Somerset Health and Wellbeing Updates including advice on keeping cool in the heatwave and vaccination centres in the region.

Rural Affairs Newsletter from Avon and Somerset Police highlighting theft prevention measures

Dunster Benefice Newsletter 15th July 2022

Somerset Waste Partnership Services (SWP)

Put your waste out the night before due to heatwave!

Residents are asked to put their rubbish and recycling out the night before collection as waste crews across Somerset gear up for next week’s extreme heat. Crews could be starting collections as early as 5.30am to avoid the worst of the sweltering heat forecast for Monday and Tuesday (18 and 19 July). Having boxes, bags and bins out the night before is the best way to make sure they are ready to go when the crews arrive.

SWP and SUEZ are also urging people to be extra patient and take extra care to sort recycling into the right containers to help hard-pressed crews. Temperatures are forecast to hit more than 30 degrees Celsius at the start of the week, and crews will be ready with hats, sunscreen, and refillable water bottles. With more than 70,000 collections to make each day, they are also being encouraged to take short breaks in the shade if needed.

On average, a recycling loader can walk up to ten miles on a round, collecting from hundreds of homes picking up nearly 1,000 boxes and bags. Extreme heat makes that tough job even harder and that could mean some delayed collections. SWP and its collections contractor SUEZ are asking for the public’s patience and a little bit of help in the extreme conditions.

Please click here to read the full press release.

Teams on standby to protect road surfaces in extreme heat

SCC’s gritters will be mobilised to treat ‘melting’ road surfaces as the county prepares for extreme temperatures in the next few days. With an Amber Weather Warning in place and temperatures set to hit 29C this weekend and climbing to 35C early next week, road temperatures could become high enough for the asphalt to soften and melt. This makes the road surface unstable and potentially hazardous. SCC will be monitoring the situation carefully but if you spot a problem please call the contact centre immediately, or if it’s at the weekend call 101 for Avon and Somerset Police and they will relay the location to the Highways teams.

You can reach the contact centre on 0300 1232224.


Exmoor National Park Authority (ENP) 

Barlynch Priory – Open Afternoon Wednesday 20 July 2pm-4pm

Explore the ruins and discover the history of Barlynch Priory, in a beautiful, wooded valley setting beside the River Exe near Dulverton. Founded 1174-89 and dissolved 1536, the remains of one building are still clearly visible, surrounded by a network of earthworks and historic buildings that help reveal the story of Barlynch Priory. There are self-guided and guided walks options available with leaflets and interpretation panels. Access by kind permission of the owners. No booking required.

Directions: Beside the A396, one mile north of Helebridge near Dulverton TA22 9NG. SS92922890. What three words ///minimums.cheered.screening

Parking is available in the field adjacent to the Priory. The grounds are rough pasture, with mainly level walking. No dogs. Donations to Caremoor for Exmoor.


Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue (DSFRS) – Warning about high-risk wildfires

With the hot and dry weather continuing, the risk of wildfires is high. Please take care in the countryside with flames and cigarettes. Avoid BBQs and always take your litter home. If you spot a fire, call 999 and, if you can, use what3words to help the fire service locate the incident.


Climate e-Newsletter Issue 3 is now available

The Climate Change Team has published its latest ‘Climate News’ which gets sent to SWT residents and businesses who sign up to receive a copy. The newsletter aims to showcase all the great work that is happening across SWT to achieve carbon-neutrality by 2030.

The July issue of the Climate e-Newsletter is available to view online here.


Crime / Safeguarding – How to spot a text message scam

Messaging scams can be very convincing, so it’s important to know what to watch out for to stay ahead of the fraudsters. Scammers are increasingly taking advantage of smartphones and are getting very clever with how they try to take your hard-earned money.

They can even make it look like a legitimate organisation is contacting you via text or a messaging app by using identity masking technology to change the name displayed as the sender. This is known as ‘number spoofing’.

If you get sent a scam message, it’s important you report it so others don’t fall victim. Reporting a scam message is free and it will help stop the spread of these messages

Fraudsters can use many different types of messaging systems and apps, like SMS, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Viber, Skype, Google Hangouts, Snapchat and many other platforms to try scam you out of your money.

Please click here to find out how to report scams and warn others.

 Spot a scam bank message

If you get a message purporting to be from your bank, always treat this with caution. And know the eight things your bank will never ask you. Your bank should never:

  • Ask for your Pin or internet banking password
  • Send someone to your home to collect cards or banking information
  • Ask you to email or text personal or banking information
  • Email a link where you have to then input your internet banking details
  • Ask you to authorise a funds transfer which you haven’t requested
  • Tell you to invest in diamonds, land or other commodities
  • Ask you to carry out a test transaction
  • Send you to a mobile app other than their own official app

How to avoid message scams

Here are a few tips to help you avoid message scams.

  • Don’t follow any links

This is the most effective way to avoid text scams. Links can take you to cloned websites designed to steal your money or personal data. Because links are often shortened to help them fit into the message, it’s not always easy to tell the real ones from the fakes. Clicking on links could also lead you to download malware – malicious software that can take over your phone and access your data.

  • Don’t share personal information

Treat all messages requesting sensitive information – or that link you to websites asking for personal details – with suspicion. Legitimate organisations will never text you to ask for your personal or banking details upfront.

  • Contact the organisation directly if you’re unsure

If you’re not sure if a text is real, contact the company that claims to have sent it to check. Use the official contact details listed on the company’s website or documents you might have been sent, if it’s your bank then you can usually find its official number on the back of your credit or debit card.

  • Don’t reply

Replying to a fake text, calling the number it’s been sent from or clicking through on suspicious links only lets the scammers know your number is being used. You might be bombarded with even more scam messages and calls. The number has likely been spoofed anyway, which means you’ll probably only be messaging an innocent member of the public who has had their number stolen.

  • Report it

You report the fake text by forwarding it to 7726 – a free reporting service provided by phone operators. This information is then shared with the police and intelligence agencies working to stop text scams. If you’ve fallen victim to a text scam, you can report it to Action Fraud.

 Avon and Somerset Police (ASP) – How to avoid getting hooked by phishing scams

ASP are urging people to remain vigilant when it comes to suspicious messages to protect themselves from scammers.

Known as phishing, text messages and emails impersonating well-known organisations remains a common tactic used by criminals. Whether it’s a fake email asking for an individual to ‘verify’ bank details or a text message claiming they have been in contact with someone that has Covid-19, the goal is usually the same – to trick an individual into revealing personal and financial information.

Nationally, the most impersonated organisations in phishing emails reported last year were the NHS, HMRC and Gov.uk.

As of 31 May 2022, the public has made more than 12 million reports to the Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS), with the removal of approximately 83,000 scams and 153,000 malicious websites.

Please click here to read the full press release.

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