Sedgemoor District Council

Election results for 2019

    Elected in 2019
    Total
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    28
    28
    -7
    Elected in 2019
    Total
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    12
    12
    +2
    Elected in 2019
    Total
    +/-
    7
    7
    +6
    Elected in 2019
    Total
    +/-
    1
    1
    +1
    Elected in 2019
    Total
    +/-
    0
    0
    -2

Most Recent

Somerset coast fracking ban moves closer

Worker at a fracking station
AFP

Sedgemoor District Council has voted for a motion to ban fracking on its part of the Somerset coast.

This follows the government announcement in 2015 stating seven new licence areas for shale gas exploration and extraction would be created along the coast from Minehead to Clevedon.

Sedgemoor District Council could approve the ban in full when it meets in Bridgwater on October 9.

Somerset West and Taunton Council also voted against the new fracking areas in July banning fracking along its section of the coast, which includes Exmoor National Park.

Councillor Phil Harvey said fracking could have a negative impact on tourism, particularly for coastal towns like Burnham-on-Sea.

He said: “Come to Burnham for fun, frolics and fracking’ is not going to be the best tag-line, is it?”.

Councillor Alan Bradford said he was also worried about the impact of fracking in the area and how it could affect the district’s water supplies.

The final decisions on any formal fracking proposals will be taken by Somerset County Council or the Exmoor National Park Authority, depending on where the companies wish to operate.

One in five new homes could be council houses

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Sedgemoor District Council headquarters in Bridgwater
Google

One in five new homes built in Sedgemoor could be council houses by 2030 under ambitious new plans.

Less than one in 20 new properties delivered in the district each year are built directly by Sedgemoor District Council, rather than by private developers or housing associations.

The council is hoping to reverse the decline of council house numbers since the 1980s, when the Thatcher administration introduced ‘right to buy’ It is also looking at new ways to deliver housing in the years ahead – including possibly forming its own commercial house-building company.

The issue was discussed by the council’s corporate scrutiny committee when it met in Bridgwater on Monday afternoon.

Duncan Harvey, the council’s housing development manager, said the council was seeking to deliver an average of 644 homes a year for the district – which includes commercial developments, council builds and work with housing associations.

Currently, only three per cent of new properties delivered in the district are council-built, compared to 75 per cent being market-driven.

Mr Harvey said he was confident the council’s share could rise to 20 per cent – or one in five new homes built – by 2030 if big changes were made.

The council house building programme will be debated further by the council’s executive on September 18.

Bypass planned for Bridgwater in new roads strategy

Proposal map
Sedgemoor District Council

New plans which lay out the future transport needs of Bridgwater over the next 30 years have been approved by Sedgemoor District Council.

A proposed northern bypass will take traffic away from the town centre and reduce congestion coming in from the north.

Other plans include an upgrade to the ‘magic roundabout’ in Cheddar, a link road for Burnham-on-Sea’s eastern edge, and rail improvements to make it easier to get from Bridgwater to London within two hours.

A spokesperson said there are currently no plans nor funding in place to support any of these schemes, but the strategy is intended to attract funding.

The strategy is a long-term document and these options within it are only part of a long-list of possible proposals from 2032 onwards. Much will also depend upon future growth options for the district and the proportion of new homes and employment that might be located across Sedgemoor post-2032.

SpokespersonSedgemoor District Council

Council spends £8m on buying commercial properties for rental income

Local Democracy Reporting Service

TK Maxx in Worcester
Google

Sedgemoor District Council has spent £8m buying a TKMaxx store on Worcester High Street.

It's part of a £50m investment in commercial property over the next three years, with the rental income being used to fund frontline services.

The council agreed in February 2018 to make the investments and has since bought the Street Retail Park in December 2018 for £8.2m.

The investment was only made public at a full council meeting on Wednesday due to commercial sensitivity.

The council said it would make a total of £1m a year from both properties.

How your area fares when it comes to tree planting

Trees
BBC

Around 15 million trees have been planted in England with government funding between 2010 and 2018 - but rates vary widely and many urban areas did not have any.

More than a quarter were planted in just five areas - Northumberland, Stratford-upon-Avon, Eden, Carlisle and County Durham.

The rate varies across our region. Wiltshire has the most with 241,000 trees planted over eight years, while Bristol had no trees planted at all. Elsewhere...

  • South Somerset - 58,500 trees planted over eight years
  • Stroud - 147,500
  • Mendip - 38,700
  • BANES - 31,200
  • West Somerset - 61,400
  • Taunton Deane - 22,700
  • Forest of Dean - 26,600
  • Tewkesbury - 14,200
  • Swindon - 36,500
  • North Somerset - 4,600
  • Cotswolds - 173,400
  • Cheltenham - 2,600
  • Gloucester - 2,500
  • South Gloucestershire - 4,900
  • Sedgemoor - 7,800

This story has been generated using Forestry Commission data and BBC analysis.

Council warning over dog bin mess

A council's cleaning team has left a notice on a dog-mess bin warning of prosecution if misused.

The notice from Sedgemoor District Council asks dog owners in Burnham and Highbridge not to put dog waste from their home in the public dog mess bins.

People on social media have responded to a photograph of the notice.

Julian Wellings said: "Sedgemoor District Council are happy to fleece me of £2,000 a year in council tax, but seem opposed to home owners disposing on dog waste in a responsible manner?"

Another person asked how the council intends to distinguish between dog waste from a home and dog waste from a walk.

Jacky Pelling said: "Are they lurking round a corner waiting to see if your dog has recently had a poo? Are they checking when you put it in the bin to see if it’s fresh?"

Clare Faun from the council said the notice was intended to "raise awareness" the bins were too full all of the time.

She said it did not cost anything to put the sign up so "cannot see why people think it's a waste of money?".

Image of the councils notice on a dog mess bin
Marian Bowers

A quarter of children in poverty

Hungry child
Getty Images

About a quarter of children in our region are living in poverty, according to new research.

Among the local authorities facing the highest levels of child poverty, after housing costs are taken into account, are West Somerset with a figure of 31% and Gloucester with a figure of 28%.

The data has been published by the End Child Poverty coalition.

Other figures locally include Bristol (27%), Forest of Dean (26%), South Somerset (25%), Sedgemoor (24%) and Wiltshire (24%).

The Children's Society said the findings were "disappointing".

Without significant additional investment, there is little hope of reducing child poverty rates in coming years.

Sam RoystonThe Children’s Society