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Working with the community

WTC Newsletter September 2021

Fri, 3 September 2021

Dear Residents,
Since the Full Council in July, council has continued to hold our planned committees.

Crowd at the Cale
A big thank you to all of you who came to the Crowd at the Cale event on 14th August, which turned out to be a beautiful summer’s day and a great opportunity for families and friends of all ages to meet and enjoy a range of activities. Councillor Shelbourne-Barrow would like to thank the Council staff, Councillors and volunteers who helped make the day such a  successful community day, to South Somerset District Council for organising the play day and Wincanton Silver Band for their amazing performance;  and a huge thank you also to all those who ran activities, the community stallholders, Cale Park Kitchen, and to Maverick Skateparks for the skatepark jam. The skatepark jam marked the official opening of the Wincanton skatepark (delayed due to COVID) which is now entirely completed with brand new floodlights installed in August.  Councillor Vagg said: “What a great day! The band were superb, I loved watching the daredevils big and small on the skatepark, I got two new plants from One Planet Wincanton, (they're not dead yet!), I made my own smoothie and there was a good barbecue from Cale Park Kitchen. It was nice to see everyone get their community awards. Well done to all the organisers and workers!”

Community Awards 2020
We took the opportunity of this community event to present the Community Awards 2020; these werepreviouslypresented around Christmas time in the Town Hall, but once again the ceremony was delayed due to the ongoing lockdown. I would like to make a special mention of those Residents who received an award in recognition of their contribution to the Wincanton Community:
For the under 25yrs, Ed Cutts was awarded the certificate - during a challenging time for residents and the public sector he prepared sweet boxes of treats and raised monies for the NHS.  For Groups – in recognition of the huge asset Matt Coombes and the Wincanton Fire Cadets provide to our community, and who demonstrated dedication, community focus and a positive attitude with a willingness to learn in such a challenging year.  Those individuals who went above and beyond for our town and its residents:  Annette Yoosefinejad for Exceptional Service to the Community Award for going over and above the call of duty to support the community during the CV-19 crisis; during this time, Annette was an inspiration, giving her time freely to support those who were vulnerable and in hardship.  Lee Godwin for Exceptional Service to the Community Award who, during CV-19 crisis, set up and maintained the Wincanton Support Group and demonstrated a caring and strong social action commitment to the residents of Wincanton through communication, promoting the town offer and fund-raising for those residents suffering hardship.  Two individuals received an award for Service to the Town of Wincanton:  Phil Rodgers forcommitment to the Town Council for a period of 30 years, was awarded a Long Service Award.  Sue Hinks was awarded a Service to the Town Award for her commitment to the town as a Councillor and organisations within Wincanton.

Footfall counter
The Council is interested in collecting information that tracks activity in the town centre not least as the town recovers from the impact of the pandemic and usually to monitor economic vitality of the town. The Geo-Sense Footfall counter is located at the Town Hall and measures the activity in the town centre through mobile phone data; it does not collect any personal data. The counter reports a range of statistics including the latest report of 29,372 visitors in August 2021, of which 17,694 are repeat visitors - an increase of 2.35% on the previous month; the busiest time is 13:00-14:00 on Friday. The Council will continue to receive reports and pass on this information.

Request for volunteers for the Sports Ground
Wincanton Sport’s Ground (WSG) needs your help. WSG is held in Trust and is run solely by volunteers. With over 40 acres of sports and recreational facilities, it provides both indoor and outdoor hire for various events and parties, alongside regular users and sports teams. Support is needed with opening up the facilities, running the bar, promotion of events/facilities through social media, editorial and leaflet drops, general improvements such as recycling, cleaning and setting up for functions. Voluntary support in any of these areas could make a significant difference and allow you to contribute to your local community sports ground.

Grant £9k approved to support the WRT
Wincanton Recreation Trust (WRT) applied for a Council grant in 2021/22. The WRT has provided its business plan, activities plan and description of what the grant 2021/22 will be used against; a £9k grant was approved by Full Council on 23 August 2021.

Solar Farm, Moor Lane Planning Application Supported
At its meeting 23 August 2021 the Town Council agreed to Support the Planning Application for a Solar Farm at Brains Farm. The Planning Application will be Decided by South Somerset District Council and the Town Council has submitted its consultation comment to Support the Application.  Proposed solar farm and associated development, comprising the installation of solar panels, the erection of communications tower/mast, substation, switchgear building, storage/communications/switch room buildings, the provision of inverter/transformer cabins and battery containers, construction of access and stone track, fencing and gates, installation of CCTV cameras, and associated landscaping and biodiversity enhancements.  Ref: 21/02205/FUL
https://publicaccess.southsomerset.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=QVXN98OWHRT00

Community Benefit Fund agreed at £10k
Council has agreed with Next Power SPV13 Ltd that it must make a £10,000 one-off community payment to the Town Council for the benefit of residents upon first generation of electricity from the proposed Solar Farm at Brains Farm.

Repair Café:  Repairing, Re-purposing & Reducing waste
Over 3 sessions at the repair café, 5, 12 and 15 people have been helped and 68 kilos of 'stuff' has been repaired and waste reduced. 3 people have had advice on how to fix something themselves and 4 people have been recommended to another local business. Bicycles fixed, jewelry mended or re-purposed, leather goods repaired, toys, clocks and barometers fixed, zips inserted, rips mended, sleeves added, garments taken in and let out and an antique ventriloquist's dummy jaw was repaired! On 25th September, the repair café will move to the Quaker barn (through the Peace Garden) for the winter. Tea, coffee and squash are provided. This is a free service, but people have made donations to One Planet Wincanton as a thank you for the repairs/advice received.

Wincanton Community Fridge
As always, Wincanton Community Fridge and Fridge Freezer continues with its food share scheme supported by the COOP and Morrisons to reduce food waste for all to use. Coming soon a larder for dried goods; if you like our community fridge page https://www.facebook.com/wincantonfridge you will receive updates on what is in the fridges and freezer and when the larder comes online.  The Community fridges and freezer are based in Cole’s yard, through the Applegarth entrance, and is open daily so do check out the opening times and come to see what is available - `free’ to all.

The Somerset Unitary
Finally, we are now looking forward as a Council to the opportunities the Unitary offers Wincanton and our residents.  The existing Councils will no longer exist from April 2023, to be replaced by a Somerset Unitary Council.  This is an exciting time with the regeneration of our high street and the Unitary - more to follow on this in the coming months.