Category Archives: News issued by a local Council

MORE PLASTICS CAN NOW BE RECYCLED IN WEST SOMERSET

GOOD NEWS! Here is the latest information issued by Somerset Waste Partnership on plastics (see end of info for a suggestion):

PLASTIC BOTTLES: Put out only plastic bottles at the kerbside if you have an individual collection – no other plastics, but discard tops, rinse, squash and recycle all household plastic bottles, including those for milk, juice, shampoo, bleach and more, including trigger cleaning sprays and liquid soap dispensers.
No thanks: those from the garage (oil etc) or garden (pesticides etc) should be discarded.

Bottle tops: There are two main reasons why we ask you to discard bottle tops: first, they may be of a different plastic to the bottles or contain other materials, such as – in some trigger sprays – metal springs, thus adding contamination to the materials we want; and second, the bottle tops can both get into the sorting machinery and prevent bottles from being squashed as the machinery bales thousands of bottles together for transport elsewhere. Under great pressure, the bottles can then explode, blowing apart the bale and forcing the staff to start again, wasting both time and money.

PLASTIC POTS, TUBS, TRAYS:  Drop off rigid plastic food and household pots, tubs and trays in the plastic bottle skips at any of Somerset’s 16 recycling sites when passing. Pots, tubs and trays include pots for yoghurt, soup, face cream, hair gel; tubs for margarine, ice cream, laundry tablets; trays (including black plastic) for meat, fish, ready meals, and plastic punnets for fruit or mushrooms. Please rinse, discard/recycle as appropriate all foil, film covers, absorbent pads or card packaging, squash, then add to plastic bottle skip.

Ensure you exclude: plastic paint and plant pots, seed trays; toys, garden furniture, car parts, CD-DVD-VHS cases or contents; thin film , such as clingfilm, bubble wrap, carrier bags, film covers, bread bags, multipack wraps (though some thin films, with the “film” packaging label, may be able to be added to carrier bag collections at some supermarkets).

TETRA PAKS: Drop off Tetra Paks, other beverage cartons, and single-use drink cups when passing any of 12 recycling sites (all except Castle Cary, Cheddar, Dulverton or Somerton), please rinse and squash. NB: Many liquids available in beverage cartons are also available in containers – plastic, glass, cans – that we collect in kerbside collections. And we have been told by a number of those who prefer or can only drink nut milks, such as oat, soya and almond milks, that it is easy to make exactly the amount, consistency and flavour/sweetness required using any good food processor, thus saving money, reducing waste and eliminating the existing costly and complex-to-recycle packaging.

FUTURE PLANS: The situation for plastics in Somerset will be transformed once we have a new multi-million pound collections contract in place, for which negotiations are now underway, and have designed and had built a new recycling truck fleet for those new collections. Given the required public procurement rules under which these high-value contracts must be placed, this will take time to ensure practical, sustainable and best value outcomes.

We then plan to roll out the “Recycle More” weekly kerbside collection of all existing materials plus plastic pots, tubs, trays, Tetra Paks and other beverage cartons, single-use coffee cups and perhaps other materials, from 2020. Because of the extra light but very bulky materials being collected every week, we will then also change the frequency of rubbish collections to once every three weeks. Our trials of this with hundreds of Somerset families of all sizes in all sorts of accommodation over several months showed not only a large jump in recycling and a matching drop in rubbish levels, but an 84% approval for three-weekly rubbish collections with extra weekly plastics and other materials.

For more information on plastics, see: https://www.somersetwaste.gov.uk/act-on-plastics/

For more information on beverage cartons and single-use drink cups, see: https://www.somersetwaste.gov.uk/dozen-recycling-sites-take-single-use-coffee-cups/

For more information on Recycle More future collections: https://www.somersetwaste.gov.uk/recycle-more/

And for more on the other items we do and do not take in kerbside recycling: https://www.somersetwaste.gov.uk/recycling-collections/

IDEA: If there are any garden centres out there which recycle plant pots and seed trays please get in touch with Exmoor Magazine and we will spread the word!

£3,000 UP FOR GRABS TO CELEBRATE TOUR OF BRITAIN

Would you like to host an event in your community to celebrate the Tour of Britain travelling through North Devon?

North Devon sets the scene for a large part of the Stage 2 route and Stage 2 Finish of the 2018 Tour of Britain cycling race and North Devon Council is offering schools, clubs and community groups grants of up to £200 to support celebratory events in the district.

Stage 2 of the Tour is hosted by Devon County Council and supported by North Devon Council. It arrives in North Devon on 3 September and the route takes in much of the breath-taking scenery of North Devon, travelling through a number of villages, towns and communities in the district. North Devon Council is making £3,000 available to support local events, with grants of up to £200 per organisation, awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

Events could include street parties or mini race competitions, reminiscence activities to gather peoples histories and links to the communities they live in. Or you could engage your school in an arts competition – the choice is yours! Events can take place at any time in the run-up to the Tour of Britain, they don’t need to be on the day the Tour arrives in North Devon. Complete an application form online at www.northdevon.gov.uk/eventgrants by Friday 17 August 2018.

North Devon Council’s Executive member for Health and Wellbeing, Councillor Dick Jones, says: “We’re so excited that North Devon will be hosting a large part of Stage 2 of this iconic race and we would like our local communities to feel inspired and get involved. You don’t have to live on the route to apply for a grant to hold an event. Go online today to see if you are eligible.”North Devon Council’s Executive Member for Economic Development, Councillor Pat Barker, says: “The economic benefits of the Tour of Britain coming to North Devon are obvious, so we’re really pleased to be hosting the event again this year. The route passes through many of our towns and villages, including Barnstaple, Croyde, Woolacombe, Ilfracombe and South Molton; it’s going to be fantastic. We want to encourage the local community to get involved and celebrate the Tour, so we’re making some funds available to support community groups and schools to hold their own events in the run-up to the main event. Take a look at our website for more information on how to apply.”

More information is on the council’s website www.northdevon.gov.uk/eventgrants. If you need help with your application or want to check if you are eligible to apply, contact Vanessa Harrison on 01271 388216 or email vanessa.harrison@northdevon.gov.uk.
Photo courtesy of Sweetspot

MINEHEAD’S MARITIME MILE

News Release From West Somerset Council

Minehead’s Maritime Mile was launched last week, to give the resort a fresh, new boost designed to attract more visitors in time for the start of the main holiday season.

At an informal ceremony last Tuesday, Minehead’s Deputy Mayor Cllr Gail Everett cut the ribbon to open the new attraction.

The £80,000 project, largely funded through LEADER – an EU scheme that allocates money to help rural areas – will complement the Enterprising Minehead project that has won substantial funding to make the resort the go-to seaside destination by making the most of its traditional appeal as a seaside resort – with a twenty-first-century twist.

The Maritime Mile creates a new heritage interpretation trail, running the length of the seafront to showcase Minehead’s maritime history, myths and legends. The trail has the central theme of ‘find and follow the shells’ and be way-marked to draw people along the route. It will link to existing features like the South West Coast Path and England Coast Path.

An open-air gallery is being built at the trail’s central point to display images and artefacts from Minehead’s past. And there’s an App (suitable for Android and iOS devices).

The App features a quiz designed to entice people to walk to the Harbour and complete the trail, those presenting correct answers to Minehead Visitor Centre will be eligible to collect a prize. This feature technology will also link to the new Minehead destination website for visitors widening Minehead’s appeal as a tourist destination.

The new, high-tech App features *augmented reality, videos and 3D images to make the walk more exciting and interactive – and it links to the new website being launched – www.mineheadbay.co.uk – to further enhance Minehead’s appeal to new and wider audiences.

The state-of-the-art responsive website has been developed to capitalise on marketing the town as a key destination and will also link to the seafront trail/walk and its innovative technology.

The Minehead Coastal Community Team projects have been developed in collaboration with Minehead Museum, Minehead Development Trust, and Butlin’s.

Cllr Andrew Hadley, West Somerset Council’s Lead Member for economic regeneration, said: “The Maritime Mile showcases Minehead’s history and heritage and is a great new feature to enhance what we can now offer our visitors – and encourage more people to enjoy Minehead.

“We are lucky to have a fascinating history that can be brought to life through harnessing the incredible technology that is available now. “

Katrina Midgley, who chairs Minehead Coastal Community Team, added: “This is the first in a series of enhancements to Minehead’s Esplanade, aimed at attracting local people and tourists to enjoy our seafront. I am delighted to see the work of Minehead Coastal Community Team coming to life. I would like to thank everyone who has been instrumental in making this happen.”

*Augmented reality uses computer-aided graphics to add an additional layer of information to aid understanding and/or interaction with the physical world around you.

PHOTO: Ribbon cutting: from the left are Katrina Midgley (MCCT chair), Nicky Bradley, Bernard Maynard-Smith, Gail Everett (Minehead Deputy Mayor), Gary Woolmer, Maureen Smith, Nicki Maclean, Roger Thomas, Mandy Chilcott.

 

 

BOOKINGS NOW OPEN FOR 2018 NORTH DEVON FOODFEST

North Devon’s biggest celebration of local food and drink is back and exhibitors are being urged to get in quick to secure their place at the event.

Online bookings are now being accepted for FOODfest 2018, which takes place on Sunday 21 October at Barnstaple Pannier Market and will feature many local food and drink exhibitors.

Now in its eleventh year, event organisers Barnstaple Town Centre Management and North Devon Council have seen the event increase in popularity and success since it first launched in 2008. With over 10,000 visitors, 100 exhibitors and top chefs from some of North Devon’s best local restaurants at FOODfest last year, the annual event is now a firm favourite in the foodie calendar.

Hannah Harrington, from Barnstaple Town Centre Management, says: “FOODfest 2018 will be as busy and popular as ever, showcasing and celebrating the best of our local food and drink. We are also delighted to be working with The Taw restaurant at Petroc this year for an exciting launch event.  As always, FOODfest will help to promote our area and support our suppliers, growers and traders.”

Executive Member for Economic Development, Councillor Pat Barker, says: “FOODfest is always hugely successful and is a unique opportunity for local food and drink businesses to showcase what they have to offer to the thousands of visitors who flock to the Pannier Market each year. The booking lines are already open so get in quick if you want to be part of the hottest food event of 2018.”

The closing date for applications is Tuesday 1 August. Apply online at www.barnstaple.co.uk/north-devon-foodfest, email foodfest@barnstaple.co.uk or call 01271 321049 for more information.

 

WINNERS OF MID DEVON DRAWING COMPETITION NAMED

News release from Mid Devon District Council

Mid Devon District Council recently ran a competition asking children of primary-school age to enter a drawing which showed what the Council collects as part of its kerbside blue food caddy collection and/or its subscription-based garden waste collection. The competition was held following the arrival of the Council’s new collection vehicles which are an essential part of keeping food and garden waste separate when collected.  This saves the taxpayer money when the organic material is composted and creates a better grade of compost and fertiliser.

The judges were looking for drawings that gave a positive message to inspire people to recycle their food and garden waste. Food waste that is not put out in the blue caddies is sent to landfill and doesn’t break down harmlessly. As it rots it releases methane – a harmful greenhouse gas that is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

67 amazing entries from children attending primary schools in Tiverton, Uffculme, Kentisbeare and Crediton were sent in. Out of those entries 6 lucky winners were announced at a presentation held at Phoenix House on Tuesday 5 June. Leader of the Council, Councillor Clive Eginton, greeted the children and welcomed all to the presentation.  Councillor Eginton said: “Judging the competition proved to be really challenging for myself and Councillor Radford. We saw some very artistic and beautifully coloured drawings.  It was fantastic to see the children had really thought about recycling and the benefits of composting food and garden waste.”

The winners were presented with a certificate by Councillor Ray Radford, Chairman of the Environment Policy and Development Group, who said, “I would like to congratulate everyone who took part in the competition. We had a difficult time choosing the winners but feel we made the right decision; we have six wonderful drawings that really capture the essence of the competition and the winners should be very proud of themselves.”

The photo features, left to right: Felicity Jones, Councillor Eginton, the winners – Emily, Connie, May, Finley, Ruby and Victoria and Councillor Radford.  Each of the winners will have one of the new vehicles named after them and their artwork will be displayed on the body of the vehicle. After the presentation the children were invited to sit in the lorry and chat with Recycling Officer Felicity Jones.

LEADER THANKS AWARD-WINNING VOLUNTEERS

Press release issued by West Somerset Council

Leader of West Somerset Council, Cllr Anthony Trollope-Bellew, is adding his congratulations to two local voluntary groups which have won the highest recognition.

Home-Start West Somerset and Watchet Phoenix Volunteer Team have been recognised and honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in 2018.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award given to local volunteer groups across the UK, to recognise and celebrate outstanding work by groups of volunteers in their communities, for the benefit of others.

Cllr Trollope-Bellew said: “Volunteering has long and proud history in West Somerset. We are a largely remote and rural area where people look after each other – and are self-reliant.

“As a council we do recognise their efforts and have jointly, with our partner council in Taunton Deane, launched a lottery to help support volunteer and charity groups.

“I am delighted that two of the three Queen’s Awards in Somerset this year are going to West Somerset organisations. On behalf of the council, I would like to thank these groups – and the many others that do so much – for their tireless hard work.”

PHOTO: Home-Start West Somerset. Left to right: Siobhan Lennon-Patience (mum, service user and newly appointed trustee), Pam Shambrook (volunteer) and Clare Pound (Minehead Home-Start manager). This photo was used in our spring 2017 issue’s article about the charity.

NORTH DEVON PIONEER PROJECT

Press release issued by North Devon Council

Are you a super surfer, kayaking king or prefer to stand-up paddle, dive, sail or swim in the sea? Maybe you want to have a go at these sports but something puts you off?

North Devon Council wants to hear from local people in North Devon and Torridge about how they do (or don’t) use the sea to exercise, in order to better understand the value, issues and benefits of using our marine environment. Anyone with an interest in outdoor watersports is encouraged to take part in a short survey online at www.northdevon.gov.uk/consultations before 19 June.

North Devon has been selected to be part of a study which explores how we can best manage our marine assets (geology, soil, air, water and living things) for the benefit of the environment, economy and people. The council wants to capture all the useful knowledge that local people have about how North Devon’s marine environment is used and appreciated by the people who live all across the coast.

Executive member for Environment, Councillor Rodney Can, says: “North Devon has an exceptional coastline and we are very proud of our marine environment, which is enjoyed by our local residents and thousands of visitors every year. Being chosen as part of the Marine Pioneer project recognises North Devon’s national importance and I would encourage anyone who enjoys outdoor watersports, including surfing, kayaking, kite-surfing and sea swimming to get involved. Equally, if you would like to take part in outdoor watersports but don’t, we would like to know the reasons why.”

Executive Member for Economic Regeneration, Councillor Pat Barker, says: “As well as the obvious benefits to our environment, the results of studies like this are really important when we apply for funding for important projects to deliver new facilities in the area. This has a knock-on effect on our local economy and enhances the health and prosperity of the area as a whole. You have until  June to take part in our survey so please get online today if you are involved, or want to be involved in outdoor watersports in northern Devon.”

The consultation stretches to outdoor watersports clubs and a separate survey has been sent to each club in the area. If you have not received this survey, please get in touch with the council’s Economic Development team on 01271 388369.

More information about the Marine Pioneer Project is available at www.northdevonbiosphere.org.uk/marinepioneer.

LINK ROAD IMPROVEMENTS WILL UNLOCK NORTH DEVON’S ECONOMIC POTENTIAL

Last week’s announcement that £83 million has been awarded to improve the A361 has been met with delight by North Devon Councillors.

The first phase of a multi-million pound upgrade to improve the North Devon Link Road will widen the stretch of road between Barnstaple and South Molton and will significantly improve safety along the route. Improving transport links between the M5 and North Devon will also unlock the district’s potential for growth and enhance the economic prosperity of the area.

Leader of North Devon Council, Des Brailey, says: “This is a great result for Devon County Council and for North Devon as a whole. Improvements to the Link Road are long overdue and will be essential if we are to meet our economic development potential. We need this kind of investment in our infrastructure to allow us to grow and flourish as a district. Huge thanks to our MP Peter-Heaton Jones and our county councillor, Andrea Davis, for all the hard work they have put in to make this happen.”

Executive Member for Economic Development and Regeneration, Councillor Pat Barker, says: “This is wonderful news for North Devon and as well as the obvious improvements this will make to safety, the economic impact will be immeasurable. This investment is a massive boost for us – it will make North Devon more attractive to businesses, open up more outside investment in the area and improve job prospects and prosperity. If it’s good for business, then it’s good for North Devon.

“Our economic development team has been supporting this project throughout and we look forward to continuing to work closely with Devon County Council as the scheme develops. I would like to thank our MP Peter Heaton-Jones for his constant lobbying, without which I feel sure we wouldn’t have had such a good result.”

Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Councillor Andrea Davis, says: “The North Devon Link Road is a vital route for the county as a whole, and this announcement confirms that the government has recognised the issues of getting in and out of North Devon.

“The uplift to our economy in North Devon of the improvements to our main route will give a huge boost to our economy, the benefits will be felt by local residents, businesses and our visitors.

“Devon County Council and its partners including the Local Enterprise Partnership have been tireless in their support for this regionally important route, today the result of all this activity has paid off for our beautiful area of Devon.  We at Devon County Council look forward to the continued partnership working to now deliver the scheme and will be looking for opportunities to seek funding for the North Devon Link Road strategy adopted by the DCC cabinet last year.”

PHOTO: Left to right: Cllr Jane Whittaker (Leader, Torridge District Council); Peter Heaton-Jones MP (North Devon); Cllr Andrea Davis (Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Devon County Council); Chris Grayling MP (Secretary of State for Transport); Geoffrey Cox MP (Torridge & West Devon); Cllr Pat Barker (Deputy Leader, North Devon Council).

CRACKING DOWN ON FLY-TIPPERS IN NORTH DEVON

North Devon Council is continuing to crack down on fly-tippers across the district following a successful prosecution and fine.
Earlier this month, Mr Graham Kay from Peak View, Malvern pleaded guilty to the ‘Duty of Care’ offence under section 34 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. This was for not making sure waste generated at his property in Ilfracombe which he was renovating was disposed of correctly.  Mr Kay was fined a sum of £750 for the offence with a victim’s surcharge of £75. Mr Kay was also ordered to pay a contribution of £1,160 towards the council’s costs from carrying out the investigation and legal processes, as well as the cost of cleaning up the waste.

As well as this, the council has issued a fixed penalty notice for £300 for failure to have a waste transfer note or trade waste agreement to another local resident for dumping garden waste and soil from their vehicle in North Molton.

Lead member for Environment at North Devon Council, Councillor Rodney Cann, says: “The carriage and disposal of waste is subject to the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and disposing of waste on any land is an offence of fly tipping and any vehicle used in the connection with fly-tipping can be seized. These cases show that we are prepared to take positive action against offenders through fines and prosecutions but our preferred option is it education and promoting awareness to the damage that these actions inflect on our area.

“Fly-tipping is a costly exercise for those affected by it, namely the landowner and taxpayer who can be left to foot the bill to clean it up and investigate to find out who the offender is. North Devon is a beautiful place to live, let’s keep it this way and dispose of our rubbish responsibly.”

To report littering, fly-tipping or other environmental offences please contact customerservices@northdevon.gov.uk. You can also report incidents on the council’s website northdevon.gov.uk/flytipping.

 

FUTURE PLANS FOR NORTH DEVON’S THEATRES AGREED

North Devon Council is extending its temporary contract with Parkwood Creative for the management of North Devon’s theatres.

At a meeting of its Executive on Monday 5 February, councillors agreed to extend the existing contract with Parkwood until January 2019. Following the collapse of North Devon Theatres Trust last year, the Queens Theatre in Barnstaple and Landmark Theatre in Ilfracombe were forced to close temporarily. In April, the council entered into a 12-month contract with Parkwood to reopen the theatres while it prepared and tendered a longer-term contract for the operation of both theatres.

Preparing the tender documents (which involves undertaking condition surveys of both theatres) for the long-term contract will take more time than originally thought and the procurement will not be completed by April this year (when the short-term contract with Parkwood was due to expire).

Rather than a further closure period, the council has agreed to extend Parkwood’s contract until mid-January 2019. This will ensure that the theatres continue to recover from the unexpected closure last year and run as normal, unaffected by the procurement of operational contracts.

Since April last year, the main focus has been on developing a strong programme of events at the Queens Theatre, which has been very well received by local audiences. Now that the Queens is operating at full capacity again, Parkwood’s extended contract will include a requirement for more events at the Landmark Theatre. Several strong acts are already confirmed, including comedians Jason Manford and Ed Byrne and the new contract will see an average of one event each week at the Landmark, between April 2018 and January 2019 .

Executive Member for Parks, Leisure and Culture, Councillor Dick Jones, says: “We’ve been really impressed with what Parkwood has delivered since they took the theatres on in April. There has been lots of fantastic feedback and the panto was a massive hit. I’m very pleased we were able to get the theatres back up and running so quickly and that we can continue to keep them open while we work to secure a long term operator.”

Find out what’s on at the Queens Theatre and the Landmark at www.parkwoodtheatres.co.uk.

PHOTO: by Nilfanion, on Wikimedia