Local News Thursday 22nd July

    Somerset is to be run by ONE council with a single county-wide unitary authority being the government’s preferred option for the future of local government in Somerset. Visit Somerset says the so-called "pingdemic" is causing chaos for the tourism sector. The County Council is bidding to win millions of pounds in extra funding to improve bus services in Somerset. Plans have been submitted for an equestrian centre with horse gallops in Crewkerne...and more.

    Somerset is to be run by ONE council with a single county-wide unitary authority being the government’s preferred option for the future of local government in Somerset. In a written statement, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick, rejected a rival suggestion from the county's four district councils to set up two separate councils - one in charge of the east of the county, the other covering the western half. It’s expected that elections for the new council will be held next year with the new unitary authority coming into being in April 2023.

    Visit Somerset says the so-called "pingdemic" is causing chaos for the tourism sector. Holidaymakers are having to cancel their stays due to being pinged by the NHS Test and Trace app - which is also impacting businesses who have staff off work self-isolating. The government says from the 16th of August people who have been fully vaccinated will not have to self-isolate if they're pinged. But John Turner from Visit Somerset thinks that's too late in the holiday season.

    The County Council is bidding to win millions of pounds in extra funding to improve bus services in Somerset. The government is making £3 billion available to support a new National Bus Strategy that local councils can apply for a share of. Somerset County Council is now drawing up a blueprint for future bus service provision in the county for submitting to the government.

    Plans have been submitted for an equestrian centre with horse gallops in Crewkerne. If approved by South Somerset District Council, the centre would be built at Peckmoor Farm, Henley Cross in Crewkerne.

    Chard has been chosen again to host the annual British Disabled Strongman championships. Gary Clarke, who founded the competition in 2015, will stage the event at Holyrood Academy on Sunday, September 5th. 

    As South Somerset remains under an amber alert for extreme heat this morning, the NHS is advising that elderly people drink extra water and young people get themselves fully protected against sunburn. 

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