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A blot on the landscape – flytipping

Features by Tony 1 Comment »

Fly tipping

Why do these people dump their rubbish in the countryside?

Flytipping has been a problem in the countryside for a long time. Wherever you go in the countryside, be it main road or by-road, somebody has decided to dump their rubbish in a convenient layby or gateway.

That person has made a decision not to take their rubbish to their nearest landfill site but to drive into the countrside and to dump their rubbish wherever they can without being seen or traced.

Why do they do it? Are the landfill site charges too high and the restrictions too severe? Are there not enough landfill sites? Or is it a mentality problem of a small minority that we will never overcome?

What do you think? Post your comments here on our Cotswold Chatterblog site.

Council’s safety drive to tour the Cotswolds

Features by Adam No Comments »

A special week aimed at getting young people more aware of crime and safety issues in their area will kick off in the Cotswolds next week.

Cotswold District Council is running several events around the area when Community Safety Week starts on Monday December 3rd. This year the event will be focusing on issues affecting young people, and the five-day drive is being led by the Council’s Community Safety Team. Other partners involved include Gloucestershire Police, Gloucestershire County Council, the Gloucestershire Primary Care Trust and the county’s Youth Service.

During the week, Council officers will give advice and answer questions about a range of issues facing young people, including personal safety, protection of personal property, bullying and waste and recycling. They will also discuss the Government’s Respect programme, where young people treat their peers, elders and the community with greater respect.

The week will start with a visit to the Cotswold School in Bourton-on-the-Water on Monday (December 3rd). During lessons, Cotswold District Council officers will work with pupils to raise awareness of Community Safety, hate crime, staying street safe and respecting your peers. Council staff will work with small groups on a community safety project, which will then be discussed with the class.

The Council’s Trinity Road offices will host the Youth Forum on Tuesday (December 4th), where young people will come to the Council Chamber and discuss any issues that affect them, and have any crime and safety concerns answered by Council staff.

Also, on Thursday (December 6th), the SAG (Substance Action Group) will meet at Trinity Road in the afternoon. This will be chaired by the head of the Cotswold Youth Service and will tackle a wide variety of problems on alcohol, substance and drug abuse.

And a second in-school session takes place on Friday (December 7th), where officers will work with pupils at Cirencester’s Deer Park School in the morning. They will go into lessons to talk with pupils on bullying and safety issues, and set up a stall during break-time to give further advice.

Cotswold District Council’s Community Safety Manager Les Haines said:
“We want young people, their parents and their teachers to have good advice when it comes to personal safety, and that there are people here at the Council who can help and support you with this.

“It just helps to highlight the range of services we are able to offer to youth from here at Cotswold District Council, and we are all looking forward to working with the schools and their projects.

“Ultimately, we are trying to do our bit to keep down crime, raise awareness of it and reassure people who have fears and concerns.”

Anyone who would like to talk to the Community Safety Team should contact Cotswold District Council on 01285 623000.

Christmas Exhibition at Where I fell In Love Gallery

Events, Places by Tony No Comments »

Sunday 25th November – Sunday 27th January 2008 Shipston-on-Stour Warwickshire

A Christmas Exhibition at the well known and well loved Where I Fell In Love Gallery at Shipston -on-Stour.

Painting by Lynette Pierce, Judy Symons and Sarah Mayne.
Ceramics by Sonia Lewis, Lucinda Brown, Ian Rylatt and Anthony Eccles.
Sculpture by Janine Hadley, Julia Gatrill and Joao.
Glass by Jonas Bragi Jonasson.
Wood by Roy Dutton and Mark Hancock.
Jewellery by Andrea Thorpe and Wendy Jones.

A wonderful array of artists and exhibits. Something for everyone and a super place to view and have a cup of coffee in a very relaxed atmosphere. Search out that special Christmas special.

Where I Fell In Love Gallery
The Shambles
Market Place
Shipston-on-Stour
Warwickshire
CV36 4AG
Telephone 01608 663809
www.whereifellinlovegallery.com
The Gallery is open Sunday to Thursday 10.00 – 17.30 and until 21.00 on Fridays and Saturdays.

Explore a selection of shoes at Cotswold Museum session

Features by Adam No Comments »

Step into line at the Corinium Museum next month when local nursery children join forces with staff to create a temporary shoe show.

The museum will team up with local nurseries Stepping Stones, Bright Eyes Nursery, Cirencester Opportunity Group and Acorns Nursery School, to offer each group individual historic shoe ‘handling sessions’.

The 35-minute sessions, led by one of the Museum’s Education Officers, will allow the toddlers to understand why we wear shoes, explore different types of shoes and take part in a range of activities, including drawing shoes and playing ‘shoe pairs’.

The classes will also read a fairytale such as Cinderella or The Elves and the Shoe Maker and discuss the key role played by shoes in them. Each group will also create a large artwork as part of the exhibition called “Cinderella Shoes”.

The handling sessions will be taking place from mid November to early December.

Results of rural skills contest brighten up Cotswold roadside

Features by Adam No Comments »

Hedgelaying competitionA length of hedge along a quiet lane in Gloucestershire, between Chipping Campden and Shipston-Upon-Stour was transformed over the weekend to produce a sight well worth taking a look at.

The annual North Cotswolds Hedgelaying Competition was held on Saturday 17th November and resulted in a beautifully laid length of hedge along May Lane, the road into the village of Ebrington just off the B4035.

Competition organiser Mark Connelly, from the Cotswolds Conservation Board said:

“The competition attracted many spectators; even people who were intending to take a walk through the countryside changed their plans and stopped to watch the hedglayers at work.

The finished results really are quite stunning to see and a fine example of a traditional rural craft that is kept alive by events of this kind.”

In all, 26 hedgelayers were given the chance to pit their skills against others in four classes, designed to match their abilities; Open, Veteran, Junior Beginners and Novice and Beginners pairs.

The competition was organised by the Cotswolds Conservation Board and supported by The National Hedgelaying Society. It was held courtesy of DE and DM Drinkwater and Sons.

The results

Class First place Second place Third place
1 – Open Steve Budding Andrew Holding Steven Leslie
2 – Junior and Beginners Richards Payne Guy Robins Clive Gilligan
3 – Veteran Tony Heard Peter Flint Geoff Stephens
4 – Beginner pairs David Lee & Richard lane Will Devey & Tom Duffy  
Best lady hedgelayer Julia Thomas
Best regrowth Open Steven Leslie
Best regrowth Junior beginners Andrew Williams
Best regrowth Veteran Geoff Stephens
Best regrowth Overall Steven Leslie

Gloucestershire smoke-free compliance levels among the highest in England.

Features by Adam No Comments »

Recent figures suggest Gloucestershire has one of the highest levels of smoke-free compliance anywhere in the country.

The figures submitted from all six local authorities in Gloucestershire show an extremely high level of people and premises stubbing their cigarettes out. As a whole, Gloucestershire made 3204 visits to businesses between July 1st – September 30th, returning smokefree premises of 99.75% and signage compliance at 82.8%.

And around England, the national picture is also very strong, with nationwide compliance reported at 97.8% for smokefree premises, and 83.3% of premises displaying the required signage.

Lizzie Willis, a Smokefree Enforcement Officer, explained how keen people were to follow the new rules:

“We have had to issue a few verbal and written warnings, but so far haven’t needed to issue any fines – in fact the vast majority of people are enjoying the new legislation.”

Cabinet member for Housing and Health, Andrew Gravells said:

“Being an ex-smoker myself I understand how difficult it is to break the habit. I want to thank both the residents and businesses of Gloucester for their cooperation and efforts to make the new no smoking law a success. Gloucester has adapted extremely well and has become a healthier city in which to live, work and socialise.”

“These results are very good news for the county”, said Shona Arora, Director of Public Health.

“In the year following Scotland’s smokefree legislation, hospital admissions due to heart attacks were halved,” she said.

“If we can achieve similar successes we will have moved a long way to improve public health within the County”.

Tim Dowan, the county’s smoke free liaison officer, added:

“Gloucestershire’s businesses have embraced the new laws and taken a very positive approach to the changes, but, while we are very happy with the results, we can’t afford to be complacent.

“Winter is coming and people could be tempted to light up inside to protect themselves from the elements. However, we will continue to be vigilant and remind people that anyone found smoking in a place where they shouldn’t is likely to receive a fine of £50 and anyone allowing smoking in a place required to be smokefree could receive a fine of up to £2500.”

Kate Gegg of Gloucestershire Smoking Advice Service added:

“People are fed up with having to nip outside for a cigarette; we have a team of professional stop-smoking specialists who are ready and waiting to help them stop.”

You can contact Gloucestershire Smoking Advice Service on 08454 22 00 40 or contact Tim Dowan, Smokefree Public Places Liaison Officer, on 07985 126601

Cotswold unveils plans for flood recovery grant

Features by Adam No Comments »

More than £540,000 will be spent by Cotswold District Council on helping to protect the District against future floods, it was announced today.

The Council’s Cabinet has agreed to spend the majority of its £623,000 Flood Recovery Grant on a range of measures to improve land drainage and assist towns and parishes to prepare for any future emergencies.

An estimated £75,000 of the money, awarded to the Council by the Government in the wake of the summer’s unprecedented rainfall, is already being awarded to vulnerable victims and residents forced to live in caravans or upstairs after their homes were flooded.

Council Leader Cllr Lynden Stowe said: “The clear message we have received from the community is that they want to see the grant spent on flood protection measures so that less distress and disruption is caused if the Cotswolds is hit by a similar event in future.

“However, I must stress that the money available to us is not going to go very far. We will lobby partner agencies such as the Environment Agency, water authorities and county council to play their part along with individual landowners.

“While the Council ‘polices’ land drainage it is not our legal responsibility to carry out work on water courses owned by other people. However, we do have the power to require the work to be done and if necessary take action to ensure it is carried out.

“In the past, we have often entered into an agreement with the owners and the county council to share the costs of such works. We currently have an annual budget of £35,000 to make such contributions. The decision taken today effectively uses some of the recovery grant to increase our ability to enter into such arrangements.

“We need to be mindful that this is public money and must be spent carefully – not used simply to meet other people’s obligations.”

The range of flood protection measures the Cabinet agreed to fund include:

  1. Between £25,000 and £60,000 by engaging a second drainage engineer to up to a year to help deal with the volume of work.
  2. £30,000 engaging consultants to identify land drainage problems and priorities
  3. £100,000 on identifying landowners and enforcing land drainage duties, working with partners such as the county council and Environment Agency
  4. £40,000 on carrying out strategic land drainage improvements
  5. £200,000 in grant funding for Town & Parish Councils to improve local flood resilience and plan for emergencies, up to a maximum of £10,000 per parish.
  6. £45,000 to help Town & Parish Councils develop their planning for emergencies, which includes employing an extra officer for one year to provide advice and support
  7. £1,500 on hosting Flood Protection Information sessions for Town & Parish Councils, with the Environment Agency.

After taking into account the payments to individuals, this leaves a contingency of just over £70,000 in case further funds are needed for the above projects.

Cllr Stowe added: “Although we only have a limited amount of money, we have got to make sure that our efforts result in some real work being carried out on the ground.

“We fully appreciate the distress caused to our residents by the events of the July and we want to do as much as we are able to future proof the District against flooding.”

Five-year Cotswold conservation project comes to close

Features, Places by Adam No Comments »

A 2.8 million pound project that has helped to ensure that the Cotswolds retains its natural beauty is nearing completion. The Caring for the Cotswolds project, which was supported by a £1.4 million Heritage Lottery Fund Grant has been tackling the key elements that make the area unique.

It is one of the first pioneering ‘landscape scale’ projects funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and has helped to ensure that the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is conserved and enhanced for future generations.

In delivering the project the Cotswolds Conservation Board paid special attention to:

  • The drystone walls that are a distinctive feature of the AONB
  • The limestone grasslands that were greatly reduced in number decades ago due to intensive farming but are now being restored by conservationists and farmers to provide a rich habitat for a diverse range of animals and plants, including up to 25 species of butterfly
  • Conserving the local distinctiveness of the field patterns, hedgerows, trees, towns, villages and buildings that make the Cotswolds unique
  • A major interpretation project aimed at helping the public understand and enjoy the Cotswolds AONB

Niel Curwen Chairman of the Cotswolds Conservation Board said:

“When you walk or drive through the Cotswolds landscape and take time to reflect upon the characteristics that make the area unique, it is worth remembering that, although they appear to have been there for ever, the features that catch your eye may well have been carefully cared for and tended recently.

“Very often, we see a view that pleases and find ourselves appreciating it for its timeless beauty but the satisfying balance and composition of some of the most stunning vistas in the area has very often been given a helping hand in the recent past by farmers, land managers and conservationists.”

The project, which ends this December has covered a wide spectrum of conservation work, from using conservation grazing to ensure that wildflower grassland sites in target areas flourish to providing rural skills courses to encourage more people to learn to repair drystone walls.

Set sail on Rainbow Seeker in 2008

Features by Tony No Comments »

rainbow seeker sunset at daleThe Rainbow Seeker is a beautiful Beneteau First 405 fast sailing cruiser which is used by the Rainbow Seeker Partnership to give people access to the seas to experience the pleasures of sailing and to the magic of using sea, wind and tide.

Sailing, Cruising, Charter and Training in the waters of the Bristol Channel, South Wales and North Devon and North Somerset Coasts plus sailing further afield to the Scillies, Ireland and the Morbihan in France. The Partnership has provided the vessel and RYA qualified skippers to sailing schools and clubs since 2000.

rainbow seeker in portimaoRainbow Seeker is 41 feet long with 9 berths in four cabins including the saloon. One cabin is a double and two can be occupied either as doubles or singles.

The “In House” skipper of the Rainbow Seeker is Mike Burns, a RYA Cruising Instructor. The role of the vessel has been as a Sail Training vessel and as a pleasure cruiser. As a Sail Training vessel she has delivered a wide range of RYA practical courses including Competent Crew, Dayskipper, Coastal Skipper, Yachtmaster and RYA Yachtmaster Instructors courses.

Cruises planned for 2008 are Padstow Mayday Festival in May, stopping off at Lundy Island. May spring bank holiday cruise to Lundy Island and the western end of the Bristol Channel and to Cork Regatta Week in July.
Skippered Charter cruises packages are also available.

Get out on that boat and enjoy some quality time on the water.
Rainbow Seeker Partnership
19 Millfield Close
Sketty
Swansea
SA2 8BD
Telephone 07925 324802
www.sail-swansea.co.uk

Help shape the future of the Cotswolds

Places by Adam No Comments »

Residents can help shape the future of the Cotswolds by giving their views on the first major stage of the production of an overall development strategy for the District.

Public consultation on the Cotswold District Core Strategy to 2026 started recently with the publication of an Issues and Options paper.

Cotswold District Council is inviting members of the public to comment on the paper up to Friday, December 21st.

This is the first major stage in the production of the Local Development Framework, which will in due course replace the Cotswold District Local Plan.

The Issues and Options consultation paper sets out initial ideas on what issues the Core Strategy should consider, and the Council is encouraging the public to get involved and share their views.

Portfolio Holder for Corporate Planning Cllr Carole Topple said: “The aim of the Core Strategy will be to deliver a long-term spatial vision for the area, including an overall development strategy for the District to 2026, and policies for steering and shaping that strategy.”

Members of the public who have access to the Internet can log onto the Council’s consultation portal at consult.cotswold.gov.uk/portal to view the Issues and Options paper and comment online.

Alternatively, they may follow the link from the Forward Planning web pages on the Council’s website (www.cotswold.gov.uk).

Anyone who would like a printed copy of the Issues and Options paper should contact the Forward Planning Team at Cotswold District Council on 01285 623547.

Forward Planning Manager Chris Vickery said: “The District Council welcomes feedback from anyone who is interested in shaping the future of the District, ideally making use of the new electronic consultation facility, which should make it more convenient to submit comments.”

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