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Independence day in Nailsea
Conservative North Somerset Council leader Nigel Ashton has blamed central government for the bad showing of his party in local elections.
The Conservatives had run the district since 2007 and in the 2015 election he polled 1,426 votes. For 2019 he managed only 686 despite working tirelessly on a much-reduced budget.
Mr Ashton is the only Conservative unitary authority councillor now in the north of the district.
The new council make-up for 2019 is (with 2015 result in brackets):
Conservatives 13 (36)
Independents 12 (6)
Liberals Democrats 11 (4)
Labour 6 (3)
Green 3 (1)
Portishead Independents 4 (0)
The council is made up of 50 councillors in total and a new leader will have to be elected. UKIP polled badly in Weston and no UKIP candidate won a seat on North Somerset Council,
The count at Hutton Moor Leisure Centre, at Weston-super-Mare, started at 10am on Friday, May 3, one day after the elections.
The last results came in just after 3pm.
The race for the Gordano seat which includes Tickenham was a tight one, with Mr Ashton polling 686 votes and Liberal Democrat Thomas Gravatt second at 542.
In Nailsea, long-standing Conservative councillors Jan Barber – who represented Nailsea Youngwood ward – and Mary Blatchford, of Nailsea Yeo ward, have both seen their seats taken by Independent councillors.
Mrs Barber who was the executive member for Children and Young People Services said: “I am obviously disappointed at the result and wish Sandra every success as our new councillor for Youngwood.
“I am happy to retire at this stage and will have far more time to spend with my family, many friends, travel and gardening.
“Thanks to everyone for the privilege of serving the public of Nailsea for so long.
“I shall continue to do so as a member of Nailsea Town Council.”
While promoting supporting for ‘local’ endeavours it didn’t help that the Conservative leaflets were printed in Southend-on-Sea.
Green candidate Bridget Petty sensationally took Backwell and credited her win to the work the eco-friendly politician had been doing in the village.
North Somerset Conservative MP Liam Fox told the Bristol Post: "The results are very disappointing.
"What is also disappointing is such a low turnout in a constituency where the turnout is normally above average.
"North Somerset Council is one of the top-performing authorities in the UK which has now been swept away in a tide of disillusionment."
Dr Fox - said he had been getting calls since 2am about the impending poor election result in North Somerset and he felt Brexit had a major part to play in the results.
LATEST: As widely expected Independent councillor Don Davies,of Pill, is the new leader of North Somerset Council. Liberal Democrats group leader Cllr Mike Bell will act as deputy leader, with Labour group leader Cllr Catherine Gibbons and Green group leader Cllr Bridget Petty both filling executive roles. The new council leader, administration and executive line up will be confirmed at the full council meeting on Tuesday, May 14.
BBC nationwide summary
Elections are held for 248 English councils, six mayors and all 11 councils in Northern Ireland
Conservatives and Labour both see vote shares fall compared with 2015
So far the Tories have lost 40 councils and more than 1,000 seats
Theresa May says results message is: "Just get on and deliver Brexit."
Labour has lost nine councils and more than 100 seats
Lib Dems take control of 11 councils
Greens and independents also making significant gains
Anger over Brexit appears to be influencing voters, say experts
For full North Somerset Council results click HERE.
For a pictorial record on the day go to Political Peeps page by clicking HERE.
LOCALLY ELECTED COUNCILLORS IN BOLD
Bridget PETTY Green Party 1,121
Peter William SOOTHILL Conservative 572
Dan BEWLEY Labour 73
Ashley CARTMAN Liberal Democrat 1,251
Stuart Michael MCQUILLIAN Green Party 1,088
Charles Julian CAVE Conservative 1,065
Kate STOWEY Conservative 996
David JOHNSON Labour 376
Owen John LLOYD-JONES Labour 361
NAILSEA GOLDEN VALLEY
Andy COLE Independent 1,220
Jane Louise HOLT Conservative 232
Christopher James WATTS Labour 103
NAILSEA WEST END
James Jeremy TONKIN Independent 876
Anita SMITH Conservative 248
Mike BIRD Independent 685
Mary BLATCHFORD Conservative 280
Jon ARGLES Labour 116
David Anthony HOWELLS Liberal Democrat 71
Sandra HEARNE Independent 587
Jan BARBER Conservative 411
Dee HOULBROOK Labour 130
GWR boss Mark Hopwood has written to Nailsea Town Council telling them there is no money for access improvements at Nailsea & Backwell railway station. The council applied under the Access For All funding to get a ramp and/or lift for people with disablilies to get to the platform. Money from the £300 million pound fund did go to Weston-super-Mare. The next time Nailsea can apply is 2024. First Great Western (FGW) was given £1.23m to build two ramps in 2011, but work never began.
The Sun newspapers has slammed airports'acting like nightclub happy hours with double measure binge drink promos before flights' and Bristol is including in the list of offenders. A spokesman for the Airport Operators Association said airlines offer the 50ml measures as standard – without the option of smaller servings in the UK.
Regional airline Flybmi owed £37m when it collapsed earlier this year, blaming rising fuel and carbon costs and Brexit uncertainty. The airline filed for administration in February and most creditors, including passengers and suppliers, might only receive one per cent of their claims, the BBC reported. Rolls Royce was also owed £2.25m for a servicing contract, and Stansted Airport and Bristol Airport were both owed money by the airline.
Baby swans at risk from invasion of terrapins
Fears that the Ninja terrors at Backwell Lake are attacking swan eggs have been expressed this week.
Last month swans were dying when they flew into low lying overhead cables.
Now the rogue terrapins which have grown as big as plates and nestle alongside newly laid swan eggs.
The mute swan, which is the white swan most commonly seen in the British Isles, will normally mate at anytime from spring through to summer, with the cygnets being born anytime from May through to July.
After the nest has been built, which typically takes two to three weeks, the egg laying process begins with an egg being laid every 12-24 hours.
This has already begun at the Wessex Water nature reserve and eggs have been observed in the nests - along with the non native predators.
Once all the eggs have been laid, which can take another two to three weeks, they will all be incubated (that is sat on to start the growth process) at the same time with hatching usually 42 days (six weeks) later.
New born cygnets are mainly lost to crows, herons, magpies, turtles, pike and large perch. Both cygnets and full-grown swans are also the prey of foxes and mink.
But the terrapins at Backwell Lake are poised to eat the eggs, said nature lover James Parsons who took the photos.
The unwanted pets, relics of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon craze that gripped children in the 1980s, have ravaged the aquatic bird population nationwide.
A warden said: "The terrapins eat eggs and pull young ducks and birds such as coots, moorhens, even great crested grebes down into the waters by their legs."
The terrapins are so elusive that Terry Green, the trapper employed by Severn Trent Water, has had to construct baited traps like lobster pots.
The problem is not confined to the Derbyshire reservoir.
Tropical terrapins have been sighted terrorising west country canals, the ornamental ponds of Historic Waterlow Park in Highgate, north London, and other waters across the country.
They have been able to adapt surprisingly well to the British climate, considering their usual habitat is tropical Africa, Asia and America.
About the size of a 50 pence piece when imported, mainly from intensive open-air turtle farms in the hot and humid states of Louisiana and Mississippi, many have now grown to the size of a dinner plate, with a vicious bite to boot.
LATEST: New cygnets have been hatched at Backwell Lake. See Gallery 2019 for slideshow of life at the lake by clicking HERE.
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The TEK Hut
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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