Author Archives: Mark Ford


Plans outlined as Council looks to bridge budget gap

Plans to bridge a £13m budget gap will be discussed next week as Somerset County Council seeks to protect services for the most vulnerable while Government funding falls. The Council will continue to spend more than £300m on services to residents. The plans focus on a combination of savings and proposals to make use of […]

Have your say on A358 upgrade

Somerset County Council is urging residents to take part in a second Highways England consultation on improvements to the A358. The supplementary consultation starts on Tuesday, 16 January, and will be seeking views on several options for the section between the M5 and the A358 at West Hatch. Lasting six weeks, the consultation closes on […]

CDS to deliver superfast broadband to thousands more in Somerset

Thousands more homes and businesses in Somerset are in line for access to superfast broadband following a major Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS) expansion plan. The Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) agency has given the go-ahead for CDS to increase access to the ultrafast broadband network being delivered by Gigaclear by more than 2,000 more […]

Saturday Park and Ride to stop on 30 December

Taunton’s Saturday Park and Ride bus services will stop at the end of December as the County Council continues to manage reduced Government funding. The withdrawal of the services was among measures announced in the summer to help bridge an £18m funding gap. They have been kept running until the end of December to cater […]

Plans on show for new school developments in Taunton

Initial plans for two school developments in Taunton will be on show for public comment next month. Families and local residents can comment on proposals for a new 420-place primary school at Nerrols (known locally as Northwalls Grange) and an expansion of Selworthy secondary school at the former St Augustine site – which would be […]

Full Council backs Joint Committee plans

Somerset County Council’s Full Council today approved proposals to take the next step towards a potential Devolution deal. It backed a set of recommendations to establish a Joint Committee for the Heart of the South West (HotSW) area that would be the vehicle to take forward positive discussions with Government about Devolution. For more than […]

HIV testing available

Somerset County Council’s Public Health team is supporting National HIV Testing Week this week, raising awareness of HIV testing and highlighting where and how to test. Run by HIV Prevention England, this week encourages people to take a simple and quick finger prick test. Anyone can be affected by HIV. The campaign encourages those disproportionately […]

Cabinet backs Joint Committee plans

Somerset County Council’s Cabinet this week endorsed proposals to take the next step towards Devolution. It backed recommendations that would see a Joint Committee established for the Heart of the South West (HotSW) area. Later this month Full Council will decide whether to accept the recommendations and commit the authority to the new arrangements. Somerset […]


Business Rates pilot could keep more cash in the County

Somerset’s County and District councils have bid to be part of a pilot scheme that could mean an extra £4m for the County Council. The Government has asked local authority areas if they want to be part of a Business Rates retention trial next financial year and Somerset’s authorities have jointly expressed their interest. The […]

Social worker recruitment is just the job

More than 160 permanent social workers have been appointed by Somerset County Council’s children’s service in the last two years, key councillors were told today. Since August 2015, 165 have joined the council following a recruitment push in support of the authority’s improvement work in the service. And, as set out in a report discussed […]