Bridgwater Supports ‘Plastic Free July’

Sunday, 3 July 2022Leave a reply
Cllr Richard Morgan looks into the Plastic Free options

Bridgwater Town Council is backing ‘Plastic Free July’. This global movement that helps millions of people be part of the solution to plastic pollution, is being promoted locally by Surfers Against Sewage so we can have cleaner streets, oceans, and beautiful communities and poses the question  “Will you be part of Plastic Free July by choosing to refuse single-use plastics?”. Newly elected Town Councillor Richard Morgan (Labour, Fairfax East) says “As a new member of the BTC climate forum I am stoked to be involved with the Surfers Against Sewage plastic-free campaign and to help get Bridgwater’s plastic-free community recognised for their hard work in reducing single-use plastic. The people of Bridgwater have a strong drive and passion when it comes to being involved with projects which make a positive impact on our world and community. We are excited to be able to provide practical ways to help local residents to find ways of engaging in this important subject.”

Councillors Hilary Bruce (Fairfax) and Kathy Pearce (Westover) take to the water to fight the rubbish

Councillor Kathy Pearce, Climate Emergency Portfolio Holder, says “Plastic waste is one of the greatest environmental challenges facing us today. Plastic remains in the environment for hundreds of years. I urge
everyone to get behind the Surfers Against Sewerage Plastic Free Communities Campaign.“

Bridgwater Town Council adopted its Plastic Free Policy back in October 2019, when it committed to stop buying products in single use plastics, buy local where possible and:

  • Work with partners and those hiring Town Council premises to provide alternative solutions to single use plastics
  • Promote positive initiatives and campaigns for reducing plastic waste across the town
  • Through the Council’s social media and communication channels, to share guidance and best practice about plastic free initiatives with residents, businesses, visitors and beyond. to assist others to become plastic free
  • Work with Somerset County Council and Sedgemoor District Council, community groups and partnerships to support initiatives to ensure our parks, waterways and open spaces are free from litter
  • Use government legislation that regulates against the use of single-use plastics to support our efforts where we can.

To continue the fight to eradicate plastics in our community and keep the town tidy, Inland Waterways Association and Rage Against the Rubbish also organise regular litter picks around the docks and the canal.

There are many ways to get involved. Here’s a statement from Surfers Against Sewage

IT’S PLASTIC FREE JULY!

Despite our name, we do much more than fight sewage pollution for surfers… While we campaign for ocean re-generation and water quality, and against climate change, our community teams are working to free the ocean from the grips of the single-use plastic crisis. So, where do you fit in? Well, it’s Plastic Free July, and so you may be wondering what you can do to support the fight against single use plastic washing into our waterways…

MILLION MILE CLEAN

Beach, street, river, park or mountain, the Million Mile Clean is open to everyone, no matter where you live. Individual beach cleaner, a group of friends, a team of colleagues, or a school or community group, every piece of rubbish you collect brings us closer to stopping plastic pollution. Join a clean, or run your own.

JOIN PLASTIC FREE COMMUNITIES

Over 800 communities have signed up to our Plastic Free Communities where we support you to act in removing plastic from where you live. Get involved in a plastic free community that’s already set up, or lead your own. Complete 5 objectives to achieve Plastic Free Communities status.

SIGN UP TO PLASTIC FREE SCHOOLS

Power to the pupils! This programme supports schools to empower pupils in making positive changes for the environment. Work towards 5 objectives and ban at least 3 items of single use plastics from premises.

PLASTIC FREE AWARDS

Our Plastic Free Awards bring together plastic free champions, including young campaigners, community leaders, small businesses, charities, designers, entrepreneurs, sports clubs and schools. Nominate yourself, or someone whose commitment to plastic-free deserves recognition!

SUPPORT OUR CAMPAIGNS

We demand an end to plastic pollution on UK beaches by 2030. We are a leading voice in the campaign to eliminate plastic pollution, mobilising and empowering a nationwide network of #OceanActivists to take action – from the beach front, to the front benches of Parliament. We want legislation and policy focused on reduction, reuse and refill. We’ll keep you updated.
How will you fight the plastic tide?

Somerset kids are having teeth pulled out in hospital as NHS dentistry goes into crisis!

Wednesday, 29 June 2022Leave a reply
Cllr Leigh Redman draws attention to NHS dental crisis

165 children under 11 in Somerset were admitted to hospital for tooth extraction last year, new government figures show. People are finding it increasingly difficult to get an NHS dentist, as 12 years of Tory mismanagement of the health service is seeing dentists quitting in droves. 2,000 dentists quit the NHS last year, around 10% of all dentists employed in England. An estimated 4 million people can’t access NHS care and with some parts of the country now described as ‘dentistry deserts’, because remaining NHS dentists aren’t taking on new patients. According to the British Dentistry Association, emergency teeth extractions are now the most common reason for children to go to hospital. Labour is demanding that Sajid Javid brings forward a plan to ensure everyone who needs an NHS dentist can access one. Somerset County Council Labour leader, Cllr Leigh Redman said: “Backlog Britain is holding Somerset back and our children are paying the prices. From GPs and A&E to courts, passports and driving licences our country is stuck in a queue. And now we know that children in Somerset are ending up in hospital because they can’t get the dental treatment they need. We need a government that will prioritise the health and well-being of children and families in Somerset, instead we have a Conservative Government too mired in scandal and fighting amongst themselves to act.”

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The Rail Dispute – Key Facts

Tuesday, 21 June 2022Leave a reply

The government described rail workers as “heroes” during the pandemic.  Rail staff work all hours, seven days a week to keep the country moving.  Far from modernising our railways the government now want to make compulsory redundancies with cuts to thousands of rail jobs. This includes removal of on-train and station staff, thousands of safety critical infrastructure staff and the closure of every railway ticket officers. This will reduce services and make our railways less safe, secure and accessible.

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Support the Rail Strikes

Tuesday, 21 June 2022Leave a reply
RMT strikers in Somerset. Pic Andy Webber

40,000 workers on the railways who are members of the RMT Union began national strike action to protect jobs and pay today. It is the most significant industrial action since the privatisation of the railways 30 years ago and a crucial fight for the whole of the working class.  RMT members are striking over the government mandated pay freeze, and threats to their terms and conditions including pensions, changes to working patterns and refusal to guarantee redundancies, which will happen in Network Rail and train companies as track workers are laid off, ticket offices are closed and other station grades threatened with being replaced with Driver Only Operation or guards only train dispatch The Tory government and big business want to make ordinary workers pay for the cost of living crisis whilst corporate profits are protected. The RMT Union are standing in their way and we need to stand alongside them in solidarity. We also desperately need more green public transport so this is not just a fight for workers’ rights but also a fight for the environment and for climate justice. On Saturday 25th June there will be a major demonstration in Bristol assembling 12 noon at the Knights templar Pub on Temple Quay. This solidarity rally and protest was called by Bristol Trades Council, Bristol People’s Assembly and Bristol Climate Justice Coalition.

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COUNTY-FILE: No 2 “New Lib Dem Authority votes in Massive Pay Rise for new CEO”

Saturday, 18 June 20222 Replies
The Witan assembles…Labour puts the boot in…

One of the warnings about the Lib Dems taking control of the new unitary authority was that they might be a tad high-spending. This week’s decision at county, meeting at the Oake manor Golf Club, which saw the Libs voting through a salary of £200,000 for a new Chief exec, did little to assuage that concern. Lib Dem leaders explained their decision by saying ‘a star centre forward was needed’ . SCC Lib Dem leader cllr Good King ‘Billy’ Revans (Ethandune Central) added “It’s imperative to get this recruitment process done and ‘get unitary done’ too.” But the opposition Labour group was having none of it. Labour Leader Councillor Leigh Redman (Bridgwater North & Central) , said that the ‘size of salaries paid to some senior council staff is wrong’ , spoke of the ‘valuable work of staff right across the authority’ and also criticised the ‘lack of a Climate Emergency brief’ within the job description.

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“There is NO DEAL in Tiverton & Honiton” says Labour Candidate

Wednesday, 15 June 2022Leave a reply
Liz Pole, fighting for Labour to win in Tiverton & Honiton

The Tiverton & Honiton by-election caused by the resignation of Bridgwater old boy Neil Parish MP for looking at tractor porn in the House of Commons is set for Thursday 23rd June and despite media speculation that Labour are soft peddling to let the Lib Dems win so that the ‘deal’ can be reciprocated in Wakefield, so that Labour can win, has been rubbished by Labour candidate Liz Pole. Liz says “There is no deal. At most, a reluctance to get into mud-raking amongst the opposition when what we want is to focus on attacking the Tories on their record. I am campaigning in all 24 of our wards 5-10 hours every day, and am campaigning to win.” 

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Tories Hopelessly Split as Boris Squeaks Through ‘No Confidence’ Vote

Monday, 6 June 2022
‘Dead Man Walking….?’

The discontent amongst Britain’s Tories is now in the open. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has survived a vote of No Confidence but by 211 votes to 148. That’s 59% to 41%. Almost half of the Conservative members of the Parliament don’t want him there and a much larger proportion of the country equally want rid of him as will be seen by the upcoming by elections in Wakefield and in Tiverton where Labour is campaigning hard with strong public support. Labour spokesman David Lammy MP said “Johnson has lost the confidence of his back benchers, he is now walking wounded and the Conservatives need to get rid of him” while Labour Leader Keir Starmer, said “Boris Johnson has presided over a culture of lies at the heart of Government. Conservative MPs have ignored the British public and hitched themselves to Boris Johnson and all he represents. The Conservative party clearly believes that the British public have no right to expect honest politicians.” 

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COUNTY-FILE: No 1 “Sumorsǣte ealle! The Lib Dems Liberate the Swamp”

Thursday, 26 May 2022
Lib Dems..’Sinking Here’

Probably if you were going to compare yourself to King Alfred the Great liberating Somerset from the Viking Hordes, the Liberal Democrats wouldn’t come automatically to mind. However, this was the image that newly elected County Council Leader Bill Revans opted for with his opening statement at the first meeting of the new Somerset County Council. “Sumorsǣte ealle!” -all the people of Somerset, gathered together under one mighty wyvern banner, working together, united and mighty, marching onwards, upwards, backwards, sideways and around the uncompleted (or in fact started)  Williton ring road straight off a cliff somewhere near Kilve.

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Government must step up quickly to help us out of the cost-of-living crisis

Sunday, 22 May 2022
Terry Ledlie, Chair of Yeovil Labour Party

Families across the country are facing a budget catastrophe as rises in energy bills swamp increases in their pay, benefits and pensions. Yeovil Labour Party is calling on the government to introduce a windfall tax on energy profits and a package of measures to help us keep up with rising bills saying “It’s already been confirmed that energy bills are going up by more than 50  per cent. This unprecedented hike will leave families facing an average annual bill of £2,000. Bills will rise again in October. In contrast, wages are predicted to  rise by no more than 5.2 per cent this year, while  benefits and pensions are going up by just 3.1 per cent.”

Yeovil Labour Party Chairman Terry Ledlie said “Local families  are  being badly hit and deserve better, says Yeovil Constituency Labour Party, who are calling for the Chancellor to come back to parliament and put it right in an emergency budget. With real incomes now way below 2010 levels, the government should help us keep up with rising prices. There should be  further minimum wage  increase in the autumn and  a real boost to pensions, Universal Credit and benefits” Continue reading “Government must step up quickly to help us out of the cost-of-living crisis”

Bridgwater Town Council Names its Team

Friday, 20 May 2022
New Town Council Executive sworn in

Following the Bridgwater Labour Party’s victory in the Town and Parish elections this month where they increased their control over Bridgwater Town Council, the annual town council meeting has now been held and new and old faces alike are settling into their roles for the next 12 months. Re-elected as Leader and Deputy Leader are Westover councillors Brian Smedley and Kathy Pearce. Smedley will keep the Finance portfolio and Pearce the Climate Change. Re-joining them on the town executive will be Cllr Mick Lerry (Victoria) with the Economy seat and Cllr Leigh Redman (Hamp) on Property. The remaining 4 members of the Executive are all new. Cllr Tim Mander (Westover) will take the Transport role, Cllr Liz Marsh (Victoria) the Community portfolio, Cllr Irena Hubble (Fairfax West) the Culture, Arts and Heritage job and Cllr Jacqui Solomon (Eastover) the Youth post. Announcing the appointments at the Town Hall meeting Cllr Smedley said that he was re-introducing the ‘Triad’ system whereby each Portfolio holder was supported by  2 other councillors in their role and this would then link into the Forum system where the public, experts and other interest groups could feed into council policy.

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