Vacancies for three Parish Councillors

Following an uncontested election West Buckland Parish Council has vacancies for three councillors.

Could you provide a voice for people living in this community?

Would you like to have a say about the local issues people care about?

Decide how money is spent to improve the community

Help to secure funding to improve facilities

APPLY TO BE CO-OPTED AND FILL OUR VACANCIES

Co-option Policy (2021)      application form

For more information contact the Parish Clerk on 01884 252647 or westbucklandclerk@gmail.com

Better Bus Charter for Somerset – Somerset Bus Partnership

BETTER BUS CHARTER FOR SOMERSET

 We need to do something about improving our buses in Somerset. Our county currently has the second lowest level of bus journeys per resident of all the counties in England and Somerset’s bus services have the very lowest level of passenger satisfaction in the country. 

Residents of Somerset experience this every day, whether it’s with difficulties getting to health services, reduced opportunities for those seeking work and further education or just the limited (if any) evening and Sunday bus services. As a result, we see ever increasing numbers of cars on our roads which causes higher levels of local air pollution and increase our carbon emissions.

Somerset Bus Partnership was formed just a year ago to campaign for better bus services across our county and already we have a Somerset-wide network of 115 town and parish transport representatives who share our passion for better buses.

Somerset residents have every right to expect better, but it will need funding.

We have developed a Somerset Bus Charter and invite not just Councillors but community groups, churches & residents to join with us & endorse it. Get in touch somersetbuspartnership@gmail.com

THE SOMERSET BUS CHARTER

 Better Buses For All Our Communities

We need a core network of frequent, high-quality services linking our towns and main villages with enhanced weekend and evening services. Also we want an extension of the demand-responsive ‘Slinky’ bus services, available to all and with longer operating hours.

An Integrated Transport Network

We need bus routes to link with local railway stations with timetables that offer improved connections between buses and trains.

We also want to see the introduction of integrated ticketing across the county’s different bus operators and with trains too.

Promotion Of Existing And New Services

We should be promoting the bus as an important way by which we all can address the climate emergency in Somerset (transport accounts for nearly half of all carbon emissions in Somerset).

To enable more to go by bus, it is essential that current bus timetable information is shown at all main bus stops and bus times information is available in libraries and at other information points.

An Affordable Transport Service For All

We should make bus travel more attractive through cheaper fares especially targeted at young people up to the age of 25. Plus, for everyone, a new, all-operator, countywide value ticket.

Cleaner Buses

We want an accelerated transition from diesel buses to zero emission buses.

Meaningful Funding of Bus Services

We need Somerset’s bus budget to be brought progressively up to the average for similar rural authorities in the South West.

 

 

Volunteer Drivers Wanted for the Welly Hopper

Wellington Medical Centre is trying to get this volunteer car service up and running again. Do you have any friends and links in West Buckland who might become drivers? Once a week, month or any spare time is fine. We pay 45p a mile. Trips could include WMC, Luson, Musgrove (parking free for the Hopper) and Rutherford Diagnostic Centre at Hankridge. However drivers can say if they would prefer not to do particular trips.

If you are interested or want more details please contact Erica Adams on 01823 669022 or 07717 942561

Our Buses Are Under Threat

April 2022 was meant to augur in a new era for our buses. It was the month when the £3 billion as part of Bus Back Better, National Strategy for Buses for England, could be used to improve bus services. People could be invited to abandon their cars and opt for the ‘greener’ option of going by bus on journeys to nearby towns and villages.

To improve buses across the county, Somerset had put in a bid for £163 million of Bus Back Better money. That was the sum of money Somerset needed because Somerset bus services currently are the worst rated of any county in England. But the Bus Back Better fund has been over subscribed 8 times by all the bids from across England and so it’s unknown how much money Somerset might get. But it’s unlikely to get anything like what Somerset needs.

The 2 years of Covid with endless warnings not to use buses has seen bus passenger numbers down 40% on pre Covid levels. This has meant the Government has had to step in and subsidise bus services in order to keep them running. To fund this the Government has diverted more than half of the £3 billion pot allocated for transforming our bus services to just maintain our current bus services.

Worse still, the Government has still not said whether it will keep funding our existing bus services from April.

If it doesn’t, then without this subsidy, bus services across the county (including here in Somerset) could “fall off the side of the cliff” (as said by Wera Hobhouse, Bath MP). It’s been estimated 30% of bus services would go. Some bus services could even disappear completely.

Without this Covid Bus Recovery Grant, a leading bus operator has said, “The bus sector is hurtling towards disaster.”

So what can we do?

Could you please … today … send an email (doesn’t need to be long) to the Government Buses Minister demanding that the Covid-19 Bus Recovery Grant funding is continued beyond April. Send it to BARONESS VERE OF NORBITON (Buses Minister) – email verec@parliament.uk. Also copy your email to your MP:
o REBECCA POW (Taunton Deane) – email rebecca.pow.mp@parliament.uk

Please also copy in Somerset Bus Partnership to any emails too. Our email address: somersetbuspartnership@gmail.com .

Additionally, if you should speak to any of the candidates for the Somerset Unitary Council May 5th elections, please ask them what their plans are to protect and improve our bus services here in Somerset. There’s never been a time when our bus services in Somerset have been at so much risk.

Somerset Bus Partnership Team
https://www.somersetbuspartnership.co.uk

Advice about ransomware, phishing, working from home and online fraud

Avon and Somerset Police have produced some advice about ransomware, phishing, working from home and online fraud. These are the most prevalent attacks that the UK police forces are seeing right now due to the Coronavirus Pandemic.

 The documents include a quick reference guide, a presentation and a written information document, which are meant to be read together side by side, but the written document can be read separately.

 Please pass on these documents and distribute it throughout your contacts in order to remain safe and secure during this Crisis. Threat actors are increasingly targeting individuals, businesses and organisations and using the pandemic as a manipulation tool to install malware and steal personal information. The attached documents will advise the reader of the current threats and how to create a stronghold for themselves while working from home or using the internet for personal reasons.

COVID19 Advice doc

COVID19 Adivce presentation

COVID19 Quick Tips