Mrs C Dixon                                                                                                   3 Black Rock Villas

Tel: Portishead (01275) 849200                                                                     Clevedon Road

Email: blackrockcfd@hotmail.com                                                                Portishead

Website: www.westoningordano.co.uk                                                          BS20 8PN




PRESENT:    Cllrs. Mrs S Chambers, D Down, D Giles, P Harris, M Squire and P Yates-Round (Chairman)

                        District Councillor Nigel Ashton

                        Sue Mountstevens, PCC Avon & Somerset Police

                        Hayley Verrico, Parish Liaison Officer, North Somerset Council

                        Mike Yeatman, White Hart public house and Venga, Portishead

                        Mrs C Dixon, Parish Clerk

                        40 parishioners


Following refreshments, Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting, especially District Cllr Nigel Ashton, Sue Mountstevens, Hayley Verrico, and Mike Yeatman.


1. APOLOGIES: Cllr J Bennett, Stu Redway.


2. MINUTES OF 2017 ANNUAL ASSEMBLY – Following the Minutes having been distributed at the meeting, all agreed that they be signed off. 


3. CHAIRMAN’S REPORT – Cllr Yates-Round advised that the new traffic calming measures introduced in the village (20mph speed limit and planters in road) are a success.  Further planters to be placed round the village.  He thanked Cllr Nigel Ashton and the Highways Department for implementing the road calming measures.

He thanked Cllr Squire for supplying the new history noticeboard on the village green.

Various local groups are successful in the village.

Gigaclear now taking over rolling out Broadband in the area and hoping Weston in Gordano will soon be on faster internet.

Cllr Yates-Round thanked the parish councillors and the Clerk for their hard work during the year and Gill Stringer and Alma Youde for providing the refreshments. 


4. QUESTION TIME Chairman introduced District Cllr Nigel Ashton, Sue Mountstevens, Hayleigh Verrico and Mike Yeatman.

Some questions had previously been put forward for the panel:

There was some concern about the possibility of a planning application to build 125 houses at North Weston and if approved this could set a precedent for the Gordano Valley.

Nigel Ashton advised that he would not support such an application as he wants to see the Gordano Valley stay in Green Belt.  However, there is a continuous programme of growth in housing.  He was concerned at the number of houses which must be built in North Somerset, set by the Government and sites have to be found, even if only for a few dwellings.  If a developer starts building a few houses on a site there are no services. Developers can take too long building and if numbers not built, then outstanding figures can be added on to next housing development.   There is limited land to be built on.  If suggested housing of 4,500 built at Ashton, this could be of benefit to Bristol, but not North Somerset.  Concern about building new houses – do we need them?   Parishioner asked about suggestion that Government introduce legislation to tax builders on land where houses should have been built.   Nigel Ashton said that this is gathering momentum and could be a possibility.  

Sue Mountstevens advised that due to reduction in staff at Trinity Road Police Station part of the site could be used for housing. Suggestion by parishioner of using redundant churches or land attached to large houses. 

Suggestion of having smaller developments of houses in villages that would not damage the environment.

Cllr Yates-Round said that parish council is working hard with home owners to make modifications to existing houses in the village, but there has been a struggle with planning proposals and North Somerset Council over this.  He was concerned to keep the Green Belt.

Cllr Nigel Ashton said a letter will be going out to Parish Councils asking if there is anything they want to do in the village to enhance it and not destroy it. 

Following on from this, parishioner queried why Wyndham Way is being widened.  This is to make it easier for traffic coming off the M5 get into the centre of Portishead.


Community Policing.

Parishioner asked why police are having to use valuable resources across a broad spectrum of minority problems.  Sue Mountstevens has to allocate police funding and is concerned about cyber crime, which is becoming more prolific.  Chairman suggested that perhaps a policeman could come to one of the parish council meetings to advise on how to stay safe.  Most festivals and football matches are now mostly self- policed.  However, St Pauls Carnival cost £250,000 to police. 

Sue Mountstevens said to put things into perspective she had ascertained that the crime figures for the village were 2 in 2016 and 6 in 2017.  There was concern about the use of social media, with no regulated areas of some media and the breakdown of society.  

Chairman was concerned that there had been some adverse comments made in the media by non-residents of the village concerning the traffic calming measures.  Mike Yeatman said he was concerned about adverse comments about the White Hart and the calming measure and the power of influence by outsiders.

Sue Mountstevens said she was pleased to see that people are still coming forward to be councillors or be volunteers, although there was some concern about people withdrawing from organisations.   She said social media is important when there are problems on the M5.  She was also concerned that if police force is reduced even more, then this could create more problems – 8,000 people go missing a year and the police have to investigate individual cases.  20mph speed limit is policed.   


How can authorities police fly-tipping? Suggestion of on-the-spot fines for offenders to help police.  Cllr Ashton said that if cameras are installed where there is fly-tipping, a notice has to be put up to say cameras in place.  Concern about fly-tipping by people from Bristol or Somerset.  Suggestion of fining companies if their logo is found on the rubbish.  Who will police for litter when fines increased?   Parishioner asked who decides the penalty for fly-tipping.  Cllr Ashton advised that if taken to court the judge decides the penalty and if it’s a business, the charge is a percentage of income of that business. If businesses fined, then they would stop using their name on packaging.  Suggestion that it should be the responsibility of the business to warn customers to dispose of their litter responsibly. 


Obesity – is there enough funding made available for exercise plans as there is concern about obesity in children?   It was suggested that there should be better parenting and more responsibility.  Hayley Verrico said there is enormous cost to social care.  There should be education on food and more exercise.  Cllr Yates-Round said the promotion of the Gordano Greenway could help in this regard.                



Parishioner advised there was still a problem with the noise of aircraft from the Avon Model Aero Radio

Club (AMARC) site.  Some parishioners agreed with this.  He had raised the problem with the secretary of the organisation, but could not get a response.   Apparently this is a national problem and affecting birds. The planning application has no time limit for it to carry on.  It has only been in the last 3-5 years there has been a problem and could be because site has been improved (importation of top soil to level off flying area). North Somerset Council have provided forms for complaints and parishioner advised he can give copies of these to anyone who wants them.  Parishioner had made a recording of when there is a noise issue.  Organisation can fly between 10 am and 9 pm.  Cllr Ashton suggested a meeting with the club on site.  Parishioner said the club is covered by the Civil Aviation Authority and is asking them to look into this.


Cllr Yates-Round thanked everyone for attending especially the members of the panel.


There being no further matters, the meeting closed at 9.45 pm.