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  towards a sustainable future for our village

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  SEG Home > News List > 2019 News Archive


2019 News Archive

The latest stories are on our home page.

As this is an archive some older links may no longer connect due to changes in web page URL addresses etc.

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An early story in 2019 was about the threat to insects that are heading for extinction leading to a collapse of nature's ecosystems.

Click on each story link or scroll down the page (most recent appears first):-

March 2019

See the 11th C Viking Buckle at Saltford Heritage Centre, 30th March

Water shortages in England within 25 years

Annual Saltford Dawn Chorus Walk, 21st April

B&NES Council declares a climate emergency

Saltford Wombles: Litter Pick Sunday 24 March

Gender and Fairtrade

Government to mandate net gains for biodiversity on new developments

Saltford Upcycling Craft Group 21st March

Febuary 2019

SPC's Key Actions & Achievements 2015 - 2019

Saltford Wombles: Litter Pick Sunday 24th February

Insects heading for extinction leading to a collapse of nature's ecosystems

SPC and SEG seek inclusion of Saltford Station in West of England Transport Plan

Bronze Viking Buckle found in Saltford!

Saltford Wombles: Change in Chief Womble and Dates for your Diary

SEG pleased that 'time-wasting' planning application for 200 homes between Keynsham & Saltford is turned down by B&NES Council

Behaviour on the railway path: Sustrans survey

Saltford Parish Council responds to West of England Mayor re. Saltford Station

Gender & Fairtrade - 'Stories of Women & Cocoa Farmers in Ghana', 8th March

Saltford Upcycling Craft Group 21st February

January 2019

Council awards litter enforcement contract to 3GS

Saltford Wombles: Litter Pick Sunday 27 January

Government Minister: "Don't build over the Green Belt to hit housing targets"

Big Garden Birdwatch 26 - 28 January


News stories start here (most recent appears first):-


March 2019

See the 11th C Viking Buckle at Saltford Heritage Centre, 30th March

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How did the 11th C bronze Viking Buckle get to Saltford?

Saltford's very rare bronze Viking Buckle will be displayed by SEG to the public for the first time at the Saltford Heritage Centre (1st floor, St Mary's Church Hall, Queen Sq, High St. Saltford) on Saturday 30th March from 9.30am to 12 noon - admission is free. Found in 2018, it has been described by the British Museum's finds officer for this area as being of "regional importance". It gives our first local evidence of the Viking's presence in this area.

Why not come and see this fascinating 11th Century artefact and information displays about its design and origins? Other important Saltford artefacts including the Saltford Carthaginian Coin (300-264 BC) will also be available to see. Refreshments including hot cross buns will be available on the ground floor at the church hall from St Mary's Easter Market.

More information about this remarkable artfect can be found on SEG's Online Museum and our 'History of Saltford Project' special feature page.

March 2019

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Water shortages in England within 25 years

No water, no life.
No blue, no green.
No ocean, no us...

Sir James Bevan, Chief Executive of the Environment Agency, spoke to the Waterwise Conference on 19 March 2019. The following are extracts from his speech where he warned that England will not have enough water to meet demand within 25 years.

"The population of the UK is expected to rise from 67 million now to 75 million in 2050. All those extra people need houses and roads and energy and food and places to work, all of which will require more water.

"So: climate change plus growth = an existential threat. To our economy, environment, security, happiness, way of life. In the face of water scarcity, we must tackle both sides of the equation: reduce demand and increase supply."

"We can reduce demand by reducing leakage, by more water metering, sustainable drainage systems, insisting on new building regulations to drive greater water efficiency, and finding ways to cut down the amount of water we each use as individuals."

"And we can increase supply by a mix of methods, all of which we'll need to pursue. We will need to see more water transfers between regions from areas of water surplus to areas of deficit. There's scope to do much more here: currently only 4% of water supplies are transferred between individual water companies."

"We will need to build more desalination plants. Thames Water have an impressive one in Beckton, the first of its kind in the UK, which can provide up to 150 million litres of drinking water each day - enough for nearly one million people."

"And most controversially of all, we will need to build new reservoirs. Creating some of that new infrastructure will be challenging: we have not built a new reservoir in the UK for decades, largely because clearing all the planning and legal hurdles necessary is so difficult and local opposition so fierce."

He said the Environment Agency was "working with the government to set the right level of ambition for water efficiency. We are particularly interested in specific ideas on how we could get this country to Waterwise's ambitious target of 100 litres per person per day."

Sir James Bevan ended his speech by quoting from Sylvia Earle, the distinguished marine biologist, to sum up everything that's at stake here: "No water, no life. No blue, no green. No ocean, no us."

March 2019

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Annual Saltford Dawn Chorus Walk, 21st April

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If you are able to get yourself up early, why not join our friends at the Keynsham and Saltford Branch of the Avon Wildlife Trust for a few hours listening to, and watching the birds get up after a night's roosting? This year's Dawn Chorus will be held on (Easter) Sunday 21st April 4.30am - 8.00am, starting at Saltford Shallows car park.

This really is a great way to learn how to identify from their songs the many birds that are found in Saltford. Songs of all common species will be pointed out and their identification features clarified. The walk will follow the railway path cycle track towards Bath, and back again. Wrap up warm as it can be very cold that early. Binoculars and a bird identification guide will be helpful for once it gets light. Above all you need good ears to be able to pick out the 30+ different species the annual walk normally finds! A hot flask of your favourite beverage is recommended.

This event is free but an optional donation of £1 to support Avon Wildlife Trust funds is suggested.

For further information and to confirm your attendance, contact Dave Sage on mobile 07899--716068 the week before the event.

March 2019

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B&NES Council declares a climate emergency

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On 14th March Bath & North East Somerset Council made a cross-party major decision to become the latest council to declare a climate emergency. As part of this they resolved to:

   "Sign up to the UK100 Pledge to provide the strategic community leadership needed to enable our communities to achieve 100% clean energy across all sectors in Bath & North East Somerset by 2030, as a logical step from the B&NES Environmental Sustainability Vision Motion passed unanimously by Council in July 2018, and as a way to enable carbon neutrality by 2030."

The motion also stated that:-

   "B&NES is well-placed to champion both rural and urban decarbonisation through renewable energy, energy efficiency, smart energy development, zero carbon homes, local & sustainable food, sustainable travel, carbon sequestration."

The original motion that was proposed can be found from this external link (pdf opens in new window). The final motion that was passed also included more emphasis on transport and an amendment proposed by the Labour Group to oppose the expansion of Bristol Airport.

The Lib Dem councillor Rob Appleyard, who had brought the motion jointly with Conservative councillor Mark Shelford, said: "This is an ambitious motion as it asks this council to change many ways of thinking, changing priorities. Climate consideration should be an accepted part of any conversation and behaviour, of any policy or decision. Climate change has the added challenge that we know we have to start achieving these changes from day one and working with partners and the greater community to achieve change."

Cllr Shelford said: "This subject is bigger than party politics. It's about the future of our children and grandchildren. The council will provide leadership so action is taken across the community to cut carbon emissions."

SEG naturally welcomes the commitment for 100% clean energy across all sectors by 2030 and will be watching with interest to see progress towards reaching the target.

March 2019

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Saltford Wombles: Litter Pick Sunday 24 March

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Our next monthly litter pick is on Sunday 24 March, 2.00-4.00pm.

If you are coming, please email Barbara on the same email address as before, saltfordwombles@gmail.com for the meeting points as the focus for our litter picks will vary depending on our numbers. Thank you.

If you have litter pickers, gloves and high viz vest, please do bring them, but if not we can provide them. We have bags provided by B&NES Council.

Also, please let us know whether you have a car you would be happy to use to ferry a group to a start point.

As with any Saltford Wombles litter pick, everyone takes part at their own risk and it is essential that children are supervised at all times by a parent/carer.

March 2019

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Gender and Fairtrade

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'She deserves a living income', the theme of this year's Fairtrade Fortnight fitted in well when on International Women's Day our guest speaker Dr Roy Maconachie showed 40 of us his film entitled "Gender and Fairtrade - the stories of women cocoa farmers in Ghana".

What happens before the bar of chocolate you buy gets neatly wrapped? Are we paying a fair price for it? Does choosing Fairtrade Chocolate really made a difference to anyone? Roy's film, talk and question & answer session certainly gave us a great deal to think about. His research had to work around the sensitivities and culture barriers of the women he wanted to film, something that had not been recognised in the past but is now standard practice.

The women had been given video cameras to capture their daily lives giving them free reign to tell their stories, no questions, just realities. The women spoke their minds and showed the struggle of helping their husbands and attending to all the family needs before working their own cocoa trees.

One of Roy's aims was to generate wider lessons for Fairtrade policy and practice, particularly in relation to how cooperatives can do more to empower women and enable them to access greater benefits from Fairtrade. One of Roy's conclusions through his research was that although Fairtrade certification initiatives not initially designed to address gender inequality, or the specific concerns that women face in cocoa production, gender equity has now become one of the key principles of Fairtrade.

This has been borne out in the 2019 Fairtrade Fortnight theme 'She deserves a better wage'. Following a thoughtful, lively question and answer session we were left with fresh thoughts and ideas of the importance of sharing the Fairtrade ethos.

Credits:

FILM: -'Gender and Fairtrade: The stories of women cocoa farmers in Ghana'. A film by Dr Roy Maconachie, Centre for Development Studies, University of Bath.

PRESENTATION: 'How 'fair' is Fairtrade? Ethical cocoa production and gender in Ghana'. Public lecture and discussion by Dr Roy Maconachie, Centre for Development Studies, University of Bath, March 8th 2019, Saltford Hall, Saltford.

Click on the link to watch his fascinating film "Gender and Fairtrade - The stories of women cocoa farmers in Ghana": https://vimeo.com/154721350

March 2019

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Government to mandate net gains for biodiversity on new developments

In the Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond's Spring Statement to Parliament on 13 March 2019 the following statement was included:-

   "The Budget 2018 set out how the government is accelerating the shift to a clean economy, building on the Industrial Strategy, Clean Growth Strategy, and 25 Year Environment Plan. The Spring Statement builds on this commitment: - to ensure that wildlife isn't compromised in delivering necessary infrastructure and housing, the government will Mandate net gains for biodiversity on new developments in England to deliver an overall increase in biodiversity."

SEG will keep this in mind during discussions with B&NES Council over the B&NES Local Plan 2016-20136.

March 2019

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Saltford Upcycling Craft Group 21st March

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Who wouldn't want flowers all year round that don't cost the earth? Our next Upcycling Craft Group meeting will be making unique paper flowers. Old maps, book pages, used wrapping paper, brown wrapping paper and even toilet roll centres can be used.

Join us on March 21st at our free, friendly monthly meeting of the Saltford Upcycling Craft Group and create your very own flowers. No experience needed, we all learn together. We have all the things needed to make the flowers but share any things that are brought along. Please give us a call (to Frances on 07789--528834) if you would like to know more, or come along from 7-9 pm, everyone is welcome.

We meet at: Signs of Saltford (works entrance), 559 Bath Road, Saltford.

Tina and Frances look forward to seeing you all on 21st March.

March 2019

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Febuary 2019

SPC's Key Actions & Achievements 2015 - 2019

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Supporting PV panels on Saltford Hall was just one action from SPC

At the February 2019 meeting of Saltford Parish Council (SPC) the SPC Chair Cllr Chris Warren provided a summary of the Parish Council's key actions and achievements since it was elected in May 2015. He reminded the meeting that SPC had adopted the Saltford 20/20 5-point vision and policy for Saltford for how it would conduct its business until the next elections that are due this year on 2nd May.

That 5-point vision for Saltford was:

   1. Green Belt land surrounding the village protected from development, including fracking and a road bypass.

   2. Its own re-opened railway station on the existing site in place or already underway.

   3. A decreasing carbon footprint.

   4. A positive, healthy and caring community that encourages Fairtrade, and values and protects the local environment including its heritage.

   5. Is a good neighbour to surrounding villages, towns and cities.

That vision was produced in collaboration with Saltford Environment Group and a new Saltford 20/20 team will be putting themselves forward for the 2nd May local elections to SPC so watch this space for further information in due course.

Here are some examples of the achievements listed in the report (you can download the full report at the end of this news item):-

  • Supporting SCA with funding (£2000 financial contribution in 18/19), advancing the rescue of the new non-profit-making Saltford PO and Library, and agreeing in principle further financial support if required.
  • Blue Plaque for Admiral Kelly at Saltford House to mark his remarkable contribution to ending slavery.
  • New 'Lest We Forget' railings and 'Poppy' gates for the War Memorial, as Saltford's fitting tribute to commemorate the centenary of the end of World War 1.
  • SPC is responsible for the management and safety of St Mary's Churchyard (a closed churchyard). In addition to managing the annual grounds maintenance contract, Councillors carry out the annual headstone and memorial safety check, as well as commissioning and acting on tree surveys, walls and other aspects of the churchyard are cared for and maintained appropriately.
  • Taking ownership of the old BT telephone box by the Bird in Hand. It will soon be refurbished as a Wi-Fi hub.
  • Supporting St Mary's Church provide a venue for the new Saltford Heritage Centre.
  • Grant to Saltford Brass Mill to replace some of the 'starts' (oak struts that project from the wheel and support each blade) (Sept 16)
  • Grant to Saltford Brass Mill of £510 to install non-slip decking strips on the access footbridge for the safety of visitors (March 2017).
  • Organising and hosting the annual Saltford Neighbourhood Watch AGM. This is an open meeting for residents.
  • Supporting the Saltford Festival 2017 by giving a grant of £1000 to the Saltford Community Association (Jan 2017).
  • Lobbied since May 2015 for the re-opening of Saltford Railway station and kept residents informed about progress regarding this live project.
  • Responded to major public consultations in the interests of Saltford i.e. West of England Spatial Plan 'shaping a new blueprint for development which will determine where new homes and workplaces would be built over the course of the next generation' (Jan 16).
  • Responded to B&NES Local Plan Options Consultation (Jan 19), including lobbying B&NES Council on the protection of Saltford's Green Belt in the forthcoming Local Plan.
  • Made representations to central Government on Shale Gas Development (Fracking) Consultation (Jan 19).
  • Investigated and provided responses to B&NES for over 230 planning applications since May 2015.
  • Written to hundreds of households likely to be affected by planning consultations. Letters intend to raise awareness of planning applications and invite residents to speak at the meeting at which the planning consultation is being discussed.
  • Raised contraventions when required and supported residents when raising planning contraventions.
  • Contributing a page in every bi-monthly SCAN edition detailing SPC actions and news, as well as creating relevant articles in SCAN.
  • New Facebook and Twitter social media accounts, offering rapid access to news about local events and issues.
  • Updating the noticeboards by the shops in 2015 so that they could hold more SPC information as well as community information.
  • Councillors oversee SPC's Financial Assistance Grants. These included:
    -   Catalyst funding for a combination of new solar PV panels on Saltford Hall roof and support for extensive programme of energy efficiency measures for the hall.
    -   Keynsham and District Dial a Ride £500 towards two sets of heavy duty wheelchair restraints for the mini-bus.
    -   Grant of £1600 to Saltford District Guides towards installation of a new heating and hot water system for the guide hut
    -   Grant to Citizens Advice B&NES to fund the training of a volunteer based in Keynsham One Stop Shop to help advise local residents
    -   Grant to Saltford Football Club of £3407 (c. half the cost) towards the erection of a new barrier around the first team pitch. This improves safety for spectators and players, as well as meeting the requirements of the County League
    -   Grant to Saltford Community Association for the amount of £1114 to fund the provision of three wifi hotspots in Saltford (Saltford Hall, Saltford PO and Library, and the red ex-BT phone box on the High St / The Shallows).
  • Councillors have actively supported Mead Lane residents since 2015 regarding their concerns about the mooring trial and associated parking proposals.
  • Councillors regularly monitor, and fund any repairs or conservation work, required for SPC's assets. Assets include the War Memorial railings and gate, basketball goalpost, Fairtrade Village road signs, and the Youth Shelter.

You can download the web version of the full report here:- SPC 2015-2019 report (pdf opens in new window).

February 2019

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Saltford Wombles: Litter Pick Sunday 24th February

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Our next monthly litter pick is on Sunday 24th February, 2.00-4.00pm.

If you are coming, please email Barbara on the same email address as before, saltfordwombles@gmail.com, for the meeting points as the focus for our litter picks will vary depending on our numbers. Thank you.

If you have litter pickers, gloves and high viz vest, please do bring them, but if not we can provide them. We have bags provided by B&NES Council.

Also, please let us know whether you have a car you would be happy to use to ferry a group to a start point.

As with any Saltford Wombles litter pick, everyone takes part at their own risk and it is essential that children are supervised at all times by a parent/carer.

February 2019

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Insects heading for extinction leading to a collapse of nature's ecosystems

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The world's insects are heading towards extinction at an alarming rate and this will lead to a "catastrophic collapse of nature's ecosystems" - according to the first global scientific review.

Over 40% of insect species are declining and a third are endangered, the analysis found. The rate of extinction is eight times faster than that of mammals, birds and reptiles. The total mass of insects is falling by a precipitous 2.5% a year, according to the best data available, suggesting they could vanish within a century.

Insect population collapses have recently been reported in Germany and Puerto Rico, but the review strongly indicates that the crisis is global. The researchers conclude in their peer-reviewed scientific paper that the insect trends confirm that the sixth major extinction event is profoundly impacting on life forms on our planet. Unless we change our ways of producing food "insects as a whole will go down the path of extinction in a few decades, the repercussions this will have for the planet's ecosystems are catastrophic to say the least."

The analysis "Worldwide decline of the entomofauna: A review of its drivers" by Francisco Sánchez-Bayo and Kris A.G. Wyckhuys is published in the journal Biological Conservation. Habitat loss by conversion to intensive agriculture is the main driver of the declines whilst agro-chemical pollutants, invasive species and climate change are additional causes.

The planet is at the start of a sixth mass extinction in its history, a 'biological annihilation' with huge losses already reported in larger animals that are much easier to study. But insects are the most varied and abundant animals outweighing humanity by a factor of x17. Insects are essential for the proper functioning of all ecosystems, the researchers say, as food for other creatures, pollinators and recyclers of nutrients.

This alarming analysis of the health of insects underlines why we at the local level need to protect or local Green Belt that helps provide essential insect habitat. If you live in or near Saltford or visit Saltford regularly and have not yet joined SEG to show your support for our Green Belt Campaign now is the time to do so.

February 2019

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SPC and SEG seek inclusion of Saltford Station in West of England Transport Plan

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Pictured here are Saltford Parish Councillors Cllr Duncan Hounsell, Cllr Adrian Betts, Cllr Phil Harding (also Chair of SEG), and Cllr Chris Warren (also Leader of SEG's Station Campaign) at the launch of the West of England's Joint Local Transport Plan (JTLP) 4th consultation at Somerdale Pavilion on Monday 11th February. During the morning's consultation event they pushed the case for re-opening Saltford Station on the existing site as part of the JLTP.

The draft plan and consultation questionnaire can be found at www.travelwest.info/JLTP. The consultation closes on 20th March.

February 2019

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Bronze Viking Buckle found in Saltford!

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In the later part of 2018 a rare bronze Viking Buckle in the ringerike style, a Scandinavian animal style from the late 10th Century & 11th Century, was discovered here in Saltford. This has been authenticated and described by the British Museum as "a find of note", very rare for this area, and designated as a find of "regional importance".

The Saltford Viking Buckle is described in detail on our Online Museum and also on a special feature page.

SEG plans to display this remarkable find at the Saltford Heritage Centre in the future.

February 2019

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Saltford Wombles: Change in Chief Womble and Dates for your Diary

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Seen on facebook...

Firstly, we would like to say 'Thank you very much' to Jo for leading our Wombles group for the last year and organising us all so well. January saw our first pick of 2019, where we had a very good clean up of the roads in to and around the village. Jo, yet again, did a sterling job of organising this and we had a very good haul of 15 bags of litter to show for our efforts, and a full, unopened, tube of Colgate toothpaste!

After having got 2019 off to a very successful start, Jo has decided to give somebody else the chance to be 'Chief Womble' (co-ordinator) and so, is passing the title on to Barbara, who has very kindly volunteered to take up the reins and look after us. We wish Jo and Barbara every success in the year ahead.

Following on from a very successful start to the year, our next litter pick is on Sunday 24 February, 2-4pm.

Thereafter, we propose to continue monthly litter picks on Sunday afternoons on the following dates:

  • Sunday 24 March (as part of the Great British Spring Clean)
  • Sunday 28 April (post Easter holiday tidy up)
  • No litter pick in May, instead we will meet on...
  • Sunday 2 June (so that we can have a good clean up before the Saltford Village Festival)
  • Sunday 30 June (the aftermath)

As before, if you are coming, please email Barbara on the same email address, saltfordwombles@gmail.com, for the meeting points, as the focus for our litter picks will vary depending on our numbers. More details will be posted before each meet.

If you are new to the village and would like to meet a lovely bunch of local, like minded people, please also get in touch. Thank you and happy wombling!

February 2019

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SEG pleased that 'time-wasting' planning application for 200 homes between Keynsham & Saltford is turned down by B&NES Council

The article below is from the February 2019 edition of Keynsham Voice.

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February 2019

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Behaviour on the railway path: Sustrans survey

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Sustrans is working with local Communities and the Councils of Bath and North East Somerset, South Gloucestershire and Bristol City Council to explore ways in which behaviour on the Bristol and Bath Railway Path (BBRP), that is routed through Saltford, could be improved. To this end they are carrying out an online survey which should take less than 5 minutes to complete.

If you would like to complete the survey you can do so from this link (external site).

February 2019

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Saltford Parish Council responds to West of England Mayor re. Saltford Station

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We reported in November (2018) that Saltford Parish Council had sent a public letter (that can be downloaded here as a pdf) to a wide range of recipients including B&NES Council Leaders, our MP, First Great Western, Network Rail, West of England Combined Authority (WECA), and the local media expressing its frustration at the lack of information and misinformation from B&NES Council and WECA concerning the future re-opening of Saltford Station.

A response to SPC's letter was received from Cllr Tim Bowles, West of England Mayor, in January 2019. Cllr Bowles stated that following his and Cllr Tim Warren's (Leader of B&NES Council) discussions, their intervention had ensured that a new railway station at Saltford will feature in a map of transport improvements in the Joint Local Transport Plan. The Joint Local Transport Plan will be open for public consultation in January 2019.

To read Saltford Parish Council's comprehensive response of 29.1.2019 to Cllr Tim Bowles's letter, which has been copied to over 20 relevant people and organisations, download it here (pdf). The reply includes how SPC will respond to the Joint Local Transport Plan (referred to as JLTP4 in the letter) as well as the actions and information requested by SPC following the close of the consultation. Parish Councillors will discuss further actions to achieve the re-opening of Saltford Railway Station at the next SPC meeting on 5th February.

February 2019

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Gender & Fairtrade - 'Stories of Women & Cocoa Farmers in Ghana', 8th March

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There will be a talk and short film at Saltford Hall on Friday 8th March 2019 @ 7.30 pm.

This will be given by Dr Roy Maconachie, Reader in International Development, at the University of Bath.

This is a free event hosted by Saltford Fairtrade Group as part of Fairtrade Fortnight. Hear how buying Fairtrade products can improve the lives of cocoa farming communities. Refreshments available.

Email for further information: saltfordfairtrade@hotmail.co.uk

February 2019

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Saltford Upcycling Craft Group 21st February

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Hi happy crafters, we hope you all like eggs! Caroline has chosen this month's craft evening theme, eggshell mosaics. Do start collecting eggshells, making sure that they are clean and dry. The egg shells can be coloured with acrylic paint once they have been separated from the membrane. Leave the pieces quite big as they can be gently crushed when they are stuck down or broken down according to the space and your design.

We will have a supply of eggshells and the glue but do bring along any eggshells you have saved. A frame may be a bit ambitious but a card design may be more achievable in an evening and will give us a flavour of the possibilities on how to use this craft skill.

Tina and Frances look forward to seeing you all on 21st February, 7-9pm. We meet at Signs of Saltford (workshop entrance), 559 Bath Road, Saltford.

Please contact Frances Eggbeer if you would like to come along to our free, friendly evening or know more about our craft group (07789--528834). You can find more information about the Upcycling Craft Group on our Low Waste page >>

February 2019

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January 2019

Council awards litter enforcement contract to 3GS

News from B&NES Council on tackling litter:-

Specialist officers are set to help tackle litter on the streets of Bath and North East Somerset following the award of a new Environmental Crime and Enforcement contract to company 3GS.

From March 1st (2019) litter and dog fouling enforcement officers will work across Bath and North East Somerset and will issue Fixed Penalty Notices to people who deliberately litter streets, parks and public places.

The uniformed officers will also prioritise education and prevention to help people understand that littering is a criminal offence and will not be accepted in Bath and North East Somerset.

Under the 12-month agreement, which is at zero cost to the council, 3GS enforcement officers will work from 7am to 7pm seven days a week. It is operating a fixed fee model, which limits what 3GS can earn from the enforcement contract. Any funds received above cost will be passed on to the council or used by 3GS for education and promotional purposes.

January 2019

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Saltford Wombles: Litter Pick Sunday 27 January

Our first monthly litter pick for this year is on Sunday 27th, 2 - 4 pm.If you are coming, please email Jo on saltfordwombles@gmail.com for the meeting points as the focus for our litter picks will vary depending on our numbers. Thank you.

If you have litter pickers and gloves please do bring them, but if not we can provide them. We have bags provided by B&NES Council.

Also, please let us know whether you have a car you would be happy to use to ferry a group to a start point.

As with any Saltford Wombles litter pick, everyone takes part at their own risk and it is essential that children are supervised at all times by a parent/carer.

January 2019

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Government Minister: "Don't build over the Green Belt to hit housing targets"

On 12th January 2019 during the BBC Radio 4 programme "Any Questions", the Communities Secretary the Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP said the following:-

   "We want to see up to 300,000 homes built a year by the mid-2020s... I think that we can actually maximise the space, for example in places like our High Streets, actually ensuring that we're getting building over our shops where that's possible, seeing that we use some of the vacant spaces..."

In response to the question from Jonathan Dimbleby, the programme's Chairman, "Have you not in fact made it easier for developers to build on green field sites because of the alleged shortage that they claim there is, the planning laws have been eased have they not?" he replied, after making the point that the Government had created a plan led system where councils are able to set their local plans working with local communities:-

   "On the Green Belt, absolutely that needs to be protected, that needs to be safeguarded. I am not one who is advocating that we should be, effectively, building all over our Green Belt in order to hit those housing targets. I think we can do this creatively, how we use the existing built environment and indeed brown field sites that are there, and actually the protections that are around Green Belt have been upheld and strengthened through our planning guidance to ensure that is the focus."

January 2019

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Big Garden Birdwatch 26 - 28 January

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The RSPB's annual Big Garden Birdwatch will be from 26 to 28 January 2019. It's a great chance to sit back, relax and watch birds and other wildlife for an hour - and to encourage younger members of your family to develop an interest in the local wildlife. By taking part, you'll find out all about the fascinating wildlife that flutters, crawls and hops in your garden or local area. And with a simple hour of mindful watching, you could have an hour to yourself, too.

Details including a free pack can be found on the RSPB website from this link:- RSPB Birdwatch. You can also find more information on social media using the hashtag #BigGardenBirdWatch.

January 2019

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