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Safer Internet Day – Tuesday 7 February 2023

There are between 800-1000 reports of fraud and cyber-crime every month in Avon and Somerset alone – these are just the cases that are reported. The National Crime Agency predicts that only 20 per cent of fraud incidents are reported nationally so the real figures are likely to be much higher.

Avon and Somerset Police were one of the first police forces to invest in dedicated fraud and cyber protect teams, committed to providing support to victims of fraud and educating people and businesses to help prevent them becoming victims of fraud or cyber-crime.

The teams provide a proactive response to fraud and cyber-crime by educating the public around any new or specific threats.

The fraud and cyber protect teams provide talks to many groups within the community including Womens Institutes, Rotary Clubs, care homes, schools and universities. Reaching out to 1,600 vulnerable residents they used the Meals on Wheels network to deliver Christmas cards, which contained information on how to keep safe from fraud.

Follow Avon and Somerset police on Instagram and Facebook on 7 February to catch Cyber Protect Officers’ Megan and Felix’s top tips for staying safe online on Safer Internet Day.

Working to stop people becoming victims of fraud and cyber-crime | Avon and Somerset Police

The team is also hosting a free online webinar on Monday 27 February: ‘Online Safety for Women and Girls’. The session will focus on how to keep safe online and protect personal information. It is part of a wider piece of work within our Violence Against Women and Girls strategy which, amongst other activity, focuses on empowering and educating women and girls, but the session is open to all.  You can register for this webinar at Eventbrite searching for Avon and Somerset Police Cyber Protect Team:

If you are part of a community group, school, business or parent group who would benefit from a talk on fraud prevention or cyber-crime, please email the teams at or

If you have been a victim of fraud, including fraudulent emails, do not open any attachments or click any links. Report all incidents of fraud to Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud and cyber crime reporting centre, via their website or contact 0300 123 2040. In an emergency, call 999.

Have your say on new Somerset Council planning consultation process

Somerset residents are being invited to have their say on the new Somerset Council’s approach to planning matters.

The five current Somerset councils (Mendip District Council, Sedgemoor District Council, Somerset County Council, Somerset West and Taunton Council and South Somerset District Council) are consulting the public on a draft ‘Statement of Community Involvement’ (SCI) – a single approach to planning which will be formally adopted by the new Somerset Council.

The SCI is designed to set out how Somerset Council, as the Local Planning Authority, will engage and consult with the community and stakeholders on all planning matters.

It will cite who the Council will consult with through the various stages of Local Plan preparation and what consultation methods should be used.

The consultation will run until Thursday 16 March 2023.

To view the current draft of the new Statement of Community Involvement and complete the survey, please visit

Urgent Road Closure Stringston Road – Saturday 14.1.2023

Urgent / emergency Road Closure: – ttro855185WS – OR – Stringston Road, Stringston

Please be aware that we have received a notification of a TTRN (urgent / emergency) road closure at Stringston RoadStringston  will commence on 14th January 2023 – 14th January 2023 (09:30 – 15:30) for a total of 6 hours.

This will enable Openreach to carry out works to overhead network to restore customer service.

The contractor has indicated that access for Emergency Services through the site  is permitted on this occasion.

For any further information about this closure please contact Sunbelt Rentals on 0370 050 0792, quoting reference: ttro855185WS.

Please visit where you will see the map of the affected area (in red), together with the supplied diversion route (in blue).

Council-funded loans help homeowners towards net zero

With the current climate emergency, homeowners may be wondering what they can do to support a reduction in carbon emissions. The rising costs of energy also means many are wondering how to cut their utility bills.

Many homes in the UK struggle to retain heat because of their age and poor energy efficiency, as well as how they are heated. Whether looking to invest in renewable technologies such as solar or heat pumps, or to install energy-saving measures, homeowners may be eligible for an energy efficiency loan to help fund the upfront cost.


Working in partnership with Social Enterprise lender, Lendology, Somerset West and Taunton (SWT) Council provides accessible finance in the form of low interest loans to homeowners wishing to increase their energy efficiency.

Since 2005, over £1.2m has been lent through Lendology to fund home repairs, improvements, energy efficiency measures and renewable heat technologies across the district. To date, over £883,137 has been repaid, which can now be re-lent.

Lendology always encourages applicants to explore grant funding in the first instance. Local organisations or services providing free and impartial energy advice and support with grant funding are detailed on Lendology’s partnership webpage.

For those unable to access grants, flexible loans delivered by Lendology could be the solution in funding energy efficiency work to their homes, helping to lower their carbon footprint and save money on their energy bills.

An SWT homeowner who recently received a home improvement loan said: “It was very helpful to us and our current circumstances. They provided a solution that was easy to understand and flexible.”

Cllr Fran Smith, Executive Member for Housing, said: “Everyone should have access to a safe, warm and dry home, which is key to good health across the district.

“There’s a variety of improvements covered under the scheme – be it repairing a leaky roof, funding an efficient heating system, fitting good insulation to keep bills down, or ensuring electrics are safe and up-to-date.

“It couldn’t be simpler to apply for a home improvement loan – just contact the team at Lendology.”

Cllr Dixie Darch, Executive Member for Climate Change, said: “COP26 highlighted the need for local action to support homeowners with the transition to net zero and through Lendology, and the launch of their recent ‘Decarbonising our Homes Campaign’, we’re committed to providing accessible funding for homeowners to increase their energy efficiency, reduce running costs and improve housing generally.”

To apply for an energy efficiency loan, visit or call 01823 461099.

New £2 fare for any single bus journey is Somerset is launched

Bus users in Somerset will be able to travel on most routes in the county for just £2 from January.

The major fare cut is part of an initiative funded by the Government aimed at boosting bus use while helping passengers to save money as the cost of living crisis continues to bite, fuelled in part by high petrol and diesel prices.

The £2 single fare is available from all participating operators from 1 January to 31 March. The initiative will apply to the majority of routes in Somerset.

The seven operators involved are:
• Dartline
• Faresaver Buses
• First South West (Buses of Somerset)
• First West of England
• Hatch Green Coaches
• South West Coaches

**FromeBus (Services 47 and 53 only)

A full list of services can be downloaded here 👇£2-Fare-Cap-Jan-2023-Copy.xlsx