19-Apr-2021 Banwell bypass contract awarded to Alun Griffiths.
This links to the NSC Decision about the contract on 20th March[0]=AT2CK8kKW745wpwTt0-L8WEDatQnFQ8gPCsPcNbgGQBJO9vHbX7FY9QCA0q_B-kcilH1TniyOKOSG0xjqJ73uT9clCBwHgKlyKGIe_BL3kgeSs7C-D98oMHcTMQz-xs8Kf2bCMpPZac7pvfjKvGEp7160m_NhvEn695iRVE5uhF5WgoQUeZw1LA-g-jBmxdjHJRjn1xyxnhrbG4Wag

09-Apr-2021 Last chance to comment on North Somerset Council's Green Infrastructure Strategy!
Log on before the deadline tonight:

Here is a map based on Google Earth (click on it to expand) to illustrate where the 'green corridors' are plotted: the red line is the North Somerset boundary, the hatched area is AONB, the green lines are the corridors, and the circles show the bat foraging zones, using the positions shown on the maps in the Council's Supplementary Planning Document on Bats, online here

24-Mar-2021 A 20 mph traffic scheme to lower driving speeds through Winscombe and Sandford
The Parish Council has asked for residents' views on bringing in a 20 mph traffic scheme, and what streets we think should be covered, via the Occasional magazine. There is an online Facebook survey, with one question, asking for a yes or no answer, about the possible cost. Here are the answers to some questions about this, with a suggested response to the Parish Council. References for the answers are online at

Please consider sending the email response in Sandford News March 2021, adding in your own comments, even if you have already contacted the Parish Council about this . Paper copies of the email are available on request, so please tell any neighbours who are not on the internet.

1. Why is the Parish Council paying for a traffic scheme, and not North Somerset Council ?
Government funding cuts, and Covid-19, mean local authorities have much less to spend. There is no government funding specifically for 20 mph zones and limits across local authority areas,
although government guidance on local speed limits has recommended these for built-up residential streets since 2013, backed by public health guidance. There is other government funding which could be used, like Housing Infrastructure, Active Travel, and Sustainable Travel funding. North Somerset Council policy is that the Council pays for the traffic scheme survey by Highways, and Town or Parish Councils pay for the traffic scheme itself. It's up to the individual Town and Parish Councils to apply for a traffic scheme, and when they apply. S.106 money can be used to pay for the scheme, which is the money paid by developers when large developments go ahead, or Parish Council reserve funds, or money from the precept, which is the annual share the Parish Council gets from our council tax payments to North Somerset Council.

2. Why is £24,000 being estimated as the cost?
The Parish Council hasn't explained this figure, but it is likely to be based on a comparison of costs paid by other parishes. £24,000 works out at around £5.00 a head, based on a population of around 4,500, 3,000 people in Winscombe and 1,500 in Sandford. This cost is for 20 mph zones, which have traffic calming like speed bumps and chicanes, and is a one-off cost. 20 mph limits are quicker and easier to put in, with signage and minimal traffic calming for wider areas. They cost less than 20 mph zones. 20 mph limit schemes cost around £3 per head, so the total cost for the parish would be around £13,500, again a one-off cost.

3. When would the scheme happen, and how long would it take?
North Somerset Council's Corporate Plan aims to have 20 mph zones in Backwell and Wrington by March 2021, with one scheme a year after that. Wrington is still waiting for their scheme. Several other Town and Parish Councils are 'in the queue' now, so it will be at least 4 years before our parish is considered for a scheme, even if the Parish Council puts in for one now.

4. What about the Banwell Bypass, opening in 2024?
There is a strong argument for the Parish Council to ask for a road scheme for the parish, as part of the Banwell Bypass works funded by government Housing Infrastructure Fund money, or through a S.106 payment from the same development, as part of planning permission. This would mean Sandford and Winscombe would have some protection from the road safety and
public health risks of much more traffic from the Banwell Bypass traffic, before the Bypass opens in 2024. Barrow Gurney Parish Council, for example, had their traffic scheme paid for by Bristol Airport because of the heavy traffic through the village to and from the Airport.

5. What are the advantages of having a traffic scheme reducing driver speeds through our villages?
Higher speeds cost lives. Traffic schemes, particularly 20 mph zones and limits in residential streets, slow down traffic.
1. At 40 mph collisions, 31% of people of all ages are killed, and 98% of over 60 year olds are killed
2. At 30 mph 7% are killed, with 50% of over 60 year olds killed
3. At 20 mph 1 % are killed, and 5% of over 60 year olds are killed.
4. With 20mph limits instead of 30 mph in residential street, there are over 20% fewer casualties.
5. Road traffic casualties mean 3,000 extra hospital admissions a day, straining NHS resources.
6. Even low reductions in speeds saves lives. 1 mph reduction in speed means a 6% reduction in collisions.

Fear of traffic travelling at high speeds means people are less likely to walk and cycle, and more likely to use their car for short journeys.

Better health: Being physically inactive contributes to 1 in 6 deaths in the UK. When people exercise more, there are lower risks of heart problems, diabetes, depression and dementia, helping maintain a healthy weight in all ages including children, and reducing falls and hip fractures in frail older people. Walking and cycling are important ways of taking exercise, and increasing social contact with neighbours.

Less ill health and deaths from air pollution. Increased traffic means more air pollution. Air pollution is linked to one in 19 UK deaths.

20 mph neighbourhoods are popular, good for local business and communities. 20 mph limits and zones have been brought in successfully across many other local authorities. Studies show they are even more popular with residents afterwards. They increase footfall for local businesses, and encourage community spirit. They have led to street play projects in some areas, where roads are closed to traffic temporarily on some days, to allow children to play out near their homes safely.

Climate Emergency and Covid-19: There is an urgent need to reduce the emissions from transport, and support community resilience after the Covid-19 pandemic. 20 mph road schemes help both.

6. What should be considered in planning a scheme?
• Data on collisions and casualties, conditions for vulnerable road users, impacts on walking and cycling, congestion and journey time reliability, environmental, community and quality of life impact, including emissions, noise, vibration, and costs.
• The minimum length of a speed limit should not be less than 600 m to avoid too many changes of speed limit along the route.
• Comprehensive, early consultation of everyone affected by the 20 mph scheme is essential.

7. What areas in Winscombe and Sandford should be included in the scheme?
• Major streets where walkers and cyclists are a major consideration, such as the walking andcycling routes to school, shopping streets, nursing homes.
• residential streets in both villages.

Cresten Boase - Sandford Neighbourhood Group

03-Mar-2021 20's Plenty for Sandford and Winscombe
Supporters of the '20's Plenty For Us' campaign in Sandford and Winscombe are invited to a '20's Plenty for North Somerset' Zoom meeting at 7 pm on Tuesday 9th March, with a presentation by the national Campaign Manager, and a chance to ask questions. Instructions on how to join the Zoom meeting are available by emailing Information about the 20's Plenty campaign can be found at
'20's Plenty' is a grassroots campaign, started up by residents for residents, to help make residential streets safer, so children can play safely outside, and people of all ages can feel confident about going about on the pavements and roads near their homes. There are over 500 '20's Plenty'groups. Where wide-area 20mph limit schemes are brought in for residential areas throughout a district, they are simpler and much cheaper to put in place.

There is already international and UK government support for bringing in wide area 20mph limits for residential streets, due to improved road safety, including for people walking and cycling, and a generally favourable reception from residents where the schemes have been put in place.

Lower injury and fatality rates mean there is less of a burden on NHS services. Doctors have called on the UK Government to change the national speed limit to 20mph from 30mph, to protect the NHS from having to treat preventable road casualties, especially during the pandemic. Their campaign 'Lower the Baseline' is at

In North Somerset, current Council policy on 20mph schemes is to have Parish and Town Councils apply for individual schemes. Clevedon, Yatton, and Wrington are progressing 20mph schemes for their residents, with Hutton and Congresbury considering doing so. In the past, one or two individual schemes a year have been completed by Highways. The Council has been asked how many separate applications for 20 mph schemes in total are 'on the list' for consideration by the Highways Team at the moment, and their response is awaited. This will mean it can then be seen how many years it would be, under the current policy, before a town or parish just joining the list of applicants would have their scheme looked at.

This week, Winscombe and Sandford Parish Council have asked residents whether or not they support a 20mph limit for the villages. The greatly increased volume of traffic from the Banwell Bypass will travel eastwards first through Sandford's residential streets, and then via Winscombe or Churchill. This is an important consideration for us all. At the end of the day, are there more than 2 choices? Do we want safer streets for us and for our children, so we feel confident about walking and cycling more, less emissions, less air pollution, and decide to ask the Parish Council to apply for a 20mph limit for both our villages' residential streets? Or do we do nothing, complain about the traffic, and let the speeders put their foot down past our homes?

03-Mar-2021 The new cycling and walking route to Churchill Academy- a job half done?
Parents at Churchill Academy are waiting to hear from North Somerset Council about completing the new cycling and walking route to Churchill Academy. Time is running out, as school bus travel will be withdrawn in November.
Government funding to promote Active Travel, walking and cycling, has recently been used to improve the Strawberry Line between Winscombe and Sandford, and the public footpath across from the A38 at Sandford, Churchill Green. However, no work has been done yet on segregating children on bikes from the heavy traffic, including HGVs, on the A368 at Sandford, or on Nye Road and Sandmead Road, or making safer the hazardous crossroads on the A368 with Nye Road and Hill Road.
Government rules, which go with the funding, say that cycle routes should be planned holistically, as part of a comprehensive network, and that isolated stretches of provision are of little value. Cyclists must be physically separated and protected from high volume motor traffic, both at junctions and on the stretches of road between them.
Segregated cycle lanes, 20 mph zones and school pedestrian and cycle zones and priority walking schemes are all measures which are mentioned in the Council's new Active Travel Strategy.
Most people agree that walking and cycling are important for good health, reducing transport emissions, and slowing climate change. Before the pandemic, motor traffic movements through Sandford were around 8,000 a day. With the Banwell Bypass due to bring much more motor traffic through Sandford from 2024, it's even more important for parents, all local residents, as well as visitors to the Strawberry Line, to have this walking and cycling route to Churchill Academy safely completed.

26-Jan-2021 WiNSpace Public Meeting
The Winscombe Community Association are holding an 'online' public meeting on the 10th Feb at 7:30pm to talk about the proposed community centre re-development within the Parish or Winscombe and Sandford. The project, which is intended to remove the current outdated 'temporary' classrooms and youth club and replace them with a new multi-functional centre, is gathering pace and they are hoping to submit a planning permission application very soon. The meeting will be attended by the Architects who will talk through the rational of the design and members of the development committee who will be happy to answer any of your questions.

If you want to attend you need to follow the instructions below. You will also find lots of information about the redevelopment at the WiNSpace website

How to attend: Please send an email to requesting a zoom invite and they will send one out to you a few days before the meeting.
Please place in the subject line 'Meeting' to allow us to identify the request.
They would love you to attend or show your support via 'liking' the design on Facebook or dropping us an email on your thoughts if you can't attend.

22-Jan-2021 Strawberry Line clearance- why did this happen?
Visitors to the Strawberry Line recently, as well as residents, have expressed concerns about the extensive clearance of areas of scrub on either side of the stretch of the Strawberry Line between Winscombe and the Recreation Ground. One walker has commented: 'I see that a lot of hard work has gone in to clearing areas of scrub. Can you please advise me as to why we are doing this? From what I can see, much of the clearance seems to be for the benefit of the human eye, and I struggle to justify loss of small bird habitat for this very human centric purpose. I am a regular walker, and walk to appreciate the wildlife so I write here on behalf of the wrens, dunnock, sparrow and blackbird for whom this is their home. I would add that I have encountered other walkers who were similarly surprised at how the work is being done. Clearing a couple of feet either side of the path seems reasonable, but this clearance is of a wholly different level.'
The Strawberry Line at Winscombe is designated as a Local Nature Reserve, and is valued as such for the birds and other wildlife which rely on its undergrowth cover and the corridor of vegetation on either side of the Strawberry Line to shelter and find food. Enquiries are being made about who is responsible for the clearance work, and it is hoped the wildlife habitat can be replanted soon, perhaps with the help of local wildlife trust volunteers.

The UK's wildlife continues to decline, according to the State of Nature report 2019, and subsequent reports. Wildlife organisations have been calling for a Nature Recovery Network , locally developed, and nationally connected, to be set up, to join up our last remaining wild places and creating new habitats. Protecting and reinforcing the scrub and wild areas next to the Strawberry Line is one way we in Winscombe and Sandford can help wildlife survive, and preserve our enjoyment of the countryside.
Note: The 2019 State of Nature report is put together using wildlife data from a group of 50 conservation organisations. Of the 8,431 species assessed, 15% are now at risk of extinction.

21-Jan-2021 Bristol Airport is appealing against North Somerset Council's refusal of planning permission for its expansion.
The last date to make comments about the appeal is before 22nd February, by going to planning application no 18/P/5118/OUT. The Public Inquiry set up to determine the Appeal will open on 20th July, and before then any group or organisation who wish to take part in the Inquiry must apply for 'Rule 6' status, quoting the Appeal reference APP/D0121/W/20/3259234. Guidance about this is here:
The procedure to be followed is set out in the Town and Country Planning Appeals (Determination by Inspectors) (Inquiry Procedure) (England) Rules 2000, as amended.
The public inquiry will open on 20 July 2021 and is currently scheduled for 16 sitting days.
For any group or organisation who wish to take an active part in the Inquiry, the opportunity is available to apply for what is known as Rule 6 status. Although unusual, there is also scope for interested individuals to take part on the same basis. Rule 6 status means that you would be able to present your evidence on a formal basis and cross examine the evidence of others. Guidance is available.
Arrangements for the Inquiry are currently being finalised by the Planning Inspectorate. These will include a pre-Inquiry conference call with the lead parties to deal with procedural and administrative matters, including how the evidence will be heard. As a Rule 6 party, it is anticipated that you would also be a part of that process. If, having read the above guidance, you wish to apply for Rule 6 status and have not already done so you should contact PINs immediately. If you are interested but are unable to access the guidance electronically, again, you should contact PINs who will try and assist.
You can find out more about the appeal and how to get involved at We will forward any comments you made on the planning application and subsequent addendum directly to PINs, as well as the appellant. These will be considered by the Planning Inspector when determining the appeal.
If you wish to make further comments, or modify/withdraw your previous representation, you can do so or email If you do not have access to the internet, you can send your comments to:-
Leanne Palmer
The Planning Inspectorate
Room 3/J, Temple Quay House
2 The Square
Bristol, BS1 6PN
All representations must be received by PINs by 22 February 2021. Any representations submitted after the deadline will not usually be considered and will be returned. The Planning Inspectorate does not acknowledge representations. All representations must quote the appeal reference.
Please note that any representations you submit to PINs will be copied to the appellant and this local planning authority and will be considered by the Inspector when determining the appeal.
You can get a copy of one of the Planning Inspectorate's 'Guide to taking part in planning appeals' booklets free of charge from GOV.UK or from North Somerset Council. The appeal documents are available for viewing on the website via the planning application number 18/P/5118/OUT.

21-Jan-2021 Mendip Villages Fitness Survey
Mendip Villages Fitness is a group of local people who have come together to look into opening a new Mendip Villages fitness centre, at the site of the former Churchill sports centre, which closed last November. All residents are invited to take part in a survey which will shape Mendip Villages Fitness project to re-open Churchill Leisure Centre as a place where everyone in the villages can enjoy fitness and leisure activities, at
closing on 10th March.
Madi Hearne, a member of the group, has this to say: ' Fitness in mind and body is fast becoming not only a desire but, in many cases, essential for our physical and mental wellbeing. At the moment those living in the Mendip Villages are having to travel some distance in cars to get to a fitness and leisure centre.
Churchill sports centre has closed and will remain closed due to the early termination of its contract, last November, with its partners GLL. Our group of professional local people - Mendip Villages Fitness (MVF) - have carried out research that has indicated that there is a great opportunity to make a fitness centre work well for the whole Mendip Villages community. The MVF working group is interacting with both North Somerset Council and Churchill Academy, which have both expressed a commitment to work with us to ensure a positive way forward to reopening the centre.
You might think that our optimism is somewhat misplaced, given current Covid restrictions. However, MVF sees this as a valuable opportunity to seek your views which are crucial to shaping the future of a Mendip Villages fitness centre. We need everyone's views - friends, neighbours, parish councils, organisations, companies that would like to offer fitness to their members - in fact EVERYONE! '

21-Jan-2021 Rewilding volunteer sessions postponed
North Somerset Council's volunteer rewilding sessions have been postponed. They are asking for volunteers to help monitor biodiversity changes, once the activities get underway again. Here is the full message: ' : As we are now in another period of lock down we are sadly unable to restart volunteering as we would have liked/planned. We are continuing to plant the trees with our contractors and staff, the trees from the woodland trust for the next round of planting has started to arrive. We are really sad about this development as we were really looking forward to inviting you out with us.

Our goal now is to focus on the spring sessions, where we will be looking at the ongoing maintenance of the trees. As explained previously the style of planting we are using, planting whips, does mean that maintenance requirements are low. However, we will need to ensure that the trees have been mulched, weeds from around the base have been removed and canes/spirals are still in place. All of these things help the young trees to establish in their first few years. We will also need to monitor the success rate to see if sites may require more planting or even thinning in the future.

In the Spring we will be looking for volunteers that may like to help us to monitor the biodiversity changes related to rewilding. So if you have an interest in botany and happy to share your experience or expertise please let us know.
Obviously all these volunteer activities are very dependent on how the current health situation develops over the coming months. We very much hope that we are able to do this, but at this time we are unable to provide any further information, sadly, as to possible dates/work plans etc.

07-Jan-2021 Police appeal for information about stolen jewellery
Stolen jewellery recovered by the police last month is suspected to come from burglaries. Anyone identifying the items pictured is invited to call 101 quoting reference 5220197748. Photographs appear here:

07-Jan-2021 Castle Hill Banwell Road closure
Castle Hill will be closed on 18th January overnight for BT duct works. The work is expected to be complete in one day.

07-Jan-2021 Strawberry Line closure
It is hoped that work will be complete by the end of January.

04-Jan-2021 DEADLINE THIS WEDNESDAY 6th JANUARY to comment on Bristol Airport's new application.
Please log on and comment. After fully considering the facts North Somerset Council refused the recent application to expend. Bristol Airport are appealing against this, and have also put in a new planning application, below, which adds nothing of merit to support the old or the new application. This second application, like the first, goes against national climate change targets, the health and wellbeing of local people, safeguarding the AONB. PLEASE log on and register your comment today, even if you have previously commented. It only takes a few minutes!

10-Dec-2020 Last chance to vote to protect our villages from large developments.
This Monday 14th December is the deadline for the North Somerset Council 'Choices' consultation. This is our last chance to cast our vote for where large housing developments are to go, in the local Plan to 2038. It's a short and simple questionnaire. Please go to:

by 14th December.
Option 2 ( Question 4) is the suggested priority choice for us here in Winscombe and Sandford, backing development ('the Vale' near Bristol) near large settlements, like Nailsea and Bristol, protecting the countryside and villages from development

The other 3 options are Option 1, called 'Retain Green Belt' which means backing new large settlements at Churchill and Backwell, (previously put forward as 'garden villages', which had much local criticism), Option 3 is
'Transport Corridors' which means backing ribbon development along main roads and railway lines, without new transport routes being put in place first, and Option 4 is Greater Dispersal, which means backing up to 500 new houses being attached to existing settlements, including villages like ours, meaning more cars, commuting, congestion, increased burden on local services.

10-Dec-2020 Shop Local This Christmas
Now more than ever is the time to support our local shops and businesses as we buy Christmas presents and vouchers for family and friends. Whether it's fine foods or drink, a plant for the house or garden, a memorable experience or treat, our local shops and businesses will have something for everyone. Let's support our local businesses in these difficult times. See our 'Shop Local This Christmas ' page.

08-Dec-2020 URGENT: HOME CHOICE is moving to a new Housing register system
Local residents making housing applications need to re-register on the NEW WEBSITE, from Monday 7th December. The deadline for re-registering is the 23rd December. Do not apply on the old website from now on. You must re-register your household and applications on the new Housing Jigsaw system:
If you do not do so, your application will be CLOSED, and you will have to re-register as a NEW APPLICANT. This advice has been received from North Somerset Council Home Choice. An urgent notice has been issed by North Somerset Citizens Advice Bureau advising that this change may have a very negative impact on people's housing application, unless action is taken now.

04-Dec-2020 FREE EVENT Thursday 10th December 7pm to 8 pm- Shop Local- why and How
Join Professor Simon Baughen of Swansea University, Libby Watts, North Somerset Reduce, Reuse Recycle, and Paul Batts, West Business Improvement District Chair for this information event on cutting transport and carbon cost by buying local and cutting waste. This event is brought to you by North Somerset Councillors. Please go to
for your free tickets!

19-Nov-2020 Green Homes Grant installation work by local Green Energy supplier
information about how installing renewable energy systems can save you money, reduce carbon emissions, and give you energy independance using schemes under the Green Grant Scheme is offered by local green energy supplier Solarsense, who continue with quotes and installation work during lockdown, as permitted.

12-Nov-2020 Getting ready for the challenges from 1st January
It's just 7 weeks to go until 1st January, and the end of the Brexit transition period, when considerable disruption at the UK border is predicted by a recent National
Audit Office report ( see references and key facts below) . The disruption will affect all imports, including food. 55% of UK food in 2019 was imported, according to government figures. In the last weeks,other national organisations, including supermarkets and consumer groups have given warnings about the disruption in the supply chain from 1st January. Concerns remain about this message getting through, so that people can be prepared for this, in the light of other news including about the pandemic.
Short term, communities like ours have the advantages of local food suppliers and home grown food, and as we have found in response to the pandemic, solid help from neighbours and volunteers. Reaching out to help the increasing number of people in our villages who are struggling due to illness and unemployment is increasingly needed. The Trussell Trust foodbanks in Cheddar and Weston welcome donations of goods or money. ( )
Longer-term, as food imports become more expensive, and food growers world-wide are adversely affected by climate change and crop failures, it's even more important we increase the amount of UK grown food. For people lucky enough to have access to a vegetable plot, having your own home grown store of potatoes onions and fruit, with greens growing outside, is a very real way of providing food security for you and your family. There are also schemes which help people in homes with gardens, who may not want to garden, or have a garden which they are no longer able to tend themselves, find people who are looking for space to grow food in. If you would like to offer part of your garden to grow food in, or are interested in finding space to grow food in, please get in touch ( SWANDS contact address)

National Audit Office:, which gives the following key facts:
Key facts:
*270m HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) estimate of the annual number of customs declarations it may be necessary to process from 2021, compared with current volumes of 55 million
*40% to 70% proportion of laden lorries travelling to the EU that will not be ready for EU customs requirements, under the government's reasonable worst-case scenario
* £1.41bn funding announced by government during 2020 to fund new border infrastructure and systems and wider support for the border industry 219.5 million tonnes of freight that crossed the border between the UK and the rest of the EU in 2019, not including an unknown amount that crossed the border between Northern Ireland (NI) and Ireland *7,000 maximum number of lorries that may need to queue at the short Channel crossings under government's reasonable worst-case scenario
*60% to 80% percentage of normal flow of lorries at the short Channel crossings in the weeks following the end of the transition period, under the government's reasonable worst-case scenario

Food import figures:

12-Nov-2020 Help with health and wellbeing during the worry and stress of the pandemic.
Doctors of the World have produced a leaflet 'Six ways to improve your wellbeing' with helpful advice and tips which can help us all (even though the leaflet refers to 'Thrive London' who supported the leaflet)

29-Oct-2020 Help with childrens' meals during school holidays
Do you need help with childrens' meals during school holidays? If so, help from the local community, businesses, and North Somerset Council is available. For Winscombe and Sandford, the nearest business offfering support is the Churchill Inn, Langford, who can be contacted by phone, 01934 852757, or Facebook,help available between 12pm and 10pm on weekdays. If you can't access that support, vouchers and payments are available by ringing 01934 888 035 or 0800 138 5665 10 am to 4 pm Monday to Friday. The foodbanks in Weston, at North Street on Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays between 11 am and 2.30pm. ,and at Cheddar on Mondays and Saturdays 10.30 to 12.30, Container 2 Wessex Business Centre Cheddar, phone 07922 309369 or 07922308154, both continue to offer help with food. Donations of food and cash are always welcome. Food deliveries from Cheddar can be made for people who cannot get to the Foodbank. If you would like to support a petition to the Government to help with child food poverty, sign up to the Marcus Rashford petition at

22-Oct-2020 Strawberry Line closure
The Strawberry line will be closed to traffic from Monday 19th October for essential repair works, and also parts of the Millennium Green, between Station Road Sandford, and Woodborough Road Winscombe, for seven weeks. Diversion signs will be in place

22-Oct-2020 AUTUMNWATCH begins 27th October
The popular BBC 2 nature programme, begins on 27th October. It's particularly pleasing to know that this programme is being produced by Laura Howard, from Winscombe. Apart from wonderful wildlife films, we are promised a lovely film about mental health in these darker difficult months. The aim is to make people feel better during an autumnal pandemic, something we can all agree with!

15-Oct-2020 Road closures - Station Road Sandford
Closed between 8pm and 6am 12 nights from 9th November
Notice is hereby given that North Somerset District Council in pursuance of the provisions of section 14 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, as amended, intend to make an order the effect of which will be to close, temporarily, to vehicles the lengths of roads specified in the Schedule to this Notice. This order is required because of carriageway and ancillary works and will become operative on the 9th November, for a maximum period of eighteen months. However, the closures may not be implemented for the whole of the period but only as necessitated by the works which is anticipated to be of 12 NIGHTS in duration between the hours of 20:00 - 06:00.

TOWERHEAD ROAD / STATION ROAD - From the junction with Eastermead Lane to junction with Hill Road.

Station Road (A368), Grenhill Road (A368), Dinghurst Road (A368), Bristol Road (A38), Stock Lane (B3133), Brinsea Road (B3133), High Street (B3133), Station Road (A370), Weston Road (A370), Bristol Road (A370), Somerset Avenue (A370), Locking Moor Road (A371), Knightcott Road (A371), West Street (A371), East Street (A371) and vice versa.

04-Oct-2020 North Somerset Council COVID-19 update
More cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in North Somerset this week, and we anticipate numbers will continue to grow, like we're seeing in other parts of the country.
This week we have published details of the payment scheme announced by government to support people on low incomes who are required to self-isolate and can't attend work as a result. More details on that below.
Latest case data
The latest 7-day rate for North Somerset (based on a full week's data) is 13 per 100,000 down from the 21.4 per 100,000 figure we shared last week. For context, the comparable South West 7-day rate is 16.4 and the England rate is 55.4. Given the national trends we do expect rates to rise in the South West over the coming months.
We are now using the government data published daily for consistency with the data used by other outlets.
You can see more detail on our local case data at We are also publishing the seven day data every Friday on our website homepage and our social media channels.

04-Oct-2020 The Green Homes Grant, a government scheme which can pay at least two-thirds of the cost of home improvements that save energy, has just been launched.

Cllr Bridget Petty, North Somerset Council's executive member whose portfolio includes climate change, said: 'This grant is a good opportunity for residents to access funding to improve the thermal comfort of their homes, save money and reduce carbon emissions.

"I would urge residents to act now as the work has to be completed by March 2021; do let family, friends and neighbours know about the scheme and what a great way to contribute to the climate emergency challenge."

Homeowners and landlords can apply for a voucher towards the cost of installing energy efficient and low-carbon heating improvements to their homes, which could help save up to £600 a year on energy bills. The voucher can cover up to two thirds of the cost of qualifying improvements to your home. The maximum value of the voucher is £5,000.

A higher level of subsidy (£10,000) is available for households in receipt of a qualifying benefits and can cover 100% of the cost of the improvements.

The scheme is administered online through the Simple Energy Advice service at
and residents are encouraged to find out about the scheme and the eligibility criteria. Not all types of work are eligible, so it's really important for residents to check before committing to any work or paying a deposit or other costs.

Work can only be carried out by accredited suppliers through the Trustmark scheme and the council is warning people to be on their guard against rogue traders who may try to capitalise on the scheme. This could take many forms including making false or exaggerated statements about the value of the subsidy, quality and extent of work covered and say the council will fund the balance.

Cllr Petty added: "Don't agree to work from cold-callers. Rogue traders will try to convince you that they operate within the Green Homes scheme. They will rush you into a decision and may ask for initial payments up front, perhaps even falsely claiming that they are working for the council or a government agency. Don't let rogue traders mislead you!"

As part of the genuine scheme you will need to obtain your own tradesman from an approved list. You also need to apply for a voucher and get approval first before getting any work done. The Simple Energy Advice Service is there to provide help and guidance on this process.

04-Oct-2020 North Somerset Council calls for potential building sites
North Somerset Council has commenced work on its new Local Plan 2038
In order to help inform its preparation the Council is refreshing its database of potential development opportunities with a new call for sites. We are inviting individuals and organisations to submit sites they consider to be potentially suitable for development for housing, employment uses or renewable energy development and other uses. These will be considered in the preparation of the new local plan.

The call for sites will run from Monday 14 September 2020 until Monday 12 October 2020. Sites submitted will form part of the evidence base for the new local plan and will be considered through the plan's preparation. This will include consideration of the sites submitted for housing use as well as sites submitted for other uses as indicated in the call for site responses.

Further details, including how previous site submissions will be dealt with, how to submit a site, and an updated sites submission form, has been published and can be found on the Council's call for sites page.

04-Oct-2020 Celebrated local environmental expert publishes a report on the Strawberry Line's Breeeding Birds
Lincoln Garland provides a fascinating insight into the breeding birds found along the Strawberry Line, from a study he undertook during lockdown. The report by Dr. Garland will appear in the journal 'Nature in Avon' next year.
The Strawberry Line's Breeding Birds & Biophilic Benefits (PrePrints).pdf

04-Oct-2020 Banwell Bypass planning is underway
North Somerset Council is now finalising the construction plans for new Banwell Bypass, having secured £97.1m for the project from Homes England. Apart from the bypass, there will be a 900-place secondary school expansion at Parklands Village, with local roads and utilities improvements, and flood mitigation.
North Somerset Council has promised consultations with residents, businesses, organisations and Parish Councils in Banwell and surrounding villages before the plans are finalised.
Map showing survey sites for bypass planning.

04-Oct-2020 Parish Council backs registration of Winscombe Community Orchard
As a Community Asset with North Somerset Council. A majority of Councillors voted for this, and it is now up to North Somerset Council to decide whether or not to register. Concerns about adequate signposting and information boards about the orchard have been raised. The provisions for registration can be found here.
Localism Act Chapter 3 section 87

04-Oct-2020 WANTED: New PCSOs to join Avon and Somerset Police
Avon and Somerset Police launched a campaign to recruit new Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs)
We are seeking talented people from a wide range of backgrounds for a rewarding career where they can be the difference by playing a vital role in supporting, protecting and engaging with local communities. PCSOs are part of neighbourhood police teams and work with colleagues from across the organisation to reduce crime and provide a visible and reassuring presence in neighbourhoods.
They build relationships with local people to understand the policing issues that matter to them most and work with schools, colleges, community leaders, businesses and other groups to listen, engage and provide support on a wide range of policing issues. PCSOs are community champions and problem solvers who make a positive impact.
For more details click below

14-Sep-2020 Increase in COVID-19 cases in North Somerset
Message from North Smoerset Council:
After a period of very low case rates during the summer, 10 new cases were confirmed in North Somerset on Sunday - the first time the daily number of cases has reached double figures in three months.

Today we have seen the number of cases in North Somerset reach 20.5 per 100,000 population - the highest rate in the South West. This is slightly above the national average rate of 16 per 100,000 people. We want to slow and reverse that rise as quickly as possible.

Our relatively low population base means our rate can rise rapidly based on a smaller number of cases, but clearly the relative increase is still important and something we want to manage as proactively as possible.

A review of our local cases shows that actions are being taken to support any settings with cases (care homes and schools) to manage risk appropriately and deal with any links between cases. The key driver for our local increase, in line with the national trend, is younger adults and in particular those returning from holiday and those who are not following social distancing, face covering and hygiene advice.

As well as working proactively with health partners and settings we are also going to be increasing local messaging to remind our residents of the need for everyone to reaffirm the call to action around key protective behaviours (social distancing, face coverings and good hygiene) because of the potential impacts of not regaining some more control on the spread of the virus.

This will emphasise the concern that although we are not seeing an immediate impact in serious health impacts (e.g. hospitalisation or death rates) this is increasingly likely if the virus is allowed to circulate freely. We all have a duty to take responsibility for our own actions in minimising risk of spread and to always follow the national guidance around testing and self-isolation.

This approach has been agreed as an important first step in trying to reduce transmission in North Somerset and to alert our local stakeholders and the public to the importance of continuing to work together to combat the effects of the virus.

You can read the media release issued this evening on our website
We will continue to monitor the situation and will keep you updated with any developments. If you need any more information in the meantime please let us know.

14-Sep-2020 Have your voice heard - new Citizens' Panel launches in North Somerset
Residents, students and workers in North Somerset are being urged to get involved in local decision making with the launch of a new citizens' panel.
North Somerset Council is recruiting a group of volunteers to give regular feedback on local services and issues to help shape the future of the area.
The panel will be consulted on a wide range of topics, from bins and roads to social care and planning, with feedback used to inform how services are run.
North Somerset Council Executive member Cllr Caritas Charles, whose portfolio includes community engagement and consultation, said: 'We have a new corporate plan for North Somerset which includes the commitment to be fair and open.

'We are determined to be more transparent and involve our residents in decision making so that we can tackle issues together, and this panel is an essential part of making our ambition happen.

'By joining the panel members will get the chance to influence and inform how local services are delivered.

'No knowledge of the council is needed to sign-up, we are looking for members from across the community to get a true representative picture of what the people who live, work, and study here want and need from their council.

'This is a great opportunity for residents to make a significant impact on the future of their local area.'

The Citizens' Panel will not replace formal consultations but will complement them and give another way for the people of North Somerset to have their voices heard.
Panel members will be asked to join in regular online surveys, with the first expected in the autumn. There will also be opportunities to get involved in specific focus groups.
Anyone aged 18 or over, living, working or studying in North Somerset can sign up by 05 October 2020 and get more information at :

14-Sep-2020 Inconsiderate parking along Winscombe Hill
There have been problems with inconsiderate parking on Winscombe Hill by drivers unable to get into the Kingswood car park. This has led to complaints from residents to the Parish Council, and NSC are to put out cones to prevent such parking.

14-Sep-2020 Coombe Farm: Another housing development proposal for Winscombe
Plans to build 55 bungalows on land at Coombe Farm Winscombe have been announced, so far aat the consultation stage. Click below for the information sheet in PDF form:
Coombe Farm. Planning Website.pdf

or click below for the website where you can leave your comments:

14-Sep-2020 Banwell bypass and new school under way
Plans to build £100m of critical infrastructure in North Somerset are moving forward after North Somerset Council approval.

Read the full story here:

29-Aug-2020 New Local Plan consultation on 'Challenges' deadline 3rd September
To comment on the Issues of the Local Plan to 2038, please go to

* The new North Somerset Local Plan will set the spatial priority, strategy, policies and allocations for housing, up to 2038.

* The housing figures will be taken from the local Housing Needs Assessment currently being prepared for the whole of the West of England. At the moment North Somerset's requirement is put at 20,500 new homes by 2038, and delivery of housing is at nowhere near that rate.

* North Somerset will have to meet some of Bristol's housing need, and there are discussions about Sedgemoor meeting some of North Somerset's need.

* The New Local Plan will also have to follow national policy. ( see

* The new national proposals greatly increase the powers of speculative developers by giving them Permission in Principle in designated areas, removing the obligation to build affordable housing for schemes of up to 40 or 50 units, remove S.106 developers contributions, and reduce environmental protection.

* Areas which are Green Belt, highly sensitive for ecology, best agricultural land, or Flood Zones 3a and 3B are meant to be safeguarded.

****Other areas will fall under the new national proposals, depending on how they are categorised by the new Local Plan.

Winscombe and Sandford, unlike neighbouring parishes, does not have a Neighbourhood Development Plan to help safeguard certain areas, or designate some areas as suitable for development. It is even more important that we speak up through the current NSC Local Plan consultation.

27-Aug-2020 Road closures
A38 from 21st September for 5 nights, 20:00 to 06:00 for re-surfacing: New Road (A38) From the junction of Skinners Lane (A38) to the junction of Bristol Road (A38).
Bristol Road (A38) From the junction of New Road (A38) to the Churchill Inn (PH

A370 from 1st September for 9 nights 20:00 to 06:00 for re-surfacing: Weston Road (A370) From the junction of Bristol Road (A370) to the junction of Old Weston Road.
Bristol Road (A370) From the junction 21 roundabout (M5) to Weston Road (A370).

Nye Road from 24th August for 5 days

Alternative routes - For information on the alternative routes please visit

For further information

25-Jul-2020 Somerset Guide to Online Shopping
Avon and Somerset Police message:
The current virus situation is just one of the reasons for a huge increase in the number of people doing their shopping online. ActionFraud has produced a handy guide on how to stay safe when shopping online. Please pass it on to your friends, relatives and neighbours.

25-Jul-2020 Business grant deadline extended
The deadline for small businesses in North Somerset to apply for a Discretionary Business Grant has been extended.
Businesses who have yet to receive any financial support during the coronavirus crisis now have until midnight on Sunday 9 August to apply to North Somerset Council for a grant.
"We have already received a number of applications but we believe there are many more businesses in our area that could benefit from this grant," said Cllr Mark Canniford, the council's executive member for business, economy and employment.
"We are therefore extending the deadline to ensure we can support as many businesses as possible during the Covid-19 emergency."
Businesses are being urged to check their eligibility for a grant. They can do this on the 'In North Somerset' website at
where they will find the application form and guidance document.
Businesses with any queries should contact

14-Jul-2020 Station Road Closure
Station Road Sandford will be closed outside Myrtle Farm (Thatchers) 7pm to 6am Sunday 26th July for BT repairs.

07-Jul-2020 Sandmead Road closure
Sandmead Road is likely to be closed today (7th July) outside property Greenacre near the pumping station, for Bristol Water to repair a burst water main.

16-Jun-2020 Towerhead Road closure
The A368 between Sandford and Banwell is laible to closure overnight between 7pm and 7am from 6th July 2020, for a period of 18 months, although the closure is expected to be no more than 50 nights in this period. See the notificalion below.
T20-464 NofI.pdf

30-May-2020 Winscombe Michaelmas Fair 2020 CANCELLED

The Winscombe Michaelmas Fair team have come to the unhappy and unwelcome decision that this year's event on 12th September will have to be cancelled. Despite brainstorming many options, we can't know what restrictions will still be in place then and can't risk putting anyone's health in danger.

This will give us plenty of time to work on a bumper extravaganza for 2021. If any readers have enjoyed volunteering and integrating more closely with their local community, we would be very pleased to welcome them into our team. Please contact me, Jackie Warren on 0781 129 2909 for further details.

If you won a trophy at last year's Michaelmas Fair, can we ask you to hold on to it for another year and return it to us in July 2021.

Keep safe everyone, we look forward to seeing you in 2021

15-May-2020 Update from District Councillor Karin Haverson
A 12-month update from Councillor Haverson
Click here to read the newsletter in PDF form
Karin newsletter.pdf

01-May-2020 Useful and essential businesses information during Covid-19
Opening hours and contact detailsfor local businesses, updated to May 1st 2020

21-Apr-2020 Nye Road temporary closure
Nye Road proposed closure 18th May for 5 days for works by Bristol Water. For further information see

14-Apr-2020 Domestic Violence Abuse helplines report a massive increase in calls following lockdown.
For help, goto the YouAreNotAlone freephone 24 hourNational Domestic Abuse Helpline 808 2000 247 or

10-Apr-2020 Blossomwatch celebration in Winscombe and Sandford
This year we have wonderful blossom in Winscombe and Sandford, so why not send in your photos , with a note of where you saw the blossom, for everyone to enjoy, to, or on our Facebook page ? Nationally, the National Trust is inviting everyone to share their images of blossom in their gardens or nearby via @nationaltrust on Instagram and Twitter using #Blossomwatch, with the name of where we live. For those of us not using social media, the glorious photos being sent in can be seen via the National Trust website, and will doubtless feature in their print bulletins.

10-Apr-2020 Coronavirus and Volunteering
A roundup of ways to volunteer to help
Local charities need help, now older volunteers are forced to stay at home: the Trussell Trust food bank, check current vacancies online; Volunttering Matters, Do-it, reach volunteering will match your skills to charities needing your help. volunteering for the NHS: go to the NHS E ngland website. If you have work and family duties, locally you can volunteer through Winscombe and Sandford covid-19 Mutual Help, North Somerset Villages Covid-19 Mutual Aid, Sandford Helpline, and Sandford Support Group, linked to Sandford Spar and Thatchers. It's important to have details on how to help people safely during lockdown.
According to Shaun Delaney of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, exceptions to the guidance include people needing to travel to provide care to others. 'In other words, people can go out to volunteer if they are providing help to vulnerable people or if their volunteering cannot be done from home.' If you are deemed high risk - you are aged over 70 or have underlying health issues - there are volunteering opportunities that you can do by phone or computer from home.
Is volunteering safe?
Be sensible and vigilant. If you are helping out neighbours, please remember physical distancing rules: try to communicate by phone or text; don't enter people's houses and always stay at least two metres away. Look after yourself, don't go on an errand for a neighbour if you are ill or self-isolating. Wash your hands regularly.
What if volunteering involves face-to-face contact?
There are inescapable health risks from face-to-face volunteering and no guarantees that you will have adequate personal protective equipment. For this reason many voluntary projects, such as community kitchens and day centres, have shut down services. However, others are adapting to try to minimise the risks of infection through physical contact or close proximity. Some face-to-face befriending services, for example, have been replaced by phone or online alternatives.
Will donating money to charities help?
Yes. Charities both small and large have been devastated by the sudden drop in voluntary income caused by the cancellation or postponement of fundraising gatherings, ranging from fetes and coffee mornings to the London marathon. Those with high street retail outlets have also been hit by shop closures. UK charities estimate they will lose over £4bn over the next few weeks. Without cash, thousands of charities, including hospices, health and social care, and cancer support charities will be forced to reduce services, or in some cases even close down.
Where should I donate to help the coronavirus support effort?
The immediate focus is on charities that can provide emergency frontline support to vulnerable people affected by the social impact of coronavirus, including food banks and care organisations helping older, isolated and disabled people and their families. There are more than 14 million people living on the breadline in the UK, and they will be badly hit by the economic crisis caused by Covid-19. Other organisations that need help include those providing welfare advice and emotional and respite support.
How can I ensure my money is getting to the frontline?One of the safest ways of giving is to donate to the National Emergencies Trust. This charity is co-ordinating the UK coronavirus disaster voluntary relief effort, providing a single online portal for donations from individuals and companies. The money will be rapidly distributed in the form of small grants to recognised local charities via 46 established regional community foundations covering the whole of the UK.

10-Apr-2020 Face mask shortage - how to make your own
Shortages in personal protection equipment ( PPE) for hospital and care workers are in the national news. It's important that local volunteers helping the vulnerable keep healthy and protected from Covid-19 droplets, and that we all remember the importance of social distancing. Here is a youtube demonstration of how to make your own face mask, pattern and measurements below.

04-Apr-2020 Cyber Security and Covid-19 bulletin
COVID-19 has created a surge in cyber attacks on companies and the number of fake news stories globally

The world has been hit hard by the outbreak of COVID-19, however the media is rife with fake news stories surrounding the pandemic. A lot of companies are asking staff to work from home, and rightly so. But does your IT security training teach your staff enough about the dangers online?
Maintain good password hygiene.
Employees should use complex passwords and multifactor authentication where possible and change these passwords frequently.
Update systems and software.
Individuals should install updates and patches regularly, together with mobile devices and any other non-corporate devices they might use for work.
Use a virtual private network (VPN).
VPNs create a dependable connection between employees and their organizations and ensure ongoing access to corporate networks. Corporate VPNs provide further protection against phishing and malware attacks.
Don't cross personal and work.
Employees should use their work devices to do work and their personal devices for personal matters. If you wouldn't install or use a service while you're at the office, don't do it while at home on your work device.
We have decades of experience in working with real threats globally and can help you remotely, contact us now at

Cyber Defence Evaluation & Consultancy Ltd

04-Apr-2020 Local Hospital Trusts merge
An update about the merger between Weston Area Health NHS Trust (WAHT) and University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust (UH Bristol), which took place on 1 April 2020.

Our two organisations have officially merged to become University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust From today (1 April), University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust and Weston Area Health NHS Trust have formally merged to become University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust (UHBW). The merger went through a significant governance process, which involved Trust board approval, scrutiny from our regulators (NHSEI), Council of Governors approval and a final approval from the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.
Our new Trust boasts a workforce of over 13,000 staff aiming to deliver exceptional local services for local people and specialist services across the South West and beyond.
UHBW will be a beacon for outstanding education, research, innovation and patient care, serving a core population of over half a million people. There are a number of benefits in building on the many years of partnership working between the two Trusts and taking the step to become one organisation. These include:
A better experience for our patients - ensuring people from North Somerset and surrounding areas can be seen and treated in their local hospital, and improving access to specialist services in both Bristol and Weston through better use of our expanded workforce and facilities.
Increased diversity, capacity and resilience among our staff, allowing for greater training and development opportunities across a much wider portfolio of services, strengthening the knowledge base, peer support, skills and experience of all our employees.
Greater opportunities to share expertise and best practice, particularly in the development of exemplar models of frailty and ambulatory care, collaborating with others to provide more services at home or close to home.
Accelerated roll-out of new information technology to support consistent delivery of the best care right across the new organisation, building on our Digital Exemplar status.
Support for innovation and research, releasing untapped potential in our services and empowering our teams to design new pathways at the forefront of medical and surgical ambulatory care.
Commenting on the final milestone in the merger process, Robert Woolley, chief executive of UHBW, said:
'This is a momentous occasion in the history of two proud hospital Trusts and one that wouldn't have been possible without the support of our dedicated workforce in Weston and in Bristol. I am immensely grateful for their hard work to help us achieve this merger but particularly for everything they are doing for our patients at this unprecedented time.
'Uniting the Trusts increases our diversity, capacity and resilience, and provides a unique opportunity to bring together the things that make both the Weston and Bristol hospitals great places to work and to receive care, in order to create an even better and stronger organisation for the future.
'It's important to reassure our service users that, while the name of the Trust may have changed, they will continue to receive care from the same staff in the same location that they do now.'
The names of our component hospitals, including Weston General Hospital and the Bristol Royal Infirmary, will remain unchanged.
New website launches for UHBW
From today, we are delighted to share the details of our new website: This is our where all corporate information about the Trust will be stored. We will still be using our exiting UH Bristol and WAHT websites where people can access information about our services in Bristol and Weston respectively.

04-Apr-2020 Council services update following Coronavirus impact
North Somerset council has issued detailed updates on business support, Northsomerset Together, for residents who have no support from family, friends, and who are socially isolated, plus volunteers at; Recycling and waste; PPE update, childcare support, Early Years team on 07920 082 011 for critical worker childcare support, rough Sleeping, Weston Crematorium, now closed, Bus services on an emergency timetable at There is a bus use recommendation of boarding the bus one at a time, remaining two metres apart, paying via contactless if you can, and other guidelines related to Covid-19. Ther folowing buses are suspended: 88, A5 L1, B1, C1, C2 al leisure cetnres, play areas, regiration ceremonies, libraries, for information go to Facebook/NSLibraries, online library from home is still available invluding ebooks and audio books https://www.n-somerset.govuk/onlinelibrary. to joinn online visit visit for latest information about suervices. Updates will also be p[osted to Councils Facebook and @Twitter feeds.

30-Mar-2020 Hinkley-C Pylon Update
Construction of T pylons to go ahead in May: community consultation postponed A new community portal to share information which would have been presented at the community consultation is online at, due to Covid-19. Queries by email can be sent to

19-Mar-2020 COVID-19 pandemic information and updates page set up
See the advice sheet on delivering and collecting safely from COVID-19 affected households. Go to the COVID-19 Pandemic Information and Help page.

30-Mar-2020 Frauds and scams by criminals abusing our concerns about Covid-19:
Police article about Covid-19 fraud and scams
Beware fraud and scams during Covid-19 pandemic. Stay at home -stay safe on line

19-Mar-2020 COVID-19 Support group for Winscombe set up on Facebook
Winscombe (Somerset) COVID-19 Mutual Help Group has been set up in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, for people in Winscombe to support each other in times of need 'just like the old days'. Offers of help and requests for help are being posted on the Facebook page.

Sandford Helpline already has an organisation whereby residents in Sandford can arrange a lift for medical appointments and collection of prescriptions.

However most of our volunteer drivers fall into the category where they should be self isolating currently we are looking for NEW VOLUNTEERS to help with delivery over the isolation period.

Our plan of action is:
New list of volunteer drivers for Sandford Helpline to collect prescriptions There will be a small charge to people using the service for prescriptions to reimburse driver's for petrol.

Please contact if you are able to volunteer as a driver for Sandford Helpline
Please contact Spar on if you are able to volunteer to do delivery of food in Sandford for those in isolation.

17-Mar-2020 Winscombe Thursday market CANCELLED
The Thursday market at the Winscombe Community Centre is cancelled this week and until further notice, due to the current Covid-19 precautions.

17-Mar-2020 NSC 'Your Neighbourhood' consultations cancelled
The public engagement sessions have been cancelled, but the online consultation is still available at See the Community Matters page, article from 6th March for full details on the consultation.

22-Feb-2020 Scam Alert : Loft insulation scam
Callers saying they are surveyors from a company offering a free inspection of your loft insulation may call you. Yesterday a Sandford resident got a call from someone who knew their name and address, saying they were checking work done by contractors under the Green Scheme, some of whom had done faulty work, and offering a free 15-20 minute inspection. They were immediately on guard, as they had done the insulation themselves.
A Winscombe resident has had a similar call, and they don't even have a loft! There was someone who did book a free inspection, and they were told there was roof damage, which was 'fixed' very expensively. There is a National Insulation Association which has registered members, but unless you know about the firm, don't agree.

06-Feb-2020 250 volunteers for North Somerset Council Rewilding project !
250 volunteers, including people from Winscombe and Sandford, have signed up for the Council's rewilding project, starting with a project planting 5,000 trees, at various locations in Pill, Portishead, Clevedon, Locking and Yatton, Wraxall, Nailsea and Weston, from February 15th through to the 1st March.
This is part of the Council's Climate Emergency Plan. If you'd like to take part in a really worthwhile and enjoyable project, get in touch with the Natural Environment Team, rewilding.volunteering@n-somerset 01275 88930. For more details, see the article on the Climate Emergency page

03-Feb-2020 Continuing threat of large unsustainable housing development for Sandford
Please send in your objections here:
Copied to the Parish Council here:
Even if you have objected to the previous application. Some objections are highlighted below.
This is essentially the same application which was decisively turned down by the Planning Inspector on Appeal last year, but with just 7 fewer houses, and the addition of a small community hall. The application is in outline, so would be able to be changed at any time. Remember Strongvox , and the village hall which was dropped.
Despite saying the issue would be looked into almost 4 weeks ago , North Somerset Planning Officers have so far NOT REMOVED the outdated, duplicate application for yet another large housing development in Sandford ( 78 dwellings north of Greenhill Road, 18/P/3625/OUT). It should not have been registered, as it is out of time. It was put in to North Somerset Council on the 17th December, conveniently just before the Christmas break, although the expiry date is April last year. The Parish Council will be considering the application at their meeting THIS EVENING

• The scheme perpetuates unsustainable travel from a relatively small, poorly served village ( the Inspector's words)
• The scheme conflicts with North Somerset's development plan's overarching locational strategy for new housing. ( Inspector's words)
• At up to 78 dwellings this is not small scale, given the current size of Sandford, and the proportional level of growth that would occur ( Inspector's words)
• The scheme does not provide access to sustainable travel, the nearest bus stop to the site is well beyond the expected walking distance for a rural area, and breaches North Somerset Council's Policy DM27, Bus Accessibility Criteria.
• The scheme lacks adequate outdoor amenity area, no children's play area, and no scheme for linking to the adjoining Strongvox site play area
• The scheme does not provide the necessary DEFRA surveys or measures for an ecologically sensitive site where protected species forage.
• Overall, the scheme will add greatly to commuting by private car for all purposes, and goes against North Somerset Council's target to attain carbon neutrality by 2030.

27-Jan-2020 Community Speedwatch appeal for volunteers in Sandford.
Raising awareness with motorists about the effect of speeding through Sandford is something we can all support. How many times have we complained to each other about blatant and continued instances of speeding? What we need are Sandford volunteers to go out, preferably in groups of 3 and 4, and show that the village is in earnest about speeding motorists, who endanger us and other road users. Once we have registration numbers and speed readings, the police can be involved.
Kayleigh Anderson, our Police Civilian Support Officer, would like to hear from anyone willing to be involved in Community Speedwatch in Sandford, and also from anyone interested in co ordinating speed watch. Contact Kayleigh on 101 or via the Parish Office, 844257. Willingness, and a small amount of training, are the main requirements.

27-Jan-2020 Woodborough Road closed in Winscombe
The road under the bridge will be closed from Monday 27th Jan to the 31st to repair a gas leak. For more information go to
and zoom into Winscombe.

20-Jan-2020 Action on Climate Crisis
Winscombe and Sandford's Climate Action group, Sustainable Winscombe and Sandford start their program for 2020 with a meeting at 7pm on Thursday 23rd January at Winscombe Community Association, with a guest speaker Cathy Marjoram speaking on a vegan diet for families, and a new local tree planting club. All welcome, free entry, refreshments. For more see the Sustainable Winscombe and Sandford page.

08-Dec-2019 Burglary at Broadleaze way
Burglars used a key stolen from a vehicle parked on the driveway of a home at Broadleaze Way to break into the garage and steal AEG power tools, on the 11th November . Money was taken from the car, and another vehicle was also broken into on the same evening, with a wallet stolen. An electronic device was used to break into the cars. The police are asking for any information about these crimes. Please call 101 & quote Reference number: 5219259559 or Call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

The police regularly attend the Thursday market in Winscombe between 10 am and 12 noon, and offer free security marking for your valuables, by appointment with our local crime team. PCSO Kayley Anderson is keen to sign up local farmers and horse owners to" FARMWATCH & HORSEWATCH " More details can be found via the police website / A free tack marking and property marking service is on offer. Get in touch for more details or contact the neighbourhood team via twitter @ASPRuralCrime.

27-Nov-2019 New Jewellers shop in Winscombe
Caromba Jewellers has opened in Winscombe at 14 Woodborough Road, on the corner with Apple Tree drive.

26-Nov-2019 Banwell Bypass
Newsflash from Sandford Neighbourhood Group 26 November 2019
Concerned about the impact of Banwell Bypass traffic on Sandford? If so, please feel free to share your views with fellow villagers by email or Facebook. If you have a neighbour who does not use the internet, please share this news with them, and pass on any messages.
£97 million funding has been secured for the project. So far, road improvements near Banwell have been mentioned, but nothing specifically about improvements for Sandford. Alex Fear, Major Project Manager for North Somerset Council, is recruiting a team to plan and consult on the Banwell Bypass works from January next year. The funding has to be committed by March 2024, to give an idea of the timescale.
More information will be posted online by the Council from January, and on the villages website. An early consultation with Sandford residents will be asked for.
Here are some of the issues raised so far:
• The bypass is expected to exit at Towerhead, bringing traffic along the A368 through Sandford.
• Extra traffic coming via the bypass will be traffic from new large housing development near Banwell, numbers not known as yet, plus
• Induced traffic, 10% more in the short term, rising to 20% more in the long term. . Expert reports, accepted by the Department of Transport, show that when new roads are built they attract more use.
• Before the bypass is built, there will be at least an 18% increase in traffic through Sandford from the housing developments at Strongvox, Churchill Bristol Road, Churchill Says Lane, based on the Transport Assessments figures produced by the developers. In addition there is the traffic from a further 12 houses in Sandford, yet to be completed.
• So far, the annual average daily traffic (AADT) along the A368 through Sandford is below the 2017 Department of Transport average figures for a rural A road, that is 12,100 vehicles per day on average.
There are seasonal variations in traffic figures, and from counts in November and December 2018 the average daily traffic through Sandford was 8,768. Between 23rd September and 15th November 2019, the most recent Parish Council Vehicle Activated Sign traffic count shows an average 6503 vehicles per day in total, travelling in both directions along Greenhill Road.
The highest vehicle speed was 100mph at 16.55 on 1st November.
• Concerns have previously been raised about speeding, pollution, and impact on air quality, the high number of HGVs, cars parking on the road to access the primary school and village hall restricting the road width and causing congestion, flooding due to increasing number of extreme weather events, cyclists accessing the Strawberry Line riding on the pavements to avoid heavy traffic, the uncontrolled staggered junction with Hill Road and Nye Road.

25-Nov-2019 Christmas trees went up today
Outside Sandford Stores and the Woodborough Inn

11-Nov-2019 Sandford Substation work starts
Site preparations start. Click below for National Grid's newsletter, the Sandford item is on page 3.

10-Jun-2019 NEWSFLASH - Aurora Appeal Dismissed
The Aurora planning appeal for 85 houses in Sandford has been dismissed. The Inspector's main reason for refusal was that Sandford is an inappropriate location for such a large development. Many thanks to all those Sandford residents who came to the inquiry and supported Sandford Neighbourhood Group's submission. The Inspector's full decision is below.
Aurora Appeal decision 10-Jun-2019.pdf

04-Jun-2019 Sandford Pedestrian Crossing
In association with the development adjacent to Sandford school a requirement was to install a pedestrian controlled crossing on the A368.
Works on this crossing are due to commence on 24th July and last approx 6 weeks.
Traffic signals will be in operation at times to allow safe working practices for the construction workers.
Works include footway widening on the junction of Helens Road to increase pedestrian safety.

04-Jun-2019 Strongvox building site Sandford planning conditions
Following complaints by Sandford residents to North Somerset Council about the wildlife corridor and buffer zones, trees and hedgerows, building layout and height, and drainage, at the Greenhill Road Strongvox Russet Copse development, officials from the Council Enforcement service team have now visited the site, and are looking into the issues.

17-May-2019 Orriss and Low introduce contact lens recycling
The threat of plastic pollution is something we are very aware of at Orriss & Low. Every year countless contact lenses end up in the oceans via toilets and sinks and the packaging goes to landfill.
We are delighted to announce we have launched a recycling scheme for all soft contact lens waste, in partnership with TerraCycle.
TerraCycle turn used soft contact lenses, blister packs and outer foils into innovative products.
So, if it is not possible to dispose of this waste in your kerbside collections, just pop in during our opening hours, Monday to Friday 8.00a.m - 1.00p.m & 2.00p.m - 6.00p.m. and place them in our collection point at reception.
For all the waste collected TerraCycle will donate to our chosen charity, Vision Aid Overseas.
This is a public service open to all contact lens wearers everywhere. So spread the word to family and friends and help us clean up the planet.
For more information about TerraCycle or Vision Aid Overseas follow the link below.
Thank you for your support.
The Team at Orriss and Low
Corner House, Woodborough Road, Winscombe, North Somerset. BS25 1AQ.
Tel 01934 843713

04-May-2019 Aurora Inquiry due date
Tuesday 25th June is the deadline for the Inspector's Decision, following the Inquiry into the planning application for another 85 houses on the site next to the Strongvox Russet Copse estate, although it could be the Decision is announced before that date. More details will be posted as they are known.

If you would like to receive Sandford News, an occasional newsletter produced by Sandford Neighbourhood Group, please send an email ' Please send me Sandford News by email' to, or look for the paper copy displayed in the BT kiosk noticeboard, outside Sandford Stores.

04-May-2019 National Grid surveys begin
Survey works for the new substation off Nye Road begin. National Grid say:
'The surveys will take approximately three weeks, and are on private land.
The surveys will be carried out by specialist companies, Quantum and Centara. They will assess ground conditions and will include some boreholes and topographical studies. Any findings will inform the detailed design of the substation.
Siemens will set up a welfare cabin and bring in an excavator and specialist equipment. We don't expect the work to be noticeable or to affect the local community.
National Grid has appointed Siemens to build the substation. Construction is due to start in spring 2020 and we'll be in contact with the parish council and write to local residents with more information before we start.'

04-May-2019 Last chance to apply for free European rail travel
British teenagers are able to apply for free EU rail passes despite Brexit. Were you born between 2nd July 2000 and 1st July 2001? Then you can apply now for the chance to explore Europe.

01-Apr-2019 Aurora Inquiry Starts Tuesday 2nd April
The inquiry into the 85-home development in Sandford starts Tuesday 2nd April at 10am at the Town Hall in Weston-Super-Mare. Sandford Neighbourhood Group will be presenting Sandford's case against the development, so please come along to show your support.

31-Mar-2019 Police struggling
News of the sudden resignation of that our local police Neighbourhood Watch Co ordinator this week, following that of our interim police Community Speedwatch Co ordinator, is a blow to local efforts to keep our homes and streets safe. Also this week, the Chair of the National Police Chiefs Forum announces that police are really struggling to deal with routine crime, and that only one in 10 offences is solved. Government cuts are the cause of this state of affairs.

Locally, volunteers will keep going as best they can, for the moment, but the future for public safety looks bleak, unless there is real change at the top, and our valued police force gets the funds it needs.

31-Mar-2019 Climate Emergency meeting
Parishioners attended a Climate Emergency meeting in Clevedon on Wednesday 27th, called by North Somerset Council Sustainability Officer Jess Harper when climate change reduction ideas were put forward and discussed by invitees from Weston, Backwell, Winscombe, Sandford, Churchill, Clevedon, Nailsea , Pill.

These ideas will be put forward at a meeting attended by North Somerset officers from all departments, including planning, waste, flooding and transport, before final recommendations for action are put to North Somerset Council in June.

Parish Councils and Town Councils throughout North Somerset are expected to follow the lead by our own parish, and Pill and Easton in Gordano parish, in passing motions supporting North Somerset's Climate Emergency action.

26-Mar-2019 Public Meeting about the redevelopment of Winscombe Community Centre.
The WCA Trustees and Development Sub Committee are holding a meeting at 7.45 pm on Thursday 28th March at the Main Hall, Winscombe Community Centre, to give an update about the Pre-Application Inquiry they made to North Somerset Council Planning Department, outline some possible options resulting from the outcome of the discussion with the planners, and to answer any questions. They are also asking for the views of parish residents about what should happen next. Details about what happened at the meeting with the Council planners, and details about the options for redevelopment of the Centre are not being sent out in advance, but there will be a presentation about this at the meeting on the 28th, which will then be put on the website Any comments after the meeting should be sent in to For more about the plans to redevelop the Community Centre go to the Community Matters page

12-Mar-2019 Public meeting
Wednesday 13th March Sandford Village Hall. National Grid will explain the new construction plans for the substation. All welcome 2 pm to 7 pm
Click below to read the details
NG Mendip Leaflet_Final.pdf

12-Mar-2019 Road & Footpath closures
Bartom Road will be closed for around 25 days starting 25th March and 7 days starting 23rd April. Footpaths around Thatchers will be closed from 6th March and that between Station Road and Hill Road from 25th March. Click on the notices below for more details
Footpath Station Rd to Hill Rd.pdf
Thatchers Footpaths.pdf
Barton Road.pdf

20-Feb-2019 New speed limits on A368 & A371
As part of the proposed National Grid Connection C Project a temporary haul road is to be constructed to facilitate construction traffic movements. Where the haul road meets the public highway a crossroad arrangement is to be constructed with part-time traffic signals. NSC intends to permanently change the speed limit along a section of Towerhead Road and Castle Hill as indicated on the attached plans.
The contractor has outlined a construction programme with commencement in early March 2019 and completion in approximately 4 years.

20-Feb-2019 Climate Emergency Declaration by North Somerset Council
Councillors voted unanimously to declare a Climate Emergency at the Council meeting yesterday evening. Councillors from every political party, independent councillors, local people and members of Extinction Rebellion Weston spoke in favour of the motion. Like many Councils and also governments worldwide who are declaring a climate emergency, the aim is to slow climate change by becoming carbon neutral by 2030.

For tips on how to reduce your own carbon footprint, go to

04-Feb-2019 Action on Climate Change
At the Action on Climate Change meeting on 30th January a presentation was given, about current climate change emergencies, and projected flooding effects in the UK, following the report on climate change emergency by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change late last year, which stated we have 12 years to slow irreversible climate change. A discussion followed the presentation, about how best to get effective action on slowing climate change in our area. Bristol City Council, Clevedon, and the Forest of Dean Councils have all declared a Climate Emergency, and have pledged to become carbon neutral by 2030. For more details about action in Winscombe and Sandford, please email with the heading 'Climate Action' .
Click below for the presentation slides:
Climate Change Action.pdf

25-Jan-2019 Cheddar Valley foodbank
Cheddar Valley Foodbank thanks all its supporters, particularly for their help during the Christmas period, and would like to remind everyone that the need for donations continues. For more details about how to contact the Foodbank either to donate or use the bank, please, see the January Newsletter. Click on the image or click below for the PDF version.
Cheddar FoodBank Newsletter Jan19.pdf

25-Jan-2019 New Head brings a new meaning to the School run
Winscombe and Sandford's new Head Teacher Mr Ben Tucker is off to a flying start, encouraging every child to run a daily mile. Once a day the children at Winscombe and Sandford Primaries can be seen doing laps for around 15 minutes, with the goal of building up to running a mile a day. The new Head, a keen sportsman, wants every child to have the benefits of fitness, increased concentration, and releases of natural endorphins, or 'feel-good' factor, that running a mile a day can bring. Mr Tucker aims to split his working week equally between Sandford and Winscombe, although he stresses flexibility is key in responding to the needs of both schools. Here Mr Tucker is pictured sitting underneath a welcoming mobile created by the children at Winscombe.

25-Jan-2019 Mooseheart Lodge Plans online
Plans for the proposed new 22 bed boutique hotel at the former Mooseheart Lodge site, Winscombe, are now online, as part of the planning application 18/P/5196/FUL to North Somerset Council. The proposal includes holiday lets, a glamping area with 'hobbit hole' style accommodation, and 24 residential units, and is within sight of the new 175 dwelling Woodborough Farm development, now underway.

11-Jan-2019 Flooding Problems at Strongvox
The flooding problems at the Strongvox site are now being followed up by North Somerset council enforcement, who are looking in to development being commenced without compliance with Conditions 23 and 24 attached to planning, which deal with surface water drainage and flood protection.

04-Jan-2019 Last chance to comment on the overall plan for the Banwell bypass!! - deadline Monday 7th January !!

Monday 7th January is the last chance to comment on the West of England combined authority plans for Winscombe and Sandford. These are the overall plans for our region, the Joint Spatial Plan for North Somerset, Bristol, BANES and S. Gloucester. Our Council has to follow the guidelines in the plans when it updates the North Somerset Local Plan.
Looking at the information, the Banwell Bypass plans will have an impact on both Sandford and Winscombe. The Green Infrastructure Plan, a net work of corridors kept open for countryside and wildlife, will have an impact on where development goes near both Sandford and Winscombe. At the moment, North Somerset is not publishing any details about the Green Infrastructure Plan for North Somerset, but has to follow the Joint Spatial Plan Inspectors guidance about this.

Now is our chance to comment on the plans, before they are decided on.
Please log on to
and follow the instructions. If you don't have time to read the documents, take a look at the facts below. Your view matters.


1. Both villages are affected by the plans for a Banwell new village ( 1900 houses), and a Churchill new town, 2,800 houses) which will take up countryside and bring new roads.

2. The Banwell Bypass, which may go ahead as early as 2021-2022, will bring traffic from Banwell, including Banwell new village traffic, down to a new roundabout at Towerhead, and then onto the A368 through Sandford and Churchill.

3. In 2021-2022 traffic on the A368 through Sandford and Churchill will include:
1) National Grid construction traffic. National Grid say there will be around 40 HGVs, 25 vans and 25 cars on the A368 during the peak hours while the Sandford Substation is being built.
2) Traffic from Thatcher's expanded ~Cider Factory site: Production is planned to have doubled by then. In 2016 there were on average 76 Goods Vehicles trips per day, plus cars and vans. The number of HGVs, LGVs, vans and cars in 2018 from the Thatchers site is not known.
3) Traffic from the Strongvox development- 118 new homes. It isn't known if the Aurora development ( 85 new homes ) the Sutherland development (44 new homes ) and Sweetings Yard development (16 new homes ) will be going ahead.
4) Traffic from the new developments going ahead in Winscombe, Churchill and Banwell.

4. The commuter 'rat run' from the A38 to the M5 via Hill Road and Nye Road attracts many cars. In November, traffic was counted at 3053 trips per day on Hill Road, and at 1332 trips per day on Nye Road. The traffic count on Greenhill Road was 7362 and on Station Road was 6407. November traffic figures are usually lower than the figures in the summer months. As a transport industry guide, around 10,000 trips on average per day, less if there are HGVs, means that the road is at its limit for traffic to flow freely. The A368 through Sandford, and into Churchill, is approaching that limit, and by 2021-2022 is likely to be over it.

5 The JSP transport report doesn't give any details about traffic improvements for the A368 and Sandford after the Banwell new village and Bypass are built.

6. Churchill new town ( 2,800 new homes ) is not planned to be built until 2026-2027. The Sandford/Churchill bypass will probably not go ahead until then, joining on to the Towerhead roundabout between Banwell and Sandford, and the A38 near Langford. Traffic from the Banwell new village and Churchill new town is suggested to be more likely to travel along the Sandford/Churchill Bypass than the A368. If the Churchill new town and bypass go ahead, and go ahead on time, then this would ease the traffic through Sandford and Churchill from the end of 2027.

29-Nov-2018 Parish Airport Association concerns over Bristol Airport planning application
Bristol Airport are applying to expand into the Green Belt, in a push to capture yet more air traffic from other regional airports. Parishes under the Bristol Airport flight path have joined forces in a Parish Airport Association, which has put out this video
to explain their concerns about virtually round the clock noise levels, traffic congestion, air pollution, and climate change impact. Holiday traffic accounts for 83% of Bristol Airport users, so the expansion would mean around double the amount of holiday traffic on the roads surrounding the airport, the Association says. Plane flights are a major cause of global warming. With around 12 years to go estimated as the time available to cut down on carbon emissions and stop irreversible climate change, North Somerset Council will be going against their own Climate Change Policy and climate change reduction targets, as well as breaking their policy not to allow development in the Green Belt if they let this application through. The application is expected to be put in over the next few weeks.

28-Nov-2018 Late Night Christmas Shopping
Don't forget it's WINSCOMBE LATE NIGHT CHRISTMAS SHOPPING EVENT on Wednesday 5th December from 6pm to 9pm! The road through Winscombe will be closed as usual, so families can stroll in comfort and enjoy the activity.

28-Nov-2018 Christmas Season Advice from the Police

Christmas - Don't leave temptation in the way of the would-be criminal.
VEHICLES - ensure no shopping or personal items are on display in a vehicle when it is unattended.
HOME - don't leave wrapped presents on display at home, whether they are underneath the tree or not.
ON-LINE - take extra care buying on-line. Use secure payments, keep passwords secure, ensure security on your computer is up to date, and don't open Emails or attachments that you are not expecting. Free seasonal advice leaflets available from your local Neighbourhood Watch office.

REASONABLE CARE Be aware - if you publicise your forthcoming holiday on social media or post updates while you are away you may be putting your house insurance at risk. Most insurance companies have a `reasonable care' clause for use in cases where doors or windows have been left open and a property deemed insecure. But this clause is increasingly being used in cases where victims of burglaries have posted holiday pictures or announced forthcoming trips.

CRIME REDUCTION ADVICE The police website has a good deal of useful crime reduction advice available that you can access by searching the website or by using the following link
Advice ranges from keeping yourself safe, to protecting your home and even keeping yourself safe on line. If you do not have access to a computer then contact your local Watch Scheme Administrator (detailed below) who will be able to help with a limited number of paper copies.

Watch Scheme Administrator Bridgwater Police Centre Sandy Padgett House Express Park, Bristol Road Bridgwater TA6 4RR
Telephone 101 (switchboard) Or 01278-644799 (direct dial) Email:

As part of the summer road safety campaign police arrested 133 people for drink and drug driving during a month-long crackdown.
Of those arrested, 74 have been charged and investigations continue into 30 more. In total over 370 people were breathalysed.
The highest reading during the campaign was nearly 4 times the legal limit.

27-Nov-2018 An appeal for Foodbank donations
Emma Revie- the Trussell Trust's Chief Executive- says ' We're seeing the festive period becoming increasingly stressful for more and more people across the county. We're urging the public to donate generously during the first part of December and into the New Year' . This December is expected to be the busiest ever. Last December, more than 400 food banks gave out over 160,000 3 day emergency supplies. Food bank use has increased this year. The five-week wait for a first universal credit payment has made matters worse for people, the charity says. Essential living costs not being covered by benefits, and issues with payments, are the most common reasons for people being referred to a food bank.

In Winscombe and Sandford, food bank donations can be made at the Thursday market, Winscombe Community Association, at the Church Office, Woodborough Road, at the Winscombe Co-op, and at All Saints Church, Sandford .

17-Nov-2018 Calling all motorists
North Somerset Villages Alliance needs your help to measure the queues at 3 traffic-light controlled congestion hot spots between Churchill/Congresbury and Bristol. If you drive through the traffic lights on the A38 just north of the Airport, on the A370 at Congresbury, or on the A370 at Backwell, please visit the site below and follow a few simple steps to record any queues. Your input can help local efforts to reduce congestion and journey times.
Click here for the survey

15-Nov-2018 Churchill/Sandford New Town Workshop
Churchill Primary School was the venue for a North Somerset Council workshop to explore potential options for the Churchill/Sandford new town yesterday, as part of the Issues and Options consultation being held by the Council, now online.
Invitees from Winscombe and Sandford, Churchill, Congresbury and Yatton amongst other villages, were invited to share ideas about the 2,800 home development, variously called a Specific Development Location ( SDL) or 'Garden Village' , mooted for 2025 - 2026, part of North Somerset's Local Plan for housing up to 2036.
Concerns about flooding, the timing of necessary infrastructure delivery, the cumulative impact of traffic from other large developments, high priced housing unaffordable for locals, green infrastructure planning, and developers possibly taking control of new town planning, were voiced by participants.
The importance of having a community hub, so people can identify with the place where they live was raised, but more in connection with Sandford's lack of a large-enough village meeting place, with hopes for more public transport links for surrounding villages, sympathetic design, and affordable smaller homes for younger people starting out, and retirees. CALRAG ( Churchill and Landford Residents Action Group) are saying it is too soon to have an Issues and Options consultation about the controversial Churchill/Sandford new town proposal, which has yet to pass examination by Inspectors next May, and are encouraging people to log on to the Council's consultation page and say this.

11-Nov-2018 Winscombe and Sandford remember the sacrifice made by those who died in World. War 1, from 1914 to 1918.
We remember the tragedy of the deaths of so many people. 1 million British military people died, and 20 million people died world wide.
Light a candle for peace in your window from 4 pm on Sunday 11th.
Here is the poem of remembrance written by our Poet Laureate

The Wound in Time

It is the wound in Time. The century's tides,
chanting their bitter psalms, cannot heal it.
Not the war to end all wars; death's birthing place;
the earth nursing its ticking metal eggs, hatching
new carnage. But how could you know, brave
as belief as you boarded the boats, singing?
The end of God in the poisonous, shrapneled air.
Poetry gargling its own blood. We sense it was love
you gave your world for; the town squares silent,
awaiting their cenotaphs. What happened next?
War. And after that? War. And now? War. War.
History might as well be water, chastising this shore;
for we learn nothing from your endless sacrifice.
Your faces drowning in the pages of the sea.

Carol Ann Duffy, 2018

13-Sep-2018 NEWSFLASH
The Aurora application was again unanimously refused by Councillors at the Planning Meeting yesterday, 12th Septenber 2018. It had been considered again because last month's refusal was against the advice of the Planning department, so this was confirmation of the refusal.
However the developers have already lodged an appeal, so the battle is not yet over. The appeal will be heard at Weston Town Hall, starting Tuesday April 2nd 2019, and lasting up to 5 days. The Inspector will be Mr. Michael Boniface.

12-Sep-2018 NEWSFLASH
High hopes for stopping Aurora at the Planning Meeting today in Weston, at 2:30pm in the Town Hall. Sandford villagers' hopes are high that the Planning and Regulatory Committee at North Somerset Council will turn down the Aurora application for 85 dwellings, next to the Strongvox site. The site has been dogged with problems from the outset- underlying murcia mudstone means piling the foundations, the Council's Flood Team have objected due to unresolved surface water problems, and the old open sewer to the north of the site still isn't being tackled. Sandford simply can't cope with an extra 203 houses on top of the existing 503. At peak times the west-bound traffic through Sandford is 447 vehicles an hour, or 7.5 per minute, already. The fear is that the drive to build housing, it seems of any type, anywhere, will prevail over good sense. North Somerset Council were told this June that they have 4.4 years of the required 5 years' housing supply. We are 1,167 short of the 9732 needed for a 5-year supply. Sandford is one of 13 infill villages, and the only one to have a very large housing development passed, Strongvox at 118. Quite simply, Aurora at 85 won't go anywhere near fixing the Council shortfall, while breaking the village.

09-Aug-2018 Good News (so far) on the Aurora planning application, Sandford
District Councillors UNANIMOUSLY REJECTED the first Aurora planning application for 85 houses, ( 17/P/08870/O ) next to the Strongvox site for 118, on the A368 in Sandford, yesterday, August 8th.. The second Aurora application,( 18/P/ 3625/OUT) for the same site with a slightly different layout, will be decided on 12th September, when the same arguments will be heard again. Residents are urged to keep sending their comments in.
Despite pressure from Council planners who recommended approval of the scheme, several District Councillors on the North Somerset Planning and Regulatory Committee spoke out against the disproportionate and unsustainable expansion this would mean, for an infill village with very few facilities, and the damaging impact this would have on Sandford residents' quality of life and community. 88 objectors from Sandford and the surrounding villages wrote in expressing their anger and outrage at the proposal.

Read more on the Planning Page

04-Aug-2018 Sandford's Book Box opens
Sandford's new community book exchange is now open in the old telephone kiosk beside Sandford Stores. The old BT kiosk has been empty for several years and was sheduled for removal until volunteers applied for permission to convert it. After a good coat of paint and the installation of shelves and signs, the Book Box was opened on Thursday 2nd August by Jenny Nicholas. A number of local residents and Parish Councillors attended the ceremony. Anyone can borrow books, please feel free to replace them on the shelves but if you have a number of books to donate please ring the number shown on the kiosk, don't leave them on the floor.


The holidays are traditionally the time politicians, or anyone who has a dodgy or unpopular plan, tries to sneak it under the radar of public scrutiny. It's called 'putting out the trash' when the government does it just before parliament closes at the end of July. .

This week, Sandford residents got a shock when they found a planning application for 93 houses, Aurora, which the Council has been sitting on for a year, has sprouted a brand new Application Number, and a very slightly different Master Plan, and had been put in for Decision on 8th August by the Planning and Regulatory Committee, at less than a weeks' notice.. The Council Planners are recommending approval, which is even more of a shock.

Read more on the Planning Page


Sandford residents are shocked to discover that the highly controversial AURORA 93 DWELLING HOUSING DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION, on land North of Greenhill Road, next to the 117 dwelling Strongvox development now being built, has been RECOMMENDED FOR APPROVAL by North Somerset Council Planning and Regulatory Committee, by the Case Officer.
The application is LISTED FOR DECISION by the Planning and Regulatory Committee at a meeting starting 2.30pm on Wednesday 8th August at the Council Offices, Weston, under a new Application Number, 18/P/3625/OUT. Less than a weeks' notice has been given.
PLEASE SEND IN YOUR COMMENTS NOW, by logging onto the North Somerset Council planning website sending/taking in a letter to North Somerset Council, quoting the Application Number. Please ask friends and family to comment as well. Please email (Sandford Neighbourhood Group) to register for bulletins. Copy documents are on the website

Further details on the Planning Page

13-Mar-2018 Winscombe Repair Café is 1 year old.
Come and celebrate our first birthday on Saturday March 17th at the Lynch Chapel, Winscombe and get your broken items repaired.

In the last year our team of skilled repairers have seen over 250 items. We have had great success with the vast majority of these items being repaired. When parts are required to complete the repair advice is provided on what is required and people returned the following month if they need assistance to finish the job.

Over the year we have helped people save money and prevented waste whilst having fun and learning new repair skills.

The Repair Cafe is a community event for all age groups. There is always a lively atmosphere as items are brought back to use. We have worked on: bicycles; a wide variety of electronic and electrical items including a drum machine & hair straighteners; lots of clothing items; small wooden items; jewellery; wind up toys; a cuckoo clock and a dinosaur.

We meet on the 3rd Saturday of every month (except August), 10.30 - 1.00pm at Lynch Chapel, BS25 1AR. Join us with your broken items or come and help others with their repairs. Tea, coffee and homemade cake available.

FFI email, join our Facebook group Repair Cafe Winscombe or ring Claire on 01934 843402.

07-Mar-2018 Thatcher's Cider factory expansion plans
Thatchers are holding two public exhibitions explaining their plans at Mrytle Farm:
• Wednesday 7th March from 4.30pm until 6.30pm
• Thursday 8th March from 5pm until 7pm

The exhibition will be held at:
Thatchers Cider, Reception, Myrtle Farm, Sandford, BS25 5RA

Click here to read the full announcement

08-Feb-2018 Police Warning - High value fraud
This message is sent to make you and your members aware of a number of high value fraud offences that have occurred. Some were in the Bristol area including:

Victims had cold callers at the door and were persuaded that work needed to be done on the roof of the property. The victim went to the bank to withdraw a significant amount of cash to pay the callers in advance. However the bank staff thought it suspicious and reported the matter to the police.

Yesterday in Wells a resident received a telephone call from someone claiming to be from the Bank advising that their account had been compromised and advising to transfer the savings into a safe account. Victim did this and has lost £45,000.

Police urge extreme care with regard to any cold callers at the door, telephone callers and Emails from unknown sources. Do not have dealings with cold callers at the door. Do not give out personal information to anyone - please remember that official bodies such as banks will never telephone you at home and ask for your details.

If you are in any doubt call the police on 101 - and if you feel threatened or intimidated particularly by callers at the door then call the police using the 999 system.

08-Feb-2018 Thatcher's Cider factory expansion plans
Parish Councillors were told about Thatchers latest factory expansion
plans by Martin Thatcher and his manager, Neil Day, at a meeting on Wednesday 6th February Winscombe, in advance of the formal planning application
expected to be made soon.

Plans were shown, together with photomontages of the intended new buildings.

The first phase, which Thatchers hope to start in March this year, involves a fruit pressing building which will replace the three older buildings to the west of the current factory entrance. Other proposed changes involve widening the HGV entrance and raising the entrance road, enlarging the office complex at the rear of the current building from October this year, and in around 5 years' time, building accommodation, meeting rooms and a hospitality area at the Railway Inn.

On the plans, the roofline of the new buildings and extensions will echo the Jubilee building curved roof. It is said they will be of the same height. The pub and office buildings and extensions will be in the same materials and style as the Railway Inn. Onsite energy production will come from biomass ( apple tree prunings to be shredded at the Nye Road farm site, the buildings there also to be updated and enlarged) although they are still looking for a field to grow miscanthus, to replace the
field Strongvox houses are about to be built on. There will be some solar pv panels on the rooves. Runoff from the new buildings, roads, car parks and lorry hardstandings will be diverted to the current attenuation pond, which is said to have sufficient capacity. An onsite borehole is providing water extracted at the rate of 3 litres per second ( total extraction per annum figure was not available ), plus a mains supply.

Other information was given: Apples and other supplies will come from many different sources, all by road. There are no restrictions on operating hours on offer by Thatchers.

This phase of expansion is expected to take 7 years, starting from March this year, doubling the production of the factory.

The number of employees will go up from the current number of around 240 to around 360 it is expected, including reps working offsite, with about 80 new local jobs, local meaning people living within 5-10 miles of the factory. Thatchers are actively seeking land to plant new orchards, although the supply of good apple-growing land locally is limited, and contract suppliers in other parts of the country are being encouraged to plant more trees.

Councillors asked if there would be an information session for Sandford residents before the planning application went in, the reply being that sessions by invitation would be held. The need for landscaping, many more trees to mask the new buildings, was mentioned, the aspect of the new lorry park and turning area on the approach to the Strawberry line for walkers and cyclists had yet to be shown, also some kind of compensation for the disruption and life impacts Sandford residents would experience. Mention was made of the missing pavement between the factory and the Railway Inn and the hope that Thatchers would offer to pay for this, ineffective signage to the factory from the A368, greatly increased traffic flow in the village, traffic problems with HGVs frequently overshooting the factory entrance
and reversing dangerously on the main road, high and oppressive fencing enclosing the public footpath beside the Railway Inn, Thatchers footpath diversions, and previous breaches of planning permission. Some of these queries and points were noted down by Mr Day.

20-Jan-2018 Strongvox site access demolition work begins
The 117 home Strongvox development, on farmland originally owned by the Thatcher and Westlake families in the centre of Sandford, looks set to begin, with the arrival this week of a demolition team at 45 Greenhill Road, which will be levelled to provide access to the site.
North Somerset Planning still has not met local concerns about the North Somerset and Mendip Hills Special Area of Conservation Bats foraging corridors, rhyne maintenance corridors, Highways comments, and various Outline Planning conditions ordered by the Inspector following the public Inquiry in 2016, when the surprise decision to allow this development in our infill village was made.
Sandford Primary is next door to the site, and parents have already commented on the disruption being caused by demolition team traffic. It's hoped that the demolition work and subsequent works traffic will not add too much to the already considerable congestion in the centre of the village at peak hours.
Comments, and updates about the progress of the reserved matters planning application by the developers, can be viewed at 17/P/1799/RM on the North Somerset Council Planning webpages.

09-Jan-2018 PCC Drop In Sessions
Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens is holding public drop-in sessions around County on Wednesday 10th January, to speak to residents and ask their views on the proposal to increase council tax to support policing. The proposal would increase council tax by £1 extra a month for the average 'Band D' household and the PCC would like to hear your views on this. You can speak with Sue or a member of her team at any of the following places:

10AM - 11:30 AM, The Galleries, Bristol.
1PM - 2:30PM, Angel Place Shopping Centre, Bridgwater.
3:15PM - 4:30PM, The Sovereign Shopping Centre, Weston-super-Mare.
6PM - 7PM, Sainsburys, Chard.
If you are unable to make any of these locations, please send your views by Email to: or call 01275 816377.

06-Jan-2018 Drop-in at All Saints Church Room 6th Jan Sandford
2.30pm to 5 pm- your chance to find out more about the JSP, and get help filling in the consultation form for the Planning Inspector BY WEDS 10TH
For more detail please visit the Planning page

04-Jan-2018 Changes to A2 bus service
The A2 service is being reduced from hourly to every two hours. See the announcement on the First Bus website for full details

02-Jan-2018 Last Chance to comment on the Joint Spatial Plan
10th January is the deadline for comments to the planning inspector. 2800 new houses and a new dual-carriageway are planned north of Churchill and Sandford. For more detail please visit the Planning page or see

30-Dec-2017 The Great Parish LItterpick
The weather wasn't the best on 11th November, but parish litter-pickers met to collect about 12 sacks of litter at this litter pick event. From these, 7 sacks sacks of recyclable stuff was sorted out at Winscombe Community Centre. Many people collect on a regular basis in both Winscombe and Sandford, which makes a great difference, keeping our roads and pavements comparatively neat and tidy. If you'd like to volunteer, and receive a free High-Viz vest and tongs, please contact the Parish Office on 844257, or email
The next special litter pick will take place on Saturday 3rd March to coincide with the national "Great British Spring Clean 2018" organised by Keep Britain Tidy. The beginning of March is a good time to collect because the grass and undergrowth will not yet have hidden the litter. Tongs, hi-viz jackets, gloves and bags will be available from the Parish Office during the previous week, and also from 10.00 am on 3rd March at Winscombe Community Centre. As previously, there will be light refreshments from 11.00 to 1.00 at the community centre.

Litter-picking was one of the activities in our Parish that earned us a Gold Award of £1500 in the Parish Recycling Scheme run by North Somerset Council. Some of the prize money will provide refreshments on 3rd March.

Another extremely successful initiative which helped us gain this award is the Repair Cafe run in the Lynch Chapel on the 3rd Saturday of each month from 10:30 till 1:00, run by Claire King and her team. If you haven't yet visited the Repair Cafe, it is thoroughly recommended. As they say,

. "Bring your broken stuff; electronics, clothing, laptops, tools and our team of volunteer electricians, seamstresses, carpenters anything, lights, kitchen equipment, gadgets, computers, toys. If the repair needs a spare we tell you what you need, you decide if you buy it and we fit it next time. Follow us on Facebook search for "Repair Cafe Winscombe'

15-Dec-2017 New Planning Page
Much has gone on in the villages in 2017, with changes for the good, as well as the other kind of change. Thank you to all our contributors, with a special mention to the Authors of our popular monthly ' Your Garden ' and 'Nature Notes ' features. We hope you've enjoyed using the village website in 2017, and we look forward to posting more local news and views next year. Don't forget, all postings and advertisements are free.

There is going to be a new Planning page on the village website, for new planning applications and planning news, from this weekend. It will be updated regularly.
If you're on Facebook, why not like our website, and get news flashes that way?

2017 is ending on ' high alert' on the national and local housing planning front, with an enormous amount of change being talked about for the New Year. Sandford and Winscombe are in the firing line for large development planning applications, with proposals for 3 new large housing estates for Winscombe, and one in Sandford, and a proposal for a new 'short Banwell bypass' ending at Towerhead Farm, between Banwell and Sandford, linked with more large housing development at Banwell.
There will be updates about these issues on the new Planning Page as well.

13-Nov-2017 JSP Drop-In Events 22nd & 29th November
These events are the only live events when NSC planners can be asked questions about the new garden villages, (1900 new homes near Banwell, 2675 new homes near Churchill) before the written consultation on the Joint Spatial Plan opens.
22nd November: Churchill Primary School between 6pm and 8:30pm
29th November: Banwell Childrens' Centre between 3pm and 7pm

For more about the new JSP and new North Somerset Local Plan, please see the Community Matters page.

25-Aug-2017 Good news on extended bus services
There will be a later 126 bus from Weston to Wells At 7.05pm from 3rd September, the Bristol Airport bus service has free or concessionary fares to Bristol and Weston, and there is free Falcon coach travel for the over 60's from A38 bus stops to Bristol. For details and limitations, see the links below:

1. New Bus Timetables
FirstBus/Excel have published revised timetables starting 3rd September. The A2 airport times are not changing (yet) and on the 126 Wells/Weston service there will be a later bus from Weston to Wells at 7.05pm.

2, Bristol Airport Concessionary Fares
These are available on the A1 service to Bristol and the A3 to WSM. As I interpret it, anyone can apply for a Community Card to get a reduction on these services and if they also have a Diamond Card travel is free.

3. Stagecoach's Falcon coach service which stops at any bus-stop on the A38 between Brent Knoll and Bristol have new concessions for over60s, including free local travel for Diamond Card holders.

24-Aug-2017 Lloyds Bank Mobile Banking Service
Will be available every Thursday, to run alongside the Thursday market, from outside the Winscombe Community Centre, from Thursday September 7th. Come along between 10 am and 12 am.

24-Aug-2017 Citizens Advice Bureau Service
Every Wednesday 9.30 am to 12.30 pm, in the Link Room, next to the Parish Office. This is an appointments only service, for free, independent, and confidential advice on a range of issues. Bookings can be made through the Parish Office, 01934 844257 or email This service is available for a trial period, so be sure not to miss this opportunity. For more information about CAB services, visit

10-Jul-2017 No Repair Cafe in August.
The Winscombe Repair Cafe, which usually runs on the third Saturday of the month, will be taking a break in August.
Since starting in March the team of skilled volunteer repairers have looked at over 80 items. Everything from bicycles and clothing repairs to wooden chairs, display boards, lamps, radios and hair straighteners to vacuum cleaners, drum machine, broken necklaces, a childs pram and even a dinosaur! The majority of items were repaired, saving money, resources and reducing the amount of waste going to landfill.
If you have items which need repair bring them to the next Repair Cafe, for free help, on September 16th, 10.30 am - 1.00 pm at the Lynch Chapel, Winscombe. Or just pop in to see what we are doing and enjoy refreshments and delicious homemade cakes. New repairers are always welcome
F.F.I contact, or ring Claire on 01934 843402.

28-Jun-2017 Disgusting!!
!This is not what you want to see when you go into Winscombe public toilets.

The long-suffering staff keeping our valued public conveniences clean and tidy have had to deal with this level of mess , blocked toilets, and broken fittings on many occasions now, and enough is enough.

The Parish Council have been asked to step in and take action, and discussions have ranged from making the toilets fee-paying, to closure. Many villages have closed their public toilets, and Winscombe provides a much-appreciated service to residents, Strawberry Line users, tourists, and delivery drivers.

If you agree it's time to say 'No!' to whoever is so selfishly making the toilets unusable for others, then please make an effort to check up whenever you are in the area, and report any suspicious activity, mess or damage to the Parish Office, 01934 844257, and ring 101.

21-Jun-2017 We are now on Facebook!
Please share with your friends, and like us on Facebook. Click on the Facebook icon at the bottom of the main page or on this link.

21-Jun-2017 A Cruel Trap
Yesterday residents of Roman Road, Sandford went to investigate a new fence which had been put up unexpectedly alongside the public footpath at the bottom of the lane at some time between Monday 19th and Tuesday 20th, . They found that a pig-wire fence topped with barbed wire, coming right down to the ground, has been put up about a metre into the footpath, with the body of a young deer hanging lifeless halfway along the fence, cruelly held by its hindquarters in the wire mesh. The deer must have struggled painfully for some time before dying. This fence, hidden on the footpath side by dense undergrowth became a trap for the deer, as it crossed from the footpath towards the direction of Sandford Hill.
The fear is that other animals and domestic pets might become ensnared in the fence and not be able to get free, as the whole length of the footpath is crossed by wildlife tracks, and there are badger setts in the area. Walkers and their dogs are also in danger of being injured by the barbed wire, particularly where the fence blocks off a gap at the side of the footpath previously used by people unable to get over the stile.
North Somerset Council has been asked to require the landowners of the adjoining field , who are believed to live out of the area, to move the fence off the public footpath. Locals can only speculate as to why this new fence has been put up now, where there hasn't been a fence before, and why the need to make it dangerous to walkers and wildlife. The field hasn't been cultivated for many years, and it has in the past been offered as a housing development site.

30-Mar-2017 Repair Cafe launched
The first North Somerset Repair Cafe held in Winscombe on March 18th was a great success. Lots of visitors, young and old came to see what was happening with many bringing items to repair.
The volunteer repair team swung into action, demonstrating their skills making repairs and chatting & learning from each other. Twelve items to repair were brought including two old telephones, a drum machine, a radio, a lamp, several bicycles, a CD machine and laptop computer. Most were repaired but the laptop and CD machine needed replacement parts, so the owners were supported to identify the correct part and will return next month to complete their repair.

The feedback was really positive.....

"Very friendly, helpful & welcoming. Great repair done on pushchair cover, fiddly job ....Repair cafe was perfect. The children were fascinated by the sewing machine too! Excellent community event"."
"Lovely morning. Excellent fixers, very knowledgeable"

In addition to these repairs the sewing team, repaired a huge bagful of good quality clothes donated to RAFT (Refugee Aid from Taunton). RAFT assist refugees and displaced people helping refugees in Calais, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Greece, Uganda, Romania as well as people in need in the local community and within the UK.

Repair Cafe will be a regular event held on the 3rd Saturday of every month at Lynch Chapel, BS25 1AR. Bring along your broken household items, bicycle and toys and skilled volunteers will help you make a repair. Tea, coffee and homemade cake also available - all welcome. More information from, join the Facebook group Repair Cafe Winscombe

29-Mar-2017 SNG Questionnaire results available
The results of the survey of Sandford residents by the Sandgord Neighbourhood Group are now available. Click on the link below to read it.

09-Feb-2017 SNAG First Meeting
The newly-formed Sandford Neighbourhood Action Group (SNAG) held a meeting tonight, (Thursday 9th February) to decide on an action plan, after a public meeting in Sandford on Friday 27th January about the challenges to the village brought by the new Strongvox Homes development of 118 homes off Greenhill Road. SNAG's first priority is a new Community Hall for the village, with youth facilities. A new site for the Community Hall is needed, as there is no room to expand the current Village Hall, and there is not enough provision for new residents, particularly the children and young people who will come to live in the village. SNAG will be inviting local landowners, the developers, and North Somerset Council planning officers to meet the Group, to discuss how the Community Hall can be built on the Strongvox site, or nearby. SNAG can be contacted at

09-Feb-2017 Strongvox Consultation Event
This was held at Sandford Village Hall, Friday 3rd February 4pm to 7pm.
Click here for the Pegasus / Strongvox presentation posters
Click here for the Pegasus / Strongvox letter sent to local residents
Click here for the view from the Sandford Neighbourhood Action Group (SNAG)

30-Jan-2017 The future for Winscombe Library
North Somerset Council will be investing £25,000 for self-service arrangements to be put in place, following the consultation process on the library's future. The plan is to remodel library services, and extend the services to evenings and weekends. Commenting on the consultation which took place, the Council report says:

Two options were proposed and 28 people and 1 organisation responded to the consultation. Option 1 attracted the most comment (25 respondents) and involves the remodelling of the library service and installation of self-service to open up access. 17 positive and 6 negative impacts were identified by local residents. Questions were raised about safety considerations when the building would be unstaffed, the importance of suitably qualified staff and support for people with disabilities. Self-service has been introduced in other libraries and we have researched good practice. The council's Health and Safety Manager and insurance brokers have also been engaged. Suitably qualified staff will be on site for a number of hours each week. Changes to staffing arrangements will be clearly communicated so that people with disabilities are able to access the services and continue to receive support from our qualified staff.

21-Nov-2016 Find out about the plan for new housing developments and new roads in our area.
The overall plan for new housing developments and new roads throughout North Somerset and beyond is now being decided on- The Joint Spatial Plan and the Joint Transport Study, joint because the plans cover Bath, Bristol, and S. Glos as well. We have a chance to have our say. Information events are being held by North Somerset Council at a number of venues locally, so don't miss out. The nearest events are at Churchill on 23rd November, and Banwell on 2nd December. The consultation on these plans closes in December.

As part of the consultation and engagement on the Joint Spatial Plan and Joint Transport Study North Somerset Council are holding a number of information events for local residents and businesses. This will provide the opportunity to ask questions and get more information about the current discussions on the JSP/JTS looking forward to 2036, and to find out about and make comments on the final proposals for the Site Allocations plan before it goes forward to examination.

The events are being held in the following locations:
Backwell - Backwell Parish Hall, Station Road on Tuesday 22 November, 5pm-7pm
Churchill and Langford - Churchill Primary School, Pudding Pie Lane on Wednesday 23 November, 5.30pm-7.30pm
Nailsea - Tithe Barn, Church Lane on Monday 28 November, 5pm-7pm
Banwell - Banwell Village Hall, Westfield Road on Friday 2 December, 6.45pm-8.45pm

13-Oct-2016 Public Meeting in Sandford
A meeting was held on Wednesday 12th October in the Village Hall to discuss plans for the expansion of the cider factory and the new warehouse. around 100 people attended. There will be a fuller report later, but you can see the presentation here:
Public Meeting Presentation

13-Oct-2016 Strongvox Inquiry Update
The Strongvox appeal has been granted, so the plan for 118 houses in Sandford will go ahead. More details later.

05-Oct-2016 Joint Spatial Plan - draft papers now circulated
N. Somerset Parish Cllrs were this afternoon sent notice of new Joint Spatial Plan and Transport vision papers, including draft development proposals for 5,400 houses in an area roughly centred on Banwell and Sandford, together with proposals for a new M5 Junction 21A north of Banwell,a Banwell bypass, linking with the A38 south of Bristol Airport.. There will be a round of briefings and meetings, and a public consultation in November.
Here is the link to the papers:

Further details will be circulated as they emerge.

22-Aug-2016 Winscombe Library Consultation
If you would like the opportunity to have your say about the possible merging of Children's Centres and Library services in the Worle and Winscombe/Banwell areas, there are Community Engagement Sessions taking place in September.

To have your say about changes at Worle Library and Milton & Old Worle Children's Centre:
Tuesday 13 September - 2.30pm and 7pm - Worle Community Centre, Lawrence Road

To have your say about changes at Winscombe Library and Banwell, Winscombe & Sandford Children's Centre:
Wednesday 7 September - 3pm and 7pm - Woodborough Inn, Sandford Road

You can also have your say by accessing
The public consultation will be running until 30 September 2016.

15-Aug-2016 Strongvox Inquiry Update
Following the four day hearing which took place 2nd - 5th August in Weston, the Planning Inspector will be visiting the site of the proposed 118 unit housing development to the West of the Primary School from 8 am on Tuesday 6th September. His decision will then follow, it's hoped within a few weeks.

A large number of Sandford residents attended the hearing, and the Inspector allowed time to everyone who wanted to speak. Briefly, the developers argued that because North Somerset Council cannot show they have a five-year housing supply ( by the developers reckoning, not the Council's), we can't rely on the Core Strategy provisions which protect Sandford, as an infill village, from large developments. The developers went on to argue that National Planning Policy guidelines mean the development should be allowed, as ( again by their reckoning) the benefits of the housing scheme outweigh any adverse effects, and would be sustainable. (Part of the government guidance on sustainable development is copied at the end of this update. ) Roughly half of the site is " Best and Most Versatile" agricultural land, the other half being slightly lower grade agricultural land.

The photo here is a view of the fields which it is planned to build on, taken looking out from Sandford Wood, part of the AONB.

At the August 1st Parish Council Planning meeting, the 24 unit Chestnuts housing scheme full planning application for Winscombe was recommended for approval, and a presentation for the 80 unit Broadleaze Farm housing scheme given, again for Winscombe. Highways have expressed concern about the cumulative effect on traffic in Banwell, if the Strongvox development and others go ahead.

( Government guidance): There are three dimensions to sustainable development: economic, social and environmental. These dimensions give rise to the need for the planning system to perform a number of roles:

* an economic role - contributing to building a strong, responsive and competitive economy, by ensuring that sufficient land of the right type is available in the right places and at the right time to support growth and innovation; and by identifying and coordinating development requirements, including the provision of infrastructure;
* a social role - supporting strong, vibrant and healthy communities, by providing the supply of housing required to meet the needs of present and future generations; and by creating a high quality built environment, with accessible local services that reflect the community's needs and support its health, social and cultural well-being; and
* an environmental role - contributing to protecting and enhancing our natural, built and historic environment; and, as part of this, helping to improve biodiversity, use natural resources prudently, minimise waste and pollution, and mitigate and adapt to climate change including moving to a low carbon economy

01-Jun-2016 Strongvox Appeal Rescheduled for August
Proposed development at land to north-west of Sandford School, Sandford (15/P/0583/O) by Strongvox/Pegasus. The Planning appeal enquiry has been rescheduled to start on Tuesday 2nd August for 4 days (Tues to Friday). It will be held in the New Council Chamber, Town Hall, Weston-super-Mare for all 4 days. The Appeals Support Officer at North Somerset Council is Rob Worgan.

24-Apr-2016 Neighbourhood Development Plan Questionnaire Results are in
The first results from the Questionnaire have been analysed. See the NDP page for further details.

The appeal against deemed refusal of the Strongvox planning application affecting land to the North of Greenhill Road, Sandford, listed to begin on 19th April at the Cricket Club, Winscombe, has been postponed to a date to be fixed, probably in June, due to the illness of the Inspector.

08-Mar-2016 Neighbourhood Development Plan
Questionnaires are being delivered this week to all residents in the Parish. The Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) is vitally important for the future of the Parish, so please ensure you fill yours in. You can do it online or on the paper copy. Please see the NDP page on this website:
or contact the Parish Office on 01934 844257 if you have any queries.

06-Jan-2016 Strongvox Planning Application
Strongvox have renewed their planning application for 118 new homes in Sandford. There will be a public meeting this Friday 8th January at Sandford Village Hall. You can see the case documents at
The deadline for comments is 21st January

06-Jan-2016 Winscombe & Sandford Wassail
Promises to be even bigger and better than last year. The wassail procession starts at 2.30pm this Sunday 10th January in the field behind the Winscombe Community Centre and ends at the Community Orchard. This is a free event, any donationa go to the Winscombe Community Association. Refreshments will be provided afterwards at the orchard, or in the WCA Annexe if wet. See the poster in the Noticeboard page

20-Dec-2015 Fracking at Banwell and under the Mendip Hills AONB
Our local MPs John Penrose and Liam Fox are amongst those who voted for the recent government decision to allow fracking under AONB s and National Parks. This is a topic of much local interest, and residents views on fracking will be posted on the Community Matters page, and additional material on the Sustainable Winscombe and Sandford page.

17-Dec-2015 TTIP
Those of us attending Molly Scott-Cato MEP's talk today,( Friday 11th ) at the Community Centre, gained a rare and fascinating insight into the workings of the European Parliament, and the issues surrounding the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership ( TTIP) . For those residents who weren't able to attend, a video of the talk will shortly be posted on this website.
Molly is an economist and former Professor of Strategy and Sustainability at the University of Roehampton. Hearing her in person, she is also an excellent communicator, who doesn't fudge in answering questions. We learnt how she represents the interests of her South West constituents in the face of the secret negotiations currently building TTIP's far-reaching, and legally binding, rules for British agriculture, the NHS, our food standards, our labour rights, and even our local authority's free choice of contractor.
We were asked to think about some glaring questions: Why aren't we, as the people most affected, hearing in the media about this proposed international trade deal? Why is it being negotiated in secret? Why aren't the cameras running on ' Today in the European Parliament', when it's legislation that will affect us all?
An excerpt from Molly's article on TTIP in the New Statesman yesterday appears below:

TTIP is nothing more than a corporate charter. By focusing on harmonising product regulation and standards and protecting the rights of investors it risks undermining Europe's high standards in labour rights, environment, food safety and animal welfare. The Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) is one of the most controversial aspects of the deal as it would allow corporations the right, through tribunals outside the domestic legal system, to challenge democratic decisions taken in the public interest, where these threaten corporate profits. Fearful of being sued by corporations, this could prevent governments implementing public policy for the common good.
As an MEP of a largely rural constituency I have been particularly concerned at the focus on 'harmonisation' between the EU and US in agriculture. There are few issues of greater divergence than that of agriculture, and few issues where there is a greater threat to the livelihoods of communities in the UK. The US has identified a number of 'barriers' towards ratifying a deal. These barriers include the EU's policies on opposition to genetically modified crops; the EU's ban on hormone-treated beef; its refusal to accept chlorine-washed chicken and its protective system of geographical indications - labelling which identifies where products originate from.

Last week members of the European Parliament's Agricultural Committee, of which I am a member, had an opportunity to ask questions of the American Ambassador. I asked how he could guarantee that TTIP will not result in a race to the bottom in agriculture. He responded by saying that we need not fear competition. Nor, for the record, did he mind eating chlorinated chicken, 'because we all swim in chlorinated pools'!
His answer completely missed the point. Inferior quality products produced intensively and under lower environmental and animal welfare standards in the US will of course be able to undercut higher quality products which conform to higher standards. He also failed to understand the particular nature of landscapes such as the South West which prevent the large-scale intensive farming that reduces prices.
Some have argued that TTIP is a good example of all that is bad about the EU and is reason enough to support Brexit. But Mr. Cameron has been a cheer-leader for TTIP since its inception. The Tories would gladly create alternative trade deals with the US and others if we left the EU.
We should not be under any illusions: a UK outside the EU and governed by the Tories would lead to even further trade liberalisation, even more damaging trade deals and a deregulated corporate free-for-all.

Molly Scott Cato is the first elected Green MEP for the South West of England and Gibraltar and is one of 50 Green/EFA MEPs in the European Parliament. She sits on the Economics and Monetary Affairs Committee. Her bulletins from the European Parliament can be found on
You can see a video of Molly's talk here:

03-Dec-2015 Waste Management
Possible cash for community projects, through the Parish Incentive Scheme for waste management: North Somerset Council is offering a cash reward for reducing waste and increasing recycling: the Parish Council Environment Advisory Group will consider this on Monday 7th. For more details see Community Matters.

01-Dec-2015 Christmas Late Night Shopping in Winscombe on December 1st
Don't forget to bring your friends and family too, as Father Christmas will be there, and plenty of Christmas ideas for all to enjoy. It's a chance to buy what you need locally, and with the centre of the village car-free, you can walk in safety and comfort around the village seeing all that's on offer, good for all of us, and good for the environment. This year, don't forget to call by at the Neighbourhood Plan stall at the top of the village, and collect your free Neighbourhood Plan present!

24-Nov-2015 Road closures for Late Night Shopping on 1st December
Woodborough Road will be closed from 6pm to 9pm, from Nippors Way junction to the Lynch junction, on Tuesday 1st December

24-Nov-2015 Winscombe Railway Bridge road closure
Night closures from 16th December, day closure on Sunday 20th December. See link below for full details

17-Nov-2015 Road closure in Banwell
East Street, West Street, and Knightcott Road, BANWELL will be closed for approximately 6 hours on Sunday 22nd November to enable urgent carriageway ironwork replacement work to take place. This work will take place between noon to midnight, but the exact hours are not yet known.

12-Nov-2015 SW Member of European Parliament to visit Winscombe
SW ME P Molly Scott Cato will be at the annex at Winscombe Community Centre on December 11th, 10.30-11.30 am to meet residents and talk about TTIP- the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership: Free refreshments, all are welcome.

12-Nov-2015 Community policing cover reduces
Police Commissioner Sue Mountstevens encourages residents to keep in touch via the police website: for more see 'Community Matters'

22-Oct-2015 Crime alert- two handbag thefts in the parish

Be warned- a handbag was snatched on Sandford Road last week, technically a handbag snatch is a robbery, and counts as a serious crime, as it involves an immediate fear of violence, and now a handbag has been stolen from a parked car, in Winscombe cemetary.

An elderly lady parked at the cemetery to place some flowers on a grave on either Monday or Tues this week. She placed her handbag under the passenger car seat, when she came back to her car the window had been smashed and handbag stolen.

Resident are advised to be on the alert for any suspicious incidents, and to take special care of valuables. The police are aware of both incidents.

22-Oct-2015 Waste electrical equipment recycling event
Well done to everyone who brought items along to this event at the WCA last Thursday! A fanstatic 13 garden waste sacks of waste electrical equipment, 4 large TVs and 2 lawn mowers were collected, 359kg of waste in all, the North Somerset Waste Minimisation Officer is very pleased to report. Thanks to all who supported this event.

10-Oct-2015 Woodborough Farm Proposal
Comments on the proposal can now be made up to 29th October.
Details can be viewed online at North Somerset planning, using the following link;jsessionid=BA2C9B859D6B152CA809C2237DFCC8E2?appNumber=15%2Fp%2F1979%2Fo&appType=planning&action=Search

06-Oct-2015 WEEE ... stands for Waste Electrical Equipment-Event
As you may remember from our second record-breaking event last year! So gather up your old computers, fridges, hairdryers and kettles, and bring them along between 8 am and 12 noon on Thursday 15th October to Winscombe Community Centre car park, and the North Somerset Council Waste team will take them away for you, for free. All or any electrical items can be left in the cordoned-off area in the car park behind the Community Centre. Any useful components will be recycled, helping the environment, cutting down on landfill, and saving money for the Council and the community. So why not put the 15th October in your diary, and help make this year's event another community recycyling record for Winscombe and Sandford. This event is kindly hosted by Winscombe Thursday Market, so don't forget you can also stock up on fresh bread, vegetables, fruit, fish, cakes and preserves, as well as bargains from the Book Bazaar.
Please note that North Somerset council have now informed us that items heavier than one individual can comfortably carry they are not willing to accept at this event. We regret this new restriction.

21-Sep-2015 Go Now Or Miss It!
The Dismaland Banksy event we have heard so much about soon to end.... this highly recommended event in Weston has generated so much interest locally. Not so much different as unique, every report of a Banksy day out you are likely to hear is positive, overall . The advice is to book online, don't just turn up and hope to queue successfully for a ticket, or you may wait for hours and still not get in.. Also, this event is not meant for younger children- the fairytale scenes are definitely not 'happy ever after', and unless you want a dismal child at the end of the day, follow the Dismaland advice, and leave primary-age children with friends or family. As one resident has commented, on seeing some very young children taken along, including little girls dressed as fairy princesses, is it fair to risk nightmares?

21-Sep-2015 Never mind the access, feel the width!
It's all go at Longfield. Work starts on the new sports pitch for Sidcot School- a first action pic as trucks ease their way in.

12-Sep-2015 Outline Planning Application For 175 Houses At Woodborough Farm
Details can be viewed online at North Somerset planning, using the following link;jsessionid=BA2C9B859D6B152CA809C2237DFCC8E2?appNumber=15%2Fp%2F1979%2Fo&appType=planning&action=Search
Please send in your comments directly to North Somerset Council, and if you would like the Parish Council to take them into account when considering whether or not to advise acceptance of the application, please also send a copy to the Parish Council,
The application will be considered at the next Parish Council planning committee meeting at St. James Church Hall Thursday 24th Sept at 7.30pm, when time will be set aside for public participation.

12-Sep-2015 Police presence in Winscombe & Sandford
Does it matter to you?
Massive cuts in police budgets are in sight, which will impact all areas of policing. Residents in rural areas are being asked to make their views known, in support of the 'Rural Policing Matters ' Campaign which has now started up.

The Rural Services Network says: Full details about the 'rural policing matters' campaign, including the consultation, are available on the NRCN website:

To ensure your voice is hear, we suggest responding to the government's consultation using a prepared template letter available:

We are also encouraging people to sign the 'rural policing matters' petition, which is also available:

12-Sep-2015 Outstanding Week'
The UK's AONB Family has come together to organise a 10 day programme of events to help people enjoy and be inspired by the UK's Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs). Starting on Saturday 19th September and continuing through to Sunday 27th September, the events can be found on
As NAAONB's Jill Smith, explains

'Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty are some of the most beautiful and cherished landscapes in the UK. They are vibrant landscapes which offer a wealth of opportunities for everyone to enjoy them. They are Landscapes for Life in so many different ways.

'Outstanding Week is an opportunity for you to get involved and get out into our AONBs' outstanding landscapes to enjoy country shows, dark sky discovery nights, walking festivals, archaeology walks, wood fairs, foraging and local food festivals, wildlife walks, coastal and marine days, thatching courses, drystone walling competitions, charcoal making, bioblitz, inspiration through art and music and many, many other activities.

Events are being organised throughout the country so please join us for an Outstanding Week!'

03-Sep-2015 Sandford - Another New Housing Development Proposal
7.30pm on Monday 7th September at Sandford Village Hall is the time fixed for representatives of Cook Developments to explain their plans for a new housing development of approximately 85 houses. The plot in question is land behind Sandford Primary School and to the East, extending to the triangle at the junction of Greenhill Road and Greenhill Lane. So far, all that has been sent out by way of information is the plan below. This plot is directly next to the plot chosen for the recently proposed Strongvox development of over 100 houses, so the two proposals taken together, if allowed to go ahead, would mean about 200 more households for Sandford. Everyone interested is invited to come along to the presentation on Monday 7th.

31-Aug-2015 Michaelmas Fair and Show
Winscombe Community Centre Saturday 12th September. This unmissable village event has loads of fun events for all the family, and is an essential fundraiser for our much-used Community Centre. The Fair and Show organisers and team are looking out for volunteers to help out on the day, particularly with manning the gate, and manning some stalls. This is your chance to be part of a welcoming village team, so please get in touch with Jill Cureton at, or drop into the Thursday market at the Community Centre and ask for any member of the team, to find out more.

13-Aug-2015 Broadleaze Farm Development Plans
It was standing room only at last Monday's Parish Planning Committee meeting (10/8/15) in Winscombe, when plans for the Broadleaze Farm development were outlined by two representatives of Mead Realisations. Villagers heard that about 70 houses, perhaps more at the end of the day, as only outline planning permission will be applied for at first, are planned for the 7.66 acre site.
The houses planned would be mainly detached 2-5 bed homes, up to 2 and a half storeys in height,w ith the obligatory 30% affordable/social housing being sited nearest to the Highways Depot. The Mead Realisations representatives agreed that the affordable housing would go to families qualifying as having greatest need, who would not necessarily be local families.
Residents voiced concerns about how the site, pasture rich in wildlife for the last 40 years, had suddenly been ploughed up by the developers, before any environmental assessments could take place, also the lack, shown by the outline plan, of the advised 10m buffer zone between the Strawberry Line and the development, also the narrow and dangerous access to the site from both Broadleaze Way and South Croft, and also the covenant restricting building on the site to only one house. Responses were promised to some of these issues.
Several villagers also spoke above the cumulative effect on the whole community which this development would bring if allowed to go ahead, on the schools, GP and other services, out-commuting traffic pressure, and a 'massive sustainability issue , given that there is already the Woodborough Farm development planned in the centre of Winscombe. General laughter followed the (unanswered) request that Mr Mead build a Banwell bypass, to allow for the extra volume of traffic.
When asked how long the building work was planned to take, the Mead representatives confirmed that this would depend on market forces, and the uptake of the initial units built, with planned completion of 16 units a year.
Residents attended the meeting were invited to complete a questionnaire for the developers. All residents are urged to send in their comments on the planning application ( once lodged) to North Somerset Council and the Parish Council.

27-Jul-2015 Woodborough Green
Does it matter, for our community? Does it matter to you? You are invited to send your views in to the Parish Council .

Woodborough Green, most of the area between the frontage of the Woodborough Inn and Sandford Road, was registered as a Village Green by the Parish Council in 1982, under the Commons Registration Act 1965.

The Commons Registration Act 1965 says that 'Village Green' means land for 'lawful sports and pastimes' for local inhabitants. Village Green rights legally exist regardless of who owns the land the Village Green is on. Currently, Woodborough Green is owned by Heartstone Inns Limited of 1 London Street Reading.

As far back as the 1790s, when there was a much larger area of ground in the village centre called Woodborough Green ( including our current Woodborough Green) ,the local inhabitants used Woodborough Green for an annual fair and other events and activities. 'Lawful sports and pastimes', the Village Green rights following registration under the Commons Registration Act 1965, are not restricted to the activities which were enjoyed before the registration.

Woodborough Green today is used for public access, public car parking, Churches Together in Winscombe and Sandford use it for an annual Good Friday open air service, and there are other open air events open to all, for example Morris dancing displays.

Recently, part of Woodborough Green has been decked over and fenced off by the pub landowners, for use as an outside seating area. Village Greens are protected by law, so the question is, what do we as the local inhabitants with a right to use the Village Green think about this?

Does Woodborough Green matter to you as a local inhabitant? Does Woodborough Green matter to you as a community asset for other local inhabitants now and in the future?

Do you want the Village Green to be kept open and not built on, for the enjoyment and recreation of all local inhabitants, now and in the future? Is public parking on Woodborough Green, or part of it, something you want?

Do you want the area, or part of the area , to be grassed over ? Do you want the current decking area to be made accessible for free use by local inhabitants?

Do you want local inhabitants and the Parish Council to be consulted before any other action is taken by the landowners, affecting Woodborough Green? Should there be a plaque or sign up at the front of Woodborough Green, to let people know this is our Village Green?

Or do you want to take no action at all, which may mean local inhabitants lose the right to use Woodborough Green if it is fenced off or built over?

27-Jul-2015 Proposed Strongvox Development, Sandford
It's not too late to tell North Somerset Council how you feel about the Strongvox Development proposals. The Planning Department haven't yet made their decision, and residents' views sent in under this reference, 15/P/0583/O LAND TO THE NORTH WEST OF SANDFORD PRIMARY SCHOOL, will still be considered.

Despite the Parish Council refusal to approve the application, the Parish Council's role is advisory only, and North Somerset Planning will have the final say.

SOLD members ( SOLD stands for Sandford Opposes Large Developments) would like to remind residents that it's up to them to speak out about how they feel the Strongvox Development will impact on our Sandford village community. Time is short, so they are asking every resident to tell North Somerset Council whether or not they think the Strongvox plans will benefit our community as soon as possible.

11-May-2015 Sidcot School appeals over boarding house proposal
Sidcot School has now appealed against the second refusal by North Somerset Council, their appeal and the NSC refutation are both here:;jsessionid=E5ADA02447A1AAEF795099C671B25D37?action=show&appType=Planning&appNumber=14/P/1206/F

Local residents have also submitted a response to the Planning Inspector who will hear the appeal at Winscombe Cricket Club on the 3rd and 4th.
See the Sidcot page for more details:

09-May-2015 Woodborough Farm Development surfaces again
Some local residents have received a flyer (click below to see it) about a Public Exhibition taking place on Wednesday 20th May between 3pm and 8pm at the WCA.

06-May-2015 Winscombe and Sandford Parish succesfully renews its Fairtrade Status

Winscombe and Sandford Parish has successfully renewed its Fairtrade status for the next two years, following it's ongoing commitment to promoting Fairtrade principles.

The new certificate can be seen in the main room of the Community Centre, Sandford Road Winscombe

Our Fairtrade steering group plans to continue involving more community groups and businesses in the area by taking part in campaigns such as the nationwide Fairtrade fortnight ( February) and supporting the annual event in Shipham Village Hall before Christmas.
We have purchased Fairtrade aprons which we will encourage local groups to borrow when serving Fairtrade tea or coffee at their events.

The Parish was first awarded Fairtrade status in 2009 in recognition of its strong support for Fairtrade and the achievement of 5 qualifying goals such as the availability of Fairtrade products in local shops and catering outlets and high levels of support from local people, businesses, the Parish Council, faith groups and schools.

Adam Gardener, Communities Campaigns Manager at the Fairtrade Foundation, said
' We are so pleased that Winscombe and Sandford have renewed their Fairtrade Status and laid out clear exciting goals to take Fairtrade further.
Thanks to the ongoing support of the public and campaigners, an increasing number of farmers in developing countries are now selling their products on Fairtrade terms, bringing them a stable income, and the chance to trade their way out of poverty.'

Fairtrade helps small scale farmers ensure that they earn stable incomes and have long term contracts with companies. In addition, they earn the Fairtrade Premium, which they invest as the farmer-owned co operative democratically chooses, in projects that will benefit their business or community.
The Fairtrade mark independently certifies that products meet economic, social and environmental standards. As such it is the most widely recognised ethical mark worldwide.

For more information about Fairtrade visit
To get involved with the Fairtrade campaign in Winscombe and Sandford
Email Tina Joyce or Jill Darley

05-May-2015 (Another ) New housing development application for Winscombe and Sandford?
News of a possible application for planning approval for 75 houses bordering the Strawberry Line, on the former Broadleaze Farm site follows an application to North Somerset Council under their reference
More news on this as it becomes available.

05-May-2015 Green Open Homes Weekend Saturday 6th June and Sunday 7th June- sign up for your visit now!

You are invited to a Green Open Homes event on Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th June 2015., at homes in Winscombe, Sandford, and Burrington

Have you ever wondered about getting 'green' installations for your home, such as a heat pump, solar panels, a biomass heating system , or even getting an electric car? Have you wondered which might most benefit you, how to arrange the installation, the costs and benefits, how to apply for government funded support? Would you like to know about any positive or negative experiences, directly from the owners? Now is your chance to see some of these green installations in a neighbour's home, and ask about them. There are seven homes available to visit, and refreshments and plant sales are available at some of these as well.

Energy efficiency measures in the home can make a real difference to our health and wellbeing. The cost to the NHS of treating illness exacerbated by cold homes is estimated by Age UK to be £1.36bn

Energy efficiency is a real and positive way we can all contribute to tackling fuel poverty, high energy bills and climate change.

For more details, please contact Karin on 01934 843766; e-mail or Cresten on 01934 823609; e-mail

25-Apr-2015 Parish Council advises 'NO' to the proposed Strongvox housing development in Sandford.

Winscombe and Sandford Parish Councillors meeting as the Planning Committee on the 23rd April have voted unanimously against the proposed Strongvox/Pegasus housing development planned for Sandford. The meeting took place at St James' Hall in Winscombe, to accommodate the large number of parishioners who attended to oppose the application. Over 100 objections to the scheme were lodged on the Council website, citing the road safety and the serious traffic problems affecting this and surrounding parishes, Churchill Parish Council also lodging an objection, as well as social, environmental, and economic concerns, and concerns about the overall lack of sustainability in the scheme proposed, and the destructive effect it would have have on the village community. SOLD spokesman ( Sandford Opposes Large Developments) Paul Watkins' presentation highlighted the defects and inaccuracies in the Strongvox proposals, which in parts was copied from another application naming land at Kingsbridge, in South Hams, Devon.

District Councillor Tony Lake also spoke out against the application at the meeting, highlighting the site's status as Green Belt- 'prime agricultural land' in North Somerset Council's ( NSC) own view-, outside the settlement boundary, within an infill village lacking any of the infrastructure required to support such a large development. In his view, the site is not appropriate for this kind of development by any NSC or national planning criteria, and he expected that even if NSC did refuse the application, and the developers appealed, the application should still be turned down. A recent application turned down by NSC Planning, which the developers successfully appealed, would have no bearing on any Strongvox appeal he said, as it was altogether different, relating to Brownfield land already earmarked for employment development.

Planning Committee Chairman Archie Forbes reminded those present that the Parish Council can only advise, and that the decision rests with North Somerset Council. The Parish is currently in the process of writing a Neighbourhood Development Plan, (NDP) which once it is made, does have to be taken into consideration in the planning process. Local interest in progressing the NDP has been encouraged by a series of cases which show that once made, NDPs have real force in the planning process. The latest case, involving Gladman Development, was reported on April 23rd, when the developers backed down following a challenge to the local NDP ( see

20-Apr-2015 Superfast Broadband in Winscombe
The following has been received from the "Connecting Devon and Somerset" programme, which is rolling out superfast broadband to 90% of Devon and Somerset:

It may be of interest to you to know that almost 200 properties in your parish can now access fibre broadband thanks to the fibre enabling of a broadband cabinet (specifically, cabinet Winscombe 5). Residents will need to contact an ISP to check that they can access the new infrastructure and to get an estimated line speed.

We would be grateful if you could help us spread the word about the availability of this new infrastructure and hopefully help us increase uptake. We would also be very interested to know how this service is benefitting residents and businesses so please encourage them to share this with us on Twitter!
If you have any questions please don't hesitate to get in touch.

Follow us on Twitter: @DCCSCCBroadband

16-Apr-2015 Sandford Development, Strongvox Homes - Meetiong 23rd April
Strongvox/Pegasus Planning Apprlication, Sandford - ALL MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC are welcome to attend the Special Meeting of the Parish Counciil Planning Committee on 23rd April 7.30 pm St James Hall. The meeting has been called specifically to discuss this application. Members of the public can give their views at the time set aside for public participation at the start of the meeting. Councillors will then vote on whether or not to recommend the application for acceptance. The Parish Council is an advisory body for planning purposes, so the final decision rests with North Somerset Council.. The closing date for comments on the application to North Somerset Council has now passed, and allcomments, as well as the application papers, can be viewed on the North Somerset website by following this link:;jsessionid=90B162D05D1085F2E6BB295513E1C860?appNumber=15%2Fp%2F0583%2Fo&appType=planning&action=Search

16-Apr-2015 New Parish Council
Our Parish council election is uncontested, so we now know who our new Parish councillors on May 7th will be. New councillors are Paul Watkins from Sandford and Ian Kirkpatrick, Sidcot School Headmaster. Returning councillors are Margaret Ballard, John Westlake, Archie Forbes, Kevin Joyce, Mike Williamson, Mark Boddy, Janet Corry, Gerald Lloyd, Cresten Boase, Chris Ballard and Geoff Luckett. If anyone who missed the deadline for registering as a candidate would like to stand as a councillor, they should enquire at the Parish Office about the possibility of being co-opted as a councillor to the remaining vacancy after the 7th May.

31-Mar-2015 Winscombe Contact Scheme
We are delighted to let you know that information relating to the 'Winscombe Contact Scheme' (WCS) is now a link from this website.
WCS, which started in 1974, is a 'good neighbour' scheme which provides transport to medical appointments for residents who are unable to use public transport or transport is not available. We also maintain a list of local organisations and useful telephone numbers.
On our website you can :-
• Request transport to medical appointments.
• Volunteer to become a driver
• Volunteer to join the scheme
• View all the WCS information
Any queries please contact Mike Bravery 01934 844115.

21-Mar-2015 Are you ready?- the parish, district, and parliamentary elections are on Thursday 7th May
Don't miss your chance to vote, or to stand as a candidate. Here are the important deadlines on the countdown to election day:
• 4pm Thursday 9 April 2015 - deadline to stand as a councillor
• midnight Monday 20 April 2015 - deadline for registering to vote
• 5pm Tuesday 21 April 2015 - deadline to apply for a new postal vote or new proxy vote
• Thursday 7 May 2015 - election day. Polling stations open from 7am-10pm
To vote in the election you must be:
• on the electoral register
• aged 18 or over
• a British, Commonwealth, Irish or European citizen registered to vote as a UK resident
The deadline to add your name to the electoral register is 5pm on Monday 20 April 2015. Go to
for information on how register, or dind out more about how to be a candidate, or ring North Somerset Council on 01934 888888 and ask for Electoral Services, or visit the GOV.UK website.

15-Mar-2015 National Spring Clean - 21st March 2015
This is a 'national spring clean' initiative to be held on Saturday 21 March 2015, the first day of spring, with the aim of sprucing up the country's high streets, residential and business areas, villages and parks supported by North Somerset Council, the Government and Keep Britain Tidy.

There are already a number of community groups and individuals in North Somerset that carry out litter picking activities and this initiative is a way of supporting these groups and trying to increase the number of people involved in keeping their neighbourhood clear of litter.

In our villages we are lucky enough to have a team of volunteer litter-pickers, working on their own initiative to keep our roads and pathways clear. If you would like to volunteer, please get in touch with the Parish Clerk, Mrs Lynne Rampton, at the Parish Office in Winscombe. Also, we can all make a special effort on 21st March to make sure that the area around our own homes is clear of litter and other rubbish, always bearing mind the special need to take care when working near roads and traffic, and the trips and other hazards road areas present.

15-Mar-2015 New 'Green Homes' event planned for June
We will have a chance to see energy saving measures already installed and working in homes in Winscombe, Sandfod, and Loxton over the weekend of 6th and 7th June, and to find out more about how these measures work, and what benefits they are actually bringing to local families living in those homes. More details about how you can visit the green homes taking part will be appearing on the website from the end of April. For more details on how to take part in the event, please see the Noticeboard.

23-Feb-2015 Winscombe Wassail
It's a first for Winscombe! Winscombe Wassailers, led by Wassail King Colin Burbidge and Wassail Queen Ruby Smith, enjoyed a traditional wassail in the community orchard on Sunday 22nd. Over 30 local residents braved the wet and blustery weather to sing traditional wassail songs in the orchard, and watched the Wassail Queen hanging toasts in the branches of her chosen tree for the good spirits of the orchard, the robins, and pouring cider around the tree to encourage a good apple harvest this year. Everyone then made lots of noise with posts and pans to drive away the evil spirits, and wake the apple trees from their winter sleep. Afterwards, the revellers took shelter at the Community Centre and enjoyed Thatchers cider, local cheddar cheese and homemade apple cake. Chris Avery of the Mendip Morris Men then led five of the wassailers in their first ever performance of 'Speed the Plough'.
Organiser Chris Ballard said ' Our first Winscombe Wassail at the community orchard has been a great success, and we plan to hold another Wassail earlier in the year in 2016. The orchard was planted less than 5 years ago on land owned by North Somerset Council, and is maintained by Strawberry Line volunteers. The orchard, which includes apple trees planted in the memory of former local residents, is a valued green space locally, along with the nearby amenities of the Strawberry Line and the Millennium Green.'
You can see photos of the event and a short 'Speed the Plough' video on the Photo Gallery page

22-Feb-2015 Sandford Village Action Group?
Residents are invited to attend a meeting at Sandford Village Hall on Wednesday 25th Feb at 7pm to gather views about the proposed Strongvox development near the village centre.
The aim of the meeting is:
(a) To bring residents upto date with issues which arise from the proposal by Strongvox, a Taunton builder, to build 132 properties in the village.
(b) To discuss the consequences of a development of this size in Sandford and gather in residents' observations on this.
(c) To form a Sandford Village Action Group to:
(i) put forward residents' observations about the proposed development to the Parish Council and North Somerset Council.
(ii) to take a leading role in oposing the planning application by Strongvox, and in urging the Parish Council and North Somerset Council to reject it.

10-Feb-2015 Dog walkers urged to keep dogs under control on Burrington Ham Commons
Following a number of recent incidents of dogs attacking cattle and a significant increase in dog fouling, dog walkers are being urged to keep their dogs under close control and take their dog waste home.

Burrington Ham, a Site of Special Scientific Interest, is being managed for its nationally important limestone grassland habitat. Cattle are being used to graze the site in order to control scrub and allow the flower rich grassland to flourish. The grazing is part of a management agreement between the landowner and Natural England

Burrington Ham is a very popular, accessible site, used by families and school groups and dog fouling is a serious health problem and inconvenience for all users of the site. Dog waste can also pose a serious health risk to the cattle grazing the site. Dog walkers are asked to pick up after their dogs and take the bagged waste home for disposal.

If dogs are kept on a short lead the cattle are unlikely to approach and can get on with their job of controlling vegetation growth on the site. In the unlikely event of feeling threatened by approaching cattle then retreat and, if necessary, let your dog go.

Stuart Bardsley AONB Discovering Black Down Project Officer said 'We encourage people to enjoy Burrington Ham responsibly and to be aware that it is agricultural land where grazing animals are used to manage the site to maintain open grassland with a wealth of wild flowers. Keeping dogs under control and clearing up after them helps us care for the site and keep it safe for all users.'

For further information contact: Stuart Bardsley, Discovering Black Down Project Officer, Mendip Hills AONB Unit 01761 462338

06-Feb-2015 Bus travel: Do you have any questions about bus travel, for First West of England?

Between 5 and 7pm on Monday 9 February customers will be able to ask First West of England managers anything they like via Twitter or Facebook. You will have the option to either post a message onto the Facebook wall (, send a direct private message via the Facebook Page, or tweet the company, at @FirstBSA, using the hashtag 'tweetboss' ie #tweetboss. Messages will be answered on the night by First West of England's Managing Director, James Freeman and the business' Regional Customer Services Manager, Natacha Tagholm. For more information now, or to view timetables, log onto

06-Feb-2015 Banwell Road Closures
From 9th February, will affect EAST STREET- from West Street to Eastermead Lane and WEST STREET/KNIGHTCOTT ROAD - from East Street to Knightcott Gardens. This is for resurfacing work, and those roads may be closed for 3 weeks.

06-Feb-2015 A38 Roadworks north of Bristol Airport from 9th February to early May
Bristol Airport is funding £1m worth of road improvements to improve access to the terminal buildings. The work will take place from the 9th February onwards, so if you are planning to drive north on the A38 towards Bristol you should expect delays until early May. More details about the road works are available on Bristol Airport's website.

06-Feb-2015 Dogs Trust Microchipping Event
The next and final FREE Event is on Thursday 26th February, behind the Winscombe Community Centre.
The microchipping event held behind the Community Centre on Thursday 29th January went very smoothly- the two Dogs Trust vets went to work as soon as they arrived, 8 dogs in all were microchipped in a very quick and fuss-free procedure. As a bonus, the Book Bazaar Team from their own gazebo nearby, sold a good number of books to visiting dog owners and passersby. The next and final FREE Dogs Trust dog micro-chipping event takes place on Thursday 26th February, from 9.30 am to 1.30 pm, in the Car Park behind the Winsdombe Community Centre. as before.

06-Feb-2015 Mendip Hills Fund - applications invited

The Mendip Hills Fund is offering grants and loans for projects and activities that conserve and enhance the special qualities of the Mendip Hills, and benefit local communities. The deadline for applications is February 20th 2015.

The Mendip Hills Fund is a partnership between Somerset Community Foundation and Mendip Hills AONB Partnership providing a new community fund to conserve and enhance the environment, communities and economy of the Mendip Hills.

Grants or loans will be awarded to support community and voluntary groups and to support the non-statutory activities of the Mendip Hills AONB Partnership in three categories:

Conservation and enhancement of the landscape- activities could include landscape conservation grants to conserve and enhance the special qualities of the Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, maintenance and management of natural and historic features.

Promote public understanding and enjoyment of the Mendip Hills - activities could include grants for education visits and activities, Information and interpretation projects, eg notice boards, walking leaflets, outreach projects, eg targeting disadvantaged groups

Support the social and economic well being of the Mendip Hills - activities could include grants or loans to local communities for enhancing community facilities, eg village halls, start up social enterprises, eg farm shops, local food initiatives, community enterprises, eg village shops, village play schemes

Applicants must demonstrate benefit to the Mendip Hills environment and/ or Mendip Hills communities. For further information and application form visit Somerset Community Foundation web site:

Income to the Fund is raised from businesses, residents and visitors who wish to give something back to this very special part of Somerset, helping to conserve and enhance the special qualities of the Mendip Hills, and benefit local communities. To donate visit

02-Feb-2015 Public Access Defibrillator
The newly installed Public Access Defibrillator at Winscombe Community Centre is easily accessible, and has clear instructions so that anyone in need can easily be helped by a passerby, even if they have not previously received training. It's sad to learn that in Easton, Hanham, Mangotsfield and Pucklechurch in the last months, cabinets have been broken into and defibrillators stolen. This has caused concern locally, but the decision has been taken not to remove our community defibrillator, and it remains as a valued resource in emergency.

30-Jan-2015 Parish councillor candidates needed- why be a parish councillor?
Our Parish Council elections come up in May this year. As several parish councillors are not standing for election again, there will be vacancies. The Parish Council needs new councillors, to represent the views and interests of all residents.

We need parishioners who have a little time to give, and who want to contribute their skills and life experience for the benefit of our local community. It's a valuable role, doing something useful and needed for the parish you live in. People of all ages from all walks of life are needed, to make sure as many viewpoints are considered when Council decisions affecting everyone are made. It's not a case of what you know, or who you know, more a willingness to learn, to listen to what parishioners want, and to vote for any decisions the Council needs to make in the best interests of the community, so far as you can make them out. New councillors also get the chance to go on a training course for Parish Councillors, usually a pleasant day out finding out what's involved, when they can meet up with other new councillors from nearby parishes.

Here are some of the responsibilities the Parish Council has:
Allotments:, Cemeteries, Churchyards, Bus Shelters, the power to make byelaws concerning baths and washhouses (swimming pools), cycle parks, and pleasure grounds; providing and maintaining public clocks; Community Centres, Halls, Public Buildings; Drainage - of ditches and ponds; entertainment and the Arts; Footpaths ;General Spending - parish councils can spend a limited amount of money on anything they deem of benefit to the community that is not covered by the other specific responsibilities described in this list ; Highways - lighting, parking places, right to enter into discussions about new roads and road widening, consent of parish council required for diversion or discontinuation of highway, traffic signs and other notices, tree planting and verge maintenance ;• Land - acquisition and sale of;
Legal proceedings - power to prosecute and defend any legal proceedings in the interests of the community, power to take part in any public enquiry ;• Litter - provision of litter-bins and support for any anti-litter campaigns;
Planning - parish councils must be notified of, and display for residents, any planning applications for the area. Any comments submitted to the planning authority by the parish council must be taken into account;•also an important new role, writing a Neighbourhood Development Plan which has to be considered by the planning authority when planning applications are made; Postal and Telecommunication Facilities;- power to pay a public telecommunications operator any loss sustained in providing services in that area; Public conveniences - provision and maintenance of public toilets; Recreation - provision of recreation grounds, public walkways, pleasure grounds, open spaces, village greens, gymnasiums, playing fields, holiday camps and boating ponds;• Rights of Way - footpath and bridleway maintenance; public seats; Signs - danger signs, place names and bus stops signs; Tourism - financial contributions to any local tourist organisations; traffic Calming; War Memorials ; Water Supply - power to utilise stream, well or spring water and to provide facilities for general use.

Of course, not all of those are dealt with in our parish, and some are only dealt with rarely. It's worth remembering that the Parish Council gets some of the money we pay each year in rates to the Local Authority, the precept. You can find details about the Parish Council precept request for this year in January's Parish Council meeting papers, which are on the Parish Council website,

12-Jan-2015 Free microchipping for your dog
The Dogs Trust are offering two free microchipping sessions at Winscombe Community Centre, between 9c0 am and 1.30 pm on Thursday 29th January and Thursday 26th February. Compulsory microchipping for dogs becomes law in April 2016, and is one of the best ways to reunite a lost dog with their owner. The Dogs Trust are keen to help as many dog owners who need this service as possible, all are welcome to come along to either of the two sessions, and no appointment is necessary. The sessions are being held at the back of the Centre, in the car park, within easy reach of our most popular dog-walking route, the Strawberry Line.

07-Jan-2015 Banwell High Street closed
Banwell High Street will be closed from 6th Jan for up to 10 days because of emergency works to repair a collapsed sewer. The alternative route is:
High Street (part unaffected) - Littlefields Avenue - Westfield Crescent - West Street
and vice versa. See the diversion plan below.
Diversion Plan - High Street, Banwell.pdf

01-Jan-2015 A new housing estate for Sandford?
Strongvox Homes have outlined plans for a 131 house development between Greenhill Road and Sandmead Road in the centre of Sandford, in a leaflet delivered to Sandford residents over the last few days. The leaflet states that an outline planning application has not yet been prepared or submitted to North Somerset Council. There is a Freepost tear-off slip in the leaflet, for residents to write in their comments and post these back to Strongvox.

Residents are reminded that the Parish Council needs to know their views, and that comments you send to Strongvox will not automatically be copied to anyone else. Sandford Parish Councillors Margaret Ballard (822389) and Cresten Boase (823609, ) have already received comments from a number of Sandford residents, and welcome further comments, which can also be sent via the Parish Office, or through individual Councillors.

A public exhibition about the proposed development will be held at Sandford village hall on 15th January between 4 pm and 7.30 pm. It's understood that Strongvox Homes representatives will be meeting with Parish Councillors before then to outline initial proposals for the site.

Click on the images below to see the location.

31-Dec-2014 How many more new houses ?
We may soon have a better idea of the housing figures North Somerset Council will be working towards. The North Somerset Core Strategy Hearings take place onn the 6th and 7th January 2015 at the Winter Gardens in Weston, from 10am.( See
for further information) . As we know, Bristol University successfully challenged the original housing figure of 14,000 set out in the Core Strategy in 2013. Since then, greatly increased housing figures, up to almost twice that amount, have been put forward and discussed. Against that background, there have been several applications for large housing developments throughout the county, some of them on open countryside. Hopefully there will soon be certainty on the housing figures, after the hearings next week..

15-Dec-2014 Photographic Competition and Childrens Competition
Closing date February 2015. - Free entry to all Winscombe and Sandford residents. These competitions are part of our Neighbourhood Development Plan community activities.
The next volunteers meeting is on Thursday 18th December at the Community Centre, and opens at 7.30 pm with an interesting talk by the Mendip Hills AONB liaison officer. All are welcome.
Development in the parish over the next 15 years will affect each and every one of us. Our Neighbourhood Development Plan, once made, will have legal force, and is our chance to influence what development takes place, and to access funds to improve community facilities. The invitation to take part in the Plan process is going out to all households in the parish, with a leaflet about the Plan being delivered to each home by the end of the month. For more details, please see the December update on the Neighbourhood Development Plan pages.

15-Dec-2014 Winscombe Car Parks
Good news - North Somerset Council agrees to register Winscombe village centre car parks as community assets. Following the Council's initial refusal, a shoppers survey and emails sent in by many residents formed part of the evidence put forward to the Chief Executive by the Parish Council in asking NSC to review their decision. This was successful, and the registration means that if the Council decide to sell the car parks within the next five years, we as a community have six months in which to raise funds to buy the car parks ourselves, and safeguard these essential facilities.

12-Dec-2014 Offices or space in Weston
Would your group or organisation like offices or space in Weston's most central community hub? Would you like to be operating from within the Badger Centre? Would you like to have one service charge which includes electricity, heating, cleaning and maintenance, a service charge that is the same every month, allowing you to budget effectively?

Get in touch with VANS to find out more about our offices, which will be ready to be let from May/June 2015. Quartet Community Foundation, who own the building, are seeking tenants until July 2016, but would be amenable to any tenants seeking a longer lease. Note: all offices are served by a lift, and a manned reception is provided by Citizens Advice Bureau. Communal meeting spaces are available to tenants free of charge on a rota system (the Dundry room) or at a cost (the Weston Room). Photos available on request. Please contact VANS if interested:

20-Nov-2014 Barton Road Closure
Barton Road will be closed from 18th December for a period of 12 weeks.
Click below for more details

12-Nov-2014 Interested in being a Parish Councilllor?
There is a vacancy on the Parish Council, to be filled by co-option. All parishioners are very welcome to apply. The Parish Council represents the whole community, and younger people, women, and parishioners from Sandford are currently under-represented. For more details see the Noticeboard page. For more information please contact the Parish Clerk. The Parish Office at Winscombe community centre is open 10-12noon on Mondays and Thursdays.

29-Oct-2014 A Neighbourhood Development Plan for Winscombe and Sandford
The Parish Council voted unanimously in favour of bringing forward a neighbourhood development plan for Winscombe and Sandford at the Parish Council meeting on October 27th.

This is an exciting new project for our community, and an opportunity for every resident to put forward their ideas on what future development in our parish should include, and where this should go.

A Steering Group made up of Parish Councillors Chris Ballard, Cresten Boase, John Haynes, and Geoff Luckett, together with parishioner volunteers, will now start work on the plan, which is expected to take between 15 and 18 months to complete. For more information, please visit the Neighbourhood Development Plan page

23-Oct-2014 New Beat Officer for Winscombe and Sandford
Goodbye and good luck to PC Matt Bailey, our fomer beat officer. Many of us are sorry to see Matt go, and will miss his energetic presence cycling around the villages and the Strawberry Line, and the good rapport he has built up with many in the parish. Matt 's recent promotion to fatherhood and the rank of sergeant has made 2014 an eventful year for him, and we wish him well for the future. Just one thing, Matt. What happens to the bike???
We now welcome PC Andy Braund, our new beat officer. Andy is the Chairman of the Constables' Branch Board of our area Police Federation, and has already made an appearance at the Police Surgery at the Thursday Market , and introduced himself to the regulars there. Andy owns up to being a keen walker, and says we will soon see him out and about walking throughout the villages, and generally familiarising himself with our neighbourhood, which is good news.

23-Oct-2014 Stash of Cash- surprise find at the Book Bazaar
Cleaning up books ready for the shelves is a routine activity with few surprises, but this Thursday, when Book Bazaar team member Cresten opened up a donated book, instead of the usual shopping list, letter, or bookmark, she found an unusual enclosure which she describes as a 'stash of cash'.
Sadly for the Community Association, who might otherwise be the lucky recipients, but fortunately for the person kindly donating the book in question, there was also a cash machine withdrawal slip with the money. If you, or anyone you know, withdrew a fair amount of cash from a bank cash machine in the first week of September, and also donated a book or books to the Community Association, please get in touch with PC Andy Braund, our local beat officer, who has taken charge of the money, by ringing 101.

20-Oct-2014 Warm up Winscombe and Sandford?
Home energy efficiency for older houses poses extra problems, but we have a great example locally in Bristol, where the City Council are tackling the propblem with their new Warm Up Bristol scheme, aiming at 30,000 home improvement measures over the next four years. If anyone is interested in helpiing run a home energy effiency drop in here in WandS, please get in touch. Why not write to North Somerset Council asking them what their Warm Up North Somerset measures are? See the Sustainable Winscombe and Sandford page for more.

03-Oct-2014 Neighbourhood Development Plan Public Meeting Thursday 2nd October
It was standing room only in the Community Hall last night, with 150 residents turning out to listen and ask questions about the proposed Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) for Winscombe and Sandford. Cresten Boase, John Haynes and Colin Burbidge of WASNAG (Winscombe and Sandford Neighbourhood Action Group) spoke about NDPs in general, and the importance of an NDP for our neighbourhood. An overwhelming 'Yes' vote was given in favour of progressing an NDP by those present, with 12 residents coming forward at the end of the meeting to offer help in preparing a Plan.

Questions and answers followed on topics including the Banwell bypass, previous planning proposals for the Woodborough Farm site at Winscombe, flooding at Church Road, and the probable cost and timescale of an NDP. There were also expressions of dismay by several present, including the Chair of the Parish Council Environment Committee, at the news given during the meeting that North Somerset Council are not requiring an environmental impact assessment as part of the current proposed Woodborough Farm development, which would place 184 houses on a field adjoining Church Road and within sight of the AONB.

Building on the public support shown at the meeting, WASNAG will now take forward the proposal for a Winscombe and Sandford NDP with the Parish Council and North Somerset Council. Further bulletins will be posted on the village website, and a separate newspage for the Neighbourhood Development Plan on the village website will shortly be set up.

Anyone who wants to comment, or volunteer to take part in preparing the NDP, is invited to contact WASNAG by email to or by leaving a message for Cllrs Boase or Haynes at the Parish Office.

23-Sep-2014 Energising News!: Parish Council Vote For Local Energy Schemes
Last night Winscombe and Sandford Parish Council voted almost unanimously, (only one vote against) to support a proposal under the Sustainable Communities Act from Patchway Town Council asking the Government to give all Town and Parish Councils the right to sell electricity that they generate from any local scheme. the full text can be found on the Parish Council website, on the Agenda for last night's meeting.

If the proposal succeeds, this will pave the way for all Town and Parish Councils to get involved in local renewable energy schemes, for example putting solar arrays on community owned roofs, over community-owned car parks, providing power for local people and money for local projects, for example community centres and recreation areas, and other benefits.

At a time when many businesses, including non-UK businesses, are putting up solar arrays in our area, the profits of which will go straight to their shareholders without benefiting the local communities these are in, this is an exciting and positive opportunity for local communities to become more sustainable in these challenging times.

17-Sep-2014 Action On Flooding
Community Resilience Gulley Mapping Project- would you like to be part of an enjoyable new project, which will be of lasting value to our community? The new Gulley Mapping Project for Winscombe and Sandford, run by our Community Resilience Flood Team, aims for volunteers to walk all the roads in our parish, noting every drain ( gulley) and marking the individual locations precisely on large-scale maps.
The result will be used to ensure that we as a community get a swift and efficient response from the Council and other responsible agencies in the event of blockages and flooding. The Project will also provide an opportunity to gain valuable knowledge about drains and past flooding from community members, building up a picture which will help measures to prevent flooding in the future.
Winscombe and Sandford are the second parish in North Somerset to benefit from this Community Resilience project. Previously in Congresbury, volunteer mappers discovered that 130 gulleys ( or 'assets' as they are called) had been missed off the plans North Somerset Council was using, leading to confusion and delay in getting necessary repair work done. The plans were previously plotted using a camera mounted on a machine.
For your chance to get involved, please send your name and contact details, with a brief description of how you would like to be involved to the Community Resilience Flood Team, click here to email, or leave a message at the Parish Office c/o Cllr Cresten Boase.

17-Sep-2014 Neighbourhood Development Plan
A PUBLIC MEETING has been called by the newly-formed Neighbourhood Action Group (WASNAG), on Thursday 2nd October at 7pm at Winscombe Community Centre. All are welcome, to discuss a Neighbourhood Development Plan for the parish.

A planning application for 184 new houses at Woodborough Farm, the plot between The Lynch and Woodborough Road, with no provision for an environmental impact assessment or onsite jobs provision has been proposed. North Somerset Council are under pressure to allow as many as 26,000 new houses over the next 11 years. Without a Neighbourhood Development Plan, our community has no final say in what development is allowed. If you care about the future of our community, please come along to the meeting.

Please click on the links below for:
Neighbourhood Development Plans,( NDPs)
Planning portal discussion of NDPs
Backwell's NDP
Long Ashton's NDP
The Woodborough Farm proposal

17-Sep-2014 Climate March
Sunday 21st September from 2.30 pm in Bristol. Worldwide, hundreds of thousands of people will be marching in cities worldwide, to show world leaders meeting at a climate change action summit in New York that real and effective action on climate change is wanted.
The march and rally in Bristol will be attended by people from all over North Somerset, organised by members of Avaaz, a non-political campaigning group, including local residents.
If you would like to attend this family-friendly event, the march starts at 2.30 from St. James Church ruins in the centre (near Broadmead shopping centre) goes through Broadmead ending at College Green at 4.30 .
Our new South West MEP Molly Scott Cato will receive a petition calling for real action on climate change from our leaders.
The event will take place after the Bristol half-marathon, so if you are attending that, why not stay on to cheer on the climate marchers, or join in?

16-Sep-2014 Village Car Parks as community assets: a short survey
Everyone asked said they would be likely to go elsewhere for their shopping, business and other services, if there were no public car parks in the centre of Winscombe, and approximately half of those people come from outside BS25. Every one of the businesses surveyed said their business would be adversely affected if there were no public car parks in the centre of Winscombe.

Winscombe is classed as a service village, which normally serve 1-3 parishes.. Following the refusal of NSC to register the two public car parks in Winscombe as community assets (see News item 29/07/2014 below), a survey was undertaken in Winscombe by leaving a survey form with one question ( Question 1) :
' Would you be likely to go elsewhere for your shopping, and for your business and other services, if there were no public car parks in the centre of Winscombe?'
Respondents were invited to state 'yes ' or 'no', and give their names and postcode.
The survey forms were left at midday on Thursday 4th September, and collected in at midday on Thursday 11th September, at the following shops/businesses. Three shops/businesses had collected no replies.
All the shopkeepers/business representatives surveyed also answered 'Yes' to the following question, ( Question 2) on a separate survey sheet given out and collected at the same time:
' Would your business be adversely affected if there were no public car parks in the centre of Winscome?'
It was not possible to speak with all shop proporietors or all businesses in the centre, but none of the 11 shops/businesses concerns in the survey answered 'No' to Question 2.

Summary of responses by shop/business customers:
102 customers replied 'Yes' to Question 1. No customers answered 'No'.
Customer postcodes varied, including BS29, BS21, BS25, BS24, BS26, HR9, BS29, BS40, BS27, BS22, BS7, BS3, BS26, BS40,TA8, wiith 50 customers within BS25.

08-Aug-2014 Burglary alert- Brae Road 2-4th August
Between the 2 - 4 August, a property has been entered in Brae Road, Winscombe. Entry has been gained by damaging a rear patio door and offenders have conducted an untidy search. It is not known at this time what items have been stolen.
If you have information about any crime, phone the police on 101 or you can call anonymously to the independent charity CRIMESTOPPERS 0800 555 111. For general information about Neighbourhood Watch nationally see

08-Aug-2014 Council Meetings Online?
Do we want to see and hear what's going on in our Parish Council meetings and Local Authority meetings online, as it's happening?

A new law means we have the right to film and record public meetings. Until now, we've all had the right to attend our Parish Council and Local Authority meetings and have our say in the time set aside for public participation. Now the way is clear for anyone to film and record what's going on, and put that online so that we can see what our elected representatives are saying and deciding about local issues that affect us, without having to go to the meetings ourselves. It's understood our Parish Council will soon be meeting to discuss what action they should take, if any, in relation to online streaming of meetings.

08-Aug-2014 Magazine advert scam targeting our local businesses
Fraudsters claiming to be working on a police magazine are trying to con small business owners in Avon and Somerset. Police have had several reports about a telephone scam in Avon and Somerset which is targeting small business owners.
The caller claims to be from an agency working on a magazine for the police and is looking for local businesses to become sponsors. Small business owners are reporting that the caller asks for £100 for an acknowledgement or advert to be included in the magazine, which allegedly supports policing issues such as keeping young people off the street and substance misuse.
Avon and Somerset Constabulary's Corporate Communications Department have confirmed that they have not commissioned or put any support behind a magazine which requires sponsors or advertisers. The scam is being investigated by Action Fraud.

What to do if you get a cold call
• Never agree to something there and then - ask for a telephone number you can call them back on.
• Do your research - check online to see if the company exists, read other people's reviews and see if you can get a better quote elsewhere.
• If they say they are working for the police, call 101 to make sure.
• If in doubt, report it.

How to report a telephone scam
Report to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use their online reporting form.

If you have the name of the company, report it to Trading Standards by calling the Citizens Advice consumer helpline 03454 04 05 06.

30-Jul-2014 New Armed Forces Advice and Support Project
The project is aimed at all veteran and serving service personnel in our area. We offer advice, information and guidance on all matters from housing, education, benefits, to Health, Training and Employment.

This project is funded by the Armed Forces Covenant LIBOR Fund and is therefore about not only supporting our forces, but easing their reintegration into the civilian community.

If you would like more information on the project contact me via email or the mobile number below. If you would like printed copies of the attachments for display purposes please let me know and I will get some to you as soon as possible.

Our main task at this time is to ensure that every household within our area are aware of the project and know how to contact us should we be required.

Many thanks for your support,
Graham Oldfield
Project Manager
Armed Forces Advice & Support
Tel - 01275 885157
Mob - 07532 204662

29-Jul-2014 Woodborough Arms car parks- your views please!
The Parish Council have asked North Somerset Council ( NSC) to register the Car parks at Brown's Corner and Woodborough Drive as community assets. This means that if NSC decide to sell the car parks, we have 6 months to raise the money to buy the land ourselves. It will make the difference between having the chance to keep the land for parish use, or possibly losing it to an outside developer with ready cash. NSC have refused to register the car parks as community assets. We want to appeal against the refusal, as we think the car parks are important for local businesses and the whole parish. Do you agree? Please let us know, by email or post to the Parish Office, as soon as possible and by the end of August.
post: Parish Council Office,
Winscombe Community Centre
11 Sandford Road
North Somerset BS25 1JA

10-Jul-2014 Castle Hill Road closure
continues into fourth week.....The planned closure of Castle Hill, Banwell, for essential water main improvement work, will continue into a fourth week.

The closure was agreed by North Somerset Council and advertised by them for four weeks from June 16 but Bristol Water had hoped to re-open the road after three weeks.

However, despite generally good progress by BW and other utilities working on the road at the same time to avoid further future closures, the closure will now continue into the fourth week.

The plan is that the road should now be open next Friday, July 11 at some point, if not earlier.

Bristol Water apologises for any inconvenience the continued closure may cause

26-Jun-2014 Parish Festival - Scarecrow Extravaganza
Scarecrows are on display around the parish on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th June but may be seen
throughout the period of the Parish Festival - and until 6th July. Click on the scarecrow below to see the map.

26-Jun-2014 Winscombe and Sandford- Recycling champions again!!
Congratulations to all of you who turned out your homes and garages and shops and brought along your waste electrical items last Thursday to the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Amnesty event. There was a massive pile of it by the end of the morning, as you can see from the photos, and North Somerset Waste Management collected :

9 x TV's
2 x Fridges
9 x Hoovers
2 x Washing machines
4 x garden waste bags full of small electrical items

In total 1.5 tonnes of WEEE were collected, which is a brilliant result. Well done all. It all reduces landfill, helps the environment, and ensures useable components are re-used, saving the Council and us money.

26-Jun-2014 Recycling food waste just got easier!
You can now use plastic bags to line your food waste caddy following a successful trial by North Somerset Council.

Previously, only newspaper or compostable bags could be used as liners, but the council wants to make it easier and cheaper for people to use the weekly kerbside food waste collection service. Following a successful trial on Thursday collections residents were interviewed and provided the following comments.

'It's more hygienic, cleaner, easier and with no added expense'
A resident from Langport Road, Weston-super-Mare
'Prevents leaking that contaminated the kitchen caddy when I used newspaper or compostable liners'
A resident from Clifton Mews, Weston-super-Mare

It costs £1.2m to treat and dispose of North Somerset's food waste, and only half of the 14,500 tonnes of food waste generated by residents each year is recycled. By composting your kitchen waste at home or using the kerbside collections scheme, you could help to drastically reduce that bill.

All food waste collected at the kerbside is sent to a new anaerobic digestion plant in Weston-super-Mare, that generates enough electricity to power up to 1,000 homes. For more information visit

26-Jun-2014 July Road Closures
The July Road Surface Dressing programme starting July 26th affects Sandford Road and Well Close. There is also work planned for roads in Banwell and Congresbury. Click on the links below to find out more.
NSC_Surface_Dressing_Programme.pdf NSC_Surface_Dressing.pdf

16-Jun-2014 The Festival begins...
with the Festival Big Book Sale on Saturday 21st June at 9.00 am. Visit Winscombe Community Centre for hundreds of second-hand books of all kinds, the Freecycle event in the car park, and refreshments For more details see the noticeboard.

05-Jun-2014 Have your say!
25th June at 7:30pm. WCA AGM and launch of consultation for development of the WCA.
This evening will launch the start of a Parish wide consultation on the DEVELOPMENT OF WINSCOMBE COMMUNITY CENTRE, It could lead to the building of a COMPLETELY NEW AND ENLARGED CENTRE, or alternatively a further commitment to the maintenance and ongoing development of the existing buildings.
Do you use the facilities now and wish they could be improved?
Are there activities that you would like to do locally but there is no suitable venue?
How do you think the needs of the Parish are going to change over the next 5, 10 or 20 years?
What would an ideal community centre look like to meet these?

The evening will also include the annual general meeting for the Association, where you can hear first hand what goes on behind the scenes to keep the facilities available for village use.


22-May-2014 WEEE Event 8.30 am to 11.30 am Thursday 19th June, Car Park, Winscombe Community Association
WASTE ELECTRICAL AND ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT AMNESTY EVENT:Let's beat our record of two tonnes recycled last year! (for more details see the Sustainable Winscombe and Sandford page) Following the success of the event last year, North Somerset Council are offering a Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Amnesty event again, at the WCA on Thursday 19th June. Please bring along all your waste electrical and electronic equipment between 8.30 am and 11.30 am. Let's beat our record of two tonnes recycled last year!

You will save yourself a disposal fee, save the Council money, help recycle useful components, save on landfill, and help the environment. Why not put the date in your diary now?

26-Apr-2014 Solar Park north of Towerhead Road?
Residents are invited to attend a presentation about this proposal at the next Parish Council meeting 7.30 pm Monday 28th April Sandford Village Hall. For the invitation and details, click below.

25-Apr-2014 Last chance for the Annual Parish Assembly AGENDA

All groups in the parish are invited to contact the Parish Clerk, Lynne Rampton on 01934 844257 before 10 am this coming Monday 28th April, should they wish to give a short presentation at the Annual Parish Assembly on Thursday 8th May at 7.30 pm.

07-Apr-2014 Did you know...
No new houses will be connected to mains gas from 2016?
Local company Solarsense gave a powerpoint presentation on renewables in Portishead recently on current events in the renewable energy world, including the interesting information that no new houses will be connected to mains gas from 2016- so it's electric homes all the way from now on, so far as our building industry government regulators are concerned. See the presentation on the Sustainable Winscombe and Sandford page.

24-Mar-2014 Winscombe and Sandford Festival June 21st to July 6th
Don't miss out on our own Winscombe and Sandford Festival this year, which promises to be even bigger and better than it was four years ago. The Festival takes place during the fortnight from June 21st to July 6th, although the Programme will show a few additional events before and after those dates. It's planned to hold a wide range of events designed to please all age groups, so why not put the dates in your diary now? The Festival Programme will be hand-delivered to every home in Winscombe and Sandford within the next months to make sure that everyone has their own personal invitation to take part, and can plan exactly which events they want to go to.
Building on the success of the 2010 Festival, the organising Committee will be providing a Festival Marquee near the Cricket Pavilion in Winscombe for use as a central venue, and plenty of encouragement and support for the events planned for Festival Fortnight.
If you have an idea of your own for an event you would like to make happen, this is also your chance to talk this over with the Organising Committee, so don't hold back. The Festival is for everyone in the parish to take part in and enjoy, and there will be a several family funday events which will be totally free. Events do need to be registered by the end of March to be included in the programme
To contact the Organising Committee direct, please send an email to David Griffis (

18-Mar-2014 Burglaries at Church Road and Barton Road
Afternoon/overnight Sunday 16th March: 2 high value bicyles were stolen from sheds at homes in Church Road, and a handbag was stolen from a caravan on Barton road.

If you can remember anyone acting suspiciously in the area on Sunday afternoon/evening, please contact Avon & Somerset Police on 101 or Crime Stoppers on 0800 555111.

Also please check your home security measures, remembering to lock any outbuildings, sheds or garages.

Please pass this information on to neighbours and friends in the community.

04-Mar-2014 Winscombe Library Opening Hours to Change
Visitors to Winscombe Library are to benefit from extended opening hours thanks to the support of volunteers.

From April, the library will open every Thursday afternoon from 1.30 to 5pm following a recent public consultation about opening hours. Results of the survey, which saw 55% of respondents voice their support for this proposal, can be viewed online at Due to lower usage, the library will also close at 6pm every Friday instead of 6.30pm.

Changes take effect from 1 April, and the library will be open: Tuesdays and Thursdays 10am to 12.30pm and 1.30 to 5pm; Fridays 10am to12.30pm and 1.30 to 6pm; Saturdays 10am to 12.30pm.

Anyone interested in volunteering at their local library can contact 01934 426 657 or visit for more information about the opportunities available.

16-Feb-2014 Footpath Open
As of 5pm 19/02/14 the foot path in Winscombe that runs along side the fire station to the community field is Now Open. The fence in question has been braced as a temporary repair until the fencing contractors can repair the fence as they are really busy due to recent storms.

11-Feb-2014 Winscombe Wine Shop is a Winner
Congratulations to The Wine Shop for coming within the top 3 Newcomers of the Year in the Drinks Retailing Awards. To celebrate, the Wine Shop has a special offer for customers just in time for Valentine's Day, which ends on February 15th

11-Feb-2014 Threat to Sandford school crossing patrol
Do you know about any road traffic accidents on Greenhill Road near the school?. Following a consultation meeting in the Town Hall last month attended by 3 of our Parish Councillors, final comments on North Somerset Council money-saving proposals involving cuts to school crossing patrols county- wide, are asked for by the end of February.

Many Sandford Primary School parents staff and Sandford residents have already sent in their objections to any cuts in our school crossing patrol service. If you would like your views put forward with the others, or if you have personal knowledge of any accidents or road traffic incidents on Greenhill Road near the school over the last few years, please send the details in by the end of the month, either to the website or directly to Parish Cllr Cresten Boase , or via the Parish Office, Sandford Road, Winscombe. Replies by 24th February would be appreciated please..

05-Feb-2014 Dangerous attachments
Email Alert!! There have been a recent flood of fraudulent emails, with infected attachments. If you receive a message from a recipient you do not recognise- this can be from ' abc at' with a message about your court hearing, or 'xyz at upsdespatch' with a message about your parcel or even 'def at hmrc' with a message about your tax return submission- then beware.

The attachment you are invited to click on is designed to infect your computer with a virus, and enable the fraudster to use your email address without your knowledge. DO NOT CLICK ON THE ATTACHMENT.

08-Jan-2014 Accolade for Sandford Primary School

Yet another accolade for Sandford Primary- It's no secret how proud we are of Sandford Primary's 'Outstanding' Ofsted rating, Another reason to be proud is that the staff governors and pupils continue to keep the school firmly on track.for 2014. The 2013 national key stage 2 test results published in December showed that 100% of the pupils gained level 4B or above in reading and maths, and level 4 or above in writing. This is classed as excellent. Sandford Primary School is one of 159 schools in the country to achieve this level of attainment.

The Rt Hon David Laws MP Minister of State for Schools has now written to the Head Mrs Lin Williams congratulating staff governors and pupils on their excellent achievement, commenting on the good start in life and strong springboard into secondary education that the children are getting.

A very good start to the New Year, and congratulations to all at Sandford Primary School on their hard work and success.

08-Jan-2014 Residents urged to stay weather aware
With more heavy rain, high tides and strong winds forecast for the next 48 hours, North Somerset residents are being urged to make preparations for the anticipated conditions.

In Weston-super-Mare, the strong winds are forecast to coincide with high tides and the gates along the length of the promenade sea defences will be closed on Friday and Saturday either side of the high tides, with the Dutch dam at Knightstone Island remaining in place until Monday.

High tides in Weston-super-Mare over the next few days:
Friday 8.17pm (12.96m high)
Saturday 8.40am (12.97m) and 9.03pm (12.62m)
Sunday 9.26am (12.71m) and 10.35pm (12.21m)
High tides for Clevedon are some 10 minutes later than at Weston and at Portishead 18 minutes later than at Weston.

We will keep our plans under review as the Met Office has already issued a yellow warning for wind and rain for the area for Sunday.

We have crews on standby to close the seafronts at both Clevedon and Portishead for morning and evening tides.

In Pill and more isolated coastal areas, the conditions mean that people should consider whether visits to these areas are necessary.

We do not provide sandbags, but they are available from local builders merchants. Download our sandbag and flood resilience suppliers (pdf) for local outlets.

The Met Office website will provide more up to date information about the weather conditions, and residents are also encouraged to sign up to the Environment Agency's flood warnings direct at
Visit our flooding page for advice on how to report a flood and what to do in the event of flooding. You can also download a copy of the flooding advice leaflet (pdf) produced by Public Health England and the Environment Agency.

Visit the North Somerset Community Resilience website to find out how local communities are helping themselves by being prepared to deal with any emergency using local resources and trained volunteers.

08-Jan-2014 Possible flooding and road closures
Winscombe residents raised their concerns about the possible repetition of flooding, and damage to homes at Well Close, at the Parish council Environment Advisory Committee meeting on Monday, and called for a site meeting between North Somerset Council, landowners of the open ground above Well Close, and residents, to try to agree a plan of action to prevent future flooding. Their request will be referred to the full Parish Council. Meanwhile the following community message is being circulated, warning about possible flooding and road closures:

Due to the current exceptional weather conditions there are some areas that may be subject of flooding across Somerset. It is advisable to check conditions before travelling - your local radio station is a good source of information.
Road closures may be put in place (and in some instances already have been) to assist with free flow of traffic around any effected areas. If you have to travel through the area where diversions have been lifted please drive carefully as there may still be debris on the highway.
If you know of any neighbours who may have been or could be affected by the floods you may wish to contact them, so they can take necessary precautions and action if flooding occurs in your vicinity.



TEL: 01278 426497 FAX: 01278 444326

14-Dec-2013 A Christmas Wishlist from Weston Foodbank.
With all the tinsel and glitter and luxury presents, here is a reminder that simple items of food will be a more than welcome celebration, from the Trussell Trust Foodbank in the centre of Weston.

18-Nov-2013 Fracking Talk
Gareth Thomas, a leading geologist, will be speaking on Fracking and how it might affect us here in Winscombe and Sandford at the next Parish Council Meeting on Monday 25th at Sandford Village Hall. For a East Hooe Parish Councillor's views on fracking, see below.

Gareth Thomas is the Managing Director of Integrale Limited, which has provided specialist advice and guidance on geotechnical, geological, hydrogeological and related environmental matters since 1987 having completed over 4,000 geotechnical and contaminated land consultancy projects. ~Gareth was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Geology in 1973 and a Masters Degree at the University of Bristol in 1981, becoming a Fellow of the Geological Society of London in 1974 and a Member of the Institution of Geologists in 1979., and has 40 years experience in the field.
Oct 2013 Fracking Facts for Parish, Town & County Council Members.pdf

11-Nov-2013 Winscombe in Top Ten Family Towns
Winscombe in Somerset has been named third in the top ten places to raise a family in England. The market town of Bingham in Nottinghamshire topped the list on factors including schools, childcare, affordability and crime levels. The areas making up the remainder of the top ten are Crowthorne, Berkshire; Colyton, Devon; Oakham, Rutland; Wokingham, Berkshire; Poynton, Cheshire; Swanland, Yorkshire; Faringdon, Oxfordshire, and Dunnington, Yorkshire. The study also considered parks, leisure centres, zoos and farms and museums and theatres.

05-Nov-2013 Christmas Shopping Late Night Opening In Winscombe
Possibly the best pre-Christmas celebrations yet, as the Winscombe traders and businesses stay open until late on Tuesday 3rd December, with a wealth of treats and offers for young and old- here's round-up of some of the celebrations planned, with more to come no doubt... See you there!!

The car park at Jones is offered to all shoppers.
Visit Father Christmas in his grotto outside the Bridal Shop and Cleopatra, and later at the Country House Gift company.
There will be Carol singing at Studley's garage forecourt, with Winscombe Primary School singing from 6.30pm, followed by Sandford and Sidcot schools, Churches Together.
The Christmas tree, sponsored by Banwell Garden Centre and the Parish Council is the focal point, but from there, hunt out the bargains and free offers, the mulled wine, chocolate wine and other goodies waiting for you in the shops and businesses in the High Street and around- don't forget the library as well!

05-Nov-2013 Wave Of Vandalism In Winscombe
A disturbing number of destructive incidents in Winscombe over the last few weeks have left residents puzzled and angry. Graffiti on the ramps in the skate park, handrails torn off and posts uprooted at the Award Lands, repeated damage to the public lavatory fittings ( including, bizarrely, theft of a used bar of soap) will all take money to put right, and that money is going to come out of residents' pockets, via the parish precept. The damage to the public convenience ( or inconvenience we might think, if there aren't any toilet seats left.) comes at a time when the Parish Council is still involved in having the building transferred from North Somerset Council, so it really is a blow we are all having to foot the bill for extra repairs and replacements straightaway.

This is unusual for Winscombe, it's definitely very unpopular, and residents are being asked to help put a stop to any further vandalism. If you see anything suspicious, please contact Emma, our police community support officer, or Matt, our neighbourhood beat manager, on 101. Matt will be out and about on his bike on patrol in the villages, and there is also a drop-in police surgery every Wednesday 10 am to 12.30 pm at the Parish Council Office in Winscombe. The police are hoping to get the whole village involved in Neighbourhood Watch, and are looking for new co-ordinators.

05-Nov-2013 Community Resilience
Winscombe and Sandford are at the forefront of North Somerset Community Resilience training at the moment,and congratulatons to all those who have already signed up. The next training meeting is on 5th December- NEW VOLUNTEERS WELCOME

Volunteers in Winscombe and Sandford have successfully completed the first part of formal community Resilience training, the next session being a table-top exercise, which everyone in the villages is welcome to come along to take part in.

The county's Community Resilience leader, the North Somerset Council Emergency Manager, has recently warned of prolonged power outages of several days at a time, from September 2015, as most older UK power stations go offline, as one example of just how important this scheme is. Before then, there will be unknown extremes of winter weather to cope with, with reduced services for road clearance and emergency response. Villagers throughout North Somerset are encouraged to get together and get organised to meet the challenges to come. All are welcome at the next Winscombe and Sandford Community Resilience meeting at 7.30 pm Thursday 5th December at the Winscombe Community Centre for a special 'Snow Patrol' tabletop exercise.

For any society or organisation in the village who is hosting an event, why not consider booking the Community Resilience mobile emergency response trailer as a feature ? The trailer is equipped with the basic equipment for an emergency 'command post'. Currently, there are 2 units available for all North Somerset villages participating in the scheme. Community Resilience Winscombe and Sandford will be actively seeking sponsorship for our own emergency unit in 2014/2015, to ensure the best level of emergency response for residents.

18-Sep-2013 Michaelmas Fair
This year's Michaelmas Fair was a winner- many stalls, lovely sunshine, lots of happy smiling faces.
All proceeds from the Fair go to fund our valued Community Centre in Winscombe, and thanks to all who made the day such a success. Many people who attended the open day at Thatchers Cider Factory in Sandford, which took place on the same day, also came to Michaelmas Fair, making it a doubly enjoyable September Saturday.
Take a look at the photos of the event on the Photos page, and see if you can spot yourself there-
Next year's Michaelmas Fair will be held on Saturday September 13th. Why not put the date in your diaries now !

29-May-2013 Free Event On Energy Efficiency And Green Deal offered in Bristol on 13th July. If you are interested in finding out more about energy efficiency schemes for our neighbourhood, please get in touch to arrange attendace at this event. For more information on PlanLocal and what this means for our community, click here. For more information on the workshop, click here.

22-May-2013 Compassion in World Farming
Compassion in World Farming, the leading farm animal welfare charity,, was founded by a British farmer, and campaigns successfully worldwide for good animal welfare farming practice. All are welcome to the next meeting at The Railway Inn, Sandford on Wednesday June 12th at 7.30pm.

09-May-2013 Thatchers Vintage Cider scoops International Brewing Award
At a presentation at London's Guildhall last week, Thatchers Vintage Cider was named Champion Cider in the International Brewing Awards 2013, widely dubbed the "Oscars of the brewing industry." Click here for the full press release.

11-Apr-2013 The Occasional
SIGN UP NOW ! for your free June copy of The Occasional, our Parish Council Newsletter. Just send a request to to receive future copies by email, and keep up to date on Parish Council news.
Paper copies of The Occasional will continue to be be hand-delivered to households throughout Winscombe and Sandford for a further trial period, and additional copies will also be available from various pick-up points throughout the parish.
Signing up for email copies of The Occasional will help keep printing costs down, so the Parish Council hopes that as many people as possible will do this.

03-Apr-2013 Winscombe Library - Confirmation of schedule
Building works to commence - 8 April
Traffic lights operational - 15 April
Expected date of completion of works - mid/late June
Opening - early July

25-Mar-2013 Winscombe Library News
Our library in Winscombe is being refurbished. The temporary library is housed in the Link Room of the WCA (access through the Parish Office entrance) and the opening hours are shown here (click on the image on the right). There will be temporary traffic lights in use for some of the time in the High Street (click here to see the map), but it's business as usual, and all our shops are open as usual.

25-Mar-2013 New Traders Association
Winscombe has a vibrant new traders association, which all businesses in Winscombe are invited to join, for mutual benefit. The next meeting takes place on Tuesday 23rd April. Please contact Kelli at The Wine Shop, or Ian at Winscombe Fish Bar for more details.

25-Mar-2013 Environment Agency Flood Warning Service
This new service is now available to warn of any flooding. Click here for details.

25-Mar-2013 Winscombe and Sandford Community Resilience
Could YOU be part of it? How will we as a community respond to emergencies like flooding, severe weather events, epidemics, power failure or traffic events? The North Somerset Community Resilience publicity campaign goes live on 2nd April, headed up by Ian Wilson, the North Somerset Council Emergency Manager. Look out for more details in North Somerset Life.
Click Here to find out more, and to find out how to sign up for Winscombe and Sandford Community Resilience.

14-Mar-2013 Burglaries
Hello, This message is from Maggie Evans at Weston Police Station. You are probably aware that there continues to be a steady stream of burglaries across the J District and particularly the villages. The investigations into finding the criminals are ongoing and currently no one has been arrested. In order to assist the police, we would like to hear from any member of the public who witnesses anyone acting suspiciously; details of any related vehicles and about anyone or thing that appears to look out of place. Please do not hesitate to ring 101 immediately, or if you suspect that a burglary is in progress, ring 999.

If you would like some advice on home security and would like a home visit, please ring 101 and your PCSO will be able to arrange an appointment to see you.

If you have information about any crime, phone the police on 101 or you can call anonymously to the independent charity CRIMESTOPPERS 0800 555 111. For general information about Neighbourhood Watch nationally see the website.

08-Feb-2013 Faster broadband for Devon and Somerset
Connecting Devon and Somerset has signed a £94 million contract with BT. See for more details.

08-Feb-2013 New SPAR store for Sandford
Sandford Stores has announced it will shortly be a Spar store, and shoppers will soon see a new range of products on sale. Spar is a global brand, and the UK's leading convenience store group. Stores countrywide offer a battery recycling service, and will be introducing reusable plastic bags, aiming to reduce the use of plastic bags in store by 25%. The Spar chosen charity is the NSPCC, and Spar stores have taken part in fundraising for the charity, as well as raising awareness of the NSPCC HELPLINE and CHILDLINE

13-Jan-2013 New Development Proposals at Sidcot
Sidcot School have submitted two planning proposals, for the playng fields at Winscombe and the boarding house at Belgian Avenue.

For links to the planning applications and for Residents' views on both proposals please see here.

11-Jan-2013 Parish Council Election
The election was held on January 10th, and Cresten Boase was duly elected as parish councillor. The full results can be found here.

24-Nov-2012 Junior Youth Speaks Competition, Shipham Village Hall, 23rd November 2012
YS1 YS2 YS4 YS3 The Rotary Club of Wrington Vale, as part of its Youth Programme, once again held its popular annual Junior Youth Speaks Competition at Shipham Village Hall. This year 6 teams from the Primary Schools in Churchill, Sandford, Winscombe and Wrington took part in a close contest. The teams comprised a chairman, a speaker and a proposer of the vote of thanks who had to talk to a large audience of parents, teachers and Rotarians not to mention the judging panel of experts.

The teams, who were generally in years 5 and 6 in their schools, selected to talk on subjects as wide ranging as "Children's Health Care in Africa" and other charity presentations, "Playtime" and a talk debating the possible extinction of the one penny coin entitles "A penny for your thoughts". After a very close competition, the winning team, from Wrington Primary School chose to talk on "Cycle Paths". The individual prize for Best Speaker went to India Capon also from Wrington who spoke about "Playtime".

Wrington Vale Rotary Club meets weekly at the Burrington Inn, Burrington and is involved in charitable projects locally, nationally and internationally. If you are interested in learning more about Rotary and what we do please contact President Peter Roswell on 01934 822280

Tony Poole

22-Nov-2012 Window on Winscombe
WindowOnWinscombe Saturday 17th November 2012 saw over 35 clubs, organisations and charities from all over Winscombe and Sandford get together at Winscombe Community Centre to show the people of the area the wide range of activities in which they could be involved. From Local history and heritage, Sports activities, and charitable causes to Youth organisations and clubs for older people, the range of opportunities had something for everyone.

Amongst the success stories of the day was one organisation that went away with a list of 57 people interested in what they do, Winscombe Tennis Club got interest in their Rusty Rackets scheme for returning tennis players and the RSPCA were hoping that one of the pets they were caring for could have a new home.

Organised by Rotary Club of Wrington Vale, who include Winscombe and Sandford in their catchment area, the event was declared a success for both exhibitors and visitors alike by Jim Shrubshall, the Rotarian responsible for the day, and he is looking forward to the club repeating and improving on the event next year.

The Rotary Club undertook the venture as part of its community and vocational programme. Wrington Vale Rotary Club meets weekly at the Burrington Inn, Burrington and is involved in charitable projects locally, nationally and internationally. If you are interested in learning more about Rotary and what we do please contact President Peter Roswell on 01934 822280.    You can see photos of the day on the Gallery page.

07-Nov-2012 Sandford Primary School children sing on YouTube video
The choir from Sandford Primary School sang in the world premiere of a new 5 song cycle commissioned by Churchill Music! Six choirs took part of which three were the primary schools of Churchill, Sandford and Wrington. Churchill Music! also funded a video featuring two of the 5 songs, one of which is the children's song, All Weather Friends. It is a wonderful anti-bullying song which in our opinion should be sung and listened to by as many people as possible.
Click on the picture to see the video, click here to see the HD version on YouTube, or click here to order the CD.

25-Oct-2012 Parish Councillor vacancy in Winscombe and Sandford

An election will be held on a day soon to be announced, to fill a vacancy on Winscombe and Sandford Parish Council.
The office was previously held by Mrs Phyllis Cram, a parish councillor of 39 years standing, who passed away on September 16th. Mrs Cram, a Winscombe resident for 57 years, is remembered with respect by many.
At the Parish Council meeting at Sandford on 22nd October it was resolved to reprint her local history pamphlet, From Village Pump to Village Present, which will shortly be on sale through the parish office.

03-Sep-2012 North Somerset Arts Showcase Exhibition 15-23 Sept at Sidcot Arts Centre

In partnership with the Made In North Somerset event North Somerset Arts will be kick starting the proceedings with a showcase exhibition at the Sidcot Arts Centre. The event will not only include the showcase exhibition with work selected by a panel of high profile artist and industry judges but also a variety of workshops held by local artists and a production from Living Spit in association with Theatre Orchard. Open times 10am - 4pm(closed Mon & Weds)

03-Sep-2012 Grand Opening of SOLAR CAR CHARGING STATION by Michael Eavis CBE at 11.30 am Saturday 8th September

The new solar car charging station at Backwell is only 9 miles from Winscombe and Sandford, which is good news for those planning to choose an electric vehicle as their next car.
Solarsense, based at Brockley Lane, Backwell, are holding an open event on the morning of Saturday 8th September at Helios House, Brockley Lane, Backwell.
You will have the chance to test drive electric vehicles by Mercedes, Renault, Mitsubishi, Nissan as well as electric bicycles. Solarsense's zero-carbon offices will be open for tours and information from 11 am to 3 pm.
Fair trade tea, coffee and savouries will be available

03-Sep-2012 NEWS FROM WATERAID- Please help by 18th September

The Government has pledged to double every donation to Wateraid made by you before 18th September. Wateraid are inviting supporters to log onto to see how your support can transform and save lives by bringing clean water to communities in Malawi.

27-Aug-2012 Sidcot School All-Weather Sports Pitch Public Forum

Sidcot School is inviting all Winscombe residents to an All-Weather Public Pitch Forum, between 5pm and 8pm on Thursday 6th September at the Cricket Pavilion, Winscombe Sports Field. You are invited to drop in at any time between 5 pm and 8pm to look at the drawings of the new all-weather Hockey and Training Pitch the school proposes constructing, see the Management Plan, and discuss any concerns you may have. Refreshments, and a chance to meet the staff and ask questions are offered as well.

03-Aug-2012 First Sandford Cubs are back!

The revival of the First Sandford Cubs Group is good news for girls and boys aged between 8 and 10 and a half living in Sandford and the surrounding villages. The group meets on Fridays between 5.30 and 7 pm on Fridays in term-time, with a wide range of fun activities including arts and crafts,cooking,camping and hikes. There is a different activity each week, and there are still some places left for the coming term. Please contact Cub Leader Becky on 07854 236513 for more details.

25-Jul-2012 Winscombe and Sandford Festival

The Festival Committee would be interested to hear any views on the feasability of another Festival, either in 2013 or 2014.
What do you think? Which year would be better? What could be done differently?
A public meeting will be held later in the summer. Send us your views to and we will forward them to the Festival Committee.
Here are some photos from the last festival in 2010. Click to expand.

jazz scarecrow fun run jump