For immediate release
Let’s break out the bunting for VE Day
Somerset residents are being encouraged to celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE (Victory in Europe) Day and remember all those who helped to secure peace in Europe.
Friday 8 May marks the milestone anniversary of the day the guns fell silent in Europe ending six years of conflict.
Sadly, national and local plans to mark the milestone anniversary due to take place on the weekend of 8-10 May have had to be postponed or cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
But everyone can take time to remember, while still observing social distancing, by decorating their homes in red, white and blue on 8 May.
Somerset County Council’s Armed Forces Champion, Cllr Rod Williams said: “The 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe is a cause for celebration, but it is also a cause for sombre reflection and remembrance. For those whose parents or grandparents fought and lost comrades, it is also a cause for sadness.
“The Second World War was a terrible period for the generation that lived through it. The outbreak of the war only 21 years after ‘The War to end Wars’ dashed hopes for peace.
“Victory in Europe led to possibly the greatest achievement of the post-war world – the rehabilitation of Germany and a NATO alliance that has maintained peace for 75 years.
“But it has been a peace in which there have been only two years (1968 and 2016) when a member of the British Armed Forces has not been killed on operations. We should celebrate Victory in Europe and remember ‘the Greatest Generation’ – the one that lived through, fought and won the Second World War.’”
There are lots of ways that you can get involved and show your support in marking the day on social media and via your digital channels. The Royal British Legion has a range of ideas: https://www.britishlegion.org.uk/get-involved/remembrance/remembrance-events/ve-day-75
The Government has published a toolkit of resources, to include bunting and posters that you can print and display at home in your windows. English Heritage has a pack to help you put together your own celebrations to mark the anniversary from home. Share your Second World War stories, families’ histories and messages of remembrance on social media, using #VEDay75 to join the conversation. For school children, historian and presenter Dan Snow has set you a creative challenge to research what VE Day is all about.
The BBC has launched a VE Day scheme under its Make a Difference initiative, encouraging people to make their own Great British bunting to display at their home – details are available here https://bbc.in/3cTfBev
People are also encouraged to join a national toast at 3pm on 8 May, raising a glass, mug or tankard of a refreshment and declaring: ““To those who gave so much, we thank you.”
All SCC’s help and information is available in a single place on the SCC website:
The page is refreshed through the day so please check regularly to keep across developments and news
For Immediate Release
22 April, 2020
SWP crews help fire service tackle problem parking
Waste collection crews in Somerset are poised to distribute ‘please park carefully’ notes in solidarity with fire service colleagues this week.
Staff working for Somerset Waste Partnership’s new contractor Suez will be putting the polite notices from the fire service on to the windscreens of the rising number of problem parkers.
With the Coronavirus lockdown meaning more people working from home, inconsiderate parking is becoming a big issue for Somerset Waste Partnership and Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Services.
The cars are often legally parked, but parked in a way that makes it difficult for recycling and rubbish collections trucks to negotiate narrower streets. They have meant collection crews haven’t been able to make some recycling and rubbish collections – and this despite having smaller vehicles at their disposal as part of a new fleet.
If recycling crews can’t get through, fire appliances won’t be able to either. The fire service is becoming increasingly concerned that its crews could be seriously delayed getting to an emergency incident because of inconsiderate parking.
These parking problems are being seen across the county, from small villages with narrow streets to new estates with many more people at home.
Mickey Green/Sarah Dyke from the SWP said: “With the amounts of recycling and rubbish being put out our crews are working really hard. Not being able to collect because they can’t get down a street makes their job even harder and causes disruption to services. We know it can be hard for people to find somewhere to park at the moment, but we would ask people to think about this, especially on their collection day
“For the emergency services it could be a matter of life and death. With more cars at home all day we know it is tough, but please do think when you park.”
Station Manager Dan Taylor said: “We have noticed that an increasing number of homeowners want to park their vehicles directly outside their properties without considering that access may be required for fire appliances in an emergency.
“Some of the streets are narrow even without parked cars. Obviously, the size of our vehicle being what it is, we need slightly more room to manoeuvre than a car.”
The Service is asking people when parking their vehicle to:
• Park close to the kerb
• Leave enough space for a fire engine or an ambulance to pass
• Leave extra room near tight corners
• Fold in your wing mirror
SWP’s depleted crews have been collecting spiralling levels of waste as a result of Coronavirus, with the county’s 16 Recycling Centres temporarily closed. Garden waste collections have been suspended, as have collections of bulky waste and delivery of replacement and new recycling boxes and rubbish bins.
For more information about how oy reduce and reuse your waste, visit www.somersetwaste.gov.uk/coronavirus For the latest information about services and any disruption visit www.somersetwaste.gov.uk/coronavirus and follow @somersetwaste on Twitter and Facebook.
For Immediate Release
15 April, 2020
Hold fire on bonfires, say SWP and fire chiefs
And district councils are also seeing a growing number of complaints about nuisance fires – in some cases including ‘black smoke’ fires, with people allegedly burning plastics and other toxic materials.
The increase is being put down to the fine weather and the impacts of Coronavirus: restrictions on movement, closure of recycling centres and the suspension of the garden waste collection services.
It may be tempting to burn garden waste and material you might usually take to the Recycling Centres, but the public is being urged to hold fire and think about the impact on neighbours and emergency services.
Where possible, people should hold on to garden waste until the Recycling Centres reopen and try not to generate waste that is going to be hard to dispose of.
Home composting may be an option for some and you can find more information here https://www.somersetwaste.gov.uk/home-composting/
Burning plastics, rubber or painted materials is illegal and the fumes can cause pollution and is harmful to health. With recycling centres closed, people are asked to keep hold of materials until they reopen.
Otterhampton Scrubs Hub needs your help
Right then you lovely lot, it’s come to my attention (via Taunton Scrubbers!) that some of our local hospitals, clinics and care homes are in desperate need of PPE for our fantastic NHS staff. So, if you have a sewing machine and fancy helping out, I’d love to hear from you.
Apparently Musgrove are desperate for scrubs’ hats and head bands with buttons (to hold their masks in place, which is more comfortable than securing behind the ears). The picture shows one I made earlier today.
Otterhampton Parish Council have kindly offered some funding to get this project off the ground which will give our community an opportunity to help the NHS at this difficult time so I’d just like to say an official thank you to them.
The sewing would obviously need to be done in isolation in your own homes but I’m happy to co-ordinate the safe collection and distribution of everything in such a way that we keep within the recommended government guidelines in relation to Coronavirus.
If you’re interested in getting involved please let me know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org – please DON’T put your email address on this post. Once I hear from you I’ll send you full details. In order to keep in line with social distancing I will only be sending these details via email and you will need a printer.
Also, if you are classed as vulnerable with regard to Coronavirus or you or anyone in your household have, or have had any Covid-19 symptoms, then, for the sake of the whole village, I would appreciate you please not getting involved at this stage. I hope you understand.
Hope to hear from you. Thanks in advance.
Good afternoon all,
To update you on how we are managing the current situation at Steart Marshes:
As of today we will be locking both of our car parks until further notice. The reason it has taken a little time to come to this decision is over concern of elderly local people who were using the car parks and not wanting to encourage people to park on the verges and cause issues with the roads.
During the day, on the whole the car parks have remained very quiet and the police have been patrolling daily and putting leaflets on peoples windscreens. However it has come to light that during the weekends and later in the evenings there have been more cars in the car park.
We have updated our website and social media to inform people of this change and is worded as follows:
Coronavirus: Please do not travel to Steart Marshes. The car parks are closed. It is not safe to park on the verges. The toilets and hides are also closed. LINK TO LATEST LOCAL STATEMENT. Thank you for your support and stay safe
If you live close enough to walk to the marshes, the paths remain open. However, please keep a safe distance from others while you’re on site.
If this does cause issues locally please let me know and we will have to review our position and take the most appropriate action.
Take care and as always please don’t hesitate to contact me
WWT Steart Marshes
Reserve Office, Stert Drove, Bridgwater, Somerset, TA5 2PU
T 01278 651090
M 07717 505966
Grants are available for community groups operating during this Covid 19 crisis. See below for more information
Stay at home
Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (but only if you cannot work from home)
If you go out, stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people at all times
Wash your hands as soon as you get home
Do not meet others, even friends or family. You can spread the virus even if you don’t have symptoms.