Somerset County Council will continue to provide help to families in need of food support over the May half-term period.
At its Full Council meeting on Wednesday, May 5, the Council Leader Cllr David Fothergill confirmed plans to allocate a total of £250,000 of funding to schools in Somerset to fund food vouchers over the May half-term.
This will provide vouchers for the 14,509 children in Somerset eligible for Free School Meals, plus an additional allocation which schools can use to provide help to other families who they feel would also benefit from support.
Somerset County Council has been working to tackle holiday hunger during the pandemic, providing funding for food and vouchers over October half-term, Christmas, February half-term and the Easter holidays.
Cllr Fothergill said: “We are determined to ensure no-one in Somerset goes hungry. This has undoubtedly been a difficult year for many families, and it is good that we can provide this funding to help at this time.
“Importantly, we have made sure that anyone who receives food support is made aware of the network of further support that is available to help them address other underlying issues, including financial advice and mental health support, housing advice and help with transport.”
Further support has been provided for young people in Somerset who qualify for Free School Meals through the Holiday Activities and Food programme supported by the Department for Education.
Somerset County Council joined forces with the Somerset Activity and Sports Partnership (SASP) to deliver food and fun activities to more than 2,500 children during the recent Easter holidays. Work is currently underway to expand the programme for the upcoming Summer holidays.
Somerset’s wider emergency food response to the pandemic has seen more than 500,000 meals and items of food delivered to communities, families and individuals across Somerset through the Somerset Food Resilience Taskforce.
The Taskforce is a great example of partnership working involving Somerset’s Local Authorities, Village Agents, Fareshare, and numerous voluntary and community groups.
Work is underway to establish a sustainable model of food support for post-Covid which will continue to provide the appropriate support at the earliest opportunity and enable people to get the help they need. This includes supporting the development of community pantries and food projects, and continuing our close relationships with the Village Agents, Citizens Advice and community and voluntary groups.
We need your help!
This summer (from 24 July for about 8 weeks) we are putting on a display called
Cary21: Cary through time in 21 objects.
This is taking place in the Market House top floor Assembly Room (recently acquired by Cary Town Council) and is a joint venture between the Cary History Society, the Town Council and the Cary Museum.
The show will give residents a chance to see and find out about an interesting collection of objects relating to the history of our town, from the Stone Age to the present day and will include a model of the Castle.
It will also be a great opportunity to see both the impressive Assembly Room and the adjacent former Billiard Room. It is the Town Council’s wish not only to restore these Victorian rooms but in addition to provide a lift for those unable to climb the stairs to the second floor. To do this we will need community support. We already have architect’s plans and are in discussion with Historic England but have yet to apply for listed building consent.
How can you get involved? We are looking for volunteers to look after the display during opening hours. This will be in 2 or 3-hour slots – say 11 am – I pm and I pm to 4 pm. We will need at least 2 people on duty for each session and we may be open all week. Full training will be given!!!
We may also need volunteers with muscles to help move heavy things, and people with vehicles to collect loans etc and possibly others with carpentry skills! We need someone familiar with digital display screens! And if Covid allows a reception, we will also need canapé makers and helpers with handing round, pouring drinks and so on. If you have other useful skills, please let us know!
If getting involved appeals to you, please reply to this message and we will start lists of helpers – please say briefly what you are offering to do and give a vague idea of your likely availability! At this stage you will not be making a commitment.
Please reply to this email if you can help or if you have any questions.
We hope to hear from you!
With best wishes
Pek (acting secretary on behalf of the CHS committee – below)
Prof Will Vaughan (Art Historian/Historian/Curator)
Chris Culpin (Historian/Writer/Teacher)
Maureen Wincott (Historian)
Kate Jarvis (Archaeologist/Archivist/Curator)
Graham House (Geographer/Treasurer)
Pek Peppin (Historian/Art Historian/Educator)
This election will be held on Thursday 6 May 2021.
You will have two votes (although you can choose to vote for only one camdidates) and can choose from five candidates in the Avon and Somerset Constabulary Police force area.
Details of candidates for PCC election
This is a quick way of applying for up to £5,000.
You can apply for money from here if:
- you work or volunteer for a charity or community group based in Somerset.
- your charity or community group usually has an income under £250,000.
- You have an existing community growing scheme or are about to start one
Full details here
Local authorities are looking for paid volunteers to work at polling stations or counts for the elections which are taking place between 6 May – 10 May. Safe and secure polls are the cornerstone of our democracy and this is a great opportunity to support local elections teams to deliver COVID-secure and effective elections.
Paid Election Volunteers Needed
Last year, various local elections and polls were postponed because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. They are now going ahead on 6 May 2021, and local authorities are looking for paid volunteers to fill a number of different roles between 6 May – 10 May. They need your help to make sure the polls can run in a COVID-secure and effective way – safe and secure elections are a cornerstone of democracy.
If you are over 18 and entitled to work in the UK you could be a:
- Poll Clerk – support the Presiding Officer who is responsible for the conduct of the ballot and making sure everyone who is entitled to vote is able to, without facing barriers or undue influence. Please only apply if you are available to work all day on Thursday 6 May. On the day of the poll, polling station staff should expect to need to be at their venue by just after 6am and to be on duty until around 10-11pm.
- Counting Assistant – employed to verify and count the votes cast at polling stations. Please only apply if you are available to work between 6 – 10 May. Hours required depend on the number of days of counting locally. They are typically around 6-7 hours on poll night (around 9pm-3/4am), and/or 6 to 7 hours on the Friday, Saturday, Sunday and/or Monday.
Pay offered will vary by role and local authority, but is likely to be between £135 and £250 per day.
The deadline for applications is midnight on Sunday 25th April. To find out more about the positions and to apply, please complete the Cabinet Office survey via this link.
If your application is successful, your nearby local authority may allocate you a role at a polling station which is different to the polling station you have been assigned to vote at on your poll card.
As you are required to remain at the polling station you are working at during the hours that the polls are open and the postal vote registration deadline has now passed, we would encourage you to apply for a proxy vote, whereby you can assign someone to vote on your behalf.
- To apply to vote by proxy you need to download, print and fill in the proxy vote application form. The deadline for applications to be received by your borough’s Electoral Registration Office is 5pm, Tuesday 27th April.
- You can deliver this form by post or by hand. Some local authorities also accept a scanned copy of your form by email. You can find the details of your local electoral services team via this […]
12th April 2021: Please note that, due to the eight day period of National Mourning for HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh from Friday 9th April, the Full Council Meeting due to take place on Monday 19th April will be rescheduled to Monday 26th April, and the MCC Meeting scheduled for that evening will now take place on Tuesday 4th May 2021.
Anyone who is registered to vote can apply for a postal vote, whatever their reason, so long as they submit an application form to the Electoral Registration Office (The Electoral Registration Officer, South Somerset District Council, The Council Offices, Brympton Way, Yeovil, Somerset, BA20 2HT) before 5pm on Tuesday, 20 April. The deadline for a proxy vote application is 5pm on Tuesday, 27 April.
For anyone concerned about voting at a Polling Station, postal voting is available and you should consider applying for a postal vote sooner rather than later. However, a lot of work is going in to making Polling Station COVID-secure and here are seven ways we are making Polling Stations safe to vote in.
Tributes to HRH The Duke of Edinburgh
|A message from Somerset County Council: On behalf of our residents, Somerset County Council offers deepest sympathies to the Royal Family on the passing of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.
|While people may want to gather to lay flowers and pay their respects, Government Covid-19 guidelines mean physical books of condolence cannot be opened in public places at the moment. Please be mindful of the current coronavirus restrictions and consider safer alternatives, such as making a donation to charity.
It is with great sadness that we have learned of the death of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. He truly lived a life of service. We send our deepest condolences to Her Majesty The Queen and the whole of the Royal family.
Councillors and Staff of Castle Cary Town Council
Free coronavirus testing will be available to all
|Everyone in Somerset will be able to access free, regular, rapid coronavirus testing from Friday 9 April as part of a new Government initiative in England.
|Rapid testing has so far been available to those most at risk and people who need to leave home for work, including frontline NHS workers, care home staff and residents, and schoolchildren and their families. Now rapid testing will be offered to everyone, with people encouraged to take regular tests (twice a week) to help prevent outbreaks and reclaim a more normal way of life.
|One in three people with COVID-19 do not experience any symptoms and may be spreading the virus unwittingly. Rapid testing detects cases quickly, meaning positive cases can isolate immediately.
|The expanded regular testing offer for people without symptoms will be delivered through:
|A new ‘Pharmacy Collect’ service is also launching which will provide an additional route to regular testing. People aged over 18 without symptoms will be able to visit a participating local pharmacy and collect a box of 7 rapid tests to use twice a week at home. More details on which Somerset pharmacies are participating will be available shortly.
Look out for your polling card
Poll cards will start to arrive at households in the coming days ahead of the elections on Thursday 6 May when residents in South Somerset will have their say on who should be the next Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner, together with some town and parish council by-elections and also neighbourhood plan referendums in Queen Camel and Martock are also taking place.
Your poll card, which should start arriving from Wednesday 31 March, gives you all the information you need, including the day and time of the election and where your polling station is. It also gives details of how you can make arrangements for a postal or proxy vote.
Anyone who is registered to vote can apply for a postal vote, whatever their reason, so long as they submit an application form to the Electoral Registration Office (The Electoral Registration Officer, South Somerset District Council, The Council Offices, Brympton Way, Yeovil, Somerset, BA20 2HT) before 5pm on Tuesday, 20 April. The deadline for a proxy vote application is 5pm on Tuesday, 27 April.
For anyone concerned about voting at a Polling Station, postal voting is available and you should consider applying for a postal vote sooner rather than later. However, a lot of work is going in to making Polling Station COVID-secure and here are seven ways we are making Polling Stations safe to vote in.
Poll cards have been sent to voters who have registered to vote before 10 March only. If you have registered after this date, you will still receive a poll card, but not until closer to the election.
If you believe you are registered to vote but don’t receive your polling card before Friday 9 April, you should check that you are actually on the Electoral Register by contacting the local Electoral Registration Office on 01935 462462.You can also check by emailing [email protected] providing your name and address.
This year residents in South Somerset could be voting in two different elections, depending on where you live:
- If you live in the following parishes (Chard Town – Holyrood Ward, Crewkerne Town, Haslebury Plucknett, Kingsbury Episcopi, Somerton Town, South Petherton, Wincanton Town), you may be voting to fill vacant Parish Councillor roles in your town and parish council.
- The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), who oversees your local police force and ensures they are prioritising what matters to you
- Neighbourhood Plan referendums in Queen Camel and Martock
Alex Parmley, Local Returning Officer said, “We are able to provide a convenient way for anyone to place their vote whether it be postal, proxy (someone who votes on your behalf) or, indeed, by coming along to your nearest polling station. We have worked hard to ensure all our polling stations are Covid safe for voters and colleagues running the stations. The council aims to provide as much assistance as possible to the people of South Somerset to enable everyone to cast their vote. Polling Station staff are there to assist […]
From Monday (March 29), lockdown restrictions will continue to be eased. And while we all want to make the most of the new freedoms, we must be careful too. Whilst the new freedoms are a much welcome step in the right direction, the next few weeks will determine how the Government decide to move forward with the next phase of the roadmap; we mustn’t do too much too quickly and allow our rates and case numbers to creep up again. Enjoy new freedoms, but please stay safe and remember hands face space!
WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE A TOWN COUNCILLOR AND HELP TO MAKE CASTLE CARY A BETTER PLACE TO LIVE?
We currently have a vacancy on Castle Cary Town Council, which the Council will be seeking to fill by co-option.
This is a process whereby the Council considers applications from interested persons and can then select applicants to fill the vacancy.
If you are interested in becoming a Town Councillor, please write to the Town Council including a brief resume of no more than 250 words which indicates:
• why you would like to become a councillor
• how your knowledge and/or experience would help you in your work as a Town Councillor.
If you need information about eligibility for being a Castle Cary Town Councillor or information about the role of a councillor, please contact the Town Clerk via email at town.clerk[email protected] or 07780 635013.
The deadline for written applications is Wednesday 14th April 2021.
Applicants will be expected to attend for an interview prior to the Town Council meeting, on Monday 19th April. This will be a Zoom meeting.
Castle Cary food and drink festival returns to the town on Saturday 1 May – social distanced, but still full of great local food and drink.
In its second year eat:Castle Cary is a free all day market that showcases some fantastic local food and drink producers and the organisers hope to bring lots of free entertainment too (COVID guidelines permitting).
eat:Castle Cary on Saturday 1 May will have over 50 food and drinks producers set up in Bailey Hill, outside the Market Hall, on Fore Street and the High Street. The stalls will have a wide variety of goods including farmers’ markets favourites like ales, bread and cheese alongside top quality street food with world flavours made with local ingredients.
The team hope to have some strolling balloon artists and street entertainers – all with a sound track of some laid-back music – but are guided by Government restrictions and best practice.
Organiser Sarah Milner Simonds told us:
“We are really pleased to be working here again – creating a great free day out for the whole family. We have attracted some excellent food and drink producers and we hope that visitors will be interested in the stories behind the produce.
The feedback from our producers was fantastic in 2019 and we know that there was a big demand for a repeat. This last year has been challenging for everyone and we are aiming to create a warm, safe welcome to this spring’s event. We will be providing additional hand sanitizer opportunities, our stewards will be on hand to remind people of their obligations, a new layout with more room between stalls and taking on board the latest government roadmap recommendations.”
Organisers are urging residents to walk or cycle into the event and if they are driving in to park responsibly and ensure clear access for emergency vehicles on all roads.
The event is fully accessible and there are plenty of gluten free, vegan, vegetarian and dairy free options as well as smaller portions. The festival is also single-use plastic free and all food to go packaging is fully compostable – so don’t forget your shopping bags.
The festival opens at 10am and runs until 4pm. Find out more at the festival Facebook page or website www.eatfestivals.org
…you should have received postal information and a code for logging in; you can complete your form before Sunday if you have all the information. See the Census website for full details, including how to request a postal form.
Phone free on 0800 141 2021 for help
Find your nearest Census Support Centre.
Use the Text relay system: (18001) 0800 141 2021
Phone the free language helpline on 0800 587 2021
Large print formats are available
On Thursday 6 May residents in South Somerset will have their say on who represents them at the Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner election, some town and parish council by-elections and also neighbourhood plan referendums in Queen Camel and Martock are also taking place.
In order to vote in these important elections, residents must be on the electoral register. With the deadline to register to vote fast approaching, South Somerset District Council is urging people who have not registered at their current address to make sure they are registered in time.
The deadline to register to vote is midnight on Monday 19 April. It takes just five minutes to apply online at gov.uk/register-to-vote.
This year residents in South Somerset could be voting in three different elections, depending on where you live:
- If you live in the following parishes, you will be voting to fill vacant Parish Councillor roles in your town and parish council.
- Chard Town (Holyrood Ward)
- Crewkerne Town
- Haselbury Plucknett
- Kingsbury Episcopi
- Somerton Town
- South Petherton
- Wincanton Town
- The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), who oversees your local police force and ensures they are prioritising what matters to you
- Neighbourhood Plan referendums in Queen Camel and Martock
Roger Quantock, Elections Specialist for South Somerset District Council, said: “These elections are an important opportunity to make your voice heard and have a say on who represents you on issues that directly affect day-to-day life here in South Somerset. If you’re not registered by 19 April, you won’t be able to vote.”
Ailsa Irvine, Director of Electoral Administration and Guidance at the Electoral Commission said: “You can’t have your say in these important elections unless you are registered to vote. It’s quick and easy – it takes just five minutes online at www.gov.uk/registertovote.
“If you have recently turned 18 or moved home, it is particularly important that you act to ensure that you are registered to vote.
“If you were registered to vote in the last election and your details have not changed, you don’t need to take any action. If in doubt, you can check with your local authority on 01935 462462.”
Voters have a range of options for casting their ballot – in person, by post or by appointing someone they trust to vote in their place, known as a proxy vote. For those who choose to vote in person, polling stations will be safe places to vote on 6 May.
The deadline to apply for a postal vote is 5pm on 20 April, and for a proxy vote the deadline is 5pm on 27 April.
For more information on the Town and Parish Council elections in South Somerset and the Neighbourhood Plan referendums, please visit www.southsomerset.gov.uk/elections-and-voting.
For more information on the Police and Crime Commissioner election please visit www.avonpccelection.org.uk.
Virtual briefing for candidates and agents at the election of the Police and Crime Commissioner
People interested in standing as a candidate at the Police and Crime Commissioner election are invited to attend a virtual live […]
Update from Somerset County Council on school opening & care home visiting:
On Monday, the first of the stages in gradually easing lockdown take place, and our children return to face to face education. Clinton Rogers’ latest Somerset Covid Catch Up film visits one of our Primary Schools to discuss this, and you can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_dfLPphYr2o
Another very important change from next Monday is that our care home residents will be allowed one regular visitor, provided they are tested and wear PPE. However, it is very important to remember that next Monday is not the end of lockdown – far from it. The Government has outlined four steps that must be met before restrictions are gradually lifted, and there will be a minimum of five weeks between each step: four weeks for the data to reflect changes in restrictions, followed by seven days’ notice of the restrictions to be eased. You can read more about that in this update: Somerset COVID Weekly Update 4 March
Just a quick reminder that Network Rail will be carrying out improvement works this weekend, ensuring that the railway remains safe and reliable for customers.
On Sunday 7th March, buses will replace trains between Westbury and Bath Spa/Chippenham. For more information, please go to https://www.gwr.com/travel-updates/planned-engineering/wessex
London Paddington will also be closed on Sunday 7th March, as Network Rail upgrade the overhead electric lines to improve the reliability and performance of the railway. No trains will run to/from London Paddington, and most long-distance trains will terminate at Reading. A limited train service will also run between Reading and Ealing Broadway. For more information, please go to https://www.gwr.com/travel-updates/planned-engineering/london-paddington.
We’ve had reports of dog fouling in our lovely Town-if you own a dog you have a duty to clean up after your dog; a person who doesn’t clean up after their dog may face an on-the-spot fine of up to £100. These fines are known as fixed penalty notices. If a person refuses to pay they can be taken to the local Magistrates Court for the dog fouling offence and fined up to £1,000.
200 house risk re-appears – on the field above the station
The refusal by South Somerset District Council of an outline development application to build 200 houses on land at Ansford Hill is now being appealed to the Planning Inspectorate despite the strong objections previously put forward by Ansford Parish Council, Castle Cary Town Council, and SSDC. The objection is supported by an expert visual impact study.
SSDC’s refusal notice stated that; ‘the development, by reason of its scale and location, represents a visually obtrusive encroachment beyond the town’s obvious physical and topographically informed limits and into the open countryside, to the detriment of local and landscape character. This harm would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits of the proposal’.
It is vitally important that local people make their views, on this wholly unacceptable development, known to the Inspectorate.
You can write to The Planning Inspectorate, 3/10b, Temple Quay
House, 2 The Square, Temple Quay, BRISTOL, BS1 6PN or email
email@example.com quoting reference APP/R3325/W/20/3259668 before the 17 March 2021.
For more information about this and links to important documents, visit our Town website: https://www.castle-cary.co.uk/planning-updates/
Schools to return from 8 March as roadmap on lockdown easing published
|It sets out how the government will begin to lift restrictions in England from 8 March, starting with schools and colleges.
|It outlines four steps for easing restrictions. Before taking each step, the government will review the latest data on the impact of the previous step against the following four tests:
- The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully.
- Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated.
- Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS.
- The government’s assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new Variants of Concern.
|The four steps for easing restrictions are:
- Step 1 – 8 March the priority is to ensure that all children and students return safely to face-to-face education in schools and colleges from 8 March.
- Step 2 –no earlier than 12 April, will see the opening of non-essential retail; personal care premises such as hairdressers and nail salons; and public buildings, including libraries and community centres.
- Step 3 –no earlier than 17 May, the Government will look to continue easing limits on seeing friends and family wherever possible, allowing people to decide on the appropriate level of risk for their circumstances.
- Step 4 –no earlier than 21 June, the Government hopes to be in a position to remove all legal limits on social contact. Before Step 4 begins, the Government will complete a review of social distancing and other long-term measures that have been put in place to cut transmission.
|People aged 70 and over who have not yet been vaccinated against Covid and who would like to be are today being asked to contact the NHS to arrange a jab.
|Until now the NHS has asked people to wait until they are contacted to help ensure that those who are most vulnerable are protected first – and that remains the case for most people. However, to ensure absolutely everyone is offered the vaccine, people aged 70 and over can now contact the NHS so they can be vaccinated by the middle of this month.
|If a suitable and convenient slot is not available people can also call their GP practice.
Food support for families in February half-term
Somerset County Council is continuing to provide food support for families during the upcoming February half-term.
The Council has used funding from the Winter Covid Grant Scheme to ensure families with children eligible for Free School Meals will receive food or vouchers during the holiday and has asked schools to help deliver this targeted food support.
Somerset County Council has also provided additional funding so that more families and children needing support over half-term can receive help.
Councillor Frances Nicholson, Lead Member for Children’s Services, said: “Somerset County Council has been working closely with partners throughout the pandemic to ensure there has been sufficient food support for those who need it.
“As we promised last autumn, we are pleased to be able to continue this work by providing funding for the February half-term which will ensure food support is available for Somerset families over the holiday period.
“I’d also like to express our thanks to all of the school staff who have been instrumental in arranging the extra vouchers for families.”
Somerset County Council used funding from the Winter Covid Grant scheme to provide food vouchers over the Christmas holidays, and during term time allocated an additional £427,000 to Somerset schools to enhance the level of food provided and meet dietary requirements.
Support for schools is just part of a much wider network of support in the county during the pandemic which has ensured people in Somerset have access to food, personal, financial and emotional support.
Somerset’s local authorities are working with organisations including foodbanks, FareShare, HIS Church, Somerset Community Council Village Agents and many voluntary and community groups across Somerset to provide food items and frozen meals for immediate use, as well as supporting the development of new community pantries and larders to help communities have longer term sustainable solutions in place.
The Somerset Coronavirus Support Helpline number, 0300 790 6275, is open seven days a week from 8am to 6pm, offering a range of support – from help accessing food or medicines, to emotional and financial support, and employment, skills and business advice.
Please take care if you are using South Cary Lane or Blackworthy Lane. At the junction (Fulford Cross) the river is still rapidly running across the road. To cross you have to walk on the grass bank and jump over the gap where the bank has been washed away.
A message from Somerset Waste Partnership ….
UPDATED – Sorry; missed recycling, back tomorrow Saturday
Due to coronavirus-related staff shortages, recycling collections will be missed today Friday in some streets in and around Castle Cary. Road list below.
Collections missed today will be returned for tomorrow Saturday from 6am.
To help crews, have recycling containers out with no contamination, and materials sorted and segregated.
Check here what goes where: somersetwaste.gov.uk/recycling-collections/
Observe coronavirus safety advice for collections, including washing/sanitising hands before and after handing waste containers, disinfecting handles, and maintaining social distance from waste staff.
Coronavirus safety measures and the change to 6am starts – details here: facebook.com/SomersetWaste/posts/3741870462515672
If you need extra recycling containers, order them via My Waste Services at somersetwaste.gov.uk
Apologies, Somerset Waste Partnership
Roads at risk:
ST ANDREWS CLOSE
UPPER HIGH STREET
Over 63 Village Agents are ready to support unpaid carers in Somerset.
‘Unpaid Carer’ means someone not EMPLOYED to be a Carer for a person, and who may or may not receive a Carers Allowance.
The person being cared for can be a friend, family member, partner, child or neighbour.
View Website for more information>>
Queen Victoria Jubilee Drinking Fountain
A drinking fountain was erected by the town in 1897 to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. It was taken down some 20 years later to make way for the War Memorial that now stands proudly in the Horse Pond. When it was removed in C.1920, it was apparently relocated to a private garden in the town. We are trying to track down where it might be. This is in support of a project to install a drinking fountain next to the Horse Pond to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022.
If you can provide any information could you please get in touch with Simon Bebbington on either 01963 548009 or 07587180639.
Here are a couple of photos of the fountain in situ:
6am start from Monday 1 February
All household kerbside collections – recycling, rubbish and garden waste – will begin at 6am, rather than the previous 7am, from Monday 1st February.
The aim is to step up staff and customer safety while ensuring waste services are maintained despite the continued disruptive pressure of COVID-19 on Somerset’s kerbside collections.
Full details here: https://www.castle-cary.co.uk/somerset-waste-partnership-swp-updates/
Just a quick reminder that National Holocaust Memorial Day is on the 27th of this month.
I would like to encourage all RBL members, supporters, friends, family and members of the public to participate along with the rest of the Nation to light a candle (if and when safe to do so) and spend 2 minutes at 8:00pm on the 27th Jan, either on your doorsteps or suitable place of contemplation to reflect on those that perished during the Nazi occupation.
Do you have a background in finance?
Could you give a small amount of your time to help your community?
Caryford Hall is seeking assistance on a voluntary basis to establish some new financial systems. The Hall has recently been successful in registering as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) and needs to set up systems to manage grant funding and the re-tendering and contract for the completion of our vital extension project.
This could be short- term involvement, supporting the Management Committee over the next few months, or the role could be extended, as we have a vacancy for a Treasurer to deal with financial matters and oversee day-to-day activities such as bookkeeping.
If you can help – please contact Ian Bynoe: [email protected]
Your Invitation to the Bruton and Castle Cary Solar Streets Q & A Session
on Thursday 28th January at 7.30pm
Following the distribution of their offer in the Winter Town Newsletter, IDDEA are offering an online Zoom session where they will answer all of your questions about the scheme.
You are cordially invited to attend by clicking on the link below that allows you to pre-register for the event.
You are invited to a Zoom meeting.
When: Jan 28, 2021 19:30 London
Register in advance for this meeting:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
From Claire Craner-Buckley
Deputy Town Clerk
Castle Cary Town Council
A message from South Somerset District Council:
Businesses in South Somerset are now able to apply for grant funding to support them through the current restrictions.
Due to existing data that the Council holds we have already been able to pay over £2.5m in business grants covering the national lockdown period. Emails have been sent to 750 other businesses who will need to reply confirming their details are correct and anyone who hasn’t applied for a grant since spring 2020 will need to apply online.
SSDC has processed a range of mandatory and discretionary grants throughout the various tier restrictions and lockdowns each with differing criteria and application windows. Businesses grants are being administered by local councils on behalf of the Government.
The simplified claims process is split between Business Rate Payer and Non Business Rate Payer applications.
Business Rate Payers that have been mandated to close
If you’re a business rate payer and you’ve previously been paid a grant for Tier 2, we have automatically made a grant payment for the December restrictions and January lockdown periods.
If you are a business rate payer and you’ve previously been paid a grant for the November lockdown period we will contact you with further instructions to apply. You will need to reply to an email to confirm that the details we hold for your business are correct and confirm your continued eligibility. We will then make the appropriate payment based on your rateable value.
If you have not received a grant covering the November lockdown and further tiered restrictions you will need to apply online. You can apply online at www.southsomerset.gov.uk/covidbusinesssupport by selecting the ‘Business Rate Payer’ application dropdown. The application is now live.
Non Business Rate Payers (Discretionary Scheme) and severely affected Business Rate Payers
If you do not have a business rates account or your business has not been mandated to close (but you have been severely affected) you may still be eligible for grant funding through our discretionary business grant fund. You will be able to apply online at www.southsomerset.gov.uk/covidbusinesssupport by selecting the ‘Non Business Rate Payer’ application dropdown. This application process is now live and we would encourage businesses to apply as quickly as possible.
If your business was unsuccessful in our previous discretionary scheme we would encourage you to apply again. We have been able to broaden the criteria as a result of additional funding from Government.
Councillor Val Keitch, Leader of South Somerset District Council, said: “Our staff have been working tirelessly to implement systems for business grant applications and through their hard work many businesses have already been awarded these vital grants. I would encourage businesses to check their emails and visit our website to apply for further support.”
SSDC has delivered funding of over £39m to eligible local businesses so far including payments totalling £1.6m for the second National Lockdown period, £500,000 for Tiered restrictions and over £2.5m for the third National Lockdown.
Visit www.southsomerset.gov.uk/coronavirus for information on a range of different matters that […]
Advice from Somerset County Council; please pass on to anyone you know without internet access:
Vaccines: Be aware of fraudsters
14 January, 2021
Action Fraud is warning the public to remain vigilant as criminals begin to take advantage of the roll out of the coronavirus vaccine to commit fraud.
• The vaccine is free of charge.
• The NHS will never ask you for your bank account or card details.
• The NHS will never ask you for your PIN or banking password.
• The NHS will never arrive unannounced to your home to administer the vaccine.
• The NHS will never ask you to prove your identity by sending copies of personal documents such as your passport, driving licence, bills or pay slips.
• If you receive a call you believe to be fraudulent, hang up.
• If you are suspicious about an email you have received, forward it to [email protected].
• Suspicious text messages should be forwarded to the number 7726, which is free of charge.
• If you believe you are the victim of a fraud, please report this to Action Fraud as soon as possible by calling 0300 123 2040 or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk
Although we had notice before Christmas that these roadworks (resurfacing) were delayed until February, the one.network website is showing that they will go ahead ( & notices are up)
Castle Cary Community Library
SORRY WE ARE CLOSED until further notice
Somerset enters new Tier 4 restrictions
Somerset will be escalated to Tier 4 coronavirus restrictions from midnight tonight (31 December) following an announcement from the Health Secretary Matt Hancock this afternoon.
The Tier covers all four districts – Mendip, Sedgemoor, South Somerset and Somerset West and Taunton.
Leader of Somerset County Council David Fothergill said: “In the last three weeks in Somerset the number of Covid-19 cases has almost trebled. Rising from 473 cases per week to 1,299. In the most recent week, the rate of new cases increased by more than a third (37 per cent).
“Tier 4 restrictions are tough but very necessary if we are to get back in control of our rising rates and cases. We’ve just heard the new Oxford vaccine has been approved, so the vaccination programme will gather pace but now is not the time to be complacent. I urge you all to do your bit, follow the new restrictions exactly and help everyone in Somerset to get back to a more normal way of life.”
For Somerset residents living in a Tier 4 area, this means you must not leave or be outside of your home except for specific purposes. The essential guidelines are set out below:
- No household mixing, aside from support bubbles and two people meeting in public outdoor spaces.
- Hospitality closed, aside from sales by takeaway, drive-through or delivery.
- Essential shops can open. Non-essential retail must close and can only open for click-and-collect and delivery.
- Everyone must work from home unless they are unable to do so.
- Early years settings, schools, colleges and universities open during term time. Registered childcare, other supervised activities for childcare purposes, and childcare bubbles permitted.
- Indoor leisure, accommodation and personal care – closed.
- You must not stay overnight away from home. Limited exceptions apply.
- Funerals of up to 30 people permitted. Wakes and other linked ceremonial events can continue in a group of up to six. Weddings of up to six can continue in exceptional circumstances.
- Indoor entertainment closed. Some outdoor attractions may remain open.
- Places of worship open for private prayer and communal worship but cannot interact with anyone outside household or support bubble.
- You must stay at home and only travel for work, education or other legally permitted reasons. If you must travel, you should stay local, and reduce the number of journeys you make. You must not leave a Tier 4 area or stay overnight away from home. Residents in Tiers 1 – 3 should not enter Tier 4 areas. Do not travel abroad if you live in a Tier 4 area unless an exemption applies.
- You can leave your home to exercise by yourself, with your household or support bubble, or with one person from another household. Outdoor sport allowed but gatherings limit applies except for youth and disabled sport.
- You can visit relatives in care homes with COVID-secure arrangements such as substantial screens, visiting pods, and window visits.
- The Clinically Extremely Vulnerable are advised to stay at home as much as possible, except to […]
As you’ll have seen from the notices in Woodcock Street:
The Chief Veterinary Officers for England, Scotland and Wales have agreed to bring in new measures to help protect poultry and captive birds, following a number of cases of avian influenza in both wild and captive birds in the UK.
The new housing measures, which will come into force on 14 December, mean that it will be a legal requirement for all bird keepers to keep their birds indoors and to follow strict biosecurity measures in order to limit the spread of and eradicate the disease.
Full details in the follwoing link: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/avian-influenza-bird-flu-national-prevention-zone-declared
Last call for submissions
If singing Christmas carols is your thing… then read on…
On 20 December there will be an online Town Carol Service which will include a mass community sing of ‘Silent Night’
To join in, follow the instructions below.
Access the backing track on Youtube (https://youtu.be/e70wzk6p4ZM) on all devices.
Record yourself singing to that backing track. Recordings by mobile phone are fine. If you can use headphones, (so the only thing on the recording is your voice,) that would really help with the mixing.
Send your recording via this uploader https://driveuploader.com/upload/6Ejlu4ahOK/
(if you are under 16 please ask a parent to do this for you).
This is open to everyone of any age, any creed and any standard.
Deadline for submissions is 4th December.
Big Christmas can’t happen this year but our High Street shops are all open from today (2nd December) and we have THE best independent shops in our lovely High Street. There’s lots of takeaway food offered by the pubs and cafés. Castle Cary’s Big Christmas will be back next year but for this year it’s shop ’til you drop in Castle Cary ?
We understand that due to Covid 19 there will be no Scout Post in Town this year.
CARYFORD COMMUNITY HALL ASSOCIATION
ONLINE GENERAL MEETING
A Special General Meeting of Association members and residents is to be held online on Tuesday 15 December at 7.30pm.
This is to discuss and approve a resolution to implement the following plan.
The Hall Committee believes that the Association should convert the charity into a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO).
It has written a new draft Constitution which has been checked by a solicitor.
To view and download a copy of the proposed resolution, the draft
constitution and a note explaining why we are proposing this, please go to
To register to attend the meeting please email [email protected].
If you cannot attend but want to send us your views, please write to The
Chair, CCHA, Caryford Hall, Maggs Lane, Ansford, Castle Cary, BA77JJ or
email [email protected]
Poultry and other captive birds
An Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (PDF, 39.1KB, 6 pages) (AIPZ) has been declared across the whole of England effective from 5pm on 11 November 2020.
All poultry keepers in England (whether they have commercial flocks or just a few birds in a backyard flock) are required by law to take a range of biosecurity precautions.
If you keep poultry (including gamebirds or pet birds) or other captive birds, you must act now to reduce the risk of disease in your flock by following the relevant biosecurity measures required within the AIPZ. Your stock needs to be feed and watered under cover to prevent contamination from wild birds.
Good biosecurity improves the overall health and productivity of your flock by helping keep out poultry diseases such as avian influenza and limiting the spread of disease in an outbreak.
All bird gatherings within the AIPZ are prohibited therefore the general licence that had permitted bird gatherings has been revoked.
For more guidance please visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/avian-influenza-bird-flu
If you find dead wild waterfowl (swans, geese or ducks) or other dead wild birds, such as gulls or birds of prey, you should report them to the Defra helpline (03459 33 55 77)
Public Health England advises that the risk to the public’s health is very low. Food Standards Agency (FSA) has said that on the basis of the current scientific evidence, avian influenzas pose a very low food safety risk for UK consumers
Avian influenza is unconnected with coronavirus (COVID-19).
You can choose to register fewer than 50 birds, or birds you keep as pets. The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) encourages you to register even if you do not have to by law.
- APHA will be able to contact you if there’s a disease outbreak (such as bird flu) in your area
- you’ll help prevent the spread of disease and protect the national poultry flock
Ansford Parish Council has a vacancy for a Parish Councillor. If you are interested and would like more information please contract the Parish Clerk at [email protected]
If you would like to get actively involved with local issues and help with our plans to improve essential facilities for our parishioners, we would welcome your assistance.
Our current and long-term objectives are now being formulated, in preparation for an increasing number of new homes in our neighbourhood, and this will require an expansion of local amenities and services, to serve the needs and aspirations of all age-groups within our community.
With your help, Ansford Council could then provide more resources in which to plan some important improvements to local infrastructure projects, such as Road Safety/Transport links, Recreation & Leisure and Health & Social Well-being. Another crucial matter we are keen to develop, is the care and maintenance of the local Environment, and to encourage people to help with a variety of small-scale rural projects involving volunteer groups.
By joining our small team of councillors, we can set our sights on becoming a greener and more sustainable place in which to live, for the benefit and satisfaction of all our parishioners.
Just to confirm that the TUESDAY MARKET will be on tomorrow (November 10th) and following strictly the Government’s guidelines.
All stalls will be outside and PPE will be in place.
- Collects medicines/shopping for you
- Provides free food and essentials if you are in need
- Arranges phone calls if you are feeling isolated
For help please:
Phone: 01963 602013. 9.30 a.m. – 1 p.m. (Mon-Sat) or
Email: [email protected]
Cary Cares is organised by Churches Together in Castle Cary/Ansford, supported by the Parish Charity and endorsed by the Town Council. It is run by a group of volunteers here to help anyone in need in our community.
If you would like to make a donation, please use the contact details above.
Cary Cares- a local scheme to help those who need it
A message from Nat West: This is to advise you that due to the National Lockdown we have unfortunately been taken off the road for the 4 week lockdown period. Hoping that this isn’t extended and we can resume our service once again.
Castle Cary Community Library
will be closed on Friday 6 and Saturday 7 November.
After that we hope to be able to offer an “order and collect” service (now called “Library Choice”) – you let us know what books you want, we find them and organise collection or delivery.
Look out for details on the Library door and elsewhere.
Food support for families in Somerset
29 October, 2020
Somerset County Council has pledged £125,000 of additional support for families in Somerset who may be struggling to find food this winter.
We want to ensure no child or adult in Somerset goes hungry. Our aim is to meet the immediate need for food, and work with the family to address underlying needs. This is because if a child is hungry there are usually other issues we would want to help them address – such as financial, housing, mental health and wellbeing, employment, and skills.
Throughout the pandemic the Coronavirus Helpline has been providing information, advice and support to families, adopting the same community orientated approach as that developed in the Adults service. The Village Agent offer to families has been extended so that they can get support to address underlying issues and regain, or retain, their ability to be as independent as possible.
This has enabled many families in Somerset to get the support they need to become more resilient. One element of this has been to make sure families can access nutritious meals – this remains a focus of our work.
This week it was agreed to set aside a further £125,000 in case more funds are needed to ensure families are fed this winter.
We have food available this half-term and any family in need should call our Coronavirus helpline on 0300 790 6275 and select Option 1.
Please visit the website for much more information: https://www.somerset.gov.uk/coronavirus/covid-19-latest-advice
IT HAS ARRIVED!
Our very own community cookery book, The Cooking Pot, is now for sale.
As well as recipes from our residents, this book tells the history of our local food and drink businesses, and how they rose to the challenges that lockdown brought. It is a record of our town in the year 2020 and, consisting of 168 pages with fabulous colour photos, will make a lovely Christmas present.
Because of the generous help towards the printing costs from local companies and societies, we are able to give all proceeds from the sale of the book to the Town Charity.
Priced at £10 it can be found in Bailey Hill Bookshop, Pinsents Deli, The Wonderful Gardening Company, David Simon Contemporary, Wine Wizzard and The Newt.
Many thanks to all businesses who have, and are, continuing to support this project.
We’ve had the following message from South Somerset:
Unfortunately we will be unable to offer the Christmas Tree recycling service this year as our workload won’t allow for the loss of the staff or wood chippers following the loss of production during the Covid-19 lockdown period.
As an alternative, we have liaised with Somerset Waste Partnership (SWP) to provide the following advice:
Where possible, SWP and SSDC would like to encourage people to consider replanting trees, home composting or adding them to a corner of the garden as a wild habitat. Where that’s not possible, anyone subscribing to the SWP Garden Waste Service can leave their tree out next to their garden waste bin for collection. The usual restrictions apply – branches should be less than 15cm or less in width. Anyone not subscribing to the service can take trees to any of the county’s 16 recycling sites https://www.somersetwaste.gov.uk/recycling/centres/ for the garden waste skips. Composted trees – part of the 50% of your recycling that stays in Somerset and 90% that stays in the UK – become Revive soil conditioner sold at recycling sites. Other collection points may be available at the time, and together, SSDC and SWP will endeavour to publicise these where possible.
We apologise for any disappointment this may cause and hope we will be able to have the service back up and running next year, and thank you for your understanding.
The ongoing situation with the Covid pandemic in the country will not allow the normal acts of Remembrance to take place on Remembrance Sunday on 8 November. The Royal British Legion committee of Castle Cary will arrange a ‘closed’ ceremony to take place at the War Memorial to ensure that as a community an act of Remembrance will take place which will include the laying of wreaths. This ceremony will be conducted on behalf of the whole community. Representatives from those organisations who historically lay a wreath will be invited to attend. We ask that the public do not turn up to this event in order to maintain a Covid safe environment.
We know this will be a disappointment to many people of Castle Cary but it is the most sensible thing to do in the current climate. If you would like to show your support for Remembrance Sunday we would encourage everybody to display a Poppy in one of your windows. A blank for children to colour in can be found at this link
There will be a reduced Poppy Appeal this year to ensure safety of both the public and our volunteers. Poppies will be available in some outlets in Castle Cary. There will be a ‘market stall’ daily at the Market House where a full range of Poppy memorabilia will be available. This will be in place from Saturday 24 October until Saturday 7 November – this will be every day except Sunday.
“Castle Cary Town Council is pleased to support this partnership working initiative ‘Solar Streets’. Its aims fully fit with our environmental action plan for Castle Cary to be carbon neutral by 2030. We enthusiastically endorse this scheme which we hope our community will engage with and benefit from.”
– Judi Morison, Chair of Castle Cary Town Council
Bruton and Castle Cary Town Councils and One Planet Bruton are working with west country solar installer IDDEA and The Green Group to offer significantly discounted solar panels for households in Bruton, Castle Cary and the surrounding area (up to five miles from either town).
A 12 panel 4kWp system costs from £4,000. Smaller and larger systems are available with add-ons such as batteries for storage of electricity and iBoost to heat water. The standard offering features black 340Wp panels.
The scheme has been running successfully in Frome since early 2019. Frome Town Council approached several companies who were asked if they could provide a 4kWp solar PV system for £4,000 or less. IDDEA was the only company able to do this and had a good reputation locally. The scheme did not cost the Town Council any money and they used their Ethical Decision Matrix to ensure the company upheld the values that Frome Town Council support. Bruton Town Council decided to rely on Frome Town Council’s procurement rather than go through a similar exercise and Castle Cary Town Council voted unanimously to support it. IDDEA has completed more than 100 installations under the Solar Streets programme, including over 70 in Frome, and more than 800 in the south west. They are MCS accredited and an accredited member of HIES.
The discounted scheme is possible because IDDEA can install solar PV in bulk, saving time, transport and associated emissions. Households benefit from reduced energy bills and if electricity prices increase, the savings will increase over time. As well as saving money, each installation will save around 1.5 tonnes of carbon every year (per the Energy Saving Trust). The project supports Castle Cary Town Council’s ambitions to become carbon neutral by 2030. In addition, £50 will be given to a community fund for every domestic solar installation, and a minimum of £100 for a commercial installation, to be used towards green projects in our community.
To find out more, including information about upcoming Q&A sessions,
see https://solarstreets.co.uk/brutoncaryplus or email [email protected]
To book a survey, contact IDDEA directly by email [email protected]
Low interest loans and impartial information about financing options is available from Lendology CIC, a not for profit lender: https://www.lendology.org.uk/, 01823 461099 or complete their enquiry form https://www.lendology.org.uk/contact/. Note they can only
assist homeowners, shared owners, landlords, park home owners and empty property owners. In some circumstances, they can assist first time buyers.
There has been an increase in anti social behaviour in our communities and we are very concerned about the safety of both our young people and others. Recent events include the vandalism of the Catherine’s Close toilets, which are now closed whilst repairs are taking place, the bus shelter on Churchfield Drive, the defibrillator and the bus shelter on Station Road. In addition there are numerous incidents of vandalism that deeply affects the Football Club and the users and neighbours of the fields and play areas.
Both Councils are in regular contact with the Police who have increased their patrols of the Fairfield, the Donald PIther Memorial field and the town.
However, they can only react to crimes that they know about so we urge you to contact the Police EVERY time you witness crimes anywhere in our town. You can do this by calling 101 or if it’s an emergency 999 If you have access to the internet:
You can also report crimes anonymously on:
We intend to keep a log of incidents and will request the Police to initiate a Community Trigger procedure but we can only do this if incidents are reported at least five times. We therefore, repeat our request to report incidents.
In addition we will make representation to the Police & Crime Commissioner, Sue Mountstevens regarding the resourcing of the Police in rural areas as we know we are not alone in our concerns.
Chris Edwards Chair Ansford Parish Council
Judi Morison Chair Castle Cary Town Council
…over the weekend. Once again mindless vandalism has caused the closure of this much needed facility. The CCTV footage will be looked at; meanwhile, if anyone has information, please forward it to [email protected]
The Nat West Mobile Bank will be returning to Castle Cary on Thursday 15th October at the usual time, 11am to 12pm. To meet Covid safety requirements, the bank staff will be travelling in two separate vehicles, so, if you see a car parked on the Cobbles, it is the second vehicle associated with the bank and has permission to park there.
A debate has been running between Somerset County Council and the District Councils of Somerset about their future. You may have read about it in the County Council newsletter.
Now, Somerset County Council is asking for your views; their latest communication states:
‘In previous communications we have committed to carrying out a consultation this Autumn to gather public opinion around the One Somerset model and the future opportunities this will bring for Somerset. To help gather feedback we are now embarking on a detailed consultation exercise and an online survey will shortly be available on the One Somerset website where you’ll be able to provide us with your thoughts. Please take part and submit your feedback on this form when it becomes available.
In addition, Somerset County Council has commissioned an independent organisation called Blue marble Research to conduct some focus groups/depth interviews so you may be contacted directly by them and invited to take part in those sessions.
In the meantime and if you have any questions around the One Somerset business case then please take a look at the website which is updated regularly with all the latest information.’
However, the District Councils of Somerset disagree with the One Somerset proposal and South Somerset District Council has a page on its website accordingly:http://www.strongersomerset.co.uk/
This was also discussed by Castle Cary Town Council in July: https://www.castle-cary.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/CCTC-Approved-Minutes-for-Town-Council-Meeting-2020-07-20.pdf (Chair’s report c)
Our trusty Community and Tourist Information Desk volunteers have returned to help answer questions from the community and give information about tourism in our town. They are working restricted hours on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays 10.00-12 noon and are operating from the Undercroft with a oneway system. Please follow the directions and observe social distancing and Covid-19 processes at all times. They have information about walks and leaflets about tourist attractions as well as our Welcome Packs for new residents. It would also be useful if you could keep them informed about your forthcoming events and activities as these at last begin to come on stream again.
Our Town and Deputy Clerks will be returning to see residents in person on an appointments only basis on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays starting from Wednesday 3rd September 10.00-12 noon. Please access them through the volunteers on duty in the Undercroft. To make an appointment email: [email protected] or phone 07780 635013 or (01963) 359631
We are hoping very much to bring back Saturday coffee mornings as soon as possible but, having risk assessed the activity rigorously, we are sorry that at the time of writing it is still not possible. Please bear with us, as we are constantly reviewing the situation with information from daily Government updates. We have the safety of our community at heart.
Thank you for your understanding.
Market Day in Castle Cary, Tuesday, 18th August
Bud Martin will perform his hit song ‘Little Old Lady from Castle Cary’
This will be at 9.30, 10.30, 11.30 and 12.30.
Please always remember to practice social distancing.
It was back in 1997 that Bud Martin – who lives in Yeovil – wrote ‘Little Old Lady from Castle Cary’ but only now has it become a hit, albeit on You Tube! Bud uploaded ‘Little Old Lady from Castle Cary’ to You Tube and within just a few weeks it has attracted five-figure viewing numbers.
Now, to support the town and local businesses at this difficult time, Bud is to perform live ‘Little Old Lady from Castle Cary’ near the Market on Tuesday, 18th August.
For those of you who would like a taster in advance, here is the link: ‘Little Old Lady from Castle Cary’
The library will be open from Tuesday 18 August. There will be a 1-in-1-out policy. You will not be able to browse the shelves.
There is a new Order and Collect service. Simply fill in a form online at Somerset Libraries; phone 0757 904 9109 or collect a form in the library. You can order anything from our library including books, large print books, audiobooks and DVDs. No charges or fines will be issued for any items borrowed. And you can still use the wonderful e-services: e-books, audiobooks, newspapers and magazines.
The public network computer will be available on Friday afternoons only. This must be pre-booked by emailing [email protected] or [email protected]
Much effort has been put into making the library a safe environment for you. We will very much appreciate your understanding when using the new layout and the systems we have put in place.
Please note that face coverings are now required in libraries at all times. The new opening times are:
Tuesday 10 a.m. -12 noon, 2 – 3 p.m.
Wednesday 10 a.m. -12 noon, 2 – 3 p.m.
Friday 10 a.m. -12 noon
Saturday 10 a.m. -12 noon.
Public Network Computer: Friday 2 – 3 p.m. (Pre-booking essential)
Do you want to help shape the future of rural transport services in South Somerset?
For the past 12 months, South Somerset District Council has been investigating how a better rural transport service can be established and now we need your help.
We have been working with partners, commercial providers of new technology and the Government’s innovation arm the Connected Places Catapult, to look at creating alternatives to heavily-subsidised fixed-timetable and fixed-journey services which currently exist.
An important part of this work is to fully understand of needs of residents, and we are delighted to announce that the Connected Places Catapult has chosen South Somerset as the subject of its research looking at a largely rural area.
The first part of this activity is to put together a focus group of 15 people who can help design and launch the study.
How can I help?
We’re inviting residents to put themselves forward as be part of the research group.
Initially, you would have to be available next week to take part in an online session on the 13 July, and participate in two tasks based around how rural transport could be improved in South Somerset.
We are looking for a representative group of residents across the district’s rural areas, including students going to college, people travelling to work, and older residents needing to travel for healthcare. The study will also include shopping and meeting with family and friends.
If you would like the opportunity to shape the way that transport works in South Somerset, please apply by visiting https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/6TE4XP/
A member of the team will be in contact with you should your application be successful. We are particularly keen to hear from people who rely on public transport to move around the district and those who are eager to switch to public transport for environmental benefits.
CASTLE CARY’s TUESDAY MARKET
RETURNS on 7 JULY
The following traders will be there:
Taylor’s of Bruton (Bread)
Paul (Hart’s Natural Seafood),
Shaun & Karen (Fruit & Veg),
Leah (Blissful Bakes),
Simon (Hillside Farm Cheese etc.),
Pop (Thai Food),
Claire (Perennial Plants),
Erin (Ethnic Clothing).
Expect a different layout as they will be following the recommended safety guidelines.
We ask you all please to do the same by:
There’s been a lot of activity at the end of the cricket nets on the Donald Pither Memorial Field; many thanks go to Nick Weeks, Bob Gilbey, Steve Biddlecombe and Justin Birch for their hard work installing it, saving the Council a lot of money. The hoop was partly funded by Churches Together.
“Great news! The open-air TUESDAY MARKET is returning on 7th July. Our regular traders (many of whom have been busy delivering to you during Lockdown) will be there: Fish, Fruit & Veg, Bread, Perennial Plants, Cheese etc, Cakes, Clothing.
A Risk Assessment has been carried out to ensure both customers and traders are following Government guidelines.
See you there !”
SSDC update: Community grant opportunities for your environmental projects
South Somerset District Council has a long tradition of supporting communities, local voluntary groups and the wider community sector. One of the ways this is enabled is through the Community Grants programme for projects such as community transport, improving recreational facilities, community halls and many more schemes that enhance the lives of the local community.
SSDC have now extended the Community Grants scheme to support local environment initiatives. Last year the Council acknowledged the climate emergency and are now committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2030. This includes supporting environmental progression for communities across the district to develop existing, and kick start new exciting environmental projects.
This new extension to the existing community grants scheme will place environmental progression at its core, offering funding for communities to inspire environmental projects across South Somerset’s local landscape. We’ve seen significant changes in our communities over the past three months and this is an excellent opportunity to ensure the changes are positive with novel projects championing sustainability, carbon neutrality and biodiversity.
The fund will cover up to 50% of the project costs and you will need support from your Parish Council. Applications in the range of £100 to £1,000 will be reviewed by SSDC and your Ward Member, any applications for more than £1,000 are decided by your SSDC Area Committee with a maximum grant of £12,500. Applications can be made at any time throughout the year, but revenue funding is limited so do apply in good time, especially if you have seasonal deadlines to meet.
With the range of funding available, all forms of projects can benefit, from smaller funding projects such as a community orchard, building a bat hotel, or even paying for a regular meeting space where your group can meet to discuss and implement your projects. Larger projects could be for schemes such as a local electric vehicle charging points, energy efficiency for your community hall, wild-flower meadow creation or even buying an acre of land. This new funding will give your community the opportunity to take a great eco idea and see it through to fruition.
Portfolio Holder for Health and Wellbeing Cllr Mike Best said “the SSDC community grants programme has supported many local projects over the years and invests in schemes that are developed by, and for, all our communities. We have always considered applications for environmental focused projects, but now more than ever feel they should be encouraged. This will also serve as a reminder to all potential applicants that our community fund is here to support a huge variety of community projects to enhance where we live”
Portfolio Holder for the Environment Cllr Sarah Dyke said “Lockdown has been a challenging time for everyone and yet in some spaces the environment has been given the opportunity to flourish. Air quality has improved and areas of grass left to grow through the spring have created new habitats for wildlife and pollinators. By re-launching our community grants scheme with an enhanced environmental component we […]
Thank you to everyone involved. Do walk over to the Fairfield and look at our new “mini-meadow” near St Andrew’s Church. Although like everywhere else it is waiting for rain, the cornflowers and poppies are managing (without the help of any watering) to produce a spectacular display, especially first thing in the morning.
29 May 2020
Recycling centres: Back to summer opening next week
Somerset Waste Partnership’s recycling centres will revert to their usual summer opening hours from Monday 1 June.
As well as the current temporary hours, the odds and even number plate access system will also come to an end from Monday. All other restrictions remain in place as SWP continues the move towards business as usual following Coronavirus closures.
Eleven of the 16 sites reopened on 11 May, and the remaining five on Tuesday (26 May), though materials and access remain restricted.
Please see https://www.somersetwaste.gov.uk/recycling/centres/ from Monday morning for all sites’ opening hours – note that for Taunton, Yeovil and Frome it means a return to seven days a week opening.
SWP is continuing its plea for people to only come if it is really necessary and to take full advantage of the weekly kerbside recycling collections, which have continued throughout the crisis.
Long queues are expected at the sites, especially first thing in the morning, as the number of unloading bays has been reduced to allow social distancing. Queue cams are viewable for Bridgwater, Chard, Highbridge, Minehead, Somerton, Street, Taunton and Yeovil. Please check before you leave.
Odd and even number plate access continue until Sunday 31 May:
Odd numbers on Saturday (for example 01, 19 etc)
Even numbers on Sunday (for example 02, 18 etc)
A maximum of two people per household will be permitted, gloves must be worn while outside your vehicle and strict social distancing maintained. Trailers and 3.5 tonne vans are only allowed access between 4pm and 6pm on weekdays.
Only materials accepted (and what happens to them):
Rubbish – material you would usually put in your black rubbish bin, excess black bags not taken by kerbside collections, and bulky items like furniture (landfilled in Somerset, soon to be sent to an Avonmouth energy-from-waste plant)
Green waste – garden waste such as grass cuttings, leaves, hedge trimmings (composted in Somerset)
Large household electrical items – white goods, cookers TVs etc (recycled in UK)
Household hazardous waste, such as solvents, garden chemicals, paint thinners and antifreeze (treated and disposed of in UK)
Waste cooking oil and engine old, in disposable containers of up to five litres (recycled in UK)
Scrap metal (recycled in UK)
Any items you would usually pay to have disposed of will not be accepted – including tyres, gas bottles, soil and hardcore, vehicle parts, commercial waste, plasterboard and asbestos.
Access to the normal recycling banks is not possible. So, unless you really need to, please do not bring cardboard, food and drink cans, paper, food waste, plastic bottles, glass bottles and jars. These can be recycled using the continuing weekly recycle collections: https://www.somersetwaste.gov.uk/recycling-collections/
If you want to recycle waste wood, plastic pots tubs and trays, TetraPaks and small electricals, please hold on to them until the sites return to normal.
Mickey Green, SWP Managing Director, said: “This is another step towards business as usual. The restrictions are there to keep everyone safe, but they do reduce capacity so please do only come if you really need […]
On-street parking patrols are due to restart in Somerset on Monday (1 June) following the easing of coronavirus restrictions.
With more pupils returning to schools and some businesses starting to reopen, Somerset County Council’s civil enforcement officers will return to help keep roads clear and traffic moving.
At first, they will serve penalty notices on vehicles parked on double yellow lines, in places with loading restrictions, bus stops and dropped kerbs in public areas – all locations where no vehicles should be parked.
For the first seven days, penalties will not be served where parking is permitted, such as resident bays, pay and display locations, limited waiting bays and single yellow lines (at times). The vehicle may have been left correctly and the driver may have, for example, self-isolated. A warning letter will be left on these vehicles asking that it is immediately removed to avoid receiving penalties in future.
Councillor John Woodman, Cabinet member for highways and transport at Somerset County Council, said: “During the lockdown, most parking enforcement officers have been redeployed to other roles supporting the community, such as delivering PPE or managing queuing traffic at the reopened household waste recycling centres or testing centres.
“Their efforts are greatly appreciated, and I would like to thank them as they begin to resume their normal duties.”
Requests for residents’ paper permits have been on hold since the start of the UK lockdown but preparations are now being made to issue them. The expiry date will be extended to make sure people receive a full 12-month period. All annual virtual resident permits are being extended for two months to cover the period of suspension and ensure everyone receives a full 12 months’ value.
Please check with your district council for information on car parks in your local area.
Staged return of children to early years settings and schools
|From the week beginning 1 June, and conditional on the national COVID 19 situation, the Government is proposing that mainstream provision is extended to include early years settings, all primary school pupils in reception, Year One and Year Six as part of a staged return to school.
|The proposals also include the provision of face-to-face contact for pupils in Year 10 and 12.
|The Council, early years providers and school leaders are currently discussing how this can be implemented safely for pupils and staff, following Government guidelines. You can read these in full here.
|Children of key workers and vulnerable pupils will continue to be given priority.
|Please note early years settings are being asked to open to all children but must carry out a risk assessment to ascertain how many children they can safely accommodate at any one time. Settings may therefore reduce the numbers of children they can safely care for and where this is the case priority will be given to 3 and 4 year-olds in the first instance.
|Similarly, it may be that, because of specific circumstances, not all schools will be able to offer full time provision to the year groups set out in the government guidance. Head teachers will be contacting parents and carers to advise what provision they will be able to make.
|Each educational setting is different, and we all need to support the professionalism and judgement of education leaders who will be making difficult decisions over the next few weeks and months, based on the context of their setting and community.
|The government is also proposing the return of all primary school pupils, if possible, for up to a month before the beginning of the summer holidays. We are awaiting further details on this.
We have made a further revision to our timetable effective from this coming Monday (18th), with an additional service in the morning running from Westbury to Weymouth.
This service leaves Westbury at 0652, departing Dorchester West at 0808 and terminating at Weymouth at 0820. It will then form the return working 0849 service from Weymouth to Westbury.
See the timetable here.
We have been overwhelmed by the support for Cary Cares from people in the town. It is both encouraging and moving to have so many people giving generously to help their neighbours.
Both of us who have been very involved in setting up and running Cary Cares also have other concerns. Save the Children depends a great deal for its international work on the money raised in its charity shops. And they are all currently closed. Next week is Christian Aid Week and normally Christian Aid raises a substantial proportion of its income during the Week which, in this town, involves a coffee morning and door to door deliveries and collection. Neither can happen this year.
But the development projects and relief work that these organisations do are as necessary as ever. If coronavirus spreads into communities which have more basic health care than ours, or through overcrowded refugee camps, the suffering will be considerable. While we are focussed on the needs of people in our own locality please also support organisations such as Christian Aid and Save the Children who continue to work with some of the world’s poorest people.
You can find out more and give online at https://www.christianaid.org.uk/ and www.savethechildren.org.uk
If you have another aid organisation that you prefer to support, please give to them. We are not in competition! We just work in different ways with different networks. And if there is a need and an opportunity to do so, we work together. The important thing is that people get the help they need.
Ainsley Creedy, Fund Raising Volunteer, Save the Children UK.
David Osborne, Chair of Christian Aid in Castle Cary and Ansford.
Just to add to the problems we all have to face at the moment, there will be a road closure on Station Road just before it joins the A371 at the bottom of Ansford Hill. Any vehicle travelling from Shepton Mallet to any place in Station Road beyond the closure will need to travel up Ansford Hill, down North Street and around the town to Station Road. Anyone wanting to travel from Station Road towards Shepton will have to go through the town and up North Street, onto the A371 and down Ansford Hill.
The diversion takes vehicles all around the town; we hope that HGVs won’t be directed unnecessarily through the town, but please let Highways know if this happens.
To report a problem please click on the website: https://www.somerset.gov.uk/roads-and-transport/
If you’d prefer to phone: SCC Highways Dept –0300 123 2224
|Appeal goes out for short-term foster carers
|Somerset County Council is appealing for potential short-term foster carers to come forward to help children and young people during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency.
Recruits will help care for children looked after, aged 0-18, and will be provided with all the support given to mainstream foster carers including a supervising social worker and weekly fee and allowance. The Council is keen to hear from those who have had an enhanced DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check in the last 12 months in any other role.
“It does not matter if you are single or in a relationship, if you are a homeowner or renting, or whether you have children of your own – anyone can be a foster carer. We need carers as diverse as the children in our care,” said Councillor Frances Nicholson, Cabinet member for Children and Families.
“Children need a safe and secure home and in these very difficult times that is more important than ever.”
The County Council will assess candidates as COVID-19 Short Term Foster Carers completing a condensed assessment and intensive training.
A home visit will be required as part of the assessment and social distancing will be maintained.
Once assessed, a panel – meeting virtually – will consider the carer and a decision can be made. If the candidate is approved as a short-term carer, they can care for a child for up to three months. There will be a review every four weeks to make sure the carer has the right support and can still care for the child.
Allowances currently start at £143.57 per week for each child, plus a minimum of £75 per week foster carer fee. Payments are higher for an older child or for those caring for more than one child.
At the end of the three months, carers can consider moving towards a full fostering role or end their involvement with the child moving to alternative longer-term carers
To apply or find out more information contact Fostering In Somerset on 0800 587 9900, visit www.fosteringinsomerset.org.uk.
Thank you to everyone who has contributed towards Cary Cares since we first made an appeal a week ago.
As of 17th April, £8,760 has been given.
This is a great help and the result of many generous donations. The money will go towards paying for food boxes for people who find themselves at the moment unable to buy the food and other essentials they need; crediting people who, because of the lockdown can’t access money they have; and our very small running expenses.
Over a hundred volunteers from across Castle Cary and Ansford are involved in Cary Cares: helping with collecting medicines and shopping; contacting people who are feeling cut off; helping with emergency electricity or gas top-ups; and supplying and delivering the food boxes which are our alternative to a food bank. Thank you to all of them as well.
Across the town and the surrounding area many more people are helping neighbours with shopping and other tasks during the epidemic. Congratulations to all who are putting themselves out to help others. Cary Cares is pleased to be a part of a big network of caring neighbours.
If you need us, we’re here: 01963 351362 from 9.30 a.m. to 4 p.m. or [email protected]
Secretary of Churches Together in Castle Cary and Ansford.
We received a message from Nat West in Yeovil today: “at the moment all our mobile fleet have been grounded and our home branch of Yeovil is on restricted hours (Mon-Fri 10:00 to 13:00), as soon as this changes I will let you know. Stay safe in these challenging times.”
If you cannot afford to buy food at the moment Cary Cares is operating a food box scheme as a local alternative to a food bank. Please phone 01963 351362, 9.30am – 4pm for help.
Cary Cares can:
- Provide someone to collect medicines or shopping for you if you need to isolate, whatever your age.
- Provide a food box if your circumstances have changed and you cannot buy food at the moment: this is in place of a food bank.
- Arrange for a phone call if you’re feeling cut off
- Help with an electricity or gas card top up in an emergency
Phone 01963 351362
9.30am – 4pm
Cary Cares is organised by Churches Together in Castle Cary and Ansford and endorsed by the Town Council.
New from Libraries West
If you have always thought about doing some family history research but never got around to it, now is the perfect time. Ancestry.com, which has previously only been available in libraries, is now available for you to use at home. You just have to log in to Libraries West in the normal way and then you click on to the blue words “Access to Ancestry Library Edition” to open the software. There are hours of fun to be had here!
Underneath this you will see that Libraries West is also offering access to medici.tv until 15 May. If you enjoy classical music, opera or ballet this channel has some amazing content.
Of course if you have never used the Libraries West e-services this won’t mean much to you. There couldn’t be a better time to start!
Audio books, e-books and magazine…. there is endless free material to read and listen to at home, and it is continually being updated.
If you aren’t a library member at present it doesn’t matter. You can join online at the Libraries West website and will be given a 3 month temporary membership whilst libraries remain closed. Simple!
Castle Cary Community Library Manager
This has just arrived from Cary Crier. If you’d like to be kept up to date by email, please subscribe at: https://www.castle-cary.co.uk/sign-up-for-cary-crier-our-t…/
We have now got Coronavirus in Somerset and it is essential that people over 70 and those with health conditions stay at home and, unless they have other support, make use of the shopping and medicine collection service run by CaryCares (see below).This is not only to keep everyone safe but also to protect the NHS.
(NB. All Cary Cares volunteers will have identification)
Cary Cares has extended the services it offers to include enabling people who use a card or key power meter to get it topped up in an emergency. This applies to those who cannot get out, cannot go to the Post Office on a Thursday morning, or have run out of money. It also now has extended the hours the phone is staffed.
· – Provide someone to collect medicines or shopping for you
· – Provide a food box if your circumstances have changed and you cannot currently buy food.
· – Help you get your electricity or gas card/key topped up in an emergency
· – Arrange for someone to give you a call if you’re feeling cut off.
For CaryCares: phone 01963 351362 9.30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Cary Cares is organised by Churches Together in Castle Cary and Ansford and endorsed by the Town Council.
The Food Boxes are being funded by the Cary Town Charity (see previous email for details) and we are grateful for the large number of generous donations that have been made. The George hotel is using its supply chain to order long life food for the boxes and Morrisons has kindly donated some foodstuffs as well.
The details of this service are on the Town Website (https://www.castle-cary.co.uk/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-…/) and on Facebook CaryCares (https://www.facebook.com/carycarescorona/)
Over the Bank Holiday Weekend
The following shops are open with safe shopping schemes – however over 70s should stay at home and rely on friends or CaryCares (see below).
Some of the shops below will also deliver
The Co-op – 01963 350482
The Deli – 01963 351000
Denela’s Bakery – 01963 359013
George the Greengrocer – 01963 351551
The Market Garden – 07738 524254
Somerset Wine Company – 01963 351919
Thoroughly Wild Meat Company – 07770 392041
Unwrapped Essentials – 01963 359159
Wine Wizard – 01963 351919
For takeaway cooked food
The Bay Tree – 01963 350989
The George Hotel – 01963 350761
Home Café – 07432 731092
Levant – 07779 093020
There are several other local shops offering gift services, pet foods and more. Check the town website www.castle-cary.co.uk for more details.
All parking charges in Castle Cary have been suspended whilst the wardens are redeployed to help with services for vulnerable people.
Please let our shops know how much we all appreciate their hard work delivering goods, maintaining levels of stock, turning their hands to new areas of work and keeping very cheerful in difficult times.
We have been posting regular […]
South Somerset District Council is continuing to ensure that our communities receive all the help they need during the Covid-19 pandemic. This includes offering extra support in areas where our residents need it most.
A big addition to this extra support is the brand new pop up SSDC Wellbeing Hub which has been set up to supply food parcels and other supplies to South Somerset residents in most urgent need. The Hub is already up and running and more than 30 deliveries have already been made to residents who are shielding or who fit the criteria where they are recognised as vulnerable.
Many SSDC staff were redeployed to work around the clock to get the Wellbeing Hub in place. The project has been led by managers from our Commercial Services team who have worked alongside our Strategic Planning Specialists, partners; including Yeovil Town Council, supermarkets (including Tesco and Co-op) and many other suppliers who have offered help and donations of which we are so grateful. Staff from our closed venues at Westlands and the Ninesprings Café have used our catering kitchens to split down catering packs of pasta and rice to make more manageable packet sizes to go in the food boxes.
To cope with the ongoing future need, many members of staff have now moved from their usual roles to help our Connect team handle the extra calls that will be coming in to request food parcels, and our Entertainment Box Office team will be processing the orders before our Environment Service colleagues go out to deliver them. It’s all hands to the pump and everyone is doing their bit.
So how will this help you if you need to use this service? Here some questions we think might be asked.
How do I get a food parcel?
Residents who are shielding who have NOT received a food parcel from the Government and residents who are assessed as vulnerable can now call 0300 790 6275 to find out if they are eligible.
How much do they cost?
Shielded people (as identified by the NHS) will get their first food parcel free. Vulnerable people will pay a set fee depending on the size of parcel required. £26 for a single person, £30 for couples and £52 for families of 4-5 people. This service is non-profit and delivery is free.
What is in the food parcel?
All goods are non-perishable and should give a broad choice of food needed to prepare balanced meals. The parcels also include toilet rolls, cleaning and hygiene products.
How long does it take to get a food parcel?
Most food parcels will be delivered the next day between 10am and 4pm.
If this self-isolating goes on for some time, what happens if I need a repeat order?
You can email or phone an order through to the team. Your details will have been saved making ordering and paying quicker.
How often can I order?
Box contents are built around a weeks’ worth of food, re-ordering shouldn’t be required under this time period.
Can I book a time slot?
No, deliveries will usually be […]
South Somerset District Council has issued this document with details of the support they can give to businesses at this difficult time.
Debt recovery guidance for Covid-19: Guidance for customers
We are aware that many of our customers and taxpayers will be experiencing very real difficulties during this uncertain period. While we try to continue to provide services to support our taxpayers, especially our most vulnerable people, we also have to collect our income from those that can afford it. Below is some guidance about our collection of debts for those on payment plans and those who pay by direct debit.
It is really important that you contact us on 01935 462462 if you have difficulty in continuing your payments. We are here to support you where we can.
We will still be collecting direct debit payments for those that have signed up to this, and have an agreed instalment schedule in place for monthly collections. Should customers feel they are unable to continue at this time with their instalment plan they should contact us and we will discuss a pause or reschedule to their plan. Each customer will have to be assessed on an individual basis.
Cancelled Direct Debits
It is important to contact us and not to cancel direct debits without discussion. We will be contacting all those customers who have cancelled their Direct Debit to inform them that their instalment plan has now been cancelled and payment is due on the full amount, unless they contact us to arrange another instalment plan.
Please make payments via our website or by telephone 01935 462462 or contact us if you wish to set up a direct debit. Please do NOT send us cheques, as we are not currently receiving post.
Council Tax Support
If you have made a claim for Universal Credit and you told the DWP that you have a Council Tax liability they will send us your information direct so you do not need to complete one of our forms. We will process your application once we receive confirmation of your Universal Credit award – we will also get this direct from DWP.
If you have not claimed Universal Credit you can claim Council Tax Support if you need help paying your Council Tax using our online form https://www.southsomerset.gov.uk/services/benefits/housing-benefit-and-council-tax-support/can-i-apply/
If you are still struggling to pay your Council Tax after we have awarded you Council Tax Support you can make an application for further help using our online form https://www.southsomerset.gov.uk/services/benefits/housing-benefit-and-council-tax-support/apply-for-housing-benefit-and-council-tax-support/
The Hardship Support fund provides for all customers of working age, who qualify for Council Tax Support during the 2020/21 financial year to receive an additional reduction of up to £150 for the year. If you have less than £150 to pay on you Council Tax bill after any other discounts and Council Tax Support has been applied then a hardship fund award will reduce your bill to zero. If the balance to pay is more than £150 a hardship fund award of £150 will be credited to your Council Tax account.
Our aim is to apply these reductions to Council Tax accounts as soon as possible. You do NOT need […]
A message from Avon & Somerset Police:
Please find attached an information pack of three documents, containing advice about ransomware, phishing, working from home and online fraud. These are the most prevalent attacks that the UK police forces are seeing right now due to the Coronavirus Pandemic.
The documents include a quick reference guide, a presentation and a written information document, which are meant to be read together side by side, but the written document can be read separately.
Please pass on these documents and distribute it throughout your contacts in order to remain safe and secure during this Crisis. Threat actors are increasingly targeting individuals, businesses and organisations and using the pandemic as a manipulation tool to install malware and steal personal information. The attached documents will advise the reader of the current threats and how to create a stronghold for themselves while working from home or using the internet for personal reasons.
CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19): Connect hub at Petters closed to public but we’re still here to support you
Our Connect customer hub at Petters Way has been closed with immediate effect following Government advice but we are continuing to deliver essential services to the public.
Hundreds of our staff are still working hard to ensure we can deliver for our communities as well as push forward with key projects.
Council Leader Val Keitch said: “We recognise that providing our services in South Somerset is vital at this time and in the months of recovery that will follow.
“It will undoubtedly be challenging to maintain all services over the coming weeks and so we will be prioritising support for residents, communities and businesses.
“We are already starting to see an increase in demand from people facing hardship due to the virus and its impact on businesses. We promise to support you and support all of our communities.”
If you need to contact us, you can visit our website – where many of our services are offered online – at www.southsomerset.gov.uk or by phone at 01935 462462.
Further updates will be provided as to alternative arrangements for people if they are not online or have access to a phone.
Provisions are also being made for those who need to use our homelessness service.
Please visit the Government’s website for the latest information on Coronavirus (COVID-19) here – https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
If you need guidance from the NHS, visit https://www.nhs.uk/coronavirus
If you are a business in need of support, visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses
We will be updating our information on Coronavirus here – https://www.southsomerset.gov.uk/your-council/
- Stay at home
- Only go outside for food, health reasons or essential work
- Stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people
- Wash your hands as soon as you get home
- Anyone can spread the virus.
Full guidance on staying at home and away from others
Castle Cary Chamber of Commerce has produced a list of local businesses that will take orders and deliver during this difficult time. Please click here for the list.
The Plant Sale scheduled to take place at the Market House on 16th May has been cancelled. There may be a scaled-down version at a local farm with a self-service stall. If this is going to take place, we will let you know nearer the time.
You may have seen in this morning’s media that following discussions with government and the wider rail industry, we are reducing services to reflect national advice against non-essential travel, while maintaining services critical to keeping key workers moving during the current situation.
The new timetable will operate from Monday (23 March). There will however also be some changes to advertised services over this weekend. The new timetable will operate until further notice.
The changes prioritise key routes, essential for those people continuing to deliver vital services as the UK responds to the current situation. We will be operating hourly London services to Bristol Temple Meads, South Wales, Worcester Shrub Hill and Plymouth where customers will be able to connect for Cornwall. Customers for the South Cotswolds will be able to connect with a two hourly service from Swindon. There will also be significant changes to regional and branch line services.
These are difficult times and we acknowledge that some of these changes may be difficult for some customers, but I know you will recognise the need for us to keep services running for those with critical roles and I would be grateful for any help you can give in getting the message out about these changes and why we are making them.
There will be some reduction in services this weekend and a new GWR train timetable will be operating from Monday 23 March. The internet timetables will take 7-10 days to update. After that you can go to www.gwr.com/travel-updates/check-your-journey. Until then GWR will be adding details on a dedicated page on their website: www.gwr.com
Medicines and Shopping Help Scheme organised by Churches Together with Millbrook Surgery and supported by Castle Cary Town Council. This leaflet will be delivered to all houses in the town tomorrow and over the weekend. We are very grateful to all the volunteers who are involved in this scheme. Please click here to view the leaflet.
Just so that you know….
1) Caryford Hall will be closed to all routine bookings from the end of Friday 20 March, except for the NHS Blood Doning session booked for 16 April. The Hall will also be available for official or community use should that prove necessary.
2) The Vintage Markets on Saturday 4 April, and Saturday 2 May will not take place. Hopefully there may be one in June… watch this space.
3) The Eat Cary Festival scheduled for Saturday 2 May is also cancelled.
Due to the current Covid-19 virus pandemic, and following government guidelines, the places/events below will be closed/cancelled until further notice.
The Market House (Town Clerk & Information Office)
Cinema in Caryford (Moviola). (tel: 01963 350132)
All Community Coffee Mornings
The Tuesday Market will take place as usual
The Market House Dance Studio is not closed: (email [email protected], tel: 07805571590)
Due to the current situation regarding Coronavirus, we have very sadly decided to cancel future screening for Cinema in Caryford starting with Official Secrets on Tuesday March 31st. As with many of our gatherings in the area, our audience is not young and we would hate to put anyone at risk. We hope to restart as soon as possible.
Any questions, queries, please call 01963 350 132. We do not think many of you have bought tickets, but please ring regarding refunds.
The Town Council Information Point & Office are currently closed.
All bookings at the Market House have been cancelled. We will try to contact all hirers directly.
For the time being, the Town Clerk (Zöe) will be working from the Market House but will not be seeing members of the public in person. Please call 01963 359631 or email [email protected]
The Deputy Town Clerk (Claire) and Bookings and Promotions Manager (Holly) will be working from home. We have ordered mobile phones for them and will publicise the numbers when they are known. In the meantime, please contact the Town Clerk with any enquiries.
There is up to date information on our website www.castle-cary.co.uk
You can also phone Councillors:
Judi Morison on 07989 986190
or Nick Weeks on 07885 347822
We apologise for any inconvenience and will re-open as soon as possible.
Look after your neighbour and your community as COVID-19 cases increase
There has been an outpouring of public support and care for each other across Somerset communities as COVID-19 (coronavirus) continues to increase across the UK.
Somerset County Council is delighted to see so many rally around and offer their support to those in communities self-isolating, the elderly or those in identified ‘at risk’ groups such as the over 70s, pregnant women, a weakened immune system or people with underlying health conditions.
Cllr Christine Lawrence, Cabinet Member for Customers and Communities at Somerset County Council said: “It’s truly humbling to see so many of our residents come together in our communities to find ways to plan and support each other as the number of cases of Coronavirus increase. We thank you. We urge you to continue to look out for your friends, family, neighbours and community, but most of all yourself. It’s important you stay safe, so you can continue to help others.
“I know many people have signed up to support local groups via social media, which is great to see. We’d like to encourage these groups to link with their local town or parish council as this ensures everyone is kept safe, and help is received by those in the community who need it most.
“Helpful advice has also emerged to protect residents who may need community support. This includes not putting a sign on your door openly stating you are vulnerable, don’t share more personal information than absolutely necessary, don’t share bank or card details or give people your cards to make purchases and contact the organisers of the group if someone asks you to pay more for something than you normally would.”
Covid-19 Mutual Aid UK has started to compile a list of local groups set up on social media sites such as Facebook or WhatsApp in an effort to share learning, resources and support. To find out what groups may be in your area, or to register a group, go to: https://covidmutualaid.org/local-groups/
Also check with your local parish and town council or via social media to see if there is already a group operating in your area before starting a new group.
The Community Council for Somerset (community / village agents) are already working in communities with different groups and individuals to make sure the vulnerable are identified and supported. Local village agent details can be found at https://somersetagents.org/somerset-village-agents/
‘Spark Somerset’ are also looking at what support they can provide to voluntary sector organisations and community groups locally, including looking to identify charities who may be needing help from volunteers. To find out more visit: https://www.sparksomerset.org.uk/
Cllr Lawrence added: “Don’t forget that latest government advice is to self-isolate for 14 days if you or a member of your household starts to show Coronavirus symptoms of a new, continuous cough and/or a fever. Also, we can all play our part to reduce its spread through basic hygiene measures such as washing your hands […]
As of today Friday 13 March 2020
Members of the public who develop symptoms of new and persistent cough and / or a high temperature (37.8 degrees or higher) are advised to self-isolate for 7 days regardless or travel and contact history.
If you develop these symptoms please DO NOT come to the surgery or local hospital. If you cannot manage your symptoms at home and require medical treatment / advice please use NHS111 online 111.nhs.uk (please only telephone 111 if you do not have access to the internet).
Patients who are self-isolating for 7 days do not need a fit note, unless they need to isolate for more than 7 days as their symptoms have not improved, at which time they should use NHS111 online to obtain a fit note, Millbrook Surgery will not be issuing fit notes.
We will only be allowing patients in to the surgery that
-Have a pre-booked appointment AND have satisfied us that they do not have symptoms (if you have a booked appointment you will be contacted prior by a member of our team either via text message or telephone, we please ask that you respond promptly)
Upon arrival to your appointment please report straight to receptionist who will check we have all of the information we need prior to telling the clinician you have arrived
– Have telephoned us first and we are aware you will be attending the surgery for a specific reason, you will be asked the same screening questions regarding**Prescriptions**
We are advising that all patients order their repeat prescriptions online which is our preferred method (if you do not have online access please telephone us and we will set this up for you) If you do not have access to the internet you can telephone our prescriptions line 01963 359354 which opens at 11am Monday – Friday.
If you absolutely cannot use the above methods please put your repeat prescription slip in the post box on the wall outside of the surgery. Please do not come in to the surgery.
**Collecting hearing aid batteries, prescriptions, fit notes and other items**
If you need to collect an item from the surgery, please ensure you have telephoned us first so we are aware of your arrival at the surgery. You will be asked the same screening questions regarding symptoms.
** Groups at the surgery **
All groups that run at the surgery are now suspended until further notice. We are very sorry for this and understand this may be upsetting news to patients who enjoy coming to our groups.
**Health Visitor Clinic**
Health Visitor clinics are now by appointment only, please telephone us to book an appointment.
We have been advised by Public Health and NHS England to manage as much as we can remotely unless absolutely necessary for patients to be seen in the surgery, this means your care may be managed over the telephone or by online video consultation, please be reassured we will only use these methods if clinically appropriate and safe.
If you are worried or unsure […]
Have 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 [email protected] or telephone 01935 384119
Please click here for a statement from Castle Cary Town Council.
“Festival of Heavenly Stars”
Saturday & Sunday 14/15 December
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
All Saints’ Church, Castle Cary
A variety of Stars & Star-themed exhibits made by shops, businesses, organisations & individuals will decorate the whole church for 2 days, culminating in the Combined Carol Service
at 4 p.m. on Sunday 15th.
Refreshments available all day & there will be a stall selling
Christmas decorations & Christmas fare.
Donations invited in aid of All Saints’ Development Fund.
Somerset County Council County Hall, Taunton
Somerset, TA1 4DY
Have Your Say
School admissions arrangements for children who are due to start or transfer school for the 2021-22 school year, and those moving schools during the 2021-22 school year will be consulted on for a minimum period of 6 weeks ending 31 January 2020.
This consultation applies to a number of schools and academies throughout Somerset.
This consultation period allows parents, other schools, religious authorities and the local community to raise any comments or concerns about proposed admission arrangements.
To view the consultation (live from 9 December) please visit https://www.somerset.gov.uk/education-and-families/school-admissions-policy/.
Meet the Builder at The Market House – Shambles. On Thursday 21st November 4 – 6 p.m.
A construction firm called Engie is inviting residents to talk to them on Thursday this week. Engie is employed by the developers Stonewater to build the 125 houses on Wayside Farm on Station Road (this is the last site on the left when travelling towards the Station). This site is now apparently called “Mulberry Meadows”! Representatives from Engie will be able to answer questions such as “When will the site be finished?”
Stonewater, the developers, are currently seeking to renegotiate the number of affordable homes on the site and the amount of S106 money paid to our community. (This is a levy, agreed at the outset, to help the community improve infrastructure). (Planning applications 19/02353/DPO & 19/01411/DPO) There may be a representative from Stonewater present. It is to Stonewater that questions about therequested reduction in funding for local projects should be addressed.
We (the Town and Parish Councils) opposed this development and it was passed at appeal by a Government Inspector. We are where we are, and it is going to happen. Please remember that it is rare for developers/builders to engage with the community and in this instance, if attending, extreme politeness is likely to result in the best outcome!!!
Donate your Winter Fuel Payment so Somerset’s elderly
don’t have to choose between eating and heating
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.
Important notice from the Post Office…from 7th November, undeliverable parcels and letters will be taken to Wincanton not Castle Cary Post Office. There will be an option to arrange redelivery so you shouldn’t always have to go to Wincanton.
See this letter for details: Letter re parcel collection from Wincanton