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Some of you will know that the issues of vehicle speed and possible safety measures were discussed with the Parish Council at its last meeting on 27 May. I attended as a concerned resident, we live at the south end of the village. At that meeting it became clear that the County Council is the agency that has to be engaged as it is the statutory highways authority and the A37 is a major transit route between the south coast and the M4/M5.
The County Council has some awareness of the problems we face but I suspect that it will be reluctant to act as it will cost time and money and will probably be viewed as disruptive.
At the Parish Council meeting it was confirmed that the PC had previously written to the County Council to no avail and it was suggested that residents start to write to the County Council. It would appear that approaches by the PC and Mendip Councillor Tom Killen are not being accepted and our village is overlooked whilst improvements are made elsewhere. If you look over the border into Bath & North East Somerset you can see recent safety improvements made on the A37 in Pensford and Temple Cloud and on the A39 in Marksbury and Corston which show that traffic calming and safety measures can be implemented on busy ‘A’ roads.
I wrote to County Councillor Mike Pullin who is our local Councillor for Somerset CC and also the Junior Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport. I have since spoken with Mike Pullin and he agrees that the road needs attention to reduce speed and generally make it safer for residents and drivers, he also confirmed that it would be helpful if residents in Ston Easton also wrote to him with copies to key County Council Officers with their views.
I have drafted the attached which is based on my own letter to Mike Pullin. It would be genuinely immensely helpful if you were able to write to Mike and copy in those listed below. I am not suggesting that you use the attachment as a template, please do reflect your views and experiences, however, it is there to provide some pointers. Both letters will be on the village website stoneaston.org.uk but if you want it sent to your email let me know. It would be great to copy me in so that I can begin to coordinate a concerted push to get some improvements. Could you also email me if you notice accidents because the police and council do not log accidents where there are no reported injuries so the majority of collisions are not recorded.
I understand that each County Councillor has a small budget to sponsor two schemes in their ward during their 4 year tenure. Mike should be able to sponsor one or two schemes starting this autumn. His last scheme was implementation of the 30mph zone in the Horringtons, if we start to put pressure on the County Council Ston Easton could be the next local scheme although I also think it will need a bigger project funded by the County Council, nevertheless making a start would be good.
I have also attempted to make contact with the Neighbourhood Policing Team with a view to gaining access to the Mobile Speed Camera Unit, I will continue to pursue this.
I will be asking for a meeting with key Councillors and Officers and Police to walk through the village so they can experience what we do, it would be helpful to have a few volunteers to join me and Paul Clayton, I would be looking for a date in late July.
As many of you know we are incredibly lucky to have an extensive network of footpaths in the Parish and from my wanderings as the Parish Path Liaison Officers (PPLO) I have walked many, but not all of them, since taking up this voluntary role earlier this year. Parish Path Liaison Officer is the grand title for a voluntary role working in partnership with Somerset County Council Rights of Way team and liaising with the Parish Council - footpaths are now a regular agenda item at our Parish Council Meetings. As with most Council services nowadays, the budget is very limited and there is a heavy reliance on volunteers to keep the footpaths open and safe.
PPLOs are asked to regularly walk the footpaths reporting any defects or problems with paths and furniture, and if safe and practical, to carry out light clearance works such as cutting back vegetation from around gates, stiles and signposts. This role can be supported by other volunteers to help keep the network of paths open and reporting any issues found when walking the paths. There is no regular commitment to this, just when and where you can. It's a great way to keep fit and healthy and help the local community at the same time. So, if you would be interested in volunteering to support our footpaths please let me know. Other voluntary schemes that may be of interest are;
Adopt-a-Path volunteers by regularly walking an adopted path to keep them clear through regular light cutting back of vegetation from around gates, stiles, way mark posts and signposts.
The Somerset Strimmer scheme is where volunteers help cut back summer and winter vegetation along public footpaths and bridleways using strimmers. It is the most active of the roles because you must be capable of walking with and carrying machinery, including the kit that goes with it, and safety gear. After training we loan a strimmer (which might be shared with neighbouring parishes,) with the relevant equipment, for the volunteer to use during the spring and summer months. It is collected in the winter for servicing.
If you are interested in volunteering for any role in supporting the maintenance of our footpaths you can either contact me , or the Rights Of Way team at www.somerset.gov.uk.
More information whether you want to volunteer or just make use of our lovely footpath network the following links will be helpful;
The Interactive Map Explore Somerset https://roam.somerset.gov.uk/roam/Map is where you can plan a walk, ride, cycle, or simply check where public rights of way are – you view the entire public rights of way network in Somerset. You are also able to see what type of assets (for example, stiles, gates) are on the paths or view and report issues on the network. I have agreed that every quarter I will submit a report on our Parish footpaths to our Parish Council and the Somerset County Council Rights of Way Team. Successes so far have been the replacement of several stiles and signs and a commitment that the bridge and stile from Hay Street to the Farrington Gurney Golf course will soon be replaced, I am currently chasing for a start date.
The Parish Path Liaison Officer Hand book has lots of useful information http://wwwold.somerset.gov.uk/EasysiteWeb/getresource.axd?AssetID=46359&type=full&servicetype=Attachment
Finally, I have two A1 sized hard copies of maps of the Parish showing our Parish footpaths and the aim is to provide them for display in Clapton and Ston Easton Village Halls.
A big thanks to Ashley Ayre & Jamie Wilson for the new planter and handrails!
The black polythene wrapping has gone and our postbox is once again back in use, only seven months after the old box was knocked down and removed.
Here's hoping that any letters posted in it will be dealt with in a more timely fashion!
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
Village fundraiser for Children in Need.
As a choir, we usually hold some sort of fund raising event each year. This year it won’t be possible, and so, very last minute I decided to join in with the Children in Need “Act my Age” activity and cycle 77 kilometres over the course of the next few days, in the name of Village Voices Choir. If anyone feels they’d like to sponsor me, please email:
Kind regards, Graham
The village postbox has finally returned to its original position. It only took six months to put it back, but we still can't use it.
Now everyone is wondering how long it'll take to remove the polythene wrapping and return it to service!
A huge round of thanks to the fantastic villagers who have helped with the latest round of improvements: Jess Maggs & Kaylea Pollard for their chair cleaning and sorting; Paul Clayton for fixing and painting the store room ready for shelves; and Steve Jones for our brilliant new veranda! The roof screws are currently being replaced so we will soon be leak free! Next job is repainting the interior, if you would be willing to help please let a committee member know.
The new Village Hall name sign has arrived!
The veranda decking is being replaced next. And if you notice a few chaps climbing on the roof, they’re putting in self-sealing screws to stop the leaks!
The old veranda decking had become unsafe and the railings had been vandalised over the years, so we've been working hard to restore it to its former splendour!
Big thanks to Paul Clayton & Graham Jones for their work painting the steelwork today, looking sharp!
Next will be the new decking, and then we'll be ready for the next Village Day just as soon as we're allowed to reopen.
Many thanks to Cerian from George’s Garden at Gurney Slade, who very kindly donated beautiful fuchsias and antirrhinums to fill the last planter outside our Village Hall.
You may have noticed a bit of colour brightening up the village hall this week, new signs and noticeboard coming soon! Big thanks to Val Jones and Lyndsay Thomas for their green fingers.
The spring flower swap has ended and a donation of leftover primroses has been made to Helen for a new wildflower meadow at Happy Landings. We plan to do a Summer Flower Swap and will keep you posted, thank you to all who participated!
Please follow the guidance below and posted on site.
Whilst some wipes will be provided, we'd be grateful if you would bring your own anti-bac wipes with you to wipe down touch points after your visit. This will help our funds go further with potential additional play equipment and maintenance in the future.
PLEASE ENJOY THE PLAY AREA AND STAY SAFE AT ALL TIMES BY FOLLOWING THESE REGULATIONS.
GET ACTIVE STON EASTON
Would you be interested in having a Community Speed Watch Scheme in Ston Easton? Would you be willing to volunteer a small amount of time on an ad hoc basis to monitor vehicles using speed detection equipment? Please contact Keith Beevor on 07785 757513 for more information.
Whilst schemes have been suspended until further notice due to the coronavirus outbreak – we can still begin to bring together volunteers and eventually reduce the harmful impact of speeding vehicles through our village and improve safety for pedestrians.
I hope everybody is keeping safe and well in these crazy times.
Back in October last year, myself and my two children had a near miss crossing the A37 from the bus stop. A van came around the corner too fast and I had to run with the buggy and my four-year-old to get across the road. The buggy caught the edge of the very small dropped curb and it tipped fully over. Luckily, my baby was strapped in and none of us were hurt, though we all fell and were quite shaken up. Since then, I have been engaging with the council on what might be done to make things safer in Ston Easton.
At present, there is no safe crossing point in the middle of Ston Easton, despite the fact that the bus stop is used by multiple children and is adjacent to a care home. There is not even a dropped curb on each side to allow a buggy or wheelchair across more easily. In addition, anybody who has attempted to walk around the bend to the northern section of the village, particularly with buggies, kids or dogs will know how risky this is. Indeed, a quick search on www.crashmap.uk shows there have been over 20 (reported) road traffic incidents over the last 21 years, including fatalities. The peppered wall throughout, police tape and lorry tracks across the pavement serve as a constant reminder of how many drivers lose control. Even during lockdown, a cement mixer overturned and caused chaos. I used to do the school run through the hotel to make it safer, but this is sadly no longer an option.
I have raised these concerns with Tom Killen at a local level who has kindly passed it on to Mike Pullin at the County Council. They are raising it with the Highways Health and Safety team. I am not a highways expert so I do not want to give a specific request on how to calm the traffic or provide a safe crossing point but I do want them to do a proper assessment, engage with the community and find a solution that works for all.
I have only lived in Ston Easton for six years and I know from Tom Killen and from my neighbours that this issue has been raised before, so I wanted to let the village know what I am doing and give people a chance to add in their voice. Concerns can be directed to Mike Pullin ; 07885372447 or, if you prefer, you can email me and I will collate them all and send them on . I personally intend to film my journey home from the bus stop for him so he can see the problem.
My aim is that the only loss we suffer in the village due to vehicles is the post box.
We’re aiming to make it easier and safer for residents to travel by bike and on foot 🚴♂️🏃👣
We want to reconnect people and places through a network of cycle and walking paths across the district.
Learn more about our plans to transform travel here ➡️ www.mendip.gov.uk/activetravelplans
🌺🌸🌼🌺🌸🌼Local plants for charity 🌺🌸🌼🌺🌸🌼
One of our villagers receives surplus plants from a wholesale nursery to sell for Happy Landings – a very good local charity who rehome animals. As they are now closed due to Covid-19, she is unable to do this and is offering the plants from home for a donation to the charity.
If you are interested in any of the plants, please contact Helen by e-mail to arrange a collection slot.
This is her present list:
Dahlias – annual
Ivy leaved geranium
Trailing lobelia – mixed colours
Cucumbers - mini
Climbing French beans
Tomatoes – Gardeners Delight
Coleus, Large begonias, Salvias, Portulaca (basket plant)
The Somerset Coronavirus helpline deals with issues from finance 💰, personal care, feeling worried 😟, anxious or depressed, food requests 🍞 & transport arrangements 🚕. If have no one to turn to & you need help, call ➡️ 0300 790 6275.
Many villagers will have been taking advantage of the wonderful weather and sorting out their gardens. In doing this there might be a few spare plants potted up and needing a home.
If you have any spares, please consider leaving them for villagers to help themselves at the hall each Wednesday morning, from 10am-12pm.
Could you add a label so that the plants can be identified? NO TRIFIDS!
Latest news is that it will be replaced, but may take a while! Apparently when a box is knocked over they have to consider if it should be relocated so it doesn't happen again. So we just have to wait...
UPDATED - IMPORTANT
The MUGA court is now open again for the use of tennis ONLY.
(The play area remains closed.)
Those who wish to play tennis, need to be EITHER
- members of the same household
- 2 people (1 person each from 2 households only) who practice social distancing.
We kindly ask that you refer to this link and the posters below ( also on site and at this link ) to familiarise yourself with what is required to use the court.
We hope you understand that if we feel that the guidelines are not being followed, or the advice changes, the court may have to be closed without notice.
Thank you for your support,
Get Active Ston Easton
Happy VE Day everyone! Show us your bunting!
Over the next few weeks, you will notice the grass is being left uncut. In the past the sports clubs who used the playing field have taken care of this. Since they have disbanded the Village Hall has stepped in and been meeting the cost from income, generated from events and regular users. At a cost of £65 +VAT per cut.
The new Village Hall committee has decided that without any funding for this, and with no substantial income for the foreseeable future, we need to preserve what little funds we have to cover essential costs such as insurance, electricity and water bills.
We are seeking help from other sources to solve the situation for now and the future and would ask you to bear with us. We are working hard towards improving the Village Hall.
Apparently the village post box was knocked down, presumably by a vehicle. Our postman found it lying down and emptied it, so any mail inside is safe. Hopefully it will be reinstated in a few days time.
Your new village hall committee hasn't been idle! The pot holes in the drive have been largely repaired, we've had an initial tidy-up and clean inside, and re-organised the storage spaces and general clutter. It's already looking a lot better.
The plumbing at the far end has been repaired so that the toilets can be brought back into use (without hot water for now!), and coat hooks have been moved from the old changing room (now a store room) into the entrance lobby.
Loose tiles in the kitchen have been re-fixed, doors have been trimmed so they open and close properly, and there's even a handle on the inside of the front door!
Lots more to do, but it's a good start.
At a public meeting held in the village hall on 11th February, the old committee stood down and a group of villagers volunteered to take over running the committee. The change was welcomed by all present.
The new committee agreed to hold an initial meeting on 25th February to elect officers and decide how to proceed with making the much needed improvements to the hall.
Your new committee is now up and running, and looking forward to getting the hall back into pristine condition and ready for lots of great village events. We'll keep you posted and we'll certainly need your help along the way, so look out for more news of works being undertaken.