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What’s in your lunchbox? Page 14

First steps to raising thousands Page 3

Listening. Learning. Changing

Autumn 2013 Mendip

Pages 4-5

yoursomerset

A HELPING HAND

We’ve had a huge response to our Listening, Learning, Changing roadshows across the county with you helping us by telling us what you think we should be doing. And there are even more chances for you to join in the conversation. Somerset County Council faces its toughest financial year yet. We have less money to spend – and more and more vulnerable people to spend it on. That’s why we’re asking all our residents to take part in our roadshows, our online budget setting game, The Balancing Act, and our valuable public consultations. “We have some tough, some really difficult decisions to make with our reduced funding,” said Council Leader, John Osman. “We just don’t have a choice, and that’s why hearing your views makes such a difference.” Important consultations are underway or about to start covering areas such as, children’s centres, libraries, how care is provided for key vulnerable people, and subsidised bus services. More will be unveiled over the coming months as the Council gets to grips with spending cuts and rising demand for services, which will see £100m cut from budgets over the next four years. On page 7 you will find some of our current consultations, or visit www.somerset.gov.uk/consultations for more. Inside this edition of Your Somerset you can see where your Council Tax is spent – it may surprise you to see that fixing roads, the most popular choice in a public poll, is actually a very small part of what we do – our biggest spending by far is looking after vulnerable adults and children.

Record crowds have poured into Yeovil Town after their stunning promotion into the Championship – and that is great news for the surrounding area giving a welcome boost to the local economy. Full story on page 3.

Wanted: all your food waste Somerset Waste Partnership recycling and refuse news See centre pages for your pull-out services guide, plus AD power progress, a look in your bin, fly-tip action, easy composting, and doing more for less.


02 News Welcome to the autumn edition of Your Somerset. Having spent most of August and September travelling around Somerset with the Listening, Learning, Changing roadshows, I’m happy to be back in the office and finally able to claim my weekends back. That’s not to say that I haven’t really enjoyed getting out and about to all the local shows and town centre events, but there are only so many burger vans and take away coffees I can cope with! It’s been a really great experience getting out of the confines of the office and speaking to people about what is important to them. From a personal point of view it has been really interesting to listen to so many people’s experiences and I’ve been comforted to hear so many positive stories. Thank you to everyone who stopped to talk to us - and thanks for being nice to me! It can be quite scary putting yourself out there, standing in the middle of a town centre talking to people about having to cut budgets to services that people really value. But it doesn’t stop there – this is an ongoing project, so we still want more of you to come forward and give us your views. Take a look at pages 4 and 5 for more details. And in other news… we’ve got lots more for you, including information about a new councillor health and wellbeing grant (on page 16) and the Somerset Waste Partnership’s annual newsletter, so check out the centre pages for more. Lauren Fellingham Editor – Your Somerset Psst... Your Somerset costs just 5p per copy.

Editor’s Info To get in contact with Your Somerset or to advertise in this publication, contact Lauren Fellingham on (01823) 356722, email yoursomerset@somerset.gov.uk or write to us at Your Somerset, Somerset County Council, FREEPOST NAT 9109, County Hall, Taunton, TA1 4DY. We gratefully acknowledge the support of organisations that advertise in Your Somerset, but Somerset County Council can accept no responsibility for the products or services advertised. We advise readers to make their own enquires before purchasing products or services.

news just in...

Editor’s column

Keeping you moving Work has now begun on a £22m road to help relieve congestion in the north of Taunton, and to provide access to new housing and business developments.

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ast winter, potholes were a major concern during an uncommonly long, cold and wet winter. In the past year, more than 27,000 have been repaired – many of them fixed after being reported by you, either by phone or through the Council’s website. Thanks to an extra £5m government grant we’ve managed to resurface entire sections of road, which were in need of most attention. This is in addition to the routine annual dressing of road surfaces across the county and our normal resurfacing programme.

Known as the Northern Inner Distributor Road, it stretches right across the north of Taunton and should open in the spring of 2015. Most of the funding has been provided by a £15m government grant, with local developers and the Council providing the rest.

There was good news for Yeovil too, with £6.5m expected to be spent on improving the western approach roads, and another £3m scheme for the A30 on the eastern end of the town. The Council has also helped lead a lobbying campaign to get the Government’s financial support for an upgrade to the A303, A358 and A30 in the south of Somerset, Wiltshire and Devon.

To report a pothole, visit www.somerset.gov.uk or phone 0845 345 9155.

Self-service roll-out continues Self-service technology is arriving soon at five more of Somerset’s libraries.

Self-service kiosks have already seen a reduction in queues at peak times. And library staff are on hand to help users get the most out of their library visit.

By the end of March next year, Minehead, Porlock, Chard, Street and Wellington will join Taunton, Burnham-on-Sea, Bridgwater, Wells, Frome, Yeovil and Priorswood libraries in offering brand new self-service technology.

As the buildings were refurbished, the large counters were removed and library buildings opened up. If you haven’t visited a library recently, why not take a fresh look and try it out for yourself. To find out where your nearest library is, visit www.somerset.gov.uk/yourlibrary.

These easy-to-use, touch screen kiosks allow customers to borrow, renew and return books and other items. Customers can also use the self-service kiosks to pay charges and to see if a reserved item is available.


News 03

First steps to raising thousands

Kick starting the local economy

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s Yeovil Town find their feet in the Championship, traders are reporting the Club’s promotion has helped boost the local economy – a key aim of Somerset County Council. The Glovers were promoted last season to the highest league in their history – and with the big jump in class comes a similar big jump in attendances. “Gates are double last season’s, big clubs visiting are bringing big numbers of supporters and we are delighted that local businesses are seeing their takings rise,” said club spokesman, Adrian Hopper. “We are seeing more interest from supporters away from our traditional home town. The whole of Somerset is getting behind us.”

And Your Somerset is doing its bit to help. We will publish Yeovil Town’s home fixtures, and publicise the club whenever we can. What’s good for the Glovers is good for Somerset’s economy.

Museum gets the jackpot

From left to right, Cllrs David Huxtable, James Hunt, David Fothergill, John Osman and Mike Rigby.

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omerset County Council’s Chairman, David Fothergill, quite literally took his first steps in raising thousands for his two favoured charities.

On Friday 20 September he climbed five of Somerset’s top summits all in one day. Joined by Leader of the Council, John Osman and Councillors, James Hunt, Mike Rigby and David Huxtable, the climbed Dunkery Beacon on Exmoor, Wills Neck on the Quantocks, Crook Peak on the Mendips and Cadbury Castle, ending their journey with a well-deserved flask of tea on Glastonbury Tor. David said: “As Chairman, I am in the privileged position of being able to help others, and that’s what I intend to do. My goal is to raise £50,000 over the next four years for two charities close to my heart. The National Autistic Society help over 2.7 million

people touched by autism to live the lives they choose, whilst Somerset Trust for Arts & Recreation (STAR) is a local charity providing simple pleasures, like sports tuition, musical instruments and trips to the seaside for children in care. This was the first of many fundraising challenges to come!” There is an exciting programme of fundraising events taking place over the next four years, involving staff, councillors and businesses. If you’d like to get involved, check out www.somerset. gov.uk for more information. If you would like to donate to the Chairman’s charities, visit www.justgiving.com/company/ SomersetCountyCouncil. Or you can send a cheque made payable to ‘SCC - Somerset Chairman’s Charities’ and either drop it in at the Cashiers Counter, between 8am and 4pm, Monday to Friday at County Hall in Taunton, or pop it in the post to Cashiers, Floor B1, County Hall, Taunton, TA1 4DY.

Somerset County Council has been awarded £720,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund towards the cost of redeveloping Glastonbury’s Somerset Rural Life Museum. The museum has not undergone major redevelopment since the 1970s, and the site, displays and visitor facilities are now outdated and in real need of improvement. The aim is to create a modern museum with improved access to the site and its collections, a new learning centre and improved visitor facilities. Somerset Heritage Manager, Tom Mayberry, said: “The museum has a special charm, which we do not want to lose. Our redevelopment plans will be sympathetic to the existing site and will build on what people tell us is important to them.” The redevelopment works are scheduled to start in spring 2014, subject to all other project funding being confirmed. An exhibition providing more details about the proposals will open at the museum in January 2014. For more information, visit www.somerset.gov.uk/srlmproject.


04 Your Council

LISTENING. LEARNING. CHANGING. What does the council spend money on? Ever wondered where your council tax goes? Here’s some of the services the Council provides and how much they cost. £1.1m

Better school results

Care for vulnerable or elderly people

Helping people with learning disabilities

£25.5m £8.2m

Helping prevent flooding

Boosting the local economy

£1m

Improving mental health

£1.5m

£106m

Maintaining Somerset's roads

TOTAL COST £251m*

Providing children's centres

£5.9m

£15.5m

Vulnerable adults' day care Mobile libraries

£2.5m

Bus subsidies Looking after children in need

£0.1m Recycling centres

£4.5m

£39.5m

£5.5m

£14.5m

Keeping you healthy

£19.7m Collecting & disposing of waste

*Our annual revenue budget is £329m. The budget figure used here is indicative of the scale of our budget. The list of services is not exhaustive - we just want to give a flavour of the types of services we provide, so we have included a mixture of things that command big chunks of our budget and then a diverse, topical collection of smaller budget items.


Your Council 05

Are we making the most of Somerset? “Somerset is changing. Our income is reducing and demand is increasing. We must adapt to these changes and, just like any family, organisation or business, live within our means. We will have to reduce what we do in some areas, which will be unpopular, but we have limited choices. “That’s why we say these decisions are tough,” said Council leader, John Osman. “It means reducing or even stopping some services that people have had for some time. It is upsetting for them and it is extremely upsetting for councillors from all parties who have to make these decisions. It goes against everything we want to do, but without the money, we just can’t carry on.”

We want to listen to you and learn from you. Through our ‘Listening, Learning, Changing’ roadshows we are listening to your views; learning what we are doing well and where we need to improve. So, if you didn’t make it to any of our roadshows, this feature brings some of the elements to you. Take a look at page 4 to find out where the Council’s budget is spent, then tell us what your priorities are by filling in the short questionnaire below and sending it back to us. Every one we get back will be used to shape the future of Somerset County Council.

I PLEDGED to listen to our residents’

VIEWS AND IDEAS

on how they’d like THEIR COUNCIL to operate and that is exactly what we are going to do.

CLLR JOHN OSMAN Leader of Somerset County Council

LISTENING. LEARNING. CHANGING.

As part of the Council’s new County Plan, we have set out our priorities for Somerset’s residents. We want you to tell us what your priorities are by ticking the

❑ ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑

three things that are most important to you.

Help vulnerable and elderly people stay in their own homes for longer. Fewer children in Council care; more people approved to foster and adopt. Better schools producing better results for our children. Help residents stay healthy; encourage our children to be active. Protect our environment; more recycling, less waste to landfill. Invest in Somerset; improve broadband connections and road links, like the A303, to help businesses and residents.

Please return, free of charge, to Somerset County Council, Communications, FREEPOST NAT 9109, County Hall, Taunton, TA1 4DY.

Attract jobs and apprenticeships into Somerset. Consult with, and listen to, our residents, businesses, communities and visitors. Keep Council Tax frozen for as long as possible. Work more effectively with partners for a smaller, leaner and more customer-focused public sector in Somerset.

Have a go at balancing Somerset County Council’s budget at www.sccbalancingact.co.uk.


06 Health & Wellbeing

Got a bright idea? For the second year in a row, every County Councillor will have a small pot of money to help develop local activities that promote health and wellbeing in their area. Each councillor has £5,000 to spend in their own patch. They can award grants from £250 to local community groups and organisations, for example parish councils and voluntary groups.

The idea of the fund is to encourage people, families and communities to take more responsibility for their own health and wellbeing and to support projects that improve people’s health in a variety of ways. Your councillor can help you achieve this by funding new and exciting activities in your local area to inspire people to join in and try new things.

It’s up to you what ideas you would like to put forward, but here are some examples from last year to get you thinking about what your community could do with it.

Somerset Health Walks in Combwich rece ived funding to help promote th eir walks and g et everyone out an d active.

nd ury a b n o ast In Gl rth Curry ents No llotm nity a oost. u m com ived a b t rece yone go ng Ever oth you e b som ved, invol , to grow bles. ld ta and o ous vege i c i del

Carym Enviro oor nm Trust b ental ought a poly-tu nne their n l for a reserve ture , so tha t volunt ee school rs and childre n could help g row plants an more in d get volved .

laycentre Wellington P r ot a boost fo Association g supporting their project nts with first-time pare s. young babie

Homestart W est voluntary org Somerset, a anisation th at offers suppo rt for familie s at home with c hildren und er seven, receiv ed a grant to fund a 12-week fa mily run pro ject.

So, if you have a great idea that would help your local community get more active and healthier, but need the cash to do it, get in touch with your local councillor now! All the applications must be made through your local councillor, so if you’re not sure who that is or how to contact them, visit www.somerset.gov.uk/councillors, or phone 0845 345 9166.


Your views 07

WE WANT YOUR VIEWS

This edition of Your Somerset highlights some of the ways you can get involved in how Somerset County Council manages to deal with reduced income and rising demand for our services. Here’s your chance to take part in deciding the future of three very special services.

Looking after people with learning disabilities

S

omerset County Council looks after nearly two thousand people with learning disabilities. A consultation is now underway to help us make a decision about how the service may look in the future.

The Council is now exploring options, and looking into whether it should extend the amount of support delivered by other organisations, or keep the service as it is.

2 13 If this affects you or your family, or you are just interested, please make sure you have your say. The closing date for giving your views is Monday 9 December. The consultation is looking at three options:

Leave things as they are. The Learning Disabilities Provider Service would continue to be owned and run by the County Council.

Somerset County Council to create a new organisation that is separate from the Council, for example a publicly owned trust or not for profit organisation, and transfer all or some of the Learning Disability Provider Service to that new organisation.

Ask other care providers to bid to take over some or all of the Learning Disabilities Provider Service.

To take part in the consultation or for more information, visit www.somerset.gov.uk/ldinfo, phone Andrew Hedges on (01823) 357837 or email AGHedges@somerset.gov.uk.

Please take part in our consultations, you can find them at www.somerset.gov.uk/consultations, or find out more details in the three reports below. And don’t forget, you can still take part in our online budget game – called The Balancing Act at www.sccbalancingact.co.uk. Your views are important and will be listened to by councillors making tough decisions over the coming months.

Somerset County Council is currently looking at the support it provides for people who live in sheltered housing schemes in Somerset. The Council's contract with our housing providers is coming to an end, so we are looking at how we can afford to provide this support in the future.

Just under half of adults with learning disabilities are supported by services from the Council’s own Learning Disabilities Provider Service. The rest are supported by services delivered by other organisations under contract. But with the Council facing falling income and rising demand, and some of the buildings used by the service needing urgent investment we face tough choices.

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The future for sheltered housing?

We have already gathered the views of a wide range of people, including those who do not live in sheltered housing schemes. We need your views as we face up to increased budget pressures. How to share your views We want to know what you think about sheltered housing, including how any decisions might affect you. To share your views, please complete the online survey, which will be available soon at www.somerset.gov.uk/consultations. Or, if you would like us to send you a copy of the survey, please phone (01823) 359333 or email shelteredhousing@somerset.gov.uk.

School transport consultation

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omerset is now running a further consultation on proposed changes to transport subsidies for pupils either starting or transferring to a faith school from September 2014 onwards. This may not affect you, but we would still welcome your opinion. The consultation will close at 5pm on Monday 4 November 2013. Visit, www.somersetconsults.org.uk/consult.ti to read about the proposed changes and how to respond. Or, contact Helen Reid on (01823) 355850 or email hreid@somerset.gov.uk.

Starting or moving schools next year?

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f your child is due to start school for the first time or is set to transfer to junior, middle, secondary or upper school next September, then you must make sure you get your applications in on time.

Deadline for secondary admissions Thursday 31 October 2013 Deadline for primary admissions Wednesday 15 January 2014 To download the primary or secondary school booklet for parents, to make an online application or for more information, visit www.somerset.gov.uk/admissions and choose the page ‘Apply to Start School’ or ‘Apply to Transfer School’. Or, if you need a paper application form or further advice, phone 0845 456 4038.


08 Road Safety


News

Reduce, reuse, recycle, recover for Somerset - October 2013

Food power

Waste food from your kerbside container in Mendip will soon begin being transformed into clean green power by the county's new Anaerobic Digestion (AD) plant. The £10m facility – pictured left – harnesses the appetites of billions of hungry "burping bacteria" to produce methane that generates enough electricity to power several thousand Somerset homes. All that is left is a high-quality, compost-like "digestate" that will help Somerset's farmers grow more crops in a textbook example of the allimportant “closed loop” recycling. As well as inspiring an educational pack to teach the science of AD, complete with colourful cartoons, the plant's progress has brought a new effort to boost food waste recycling.

Sort it out Is your recycling as pretty as a picture or a jumbled mess? Most people in Mendip do a great job in sorting their waste for recycling, but may not be aware that how materials are placed in collection boxes can make a big difference. Good "presentation" by roughly separating different materials in kerbside boxes speeds up collections, improving the efficiency of Mendip's waste services. With 19 million rubbish and recycling collections each year, a few seconds saved on each pick-up can really add up.

Some people think recycling food will be messy or yucky, but those doing it in Mendip find it easy to keep collection containers clean.

The weight and organic nature of food waste that some Mendip residents still discard into rubbish bins or black sacks makes it a heavy and polluting addition to the £11m cost of landfilling our county’s refuse.

The only good excuse for not recycling food waste is composting it at home. Those bacteria chomping away in Somerset’s new AD plant offer even more reasons to ensure that your food waste goes to good use.

Yet every scrap – from plate scrapings to anything gone “off” –

For food recycling advice: www.somersetwaste.gov.uk.

Other simple steps – rinsing cans and bottles, discarding bottle tops, flattening card, separately stacking paper, squashing cans with lids inside, tying shoes together, scrunching foil into a ball – improve both speed and the value of materials. Hard working crews are grateful if they do not need to sort and leave behind items that, as yet, cannot be recycled through Mendip’s collections. In particular, putting out only plastic bottles and not pots, tubs and trays is a big help. The efforts of Mendip residents to recycle are greatly appreciated. Recycling the right materials and keeping them roughly separated in your boxes helps ensure you get a better service.

We manage waste and recycling services for all local authorities in Somerset. For information on our services and lots more visit: www.somersetwaste.gov.uk. From home page, sign up for our e-zine and follow us on Facebook and Twitter

can be recycled into power via the lockable food waste container’s weekly kerbside collection. Excuses for not recycling food can be curious. Here are a few (with our response): ■ A teabag, apple core or banana skin is not food waste (oh, yes it is). ■ We have no food waste (everyone has some – do check your refuse bin). ■ It is all fed to my dog (everything? What does your vet think?). ■ I have too much food waste to recycle (ask for another container).

For information on what to recycle, how to recycle it, and how to recycle more, visit: www.somersetwaste.gov.uk.


Trick or (tasty) treat now…

Collections on Monday 30 and Tuesday 31 are unchanged, and one day later for the rest of the week, including Friday’s pick-up on Saturday 4 January. Usual collections resume from Monday 6 January.

Somerset’s Green Routine 2013 waste prevention campaign is offering free hints, tips and tools to help householders save money, conserve resources and have fun. Themes for the final three months of this year are key issues for families, such as focusing on low waste, good value food to coincide with Halloween’s need for tasty treats. November’s theme is gadget control to get the best from electronics, from cutting costs with rechargeable batteries to giving unwanted electrical items to charity. December is about planning great and greener Christmas celebrations with less waste, more savings, family fun, good food, pretty decorations and perfect presents. For details and free email updates, visit: www.somersetwaste.gov.uk.

What’s in your bin? At least 50% of the average refuse bin could be recycled by diverting materials to kerbside recycling boxes and food waste bins, saving well over £6.5m, while another 10% could be recycled at Somerset’s recycling sites, saving £1.1m more.

Clinical waste and assisted collections follow the same timetable, and garden waste collections are suspended from Wednesday 25 December, resuming from Wednesday 8 January on usual days. See website for tree recycling advice.

… and good Christmas cheer With Christmas Day on a Wednesday this year, festive collections are unchanged on Monday 23 and Tuesday 24 December but two days’ later for the rest of the week, with Wednesday’s pick-ups on Friday, Thursday’s on Saturday and, unusually, Friday’s on Sunday 29 December.

Recycling sites are open as usual except all close Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

For severe weather advice, check local radio or SWP website, Facebook or Twitter. Have you ever sorted through the contents of your rubbish bin?

Fly-tip action

To deter fly-tippers, including rogue traders, the group has produced new warning notices, press advertising and leaflets, while also developing harmonised legal procedures.

Building better services SWP campaigns to promote waste prevention, such as clutter busting, home composting and cutting junk mail, have helped residents achieve steadily declining waste levels over the past decade to below a tonne a year for each household.

To curb the fly-tip “supply”, one new Somerset approach has been to help residents and businesses fulfil their duty of care over their waste – and save themselves a possible fine of up to £5,000 – by not using unlicensed waste carriers.

And next year, as part of efforts to help residents waste less and recycle more food and other materials, Somerset will be encouraged to “Love Food, Hate Waste”.

Criminal traders undercut honest firms and rip off both their customers and council tax payers by dumping waste they have been paid to dispose of correctly. Enforcement officers from all of Somerset’s councils have been stepping up efforts to cut the falling number of fly-tipping cases in the county even further. The drive has been given new impetus by cases of arson in which criminal fly-tipping gangs or passers-by have set light to dumped waste from land clearance. A new liaison group involving councils, Exmoor National Park, local areas of outstanding natural beauty, Somerset Waste Partnership and, when relevant, police and the Environment Agency, has been created to coordinate action. It aims to help ensure a uniformly high county-wide response, from discovery to legal action, and Somerset County Council support has enabled investment in new resources, including training and surveillance equipment.

Householders are urged to insist on seeing the correct waste carrier licence before paying any traders – builders to man-andvan operators – to remove their rubbish. Anyone can check online – search for Public Register at www.environmentagency.gov.uk – or call the Environment Agency on 03708 506 506 to see if a firm has a waste licence. The liaison group’s next step is to work more closely with the police to identify criminals caught on camera and detain suspected offenders. When fly-tippers are identified, simple steps prove effective, from warning letters to penalty notices; a quick check with enforcement officers suggests that, so far, Somerset’s councils have not had to deal with the same offender twice.

Are you smart? While managing recycling and waste services for all six Somerset councils, Somerset Waste Partnership’s single team has efficiently delivered more for less with many service improvements since 2007. These have included adding cardboard and plastic bottles to kerbside recycling, the multi-award winning partnership to close the recycling loop with Marks & Spencer, and now the new Anaerobic Digestion facility to convert Somerset food waste into green energy and biofertiliser. To keep improving SWP efficiency and effectiveness, trials are underway in Bridgwater to recycle more materials for people in flats, SWP has initiatives to separate suitable items for reuse at Bridgwater, Dimmer and Taunton recycling sites, and trials of new kerbside collections of even more materials will launch in 2014.

If trends continue, most visitors to the website www.somersetwaste.gov.uk will soon arrive on a smart device. So SWP has created a dedicated smart website. Depending on their device, visitors are connected to the main or mobile site, though there are links to connect to either site. On both sites anyone planning to use Taunton’s Priorswood Recycling Centre has a new tool to help them save time and money. Somerset’s first online QueueCam shows how many vehicles are waiting at the site entrance so visitors can judge when best to arrive. Access QueueCam here: www.somersetwaste.gov.uk/ sites/opening/taunton-queuecam/.

We have – or rather, Somerset Waste Partnership (SWP) has hired a specialist research firm to conduct entirely anonymised analysis on a random but representative selection of the county’s rubbish bins. With council tax payers spending more than £11m to landfill Somerset’s refuse this year, understanding exactly what is in Somerset’s rubbish bins will help improve services, raise recycling rates, cut waste and save money. The results suggest most residents do a good job of wasting less and recycling more, while others could do better.

Among the findings: ■ Food waste levels are 29% of the average rubbish bin, costing £3.25m to landfill, though the new Anaerobic Digestion facility offers a clean, green option to turn food into power. ■ Less cans, aerosols, paper, glass bottles and jars, and textiles are ending up in the rubbish bin. ■ But 15% of the average rubbish bin is “dry” materials that could be recycled at the kerbside, saving almost £1.7m. ■ The 10% of the average rubbish bin that could be taken to a recycling site includes electrical items, carrier bags, wood, metal and beverage cartons. Of the 40% that cannot yet be recycled, 12% is animal waste and pet litter, 6% is plastic film – bread bags and the like – and 5% is nappies and hygiene products, while 4% are plastic pots, tubs and food trays that SWP would like to collect at the kerbside when reliable end-uses are available in the UK. To waste less and recycle more, visit: www.somersetwaste.gov.uk.

Easy, green and great garden value With winter on its way and leaves to clear, it is the perfect time to tidy the garden and start composting. Save the goodness in prunings, trimmings and clippings by composting to create a free natural resource you can use to feed the garden in future. If a single bin is inconvenient or simply not enough, try a two-bin system: fill one and leave it to compost as you fill the second. Through SWP, compost bins start at just £16.98 plus p&p and there is a

buy-one-get-one-half-price offer valid until 31 March 2014. For details, call 0844 571 4444, quoting promotional code SOM14PR, or visit www.somerset.getcomposting.com.


Mendip Waste Services Guide 2013/14 Recycling and Refuse Collections

Recycling Sites

Communal Property Collections

Collection times can vary so please leave at the edge of your property by 7am on collection day.

Somerset has 18 recycling sites: 14 Recycling Centres with free entry to deposit household materials, and four Community Recycling Sites with £2 entry fees that helped to avoid their closure. Mendip has Recycling Centres at Dulcote, Frome and Street, and a Community Recycling Site at Coleford.

Most blocks of flats have bins for paper, glass and cans recycling and for refuse.

Kerbside Recycling Collections Keep different materials roughly separate in recycling collection boxes. Put extra materials – except food waste – in carrier bags. For new containers, contact Mendip District Council 0300 303 8588 or customerservices@mendip.gov.uk. Kerbside recycling collections accept: ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■

■ ■

Food waste, including kitchen towel Paper, including newspapers, magazines, catalogues, directories Cardboard (flatten, take large quantities to recycling site), including brown envelopes Glass bottles and jars (rinse, unbroken, no table or cookware) Food and drink cans (rinse, squash if possible) Aluminium foil (bag, clean, scrunch test to ensure not paper or plastic-backed) Aerosols (empty, do not squash or pierce) Plastic bottles (rinse, no tops, pots, tubs, trays) Textiles (bag to keep dry, label “textiles”) – such as clothes, sheets, blankets, curtains, but not stuffed items, such as pillows Shoes (tie in pairs, bag to keep dry) Car batteries – beside boxes, one per collection

All sites are open Saturday 8am-4pm, Sunday 8am1pm and Monday 8am-7pm. All close two days during the week, with half open TuesdayWednesday 8am-4pm and half Thursday-Friday 8am-4pm to ensure local alternatives. Material charges from £2.90 apply to hardcore, soil, tyres and gas bottles, which are not classed as household waste. Check SWP website or Somerset Direct 0845 345 9188 for opening times and details of charges.

Recycling sites have separate facilities for: ■

■ ■

Bank Holiday Collections Christmas and New Year 2013/14 All collections continue as usual except: Usual collection day Revised collection day Mon 23 Dec 2013 Usual collections Tue 24 Dec 2013 Usual collections Wed 25 Dec 2013 Fri 27 Dec 2013 Thu 26 Dec 2013 Sat 28 Dec 2013 Fri 27 Dec 2013 Sun 29 Dec 2013 Mon 30 Dec 2013 Usual collections Tue 31 Dec 2013 Usual collections Wed 1 Jan 2014 Thu 2 Jan 2014 Thu 2 Jan 2014 Fri 3 Jan 2014 Fri 3 Jan 2014 Sat 4 Jan 2014 Mon 6 Jan 2014 Usual collections resume For advice in severe weather, check SWP’s website, Facebook or Twitter, or local radio. Garden waste collections suspended from Wednesday 25 December 2013, resuming from Wednesday 8 January 2014 on usual days. Clinical waste and assisted collections on revised days as above.

Easter, May and August 2014 Usual collection day Good Friday 18 Apr Easter Monday 21 Apr

Revised collection day Sat 19 Apr Day later than usual that week* Early May Mon 5 May Day later that week* Spring Mon 26 May Day later that week* Summer Mon 25 Aug Day later that week* *For example, Friday’s collection on Saturday.

■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■

Asbestos for disposal (only Bridgwater, Frome, Highbridge, Minehead, Street, Taunton, Yeovil; double bag, seal, then call to check space) Batteries (car, household) Beverage cartons, e.g. Tetra Pak (all except Castle Cary, Cheddar, Coleford, Dulverton, Middlezoy, Somerton) Books, CDs, DVDs & Videos (only Coleford, Dulcote, Somerton, Street) Cans (food, drink and aerosols) Cardboard Electrical appliances and equipment Fridges and freezers Garden waste (see website or seek advice on Japanese Knotweed and Common Ragwort) Gas bottles (charges apply) Glass - bottles and jars Glass - window (only Bridgwater, Chard, Highbridge, Taunton, Wellington, Yeovil) Hardcore (concrete/rubble; charges apply) Hazardous household waste for disposal (e.g. garden chemicals, paint) Low-energy lighting (fluorescent tubes, long-life bulbs) Metal (scrap metal) Mobile phones for charity Oil (cooking oil) Oil (engine oil) Paper (newspaper, magazines, directories) Plasterboard (all except Castle Cary, Cheddar, Coleford, Middlezoy, Minehead, Somerton) Plastic bottles (all except Cheddar) Soil (charges apply) Textiles (clothes, bedding, curtains) and shoes Toner cartridges for charity Tyres (charges apply) Wood

Christmas and New Year 2013/14 Recycling sites open as usual except all close Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

Cut-Price Home Compost Bins Residents can buy home composting bins from £16.98 (plus p&p) or buy one, get one half price (prices valid to 31 March 2014). Details: SWP website.

Updates and More Online For regular updates, tips and advice: ■ Sign up for our free e-newsletter at www.somersetwaste.gov.uk. ■ Join us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/SomersetWaste. ■ Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/somersetwaste.

Somerset Furniture Reuse Network Somerset’s furniture reuse charity network needs donations of good quality household items and appliances in working order to sell at low prices to local people on limited incomes. Details: www.somersetwaste.gov.uk/more/furniture.

Business Waste Recycling SWP’s website has business waste recycling advice and a directory of local waste companies.

Customer Services Contact Mendip District Council 0300 303 8588 or customerservices@mendip.gov.uk about: ■ Collection days and calendars (check www.mendip.gov.uk) ■ Kerbside recycling and refuse collections, including requests for new containers ■ Garden waste collections (charges apply) ■ Assisted collections for those with difficulty moving recycling or refuse containers ■ Clinical waste collections ■ Communal recycling and refuse collections ■ Bulky waste collections (charges apply) Contact Somerset Direct 0845 345 9188 or somersetdirect@somerset.gov.uk about: ■ Recycling sites ■ Domestic asbestos collections (charge applies)

Your representatives on Somerset Waste Board: Mendip District Council Cllrs John Parham, Nigel Woollcombe-Adams Somerset County Council Cllrs David Hall, Derek Yeomans

Scan and save Mobile phone users: with the right app you can scan this QR code to go to SWP’s smart website for help to waste less, recycle more and save time and money, from recycling site opening hours and details of kerbside recycling to advice that could make and save you cash as you shop, cook and garden. Or visit www.somersetwaste.gov.uk, where the site will recognise mobile browsers to redirect visitors.

For further information visit www.somersetwaste.gov.uk


Adoption 13

Time for a story Sharing a great children’s book can create some of the most magical moments for both children and parents.

D

uring National Adoption Week in November, we’re asking people to tell us about these special memories as part of our campaign, ‘Time for a story’. You can get involved on our website, Facebook, twitter and at local events. Whether you’re a potential adopter or not, everyone can get involved and learn more about adoption and the difference it can make. We currently have more than 400 children of all ages, ethnicities and backgrounds in our care. We have babies, toddlers, older children, siblings, twins and children with disabilities all waiting for loving and caring parents to give them a home and a family. Keep your eye out in October and November for news about how to get involved and events happening in your area.

Greg and Vicky adopted a two-yearold boy last year. Vicky tells their story:

“Having our little boy has been everything we thought it would be and more. To read him his favourite book, feeling a deep attachment forming with your child and being called mummy for the first time is truly magical.

“After finding out that we couldn’t have children of our own, we began to look into adoption. The process takes over your whole life and is allencompassing, but necessary to prepare you for the demands of adopting a child.

“We would not change anything we went through though, as it is quite a cathartic experience at times and certainly a learning curve.

“After being approved we were ecstatic. When we were matched and given a date to meet our son. It was indescribable - all of the waiting, worrying and anxiety had been worth it. “When we finally met our son, his foster carer opened the door and there he was just standing there. There are no words to describe that meeting and although our stomachs were fluttering and we were nervous, we both instantly knew he was the one for us. Our social worker was brilliant and we were provided with a lot of information about him. “Now we are a family and I can honestly say our life before is a distant memory.

“Our son is picking manneris ms and s up our ome of o habits. H ur e fits in s o well with our exten ded famil adored b y too, y his gra ndparent aunts, un s, cles, and cousins.”

Check out our website, www.adoptioninsomerset.org.uk, find us on facebook or follow us on twitter @adoptsomerset.

To find out more about adopting a child, visit www.adoptioninsomerset.org.uk or phone 0800 587 9900 for an information pack.

Join Adoption in Somerset on Facebook or follow us on twitter @adoptsomerset.


14 Your Health

What’s in your lunchbox? Think outside the box and get inspired by our healthy and speedy school packed lunches…

T

he quality of school food has improved enormously since 2005 when Jamie Oliver went on his one man mission to improve school meals. But more than half of all school children in England still choose a packed lunch, snacks or food bought elsewhere over a nutritious school lunch.

A recent government review revealed that the majority of packed lunches are unhealthy, and tend to include sweets, sugary drinks and savoury snacks. Whilst many children prefer to take a packed lunch, it is clear that they’re not getting the same benefit from their midday meal as their classmates having school lunches.

on the rise, schools and parents have a responsibility to encourage healthier options for their children. Be healthy and happy Even a few small changes could bring real benefits to your child’s long-term health and wellbeing, particularly cutting down on items which are high in fat, salt and sugar.

For some children the poor quality of their lunch could have serious implications. With obesity levels for children aged 10 and 11 still

t of Only one per cesncu packed luncherd ts the musta

A dairy item, like cheese or yoghurt

Vegetables or salad and a portion of fruit

According to NHS Choices, a balanced lunchbox should contain:

Starchy foods like bread, rice, potatoes or pasta

Protein foods like meat, fish, eggs or beans

School packed lunch inspiration

T

hinking of healthy and exciting packed lunch fillings can be a daily challenge. Especially if you can't see your child happily trotting off to school with a box of sprouting mung beans. There are loads of simple, fast and yummy ideas online to bring new life to the dreaded lunchbox.

Fresh ideas There are tons of fresh ideas, and easy sugar swaps, so check out these websites where there are plenty of carby options that kids should love. These will help give a bit of variety to your child’s diet and keep them brimful of energy and get up and go all day.

ww w.n hs.u k/c han ge4 life/ www.bbcg oodfood.co m

www.childrensfoodtrust.com om ms.c u m t .ne www


Your Health 15

Catch up with MMR

It’s Stoptober It's Stoptober it's like October but without the smoking. ‘Stoptober’ is the largest mass quit attempt of its kind, encouraging the UK’s eight million smokers to stop. Everyone could do with a little support when giving up smoking, so why not join in with the thousands of other people giving it a go this month? In just 28 days you’ll start to feel the financial, physical and health benefits and you’re five times more likely to stay smoke free.

Don’t just think about it – do it and join Stoptober today and you’ll receive a 28-day step-by-step programme to support you.

Visit Stoptober at https://stoptober.smokefree.nhs.uk/ or phone the Somerset NHS Stop Smoking Service on 0303 033 9840 or text MYQUIT to 80010.

Parents with children who missed out on the MMR vaccination should get them immunised.

That’s the advice from Trudi Grant, Director of Public Health in Somerset. Trudi said: “Infections spread easily during school and college term time. An MMR vaccination will not only protect your child, but also more vulnerable people in the community.” Measles and rubella aren’t ‘harmless’ diseases and for people with suppressed immunity, such as pregnant women, it’s potentially very serious.

Trudi added, “With measles for instance, you can’t tell if your child has passed it on to someone who it may cause serious health problems for. In some cases it can even be fatal.”

For more information, contact your local GP surgery.

New prospectus out now Available from www.learnsomerset.co.uk or through their school


16 Your Health

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Fostering for adults idea of being able to offer someone with a learning disability the chance to be involved in normal family life, if you can call our family normal. It just seemed to snowball really and now we have three adults living with us. I enjoy the freedom from the nine to five existence. I also love the contacts you build up as a carer. We belong to groups like Taunton Mencap and have made an entire new world of supportive friendships, a world I was completely unaware of until I became a carer.

It can be challenging and is quite full on. This is a 24 hour, seven day a week job and we are responsible for the people who we support even if they are not with us.

Could you help support adults with learning, physical and mental health difficulties in your home? The Council’s Shared Lives Scheme provides family-based support for adults as an alternative to residential accommodation – so it’s a bit like fostering but for adults. With Shared Lives Week coming up (21-27 October), here is your chance to really make a difference to people’s lives. It is hugely rewarding, both for the carers and those being cared for, and we really need new recruits. Anyone over the age of 18 can apply to become a Shared Lives carer, whatever their background or marital status. There is a thorough application process, which includes health and safety and CRB checks. Carers are paid a fee and there is plenty of on-going support. If you want to find out more about becoming a Shared Lives carer, please phone (01823) 257908 or email sharedlivesteam@ somerset.gov.uk Martin has been living with Angela, a Shared Lives carer, for two years now. Here’s their story: Angela Originally I had thought about fostering children as we were in the fortunate position of having a large house with lots of space. I had four children at home, one of whom had a learning disability, and supporting adults seemed to fit better into our situation. I liked the

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Martin I have Angela, Graham, Jo, Katie, Stephen and Daniel, they are my friends and I can talk to them and do things with them. I make flapjacks with Katie. I like being busy, and I hoover and polish my room. I like going to Taunton Mencap and going on trips. I like going to the disco. I have lots of people I know now. I am happy here, they are my friends.

There are lots of people just like Martin who need your help get in touch today.

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Democracy 17

Starting young With great power comes great responsibility! This is exactly how the newly elected members of the Youth Parliament for Somerset felt recently when they helped the Council award £49,000 in grants to the county’s youth clubs. The four members, their deputies and other teenagers who sit on the Somerset Youth Parliament Advisory Group, spent two days of their summer holidays sifting through the applications for a share of the Somerset County Council Youth and Community Group Grant fund. They chose 14 youth clubs, which had applied for grants to

Jake will be promoting political education and engagement.

cover youth worker wages, equipment and building costs. Among the winners were Routes Youth Café in Frome, Puriton, Hamdon and Williton Youth Clubs and Café Random in Wiveliscombe. The Council is keen to hear how young people want its services and policy to develop in the future. It supports the Somerset UK Youth Parliament, which helps young people take part in decision-making at a national and local level. Back in February, when our own councillors were out campaigning, young politicians in Somerset were casting their votes for members of the Youth Parliament.

Cat is focussing on bullying and relationships.

The winners were Jake Pitt (Mendip), Cat King (South Somerset), Ellen Collard (Taunton Deane and West Somerset) and Thrinayani Ramakrishnan (Sedgemoor). You can read the 2013-2015 manifesto, and find out more about the wide range of other work that the Somerset UK Youth Parliament does, at www.somersetyouth.co.uk. If there is any way you think you can help the Members with any of their manifesto areas, or link it to work you are doing, please phone Kirstie Brown on (01823) 349853 or email kbrown@somerset.gov.uk.

Ellen has a passion for seeing young people volunteer locally.

Thrinayani wants young people to be prepared for a life in work.

Your Commissioner - one year on… I feel privileged to be your Police and Crime Commissioner. It’s such an incredibly worthwhile job. It’s different every day, from working on victim satisfaction to meeting partners to look at ways we can reduce re-offending.

Highlights of the year

• Launching the £200,000 Commissioner’s Community Action Fund…

£5,000 - Somerset West Business Against Crime

• Launching the first Independent Residents Panel to review police complaints • Setting up a Business Crime and Rural Crime Forum

Apply today for up to £5k for your community

One-day a week in the community Sue has visited Hamp Recreation Centre, Turning Point Yeovil, Somerset Rural Youth Project and South Somerset Muslim and Cultural Association.

• Launching Somerset’s first Police and Crime Plans • Awarding £193,000 toward community safety, supporting Street Pastors, CCTV enhancement and Community Restorative Justice Panels

r 10CY fo £4600 – treach u o mobile in ervices youth s d n u ro a and combe Wivelis

If you want to meet Sue please contact the PCC’s Office.

Police performance in Somerset * Anti-social Behaviour Around 80.6% of victims of ASB in Somerset feel satisfied.

To contact your PCC, Sue Mountstevens, visit www.avonandsomerset-pcc.gov.uk phone (01275) 816377

Burglary Offences across Somerset are down by 8% (so far this year compared to the same time in 2012) Domestic and sexual violence Reporting of serious sexual offences is up by 13% in the past 12 months A substantial proportion of domestic and sexual violence cases go unreported to the police and other agencies. The Commissioner is committed to working with the police, charities and partners, to increase confidence to report. Victim 88% of victims of crime in Somerset are satisfied (above the police force average)

[* All performance results as of July 2013]

AandSPCC @AandSPCC


18 ADS

...There for you

Adaptations We want to help people stay in their own homes and live as they choose. Here are a few ways we can help: • Returning home from hospital • Repair work • Stairlifts • Bathroom adaptations • Ramps • Fit grab rails • And lots more. Helping you stay safe and independent at home. Home from Hospital scheme There’s no place like home. That’s why our free

Aster Living looks at the whole picture to support you to live your life as independently as possible. Every day we help thousands of people to stay living at home.

Home from Hospital service helps people leave hospital sooner and settle back into everyday life. Available to anyone over the age of 60 or over 18 with a disability. Here’s how we helped Mary and Bob Mary has been caring for her husband Bob for many years. He suffers from Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and sometimes finds getting around difficult. He loves his garden but Mary can’t help him to get out there anymore. We fitted a ramp at the back door and levelled the pathway to a bench in the garden. We also gave Bob a pendant alarm, linked to a pager Mary carries with her. This means Mary can leave Bob to enjoy the garden on his own, safe

in the knowledge he’ll call for help if he needs it. Bob’s wellbeing has improved as a result, and Mary now has some precious time to herself. Mary said: “This gives us both a bit of space, which is just what we need sometimes.”

If you struggle to read this, please contact us on 0333 400 8299. We can produce a version in Braille, large print, on audio, in other languages or in ‘Easy Read’ using symbols and short sentences. Contact us Call: 0333 400 8299 Email: info@asterliving.co.uk Or visit our website, www.asterliving.co.uk where you can hear some of our customers telling their story. Please quote DR 1250 when you contact us.


Contact Us 19 -O

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Contact us

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Autumn 2013

Somerset County Council, County Hall, Taunton, Somerset TA1 4DY General Enquiries Service 0845 345 9166 Council Information and Enquiries.

You can find many of our services on our website at www.somerset.gov.uk or you can email us at somersetdirect@somerset.gov.uk

Adult Social Care 0845 345 9133 Social care assessments for older people, people with disabilities and other adults with care needs, promoting independence, self-directed care and support, carer support, mobility, benefits, Blue Badge, housing related support.

OPEN EVENINGS Wednesday 23 October 2013, 6pm - 8.30pm Thursday 14 November 2013, 6pm - 8.30pm

Children & Learning 0845 345 9122 Support and social care for children, education, including preschool, playgroups and nurseries, support for children with special educational needs, youth service, Youth Offending Team, families and children looked after.

Culture & Heritage 0845 345 9144 Architecture and historic heritage, museums, arts, archives and records.

COLLEGE EXPERIENCE DAYS Tuesday 5 November 2013 Wednesday 27 November 2013 Thursday 5 December 2013 For more information and to register please visit

www.strode-college.ac.uk Strode College, Church Road, Street, Somerset BA16 0AB Tel: 01458 844400 quoting ref YSOEA

Economy & Community 0845 345 9188 Biodiversity, Quantock and Mendip AONB, sustainable development, economic development, household waste recycling centres, minerals and waste planning, emergency planning, Trading Standards, farm animal health and welfare, scientific services, gypsy and traveller service.

Fostering & Adoption Enquiries 0800 587 9900 Library Service 0845 345 9177 Libraries general information, renewal and requesting of library items, mobile library service, (renewal of book loans also on (01823) 334344 - 24hr automated services).

Registration Services 0845 345 9144 Registration of births and deaths, civil ceremonies, marriage and partnership, citizenship, baby naming, renewal of vows, copy certificates.

Roads & Transport 0845 345 9155 Walking, riding and cycling. Report a problem on the highway, roadworks, local transport planning, rights of way, bus timetables, school travel, student travel, concessionary bus pass, community/social care transport, existing school travel arrangements.

Somerset Road Safety (01823) 423430 Somerset Skills & Learning 0845 688 0488 Other useful numbers

for your Retirement Living

Sedgemoor 0845 408 2540

Taunton Deane (01823) 356356

www.sedgemoor.gov.uk customer.services@sedgemoor.gov.uk

www.tauntondeane.gov.uk enquiries@tauntondeane.gov.uk

West Somerset (01643) 703704

Mendip (01749) 648999

www.westsomersetonline.gov.uk customerservices@westsomerset.gov.uk

www.mendip.gov.uk customerservices@mendip.gov.uk

South Somerset (01935) 462462 www.southsomerset.gov.uk ssdc@southsomerset.gov.uk

WWW.SOMERSET.GOV.UK

#

01935 0 1 9 3 5 404500 404500

District Council contacts

Cut out and keep

Choices

We give you

Street light faults 0845 601 0939 (Lines are open Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm. For emergency out-of-hours 07920 138778) Student Finance Direct (Higher Education Students only) 0845 607 7577 Consumer Direct (Consumer Advice) 08454 04 05 06 NHS Direct 0845 46 47


Events at the Rural Life Museum Meet the Artist Saturday 12 October – 2.30-4.30pm Here’s your chance to talk to Teresa Whitfield, the artist from the current exhibition, ‘Drawing Museum Lace’. Cost: Free.

Apple Day Saturday 26 October - 10.30am-4pm Enjoy cider making demonstrations, cooking with apples in the Victorian kitchen and children's craft activities and stories, all with an apple theme. Cost: Free.

Spooky Fun! Thursday 31 October - 10.30am-2pm Enjoy some creepy, crafty, seasonal children’s activities for children aged between three and 11. Cost: Free.

Meet the Owls! Friday 1 November – 10.30am-4pm Discover a selection of live owls from ‘Spread your Wings’ Owl Rescue. Cost: Free.

Craft Fair Saturday 9 November – 10am-4pm Come and enjoy an atmospheric fair celebrating the work of local artists. There will be high quality stalls, including paintings, woodwork and hand-made jewellery. Cost: Free.

Cooking on the Range Saturday 21 December – 10.30am – 12.30pm Come and watch seasonal cooking in the Victorian kitchen. Cost: Free. For more information or to make a booking, please contact the Somerset Rural Life Museum on (01458) 831197 or visit www.somerset.gov.uk/srlm.

Yeovil Town Home Fixtures List Sat 19 Oct Sat 26 Oct Sun 10 Nov Tue 03 Dec Sat 07 Dec Sat 21 Dec Wed 1 Jan

Yeovil Yeovil Yeovil Yeovil Yeovil Yeovil Yeovil

v v v v v v v

Brighton Nottm Forest Wigan Blackpool Charlton Blackburn Watford

OPEN DAY Saturday 16 November, 10am-1pm Main Campus, Radstock BA3 3RW

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To request this document in an alternative format, please phone (01823) 356722.


Your Somerset Autumn 2013 Edition