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Author: ParishClerk

Love chatting and meeting new people….?

Community Employment Hubs

Volunteers needed as hubs reopen

The Community Employment Hubs are about to re-open, and the SWT Employment Support team need your help.

If you have a couple of hours a week to spare to help people in your local community access work and training whilst having a cup of tea, then they want to hear from you. All training will be given, you just have to love chatting and meeting new people.

The hubs will be opening in Taunton, Watchet, Minehead, Williton, Dulverton, Wellington and Stogursey. The employment support team, work with all ages from 16 until retirement and help people get into work, change careers, set up a new business or go for a promotion. The community employment hubs support many different people and are a brilliant place to meet and chat.

If you would like more information or want to apply please contact Georgie or Iolanda either by ringing 01823 219578 or emailing employmentsupport@somersetwestandtaunton.gov.uk.

Roadworks at A39 Carhampton and B3191 Blue Anchor

In Carhampton, the Somerset River Authority funded drainage improvement works are progressing well.  The A39 Williton Road, heading eastwards out of the village has been closed between 9.30am and 3.30pm each day, Monday to Friday.  The last day of this sequence will be on Monday 18 October. The remainder of the drainage works at this location will be undertaken under temporary traffic lights until complete.

From Tuesday 19 October the closure times will switch to evenings between 6.30pm and 11.30pm as the carriageway is resurfaced. There will still be access for emergency vehicles on emergency calls only unless laying of the new surface is taking place.

Temporary traffic signals will be in operation outside of these times:

A39 Williton Road, Carhampton

  • Monday 18 October                                     Closed 9.30am to 3.30pm
  • Tuesday 19 October until Friday 22 October      Closed 6.30pm to 11.30pm
  • Monday 25 October until Thursday 28 October  Closed 6.30pm to 11.30pm

B3191 Blue Anchor Road, Carhampton

  • Tuesday 19 October – Friday 22 October             Closed 6.30pm to 11.30pm
  • Tuesday 26 October – Thursday 28 October Closed 6.30pm to 11.30pm

 

Hill Lane between Carhampton and Withycombe will also be closed as part of the works until 12 November. 

Bus Service Alterations

Quantock Line 28, Exmoor Coaster – A39 Carhampton

The A39 at Carhampton will be CLOSED Weekdays ONLY between 09:30 and 15:30. This is to allow Somerset County Council to carry out drainage and flood prevention work in Carhampton.

Services Quantock Line 28 and Exmoor Coaster will regrettably be disrupted.

Exmoor Coaster: this service will only operate between Minehead and Lynmouth. There will be no service between Minehead and Doniford.

Quantock Line 28: The 08:45 from Butlins will run through to Taunton as planned, from 09:15 until 14:45 the 28 from Minehead will run to and from Dunster Steep. Normal service will resume with the 15:15 from Butlins.

From Taunton the 08:00 departure will run through to Minehead from 08:30 the service will terminate at Watchet. Normal service will resume from Taunton at 14:30.

 Hinkley Point Community Bus

As a result of the A39 road closure, the Community Bus Service will be restricted to operate between Watchet Railway Station and Bridgwater only. Minehead, Blue Anchor and Carhampton will not be served.

Somerset Water Forum

Somerset Water Forum which is scheduled to take place on Friday 19th November at the J24 Conference Centre near Bridgwater. This free event is a joint venture between Somerset Catchment Partnership, Somerset Rivers Authority and the Environment Agency and will showcase some of the most innovative water environment projects happening in Somerset, as well as stimulate discussions around future priorities and opportunities.

 

Environment Minister Rebecca Pow will open the forum and will be followed by a range of speakers covering Somerset’s Flood Action Plan, climate change, water quality and working with nature.

A full list of speakers and information on how to book a place can be found here: Somerset Water Forum 2021 | Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group South West Limited (fwagsw.org.uk)

How the England Coast Path can benefit your tourism business

If you run a tourism and hospitality business on the England Coast Path or South West Coast Path in Somerset and Exmoor we’re running SIX FREE WORKSHOPS exploring how to use the Coast Path to your advantage to attract visitors, promote your business and make the most out of your location on one of England’s National Trails.

FREE Digital Online Training funded by the Hinkley Tourism Action Partnership

Join Get Outside in Somerset for the Active Autumn Challenge

 

The nights are drawing in and temperatures are cooling off, but Somerset’s great outdoors is still open and getting our daily dose of fresh air during autumn is more important than ever.

To help encourage people to stay active and keep moving in October, the Get Outside in Somerset project is launching the Active Autumn Challenge. The challenge encourages participants to mix up their daily local exercise with a range of different ideas to help them have fun and stay healthy.

Time spent moving outside can help boost your mood, sharpen your focus, reduce stress, and improve sleep.

Anyone who fancies having a go can download the Active Autumn Challenge calendar here: Full Pack – Active Autumn (getoutsideinsomerset.co.uk). Ideas include something for all ages and levels of fitness, from paddleboarding to blackberry picking, to having a ‘leaf confetti’ photoshoot.

People are being encouraged to share their Active Autumn Challenge photos and videos on social media using #GetOutsideActiveAutumn.

The Get Outside in Somerset project is a joint initiative from Somerset Activity and Sport Partnership (SASP), The Community Council for Somerset (CCS), Spark Somerset, and Somerset Wildlife Trust, funded by Somerset County Council Public Health.

Jane Knowles, SASP Chief Executive Officer said: “It’s tempting to let the cooler days allure you into hibernation. But there are lots of activities best done in Autumn, from stargazing to pumpkin picking, and crafting to wildlife spotting.

“That’s why we have created the Active Autumn Challenge, there is a different activity to enjoy every day, or mix things up if the activity doesn’t suit you on that day.”

Cllr Clare Paul, Somerset County Council Cabinet Member for Public Health, said: “The Active Autumn Challenge is a good way to get inspired into keeping fit and includes activity ideas that work for families, groups or individuals. Being outdoors and exercising is so important for our mental and physical wellbeing, and this is a great initiative to promote those benefits.”

Visit the website www.GetOutsideInSomerset.co.uk to meet the Get Outside local ambassadors for tips, inspiration and guidance on how and where to get active outdoors. The website includes regularly updated information about activities in Somerset, and you can narrow down your search by location or the type of activity you are interested in. From yoga in the park, fishing and geocaching to cycling, climbing and forest bathing, there is something for everyone.

If you are going to Bridgwater Fair….

Every year Sedgemoor District Council hosts a historic outdoor travelling funfair and market near the centre of Bridgwater, Somerset. The funfair on St Matthews Field, TA6 7HD is organised by the Showman’s Guild with Sedgemoor District Council organising the market elements of the event. Bridgwater Fair attracts crowds from far a field and is recognised as the largest fair in the South West with roughly 40,000 visitors each year.

This annual event, which dates back to the Charter of King John, is now almost 800 years old, the last 600 years of which have been spent on St Matthews Field.  The Charter decreed that the four day fair was to start annually on the last Wednesday in September.

  • 2021’s Bridgwater Fair will start on Wednesday 29th September and ends on Saturday 2nd October.

Opening times:

Opening and closing times for the fun fair are usually:

  • 11:00am to 11:00pm Wednesday;
  • 1:00pm to 11:00pm on Thursday;
  • 1:00pm to 11:30pm on Friday and
  • 11:00am to 11:00pm on Saturday.

The West Street market usually opens:

  • 10:00am to 10:00pm Wednesday;
  • 10:00am to 10:00pm on Thursday;
  • 10:00am to 10:00pm on Friday and
  • 10:00am to 10:00pm on Saturday.

Following tradition, the Fair will be officially opened on ‘Fair Wednesday’ at 11:30am by Sedgemoor District Council’s Chairman and the Mayor of Bridgwater.

Road closures and prohibition of on-street parking:

Detailed road closure information is displayed in the notice section of the Bridgwater Mercury at least twice in the run-up to the event, usually late August and mid-September.

Road closures come into place at 9:00am Tuesday 28th September 2021 and are lifted at 10:00am on Sunday 3rd October 2021. West Street, Milton Place, St Matthews Green, Westover Green and St Matthews Field are affected by road closures. Diversion routes will be in place.

Prohibition of parking (and traffic coning) will be in place along many surrounding streets including Northfield, Durleigh Road (to the junction of Woodbury Road), Park Road and Albert Street from 8:00pm on Monday 27th September 2021 until 10:00am on Sunday 3rd October 2021.

Westfield Close and Halswell Close will be residents permit only.  If residents park without a permit then they are  liable to a parking fine.

Car parking:

As in previous years limited parking will be available Thursday to Saturday of fair week, with the Rotary Club of Bridgwater which is located on the Fairfield and costs of £5.00 per vehicle.

 

Additional public parking is usually available at the YMCA in Friarn Avenue and at Bridgwater Cricket Club on Durleigh Road.

Please note there are additional car parks within the town centre but these are not operated by Sedgemoor District Council.

West Street and Fairfield Markets:

The markets we know today, with their stalls set-up through West Street, as well as the one-day horse and goods market held at the top of St Matthews Field, are very different to the original fairs of 800 years ago. The West Street market runs from Wednesday morning to Saturday evening. The Fairfield market runs all day on ‘Fair Wednesday’ (the last Wednesday in September).

Traders from across the UK attend the West Street and Fairfield markets with products ranging from clothing and shoes, rugs and cushions, bulbs and plants, china and pottery, as well as culinary delights such as the famed welsh cakes, brandy snaps, preserves and jams and much more.

Please see a map highlighting the locations of the West Street and Fairfield Markets and the parking days for the Fairfield Market.

Toilets:

Temporary cabin toilets, provided by Sedgemoor District Council, are available behind the One Stop shop next to West Bow House, behind Westfield House on West Street and behind the Horse and Jockey Public House on Fairfield. Portaloos, including disabled accessible toilets, are also provided behind the Horse and Jockey Public House on Fairfield.

First Aid:

First Aid during the event is provided by St Johns Ambulance. This service is situated in Westfield Church car park, West Street, from Wednesday to Saturday of fair week. First Aid provision is funded by Sedgemoor District Council.

Alcohol at the Fair:

Visitors to the Fair should be aware that West Street, St Matthews Field and most of the surrounding area are covered by the Council’s Public Space Protection Order (PSPO).  This is an Order designed to tackle nuisance arising from people acting antisocially through drinking excessively in public places. The Order gives the Police and PCSO’s the power to confiscate alcohol within the PSPO area. These powers will be vigorously enforced and anybody bringing alcohol into West Street or St Matthews Field especially can expect to be challenged and may be required to surrender their alcohol. Only alcohol in plastic cups purchased from the hatch at the Horse and Jockey and consumed within the vicinity will be permitted.

 

 

 

 

Vaccination Buddies are still here to help people to make informed decisions about their COVID-19 vaccination

Vaccination Buddies are still here to help people to make informed decisions about their COVID-19 vaccination; they can even help Portuguese and Polish speakers!

In Somerset, the majority of adults have now had both their Covid-19 jabs, but there are some people who don’t feel comfortable with the vaccination. Have you encountered people who have questions and concerns about the Covid-19 vaccine that you haven’t had the time or knowledge to answer? Or maybe you have some questions yourself? We can help!

Our team of Vaccination Buddy volunteers can offer 1-2-1 advice over the phone to anybody in Somerset who is worried about having the vaccine, or maybe their second jab.

Vaccination Buddies come from all walks of life and can speak a range of languages including Dutch, Portuguese, German, Polish, Italian and French. They have undergone full training from Public Health at Somerset County Council. They cannot however, offer medical advice.

You can request a phone call with a Vaccination Buddy VIA THIS FORM. (Referral forms also available in Polish and Portuguese. )We will then get in touch to arrange a suitable time.

New type of lateral flow test

A few weeks ago, Public Health stated that there would be two different lateral flow device kits in circulation – the Orient Gene kit and the Acon Flowflex kit – both nasal only kits that provide a result in 15 minutes. Due to stock availability issues, the Innova nose and throat kits will be returning until at least mid-September. This kit requires swabbing of both the tonsils and nostrils and the result takes 30 minutes.

Please be aware of this change, and make sure that you always read the kit instructions before you do your test, as they will differ slightly.

You are reminded that if you have previously received a positive Covid PCR test result, you should not re-test yourself by either using a rapid lateral flow kit or by having another PCR test within 90 days of the first positive result unless you develop any new symptoms of COVID-19.

If you’d like to know more, a video which shows you how to use the new kit can be viewed here. By testing yourself regularly you are helping to reduce the spread of the infection.