Avon and Somerset Police launch scheme to protect elderly and vulnerable residents from bogus callers

Avon and Somerset Police is marking Stop Adult Abuse Week with the launch of a scheme to protect elderly and vulnerable residents in the region.


The Nominated Neighbour scheme, which has already been used successfully in some areas of the region and is now being rolled out across the Avon and Somerset policing area to help protect elderly and vulnerable residents within the from bogus callers.


The scheme works by a vulnerable resident identifying a trusted neighbour or friend to act as a ‘Nominated Neighbour’. Any ‘Unknown Callers’ at the vulnerable neighbour’s door will be directed to their ‘Nominated Neighbour’ so that their credentials and identification can be checked and verified.


Once the ‘Nominated Neighbour’ is happy with the caller’s identity they will accompany them to their neighbour’s house and stay until they have finalised their business and the caller leaves.


Inspector Julie Knight, Local Policing Directorate, Avon and Somerset Police said: “This year’s Stop Adult Abuse Week is all about prevention. We already know that social isolation and loneliness increases vulnerability to crime. This is a particular issue for the more elderly members of our communities, with over 85’s estimated to spend an average of 90% of their time in the home.


“Our neighbourhood teams have strong community connections and we will work with partners to help deliver the right support to the right people. But, we are aware that some people don’t feel comfortable asking for help so we are urging people to reach out to elderly and vulnerable people in their communities and ask if they would like to sign up to this scheme and offer to be their ‘nominated neighbour’. The Nominated Neighbour scheme provides a great way of letting older people in your community know you are looking out for them, helping them to feel safe”


Why it’s important:


  • Latest crime figures show that last year 1765 elderly people across Avon and Somerset were victims of violence with a further 1592 the target of burglary.

·        Older people can be more vulnerable to scams, cons and fraud; doorstep crime, distraction burglary, online/mail/telephone scams

  • The group most likely to be the victim of distraction burglary is female, over 81 years old, living alone



Safety net at Sharpham Road children’s play area

The blue netting at the children’s play area at Sharpham Road, which had been left in a corner of the play area having been taken down by unknown person/s, has now gone missing.  

If you know of its whereabouts, please return it for the safety of the children of Cheddar to the Pavilion or to the parish council offices in Church Street.  

The netting was there to prevent stray cricket balls from coming into the play area and the parish council would very much like to see it returned or be made aware of its whereabouts.  We would be grateful of any assistance that parishioners can give.

Draycott Road Play Area


Draycott Road Play Area, Cheddar


The play area in Draycott Road, Cheddar is set for a £19,000 make-over.

Draycott Road has a small park which requires renovation. Works will commence on 23rd May 2017, resulting in the play area being closed for approximately 3 weeks, subject to favourable weather conditions.

A new triple swing consisting of a basket, junior and toddler seat will be installed alongside a rotational climbing net, spring see-saw, whale rocker, play panels, two new benches and a refurbished multi-play unit. New safety surfacing will also be provided beneath the items of equipment.

Sedgemoor’s Clean Surroundings team will be creating a second access point at the north end of the play area to improve safety and enable better access.

The project is being funded from Sedgemoor’s Parks Development budget and RLT2 developer contributions which Cheddar Parish Council agreed at Full Council should be used to support the refurbishment of the play area.

Cheddar Annual Parish Meeting 19th April 2017

Residents of Cheddar Parish are invited to attend the Annual Parish Meeting on 19th April at 19.00 to be held in Hannah More Cottage.

Residents will be able to hear from the Chairman of the Parish Council on the events of the past year; celebrate the awarding of Community Service Awards; listen to a talk given by Ian Clemmett, Lead Ranger for National Trust Somerset Coast and Countryside and enjoy refreshments whilst talking with parish Councillors afterwards.

All residents of the parish are invited.

New home composting scheme

Somerset Waste Partnerhip is continuing the scheme with Getcomposting to provide competitively priced home composting equipment to Somerset residents. You can order online, by phone on by post. 

Once again, the price remains £17.98 (RRP £39.00) for the 220l bin and £19.98 (RRP £49.00) for the 330l bin. They are also continuing with the “buy one get one half price” offer.

Waste services over Easter

Kerbside recycling and refuse collections that would usually occur on Good Friday 14 April will be on Saturday 15 April. All collections in the week starting Easter Monday 17 April will be one day later, with Friday’s pick-ups moving to Saturday 22 April.


Keep an eye on revised collections by visiting Somerset Waste Partnerhips website to see the details of bank holiday changes over Easter, May and the August bank holidays.


Many of us are indulge in Easter treats such as chocolate eggs or cakes over the long weekend. Please remember to recycle cardboard boxes or (clean) packaging card sleeves as well as foil used to wrap these treats. It helps if you can scrunch up foil into a ball, so it does not get lost in the recycling process.  You can check if the foil is plastic or metallic, by giving it a scrunch. If it remains scrunched, it is metallic foil and can be recycled; if it springs back, it is made from plastic polymers and cannot.


If you are using the long weekend break to do a spot of spring cleaning around the house or your garden, remember that the recycling centres will be open on their normal schedule.  To check the opening hours of your local site, see www.somersetwaste.gov.uk/sites/list/

Health and Wellbeing Strategy and Naturally Healthy Month May 2017

Sedgemoor District Council has launched its Health and Wellbeing Strategy for Sedgemoor.  This sets out how the core District Council services contribute to supporting people to live happy, healthy and fulfilling lives.  Underpinning the strategy are six themes:

  • Planning for Sustainable Communities
  • Healthy Housing
  • Economic Independence
  • Healthy Body and Mind
  • Safer Communities
  • Safer Individuals

SDC has not included transport as a theme although it is recognised this is a very important issue as the responsibility for this sits at County Council level.  SDC recognise that Parish/Town Councils and other statutory and voluntary organisations as well as individuals within communities all contribute to promoting community wellbeing and will be looking at ways that it can work in partnership to support and promote project ideas. Therefore, the district council will be interested to hear about what is happening within our community.

The other initiative being promoted is Naturally Healthy Month May 2017.  Access to green space benefits both physical and mental health.   Tentative estimates suggest that a 1% fall in sedentary behaviour could produce nearly £2 billion in benefits through reduction in coronary heart disease, cancers, stroke, depression and anxiety.    May 2017 has been designated as Naturally Healthy Month  during this month a range of organisations are running activities in  green spaces throughout Somerset so that people can enjoy the natural environment around them and feel the benefits of enhanced wellbeing.

The Health and Wellbeing Strategy and the timetable of events for Naturally Healthy Month 2017 can be found on the District Council’s website http://www.sedgemoor.gov.uk/healthyliving

New text number to combat rural crime – 07492 888109

Message from Avon and Somerset Police:

New text number to combat rural crime – 07492 888109

We launched a new text service to help us prevent and detect rural crime in January.

The service was aimed at encouraging rural communities and businesses to help us by providing information and intelligence about suspected crime in their area.

The number allows the public to text information directly to the Rural Crime Team, who assess and action the intelligence quickly and efficiently.

The service is going to continue following its three month trial but the number is changing. The 81819 number, which was also shared with our Drink Drive campaign and other services, is being discontinued and new numbers are being rolled out.

The new Rural Crime number is now 07492 888109 and will working in exactly the same way.

Inspector Joanna Mines, from the Rural Crime Team in Somerset, said: “We trialled the number for three months and have decided to carry on with the service. However, we felt we needed our own specific number and the 81819 number was quite expensive to run. The new number is specifically for Rural Crime and is a lot more cost effective.

“The number came about as many people who belong to our FarmWatch scheme said they wanted a facility to be able to pass on information and respond to messages quickly, and this number has facilitated that.

“We want to hear from anyone who has information about any suspicious or potentially criminal activity in their area, for example – details of people/vehicles seen behaving suspiciously, potentially stolen goods or livestock being offered for sale either to the public or at markets, sightings of stolen vehicles we might put out an alert for.

“No matter how small or insignificant people may think information is, it may be a vital piece of a jigsaw that helps us fill in the gaps and either prevent a crime or bring offenders to justice.”

Messages are currently sent out via text message, voice alert and email to members of the Neighbourhood, Farm and Horse Watch schemes to alert them to crimes and incidents in their area. This new number will allow people to text back information quickly and easily.

Anyone can use it if they have information about rural or agricultural crime in their area, and isn’t just for Watch members.
Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: “Rural crime affects the livelihoods of farmers, smallholders and rural businesses and presents some real challenges for the wider rural areas.

I know the Rural Crime Team, working closely with our local communities are committed to tackling and preventing crime.
“I know from speaking to residents and farmers that there is a real desire to engage with the police when it comes to tackling rural crime. Providing an appropriate way for our rural communities to contact the police with intelligence will make a real difference to ensuring our countryside is safe and feels safe.”

It is important to note that the number isn’t monitored 24/7. The team will be looking at it when they are on duty, it therefore shouldn’t be used for reporting crimes.

You can report a crime online via the police website, or if it’s a crime which requires an immediate police attendance then dial 999.

You can still pass on information via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. They never ask your name or trace your call.

Steve Backshall talks rubbish!

We’re on the countdown to the Great British Spring Clean from 3rd-5th  March  2017, and the campaign is being supported by TV naturalist and writer Steve Backshall, the BAFTA Award-winning Deadly 60 presenter. To hear Steve visit: https://youtu.be/0zw5pSW9HMM

Help clean up Cheddar for an hour or so on Sunday 5th March. Meet at KOW Leisure Centre at 9.30am.  Equipment will be provided.  Please contact the Parish Council  to advise how many people from your organisation are willing to help on the set day (please note children must come with a responsible adult). For more information on the Great British Spring Clean 2017 see: http://www.greatbritishspringclean.org.uk/home/2684#home