News

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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Christmas Shopping Online – Advise for Consumers

Posted on 14th December, 2020 in News

Somerset’s Trading Standards are advising online consumers to only buy from ‘reputable’ traders. The COVID-19 lockdowns have led to a rise in consumer spending online and 87 per cent of UK consumers are estimated to have purchased a product online. The public spends around £2bn a week on online purchases. A new information video if is available to explain how issues and problems can be dealt with https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dA75JeXrcu0

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2021 Primary School Places

Posted on 14th December, 2020 in News

Applications for Primary School places in 2021 need to be made through Somerset County Council’s website: www.somerset.gov.uk/admissions The deadline for submissions is Friday, 15 January 2021.

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Somerset’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty receive grant of £248,900 from the Government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund

Posted on 10th December, 2020 in News

68 projects have been awarded grants between £62k and £3.8 million to kick-start a pipeline of nature-based projects while creating and retaining jobs. First funding round sees £40 million pot allocated, second round of funding to open in early 2021. ‘Level Up’, a partnership project spearheaded by the Mendip Hills, Blackdown Hills, and Quantock Hills Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs), is one of the first environmental projects awarded a grant from the government’s £80 million Green Recovery Challenge Fund. Defra announced grants between £62,000 and £3.8 million today, to help create and retain thousands of green jobs. The projects, spread across England, will see trees planted – 800,000 in total – and protected landscapes and damaged habitats such as moorlands, wetlands and forests restored, alongside wider conservation work. The projects will also support environmental education and connecting people with green spaces. The ‘Level Up’ project will be coordinated by the Mendip Hills AONB Unit, hosted by Somerset County Council, in partnership with Avon Wildlife Trust, Bristol Avon Rivers Trust, Somerset Wildlife Trust, Somerset West and Taunton Council, South West Heritage Trust, the Blackdown Hills AONB and Quantock Hills AONB Service. The project will work across the three AONBs, along strategically important nature recovery networks, to enhance connections for wildlife and transitional habitats between the Hills and the Levels. Work will involve restoring important grassland habitat through improved conservation grazing and providing benefits in sensitive water catchments, as well as enhancing and creating woodland, helping improve resilience in the face of Climate Change and Ash Dieback. At the same time, the project will help connect people with heritage and support the public’s re-discovery of nature as a result of the pandemic, whilst also supporting local environmental charities and contractors. Tim Haselden, Project Development Officer for the Mendip Hills AONB, said: “We’re delighted to have been successful with our bid to ‘Level Up’ for nature across Somerset through a series of projects that collectively support nature’s recovery from the Levels Up to the AONB designated hills, whilst supporting a green recovery. This project is an exciting regional collaboration that will deliver some great outcomes for wildlife and our protected landscapes, and where the whole will be even greater than the sum of its parts.” The Green Recovery Challenge Fund is a key part of Prime Minister’s 10 Point Plan to kick-start nature recovery and tackle climate change. The fund is being delivered by the National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Natural England and the Environment Agency. Environment Minister, Rebecca Pow, said: “These projects will drive forward work across England to restore and transform our landscapes, boost nature and create green jobs, and will be a vital part of helping us to build back greener from coronavirus. “I look forward to working with environmental organisations as these projects help address the twin challenges of biodiversity loss and climate change, while creating and retaining jobs as part of the green recovery.” Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive, National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “Supporting our natural environment is one of the most valuable things we can do right now. All these projects are of huge benefit to our beautiful countryside and wildlife, but will also support jobs, health and wellbeing, which are vitally important as we begin to emerge from the coronavirus crisis.” The government’s forthcoming Environment Bill puts the environment at the centre of policy making to ensure that we have a cleaner, greener and more resilient country for the next generation. The fund is supporting a range of nature conservation and recovery and nature-based solutions projects, which will contribute towards government’s wider...

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Virtual Parish Surgery – Thursday 10th December at 7pm

Posted on 9th December, 2020 in News

The December Virtual Parish Surgery will take place on Thursday 10th December 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 is as follows: Topic: Virtual Parish Surgery Time: Dec 10, 2020 07:00 PM London Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83918703862  Meeting ID: 839 1870 3862

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Somerset Waste Partnership – December 2020 Briefing

Posted on 1st December, 2020 in News

A copy of the Somerset Waste Partnership December Briefing is available here: SWP Briefing December 2020 FINAL

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Somerset Waste Partnership – Press Release – Give Problem Parking a Festive Break

Posted on 1st December, 2020 in News

Waste bosses and fire chiefs are asking Somerset motorists to put the brakes on problem parking this festive season. The COVID-driven rise in home working has meant more access issues for collection trucks and fire engines as space on residential streets is at a premium. And with the usual seasonal parking pressures on the way, it is feared that a difficult situation could get even worse. The cars are often legally parked, but in a way that makes it difficult for recycling and rubbish collections trucks to negotiate narrower streets. If recycling crews cannot get through, fire engines will struggle too. The fire service is becoming increasingly concerned that its crews could be seriously delayed getting to an emergency incident, putting lives at risk. As they did during the first lockdown, Somerset Waste Partnership (SWP) and Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service (DSFRS) are urging people to park considerately. Collection crews are putting ‘please park carefully’ notes on the windscreens of problem parkers, just as fire crews do when they find themselves in a tight spot. In October, SWP collection crews reported 269 incidents where collections were delayed or missed because they could not get to a home or a whole street because of the way someone had parked. During the November lockdown this has increased to more than 400. These parking problems are being seen across the county, from small villages with narrow streets to new estates with many more people at home. Mickey Green, Managing Director of SWP, said: “We know parking can be difficult when so many more people are at home, as they are over Christmas and New Year, but please think about how and where you park. “A missed or delayed collection is a frustration, but a delayed fire engine is much more serious.” Area Manager Gerald Taylor from DSFRS said: “Fires don’t wait for anything or anyone. If our fire engines are held up by badly parked cars, it will mean the incident has progressed further, increasing the risk of serious injury as well as more damage to property.” When parking, The Service is asking people when parking their vehicle to: • Park close to the kerb • Leave enough space for a fire engine or an ambulance to pass • Leave extra room near tight corners • Fold in your wing mirror For the latest information about services and any disruption visit www.somersetwaste.gov.uk/coronavirus and follow @somersetwaste on Twitter and...

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Census 2021

Posted on 26th November, 2020 in News

Households across the Parish 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 www.census.gov.uk. A poster about the 2021 Census is available here: Census...

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Notification of night time closure for the A38 Bridgwater Road, Taunton

Posted on 20th November, 2020 in News

Notification from Somerset County Council has been received to confirm that there will be phased night time works on the A38 Bridgwater Road, Taunton for one week from the 30th November 2020 from 8pm until 06:00 am. A copy of the notice and map confirming the extent of the closure and diversion routes is available here: TTRO A38 Bridgwater Road (Temporary Prohibition of Vehicles) Order...

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Somerset Bereavement Support Service

Posted on 13th November, 2020 in News

As many people are currently facing losing a loved one in difficult circumstances, we wanted to again promote this free bereavement support service for the people of...

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Flood Online Reporting Tool (FORT)

Posted on 13th November, 2020 in News

The Flood Online Reporting Tool (FORT) allows anyone from residents to flood risk authorities to report flooding incidents and should help the agencies develop a better understanding of where flooding occurs and how best to reduce its risk and impact: https://swim.geowessex.com/somerset The flood online reporting tool is a web-based system which has five goals: 1. Report: to allow Members of the Public, Flood Wardens and Flood Risk Management Authorities to enter details about property flooding in one place. 2. Analyse: allows flood risk authorities to quickly analyse flood data which can then be used in reports which help inform Flood Risk Management Strategies. 3. Plan: reports and analysis can be used when assessing new planning options and when assessing proposed flood alleviation schemes. 4. Protect: all records are spatially referenced allowing them to be used as a basis for localised protection schemes from community work down to individual property protection. 5. Network: the system can be a used to aid multiple agencies in their combined response to flooding both during an event and after. Data entered into the system is shared appropriately allowing decision makers and provide an overall picture of what problems exists over a geographical area. This helps agencies better prioritise assistance both during and after an event. The system doesn’t stop there as it also includes tools to help flood risk authorities to work closer with community and volunteer groups to tackle the causes of flooding at the local level. This presentation includes more detail, and how to use it: https://youtu.be/a0E_9IVdFM0...

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Somerset Youth Parliament

Posted on 13th November, 2020 in News

Somerset Youth Parliament and Somerset County Council are encouraging schools, colleges and youth projects across the county to have their say, make a difference and ensure young people’s voices are heard on key issues. The online British Youth Council survey encourages all young people aged 11 to 18 years to vote on issues which are most important to them. These top issues will then be debated and voted on by elected Members of Youth Parliament, helping create the next UK Youth Parliament (UKYP) manifesto. Individuals, schools, clubs and youth projects are able to register and find out more online at...

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Urgent Road Closure – Broomfield Road, Broomfield

Posted on 10th November, 2020 in News

Urgent Road Closure: ttro411391SE – BT – Broomfield Road, Broomfield Please be aware that we have received notification of an urgent road closure at Broomfield Road, Broomfield, which commenced on 9th November 2020 and is expected to last until 11th November 2020 (the closure is between the hours of 09:30 – 15:30). These works are for Sunbelt Rentals on behalf of BT Openreach to carry out cable renewal works, their works reference is BC008WW1JYD21PG. For any further information about this closure please contact Sunbelt Rentals on behalf of BT Openreach on (0370) 0500792, quoting reference: ttro411391SE – BT – Broomfield Road, Broomfield. A map of the affected area (in red), together with the recommended diversion route (in purple) is shown below, along with the link to One.Network. https://one.network/?tm=119471151...

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Stepping Up Employment Support

Posted on 10th November, 2020 in News

A co-ordinated network of employment and skills support for individuals, employers and businesses seeking support and information in relation to employment, skills, careers and apprenticeships is being rolled out across Somerset under the Step Up Somerset brand to boost existing provision in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. This includes a new one-stop-shop website www.stepupsomerset.org.uk which will provide support for individuals who are job hunting, seeking training in new industries or working to strengthen their skills by providing details of employment and skills services and resources. Those who find themselves at risk of or being made redundant can find a full range of support including help with reskilling, financial assistance and wellbeing information. Employers will be able to gather information on redundancy support for their workforce, staff development and offering apprenticeships or industry placements to young people. The website will also provide a platform for promoting any recruitment or development events available to attend. For anyone without internet access further one-to-one help can also be provided via a single phone helpline: 0300 790 6275. A poster about Step Up Somerset is available here: Step Up Poster for web...

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Virtual Parish Surgery – New Time – Now at 7pm on 12th November

Posted on 10th November, 2020 in News

The time of the Parish Surgery meeting has be revised following a poll on the Parish Council website.  The majority of people that responded to the poll confirmed that they would prefer that a virtual Parish Surgery is held in the evening rather than the morning. Virtual Parish Surgery will now therefore take place on the second Thursday of the month at 7pm rather than 8.30am. The first Virtual Parish Surgery at this new time will take place this Thursday, 12th November.  Parish Surgery is an opportunity for members of the public to join the surgery meeting virtually and raise any concerns or queries with Parish, District and County Councillors as well as the Clerks. The Surgery will take place virtually via Zoom, the Zoom joining instructions are as follows (these will remain the same for every Surgery meeting): Topic: Virtual Parish Surgery Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83918703862 Meeting ID: 839 1870 3862 One tap mobile +442034815240,,83918703862# United Kingdom +442039017895,,83918703862# United Kingdom If you have any queries, please contact the Clerk (clerk@westmonkton.net)...

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CCS Thatch Newsletter – November 2020

Posted on 9th November, 2020 in News

A copy of the Community Council for Somerset November Newsletter is available here: Thatch Bulletin November_2020 Final

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Taunton Police Newsletter – October 2020

Posted on 5th November, 2020 in News

The Taunton Police Newsletter for October 2020 is available here: Newsletter AW044 – Oct

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M5 J24 to J25 Overnight Closures – 16th to 20th November 2020

Posted on 3rd November, 2020 in News

Highways England operates, maintains and improves England’s motorways and major A roads. Highways England always aim to work to the programme, however unforeseen circumstances or adverse weather conditions may mean changes. The M5 will be closed overnight between junctions 24 and 25 on the following dates. These closures are needed to so that we can install overhead gantries safely: Southbound – 16, 17 and 18 November 2020 Northbound – 19 and 20 November 2020 Hours of work – 8pm in the evening to 6am the following morning Highways England will keep you updated via advance roadside warning signs, but please also monitor www.trafficengland.com If you would like further information about this work, please contact Highways England Customer Contact Centre on Tel: 0300 123 5000 (open 24/7) or by email: info@highwaysengland.co.uk For up to date information on all our works in the South West please follow us on Twitter...

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Somerset Covid Alert Poster

Posted on 25th October, 2020 in News

A copy of the Somerset Covid Alert Poster is available here: Coronavirus Localised Medium Alert Poster

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grants of £250 to reduce loneliness at Christmas by spreading festive cheer

Posted on 21st October, 2020 in News

Somerset Community Foundation (SCF) would like to support community groups that can help to reduce loneliness and spread Christmas cheer through food and festive activities. Christmas can be a difficult time for some of our neighbours, and this year will be a tough Christmas for many more in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. Many people who would normally come together for a community Christmas meal will be unable to this year, due to the coronavirus restrictions, so SCF wants to fund groups who can help to bring festive food – and the spirit of Christmas – to people at home. The Festive Fund for Somerset offers a £250 grant to groups if they can tell SCF how their work can combat the isolation and loneliness that many people can feel in the winter months. Groups will need to think about how they can safely prepare and deliver food and gifts, or think creatively about how they can bring people together virtually to create happy Christmas memories. Grants will be awarded for work that supports people of all ages who may experience loneliness or disadvantage at Christmas. To apply, you will need to complete a short application form by Friday 13 November. SCF will let applicants know if they have been successful by the end of November at the latest, so they will have plenty of time to plan their activities. For information on how to apply for a Festive Fund grant, visit:...

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2021 School Places

Posted on 20th October, 2020 in News

Whether a child is starting school for the first time, or transferring to their next school, applications need to be made through Somerset County Council’s website: www.somerset.gov.uk/admissions The deadline for applications for secondary school places is Saturday, 31 October 2020 and the deadline for primary school place submissions is Friday, 15 January 2021.

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New Covid-19 Alert Poster

Posted on 19th October, 2020 in News

The New Covid-19 Alert Poster for Somerset is available here: COVID-19_LocalAlertLevel_Medium

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Somerset Waste Partnership – October Breifing

Posted on 19th October, 2020 in News

The Somerset Waste Partnership October Briefing Sheet is available here: SWP Briefing October 2020 FINAL

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Updated Police Beat Posters

Posted on 14th October, 2020 in News

The up to date Police Beat Posters are available here:

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Somerset Prepared – Autumn Newsletter

Posted on 5th October, 2020 in News

The Somerset Prepared Autumn Newsletter is available here: http://www.somersetprepared.org.uk/?wysija-page=1&controller=email&action=view&email_id=37&wysijap=subscriptions&user_id=905

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Virtual Parish Surgery – Thursday 8th October at 8.30am

Posted on 5th October, 2020 in News

The monthly Parish Surgery meeting will be taking place virtually again this month. If you would like to join the Surgery, the Zoom meeting information is available below. Amy Shepherd is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting. Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83918703862 Meeting ID: 839 1870 3862 If you have a queries or issue you would like to raise but you can’t attend the meeting, please email your point through the Clerk in advance of the meeting and the Clerk will raise it for you on your behalf. (Clerk@westmonkton.net)...

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Community SpeedWatch – Volunteers Needed

Posted on 29th September, 2020 in News

The Parish Council has received some enquiries from local residents about establishing a Community SpeedWatch scheme in the Parish.  The Parish Council has contacted Avon and Somerset Police to request information about the SpeedWatch Scheme. In order for the SpeedWatch Scheme to be put in place in the Parish, volunteers are needed. Each Scheme can initially include a maximum of two locations. If you would like to volunteer to take part in the Scheme, please contact the Clerk (clerk@westmonkton.net) to confirm your interest and the proposed location that you would like included in the Scheme.  The Clerk will then liaise with you and the local PCSO about establishing a scheme or schemes in the Parish. Please email the Clerk by 14th...

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Monkton Heathfield Link Road – Water Main Diversion

Posted on 28th September, 2020 in News

To facilitate Persimmon Homes’ construction of a link road between Sellick’s Road and the A3259, it will be necessary to divert a water main away from where the road is to be constructed. The location for the diversion is in fields adjacent to the A3259 and Allen’s Brook, with access via the new part-finished junction off the A3259. The works are currently programmed to start on Monday 5 October and are anticipated to take approximately 12 weeks to complete. As part of the works and to ensure the safety of the public, the public right of way that runs alongside Allen’s Brook will be closed. A small section of footpath between Tudor Park and Allen’s Brook will be diverted around our work, but will be available for use as normal. Warning signage will be in place. The contractors are aware of how frequently the footpath is used, particularly during the morning and afternoon peak school hours. They will do their utmost to avoid construction traffic movements across the footpath during those hours, but should there be a need, they will ensure that such traffic movement is strictly managed to avoid the potential for conflict with any user of the footpath. Again, warning signage will be in place. The contractors will always endeavour to be considerate temporary neighbours and keep any inconvenience or disturbance to a...

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Somerset Waste Partnership – September Briefing

Posted on 17th September, 2020 in News

The Somerset Waste Partnership September Briefing is available here.

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Use of Public Rights of Way in our Parish

Posted on 11th September, 2020 in News

The Parish Council has prepared a letter to all residents providing advice about use of the Public Rights of Way in the Parish.  A copy of the letter is available here.

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Virtual Parish Surgery – Thursday 10th September at 8.30am

Posted on 9th September, 2020 in News

The Parish Council will be holding its first virtual Parish Surgery meeting on Thursday 10th September at 8.30am.  If you would like to join and ask any questions or raise any concerns you can do so by joining the Zoom meeting.  The Zoom meeting information is available below: Topic: Virtual Parish Surgery Time: Sep 10, 2020 08:30 AM London Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81921136503 Meeting ID: 819 2113 6503

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CCS Thatch Bulletin – September 2020

Posted on 4th September, 2020 in News

The September Bulletin is available here

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Somerset Waste Partnership – August Briefing

Posted on 27th August, 2020 in News

The August Briefing is available here: SWP Briefing August 2020 FINAL

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Launch of Somerset Catalyst

Posted on 19th August, 2020 in News

A new scheme to give start-ups and early stage businesses across our region the best chance of success. Funded by the County Council and four Somerset District Councils, Somerset Catalyst is part of a wider business support programme that is rolling out across the county, recognising that the creation of a vibrant business community is key to achieving economic growth. The goal of Somerset Catalyst is to create the necessary positive culture, support system and infrastructure to create economic growth that will ripple across all our communities and put Somerset on the innovation map of the UK. The programme will run annually, commencing in September for a six-month duration. Participants will benefit from one-to-one expert coaching, workshops on key aspects of running a business, a peer support group, business review panels with industry experts, help to access business finance and profile-raising marketing support. Find out more at www.somersetcatalyst.co.uk The programme is accepting online applications until Monday 31 August...

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Domestic Abuse Service

Posted on 17th August, 2020 in News

Somerset County Council’ domestic abuse service is to receive a share of a half million-pound fund to support local services. The Council’s service provider, The You Trust, is one of a number of local agencies who help victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence, which will benefit from the fund. The You Trust are often the first point of contact for someone who is seeking help and the recent lockdown had a significant impact on victims who were living with perpetrators and felt that there was no way to escape. Help is available – 0800 69 49 999 or...

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CCS Thatch Bulletin – August

Posted on 6th August, 2020 in News

A copy of the CCS Thatch Bullet for August is available here

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Parish Council Website – Photograph Competition

Posted on 3rd August, 2020 in News

The Parish Council is currently reviewing and updating the contents of the website. In doing so it would like to add some more up to date photographs to the collection that is already available on the website. The Parish Council is therefore launching a photograph competition. If you would like to take part, please send your best photos of the Parish to the Clerk – clerk@westmonkton.net by 30th September.  The winner will be announced in October and their photograph will appear on the homepage.  All other entries will be added to the website. Good...

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Emergency Road Closure – Coombe Lane, West Monkton

Posted on 31st July, 2020 in News

Please be aware that we have received notification of an emergency road closure at Coombe Lane, West Monkton, which commenced on 29th July 2020 and is expected to last until 2nd August 2020 (the closure is between the hours of  00:00 – 23:59). These works are for Wessex Water to carry out works to repair valve, their works reference is 038213970001. For any further information about this closure please contact Wessex Water on (0345) 600 4 600, quoting reference: ttro386986 TD – Coombe Lane, West Monkton. A map of the affected area (in red), together with the recommended diversion route (in purple) is shown below, along with the link to One.Network....

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Thatch Newsletter

Posted on 3rd July, 2020 in News

The CCS Thatch July Bulletin is available here: https://issuu.com/communitycouncilforsomerset/docs/ccs_thatch_bulletin_july_2020_compressed

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Expression of interest for new Pavement Cafe Licences

Posted on 30th June, 2020 in News

Somerset West and Taunton Council (SWT) is working to support pubs, restaurants, cafes and takeaways across the district with their preparations to reopen from 4 July as Covid-19 restrictions are eased. Our officers are currently implementing temporary changes to licensing laws to allow more premises to sell and serve alcohol and food for consumption off the premises, making social distancing easier. SWT will aim to process applications for Pavement Café Licenses within 10 working days and will continue to ensure that communities are consulted on applications for Pavement Cafes, that waste is disposed of responsibly, and that pavements and pedestrianised areas are still accessible and able to support social distancing. The application process for new Pavement Café Licenses will be up and running on the Somerset West and Taunton website shortly including full information and guidance Any business wishing to apply for a new Pavement Café licence should submit an expression of interest to openinghighstreets@somersetwestandtaunton.gov.uk. Businesses that have expressed an interest will be sent full details and links to the application form and guidance. An officer from Somerset West and Taunton Council may also contact you to discuss your plans. Full reopening guidance for Pubs, bars, cafes, restaurants and takeaways can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/restaurants-offering-takeaway-or-delivery The Government measures, which have been introduced to simplify the process for outdoor seating, include reducing the consultation period for applications for pavement licences from 28 calendar days to 5 working days, and setting a lower application fee for a pavement cafe licence. Full details of the new legislation can be found on the Government website...

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Latest update from Somerset Waste Partnership

Posted on 29th June, 2020 in News

All “business as usual” materials are now being accepted at all 16 recycling sites in Somerset. That includes cardboard as well as commercial waste and other waste you pay to dispose of – including tyres, gas bottles, soil and hardcore, vehicle parts, plasterboard and asbestos (card payment only). Trailers and vans can access the sites at any time, as long as they have the appropriate permit. Although sites have been busy, the recently introduced “shop-style” social distancing arrangements – floor markings and signs – have worked well. However, please note, staff are unable to offer any assistance with unloading or handling any waste or items. Unfortunately, no items brought to sites can be put forward for reuse at the moment. They will be recycled where possible until a safe way to handle them has been agreed. Anyone planning to bring items that are fit for reuse is asked to keep hold of them for the time being. Once on site, safety restrictions remain in place, including: • Gloves to be worn when outside the vehicle • Maximum of two people per household • Strict social distancing • On busier sites traffic, may still be directed by staff All sites are open for their usual summer hours. There have been long queues at peaks times, notably first thing in the morning, and we will continue to encourage people to only visit the sites when they really need. Quieter times tend to be 4pm-6pm on weekdays. Queue cams are operating for Bridgwater, Chard, Highbridge, Minehead, Street, Taunton, Wells and Yeovil, and we would advise people to check these before they visit. There have been significant improvements with collection services, with far fewer missed collections and quicker return visits when collections are missed. Customer services teams have also considerably reduced the backlog of requests. Meanwhile … > Detailed daily updates at www.facebook.com/somersetwaste – join 12,000+ smart Somerset residents and follow us as we hit our 10th Facebook birthday. >> For latest insights, useful tips and inspirational ideas, join 2,900+ instant news addicts and follow us at www.twitter.com/somersetwaste >>> And sign up at www.somersetwaste.gov.uk (scroll down to the button) to be one of 10,000+ Somerset residents who get their news delivered to their inbox with our SORTED!...

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Monkton Heathfield Garden Community Consultation

Posted on 18th June, 2020 in News

SWT wants you to help shape the future of a key development site in the Taunton Garden Town. Members of the public are being encouraged to have their say on how the new Monkton Heathfield Garden Community (MH2) should be designed, and the different ways green infrastructure, including open spaces and areas for tree planting, could be achieved. The Monkton Heathfield Policy area is a key part of the adopted Core Strategy for Taunton. The new draft Framework Plan shows the suite of development sites and related proposals around Monkton Heathfield. A public consultation on the Concept Plan and Design Guide for the Monkton Heathfield Garden Community started this week (15 June) and will run until Friday 10 July. The consultation seeks input on: The draft Concept Plan to guide the development of the Monkton Heathfield Garden Community; and Draft Design Guidance to provide more detail on the Councils aspirations to achieve a high quality development, following the adoption of     the Garden Town Vision and the Design Guide and Charter for the Town in 2019. Following the consultation exercise, SWT will consider what modifications need to be made to the draft plans and documents, and will take into account any other representations. Cllr Mike Rigby said “The Monkton Heathfield Garden Community – MH2 – is one of the most important sites in Taunton and will eventually deliver around 1,600 new homes, a through school, employment areas, a District Centre, major open spaces, tree planting and new roads. We are committed to continuing to engage with the local community about these proposals and I would urge everyone to have their say”. The consultation can be found at:...

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Bus Services Update

Posted on 11th June, 2020 in News

Buses of Somerset are re-introducing double deck vehicles on Service 21 from Monday 15 June. This is due to the need to provide additional capacity, as a response to social distancing measures. The SCC Highways Team is in the process of cutting back trees along Milton Hill to enable Buses of Somerset to safely operate double deck vehicles. Until this work is completed, the service will need to divert around Milton Hill, as it is not currently safe and could cause damage to the larger vehicles. SCC operate Service 12, which provides a link to Taunton and serves Milton Hill. While the tree work is being undertaken, residents who live on Milton Hill will still be able to access a regular bus service. We are hoping that the disruption will be minimal, with the 21 reverting to its normal route as soon as it is able. A timetable for Service 12 is available here: Service...

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UPDATE: Toneway Creech Castle upgrade postponed to support economic recovery

Posted on 10th June, 2020 in News

A major road improvement scheme to upgrade the busy Toneway Creech Castle junction in Taunton is set to be postponed until next year to support the economy as it recovers from the coronavirus pandemic. Somerset County Council originally planned to begin work in April 2020 but this was temporarily paused due to the start of lockdown and uncertainty over materials, sub-contractors and key utilities work. Now, following discussions with the business community, it is proposed to postpone the scheme for another 12-18 months. This is to help support the local economy during the recovery by minimising any temporary disruption on a key route into Taunton. Councillor John Woodman, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “Although these improvements will provide long-term benefits to Taunton’s economy, it was always going to be a challenging scheme to deliver with no option but to close one of our main roads “Postponing is not an easy decision. We are absolutely committed to improving this key junction when the time is right and will be looking to reschedule this scheme at a later date when the situation is hopefully much improved.” Councillor David Hall, the County Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Planning and Community Infrastructure, said: “Whilst this upgrade is needed to support wider growth in Taunton and Somerset these are difficult times for everyone and we want to support our business communities in our local economy wherever we can.” Stephen Henagulph, Chief Executive of Somerset Chamber of Commerce, said: “These are incredibly difficult times for local businesses and we welcome any proposals that will support them as they begin their recovery post lockdown. We know this scheme will cause delays and disruption during construction, but these works are crucial in the long-term to improve the transport infrastructure in Somerset’s county town.” The Creech Castle scheme was due to be delivered by Alun Griffiths Ltd, who are currently continuing to work on the nearby M5 Junction 25 improvement scheme. Postponing the Creech Castle works has allowed the contractor to press on at Junction 25 during the lockdown period and works remain on schedule, despite the coronavirus disruption. For further updates on Junction 25, and to sign up for email newsletters, please visit www.travelsomerset.co.uk/J25. The proposal to postpone the Creech Castle works will be considered by Somerset County Council’s Cabinet at its meeting on 17...

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Somerset Waste Partnership – Recycling Sites and Collections Updates

Posted on 5th June, 2020 in News

20 06 05 SWP sites from 8 June

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