Dunster Benefice Newsletter 9th December 2022

Somerset Waste Partnership Briefing December 2022  including waste collection dates for the Christmas period, recycling centre times and how to recycle your Christmas items.

SWT Council Business Bulletins

  1. Cold weather alert for the next few days

Low temperatures and potentially severe overnight frosts are forecast across the South West of England for the next few days. A Level 3 cold weather alert has been issued by the Met Office for Somerset and other areas of England, warning of severe cold weather/icy conditions until 9:00am on Friday 16 December. 

Please click here to read the full press release.

2. Police Notice

Nationally over 300,000 bikes are stolen every year.  As many people will receive bikes as Christmas presents, please see the linked document for tips on keeping them safe.   bike-security-leaflet-sbd-.pdf

3. Exmoor National Park Authority (ENP) – Communities for Nature Days – North Hill

North Hill is a great place to explore all year round, with woodlands, fantastic coastal views and amazing wildlife. ENP’s activity days offer an ideal way to help with a few light practical conservation tasks (and some heavier ones, if you like), whilst meeting new people, helping the environment and going for a walk.

The team base themselves around the old Radar Station, which provides shelter if the weather turns.  Autumn and Winter tasks include clearing small patches of scrub to maintain viewpoints and provide varied wildlife habitats.  Summer tasks are likely to focus on wildlife surveying and keeping paths clear. Along the way the team will be happy to help to teach you how to identify wildlife and teach you some practical skills.

ENP thanked all the volunteers who helped them with some sterling work in woodland management tasks and habitat pile building for overwintering small mammals, reptiles and insects on North Hill last week. A video of the day can be viewed here. More activities are planned in the New Year. Please click here to view the schedule.

4. Somerset Activity & Sports Partnership (SASP) – Happy Healthy Holidays Somerset (HHHS)

More free, fun activities are on offer this December for Somerset children eligible for free school meals.

The Happy Healthy Holidays Somerset (HHHS) project is once again being delivered by SCC and SASP as part of a Government initiative to help tackle inequalities in holiday hunger, physical inactivity and social isolation for children who are eligible for free school meals. The winter programme features football skills workshops, Christmas craft sessions, nerf games and much more, and every child receives healthy food and some nutrition advice.

Please click here to visit the website and find out more.

5. Action Fraud – Criminals are using the cost-of-living crisis to scam the public – don’t be a victim

Law enforcement, government and private sectors partners are working together to encourage members of the public to be more vigilant against fraud, particularly about sharing their financial and personal information, as criminals seek to capitalise on the cost-of-living crisis. Criminals are experts at impersonating people, organisations and the police.

  • Stop: Taking a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information could keep you safe.
  • Challenge: Could it be fake? It’s ok to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.
  • Protect: Contact your bank immediately if you think you’ve fallen for a scam and report it to Action Fraud*.
  • Report:Suspicious emails can be reported by forwarding them to: report@phishing.gov.uk. You can also report suspicious text message by forwarding them to 7726 (it’s free of charge).

Your reports help Action Fraud to remove the emails and websites used to perpetrate fraud and cybercrime.

Please click here to read the full press release.

6. Somerset County Council (SCC) – Domestic abuse expected to increase during the World Cup

SCC is urging people experiencing domestic abuse to seek help, at a time when incidents of domestic abuse are expected to rise. Data published by the National Centre for Domestic Violence highlights that incidents of Domestic Abuse increase by 26 percent if England play, 38 percent if England lose, and 11 percent the next day, win or lose. 

As the England football team progress in the tournament, with another intense game expected on Saturday (10 December), the domestic abuse service is expecting an increase in incidents – often being fuelled by emotional stress, drinking alcohol and betting before and during matches.

Domestic abuse is defined as ‘any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality’. 

Please click here to read the full press release.

6.Avon and Somerset Police (ASP) – Be sure to take care on the roads

Frosty and icy conditions are forecast overnight and for the next few days, which means that car windscreens, windows and mirrors are likely to be iced over by morning.

Learn from this driver who didn’t take the time to defrost their windows before setting off, and whose view of the road was hampered by ice, and a poorly placed SatNav. They were reported for driving without due care and attention.

It’s an offence to not maintain a clear unobstructed windscreen so please take an extra 5 minutes to fully defrost your windows in the morning

 7. Operation Tonic Underway

ASP have now made 110 arrests as part of their annual winter anti-drink and drug drive operation, #OpTonic.

They are sharing a message to the public that drink/drug driving will not be tolerated and if caught driving over the limit you can get a prison sentence, a hefty fine and a driving ban.  Do not drink or drug drive – and do not let anyone you know do so either. Your reaction time will be slower, you are more of a risk to yourself and others. Plan travel arrangements in advance and arrange a designated driver who takes the responsibility for getting everyone home safely. Be aware of the risks of getting behind the wheel, not just on the evening of drinking, but also the morning after. Don’t chance it – you could lose your job, car insurance costs increase significantly, larges fines will dent your finances, and you will have a criminal record.

If someone is habitually drinking or abusing drugs and driving, then the public can report this online or by calling 101. Alternatively reports can be made anonymously to Crimestoppers. If someone is currently driving under the influence of drink or drugs, the advice is always to call 999.

The risk posed by drink/drug drivers is significant and this work will continue. 

There is no safe way to drink or drug drive.


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