Councils and NHS checking in with thousands of residents

23 April, 2020

Thousands of people will be contacted by phone or letter over the coming days as all five local authorities in Somerset and the NHS launch a new approach to help and support through the Coronavirus outbreak.

Around 70,000 residents will receive a letter which encourages them to seek non-medical help and support amongst their own local community groups at first. But if they can’t find the help they need, they are asked to contact the dedicated Somerset Coronavirus Support Helpline on 0300 790 6275.

As well as the letters, around 1,600 residents will receive phone calls to check how they are coping and make sure they have the support they need and if they don’t, give them guidance and advice to get help.

People should always check that the caller is genuine, never give out personal bank details, pin numbers, or passwords to anyone over the phone.

You can read more here

Joint initiative on domestic abuse support

23 April, 2020

Support is, and will continue to be, available for people experiencing domestic abuse during the Coronavirus lockdown.

Somerset County Council’s domestic abuse providers have joined with Avon and Somerset Police for a webchat, which airs on social media tomorrow, discussing the robust provision in place to help people at this challenging time.

If you are experiencing domestic abuse or you know someone who is help is available:

  • Somerset Domestic Abuse website
  • Call your local confidential domestic abuse helpline on 0800 69 49 999
  • If you or someone you care about is in immediate danger, please call 999 and ask for the police

SWP crews help fire service tackle problem parking

22 April, 2020

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 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.

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.

For more information about how to reduce and reuse your waste, and the latest information about services and any disruption, visit and follow @somersetwaste on Twitter and Facebook.

Have a plan for your pets

22 April, 2020

There’s a lot of think about during the Coronavirus crisis, but pet owners are being urged to plan ahead for their animal friends should they fall ill.

Whether furry, feathered or scaly – having a plan for how your animals will be looked after if you become unwell will make life easier if does happen.

It will also mean their welfare won’t be weighing on your mind when you’re making other important decisions.

Do you know what you need to do to keep your animals safe if an incident occurs? Do you have carriers or vehicles required to move them out of harm’s way? What would you need to look after them, and could you access it quickly if you had to leave your home?

Here is some guidance on what to think about and how to take sensible steps in advance.

Somerset Prepared is a partnership of all Somerset’s local authorities and other partners. Its animal emergency plan advice is endorsed by groups including the RSPCA, the National Animal Welfare Trust and Avon and Somerset Police.

Specific guidance is available for pets, horses and donkeys, and livestock. Top tips include

  • Include any essential pet items in your grab bag, such as food, a lead and vaccination records
  • Ensure your animals are vaccinated. This is an essential requirement for many boarding centres
  • Consider friends, neighbours and relatives. Could they look after your pet if you couldn’t?

For more updates from Somerset County Council, please click here