HENSTRIDGE PLAY AREA

Over recent months the Parish Council has been working with contractors to design a new modern play area with stylish contemporary equipment.  The proposed new play area is aimed at children of all ages and encompasses those with physical and mental disabilities and impairments. 

The current play equipment is becoming old and tired and is nearing its end of life. Ongoing and increasing maintenance costs are making the area financially unviable with some equipment already having been taken out of service.

The aim is for the new play area to be funded primarily through grant funding along with utilising s106 funds from SSDC.  Earmarked funds from the Parish Council are available should they be required.

So, what do you think? 

The Parish Council would welcome your comments on the proposal by Monday 11th January, so please take a look at the plans below and email the clerk, Emma Curtis, with any feedback on clerk@henstridgeparishcouncil.org.uk

Christmas Tree Disposal

As South Somerset District Council are not offering their Treecycling scheme this year the Parish Council would like to request that trees are disposed of in a responsible manner.

Toomer Tree Services have teamed up with local garden centre Grass Roots in Henstridge to offer a Christmas Tree disposal scheme. Simply take your tree to the designated area in the garden centre car park and your tree will be chipped and disposed of for a small donation.

Avian influenza (bird flu): Latest situation

New housing measures will come into force in England, Scotland and Wales on 14 December.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/avian-influenza-bird-flu-national-prevention-zone-declared

The Chief Veterinary Officers for England, Scotland and Wales have agreed to bring in new measures to help protect poultry and captive birds, following a number of cases of avian influenza in both wild and captive birds in the UK.

Government Chief Veterinary Officers are encouraging bird keepers to use the next 11 days to prepare for new housing measures, including taking steps to safeguard animal welfare, consult their vet and where necessary put up additional housing.

Whether you keep just a few birds as pets or thousands, from 14 December onwards you will be legally required to keep your birds indoors, or take appropriate steps to keep them separate from wild birds. We have not taken this decision lightly, but it is the best way to protect your birds from this highly infectious disease.

Poultry and captive bird keepers are advised to be vigilant for any signs of disease in their birds and any wild birds, and seek prompt advice from their vet if they have any concerns. They can help prevent avian flu by maintaining good biosecurity on their premises, including:

·         housing or netting all poultry and captive birds

·         cleansing and disinfecting clothing, footwear, equipment and vehicles before and after contact with poultry and captive birds – if practical, use disposable protective clothing

·         reducing the movement of people, vehicles or equipment to and from areas where poultry and captive birds are kept, to minimise contamination from manure, slurry and other products, and using effective vermin control

·         thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting housing at the end of a production cycle

·         keeping fresh disinfectant at the right concentration at all points where people should use it, such as farm entrances and before entering poultry and captive bird housing or enclosures

·         minimising direct and indirect contact between poultry and captive birds and wild birds, including making sure all feed and water is not accessible to wild birds

Register your birds

We encourage all keepers to register their birds with us so we can contact you quickly if there is a disease outbreak in your area and you need to take action.

If you have more than 50 birds, you are legally required to register your flock within one month of their arrival at your premises. If you have less than 50 birds, including pet birds, you are still strongly encouraged to register.

Find out how to register your birds.

Poultry and captive bird keepers and members of the public should report dead wild birds to the Defra helpline on 03459 33 55 77 (option 7), and keepers should report suspicion of disease to APHA on 03000 200 301. Keepers should familiarise themselves with our avian flu advice.

Public Health England advise the risk to public health from the H5N8 and H5N2 strains of bird flu is very low.

The Food Standards Agency has said that on the basis of the current scientific evidence, avian influenza poses a very low food safety risk for UK consumers. Properly cooked poultry and poultry products, including eggs, are safe to eat.

Henstridge Recreation Ground – MUGA, Skate Park, Green Gym and Pump Track

Upon completing weekly inspections of the recreation ground this morning it has been discovered that the signs which had been erected to close off the MUGA, Skate Park, Green Gym and Pump Track have been removed; despite being securely fastened.

These areas remain closed due to current government guidelines surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic and will remain closed until current restrictions are lifted on 2nd December. Any persons attempting to use these areas will not have adequate insurance cover.

COVID-19: Funding support available for business through lockdown

Funding support is available to businesses in South Somerset due to the national lockdown restrictions that came into effect from Thursday 5th November.

South Somerset District Council are administering two schemes:

Local Restriction Support Grant

Eligible businesses are now able to apply for a business support grant under the Local Restriction Support Grant scheme. Grants are available of up to £3,000 and this will cover the 28 day national lockdown period. The funding will be provided on a rolling 28 day period for as long as the current lockdown restrictions apply.

Under this scheme, support is available for businesses that are legally required to close and are business rate payers. Businesses that have been required to close by Government include:

–       Non-essential retail

–       Leisure

–       Personal Care

–       Sports Facilities

–       Hospitality

A full list of businesses required to close can be viewed on the Government website.

If you own or manage a:

–       Pub, cafe or restaurant and have changed your business model during the lockdown period to operate as a takeaway.

–       Shop required to close but offer click and collect or online with delivery services. Additionally

–       Hotel or accommodation business that continues to provide services only for those who are travelling for work purposes or other exempt purposes.

You are also able to submit application into this scheme.  

Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) – Discretionary Grant Scheme

From Monday 23rd November at 12.00pm, eligible businesses will be able to apply for a business support grant under our discretionary scheme. This scheme is designed for:

–          Businesses who have lost 25% or more of their normal operating income during the current lockdown period

–          Businesses that are required to close but do not have a business rates valuation

–          Businesses that mainly supply or trade with businesses required to close, or have experienced significantly reduced customer levels

South Somerset District Council have limited funding available for this scheme and encourage businesses to apply as quickly as possible. Should demand outweigh the amount of funding available, we will be required to operate on a first come first served basis and reserve the right to review the scheme should we feel absolutely necessary.

How do I apply?

Applications for both schemes can be submitted online and can be accessed by visiting www.southsomerset.gov.uk/covidbusinesssupport. You will need to be registered for a basic ‘My Account’ in order to apply and can do that online at www.southsomerset.gov.uk/register.

What will you need?

Businesses will need to provide:

–          Latest Business Bank Statement

–          An image of your latest business rates bill (Local Restriction Support Grant)

–          Evidence of fixed costs, for example lease / rental agreements or a bank statement highlighting outgoings relevant to this application (ARG only)

–          Business information including:

·         Number of employees

·         Type of business

·         Contact information

·         Information specific to the business (e.g Business Rates reference number)

I applied for a Business Support Grant during the first lockdown. Can I apply again this time?

Yes you can. This is a Business Support Grant that covers the 28 day national lockdown period between Thursday 5th November and Wednesday 2nd December 2020.

How long does it take to process an application and how do I find out if and when I will receive the grant support?

We are expecting a high volume of applications and have reassigned staff to help deal with the expected extra workload.  We will work through them as quickly as possible. In addition, the Government may still make changes to the grant scheme and we may have to get back to you for more information.

Once we have all of the information we need to process your application, you will receive a decision and/or a notification of when to expect the grant support payment. During this time, we ask that you are patient and give our team 14 clear days before you follow up your application.

What other support is available for my business?

Further support for businesses can be found on our website:  www.southsomerset.gov.uk/covidbusinesssupport.

Council Leader Val Keitch said: “This is clearly a challenging time for all businesses and at South Somerset District Council we are committed to doing all we can to support businesses through the current crisis.

“We’ve acted quickly to try and inform businesses how they can access Government Business Support Grants and I am grateful to the staff at South Somerset District Council for moving swiftly to get processes in place and inform businesses across the district of the help and support they can receive.”

As a District Council, we have implemented many actions from Thursday 5th November for public safety in line with new Covid-19 restrictions.

In addition, South Somerset District Council will continue to work will local community organisations to ensure those who are vulnerable or facing hardship are supported, and facilitate a number of grants to local foodbanks.

The council will also continue to ensure anyone who is homeless or facing homelessness has a safe place to stay.

The Council is also issuing payments to those that are entitled who are required to self-isolate.

For the latest information about Coronavirus in the UK, including how to keep yourself and your community safe, visit the Government website.

If you are facing financial hardship and need support, please contact South Somerset District Council on 01935 462462 or use our online form – https://www.southsomerset.gov.uk/life-events/coronavirus-support/who-can-i-speak-to/.

The Somerset Coronavirus Support Helpline number, 0300 790 6275, is also live to help you access help you may need, including emotional support, in the current crisis.

Census 2021

Census 2021 will provide a snapshot of modern society

Households across the Parish of Henstridge will soon be asked to take part in Census 2021.

The census is a once-in-a-decade survey that gives us the most accurate estimate of all the people and households in England and Wales. It has been carried out every decade since 1801, with the exception of 1941.

It will be the first run predominantly online, with households receiving a letter with a unique access code, allowing them to complete the questionnaire on their computers, phones or tablets.

“A successful census will ensure everyone from local government to charities can put services and funding in the places where they are most needed,” Iain Bell, deputy national statistician at the Office for National Statistics, said. 

“This could mean things like doctors’ surgeries, schools and new transport routes. That’s why it is so important everyone takes part and we have made it easier for people to do so online on any device, with help and paper questionnaires for those that need them.”

Census day will be on March 21, but households across the country will receive letters with online codes allowing them to take part from early March. 

The census will include questions about your sex, age, work, health, education, household size and ethnicity. And, for the first time, there will be a question asking people whether they have served in the armed forces, as well as voluntary questions for those aged 16 and over on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Results will be available within 12 months, although personal records will be locked away for 100 years, kept safe for future generations. 

For more information, visit census.gov.uk.