UP CLOSE: Wells city councillor Pammy Crummay
By Tim Lethaby
16th Jul 2021 | Local News
Wells Nub News aims to be supportive to every element of the community from business and shops to people and charities and clubs and sports organisations.
Everyone is finding it tough at the moment and is desperate to get back to normal.
We are profiling some of these local businesses, people and groups regularly over coming weeks in a feature called UP CLOSE IN WELLS in the hope that we can be a supportive springboard for their full return to normal.
Today we talk to Pammy Crummay, a Green Party councillor on Wells City Council, who shares her thoughts on how the city has coped with coronavirus and what it needs to do going forward.
During an in-depth Q and A session she also talks about how she started JPAT, the Wells Nub News principal sponsor.
Tell us a bit about your history - when and why did you come to Wells?
I moved to Wells in March 2012 coming from Clevedon, where I had been living since 2004. I'd chosen Wells because I wanted to be nearer my grandchildren, who live in the Chew Valley.
I also wanted to be in the centre of a town where it was convenient to shop without needing to use a car. Having just turned 70 I thought that was a sensible move. And I haven't regretted that decision.
What is your favourite part about living in Wells?
Wells is a wonderful little city. Our cathedral is the most beautiful in the country - or so says Simon Jenkins in his wonderful book on English cathedrals, and I agree with him!
We also have the beautiful Bishop's Palace and Gardens, which are an absolute gem. I have the honour to volunteer there and thoroughly enjoy being part of that community. My Wednesday afternoons spent there are a very special part of my week.
There is so much going on in Wells - one could be out morning, noon and night if one joined all the different clubs and associations. There's something for everyone and no one ever feels lonely here.
I think that's what's been so very hard for us all during the last months of lockdown; losing our connections.
What got you into local politics? Why are you a member of the Green Party?
My interest in politics began in the year I arrived here, when I became aware of climate change, pollution and the general world problems - and the fact that so many people didn't seem to be caring! I then went to my first Green Party meeting and realised that there were folk out there who understood, so I decided to join.
At that time we were the North West Green Party and met with Glastonbury members, too. In 2016 we budded into the Mendip Hills GP.
You are the mother of Bruce Palmer, who runs the principal sponsor of Wells Nub News - JPAT. What impact have you had on the business?
Way back in 1975 my late husband, John, and I started an automatic transmission business, our first small office and workshop being in Bedminster, Bristol, which soon expanded into a larger garage in Chew Magna and then a much larger unit in Avon Street, Bristol, from which we had to move when all the redevelopment of St Philips area began.
Just before my husband died in 2003, we found a perfect out-of-town unit at Upper Langford - Pear Tree Industrial Estate, from where the business has been happily running since then. Very luckily for us all, my son, Bruce, had decided he wished to come into the business a couple of years earlier, so now he became the MD, aided by sister, Emma, and me doing the admin.
I think John would be very proud of the way the business has progressed in the hands of the great team that's JPAT! We are very proud to sponsor Wells Nub News.
Having retired in 2007 and then moving here in 2012, I haven't had much to do day-to-day with the company, although remaining a director.
However, during lockdown, as they were keeping things afloat, as an essential company, I have gone into the office just to help with small tasks such as filing and sending out statements while most of the staff have been furloughed. It's actually been fun as I've stayed in touch with my family and it's great to have been of some help.
Apart from JPAT, what are the local businesses you like to use in and around Wells?
I'm a great believer in supporting as many local businesses as I can. I know we are very well-provided with supermarkets and there are occasions when we need them, but we have wonderful local privately owned shops.
I use Dan's Deli, Burns the Bread and The Good Earth regularly, and on market days we can delight in many more stalls with local produce. I also get a veg box from Plotgate, a wonderful local organic farm.
Of course, the city is our oyster when it comes to the wonderful choice of coffee shops and cafés! And isn't it just delightful to have a pedestrianised Market Place?
My goal, as councillor on Wells in Bloom, is to replace the ugly red and white plastic markers with some lovely planters, full of beautiful flowers and shrubs. Fingers crossed!
What are the biggest challenges facing Wells?
The next months or even years are going to be challenging for the universe and Wells will have to find ways to re-establish itself as a wonderful place to visit. The city council are very aware of this and are working hard at putting our lovely medieval city back on the map.
But it's in all our hands to advertise the beauty that is Wells by caring for it, keeping it litter-free, volunteering at the cathedral, the Bishop's Palace, the museum. Do help in any way you can: love it; it's special!
How proud are you of how the city coped during the coronavirus?
Sadly, the appearance of Covid-19 has caused international chaos and the negative knock-on effect on local people and business is enormous.
Our mayor-elect, some dedicated local councillors and, I believe about 350 local people, set-up our local Coronavirus Network at the beginning of lockdown and have been providing the vulnerable people in our community with help in all sorts of ways.
The Connect Centre has done its usual wonderful job of supplying meals, as have many cafés and other food outlets. Wells should be proud!
What are your views on politics more widely? How do you think the Green Party will do at the next general election?
My second year as a councillor has been somewhat decimated by all the problems we are facing. Our meetings are all on Zoom and it's impossible to organise essential meetings at which we can discuss important decisions to take us forward.
Although we are voted on to council under party banners, I like to think that we decide what's best for the city apolitically. However, my Green Party credentials inevitably shine through: climate change and all the problems associated with it must not get forgotten in these troubled times, as our precious NHS and the millions on the breadline who are desperate for help must never get sidelined.
There's still so much we must try to change for the better in our society to make Britain a truly good place to live for everyone, not just the privileged few.
Wells Nub News is proud to have JPAT as our principal sponsor - you can check out their website here.