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. More immediate updates are on the Nailsea People Facebook page. Breaking news pages pre 2020 are in the archives...
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DANGEROUS DRIVING: Responding to reports of excessive speeding along Nailsea Park the neighbourhood policing team went on patrol in the area. In one hour this month they caught four drivers travelling above the speed limit and a further 13 driving with frozen windscreens! They tweeted the result for all to see...and we shared with you
Let the children play plea
The play area at Crown Glass Shopping Centre mostly for pre-school children has reopened in time for the happy holidays.
It’s closure for several weeks prompted a fierce debate on Nailsea People Facebook page.
Former councillor James Steel who has an office above Somerset Square said: “They were closing it at 3pm due to abuse and damage from school children aged 11 years and over.
“Recently, a shopping precinct worker who does an amazing job politely asked a group of girls to leave as it’s for younger children.
“He was verbally abused and one of the kids called their dad who then arrived and threatened to kill the worker.
“It’s a problem that’s getting significantly worse and children have lit fires, broken windows and equipment around the precinct.
“Police have not been attending and the precinct workers are getting no support from the school, council or police.
“It’s awful as they do an amazing job and don’t deserve to be treated like it.”
Shopper Ian Harvey said: “James Steel it's always a few that spoil it for everyone else.
“It will be sad if it gets removed.”
Nailsea town councillor and Nailsea School chair of governors Joanna Hopkinson said: “The school have been in the precinct monitoring the situation as have I.
“As both secondary schools finish at 3pm, can you confirm if they were in school uniform.
“If so, private message me and I’ll see what more I can do.”
James Steel added: “Yes, they were in uniform when the above happened but can’t comment if they always are. It’s not just Nailsea, Clevedon students also and like I said it’s a small minority as most kids are a credit to the school and parents.
“The school have said they don’t have the staff currently to send teachers but hope this will change in the new year.
“I work in the precinct so see it first hand and most evenings you have kids sitting under bypass between Waitrose and Clevedon Road playing loud music, shouting and messing around.
“To be honest that can be annoying but it’s fine as they are kids but the constant littering, throwing rocks at Waitrose, smashing windows, making fires, stealing from and causing scenes in Waitrose needs dealing with.
“I’ve seen all of that first hand and the precinct workers need support before things escalate further.”
Joanna Hopkinson added: “Yes, I know about the area by Waitrose.
“I must be going on the wrong days as there have only been three or four girls who go under there while they wait for the bus.
“Give me a call if they are making a real nuisance.”
Joe Brake was horrified about the threats to staff.
He said: “Absolutely ridiculous times parents turning up saying they are going to kill someone for asking their kids to move on.
“Mad mad … they are worse than the kids … great example for the younger generation.”
Samantha Adams said: “Most probably because there are a minority of teenagers (not all!) that have no respect for anyone or anything anymore.
“And with police near non-existent then they feel they can abuse others who try to politely ask them to leave.
“Either police start supporting the community or start naming and shaming the idiots.”
Mick Graham said: “I think you've hit the nail on the head Samantha.
“Time to expose the guilty.
“They can't all have so called 'problems' - and even if they do that's no reason to let the issues continue, nor can they continue to be let off because they claim to be very very sorry.”
Becky Harrison said: “Mick Graham, I am quite offended by your term ‘so-called problems’.
“I also do not think naming and shaming on social media is the right thing to do.
“I have children of a younger age, and one not at any of the schools mentioned in this post.
“I am also an older mum, parenting today is very different to what it was back in our day.
“That said, parents who react in the way James pointed out is totally unacceptable.”
Samantha Adams added: “Becky Harrison instead of pointing out all the bits of what people said you don't agree on, which to be honest is pointless, we all are different people so will have different ways of how we feel to deal with anti-social behaviour.
“Why not say what could be helpful to the community?”
PHOTOS: All by Nailsea People, the one top was taken when the red and white barrier tape was removed
POLICE HORSE ROCKY RIP: Avon & Somerset mounted police have sadly announced Rocky has passed. He never truly recovered from his injuries after a road traffic incident in the summer at Failand. So sad. In less than one day this news reached more than 5,000 via our Facebook page with many heartbreaking messages left
Scouting for boys and girls
On Tuesday, November 15, Wraxall Trefoil Guild gathered to plant a tree as part of the Queen’s Canopy to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.
The Guild which meets once a month at the Tithe Barn in Nailsea has celebrated the Queen’s Jubilee with homemade hats, games, and a party.
The final part of a challenge set by their then chair Pam Clements was to fundraise to buy and plant a tree.
Marjorie Sharp took the lead to plan and organise the fundraising, purchase, and planting of the tree.
The late Queen Elizabeth was herself a Guide, Ranger and then in 1953 after her Coronation became the Trefoil patron.
Members of the Guild remembered the Queen’s lifelong commitment to Guiding and acknowledged her extraordinary devotion to public service.
Following the blessing of the Amelanchier tree by the Rev David Sharp, Guild members renewed the Guide Promise.
Garage man Dan gets Scout thank you badge
Retired Nailsea scout chairman Rich Simmons presented this week a 'thank you' badge to Walnut garage owner Dan Bristow.
The coveted badge was given in recognition of the 20 or so years that Dan has maintained 2nd Nailsea Scout Group minibus in tip top condition.
The badge is the highest award an individual Scout Group can bestow on a non-uniformed person who has given exceptional service to the group and is an award that is not given lightly.
Dan who runs the garage near the Blue Flame is an experienced and very knowledgeable vehicle technician.
Mr Simmons said: "Dan's services to the Group over the years have been greatly valued."
And in other news the Trefoil Guild which is made up of women who were once Girl Guides and meets monthly at the Tithe Barn is going to plant a tree. Former chairman and retired teacher Pam Clements set the guild a challenge to commemorate the platinum jubilee of HM Queen Elizabeth II. The final challenge was to fundraise and plant a tree as part of the Queen’s Green Canopy. This will be done on Tuesday, November 15, at 11am on Lions Green next to the Sapphire Lodge retirement complex at Christ Church Close. Afterwards the guild will retire for coffee at Wetherspoons at Crown Glass Place.
2019 sex assault - do you know this man?
Police have released an e-fit of a man they would like to identify in connection with a sexual assault in Nailsea.
Officers have only recently been made aware of the sexual assault of a girl in Nailsea in 2019.
The victim was sexually assaulted on the path between Pound Lane and Clevedon Road, at the rear of Kingshill and Ravenswood schools sometime between August and September 2019.
An e-fit was produced of someone officers would like to speak to.
The victim described him as white, in his late 40s to early 50s, approximately 5ft 11in tall, with freckles, dark eyes and dark hair. He was said to be wearing a waterproof jacket, blue jeans and black boots.
Officer in the case, PC Bill Skinner, said: "The victim, who is now a teenager, showed incredible bravery in coming forward in April this year.
"We fully understand that the traumatic nature of sexual offences means that it can take victims time to report the crime to the police.
“No matter whether it happened three minutes ago, or three years ago, we will ensure victims get the support they need, and we fully investigate.
"We're keen to hear from anyone who recognises the man depicted in this image, as well as anyone who was in the area around the time of the incident who may remember seeing anyone acting suspiciously."
If you have any information, please call 101 and quote reference 5222099371.
Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Crown court sex trial of Clevedon man, 36
The trial of a Clevedon man, aged 36, with connections to Nailsea is due to start this month. as reported by Bristol World.
Robert Kelly will appear at Bristol Crown Court on Tuesday, December 6, accused of sexually touching child aged between 13 - 15
Kelly, of Braikenridge Close, Clevedon, has pleaded not guilty to the charge, which was put to him at Bristol Magistrates’ Court earlier this year.
He is now due to appear at Bristol Crown Court for a trial.
The charges were made following an investigation by Avon and Somerset Police.
A police spokesman said: “Robert Kelly, of Clevedon, has been charged with one count of sexual touching of a child aged between 13 and 15.
“He appeared before magistrates in May and was released on unconditional bail.”
North Somerset Council was also involved.
A council spokesperson said: “We can confirm that North Somerset Council was involved in this matter as part of the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) process.”
Making a connection in Nailsea
WORKING 9AM-5PM (NOT): Contractors are out 8am to 8pm digging up Nailsea roads - even when the football was being televised!
Truespeed - are these the people responsible for all the roadworks in Nailsea?
This broadband provider promises free installation and monthly fees of £25-50 a month depending on speed.
According to Google the company uses either your current copper phone line or a combination of fibre and copper.
Susan Fisher said: "Truespeed has roadworks in Portishead, Clevedon and Yatton as well."
Gary Fudge said: "Truespeed have caused major issues in Portishead.
"I would be very interested in the take up percentage.
"I for one will certainly not having them digging up my garden or drilling through any walls."
Rich Scull said: "Unless Truespeed have changed - they don’t use your old copper wire at all - it’s a brand new fibre network - hence the disruption.
"I only speak from a customer point of view, we used to get 15mb through BT now we get a comfortable 100mb."
Matt Edwards said: "How do people think Virgin and BT got their kit into the ground?
"It’s not magic.
"If you want competition and progress, there has to be some disruption.
"It’s really not the end of the world."
Kieren Medcraft said: "They can dig up as much as they want, can't wait for it to be up and running and finally have some useable Internet!"
Andrew Mulvenna said: "The old copper needs to be upgraded to fibre, so digging and disruption is needed unfortunately.
"We are 10-20 years behind, so it’s a good thing.
"Sadly it wasn’t coming to my house, so we dug a long trench from the road to the house and Truespeed came to add the fibre.
"Happy to share experiences if anyone in a similar situation."
Jenny Wring said: "Having dug up Pembroke Road they are now digging us up again…what didn’t they get right the first time."
Maureen O'Brien Williams said: "Thought copper was being discontinued next year hence rush for fibre?"
Kathy Johnson said: "We’re with Truespeed and it’s absolutely brilliant - reliable and really quick download and upload speeds.
"Plus you get through to someone in North Somerset if you need to call
them for any reason."
Tim Price said: "In fairness to Truespeed, I suspect they reason they are 'causing' disruption is that many of the ducts that already run the BT and VM lunes are well over 30 years old, cables will be brittle, and disturbing them can cause issues.
"We do need better broadband services in the town so unfortunately it is a fact of life.
"I do get slightly agitated when people blanket blame a company and hit its reputation when they are trying to provide a better end goal.
"It's a good excuse for people to moan and part of the reason I struggle with the 'not in my back yard' ethos of the town in general."
Read more roadwork details here https://one.network/uk/northsomerset.
This is the latest Sergeant's Bulletin from neighbourhood policing team chief Lee Kerslake complete with apologises for late posting.
His rank is now acting Inspector so it isn't strictly Sgt's Update!
The three pages contain all the new personal changes for our area with some goodbyes to long serving people and hellos to new recruits.
There is very little Nailsea news which we think is a good thing but one very important investigation which led to a high risk offender being charged is detailed.
To download your own copy of this newsletter click HERE - it does have some very useful contact numbers and email addresses.
The links on our images will not work - for this you have to get your own copy or type in the codes.
Nailsea Town Council planning chairman Rod Lees asked John Hunter, of Nailsea Community SpeedWatch who is North Somerset lead for Community SpeedWatch schemes, to conduct a survey on speedng along Trendlewood Way. In five separate one hour sessions they recorded 66 drivers exceeding the 30mph limit. You can read the full report compiled by John HERE
Light my way
Nailsea resident Laurie Gibney, of Mizzymead Rise, is questioning the sense of turning off the street lights during these dark nights.
He said: “Autumn is a time that people like to go out in the evening with family, friends, work colleagues etc, but in the housing streets of Nailsea there is a curfew at 10.45pm when the street light go off!
“In the interests of pedestrian safety, street lights at or near road junctions surely should remain on until say 1am?”
We asked our Nailsea People Facebook readers what they thought?
Here are some of the responses:
Mandy Bennett said: "When they catch up with GMT they should stay on till just about midnight.
"We've all got torches on us all the time these days though eh!"
Andrea Hanham said: "I know what you mean, I can't see the keyhole to open the front door.
"Mind you theh will say everything will need to be off to save energy."
Pauline Davis said: "The lights are re calibrating themselves following the hour change.
"When they will catch up they will go off at midnight.
"Midnight is late enough for most people walking home.
"Anyone going out later should go prepared."
Steve Morten said: "They should stay until 1am so people can get home safely from the pub."
Lorna Wilmot said: "Our street has no street lighting at all in the evening.
"I am fuming.
"Many residents have contacted the council in various forms, they haven't even responded to my husband's or my emails.
"We have many elderly residents in our street.
"You can't even see the edge of the kerb, it's disgusting.
"My daughter doesn't like to go out after dark as she is worried someone could jump us.
:She is aged eight and go to brownies and other clubs.
"We can't even get to our car in safety.
"Walking the dogs after dark is now dangerous, it is literally pitch dark without a huge torch."
Susan Smith said: "Combeside, Backwell, has no street lights either, it’s disgusting considering the level of council tax paid,"
Sandra Flan Lock said: "I have to take my dog out and the street lights on my road go out at 10pm.
"10pm, it’s disgraceful why don’t they turn alternate street lights off it would make more sense we have already had a fatality on the Clevedon Road and another man seriously injured."
Nikki Baber said: "Personally think this country is going backwards.
"I don’t think lights should be turned off at all during darkness."
Kate Atwell said: "We are in Backwell off of Waverley Road and have no street lights.
"It’s never been a problem in the eight years we’ve been in this house.
"We have a light on the house/garage to guide us to the car and we love seeing the stars.
"We would take a torch if going for a planned night time walk and always have a phone with a torch for any dark corners like by the scout hut.
"Lots of people in Backwell have special lights on their dogs collars or use glow sticks and put reflectors on their children’s clothing so for us it’s not a problem thankfully."
Steve Lewis said: "Having now re-read the information provided by Nailsea People in their August 2020 edition of their community newspaper, it was illuminating – for me at least - to discover within the narrative that 'from October to March between midnight-5am the lights will switch off and because they cannot change to British Summer Time between March and October the lights switch off from 1-6am. Safety has always been the
biggest consideration in deciding whether street lights can be switched off. These areas remain lit all night'.
”Tthere then followed a lengthy list of areas which appeared to me to be based upon a suitable and sufficient risk assessment.
"North Somerset Council website does shed light on the issue raised by Laurie Gibney, and I quote: "When the clocks change, the cells can take a couple of weeks to fully calibrate back to midnight while they adjust to the new on and off times of the street lights. In October when the clocks change, they will initially go off at around 11pm and in March 1am. Street lights that dim will power down by 50 per cent from 11pm-6am. They also can’t change to BST, so between March and October the lights dim an hour later'.
"For those experiencing darkness not explainable by the above information it may be worthwhile to report on the North Somerset Council website
Nailsea People short piece on light pollution two years ago quoted by Steve Lewis can read here https://www.nailseapeople.com/august-2020-front-page.
And the last word goes to Jordan Heal, of North Somerset Council, who replied to Laurie this week.
He said: "The street lighting is normally set to turn off at midnight.
"Since the clock change from BST to GMT on Sunday, October 30, the cells in the new LED street lights in part night areas across North Somerset have been switching off early at various reported times from around 10.30pm which is too early.
"The cells should automatically recalibrate themselves over the next few days, the time of switch off should gradually extend through until they reach midnight."
Has the rot set in?
Decaying wood and damp conditions has caused fungus to grow at the base of the sculpture on Nailsea village green.
Photographer Wendy Derrick spotted the mushroom like growth while out shopping on Saturday afternoon.
Sadly it is an indication of rot.
The towering oak tree which was a feature of Nailsea since the late 1800s was transformed into a new piece of art for the town in the summer of 2021.
Chainsaw sculptor Andy O’Neill created the woodland creatures’ artwork.
The oak tree on the village green on the High Street since 1897 had died and had to be removed.
Commissioned by Nailsea Town Council environment and leisure committee and allotted a budget of £2,500 work began on the project initiated by the then newly elected council vice-chairman Emily Miller in May last year.
Nailsea People Facebook reader Steve Lewis said: "I understand that fungi thrive on oaks in warm, humid conditions.
"Perhaps this particular fungal affliction could be treated with a proprietary fungicide and the sculpture also stabilised through installation of some form of discrete supporting structure, what say you Nailsea Town Council?"
And Mick Graham said: "I'm sure it can be saved - if Nailsea Town Council do something about it with an uncommon haste."
But Sally Nailsea said: "It was there last year too, it’s called nature, it does what it does."
Frederic Le Francais said: "Truffles, exciting news."
Pat Parle took the photo of similar fungus growing at the base of a tree on the Tyntesfield estate, thanks.
Read the story of the sculpture here https://www.nailseapeople.com/mighty-oak.
ROADWORKS: The traffic lights on Station Road caused a bit of a queue at the weekend as the roadworks on the car park slip road continues and although due to reopen on Friday, November 4, likely weather could cause delays. More information here https://one.network/uk/northsomerset
Fireworks are believed to have started a blaze which damaged a wood store in Nailsea.
The fire took hold at a garden shed off Trendlewood Road late on Saturday night, October 29.
Fire crews from Nailsea and Bedminster attended the incident.
The blaze followed reports of youths letting fireworks off in nearby Nowhere Woods at Trendlewood Way.
An Avon Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said “Crews from Nailsea and Bedminster were called to reports of a shed fire.
“On arrival, firefighters found a shed used as a wood store well alight affecting a triple garage nearby.
"Crews used two high pressure hose reels to extinguish the blaze.
"Two firefighters wore breathing apparatus for safety.
"The cause of the fire is thought to be deliberate.”
A pet owner has launched a petition for North Somerset to become the first ‘low noise firework county’ in the UK after her friend’s horse died after being spooked by the bangs, reports Somerset Live.
Backwell mum Lorraine Hopkinson-Parker set up the petition after her friend’s horse tragically died, with vets saying it had suffered stress attributed to the noise of fireworks.
Lorraine, who has two dogs of her own, said she was also alarmed after a local farmer in the village told how his horse had become ‘incredibly distressed’ and was at risk of losing its foal due to being disturbed by the fireworks.
A zebra at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm in Wraxall also died after bolting into the boundary of its enclosure after being frightened by fireworks in November 2020.
During a visit to the drone shows to mark the arrival of the SEE MONSTER in Weston-super-Mare, Lorraine started to look at alternatives to traditional fireworks.
The seafront show featured hundreds of drones creating an impressive display which could be seen for miles - without one bang.
Lorraine said: “It was a fantastic evening event with families, young children, the elderly and plenty of dogs.
"The drones gave the most magnificent display but there was not a bang to be heard, only the ‘ooohs’ and ‘aaah’ of the crowds.
“It made me think about the usual firework displays and watching and reading the upsetting posts regarding fireworks at New Year and of course November.”
The popularity of displays at home has also increased in recent years due to the covid lockdowns - extending the period of distress to animals and humans.
Lorraine said: “Why do we continue with traditional displays when we have low noise fireworks and drones? Having two dogs myself I am only too aware of the impact that fireworks can have on our lives.
“My youngest son who is 13, despises fireworks, because he can see first hand, the terror they inflict on our dogs.”
The 2004 Fireworks Regulations currently prohibits fireworks from being any louder than 120 decibels.
The World Health Organisation recommends 120 decibels as the limit for children. Low Noise Fireworks are virtually silent at ground level and approximately 70 decibels in the air - the equivalent to a car door being slammed shut.
As well as launching the petition, Lorraine has also written to all parish and town councils across North Somerset asking them to support the campaign.
North Somerset Council licencing committee has already said it is behind the idea.
Lorraine added: “My proposal would not stop people enjoying fireworks and would not affect the industry.
"Low noise fireworks are already widely available and used.
"The cost of low noise fireworks is exactly the same as the noisy ones, it is only the lack of awareness and willingness to make the switch that still sees them as a niche product.
"I strongly believe that as a largely rural community we would benefit greatly if the above changes could be made and we could become the first low noise firework county in the UK.”
To sign petition go to https://www.change.org/p/we-call-on-north-somerset-council-to-become-the-first-low-noise-fireworks-county-in-uk.
Stay safe on bonfire night
Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) have revealed that in 2021, Bonfire Night on November 5 saw call numbers soar as they call for people to take note of safety tips ahead of the big day.
On 5 November 2021, Control Firefighters received 132 calls, more than 100 per cent more than the average of 65 calls per day, the figure demonstrates the importance of knowing the risks associated with Bonfire Night.
Crew manager Luke Lyons, based in the risk reduction team at AF&RS, said: “We want people to have a safe and enjoyable evening this Bonfire Night, and it’s really important that you follow our advice.
“Sparklers can provide a stunning display and can be safer than fireworks if used correctly.
"They can be easily extinguished with a bucket of water, and you can even use a carrot as a holder to reduce any risk of burns.
"Children under five should not use sparklers, and you should always supervise when they are being used.”
Some people will opt for the traditional bonfire, which poses its own risks.
Luke said: “If you’re hosting a bonfire, make sure you keep your bonfire well clear of any buildings, sheds, fences, trees, and hedges. Keep a bucket of water or garden hose nearby and when assembling your bonfire, only include dry materials and never use flammable liquids or accelerants.
"Never leave the fire unattended and keep well back when watching.”
Fireworks are the other way that many local residents will celebrate, whether you attend an organised display or buy your own, it’s worth remembering that fireworks can upset animals and small children.
Luke added: “We would advise you to attend an organised fireworks display and be mindful of the effects of fireworks on those around you.
"For instance, you may avoid walking your dog that evening or taking a small child to a display.”
Last year, Fido the Firedog and Firefighter Craig got together to share some key safety messages and advice for celebrating this fireworks night. You can watch their video here.
Firefighter Craig Carter said: “When buying fireworks, ensure that they
have UKCA quality marks. Most supermarkets and trusted retailers will have fireworks that comply with this. Keep your fireworks in a closed box or tin, out of reach of children.
“When it’s time to light up, keep fireworks at least an arm’s length away and make sure everyone stands well back. There’s nothing worse than when the firework doesn’t go off; but don’t be tempted to try and re-light it; it could still go off!”
You can read more safety advice and top tips HERE.
Details of organised bonfire/firework displays are on our What's On page HERE.
Class of '22 on-call firefighters
Nailsea has a new on-call recruit who graduated at the end of October.
Firefighter Alastair O’Connor said: "I’m looking forward to putting my skills to the test and saving the community.
"I wanted to learn some practical life skills and be a role model in the community."Alastair works in quality assurance and testing at Pelican Business Services and plays rugby.
All new recruits complete a rigorous training programme.
The course provided on-call firefighters with specialist knowledge and a wide range of practical skills including tactical firefighting, pitching ladders, breathing apparatus, road traffic collision safety and water safety and rescue.
Alastair was on of five new faces who celebrated their achievement at a ceremony at Severn Park, where they were joined by family, friends and course instructors.
Area manager Luke Gazzard, head of Operational Response at A&RS, said: “Huge congratulations to our new on-call firefighters who have officially graduated their training course today.
"I wish them all the best of luck as they now head out and respond to incidents in their communities.”
Each recruit was presented with their completion certification.
Although we managed to identify Alastair from the group photo top we weren't able to pinpoint him in the training image wearing breathing apparatus!
RUBBISH DECISION: What does North Somerset Council do if recycling bins are overused - take them away. The council believe that it is better to use our house recycling collections. This is the before pics and top after pic. Nailsea resident Nikki Baber posted on the Nailsea People Facebook page: "Sadly this was always going to happen. Everyone is blaming the council. North Somerset hasn’t enough money to keep clearing the rubbish - TV’s, cat posts, gas cylinders - that is left by people not just from Nailsea, surrounding areas. It’s council tax payers money that has to keep clearing this waste away. I also come across council workers using it for the recycling waste which I agree is totally wrong. How ever I blame the people who ever they are dumping rubbish that isn’t recycling. Yes it does look tidy now, let’s see if it stays like it."
New home for Nailsea library
Nailsea library is moving out of the iconic concrete building at Somerset Square whose design has been likened to a World War 2 bunker.
The library with its spiral staircase, subterranean children's' book section and chain link drainage pipes was opened in October 1971.
The news has come as a surprise to many on Facebook but has been mooted for many years as on regular occasions the roof leaked, the basement flooded and a fence had to be put up to stop people peering into the bottom windows.
Another much repeated rumour never confirmed is it is riddled with concrete cancer.
But the building like the much maligned water sculpture in Somerset Square called Spirit of Nailsea by designed by Joe Alberdi split public opinion on its merits.
The sculpture was removed in double quick time and now it its time for the lirbary to go.
Calls for it to be saved and listed have come too late and with a huge repair bill pending more serious redevelopment options are being pursued.
This week North Somerset Council announced it has signed a 125-year lease to secure the long term future of the library a stones throw away next to the greengrocers.
The council plans to relocate the library to 6-8 Colliers Walk, formerly occupied by HSBC bank, and keep the facility in the town centre.
This is what the council statement said:
'The relocation is planned to take place before next summer.
The move forms part of the council’s strategy to have modern, accessible libraries where people can go to benefit from a variety of services.
offering free access to computers, the internet and digital support
hosting community support and advice sessions
providing activities for families and people of all ages
providing access to over 2.5 million items through the LibrariesWest consortium.
The existing 50-year-old building in Somerset Square is beyond its end of life. It is in poor condition and in need of roof repairs due to regular flooding, as well as being very energy inefficient. It also doesn’t meet modern accessibility standards.
Relocating the library will:
meet accessibility standards
significantly extend library opening hours on a self-service basis
provide a meeting space to give additional community access
enable an increased range of events and activities to take place by using space more flexibly
be more cost effective to run, increasingly important as council services operate under increasing financial pressures.
North Somerset Council executive member for neighbourhoods and community services Mike Solomon is the Independent ward councillor for Hutton and Locking.
He said: "We’re committed to continuing to provide a library in a prominent, highly visible location in the heart of the town centre.
"Nailsea Library is a top performing library but its current site is no longer fit-for-purpose for a whole host of reasons.
"It’s suffering from a range of problems and would be prohibitively expensive to repair and make accessible.
"Any financial investment would be better used in a different more energy-efficient building.
"It's vital that we have a library in Nailsea that is fit for the future.
"By moving it to its new home on Colliers Walk, we will secure the longterm future of this very popular local library."
The relocation of the library, which is subject to planning and landlord’s consent, is supported by Nailsea Town Council.
North Somerset Council is investigating options for the future of the current library site as part of the emerging Nailsea placemaking strategy, prepared with local stakeholders.
It is working with owners of the surrounding land and the town council.
The council’s libraries strategy for 2021-31 is available on its website at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/librariesstrategy.
Nailsea library activities for the month are on our What's On page here which is HERE. They include various clubs - computer, Lego, reading; board games; printing and photocopy facilities; plus free legal advice, history and council services sessions run from the Somerset Square hub on a weekly/monthly basis
It was in May 2021 that Nailsea Town Council finally bought after years of negotiations the red telephone box in the High Street for £1.
But is has been unsuccessful so far trying to buy another red telephone box in Church Lane outside the Tithe Barn.
Nailsea People reported the sale was finally completed late in April 2021 as part of the Adopt A Kiosk scheme under which thousands of red phone boxes were offered by BT for just £1 each.
But the sale of the Tithe Barn telephone box was never completed.
You can read our original story on the May 2021 front page HERE.
Then council chairman Jan Barber said as she distinctly remembers signing two separate £1 cheques to BT before communications broke down.
The High Street kiosk which was disconnected in 2019 and its workings removed has become a vandalised eyesore and lack of progress on converting it to something meaningful has provoked much debate.
The death knell to the red telephone box coincided with the widespread use of personal mobile phones.
Back last year Nailsea Town Council community engagement committee chairman Dee Houlbrook said: “We officially own the High Street box and I’m excited to do something great with it.
”We are keen for residents ideas and to make it into something the town can be involved in, and be a point of interest."
Now 20 months later the spare parts are about to be ordered and a Nailsea town councillor and its handyman hope to restore the High Street red telephone box back to its former glory - soon.
However, the idea to make it a book depository has been shelved and lots of other ideas have been mooted.
Nailsea Town Council clerk Jo Duffy said: "With regard to the phone box refurbishment it will be carried out by handyman James Cooke and councillor James Tonkin - two James’ for the price of one!
"The job has been priced up.
"We will be ordering the parts shortly - we can only use parts supplied by a specific company.
"The phone box may not be a book swap now, as it has been pointed out that there are already a number of places in Nailsea where you can swap/take books.
"We are looking at other ideas for the box, nothing
BOXED IN: Nailsea Town Council first asked for ideas 20 months ago after years of problems trying to buy the box
has been decided yet."
Nailsea People posted this information on its Facebook page and the debate began again on what it should be used for with dismay that some have used it as a public lavatory.
Councillor Joanne Hopkinson said: "I brought this up at the last community engagement committee as nothing had been done for such a long time.
"Following this discussion, James Tonkin and I met with James Cooke to get it mended and ready, hopefully by November.
"A number of people on social media argued against a book swap as there are several in Nailsea - Tesco, The Factory Shop - plus the fact that the books are cheap in the charity shops, the library is in the precinct and The Lions do their regular book sales.
"I put forward the idea of having a mini museum showing the collection of Nailsea glass in photographs, that the council has.
"I have offered to set it up if that option is agreed. I’d love to hear from people what other ideas they have and I will put them to the town council.
Mrs Holbrook said this week: "I love the phone box, we will be discussing ideas for its end use in a few weeks so any suggestions welcome.
"Thank you all for your patience, there has been an issue with parts not being available but it’s getting there now."
Investment and planning project management company LVA want to develop the fields next to Greenfield Crescent playing fields. The NPFA (Nailsea Playing Fields Association) is looking to replace the junior football clubhouse. the ‘vision statement’ is online here https://www.lva.co.uk/Nailsea-id12559.aspx the area is currently in the green belt and in the parish of Wraxall.
The old Christmas lights are due to be going up in the High Street from Monday, November 14. They will be minus the small trees which used to sprout from the buildings. These are considered past their festive sell-by date. However, plans to extend the decorations to Stockway North have stalled. Despite having £20,000 funding in the budget for many years Nailsea Town Council clerk Jo Duffy confirmed ‘we will definitely have Christmas lights this year. There won’t be anything new, but what we have, will be up and sparkling’. Following the rumpus in 2021 when the Christmas lights came close to being cancelled residents expected it would bigger, better and brighter for 2022 then the energy crisis happened.
NEW GENERAL MANAGER
A new general manager has been appointed at Cadbury House Hotel.
Brady Smith has taken over the reins of the 134-bedroom DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel at Congresbury, from Mehmet Kandemir who has moved to the four star Bailbrook House Hotel at Bath. Read more HERE.
OPENING GAMBIT: A road sign in Station Road, Nailsea, told of an impending closure at the end of October. However, Nailsea People was confused and checked with North Somerset Council asking whether this was in the right place with the right information? A North Somerset Council spokesman said; "After investigation, the sign does not contain correct information. The company who erected the sign has been asked by the council to correct this error as soon as possible to avoid any confusion. Utilities work is planned in Brockway slip road, also known as the Station Road car park service road, which runs in parallel to Nailsea High Street behind the shops and adjacent to Station Road car park. This work will start on Monday, October 24, and is expected to last up to seven days. Brockway slip road will be closed throughout this period, however the car park will remain open. The one.network highways website has already been updated to reflect the correct information."
Public living room for Nailsea?
With the price of energy set to rise again at the weekend of October 1-2 North Somerset Council and its partners in the North Somerset Together network are working together to develop a network of public living rooms across the area to help people keep warm this winter.
Public living rooms are safe, welcoming and non-judgemental spaces for people to come together to stay warm and perhaps enjoy a hot drink and a biscuit. These venues will also have information to help people who might be keen to learn more about the support available to tackle the cost of living crisis.
The sorts of venues that might be suitable for hosting public living rooms include community buildings, sports venues, places of worship, libraries and any organisation willing to make a space available for people to use.
North Somerset Council deputy leader and chair of North Somerset’s cost of living working group Mike Bell is the Lib Dem leader and ward councillor for Weston Central.
He said: “We are a council that cares about people and addressing the cost of living crisis is the top priority for every member of the council’s executive.
"No-one should have to go cold this winter.
"We know already that some of our residents are worried they might have to choose between heating and eating, so to help we want to create a network of places across North Somerset where people can keep warm.
“Our goal is to create a directory of all the places available to our residents across the public, private, health and voluntary sectors and to ensure this information is clearly promoted so everyone who is feeling the cold knows where they can go to get warm, stay warm and enjoy a little company and some hot refreshments.”
To enable public living rooms to be set up or maintained, grants of up to £1,000 will be available to organisations in North Somerset.
The grants are funded by North Somerset Council, supported by Alliance Homes, grant funding.
Applications will be accepted from North Somerset agencies and community-led organisations delivering services for people in North Somerset.
More information about the scheme and grant application process is available on the council’s website at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/col.
The North Somerset Together Network will promote the directory of public living rooms as soon as they begin to be established with the hope that more venues will become available as news of the initiative spreads across North Somerset.
Mr Bell added: “Our ambition is that all communities across North Somerset that need a public living room have at least one that their local residents can use to help stay warm and well.”
Coates House in Nailsea was one of the first to respond to this plea.
Owner James Murray posted on Facebook: "We can’t believe it’s 2022 and we are writing this, but here we go;
"This winter is going to be a tough one, for so many people.
"Spiralling energy bills, out of control inflation, increasing food bills etc.
"Some people will really struggle to heat their homes this winter and we are here for you.
"We are open 9am-10pm and will be a warm welcoming space for all.
"No purchase necessary, just ask for a glass of water.
"We will never ask you to leave, we may need you to move tables during busy times.
" If you are really struggling, please ask to speak to one of the owners, I am sure we can help a little more where needed.
"Be Kind. Stay Safe.
"The coffee machine is always on."
Nailsea churches have also expressed an interest in helping and Nailsea |People suggested public places like our libraries could be utilised.
James has taken some coffee vouchers paid for by kind donations to Nails