05 October 2022Have you completed with your Voter Registration Form?

All households across Sedgemoor will have received an annual voter registration form within the past month.  Although there has been a good response rate, many people have not yet confirmed their details, despite it being a legal requirement for SDC to collect the information.

If you have been asked to return your form or update the details in any way residents will be seeing Electoral Services canvassers in your neighbourhood during October and November. They will have Sedgemoor District Council ID badges.

They will be making personal visits by knocking on each door of Sedgemoor properties which have not returned the form, which was sent out in early August.   The canvass staff will ask the householder to confirm the details held on the current Register of Electors. If no-one is home they call, they will post a calling card, asking you to call Electoral Services direct.

This is a costly way of collecting your details, so please do not delay and return your form as soon as possible.  Thank you.

05 October 2022Warmer home for the winter?

Retrofitting is the process of making changes to a building to reduce energy consumption and emissions.  Retrofit should also bring the benefit of a more comfortable and healthier home. Examples of retrofit measures include the installation loft or wall insulation, double or triple glazing.

So, if you want to find local businesses and services in Sedgemoor to find out more about retrofitting, then help is at hand, thanks to a new online Green Directory. You’ll find it here: retrofitsomerset.info/

The website will help residents from across the district find local businesses including architects, construction companies, insulation and renewable energy installers, all in one place.

There is information on energy efficiency and low carbon retrofits through the Retrofit Resources section on the site. And you can find out what some homeowners have already done to retrofit their homes, along with other news, in the Retrofit Stories area.

Take a look and begin your retrofit journey today    retrofitsomerset.info/

If you are a business working to improve the energy efficiency of Somerset’s housing stock, why not submit your own listing and join the Somerset Green Directory? Contact: website@retrofitsomerset.info

29 September 2022Somerset Energy Saver campaign

A campaign has been launched to help residents reduce their energy bills and carbon footprint.

The Somerset Energy Saver is a free, online hub with advice for residents on how to make energy-saving changes to their home.

With energy prices soaring, the campaign helps to raise awareness of the range of measures available - whether through small, free-of-charge changes, or bigger adjustments to properties, such as installing different types of insulation and exploring alternatives to oil and gas heating.

It provides information on financial assistance available to eligible residents to help make the bigger energy-saving measures to their home. It also offers advice on Energy Performing Certificates (EPCs) and provides answers to commonly asked questions.

The launch of the Somerset Energy Saver campaign has come at a hugely important time, with energy bills on the rise and the cost of living a worry for many.  Whether residents are looking for some quick tips to save them money, or to make more significant changes to their homes, Somerset Energy Saver provides a valuable hub of information.

For more information on the Somerset Energy Saver campaign, please visit: www.somersetenergysaver.co.uk.

29 September 2022Arrive before five: winter hours for recycle sites from 1 October

All of Somerset’s 16 recycling sites will go over to their winter opening hours from
Saturday 1 October.

This means that on their open days, sites are open 9am to 5pm. Weekend opening
remains 9am to 4pm.

For more information about your local site, including opening schedules, details of
charged materials, and van and trailer permits, click on recycling centres at

Summer hours - 9am-6pm on weekday opening and 9am-4pm on weekends -
resume on Saturday 1 April 2022.

To keep up to date with recycle site changes, sign up for the SWP e-newsletter at
somersetwaste.gov.uk and follow @Somersetwaste on Facebook.

To keep up to date with waste services, sign up for the SWP e-newsletter at
somersetwaste.gov.uk or follow @somersetwaste on Facebook or Twitter.

29 September 2022An opportunity for Parent Carers to help shape the future of SEND in Somerset

Somerset County Council, NHS Somerset and Somerset Parent Carer Forum are inviting families as well as school leads, education, and health professionals to join a webinar this October to help shape the future of Special Educational Needs and/or Disability (SEND) in Somerset.

The partnership is currently in the process of developing a Somerset SEND strategy for the next three years. This will outline the focus areas and action points that will inform us to develop our services.

The partnership has identified five ‘working themes’, each has been informed by feedback from families:

  • Listening, hearing, and responding
  • Working together and co-ordinating
  • Getting help as early as possible
  • Accessing to the right support and provision
  • Preparing for the future

The webinars are on the following dates and there is no need to book in advance, just follow the link to join:

Friday 7 October 2022 11am to join Click here

Monday 10 October 2022 at 4pm to join Click here

You will only need to join one webinar as they are all the same. During the webinar, leaders from the partnership will introduce each theme in detail, provide you plenty of time for questions and invite feedback from participants.

Cllr Tessa Munt, Somerset County Council’s Executive Lead for Children’s Services said: “We want to ensure the SEND services we have in place suit the users who access them. To make sure we get this right, we want to listen to families, parents and young people who use our services and ask them to help shape future services.

By joining the webinar, you can hear about our vision and tell us your ideas about changing and improving SEND services in Somerset.”

Ruth Hobbs CEO Somerset Parent Carer Forum CIC: “The SEND strategy is an essential piece of work which will shape the areas of focus over the next few years. It is really important for people to get involved and have their views heard to make sure it reflects what is important to them.”

Shelagh Meldrum, Chief Nursing Officer, NHS Somerset said: “Ensuring the development of key SEND services truly reflects the needs of families, children and young people across Somerset is crucial.”

“Without feedback and input from people working in and experiencing SEND provision, the focus of our strategy and vision for the future may not best fit the needs of our children and young people.”

It is important that as many people as possible get involved now, so we can hear from a wide range of views. This will help us to consolidate our focus, so we develop a strategy which really makes a difference for all.”

09 September 2022Information following the death of Queen Elizabeth

A message from the Rev Jonathan Philpott, Rector, Benefice of Berrow and Brean

Following the sad news last night of the death of Queen Elizabeth, we have been working on an appropriate plan to mark the days of national mourning leading up to the funeral which is expected to take place in approximately 10 days.  We recognise that for many people, Queen Elizabeth has been a sign of security and stability throughout many years of change and turmoil in the wider world, and most of us will never have experienced life without her as Queen.  Her faith has also been such an inspiration to many, and she has modelled so much of what it means to obey Jesus’ command to love God and to love our neighbour as ourselves.

To mark this occasion appropriately, we are proposing the following:

  • This Sunday, our services will follow the planned format but with a moment of quiet and some prayers to begin.
  • On Sunday 18th September, we will be holding services of commemoration in both churches starting at the normal time.
  • St Mary’s will be open from tomorrow with a book of condolence, and St Bridget’s from Monday morning also with a book of condolence.  These will remain in both churches until the day following the funeral.
  • The tenor bell at St Bridget’s will be tolled today at 12noon to mark the occasion.
  • We will be holding midweek prayers at St Mary’s each day from Monday at 9:30am until the day before the funeral (not including Sundays) in which a time of quiet and some special prayers will be led on our behalf.  All are welcome to attend.

08 August 2022Household Support Fund from Somerset County Council

Are you Struggling with bills? Support is available

The Household Support Fund is designed to provide short-term urgent financial help to Somerset residents who are struggling to afford household essentials such as buying food, paying for energy and water bills and other essential household items such as beds and white goods.

08 August 2022 Planning a journey in Somerset? Think Travel can help

A new one-stop travel information website has been launched by Somerset County Council to support more local people to access public and community transport.

If you don’t own a car – or you want to leave it at home and travel more sustainably, Think Travel can help you with your transport options. Whether it’s getting to the doctors, shops, travelling to work, college, or school, or just into town to meet friends or family, the new travel planner shows you what’s available. It covers public transport, community transport, the Slinky demand responsive transport service and car sharing.

To start your search, all you need to do is enter your journey start point and destination in the planner and Think Travel will find the available options for you.

As well as information on train and bus services, there’s also a dedicated car sharing notice board you can sign up to, where offers or requests for car sharing journeys can be posted.
The aim is to grow this facility and encourage local car sharing networks to evolve.
You can check out Think Travel here: https://somerset.thinktravel.info

Somerset County Council’s Lead Member for Travel and Digital Cllr Mike Rigby said: “Think Travel brings together all available information on travel options in the county for those not using their own car, whether you’re a student, older resident who relies on community or public transport, or if you just want to help a little bit towards protecting our environment. It’s a really important tool in terms of supporting sustainable travel and hopefully it will play a part in growing car sharing communities across the county.

“Now more than ever, it’s vital we support alternatives to single private car use, while at the same time support residents who rely on public and community transport.
“I would encourage people to check out the service an see if Think Travel can help you.”

08 August 2022Food vouchers return for Summer Holidays

Schools will once again provide food vouchers to families eligible for Free School Meals to combat holiday hunger over the summer holidays.

Somerset County Council is distributing approximately £1.2m from the Government’s Household Support Fund directly to schools to help fund food vouchers for children eligible for Free School Meals over the summer holidays.

The allocation for this summer provides vouchers worth £10 per pupil each week of the holidays.  Schools will automatically provide food vouchers to eligible students.

Eligible families who are in urgent need can also apply for extra short term financial help by searching Somerset Household Support Fund online. The quickest way to get help is online, but if access to the internet is difficult or support is needed to apply, families can call 0300 123 2224 and Somerset County Council will help find an organisation who will support families to make an application.

Applicants must live in Somerset, be over 16, living independently of parents and carers, have proof of identity and be able to prove their income is not enough to cover essentials.

Household Support Fund payments can be used to buy food, credit for pre-payment meters for electricity, gas and water, and other essential household items such as beds and white goods.

Cllr Tessa Munt, Somerset County Council Lead Executive Member for Children and Families, said: “These are challenging times and Somerset County Council is pleased to be able to provide this support to families over the summer holiday break. Being able to eat well means children will return to school healthy, ready to learn and succeed. In addition, the Household Support fund helps not only with food but other essential items, bills and even important family furniture such as beds and a fridge, freezer or cooker. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need extra support.”

To access the Household Support Fund visit bit.ly/SupportFund22 or call 0300 123 2224.

08 August 2022Tell us where you don’t feel safe with the StreetSafe tool

Local people are being encouraged to use the StreetSafe Tool to anonymously tell Avon and Somerset Police and partners about public places where they feel or have felt unsafe.

StreetSafe has been introduced as part of the Government’s response to tackling violence against women and girls but all local people are being encouraged to use the tool to help identify areas where there are fears caused by anti-social behaviour and environment issues including lack of street lighting, abandoned buildings and vandalism.

The online tool enables residents to anonymously pinpoint on a map the location where they felt unsafe.

The information provided will be considered alongside the extensive evidence base already gathered by police forces and used to inform the community safety activities of police and partner agencies such as local authorities.

In Avon and Somerset, such activity has included installing CCTV in Weston-super-Mare and removing hedges to improve visibility in some areas as a result of reports received via the StreetSafe tool.

No crime needs to have been committed in order to indicate where local people feel unsafe. It is important to remember that the StreetSafe tool should not be used to report crimes. To report a crime, visit: https://www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/report/

PCC Mark Shelford said: “I very much welcome this free online tool; a crime doesn’t always have to be committed for you to feel unsafe but this feeling of unsafety is still very much justified. The police and partners want to understand local people’s experiences to help inform their community safety activities.

“I’m delighted that such activity has taken place already in Weston-super-Mare and I know local policing teams are eager to undertake further action. I encourage local people to continue to use the tool so, together, we can make our communities safer.”

Superintendent Paul Underhill, Neighbourhood Policing, Avon and Somerset Police added: “StreetSafe is a fantastic tool, allowing people to quickly and easily report exactly where and why they feel unsafe in certain areas.

“This information is used by our Neighbourhood Policing Teams to build up a picture of hotspot areas and specific issues. We’re then able to put an appropriate response in place whether that’s installing CCTV, increasing the number of patrols or working with partners to address practical isses like poor lighting or vandalism.

“We’d like to encourage more people to use the StreetSafe tool; the more information we have, the more we can do to make the streets safer for everyone.”

Visit the StreetSafe tool via: https://www.police.uk/pu/notices/streetsafe/street-safe/

08 August 2022Help shape the future of council services in Somerset

Help shape the future of council services in Somerset

People in Somerset are encouraged to join a new Customer Panel and help shape the future of council services.

From April 2023, Somerset’s five councils will be replaced by the new unitary Somerset Council which will deliver all council services to all communities – from waste collection and adult social care to housing, benefits and parks.

The Customer Panel is being established to ensure residents are at the heart of those services. No special skills are required, all you need is a willingness to take part in three research topics each year and provide honest and constructive feedback. Panel members will have the chance to take part in online surveys, one-to-one interviews, usability tests and discussion groups.

Cllr Val Keitch, Somerset County Council’s Lead Executive Member for Local Government Reorganisation, said: “We want to provide the very best services that meet the needs of everyone who lives and works in Somerset. Therefore it’s absolutely vital we listen to our residents and develop and improve our services in partnership with them.

“There are various ways you can get involved and we’d love as many people as possible to join in and play a key part in shaping our services.”

You can find out more about the Customer Panel and sign up online via our website. If you would like to find out more information please contact us by completing our Contact Us form or calling us on 0300 123 2224.

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