Chair's Newsletter

 

With our objection to the plans at the Greencore site in and being considered at Mendip, we are now looking ahead to winter by checking and refilling the grit bins as well as organising the now traditional Christmas tree in church square. Unfortunately, the lockdown means there will be no carols sung or mince pies eaten at switch on this year, but we hope it can be a bright beacon for better times to come.

 

It is also the time to start thinking about next year’s budget, and the council’s priorities. We have had a one-off grant from Mendip because of the covid crisis, and we have ring fenced some of that for better signage to reduce (stop?) the amount of lost HGV’s turning in the village. What else are the villages priorities? We would like any suggestion that would benefit the community. We have noted that the skatepark at Weston town is showing its age. Should replacing it be a priority, or should the money go elsewhere? Please let us know your thoughts, either to myself, rob.reed@evercreech-pc.gov.uk or the clerk, clerk@evercreech-pc.gov.uk

If you want to know more about the workings of the council, let me point you towards our website, www.evercreech-pc.gov.uk which details parish services and village history as well as the zoom code for council meetings, which continue on the first Tuesday of the month.

May I wish all residents a happy Christmas and prosperous new year and give all our thanks for help provided when asked for.

Rob Reed

Chair – Evercreech Parish Council

December 2020

 

Parish Council matters this month very much concentrated on the planning application for the Greencore site which was before us.

 

We were very much hopeful of meeting in the village hall to hear as may views from the public as possible, but changing covid guidance meant we had to resort once again to zoom, so many thanks to the many people who took the time to join us, and we did get to hear from many residents.

The council decided unanimously to object to the application, not only because the number of houses was considered excessive, but it fails to deliver any community benefit to the village. We were particularly disappointed that after many meetings with the developers, they totally disregarded our stated wish for a bigger shop and retention of the silk mill. As this is such an important site in the middle of the village, we are now investigating the possibility of employing an external planning expert to help us through the application, and of course, as Mendip will make any final decision, we will be working closely with our Mendip councillor, Barry O’Leary as the application proceeds.

Covid has also made its presence felt in that the much anticipated and enjoyed fireworks in the playing field has had to cancelled, but new guidance will allow a restricted socially distanced remembrance service in the cemetery. There will be no church service, or parade, but wreaths will be laid, so many thanks to the Legion for organising this. There is also no house to house collection either, so please consider buying your poppy at one of the other outlets.

I expect all our meetings will be on zoom for the foreseeable future, so please check the notice board and website for details, all meetings open to the public as usual.

Keep safe and well

Rob Reed

Chair, Evercreech Parish Council

November 2020 

 

As I write this in the late summer sun, it is hard to believe that I am already writing for the October magazine, but with the playing field hedges cut and ongoing tree maintenance work from out tree surgeon it is a sure sign that we are well through autumn.

 

The COVID 19 virus is raising its head again, so October’s Parish Council meeting on the 6th Oct. will again be on zoom. We are expecting a planning application in for the Greencore site, so we will see how many of the villager’s requests are included, and I expect a lively debate.

We try to keep in touch with residents however we can, so you may have already seen our facebook page pop up on What’s up in Evercreech. We have disabled comments, but if you feel strongly about any issue, on Facebook or not, please contact the clerk, clerk@evercreech-pc.gov.uk

I shall finish with good news and requests for ideas. You may have heard that with help from our District Councillor Barry O’Leary we have received a COVID easing grant from Mendip D C of £10,000. This unexpected windfall is warmly welcomed, of course, but the question is, what do we use it for? The Councillors will be putting forward ideas, but if you have a pressing issue or pet project that will benefit the community, please e-mail the clerk at the above address. We know there is a lively community spirit out there, so let us help put it to work!

Thanks for reading, keep well and stay safe.

Rob Reed

Chair, Evercreech Parish Council

October 2020 

 

It was a pleasure to return to the village hall for our monthly meeting after having to resort to remote internet meetings for the last couple of months due to coronavirus restrictions. Following guidance social distancing was followed, as well as face coverings being worn, but with thanks to the village hall for allowing us to use their PA equipment, it was a small step back to normality.

 

Guidance has also allowed us to reopen the playground, albeit that it comes with a warning that we cannot regularly sanitize the equipment, so users are responsible for their own precautions. However, it was a delight to see it being used over the summer holidays, and I’m sure relief for both children and parents alike!

We are continuing to roll out a maintenance programme, following the update of our asset register, which means the refurbishment of all the seats in the village should be completed this summer, and following a tree survey, any works recommended for trees should commence after the nesting season ends on September the first.

The village bier, with was which was so expertly restored by prisoners at Shepton Mallet prison will be returning there after a request from the prison to put it on display. This also ensures its future security and safety, so thanks to the prison and the members of the public who brought it to their attention.

The Greencore site remains a major concern, with reports of vandalism and nuisance. The PC decided to support the efforts of our district councillor in getting the owner to provide more robust security on site, and will write to the owners to request just that. We will also compile a list of complaints and incidents as evidence for the owners, so if you become aware of any, please email the clerk at clerk@evercreech-pc.gov.uk,

On a happier note, we were delighted to be offered some large historical photographs and other momentos which were rescued from the site by members of the history society. These are a quite stunning link to the history and development of the village, and we hope to be able to display these in a public place at the earliest opportunity.

Please keep safe, and the PC will be supporting the village again at our next meeting in the village hall, on Tuesday 1st September

Rob Reed

Chair, Evercreech PC

September 2020 

 

Welcome to my first scribblings as I unexpectedly find myself as Chair of the Parish Council after the resignation of Murray Stewart. 

 

I must first pay tribute and offer my thanks to Murray for his hard work and expertise during a very difficult transition time for the council, and I hope he can reflect on his successes during that time, such as the completion of the refurbishment of the playground at Queens Road, and I hope I can continue in the same high standard.

Talking of the playground, it unfortunately is still shut as a result of government guidance on Covid19 restrictions. The latest guidance allows it to open, but with such stringent conditions that we, along with other councils in the area, would find it impossible to adhere to. The guidance is being updated all the time, of course, and hopefully with summer holidays looming we can open it sooner rather than later.

The dilapidating Greencore factory is still causing concern. The developers, Lichfields, have put a consultation document on their web site, which is their consultation, which we welcome, but the PC had a working party which met with them and stressed our support for the retention of the old silk mill, the village need for a much larger shop, and the hope for a civic hub. We were very disappointed when none of these appeared in the consultation. They are obviously preparing to submit a planning application, so any further queries will be dealt with by Mendip District Council, and we shall supporting our Mendip councillor Barry O’Leary as it progresses.

I look forward to staying in touch with you through this excellent magazine, and if I can be of any help please do not hesitate to be in touch.

Best wishes

Rob Reed

August 2020 

rob.reed@evercreech-pc.gov.uk

 

Despite the ongoing COVD-19 restrictions, including having to maintain social distancing, the street-cleaning and grass/garden maintenance activities have continued as normal throughout the month. Additionally, we have embarked on a programme of refurbishing/repainting the various council-owned benches sited around the village, including those situated in Stoney Stratton. Four of these benches, some bearing memorial plaques, have already been repainted as I write, and the rest will be actioned over the coming weeks.
There is also some good news for dog-owners in Horsehill Meadows. The council have now purchased a dog-Waste bin, which will be sited on Prestleigh Road, between Bridge Close and the Horsehill Meadows estate. This has long been requested by Horsehill residents, and hopefully will be of benefit to all dog-owners in this area of the village.
One interesting addition to the ‘Our History’ section of the Parish Council website, is the digitalised version of The Evercreech War Memorial Book - World War I. This 92 page book gives a detailed account of all the Evercreech villagers who enlisted to serve in that conflict. It has been painstakingly researched by Gill and David Lindsay, and compliments the Evercreech in World War II digital book that was published on the council website back in April.
Finally, whilst the children’s play area on Queens Road Playing Field has been closed due to the current restrictions, the opportunity was taken to make improvements to the ground in front of the Goal net, and the intercom system within the play area, by laying additional rubber/grass matting in these areas, the popularity of these items having resulted in the premature wear of the original surfaces. However, please note that the Play Area is closed until further notice in order to comply with the Government directive.
So despite the unusual circumstances that we find ourselves in at the moment, the Parish Council are continuing to work to improve and enhance the village for the benefit of all residents.
Log on to our website to keep up to date with the latest news from the County, District and Parish Councils. www.evercreech-pc.gov.uk

Murray Stuart, Chair, Evercreech Parish Council

June 2020

It was extremely disappointing that, after months of preparation, the VE Day celebrations planned for the 8th/9th May had to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 restrictions. It s hoped, however, to stage the event later in the year, once the restrictions are lifted, so look out for further details which will be posted on the Parish Council website.

 

One positive to come from the VE Day planning was the publication of a very interesting booklet by Gill Lindsay and members of the History Society outlining how Evercreech was affected by the events of World War II., a copy of which was uploaded to the council website and is available to view now.

I am also pleased to report that our Street Cleaner has recommenced his duties, and will be out and about keeping the village clean and tidy, whilst at the same time ensuring compliance with the current social distancing advice.

We have just been advised that this year’s NASS Festival, which was due to be held at the Bath and West Showground in July, has been cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions on public gatherings, and will now take place between the 8th and 11th July 2021. More information on the implementation of the agreed improvements in the organisation of the event to avoid the problems experienced in 2019 will be available later this year.

Finally, we are continuing to hold our monthly ‘virtual ‘ Parish Council meetings on-line, and members of the public can view the agenda on the parish council website and forward their comments or questions to the Parish Clerk for consideration at the meeting by:

e-mailing clerk@evercreech-pc.gov.uk, phoning 01749 830265 or writing to ‘Maestone‘ Enfield Drive, Evercreech, BA4 6LL prior to the meeting date.

Murray Stewart. Chair. Evercreech Parish Council

www.evercreech-pc.gov.uk

May 2020

Well, what a difference a month can make. In last month’s newsletter I was welcoming Holger Harras as our new street cleaner, but within 3 weeks of him starting his role we had to suspend street cleaning activities due to the social distancing requirements under the Governments COVID-19 legislation.

However the ground maintenance operation has continued, with the first grass cutting of the season being undertaken at the cemetery, Queens Road Playing Field and the Millennium Garden.

Following the introduction of the national lockdown, the Parish Council contacted both The Bell Inn and Evercreech Plaice regarding the provision of a hot meal facility for self-isolating and vulnerable households, and I am delighted to report that both businesses rose to the challenge and are now offering a hot meal take-away/ delivery service. Our thanks go to them for responding in such a positive manner, and to all at the Co-op and Evercreech Pharmacy for their valuable efforts in supporting the community in these challenging times.

With all public meetings banned, the Parish Council resorted to holding its April monthly meeting ‘on-line’, and although it was a much reduced agenda, we were able to respond to the planning applications, and to process the council’s financial transactions. As the restrictions are likely to be in place for some weeks, the council are now exploring the use of video-conferencing technology for its May and June monthly meetings.

These are difficult days for many people, but the parish Council remain committed to supporting parishioners at this time. Important notices are being posted on our website and the Parish Clerk can be contacted via the following links:-

Telephone 01749 830265.
E-mail clerk@evercreech-pc.gov.uk
Website. www.evercreech-pc.gov.uk

 

Murray Stewart

Chair

Evercreech Parish Council 

April 2020

I mentioned last month that the Parish council had recruited a new street cleaner, and I am now pleased to welcome Holger Harras in that role. Holger, who lives in the village, started work on the 2nd March and, whilst it will take him time to visit all of his working area, I’m sure you will soon begin to see an improvement in the cleanliness of our streets and public areas as the weeks go by.
Whilst on the subject of improving the appearance of our village, I can advise you that the Parish council included the mowing of the grass area by the village sign/ planter on Prestleigh Road in its new, recently-awarded, 3 year ground maintenance contract, so the appearance of this important entry point to the village should now be properly maintained throughout the summer.
Finally, with the Coronavirus set to be with us for some weeks/ months to come, the Parish council have included a link on its website to the relevant NHS site where specific information about the virus, and what precautions to take, are available. You are strongly advised to view this and any other relevant information that the council will be posting on its own site as it becomes available.
www.evercreech-pc.gov.uk
Murray Stewart.
Chair
Evercreech Parish Council.

March 2020

People feature prominently in this month’s newsletter. Firstly, I am very pleased to welcome a new councillor to our team with Mark Saunders being unanimously voted on to the council at the February meeting.  Mark has lived in the village for 7 years, is already actively involved in charitable work, and brings knowledge and experience that will be a great asset to the work of the council in the future.

Secondly, after some delay, a new street cleaner has been recruited, and will commence working for the council on the 1st March. Further details will be given next month.

Finally, following recent problems with vandalism in and around the former Greencore site, the council has been actively engaging with the site owner to improve security, and I can report that additional measures are now being taken to deter trespassers from using the Queens Road gate and door as a means of entry to the site.

Keep up to date with all the latest news from the council, including the minutes of our meetings, by visiting the website www.evercreech-pc.gov.uk

Murray Stewart.Chair Evercreech Parish Council  

January 2020

Following the contact details given last month for Lynn Crisp, the newly appointed Parish clerk, we also have a new telephone number for the Parish Council which is: 01749 830265. Please note however that this line is not manned continuously, but there is an answerphone facility to record messages.

The work to tidy up the cemetery has now been completed, in preparation for this year’s forthcoming anniversary celebrations, and whilst I am on the subject of the cemetery, the council have agreed to appoint a contractor to undertake the digital mapping of the entire cemetery site. This has been necessary to make the records suitable for use in the digital age, bearing in mind that the existing paper records are nearly 7O years old.

Lastly, the vacant position of Street Cleaner has now been advertised, and it is hoped to have him/her in place by the end of February, and that this appointment will address the concerns expressed since the retirement our former Street Cleaner last year.

You can keep up to date with all the latest Parish Council news by logging onto the website www.evercreech-pc.gov.uk

Murray Stewart. Chair. Evercreech Parish Council

December 2019

With reporting restrictions still in place when the Newsletter went to press, this month’s item is shorter than usual.However, I am able to report that Lynn Crisp took up her new role as Clerk to Evercreech Parish Council on the 1st December, and I’m sure you will join me and the rest of the council in welcoming her, and we look forward to a long and successful partnership. Lynn’s contact details are as follows:- Mrs Lynn Crisp Evercreech Parish Council Maestone Enfield Drive Evercreech BA4 6LL E-mail clerk@evercreech-pc.gov.uk 

The switching-on of the Community Christmas Tree lights on the 7th December was a great success, with a large crowd joining in the count-down, then singing carols before crossing the road to the Church to enjoy the mince pies and mulled wine, kindly provided by members of the congregation. One delightful feature this year was the large number of children holding their illuminated lanterns which they had made themselves during the afternoon workshop at the Old Stores Studio, an event supported by the Parish Council.

Finally I, along with the other members of Evercreech Parish Council, take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Murray Stewart. Chair. Evercreech Parish Council www.evercreech-pc.gov.uk

November 2019 

This month’s article is shorter than usual, due to the publishing constraints placed on local councils in the run-up to the General Election on the 12th December. 

With the festive season fast approaching, the Council have again arranged for a community Christmas Tree to be erected near the Preaching Stone, opposite the Church, and this year the official ‘switch-on’ of the lights will be taking place at 6.30 pm on Saturday 7th December. Further details of this event are displayed in the News and Events section on this website.

In preparation for events next year to mark the centenary of the war memorial in the cemetery in February, and the VE Day 75th anniversary celebrations in the village in May, work will be taking place over the winter months to trim the existing hedges, shrubs and trees in the cemetery and, in a joint effort between the Woodland Trust and Evercreech Explorer Scouts, plant new trees and shrubs along the Northern boundary fence. Furthermore, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission have provided a sign for the entrance gate, indicating the presence in the cemetery of the four War Graves.There will be more information in the New Year about the village VE celebrations.

Murray Stewart - Chair Evercreech Parish Council

October 2019

In August I mentioned that the trimming of the laurel hedge running alongside the main footpath in the Millennium Garden was to be undertaken once the cutting restrictions had ended, so I am pleased to report this month that the work has now taken place, and the hedge reduced in height.

Also in August I stated that the council had yet to decide what action to take following the retirement of Tony Cooper, our street cleaner, so until a decision has been made, the litter baskets that were placed in various locations around the cemetery have been removed, and visitors are now asked to use the large green bin located at the cemetery entrance.During September, councillors have been out and about around the village recording details of council assets such as seats, benches, litter and dog bins etc., recording their location and condition. A programme will then be drawn up to to refurbish those in the poorest condition, thus improving the overall appearance of the village.

Finally, I am pleased to announce that the new Parish Council website has gone live, and can be accessed using ‘evercreech-pc.gov.uk’. Do take a look, as it contains a lot more information and photographs than the previous one, and has interactive links to websites which we hope will be of benefit to the whole community.

Murray Stewart - Chair Evercreech Parish Council

September 2019

This month will see the roll-out of the new Evercreech Parish Council website, replacing the previous one, which was deemed to be unsatisfactory. The new site has been 6 months in development, and greatly expands the range of information that is available to the parish. Features include an interactive ‘ Report it’ page with links to Somerset County and Mendip District Council websites to cover issues such as street-lighting, roads and parking, waste/recycling collections, anti-social behaviour, planning and much more. Parish Council documents and facilities are listed along with a concise history of the village and its cemetery, kindly provided by members of the History Society, and a gallery page containing photographs provided by Harriet Fisher. It is hoped that the new site will become the ‘go-to’ destination for parishioners seeking information on all civic and community topics, with the ‘council notices’ page being updated on a regular basis. The site will become active in mid- September, the access details being announced on the What’s up in Evercreech Facebook site.

Murray Stewart Chair - Evercreech ParishCouncil

August 2019 

Hello everyone,By the time you read this the Millennium Garden, or the Millennium Jungle as it was referred to at the recent Annual Parish Meeting, will have received some intensive maintenance work to bring it up to an acceptable standard. To ensure the ongoing upkeep of the gardens, there will be fortnightly visits by the contractor up to the end of November, reducing to monthly visits from then until the end of March 2020. It is also the intention to reduce the height of the large Laurel hedge to approx 4 feet, in order to improve security by ensuring the garden area is visible from the main footpath. Hedge cutting restrictions however are in force between the 1st March and the 31st August, in order to protect nesting birds, so this particular exercise will not take place until September/October. Hopefully all this work will restore the garden to its intended role as a place of peace and tranquility, for the benefit of all parishioners.

It is with some regret that I have to announce that Tony Cooper, our long-serving street-cleaner has decided to park up his trolley and brush at the end of July, and enjoy the benefits of retirement. Tony has been a popular figure in the village over the past few years and has done an excellent job in keeping the streets tidy and litter-free. I’m sure you will all want to join me in thanking him for his efforts, and wish him a happy and enjoyable retirement.The council have yet to decide on what action to take regarding a replacement for Tony, but one possible outcome could be organising more frequent community litter-picks. Not only does this ensure that the village is kept tidy, but also makes the wider population aware of the consequences resulting from the careless discarding of litter.

Moving on now to the former Greencore site, many of you will have noticed the rather unpleasant aroma of decomposing dairy product originating from the the site over the summer months. The Parish council have been aware of this problem and have been in communication with the site owner regarding the matter. This has now resulted in the owner undertaking to arrange the removal of all residual product from the tanks and supply lines within the plant, as well as tidying up the site, following recent intrusions by trespassers. The future of the site has still to be decided, but the Parish Council working group are in contact with all the relevant parties, and will keep the community informed as negotiations progress over the coming months.

Murray Stewart - Chair Evercreech Parish Council