Sing for Somerset rings in the Christmas season!

Somerset Community Foundation is once again inviting members of the public to join them for their annual Sing for Somerset carol service in the magnificent Wells Cathedral on Saturday, December 16 at 7pm. Admission is free, no tickets are required and doors will open at 6.15pm. 

Sing for Somerset features a festive mix of traditional and contemporary music conducted by Laurence Blyth, featuring the Mid-Somerset Orchestra, Somerset Voices choir and organist Matthew Redman. Carol sheets will be provided for all to join in the festivities.

The retiring collection will benefit the work of Somerset Community Foundation. For more information, email: or call 01749 344949.

Cheddar Parish Council wins playing fields award

Members of Cheddar Parish Council’s Highways and Open Spaces committee, and groundsman Tom Pearce, with the Healey Trophy

On 18th September, Cheddar Parish Council’s Sharpham Road playing fields received the award for Playing Field of the Year from Somerset Playing Fields Association, a registered charity whose aims are to help and support communities in the traditional county of Somerset and also north Dorset, to provide good quality outdoor recreation facilities. It was the first time Cheddar had entered the competition, and the council received the Healey Trophy from Lord Lieutenant of Somerset Annie Maw. The trophy has in recent years been won by Churchill, Wedmore and Somerton. 

Chair of the parish council’s Highways and Open Spaces Committee Cllr Martin Kay, said “It’s great to have received this award  from the SPFA in recognition of this great facility we have here in Cheddar, and special thanks are due to everyone who helps to look after it, not least our groundsman Tom Pearce”. 

With their Mendip Hills backdrop, Sharpham Road fields provide pitches for football, cricket and rugby, tennis courts, and a skate park. There is also a recently-installed childrens’ play area with additional outdoor fitness equipment. Because of their proximity to the Strawberry Line path and Cheddar Reservoir, the fields are also popular with dog walkers and runners, and they are on three of the local walking routes produced by Cheddar Walking. 

Cllr Kay added “we’d love to enter again next year to defend our title, and if anyone has any suggestions for improving the facilities at Sharpham Road, please let the parish clerk know.”

Graffiti at Sharpham Road Cemetery car park

The parish council received reports over the weekend that parts of the cemetery car park had been vandalised with graffiti sprayed over a number of the boulders marking the car park boundary and the new cycle gate.

Representatives from Cheddar Parish Council went to the site on Monday 4th September to ascertain the damage and any action that needed to be taken.  The parish council’s contractor has been asked to clean the areas affected as soon as is practically possible.

The parish council would like to thank parishioners for their vigilance and ask that any incidents of this nature be reported so that remedial action may be taken.

Temporary closure of Upper New Road – October 2017

Residents are advised that the parish council has been made aware of the closure of Upper New Road, from the junction of Holwell Lane southwards for a distance of 200 or so metres.  

The closure will commence on 2nd October 2017 for three weeks and is due to works required for new sewers, site access and a footpath.

The alternative signed route advised to us by Somerset County Council will be via the A38 and A39.  Residents who require further information on the alternative route are advised to visit

Bank holiday means all change for waste

The Summer Bank Holiday on Monday 28 August means all collections that week, up to Friday 1 September, will take place one day later, including Friday pick-ups on Saturday 2 September.

Recycling sites remain on their usual schedules throughout the week, including all 16 opening at 8am on Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday.

Following the recent relaxation of weekend hours for permit holders, customers with permits for vans, pick-ups, campervans, minibuses and car-towed trailers can use any recycling site, when open, at any time on weekdays, weekends and bank holidays.

For more information on collections and recycling sites, see

Parish garden party for volunteers

Dozens of organisers and helpers representing voluntary clubs and societies across Cheddar enjoyed a garden party given by Cheddar Parish Council to thank them for all the time and energy they put in freely to run their organisations.  Over fifty community groups covering all manner of activities for all ages and interests were invited to the party, which was held at Hannah More Cottage.  Whether sports clubs or craft workshops, the arts and reading, music and dance and a host other interests, they benefit the community enormously and only flourish because of the volunteers who run them. 

The occasion gave guests the opportunity to exchange information and talk to parish councillors, who themselves are unpaid volunteers.  Councillors served refreshments and entertainment was provided by local singer songwriter Cathy Judge together with Johnny Francis.  The garden at Hannah More Cottage, which was transformed from a near wilderness by the My Cheddar group two years ago, was a lovely setting on a glorious summer’s day for this most English of occasions.

Volunteer guests at Cheddar garden party
Refreshments in Hannah More Cottage
Cathy Judge & Johnny Francis


Longleat to speak at Cheddar Parish Council’s July meeting

Head of Operations for Longleat Enterprises, David Gillingham, will be speaking about the company’s plans for new visitor attractions and other improvements in Cheddar Gorge at the monthly meeting of Cheddar Parish Council, 7pm on Tuesday 25th July.  All locals are invited to attend the meeting where they will have an opportunity to question Longleat about issues which have been of concern for some time, including the long term future of the historic Cox’s Mill Hotel which has been closed for several years and is now in a very serious condition.

The meeting will be held at Cheddar Village Hall (formerly Church House) opposite St Andrew’s Church as it is expected that many locals will want to hear what the company has planned.  Those attending are asked to arrive in good time and, because of current building work at the village hall, parking may be easier in the Sainsbury’s car park.  The open public session will be followed by the regular monthly parish council meeting.


Don’t be fooled by Council Tax scammers

A phone call that promises to lower your Council Tax banding for a fee of up £120 may sound like a great offer, but you can find out if your band can be lowered for free.


Sedgemoor District Council is warning residents to be aware of Council Tax scammers who may offer you deals to reduce monthly payments or reduce your banding. SDC has taken calls from worried residents, so are warning everyone not to be duped. 


One current scam that has been bought to the district council’s attention is from a company claiming to be called ‘All Claim Solutions’ who say they are calling on behalf of the Valuation Office or Sedgemoor District Council and ask for £120 to lower your Council Tax banding. Please note this is not a phone call from Sedgemoor District Council or the Valuation Office, despite their phone number being very similar to that of SDC.  Council Tax bands are set by the Valuation Office Agency and can only be changed under certain conditions. Details can be found at You will not be charged for the service.


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


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

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.