News

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Tree Planting Event Cancelled

20/03/2020

The Tree Planting event due to take place in Kelston Road Park on March 21st has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak.


Tree Planting Day in Keynsham

17/02/2020

On Saturday 21st March at 11am, Bath & North East Somerset Council are teaming up with Keynsham Now and Keynsham Town Council to organise a Tree Planting Day and Litter Pick at Kelston Road Park.

The event has been organised to help plant some trees to encourage wildlife, absorb pollution and benefit people in and around Keynsham for generations to come.

Anyone who would like to help will be very welcome to attend; just turn up on the day.

Volunteers should wear warm, waterproof clothes and boots/sturdy shoes. Bring a packed lunch, gloves and a spade if they have one. Tea, coffee and biscuits will be provided

The event is family-friendly but children should be accompanied by an adult


Transport Consultations for bus travel, cycling and walking now open

06/02/2020

Travelwestare currently running two consultations for:

  • The West of England Bus Strategy
  • The West of England Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan

The plans identify how the West of England Combined Authority should invest in bus transport and walking and cycling and infrastructure.

Both the Bus Strategy and Walking and Cycling plan are available on the Travelwest website with accompanying surveys for leaving feedback: travelwest.info/projects/transport-consultations

The Walking and Cycling plan includes maps showing specifically what is planned for Keynsham.

The consultations close on March 15th 2020.


Keynsham Town Council oppose plans for Bristol Airport expansion (18/P/5118/OUT)

28/01/2020

Keynsham Town Council has sent an official objection to North Somerset Council to the planning application proposing the expansion to Bristol Airport.

In a letter sent on January 14th, the Town Council confirmed they would like to 'strongly object' to the airport's expansion, citing the negative impacts on the environment, increased transport and travel problems in the area and doubts about the benefit the expansion would have on the local economy as reasons for their response.

Read the Town Council's objection letter in full

North Somerset Council will be holding a public meeting to discuss the Planning Application on Monday 10th February at 6pm in Weston-Super-Mare Town Hall.

Anyone wishing to comment on the application can do so on the North Somerset Council planning portal: planning.n-somerset.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=makeComment&keyVal=PJML85LPMKI00


Keynsham Town Council adopts Holmoak Play Area Bilbie

28/01/2020

At the meeting of Tuesday 14th January 2020, Keynsham Town Council finally executed the Deed of transfer to proceed with the adoption of the Holmoak Play Area at Bilbie Green. The Town Council will now own and manage this asset as a play area in perpetuity for the residents of Keynsham.

Readers may remember an article this time last year when the Town Council announced it had made the decision that it could not afford to adopt Holmoak play area.

The Town Clerk explained:"When the original decision to adopt was made in 2013, the Council were under the impression that a s106 payment of approximately £250,000 would be accompanying the adoption in order to cover the requirement to purchase specific mowing equipment and cover the ongoing maintenance costs including additional manpower for a period of 20 years. The transfer of an amenity from a developer to a local authority is normally accompanied by such payments (called “commuted sums”) and is in fact laid down in section 3.6.5. of B&NES Planning Obligations Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) published in April 2015 and amended in 2019".

Having been informed that any s106 payment to the Town Council had not been included in the original s106 agreement between B&NES and the developer, the Town Council announced its intention not to proceed with the adoption a year ago, which would mean the residents of Bilbie Green would have to pay a management company to maintain it via an increase in their service charges.

The Town Clerk further explained: “The decision to adopt a piece of land in perpetuity requires both capital and ongoing annual revenue expenditure, including building reserves to ultimately replace the equipment every 20 years. The Town Council currently manages several play areas on repairing leases from B&NES including Upper and Lower Memorial Park, Downfields, Park Road, Kelston Park, Manor Road and Teviot Road. The leases are due to expire in 2028 at which time the Council either has to return the play areas in good condition to B&NES or enter into another leasehold arrangement for a further term. Either way, given the last major refurbishment of the play areas happened in 2001, the Town Council is legally obligated to refurbish/replace the existing equipment before 2028 and, over the last two years has included provision to build ear-marked reserves for this purpose when setting the budget as art of its long term financial management strategy

Play equipment is not cheap – it cost the Council just under £11,000 to replace the broken 4-seat junior swing in Memorial Park last year and £110,000 has been budgeted for the planned refurbishment of the Kelston Park play area later this year with money provided by B&NES (£70,000) , the Town Council (£15,000)and a grant from Enovert Community Trust (£25,000). At the time the Council could not justify takin on more expenditure, especially when immediate capital works would have been required to comply with the landscape management plan for the area".

Chairman Councillor Andy Wait continued:"The Council has been mindful of the impact the decision not to adopt would have on the Bilbie Green residents and has received several communications from them and the B&NES Ward Councillors on the subject.

Since it’s announcement last year, the Town Council has been involved in confidential discussions with the developers to reach a mutually acceptable agreement which includes resolution of other outstanding issues including reinstatement of hedging boundaries, replacement of dead saplings, and alterations to the actual boundary – additional expenses that the Town Council could have been liable for had the developer not agreed to do this work.

Owing to a change in hours and responsibilities of the existing Grounds Maintenance team, the Town Council will be able to recruit the additional resource required to manage the Council’s expanding portfolio of green spaces at a much lower cost than forecast this time last year. It was also able to take advantage of a special deal last summer to trade in the tractor used at Manor Rd for a road-registered mower that can mow both Manor Road and Holmoak and travel between the two on the public highway".

Councillor Wait concluded: "It is very important to our residents that existing Recreational and Green Space areas are maintained/improved and new ones created as the Town continues to expand. The Town Council is now setting aside an amount each year from the precept to build its earmarked reserve specifically for its play area refurbishment and is currently working with B&NES on a strategy for management and maintenance of all Recreational and Green Spaces in Keynsham. This will also include the use of s106 and Community Infrastructure Levy Funding collected by B&NES from Keynsham developments. Residents need to be aware however, that any decision by the Town Council to adopt more amenities and services means the ongoing maintenance costs will, of necessity, need to be funded by the precept collected annually from Keynsham council tax payers".

For further information please visit the Town Council’s website www.keynsham-tc.gov.uk or contact: Dr Cheryl Scott, Town Clerk at Keynsham Town Council, 15-17 Temple Street, Keynsham, Bristol BS31 1HF, telephone 01225 395951 or e-mail: townclerk@keynsham-tc.gov.uk


Keynsham Town Council Sets 2020/2021

28/01/2020

Keynsham Town Council finalised the Annual Budget for 2020/2021 at its meeting on Tuesday 14th January, and in doing so also set the council tax precept to cover a proportion of the forecast £870,173 expenditure. The Town Council is forecasting an income of £144,745 which includes for £55k of Community Infrastructure Levy receipts and has set a precept (amount levied on council tax payers) this coming year of £607,778 which equates to £93.12 per Band D Equivalent (BDE) household. This represents a 2% increase (3.52p per week) on last year’s amount of £91.29 to £93.12 per annum per BDE . The Town Council has released £172,241 from ear-marked reserves to fund the remaining shortfall.

Dr Cheryl Scott, Town Clerk, commented: "Although the tax base for Keynsham (no of households) has increased by 2.7% the Town Council’s forecast expenditure of £870,173 represents a 16.7% increase on last year’s budget of £745,115. This sounds an irresponsible increase but the figures are skewed by the receipt and expenditure of Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) monies from Keynsham development together with the use of ear marked reserves for capital projects to maintain/improve asset infrastructure amounting to some £110,000. As examples, the Council will be contributing £40,000 towards the High Street Heritage Action Zone Project, £15,000 towards the refurbishment of Kelston Park Play Area and is hoping to spend up to £20,000 of s106 monies to improve the existing allotments in the coming year.

In terms of day to day running costs, the Council will be saving almost £19,000 on staff pensions next year and part of the ear marked reserves being brought down to support next year’s expenditure is the result of saving £40k on this year’s budget in respect of staff costs by delaying recruitment and deferring £33k of capital project expenditure to next year.. Unfortunately the forecast £55k Community Infrastructure Levy income, must be spent on improving infrastructure so cannot be used to fund revenue expenditure. Like many other Councils up and down the country, Keynsham Town Council has to think very carefully when making decisions about whether to take on more responsibilities, projects and activities that would incur more cost".

Chairman Councillor Andy Wait continued: The Town Council continues to experience significant pressure to either take on or contribute to assets, services and projects which would in the past have been funded totally by B&NES. After 18 months of protracted negotiation with the developers, the Town Council has finally agreed to accept the transfer of Holmoak Play area at Bilbie Green to manage/maintain in perpetuity. We are therefore currently developing a joint strategy with B&NES on the future management and maintenance of all recreational and green spaces in Keynsham. This will include taking account of the results of the recent Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) Recreational Spaces survey and, most importantly, the use of s106 and CIL monies collected by B&NES from developments in Keynsham towards supporting future Keynsham infrastructure projects.

It is very clear that the management of our environment, both local and global, is of increasing concern to our residents. The first meeting of the new Council last May declared a Climate Emergency and as part of this new initiative the Council has allocated an additional £10,000 to the existing £20,000 available as grants to community organisations that will be ring-fenced to support environmental projects. The Annual awards application process will be opening shortly. In addition, it has allocated a further £10,000 of CIL money per year for the next 3 years for small community infrastructure projects and will be launching a call for suggestions at the Annual Town Meeting on Thursday 23rd April at 7.30pm in The Space. As the new Environment & Sustainability Working Party gathers momentum under the Chairmanship of Cllr Alan Greenfield, there will be further initiatives and information to support both the Town Council and residents in their aims towards reducing carbon emissions and single use plastics".

Councillor Wait concluded: With Brexit about to happen and the impact social care continues to have on Local Authority budgets, as a small Town Council we still have a responsibility to consider the costs associated with taking on new assets and services against the increase in council tax that would be necessary to cover the additional resourcing and maintenance costs.

In recognition of this, the last Council introduced long term financial planning as part of the budgetary process and this Council will continue with its duty to all residents of Keynsham to exercise responsible stewardship of the current assets and services and ensure we have the finances in place to do so”.

For further information please visit the Town Council’s website www.keynsham-tc.gov.uk or contact: Dr Cheryl Scott, Town Clerk at Keynsham Town Council, 15-17 Temple Street, Keynsham, Bristol BS31 1HF, telephone 01225 395951 or e-mail: townclerk@keynsham-tc.gov.uk


Post Office operation to change

24/01/2020

The way the Keynsham Post Office is operated will be changing in April.

The Post Office would like to know people's views on access to the building and the services inside.

Full details about the changes and a link to the consultation can be found at www.postofficeviews.co.uk/national-consultation-team/keynsham-bs31-1dy-010511


Plans for Keynsham High Street unveiled

24/01/2020

The designs for the Keynsham High Street public realm enhancements from Bath and North East Somerset Council​ are now being exhibited in Keynsham Library.

The exhibition includes a detailed illustration of how the High Street will look once the work is complete and will be on view, during library opening hours, until Saturday 8th February.

If you're not able to get to the library, you can find more information on the B&NES website (www.bathnes.gov.uk/services/planning-and-building-control/major-projects/keynsham-high-street-one-way-trial) and an online version of the plans here: www.bathnes.gov.uk/sites/default/files/keynsham_high_st_exhibition_jan_2020_low-res_final.pdf


Resourceful Earth site update

23/01/2019

An update from the Resourceful Earth planning agent (about site off Charlton Road, near Keynsham):

Notice of minor works to be undertaken at the site known as Resourceful Earth Ltd, Charlton Field Lane, Queen Charlton, Bristol, BS31 2TN. (top of Charlton Road) over the next few weeks for a number of reasons including health and safety.

As the site is currently a dormant construction site, the site manager needs to ensure that the machinery on-site is protected as well as ensuring that the site is adequately sealed off from the public for health and safety reasons. The works will inherently involve contractors coming to site, deliveries and machinery operating, therefore I wanted to update you beforehand and to confirm that there is no new construction taking place on the site.

Work period January/February

Task: Installing replacement and additional construction fencing to ensure the construction site is adequately sealed off for health and safety reasons.
Expected start date: January/ February 2020.
Expected Duration: 5 days.
Deliveries to site: Yes to deliver the fencing and forklift.
Machinery required on site: Forklift.
Personnel undertaking task: 2.

Task: Conduct engine preservation for the 4 engines to safeguard their integrity whilst not in use.
Expected start date: February 2020.
Expected Duration: 2 days.
Deliveries to site: No, all equipment will be brought in to site by the engineer.
Machinery required on site: No.
Personnel undertaking task: 1.

Task: Removal of the digester tank roofs to preserve the roofs, reduce electrical consumption for the site and remove the need to maintain them at height whilst not in use.
Expected start date: February 2020.
Expected Duration: 3 days.
Deliveries to site: Yes to deliver the machinery.
Machinery required on site: Yes, a crane, a telehandler and a cherry picker.
Personnel undertaking the task: 5.


Good Citizen Entry Extended

21/01/2020

The entry deadline for the 2019/2020 Keynsham Good Citizen Award has been extended to the end of February.

This is the first year we'll be giving out three awards:

  • Young Citizen of the Year
  • Good Citizen of the Year
  • Lifetime Achievement Award

It's also the first time that we're accepting entries from the worlds of sport, culture and business.

We think it's a great way to recognise community members who are contributing to making Keynsham a better place.

You can find full details and a link to the entry form on the Good Citizen Award webpage.


FREE drop-in sessions from Energy at Home at Keynsham Library

15/01/2020

Bath and North East Somerset Council's Energy at Home advice service is holding FREE drop-in sessions in Keynsham Library on Tuesday 21st January and Wednesday 18th March from 10.30 to 15.30.

The service offers practical advice about reducing your energy consumption and saving money on your bills. They can also answer questions about smart meters, switching suppliers and anything else about the energy you use in your home.

No appointment necessary; just go along.

You can find out more about the service at www.energyathome.org.uk