04 December 2019Sedgemoor's Customer Panel

Would you like to understand the changes that Sedgemoor District Council is making and have your voice heard? If so then join the Customer Services Panel. They are looking to recruit 100 people to sit on the panel.

Please see attached poster for more details.

04 December 2019New dates for Climate Emergency drop-ins

Rescheduled public events to discuss the creation of Somerset’s first Climate Emergency Strategy have been confirmed.

The ‘Have your say’ drop-ins will take place in each District Council area in January and February, 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 for Somerset to work towards being carbon neutral by 2030 and adapt to predicted climate change impacts.

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.

Open to residents, businesses, groups and anyone with an interest, the drop-ins will be a chance to discuss the initial thoughts of the five councils set out in a ‘framework’ document.

They will be seeking feedback on whether the work so far focusses on the right areas, covers everything it should and whether there are actions that communities could take forward themselves. An online survey will also be available between 6 January and 19 February.

These events were initially due to take place before Christmas but have been rescheduled for the New Year due to the restrictions on local authority publicity and consultation in the run-up to elections.

21 November 2019Bathing water quality at Sedgemoor’s beaches

Both Brean Beach and Berrow Beach have been classified Excellent under the revised Bathing Water Directive.  

Berrow North of Unity Farm has improved from a Good to Excellent.

The Environment Agency monitors water quality from May to September at over 400 bathing waters.

There are four water quality classifications - Excellent, Good, Sufficient and Poor. These are set according to the level of bacteria in the water based on guidelines produced by the World Health Organisation to protect health.

Up to 4 years of results from 2016 - 2019 are combined to let you know how clean the water is over that time. Classifications can be found on signs displayed at designated bathing waters by local councils. The Environment Agency also makes the results available online.

The consortium consists of the Environment, Wessex Water, Sedgemoor District Council, Burnham Town Council, Natural England, the Internal Drainage Board, Litter Free Coast & Sea Somerset, Surfers Against Sewerage, local tourism groups and the National Farmers Union to try and reduce the possible sources of pollution affecting the beach at Burnham.

18 November 2019Revised Christmas waste collections

11 November 2019Superfast broadband public consultation launched

A public consultation has been launched by Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS) ahead of undertaking a fresh procurement to find contractors to provide superfast broadband.

CDS, which is responsible for rolling out broadband across the two counties, is establishing the remaining area where there are no current or credible future plans to deliver Next Generation Access (NGA) broadband infrastructure capable of download speeds of at least 30Mbps.

To establish the existing coverage of broadband infrastructure in the programme area as well as that planned for the next three years, CDS carried out an Open Market Review (OMR) earlier this year. This included commercial coverage by existing and prospective broadband providers as well as coverage procured through CDS contracts.

This has helped CDS to establish the area where intervention is to be proposed, avoiding areas where commercial investment is planned as public investment in broadband can only take place in areas where there is no broadband infrastructure and where none is planned in the next three years. Comments on these proposals are now invited.

Consultation responses need to be submitted by Tuesday 10 December to enquiries@connectingdevonandsomerset.co.uk. or in writing to OMR consultation, Economy Team, AB2 Lucombe House, County Hall, Exeter, EX2 4QD.

The consultation will enable broadband providers to review the mapping to ensure it correctly represents the information provided by them. Full details on how to respond are available at https://www.connectingdevonandsomerset.co.uk/cds-2019-omr-public-consultation/

Responses to the consultation will help inform the final premises CDS will seek solutions for when it launches a new procurement in December.

Councillor Rufus Gilbert, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Economy and Skills and CDS board member, said: “We’re keen to extend the availability of Next Generation Access infrastructure across the CDS area, and this public consultation will enable us to set out the proposed areas where we will need to focus our efforts.

“Having carried out our Open Market Review we have asked all known broadband infrastructure providers for their existing and potential plans for new network build in our area.

Councillor David Hall, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Planning and Community Infrastructure, said: “This is an opportunity for broadband providers to review these proposals so that we can understand the capacity and capability of the market, but we would welcome all public feedback through this consultation.

“Our priority is to ensure that public funding has the biggest impact in increasing coverage and ensuring more areas can benefit from higher speed broadband.”

Nearly one million homes and businesses in Devon and Somerset now have access to superfast broadband thanks to the Government supported CDS programme and stimulation of the commercial market which is an important element of CDS’s role.

Of these, over 300,000 homes and businesses have access to superfast broadband as a direct result of investment by CDS.

For more information go to https://www.connectingdevonandsomerset.co.uk/cds-2019-omr-public-consultation/


11 November 2019Surviving Winter

As we head into winter, many of us face an expensive – but essential - bill for heating our homes, while many of our neighbours face a stark decision between eating and heating: a shocking one in eight households in Somerset live in fuel poverty. Thanks to the bright idea of one generous pensioner, hundreds of older people in Somerset are being supported to stay warm, safe and well every winter through Somerset Community Foundation’s Surviving Winter campaign.

The campaign encourages people who don’t need their Winter Fuel Payment to donate some or all of it to help local older people who are unable to afford to heat their homes.

Last year, over 500 elderly people living in Somerset were helped through the cold winter months, thanks to generous local donors who donated over £100,000 to Surviving Winter.

Somerset Community Foundation (SCF) are also taking part in The Big Give, and online donations to the campaign that are made during the week-long Big Give Christmas Challenge - midday Tuesday 3 December to midday Tuesday 10 December - will be doubled! So, not only will your donation be worth twice as much, but even more older and isolated people across the county will feel warmer and better connected this winter.

If you would like to donate to Surviving Winter, visit www.somersetcf.org.uk/winter or call 01749 344949.

03 November 2019Council Tax scam by text

Please be aware that Sedgemoor District Council have had reports a company who are texting messages to members of the public, stating a refund is pending for council tax.  This is a scam and should be deleted.   They ask residents to follow the link provided to claim their refund.  The first screen asks customers to confirm their details, followed by the second screen asking for members of the public to enter their bank account details. 

SDC would never ask for personal details by text.

Council Tax bands are set by the Valuation Office Agency and can only be changed under certain conditions. Details can be found at www.gov.uk/council-tax-appeals.   If you think your band is wrong, contact the Valuation Office Agency - you will not be charged for the service.

If you are struggling to pay your Council Tax bill and need help, speak with a member of the Council Tax Team on who will be able to offer help and advice on 0300 303 7801.

If you have given over personal details, we would advise you to call the Police straight away on 101 and report the matter as an identity theft scam. The Police will also direct you to the Action Fraud helpline on 0300 123 2040.

25 October 2019Somerset’s Climate Emergency strategy: The conversation starts here

A series of public events will be giving people across the county the chance to discuss the first steps towards a Climate Emergency Strategy for Somerset.

The Climate Emergency ‘have your say’ drop-in events are taking place in each District Council area in the coming weeks, starting on 16 November at the Glassbox in Taunton Library.

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 for Somerset to work towards being carbon neutral by 2030 and adapt to predicted climate change impacts.

It will be a collective response to the climate emergency, something that’s owned by everyone in Somerset.

Open to residents, businesses, groups and anyone with an interest, the drop-ins are a chance to discuss the initial thoughts of the five councils set out in a ‘framework’ document.

They will be looking for feedback on whether it focusses on the right areas, covers everything it should and if there are actions that communities could take forward themselves.

The event details are below, all will be running from 10am to 4pm:

  • 16 November, Somerset West and Taunton. The Glassbox, Taunton Library, Paul Street, TA1 3XZ.
  • 23 November, Mendip District Council. The Council Chamber, Mendip District Council Offices, Cannards Grave Road, Shepton Mallet, BA4 5BT.
  • 30 November, South Somerset District Council. The Gateway, Addlewell Lane, BA20 1QN.
  • 7 December, Sedgemoor District Council. The Sedgemoor Room, Bridgwater House, King Square, Bridgwater, TA6 3AR

An online survey is due to go live before the end of November and an event aimed at businesses is taking place on 3 December.

The draft framework document is being considered for approval by all councils in the coming weeks and will be a starting point for discussions at the events. It sets out initial, high-level thoughts on what actions might be required and the approach to delivering them, but will be developed working with - and listening to – Somerset communities.

The aim is to produce a detailed strategy by summer 2020.

A spokesperson for all five authorities said: “That all of Somerset’s councils are working together on this is a mark of how important we consider this issue to be.

“These events are an important first step in shaping that strategy and we want to encourage anyone with an interest to come along and get involved.

“Local authorities have an important role to play but we cannot tackle an issue of this size and complexity on our own, it’s a shared responsibility. Substantial change is needed at national level and the Somerset strategy has to be something that is ‘owned’ by the county as a whole.

“This is the start of a very important conversation and we want as many voices as possible to be heard.”

A spokesperson for the Somerset Climate Acton Network said: “Somerset Climate Action Network (Somerset CAN) is very pleased to be involved in these events, it is exactly how our new organisation wants to help Somerset reach net zero carbon by 2030.

“These events are a key way that all parts of our community can start to feed into the process being developed by our local councils. A net-zero carbon Somerset by 2030 is an exciting goal.”

25 October 2019Additional roads to be gritted as highways teams gear up for winter

Somerset’s highways teams are all set for winter – with 23 gritters on standby and 7,000 tonnes of salt ready to roll when temperatures drop.

This winter Somerset County Council will be investing an extra £200,000 into its winter service and has fully reviewed its winter policy.

This means the precautionary gritting network – the roads treated every time ice or snow is expected – will be increased from approximately 720 miles last winter to 900 miles of road this winter.

This is around 21 per cent of the total roads in Somerset and a similar level to 2017/18, although due to the policy review it is not the exact same roads. You can check which roads are now included at www.travelsomerset.co.uk/gritting.

Councillor John Woodman, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “Our highways teams do a fantastic job keeping our roads clear of snow and ice throughout the winter, working hard when conditions are at their worst.

“This year we’re pleased to be investing more money and gritting more roads than before, but our advice to drivers is unchanged.

“The vast majority of roads are not gritted and ice can still form on gritted roads so always drive to the conditions and take extra care in winter.

“I’d also encourage drivers to check our map to see the additional roads which will now be gritted and follow @TravelSomerset on Twitter for daily updates direct from our gritting teams.”

Somerset County Council receives detailed forecasts every day and will send the gritters out whenever road surface temperatures are predicted to drop below 1C and frost or ice is expected.

Precautionary salting normally takes place before temperatures drop, meaning gritters are often out in the evening or early morning.

In the event of snow, the Council has established emergency plans in place and employs farmers and snowplough contractors to clear snow as quickly as possible.

Roadside grit bins will continue to be filled when requested by parish councils and a new snow warden scheme has been introduced to enable parish council volunteers to assist with localised snow clearance in their communities.

Throughout the winter you can receive daily updates on gritting activity, as well as receiving live travel information and roads alerts, by following the Council’s dedicated highways Twitter account – @TravelSomerset.

Winter updates are also available at www.travelsomerset.co.uk/gritting, along with a searchable gritting map so you can check exactly which roads will be gritted. 

21 October 2019Free Christmas Parking

Christmas is coming …..

Sedgemoor District Council is pleased to announce that it will be offering free parking in all of its car parks for the three weekends before Christmas on an annual basis.

People will be able to park without charge in all eighteen of the Council-owned car parks across Sedgemoor on Saturday 7th, 14th and 21st December, as well as free parking from 4 p.m. on the days of Christmas light switch-ons.

Cllr Duncan McGinty said “We are keen to support our many local and varied traders in the towns and villages across Sedgemoor and give residents and visitors an added incentive to shop locally in the festive season”.

There will be notices on the tariff machines in the car parks advising of the free parking.

14 October 2019Sedgemoor Business Conference to focus on District’s Future Priorities

Business people in Sedgemoor have an exciting opportunity to hear about the District Council’s plans for the next 20 years in terms of investment into the district and planned growth.  The annual business conference will be held on Friday, December 6th at the McMillan Theatre, Bridgwater.

Previous conferences have been fully booked, so businesses are urged to get their tickets early.  Delegates will hear about the Council’s Economic Development Strategy until 2050 as well as new marketing materials to showcase the district as a premier area for investment.

Delegates will also learn about the potential for growth across the region, in particular along the M5 corridor, with speakers from Government, the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership, Bristol Airport and Gravity, planned to a become a connective, intelligent and sustainable campus, geared for a cleaner future and capable of attracting some of the world’s most innovative businesses.


Portfolio Holder for Inward Investment and Growth, Cllr Gill Slocombe said: “As a Council we are committed to supporting our business community and promoting economic growth especially at this time of uncertainty so we welcome this chance to share ideas.

“From comments received after last year’s event, we know companies of all sizes find it a worthwhile event and we look forward to meeting as many of them as possible on the day.”

The conference will provide valuable opportunities for delegates to network and understand the shared aspirations of the public and private sectors in Sedgemoor and wider region.

Places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis and with free admission and refreshments. Please book online: https://sedgemoorbusinessconference19.eventbrite.com

14 October 2019 Your say on how your council tax is spent ……

Sedgemoor residents are reminded that there is still a couple of weeks to go  to have their say on how Sedgemoor District Council should spend its proportion of the Council Tax in its annual budget consultation.     The budget cycle in Sedgemoor starts in the autumn, with the final decisions on budgets are taken in mid-February 2019.

The Council continues to work within a very tight budget and will be reviewing its services to make sure that every penny is spent wisely.   SDC gets approximately 9p in the £ from each pound paid in council tax, the other 91p being split between Somerset County Council, the Police, Fire and Rescue services and Parish/Town councils.   The questionnaire will also be available to complete online at the following web address:   www.sedgemoor.gov.uk/budgetconsultation.  The consultation period will run from until October 18, 2018.

Sedgemoor has been carrying out an annual budget consultation exercise for several years, in order to ensure the views of the public are considered when making decisions regarding budgets and priorities.  Sedgemoor has been successful with Budget Consultation in previous years, but is looking to sustain that success and improve further in order to give as large and wide a group as possible the opportunity to participate and have their say. The budget consultation exercise is carried out by SDC staff and involves 10,000 questionnaires being sent out to a random sample of Sedgemoor residents.

For further information or to request a questionnaire please call 0300 303 7800.


16 September 2019Fireworks notification 21 September - Brean Country Club

Brean Country Club is holding a short firework display at Brean Country Club TA8 2FG on Saturday 21 September 2019 at 10pm.

The display will last approximately 5 minutes and is being fired using designated quiet fire works with a couple of lounder bangs at the end of the display. It is a private display for guests of a wedding.

The club has let the parish council know as a courtesy to local residents. It is not their intention for fireworks to be a regular occurrence at the venue and there are no other displays planned for the venue during 2019.

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