THE online community newspaper for Nailsea people, their family and their friends
Building work progresses in many corners of Nailsea but in Backwell a big campaign has been launched to stop the village expanding. Read more HERE
We have hundreds of images in our 2023 galleries featuring markets, festivals, Backwell lake, country walks as well as sensational sunrises and sunsets - added last month Tapathon which came so close, within a few hundred hoofers, to breaking the world record and more moon pictures, see our super slideshows HERE
During the festive period, between Sunday and Monday, December 24-January 1 First Bus will be operating its Christmas and New Year timetables. You can find all the details on its website, including PDF timetables here https://www.firstbus.co.uk/bristol-bath-and-west/plan-journey/travel-season/christmas-and-new-year-bus-services-20232024.
North Somerset Council executive meeting is at 2.30pm on Wednesday, December 6, at the Town Hall, Weston-super-Mare and is open to the public. It can also be viewed live online or played back at a later date. Top of the agenda is finding £4m in savings for the next financial year. The council had a budget gap of £50m over the four years to 2028 with £17m of that falling within the next financial year. The latest financial report shows an improved picture with a four-year gap of £13m and just under £4m to find in the year ahead. The final budget is due to be presented to the full council for decision in February 2024.
On Wednesday, December 6. at 7.30pm Nailsea Town Council finance and policy committee is meeting at the Tithe Barn. The 54-page agenda papers include budget details and a request from Nailsea resident David Baggley that the council campaigns for a banking hub in the town given that Lloyds, the last High Street bank, is to close in February and HSBC is replacing its branch with a giant ATM at Crown Glass Place. Mr Baggley told councillors: "I feel that the Nailsea community ought to give some response to the proposed closure of our last bank in the town. While Lloyds as a commercial organisation is free to come to its own decision on which branches to close, I feel that the need for a physical bank presence is essential for the residents and businesses of the town which currently has a population of 15,000 rising to nearer 20,000 when the proposed housing developments are completed." The public is welcome to attend. Download agenda papers HERE
Of interest to those thinking of taking a Christmas Day or New Year’s Day dip with temperature below zero the Environment Agency decided to release its readings for North Somerset bathing waters taken between May and September. In its announcement on Friday, December 1, it said water quality at Sand Bay and Weston-super-Mare’s main beach is recorded as ‘poor’, the same as last year’s results. Unfortunately, bathing water quality at Uphill is now also classed as ‘poor’, compared to ‘sufficient’ last year. However, water quality at Clevedon remains ‘good’. Readings can vary due to weather, pollution and storm water overflows. It added. However, 96 per cent of bathing waters in England have met minimum standards, with 90 per cent of bathing waters in England being rated as ‘good’ or ‘excellent’. This compares to just 28 per cent being rated as ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ in the 1990s and 76 per cent in 2010.
MCDONALD'S FOR NAILSEA
We hear the old NatWest retail unit at Somerset Square is to become a McDonald’s restaurant. This has split opinion with some citing poor dietary choices and claiming the Portishead branch is plagued with anti-social behaviour. But most people especially the young are ecstatic about the possibility of having a low cost US fast food company opening at Somerset Square
Nailsea's iconic old library has been saved by local businessman Paul O'Brien and next summer it will reopen as Loungers restaurant.
Mr O’Brien is about to complete on the library site in a deal with landowners North Somerset Council and is determined to save the centre piece of the 1970s Crown Glass Shopping Centre from demolition.
He said: “We hope to start work in January, just a few last-minute insurance conveyancing issues to be settled.”
However, the building is believed to be suffering from concrete cancer with an asbestos roof and the council estimated last year the repair bill could exceed more than £1m.
It is set to reopen next summer as the Livro Lounge part of the Loungers Group of restaurants and when Nailsea People canvassed opinion on its Facebook page there was overwhelming support for the project.
Nikki Woltz said: “My husband is a senior manager at the Lounges.
“Yes, they are coming to Nailsea but not Impero, that is specific to Portishead, as is Teatro to Clevedon.
“There will be a lounge in Nailsea, called Livro but not in the old NatWest unit and not this year as it’s been delayed by other site openings in the south west.
“Hope this clears some of the ongoing speculations.”
Loungers operates on 244 sites in England and Wales across three distinct with complementary brands, Lounge, Cosy Club and Brightside.
Founded in 2002 by three friends who wanted to create a neighbourhood café-bar that they would want to go to the group is expanding and is hugely popular nationwide.
The word Livro comes from the Latin word 'librum' meaning book,
Previously Nailsea Town Council had done its best to save the hexagonal structure seemingly built on stilts with chain link guttering and even tried to get it listed building status.
The children's section was based downstairs on the lower floor down some spiral stairs which wasn’t ideal for parents with buggies.
North Somerset Council ward member for Nailsea Yeo Mike Bird who is currently chair of the town council, said previously: “The Nailsea Library building has always been something of a Marmite taste.
“Personally, I’ve always found it an Iconic building.
“However, it’s well past its use by date, leaking water and energy, costing a large amount to maintain and heat, costs that are only going to get higher.
"Add to this the building's inaccessibility (who chose a spiral staircase as an entrance to a children’s library?) and you have the reasons for the library having a new long term future in Colliers Walk.”
Nailsea Library moved to its new home in Colliers Walk in June with an official opening event on Wednesday, September 27.
According to author Margaret Thomas in The Book of Nailsea ‘Nailsea Library and Reading Room’ began life in 1856 in a room at Christ Church School (Four Oaks)’ and when the precinct was built the library moved in more than 50 years ago.
Mr O’Brien’s company Developments Bristol purchased the adjoining former Weston College site in Somerset Square with a view to redeveloping it into apartments with a retail unit on the ground floor.
He said: “This is on hold for the moment until we find another housing association partnership for the apartments.”
Meanwhile Praxis is still on a quest to build a budget supermarket in the car park thwarting the building of a tower block on the Weston College site.
Resident Martin Layton said: “The one thing that Nailsea has and must not lose is the car parking and access to the town centre for elderly and disabled or young families.
“We don't need safe cycling routes.
“We don't need another supermarket or coffee chain.
“We need independent traders of all descriptions, paying reasonable rents so they can charge reasonable prices.”
Businessman saves 'our' library building
December began with the Nailsea community Christmas fair which filled the High Street and Somerset Square with a wonderful festive winterland.
Nailsea Town Council put together the event with the help of Eat:Festival duo Beverly and Sarah Milner Simonds and a small army of volunteers spearheaded by Jessica Brown the well-being officer based at 65 High Street.
It was a bitterly cold afternoon on Friday, December 1, when the stallholders set out their colourful wares many under the warm glow of the new Christmas lights.
A town council spokesman said: “The community fair was all about bringing people together in festive cheer, promoting our town and supporting independent businesses,
“There was something to suit all ages and it started the perfect countdown to Christmas.”
With music and singing and Father Christmas in his Lions sleigh there was something for everyone including balloon modelling, face painting, hologram snow machine, giant stilt walking Christmas tree and of course the Ice Queen singing Disney songs from Frozen.
The hugely popular musical entertainment Twice Dailies performed in true Wurzels-style, the Ambling Band wandered up and down the traffic-free High Street playing carnival and dance music, violinist Miranda Juliet and cappella singers Part Song all added to the magical sounds of the evening.
Nailsea Town Council vice chair James Tonkin thanks everyone who had helped and support the fair and announced Isla-Erin Turan Gulaydin as best Christmas tree bauble competition winner. He thanked schoolgirl Enid Steel who came up with the fantastic idea.
All the baubles are displayed on the Village Green tree which was sponsored by Quality Collectables Nailsea’s newest antique shop and the Nailsea Knitters provided the street art adornments for the bollards will decorate the town into the new year.
Nailsea People photos are being put in slideshows on a Christmas page in the gallery HERE - thanks to Nailsea Town Council, James R Turner and Phil Williams for additional photos.
Nailsea community Christmas fair
As the festive season gets underway, Avon and Somerset’s roads policing team will be out in force conducting proactive roadside checks and talking to motorists about the dangers of drink and drug driving.
Its Christmas roads policing operation, which will run throughout the month of December, will also utilise community intelligence to target drivers potentially under the influence of drink or drugs.
For this reason, police are urging the public to let them know if they suspect someone may be driving while intoxicated.
Information received is used in conjunction with Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) and CCTV data to alert officers to the whereabouts of potential offenders, enabling them to take swift action.
Drink and drug driving was a factor in a third of road traffic collisions (RTCs) in 2021, which involved the deaths of 12 people.
Avon and Somerset Police road policing lead inspector Rob Barker said: "My message to the public this Christmas is this that.
"If you know someone that regularly drinks or takes drugs and gets behind the wheel, then your action- or inaction - could make a real difference to the wellbeing of other road users.
“Your report could prevent serious consequences by helping us take a dangerous and irresponsible driver off the road before they can cause harm.
“During December, we’ll be actively targeting motorists who pose a risk to others by choosing to drink and drug drive, as well as carrying out proactive stop checks at key roadside locations both day and night.”
Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Shelford said: “It is shocking that despite the well-known risks, individuals continue to make the reckless choice to drink and drug drive, endangering the lives of others.
“As Police and Crime Commissioner; I urge everyone to choose responsibility over recklessness during the festive period and beyond. I support this proactive operation to tackle dangerous drivers as every journey should be a safe journey.”
Data from Crimestoppers UK suggests that the public are becoming more inclined to report drink and drug drivers.
The national charity, which allows people to report crime 100 per cent anonymously, received more than 34,000 reports between January and September this year about people who regularly drive under the influence of drink and drugs – a 25 per cent increase on the previous year. In several cases, this information has directly led to an arrest.
Crimestoppers operations director Mick Duthie said: “Those under the influence of drink or drugs are far more likely to cause a crash, sometimes with fatal consequences. Many of those drivers regret their behaviour, but by then it’s too late.
“You can help ‘put the brakes’ on regular drink and drug drivers by telling our charity what you know.
"Being able to give information anonymously with no comeback is so
worthwhile as it helps tackle these kinds of dangerous and criminal behaviours.
“Our charity is here for you 24/7, both online at Crimestoppers-uk.org and on the phone by calling 0800 555 111.
"If you know of someone involved in drug or drink driving – maybe it’s a friend, neighbour, colleague or family member - it’s better to be safe than sorry. It can save lives and will help make our roads safer for everyone.”
Causing death by careless driving whilst under the influence of drink/drugs carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
Reports of drink/drug drivers can be made online at: Report drink and drug driving | Avon and Somerset Police or by calling 101.
Alternatively reports can be made anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 and useful information is available on their website: Drink and drug driving | Crimestoppers (crimestoppers-uk.org).
If someone is currently driving under the influence of drink or drugs, always call 999.
For key facts about the effects and potential consequences of drink and drug driving, visit Alcohol and drug driving | British Transport Police (btp.police.uk)
Don't drink drive police Christmas message
computer techies for the online community
The TEK Hut was started by Ben Parker in the summer of 2018.
For 12 years Ben had been one of the team at The ICT Workshop which provided a wide variety of computer services to Nailsea, Clevedon, Yatton, Backwell and even Weston-Super-Mare.
Ben felt it right to continue the same great service customers had previously experienced but under new branding for a new business and The Tek Hut was born.
Trading at the familiar location in Nailsea, The Tek Hut will continue to offer the same cost effective, new laptops and PCs, upgrades, onsite support for homes and businesses through to a wide range of workshop services and accessories.
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