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March 2004 - Community Reports

Parish Council - Chairman’s Notes
Illegal parking - Planing Application - Skateboard facility and teen shelter

South Gloucestershire Council
Council Tax - New SGC Chief Executive

Pucklechurch Primary School
Tony Jefferies and Val Broom retire - New teachers - New building for the After-School Club - Special days at school

Pucklechurch W.I.
AGM in October - January birthday - Day at the W.I. College, Denman - Upcoming events

Pucklechurch Community Association
Pensioners’ Party - Village Hall booking

Gardeners’ Club
Details of future meetings

Happy Circle

Brownies Celebrate 90 Years - Rainbows - 1st Pucklechurch Guides - Take Our Daughters to Work Day, 18 March 2004

Twinning Association
Quiz night - French visit - future meetings

Tower Playgroup
Details - new home corner kitchen

Beat Surgery
PC McMillin will hold a beat surgery on 3rd and 16th April


Parish Council Chairman’s Notes

Councillors often receive complaints about the illegal parking of heavy goods vehicles (those over 7.5 tonnes). Whilst we are always keen to pass on your complaint to the Operators Licensing Authority and/or the police, you can also take action yourself. First, if HGV lorries are parked overnight on the highway and not in their official base, you can raise the matter with the Operators Licensing Authority by writing to them at 2 Rivergate, Temple Quay, Bristol, BS1 6EH. All complaints must be in writing. You should set out the problem, giving the registration number and, if possible, the vehicle’s operator. The matter will be dealt with in confidence and no names will be divulged by the OLA. Additionally, if the vehicle is causing an obstruction and reducing visibility, you can contact the police, who will take appropriate action.

Each month, the Parish Council receive planning applications from SCG for comment. Most of these applications are unexceptional; however, from time to time we receive one that requires not only our own observations but also those of the community as a whole. Some of you may have received notification of an application for change of use of land off Shortwood Road from agricultural to a motorcycle training centre. (See application number PK04/0349/F, which is available to view on the South Gloucestershire website.) This is a scaled down version of a similar application made two years ago, which was turned down at that time. The Parish Council strongly objected to that proposal and has reaffirmed its strong opposition to this new plan and will attend any appeals. Apart from the Council giving its opinion, the views of individual parishioners would greatly assist SGC in making their decision and would also be useful to an independent inspector should the matter go to appeal. If you wish to send in your comments, please write to:

South Gloucestershire, Director of Planning, Transportation, and Strategic Environment
Civic Centre, High Street
Kingswood, So. Glos. BS15 9TR

You can also view the application by citing the application number and make comments online from the SGC website at:

On a lighter note, both the skateboard facility in the Woodland and the teen shelter on the Rec seem to be well used. I hope that drier and less cold weather will encourage even more use.

Omar Beg, Chairman


South Gloucestershire Council

Residents will have read of the proposed council tax rise of 6.8%. This will come as a blow to many, especially those least able to afford it, like pensioners. The reason for this year’s rise is the Government’s decision to withhold some £4.1 million of the grant we use to pay for services. The unfortunate result is the burden will fall on the local taxpayer. South Gloucestershire Council is working hard to save money and ease this burden and has trimmed over £1 million this year. If SGC did not raise council tax, we would have to cut vital funding for social services and schools. Achieving the balance between taxes and services is difficult. In the meantime, efforts are being directed toward persuading the Government of the need for improved and fairer funding.

Many applications were received for the post of Chief Executive of South Gloucestershire Council. From the short list of six, the appointment was given to Amanda Phillips, formerly Director of Corporate Services at South Gloucestershire. Amanda had been Acting Chief Executive for the last seven months. Council members were delighted at the decision.

Sandra Grant & Phil Trotman


Pucklechurch Primary School

Last summer we said a sad farewell to Tony Jefferies, who had taught for 32 years at Pucklechurch School. By the time he left, he was teaching the sons and daughters of former pupils and was the last teacher to have taught in ‘the old school’. Our PSA planted a tree in the grounds with a plaque to mark the occasion. Tony is enjoying his retirement and catching up on decades worth of DIY. We also said goodbye to Val Broom, who had worked at the school for 21 years. We already miss her costume-making and prop-organising skills. Everyone at school wishes them both every happiness in their retirement and thanks them for all their years of energy and commitment

In the autumn term, we welcomed two new teachers to school - Miss Sawyer and Miss Jenkins. The term ended with the Happy Circle joining us for our Infant Nativity and wonderful singing at Junior Carol Service at St Thomas à Becket.

A few weeks ago, the new building for the After-School Club was delivered. (Quite a memorable day for the children, as it involved a 75-tonne crane and 6 lorries.) We are hoping to be able to open the club after Easter. The Governors would like to thank the committee of the previous club, whose grant application enabled us to fund some start-up costs, such as the building.

The children have taken part in several ‘special days’ at school: the School Council organised ‘A Day for Change’ to raise money for Unicef, and we also raised money for the Blue Peter appeal. Our first Maths Creative day saw 300 children making stars across the school, and early in March you will spot many different fictional characters coming to school for World Book Day. At the end of February, Year 6 are heading off for camp, which is always an exciting time.

Thank you for all the support and donations that have been given to the school - every bit makes a difference to the quality of education that we can give to local children.

Maggie Cook, Headteacher



We started a new W.I. year with our AGM in October and have been delighted to welcome several new members. Since then we have had a harvest sale, a quiz, and an interesting talk on guiding by Ros Abbott, who ran the Guides in the village for many years. Ros had a wonderful collection of uniforms, which brought back many happy memories of our own guiding days, and fascinating scrapbooks of events involving Pucklechurch Guides and Brownies.

Christmas and our January birthday, when we were 67 years young, gave us an excuse to party with tuneful music from the Mike Lock Trio, beautiful singing by the local choir Spectrum, and delicious refreshments. Members have also visited other W.I.s, attended local and county events, and even played skittles.

For most of us, the most memorable occasion was a day spent at Denman, the W.I. College, which runs a wide variety of residential courses for members and non-members. We saw for ourselves the excellent facilities and experienced the warm and friendly atmosphere during our visit, which included a demonstration and tasting of Italian cooking. Thanks to Norma for organising the trip.

We have a busy year ahead, with talks or demonstrations each month, including Fashion and Frivolity on March 17th and Healthy Eating on April 21st.

We are also planning a charity event for Water Aid in April and a long weekend away to Woburn Abbey, Sandringham, and Cambridge in May.

Visitors, guests and new members are very welcome at any of our meetings. We meet at 7.30pm on the third Wednesday of each month at the Homefield Centre. Contact Pauline Alway at 937-3141 for more details.


Pucklechurch Community Association

For a number of years, the Social Club and PCA have jointly put together a party for older members just after Christmas. This has always been called the Pensioners’ Party. We are wondering whether it is time to revamp the whole idea and would be grateful for ideas and input from members. Should we have a change of name? Would people prefer a barn dance or disco? Or perhaps you would prefer the present arrangement, with Christine Taylor and her band of helpers supplying the buffet. Please contact Jill Hayden at 42 Abson Road or ring 937-3344 with suggestions.

All you need to take part in these celebrations is to be a member of the PCA or Social Club. Membership forms will be available in local shops from April.

The committee has recently reviewed all its hire charges and, as from April this year, you can book the hall on a Friday or Saturday evening for as little as £50. Please ring Roger Payne on 937-3653 for a booking form.


Gardening Club

Our first meeting of the year was a long and interesting talk on building a garden pond, with slides showing all the different plants and flowers available to go in and around the pond.

Our next meeting will be a talk by our Chairman George Alway on Wednesday, 3rd March, with hints and tips for spring and early summer. April 7th sees Sally Gregson returning with a new talk on colour through the season.

Meetings take place on the first Wednesday of the month at 8pm in the village hall. Do please come along, a warm welcome awaits you.

The date of our weekend trip to the Eden Project and the Lost Gardens of Heligan has had to be rearranged for the 12th-13th June. A few seats are still available on the coach. Ring Frank Bradley on 937-3109 for details.


Happy Circle

Happy Circle meets every Tuesday afternoon from 2.00 to 3.30pm in the village hall. You can pay as a member or just come along as a visitor to see what we offer. Where else can you get entertainment, a lovely cup of tea, and biscuits for 60p?

We have a varied new programme for the year ahead. There are six trips booked, starting on May 4th with one a month until Oct 5th. Posters advertising these events will be on display in the local shops.

For more information, please ring Pat on 937-3985.



Did you know the Brownie section of Girlguiding is 90 years old this year? To mark this occasion, Brownies in Pucklechurch will join in a special celebration with many others in the surrounding area later this year.

Recently 1st Pucklechurch Brownies raised funds for Liberian children whose school had burned down. They received a thank you, complete with photographs, which is helping them to learn about less fortunate children in other parts of the world. The Brownies are also learning about their counterparts in New Zealand from Emily, a Brownie who previously lived there.

This report shows the commitment of over 100 girls, 5 Young Leaders and 15-20 adults to Girlguiding in our village. However, with more adults we could reduce our waiting lists and give even more girls the opportunity to share in our exciting Guiding adventure. Phone Ann Hopes on 961-3148 to join us. Any help you can give is very welcome.

There is a waiting list to join this unit, and we would like to point out that there is no automatic transfer from Rainbows to Brownies ahead of girls already on the list and eligible to start.

There is good news for 2nd Pucklechurch Brownies. Although Leader George Wynter has resigned due to personal circumstances, we have a new Leader. A big thank you is due to George for all her hard work and a warm welcome extended to Linda Beddoes, who has taken on this exciting and challenging role. During her training she will be ably supported by many other warranted Guiders working with other units in the village. Thanks to them for putting in extra time.

We welcome too Amanda Smith and Claire Bristow, who have elected to become Unit Helpers, and thank the other mums who have agreed to help. This commitment to our Movement is heart-warming. Now all they need is a treasurer - I’m sure someone reading this could volunteer! Give me a ring - Ros Abbott at 937-2157.


Our two Rainbow units in the village are thriving and busy. Judy Hyde, Leader of 2nd Pucklechurch would like to thank her fantastic mums for their continual support, always given so willingly. A mention too for new Unit Helper, Joanna Wallace, who has already organised a storytelling activity based on sounds. The Rainbows are exploring basic science through the Cupboard Technology badge. Thanks also to Lesley Broom, Assistant Leader, who is no longer able to attend due to work commitments.

1st Pucklechurch Guides

The Guides are proud of their leader Judith Harrison, who has been awarded her Camp Licence after competently organising and running a camp following Guide Association rules. This year members are planning to attend a Jamboree in May.

Currently the five patrols are achieving ‘girl-led Guiding’ by organising their own activities from a selection of Go For It challenges. They recently visited Yate Fire Station as part of the criteria for the Fire Safety Badge. Shortly they will receive a visit from Yate Ranger Guides, to learn what is on offer when they move up to this Senior Section of our Movement.

Take Our Daughters to Work Day
18 March 2004

This annual event is now in its tenth year and aims to broaden girls’ horizons on the types of jobs available to them, especially those in a male-dominated environment. If you have an unusual job that you would be willing to share with the girls, either with a visit to them or vice versa, as the title suggests, please contact Ros Abbott at 937-2157. (The visit does not have to be on the specific date.)



Twinning Association

We would like to thank everyone who supported our latest quiz night. Are the questions getting easier or are you brainier? Scores were certainly better.

At the end of April, our French friends will be visiting Pucklechurch for five days. This year their visit takes a different form, and they will be arriving on a Wednesday evening and leaving on Sunday. Our return visit to Pringy will be from 22nd to 27th October. Anyone who would like to join us will be very welcome. The visits are very enjoyable, and you don’t need to speak French.

Other upcoming meetings and events include skittles and an American supper (date to be announced), a general meeting on 5th April, and our AGM on 10th May. The meetings are held at 8.00pm in the village hall meeting room.

For more information about Twinning, contact Valerie Broom on 937-2025 or Ann Smith on 937-2030.


Tower Playgroup
St Thomas à Beckett Church Room

Mornings 9.15-11.45am
Afternoons 12.45-3.00pm

Looking for a fun and stimulating playgroup for your child?

Look no further. This small and friendly OFSTED-registered playgroup offers a fun, personalised environment whilst teaching the fundamental skills needed in preparation for school. Don’t just take our word for it. Why not come along for a visit and meet the children and the playgroup team? Places are limited for September 2004, so register your child NOW!

Registration: Sue Webb
Tel 303-9144

Emily and Robbie from Tower Playgroup with the new home
corner kitchen units purchased with funds donated from last
year’s Revel.  Thanks to the Revel Committee for their hard
work in making this possible. The children are delighted.

Jackie Mooney


Beat Surgery

PC Ian McMillin, the community beat officer for Pucklechurch, will be holding two beat surgeries in April. He and his colleagues will provide crime-prevention advice, answer questions, and discuss any issues of concern to local residents.

Saturday, 3rd April, 10.00 - 12.00
Friday, 16th April, 18.00 - 20.00
Community Centre Meeting Room


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