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News Updates

Briefing note from Somerset County Councillors

Please find below a copy of a briefing note from Somerset District Council outlining some of the highlights over the past year.

Briefing note

5th May 2021

District councils give local electors a vote on the future of local government in Somerset

A local poll on the two proposals for the future of local government in Somerset currently under consideration – One Somerset and Stronger Somerset – will now go ahead later this month.

The poll, which will be independently run and verified by Civica Electoral Services, will take place from 18 May to 4 June.

Every elector in Somerset will be issued with a ballot paper and invited to vote by post or online.

The local poll was agreed by each of Somerset’s four District Councils at meetings on Friday 30 April. The report considered at the meetings said holding a poll would “give residents a voice in the debate and help the Secretary of State in understanding and determining the level of support amongst residents for each of the options”.

The District Councils approached Somerset County Council to take part in the poll. Somerset County Council has informed the District Council Leaders that it will not be participating in or endorsing the poll.

The District Council Leaders have written to the Secretary of State to inform him of the poll and its dates and ask that the result of the poll be properly considered as part of the decision-making process on the future of local government in Somerset.

5th May 2021

Footpath closure

Please find attached a 21 day closure notice for Footpaths WN 19/72, WN 19/95, WN 26/10 and WN 27/32 in N. Cadbury & Sparkford Parishes that have been closed due to dangerous bridges. We have applied for a 6 month extension to these closures to allow remedial measures to be undertaken.

In the meantime, should you have any queries please contact Rachal Pearce, Senior Rights of Way Officer - Bridges.

Kind regards

Ewan Tweedie
Rights of Way Warden – Bridges

As a result of Coronavirus, all Somerset County Council staff have been asked to work from home, where this is practically possible, or to support other services if their role is not critical to the Coronavirus response. This will have an impact on our ability to deliver some services, so we thank you for your patience and understanding during this difficult time.

PP B2S 1
Rights of Way
Highways Group
Economic & Community Infrastructure
Somerset County Council
County Hall

Tel: 07816 082531

Footpath closure

5th May 2021

Briefing note from Somerset County Councillors

Please find attached a copy of the Briefing note from Somerset County Council

Briefing note

4th May 2021

Covid-19 Update

Good evening,

Please find attached this week’s Covid-19 update for Somerset on behalf of the Engagement Board. As we move towards step 3 of the roadmap, and with the long weekend ahead, we are asking for people of all ages to follow the guidance when meeting in outdoor settings and to not be tempted to socialise indoors particularly if the weather should turn slightly worse – by doing this together is how we have come so far, and how we will find life returning to normal as quickly as possible.

We are hoping as many people as possible are signing up for regular testing now it is available to all as this will allow us to catch asymptomatic cases earlier and potentially catch new variants earlier too. It is very important people take up this testing offer and remember to upload their results.

It is also very important for people to request a PCR test if they show symptoms.
Our message is to stay local, minimise travel and continue to follow ‘hands, face, space and fresh air’ to minimise catching Covid-19 and spreading it to others – even if you have been vaccinated.

I wish you all a fine evening, and a pleasant Bank Holiday weekend

George Haslock
Communications Officer
Public Health
Somerset County Council
Mobile: 07765043226

Download document (pdf)

4th May 2021

Somerton and Wincanton Neighbourhood Police Newsletter

Hello everyone.

We hope you have all had a good month and had no troubles with the easing of covid lockdown. Here is our May Newsletter, which is a bit early, but we had some good news to report and have a week of action taking place. We would also encourage you to look at the neighbourhood pages on the Avon and Somerset website, which is where we set our priorities and any current issues. As covid restrictions ease we will begin to arrange and take part in more events. These will be list on the force website in the coming months, so please keep an eye on that to see what we will be up to.

As usual if you have any questions please contact us on this email.

Kind regards


Katie Maun
Sgt 4073

Somerton and Wincanton Neighbourhood Policing Team | Avon and Somerset Police
Somerton Police Station, Kirkham Street, Somerton TA11 7NN
Wincanton Police Station, Churchfields, Wincanton, BA9 9AG

Mob 07889658542
Email | Follow us on Twitter and Facebook


4th May 2021

Somerset Waste Partnership briefing note April 2021

Dear Resident,

Latest Briefing attached - renew garden waste now, all change for bank holidays, Mendip-success Recycle More heads South for summer (and Somerset West and Taunton, and Sedgemoor, after that).


Nick Cater
Senior Communications Officer
Somerset Waste Partnership

SWP Briefing note

4th May 2021

NALC response to Government Consultations

The National Association of Local Councils (NALC) has responded to the government consultations for locally-led re-organisation in Cumbria, Somerset and North Yorkshire.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) recently sought views from stakeholders on the eight bids for unitary local government in Cumbria, North Yorkshire and Somerset. After extensive engagement with its Policy Committee and National Assembly recently, NALC has decided to support some principles for locally-led re-organisation which are considered to benefit local (parish and town) councils. NALC has not commented on the individual bids submitted during this latest unitary authority creation round.

In its response to the three consultations, NALC has underlined some key principles of its own which should be enshrined into every unitarisation process, including creating new local councils in all un-parished areas during a community governance review, with early and full engagement between a new unitary authority with its local councils and county association of local councils. NALC also argued for the abolition of all remaining charter trustee bodies when new unitary authorities are created, and that a charter should always be framed between the new unitary authority and its local councils so that resources, services and assets are properly agreed and drawn down between both local government tiers from the start.

Please find full NALC response attached

All the best

Simon Pritchard
Assistant CEO
Somerset Association of Local Councils

My Normal Working Days are: Monday & Friday

Members Area:

NALC update

4th May 2021

Broadband Consultation

Please find below a document regarding Rural Broadband.

Rural Broadband

4th May 2021

Avon and Somerset Police update

Dear Colleagues

Together with our communities, we breathed a collective sigh of relief this week as lockdown restrictions continued to ease. It's been a difficult year for so many people but with non-essential shops, hair salons, and pubs and restaurants with outdoor seating opening their doors again, we're finally getting back to some kind of normality.
As people increasingly get back to the way of living that they experienced 13 months ago, we expect to see our demand return to more familiar levels. The nationwide drop in recorded crime at the start of the pandemic is well documented and, while we've seen rates steadily increase, we know that as the weather becomes warmer and summer rolls in, we'll be busier than we have been for some time.
We are pleased to inform you then, in light of this expected increase in demand, that we have recruited an additional 241 police officers since the Police Uplift Programme began in 2020. The national target set for Avon & Somerset was to have 2,972 officers by 31st March 2021 and we currently have 3,076 – which is 104 above our target. What's more, by March next year, we're forecasting a growth of another 136 officers. The majority of these new officers will be deployed straight to the frontline, improving our ability to respond more quickly to call-outs and increasing our visibility to the public. This uplift and the pace at which it has been achieved is very positive news, but it is important to recognise that new officers will take three years to fully train. Their arrival, and development as professionals, will also help us in the coming years to increase our capability across other directorates, such as investigations, offender management and operational planning, ultimately improving the level of service we can provide our communities.
The easing of lockdown restrictions will see the return of a particular type of demand we haven't seen for some time – the night time economy. Nightclubs may not yet be open but with pubs and restaurants serving alcohol once more, we know that our towns and cities will be buzzing and this may lead to calls for service. We continue to work closely with our local authority partners who lead on licensing matters but we'd like to reassure you that we will be increasing patrols during peak times to ensure that the public enjoy their new freedoms safely.
We also continue to call on our communities to act responsibly while reminding them that restrictions are still in place to stop the spread of COVID-19. As we have done throughout the health crisis, we will follow our 4 Es approach of Engaging, Explaining, Encouraging and Enforcing the regulations, although with the number of reported breaches continuing to drop, officers are increasingly having fewer breach-related interactions. That said, we are fully aware of the risk that the easing of restrictions could present to falling virus rates and so we will continue to focus on preventing large gatherings which remain a breach of the regulations, such as house parties and unlicensed music events. We've increased the number of officers working on our dedicated COVID-19 response team this weekend and they will be ready to deal with any significant breaches brought to our attention.
Like many of the past weekends, we are expecting a number of protests to take place across our force area again this weekend, including another in Bristol on Saturday. We are working hard to identify organisers for these events so that we can help facilitate peaceful demonstrations and limit the disruption caused to the rest of our communities. We are committed to being open and transparent about how we police public order events, including protests, and we've recently invited local media
into Police Headquarters so that they can see how decisions are made. We also invited the chair of the local branch of the National Union of Journalists to take part in briefing officers prior to a number of the recent demonstrations that took place. And, looking at the bigger picture, we've been speaking with the National Police Chiefs' Council and the College of Policing to discuss ways that they can help to improve the public's understanding about some of the tactics used. We want to be as transparent as possible about the way in which we police protests to help build trust, confidence and cooperation with the community going forward.
Media interest in the recent protests has been constant, particularly in the subsequent violent disorder which took place in Bristol on Sunday 21st March. More than 100 officers and staff continue to work on the investigation and, following a number of public appeals, so far we've arrested 40 people suspected of being involved. Next week, we are planning to provide a comprehensive update on the investigation which will include new images of people we want to speak to, an update on arrests, as well as previously unreleased helicopter footage from the night, and details of some of the costs incurred as result of the disorder. The financial cost to the public purse will be significant and we appreciate your support in sharing our appeals to bring those responsible to justice.
Finally, we would like to take this opportunity to wish all those marking Ramadan a blessed, month. As always, we will be supporting our officers and staff observing this holy occasion and discussing any individual needs that they may have. We also want to ensure that everyone within our organisation has access to information which will enable better understanding of Ramadan, and as part of this our Outreach Team will be hosting a series of virtual discussion sessions to build knowledge among colleagues. Ramadan will, of course again, be a very different experience for many due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The Muslim Council of Britain has lots of resources & advice available to help make the most of Ramadan while staying safe, and we have shared links to this on our social media.

Yours sincerely
Sue Mountstevens Andy Marsh QPM
Police & Crime Commissioner Chief Constable

Sharon Baker
Chief Inspector
Local Policing Area Commander
East Somerset (South Somerset & Mendip)
Yeovil Police Station, The Council Offices, Brympton Way, Yeovil, Somerset, BA20 2HT

Mobile 07342985812

19th April 2021

Constitution and Standards Committee

Dear Parish,

I am hoping you will be able to offer some help with regard to the promoting the attached press release to your website or noticeboards.

We have three vacancies for co-opted members to our Constitution and Standards Committee and are eager to encourage as many applicants as possible.

We will of course be using our recruitment team to also assist but it would be great if you could assist us in getting this out to as many media outlets as possible.

Any assistance would be gratefully received.

Kind regards

Laura Rose
Democratic Service Officer
Democratic Services
County Hall

My Work Mobile: 07790577336
Directline: 01823 356151 or 01823 357628/01823 359500
Other Team Work Mobile: 07811313837 or 07790577232
Email the team:

Standards Committee

8th April 2021

Proposal for referendum

Proposal for referendum on local government reform

We wanted to let you know as soon as we could that each of our district councils will next week decide on a proposal to hold a local referendum on local government reform.

We are bringing forward this proposal because we want to ensure that Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has all the information they will need to determine which of the two options on the table local people support.

Concerns have been expressed about the consultation process and the lack of prominence given to the voice of the most important stakeholders – the city, town and parish councils of Somerset and the actual residents of Somerset – within the current Government consultation.

There have been calls from Somerset residents for the councils to take steps to ensure residents' views on the potential changes and their preference for the future of local government can be expressed in a clear and open manner.

A local referendum would provide invaluable additional information on top of the evidence that the current Government consultation.

This vote would be held after the current consultation closes, but before the Local Government Secretary is due to announce his decision. So, the information the vote will provide can be added to that gleaned from the consultation.

The poll would open on 7 May and close on 28 May. Voting would be by post or online and the poll would be run independent of the local councils by Civica Electoral Services (formerly Electoral Reform Services).

Should our councils back the proposal, I hope you will encourage your members and communities to take part. This is a once-in-a-generation chance to make a fresh start, to shape our local services and develop local solutions to the challenges we face.


Cllr Val Keitch, Leader of South Somerset District Council

Cllr Ros Wyke, Leader of Mendip District Council

Cllr Duncan McGinty, Leader of Sedgemoor District Council

Cllr Federica Smith-Roberts, Leader of Somerset West & Taunton Council

6th April 2021

From the desk of David Fothergill

Please find attached the April briefing sheet from David Fothergill, Leader of Somerset County Council

Briefing Sheet

6th April 2021

Update on Highway Works in South Somerset Area, Week Commencing 05 April 2021.

I am writing to update you on the latest progress of SCC highway works in the South Somerset Area, for the week commencing the 05th of April 2021.
For your information, I
attach the planned programme of works. Works highlighted in red indicate that this is a new scheme introduced into the works programme. Dates highlighted in red indicate a change to the original dates that have previously been detailed.
Additional 'live' information can be found on our webpage by following the link,
Should you wish to discuss any particular scheme in more detail, please contact this office at your earliest convenience.

Neil McWilliams
Highway Service Manager
Somerset County Council
South Somerset Area Highways Office
Mead Avenue
Houndstone Business Park
BA22 8RT

Highways Update

6th April 2021

Update on Highway Works in South Somerset Area, Week Commencing 29 March 2021.

Good afternoon all.
Update on Highway Works in South Somerset Area, Week Commencing the 29th of March 2021.
I am writing to update you on the latest progress of SCC highway works in the South Somerset Area, for the week commencing the 29th of March 2021.
For your information, I attach the planned programme of works. Works highlighted in red indicate that this is a new scheme introduced into the works programme. Dates highlighted in red indicate a change to the original dates that have previously been detailed.
Additional 'live' information can be found on our webpage by following the link,
Should you wish to discuss any particular scheme in more detail, please contact this office at your earliest convenience.

Neil McWilliams
Highway Service Manager
Somerset County Council
South Somerset Area Highways Office
Mead Avenue
Houndstone Business Park
BA22 8RT

Highways Update

29th March 2021

Police and Crime Commissioner Election

Please find attached the Notices for the Police and Crime Commissioner election.

Kind Regards

Michelle Mainwaring
Case Officer (Democratic Services)
Strategy and Commissioning
South Somerset District Council 

PCC Election

22nd March 2021

Wessex Internet

I am writing with some exciting news about ultrafast internet connectivity coming to your area, and to introduce myself.

I am the Community Engagement Manager for Wessex Internet - a rural internet provider. We are delighted to have been awarded a contract by Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS) to deliver ultrafast full fibre broadband to selected properties and businesses in parts of rural South Somerset. I am pleased to be able to share our map of coverage areas which we are releasing today which can be viewed on our website here .

This is a fantastic opportunity that will bring many benefits to communities like yours that have been overlooked when it comes to high quality and high speed connections. As more of us are working, schooling, running businesses and spending leisure time at home, an ultrafast reliable internet connection is a necessity rather than a luxury.

I’d love to arrange a meeting with you to discuss this further, and to answer any questions that you or parishioners may have. We are more than happy to come along and talk to you first, or at a forthcoming Parish Council meeting. Depending on lockdown restrictions, this could be done via an online forum. Please let me know by contacting me by email or phone – if I don’t hear from you, I will follow up in a couple of weeks. I would be grateful if you could pass this email on to anybody else that is relevant.

In the meantime, you will see that our website has some FAQs and more detailed information that may be helpful.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Christine O’Grady

Wessex Internet


Office: 0333 240 7997

Mobile: 07956 333782

Email: christine.o’

Address: The Old Laundry, Ranston, Blandford, Dorset, DT11 8PU


12th March 2021

Mental Health and Wellbeing in Farming

Dear All,

Please find attached details of our next Mental Health and Wellbeing webinar being held on Tuesday 23rd February 2021 at 6pm.

We have another great line up of speakers from CALM – Campaign Against Living Miserably, Gay Farmer Helpline, an Accredited CBT Therapist, Market Chaplin, FCN-Farming Community Network and a very brave young lady from Kingsbridge Young Farmers.
To register for the event please following the link below:
If you register for the event but are unable to make it on the night we will still forward you a recording of the event.

Please circulate to any contacts or groups who may find it useful.

Many thanks

Nikki Rattenbury
Trading Standards Officer
Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards Service
A Joint Service Commissioned by Devon, Somerset and Torbay Councils

01392 383000
01392 382159 (Fax)

Trading Standards, County Hall, Topsham Road, Exeter, EX2 4QD

For clear practical Consumer Advice - call the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506

For Business Advice - call 01392 381381 from Devon, 0300 123 2224 from Somerset or 01803 208025 from Torbay

For Approved Local Traders, to recommend a business for the scheme, or to apply to join Buy with Confidence visit

Email Disclaimer -

19th January 2021