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CRAG – Multi Village Alliance one step closer

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MeetingConcerted action by villages in North Somerset to halt creeping urbanisation came a step closer with the formation of a multi village alliance.

Representatives from eight village action groups – Banwell, Churchill, Claverham, Congresbury, Langford, Sandford, Wrington and Yatton – attended an inaugural meeting at Langford Inn on Tuesday.

Two more have asked to join the group, bringing the total to 10. Altogether, these local action groups are supported by well over a thousand residents of district villages.

The rural action group’s first task is to keep a close watch on North Somerset Council and challenge any policy inconsistencies. Among the more than 20 representatives of the various groups who attended the first meeting, are several with experience at parish and district council level, as well as professionally qualified individuals.

Agreeing to set up a register of experts, the group wants to be able to challenge developers in areas such as environment, drainage, flooding and transport.

Congresbury’s Mary Short, chair of CRAG, said: “This is a good start to showing North Somerset how strongly many of us feel about speculative development. There is a groundswell of fury at the way in which village life is being urbanised by councils being panicked into making wrong planning decisions.”

Churchill’s John Whitewood – who arranged the meeting – reported that there had been requests from residents of Nailsea and Backwell, to join.

John Mills John Mills

Journalist and jazz saxophonist John Mills has lived in Congresbury for more than 25 years, moving to the village from West London with his wife Rocki and 10 month old son, Sam in 1979. After a few years in Clevedon, John and Rocki moved back to the village in 2006, renovating and extending a bungalow in Yew Tree Park. Sadly, Rocki died in 2013. John, 71 keeps busy musically, playing with Cadbury Wind Band, with his son in the Sam Mills Quintet, and with a newly formed duo, Sax in the City with fellow Congresbury saxophonist and vocalist, Louise Harris.

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