News

CCS Thatch Bulletin Summer Issue

Posted on 16th September, 2021 in News

The CCS Thatch Bulletin Summer Issues is available now by clicking here: CCS Thatch Bulletin Summer Issue OUT NOW! | CCS Community Council for Somerset (ccslovesomerset.org)

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Somerset Waste Partnership – September Briefing

Posted on 9th September, 2021 in News

A copy of the Somerset Waste Partnership September Briefing Sheet is available here: SWP Briefing 2021 09 September FINAL

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Parish Surgery – Thursday 9th September at 8.30am at the BACH

Posted on 6th September, 2021 in News

This months Parish Surgery will be taking place on Thursday 9th September at 8.30am. Everyone is welcome to come along and raise any questions or concerns with the Parish Council. District and County Councillors will also be present.

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Slinky Bus Service

Posted on 2nd September, 2021 in News

Information about the Slinky Bus Services is available...

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Forecast for Heatwave

Posted on 13th August, 2021 in News

Many forecasters are expecting temperatures to rise again in August and so Somerset’s Public Health have issue the following important advice: Look out for others, especially older people, young children and babies and those with underlying health conditions. Stay cool indoors: open windows when the air feels cooler outside than inside; shade or cover windows exposed to direct sunlight; move to a cooler part of the house, especially for sleeping. Keep drinks within easy reach – water is better than sugary or caffeinated drinks for staying hydrated. Avoid excess alcohol. Never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children or animals. Try to keep out of the sun between 11am to...

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Tick Warning

Posted on 13th August, 2021 in News

With the warmer weather come ticks, which thrive in woodland, long grass and even urban parks. SCC has put together a ‘tick list’ to follow to reduce the risk of being bitten including: Walking on clearly defined paths, wearing light coloured clothing, using an insect repellent, wearing long trousers and long-sleeved tops to reduce the skin exposure and carrying out a regular tick check after outdoor activities. Being bitten by a tick doesn’t usually require hospital treatment but people are advised to dial NHS 111 if they start to feel unwell.

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Somerset Coronavirus Support Helpline

Posted on 13th August, 2021 in News

A single phone number continues to be available for anyone in Somerset who needs Coronavirus-related support. 0300 790 6275, is open seven days a week from 8am to 6pm.

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Crimestoppers Rural Crime

Posted on 9th August, 2021 in News

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Taunton Toneway Creech Castle Junction project

Posted on 5th August, 2021 in News

A briefing in respect of the Taunton Toneway Creech Castle Junction Project is available here: Toneway briefing Aug 2021

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Park and ride for free as Toneway Creech Castle upgrade gets underway

Posted on 3rd August, 2021 in News

Taunton’s park and ride service will be made free of charge as part of a special initiative to encourage use of the park and ride service and, minimise disruption during a major upgrade of the Creech Castle junction. The £8.3m project was deferred last year because of the pandemic, now work is about to begin on these much-needed improvements for one of Taunton’s busiest junctions. The scheme, which starts on Monday 9 August and is due for completion in summer 2022, requires the A38 Bridgwater Road on the north side of the junction to be closed to all traffic for the duration of the works and a diversion will be in place using the new Western Relief Road. This will have an impact for everyone travelling around Taunton, so the Council has taken the decision to provide the park and ride service at both sites for free from 9 August until further notice, subject to review. This will include a Saturday service from 14 August. Councillor David Fothergill, Leader of Somerset County Council said: “We’d like to thank everyone for their support and patience during what is a period of significant change for the town’s road infrastructure. “Doing nothing isn’t an option as Taunton continues to grow and the upgrade at Creech Castle follows the key improvements at Junction 25, and the newly opened Western Relief Road. “We fully understand this will be a very challenging scheme to deliver and want to do what we can to minimise the disruption. “We hope making the park and ride free will help make life a little bit easier for everyone travelling around the town and encourage people to keep visiting while this vital work is carried out.” The scheme at Creech Castle includes road widening and requires very significant works activities with heavy machinery and excavations in the road. Therefore, in order to keep both the workforce and travelling public safe it is necessary to close Bridgwater Road north of the junction. This will affect vehicles but not pedestrians or cyclists who will have access throughout. There will also be no right turn into Bridgwater Road south of the junction. This will be a permanent change starting from August 9. You can read about the project in detail here, including a comprehensive FAQs and the diversion route. Other alternatives were carefully considered – including the use of temporary multi-way traffic lights instead of a road closure – but these were projected to cause much more severe disruption with long queues on the Toneway, potentially impacting on the M5. “We know this is going to be difficult for those living in the immediate area and we’re incredibly grateful to residents and businesses for their understanding and willingness to work with us during this time,” said Cllr Fothergill. “Our teams will be liaising with residents and business owners closely throughout to ensure they are well-supported and can register and resolve any issues swiftly.” Residents and businesses and those wishing to access the supermarket and other premises will continue to have access to the A38 although this will need be from the north. Those accessing premises south of the railway bridge such as the Creech Castle Business Centre, including the Taunton Dialysis Centre, will need to do so from Toneway. You can find out more about how Somerset County Council is investing to improve the county’s highways network in a new film. For more information on roadworks, live traffic and major projects visit www.travelsomerset.co.uk and follow @TravelSomerset on Twitter and Facebook....

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Airband Newsletter – August 2021

Posted on 3rd August, 2021 in News

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The Maidenbrook Country Park – A Joint Statement

Posted on 22nd July, 2021 in News

The Maidenbrook Country Park A Joint Statement by The Parish Councils of Cheddon Fitzpaine and West Monkton Our two Parish Councils have a track-record of working together on projects like the Joint Neighbourhood Plan we’ve already made – a legally-binding document that ensures that the wishes of the local community are represented in local planning and development decisions. Maidenbrook Country Park incorporating the World War 1-commemorative Somerset Wood is another joint project that we are working on for the common good of our parishes. On 15th July, 2021, Rural Solutions, who are acting on behalf of local resident Ben Ashton of Glebe Farm, sent our parishioners an invitation letter to an exhibition they have organised for this coming Saturday 24th July. The exhibition will show the planned Glebe Farm residential schemes within the overall context of the planned Maidenbrook Country Park. We felt that the letter did not fully explain the relationship between the Parish Councils and the Glebe Farm project team. As a result, we are issuing this statement clarifying our position regarding the Maidenbrook Country Park, as follows: The two Parish Councils believe the Maidenbrook Country Park represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to enhance the quality of life of our community for generations to come. We think the Country Park will make a real and positive difference to the quality of life of our communities. So, what is Maidenbrook Country Park? At present, it is two fields between Cheddon Village and the A3259, in which 3,500 trees have already been planted by volunteers for the Somerset Wood. That’s today’s reality, but our vision for tomorrow is much more ambitious. Imagine this! A wide, open, green space that stretches from the outskirts of Taunton town via our Country Park and Hestercombe out towards the Quantocks. A safe haven for the natural flora and fauna as well as for us humans, this place will incorporate a wide range of native trees, wild-flower meadows, and a network of natural-looking tracks for walking, running and cycling – a calm, tranquil place where a community that is being squeezed by residential development can unwind in a more natural environment. Most important of all, we will be saving the park-land from the threat of future development. The final shape of the Country Park has yet to be decided. The exhibition shows our favoured option, as the inclusion of large parts of Glebe Farm is necessary to fully achieve the vision as described above. However, it is not the only option and a number of unknowns have to be clarified and factored in before the Country Park project as presented on Saturday 24th in outline can be finalised. The most important of these is the view of the local community, in particular the residents in the Cheddon Fitzpaine PC and West Monkton PC Joint Neighbourhood Plan area. The exhibition should be viewed as the Glebe Farm team’s contribution to a wider consultation process to establish that view. Events organised by the two Parish Councils will follow in due course. So, what is our relationship with Ben Ashton and the Glebe Farm development team? It all started a couple of years ago when a chance encounter between Cheddon Fitzpaine’s Parish Clerk and Ben started an ongoing dialogue between the Country Park and Glebe Farm teams. Ben had grown up on the farm, where his father and grandfather were tenant-farmers. When the land-owner, The Crown Estate, put the farm up for sale, Ben decided he would try and raise the funds to buy it. He knew that continuing to run the farm as before would not be...

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Vacancy – Assistant Clerk / Community Development Officer

Posted on 16th July, 2021 in News

As West Monkton expands the Parish Council is seeking an Assistant Clerk / Community Development Officer to join the Clerks Team, providing support to the Parish Clerk and to work to develop the expanding community by working with individuals, families and the community as a whole, to improve the quality of life for people living and working in the Parish. The position is permanent and part-time (30 hours per month), working from home. Given the focus of the role, applicants resident within an 8 mile radius of West Monkton may be advantaged. The pay scale is Local Government scale SCP 17; £12.73 per hour. If you are interested in applying for this position the Job Description / Person Specification is available here: job-description-for-assistant-clerk-cdo and the application form is available here: Application form For further information please telephone the Clerk, Amy Shepherd (07588571775) or e-mail: clerk@westmonkton.net Closing date: Tuesday 31st August 2021 at midday. Interviews: Date TBC in...

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Somerset Waste Partnership – July 2021 Briefing

Posted on 14th July, 2021 in News

A copy of the latest briefing from the Somerset Waste Partnership is available here: SWP Briefing 2021 July FINAL

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Prehistory Fun Day in Bishops Lydeard

Posted on 5th July, 2021 in News

Budding time travellers of all ages are invited to a free, fun-packed, family event to celebrate the nationwide Festival of Archaeology. On Saturday 17 July, the village green at Bishops Lydeard will be transformed into a prehistoric village featuring interactive demonstrations of ancient crafts, family activities and object handling. Under the expert guidance of archaeologists and craftspeople from Newhaven Coppice, visitors will be able to try their hand at making prehistoric pottery, woodworking and weaving; there will be demonstrations of ancient bronze casting methods; and you can even prepare and taste foods that our prehistoric ancestors would have eaten. Throughout the day there will be the chance to learn about and handle genuine archaeological artefacts with Dr Maria Kneafsey and colleagues from the Portable Antiquities Scheme; and young archaeology buffs can learn some of the skills of excavation in a sandpit dig. There will also be a drop-in finds surgery, allowing visitors to bring along any unusual artefacts they may have found whilst out for a walk or digging their gardens, and have them identified and recorded. Best of all, the event is entirely free. It is being organised by the Quantock Landscape Partnership Scheme, a five year project hosted by the Quantock Hills AONB and funded largely by The National Lo   ttery Heritage Fund which aims to inspire local communities to undertake a wide range of projects providing resilience and protection of the Quantock landscape. Dan Broadbent, the scheme’s Historic Heritage Officer, said, “As we approach the end of Covid restrictions, we hope this will be a great way for people to come together in a safe, outdoor space, have some fun and learn something about the long and fascinating history and archaeology of the Quantock Hills.” The event also marks the launch of archaeological excavations on nearby Cothelstone Hill. Dan explained, “We have a number of archaeological and heritage projects as part of the Landscape Partnership Scheme, all aimed at encouraging and helping people to better understand and engage with the Quantock landscape. The dig at Cothelstone Hill is our first excavation, which will be investigating the purpose and origins of a prehistoric earthwork which crosses the ridge of the hill.” The Prehistoric Fun Day will be open from 10am – 4pm on Saturday 17th July, at Bishops Lydeard Village Green. Entry and all activities are free of...

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Police Newsletter – June 2001

Posted on 29th June, 2021 in News

A copy of the Police June 2021 Newsletter is available here: Newsletter AW044 – June

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Quantock Hills AONB – June / July Newsletter

Posted on 28th June, 2021 in News

A copy of the latest Quantock Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty newsletter is available here: JuneJuly 2021 Newsletter Issue 13

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Somerset Coronavirus Support Helpline

Posted on 10th June, 2021 in News

A single phone number continues to be available for anyone in Somerset who needs Coronavirus-related support. 0300 790 6275, is open seven days a week from 8am to 6pm.

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Virtual Parish Surgery – Thursday 10th June 2021 at 7pm

Posted on 7th June, 2021 in News

This months Virtual Parish Surgery will be taking place on Thursday 10th June at 7pm. Everyone is welcome to join and raise any questions or concerns with the Parish Council. District and County Councillors will also be present. The Zoom meeting information for Parish Surgery is as follows: Topic: Parish Surgery Time: Jun 10, 2021 07:00 PM London Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82223885407?pwd=VTFqc1drcWhMOFJHNVlrL2U5MVdwdz09 Meeting ID: 822 2388 5407 Passcode: 184317...

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Latest Police Newsletter – May 2021

Posted on 4th June, 2021 in News

A copy of the latest Police Newsletter is available here: Newsletter AW044 – May

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Quantock Hills AONB Spring Newsletter

Posted on 17th May, 2021 in News

A copy of the Quantock Hills AONB Spring Newsletter is available here: QH Spring 2021 Newsletter – Issue 12 (May 2021)

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Thatch May 2021 Newsletter

Posted on 17th May, 2021 in News

A copy of the May 2021 Thatch Newsletter is available here: Thatch Newsletter MAY FINAL (s)

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Platinum Jubilee – June 2022 – Call for Celebration Ideas

Posted on 6th May, 2021 in News

The Queens Platinum Jubilee is in 2022 and there is an effort across the region to organise events to celebrate the occasion. The  dates for celebrations and Official Holiday will be between 2nd and 5th June 2022. If you have any ideas of some events that could take place in the Parish, please get in touch. clerk@westmonkton.net  

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Duke of Edinburgh Awards Scheme

Posted on 6th May, 2021 in News

Young people inspired by the recent media attention about the D of E charity are encouraged to get in touch to learn new skills, take part in physical activities and gain an award at the end. In addition those who started an award at school, college or in a group such as Guides or Scouts, but didn’t finish are also encouraged to get in touch. A Somerset Bursary Fund offers grants to enable disadvantaged young people in Somerset to complete a D of E programme. Those aged between 14-24 living in Somerset who would like to know more are encouraged to get in touch by emailing...

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Coastal Story Walks

Posted on 6th May, 2021 in News

Somerset’s seafaring heritage and lost legends are brought to life in a newset of ‘story walks’ being launched by the County Council. Created by local poet Chris Jelley, and brought to you by the Rights of Way Team, the set of 12 Storywalks can be accessed by phone or tablet connecting walkers to the local landscape and history. The walks are between one and five km long and are set from Brean Down in the north to Minehead in the west. Simply go to the England Coast Path Story walks page...

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Motorcycle Road Safety

Posted on 6th May, 2021 in News

Somerset County Council’s road safety team, have launched Raise your Ride, an exciting new initiative for motorcyclists who make up only c.1-2% of traffic, but represent c.21-23% of all road casualties in the UK. The next Raise your Ride events are in Wellington on Sunday 23 May, Frome on Sunday 20 June and Yeovil on Sunday 5 September. The cost for the day is £45 per person. For more information visit www.somersetroadsafety.org/page/raise-your-ride/124/

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Consultation about use of the former Land Rover Premises, Bridgwater Road

Posted on 6th May, 2021 in News

A consultation has gone live today regarding proposal to regenerate the former Land Rover Premises at Bridgwater Road. The consultation is available here: Monkton Heathfield Community Facilities – Monkton Heathfield Community Facilities (mhconsultation.com) Please take the opportunity to respond.

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Somerset Waste Partnership – April 2021 Briefing

Posted on 30th April, 2021 in News

The Somerset Waste Partnership April 2021 Briefing Sheet is available here: SWP Briefing April 2021

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West Monkton Cricket Club Fixtures

Posted on 19th April, 2021 in News

The upcoming West Monkton Cricket Club fixtures are as...

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Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue – Your Voice Matters

Posted on 14th April, 2021 in News

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue are trying to understand the risks communities face so that they can work to prevent incidents from happening and ensure that they have the right resources in place to tackle local risks. Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue would like to hear what you think the risks are within the local community. Further information is available in the poster here: Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Poster Please submit your views by 20th May...

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April Parish Council Meeting – Postponed

Posted on 13th April, 2021 in News

Due to the national period of mourning for His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, the Parish Council meeting due to take place on Tuesday 13th April at 7pm has been postponed. A revised date for the meeting will be confirmed as soon as possible. If you have any queries, please contact the Clerk (clerk@westmonkton.net)

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Somerset Prepared – Spring Newsletter

Posted on 9th April, 2021 in News

The Somerset Prepared Spring 2021 Newsletter is available here: Spring Newsletter 2021 – Have your say in the Somerset Prepared Event

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New Representatives Wanted For County Council

Posted on 8th April, 2021 in News

Members of the public are being invited to apply for roles on a committee which helps to shape the way Somerset County Council operates. There are currently vacancies for three co-opted members on the Council’s Constitution and Standards Committee, which helps to set standards of conduct for elected councillors, as well as helping the Council to maintain an effective, up-to-date, and legally compliant constitution. Chairman of the Constitution and Standards Committee, Councillor William Wallace, said: “We welcome applications from people from different kinds of backgrounds. “Previous experience is not necessary; applicants need to live in Somerset and have had no recent direct involvement in the running of the Council. “We are also looking for people who have the ability to bring common sense and their experiences of life into the Committee, who have the time to commit to this interesting role and, above all, be totally independent.” The Constitution and Standards Committee comprises one elected member per political group- of which there are currently five – and five Co-opted Members without voting rights. The Co-opted role is non-voting and expenses will be paid for attending meetings, together with a small annual allowance. Closing date for applications is 5pm on Friday 23 April and interviews will be held in the week beginning 3 May. To apply for the position, you will need to email a copy of your CV and a short supporting personal statement (not more than a side of A4) stating why you think you are qualified for the role to Julia Jones, Governance Specialist – Democratic Services at jjones@somerset.gov.uk If would like to find out more please contact Julia Jones at jjones@somerset.gov.uk or Laura Rose at lxrose@somerset.gov.uk, telephone 01823 35762 or 01823...

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Virtual Parish Surgery – Thursday 8th April at 7pm

Posted on 6th April, 2021 in News

This months Virtual Parish Surgery will be taking place on Thursday 8th April at 7pm. Everyone is welcome to join and raise any questions or concerns with the Parish Council. District and County Councillors will also be present. The Zoom meeting information for Parish Surgery is as follows: Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83918703862 Meeting ID: 839 1870 3862

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MH2 District Centre – Have Your Say

Posted on 23rd March, 2021 in News

It is anticipated that a planning application will be submitted during 2021 for the next stage of development in West Monkton and neighbouring Creech St Michael – the Urban Extension Phase 2. Within the development, a District Centre will be delivered. To inform the comments that the Parish Council submits to Somerset West and Taunton Council (the Local Planning Authority) in relation to the upcoming planning application, a poll has been developed to understand the services and shops that the community most need in the District Centre. Please complete the poll via this link: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/FB7BH2Y If you have any queries, please contact the Clerk...

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Somerset Coronavirus Helpline – Still Available

Posted on 16th March, 2021 in News

The Somerset Coronavirus Helpline is still available, please use it if you need any support during the Pandemic.

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Annual Parish Meeting – Wednesday 31st March at 7pm

Posted on 10th March, 2021 in News

The Annual Parish Meeting is taking place virtually on Wednesday 31st March 2021.  The agenda for the APM is available here: Annual Parish Meeting 31st March 2021 Agenda The focus of the APM this year is on Community, which is particularly relevant this year as we begin to emerge from the Coronavirus Lockdown and associated restrictions, the meeting will provide an opportunity to highlight some of the community initiatives that are taking place in the Parish. Everyone is welcome so please join the meeting, a link is included in the agenda for you to do so. If you have any queries or require any further information, please get in touch –...

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NHS National Diabetes Prevention Programme

Posted on 1st March, 2021 in News

Access to the NHS National Diabetes Prevention Programme (NDPP) is available for residents within the Somerset West & Taunton area. The Somerset West & Taunton Diabetes Prevention Programme is a free service for people who are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The Diabetes Prevention Programme is a behaviour change programme where people learn about, diet, physical activity and strategies to improve their overall health, all aimed at reducing their risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes. Normally, people access the programme through their GP however, due to the pandemic  and the subsequent pressure that our GP practices are facing, for a limited time we have enabled a self-referral option via the Diabetes UK ‘Know Your Risk Score’ – a check list of questions that can determine a person’s risk factors – This has also enabled the programme to become more accessible to people within the area. The risk tool can be accessed via the link below:...

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Neighbourhood Policing Newsletter – February 2021

Posted on 25th February, 2021 in News

A copy of the Neighbourhood Policing Newsletter for February 2021 is available here: Newsletter AW044 – Feb

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Community Council for Somerset – February Newsletter

Posted on 16th February, 2021 in News

A copy of the Community Council for Somerset February Newsletter is available here: Thatch Bulletin Feb_2021 Final

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Draft Revised Neighbourhood Plan – Nine-week Consultation Period 22 February to 30 April 2021

Posted on 15th February, 2021 in News

We are pleased to announce the successful conclusion (of this stage) of the draft revisions to the Neighbourhood Plan (2018) documents. The start of a nine-week Consultation begins, ending on 30th April 2021. The documents can be viewed at the Dropbox link: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ryv6rvv7md69wxc/AADVsMzw0o00Zt8QcSBg2onUa?dl=0 This folder contains the draft Revised Neighbourhood Plan Document (2021) with 6 supporting documents. The Revised Neighbourhood Plan document shows the original Neighbourhood Plan (2018) in black typeface and the revisions are in blue typeface. The supporting documents have changed very little from the original supporting documents, updating dates. Please view the Revised Policies in Document No.1 and give your comments, observations or feedback to: Patricia Cavill Assistant Clerk to West Monkton Parish Council (assistantclerk2@westmonkton.net) Jo Pearson Clerk to Cheddon Fitzpaine Parish Council (clerk@cfpc.co.uk) 22 February 2021...

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Virtual Parish Surgery – Thursday 11th February at 7pm

Posted on 10th February, 2021 in News

This months Virtual Parish Surgery will be taking place on Thursday 11th February at 7pm. Everyone is welcome to join and raise any questions or concerns with the Parish Council. District and County Councillors will also be present. The Zoom meeting information for Parish Surgery is as follows: Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83918703862 Meeting ID: 839 1870 3862

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Neighbourhood Plan

Posted on 7th February, 2021 in News

Residents of West Monkton and Cheddon Fitzpaine will by now have received their free version of the Map of the Play Parks and Open Spaces in the two Parishes. In the covering letter that came with the Map, reference was made to the revisions being made to the Neighbourhood Plan. If you have not responded yet and would like an opportunity to review the draft proposals please contact the Assistant Clerk on assistantclerk2@westmonkton.net for an electronic copy.

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Somerset Waste Partnership – January 2021 Briefing

Posted on 1st February, 2021 in News

A copy of the Somerset Waste Partnership January briefing is available here: SWP Briefing January 2021 FINAL

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Volunteering Opportunities with the Quantock Landscape Partnership Scheme

Posted on 21st January, 2021 in News

The Quantock Landscape Partnership Scheme (QLPS) is a NLHF-funded, £2.6m, 5-year project, created to address changing pressures on the on the Quantock Hills and surrounding parishes, an area of some 400 square kilometres. The scheme comprises 23 individual projects spanning natural history, historic heritage, education and future planning, each intended to contribute to the long-term future of the hills by protecting, restoring and increasing understanding of the distinctive features of the Quantock landscape. Of those 23 projects, a number specifically relate to the history of the hills, including archaeological excavations, archival research, and a wide ranging and inclusive events programme. Central to our work is the desire to increase the capacity and skills of the volunteer base working in the area, providing more people with more opportunities to contribute. The Covid-19 crisis has inevitably had an impact on our first year and we have some catching up to do. But, hopefully, the vaccine roll-out will allow us to get our programme of community archaeology projects up and running in the summer, by which time we might also have been able to commence some of our archival work at the Somerset Heritage Centre. In the meantime, there are several projects which lend themselves to working remotely, and for which the QLPS is now seeking volunteers. LiDAR Survey The QLPS has commissioned a high-resolution LiDAR survey of the entire project area. For the uninitiated, LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) is a remote sensing technique which uses laser scanners, mounted on an aircraft, to produce detailed 3D maps known as Digital Terrain Models (DTMs). The great advantage of LiDAR data to archaeological work is that, unlike conventional aerial or satellite imagery, DTMs can be processed in various ways. For example, simulated light can be cast across them to create shadow effects from various directions, helping to reveal archaeological earthworks which may be indiscernible on the ground or to aerial photography. Perhaps most excitingly, LiDAR allows the effective ‘removal’ of tree cover, allowing us the potential to identify archaeological features previously hidden beneath the canopy, as well as helping to more fully understand existing ones. The aerial survey work was completed just before Christmas and we are now in need of volunteers who are interested in receiving training in LiDAR interpretation and helping to explore this exciting new resource for understanding the history, heritage and archaeology of the Quantocks. Trees in the Landscape Focusing on how the number, size, and species of individual trees has changed over the last 200 years, this ambitious project aims to provide a detailed historical understanding of the changing use of tress in the Quantocks, uncovering the accompanying social changes affecting parkland and hedgerows. In doing so, we hope to renew interest in the importance of trees in the lowland landscape and to create a strategy to ensure that they remain a key element of the Quantock’s identity. The current Covid restrictions means we are unable to access the archives at the Somerset Heritage Centre, but we are seeking volunteers to begin the process of exploring the online catalogue of Estate Records in search of any documents which might prove useful for this study of tree use in the Quantock parklands. We are also seeking volunteers, interested in using digital maps of various dates to identify changing patterns of tree use and note potentially significant, individual trees. All of these roles are intended as pieces of work which can be done from home following some online training. Full details of the various projects are available on the QLPS website: https://qlps.org/ If you are interested in assisting with any...

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Monkton Heathfield Sports Pitches

Posted on 14th January, 2021 in News

In 2008  Monkton Heathfield Phase 1 received outline planning consent from Taunton Deane Borough Council. Attached to this consent was a requirement on the developers to provide 2 senior football pitches and a club house with changing facilities. (it was perceived there was a need for football pitches at this time) A figure of £460,000 (index linked) was stipulated to provide the club house and ground works for the site. Unfortunately this amount has proved to be insufficient and the project, despite full planning permission being granted in 2017, progress has stalled with the developers being unwilling to provide additional funds and the current District Council Somerset West and Taunton Council (SWT) is unable to fund the project in these difficult times. In 2019 the Parish Council decided to extricate the project and began to investigate the sports needs of the community, it became apparent that senior football in the Taunton area is well provided for, TDBC Playing Pitch Strategy 2010 also confirms that there is an over provision of senior football pitches in the district. The local Rugby and Cricket clubs were contacted to seek their views, the Rugby club is desperate for a junior rugby pitch and as many of you will be aware junior rugby games and training are often cancelled due to the state of the current pitches. The club now has approximately 350 youth players from 6-18 all trying to use two pitches only one of which has lights, the main pitch principally used by the First Team who play at the third tier on National Rugby (that’s just two below the Premiership) and as such the playing surface has to be protected as best it can. Despite the hard work of the Ground Team, a wet winter makes the pitches unplayable. The Cricket club also has ambitious plans for a third team, ladies cricket and a junior team and would like access to another pitch to accommodate these needs. The Parish Council’s own findings from surveys in the community including the Neighborhood Plan reflect the need for rugby and cricket pitches and not football. There are currently 3 football pitches in the immediate area which are not being used, a senior and under 11 pitch at Creech St Michael and a senior pitch at Tudor Park. (This pitch is about to become available after the developer has recently completed remedial work attached to the development). It is the intention of the Parish Council to immediately commence work to provide the playing pitches and then erect the club house as soon as funds allow, match funding will be applied for from Sports England and other available grant funding etc. The Rugby club has kindly offered to maintain the pitches in recognition of the use being offered. It is envisaged the Rugby club would have exclusive use of the pitch on a Sunday and one evening a week for training and in the summer the Cricket club would have a similar arrangement. Outside of these times the pitches would be available for the community to use. There are also proposals to provide Tennis Courts and a Bike Track or Skate Board park on the same site. The Parish Council is in dialogue with Sports England, Rugby Football Union South West and the England and Wales Cricket Board for the region and initial responses are very favorable. Your Parish Council has recently made a pre-planning application to SWT to amend the use of these pitches, confirmation has been received from the two developers Persimmon and Redrow that they have no objection to the proposal and are...

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Virtual Parish Surgery Meeting – Thursday 14th January

Posted on 13th January, 2021 in News

This months Virtual Parish Surgery will be taking place on Thursday 14th January at 7pm. Everyone is welcome to join and raise any questions or concerns with the Parish Council. District and County Councillors will also be present. The Zoom meeting information for Parish Surgery is as follows: Amy Shepherd is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting. Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83918703862 Meeting ID: 839 1870 3862

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Potholes and road defects – how to report

Posted on 4th January, 2021 in News

With the weather that we are experiencing at the moment, pot holes are beginning to develop on the roads in the Parish.  If you come across one, it can be reported to Somerset County Council via this link: Report a pothole or road defect (somerset.gov.uk)

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Insulation: Keeping the warmth at home

Posted on 22nd December, 2020 in News

Autumn has passed and winter is here bringing frosty mornings, biting winds, long nights. We all love the changing of the seasons – and many of us never lose the childhood thrill of a snowy day. But as winter sets in many of us may be feeling that our homes aren’t quite as warm as we would like them to be, or that we’re suddenly spending a lot more on heating. If this is you, then it’s time to have a think about insulating your home. Home insulation involves adding a layer of material in the loft or roof, under the floor or on or in the walls to keep the heat in – like putting on a coat on a cold day. If you want to make your house warmer and cut bills, insulation should be at the top of your list. And if you end up using less gas, oil or electricity to heat your home, you don’t only save money but you cut you carbon emissions. Collectively making our homes more energy efficient is one of the best things we can do to combat runaway climate change. Let’s take walls first. If your home was built in the past 30 years, the walls are probably already well insulated. But older homes were built with much less insulation. If your home dates from around 1930-1980, it probably has cavity walls – that is, two brick ‘skins’ with a gap between them. Over the years, many such homes have had their cavity walls filled with insulating material – often polystyrene beads or expanding foam. This can save up to £200 a year on heating bills, so is well worth the £500 or so that it costs to install. And there are grants available for this in some cases. Homes that are older – pre-1930s – often have solid walls. There’s no gap that can be filled. But they can still be insulated by attaching a layer of material either on the outside of the house or the inside – we call this ‘external’ or ‘internal’ solid wall insulation. This can be quite a complicated job, though, and not all homes are suitable. Follow the links at the foot of this article for more information. Homes also lose a lot of heat through the roof, so insulation is important here, too. Again, if your home is new or if the loft has been converted into a living space, there won’t be much you can do to improve it in this regard. But if your home has a traditional loft, then it’s time to check how much insulation there is. The recommended depth is now 270mm (10 inches) so if you have less than this or none at all you should definitely consider a top-up – you could save up to £400 a year. The insulation comes in big rolls, and while it’s a job that a competent DIY-er could manage, there are also installers who specialise in this work. As with cavity wall insulation, there might be grants for this depending on where you live and your personal circumstances. And finally there’s floor insulation. This is only something to think about for ground floors or floors above an unheated space like a garage. And since less heat is lost through the floor than through the walls or roof (because heat rises, as we all know!) the savings here are much less – around £40 a year. Want to find out more? Check out the Energy Saving Trust’s pages on reducing home heat loss at www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/energy-at-home/reducing-home-heat-loss. The Centre for Sustainable...

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Domestic Abuse

Posted on 14th December, 2020 in News

During the first three months of lockdown, Somerset Integrated Domestic Abuse Service saw over 10,000 people reach out for information and help to their website – an increase of more than 8,000 in the same period during the previous year. Covid-19 has exacerbated the problem for both male and female victims, with lockdown increasing the amount of time they spend at home with their abuser, potentially escalating the threat of domestic abuse and restricting their freedom. Help can be accessed by calling 0800 6949 999 or if someone is in immediate danger by calling 999.

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