Category Archives: featured

Assault in Taunton

A man in his 20s was attacked by a group of young men in Taunton last night. The incident happened between 8-9pm in Galmington Road.

The victim was walking with his female partner when the assault happened near to a fish and chip shop. He was struck in the face with a baseball bat, causing him to fall to the floor, where he was kicked. He required treatment at Musgrove Park Hospital for facial injuries but has since been released.

Three teenagers – two aged 17 and one 18 – have been arrested and remain in police custody. Police enquiries into the incident are continuing. The Police tell us that officers are patrolling the area to receive further information and provide community reassurance.

Police are keen to hear from anyone who was in the area at the time of the incident who may have information to help with their enquiries. Theywould particularly like to hear from anyone who has mobile phone or dash-cam footage of the incident.

If you are able to help, please call 101, quoting reference 5220020590

 

Incident in Chard

You’ll have to accept our apologies that this is being sent out so long after the fact. We have been contacted by Avon & Somerset Police about an incident in Chard before Christmas.

On 21 December Police were called to the Phoenix Hotel in Fore Street  at about 2am. A man in his 40s suffered facial and head injuries which required hospital treatment. A woman and two other men were also involved.

Another man in his 40s has voluntarily attended a police station in connection with the incident. Police enquires are continuing.

Were you in the area at the time? The event seems to have been traumatic and not the sort of thing that might be easily forgotten. Police are keen to speak to anyone who was in the area at the time of the incident who may have information, especially any mobile footage.

Anyone able to help is asked to phone 101, quoting reference 5219293477

 

Time to deliver?

With five our of five of the Somerset constituencies covered by The Leveller® returning Conservative MPs, and the Conservatives being the party of government, what does that mean for us? We have had five Conservative MPs in the period since 2015, the first time in a couple of decades that Somerset has been completely blue.

But to date, despite the efforts of our MPs, we have precious little to show for it. All agree Somerset should get a better deal on education funding. It has had an increase, but remains among the worst funded regions in the country. Rebecca pow has campaigned for a Wellington Station, David Warburton for a Langport one – neither had materialised.

The 2019 Conservative manifesto was big on infrastructure spending, big on transport investment and big on spending pledges. What it was not big on, was obvious investment in the South West. The word Somerset did not appear in the manifesto at all, the words South West just twice. Once in connection with extending the rebate on water bills in the South West, the other a vague commitment that reads “We will also invest in improving train lines to the South West and East Anglia”. And that is it.

Given that electrification to Bristol has already happened, and that our new Prime Minister has a track record of promising things that are either

a) not true or

b) have already happened;

that certainly leaves our region looking like a pauper at the back of the queue when investment cash is handed out. The Queens speech introducing the new legislative programme made no mention of the South West at all.

The manifesto was weak on environmental issues. Plant lots of trees would be a good precis of the policy. But nothing to actually address the fundamental issue, which is we need significant lifestyle changes. And that needs thought in terms of the costs, implication for taxation and the intervention of government.

Which leaves us to ask our MPs questions. Now they have returned to power, what will they do for us? All of them could do something to help the green agenda. But without any real government support, it is debatable whether that is actually realistic.

However Each MP has some questions to answer about what they can deliver for their own constituency and here are some suggestions:

Bridgwater and South West

Ian Liddell Grainger could ensure that money is set aside for the tidal barrage we have been promised for the River Parrett. He could also lobby to get proper funding for the close to non-existent bus network in West Somerset. And some thought towards relinking Minehead and Taunton by rail would be nice.

Somerton & Frome

David Warburton became an MP on the back of his work on the Somerset floods. However in office he has championed better broadband and a station for Langport. Despite his best efforts, neither have, as yet actually happened.. With Brexit done and a Conservative majority in Westminster, it would be good to see some actual delivery on both these projects.

Taunton Deane

Staying with the floods, Rebecca Pow had failed by the time of the election to commit to incorporating the elements of Mr Warburton’s Bill to fund the SRA into the new Environment Bill. Will that now happen given that this is still part of her portfolio? Funding for the SRA is a major issue for Somerset following the 2012-14 flooding. And given that we have established that Musgrove hospital is not one of the 6 hospitals to be rebuilt in the next parliament, what exactly is she going to do with the promised £2m of seed funding, to prioritise it for the next round of major NHS projects.

Wells

James Heappey has a problem in his constituency with broadband. That and transport seem to be the big issues. With hardly any rail network (apart from Highbridge Station) bus transport is especially important. Will we see more sustained funding for buses? And will we see broadband being prioritised so we can finally get what we have been promised since 2012?

Yeovil

The big question for Yeovil MP Marcus Fysh is what happens to Westland. Especially when the ERG member gets his Brexit done. As we have reported here previously, British taxpayers paid for the tooling for the latest generation of Westland helicopters. To date little if anything has been done to secure the future of assets that we actually own.

So if the Brexit deal done later this month leads to Leonardo reconsidering manufacturing in the UK, and that is a serious prospect, the Conservatives have two major tasks on their hands. The first is to secure the tooling and make it clear to Leonardo that it will not be allowed to leave the UK. The second is to secure a pipeline of orders from the UK government that, it is made clear to Leonardo, are dependent on manufacturing remaining in Yeovil.

Theft from Langport garage

A break in took place at what the Police will only describe as a “garage business” in Langport on Monday evening (19 January).

The thieves took power tools plus car diagnostic equipment shortly after 10.10pm.

A man, of stocky build, wearing a blue jumper and red gloves was captured on CCTV who the Police would like to speak to in connection with this burglary.

Their enquiries continue.

Anybody in the Somerton Road area at the time who saw the man or a dark BMW estate car is asked to contact the Police on 101 and quote reference 5220014822.

Langport power tool burglary

 

Wells Road Closure

Major improvements in Wells city centre are being planned to take place next month.

Somerset County Council tell us that the B3139 (The Liberty and Tor Street) are showing signs of deterioration. Following large numbers  of minor repairs in recent months SCC is now going to do a major resurfacing exercise.

The road closure will impact drivers coming into Wells from Horrington and Dulcote.

Prep works will take place between Monday 10 February to Friday 14 February with temporary traffic lights in place.

The road will be closed during the resurfacing work. This is planned to take place from 17 February to the 21 February during half term (17-21 February). The road will reopen be closed from 7.30am to 6pm but will reopen overnight. Access to homes and businesses will be maintained wherever possible.

A372 at Huish Episcopi to close

The busy A372 at Ducks Hill, Huish Episcopi will be closed for essential resurfacing works next month.

The road is showing signs of deterioration especially in the wake of all the building work carried out in the area.

Somerset County Council is planning extensive repairs along the key route.

The scheme is split into phases with prep works, including drainage works, taking place from Monday 3 February to Friday 7 February with the road closed between 7.30am and 5.30pm.

The road will be reopened the following week with prep works continuing under temporary traffic lights.

The resurfacing itself will take place during half-term from Monday 17 February to Friday 21 February with the road again closed from 7.30am to 5.30pm.

Local through traffic should be able to use the Somerton Road (B3153) out of Langport and Tengore Lane to avoid Ducks Hill.

Cyclist dies near Bridgwater

*** Update – Police have now identified the victim

but are still anxious to hear from witnesses to the incident ***

 

A cyclist died in Bridgwater last night following a road traffic accident in which he collided with a bus. The incident happened on a minor road at Robbery Wood near Stockland Bristol village at about 5.40pm.

The cyclist received treatment at the scene but sadly died shortly afterwards. Police closed the road to complete their investigations during the course of the evening.

The identity of the victim remains a mystery. No one has come forward to report a missing person or that someone did not return home as expected.

The victim was a white male, probably in his fifties with grey hair. He was unshaven with stubble growth of a few days. He was wearing a red and blue zip-up jumper and dark coloured jeans with brown boots. The victim was wearing a watch with a black strap and silver face and had with him a white construction site-style hard hat.

His bike is a white and blue Kona Cindercone mountain bike.

If you can help the Police identify the victim please call  101 quoting reference 5220015515