Parish Bulletin October 2019

What’s in your Parish Bulletin this month?

  1. Mendip Parish Forum Events and Dates For 2019
  2. A Learning Event on Climate Change Adaption - 22nd October
  3. Mendip backs initiative to help residents cut their fuel bills - last chance
  4. Get Ready for Brexit
  5. Calling all Village Halls in Mendip - an event 24th October
  6. Assistance to bring back empty homes back into use
  7. Farm and Horse Watch Schemes
  8. Pop Up Cafes
  9. Services for Rough Sleepers in Mendip.
  10. Housing Grants available in Mendip
  11. Christmas in Wells
  12. LOVE Digital
  13. Sponsor the Mells 10k Team
  14. Health and Mind Matters Event - 10th October, 11am-2pm
  15. Shape Mendip Lottery - New Cause
  16. Community Funding
  17. News from the Monitoring Officer
  18. Calendar of Meetings and Dates for your Diary

If you wish to submit an item for the Parish Council Information Bulletin, please email it to parishbulletin@mendip.gov.uk

Mendip Parish Forum Events and Dates

The Mendip Parish Forum is for clerks, chairs, elected members and community representatives from across Mendip. The forums are held quarterly in the Council Chamber at the Mendip District Council offices from 6:00pm with the main agenda items beginning at 6:30pm.

The last Parish Forum was held on the 12th September. The Leader, Ros Wyke gave a general update and hosted a questions and answers session. This will be a regular item at was Parish Forum.

The rest of the session was dedicated to "An introduction to Planning" training session delivered by Julie Reader-Sullivan and Rachel Tadman.

Thank you to all who attended. We look forward to seeing you at the meeting in December, for which agenda items are coming in fast and thick!

Next Forum date: 12th December 2019

Mendip invites you to learn about Climate Change Adaptation

How do organisations tackle resilience to a changing and uncertain future climate?

Nick Pyatt from Trioss will be providing a talk on Climate Change Adaptation and how it affects Somerset and Mendip.

Key topics:

  • Somerset Level Review of Climate adaptation requirements
  • Addressing the pressures that come from increasing heat and flooding at a Mendip level
  • Key vulnerabilities for the District of Mendip
  • Future implications for MDC Council

When: Tuesday, 22nd October 2019 at 6:30pm

Where: Council Chamber (MDC offices)

No sign up is required, just turn up on the day.


Mendip backs initiative to help residents cut their fuel bills

Mendip District Council is once again backing the popular Big Community Switch which is a collective energy switching scheme which has seen some local residents save hundreds of pounds by switching their energy supplier.

Collective Energy Switching is when consumers get together to negotiate a group deal with gas and electricity suppliers, with a third party actively negotiating a better tariff on behalf of the group through an auction process.

There is a vast array of options for people looking to compare the market and switch suppliers either individually or collectively. Mendip District Council is continuing to back The Big Community Switch run by iChoosr as one way of helping Mendip's residents get a better deal on their energy bills.

The amount saved will vary, but in previous rounds of energy switching that involved Mendip residents, people who signed up to the scheme saved an average of £200 on their annual fuel bills.

The Big Community Switch, which is open to all Mendip residents, aims to help prevent people slipping into fuel poverty by making easier and more convenient for people to participate in energy switching.

The collective energy scheme is now open until the auction on 8 October 2019.

Cllr Simon Carswell, Portfolio Holder for Corporate Services said:

We are pleased to be supporting this very popular initiative again as it can save our residents hundreds of pounds on their annual fuel bills. We encourage all households in Mendip to take part so they can benefit from making a saving hassle-free thanks to iChoosr.

Mendip District Council has partnered with iChoosr, a leading expert in collective energy switching, to operate the scheme in the district.

Residents who are keen to be part of the process can get more information and register online by clicking on the button below.

Residents can also contact Mendip District Council on 0300 303 8588 or visit any Council Access Point for more information.


Help a vulnerable EU citizen to make an application to remain in the UK after it leaves the EU.

If the person is unable to access the Government website, and also falls within the definition of vulnerable, the organisation Diversity Voice can offer support with completing the on-line application process form. Diversity Choice has received a central government grant to assist individuals who fall into these categories.

Research shows that 42% of small-to-medium sized businesses are unsure of how they can get ready for Brexit, while just 31% of the British public have looked for information on how to prepare for Brexit, so providing this information to your local citizens and businesses is important.

Calling all Village Halls in Mendip

You are invited to join CCS at the Community Buildings event & rural conference 2019

A day packed with presentations, training, workshops and networking opportunities for you and your committee. Guest speakers and plenty of opportunities to take part in open discussions and have one-to-one conversations with our local experts.

Topics will include

  • Protecting your hall online
  • Fairer funding for rural communities
  • The art of the possible: a sustainable future
  • Smart community resources

Book your space today!

  • Long Sutton Village Hall, TA10 9NT
  • 24th October 2019
  • 9:45am - 3:30pm

To see the full agenda and download a booking click on the button below.

Assistance is available to help owners or prospective new landlords to bring empty homes back into use.

Is there an empty property in your street that we may not be aware of and is of concern to your neighbourhood?, if so please contact us on the numbers below and provide the details, so that we can check to see if the property is known to us.

Often one of the barriers for bringing a properties back in use is the financial contribution needed. Mendip District Council can provide advice and support to owners and have a grant and loan scheme available to assist with completing work to help improve the property for rental, sale or for your own residence.

There are two ways the council can support financially, firstly the council works in partnership with not-for-profit lender Wessex Resolutions CIC to provide finance for home repairs. This enables an owner to then either rent their newly renovated property to put it on the market or move back into it themselves. By bringing an empty property back into use, the local community benefits through the addition of new housing and a pleasant place to live.

A further option offered by Mendip District Council is a grant scheme for properties that have been empty for over six months. Three levels of grant are available:

  • Up to £3,000 to bring empty home back into use
  • Up to £5,000 to bring an empty home back into use and rent it for minimum of 12 months
  • Up to £15,000 to bring an empty home back into use and rent it at local housing allowance rate to tenants nominated by the council for five years.

Empty properties are a wasted resource that could provide decent accommodation in the area. They could also provide a valuable income for the owners, who if required can also be given help and support to bring a property back into use.

Click on the button below for more information about the support that the council can offer for owners of empty homes in Mendip.

If you have any questions, please email privatesectorhousing@mendip.gov.uk or call 0300 303 8588.

Farm and Horse Watch Schemes

Avon & Somerset Police Farm and Horse Watch Schemes free text reporting - 07492888109

Did you know, rural crime can be reduced by the use of Watch schemes? By using your knowledge and awareness of what is happening on and around your land, you can help to reduce crime and deter criminals. We’re encouraging all our farming communities within the Avon and Somerset area to sign up to our successful rural watch groups – Farm Watch and Horse Watch. The schemes are both totally free to join and the process to become a member is quick and easy.

The schemes are a partnership between police and communities to reduce crime and provide an early warning system for the farming and equine communities. Suspicious people and vehicles can quickly be reported to the police and we can send live updates alerting members of thefts or criminal activity in the area.

The public play a vital role in our fight against crime and sharing any information they’re seeing or hearing can help inform our intelligence picture of criminal activity and prevent rural crimes from happening in the first place. We want your rural community to be a safer and more crime free area in which to live and work. Help us beat organised rural crime, maybe you can supply a vital piece of the puzzle.

Alert messages are sent to Farm Watch and Horse Watch members by text, email and landline voicemail to raise awareness and encourage vigilance. The schemes also offer a free text reporting service for members via ‘07492888109’. This number is to assist our rural communities with passing on information about suspected crime/criminals in their area and is not monitored 24/7, so please dial 999 if you require immediate police assistance.

Where a serious crime is in progress, do not attempt to confront the suspect by yourself. Call 999 immediately and wait for the police to attend.

The Frome rural beat team and the force rural team attend the Frome market in Standerwick on a monthly basis and are on hand to give crime prevention advice and sign up new members to or rural watch schemes. You can also join the Farm Watch or Horse Watch schemes by emailing us at:You can also join the Farm Watch or Horse Watch schemes by emailing us at: ruralcrimeteam@avonandsomerset.police.uk

Services for Rough Sleepers in Mendip

If anyone sees someone rough sleeping, they should make a referral to Streetlink. Referrals can be made by contacting the rough sleeper referral line on 0300 500 0914 or by going to Streetlink website and completing an online form. The more information provided, the better.

Streetlink supports rough sleepers to connect with local support services and will pass this information on to the local outreach service to respond to. Elim Connect Centre Outreach Team provide support to rough sleepers throughout Mendip and are commissioned by Mendip District Council to provide this service.

Connect Outreach work with key organisations across Mendip, to enable fast and effective access to a wide range of services. The skilled and dedicated team provide short and long-term, person-centred support. Connect Outreach work to end homelessness by supporting people into accommodation either locally or out of area depending on individual eligibility and need.

Connect Outreach work closely with Mendip District Council to provide effective and efficient solutions to homelessness. Connect Outreach are based in Wells but facilitate weekly drop-ins in Glastonbury and Frome. The team will also travel to anywhere in Mendip to meet with rough sleepers. Connect Outreach can be contacted on 01749 677097 for further information regarding drop-ins and their services.

The cold weather provision for 2019-20 is currently being designed with partners. More information will be made available shortly.

Housing grants available in Mendip

Mendip District Council has a range of grants available to support Mendip residents.

Safer Home Grants of up to £10,000 are available to help home owners complete essential repairs to their home.

Empty Home Grants of up to £15,000 are available to help pay for essential improvements to bring empty homes back into use.

Disabled Facilities Grants (DFGs) of up to £30,000 are available to pay for adaptations so disabled people can live safely and independently in their homes. Works can be fully project managed under the grant and commonly include stair lifts and level access showers. Contact Somerset Direct on 0300 123 2224 to request an Occupation Therapist referral.

Energy Efficiency Improvements: Financial assistance is available for energy efficiency measures from a variety of sources. Contact the Centre for Sustainable Energy on 0800 082 2234 to get free impartial advice on how to access the best funding for you.

All financial assistance is subject to eligibility. Loans are also available to top up grants and for wider home improvements. For more information email: privatesectorhousing@mendip.gov.uk or call Mendip District Council’s Private Sector Housing team to see if you are eligible on 0300 303 8588.

Christmas comes to Wells with a sustainable twist

Be sure to pencil in a visit to Wells on 14 and 21 December to experience an extended festive market with a twist.

The regular Wells Saturday Market will host additional stalls to create a festive atmosphere in the historic city. The extended seasonal market will be located through the Bishops Eye to the Bishops Palace Green.

The markets, organised by the Mendip Markets team, will feature seasonal stalls selling Christmas food and drink, gift ideas and seasonal fare providing something for everyone’s Christmas shopping list.

Following on from the councils Climate Change Emergency pledge made earlier this year, the market will focus on sustainability with traders offering ethical items as well as tips and ideas at both markets to help shoppers have an ethical and guilt free Christmas.

There will be around 90 stalls at the normal market and then a further 30-40 stalls in the extended Christmas market in the Bishops Palace Green. The markets will be open from 9am-4pm on the 14 and 21 December.

Stay up to date with the market by following the Facebook and Instagram pages at @WellsChristmasMarket.

LOVE Digital

Love Digital is a FREE digital skills learning programme for women who are looking to improve their digital skills and enhance their careers. Sessions running in Yeovil from 18th Oct.

Sponsor the Mells 10k team

The Mells 10k is taking place on Saturday 12 October to raise money for CLIC Sargent.

Twelve of our lovely staff have signed up to run and walk the 10k route. The event is held in honour of Ben Crutchley from Frome, who was supported by CLIC Sargent nurses before he passed away in 2012. His parents have been working hard ever since to raise money for the charity and organise the Mells 10k as part of their plan to raise £1 million for CLIC Sargent in memory of Ben.

If you would like to support ‘Team Mendip’ please feel free to sponsor them through their JustGiving page below.

Staff have already raised over £3000 for CLIC Sargent as their Charity of the Year and have raised their target to £4000. Help them reach their goal and donate what you can.

Thank you.

Health and Mind Matters Event 10 October 2019

Mendip District Council, in partnership with Job Centre Plus have organised a free Health & Mind Matters event for the residents of Mendip.

The event will be held on World Mental Health Day on 10 October 2019 at the Shape Mendip site in Shepton Mallet.

The event is open to both the public and those working at the Shape Mendip site with a dual aim of supporting the community but also promoting wellbeing in the workplace.

The purpose of the event is to bring together organisations that can offer direct support to the public but also promote self-help, active lifestyles, healthy eating, wellbeing and hobby groups.

Everyone is welcome to attend quiet hour between 11am and 12pm in the Council Chamber, followed by the Health & Wellbeing event from 12pm-2pm. There will be a prize draw to win a healthy eating hamper and Craft4Crafters Show tickets, as well as refreshments on the day.


Sign up to the Shape Mendip Lottery

If you haven’t already, make sure you sign up to The Shape Mendip Lottery!

The Shape Mendip Lottery is a weekly online lottery created to support local causes in Mendip. Tickets are only £1 per week and 60% of your ticket price will go to local causes! To find out more about how it works, the causes you can support and how to sign-up, visit the website below.

Community Funding

Spark can support groups to get themselves ready to apply for funding; writing a constitution, getting any relevant policies and procedures in place and ensuring you have the right management structure.

We have a funding database to search for any new funding opportunities and for groups who need a bit more support we have recently employed a funding officer. For more information email Sharon.Hale@sparksomerset.org.uk.

The Weaver's Company Benevolent Fund

Grants up to £15,000 for small UK registered charities working with young disadvantaged people aged 5 to 30, especially those at risk of criminal involvement, young offenders, prisoners and ex-prisoners.

Grants up to £15,000 for a period of 12 months are available. Grants for a period of 3 years can be considered for projects of exceptional merit.Further information, together with an application form, can be found on their website here.

Application deadline: Saturday 30 November 2019.

The Postcode Dream Fund

A small number of grants up to £1.5 million to enable not-for profit organisation in England, Scotland and Wales the opportunity to deliver a project they’ve dreamt of but haven’t had the funding to realise.

Further information about the Postcode Dream Fund is available on the People’s Postcode Lottery website here.

Application deadline: Tuesday 15 October 2019.

The Rank Foundation Pebbles Fund

Grants up to £1,000 for UK registered charities and churches for projects that benefit residents and communities in the United Kingdom.

The programme is aimed at supporting small capital projects (aimed at encouraging the wider community use of buildings) and holiday grants for those organisations working with the seriously ill and the disadvantaged

Please note that there are separate online application forms for capital projects and short breaks. Both are available on the Foundation’s website here.

Application deadline: none – applications may be made at any time.

The Places to Ride Programme

Grants for the development of new or improved cycling facilities in communities across England.

The Places to Ride programme is a new £15 million scheme which will be delivered over the next 3 years through a partnership of British Cycling, Sport England and the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS)

Further information is available on the British Cycling website here.

Applications deadline: Friday 15 January 2021.

The Ashley Family Foundation

Grants generally up to £10,000 for grassroots projects in Wales and England that protect rural communities and encouraging participation in the arts.

More information can be found on their website here.

No application deadline, but applications are considered twice a year.

The Yapp Charitable Trust

Grants up to £3,000 towards the running costs of very small registered charities with an annual expenditure of less than £40,000 in England and Wales working with elderly people, children and young people aged 5-25, people with disabilities and/or mental health issues, people with a history of offending, addiction or abuse, and charities working in the field of education and learning.

Further information, guidance notes and an application form can be found on the Trust's website here.

Application can be submitted at any time.

The Jean Sainsbury Animal Welfare Trust

Grants generally up to £10,000 for UK animal welfare charities benefit and protect animals, relieve the suffering of animals, address the conservation of wildlife, or encourage a greater understanding of animals.

Further information about the application process, together with an online application form, can be found on the Trust’s website here.

Application deadline: Wednesday 15 January 2020.

The Stan Vidler Memorial Trust

Small grants for registered charities and individuals in England working with children and young people who are disadvantaged by disability or economic circumstances and to relieve financial hardship and poor health in older people.

The trust do not have a website, but their contact details are:

The Stan Vidler Memorial Trust, C/o Avtrinity Limited, 77 Mount Ephraim, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN4 8BS.

Phone: 01892 750700

Email: svmtrustees@gmail.com

Application can be submitted at any time.

The Naturesave Trust

Grants generally under £5,000 for UK environmental and conservation groups for projects that deal with specific environmental and/or conservation issues, or community renewable energy projects.

Applications may be made at any time via the online application form available on the Trust’s website here. Please note that there is a separate application form for Community Renewable Energy Grants.

Application can be submitted at any time.

The Wooden Spoon Society

Grants averaging £15,000 for UK charities and not-for-profit organisations working to support disadvantaged and disabled children in the UK.

Further information, together with an application form, can be found on the Society’s website here.

Application can be submitted at any time.

The Rural Four Grant Programme

10 grants of up to £25,000 for rural community projects in Great Britain that aim to improve the wellbeing of isolated communities in areas of deprivation.

Further information, together with an online application form, can be found on the Princes Countryside Fund website here. Please note that registration is required before the application form can be accessed

Application can be submitted at any time.

The H D Wills 1965 Charitable Trust General Grants

Small grants for registered charities in England, Scotland and Wales that are working to preserve the environment and wildlife.

Further information, together with an online application form, is available on the Trust’s website here.

Application can be submitted at any time.

News from the Monitoring Officer

Standards Committee

The Standards Committee has an important role in seeking to ensure high standards of behaviour amongst Members of the District Council as well as Parishes.

Contact details below for:

Somerset Association of Local Councils

Society of Local Council Clerks

Calendar of meetings for 2019/20

Mendip District Council has prepared a calendar of its public meetings to be held in 2019/2020. Please contact committee_services@mendip.gov.uk if you wish to have a copy.

It should be noted that this calendar may be subject to change. However, any changes will be because of the timetable for Council business - it will not be possible to make changes to suit individuals.

A date for your diary – October

Licensing Board 9th October 2019 18:30 Council Chamber, Mendip District Council Offices.

Phoenix Sponsorship Board 10th October 2019 18:00 Committee Room Mendip District Council Offices.

Planning Board 16th October 2019 18:00 Council Chamber, Mendip District Council Offices.

Polling Districts and Polling Places Review Committee 21st October 2019 9:30 Committee Room Mendip District Council Offices.

Audit Committee 30th October 2019 17:30 Council Chamber, Mendip District Council Offices.

Contact details for the committee officers are as follows:

Claire Dicken: claire.dicken@mendip.gov.uk or 01749 341341


Created with images by Paddy O Sullivan - "untitled image" • Terrah Holly - "Brick townhouse" • Stijn te Strake - "untitled image" • ShenXin - "christmas market christmas game" • Tomasz Woźniak - "This was taken about 8:30 in the morning on Dec 17 2017 - we were on a group workout of our triathlon team. The sun and the weather was great. It’s a long path along the coast of Baltic Sea in the city of Gdynia." • Emma Simpson - "Morning jog in the countryside"