Updates

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Drive Safer for Longer with Route 60+

Somerset County Council’s Route 60+ driver training programme helps senior drivers stay safe on the roads.

 Elderly drivers have hit the headlines recently for all the wrong reasons, especially as statistically speaking they are one of the safest driver age groups. Older drivers have a wealth of experience that can prove invaluable when assessing potentially hazardous situations on the road. However, when drivers reach their 70s, 80s and 90s the likelihood of making mistakes can increase.

The County Council’s road safety team have been running free Route 60+ workshops across the county for a number of years; providing life-saving information and advice to senior drivers. The programme is designed to help drivers continue their driving career for as long as safely possible – not end it.

The Road Safety Team will be hosting a FREE multi-agency Route 60+ event alongside other partner agencies including Public Health and the NHS at the Community Church in Yeovil (BA20 1QN) on the 28th February from 10am until 1pm.

There will be a wide range of activities covered, not just road safety, including:

  • Safer driving refresher talk
  • Test your reactions on the driver simulator
  • Health and wellbeing exercise taster sessions
  • Pop up sports taster activities including table tennis and archery
  • Mini-health checks courtesy of the NHS
  • Help and advice from Age UK
  • Healthy lifestyle advice 

If you run a club or group that you think would benefit from a Route 60+ workshop, contact Somerset Road Safety on 01823 423430 or roadsafety@somerset.gov.uk.

For more information on road safety visit: www.somersetroadsafety.org


Date Posted: 19/02/2019 17:42:00

Waste and Recycling Update and Forthcoming Roadworks

Recycling Centres

Most Recycling Centres scheduled to open today (Saturday 2 Feb) saw significant delays whilst staff cleared the sites and made them safe for the public before opening their doors. Dulcote and Yeovil didn’t manage to open however all others saw some limited opening but visitor numbers were extremely low across the network.

It is hoped most sites will be operational to-morrow but this will be dependent on the weather conditions over night and into to-morrow.

Where sites are operational delays to the normal opening times may occur as staff take additional steps and checks to ensure site safety.

During this period of uncertainty people should visit our website where they can find telephone numbers for recycling centres, check updates or view our webcams before setting out. Social Media will also be a useful source for information

Collections

We have stood crews down in Taunton, Lufton and Evercreech as conditions have not improved in these areas and vehicles were unable to leave the depots and as a result no collections were carried out in; South Somerset, Mendip or Taunton Deane today (Saturday 2 Feb).

A number of collections were able to be carried out in and around Williton, Minehead and Bridgwater with between 60% and 80% of scheduled collections being completed however a number of properties remain uncollected today.

We are not intending to work on Saturday because, the forecast suggests that this would not be possible or safe in many areas but will be operating a catch up plan from Monday.

We will endeavour to complete the catch-up from any missed collections as quickly as possible next week, working Saturday 9th February if necessary. The speed with which we can do this will clearly be  dependent upon the weather. ICEdates and posts on social media will aim to keep local communities up to date with how the catch-up progresses.

Garden waste will continue to be suspended on Monday to enable these resources to assist in the catch up. Clinical waste services will endeavour to operate as normal, though some collections may be inaccessible.

Roadworks

For the latest updates about roadworks along with live traffic reports, please visit www.travelsomerset.co.uk and follow @TravelSomerset on Twitter.

Please see below for further details of the listed major schemes. (Details correct as of 18 January but subject to change. Please check www.travelsomerset.co.uk for updates):

  • 358 between Thornfalcon and Southfields Roundabout, Ilminster: Closed overnight (7pm to 6.30am) for resurfacing, 4 February to 15 February (excluding weekends).
  • Creechbarrow Way, Taunton: Closed overnight (7pm to 6.30am) for resurfacing, 11 March to 12 March, followed by three evenings (6.30pm to 11.30pm), 13-15 March.
  • A358 Hankridge Roundabout, Taunton: Closed overnight (7pm to 6.30am) for resurfacing, 18-20 March outbound closure, 21-22 March inbound.
  • A358 Sampford Brett: Closed 24/7 for drainage improvements and resurfacing, 18 March to 31 March. Visit www.travelsomerset.co.uk/sampford-brett for further details.
  • A30 Snowdon Hill, Chard: Closed daytime (7.30am to 5.30pm) for resurfacing, 25 March to 30 March.


Date Posted: 02/02/2019 15:16:00

Investing millions to improve Somerset’s roads
    

Millions of pounds will be invested to repair and improve roads across Somerset during the first part of 2019.

Somerset County Council is planning a number of major and minor maintenance schemes this quarter, thanks in part to the £9.98m one-off pot of money for road repairs announced by the Department for Transport late last year.

Some of the major schemes confirmed include (see notes to editors for further details including associated road closures):

  • A38 Huntworth Roundabout (Junction 24)
  • A358 between Thornfalcon and Southfields Roundabout, Ilminster
  • A367 Bath Road, Ashwick
  • Chilkwell Street, Glastonbury
  • A361 Frome Bypass Berkley Roundabout
  • A361 Frome Cemetery Roundabout
  • A39 East Quantoxhead
  • Admiralty Way and Creechbarrow Way, Taunton
  • A358 Hankridge Roundabout, Taunton
  • A358 Sampford Brett
  • A30 Snowdon Hill, Chard

The DfT has requested the funding is spent by the end of the financial year.

Councillor John Woodman, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “The extra funding received from the DfT late last year was very welcome and I’m pleased we can now confirm a list of locations for improvements on top of other works already planned.

“Spending this money at short notice is a challenge and while we are always very grateful for extra cash we do repeat our calls for more certainty over highways funding in the long term which would allow us to plan ahead more effectively.

“Nevertheless, we’ve worked hard to revise our plans and bring forward some much-needed schemes so there’s no doubt this money will lead to better roads and less future disruption for drivers.

“Clearly, there will be some impact in the short-term with road closures needed to carry out the work safely, but we hope motorists can be patient and understand the long-term benefits.”

Funding from the DfT will also be allocated to a range of other highways activities, from upgrading street lights and investing in rights of way, to repairing safety defects, potholes, traffic signals and road signs.

For the latest updates about roadworks along with live traffic reports, please visit www.travelsomerset.co.uk and follow @TravelSomerset on Twitter.

Please see below for further details of the listed major schemes. (Details correct as of 18 January but subject to change. Please check www.travelsomerset.co.uk for updates):

  • A38 Huntworth Roundabout (Junction 24): Closed overnight (8pm to 6.30am for resurfacing, 28 January to 31 January, including M5 slip roads as below:
Date
 NB Exit
NB Entry
SB Exit
SB Entry

28 Jan

Open

Closed

Open

Open

29 Jan

Open

Open

Closed

Open

30 Jan

Open

Open

Closed

Closed

31 Jan

 Closed

Open

Closed

Closed

  • 358 between Thornfalcon and Southfields Roundabout, Ilminster: Closed overnight (7pm to 6.30am) for resurfacing, 4 February to 15 February (excluding weekends).
  • A367 Bath Road, Ashwick: Closed daytime (7.30am to 5.30pm) for resurfacing, 18 February to 22 February.
  • Chilkwell Street, Glastonbury: Closed 24/7 for resurfacing, 18 February to 24 February, followed by two weeks of evening closures (6.30pm to 11.30pm), 25 February to 8 March. Visit www.travelsomerset.co.uk/chilkwell-street for further details.
  • A361 Frome Bypass Berkley Roundabout: Closed overnight (7pm to 6.30am) for resurfacing, 25 February to 27 February.
  • A361 Frome Cemetery Roundabout: Closed overnight (7pm to 6.30am) for resurfacing, 28 February to 1 March.
  • A39 East Quantoxhead: Closed for three nights (7pm to 6.30am) for resurfacing, 6 March to 8 March.
  • Admiralty Way and Creechbarrow Way, Taunton: Closed overnight (7pm to 6.30am) for resurfacing, 11 March to 12 March, followed by three evenings (6.30pm to 11.30pm), 13-15 March.
  • A358 Hankridge Roundabout, Taunton: Closed overnight (7pm to 6.30am) for resurfacing, 18-20 March outbound closure, 21-22 March inbound.
  • A358 Sampford Brett: Closed 24/7 for drainage improvements and resurfacing, 18 March to 31 March. Visit www.travelsomerset.co.uk/sampford-brett for further details.
  • A30 Snowdon Hill, Chard: Closed daytime (7.30am to 5.30pm) for resurfacing, 25 March to 30 March.

Date Posted: 21/01/2019 15:24:18

How to Stay Well This Winter

Getting your flu jab and self care are still the best way to stay well this winter, health professionals advise.  If you are eligible for an NHS flu jab and haven't had one yet, ask your GP surgery or Pharmacy. 

Winter is a particularly busy time for the NHS so to help alleviate pressure on the local NHS, Somerset County Council’s Director of Public Health is reminding people of the simple things they can do to help make this winter a healthy one.

Trudi Grant, Somerset Director of Public Health said: “Winter brings with it a whole range of illnesses and ailments such as flu, coughs and colds and Norovirus, the winter vomiting bug.

“Prevention is always better than cure so if you start to feel unwell, at the very first sign of a winter illness, even if it is just a cough or cold, please get advice from your well qualified pharmacist before it gets more serious. Try and eat warm food and drink hot drinks, heat homes to at least 18 degrees and keep active to keep warm.

“Cold and flu viruses are spread when you breathe in droplets that are coughed or sneezed out by an infected person. You can also catch a cold or flu by touching an infected object or surface and then touching your eyes and nose. So making sure we all practice good hand hygiene by washing your hands often with warm water and soap and coughing or sneezing into a tissue and throwing it away quickly will help to keep the germ bugs at bay.”

Councillor Christine Lawrence, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing added:  “Please keep an eye out for elderly relatives and neighbours and support them in the cold weather to stay well this winter.

“If you start to feel unwell, but are generally fit and healthy, you can usually manage the symptoms of a cold or flu yourself without seeing your GP.  To help you get better quicker, just rest and sleep, keep warm, drink plenty of water (fruit juice or squash mixed with water is fine) to avoid dehydration and gargle salt water to soothe a sore throat.

“Finally, having a well-stocked medicine cabinet and making the most of your well qualified local pharmacist to treat minor ailments will all help to relieve pressure on the NHS.”

Dr Ed Ford, a Somerset GP and Chair of Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group said: “The flu season has started to kick in. If you are healthy getting a cold or even flu is not normally life-threatening but for the very elderly, or people living with long-term health problems, like chronic lung disease or asthma, the complications caused by the flu virus can be very serious.

The elderly, their carer’s and people living with long-term health problems should get a flu vaccination if they have not already had one.

If you start to feel unwell, stay at home and manage your symptoms. Please don’t risk infecting others, by visiting people in hospitals or care homes.”

The flu vaccine is the best protection we have against an unpredictable virus and it is vital that those eligible have it every year. So if you are eligible and haven’t had your flu vaccination yet don’t put it off.  Ask your GP surgery or Pharmacy about the free flu vaccine now.

If you are unwell, you should carefully consider the best place to get treatment. Accident and Emergency (A&E) is for life threatening and serious injury only, but there are a range of other options that could suit your needs including your local pharmacy, Somerset Minor Injury Units or calling the national 111 service.

The Stay Well This Winter campaign can help you prepare for winter.

Visit http://www.nhs.uk/staywell


Date Posted: 15/01/2019 13:08:00

Christmas Tree Recycling
South Somerset District Council is offering their Christmas Tree Recycling service again this year. The Archie Gooch Pavilion is the Ilminster collection point. Drop  off before 14 January 2019. Bare (free of ornaments, metal stands) real trees of all shapes and sizes accepted.
Date Posted: 08/01/2019 16:49:19

Collection of waste and recycling (to include Christmas trees)

Christmas waste and recycling collections will be running but with revisions to the day of collection as listed below:

 

Usual collection day

New collection day

Monday 24 December

No change

Tuesday 25 December - Friday 28 December

All two days later (including Tuesday collections on Thursday 27 and Friday collections on Sunday 30)

Monday 31 December

No change

Tuesday 1 January - Friday 4 January

All one day later (including Friday collections on Saturday 5)

Monday 7 January

All usual collections resume


Between 24 December and 4 January there will be no garden waste collections. They will continue as normal following Monday 7 January.

Recycling sites will follow their usual schedules but they will all be closed on 25-26 December and 1 January. They will also close at 4pm on Monday 24 and 31 December.

All offices will be closed to the public from 4.45pm on Friday 21 December 2018, opening again on Wednesday 2 January 2019.

For a list of all our offices and normal opening times, visit www.southsomerset.gov.uk/visit-our-offices.

It will be business as usual for our streetscene, enforcement and car parking inspector teams through the festive period.

SSDC will be offering their Christmas Tree Recycling service again this year. Collections will begin in the New Year. The Archie Gooch Pavilion will be the Ilminster collection point. Drop  off before 14 January 2019. Bare (free of ornaments, metal stands) real trees of all shapes and sizes accepted.



Date Posted: 18/12/2018 10:00:00

Your festive collections - and easy ways to save at Christmas

More and more Somerset families are saving their Christmas by keeping the festive fun and tradition but cutting back on waste, cost - and plastic.

Preparation is key, and focusing on not just good value but what you value, from sharing with others to bringing together your family.

Here are a few simple ideas that may help:

* Know the waste schedule, where to take your tree - the recycling site, yes, or find a local chipping service - and check the weather in case of collection disruption.

This year, that schedule is unchanged on Christmas Eve, but with no pick-ups on 25 and 26 December, collections that week will be two days' later, including Thursday on Saturday and Friday on Sunday 30 December.

With New Year's Eve pick-ups as usual but no service New Year's Day, that week's collections will be one day later, including Friday on Saturday. All services resume from Monday 7 January. No garden waste collections 24 December - 4 January.

Recycling sites follow usual schedules, except all sites will close at 4pm on Monday 24 and 31 December. As usual, all sites close 25-26 December and 1 January.

* Meanwhile, it is never too early to get clear for Christmas; go around the house to make sure everything not needed is recycled, sold, given away or turned into a gift.

* Ditto for wish lists - demand them now so every present is wanted. For grown-ups, think low-waste, low-cost secret Santa.

* Maybe cut back Christmas cards and make a donation to a favourite charity.

* Eat your freezer now to save money and have space for Christmas food and lovely leftovers. PS: avoid waste by getting a smaller bird and prep everything in advance.

* Children's home-made paper and card decorations - recycled later or kept for 2019 - look great, as does traditional garden greenery.

* For the tree, drop costly, easily-broken plastic baubles for a box of fun items with meaning, from child-decorated pine cones to old photos.

* For gifts, consider instant, waste-free digital downloads or subscriptions, or add the love by making your own, from foods to beauty scrubs.

* Check charity shop bargains, and buy and donate back a festive jumper.

* Seek out gifts from recycled materials, or those that help others recycle, from can crushers to mushroom kits for coffee grounds.

* Whether presents or decorations, cards or wrapping paper, steer clear of plastics that only go one way: to landfill.

* Buy rechargeable batteries and a charger to have them ready for the big day.

We will have plenty more low-waste, high fun ideas and inspiration here in the run up to Christmas and beyond, so do follow or like this page, and check us out at www.twitter.com/somersetwaste

For the what and when of collections, the where, what and when of recycling sites, what to do in severe weather, plus how to waste less food and cut back plastics, see www.somersetwaste.gov.uk


Date Posted: 05/12/2018 12:25:08

Avoid the unwanted gift of food poisoning this Christmas

There are an estimated one million cases of food poisoning in the UK every year, and without attention to food hygiene, this doesn’t stop during the festive season.

There are an estimated one million cases of food poisoning in the UK every year, and without attention to food hygiene, this doesn’t stop during the festive season.

To save your loved ones from a nasty bout of food poisoning over the holidays, follow these Food Standards Agency top tips from South Somerset District Council to keep your festive season truly the most wonderful time of the year.

Top tips:

1)    When Christmas food shopping, take sufficient bags with you so that you can separate out raw and ready-to-eat foods to avoid cross-contamination.

2)    Check the guidance on your turkey to ensure you have enough time to fully defrost it – it could take as much as 4 days.

3)    Don’t wash raw turkey; it just splashes germs onto your hands, clothes, utensils and worktops.

4)    To work out the cooking time for your bird, check the instructions on the packaging. Check that: the meat is steaming hot throughout; there is no pink meat visible when you cut into the thickest part and meat juices run clear.

5)    Whether you cooked your turkey from frozen or fresh, your turkey leftovers can be used to make a new meal (such as a turkey curry). This new meal can then be frozen, but make sure you only reheat it once.

Councillor Jason Baker, portfolio holder for Environmental Health at South Somerset District Council, comments: “Cooking a Christmas roast for a large gathering can be a challenge, and it is vital that the turkey, or other meat of the meal, is stored, defrosted and cooked correctly. Likewise, leftovers from Christmas need to be reheated and consumed within specific timeframes in order to avoid food poisoning. 

“This is why South Somerset District Council are supporting the Food Standards Agency in helping you to relieve some of the stress of preparing your Christmas meal and to keep your family safe during the festive period.”

Adam Hardgrave, Head of Foodborne Disease Control at the Food Standards Agency, said: “The four Cs of food hygiene: Chilling, Cleaning, Cooking and avoiding Cross-contamination are important throughout the year, but especially at Christmas.

“In the flurry of preparing the Christmas meal, it’s important to remember to plan ahead and allow plenty of time. Remember that an average-sized turkey can take four days to fully thaw in the fridge, and it is vital to thoroughly cook a turkey so that the meat is steaming hot, there is no pink meat visible, and that the meat juices run clear.”

For more information visit: www.food.gov.uk/seasons-eatings

 


Date Posted: 05/12/2018 12:12:53

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