January Update

A very Happy New Year to you all! Here’s the first update of 2021.

Eastwick Road/Cheddon Road Junction: Investigations carried out in early December revealed power cables were underneath the fallen tree stump. A further investigation is needed to understand if the cabling in entangled within the roots of the tree before it can be removed to avoid risk to life or a mass power outage in the local area. A mixture of long term sickness, Covid-19 response and deciding to replace the tree or not has led to the delay of addressing the pavement. I have asked the officers concerned to treat the matter with urgency.

20 mph zones outsides schools: All Primary Schools in the Taunton North Division should have 20 mph zones installed by the end of March, subject to the new National Lockdown that has been announced which may cause delay as staff are redeployed or self isolating.

Somerset Coronavirus Support Helpline: A single phone number remains available for anyone in Somerset who needs Coronavirus-related support. 0300 790 6275, is open seven days a week from 8am to 6pm, offering a range of support – from help accessing food or medicines, to emotional and financial support, and employment, housing and business advice.

Vaccination programme roll-out: Somerset residents who have been identified by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) as the highest priority are being invited for Covid-19 vaccinations first, including people aged over 80 and health and care staff. Residents should not contact their local NHS services for vaccination, they will be contacted when it’s their turn and given the information that they need for their appointment. For more information visit:   www.somersetccg.nhs.uk/health/local-services/health-services-during-coronavirus/covid-19-vaccinations-in-somerset

SCC Support: More than 700 County Council staff are being redeployed to support the NHS challenge of rolling out the county’s biggest ever vaccination programme. The first community GP-led sites have begun vaccinations and follows the launch of the programme in hospital hubs. Further plans are being drawn up to ensure vaccination in other locations across the county. Operating seven days a week which will require a considerable staffing resource and whilst every effort is being made to avoid disruption to SCC services some impact will undoubtedly be felt in areas outside of vulnerable people services.

High Speed Broadband: Three companies have been selected to roll-out the next phase of full fibre network on behalf of the Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS) programme, backed by Government funding. Airband, Truespeed and Wessex Internet will be installing full fibre broadband across Devon and Somerset to more than 56,000 rural homes and businesses over the next 4 years.

One Somerset Pledges: Somerset County Council has set out ten clear One Somerset pledges in the proposed move to a single Unitary authority:

  1. No disruption to local services as we change, and a promise to keep you fully informed.
  2. We will protect those front-line staff working with vulnerable people across the county.
  3. Council tax will not increase because of moving to a single unitary council.
  4. Physical, face-to-face council contact points across the county.
  5. One telephone number and one website to access ALL council services.
  6. Improved services for our vulnerable residents including housing, adults’ & children’s services.
  7. Improved services for our children and young people, including education, training, jobs and transport.
  8. More local decision making by our town and parish councils and new local community networks.
  9. Closer relationships with partners including the NHS, police, education, and the voluntary sector to deliver better services.
  10. We will not split Somerset in half, divide communities, lose our proud identity, or weaken our standing on a local, regional and national level.

2021 Primary School Places: Applications for Primary School places in 2021 need to be made through www.somerset.gov.uk/admissions The deadline for submissions is Friday, 15 January 2021.

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