01 March 2020Free Trees!

Grants are available to support the planting of trees in Brean Parish.  The Tree Grant Information Pack can be found here.

12 February 2020Beware of computer support scams

Beware of computer support scams

Do you own a computer or any other type of digital device? If so, watch out for fraudsters who will try to steal your money or personal or financial information through computer support scams.

Common scams include:

  • A cold caller claiming to be from a big company like Microsoft, saying there is a problem with your device and they need to access it to fix it.
  • Unsolicited emails with attached security updates that are in fact viruses.
  • Being asked for credit card details to validate your software.

Genuine computer companies won’t call or email you out of the blue asking for personal or financial information or to fix your computer.

Follow this advice to stay safe:

  • Delete suspicious emails without opening any attachments or replying to them.
  • Hang up immediately on cold callers who claim there is a problem with your computer or ask you for personal or financial information.

If you are worried there may be a problem with your computer, you could:

  • Contact the genuine company using the phone number on their paperwork or website.
  • Ask for help at the shop where you bought it.
  • Take it to a computer repair business that is member of the Buy With Confidence scheme. All Buy With Confidence businesses are vetted, approved and monitored by Trading Standards. Search at buywithconfidence.gov.uk or call 01392 383430.

If you are worried you have been scammed:

  • Get advice from Citizens Advice on 03454 040506
  • Report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040

This article has been written by Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards Service https://www.devonsomersettradingstandards.gov.uk/

21 January 2020Beware of renewable energy scams

Many of us aim to be more eco-friendly. One way to do this is to use renewable energy, for instance by installing solar panels or switching to a green energy supplier. However, alongside many legitimate schemes and home products, there are fraudsters using the cover of renewable energy to steal your money or personal or financial information.  

If you are thinking about switching to renewable energy, follow this checklist:

  • Research the market. Don’t be tempted by a seemingly unbeatable deal from a doorstep trader, mailshot or cold phone call. 
  • Never be rushed or intimidated into making a decision. The choice of suppliers is growing so take time to shop around for the right deal.
  • If you receive a cold phone call tempting you to invest in renewable energy, don’t give any personal or financial information. Put the phone down.
  • If you want to switch energy supplier, use the Citizens Advice comparison tool at energycompare.citizensadvice.org.uk or call 03454 040506 to find the best genuine deal.
  • Before signing anything, read the terms and conditions and make sure you know what you are signing up to. Ask a trusted friend for help if you need it.
  • Ask friends and family for advice and recommendations on renewable energy.
  • Use a scheme or association to find reliable businesses. For example:
    • Find local, trustworthy businesses through the Buy With Confidence scheme. All businesses in the scheme are vetted, approved and monitored by Trading Standards. Visit buywithconfidence.gov.uk or call 01392 383430.
    • Or use a business that’s a member of an appropriate trade association for example the Renewable Energy Consumer Code (RECC) or the Renewable Energy Association (REA). These specialise in renewables and members must stick to their codes of practice. If a trader says they are a member of an association, check this is true.

If you are worried you have bought into a scam of any kind:

  • Get advice from Citizens Advice on 03454 040506
  • Report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040

Did you know? Switching to green energy doesn’t mean all the electricity coming into your home will be green. You’ll still receive the same energy (including renewable) as everyone else. However, it does help increase the amount of green energy in the National Grid.

This article has been written by Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards Service https://www.devonsomersettradingstandards.gov.uk/

21 January 2020Have your say about proposals for changing acute inpatient mental health services for adults of working age

Health and care services in Somerset are running a public consultation to gather feedback from local people about the future locations of acute mental health beds for people of working age. The consultation runs until 12 April 2020. 

An acute mental health ward is where patients are admitted to provide them with the level of treatment and support they need. This might be because they need further assessment, they need to be kept safe or they need more intensive support than can be provided at home.

Health and care services are considering changing the location of the acute mental health ward at Wells for people aged between 18 and 65 years and moving it to Yeovil. The number of beds will remain the same.

The reason for the proposed change is due to concerns about patients and staff safety. Two of the four wards for people aged between 18 and 65 years are located in Taunton, with one ward in both Yeovil and Wells. These two are ‘standalone’ wards which means they are not close to other wards, and one of them is also a long way from the nearest Emergency Department.

All other existing services at Priory Health Park in Wells will remain, whatever the outcome of the consultation, and community mental health services available to people in the Wells/Mendip area will be expanded and enhanced: this includes a Crisis Café.

Health and care services would like to know what you think about their ideas. You can fill in the questionnaire here: http://bit.ly/FFMF-Mental-Health-Consultation

You can read the full consultation document on their website at www.fitformyfuture.org.uk or contact them by email somccg.fitformyfuture@nhs.net or telephone 01935 384119

13 January 2020Have your say on tackling Somerset’s Climate Emergency

Online surveys are giving Somerset residents the chance to comment on and help shape a Climate Emergency Strategy for the county.

Launched today (6 Jan), one survey closes on 25 February 2020 and can be accessed here https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/Somerset-Climate-Change-Survey-2019 In addition, an survey for 11 to 18-year-olds can be completed by going to www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/Somerset-Climate-Change-Survey-2019-Young-People and is open until 18 February.

To complement the surveys, a series of drop-in events will give people the opportunity to get involved and find out how the five councils in Somerset are working together on their approach to the climate emergency and how they aim to reduce carbon emissions by 2030.

There will be a family craft area at each event run by local artists and a ‘pop up café’ with talks from guest speakers on topics linked to protecting the environment. Open to residents, businesses, groups and anyone with an interest in what can be done or is being done to combat the impacts of Climate Change in Somerset, the drop-ins will be a chance to discuss the emerging thinking from the five councils as set out in a ‘framework’ document.

The ‘Have your say’ drop-ins start on Saturday 18 January 2020 at Taunton Library and will take place in each District Council area in January and February 2020.  They are being run by the Somerset Climate Action Network (SCAN) on behalf of Somerset’s four District Councils and the County Council.

Earlier this year, all five councils declared or recognised ‘climate emergencies’, agreeing to work together to produce a joint Climate Emergency Strategy. The strategy will identify ways Somerset might work together towards being carbon neutral by 2030 and adapt to predicted climate change impacts. But before the strategy can be drawn up, the councils need people in Somerset to have their say.

Councillor David Hall, Cabinet Member for Economy and Inward Investment at Somerset County Council said: “I would urge everyone in Somerset to get involved and tell us what they think about this critical issue by taking part in our Climate Emergency drop events and completing the online survey. There is also a version of the online survey that has been designed for children under the age of 18, so everyone can have their say.

“We will be seeking feedback on whether the work so far focuses on the right areas, covers everything it should and whether there are actions that communities could take or are already taking forward themselves.

“The information gathered from all our citizens, communities, businesses and interest groups will inform how we shape our plans for reducing carbon emissions going forward and the steps we take to work towards a Somerset that is resilient to the impacts of Climate Change.”

The events will be held on Saturdays, between 10am and 4pm at the following venues:

  • 18 January, Somerset West and Taunton. The Glassbox, Taunton Library, Paul Street, TA1 3XZ.
  • 8 February, Sedgemoor District Council. The Sedgemoor Room, Bridgwater House, King Square, Bridgwater, TA6 3AR.
  • 15 February, Mendip District Council. The Council Chamber, Mendip District Council Offices, Cannards Grave Road, Shepton Mallet, BA4 5BT.
  • 22 February, South Somerset District Council. Vicarage Street Methodist Church, Vicarage Street, Yeovil, BA20 1JB.

More information can be found at www.somerset.gov.uk/climateemergency


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