30 November 2018Broadband user survey - Survey ends 9th December

As Connecting Devon and Somerset continues its work to improve broadband services across our counties, CDS is keen to get an updated picture of the current state of play.

Where communities have benefited from new superfast broadband, what impact has this had? In communities yet to feel the effects of superfast, what are they able to do with the service they do receive and what would they like to do?

CDS has developed a survey to capture people's broadband needs and compare whether these needs are met by the service they receive. The survey is open to all residents and businesses within Devon and Somerset and in addition to capturing the impact from the new infrastructure, it will help them identify the broadband needs across our counties and the data will influence their future Digital Strategy.

The Broadband User Survey asks questions about currently available speeds, what homes or businesses can and cannot do with their existing broadband and the levels of satisfaction with their provider. The survey typically takes about five minutes to complete online and can be found at www.connectingdevonandsomerset.co.uk/broadband-user-survey.

23 November 2018Brean Down Family Beach Clean and Environmental Art

Somerset Wildlife Trust is holding their Family Beach Clean at the beautiful Brean Down beach on Saturday 1st of December from 2pm to 4pm, meeting in the upstairs of the National Trust’s Cove café .

It’s a chance for people to take part in a beach clean at Brean Down beach followed by an opportunity for the creation of some beach art or if it’s too chilly alternatively the creation of some Christmas decorations out of scavenged beach treasures indoors. The creative part of the event is aimed at families – but all are welcome to attend!

This should be a fun event for families to do something positive for our coastline in the lead up to Christmas and discover what can be found washed up on along our strandline.

Further information can be found here.

12 November 2018Have your say: Proposed changes to the County Council’s support and services for children and their families

Somerset County Council wants to hear as many people’s views on their proposed changes to the support the County Council provides for children and their families. “Drop in” sessions are detailed below.

How can people get involved?

People can share their views by completing a questionnaire which is available online at www.somerset.gov.uk/getsetconsultation, or a hard copy which is available in the 8 main Family Centres and libraries, and at the information “Drop in” sessions as below:

Date

Venue

Time

Tuesday 13th November

Glastonbury Library

10.00 to 18.00

Wednesday 14th Novembwe

The Key Centre, Frome

10.00 to 12.00

Wednesday 14th November

Frome Library

13.00 to 18.00

Monday 19th Novembe

The Hub, Minehead

10.00 to 18.00

Thursday 22nd November

Taunton Library (Wellbeing Zone)

10.00 to 18.00

Wednesday 28th November

Victoria Park Community Centre Bridgwater

10.00 to 18.00

Tuesday 4th December

Yeovil Methodist Church

10.00 to 18.00


The closing date for consultation responses is 5pm, Monday 31 December 2018
.

12 November 2018Police to carry out insurance checks

The following is a press release from Avon and Somerset Police which residents may find of interest:

This week we’re targeting uninsured drivers as part of a week of action, catching those knowingly driving without insurance and drivers who may be unware they’re driving with invalid cover.

Using the very latest technology, ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) cameras, we’ll be targeting roads across our force area between Monday 12 November and Sunday 18 November.

Inspector Frazer Davey from Avon and Somerset police, said: “This campaign will be delivered using the most up to date technology to target drivers without car insurance.

“Drivers obeying the law by insuring their cars may find themselves being penalised when they are involved in a collision with an uninsured driver, paying higher premiums. Owners of vehicles found to be uninsured will receive a letter letting them me know we’re aware they're driving illegally. Those who do not buy appropriate insurance could receive 6 points on their license, a £300 fine or have their vehicles seized, and potentially destroyed.

“We’re not just targeting those who are driving around knowingly breaking the law, some people aren’t aware of the exclusions that can apply when they fill out their insurance information and that’s why we’ve collated a series of myths around car insurance to remind drivers to check their policy.”

Recent figures from MIB (Motor Insurers Bureau) showed that warnings are being issued to around 3,000 uninsured drivers every day.

Between January 2018 and October 2018 we seized 2327 uninsured vehicles from the roads of Avon and Somerset.

PCC Sue Mountstevens for Avon & Somerset said: “Uninsured drivers make the roads more dangerous places and it is honest motorists who have to pay higher premiums as a result of claims arising from uninsured losses. This campaign is a great opportunity to remind motorists to check that they are correctly insured for every journey they make while contributing to the overall safety of the roads.”

This is the first time the force has run a proactive operation like this, every uninsured driver will be contacted and reminded of the law. There are many myths around car insurance and we're using this enforcement week to debunk four of the most common.

Common myths on car insurance:

Myth 1: I have fully comprehensive insurance cover so I can drive any car

Fact: Not all policies include cover for the use of other vehicles. Always check your policy wording and never just assume you’re covered. You need to apply or pay for specific DOV (Driving Other Vehicles) cover, which is only available to the policy holder.

Consequences: If an officer contacts the MIB and confirms you don’t have the correct cover, police can legally seize the vehicle on the spot.

Myth 2: I’m covered to drive to and from work

Fact: So that you can drive your vehicle to and from work your policy needs to cover you for ‘commuting’. Also if you ever need to travel between places of work you need to ensure you are covered for ‘business’ mileage.

Consequences: If you’re involved in an collision with another driver and your insurer finds the incident happened outside of your policies terms they may not cover you for any damage or injuries, meaning you would personally liable for covering the costs of fixing your vehicle and the other drivers, and pay any compensation. Subsequently, your insurer is likely to charge you a higher premium for cover, or decline to insure you altogether.

Myth 3: I am the main driver of the car but I put my mum down as the policy holder to save money

Fact: This is also known as ‘fronting’ and is considered fraud, carrying some serious penalties. The main driver of the vehicle should also be the policy holder.

Consequences: Your insurance provider may increase your future premiums or void your policy. If you’re found guilty of fraud you will get a criminal record, which could mean you have difficulty accessing other financial products in the future, including mortgages and credit cards.

Myth 4: My car broke down and it’s a write-off. Because I won’t be driving it I don’t need to keep it insured

Fact: Keeping a vehicle without insurance is an offence (introduced in 2011). Where a vehicle has broken down or is considered a write-off it still needs to be declared as being off the road. The Continuous Insurance Enforcement (CIE) legislation means that you must either insure your vehicle or, if it is not on the public road, declare it as off-the-road using a Statutory Off-Road Notice (SORN).

Consequences: MIB and DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) work in partnership to identify uninsured vehicles. If your vehicle appears to be uninsured because it is not listed on the MID and not the subject of a Statutory Off-Road Notice, you will be sent an Insurance Advisory Letter (IAL). If you receive an advisory letter and take no action then the penalties can be severe.

If you are unsure about what you’re covered for in your insurance you can either check your policy documents or contact your insurance provider direct. #OpDriveInsured

05 November 2018Would you pay an additional £1 for policing?

Residents are being asked whether they are prepared to pay an additional £1 a month towards policing from April, 2019.

Last year the Government unexpectedly gave all Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) across the country the flexibility to raise the policing part of the council tax by £1 a month for the average band D household.

Sue Mountstevens is hoping that PCCs will be given that flexibility again this year, she said: “With last year’s £1 rise we were able to start an ambitious programme of recruitment and commit to employing up to 300 police officers. We were also able to protect neighbourhood policing, the police officers and Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) in your local area, all thanks to your support for the rise.

“The Chief Constable and I have agreed that next year’s focus will concentrate on serious violence. The threat from serious and organised crime has changed rapidly, increasing in both volume and complexity and preying on the most vulnerable in society.

“If we are able to increase the policing part of the council tax by £1 a month next year and the Government grant for policing stays the same and there are no additional surprises we are committed to a new focus on burglary and drugs. We must continue to dismantle the recruitment of vulnerable young people into ‘county lines’ drugs gangs. It’s clear that this leads to an increase in knife-crime and serious violence, including stabbings and gang-related disorder and it must be tackled and given the right resources.

“I absolutely recognise that any increase in household bills will be felt by residents and it’s not easy to keep asking local people to contribute to the issues that we are facing in policing and as a society. It’s really important that residents tell me what they would be prepared to pay. These are difficult decisions and I need to be sure that I have heard from as many local people as possible.”

Sue Mountstevens is asking for people’s views in an online survey on her website www.avonandsomerset-pcc.gov.uk which closes at midnight on January 14, 2019.

For further information or to request a copy of the survey please call 01278 646188.

Ms Mountstevens has also spoken to hundreds of residents while visiting events across the summer. Sue will continue to talk about the policing part of the council tax at her surgery sessions find out where she will be on her website www.avonandsomerset-pcc.gov.uk

24 October 2018Christmas waste collections

The revised dates for waste collection over the Christmas period by Somerset Waste Partnership can be found here.

24 October 2018Somerset Waste Partnership job vacancies

Somerset Waste Partnership’s collections contractor has jobs available now for HGV Class 2 Recycling Driver/Loaders (newly qualified drivers welcome, and loaders keen to train as drivers) in Bridgwater, Evercreech, Taunton.

Full-time, temp-to-perm at £11.28/hour with £16.92/hour overtime after 40 hours. Mon-Fri, 6.15am start, no overnights. Hard work but rewarding, a recycling job pays well, keeps you fit, helps the environment, and gets you home with plenty of the day left. 

Text DRIVEKIER to 88802, or call 0117 916 0760 (M-F 9-4.30) or 07866797200 for more information.

21 September 2018Starting or transferring school information from Somerset CC

For the attention of all parents/carers with a child due to start or transfer school in September 2019.

If your child is due to start school for the first time (will be age 4 before 1st September 2019) or due to transfer to a junior, middle, secondary or upper school then it is very important you make an on time school place application.

Deadline for primary admissions         15th January 2019

Deadline for secondary admissions    31st October 2018

To download the primary or secondary booklet for parent’s, to make an on-line application and for further information please visit our websitewww.somerset.gov.uk/admissions. Please phone 0300 123 2224 if you require a paper application form or further advice.

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