PEW – Nature Notes for May 2022

Cow Parsley

 

The link below takes you to a version of the PEW article with colour photographs instead of black & white.

NATURE-NOTES-May-2022.pdf

 

Free Which? Scam Alerts

A reminder that you can sign up for free email warnings about online and other scams from Which?

Details here: which.co.uk/scam-alert-service/

Reminder for the Defibrillator Awareness Session – Saturday 30th April

Just a reminder that there is a Defibrillator Awareness Session being held on Saturday 30th April between 10am and midday.  Thank to those who have already let me know you are attending, but there is room for plenty more.

You can just turn up but please email the Clerk on clerk@westburysubmendip-pc.gov.uk if you would like to attend so that numbers can just be kept an eye on.

Police Beat Surgery Dates

The Mendip West Neighbouring Policing Team have offered to run some more Beat Surgery dates in the Square.

The dates are as follows:- Wednesday 11th May – 2-3pm, Tuesday 7th June – 3-4pm, Monday 4th July 10.30am – 11.30am

Beacon for the Queens Jubilee on Thursday 2nd June – stewards required

Westbury Sub Mendip Parish Council are holding a joint event with Priddy Parish Council on Thursday 2nd June at Deer Leap.  A beacon will be lit to start the celebrations for the Platinum Queens Jubilee.  The Parish Council have been asked if they they would be able to provide between six and eight people to act as stewards for the evening.  You would need to be available from about 7.30pm until about 10.30pm, the beacon is being lit at 9.45pm.

If anyone is interested please contact Sue Isherwood and your details will be passed on.

Queens Jubilee Party – Saturday June 4th

An invitation to all Westbury residents from Footlights

On the evening of Saturday June 4th there will be a free party on the village playing fields brought to you by Footlights. Entertainment will be a live seven piece dIsco and dance band, a Westbury’s Got Talent talent show and potentially other acts.

The event will be in a marquee and the idea is to bring your own picnic. Andy from the Westbury will provide a bar so bring the whole family. It will start at 6.30 pm and run to 9.30 / 10.00 pm. You may want to bring picnic blankets, chairs and even a table. Our just bring yourself.

If you wish to enter the Westbury’s Got Talent show, it’s open to anyone of any age. A full PA is provided so if you sing, dance, play an instrument, tell jokes, breath fire, swallow swords, ride a unicycle or anything else, please enter. The contest will be split in to younger performers and older performers.

If you wish to enter or want further details, email Footlights at burrowsncb@aol.com. Do join us  at a special party to celebrate the Queen and her remarkable jubilee.

 

Defibrillator Awareness Session – Saturday 30th April 10am

Everyone is invited to the annual Defibrillator Awareness Session being held on Saturday 30th April in the village hall between 10am and midday.

Everyone is invited to just turn up but please could you let the Parish Clerk know on clerk@westburysubmendip-pc.gov.uk so that a eye can be kept on numbers.

Thank you and the Parish Council looks forward to seeing people there.

Defib Awareness Session Poster 30th April

Annual Parish Meeting – Sunday 10th April at 6pm

All residents of Westbury Sub Mendip are invited to attend the Annual Parish Meeting to be held on Sunday 10th April at 6pm in the Village Hall. Refreshments will be provided.

Annual Parish Meeting 10th April 2022

Roughmoor Lane Developments – Village Responses

On Saturday 18th February a questionnaire concerning the church commissioners’ proposals for development at Roughmoor lane was sent to residents of Westbury- sub-Mendip. It was circulated by the distribution system set up by the parish council emergency planning committee. The system, developed throughout the covid pandemic, is designed to contact every household in the village via email, or, where this is not possible, via paper copies.

Over 250 people, around a third of the adult population, responded and a summary of the results is given below.  A PowerPoint presentation containing the results is available on the village website.

The numbers participating in the survey are impressive given that the average turnout in the much better advertised local government elections is also around 35% and indicates the level of interest in this application. Although it is difficult to be certain, those responding appear to be broadly representative of the village community.

The survey divided houses in the village into 5 areas – those living along the A371 and those north and south of the road, each of these latter areas split east and west.  The responses received closely reflected the number of houses in each area.  It is clear therefore that a majority of responses were from people not in the area immediately facing the development who might be expected to have specific and strongly held views on the matter and can be taken as an indication of village opinion as a whole.

The survey respondents were in the main elderly (51% aged 65+) retired (46.2%) and in households without children (81%) Compared with the 2011 census data those over the age of 75 seem overrepresented and those in the 25-44 age group underrepresented.  Two thirds of responses, however, came from those aged 45-74 and this is not out of line with the proportions shown in the earlier census data (63%)

This possible bias towards older residents might help explain the level of interest in bungalows suitable for older people wanting to downsize. It may understate the level of interest in other types of housing.

In terms of specific issues,

  • a substantial majority of those responding (88%) felt that any new development should reflect the village dark skies policy.
  • the most popular choice for use of any community space was for a new village hall (51%) with other choices divided between allotments, parking, playing fields and ‘other’ which seemed to mean a larger village shop / cafe;
  • very high numbers indicated that several issues of concern were very important to them with the most frequently cited being pedestrian safety (223) and traffic access onto the A371 (210).
  • Substantial numbers indicated that with safer walking and cycling routes they would reduce car use within the village (162, walking) and between villages (122, cycling).
  • A clear majority (58%) felt that any entrance to new development should be kept separate from Roughmoor Lane.

A number of questions asked about housing and housing needs. Thirty people (12% of respondents) said that someone in their family had had to leave the village because of a shortage of affordable housing within the last five years. Some 58 people, just under a quarter of all responses, felt that a family member might have to leave for the same reason within the next five.   It reinforces anecdotal evidence that the existing housing stock provides few opportunities for the young or the less affluent to remain in Westbury.

Similarly, forty-three people (17%) felt that they or a family member might have to leave because of a lack of smaller properties suitable for downsizing.  When asked what type of property would best meet their needs if they wished to relocate within the village in future, 50% said a bungalow.

There were three open questions in the survey asking people for their single greatest concern about the church commissioners’ proposals, the most positive aspect of them, and finally an opportunity to make any other comments. Not everyone took this opportunity, but the answers show a consistent pattern

Q What is your single greatest concern about the Church Commissioners’ proposals for Roughmoor Lane?

  1. Too many houses                                        59

2.Road traffic issues                                             54

3.Overdevelopment in general                           42

4.Environmental issues.                                      11

5.Fear of creeping growth/distrust of CC            9

6.Community use area and placement.             6

 

Q What do you feel is the most positive aspect of the proposed development?

  1. possibility of affordable/social housing and downsizing opportunities        58
  2. nothing to like in these proposals                                                                  52
  3. More families to keep the shop, school, pub and church going                    28
  4. Opportunity to improve village amenity (if brown field site is included)       21
  5. May improve road and footpath access and safe crossing of A371              13
  6. Provides for community progression and growth                                         10
  7. Recognition of environmental issues (including respect for wildlife)              6

 

Q Is there anything else you would like to say about the development proposed by the Church Commissioners?

1.Lack of consideration of community needs                      39

  1. New housing needs to be sensitively developed       34
  2. Overdevelopment for the size of village                     19

4.Shortsightedness of not including the brownfield site     12

  1. Environmental issues (wildlife, dark skies, etc.)           10
  2. Traffic and pedestrian safety)                                        7
  3. I just want to say no to any development here             7
  4. Fears of creeping growth                                              4