The Results are In!

The results of my New Year Resident’s survey are clear: Development, roads and drainage are the key concerns for Blagdon and Churchill residents.

20% of respondants want North Somerset to do more to improve our local roads and drainage, with a similar number stating that the main focus should be on development and housing. Improving public transport and cracking down on littering and improving waste collection were the next most popular themes.

The good news is that these are areas that I am working with officers and Council colleagues to deliver progress in the coming months:

Roads and Drainage:

A significant amount of investment has gone in to improving and updating drains across the ward. This has delivered improvements, but there is still a lot more to do – particularly towards Blackmoor where a lot of water ends up from further upstream and in parts of Blagdon where there are ongoing problems. I will continue to put pressure on the Council to continue to invest in drainage – and to keep up a regular program of maintainance to avoid blockages.

On roads, residents are concerned about the quality of the road surfaces, as well as speeding and safety on a number of our lanes. Investment is going into upgrading the quality of the road surfaces, not least a £227,000 in upgrading the A38 in Churchill. But again, more needs to be done to undo years of neglect under the previous administration and I will be working with officers and executive members to ensure that investment comes to the villages – and will be keeping a close eye on the Banwwell bypass to make sure investments are made to mitigate any negative impact on our villages. 

Speeding is a concern for many – this is mainly a police matter  – but I have been talking to residents and working with officers to understand if there is a case of new 20MPH zones and to carry out traffic surveys on the areas of greatest concern. 

Many respondents were keen to see additional support for improving active travel and making cycling and walking safer. This is something we will see progress on soon – so watch this space! 

Housing and Development:

A clear message came through here that residents are concerned about new development and housebuilding in the ward, although there is a reasonable degree of support for more affordable housing. We were successful in fending off the inappropriate development at Dinghurst Lane and I continue to fight to make sure the new local plan which is currently under development protects the character and special nature of our villages and rural areas.

Waste and Recycling:

The service levels provided by Biffa – particularly in Blagdon – have been unnacceptable. This is why I was strongly in favour of the decision taken by the Council last year to end the contract and set up a new, more accountable waste and recycling service. I will be keeping up the pressure to make sure the new company delivers improved levels of service – particularly for residents who use assisted collection. 

Weston’s MP votes in favour of bee killing pesticides!

🐝 Despite pleding to keep environmental protections after Brexit, Weston’s Tory MP has voted to allow bee killing pesticides in the UK, despite these having been banned across the EU.

Patrick Keating, spokesperson for the Weston-super-Mare Liberal Democrats, said “The government giving the green light for such a highly-damaging pesticide to be sprayed on crops is bad news for bees and other insects.”

The government knows the clear harm that neonicotinoid pesticides cause to bees and other pollinators and just three years ago supported restrictions on them across the European Union. Why should British crops be covered in such chemicals when the government supported its ban in other countries?”

Research has indicated that the pesticide harms bee brain development, weakens immune systems and can leave bees unable to fly.

Environmental groups have accused the government of exacerbating the biodiversity crisis, which has resulted in at least half the world’s insects disappearing

A38 flooding update

Over the last few days, there has again been flooding along the A38 in Churchill and Langford.

I have asked officers for an urgent update on the situation, which is as follows:This particular instance of surface water is being caused by damage to the culverted watercourse that runs along the back of the footway in this part of the A38.

Officers visited the nearby development last week and the developer has confirmed that they damaged the culvert some weeks ago. They have carried out a temporary repair but this does still create problems when there are high volumes of water flow down the culvert.

The developer has agreed to undertake a permanent repair as soon as the water levels reduce sufficiently to enable an excavation to take place. The current levels of water prevents this being carried out safely and presents a risk of further damage and material being washed into the culvert creating addition problems.

North Somerset Council officers will be visiting regularly to keep up the pressure on the developer and I will continue to push the Council to keep up a regular progamme of investment in maintaining and clearing the drainage infrastructure in our area.

Dental Care during CVD-19 outbreak

📣Update on urgent dental care during CVD crisis.

🦷 Most dental practices in North Somerset are now closed and all non-urgent dental activity has been stopped to support social distancing.

15 hub surgeries have been set up across the South West to provide urgent and emergency dental care, while maintaining all needed public health precautions.

Patients requiring urgent dental care will need a referral, to ensure they are properly triaged and directed to the right hub.

🚨If you need *urgent* dental care:

– If you are registered with a dental practice, call your practice for triaging and referral.

– If you are not registered with a specific practice and live in North Somerset, call 111.