Updates


Library Services Consultation Announced

A consultation on the future of how Somerset County Council library services could be delivered across Somerset is due to start at the end of this month.

A formal decision was taken today to consult on a set of proposals that seek to put the service on a sustainable footing for the long-term, at a time when all Council budgets are under enormous pressure.

The decision sets out that a public consultation will start on 29 January and run for 12 weeks (ending 22 April) and invites members of the public, businesses and organisations for their views.

Somerset County Council is proud to deliver a comprehensive, thriving and modern library service across the county and is fully committed to continuing to do so. Somerset County Council currently provides a library service online through LibrariesWest, a mobile library, a home delivery service for customers unable to visit a library for themselves and through 34 library buildings in major towns and villages.

 

As with many Authorities, Somerset County Council continues to face challenging financial times. Funds from central government reduce year on year whilst demand for services, such as adult and children’s social care, increase and all County Council services are considering efficiency and cost reduction options.

 

In summary, under the proposals, 15 of our 34 library buildings would be seeking community involvement to remain open. Where this is not possible, services would instead be provided either through outreach in community venues or through additional mobile library stops.

 

For 7 of our libraries, the County Council is consulting on two alternative options – either to seek community involvement to maintain library buildings or to keep existing library services as they currently are.

 

Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Resources and Economic Development, Cllr David Hall, said: “These are challenging financial times and we must put libraries on a sustainable financial footing for the long-term, whilst still delivering a modern thriving library service across our County. 

 

“Library services will continue across Somerset whatever the response from this consultation, but our proposals highlight that keeping some libraries open may require community support. Where we are unable to keep libraries open, we will deliver library services in other ways such as via alternative venues or mobile library services.

 

“I would stress that no decision about the future delivery of library services in any community has been taken and no decision will be made until the results of this consultation have been fully analysed.  Please take the opportunity to submit your views on the proposals from 29 January and offer your ideas or suggestions for any alternative proposals you may have.”

 

There are Somerset library service proposals for 9 areas in total available to view. Anyone taking part in the consultation will be asked to view the area of the library they visit most often before completing a questionnaire asking for their views on the proposals.

 

The proposals and the questionnaire will be available online from 29 January at www.somerset.gov.uk/librariesconsultation.

 



Date Posted: 19/01/2018 10:30:18

A358 Taunton to Southfields Public Consultation

Highways England will launch a second consultation later this month on plans to upgrade the A358 between the M5 at Taunton and the Southfields Roundabout on the A303 in Somerset.

Acting on feedback from the initial consultation last year, Highways England is holding a new consultation from 16 January to 27 February 2018.

More options will be presented for the section between the M5 at Taunton and West Hatch, and more detail for the proposed dualling of the existing A358 between West Hatch and Southfields Roundabout on the A303.

The additional consultation will offer people the chance to have their say on a number of options, to help determine the route that will be taken forward to the next stage. The details of which will be announced when consultation launches.

Public consultation events

Public consultation events, offering people the chance to see the proposals and meet with members of the project team, will be held as follows:

Date Time Address
Saturday 20 January 2018 12.00 to 20.00 Holiday Inn Taunton Deane, Gate Avenue, Taunton, Somerset, TA1 2UA*
Tuesday 23 January 2018 12.00 to 20.00 The Monks Yard, Horton Cross Farm, Horton Cross, Ilminster, Somerset, TA19 9PT
Wednesday 24 January 2018 12.00 to 20.00 Hatch Beauchamp Village Hall, Village Road, Hatch Beauchamp, Taunton, TA3 6SG
Friday 26 January 2018 12.00 to 20.00 Holiday Inn Taunton Deane, Gate Avenue, Taunton, Somerset, TA1 2UA*
Thursday 1 February 2018 12.00 to 20.00 The Wyvern Club, Mountfields Road, Taunton, TA1 3BJ
Wednesday 21 February 2018 09.30 to 12.00 St Mary Village Hall, Stoke St Mary, Taunton, TA3 5BY
Wednesday 21 February 2018 14.00 to 17.30 Rushiton Village Hall, Ruishton, Taunton, Somerset, TA3 5JD

* Please note at the Holiday Inn you must register your vehicle with reception on arrival if you wish to use their car park. Any unregistered vehicles may be subject to a parking fine.

Consultation material will be available to view from Tuesday 16 January until Tuesday 27 February in the following places during normal opening hours:

  • Taunton Deane Borough Council,The Deane House, Belvedere Rd, Taunton, Somerset, TA1 1HE
  • Taunton Library,Paul Street, Taunton, Somerset, TA1 3XZ
  • Somerset County Council,County Hall, Taunton, Somerset, TA1 4DY
  • South Somerset District Council,Brympton Way, Yeovil, Somerset, BA20 2HT
  • South Petherton Library,St. James Street, South Petherton, Somerset, TA13 5BS
  • Martock Library,Martock Shopping Centre, Martock, Somerset, TA12 6DL
  • Ilminster Meeting House & Arts Centre,East Street, Ilminster, TA19 0AN
  • Henlade Post Office,Henlade, Taunton TA3 5DH
  • Somerset County Council Mobile Library
  • Blackbrook Leisure Centre & Spa,Blackbrook Way, Taunton, TA1 2RW

Date Posted: 11/01/2018 13:02:44

SOMERSET COUNTY COUNCIL DISTRICT OF SOUTH SOMERSET PARISH OF ILMINSTER Temporary Closure of Bay Hill

TAKE NOTICE that in pursuance of Section 14(1) of the Road Traffic Regulations
Act 1984, as amended by the Road Traffic (Temporary Restrictions) Act 1991, the
County Council of Somerset propose to make an Order PROHIBITING ALL
TRAFFIC from proceeding along Bay Hill from outside the property 7 Bay Hill,
eastwards for a distance of 25 metres.

This order will enable Wessex Water to carry out installation a meter in this road.
The Order becomes effective on 17 January 2018 and will remain in force for
eighteen months. The works are expected to last for 3 days. While the closure is in
operation an alternative route will be signed as detailed below.

ALTERNATIVE ROUTE
Please visit www.roadworks.org for further information on the alternative route
For information about the works being carried out please contact Wessex Water on 0345 600 4600

Patrick Flaherty
Chief Executive
Dated: 28 December 2017

Date Posted: 01/01/2018 16:00:00

Community Plan 2016-2026

Community Plan 2016-2026
Date Posted: 01/01/2018 11:58:37

Launch of annual Christmas drink and drug drive campaign

Operation Tonic, which will run until 1 January 2018, will involve high visibility and covert patrols aimed at targeting drink and drug drivers.

As part of the campaign, we're calling on members of the public to tell us about a drink or drug driver by ringing 999 if it is happening now or texting the word 'drunk' with brief details of the car, location and driver to 07400 249101 if it is not someone currently driving.

Drink/drug driving is one of the 'fatal four' offences, together with speeding, not wearing a seatbelt and using a mobile phone while driving, that are known to cause the majority of deaths on our roads.

By targeting drink and drug driving, we aim to help reduce deaths, serious injuries and crime on the roads of the Avon and Somerset force area.

For more information about road safety please visit www.avonandsomerset.police.uk


Date Posted: 20/12/2017 17:15:03

Stay safe if you’re driving home for Christmas

Somerset County Council’s road safety team has some helpful advice to keep you safe on the roads over the festive period.

Winter weather conditions can make travelling at Christmas a hazardous affair so always check the weather report before setting off and adjust your driving to suit the road conditions. 

If you have a long journey ahead of you do some simple maintenance checks before setting off. Think ‘FLOWERS’:

·         F (Fuel): Make sure you have enough for your journey. This may seem obvious but in 2015 traffic officers had to deal with 7,000 cases of vehicles running out of fuel.

·         L (Lights): Clean all the lights and ensure they are working properly. If your lights aren’t working correctly other drivers won’t know what manoeuvres you are planning on making and your visibility will be severely restricted at night or in bad weather.

·         O (Oil): Check the oil level. The correct level of oil prevents your vehicle’s engine from seizing up so don’t wait until you see the oil pressure light come on before topping up.

·         W (Water): Check the coolant level and top up the windscreen washer fluid. It’s important to keep your windscreen as clean and free from debris as possible to ensure you have good visibility and can clearly see other road users.

·         E (Electrics): Problems with the battery are one of the most common reasons for a breakdown so ensure yours is in good working order.

·         R (Rubber): Check tyres to ensure they have the correct pressures, tread depths and for signs of wear and tear. The minimum legal tread depth is 1.6mm but we recommend getting tyres changed at a minimum tread depth of 3mm.

·         S (Self): Ask yourself: ‘Am I fit to drive?’ Illness, fatigue, alcohol, illegal drugs and legal medications can all affect your ability to drive safely.

Don’t overload your vehicle as this can affect its ability to brake and corner safely, especially if the roads are wet or icy. And beware of loose objects on the parcel shelf as they can become dangerous if you’re forced to brake sharply.

Plan your journey in advance, allow plenty of time and don’t forget your rest breaks.

There are plenty of excuses for having a quick drink over Christmas but there is no excuse for driving afterwards. Many people don’t realise that your ability to drive safely can be affected after only one drink – and the effects of alcohol can also be felt the morning after a night out drinking.  If you suspect someone of drink driving you can report it to Avon and Somerset Police by texting the word ‘drunk’ to 07400249101 with brief details of the car, location and driver.

Cllr John Woodman, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, said: “It’s Christmas and none of us wants to have the festive season ruined by a breakdown or accident. Following this simple advice can help ensure you and your loved ones stay safe on the roads, meaning you can instead concentrate on the important things like having a very happy Christmas.”

For more information on road safety in Somerset, please visit www.somersetroadsafety.org. You can also find Somerset Road Safety on Facebook www.facebook.com/somersetroadsafety, Twitter www.twitter.com/SCC_RoadSafety, or Instagram www.instagram.com/somersetroadsafety.



Date Posted: 20/12/2017 11:17:41

Look before you book this Christmas: don’t let poor food hygiene ruin your work party

If you’re planning that special Christmas meal with work colleagues, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and South Somerset District Council (SSDC) would like to remind you to ‘look before you book’.

Christmas is a time to enjoy good company and good food without worrying about food poisoning. But the truth is, you can’t tell a restaurant’s hygiene standards by how clean and tidy the staff look or by how busy it is.

It’s the things you can’t see – like germs spread by bad hygiene practices - that you need to consider. There’s one easy way to set your mind at rest – check the food hygiene rating.

There are plenty of restaurants to choose from that take food safety seriously and have achieved a high rating, so there is no need to risk food poisoning while eating out this Christmas. FSA latest figures show that the percentage of food businesses achieving the highest rating of ‘5’ has risen from 53% in 2015 to 67% in 2017. They also show that 95% of all food business have received a rating of at least a ‘3’.

As workplaces across the country start thinking about venues for this year’s Christmas party, the FSA are encouraging organisers to check the ratings on their website www.food.gov.uk/ratings  or if you’re out and about, check for the green and black sticker. If you can’t see one, just ask.


Date Posted: 16/12/2017 12:11:49

Post Early for Christmas


Ilminster Scouts Christmas Post - Ilminster Town Only
Have your Christmas cards delivered by Ilminster Scouts for 25p per card

Post boxes are in:
Ilminster Hardware, Hair & Beauty, Spar, Summervale Surgery, Cottage Flowers and Mikes.

Last collection will be made on Monday 18 December at 5pm.


Royal Mail
United Kingdom


Latest recommended                                              Service
posting dates

Fri 22 Dec                            Special Delivery Guaranteed Saturday Delivery
Thu 21 Dec                          Special Delivery Guaranteed
Thu 21 Dec                          1st Class and 1st Class Signed For
Wed 20 Dec                         2nd Class and 2nd Class Signed For

International

International Standard and International tracking and signature services

Sat 16 Dec                             Belgium, France, Ireland, Luxembourg
Fri 15 Dec                               Austria, Denmark, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal,                                                         Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland

Parcelforce Worldwide Services
Thu 21 Dec        Express24
Wed 20 Dec       Express48

For more information on these service visit parcelforce.com/christmas

For more information about HM Forces Mail latest recommended posting dates, visit gov.uk and search for HM Forces Mail.

For a full list of our latest recommended posting dates, visit royalmail.com/greetings




Date Posted: 15/12/2017 16:00:00

Make sure you stay safe this Christmas

With the festive period nearly upon us, South Somerset District Council is urging its residents to stay safe this Christmas and book taxis in advance of their evening out.

When the party is over and you need to get home, remember these guidelines about council licensed taxis:

  • Hackney Carriage Vehicles have a white roof sign and a white plate attached to the rear of the vehicle displaying the vehicle licence number they also have a duplicate plate displayed in the front window
  • Hackney Carriages can ply for hire from designated taxi ranks and can pick up passengers who flag them down
  • Private Hire Vehicles have yellow signs attached to the doors either side of the vehicle, they also have a yellow plate attached to the rear of the vehicle displaying the vehicle licence number. They also have a smaller duplicate plate in the front window.
  • Private Hire Vehicles can only be booked in advance through an operator they cannot be flagged down.

NEVER get in to a taxi that does not display an appropriate plate at the rear. It is not insured and may not be licensed. Ensure that the driver is displaying a council approved driver's badge. For your own safety, always take a council licensed vehicle - the driver and vehicle have both been checked.

Always ensure the meter is used in a hackney carriage. The meter must only be switched on once you are in the vehicle. The meter shows the maximum by law that can be charged for the journey from pick up to drop off. Operators are perfectly entitled to charge below this but cannot charge more.

Don't let a good night out be ruined by an unlicensed taxi. Always book in advance or make sure you have the number of several local taxi firms stored in your mobile phone before going out.

Before getting in a taxi ensure the driver knows the destination and always sit in the back. Make sure that you're picked up and dropped off somewhere familiar and well lit, however if you feel uneasy with the driver ask him to stop at a busy, familiar place and get out. Make sure that your night out ends well and follow our simple advice. This time of year, there are occasion where people try to pass themselves off as taxis, so check the driver's badge and the vehicle plate if you can. Don't get ripped-off after your night out and make sure you get home safe.

For more information on taxi licensing and staying safe this Christmas, please contact South Somerset District Council on 01935 462462 or licensing@southsomerset.gov.uk. You can also go online to our website www.southsomerset.gov.uk and press the 'contact us online' button.


Date Posted: 12/12/2017 11:58:50

Let's Talk Turkey

With two thirds of UK households choosing to have roast turkey for their Christmas dinner1, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) is offering tips on how to you can safely prepare turkey at home.

 

From buying turkey, right through to storing leftovers, there are a number of food hygiene tips that you can follow to protect your loved ones over the festive period.

 

Top turkey tips

1)    When Christmas food shopping, take sufficient bags with you so that you can separate out raw and ready-to-eat foods to avoid cross-contamination.

2)    Check the guidance on your turkey to ensure you have enough time to fully defrost it – it could take as much as 4 days.

3)    Don’t wash raw turkey; it just splashes germs onto your hands, clothes, utensils and worktops.

4)    To work out the cooking time for your bird, check the instructions on the packaging. Check that: the meat is steaming hot throughout; there is no pink meat visible when you cut into the thickest part and meat juices run clear.

5)    You can use previously cooked turkey (even if it was frozen) to make a new meal, such as a turkey curry. This new meal can be frozen, but make sure you only reheat it once.

With two thirds of UK households choosing to have roast turkey for their Christmas dinner1, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) is offering tips on how to you can safely prepare turkey at home.

 

From buying turkey, right through to storing leftovers, there are a number of food hygiene tips that you can follow to protect your loved ones over the festive period.

 

Top turkey tips

1)    When Christmas food shopping, take sufficient bags with you so that you can separate out raw and ready-to-eat foods to avoid cross-contamination.

2)    Check the guidance on your turkey to ensure you have enough time to fully defrost it – it could take as much as 4 days.

3)    Don’t wash raw turkey; it just splashes germs onto your hands, clothes, utensils and worktops.

4)    To work out the cooking time for your bird, check the instructions on the packaging. Check that: the meat is steaming hot throughout; there is no pink meat visible when you cut into the thickest part and meat juices run clear.

5)    You can use previously cooked turkey (even if it was frozen) to make a new meal, such as a turkey curry. This new meal can be frozen, but make sure you only reheat it once.

For more food safety information this Christmas, visit www.food.gov.uk/lets-talk-turkey or follow @foodgov #LetsTalkTurkey on Twitter for tips and advice throughout the festive period.



Date Posted: 10/12/2017 18:00:00

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