WI hall
Hardy Backwell Scouts and Explorers will be sleeping rough on Friday, November 1, in aid of Help Bristol’s Homeless.
The 60-strong group of 11 to 18-year olds are now getting ready for what has become an annual event where they aim to raise not only awareness but funds for local homeless charities.
Headed by Explorer leader Iain Rhodes the sleepout will see the group construct makeshift shelters from cardboard and other scrap materials in the car park of Backwell WI Hall, which they hope will protect them from the elements.
Iain said: “The sleepout has now become a regular item on our annual calendar and is the third time we’ve done it.
"Our young members have a big input in to what we do and this issue is always one that they care about and want to get involved in supporting.
“To endure one night of discomfort will not only highlight to the troop what some unfortunate people have to go through every night of the year, but also the community as a whole that not everyone is as fortunate as ourselves.“
The charity’s founder Jasper Thompson visited our Explorers about a month ago and his presentation certainly had an impact, so it seems appropriate that we do something in return.”
Believing that the priority must be to get people into safe, stable and comfortable accommodation the charity’s ethos is that housing must come first from which people can then improve their own lives and reach their potential.
It now has 15 converted containers, plus an overnight bus for temporary accommodation, a shower block, kitchen/dining areas, a laundry room, and an office to enable admin at its Spring Street site in Bristol and is looking to add more over the coming months.
Jasper said: “It’s all too easy for us to turn a blind eye to the issue of homelessness and sleeping rough while tucked up in our comfortable homes, so it’s great the Backwell troop want to raise the issue.”
For further information or to donate please visit https://helpbristolshomeless.org/
PHOTO: A previous sleepout at Backwell WI hall
MODEL EVENING: The charity fashion show staged at Holy Trinity church, Nailsea for orphan children living in Myanmar was a great success. Strutting their stuff wearing clothes from M&Co on Saturday, October 19, at 7pm, were a team of local models. All profits from the £10 entrance fee and raffle (not added up yet) are going to Stand By Me. Organised by Lynda Dicks the models used the church aisle as a catwalk. Margaret Rawlings said: "It was a real fun evening and we enjoyed it...well done Lynda."
misery at Nailsea
It is a much-favoured meeting place for young people at Millennium Park, Nailsea but since it went up two years ago a minority of vandals have targeted the youth shelter.
It has been covered in graffiti and the litter bin has been used as an outdoor chiminea.
But the last attack has made those who raised the money to pay for the all-weather shelter despair.
This weekend some bright spark(s) decided to try and dismantle the roof which had been covered in thick, slippery, non-drying coat of paint to deter vandals.
Sgt Mark Raby said: "It is a shame that someone has pulled part of the shelter off and broken it up in the skatepark.
"If anyone has any information, please contact the community beat team.
"If the damage doesn't stop it will all have to be taken down because of the stupidity of a few, which is a shame as it is used by many people."
And in another incident two young lads on scrambler bikes were spotted tearing around Millennium Park and Nowhere Woods, Nailsea on Friday and Saturday, November 12-13.
They caused some consternation, scaring people out for an afternoon stroll and dog walkers. Do you know who they are? Contact 101 with details...
Tarzan tree fears leave neighbours in limb(o)
Kamikaze children have been risking life and limb by swinging like Tarzan from an overgrown willow tree on a Nailsea housing estate, say neighbours.
The tree is on council land at Greenslade Gardens and residents say its roots are damaging their homes.
Householder Stephen Ford lives at number 23.
He said: “This tree is taller than the houses that surround it.
“I am concerned about small children who play on the green and swing ‘Tarzan’ like on its overhanging branches.
“Quite clearly the overhanging branches are not strong enough to bear a child's weight and it is only a matter of time before one of these branches breaks and the child falls onto the footpath below possibly sustaining a serious injury.”
Mr Ford and his neighbours have tried to talk to North Somerset MP Liam Fox but were referred to their ward district councillor Mike Bird who in turn told them to contact council tree officer Jason Cox.
Dr Fox’s PA Ione Douglas told Mr Ford in an email ‘North Somerset Council has rather abdicated responsibility for tree maintenance over past years, even when the trees were actually their responsibility’ and an email to Mr Cox went unanswered.
Mr Ford added: “The front of my house overlooks the green owned by North Somerset Council where children play.
“A public footpath separates council land from that owned by residents.
“The tree branches have spread out completely obstructing the footpath causing passers-by to walk across my front garden to circumvent the tree while its roots are breaking up the footpath itself.
“Branches overhang my garden and my neighbours, and it is now about 10 feet from my house obstructing both my view and light.
“My neighbour has cracks appearing in their walls which they fear may be caused by the tree.
“It was two months ago when I contacted the parliamentary office of North Somerset MP Liam Fox and was referred to councillor Bird who in turn passed me on to Mr Cox.”
A North Somerset Council spokesman said: “We inspected the tree in August and branches will be removed up to a height of 2.5m (8ft).
“This work will be carried out as soon as resources allow.
“We will be responding to Mr Ford in due course.
“For anyone to suggest we have ‘abdicated our responsibility for hedgerows and trees’ is most certainly incorrect.”
A weeping willow is a fast-growing tree, capable of adding 24 inches or more to its height in a single growing season.
It can reach heights of 50ft and takes just 15 years to reach its full growth.
A370 closed overnight
Five nights from Monday, October 14, 8pm-5am at Long Ashton bypass bridge
Engineers at North Somerset Council are continuing to take a ‘one and done’ approach to roadworks with a second round of vital maintenance along a main road near Bristol.
The A370 Long Ashton Bypass will be closed overnight while the work, which includes bridge repairs, street lighting upgrades to the latest state-of-the-art LED technology, vegetation clearance, drain cleaning and repairs, and refreshing road markings, is carried out.
The individual projects would usually be done separately but, following a successful combined approach earlier this year on another part of the A-road, this work will be done at once, under one closure, so that it can be finished as quickly as possible.
The road will be shut from 8pm-5am from Colliters Way, also known as the South Bristol link road, to the Bristol boundary for five nights from Monday, October 14.
There will be a signed diversion in place, and access to the Park and Ride and the David Lloyd Centre will be maintained throughout the closure.
North Somerset Council executive member with responsibility for highways James Tonkin said: “Maintenance schemes are vital in the work we do to keep our network safe.
“With a variety of work needed along the A370 we are using a single closure to get everything done as fast as possible while minimising disruption for those who use this very important route.
"This means we will avoid the prolonged roadworks that would be caused by individual schemes being done one at a time.”
The A370 maintenance schemes, which together will cost £76,000, will be carried out by North Somerset contractors including Skanska, Glendale and Centregreat Engineering.
For more details, include the full diversion route, visit www.n-somerset.gov.uk/roads and find the scheme in the interactive map.
More road resurfacing
Nearly half a million pounds will be driven into a North Somerset road improvement scheme.
As well as resurfacing Barrow Street, also known as the B3130 which links the A370 and A38, the scheme will include drainage upgrades, vegetation clearing and other maintenance.
The route, which runs through Barrow Gurney, will be closed at different locations to allow the work to be carried out safely.
The road from Hillside Cottages to Barrow Court Lane will be completely closed between Monday and Friday, October 28-November 1.
A night-time closure between 7pm and 7am will be used to undertake the works between Cambridge Batch and Barrow Court Lane including the slip roads on/off the A370.
The closure will be from Monday to Friday, November 4-22.
The diversion route, which will use the South Bristol link road, will be signposted and marshals will be on site to organise access to homes and businesses during the work.
North Somerset Council executive member for highways James Tonkin said: “We are continuing to invest in our roads and this scheme is part of our ongoing maintenance programme.“Our engineers have worked closely with the parishes to get this scheme completed with as little disruption as possible.
“Traffic data gives us the best times to put the closure in place, and we aim to get any noisy work done as early in the evening as possible.”
North Somerset Council contractor Skanska will carry out the scheme.
For more information, including diversion routes, visit www.n-somerse.gov.uk/roads and find the scheme on the interactive map.
A370 closed for six nights at Backwell
A busy North Somerset main road that links the area to Bristol will see overnight closures later this month.
A total of £144,000 will be invested in resurfacing and other improvements that will be carried out when the A370 through Backwell is shut between 8pm-6am from Monday, September 23, for six nights.
The stretch between the junctions of Church Lane and Stancombe Lane will be affected.
Access to homes and businesses will remain throughout, but other road users will need to follow the signed diversion route.
North Somerset Council contractor Skanska is carrying out the improvements that, alongside the resurfacing, will see signs and road markings refreshed, tidying of vegetation, and replacing and repairing ironwork, such as drain covers.
North Somerset Council executive member with responsibility for transport James Tonkin, ward councillor for Nailsea West End, said: “We are continuing to invest in North Somerset’s roads to maintain the network for all users.
“We looked as options to reduce the impact of our maintenance work and have chosen to close the road overnight. This is the safest and quickest way to get this important work completed. Traffic monitoring shows us traffic levels are the lowest during these hours.
“Signs will be in place throughout and we will have traffic marshals on site
to help those who live and work in the area access their properties.”
For more information about the closure and diversion routes visit www.n-somerset.gov.uk/roadworks and search Backwell on the interactive map.
Mum thanks Nailsea 999 team
Would you know what to do if a child stopped breathing?
When Zoe Larter’s little boy turned blue and stopped breathing last month the mother-of-two needed urgent help for her toddler Toby.
Although Zoe had completed a first aid training course - when it came to the dreadful moment she went blank and felt helpless.
Zoe is South Western Ambulance Service head of charity.
She said: “We called 999 immediately and the Emergency Medical Dispatcher (EMD) was incredible.
"She was calm, clear and explained exactly what I needed to do to help our son while the ambulance was on its way.”
Zoe was instructed to lie Toby on his back and check his airways.
Then when he started breathing again Zoe was asked to say 'now' every time he took a breath.
She said: “The lady in the control hub stayed on the phone with me until the crew were with me in the house - this gave me so much reassurance.”
When the emergency vehicles arrived four crew members came and took control of the situation treating Toby before taking him onto hospital.
Toby had suffered a febrile seizure which had stopped him breathing.
After a short spell in the hospital the toddler returned home and has made a full recovery.
On Wednesday, Septmber 11, Zoe and her son went to meet the ambulance team who came to her rescue that day to thank them in person.
She said: “I’m so grateful to the team as in my work role I hear stories every day about how incredible our teams are and that weekend I saw it for myself, I couldn’t be more proud to be working in the same organisation as these heroes.”
The fantastic team who came to Zoe’s rescue were:
Emergency Medical Dispatcher (EMD) Control Hub – Natasha Pike
Paramedic Kirk Renshaw-Ralph, Emergency Care Assistant (ECA) Jason Davey
Paramedic Ricky Davies and Emergency Care Assistant (ECA) David Brook.
Travels with my wheelchair, by Alison Morgan
We asked Alison to send us a report on her day out in London with district councillor James Tonkin meeting North Somerset MP Liam Fox and GWR staff at the House of Commons.
James and I had a thoroughly enjoyable and useful time at the HoC.
We were made very welcome by Liam and his staff and also by members of GWR staff.
We had a frank and open discussion with GWR commercial development director Matthew Golton.
Matthew is going to liaise with a director from Network Rail and they are going to jointly write to Liam outlining the exact issues with Nailsea and Backwell Station and then Liam is going to raise the issue with the Secretary of State for Transport to discuss a way forward and areas of funding available.
I thought your readers may also like to know what travelling to London was like from a wheelchair user's perspective:
The GWR Passenger Assistance booking worked very well on our outward journey.
The staff at Yatton station, on board the London train and at Paddington station were extremely helpful.
The wheelchair space on the new Hitachi train was very roomy with plenty of space for me to manoeuvre comfortably.
The London taxis are all wheelchair accessible and the Houses of Parliament are also fully accessible.
As Liam commented; if an historical building such as the Palace of Westminster can be adapted to accommodate disabled visitors, it shouldn't be such a battle to get access to a station!
Things didn't go quite as smoothly on the return journey.
The taxi driver started his meter running whilst he was loading me in my wheelchair into his cab.
Consequently our fare was already up to £4.80 before we had even started moving.
He then took us on a tour of the Monopoly board, so say avoiding traffic hold ups, and our total fare from outside Parliament to Paddington station was £36. On our journey to Parliament the taxi fare was £18.
The Passenger Assistance staff were once again most helpful at Paddington.
We were in our places, pre-booked by Passenger Assistance, ready to head home, when the train steward came and asked us which station we were going to.
When we said Yatton his face fell.
Unfortunately, our nice new state of the art train was too long for the platform at Yatton station!
Our seats were at the rear of the train so the ramps had to come out again and we had to go down the platform to the front carriage.
It was a good thing the steward came to us before we had left the station as It wouldn't have been possible for me to move through the train in my wheelchair.
We also had a 20 minute hold up due to a broken down train at Didcot Parkway.
Obviously, this was circumstances beyond their control but I had to laugh to myself as the GWR seminar we had attended was mainly to promote forthcoming timetable changes with increased seats and faster more frequent services.
Longer trains are great but the front carriages will always be congested until the platforms are lengthened to accommodate the extra carriages, or possibly under the timetable changes fewer trains will stop at the smaller stations?
Having to be driven from Nailsea to Yatton to board the train in the morning was a nuisance but on the return journey, at the end of a long day, when the train was already late, it was disheartening to have to remain on the train at Nailsea in order to continue to Yatton and then be driven back to Nailsea.
TRAIN STRAIN: North Somerset MP Liam Fox meets district councillor James Tonkin and disabled rights campaigner Alison Morgan to discuss tactics for a meeting in London on Tuesday, September 10, with GWR at the House of Commons. James and Alison are pictured on route to London on the train they had to catch from Yatton because of lack of access for wheelchair users at Nailsea & Backwell station
GWR to face Nailsea campaigners at HoC
Two campaigners are taking the fight for improved disability access at Nailsea & Backwell railway station to London on Tuesday, September 10, for a GWR seminar at the House of Commons.
North Somerset councillor James Tonkin will accompany wheelchair user Alison Morgan to the capital but because of the access issues at Nailsea they will be forced to travel by train from Yatton station.
For more than a decade Access For All campaigners have petitioned, threatened court action, appealed to the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and asked for public support to get First Great Western to install ramps at the railway station which is on the Bristol to Exeter line.
The latest volley in this sorry saga came in a joint letter this summer from GWR managing director Mark Hopwood and Network Rail Western interim managing director Mike Gallop saying the cost of fixing Nailsea & Backwell railway station to make it accessible for disabled people is now estimated at £10 million and they just didn’t have any funds and there are embankment stability problems.
The station which sits on top of a 40ft embankment opened in 1841 and has two platforms but little in the way of facilities which disappeared after years of cuts and privatisation.
The train companies tell passengers that Nailsea & Backwell railway station has no staff to help travellers and no ramp for wheelchairs saying ‘steep flight of steps to southbound platform…ramped access to northbound platform steeper than 1:12 gradient, no wheelchair access available to trains.’
Back in 2011 everyone thought there was a light at the end of the tunnel when the government announced a £37.5 million scheme to improve stations under an Access For All Mid-Tier programme which allocated £1,023,000 to building new ramps at Nailsea and Backwell.
The work was due to start in 2013 but delayed until 2014 due to a need to repair subsidence on the embankment and while enlargement of the car park was completed.
However, due to the delays the funding was withdrawn, and the fiasco continues today.
Alison who has been campaigning for improvements since 2008 was instrumental in getting the footpath under the railway bridge widened and a user-friendly path built at Backwell Lake.
James and Alison met North Somerset MP Liam Fox at his surgery at Tithe Barn on Friday evening, September 6, to thrash out a strategy for a three-pronged confrontation planned for Tuesday with rail bosses.
Dr Fox said: “We are hugely disappointed that when the franchise was up for discussion, we were told that one of the benefits we would get would not only be an improved rail service but improvements to the infrastructure for passengers and that would include access for disabled people.
“Our top priority was Nailsea & Backwell and although other projects have gone ahead, we have seen nothing. It is key for disabled people to be able to travel – our bus service is relatively poor here and sparse and if we can’t get access to the railway that is a major impediment to both social and economic activity for disabled people and it needs to be put back at the top of the agenda.”
He will meet James and Alison at the House of Commons to confront GWR on its lack of action and ask among other questions where they plucked the tenfold cost increase.
Dr Fox added: “So many false promises have been made.”
James said we are expecting 6,000 more houses in Nailsea and Backwell and a lot more potential passengers and he called for lengthening on the platform as part of urgent updates needed.Alison a former librarian said: “Much as I would like to believe all their promises of being fully committed to this project, over the years I have become very distrustful of anything GWR has to say.
“The reasons for my scepticism are I had it in writing from Mark Hopwood in 2014, that Network Rail had confirmed that 'the platform investigation works were complete' and that they 'did not need to alter the ramp proposals' and that they had 'all the approvals in place to proceed once funding is secured' and the scheme was 'shovel ready'.
“In 2015 GWR stated that improvements would be made to access at Nailsea and Backwell as part of their franchise renewal agreement.
“In April 2016 Mark Hopwood wrote to Dr Fox to confirm that the project had 'received final approval within GWR and is fully signed off' and that they 'have the budget in place for the work to be carried out'.
“All that was left to sort was the Asset Protection Insurance with Network Rail and their supervision and approval of the work to be carried out and they were working on an expectation of the work being carried out that summer.
“Mr Hopwood also stated in this letter that he hoped Dr Fox and me would join them when the ramp opens to 'celebrate the investment in Nailsea and Backwell and the improvements for customers'.
“There was no further mention at this point of problems with the embankment or any mention of the consideration of lifts!
“Also, when Channel Four No Go Britain contacted GWR for their feature on the station in August 2016 they were told that work would begin on the ramp as soon as possible. Again, there was no mention of structural problems or lifts.
“If everything has suddenly become unstable once again, can it take the weight and movement from all the trains using the line daily? Surely, if this is the case urgent repair work needs to be done and then the ramps could be fitted afterwards or as part of the same works.
“I really cannot see the justification in spending £10 million in installing lifts and I find I it appalling that £400,000 has already been spent in feasibility studies and design work for lifts.
“GWR have given themselves the perfect get-out, they can continue to say they are fully committed and are only scuppered by the costs involved.
“Dr Fox will be questioning these costs and other matters at a seminar organised by GWR at the Houses of Parliament which I will be attending with James.
“Ironically, we will be travelling by train, but we will have to travel to and from Yatton station as Nailsea and Backwell station remains inaccessible.
“The poor access at the station is a deterrent for many would be passengers, not just wheelchair users. I believe the people of Nailsea and Backwell deserve better.”
BIKE SHED BONANZA: North Somerset Council is giving organisations a chance to apply for free bicycle parking with the return of the Claim A Stand scheme. After the scheme’s success in 2017, and thanks to further funding from the Department for Transport (DfT) Access Fund, local businesses, community groups and schools can now apply for bicycle stands to be located at their premises. The scheme, which helps provide cycling facilities for employees and visitors, makes cycling for work and leisure much easier. Organisations can apply for up to five Sheffield with high grade stainless steel finish. Each stand provides parking for two bikes, which can be secured using a D-lock or cable lock. Once collected, stands can be installed in a suitable location using a choice of fixings which are also provided. In 2017, 90 cycle parking spaces were created by 15 organisations. By re-opening the scheme now, the council aims to create further convenient locations for cyclist to safely lock up their bike. For an application form click HERE. Applications are open until Thursday, October 31.
Rubbish recycled into energy
Nailsea landfill rubbish is to be recycled into electricity
Four West of England councils have signed 10 year multi million pound contracts to manage residual waste and generate power locally.
The new contracts have been awarded with two regional companies to manage residual waste, that is material which cannot be recycled or otherwise reused.
This new contract is expected to save thousands.
The contracts will ensure most of this waste is diverted from landfill and instead used to generate energy, with the potential to power more than 120,000 homes.
A third contract has also been awarded for processing bulky residual waste.
Recycling rates are increasing right across the West of England region, which covers the Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol City, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Council areas, but there are materials that it is not possible to recycle or re-purpose.
Until now, the four authorities have worked jointly to dispose of this via energy recovery facilities in Scandinavia, but the new approach will mean it is managed locally, saving money and transport-related emissions.
The contracts will see Viridor and Suez disposing of 120,000 and 50,000 tonnes of residual waste each year respectively, while ETM will manage the disposal of 45,500 tonnes of bulky waste each year.
The new arrangements will ensure that all this waste is managed in the South West region and that the electricity produced feeds into the power grid locally.
By reducing transport and other costs, it is expected that across the four Local Authorities will save more than £300,000 each year.
The new contracts will use two Energy from Waste (EFW) plants in Avonmouth to use the waste as a fuel to generate electricity and potentially energy for heating, using new technology that incinerates pre-treated, non-recyclable waste at high temperatures under carefully controlled conditions.
EFW technology can divert more waste from landfill than the current Mechanical Biological Treatment (MBT) disposal method and will help to reduce the amount sent to landfill across the region.
The new contracts require the new contractors to achieve at least a 90 per cent diversion from landfill for residual waste collected at the kerbside and 80 per cent diversion for bulky waste and that collected at council recycling centres.
Going hand in hand with ever-increasing levels of recycling, the new contracts will have a positive impact on the councils’ carbon footprints and environmental impact.
North Somerset Council executive member for climate emergency and environment and Backwell ward councillor Bridget Petty said: “Our residents have helped us to achieve some of the best recycling rates in the country, and our focus will always be on reduce, reuse and recycle.
“But for what’s left over this is a great step forward, helping us to reduce our carbon footprint and impact on the planet.”
Each of the councils is committed to reducing waste and work collaboratively across the region to reduce their environmental impact. Measures taken by the individual councils include reducing single use items such as plastic cups, bottles and disposable nappies; introducing smaller residual waste bins to encourage more recycling; and campaigns to reduce food waste.
North Somerset has a recycling rate of above 58 per cent and is a top ten council on the Eunomia recycling carbon index.
The Suez Severnside has a consented capacity of 400,000 tonnes a year. It is capable of exporting around 34 megawatts, or enough electricity to power the equivalent of 50,000 homes.
The Viridor Avonmouth Plant has a capacity of 320,000 tonnes, which will provide up to 282GWh, which will power the facility itself and export enough energy to power the equivalent of 144,000 homes.
National Grid to survey Nailsea
National Grid is moving into Nailsea to survey land prior to installing underground cables.
The Hinkley Connection Project surveys will be in west end of the town.
National Grid is building a 57 km high voltage connection from Bridgwater to Seabank, near Avonmouth to take low carbon energy from EDF Energy’s new nuclear power station to UK homes and businesses.
As a direct result of community feedback National Grid is taking down the two lines of pylons between Nailsea and Portishead substation, which run very close to people’s properties.
This will help reduce the impact of new T-pylons it will be building in the area.
One of the lines will be replaced with an underground cable and further surveys in the west end of Nailsea are needed to assess ground conditions.
The findings will inform the detailed design of the cable installation, which is expected to start in early 2020.
From Thursday, August 1, surveys will be carried out along Engine Lane, Blackfriars Road, Hannah More Road, Queens Road and Hanham Way, until the cable route turns into the fields, near Watery Lane.
To keep public and staff safe, short-term temporary traffic lights will be erected at each survey location, including temporary four-way lights on the junction that joins Queens Road, North Street and Hanham Way.
The traffic lights will be removed as soon as the surveys are complete.
You can find out more information on all stages of the project by visiting the Hinkley Connection Project website at www.hinkleyconnection.co.uk or by telephone on 0800 377 7347.
Earlier this week the yellow National Grid helicopter circled Nailsea several times while waiting permission to land at Bristol Airport. Nailsea People Facebook reader Ryan Nichols was aboard. He said: “It’s one of Western Power Distributions and was held by air traffic getting back to Lulsgate. Normally would be holding north of Bristol but other runway was in use today.” The helicopter is based at south side of Bristol Airport.
PHOTO: Suzanne Sayce Morgan
White van dumpster
A market trader is blamed for dumping rubbish on the roadsides between Bristol and Weston.
Old packaging, builders rubble, rotting fruit and vegetables as well as household waste is being discarded in the countryside at Backwell Common and other villages including Barrow Gurney, Chelvey and Churchill.
Resident Gill Followell said: "They should follow-up the address on that Amazon package - this is absolutely disgusting behaviour."
Elaine Edwards said: "What a waste of food I bet some of it wouldnt be too bad.
"Why didn't they send it to the homeless shelters."
There was a debate on Nailsea People Facebook page as to whether the name and address on the parcel should be shown.
Donald Davies said: "If they paid someone to do it and didn't check that person had a waste licence then they are totally liable!
"There is no need for fly tipping, it is genuine anti social behaviour and no excuses.
"It's a tax on the rest of us clearing it up."
Sue Kathleen Ford said: "Donald Davies you are so right.
"If people are stupid enough to pay someone to dump it they are guilty as well."
Suzanne Morgan said: "North Somerset Council or the police could trace the culprit who was probably paid to dispose of this legally and has chose to take the money and then dump it."
Clare Davey said: "You have a duty to check someone has a license to dispose of rubbish when you hire them.
"It's not rocket science and if the owners of the Amazon box can be traced they'll know who they paid to take it away."
Susan Fisher said: "I think you are still responsible for it, even if it was dumped by a third party!
"It has got worse and worse since North Somerset started their permit scheme, where you only have 12 passes a year if you have a van - albeit for domestic use.
"Commercial people pay more."
Andrew Kelly said: "Just because someone has a waste licence it doesn’t say it’s not going to end up in a layby, those waste carriers have to pay to dispose of the waste at the tip and some of them will sooner tip it in a lay-by rather than pay - licensed or not."
Suzanne Morgan added: "We have the same in Yanley.
"Looking at it, I bet a pound to a penny it is the same 'fly boy'.
"There is usually loads of rotting fruit dumped in various farm gateways.
"What is up with people?"
Scott Hamilton said: "That's been happening for years there.
"I used to commute by bicycle to Bristol everyday and it was happening every other day since 2015."
Jayne Mitchell said: "Fruit and veg again!
"Same person as last year no doubt.
"Must be someone with a business?
"What about notices claiming there are hidden cameras? What about hidden cameras?
One Backwell resident did captured a white van speeding away after dumping stuff on the common - see image.
Nailsea to Bristol on the buses
Bus timetables to and from Nailsea up in the air all week as the Extinction Rebellion went on a five-day protest in Bristol.
Passengers reporting waiting at Link Road for more than an hour.
Nailsea people were split about the value of the protest but the report on Radio Bristol of a son not being able to reach his dying father’s bedside at the BRI even made an organiser cry.
PHOTO: Bristol Post
Bus timetables to and from Nailsea up in the air all week as the Extinction Rebellion went on a five-day protest in Bristol.
Passengers reporting waiting at Link Road for more than an hour.
Nailsea people were split about the value of the protest but the report on Radio Bristol of a son not being able to reach his dying father’s bedside at the BRI even made an organiser cry.
Nailsea People Facebook page attracted a mixed response.
Louise Cara said: “That’s not a very environmental thing to do.
“Apparently there are groups of people there with plastic drinks bottles and Costa drinks with plastic lids.
“It’s ok standing up for a cause if you live by the standards you are pushing for.”
Derek Iles said: “The Green Party supports public transport (buses) can't they let the buses through?”
Others like Ben Daniels were not so kind.
He said: “They are thugs.”
Lynn Thompson said: “I met a lady who proudly told me she had driven up from Cornwall for the day to protest. I refused a paper leaflet.
“The traffic chaos in Bristol this morning is not going to sway anyone to their cause.”
And Victoria Battison said: “Nice for them to be able to have the time off work.”
Suzanne Morgan said: “I feel these protesters have little consideration for the general public going about their daily business.
“We do not need this group to enforce their agenda on us.
“We are aware of the need to do our bit to reduce emissions to help our planet.”
Ian Summerell said: “So they want to save the planet, how much more carbon will be used in traffic jams around Bristol and the cost to people just trying to get to work and from work?”
And Angela Casali wondered ‘how many protesters are getting on a plane this summer, still using diesel for their cars and single use plastic!’
Helen Pool said: “My partner who drives a bus, came in 40 minutes late on his stint.
“A colleague of his was 25 minutes late on an X9 to Nailsea.
“They got this all week.
“What with this and Harbour Festival is the weekend and that means more bridge swings too.”
But Jack Dace pointed out: “In 30 years’ time, when our world is inhospitable and there's nothing left for your children, all you'll be able to say is you complained about the bus times.
“Fix up your mindset on this, the protesters couldn't be there for any better reason.”
Simon Hammond said: “There is a right to protest, but this will be more than that.
“This will be a public nuisance. I'm all for saving the planet, and do as much as I can when I can, but their actions are going to do nothing but garner anger, annoyance and derision.
“The government isn't going to take notice of these displays.”
And there were many more comments.
It the meantime pre-paid bus fares are being increased from Sunday, July 21 – click HERE to read.
Fares for tickets bought on-bus are unchanged.
UPDATE FRIDAY, JULY 15: WE ARE DELIGHTED TO ANNOUNCE THAT THE MAIN POOL IS REOPENING ON THE 15TH JULY AS NORMAL, ALL LESSONS, CLASSES WILL GO AHEAD AS NORMAL, THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONTINUED PATIENCE AND SUPPORT THROUGHOUT THESE WORKS.
UPDATE WEDNESDAY, MAY 22: Backwell Pool will be closed until July now. Update on website reads: 'WE REGRET TO INFORM OUR CUSTOMERS THAT DUE TO ESSENTIAL MAINTENANCE WORKS ON THE VENTILATION SYSTEM AND ROOF THE MAIN POOL WILL BE CLOSED UNTIL APPROXIMATELY MID JULY. THIS DOES NOT AFFECT THE SMALL POOL. WE APOLOGISE FOR THE INCONVENIENCE CAUSED.'
What exactly is being done to the big swimming pool at Backwell Leisure Centre and why it is closed is unclear.
According to the Bristol Pool 'two pools at Backwell Leisure Centre were closed on Friday - and no one at the centre was prepared to explain why. The pools will remain shut until Saturday morning, according to a message posted on the leisure centre’s website.'
But since then a message posted on its website says: "The main pool will continue to remain closed while essential maintenance is being carried out. We anticpate we will re-opne on Saturday, May 25 and will adivse on an exact date on our website and Facebook pages and at the centre. We apologise for the inconvenience."
Caroline Knight reported to Backwell connect: "Backwell Leisure Centre main pool is closed until at least Saturday, May 25, so no aqua aerobics.
"We will miss you all but keep checking their website for when they are re-opening - hope to see you soon.
"The small pool and other facilities are still open."
Check out the latest at https://www.leisurecentre.com/backwell-leisure-centre.
Friends in need
Joe Walker and his mates Callum McLellan and James Mutter asked for help find them a house in Nailsea or nearby to be posted on Nailsea People Facebook page.
We were happy to oblige.
What we weren't expecting was the level of support the posting would attract.
In less than 24hrs the post reached 53,694 people, activitely engaged 5,180, was shared by more than 1,100 with 28 comments, 112 reactions and a job offer from Coates House, Nailsea.
Joe and his friends have promised to get back to us with any news.
To learn more about Foxes watch the wonderful Channel 5 documentary Only Human.
garden path wall
Would-be graffiti artists have been leaving their tags on brick walls which runs along the path linking the Sawyers Arms pub and X9 bus stop to the housing estate behind.
The name tags seem to incorporate the artist's initials, but no Banksy-style works of art have been discovered yet.
A resident said: “This pathway is always littered, always people urinating, and now this.
“They're all different, and pretty basic, I imagine it's a group of teenagers.
“Not going to assume it is though and will report it to the council as this path and the road behind attracts a lot of this low-level stuff.”
Since the graffiti at the skatepark has been removed there is nowhere in Nailsea for the iconic script writers work to be displayed.
Spray painting private property is considered criminal damage.
Dog owners alert
A wicked person is trying to poison pets walking in a Nailsea park.
The linear park which runs behind Kingshill Church School at Pound has been in the news already this week with the overnight stay of a group of travellers.
This incident however is not connected.
A resident walking in the area on Sunday night found eight pieces of raw meat coated in chilli, together with a raw chicken breast that was covered in a white powder and some cooked chicken.
The meat which had been sprinkled in dog treats was left at the bottom of a hedge at the back of the school.
The person who found the items said: "I have removed all I can see but there may be some further in the bushes that I have missed.
"Please keep an eye on your dogs when using the park."
She believes similar incidents have been reported in other areas.Ian Jenkins said he found lots of pieces of unchewed chewing gum- xylitol - which is used in sugar free gums and is poisonous for dogs on the footpaths through the fields off Watery Lane/Causeway.
Ian said: "This lot was collected and disposed of but it could be done again."
The police and local vets have been alerted and a warning posted on Nailsea People Facebook page.
CARAVAN CONVOY: Travellers rocked up to the linear park behind Kingshill Church School at Pound Lane, Nailsea, for a one night stay and caused constination with noisy dogs and rubbish. Approximately 20 vans arrived on the green field on Sunday, June 23 which is a recreational space with a children's play area. There were reports of bad language and intimination and a police presence was maintained during much of the time the area was turned into an illegal camping site. And when they were gone neighbouring residents turned out in force for a mass clean up operation - it was a fantastic community effort. They called North Somerset Council environment officers for help with the human ecrement found in the woods and asked Nailsea Town Council for help with the bags of rubbish they amassed. The postings and comments on Nailsea People Facebook page reached more than 10,000. The top three photos below are of the park after local people tidied up after the 'visitors' and the other photos are how the park was left...
ENVY LINE: Jamie-Lee Mason asked us to share the criminal damage to his car parked outside his Nailsea home. The culprit who has been caught on CCTV is asked to come forward and pay for damage...watch this space...
Part of the High Street has been closed at night for resurfacing work.
Between 8pm-6am workmen have been digging and shovelling on the B3130 from the Lodge Lane to Tesco roundabouts.
Resident Jo Brown, who took the video from an upstairs room in her house, said: "It was horrendous, my bed was shaking.
"Whoever decided nighttime roadworks was the way forward was a) idiot, b) selfish or c) not having it done on their road."
However, it is all due to end today, Friday, June 21.
Meanwhile installing fibre optic equipment during weekend is leading to more road closures.
There will be an HGV division, traffic lights and at times Wraxall Hill will be one-way until the end of June.
Emergency access will be maintained at all times.
And there is more to come.
Several maintenance schemes are needed along the A370 Long Ashton bypass and North Somerset Council is closing the road for five nights in July to get everything done at once, as quickly as possible.
Work will include repairs to three bridges, upgrading all the street lights to the latest state-of-the-art LED technology, cutting back verges, emptying and clearing the drains, as well as replacing any damaged iron works, such as manhole covers.
Trees along the road will also be checked and any that have become unsafe will be removed.
The overnight closures will be from Monday to Friday, July 8-12 July, 7pm-5am, from the B3130 Flax Bourton Cambridge Batch junction to Colliters Way, the South Bristol link road.
Diversion routes will be clearly signposted.
For more information go to
Did you hear the noise in Nailsea town centre on Saturday, June 15?
It was the Extinction Rebellion people who are opposed to any expansion of Bristol Airport and beating the drum for climate change awareness.
It provoked a bit of a debate on Nailsea People Facebook page and among the intelligent comments were the kneenjerk responses and some that were just plain rude and deleted.
Here is a cross selection:
Dafydd Miles said: "How many of those marching drive gas guzzling 4x4s. The expansion is going to be good for the local economy."
Paul Thomas said: "Dafydd Miles, I’m local to the airport and it does nothing for the locals and employs very few if any locals. It’s owned by a US pensions fund that are known for getting their own way regardless of the cost to others."
Chris Perry said: "Actually it is owned by the Ontario Teachers Pension Fund and Ontario is actually in Canada and they also own Camelot who run the lottery. Some of them did get in to their diesel cars afterwards!"
Dafydd Miles added: "Paul Thomas the expansion will bring visitors to the area who will spend and the jobs created. Who does it matter who owns it?"
Paul Thomas said: "Dafydd Miles there are issues beyond the not in my backyard brigade. Residents being pushed out of their homes. Rubbish left on the roadside where pickups and taxis wait for passengers rather than pay over the odds parking charges. Traffic on Ill adequate roads,especially the congestion caused on the A38 from the end of downside Rd to barrow tanks on most days. Do you know any locals that work there?"
Chris Perry added: "Paul Thomas, I agree the airport needs to address the issues in regards to drop-off and pick-up but how many people living close to the airport purchased their property before there was an airport there how many in the last 30 years. It does provide employment to a lot of locals who are connected with the off-site parking and when I mean local I mean within 15-20 miles."
Alistair Bartlett added: "Dafydd Miles dreamworld.. who is gong to fly to Bristol airport to spend time in Nailsea?"
TRAVELLERS REST: An open space at Nailsea became a temporary home for a group of travellers at the weekend. It was thought they were on route for Appleby Horse Fair - the biggest gypsy festival in Europe - in Cumbria. There were reports of vans in lay-bys and green fields all over the district much to the concern of North Somerset residents. But by Monday, June 3, the green field at Blackthorne Way, was restored to its usual pristine state thanks (we think) to the council.
5- star Kebab Kitchen
In March this year a food and safety report gave Kebab Kitchen at Nailsea a 1-star rating.
Previously this Nailsea kebab house was named as one of the best in the country. What went wrong?
We asked under a Freedom of Information request for North Somerset Council to supply us with the report – request denied…pending…
Owner Mehmet Yiğit said he rang the council environmental department to request he is re-inspected pronto.
Mehmet said: “Approximately six weeks ago; an inspector (health) came to check our store/facilities.
“He told us everything is all right with a few observations.”
“The only thing he said was to paint the doors, but nothing else; nothing about the food and/or cleaning quality.
“In this case, despite we were supposed to be given 4-star, he gave unfortunately 1-star.”
“Kebab Kitchen is a family run company with a 5-star company for 11 years.
“We think, our company does not deserve this as the evaluation was based on only refreshing door/wall-paint but nothing to do with the food hygiene or cleaning conditions.
“We have no doubt that we will gain back our reputation having 5-star again soon.”
Well according to Mehmet this happened today.
He said In a 15-minute inspection he was immediately given back his 5-star rating and sent these photographs as evidence. So can anyone explain?
North Somerset Council issued this statement on Friday, May 24: 'The original inspection in March this year identified that significant improvements were required. All our food business operators are provided with written reports after the visit which detail how they can appeal if they do not agree with the rating given. They are also provided with details of how they can pay for a re-rate once all the works have been completed and these visits are prioritised. Mr Yigit did not appeal the rating but applied for a paid-for re-rate. A different officer to the officer who carried out the initial visit carried out a re-rate earlier this week and has re-rated the business as a 5-star. The inspector was on site for an hour verifying procedures and checking completion of other matters. Two interim visits had also been carried out prior to this visit to check progress with works.'
TRAIN STRAIN: Two Backwell School students were caught 'playing' on the line at Nailsea & Backwell railway station while taking a shortcut home. They were photographed by an alarmed passenger. Police are going to the school to warn about the dangers. In this case a train thundered along the line moments after the girls left the scene. And in another alarming developement cars left at the park and ride where targetted by rock throwing vandals. CCTV at the station is being checked.
DOG BITE: A cocker spaniel who was attacked by another dog luckily recovered after an operation to repair his torn ear. Bentley, the cocker spaniel, needed stitches after being set on by a Siberian husky cross who went for his neck and head.
The attack happened on Thursday afternoon, May 30, in fields near The Elms, Wraxall. Bentley’s owner who was traumatised by the incident was told later it wasn’t the first time this dog had behaved badly while out walking. Since posting on the Nailsea People Facebook page several other similar incidents have come to light. Nicky Williams said: "I think my spaniel was attacked quite viciously by this dog too. Same area and also a Siberian husky. I got the impression from the owners reaction it had happened before. The male owner (who was quite distinctive looking) was really quite rude to me and refused initially to even put his dog on a lead and made out I was overreacting as I was so shocked. When I tried to get a photo of him/his dog he threatened me by saying he would let his dog back off the lead. I did report him." The dog warden and police are aware of the attacks.
Valley Gardens and Hillcrest Road potholes being filled...
Well Nailsea People tweeted Skanska about the no notification and no cars parked issue - see story below - no response.
It then emailed the Swedish boss of Skanska who referred us to another in UK who happened to be on their hols.
We emailed a press officer at North Somerset Council who was day off and advised a no-reply reply advised us to email another.
This we did...nothing happened.
Another resident this time in Hillcrest Road contracted us to say cones had appeared in their road this week but no notifiction of any impending work.
We checked the roadworks website again -nothing so we re-sent all the emails again.
This time Skanska infrastructure spokesman Caroline Rouse replied saying 'apologies for the delay in responding. The person I needed to speak to is just back from leave today – I’m getting him to sign-off a brief response asap'.
A North Somerset Council press officer on third email answered that he was 'asking the questions...'.
Oh and I may have accidently including the big boss in Sweden in the final round of emails.
Miraculously on Thursday afternoon, May 16, the affected residents received a letter about 'carriageway patching' and this morning Friday, May 17, the work filling their potholes was in progress.
The notification says Saturday, May 18, but hey-ho let's not may a fuss...still nothing at https://northsomerset.roadworks.org.
Just about to email the press officers telling them no need to offically respond but on second thoughts, sod it.
Finally on Monday, May 20, North Somerset apologised for the delay and replied: "The cones were placed so our spray patching machine could carry out work. Unfortunately the cones had been ignored and the patcher returned to complete the work on Friday. In future we have asked that signs are attached to the cones so people are aware of their purpose."
Valley Gardens roadworks delayed due to parked cars
Nailsea resident Michele Rickard wondered why her road was lined with red and white cones at the weekend but became even more puzzled when they were removed on Monday, May 13, with no work being done.
She said: "Does anyone know why cones to stop people parking have been put all around Valley Gardens and Valley Close In Nailsea?
"We’ve had no leaflet drop, there are absolutely no signs anywhere to indicate why we can’t park outside our own houses and nothing on North Somerset Council website either."
A quick check on the North Somerset roadworks site showed nothing scheduled by multinational construction and development company Skanska whose name was on one of the cones.
Nailsea People tried to help and tweeted '#skanska please can you tell us what you are doing in Valley Gardens and Valley Close, Nailsea, as cones have gone along the road?' but heard nothing.
Then as mysteriously as they arrived the cones disappeared.
Michele said: "Skanska came this morning to take away all the cones they put there on Friday, in Valley Gardens and Valley Close.
"We asked why they were there in the first place - apparently they were going to do all the pot holes, the whole road needs resurfacing, they told us the road was full of cars so they couldn’t do it, my husband walked round there were no cars - seriously unimpressed!"
Photos by Tony Rickard.
Hinkley Connection Project
surveys between Nailsea and Portishead substation
Work is starting, digging up roads and fields in Nailsea for the Hinkley Connection Project.
National Grid is building a new 57 km high voltage electricity connection between Bridgwater and Seabank near Avonmouth, to link new sources of power in the area, including Hinkley Point C, EDF Energy’s new nuclear power station in Somerset, to UK homes and businesses.
As a result of consultation, and to mitigate the impact of new T-pylons being built in the area, National Grid is removing two existing lines of pylons between Nailsea and Portishead substation; replacing one with underground cable.
Starting in April through to June 2019, surveys will be carried out in a number of locations along the route of the underground cable. These will include searches for existing services as well as drilling and digging to assess ground conditions that will inform the detailed design of the cable installation.
National Grid has appointed J Murphy & Sons Limited, to carry out this work. They will undertake the surveys at approximately every 50 metres along the route. Once the surveys are complete, they will reinstate the land.
Although most of these surveys will be carried out in fields, they also need to survey numerous roads in Nailsea, and sections of road where temporary accesses to the haul roads will be built later in the construction programme. The survey work will require the use of short-term temporary traffic lights to keep staff and road users safe. They will be removed as soon as the surveys are complete.
Surveys will also be undertaken in Portbury Wharf Nature Reserve. They will be carried out sensitively and monitored closely by North Somerset Council.
National Grid recognises that the work may affect people and businesses and will make every effort to minimise disruption and inconvenience.
You can find out more information on all stages of the project by visiting the Hinkley Connection website at www.hinkleyconnection.co.uk.
Logjam for library roadshow
There was a bit of a logjam at Nailsea library today, Tuesday, April 16, with lots of would-be bus passengers queueing to learn about the new timetables being introduced at the end of this month.
Among those waiting to be heard were people who either didn’t want a bus stop outside their home or those living in Hazelbury Road who didn’t want to be on a bus route at all.
The X8 and X9 are swapping routes around the town and neither is going along Pound Lane from Sunday, April 28.
And the X9 will no longer run double decker buses.
The major changes are:
X9 is now a half hourly service
X8 is now an hourly service
X9 route around Nailsea will now go up the Cheddar Close end of The Perrings and will exclude Silver Street and Pound Lane before journeying on to Bristol via Wraxall and Long Ashton village
X8 route around Nailsea will now go up the Biddisham Close end of The Perrings into Whiteoak Way going back to Bristol via Backwell and the Long Ashton bypass
X7 is now terminating at Clevedon and travels from Nailsea Link Road via Pound Lane
Some people who turned up on time at 2pm missed seeing the Excel staff who had tried to accommodate the majority of its users.
A delegation of Yatton villagers were also at the Somerset Square library to complain about their existing X7 half hour service being reduced to hourly service on rerouted X2.
Also on hand were the North Somerset Council public transport team who answered questions about bus stops and shelter.
Downstairs more than 50 children and their parents attended a board games event organised by Asmodee which looked like fun, see photo below
Operation clean up
A combined operation between community police, Wessex Water and Channel Kayaks cleared discarded litter and large rubbish bin from Backwell lake this week.
This had been deposited by louts ‘partying’ on Sunday evening - scroll down this page to see all the before photos.
Channel Kayaks CEO Byron Baker-Brown was helped to litter pick on the lake by PCSO Julie Berchall and his accompanying pets.
On Wednesday, April 10, more 50 young people and some parents turned up for the BIG clean up at Nailsea skate park.
There is a slideshow of their efforts in Gallery 2019.
Armed with brooms, scrubbing brushes,pots of paint and buckets of soapy water the young people collected litter, removed graffiti and gave the ramps a fresh lick of yellow and green paint.
Youth workers, police officers, cadets and mums and dads joined in the 'fun' and tucked into hotdogs provided by the community beat team.
On Saturday, April 13, the Better Nailsea group will be setting off from 65 High Street 10am-noon for a big street spring clean.
Extra helping hands welcome.