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Author: ParishClerk

Free baby carrier hire during pandemic

Somerset County Council’s Public Health team is stepping up support during the coronavirus pandemic and offering free carrier hire to give every baby the best start in life, building an even closer and loving connection with their parents.

The Council is working with Carry Me Kate Parenting Services CIC to provide free hire of carriers for new parents during the coronavirus crisis.

Councillor Clare Paul, Cabinet member for Health and Wellbeing at Somerset County Council, said: “Everyone is spending much more time at home at present, this may mean that many new parents have more time together after their baby is born. Sling use can provide benefits to the whole family, supporting baby to be close during daily routines and while taking daily exercise.”

Carry Me Kate Parenting Services CIC provides a universal sling library, breastfeeding peer support, a cloth nappy library, parenting and community support – these have all moved to virtual platforms for the time being.

Every baby born in Somerset between April and September will be able to benefit from a carrier, hired cost-free, for a month. A scheduled virtual video session will be scheduled with parents as it’s vital that slings are worn correctly and safely. Further support can be provided on a one to one basis as well as the option to participate in group online sessions

Kate Mahoney, who runs the community interest company, said: ‘During this time we are really pleased to be working with Somerset County Council to be able to offer free hire and advice. Becoming a new parent can be challenging at the best of time, and during this pandemic we wish to offer parents as many tools as possible to enable them to make close and loving connections with their babies and to make their lives as easy as possible.

“Safe sling wearing is essential, and the scheme promotes safety and wellbeing. The TICKS checklist should be implemented every time your baby is in the sling full details can be found here:

“Evidence shows that babies carried in a sling form a close bond with their parent or carer. It promotes the release of oxytocin, a hormone linked to feelings of love, wellbeing and connection with others.”

After the initial cost-free month, continued sling hire is available and can be discussed with the sling consultants at Carry Me Kate. To get in touch contact Carry me Kate Parenting Service CIC Sling Library on

Families are encouraged to visit Somerset County Council’s Public Health’s website Healthy Happy and Safe at home pages which provide a wealth of practical information, advice and ideas to help you during these exceptional times. There is a special families and children section included.

Somerset Waste Partnership during Covid-19

Delay to Recycle More

Coronavirus is affecting the delivery of many key projects. Unfortunately, this includes the roll-out of the new Recycle More service which will eventually allow people to recycle more from their kerbside, notably considerably more plastic.

Regrettably, SWP has had to pause the introduction of Recycle More, which had been due to start in Mendip at the end of June (to be followed by South Somerset in September) because:

  • Impacts on staffing and supply chains mean that essential depot upgrading is being delayed, as is the delivery of new recycling containers – the big blue bags – that will be used to collect much of the new material.
  • The large-scale public engagement and communication that needs to take place in advance of Recycle More cannot happen because of the current uncertainty around timescales and the restrictions on non-essential travel and social isolation.
  • SWP and contractor staff are focussed on maintaining essential services, which means they are unable to prepare for what is a big change to the way we work.

SWP will develop a new timetable and roll-out the new service out as soon as possible once the current crisis is over.

This is disappointing, but unavoidable and information about new timescales will be shared as soon as possible. The SWP asks for your understanding and patience, and asks for the public’s ongoing support in sorting all their recycling to make the important work of our hard-working collection crews more manageable in these challenging times.

Helping us manage service disruption

SWP’s current services are being unavoidably disrupted by Coronavirus, as staffing numbers are reduced and advice on non-essential travel and safe distancing is followed.

Recycling and rubbish collections continue, but where recycling collections are missed we are unable to make return collections.

  • Please check and follow @somersetwaste on Twitter and Facebook for the latest service updates
  • If you have coronavirus symptoms or are in a household with someone showing symptoms, government guidance on safely dealing with personal waste is available at
  • If your recycling collection is missed, please take containers back in and put them back out again for the following week for collection.
  • To help crews finish their rounds: rinse containers, squash all but aerosols and glass if safe to do so, flatten and tear up all cardboard, sort-segregate materials without using carrier bags, and put it all – including all food waste (in the food waste bin) – out by 7am.
  • Leave garden waste in the garden, cut back on mowing, allow the garden to become more wildlife friendly with a corner for any woody materials, compost all other garden waste and suitable foods. More advice:
  • Cut food waste, save money and reduce shopping trips with simple tips about meal planning, portion control, better storage and using up leftovers, here:
  • Rubbish and clinical waste collections are not affected. If either of these are missed, report it to get a return collection with the pull-down My Waste Services menu or via district council customer services:


Stogursey Community Support Network


  • Are you self-isolating?
  • Do you need help organising a shopping delivery?
  • Do you need a prescription collecting?
  • Would you like to chat or some other help?
  • Do you live alone and need someone to contact you daily by phone to make sure you are okay?
    • Are you an NHS, Emergency Service or other Key Worker?
    Do you need practical help from your community so that you can carry on delivering your service to us?

If the answer is ‘Yes’ to any of these questions, just call the Helpline numbers and we will put you in touch with a volunteer:

Sukey & Steve     07485350560
Hilary                   07947238566
Sue                        07579765201

Or you can message us on our Facebook Page: Stogursey Community Support Network

Further details can be found on the Stogursey Community Support Network Flyer






 PLEASE NOTE :  safety checks will NOT be carried out during this period


SWP Garden Waste Collections suspended

Help and patience called for as garden waste collections suspended

Somerset Waste Partnership is calling on the public’s help and patience as it announces that all Garden Waste collections will be suspended from Monday.

Reduced staffing due to Coronavirus has led to collections being dropped in several areas this week. With pressures highly likely to increase, the Partnership is suspending garden waste collections until further notice so staff can focus on collecting recycling, refuse and clinical waste.

Around 50,000 people pay for garden waste collections and the suspension comes at a time when subscriptions are being renewed. To make sure customers don’t lose out, SWP is extending all subscriptions to take account of the disruption, however long it lasts.

So, if disruption continues until the end of April 2020, annual subscriptions will last until the end of April 2021.

And the public is being asked to play its part in keeping waste collections services moving with fewer staff.

Putting out your recycling properly – with the right items in the right boxes – makes it much quicker for crews to collect. That means rounds can be completed quicker, and staff deployed to help elsewhere.

For information about what goes where in your recycling, visit

Councillor Sarah Dyke, Chair of Somerset Waste Partnership, said: “It’s unfortunate that we’ve had to make this decision and apologise for the inconvenience, but we’ve been able to make sure nobody paying for garden waste collections loses out financially.

“We’re doing our very best to keep services running and hope everyone understands that we have to prioritise those that are most important.

“Please take a little extra time to sort through your recycling. It can make a real difference to the speed of collections which improves our chances of keeping services running smoothly”.

So far, other services have continued as largely normal, but they too could be hit in the coming weeks, depending on how staffing numbers are affected.

Cllr Dyke said: “We don’t know exactly how staffing will be hit in the coming days, so it’s impossible to say that other services won’t be affected, though of course we’ll avoid that if we can.

“In these difficult times we’d appeal for everyone to be patient and bear with us.”

Somerset’s 16 recycling centres remain open as usual, though people are asked to follow the guidance around social distancing when taking rubbish and recycling.

Staff at the sites will no longer we able to help the public remove large or weighty items from their vehicles.

Other SWP service disruption:

  • Suspended – new requests for bins, recycling boxes and food waste caddies. Teams will try to deliver those already ordered, but no new requests will be accepted for the time being.
  • Suspended – Bulky waste collections that involve going inside properties. Standard bulky waste collection service continues at present.
  • Paused – Slim My Waste, Feed My Face campaign. This is so support staff are available for priority work. A decision on delivering the campaign to the remaining areas of Sedgemoor and West Somerset will be taken at a later date.

Please follow the latest Government guidance on disposing of personal waste. It’s for anyone with symptoms, including those diagnosed with the infection who must remain at home until they are well. It also applies to people in households with someone showing symptoms that may be caused by coronavirus – a new, continuous cough and/or high temperature.

Personal waste, such as tissues and disposable cleaning cloths, should be stored securely in disposable rubbish bags. These should then be placed into another bag, tied securely and kept separate from other waste within your home.

This should be put aside for at least 72 hours before being put in your usual rubbish outside your house, which will be collected as part of the usual fortnightly collections.

Other household waste can be disposed of as normal. Full guidance can be found on the Government’s website here

For the latest information about SWP services and Coronavirus, visit and follow @somersetwaste on Twitter and Facebook.



Vital maintenance to take place on main Bridgwater road

Essential maintenance work is due to take place on the A38 Bristol Road in Bridgwater next week.

Somerset County Council will be resurfacing Bristol Road to restore its profile, protect the foundations and improve skid conditions.

The road will need to be closed while these works take place to ensure the safety of the workforce and travelling public. However, to minimise disruption the works will take place during off-peak hours, between 6.30pm and 11.30pm.

During these hours an alternative route will be clearly signposted with works carefully phased to ensure access to Camden Road is maintained.

The road closure will be in place for 5 evenings starting on Monday 23 March.

Somerset County Council looks after more than 4,170 miles of road and in 2018/19 invested £24.7m to keep the county moving, including filling 18,519 potholes and delivering 285 highway maintenance schemes ranging from drainage works to carriageway and footway resurfacing.

For more information and to stay up to date with this and other roadworks schemes visit our website or follow @TravelSomerset on Twitter.