News 1 January 2015
The latest crime figures for Nailsea and the launch of a campaign to stay safe and beat the burglar this winter has been launched by North Somerset Council working with Avon and Somerset Constabulary. Click on image to read all about it...
Marco and Bella are bellissimo!
Celebrity chef Marco Pierre White has tossed aside his gruff public persona and ‘enfant terrible’ title to allow his heart to be melted by a six-year-old severely autistic Nailsea girl called Bella.
And because of this he is running a cookery masterclass to fundraise for Springboard Opportunity Group which caters for children with additional needs and their families.
The much married restaurateur and father of four whose name adorns the upmarket MPW steakhouse, bar and grill at Doubletree by Hilton Cadbury House lives on a hunting and shooting country estate outside Bath with Silent Witness actress Emilia Fox and her young daughter Rose.
The 53-year-old Hell’s Kitchen television presenter, author and advertising front man for Knorr stock cubes and Bernard Matthews turkey farms heard about Bella during a charity auction for Great Western Air Ambulance Service at the Congresbury hotel.
This had been organised by Bella’s parents Samantha, aged 47, and David Mildon, 42, to thank all the paramedics who had attended when their young daughter broke her elbow.
The story inspired Marco to plan his own fundraising event and the idea of a cookery master class was born.
One of four sons Marco was brought up in a Leeds council house by his chef father Frank White and his Italian mother Maria-Rosa who sadly died of a brain haemorrhage aged just 38.
Despite leaving school with no qualifications Marco went to London to train with the Roux brothers and aged 33 became the youngest chef at that time to be awarded three Michelin stars.
Marco who is currently in negotiations for the film rights of his autobiography Devil In the Kitchen generously let Sam choose the charity.
Sam named Springboard Opportunity Group which was launched in the 1980s by then Nailsea mum Ann Ramsey and now runs three centres in North Somerset to support children with additional needs from birth to five years and their families.
Since it started in 1986 it has worked with more than 1,200 children and their families and it now provides a vital service for more than 100 children and their families every week.
And one of those children was Bella.
Sam who describes herself on Twitter as ‘mum, artist and charity fundraiser extraordinaire’ said: “‘Springboard was such a support during the early years of Bella’s diagnosis with non-verbal autism and delayed learning.
“We felt very isolated but as soon as we walked through the doors into Springboard it was like we belonged, somewhere that we were understood and where Bella could be supported.
“They were such a great help and continue to be to so many families.”
For Sam and David who runs Lovewood37 making bespoke furniture from reclaimed wood from a workshop at the old Tickenham Garden Centre together with sons Lex, 22, and Nick, 18, caring for Bella is a 24/7 commitment with little respite time except the days when the youngster attends Ravenswood School.
Sam said: “There is a great deal talked about people with Asperger's syndrome and high functioning autism but little about those like Bella who can’t speak, can’t sign and as she doesn’t know the difference between day and night is up at all hours bouncing on her bed.
“But worst of all when she self injures from frustration at not being able to communicate.
“Bella will be like this for the rest of her life and Marco couldn’t understand how such a beautiful little girl was so damaged.”
Yet Bella can play simple games on an iPad, she loves to swim, dance and listen to classical music.
And so far she has repeated one out of context sentence be it in a Chinese accent when she tells a grandmother on arrival: “Bye, bye, see you soon.”
Sam thinks she is mimicking something from a musical show Bella has watched on television but it gives her guarded hope that Bella maybe in the future could use icons on an iPad to signal basic needs like hunger or hurt.
Springboard is not funded by local government and has to raise its own running costs.
This year its target is £40,000 and to date it has £14,448.
Nine of these very sought after places will be sold at £500 each with the tenth being raffled at £10 a ticket.
The money raised will be spent on iPads for the children to play interactive, educational games on and for parent workshops to help build their confidence in caring for their child’s needs.
The master class will be in the kitchens of the Marco Grill at Stamford Bridge home to Chelsea Football Club.
The experience will include an introduction by Marco while coffee and pastries are served, the master class which will include creating three or four dishes with the incomparable Marco Pierre White as tutor, followed by a three course meal and the opportunity to have signings and photos with the star chef.
To reserve your place or buy one of the keen chef/cook in your life email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Raffle tickets can be purchased online by clicking HERE.
Time to register for big school
Fears that Nailsea schools could be oversubscribed next September have been dismissed by education chiefs.
And Chinese whispers that Nailsea infant intake for September 2015 was over-scribed were firmly dismissed by both head teachers and North Somerset Council.
But what is true is that parents of children due to start school in September 2015 have only a few days to submit their child’s name.
Children who were born between September 1, 2010 and August 31, 2011 can start at a primary or infant school from next September.
And the closing date for the submission of applications is 11.59pm on Thursday, January 15.
North Somerset Council executive member for children and young people's services and Nailsea district councillor Jeremy Blatchford said: “This is a busy time for parents, but it’s absolutely vital they apply on time, as late applicants have less chance of being allocated a place at their preferred school.”
Parents can apply online by clicking HERE.
Alternatively, paper application forms are available from the council's school admissions and transport team.
To get a form telephone the team on 01275 88 078 or email them at email@example.com.
Parents can also pick up an application form at either the Town Hall in Weston-super-Mare or from the council's offices at Castlewood in Clevedon.
Paper forms can be posted to North Somerset Council, School Admissions and Transport team, Town Hall, Weston-super-Mare, BS23 1UJ.
As well as infant schools in the neighbouring villages of Backwell, Flax Bourton, Tickenham and Wraxall there are four schools in the town with reception classes and two nearby preparatory schools.
Hannah More Infant School with 180 pupils aged four to seven is in a federation with next door Grove Junior School. In April 2014 it was given a ‘good’ Ofsted report;
Golden Valley Primary School with 415 children aged four to 11 years got an ‘outstanding’ Ofsted in March 2014;
Prior to becoming a Bath and Wells Multi Academy Trust Kingshill Church School had an ‘inadequate’ Ofsted rating in February 2013. It currently has 156 pupils aged four to 11 and a ‘substantive’ head teacher; and
St Francis RC Primary School was given an ‘outstanding’ in March 2009 with 194 children aged four-11.
Hannah More and Golden Valley will have an intake of 60 pupils with Kingshill and St Francis taking 30 children each making a total of 180 places for 2015.
Based on the shortage of both ante natal classes for mums-to-be and beds on maternity wards and in 2010-11 parents suspect next year would be a bumper year at the schools.
North Somerset Council marketing and communications officer Nick Yates said: “We don’t release any details about the number of applications until the offer day on 16 April 2015.
“Looking at the pupil projections we do not have concerns about having sufficient school places in the Nailsea area.
“The closing date is not till midnight Thursday, January 15, so I am at a loss as to how someone can suspect Nailsea is oversubscribed.
“What we always say is that it is vital that applications are made on time as late applicants have less chance of being allocated a place at their preferred school.”
Golden Valley head teacher Kevin Lynch said: “North Somerset Council admissions team is the department who receive applications for reception places every year.
“Individual schools do not receive numbers, application forms or any information regarding this until much nearer the notification date although schools do have to undertake a checking exercise for siblings.”
Hannah More head teacher Kay Church said: “Our planned admission is 60 and we haven’t been advised otherwise.
“As always we look forward to welcoming our new intake.”
Demographically school numbers in Nailsea have been falling in recent years in line with the ageing population and most think this is a trend that will continue.
St Francis head teacher Caroline Hostein said: “According to all my data it shows that demographically there are falling rolls and we are of the understanding that this set to continue.
“The only overscribed schools are in Portishead and parts of Weston-super-Mare but not here in Nailsea.”
North Somerset district and Nailsea town councillor Jan Barber has been a governor of Golden Valley Primary School for many years.
She said: “Usually the number of children requesting entry into Golden Valley varies between 55 and 60 and as has been quoted the demographics of Nailsea are such that most schools have seen their numbers decrease during the past few years.
“Golden Valley is an outstanding school and the consistency of the number of children reflects this.
“However, there are a greater number of young families in the area surrounding the school so that is an additional factor.
“We are extremely lucky in the town to have such wonderful schools and most parents are allocated their first choice of school for their child.
“I cannot believe that Nailsea would be oversubscribed for the year 2015-2016 intake by 35 as that would mean more than 200 children would be requiring a place
“If there is an influx of development in our town then the situation may well be very different in a few years’ time and that scenario would almost certainly please the head teachers and governors as the school budgets would be far easier to balance.
“It would also mean that there is no pressure to fill up any spare places with children from outside the town which cannot be ideal for those four-year olds living in one area and being educated in another.”
Nailsea Town Council calls store plans public meeting
A public meeting is to be held in Nailsea for people to have their say on plans to build a new supermarket on part of a town centre car park.
The meeting has been called by Nailsea Town Council following a wave of concern from residents about plans by discount retailer Lidl to build a new store on part of the Crown Glass Place car park at Stockway South.
Residents are concerned the development will mean the loss of 47 of the 194 parking spaces in the car park.
The new store, if approved, would create 18 new full time equivalent jobs.
It forms part of an overall investment totalling £10 million planned by town centre owners Ellandi.
Display from 6.30pm on Friday, January 23 with meeting starting at 7.15pm, at the Scotch Horn Leisure Centre.
News in brief
Long Ashton bypass re-opens this weekend
The Long Ashton bypass is to reopen on Saturday morning, January 17.
The first phase of the major £3.4 million roadworks which began on Monday, August 11, is finally finished.
The work was scheduled to last 23 weeks with a one-lane traffic scheme in place for much of that time and a diversion to stop HGVs using the village of Long Ashton as a shortcut.
The route is used by more than 19,000 vehicles each day and the vital maintenance work was needed to repair and replace joints and bearings on the Yanley Viaduct to prevent further deterioration.
Work has involved waterproofing the deck, replacing the deck expansion joints, resurfacing the carriageway and painting the steel parapets.
The bearings needed to be replaced, the steel structures which support the deck needed re-painting and repairs were needed to the reinforced concrete pier tops that have deteriorated because of salt water getting in.
Cllr Elfan Ap Rees, deputy leader of North Somerset Council whose portfolio includes highways, said: "The work underneath the structure will continue for a number of weeks but I am pleased that because of the detailed planning we carried out before the work got under way, the project has remained on track and on budget."During the viaduct works the council took the opportunity of lane closures to carry out other work on the bypass.
This included clearing vegetation, improving and repairing signs, crash barrier repair works, maintenance to the drainage systems and litter picking.
The lighting columns and lights on the structure have also been replaced.
By combining these works the council has saved around £75,000. Mr Ap Rees said: "We always look to get other work done to save money and prevent further disruption to road users." Once all the works are complete on the viaduct, major work to the structure will not be needed again for another 15 years and the structure will remain fit for purpose, carrying large volumes of traffic in and out of Bristol. Mr Ap Rees added: "Although the work has caused disruption on this major route, it has meant that all work has been carried out in one go rather than various schemes over the next few years.
"The work still to be completed to the underside of the structure will not have an impact on the traffic going over the viaduct."We will be monitoring the quality of the work before we sign it off so it may be necessary to do some remedial works later in the year - basically a tidying-up exercise – normal with this sort of large scheme as certain elements are left to bed in."We will also be carrying out repairs to the Long Ashton road this spring following its heavy use during the partial closure of Yanley viaduct. "This is another example of our commitment of investing in our highways infrastructure, paid for by another successful bid to the Department for Transport for £2m of funding from its Pinch Point Fund and £1.4m from us."
Logan's Disneyland Paris Wish granted
Logan’s Christmas wish looks like coming true thanks to the lovely people of Nailsea.
Little Logan Marsh was born with a rare type of acute myeloid leukaemia.
His biggest dream is to visit Disneyland Paris with his family.
Good friend Sarah Davies heard about this from his parents Sarah and Craig Marsh and decided to help with fundraising.
Sarah Davies has set up an online GoFundMe site called Logan’s Wish aimed at raising £3,000 for the trip of a lifetime.
This week Sarah D was able to put down the deposit for the once-in-a-lifetime adventure and has until Friday, May 22, to raise the rest of the money.
She said: “The response so far have been amazing - thank you everyone.
"The wonderful people of Tesco Nailsea are running a raffle to help us towards our final £1,700.
“This will be over the first weekend in February- and I need volunteers to help! If you can spare an hour to help us sell tickets then please let me know.”
If you would like to donate to this special fund click HERE.
To read the full story on nailseapeople.com go to the first page of news by clicking HERE.
And you can leave a message for Sarah D by using the contact form by clicking HERE.
Mum stole nearly £10k from staff charity fund
A buyer working at GE Oil & Gas, at Nailsea, has been jailed for stealing from the company charity fund.
Anna Tilley was acting as voluntary treasurer for the staff fund which supports sick children and people with multiple sclerosis when she helped herself to thousands of pounds.
The 34-year-old Hengrove mother of one blamed the breakdown of her relationship with her partner for her dishonesty.
Tilley repaid £1,100 of the missing £9,500 the court heard.
She pleaded guilty to theft at Bristol Crown Court and was jailed for ten months.