Message from the Parish Emergency Planning Group

Heatwave

The weather over the weekend and the following two days is expected to become particularly hot.  The Met office have issued a weather warning about the dangers of excessive heat and the NHS has issued guidance on how to cope in hot weather. Older people and those with health conditions are particularly vulnerable to the effects of very hot weather and we are asking everyone to look out for neighbours who might be especially affected.

Could the Eyes and Ears contacts make a point of getting this information to those who cannot access on-line information and let us know if there is anyone who needs particular assistance.   If you need help in doing so, please get in touch.

Mick Fletcher 870531

Ian Metcalf 870262

Sue Reece  870618

A History of the Church in Westbury

A detailed history of the Church and Christianity in Westbury, by Tony Nott, has now been uploaded to the village website.  It can be accessed via  this link

Website WordPress Upgrade

Earlier today (Friday 17 June 2022) our Westbury Sub Mendip website was upgraded by the website providers, Tickbox Marketing, as funded by the Parish Council.

The upgrade was to the WordPress software with which the website is built, and it is the first such upgrade in our website’s history, so this is quite a milestone!

The jump in WordPress versions was from 4.8.19 to 6.0, so was quite a big step. In theory, the website should still look much the same, however if you do notice any changes, good or bad, I would be interested to know – please email me , Mark Smith, at:

webadmin@westburysubmendip-pc.gov.uk

You can of course also add any comments to this News Post

The WordPress upgrade will make the website more resilient, and the data on it more secure. So a big thankyou goes to Tickbox Marketing for what has been significant work for them, and also to the Parish Council for funding this upgrade and the continuing operation of the website.

P.S. It is possible that the Subscribers to News Posts are not now receiving an email notification when a new News Post is published. This is being investigated, and I will issue an update in due course.

P.P.S. Subscribers are receiving email notification of new News Posts, so any problem seems to be resolved. But do let me know if you think there are any ongoing issues with email notifications.

NEWS FLASH – Saturday 4th June changes to Village Day

Today’s events have been moved because of high winds:

 

St Lawrence Church Fête

Now 2pm in the Village Hall. Stalls, tombola and PTA cream teas.

 

Jubilee Live Music Evening

Now 6.30pm onwards in the Westbury Inn.

Andy will be serving food but is happy for people to bring their own food if they wish.

Westbury Community Shop Jubilee window

Westbury Community Shop is celebrating the Platinum Jubilee with a special window display designed by Charles Wilson.

Editor and Writers required for the Parish Council Newsletter

The Parish Council are looking for budding writers or editors to help with the Parish Council Newsletter due to Martin West stepping down as Editor.  If anyone is interested please contact the Parish Clerk on clerk@westburysubmendip-pc.gov.uk

The Parish Council would like to thank Martin for his help with setting up the Newsletter and all his editorial skills.

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

 

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

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