Somerset Health and Wellbeing Updates  Summer holidays are here and in this weeks edition of the newsletter we are sharing details on the summer immunisation catch up clinics available for children and young people, summer activity clubs and videos on healthy, cheap easy to source recipes for families.

Benefice Newsletter 22nd July 2022

Police Exmoor Newsletter

Police Minehead and W Somerset Newsletter

Timberscombe School Friday News 22.07.22

Somerset West and Taunton Council Updates:

  1. SWT consulting on new taxi fare cap proposal

SWT is seeking the public’s views in response to new requests to increase the maximum fares charged by local taxis. Requests from the local taxi trade to reconsider the fare cap have been put to SWT on account of the rising cost in fuel.

The maximum fares were increased as recently as February, but according to the RAC, the price of petrol has since risen by 26.5% with diesel up by 28.1%, giving rise to concerns that operating a taxi could cease to be viable for many, which would negatively impact members of the public who rely on hackney carriage services.

The public is now being consulted on proposals to reduce the initial £2.40 distance charge from 425 yards to 390 yards and similarly, the subsequent 20p distance charge from 145 yards to 135 yards. Note, neither the existing fare cap nor proposed changes apply to private hire vehicles.

Any members of the public wishing to object can have their say via the Council’s Taxi Fare Increase Proposal consultation webpage, which will remain open until 3 August 2022.

Please click here to read the full press release.

2. £8.3m Toneway Project moves into home straight

Taunton’s Toneway Creech Castle junction improvement project is entering the final phase towards completion later this summer. The multi-million-pound project, designed to increase capacity at the junction and improve cycling and pedestrian connections, started in August 2021 and is progressing well. As part of the essential work to complete this scheme and allow the team full access to the road there will need to be night-time closures of Toneway for about six weeks from 25 July. Undertaking the work in the evening when the traffic levels are much lower will significantly reduce the impact of the finishing works.

The closures will be in place from 8pm until 6am weekday evenings only from 25 July to 31 August. The road will be open during the evening at weekends.

This will be a full closure from the Hankridge roundabout to the Asda junction inbound and from the Wickes roundabout to the Hankridge roundabout outbound.

You can read more on the Toneway project here, including plans, videos and FAQs www.travelsomerset.co.uk/Toneway/Please click here to read the full press release.

3. Exmoor National Park Authority (ENP)

Proposed Diversion Order, Combeshead, Parish of Cutcombe Highways Act 1980 Public Footpath WL6/12 & WL6/25

Proposed Public Path Diversion Order 2022

Exmoor National Park Authority is proposing to divert part of public footpath WL6/12 and part of public footpath WL6/25 in the parish of Cutcombe. Prior to making a Diversion Order, ENP would like to hear your views on this proposal.  Please click here to see the proposal summary, schedule and plan.

Please return any comments on the proposal by 19 August 2022 to cerirapsey@exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk or to Ceri Rapsey, Rights of Way Support Officer, Exmoor National Park Authority, Exmoor House, Dulverton, TA22 9HL.

If you would like to meet on site to discuss the proposal prior to making your comments, please do not hesitate to contact the Public Rights of Way and Access Officer, Sue Applegate on 01398 322292.

4. HM Coastguard Watchet – Respect the Water

Are you going surfing, kayaking, boating or paddle boarding this weekend?

There are many ways to enjoy your time in the sea, but the Coastguard want you to feel the fun not the fear as accidents can happen frighteningly fast Don’t take risks at the coast this weekend and follow the tips below:

  • Check the tides
  • Keep hydrated, seek shade and be #WeatherAware. Remember alcohol and the sea do not mix
  • Have a means of calling for help
  • Download the @RoyalYachtingAssociation SafeTrx app
  • Ensure you have a lifejacket/PFD
  • In more remote locations, carry a 406 Personal Locator Beacon
  • Carry a VHF marine band radio (fitted with DSC if possible) and learn how to use it. In an emergency call the Coastguard on channel 16
  • Scuba divers: familiarise yourself with new or different gear before planning deep dives and dive within your limits. Never dive alone

Trouble in the water? Lie back and #FloatToLive. If you or someone else is in trouble, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

Please click here for further safety information.

5. 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 use what3words to help the fire service locate the incident.

6. Community Support – What help is out there? 

Food vouchers return for Summer Holidays

Schools will once again provide food vouchers to families eligible for Free School Meals to combat holiday hunger over the summer holidays.
SCC is distributing approximately £1.2m from the Government’s Household Support Fund directly to schools to help fund food vouchers for children eligible for Free School Meals over the summer holidays.
The allocation for this summer provides vouchers worth £10 per pupil each week of the holidays.  Schools will automatically provide food vouchers to eligible students.

Eligible families who are in urgent need can also apply for extra short term financial help by searching Somerset Household Support Fund online. The quickest way to get help is online, but if access to the internet is difficult or support is needed to apply, families can call 0300 123 2224 and SCC will help find an organisation who will support families to make an application.

Please click here to read the full press release.

7. Somerset Jobs

Taunton Jobs Fair – Wednesday 28 September 10.30am – 4.00pm 

Somerset County Cricket Club In partnership with Somerset Jobs, SWT and JobCentre Plus:

There will be a wide range of employers and job opportunities, along with training and support offers for everyone to explore. All welcome.

8. Action Fraud

Over £1.5million lost to WhatsApp scam messages

A convincing WhatsApp scam where criminals pose as a friend or family member in need has cost victims over £1.5 million this year.

New data from Action Fraud, the national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime, reveals the continued threat posed by a scam that involves criminals contacting victims on WhatsApp and pretending to be their friend or a family member.

The scam has been reported to Action Fraud 1,235 times between 3 February and 21 June this year and has cost users a total of £1.5m.

Criminals will typically claim to be a family member and will usually begin the conversation with “Hello Mum” or “Hello Dad”.

They will say that they are texting from a new mobile number as their phone was lost or damaged and will go on to ask for money to purchase a new phone, or claim that they need money urgently to pay a bill.

The criminal will supply their bank details for payment, with some coming back on multiple occasions until the victim realises, they’ve been scammed.

Please click here to read the full press release.

Stop Scams UK Ltd / Global Cyber Alliance – The 159-telephone service

Consumers wanting to avoid financial fraud now have a secure and easy-to-remember phone number to contact their banks on to avoid painful scams. It could prove to be the safest way for many to contact their provider if they have suspicions and concerns about their accounts, or even if they’re struggling to find a customer services number.

Stop Scams UK and Global Cyber Alliance have launched, the UK-wide 159 call service, which is designed to guarantee consumers a safe route to contacting their banks.

The scheme is urging people to “stop, hang up and call 159” to check calls are for real. The idea is to help those who believe they have been contacted by scammers claiming to be their bank, or by fraudsters who encourage them to transfer money.

159 works in the same way as 101 for the police or 111 for the NHS. It’s the number you can trust to get you through to your bank, every time

Please click here to find out more about “159”.

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