Pick It Up

I have, once again, received complaints from residents about people failing to pick up after their dogs. OF particular concern are parts of Great House Street, Willow Bank, Willow View and the roadway near holes square.

Their simple request is – If you have a dog please pick up after it.

What does the Parish Council Do?

At the Timberscombe Annual Parish Meeting the Chairman of the Parish Council, Peter Pilkington, presented his report for the last year.

Last year we welcomed two new councillors, Allan Sutton and Kathy Walker, to the Parish Council. Allan has taken on supervision of the footpaths in the parish and Kathy is looking after the Play Area.

The Council responded to 11 planning applications in the last 12 months: The Old Dairy, Owayview, 1 Forge Cottages, River Steep, Bougham Farm, North Hawkwell Farm, Totterdown Bungalow, Embellewood, Beasley Yard and Allercott Farm (2). We also reported an apparent breach of planning, which a parishioner brought to our attention.

We have been working hard to make Timberscombe a more Eco-friendly village. We joined the No Mow May campaign and with help from many volunteers planted hundreds of wildflower seeds and plants around the village. We hope to see the fruits of our labour soon. The councillors have also planted free trees around the parish.

Councillor Cait Collins was instrumental in setting up the Eco Timberscombe group. She also managed to secure the council a grant to cover the cost of a biodiversity survey of the parish, which should be available to view shortly. A presentation of the findings was given in the village hall on 21st February.

The village hall was also used to host the West Somerset Together meeting on wildlife friendly gardening. The presentation was very interesting. The wildlife survey, giving ideas on how to make your garden more wildlife friendly, is available on the Somerset Wildlife website.

Throughout the year the Parish Council organised village maintenance including cutting hedges and grass, tidying the bank by the Village Hall, cleaning the telephone box/defibrillator interior, clearing/relaying of the gulley by the chapel.

Cllr Sarah Campbell has temporarily taken over the guardianship of the village defibrillator and we would like to thank Mr Ware, who has kindly agreed to clean the phone box regularly. We urgently need to find somebody who is willing to take on the longer-term guardianship of the defibrillator.

We contracted the dog bins and rubbish bins to be emptied and the salt bins to be refilled.

Numerous blocked drains, potholes, damaged signposts and gates were reported to SCC for repair and the vast majority of them have now been mended. The parish now has a Parish Paths Liaison Officer Garry Southon. He can undertake minor repairs and clearances, but repairs should first be reported to Cllr Allan Sutton so that he can complete online reporting of the issues.

We have had less success with the water in Great House Street, which was reported to Wessex Water and SCC. Wessex Water have tested the water and confirmed that it is natural spring water and not a burst pipe.

The Parish Council liaised with County Councillor Frances Nicholson to get white lines painted outside the Post Office, to help those with limited mobility access the Post Office. 20mph flashing signs were also installed near the school. The Parish Council donated £300 to St Petrock’s Church to help towards grass cutting in the graveyard.

As you may be aware, Somerset will shortly become one unitary council. The parish councillor representatives met with Somerset Highways at Timberscombe to discuss new ways of working.

As trustees to the JAPF the council has overseen repairs to the Play Area, including a new fence dividing it from the football pitch.

We have responded to parishioners concerns regarding the dangers on a bridleway close to a farm and access to a field on the A396.

The Parish Council wrote to Magna regarding concerns about the closure of The Old Dairy and also about the lack of support for their residents during the recent power outage.

Mr Wood, from Magna, was invited to attend the April meeting to answer the Council’s concerns regarding the lack of support for residents during the recent storm. Magna were, apparently, unaware that the Timberscombe residents were without power for a prolonged period!

Cllr Pugsley commended the work done by Timberscombe residents at this time, particularly the Timberscombe Good Neighbour (TGN) volunteers under the guidance of Joy Booth. TGN are looking to purchase emergency items such as hot water bottles, torches, flasks, etc. The Village Hall committee will be looking to buy generators to use in the Hall in a power outage for hot water /food. The Parish Council will support this work whenever possible and have asked Mr wood back to our June meeting to feedback on the concerns expressed at the April meeting.

The Parish Council has repeatedly voiced displeasure to County Councillors about the recent chaos with “emergency” road closures where diversions direct the public to closed roads, signs were left up too long after the work was finished, signs stated that the road was closed when it wasn’t, and publicised closures didn’t happen. We hope that the new Somerset Highways structure will be able to improve these problems.

Cllr Kathy Walker has volunteered to be the parish representative on the Somerset Bus Partnership Forum.

The Parish Council was delighted to host a presentation to Cllr Sarah Campbell, on behalf of the village, to say thank you for her efforts in the Post Office during the Covid pandemic. Her support for villagers has been very much appreciated. The Parish Council added its thanks to her for her work in the Post Office.

We hope that you have signed up to receive the regular website news bulletins, provided by our clerk and others in the village. You may not be aware that the Parish Council pays for the site hosting.

And finally, the Parish Council will be supporting the Jubilee Celebrations on 3rd June. We have purchased 72 Jubilee mugs to be presented to all the children in the village and the surplus to be sold.

Peter Pilkington, Chairman Timberscombe Parish Council

Jubilee Mugs for Children

Timberscombe Parish Council would like to give all Timberscombe children, aged 16 or under, a souvenir mug to commemorate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

Pupils who attend Timberscombe First School will be presented with their mugs by the chairman of the Council, Peter Pilkington, this Friday during school time.

For children who do not attend Timberscombe First School they, or their parents, can collect their mugs from Timberscombe Post Office from Saturday 28th May until Wednesday 1st June.

Thereafter, any remaining mugs will be sold to residents.

Jubilee Celebrations

We welcome all villagers to the Queens Jubilee fete & street party on Friday the 3rd June. The fete will start from 11.30 am in the playing field where you will find all your typical ‘fete’ games along with an assault course bouncy castle, face painting, tombola & stalls with a bring & share ‘Big Lunch’ in the square at 12.30pm plus much more! At 3pm there will be a Kings & Queens fancy dress parade around the village to finish off in the square to crown the winner (adults are welcome to join in too)! From there on we will celebrate with a LIVE band ‘Rough Justice’ performing in the village square with a BBQ, bar & raffle! A fun filled day for all the family not to be missed! 

jubilee poster


Somerset Health and Wellbeing Updates

Dunster Benefice Newsletter 20thMay 2022

Launch of SWT Climate News

The SWT Climate Change Team has just launched its first ‘Climate News’ which will be published monthly on the SWT website and 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 Somerset West and Taunton to achieve carbon-neutrality by 2030.

Please click here to read Issue 1.

Exmoor National Park Authority (ENP) – Green Space Dark Skies: Exmoor

In May, as part of the UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK festival, outdoor arts company Walk the Plank is working with local people, artists and community groups to create beautifully choreographed and accessible gatherings in Dartmoor and Exmoor. These joyful and participatory artworks will be created at dusk by volunteer ‘Lumenators’ and captured on film for all to see afterwards.

 Green Space Dark Skies is a series of 20 large-scale outdoor artworks in the UK’s most outstanding landscapes as part of UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK. It runs from April to September 2022 and is a once-in-a-lifetime national celebration of creativity connecting the people and places that make the UK special.

The Exmoor Green Space Dark Skies event will take place on 28 May, and everyone is welcome to register for free to take part at www.greenspacedarkskies.uk/events/exmoor-np.

Appeal Launched to Create Moor Meadows

A new CareMoor for Exmoor appeal has launched to help raise funds for meadow creation in the National Park. It follows a 97 per cent drop in wildflower meadows nationwide since the second world war.

Meadows provide important food and homes for a diverse range of species, including many pollinator insects, small mammals, bats and birds, and are a rich carbon store. They help improve connectivity between habitats and can be a valuable source of forage for livestock, supporting traditional skills such as haymaking.

Donations to the appeal will support the new Exmoor Sowing the Seeds project – a collaboration between Exmoor National Park Authority (NPA), FWAG South West and Devon Wildlife Trust, with support from South West Water and Natural England, to collect and distribute wildflower seed locally.

Please click here to read the full press release.


Are you eligible for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme from April 2022?

On 23 May 2022 a new grant scheme for homeowners upgrading from gas boilers to either an Air Source Heat Pump (ASHP) or a biomass boiler may be eligible for a grant of £5,000, or £6,000 if upgrading to a Ground Source Heat Pump (GSHP).

 The government will provide grants to encourage property owners to install low carbon heating systems such as heat pumps, through the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS). These grants will help property owners overcome the upfront cost of low carbon heating technologies.

The scheme will be open to domestic and small non-domestic properties in England and Wales. It will run from 2022 to 2025.

Please click here to find out more.


Blood pressure monitors available in Somerset Libraries

More than two hundred blood pressure monitor kits are available for loan from libraries in the county to raise awareness of high blood pressure and to coincide with World Hypertension Day which was on 17 May.

About 3 in 10 adults in Somerset have high blood pressure but 1 in 10 don’t know it. It is a major risk factor for Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) and significantly increases the risk of having a heart attack or stroke, but early detection and treatment can help people live longer, healthier lives.

The blood pressure monitor kits include an information leaflet that explains how to check your blood pressure at home and what to do with the results – measuring blood pressure at home can be very useful to give a more accurate picture of what a person’s blood pressure is like. The monitors can also detect an irregular heartbeat which is another risk for CVD.

For anyone who is not a library member it is really easy to join, either call into your local branch or go online at: https://lwc.ent.sirsidynix.net.uk/custom/web/registration/

Please click here to read the full press release.


Spring Booster Jabs

SCC’s Public Health team is urging older and more vulnerable residents to take up the offer of a free, further COVID-19 booster vaccine.

People aged 75 years and older, residents in care homes for older people, and those individuals aged 12 and over with weakened immune systems, are being offered a spring booster of coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine.

The Spring Booster is being rolled out for these groups of people because they are at higher risk of developing severe complications from COVID-19. Protection from their previous vaccinations may be lower and may decline more quickly over time. If the number of infections increases over the summer, this booster should help to reduce their risk of developing serious illness and being admitted to hospital with COVID-19.

Across Somerset, there are more than 80 thousand people eligible to receive their spring booster. They will be contacted by the NHS when it is their turn to receive the vaccine, although anyone eligible who has had six months since their last booster can also go online to book through the National Booking System or by calling 119 for an appointment.

There are also plenty of walk-in appointments available across the county. Please check the local NHS website: COVID-19 vaccinations in Somerset to find clinics in your area or use the national portal to find a clinic: www.nhs.uk/grab-a-jab.

NHS staff are ready to welcome you whether it’s for your first, second, or third dose.


Need to seek help?

If you, or someone you know are feeling like things are too much, please know that you / they don’t have to be alone. Here are some numbers of organisations that can help:

  • Samaritans – 116 123
  • CALM – 0800 58 58 58
  • ChildLine – 0800 1111
  • Anxiety UK – 03444 775 774
  • Mind – 0300 123 3393
  • Somerset Domestic Abuse helpline – 0800 69 49 999