Skip to content Skip to left sidebar Skip to footer



For communities from Somerset County Council

 The number of UK cases of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) continue to increase across the UK, including Somerset where we had our first confirmed cases over the weekend.

For most people, COVID-19 produces mild symptoms. These include a cough, high temperature (fever) and shortness of breath, and you’ll be fine after plenty of rest. However, for some (older people or those with an underlying health condition), it can lead to severe respiratory issues. We can all do our bit to reduce its spread: wash your hands regularly with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds, try to avoid touching your face (particularly nose, eyes and mouth), wipe down surfaces and objects regularly and use a tissue if you cough, then bin it.

New social distancing measures in place

In a bid to curb its spread, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced earlier this week new ‘social distancing’ measures, which mean changes in the way we work, the way our partners work and will affect us all.

These new measures include: if anyone in your household develops a fever or persistent cough, you must all stay home for 14 days; everyone is advised to stop all non-essential contact with others – this is especially important for the over 70s, people with underlying health conditions and pregnant women; work from home if you can and avoid pubs, clubs and theatres. And as of this evening, all UK schools will close from this Friday for the foreseeable future.

How communities can help

We’d like to urge everyone to continue to look out for friends, family, neighbours and the community, but most of all yourself. It’s important you stay safe, so you can continue to help others.

If you are aware of local social media ‘Coronavirus’ groups, please continue to share them on Facebook or with the local town/parish council, as this ensures help is received by those in the community who need it most.

Also, please remind people who need support to:

  • Not put a sign on your door openly stating you are vulnerable
  • Don’t share more personal information than absolutely necessary
  • Don’t share bank or card details or give people your cards to make purchases
  • Contact the organisers of the group if someone asks you to pay more for something than you normally would.

Covid-19 Mutual Aid UK is compiling a list of local groups set up on social media in an effort to share learning, resources and support. To find out what groups may be in your area, or to register a group, go to:

The Community Council for Somerset (community / village agents) are already working in communities with different groups and individuals to make sure the vulnerable are identified and supported. Local village agent details can be found at

‘Spark Somerset’ are also looking at what support they can provide to voluntary sector organisations and community groups locally, including looking to identify charities who may be needing help from volunteers. To find out more visit:

To keep up-to-date with all the latest information, visit the NHS site at


Stogursey Parish Council update re Coronavirus

Stogursey Parish Council update re Coronavirus situation

Dear Friends.

As you can imagine, there are many concerns, anxieties and worries about the situation likely to be confronting us over the next few months!

The Parish Council has been approached by numerous people asking what they are going to do to assist parishioners through this growing crisis?

At this time I think that it is important for Stogursey Parish to do what it does best, and look after each other.

The advice given today, Monday 16th March, is that we are being asked to reduce contact with others.

We all know people who are vulnerable, be that age related, or as a result of health problems. Please, you all know someone that is likely to need help, let them know that they can rely on you for help.

Information from central and local government is not to visit places frequented by other groups – “social distancing”. This will restrict the ability for people to meet each other. Don’t let your neighbours feel isolated or lonely. Phone them, call around and at a distance (1.5m) find out whether they are ok.

The situation is at this time, fluid to say the least. I get the impression that it will become even more difficult by the end of the week.


Chris Morgan.

Chair, Stogursey Parish Council

Stogursey Parish Annual Assembly – Wed 8 April 2020

The Annual Assembly is an opportunity for parishioners on the electoral roll for Stogursey to raise any matters of concern to them that relates to the local community.

It would be helpful to have written notice of any matters to be raised, to provide time for an answer to be prepared if necessary,.  If you do have an issue to be raised please contact the parish clerk on 

However, it is not essential – matters can be raised at the meeting without prior notice.

What is the Annual Assembly?
Strictly this is the Annual Meeting of the Parish. It can also be known as the Annual Parish Meeting, they are all the same thing.
The Annual Assembly is the meeting where the parish council report to its electorate on what it has accomplished in the preceding year
Electors, public and press are invited are the to hear reports from the Chairman, District & County Councillors, community groups and any organisation that the town or parish council has funded during the year.
The Council may also invite the local community policeman, neighbourhood watch co-ordinator, local headmaster etc. to address and inform the audience on community matters.
The Annual Assembly  is a SEPARATE meeting from the Parish Council Annual Meeting. The Annual Assembly should be a relatively informal event for the community whereas the Annual Meeting of the Parish Council is a formal council meeting.

The Annual Meeting of the Parish Council must be held in the month of May and in an election year the meeting must be held between 4 and 14 days after polling day. This is the meeting of the parish council where they elect the chairman, make other annual appointments and review their insurance, risk management policies, etc.

When must the Annual Assembly  be held?
The annual Assembly must be held between 1st March and the 1st June (inclusive) each year on a date decided by the Parish Council. 
The Annual Parish Meeting may not start earlier than 6:00pm. (LGA 1972 s 14 (4)).  It is recommended that in an election year the Annual Parish Meeting should be held after the elections to prevent the meeting being used as hustings for potential District and County Councillors.

There should be an opportunity for the public and press to express their opinions on what the council are doing during the meeting.


Engagement on Community Health and Care Services

Have your say about providing care closer to home in Somerset

Health and care services in Somerset are running an engagement programme to gather feedback from local people about providing care closer to home.

Health and care services in Somerset aim to support people to live independent, healthier lives by having the right services in the right place for their needs, available at the right time and delivered by the right people. The engagement programme runs until 12 April 2020.

Everyone who lives and works in Somerset is invited to join in, think about and help shape a new way of providing services which is, where practical, closer to where they live, supports independence and maintains health. Everyone’s input, ideas and suggestions are vital to helping them make sure that we have the right services in the right place.

The engagement document shares with everyone the reasons why current services need to change and the challenges faced in continuing to run them.

Using all the feedback received, a number of ways that health and care services could be delivered differently will be developed. There will be public consultation about these potential options in the future.

Health and care services would like to know what you think about their ideas so far and get your feedback. You can read the full engagement document on their website at or contact them by email or telephone 01935 384119.

Community health and care services – Summary

Sir Reginald Neville Howse VC – Local Hero

Sir Reginald Neville Howse VC – Local Hero

By Steve Lee

For nearly twenty five years now I have been part of a small research team of four who collate information and record memorials to those awarded the Victoria Cross (VC), Britain’s highest military gallantry award for actions in the face of the enemy. The aim of the group has always been to create a definitive record of all memorials worldwide in order to ensure that no VC is ever forgotten. The work is currently being added to a memorial website

Living in Somerset I have a particular interest in all VCs connected to the county which brings me to the purpose of this article. Although he spent much of his life in Australia, Sir Neville Reginald Howse VC was born in Stogursey on 26th October 1863, much of his life is well document but I have been unable to find much out about his early life in Somerset. Through this article I was hoping that someone in the area may be able to tell me more about Sir Neville’s early life. There are many references to him being born in Stogursey but none give anything more specific and this is one of many questions I’d hope to find the answer to. Local knowledge tends to be a very useful resource so with this in mind I’d appeal to anyone who may know more to contact me via the email address below or on the telephone number also included.

What is commonly known is that Sir Neville was the son of Alfred and Lucy Howse; Alfred was a surgeon. He attended Fullard’s House School, Taunton and went on to study medicine at London Hospital (M.R.C.S., L.R.C.P). Due to declining health he migrated to New South Wales where he registered to practice in December 1889.

In January 1900, he was commissioned into the New South Wales Medical Corps and sailed out to South Africa to help with the Australian Forces during the Second Boer War. During action at Vredefort on 24th July ‘he went out under heavy crossfire and picked up a wounded man and carried him to a place shelter’. For this act he was awarded the Victoria Cross.

His achievements after this point continued to show how remarkable a man he was, his contribution to medical care, particularly in the Armed Forces doubtlessly saved many lives. I do him little credit by not expanding on his life after his VC action but I’m mindful of not taking up to much of your local publications.

In conclusion, I appeal to anyone who may be able to add any information regarding his early days in Stogursey to contact me. My email address is or telephone 07551191070.

I’d also be very keen to look at the possibility of erecting some form of memorial to Sir Neville in the village which I’d hope would be befitting of a very special ‘Son of Stogursey’.