A tribute to Mark Rice from the Parish Council

It is with great sadness that we heard the news of the passing of Mark Rice.

Mark joined the Parish Council for a short spell, only relinquishing his post due to his work commitments but in that short time he jumped straight into it, relishing the role and quickly making his mark with his humour along with his insight and knowledge of Pill.

Born and bred in Pill, it was easy to see that Mark was a true character with a love of the community; chatting and greeting everyone with his cheery smile and always keen to uphold the ‘old Pill ways’.

The tributes being made on Facebook are a true testimony to the love and respect everyone had for him, from the hundreds of comments from friends in Pill and Portishead, Gordano Rugby Club, St George Football Club, The Bristol Port Company and beyond, Mark touched the lives of a lot of people.

In the short time the Parish Council had Mark as a colleague it was easy to see why he commanded such love and respect from everyone who knew him.

We send our sincere condolences to his wife Nic, sons Alfie and Charlie and the family.


A New Plan for Brookside

Most people in the village will know the Brookside playing field but only a few visit it regularly. Those who do, probably go so that children can use the play equipment, kick a ball around or perhaps have a picnic.

The land is owned by North Somerset Council, but leased to the Parish Council who manage it. The council is keen to improve the field in two main ways:

  1. so it is more useful in our fight against climate change and for nature
  2. so it offers more things to more people and so gets used more

So, we have a plan which involves creating a new and frequently mown five-a-side football pitch with goals, keeping the play equipment, planting more trees and creating areas that will encourage wild flowers and help pollinating insects.

You can see the whole plan here:

Please give us you opinion by completing the short questionnaire here:

Once the results of this consultation have been analysed we’ll review the plan, publish a final version and aim to begin implementing the plan in the autumn. We also hope that local people will want to help in different ways both in implementing the plan and in looking after the field in the longer term.


The Village Voice

The last Village Voice was produced in April but by the time it was printed and ready for distribution almost everything promoted in there had been cancelled.  Some of you may have picked up a copy locally, but we weren’t even able to do our normal door to door delivery due to our volunteers being in lockdown.

Whilst much is still uncertain going forward, we are making a ‘comeback’ in August/September.  To start, I’m certain there will be many people who would like to formally express their thanks to friends, neighbours and, of course, the Coronavirus Support Group, who have done a magnificent job throughout all this.  You will also be able to read about consultation on the Neighbourhood Plan (the deadline for which is fast approaching) and how you can get involved.

Some of our local businesses will be up and running again and may wish to get the word out, and some of our local groups may be getting going again – perhaps with different times and arrangements.

So, if you have anything you would like to include, please send it to, by Friday 31 July.  Please pass this on to anyone you know who isn’t on Facebook.

Finally, some of our volunteer deliverers may not yet feel able to start again, so if you feel you could help out with a small round – even on a temporary basis – please let me know.

Looking forward to hearing from you again!


A letter from our Chief Constable and Police Crime Commissioner

Shared for information, regarding recent protests. Thanks.


Footpaths in our Parish – A Request for information

North Somerset Council are updating their Rights Of Way Improvement Plan (ROWIP) and the parish council have been asked to nominate routes for improvements, additional paths we use that we would like to become public rights of way, and suggest other walking and cycle routes that would improve the way we can access work without the need for using cars, keeping pollution levels low after the pandemic.

If you know of a path that needs improvement, a path that you would like to be an official public footpath or bridleway (can be used by cyclists), or have a suggestion for a new walking or cycle route, please let the Footpath Committee know via the following email address:

 Any submission needs to be made before the meeting of the Footpaths Committee on 24th August.



The virtual meeting of the Parish Council will be held on 16th June at 7pm. If anyone would like to join the meeting to contact to request permission to join. See PDF for agenda.


Finding Hope in a Crisis

The Covid-19 emergency is having terrible consequences for many people but lots of us have also noticed good things that have come out of the crisis.

The Parish Council Climate Action Group have been thinking about how we might capture some of those positive experiences and emotions so that we can remember and build on them after this time of trial is over.

You may have seen the big rainbow display in the Resource Centre window or found The Happy Pill Facebook page. Our idea is for anyone in our wonderful community to share their thoughts of gratitude during the crisis with us all, whether those are about the generosity and human decency that has been so obvious, or appreciation of peace, quiet and the natural world.

You can write your ideas on a postcard – special ones available in the local shops and New Canton House takeway, and pop them through the Resource Centre letterbox. Children can draw pictures, or you can post on The Happy Pill.

We will collect all these ideas as a memory of this experience, and as a reminder of ways in which we want the new normal to be different from the old.


Note from Parish Council regarding attempts to block the cycle path

The Parish Council is aware that somebody has tried to block the cycle path by placing drawing pins on it. Whatever the motivation behind this, it is illegal to block or try to block a public right of way, which would include leaving dangerous hazards on the route. In addition there is a high risk of injury to an animal or child using the cycle path.

It would also be criminal damage and or assault to deliberately damage people’s property or injure them. Whoever is doing this, please stop, and anyone finding tacks, nails or similar please report to the police who have already opened a file on this.


Re-opening of recycling centres (COVID-19)

Sharing this from North Somerset Council:

Opening of sites

The opening of the sites is planned as follows:

·       Weston-Super-Mare recycling centre (Aisecome Way) will open on Monday 18th May. The centre will open on extended hours for the first five days Monday (18th) – Friday (22nd) from 6.30am to 7.30pm. From 23 May and thereafter revert to the usual summer opening times of 8am to 6pm.

·       Portishead recycling centre is planned to re-open on Wednesday 27 May

·       Backwell recycling centre is planned to open on Friday 29 May.

Use of sites

In line with Government guidelines, visits to the recycling centres can only be made if the waste cannot be disposed of via kerbside collections, or safely stored at home. Examples of items that would need to be taken to the recycling centre include:

·       a build-up of excess non-recyclable waste, where storing sacks is leading to public or environmental health issues, such as bags being opened by animals, smell, rodents

·       a broken fridge where the only place to store it would block a fire escape route would be essential. However, a broken fridge that can be safely stored at your home would be considered non-essential.

Social Distancing and safety

To ensure social distancing measures are managed, the following measures are being introduced:

·       Vehicles allowed into the site will be restricted to a limited number

·       Only one person will be allowed outside each vehicle at one time. Exceptions will be made for people with mobility issues where two people can unload the same vehicle.

·       Staff at the site won’t be able to help unload. People should only bring what they can comfortably lift on their own.

·       Only one person at each skip at any one time, with 2m social distancing in place.

·       Bring protective gloves to avoid injury and to protect yourself from infection. Staff will be required to wear gloves as their PPE (not masks at this time).

·       Residents should not visit the site if they are:

o       symptomatic with coronavirus (COVID-19)

o       in a 14-day household isolation.

o       extremely vulnerable and are remaining at home for shielding purposes


The above measures are likely to result in queues and to help reduce these we are:

·       Not allowing trailers to use the sites

·       Introducing an ‘odds and even’s’ system – Different days will be allocated to restrict the number of vehicles trying to use the site. This will be based on the last number on the vehicles number plate and whether it is odd or even:

Odd: AB59 REY (1,3,5,7,9) Monday, Thursday and Saturday

Even: CD62 WST (0,2,4,6,8) Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

Both Odds and Evens to enter on Tuesday.

·       Asking residents to check their route using a traffic app, such as google maps, before they leave home. 

·       Introducing a fair use policy and asking residents to be considerate and limit their use to once a month to give more people the opportunity to go.

·       Asking residents to familiarise themselves with the layout of the sites and to pack their vehicles accordingly


Planet friendly money saving ideas

This week’s tips and activities during lockdown are money saving, planet friendly ideas.  See what you could save below.

Ignoring food ‘best before’ dates – saves up to £700

The average UK household throws out £700 of food every year partly because we stick to ‘best before end’ dates. You can safely ignore ‘best before’ dates on most foods as they only show when the product is past its best quality. Experts recommend you examine and taste-test food past its ‘best before’ date to check it is good enough to eat. But don’t ignore ‘use by’ dates on meat, fish and dairy products, as this could lead to food poisoning.  Find recipes for the ingredients you have available through the Supercook website or download the app.

Do the washing at a lower temperature – yearly saving around £10

Your washing machine will clean just as effectively on a 20c or 30c cycle but it will save you around £10 per year, according to green energy supplier Ovo. Most normal washing can be effectively cleaned at 20c as long as any stains are pre-treated and the washing is allowed to dry thoroughly, preferably outside. Only heavily stained cleaning items need washing at 40c to 60c.

Change your light bulbs – save about £55 by replacing 10 bulbs

Although energy- saving LED bulbs still cost more than traditional ones at about £3 each but they last two or three times as long and cut your bills. If you still have old lightbulbs, you can swap them for 7W LED bulbs which emit the same light as a 60W traditional bulb. The Energy Saving Trust estimates you will then save around £2 per bulb per year because they need changing less frequently, plus at least £35 per year off your electricity bill. And you can pick LED bulbs in Poundland saving even more.    

Switch to green energy – save up to £289

Many green energy companies, which use wind, solar and other renewable energy, offer competitive deals. Based on 2019 prices, a family in a semi-detached home could save £289 a year with Octopus, or £282 per year with Pure Planet, compared to a standard variable tariff with EDF Energy. Big Clean Switch specialises in quotes and switching to green energy.

Save water in the shower – save up to £185 a year

The average shower in the UK lasts 8 minutes and uses about 60 litres of water. You can save on your heating bills and water if it’s metred. Try having five minute showers; use a less powerful setting and don’t leave your shower running. An eco-showerhead could also you save water, energy and money if you have a mains water or power shower.  They cost as little as £15, but could save a family of four £70 per year on energy, plus £115 per year on water bills, according to the Energy Saving Trust.

Turn down the thermostat – cut up to £75 off your heating bill

Nudging your thermostat down by just one degree can save 340kg of carbon dioxide from going into the atmosphere every year — and cut £75 off your heating bill. The Energy Saving Trust has some energy saving quick wins.