Wessex Internet update
After months of planning, we are delighted to announce construction for full-fibre is now in progress for the Shepton Montague Project. Our Construction Team started near Redlynch last week and are now making their way south-west towards Shepton Montague.
Due to the size of the project, the Construction Team will be in the area throughout November and once the network build has been completed, our Service Delivery Team will be in touch to book your garden works and installations.
Government funding is still available and it’s not too late to register your interest! You can register your interest by calling us on 0333 240 7997 or online via:
Avian influenza (bird flu)
Poultry and other captive birds
An Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (PDF, 39.1KB, 6 pages) (AIPZ) has been declared across the whole of England effective from 5pm on 11 November 2020.
All poultry keepers in England (whether they have commercial flocks or just a few birds in a backyard flock) are required by law to take a range of biosecurity precautions.
If you keep poultry (including gamebirds or pet birds) or other captive birds, you must act now to reduce the risk of disease in your flock by following the relevant biosecurity measures required within the AIPZ. Your stock needs to be feed and watered under cover to prevent contamination from wild birds.
Good biosecurity improves the overall health and productivity of your flock by helping keep out poultry diseases such as avian influenza and limiting the spread of disease in an outbreak.
All bird gatherings within the AIPZ are prohibited therefore the general licence that had permitted bird gatherings has been revoked.
For more guidance please visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/avian-influenza-bird-flu
If you find dead wild waterfowl (swans, geese or ducks) or other dead wild birds, such as gulls or birds of prey, you should report them to the Defra helpline (03459 33 55 77)
Public Health England advises that the risk to the public’s health is very low. Food Standards Agency (FSA) has said that on the basis of the current scientific evidence, avian influenzas pose a very low food safety risk for UK consumers
Avian influenza is unconnected with coronavirus (COVID-19).
You can choose to register fewer than 50 birds, or birds you keep as pets. The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) encourages you to register even if you do not have to by law.
- APHA will be able to contact you if there’s a disease outbreak (such as bird flu) in your area
- you’ll help prevent the spread of disease and protect the national poultry flock.
Stoke Farm, Stoney Stoke
There has been much interest locally in the extensive works planned at Stoke Farm since its purchase by Sarah Beeny and Graham Swift.
Their story will feature in a new eight-part TV series, ‘Sarah Beeny’s New Life in The Country’, airing on Channel 4 on Wednesdays at 8pm, starting on 11th November.
Great Parish Tree Giveaway
South Somerset District Council are repeating the successful scheme run earlier this year to provide Parish Councils with 50 free trees for planting within their parish.
Owners of suitable sites are invited to contact the Parish Clerk at email@example.com for more information and to register their interest in taking part.
Formal applications are requested from Councils by 16th November with cell grown trees, stakes and guards made available for collection in late November or early December.
Application for bids invited for Somerset Climate Emergency Community Fund 2020-2021
In February 2020, the Leader of Somerset County Council announced that £1 million would be made available for city, town and parish
councils to support local communities. A new grant scheme is now available to help local communities take positive action to help Somerset become carbon neutral and mitigate the impacts of Climate Change.
From 1 October the Parish Council is invited to bid for between £5,000 and £75,000 for innovative projects that can make a real difference
in reducing carbon emissions and can contribute to making Somerset resilient to the effects of Climate Change.
Qualifying projects will include those to reduce carbon emissions, reduce consumption and to implement activities around climate
change mitigation and adaptation. Please submit your proposals to the Parish Clerk (firstname.lastname@example.org) for consideration at the Parish Council meeting on 6th October 2021. Closing date 28th September 2020.
Full details, including an example of the application form, are now available at
The following documents and information are now available on this website:
- FAQs about the Somerset Climate Emergency Fund
- Climate Emergency Community Fund – Guidance for Applicants
Somerset Weekly Workstream Update – 19 June 2020
This document, available for download, summarises the latest position on key activities and initiatives undertaken by Somerset County Council in relation to Covid-19. It includes data dashboards relating to public health.
New planning application by Emily Estate
The Emily Estate has submitted a planning application for the site at Searts Barns/Cottages (Cattle Hill). Whilst this is just outside the Shepton Montague parish boundary the development could have an impact on the village.
The application has the reference: 20/01446/FUL – copy the application reference and paste it into the SSDC planning portal search page.
The plan is to restore the derelict agricultural buildings, rebuild one cottage and also construct two new barns – in order to create 6 holiday properties, plus pool and ancillary buildings, as part of The Newt in Somerset’s range of visitor accommodation.
If you wish to make a comment on the application this can be done via the planning portal above.
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 www.fitformyfuture.org.uk or contact them by email email@example.com or telephone 01935 384119.
Bus service 39 (previously 19) Bruton to Yeovil – Fridays only
Due to new legislation which is being introduced by central government from 1st January 2020, which requires all coaches to be accessible, Somerset County Council will be taking over the operation of this route from the 2nd January 2020. After looking at passenger numbers, we will be using a minibus to better match demand, rather than a coach. We’ve also had to make some changes to the timetables, in order to accommodate other work the vehicle is used for.
A copy of the new timetable from 03/01/2020 is available here.
Connecting Devon and Somerset launch new public consultation on superfast broadband
CDS have announced a public consultation in support of State Aid Funding to extend the availability of Next Generation Access (delivering download speeds in excess of 30mps) to those areas where there is currently no planned provision.
The document describing the process for the consultation is available here. Nice to know they haven’t given up, but probably wise not to hold our collective breath!
BUS SERVICE 667 STREET – CASTLE CARY – BRUTON – WINCANTON
A revised timetable for bus service 667 Street to Wincanton with a stop in Shepton Montague, which is funded by Somerset County Council and operated by South West Coaches, will be introduced from Monday 2 September 2019.
The new timetable is available here.
PARISH COUNCIL ELECTION 2019
Six candidates have been nominated for the five Council seats available. Therefore an election of Councillors will take place on Thursday 2nd May 2019, at the same time as the election of a Councillor for the Tower Ward of South Somerset District Council.
The persons nominated are:
Dowding, Oliver Hugh Arnold
Hunter, Julia Margaret
Reed, Richard Paul
Sykes, John Brailsford
Wiley, Andrew Gerald Cozens
Williams, Paul Robert Edwin
PLANNING APPLICATION SEARCHES
South Somerset District Council has produced guidance on searching for planning applications on their new website. The guidance is available here.
The Council website address is
Getting rural areas connected
Mobile and broadband coverage are improving in the UK, but too many rural areas still get a poor signal – according to Ofcom’s annual Connected Nations report, published 18 December 2018.
While there have been improvements in mobile coverage, Ofcom wants to see faster progress in rolling out mobile internet to areas still lacking good coverage. So today we have set out updated plans to release new airwaves for mobile services, including requirements for operators to significantly increase outdoor data coverage.
We plan to auction two spectrum ‘bands’ for mobile services together, in late 2019 or early 2020.
- The 700 MHz band.
- The 3.6 GHz – 3.8 GHz band.
Ofcom plans to include binding coverage rules with the spectrum. These mean that up to two winning bidders would each have to, within four years of the award:
- Extend good, outdoor data coverage to at least 90% of the UK’s entire land area within four years of the award.
- Improve coverage for at least 140,000 homes and offices which they do not already cover. This means new coverage will be targeted at areas that are harder to reach; and
- Provide coverage from at least 500 new mobile mast stations in rural areas. This will ensure operators transform coverage in areas where it is lacking, rather than meeting the rules by just boosting existing signals.
During next year’s auction, the price for winning airwaves that carry these rules would be discounted by up to £300-400m – to reflect the significant investment required to meet them, and the social benefits they will deliver.
Sharing spectrum to support coverage and innovation
Ofcom has today also published plans to allow certain spectrum to be shared by different users, to support innovation and local coverage initiatives across the UK economy. This includes proposals to make spectrum available for shared use in the 1800 MHz and 2300 MHz bands, which can be used by existing mobile handsets. We also plan to enable third parties to use airwaves that are licensed to mobile operators, but not being used by them. This could be particularly suitable for local communities to boost coverage.
Broadband progress and ensuring safe, reliable networks
Today’s Connected Nations report also shows progress made in extending decent broadband coverage to the whole country, which has reduced from 4% of premises to 2% in the last year. There have also been improvements to the availability of superfast, ultrafast and full-fibre broadband. These are detailed in the report, as well as Ofcom’s work with industry to help ensure the safety and reliability of the UK’s communications networks.
A news release is available.
Finally, Ofcom has also today published its International Broadband Scorecard – comparing availability, usage and choice of broadband across 19 countries; and a report on Economic Geography, which examines factors that affect 3G and 4G mobile coverage in different areas of the UK.
There are 5 salt/grit bins in the parish located as follows:
1) Stoney Stoke
2) In East Street, on the verge opposite The Hollows.
3) In Lower Shepton at the bottom of Horns Lane.
4) At the crossroads near the Montague Inn.
5) On the High Street opposite Fairbank House
All except number 5 are full of salt/grit for use by residents in winter conditions. Number 5 will be filled shortly.
In addition, there are a few bags of salt/grit which can be requested by contacting the Parish Clerk on 01749812564 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org