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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Click image to follow link to full story online at BBC.COM - no mention of Langford mushroom farm!!
Police tweet Friday, April 5 - no location in Nailsea
ACCIDENT RESCUE: Crews from Avonmouth, Nailsea and Portishead fire stations were called to a one-vehicle road traffic collision this week.
The accident at Tickenham was in the early hours of Thursday, April 4. One man in his 30s was rescued using hydraulic cutting equipment and was conveyed to hospital by ambulance crews.
Firefighters remained on scene to clear the roadway. Police were also at the scene and the road at Tickenham Hill was closed for several hours.
Police praise taxi driver
A Nailsea taxi driver saved an old lady from losing her life savings.
Quick-thinking driver Donald Wilby thwarted a financial fraud by alerting the bank of the intended victim.
When the 87-year-old female victim told the driver that she needed to withdraw all her money from her bank account he became suspicious.
The taxi had been booked via phone call by someone with a foreign accent.
They asked for a company to pick up ‘his mother’ and take her to the Nat West Bank in Clevedon from her home in Nailsea.
During the journey the woman said that she had been told there was something funny going on with her account and that she had been requested to withdraw all her money from her account, which is why she was going to the bank.
But Mr Wilby, a driver for Nailsea and Backwell Taxis became suspicious and when he arrived at the bank he alerted bank staff who then froze the woman’s account and called the police.
Det Sgt Marc Milliner, of the Avon and Somerset Police complex crime unit, said: “Mr Wilby, the taxi driver did exactly what we would have wanted and raised his concerns with the bank and ourselves.
“His quick-thinking action has potentially saved the victim from being duped out of her life savings.
“We hope other taxi drivers and those providing a courier collection service will take this on board and alert us if they are asked to take elderly and vulnerable people to withdraw cash from their banks or are asked to collect packages from people on behalf of police officers or bank officials.”
Police are reminding people to be vigilant, especially when the caller claims to be from the police or bank, claiming there is a problem with their bank account and encouraging them to withdraw large sums of cash. This may involve having a taxi or courier to collect sums of money.
• Police and banks will never ask members of the public to give out personal details, such as bank account numbers or PIN numbers over the phone or send a courier to collect bank cards or money.
• If you receive what you believe to be a scam/fraudulent call, end it immediately and call your bank or police. Before making a confirmation phone call either wait five minutes or use a different phone (eg mobile or neighbour’s phone) in case your line has been locked by the scammer
• If you have any doubts about who you are speaking to, ask for identification. Police officers and other official callers will expect you to check their identity. They won’t mind waiting while you do so.
• Taxi services and courier companies in the county who have been made aware of the courier fraud offending and continue to pick up ‘packages’ from victims could face prosecution.
London based photographer Jasper White has made a promotional video to kick start the publication of his second book Tour Eiffel.
The former Nailsea School student captured a series of images while on a photoshoot in Paris and needs pledges of support before it can go into print..
Tour Eiffel is a fun and intriguing photography project by Jasper looking at intimate and unique views of the Eiffel Tower from the homes of Parisian residents.
Each room is like one of the cast in a play, playing its part in the story, with the fairytale tower always in view, as if from a children's book.
The images have been curated and will be published in a high-quality photo book in collaboration with the renowned publisher Kehrer Verlag.
While still at college Jasper did his first 'professional' photoshoot for the then Clevedon Mercury climbing up Big Ben with North Somerset MP Liam Fox for a 'photo opportunity'.
We doubt in this time of heightened security this would be allowed now.
His first coffee table book Man Caves published in 2014 was made while visiting his sister Rebecca in Australia and there have been many copy-cat versions of the idea since.
The work of Jasper who studied photography at Kent Institute of Art and Design has featured many times in the national press and a one-man exhibition travelled over the pond to New York.
The award-winning former Golden Valley Primary School pupil whose family once lived in Scotch Horn Close also spent a few terms at Nailsea School before his parents moved the family to Essex.
Talking of 'heightened security' another former Nailsea resident and now Conservative MP for Wells defied parliamentary rules to capture on his mobile a ‘semi-naked’ climate change protest in the HoC on Monday night during the Brexit debate. Don’t know if the Right Honourable James Heappey will be in trouble with the speaker?
TYRE TIKE: At least seven vehicles targetted and 10 reported flats along a Nailsea residential road on different days in the past few weeks. Incidents should be reported to police at the Pound Lane station...
Person(s) unknown scattering tacks
At least seven cars suffered flat tyres in the past few weeks after nails and tacks were strewed along a Nailsea residential road.
Neighbours in Chapel Barton and Cherry Road have recovered handfuls of the nails of various lengths which have damaged their vehicles.
Many people were unaware their cars had been deliberately targetted and just thought their tyres had gone down due to normal wear and tear.
But a notice put out with the April addition of the Neighbourhood Watch newsletter said:" Someone has been strewing nails in Orchard Road and particularly at the junction with Chapel Barton resulting in numerous punctures. The nails have been picked up by the affected residents and the police informed.'
Most cars suffered only one flat tyre but a woman driver returned to her vehicle only to find all four tyres punctured.
New bus timetable & routes
Nailsea Library is hosting a bus roadshow on Tuesday, April 16, 2-3.30pm to unveil the changes to routes and timetables for travellers on the Excel Network.
The new Excel bus network timetable begins on Sunday, April 28, and the bus company say the main changes are designed to provide better punctuality and reliability across North Somerset.
The new timetable will be available online HERE in the near future.
Service X1 (Weston-super-Mare – Bristol)
The X1 route will no longer serve Long Ashton and therefore provide more direct and quicker journeys for the majority of customers, who travel between Weston-super-Mare and Bristol. Customers currently using Service X1 to and from Long Ashton will be able to use Service X2 for travel to and from Weston-super-Mare and Bristol as well as Services X7 and X9 for travel to and from Bristol (see later in guide).
The frequency of Service X1 is revised to operate the following:
Every 30 minutes Monday to Friday peak times
Every 20 minutes Monday to Friday off-peak
Every 20 minutes Saturday daytime
Every 60 minutes Monday to Saturday evenings
Every 30 minutes Sunday and public holidays daytime
Customers travelling between Weston-super-Mare and Bristol at peak times Monday to Friday will be able to benefit from new express Service X1x. Please refer to Service X1x for further details. Outside of Monday to Friday peak times, Service X1 is the primary service linking Weston-super-Mare and Bristol. There are a number of minor changes to the timetable which are designed to improve Service X1’s reliability and punctuality. Regular customers should check the timetable carefully before travelling.
To view X1 route map click HERE - timetable coming soon.
NEW Service X1x (Weston-super-Mare – Bristol)
A new express Service X1x will be introduced Monday to Friday peak times. These express journeys operate between Weston-super-Mare and Bristol, ideal for commuters. On Monday to Friday mornings, there will be five journeys from Weston-super-Mare to Bristol and Monday to Friday afternoons, there will be six journeys from Bristol to Weston-super-Mare.
Service X1x will provide limited stop, direct journeys between Weston-super-Mare and Bristol. From Marine Parade, serving all X1 stops to St Georges Turn, then buses will operate non-stop to Hotwells before serving bus stops to Bristol Bus Station via M5 Motorway and Portway.I In the event of a problem on the M5 these journeys could take a different route to to avoid delays.Timetable coming soon.
Service X2 (Weston-super-Mare – Bristol via Yatton)
There are significant changes to the route and frequency of Service X2. While Service X2 will still link Weston-super-Mare and Bristol, the service will operate via Locking Castle, West Wick, Congresbury, Yatton (replacing Service X7), Claverham, Cleeve and Long Ashton. Service X2 will provide important local links and will operate hourly throughout the day Monday to Saturday. To view X1 route map click HERE - timetable coming soon.
Services X3/X3a/X4 (Bristol – Portishead)
While there are no changes to the route or frequency of Service X3/X3a/X4, there are a number of changes to the timetable to improve reliability and punctuality. Customers are advised to check the new timetable before travelling. On Monday to Fridays, the 1448 Service X4 journey from Portishead (Nightingale Rise) to Bristol will additionally call into the grounds of St Katherine’s School on schooldays only. This follows agreement with the school.
Timetable coming soon.
Service X5 (Weston-super-Mare – Clevedon– Cribbs Causeway)
There is a minor change to the route of Service X5 and a number of changes to the timetable. All journeys between Portishead & Cribbs Causeway will operate via Sheepway in both directions. This follows customer requests and provides better access to Service X5 for customers in Portishead Quays.
The Monday to Friday journey from Portishead to Weston-super-Mare at 0625 is withdrawn due to low customer demand. The Monday to Friday journey from Weston-super-Mare to Portishead / Cribbs Causeway is advanced to 0725 to allow additional running time operating out of Weston-super-Mare towards the M5. College journeys to and from Nailsea and not impacted by the route change. To view X5 route map click HERE - timetable coming soon.
Service X6 (Clevedon – Bristol)
There are no changes to the route of Service X6, however, there are a number of changes to the timetable which are designed to improve punctuality and reliability. Monday to Saturday evening journeys and all journeys on Sundays and Public Holidays will operate as Service X7 and not Service X6. This will mean that at these times there will be no service via Failand due to very low customer demand; however, evening and Sunday links between Clevedon and Nailsea will be provided. Customers are advised to check the new timetable before travelling. See X6 route map - timetable coming soon.
Service X7 (Bristol – Clevedon via Nailsea)
There are a number of significant changes to the route and timetable. The current route is very long and customer numbers between Clevedon & Weston-super-Mare are very low meaning the service does not sustain itself financially. Service X7 will now operate between Bristol and Clevedon only to a revised route additionally serving Long Ashton and Pound Lane in Nailsea. Within Clevedon, Service X7 will follow the same route as Service X6 with the daytime journeys terminating at Six Ways, increasing the frequency for many customers in Clevedon to every 30 minutes. An additional hourly evening and Sunday and public holiday daytime service is introduced. These journeys replace journeys that previously operated on Service X6. This change will see the introduction of an evening and Sunday and Public Holiday service between Nailsea and Clevedon. The section of route between Clevedon and Weston-super-Mare will no longer be served by Service X7. There will no longer be a service between Clevedon and Yatton via Kenn. Customers travelling between Clevedon and Weston-super-Mare should travel on Service X5, which remains the quickest journey option. Yatton, West Wick and Locking Castle will be served by Service X2 as Service X7 will no longer cover this section of route. See X7 route map - timetable coming soon
Service X8 (Bristol – Nailsea via Backwell)
There are changes to the route and timetable of Service X8, as well as changes to the timetable to improve reliability and punctuality. Service X8 will operate every 60 minutes Monday to Saturday daytime between Bristol and Nailsea and via the Long Ashton by-pass and Backwell. Service X8 will operate a revised route around Nailsea and serve Trendlewood Way, Nailsea Town Centre, Mizzymead Road, The Perrings, Hannah More Road and Hazelbury Road. Following customer requests a later departure from Bristol will be provided at 2125. Customers are advised to check the new route and timetable before travelling. See X8 route map - timetable coming soon
Service X9 (Bristol – Nailsea via Long Ashton)
There are changes to the route and timetable to improve reliability and punctuality. It will operate every 30 minutes Monday to Saturday daytime and every 60 minutes during the evening and on Sundays and public holidays. There is a revised route for Service 9 in Nailsea; journeys will operate via Mizzymead Road, Queens Road The Perrings, Whiteoak Way, Hannah More Road and Mizzymead Road in both directions A revised route around Nailsea will be operated and it will not serve Hazelbury Road. Customers are advised to check the new route and timetable before travelling. See X9 route map - timetable coming soon.
People from the community put their heads together to talk about Millennium Park and in particular the skate park at a meeting at 65 High Street.
Residents joined police, councillors and some of the young people who use the facility.
Nailsea Town Council chairman David Packman updated the meeting on the ownership of the skatepark and the surrounding land while youth worker Neil Wylie talked about the 2018 skate school and plans for this year.
Chaired by Phil Williams discussions centred on moving forward and the annual skate festival which this year is on Saturday, June 8, and included a video of the 2018 festival.
Neighbourhood police shared the successes of Friday nights in the park and the building of the youth shelter.
And starting on Friday, June 21, officers unveiled an activity programme for 2019.
Problems with rubbish and inappropriate graffiti may lead to the installation of floodlights the meeting attended by 30 plus people heard.
Phil said: "Overall a really positive meeting and we are very much looking forward to welcoming everybody at 10 am on Wednesday, April 10, to a spring clean at the skate park."
Would-be participants for the spring clean which is in the school Easter holidays were advised to wear old clothes and that the skate park would be closed on that day.
Phil added: "Talking to the users afterwards all thought it was a really beneficial meeting and quite an eye-opener for them.
"They were determined to sort out any problems so the skate park continues to be a place of fun, safety, and community friendship.
"With a public space like the skatepark there are always going to be challenges, but by working together I believe we can sort these issues out."
For all the latest news follow the Nailsea Skatepark Project Facebook page or e-mail email@example.com.
Additional sponsorship for the skate festival and/or Friday night police initiative is welcomed.
Help needed for police Ngage play scheme for Nailsea park
Nailsea police are busy putting together its second programme of summer activities for youth in a bid to promote good behaviour at Millennium Park.
The neighbourhood police team is recruiting people from the business community and social groups to help organise a programme of events.
Under the banner Nailsea Ngage the plan is to also get parents, grandparents, older siblings and supportive adults onboard to combat the idea there is nothing to do in the town for ‘bored’ youngsters.
Last Friday police issued a dispersal notice when a fight broke out between youths at the park and this week firefighters were called to put out a blaze in a rubbish bin which had been set alight.
Summer 2018 saw a marked drop in anti-social behaviour and inappropriate graffiti thanks to a police presence at Millennium Park every Friday night coupled with a successful timetable of events for young people.
Already signed-up to help with ideas, funding and/or volunteers for 2019 are:
At The Gym, Backfriars Road
Nailsea Town Council
Weston Town Centre Partnership
Nailsea Ngage intends to put together 12 evening events and already has promises of the football cage, community contact vehicle and physical exercise training.
Neighbourhood Police Team Sergeant Mark Raby said: “We are looking for more organisations or clubs to offer their services this summer so we can show Nailsea what it is has to offer.”
The reward scheme which gives stamps for attendance and good deeds is being sponsored by the masons and will have lots of prizes to give out.
Call 101, pop in the Pound Lane police station or click HERE to use the online contact form for the police to sign up to help.
Mark added: “On Thursday, March 28, at 7.30pm there is an open meeting at 65 High Street to discuss community involvement and the skate park and we are encouraging all parents and young people to attend and meet the team.”
School playing fields out-of-bounds cancelling Backwell Festival 2019
Backwell Festival 2019 has been cancelled because it can’t find a suitable site to stage the event.
For the past 10 years the festival has been run annually on the playing fields of Backwell Junior School on the first weekend of July.
But what began as a small PTA fundraising event had turned into a long weekend of dance, music and merriment billed as North Somerset’s answer to Glastonbury with thousands of people attending, many camping overnight.
Festival director Jane Sabherwal said: “In 2009, Backwell Junior School PTA realised it was in the perfect position to hold a community event and staged the first Backwell Festival to raise money for the school.
“So, with the blessings and active support of the then head teacher Alex Bell, five Somerset bands took to the stage, we held a silent auction for, among other things, a signed copy of the new Kasabian album – the weather was fabulous, and a much-loved community event was born.
“The following year, the reputation of the festival preceded it, and tickets sold out weeks in advance.”
It was organised by a group of media, event and music professionals who live in the village.
Jane said: “Since 2009, we are proud to have raised £20,000 for the junior school and £5,000 for other local and international causes.”
But for 2019 they were told the school no longer wishes them to use the field.
Jane said: “We have lost our spiritual home and that is sad, but that is how it is.
“It has been a great pleasure to bring such a diverse and international art and cultural festival to the region during the past 10 years and we are receiving many messages of support from festival fans who are disappointed at hearing the news.
“We started the festival with the blessings of previous head teacher Alex Bell and are very grateful to have been allowed to develop it into a much-loved annual event it has become.
“But times change and unfortunately it is difficult to find alternative venues in this area so we will have to see what happens in the future.
“Obviously we are massively disappointed and sorry not to be able to share our lovely art and culture festival with everyone…fingers crossed for 2020.”
Backwell Festival had to cancel 2017 because Bristol Water digging up the school field to lay pipes but was back with a bang in 2018 with two stages and a full programme of contemporary theatre, Africa, India, Europe, the Middle East, Latin America and the Caribbean sounds, literature and food tents, dance and theatre workshops and an Oceans eco theme to raise awareness of plastic pollution.
And it attracted big names and local musicians like Moody Will and The Roll, Brockley Forest and Holly Henderson, spoken word artist Rebecca Tantony and Captain Corelli’s Mandolin author Louis de Bernières.
In 2016 Nick Webster was made head teacher of the Federation of West Leigh Infant and Backwell Junior School after serving as deputy head for two years.
He declined to comment about the decision not to allow the festival use of the school field.
Tumble dryer fire
Three people needed medical treatment after a fire broke out at St Mary's Park, Nailsea, on Tuesday night, March 19.
Two crews from Nailsea and two from Clevedon fire station were called when a tumble dryer in the outhouse caught fire.
Ten firefighters tackled the blaze which had spread to a nearby caravan and car parked in the drive of the semi-detached house.
Judging from the photo the caravan was completely burned-out.
The crew wore breathing apparatus and used two high-pressure hose reels, two 45mm jets and two CO2 extinguishers to tackle the fire.
They also used a positive pressure ventalation fan to clear smoke and a thermal imaging camera to check for hotspots.
Firefighters rescued two casualties who went to hospital by ambualnce.
A third person was treated for smoke inhalation at the scene.
Police were also in attendence and the cause is thought to be accidental.
Avon Fire and Rescue Service said for advice on tumble dryer safety visit https://www.avonfire.gov.uk/safety-advice/fire-safety/electrical-safety/tumble-dryer-
£250k plants in North Somerset cannabis factory
Police have found a cannabis factory in a posh people's road near Nailsea.
A police spokesman said: "We have seized mature cannabis plants with a street value believed to be around £250,000 in North Somerset.
"The cannabis factory was discovered at a property at Cadbury Camp Lane, Clapton in Gordano by the Portishead/Clevedon neighbourhood policing team yesterday, Tuesday, March 19.
"We were alerted to a strong smell, of what was believed to be cannabis.
"A search warrant was executed at the property and officers discovered growing rooms in every room on the first floor and many more in rooms on the ground floor containing mature cannabis plants, together with equipment.
"In total more than 200 plants – with an estimated street value of around £250,000 - have been seized and will be destroyed."
Police enquiries into the incident are continuing and they are keen to hear from anyone who may have information to help in the investigation.
If you can help please contact us quoting reference 5219057739 .
The spokesman added: "We encourage members of the public to be our eyes and ears and report any suspicious incidents to us."
PHOTO: From left PC Emma Devaney, PC Adam Clarke, PC Ross Kirby, PS Mark Watkins and PC Anthony Hussey
STAR FIREMEN: Avon Fire and Rescue Service safely pulled a pony out of the Land Yeo on Sunday morning, March 20, near Tower House Lane. Fire crews from Nailsea and Bedminster were called to a field at Birdcombe Court Farm near the Wraxall garage by rider Nicola Davey who spotted in the animal in the rhyne while tending her horses. Nicola took the video of the rescue which she posted on the Nailsea People Facebook page. And owner Emma Fletcher later added the photo of Star 'happy in her stable nice and toasty' after the drama earlier in the day. Nailsea People FB posting reached thousands of people concerned for the animal.
New bus timetable end of April
Nailsea People told its readers this was likely to happen and now First bus has confirmed changes routes for the X8 and X9 from Sunday, April 28.
Service X8: Bristol-Nailsea Service: there are changes to the route and timetable of Service X8, as well as changes to the timetable to improve reliability and punctuality. Service X8 will operate every 60 minutes Monday to Saturday daytime between Bristol and Nailsea and via the Long Ashton by-pass and Backwell. Service X8 will operate a revised route around Nailsea and serve Trendlewood Way, Nailsea Town Centre, Mizzymead Road, The Perrings, Hannah More Road and Hazelbury Road. Following customer requests a later departure from Bristol will be provided at 2125.
Service X9 (Bristol-Nailsea via Long Ashton): remains every 30 minutes. Service will be re-routed in Nailsea to follow the current Service X8 route via Mizzymead Road, Queens Road, The Perrings, Whiteoak Way, Hannah Moore Road, Queens Road, Mizzymead Road. This service will not serve Silver Street or Pound Lane (served by X7 instead).
New timetable and route map to come.
To read the changes in full which include a Sunday, evenings and public holidays link for Nailsea and Clevedon on the X7 click HERE.
Contractors Gigaclear and North Somerset Council have agreed not to close roads completely Monday to Friday while installing broadband cables.
An extra £1.8m is to be spent on maintaining roads across North Somerset in 2019.
North Somerset Council executive agreed on Tuesday, March 19, to using £1.779m of funding from the Government’s Department for Transport (DfT) for a programme of repairs including preventative work to extend the life of road surfaces and filling potholes across the area.
But while the council is busy on repairs others are busy digging up the road surfaces for the roll-out of superfast broadband to rural communities including access to another 365 homes and businesses in North Somerset.
Broadband provider Gigaclear, working on behalf of the Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS) programme, has been installing its technology on the outskirts of Nailsea.
More than 13,000 metres of fibre has now been installed in the Abbots Leigh area, which has included running fibre under Brunel’s historic Clifton Suspension Bridge.
In the Abbots Leigh area the service is live and ready for 184 properties, while in Failand a further 14,000 metres of fibre mean that the service is live and available to 181 properties.
Work in these areas, which includes CDS supported connections and Gigaclear’s commercial roll-out, is set to provide access to a further 450 homes and businesses and is expected to be completed by the summer.
Work has also begun on building the main connection route through the Wraxall area, which will involve laying another 12,000 metres of fibre.
This scheme will involve working on Bristol Road in Wraxall.
Gigaclear and North Somerset Council have worked together to plan the most appropriate approach for this work, and it has been agreed that a road closure will be needed on a short, narrow section by The Battleaxes to ensure the safety of the public and site staff.
In order to minimise disruption, the closure will only be in place at weekends, with temporary traffic lights in place during the working week, to ensure the road is safe for road users.
UPDATE: Wraxall Hill which links the B3130 and B3128 is closed for 10 days to allow broadband cables to be laid.
It closed on Wednesday, March 20, but there is access to the church for weddings and funerals.
The steep hill which links the Failand top road and Wraxall route to A370 is closed to allow Gigaclear to install ultrafast fibre broadband cables.
Diversions have been put in place during the closure including on Belmont Hill and along Clevedon Road.
The closure is the first part of work to install the cables in the Wraxall area.
The Grove is also due to close on Saturday, March 23 for six days.
Cabling work is also due to start along the B3130 Bristol Road in early May and expected to take a month.
The work will mean a closure of a 600 metre stretch of Bristol Road, but this will only take place at weekends.
During the week any work along the B3130 would be done using traffic light controls.
Putting our park in order
Nailsea Skatepark Project is hosting a second open meeting with police, town councillors, residents and young people to talk about making the park an enjoyable experience for everyone.
Skatepark spokesman Phil Williams said: "It has been nearly three years since the fabulous new Nailsea skate park has been open at Millennium Park next to the Scotch Horn Centre.
"It has been used extensively not only by members of our community but also by those travelling from further afield.
"It is fantastic to see that after the 20 months or so of hard work and fundraising to get to the figure of approximately £116,000 to build the park, it continues to be a really popular community space.
"The meeting will be discussing some of the more negative behaviour that unfortunately has been seen in the park on occasions but mostly it the focus will be on the positive aspects of providing a place of their own for skateboarders and scooter enthusiasts of all ages."
The meeting is at 7.30pm on Thursday, March 28, at Number 65 High Street.
Refreshments will be served.
The annual spring clean is during the school Easter holidays on Wednesday, April 10, starting at 10am.
The police community beat team will be providing a free barbecue for those doing the sweeping, painting and a big litter pick.
Phil added: "This is a great opportunity for everyone to get involved - more hands make light work!"
Volunteers from community groups and businesses are welcomed.
For details of the 17th anniversary Nailsea Community Skatepark Festival 2019 on Saturday June 8, see the What's On pages by clicking HERE.
Any questions about the meeting, or spring clean can be emailed in advance to firstname.lastname@example.org.
PARK PROBLEMS: Nailsea police say reports that there was a massive youth fight at Golden Valley playing fields on Friday night, March 15, involving baseball bats are not true. A police spokesman said: “We received a call at about 9pm on Friday night to reports of disturbance involving a number of youngsters, some of whom were fighting. The incident happened in Millennium Park in Nailsea. A small number of officers attended and the youngsters left the area after we issued a dispersal order. There was a report of one youngster having a minor cut to his face but he declined to provide a statement to officers. Despite rumours of weapons none were seen or confiscated. We will be speaking to schools, which the youths are believed to attend. If you can add to this or have further information please speak to our police officers."
Dog owners beware
Residents in North Somerset are being encouraged to report irresponsible dog owners as part of a crackdown on dog fouling in the area.
But bins at Watery Lane, Nailsea and at The Grove have been overflowing and Nailsea Town Council had to step in to get them emptied.
North Somerset Council is running a month of action during March with uniformed officers out and about across the district talking to dog walkers and making sure they are complying with the local Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs).
It has also published a 'guide to dog ownership in North Somerset' with all you need to know if you own a dog or are thinking of getting one.
Anyone believed to have breached a PSPO can be fined £75 which must be paid within 14 days.
If it isn’t, the council can prosecute. In a recent case failing to pick up after his dog landed one owner with a bill of more than £4,000 after he was caught on camera by a local resident.
PSPOs came into force 18 months ago, replacing the previous dog control orders. They apply to every public open space in North Somerset, including places where the public has to pay to enter.
The orders state that if you are in charge of a dog you must as a minimum:
keep your dog(s) under close control at all times
carry a poo bag
bag it and bin it – please don’t leave bags hanging in trees or bushes
keep your dog(s) out of children’s play areas.
There are also orders for specific locations if you are in charge of a dog.
not allowing your dog(s) to go on land where they are banned, for instance Weston-super-Mare’s Marine Lake and Drove Road Recreation Ground
keeping your dog(s) on a lead in set areas, for instance Clevedon Promenade, Portishead Marina and Grove Park in Weston-super-Mare.
If you see a dog in a controlled area breaching a PSPO you are encouraged to report it online at
The 'guide to dog ownership in North Somerset' can also be found here.
North Somerset Council executive member for the environment Peter Bryant, who is the ward councillors for Uphill, said: “With this month of action we are sending a clear message to the minority of dog owners who don’t clear up after their pets that such anti-social behaviour is not acceptable and will not be tolerated.
“Dog mess blights many areas but, with the help of our residents reporting incidents of dog fouling, we are determined to clean up North Somerset.”
Stolen from golf club
After the spate of thefts from parked vehicles police are now appealing for help after a large quantity of clothes and bag were taken from North Somerset golf club.
They are concerned the stolen items may be offered for sale at a car boot sale.
The items were taken from a golf club in Clevedon Road, Tickenham at about 4.30am on Friday, February 22.
Items taken include: trousers; jumpers, jackets and polo shirts. The clothing is branded – Ping, Footjoy, Proquip and Sunderland.
In addition a Titleist Stadry stand-up golfing bag was taken.
A police spokeman said: " We would like the public - particularly golf players and those attending car boot sales - to be vigilant for well-known golf clothing being offered for sale.
"We would like anyone spotting the items taken, or being offered them, to contact us.
"We’d also like to hear from anyone who was in the Clevedon Road area of Tickenham around the time of the incident who may have seen a vehicle or anyone acting suspiciously in the area."
Anyone able to help is asked to contact police quoting reference 5219039226
Fundraising fortified by fine wine
Sadly many fundraising events for the Go Orange Day 2019 were cancelled due to bad weather.
But Diana Lyalle, of Wine Time Events, proved Nailsea people were made of sterner stuff and with the promise of being fortified by fine wine braved the wintry conditions to attend the event hosted at Holy Trinity church.
Since Luke, then aged four, was diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy in September 2017 his mum Lisa Lisa Cramphorn has been supported by family and friends to raise money for research.
The cause is called Luke's Army as they are an army of people united in their aim to beat Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
Duchenne MD is a rare muscle-wasting condition which decreases the life expectancy of sufferers.
On the first 2018 Go Orange Day Nailsea schools, pre-schools, childminders and businesses joined the fundraising and awareness day.
Diane said: "Our wine tasting went very well and was one of the few local Go Orange Day events to go ahead despite the snow.
"Sadly various events in schools as well as the long awaited Gala Dinner which was sold out had to be postponed – the Gala Dinner will now be on Friday, October 18."
The 25 guests at the coffee lounge at the Trinity Centre enjoyed wine supplied by The Wine Shop at Winscombe and Tout’s Budgens of Nailsea.
The wine list included a delicious 2016 Rose from Sutton Ridge Vineyard near Blagdon which won bronze in the UK Wine Awards 2017.
There was also an orange themed wine and spirits quiz with a bottle of fizz as the prize for the winner.
During the quiz, a cocktail made with orange liqueur, clementine juice and fizz was served.
A hamper of tasty treats was kindly donated by the Winscombe and Nailsea wine suppliers and the wine tasting and raffle raised more than £400 which exceeded expectations.
Diana added: "It was a fun event, and we all enjoyed meeting new people and chatting about the wines in aid of such a fantastic cause.
"Above all else we raised awareness of Luke’s condition and the vital work done by MDUK to support MD sufferers in the UK.
"The feedback from the guests was very positive, so we hope that we can arrange another event in the future to raise more funds which are desperately needed - every one of the 70,000 MD sufferers in the UK faces deterioration of their condition over time which means they will need more care, aids and equipment.
"So far Luke’s Army has raised in excess of £63,000 to try to help them – and maybe one day, perhaps a cure will be found.
" My huge thanks are due to all involved."
The date for the 2020 Go Orange Day is Friday, February 7.
To learn more about Diana and her wine tasting events click HERE.
To contribute to the Just Giving online Luke's Army page click HERE.
Stop children playing here
British Transport Police were called to a foot crossing at Nailsea & Backwell railway station to reports of four children playing ‘chicken’ on the line.
The officers tweeted about the obvious risks and asked parents to please educate their children as it is ‘incredibly dangerous’.
Farmer Jane Brake said: "This is the crossing at the bottom of our fields.
"All week during half term there have been children messing about on the line and some look only about 10-12 years old.
"We have been down several times when we have seen them and warned them of the dangers.
"One group had actually placed large bottles of fizzy drinks on the line and were waiting for trains to run over them.
"Also this week a group of mums with young children and buggies crossed the fields and stiles and then the line.
"This is an accident waiting to happen, is it really sensible to have a public footpath crossing a railway line ?
"We will be contacting North Somerset Council to see if a safer option can be found."
Nailsea resident Lesley Faith Bowman said: "In the 1970s Points West showed a film about this very subject.
"It was so terrifying it put me off ever going near a railway line again.
"I hope someone is able to stop those children before someone gets hurt or killed."
Sharon Bratley asked: "Is this the crossing by the ponds?
"I’ve crossed here and even though it is on straight bit of track, it absolutely puts the fear of God into me.
"I go round that way quite a lot when out with the dog and often there is a pile (literally) of bikes at the bridge which crosses the stream.
"I’d assumed that boys were going fishing or something."
And Jan Frankling said: "OMG parents obviously don't know because I can't believe anyone would ignore this.
"Is it peer pressure to show they aren't scared? Why oh why would they do this?"
BTP added they will be contacting local schools to work on educating children on the dangers.
SEWER PROBLEM: Journalist student Holly Clemens tweeted a photograph sent by a relative allegedly showing of a burst sewer pipe flooding the garden of the Nailsea JD Wetherspoon pub. Somerset Live picked up the story and presented it to The Glassmaker at Crown Glass Shopping Centre. It reported the company saying 'at approximately 9pm on Thursday one of the drains in the outside area started to bubble up and spill out into the seating area. The area was immediately evacuated and shut off. An engineer is on site at the moment rectifying the problem.The area will remain shut off and closed to customers until the problem is rectified. We apologise to customers for the inconvienence'. Roadworks are currenly being carried out in the area and a new sheltered housing complex for senior citizens has just been completed opposite the pub.
New traffic lights on route for airport road
Traffic lights are set to be upgraded at a busy junction in Barrow Gurney.
The work, scheduled to start on Monday, March 11, will see the traffic lights and controller replaced at the junction of the A38 Bridgwater Road and Barrow Street.
North Somerset Council deputy leader and executive member for highways Elfan Ap Rees said “This scheme forms part of our 15-year replacement programme and will see the removal of the current equipment and the installation of extra low voltage equipment and LED signal heads which will help to reduce energy consumption.
“We anticipate that the works will take two weeks to complete and temporary traffic lights will be in use until the new lights are up and running.
"While work of this type is carried out there is always the chance that there may be some congestion and delays, but we will do all we can to keep them to a minimum.”
The works will be carried out by maintenance contractor Dynniq on behalf of the council at a cost of £33,000.
This is part of North Somerset Council’s commitment to invest in roads with an extra £1.8m allocated to road improvement schemes in the coming financial year.
Click HERE to keep up to date with what’s happening on North Somerset roads.
New homes plan for Nailsea field
Nailsea Town Council is to discuss a controversial outline planning application by two charities to build 24 homes on Miss Shepstone’s field off Trendlewood Way, Nailsea.
Full details on the propery peeps page by clicking HERE.
The outline application will be discussed on Wednesday evening, February 27 at the highways and planning committee but the final decision will be made by North Somerset Council.
The highways and planning meeting at the Tithe Barn starts at 7.30pm will also review its response to the Joint Local Transport Plan 4 2019-2036 and its impact on Nailsea.
Council tax up 2.75%
North Somerset Council approved its budget for 2019-20 at its meeting on Tuesday, February 19.
The budget includes £10.8m of savings, but also additional investment that 'will make a difference'.
Council leader Nigel Ashton said in 10 years of government austerity measures since 2010 the council had been faced with having to make savings of more than £100m.
He said: “Yes it’s been difficult and not without its problems and has inevitably had an impact on some service users and residents, but what this council has achieved during the past 10 years has been quite remarkable.
“To have survived 10 years of austerity and still be here now in a financially stable position providing the high quality services we do to the residents of North Somerset is a fantastic achievement.
“We have still got more savings to make in the coming year, so we can’t take our eye off the ball.
"Finding these savings to balance the books has been more and more difficult each year as funding from central government continues to reduce and the costs of providing services continues to rise.
“However, thanks to sound financial management we are now in a position where we can invest in certain areas where we know it will make a difference. We know it’s not enough, but it’s a start.”
This investment includes:
an additional £600,000 in the home to school transport budget to help meet increasing demand, particularly for Special Educational Needs transport;
£250,000 additional funding to deliver the review of parking regulations across the district to ensure parking charges are used effectively. No increases in car parking fees and charges are proposed for 2019-20;
a £75,000 increase in the school improvement and early years attainment budget to help narrow the gap in attainment levels at the Early Years Foundation stage between all pupils and those from vulnerable groups; and
an extra £20,000 in the Streetscene contract to fund increased verge and footpath maintenance and more litter and dog bins.
The agreed budget includes a council tax rise of 2.75 per cent to help meet the increasing demand and cost of frontline council services.
The council’s forecasts show that next year more than 95 per cent of its resources will be locally generated from council tax and business rates with only £2m, less than two per cent of its total funding, coming from government grants.
The 2.75 per cent increase means the average Band D council tax bill for council services in the coming year will be £1,378.50.
Villagers against highway hell
Highway changes have villagers in Backwell and Tickenham up in arms and Nailsea residents aren't too thrilled either.
Backwell resident Lynn Wait, of Westfield Road, has written to North Somerset Council to complain about the excess traffic since 'improvements' to Station Road.
She said: "I have lived in Backwell for more than 50 years and cannot believe the amount of traffic that has descended upon this little village.
"Since Station Road has had traffic calming measures put in place, drivers have decided to use my road to make their way through out onto the A370 causing absolute mayhem along the way.
"There has been a number of incidents including pet cats being run over and killed and one driver ran over a dog in Moorfield Road and just drove on without reporting the incident.
"Because the roads are narrow and parking is an issue, cars have to park on the roads and when you have traffic coming through in both directions, then there are problems!
"Drivers have been reported mounting the pavements in order to get by, there are also some cars which park on the pavement on one of the corners of Moorfield Road, which in itself causes a danger to other traffic and mostly pedestrians.
"They drive too fast around these small roads and changing the right of way at Westfield Road has helped.
"The worrying thing is when the 62 houses are built off Moor Lane, these 100 plus cars will use our roads to access the shopping area and to avoid Station Road speed ramps to get to the A370.
"This will happen, it is happening now and will become increasingly worse."
To avoid creating more rat runs and before a pedestrian is injured Mrs Wait is calling for traffic calming measures/deterrents in surrounding roads.
Tickenham Road Action Group (TRAG) has formed in response to the West of England’s Joint Local Transport Plan, which has an option to build a road from the western end of Queens Road in Nailsea, to the B3130, joining it at a point near Washing Pound Lane in Tickenham - see map top.
More than 100 villagers went to a public meeting to protest.
With North Somerset MP Liam Fox who lives locally on their side they are against proposals for ‘a circuitous route through both Tickenham and Clevedon to junction 20 of the M5’, with the estimated construction date being 2027-29.
To read the TRAG report which estimates at peak times an additional 150-300 cars would use the road click HERE.
TRAG instead wants to adopt a long-term link road from Nailsea to junction 20, which was included as an option in stage two of the transport programme.
There are also proposals for a haul road across The Causeway to Church Lane as part of a separate project.
The transport plan is out for consultation, and the deadline to submit a response is Wednesday, March 20.
The JSP also proposes development to the south west of Nailsea to accommodate about 2,575 dwellings and 10.5ha employment which is outside the Green Belt and floodplain.
The growth proposed requires significant highway infrastructure to be delivered across the wider Nailsea/Backwell area.
But its the dual carriageway through the lake which has attracted the most opposition.
It has been slatted for its detrimental environmental impact on Backwell Lake and environs, the Local Nature Reserve, impact on the strategic gap and concerns regarding proposed link to Clevedon across SSSI and impact on existing local roads.
North Somerset Council leader Nigel Ashton said: “The ambitions and success of this plan are vital to making sure our region’s transport infrastructure addresses existing and expected challenges, accommodates planned housing and employment growth, and improves connections for people and businesses across all transport types.”
Photographer Clare Garland took the frogs mating and solo toad at Backwell lake in February 2019 to illustrate the diverse wildlife which have made its home on the waterway. .
Nailsea TV winner
A Nailsea mum won lots of money on the ITV show Tipping Point.
Multi-talented Kathryn Hanley, aged 50, who sells specialist candles for a living and runs Nailsea summer playscheme was up against three other super brainy contestants.
Filming took place last summer but was only broadcast this February.
Contestants answer general knowledge questions to win counters which they use on a large coin pusher arcade-style machine.
Only the winner at the end has a chance to take home any money; the others leave with nothing except any non-cash prizes they may have won during the game.
Tipping Point was first aired in July 2012 and is presented by Ben Shephard.
Kathryn missed out on the £10,000 for failing to 'pot' the star but took home a very healthy £3,050 in cash and a bonus mystery prize of a weekly bouquet for 12 months.
She said on her Facebook page: "Thank you for all the kind messages.
"I had an amazing time filming it."
She said the money will pay for the family to take a trip to see Northern Lights.
ON THE BUSES: A little birdie told me or was it a bus driver that when the next bus timetable is introduced the rumoured radical route changes for Nailsea will not happen. However, the X9 route will no longer go through Coombe Road and Hazelbury Road and the Silver Street and Pound Lane circuit will be scrapped. The North Somerset supported services for the X8 will be taken over by First bus and the X9 by Abus. What have you heard? Jess Carr said: "The Pound Lane service that never turns up is being scrapped what a shock." Jon Stubley said: "Well, that makes sense. Replace the temporary bus stops with permanent ones and then scrap the route. How much is council tax rising this year?" But generally people living in the roads affected are pleased and Ruth Eager said: "I sincerely hope this is true! I’m sick and tired of empty double deckers hurtling way too fast down Coombe Rd not to mention just driving straight across our lawns." Jessica Clothier said she had also heard that the X7 isn’t going to Weston anymore - it will terminate in Clevedon. Can't wait for a new timetable to be issued to see it Nailsea People were correct.
Thieves target community bus
A Nailsea community bus is off the road because some mindless thieves have stole metal parts from underneath the vehicle.
It was parked in a secure compound at Southfield Road when the theft happened.
Nailsea and District Community Transport manager Anne Morley said: "When we got into work on Monday we found an exhaust pipe on the seat of a bus.
"It was taken to the garage to get it fixed and that's when we were told it had been removed to enable the thieves to take several vital metal parts from the underneath of the bus.
"It is our biggest 11-seater mini bus and it has taken considerable jiggling around with our other buses to try to fufill all our committments."
The theft happened on Monday night, February 11.
Anne added: "The cost of replacing the parts will run into thousands but the thieves will only make a few hundred pounds of parts plus we will have to spend more money beefing up our alarm systems and installing CCTV.
"The bus will out of action for a few days but the real crime is to our society where our elderly, disabled and vulnerable people will be unable to get their essential food from the local shops.
Police have already issued warning of increase in number of vehicles being targeted in North Somerset including Backwell, Nailsea and Wraxall.
Nailsea & District Community Transport has been operating in Nailsea for a quarter of a century and currently has a fleet of seven mini-buses but the one which was targetted is its largest vehicle.
Its door-to-door minibus service operates for senior citizens and people with
mobility issues and it also covers Clevedon, Portishead and other nearby North Somerset villages.
Weekly trips to the town centre shops usually runon Tuesday, Thursday and Friday mornings.
Other trips are also regularly timetabled.
Nailsea and District Community Transport is a registered charity which is supported by North Somerset Council with grants from Nailsea, Clevedon and Portishead town councils and various smaller parish councils.
For offers of help call 01275 855552 or email Anne at email@example.com.
UPDATE:Backwell residents have caught on CCTV would-be thieves trying to break-in to garages and have passed the information on to police. Two gangs have been spotted hanging around the village.
£1,000 Nailsea charity lottery winner search
A search is on for the mystery winner of a £1,000 lottery ticket bought in Nailsea.
The lucky Children’s Hospice South West (CHSW) lottery ticket was bought in the charity’s temporary shop at the old The Blue Room, at Crown Glass Shopping Centre between Friday and Thursday, January 25-31.
The shop has also been sharing the news on social media in a bid to track down the winner, but sadly to no avail.
CHSW lottery officer Stephanie Charles said the owner of the winning £1,000 ticket – number 500597– should call the Lottery Helpline on 08456 888 911 to claim their prize.
She said: “We’d love to be able to find our winner and let them know – it will make a great start to 2019 for someone!”
“Any prize money not claimed within three months of the draw date is donated directly back to the charity.”
The CHSW weekly lottery draw offers the chance to win one of 14 weekly prizes, including a top prize of £1,000. There is also the chance to win a bonus rollover, which can reach up to £10,000 and currently stands at £2,600.
Tickets can be bought in any of the charity’s 32 shops around the South West and people can also play weekly by standing order.
Lottery gift subscriptions are also available, with 70p from every £1 ticket going directly to support the charity’s three children’s hospices in North Somerset, Devon and Cornwall.
To find out more about how to play the Children’s Hospice South West lottery and to check the weekly results click HERE
People to pay £12 a year for 100 new police officers
An increase in the policing part of the council tax means the area’s Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens can recruit 100 new officers and invest in proactive operations to focus specifically on burglary, drugs and violent crime.
Avon and Somerset’s Police and Crime Panel approved Mrs Mountstevens’ plans to raise £15 million to manage cost pressures and generate some additional funds for investment by raising the policing part of the council tax by £2 a month for a band D property.
It follows a surprise announcement by the government in December allowing police and crime commissioners to increase the policing part of the council tax from £12 to £24 a year for the average (band D) household.
Mrs Sue Mountstevens said: “I fully understand that this is a big increase for households.
"It was not an easy decision.
"However I have to balance the challenges facing policing; the increased threat from criminality and the safety of residents.
“In order to improve visibility and results, we need to have the resources.
"With the government set on raising money for policing from local people I have the unenviable job of deciding how we meet these challenges.
"I am grateful to have the support of the Police and Crime Panel in this decision.
“I want local people to see and feel a difference in the constabulary’s fight against crime.
"Just like last year we will continue to protect neighbourhood policing the very ‘eyes and ears’ of our communities and invest in additional officers for the first time in over a decade.
"I’m committed with the chief constable to intensify our fight against serious violence on our streets, in our towns and cities with high profile disruption activity for burglary, drugs and serious violence.
"Sending a loud and clear message to criminals that coming into our area to commit their crimes and exploit our children is not an option.
“This money will not fix everything but it’s the first investment we’ve seen since austerity begun in 2010 and it’s a big step in the right direction.”
From April the total increase in policing funding after the council tax precept rise and new Home Office funding will boost the PCC’s net expenditure budget by £21 million of which some £17 million is required to meet rising costs.
The remaining £4 million of new funds will be invested in the policing service for local residents and tackling local priorities including burglary, drug crime, violent crime and the recruitment of 100 additional officers.
The force receives one of the lowest funding settlements in the country compared to its relative need and has long campaigned for fairer funding through the police funding formula.
Adding together core central government funding, precept and specific grants, Avon and Somerset receives 26 per cent less than it received in 2010-11 in real (inflation adjusted) terms, which has required the delivery of £78 million of savings since 2010.
LATEST BREAK-IN ATTEMPT: Thieves using a screwdriver attempted to break open the door of a white van park in Hannah More Road area of Nailsea, between 5-8pm Tuesday, January 15. Van owner believes they were looking for tools and is hopeful the dash cam will reveal culprit(s). Police have already issued warning of increase in number of vehicles being targeted in North Somerset including Backwell and Wraxall
Wanted: volunteer drivers
Nailsea & District Community Transport has been operating in Nailsea for a quarter of a century.
It is a door-to-door minibus service for senior citizens and people with mobility issues and it takes passengers on shopping trips and more.
It also covers Clevedon, Portishead and all nearby North Somerset villages.
Weekly trips to the town centre shops are on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday mornings.
And outings to country pubs, garden centres and places of interest are also regularly timetabled.
Spokesman Anne Morley said: "We are currently looking to expand our volunteer team.
"We would like to recruit some additional minibus drivers – if you or someone you know would feel you could help please get in touch.
"We are happy to provide training to drive our minibuses although our minibus can usually be driven on a car licence, you don’t need to have any special driving licences or training."
For more information call 01275 855552 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
New visitor centre rumpus at Wraxall
The National Trust property at Tyntesfield near Nailsea has put in a planning application to North Somerset Council to build a new £350,000 ticket hub as the current reception cannot cope with the nearly half a million people visiting the historic tourist attraction annually.
But the application submitted in November 2018 has not found favour with the parish council which has lodged an objection citing 'exclusivity' and traffic issues.
While Wraxall & Failand parish council is in general supportive of the National Trust and its work at Tyntesfield it has made these comments on the planning application 18/P/4994/FUL:
The council acknowledges the need to improve the visitor reception experience, the current arrangements in Home Farm are extremely poorly designed.
In particular the central narrow stairs that are used for visitors to gain access to the ticket office and exit the estate results in frequent queuing.
The parish council felt that the construction of a new building in green belt and historic park and garden to house visitor reception to be highly undesirable and inappropriate.
The National Trust has ample space within existing structures at home farm to accommodate an improved visitor experience.
Tyntesfield is at the heart of Wraxall & Failand parish, the cafe, shop and wider estate provide a valuable resource to local people.
The National Trust policy and the purpose of the new building appears to be to enforce a paywall for access to the cafe shop and estate.
This will be detrimental to the parish.
Not all local residents can afford Trust membership.
We would like to see the trust being more inclusive of local people, encouraging use of the shop and cafe, regardless of membership status.
This would have the benefit of increasing local revenue for the estate and make Tyntesfield a more inclusive place.
Tyntesfield was purchased with public money, its charitable status affords financial benefit at the expanse of the public purse, we believe Tyntesfield should give something back to the local population.
Its motto after all is 'forever for everyone' not 'forever for members only'.
The Trust has stated a target of 400,000 visitors per year, a significant increase on the 2016-17 number of 311,000.
The parish council believe that the current road access to the estate is not capable of safely supporting the volume of traffic generated by the increase in visitor numbers proposed. - indeed, even at current volumes, the current infrastructure results is frequently dangerous.
Queues of cars wishing to leave the estate on the main drive, make it impossible to enter the estate resulting in stationary traffic on the main road.
The entrance and associated lodge were designed for a single horse and carriage, not two way cars or coaches.
The parish council has recently achieved a reduction of the speed limit on the main road.
We would encourage the National Trust to work with us on further improvements to the road safety.
The parish council has offered to work with the National Trust on a number of occasions to make the estate more inclusive for local people and improve traffic safety in the area.
To date the National Trust has not responded.
If North Somerset Council is minded to approve this application we would request that a condition is imposed, in the form of a 106 agreement requesting an improvement to the traffic management to and from the estate.
Accident investigators say pilots used the wrong brake causing a plane crash land at Bristol Airport in foggy conditions. The bmi flight from Frankfurt, with 25 crew and passengers onboard, came off the runway on December 22, 2017. Nobody was injured but an investigation into the crash was published this week showing an error was made in the cockpit. The plane only suffered minor damage, despite ending up 120m from the runway when it came to rest. The Air Accident Investigations Branch (AAIB) concluded the ‘inadvertent selection of the emergency/parking brake’ led to the accident.
Backwell Camera Club accepts requests for coverage of community events. Recently it started to work with Ashton & Backwell United Football Club as part of this initiative. Previous community photo-shoots have included Nailsea Christmas fair, Ironwood challenge for Nailsea Running Club and Clevedon Open Water swithathon. To get in touch with the club go to its website by clicking HERE and using its contact form.
Businessman Eric 'Monty' Montgomery has been fined £14,000 plus costs after diners fell ill after eating at his Nailsea pub on Mother's Day. Nearly 400 people enjoyed a meal at The Old Farmhouse in Nailsea on March 11, 2018, but 186 fell ill with food poisoning after their visit. North Somerset Council environmental health department carried out an investigation which led to the prosecution. Mr Montgomery was the sole director of the M and M Hospitality which ran The Old Farmhouse at the time. Mr Montgomery is no longer involved with The Old Farmhouse. He left the business in August last year and it is now under new family management. The pub now has a five star food hygiene rating. To read full Bristol Post report click HERE.
Thefts target Nailsea vans
Police are appealing to van drivers in North Somerset to remove tools and ensure their vehicles are secure overnight and at weekends.
It follows a series of break-ins across the area over the past three months.
Areas where vans have been broken into are in:
In some cases vehicles were not locked.
Although the majority of incidents have targeted parked vans, cars have also been broken into.
Some vehicles have actually been broken into while parked on driveways to homes.
Vehicle owners are urged to review their security.
They are advised to fit an alarm if the car does not have one and also not to leave anything of value which can be seen from the outside.
Consider locking it in the boot of the vehicle but ideally remove all items from the vehicle.
Similarly, owners of vans are advised not to leave expensive power tools in their vehicle overnight or at the weekend, when not at work.
If they feel the need to leave items in the vehicles, then they should consider fitting specialist floor-mounted safes and secure storage boxes.
Police advise security marking as well as taking photos of their tools and equipment.
They also urge members of the public to be vigilant and report anything suspicious.
General crime prevention advice is available by clicking HERE.
Additionally further information is available from the Secured By Design website, which provides additional useful information and advice on security products and crime prevention projects
Police enquiries into the incidents are continuing and officers are targeting the area with extra patrols. Anyone who has information on the burglary incidents is asked to call the police quoting reference 5218274398
Scouts deliver nearly 5,000 Christmas cards
Scouts are sending a big thank you message to all who supported its Christmas postal service when more than 4,600 Christmas cards were delivered in Nailsea and Backwell for 2018.
Sponsored for the 20th year by estate agent Pring & Co it raised more than £1,400 including a £130 donation to its nominated charity the Young Carers of Nailsea.
The Christmas post service is a joint venture between 1st and 2nd Nailsea and Backwell Scout groups.
As well as proving a valued community and environmental service by reducing postal costs for those less able to afford rising costs it also dissuades many driving around the town and village burning fuel to deliver their own cards.
All the scouts and their leaders would like to thank their 'post offices' for their continued support.
At Crown Glass Shopping Centre is was:
Cohens chemist, Colliers Walk
Maynews newsagents, Somerset Square
School Togs, Clevedon Walk
Grove Stores, St Mary's Grove, Nailsea
Hunter Leahy estate agents, High Street, Nailsea
The Co-operative Food Nailsea, Hannah More Road, Nailsea
Tout's Budgens supermarket, Bristol Road, Wraxall
Backwell Motors, Station Road, Backwell
Backwell Veterinary Centre, Rodney Road, Backwell
Parkers estate agents, Station Road, Backwell
2nd Nailsea Scouts chairman Richard Simmons said a big thanks also goes to all its volunteer posties and Hannah More Road HQ sorting office staff.
Lethal loo lady
A young Nailsea mum nearly ended 2018 with a big band when she poured two deadly chemicals down her toiled.
Dominique Heath, of Rhyne View, tried to unblock her toilet and accidentally filled her house with deadly chlorine gas.
Firefighters advised her to evacuate her North Somerset home immediately as she had inadvertently created a potentially deadly chemical reaction.
The loo at Dominique’s home in Nailsea was blocked the day after Boxing Day - she thinks one of her three young children put too much toilet paper or dropped a toy down there.
Here story featured in the Bristol Post and many of the national and international tabloids as a warning to others about the potential hazards of mixing two toilet cleaners.
Click HERE to read more.
There was a lots of moo-ment at Backwell on Tuesday morning, December 11, when these cows decided to get a closer look at the Christmas lights in a nearby garden.
The owner said: “Our garden is absolutely trashed and it was scary as though as they had to leap into the air to get in – there were about 18 cows in total.”
On Station Road (A370) at Congresbury, a £16,000 carriageway patching scheme is set to be completed on Monday, December 17.
The work will begin at 8pm and be carried out during the night using temporary traffic lights.
Than a £60,000 road surfacing scheme is set to start on West Town Road (A370) at Backwell on Tuesday, December 18.
Work is expected to take four nights to complete and will be carried out using a road closure between 8pm and 5am.
Diversion routes will be in place.
North Somerset Council executive member with responsibility for roads Elfan Ap Rees said: ” We appreciate that with Christmas coming, these roads may be busier than usual but investment in repairs continues to be high on our agenda and we remain committed to maintaining and improving roads across North Somerset.
“We would urge people to be patient while these essential works are carried out.”
For more information clcik HERE although there is nothing posted about the West End closure from Nailsea towards The Blue Flame on the official North Somerset government roadworks wesbite.
Landlord Andy said they put the signs out as workman have been installing fibre optics but the road hasn't closed at all - yet.
"Motorists have been driving past all week and not returning looking disgruntled so I presume the sign is just to give them the option of closing the lane if necessary."
Nailsea 2018 police speak
Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens made a rare foray to Nailsea on Tuesday, December 4, along with chief constable Andy Marsh and local chief inspector Leanne Pook to talk at a public forum about policing today.
Our 3,000-strong pioneering police force is the first nationwide to equip officers with body cams and personal notebook computers, the audience at Nailsea School heard this week.
And soon there will be no need for suspects to be carted off to a police stations as interviews and statement could be taken in the community.
This is probably a good thing with police stations closing or sharing accommodation with the fire service or council offices.
But on this wet and windy evening in the auditorium at Nailsea School very few residents ventured out and the seats were mostly taken by council officials and serving and retired police officers.
PCCs are elected every four years to oversee how crime is tackled in their police force area.
Mrs Mountstevens who earns £86,700 a year and stands as a non-political candidate was re-elected for a second term in May 2016.
She told those present: “I don’t want police officers sitting in police stations, I them out in the community, in coffee shops where they are more accessible to you.”
The evening was introduced by North Somerset Council leader Nigel Ashton and after the presentations about district wide issues and government funding the audience was invited to have their say.
Nailsea in the north of North Somerset is one of its more affluent areas and most resources go into the more deprived areas – the Old Mixon and the Bournville estates at Weston-super-Mare, populated by many good people but also some of the most vulnerable, the meeting heard.
We learned that Avon & Somerset Constabulary is trusted by 80 per cent of its inhabitants.
The police were hoping to hear by Thursday, December 6, how much they will have in their budget for next year.
However, the expected local government finance settlement announcement has been delayed for the parliamentary debates on Brexit.
Last year an extra £12 was added to the community tax bill for policing.
Currently an average Band D household pays £1 a month towards the cost of policing North Somerset – see chart.
Nailsea Community Speedwatch co-ordinator John Hunter said he would happily pay that and more for a safe environment.
Many officers starting out in their careers are so poorly paid they resort to using foodbanks, said CC Marsh.
Mental health nurses
CC Marsh said every day 28 people mostly children are reported missing in Avon & Somerset and police spend a lot of their time dealing with those in ‘social crisis’ to such an extent the force has employed its own mental health nurses.
This is in the same week Weston MP John Penrose announced £3.2million extra NHS funding towards new primary care services in central Weston.
Nationally crime prevention priorities include knife carrying criminals, cybercrime and child sex exploitation, district wide it is drugs and abuse of the vulnerable while on our doorstep the burning issues are anti-social behaviour especially at Millennium Park, the role of special constables, speeding and elderly drivers.
The meeting learned that 94 per cent of Nailsea drivers comply with speed limits.
CC Marsh said: “The job has become more difficult and hugely more complicated since I joined in the 1980s with the internet becoming a playground for unsavoury people.”
Scam emails like the one currently circulating from a fake TV Licensing sender has even landed several times in Mrs Mountsteven’s inbox and susceptible teenagers sharing sexually explicit images of themselves on their smart phones were other concerns.
Mrs Mountstevens said she knew that for older people driving helped them maintain their independence as it was something her mother who is in her 80s told her often.
CI Pook a former Nailsea School student oversees the neighbourhood police teams.
She said the area was expecting a 24 per cent population increase in the next 10 years and has eight million visitors annually and this is not counting those departing and arriving at Bristol Airport.
She said: “A third of our time is taken dealing with vulnerable people and drug crime is prevalent in Weston with two areas of strategic high demand.”
Sympathy was expressed to a bereaved mother who talked about the death of her son due to a drunk driver some 30 years ago and who has campaigned ever since for victims and their families of road traffic collisions.
Mrs Mountstevens said afterwards: “It’s important for the chief constable and I to have these meaningful discussions about policing with local people to ensure we know what residents care about and ‘what is’ and