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Our Great Big Green Day: 18th September

The Great Big Green Week is probably the largest series of community events ever organised to focus on climate and nature in the UK. 

So… here in the village we are having our own Great Big Green Day on September 18th! 

We will be celebrating how groups in the village , and the Parish Council, are taking action to tackle climate change, protect our green spaces ,and care for our planet and its biodiversity.

Over twenty local groups will be taking part, and the morning will have activities and displays in the precinct, along with the official opening of our wonderful Community Fridge.  You can have a go on a smoothie bike and enjoy Fairtrade refreshments at the Salvation Army.

The afternoon is a great chance to visit places all over the village to see what different groups are doing, and we can all end up at the Community Centre for tea and cakes.

You might like to visit the allotments or Brookside, or a new wildflower garden for example, and there is a quiz to do as you go round with activities for all ages.

We have an interactive map which will guide you round the sites and give you more information.

So… go to Our Great Big Green Day page to use the interactive map, or download a printable map below, then you can join in!

Look out on social media for the hashtag #PillOGBGD to stay up to date with what is happening on the day!

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Village Voice – August edition is out!

You can read the latest issue here.

Huge thanks, as ever, for all the team who put in so much hard to to create this issue.

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Parish Council statement on the lifting of COVID restrictions

The Parish Council wishes to make their position absolutely clear about the lifting of restrictions on Monday 19th July. Everyone will have heard about the government plans and there will be many interpretations about what is the best, safest, most appropriate or least damaging way of proceeding. We all know what it has been like for us, our families, our friends and neighbours over the last twenty months and we are yearning to be living as “normally” as possible once more.

However, it is clear from all sides that there is no certainty about any of the predictions and so we must recognise that whilst some of us will be keen to resume “normal living”, others in our community may still be fearful or worried about what the future holds. We all know people who have not seen their families for over a year; who have struggled with the difficulties of home schooling; who have worried about the lack of money, work and support; and who have felt the strain on their mental health. It is of paramount importance that we continue to recognise our different experiences and continue to show respect and understanding to those whose views are different from our own. We have done this as a community with sensitivity and support during the pandemic so far and the Parish Council believes we should continue in the same way.

In particular this means:

  1. We should continue to wear a face mask when we go into the surgeries and shops on which we all depend.
  2. We should remember to carry a mask and use it in those narrow outside areas where we all have to squeeze past each other.
  3. We should respect and follow the rules which our schools have introduced for the safety of our children. We also need to follow the rules for isolating in order to protect others in our community.
  4. We should check that any vulnerable or isolating neighbours are receiving the support they need in getting shopping and supplies.
  5. We should think carefully about our visits, trips, and plans so that we do not unintentionally cause harm to others. There are still clinically vulnerable people in our community who cannot take the vaccine and therefore rely upon us to protect them. We should remember that we can still pass on the infection even if we do not have symptoms.
  6. We should keep a very careful watch for any signs of illness in our family groups – and especially our children or those who have not been vaccinated.

The Parish Council hopes that we will all be able to remember these reasonable requests so that our community has the best chance of coming through this pandemic.

There is more information here.

Paul Kent on behalf of Pill and Easton in Gordano Parish Council.

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Recycling and Waste Strategy Consultation

We only have one planet and all waste goes somewhere. North Somerset Council’s Recycling and Waste Strategy is a mission to achieve ‘zero waste’ and is an important part of protecting our planet.

As a council North Somerset have declared a climate emergency, and as the waste we produce has associated carbon emissions this strategy will form part of the climate emergency work. We must think of waste as being a resource from which as much value as possible should be recovered. This strategy is focused on working with residents, businesses, community groups and town and parish councils to contribute towards North Somerset’s net zero carbon aims, as well as changing the way we operate our waste services to achieve our targets.

Tell NSC what you think of the strategy using the questionnaire’s on the website here:

https://n-somerset.inconsult.uk/waste_consultation/consultationHome

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Community Fridge open from 12th June

Free food for you and your family!

LOOK what’s coming to the resource centre

PILL & DISTRICT COMMUNITY FRIDGE

Opening for the first time Saturday 12th June from 10am – 12 noon, and then when the Resource Centre is open currently 9.30-3.30 Mon-Thurs and Sat 10-12

Help reduce food waste – take some food from the Community Fridge

WATCH OUT FOR NEWS OF GRAND OPENING IN JULY

THE STORY SO FAR

Food waste is a big issue in the UK!

The average family throws away £470 worth of food every year.              

Most food waste in the UK(4.1 million tonnes) is avoidable and could have been eaten had it been better managed.

One Solution:  Community Fridges

Community fridges are one tried and tested way stopping good food ending up in the bin. Surplus food is donated by local businesses and members of the public and is then available for collection by people who need it.

What’s next for Community Fridges?

Pill & District Community Fridge is part of a growing network across the UK. We hope you enjoy your Community Fridge and experience the many benefits of sharing good food and reducing food waste.

FREE FOOD FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY

By taking some food from the Community Fridge not only are you helping yourself you will help reduce food waste.

You can donate any surplus home-grown fruit and veg or packets and tins of food you won’t use.  Food must be within ‘use by date’ and undamaged.  We are not allowed to accept home cooked food.

If you would like to help with the running of the fridge or collecting food donations, please email louise_osborne422@yahoo.co.uk

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April Village Litter Pick

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This is the litter that was collected at the April Village Litter Pick. Many thanks to Ben Culverhouse for the aerial photos and to all the litter picking volunteers.  In the photos you can see the recyclable waste on the green tarps which made up more than half of the litter collected. Plastics were the highest volume (many plastic bottles & take away coffee lids). Coke, Red bull & Thatcher’s cider cans were the most frequently found cans. There were numerous non-biodegradable face masks and wipes as well as take away coffee cups, which are difficult to recycle because of the plastic lining and so aren’t taken by our current kerbside recycling scheme. A notable amount of waste was Mac Donald’s non-recyclable takeaway packaging.

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Thanks to the Parish council for the equipment. Litter pickers, gloves and Hi-Viz vests are available to borrow any time from the Resource Centre & recycling bin nets can be bought from the Post Office to prevent waste from blowing out of recycling bins.


It was a satisfying morning’s work helping the village to look tidy, stopping plastics from polluting our environment and being able to recycle over half of the waste collected. Village litter picks are organised on the third Saturday of every month, meet in the precinct at 10am.

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Annual Parish Meeting

It is two years since the last Annual Parish Meeting, so this report is a brief summary of what the Parish Council (PC) has been doing since then. Clearly, the COVID pandemic has changed our behaviour, routines, work practices, family relationships and community involvement.
The PC has been no different from any other organization and has had to look at new and creative ways of communicating and working. In this context, I should like to record my thanks to all councillors who have shown admirable commitment to their voluntary PC work – often whilst juggling the exhausting demands of work, home schooling, or caring for elderly or sick members of their families and the community. We have managed to maintain a full complement of Councillors throughout the pandemic although some colleagues have needed sabbatical time in order to respond to their primary family and employment commitments. During this time, our new intake of councillors has also refreshed and galvanized the ways in which we work. Thanks to the ingenuity, efficiency, and permanently good cheer of our Parish Clerk we have been able to keep up to date with developments outside the village and we have also learnt how to cope patiently with Zoom meetings.
Following the closure of The Pill Paper, the PC was delighted to support the launch of its cousin, The Village Voice. The first edition was delivered in November 2019 with an online version on the PC website. This was the first sign of our new digital approach and we were grateful that some of our new Councillors brought their knowledge, skills, and confidence to improving things. We now have a radically redesigned and user-friendly PC website which has up to date links to our Facebook page and The Daily Pill, thereby creating a wider interest group – particularly amongst the 16-40 year olds. The website has also links to the several consultations which have taken place in the last two years on such matters as The Neighbourhood Plan, Metro West railway developments, The Community Land Trust proposals, mud dredging from Hinkley C, and new traffic restrictions through the village.
The PC has also established some different working practices which have resulted in fewer sub-committee meetings and more action. We have ten monthly PC meetings (where planning is always a separate agenda) and four Finance and Personnel Committee meetings a year, with the rest of the work undertaken by groups which have a small budget and often work with other people outside the PC who have the skills and some time to offer. These PC groups, which report their progress at full PC meetings, include:-
The Climate Emergency Group.
The rewilding programme for several spaces in the village.
A group looking into widening the play opportunities for younger children. The footpaths group committed to keeping paths open rather than becoming “lost ways.”

The cycling groups exploring a harbour-to-harbour cycle path from Portishead to Bristol.
All these groups have made constructive links with similar groups in the village so that sharing ideas ensures that makes for a better understanding of what people want.
In addition to these groups, the PC has been quick to support any initiatives in the village which have been of benefit to people during the pandemic. Of particular note here has been the way in which the PC has worked with the village Covid 19 group and the churches; supported the Pill and District Food Bank and the incipient Community Fridge; liaised with the Heywood Practice and local pharmacy to ensure that the most vulnerable members of the village were supported; and agreed to redirect much of the PC contingency fund of £10,000 to hiring portable toilets for Crockerne School for most of the school year 2020/2021. This last decision brought considerable relief to children, parents, carers, and school staff as it made it possible for Crockerne to stay open for a longer period of time whilst adhering to the social distancing regulations.
Other imaginative initiatives have followed with the recycling of donated computers for school use, additional patrols at school start and closing times, and volunteers for looking after planters which should become part of the traffic calming plans in the near future.
It was extremely uplifting during those interminable days of lockdown to know that so many people were doing so much to make their neighbours feel safe and not forgotten. Many of the older generation have shown their appreciation for such kindness. I know that my PC colleagues have also done their best to ensure people are not forgotten and have made special efforts to reach out to different age groups – with many young people feeling vulnerable and dejected – knowing that the pandemic has affected all of us, regardless of age.
Finally, I hope that the Annual Parish Meeting in 2022 will take place in the familiar surroundings once again but in the meantime, you will be able to read the contributions and reports from members of the parish on the PC website.
Paul Kent Chair PEIGPC 1/04/21

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Hardwick Road Playing Field

Thank you for your responses on the Hardwick Road Playing Field proposals which have now been analysed.

Overall, 60% of the responses said either ‘great’ or ‘in general I like it’; 30% didn’t like it at all; 10% were not very enthusiastic. The main reason for opposition was the fear that the plans would reduce space on the field for play. The Parish Council is confident that the plans have been carefully designed to keep the great majority of the area open for football, cricket, rounders and other games. At the same time we have noted the enthusiasm of others for different forms of play and engagement with nature as it is increasingly recognised that opportunities to experience the natural world is very important for our mental health. It is also important to encourage biodiversity and take opportunities to capture carbon wherever possible.

We therefore believe the proposals for Hardwick Road provide the right balance of all factors and look forward to their implementation.

Two comments in addition:

a) all the ‘don’t like it all’ came on the same day and said the same thing almost identically.  We believe this was down to one person getting anyone she could to oppose the scheme and do not believe it remotely reflects widespread feeling.

b) you might be interested by the item below from the Guardian:

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/jan/28/flower-power-the-movement-to-bring-back-britains-beautiful-meadows

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Network Rail Ground Investigation Works

Network Rail have advised us of some survey works that need to take place in Pill involving ground and structural investigations on and around the freight line. The works will be commencing from Weds 20th January and may be quite noisy at times as they involve drilling boreholes at several locations, namely around Severn Road, Monmouth Road, Hardwick Road, at the back of Mount Pleasant and on the viaduct. We have discussed this in detail with Network Rail and the majority of the works will take place Monday to Friday but some of the works have to done on a Sunday as a line possession is needed.  All the works (whichever day of the week) will be undertaken in the daytime only, i.e. no night time working will be undertaken. 

As the works may disturb residents, we have drafted the attached letter which sets out as much detail as we have. We will print off a batch and will do a door to door letter drop of houses closest to the work sites on Sunday. There are contact details on the letter so that if there are any issues with the survey works, Network Rail can be reached. Advice has been given regarding ecological constraints and an on-site ecologist will supervise the works.

The dates and times of the works are included in the letter but are as follows:

Dates TimesType of Work
Wednesday 20 January to Friday 5 March8:00am – 5:00pm, Mon to Fri onlyGround Investigation works
Sunday 24 January 8:00am – 6:00pm*Ground Investigation works on the railway
Sunday 14 March to Sunday 25 April8:00am – 5:00pm*, Sundays onlyGround Investigation works on the railway
Monday 22 March to Friday 23 April8:00am – 5:00pm, Mon to Fri onlyStructural Coring of Pill Viaduct

* The work needs to be carried out when the trains are not operating so our teams can work safely.

As stated above, we understand that these works will disturb some residents but please be assured we have restricted the working times to daytime only.

More information can be found in this document:

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December news

By now you will have heard that Nan Kirsen and Pat Derrick died during December. Both Nan and Pat were passionately committed to the village and served our local community in a variety of ways.
Nan was a member of the Parish Council for many years and showed a keen interest in village affairs.
She also became a North Somerset Councillor and helped to bring the concerns of the wider community to the authority’s attention. Pat worked tirelessly for many local causes including The Owls, Morgan’s Charity, The Rag, The Regatta and St. George’s Football Club as well as being instrumental in securing The Chestnuts for recreation purposes. His influence extended across the generations and will be felt for many years to come.
Many of you have already sent your condolences to the families of Nan and Pat and will remember and celebrate their lives. The Parish Council sends both the Kirsen and the Derrick families their thoughts and condolences in these sad times and will remember with gratitude the service and the example that both Nan and Pat showed to the local community.
Paul Kent on behalf of The Parish Council