Community Service Award Winners

Awards for outstanding service to the community were presented to three worthy winners at the Annual Parish Meeting held at Hannah More Cottage in April.  Jenny Hill was recognised for giving 50 years’ service to the Girl Guide Movement and two former Cheddar volunteer Fire Fighters were recognised for their time with the Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service; Bob Salway who retired after 40 years and Station Commander Paul ‘Jock’ Rodgers, retired after 30 years.

Photograph shows Jenny Hill, Cheddar Pariah Council Chairman Peter Colton, Bob Salway and Paul Rodgers.  Photo courtesy of Rob Perkins.

Renovation of Cheddar Parish Hall

Cheddar Parish Council is planning a major renovation and restructuring of its building in the centre of the village following a detailed survey and assessment of the options carried out in 2016.  The survey highlighted the need for significant repairs and maintenance to bring the iconic building up to required current standards.

At the same time as carrying out the renovations structural alterations are planned which will make the building much more suitable as parish council offices and public meeting rooms.  The current meeting room is too small to accommodate more than a handful of members of the public as well as councillors, clerk and the press. This necessitates council meetings regularly being moved to other venues around the village.

The council’s intention is to convert the first floor room currently occupied by Cheddar snooker club into their main meeting room, with disabled access and to upgrade the ground floor facilities.  In order to do this the council has given the snooker club twelve month’s notice to vacate the building. 

Council chairman Peter Colton explained “We have a duty to utilise the building in the best interests of the community as a whole which means making access by the public to our clerks and council meetings much better than it currently is.  Before coming to our decision we thought very carefully about all the options and ramifications.   We appreciate that this may cause some inconvenience to the snooker club which is why we gave them a full year’s notice last summer to make alternative arrangements.”

Under the terms of their lease the snooker club is due to vacate the building in June.

Support Service Consultation launched for Sheltered Housing residents

People across the Somerset are being invited to share their views on potential changes to the way support is provided to sheltered housing residents.

Somerset County Council contributes funding to the sheltered housing providers to provide sheltered housing tenants with day-to-day support. Contracts come to an end in October and the authority is seeking views on proposals to invest in providing the support through its Community Connect arrangements.

Under the proposals, support would be available to everyone living in Somerset and not just those living in sheltered housing. Somerset County Council feels this change of approach will make services more equitable across the County and will enable more people to be able to access support when they need it.

This will mean that sheltered housing residents will still be able to access support although it may be delivered in a different way.

The kind of support available to people in sheltered housing can include assisting with letters or correspondence, helping with the process of paying bills or managing the household budget.

They can also help to arrange appointments and also with shopping or meals. Some residents don’t need this support on a regular basis, but may benefit from a visit to check all is well and to see if any help is needed.

The current contracts cover 3,500 sheltered housing tenants in Somerset, though the County Council currently only supports those with higher needs – around 12 per cent of sheltered housing residents.  A much larger number of people have similar needs, but don’t get any support because they own their own homes or live in other types of rented housing.

Through investing into Somerset Community Connect, Somerset County Council can ensure that support is available to anyone irrelevant of where they live.

Community Connect can help people in a number of ways that includes advice on local services, support to stay independent and information on how to get involved with the local community.

The public consultation will begin on 3 April and will remain open until 30 May.

Residents will be able to submit their views online, and also review guidance documents at www.somerset.gov.uk/shelteredhousingconsultation  

Several drop-in events are also being held for those who would like to discuss the proposals with council officers. 

Councillor David Huxtable, Cabinet Members for Adult Social Care, said: “We want as many people as possible to get the support they need to live independent lives.

“Those who need support will continue to get it and these proposals are about doing that as fairly as possible and making it available to others. At the moment we fund support for a small proportion of those living in sheltered housing and we want that support to be available to more people in the most cost effective way.

“Before any decisions are made it’s important that we hear from anyone who has an interest in these potential changes, particularly those who are currently receiving support.”

Services not affected by this consultation include any emergency alarm system, and the residents Housing Management service as these are supplied by the landlord of the property.

Cheddar Library consultation – Extended to Wednesday 13th June

Many parishioners will be aware that Somerset County Council is holding a consultation until 13th June (extended from 22nd April) on the future of the library service in Somerset.  This includes our own library here in Cheddar.

To have your voices heard and your views known to those making the decision on the future of the library at County Hall, please fill out the consultation questionnaire on line or visit the library to pick up a hard copy of the questionnaire.  The questionnaire has been updated by Somerset County Council since it was first published and whilst initial responses by parishioners will still be taken into account, parishioners are urged to complete another one to continue to have their voices heard on the matter.

 

Charity Night for The Space

There will be a charity evening supporting “The Space” – the drop in centre for young people from 13 – 18 organised by the Cheddar Patient Group – which will be held at the Rasoi Restaurant in the Gorge on Monday 26th February from 19.00-22.00. 

Please go along and show your support for this very worthwhile local group supporting the young people of Cheddar.

Further details can be found on the Rasoi Restaurant facebook page.

The Great British Spring Clean Comes to Cheddar! – Change of Date to 08/04

SUNDAY 8th April 2018

10.00AM – 11.30AM

If you would like to join us and help make Cheddar a little tidier we are meeting at Kings Fitness & Leisure car park

We will be very pleased to see you on the day and should you have any of the following please feel free to bring them along: Hi Vis vest/jacket, heavy duty gloves, litter grabber

For further information please email caroline@cheddarparishcouncil.org

or telephone the Parish Office

on 01934 743217

Somerset County Council Press Release – “Have your say on how to make Somerset’s roads safer”

Residents are being urged to have their say on a new strategy which aims to prevent deaths and injuries on Somerset’s roads.

The consultation is launched as it is revealed that 22 people were killed in 20 fatal collisions on the county’s roads in 2017. This is the lowest number of fatal collisions ever recorded in Somerset and a decrease by three fatal casualties from the 2016 figure of 25.

Somerset County Council is seeking the public’s views on a new draft road safety strategy called Safe Roads in Somerset. This details how it plans to use a Safe Systems approach to deliver its ambitious vision that no road user should be killed or seriously injured on the county’s roads.

Cllr John Woodman, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for Road Safety, said “Whilst it is pleasing to see the number of people killed on Somerset roads decreasing, even one death is one too many.

“This is why we are consulting on our new road safety strategy. We want to take positive action and continue to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on Somerset roads.

“Every road user can play a part in improving road safety and we look forward to receiving feedback on our plans.”

Almost all road deaths and injuries are preventable. However, for a continued decline in road traffic collisions and serious injury there needs to be a shift in the way that road safety is delivered in local areas.

In a Safe System there is a shared responsibility for preventing injury, between road users, enforcers and those who design, build and manage roads or vehicles.

Of the 22 deaths last year, further analysis shows that 60% involved cars, 19% motorcycles, 5% pedestrians, 11% HGVs and 5% agricultural vehicles. Of the casualties, 68% were drivers, 23% passengers and 9% pedestrians. This shows that all road users can play a part in improving safety on our roads.

The full draft strategy (which explains the Safe System approach) and a consultation summary document are both available on Somerset County Council’s consultation website: http://www.somersetconsults.org.uk/consult.ti/RoadSafety/consultationHome.

Please be sure to have your say before the consultation closes on 8 March 2018.

For more information on road safety in Somerset please visit www.somersetroadsafety.org/.

Road deaths year by year

2013: 28 collisions, 28 casualties

2014: 32 collisions, 33 casualties

2015: 22 collisions, 22 casualties

2016: 23 collisions, 25 casualties

2017: 20 collisions, 22 casualties

Avon and Somerset Police Press Release – “Budget protects neighbourhood policing”

Residents will pay an additional £1 a month on the policing part of the council tax in Avon and Somerset to protect neighbourhood policing according to the area’s Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens. 

The decision was supported at a meeting of the Police and Crime Panel who scrutinise Sue Mountstevens and have the power to veto the policing precept decision. Today local councillors and independent people on the Police and Crime Panel backed her decision to increase the police precept by £12 per year (for an average band D property).

Sue Mountstevens said: “I have been lobbying hard to secure the best possible funding arrangements for policing. The Government made it clear in December that an increasing proportion of policing costs will have to be met by local council taxpayers.

“I am pleased that the Panel has supported my decision however I recognise that any increase in household bills will be felt by residents. I want to assure local communities that the policing you receive on a local level through your neighbourhood policing teams will be unchanged thanks to the increase.

“I know that neighbourhood policing teams are important to local residents and I believe it is right to enable the Chief Constable to focus his resources in the areas that local people tell me matter most to them. The Constabulary will recruit 300 police officers this year and it is also their ambition for every primary school to be assigned a named PCSO and every secondary school a named PCSO or Beat Manager. Neighbourhood policing is at the heart of our communities and is essential to ensuring Avon and Somerset remains a safe place to live and work.”

The policing part of the council tax is just over 10% of the overall bill which goes to households in April. In 2018-19 the average Band D property will pay £193.81 a year towards policing.

Library Services Consultation Announced

A consultation on the future of how Somerset County Council library services could be delivered across Somerset is due to start at the end of this month.Image result for cheddar library

A formal decision was taken on 19th January to consult on a set of proposals that seek to put the service on a sustainable footing for the long-term.

The decision sets out that a public consultation will start on 29 January and run for 12 weeks (ending 22 April) and invites members of the public, businesses and organisations for their views.

Somerset County Council currently provides a library service online through LibrariesWest, a mobile library, a home delivery service for customers unable to visit a library for themselves and through 34 library buildings in major towns and villages.

As with many Authorities, Somerset County Council continues to face challenging financial times. Funds from central government reduce year on year whilst demand for services, such as adult and children’s social care, increase and all County Council services are considering efficiency and cost reduction options.

In summary, under the proposals, 15 of our 34 library buildings would be seeking community involvement to remain open. Where this is not possible, services would instead be provided either through outreach in community venues or through additional mobile library stops.

For 7 of our libraries, the County Council is consulting on two alternative options – either to seek community involvement to maintain library buildings or to keep existing library services as they currently are.  Cheddar Library is included in this alternative option.

There are Somerset library service proposals for 9 areas in total available to view. Anyone taking part in the consultation will be asked to view the area of the library they visit most often before completing a questionnaire asking for their views on the proposals.

The proposals and the questionnaire will be available online from 29 January at www.somerset.gov.uk/librariesconsultation

Cheddar Parish Community Grants

Cheddar Parish Council is inviting local organisations to apply for grants of up to £500 to undertake projects which benefit people living in the parish of Cheddar.  Groups eligible to apply include voluntary or community groups which have a bank account, and preferably a constitution, registered charities, churches and schools.

 

The parish council wishes to support and encourage community initiatives and will fund up to half the cost of appropriate projects.  These could include help in meeting gaps in local services, promoting community development, support for the rural heritage, creating new opportunities for community involvement, activities for local people and schemes that reduce crime.

 

Applications must be submitted to the Clerk, Cheddar Parish Council by 31st March 2018.  For full details and an application form contact the Clerk on 01934 743217, clerk@cheddarparishcouncil.org, visit www.cheddarparishcouncil.org or call in at the Parish Office, Church Street, Cheddar.