Census 2021 will provide a snapshot of modern society

Households across Whitchurch Village will soon be asked to take part in Census 2021.

The census is a once-in-a-decade survey that gives us the most accurate estimate of all the people and households in England and Wales. It has been carried out every decade since 1801, with the exception of 1941.

It will be the first run predominantly online, with households receiving a letter with a unique access code, allowing them to complete the questionnaire on their computers, phones or tablets.

“A successful census will ensure everyone from local government to charities can put services and funding in the places where they are most needed,” Iain Bell, deputy national statistician at the Office for National Statistics, said.

“This could mean things like doctors’ surgeries, schools and new transport routes. That’s why it is so important everyone takes part and we have made it easier for people to do so online on any device, with help and paper questionnaires for those that need them.”

Census day will be on March 21, but households across the country will receive letters with online codes allowing them to take part from early March.

The census will include questions about your sex, age, work, health, education, household size and ethnicity. And, for the first time, there will be a question asking people whether they have served in the armed forces, as well as voluntary questions for those aged 16 and over on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Results will be available within 12 months, although personal records will be locked away for 100 years, kept safe for future generations.

For more information, visit census.gov.uk.

How to recycle your real Christmas Tree

How to recycle your real Christmas tree
Residents in Bath and North East Somerset are being reminded of the options available to recycle their real Christmas trees once the twelve days of Christmas have passed.

The trees can be collected by Bath & North East Somerset Council when garden waste collections resume, taken to a recycling centre or collected by Dorothy House and all trees will eventually be converted into compost.

Dorothy House is running tree collections in BA1, BA2, BA3 and BS31 postcode areas with collections taking place between January 8 and January 10. The trees will be taken to the council’s Pixash Lane site in Keynsham for compaction before being sent to another facility for conversion into compost.

Collections should be booked online at www.charityxmastreecollection.com before 12pm on January 7 in return for a small donation.

Real trees can also be collected by the council free of charge on garden waste collection days between January 18 and February 12, even if residents don’t have a green bin. Trees should be cut up small enough to fit in the lorry and be free of decorations. Alternatively, they can be taken to a council recycling centre.

Councillor David Wood, joint cabinet member for Climate Emergency and Neighbourhood Services, said: “Christmas trees are completely recyclable so it’s unfortunate that so many end up in landfill each year. If you have enjoyed a real tree this year as part of your Christmas celebrations, please dispose of it sustainably and please don’t abandon it on the pavement. We’re happy to collect them on garden waste days or you can bring them to one of our recycling centres. Alternatively, you may prefer to support an important local charity by booking a collection from Dorothy House.”

There will be no recycling or rubbish collections on Christmas Day, Boxing Day, December 28 or New Year’s Day. Garden waste collections have paused from December 7 to January 15 inclusive. Residents can check the website for full information https://www.bathnes.gov.uk/webforms/waste/collectionday/. The council’s recycling centres will close on Christmas Day, Boxing Day, December 27 and New Year’s Day.

Support for residents struggling with their mental health

Support for residents struggling with their mental health
Residents across Bath and North East Somerset struggling with their mental health are being urged to seek support.

Current research shows that one in four people experience mental health issues each year, and at any one time, one in six working adults are experiencing depression, anxiety, or problems relating to stress.

With the added pressures of lockdown and coronavirus restrictions the Community Wellbeing Hub has seen an increase in the number of calls from residents who are struggling with the pressures of money worries, caring for others, and increased feelings of loneliness and isolation due to social distancing and prolonged working from home.

Councillor Rob Appleyard, cabinet member for Adult Services, said: “Now, more than ever, is a time to ensure we maintain a positive and supportive culture where people feel able to talk about their mental health and their experiences.  One of our key partners at the Community Wellbeing Hub is the mental health service Bath Mind, who can not only offer support but also signpost callers to support services in their own community.”

Research shows that men find it particularly difficult to talk about their mental health struggles, which is why this month, Men’s Health Awareness month, Bath Mind is particularly encouraging men to reach out for support.

Kate Morton, Chief Executive Officer of Bath Mind, said: “This is a very challenging and uncertain time for many of us, and although we are, on the whole, pretty resilient, we are in unprecedented times.  It is important not to underestimate the impact the pandemic is having on our mental health and wellbeing and it is really important we look after ourselves.

“Never feel ashamed about how you are feeling.  Talking to someone is a vital first step. Bath Mind’s Breathing Space, is a phone support service, open every evening of the week from 5.30pm to 11.30pm.  You can call in confidence on 01225 983130 if you are feeling worried or anxious and want to talk.”

For more information on Bath Mind’s Men’s Health Awareness month campaign visit: www.bathmind.org.uk/news/mens-mental-health-awareness-month-at-bath-mind/

Jo Scammell from Virgin Care BANES said: “The Community Wellbeing Hub can offer a little extra help to people when they need it most.  We have an excellent team of colleagues at Bath Mind who have been helping residents since March and this has often been a lifeline to so many.  The additional evening service they offer is extremely important particularly during the winter months.”

To contact the Community Wellbeing Hub:

Get ready for Bath’s Clean Air Zone

Bath’s clean air zone is set to launch on Monday 15 March 2021 to urgently improve air quality in the city. It means that most higher emission vehicles – except private cars and motorbikes – will be charged to drive in the city centre.

A higher emission vehicle is a Pre Euro 6/VI diesel vehicle (Euro 1 to 5/V or earlier) or Pre Euro 4 petrol vehicle (Euro 1 to 3 or earlier).

You can now check whether your vehicle will be charged using your vehicle registration number at GOV.UK’s Central Clean Air Zone Service: www.gov.uk/cleanairzone.

If charges apply, please refer to Bath & North East Somerset’s website for a list of local exemptions and whether you might be eligible for financial support to upgrade or replace a non-compliant vehicle or fleet of vehicles.

While private cars are not charged in Bath’s zone, the Council is asking everyone to consider whether they need to use their vehicle, especially for short trips where walking, cycling or taking public transport is possible. We all have a part to play in improving air quality.


To find out more, go to www.bathnes.gov.uk/BathCAZ


Whitchurch Village Playpark, Norton Lane, Refurbishment News!!

Following on from the consultation events held during 2019 with residents, parents and children at a Have a Field fun day, Whitchurch Primary School & St Nicholas Pre-school, we are delighted to announce that work will commence on Monday 19th October, this will include new play equipment with accessible aspects, a multi-use games area (MUGA) and a table tennis table.

View of an artist impression of the new play park

Funding for this project has been provided through Section 106 funds from developers, held by Bath & North East Somerset Council and required to be spent on play provision within Whitchurch Village.

The play area will be closed from 19th October 2020 for approximately six weeks, we are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.


Whitchurch in Lights

A big thank you to all residents and businesses, who have decorated their homes/premises, making the village look so festive again this year.

There were so many fantastic displays to choose from, but after careful consideration this year’s winners are:-

Best House – Martin Squires, Blackacre

Best Business – Smartmove, Bristol Road


Presentation Evening at the Whitchurch Royal British Legion on November 22nd

After another successful Whitchurch Village Fete on the August Bank Holiday Monday, the Committee was able to donate cheques totalling £5,250 to 19 local charities/organisations at their Presentation Evening at the Whitchurch Royal British Legion on November 22nd.

Recipients were:-
Freewheelers Blood Bikes
Enchante Baton Twirlers
Pegasus Hawking Birds of Prey
107th Bristol (Whitchurch) Scout Group
Shaolin Wushu Martial Arts
RBL Poppy Appeal
St John Ambulance
St Peter’s Hospice
The Littlest Rescue
Barbarians Rugby Club
St Bernadette Primary School
Funding Animal Futures
Radio Bristol Alive Appeal
Jake Ogbourne
St Bernadette RC Church
Marmalade Trust
Holly Hedge
St Nicholas Church

Christmas Lights Switch On 2018

Friday 30th November 2018 saw the Village Lights Switch On, and despite the threatening weather, a fantastic crowd of about 150 gathered around the centre of the Village.

The evening started with Father Christmas arriving from Staunton Fields having completed a village tour. As his sleigh had some technical problems, an army vehicle decked out with brilliant flashing lights was used, with Santa waving enthusiastically from the back of the vehicle.

Then after just one practice countdown, Santa switched on the lights in the Millennium Garden. One of the large Christmas trees was kindly donated by Whitehall Garden Centre, Norton Lane, and the other by Whitchurch Village Fete Committee, to whom we are both very grateful.

 After Santa had crossed the A37, he then led a procession of children, parents and onlookers towards St Nicholas Church, where the children of Whitchurch Primary School sang some lovely ‘Christmassy’ songs from a stage that had been set up in the Church grounds. The children, including the soloists, were brilliant as always.

New for this year was the re-siting of the choir to provide a better view of them from the audience perspective, better sound equipment and a snow machine that seemed to go down well with the crowd.

The Salvation Army then played some well-known carols, and the crowd sang along before going into the Church Hall for mulled wine and mince pies, provided by Tesco Brislington and also by some local ladies who made some delicious mince pies. Father Christmas was also very busy handing out sweets to all the children.

 Our thanks go to all of you who attended this lovely festive event. The support of the public, our villagers, and the wonderful choir and staff from the Primary School is really appreciated.

Our appreciation and acknowledgement of the support we received also goes to:

The Salvation Army, Bedminster

Tesco Brislington (donation of mince pies and chocolates)

Whitehall Garden Centre & Fete Committee (Xmas tree’s in Millennium Garden)

Lee Gillam who helped our volunteers to decorate the Christmas trees.

The volunteers who helped with the refreshments in the Hall.

The traffic marshals who helped set up the event and ensured safe passage to people crossing the A37.

Matt on the microphone and John, who arranged and set up the sound equipment

And of course, Father Christmas and his driver, who made a special effort to visit us at a very busy time of the year!!!!!

Thanks to your donations, we collected £150.00 for The Children’s Hospital, Grand Appeal.

Next year the Whitchurch Village Christmas Lights switch on will be on Friday 6th December 2019….so please put this date in your diaries now.

If you have any ideas on how we can improve the event do please let us know.

In the meantime, everyone at the Village Council wishes you all a Very Happy Christmas