Category Archives: featured

SSDC set to hike parking charges

South Somerset District Council is apparently about to increase parking charges on the car parks it owns right across the district.

We understand full details will emerge in the next 24 hours.

The council claim that charges for parking have been frozen since 2012. Despite this we understand that they intend to keep the rise in parking charges to around the inflation rate.

However if that is the inflation rate for the last 7 years these could be very substantial increases to parking charges.

It is worth remembering that although some towns do own their own car parks (notably Langport and some car parks in Somerton) many are run by SSDC.

We’ll report more details as soon as they are released.


Police suspect arson in Shepton

Avon & Somerset Police are appealing for the public’s help following a series of suspicious fires. All of the fires started in Shepton Mallet between 31 July and 6 August in the Millennium Way and Nightingale Grove areas.

Details are as follows:

31 July – early evening started on very dry brush land on Millennium Way, close to a shed in nearby Somerset Close. A fence and two sheds were affected.

1 August – during the afternoon a fire was started with coal and kindling under a hedge running the side of a house just off Millennium Way in Nightingale Grove. The victim and a neighbour extinguished the fire. Shortly afterwards a further small fire was located close to a property off Millennium Way but extinguished by residents.

2 August – two further fires were discovered opposite a house in Millennium Way. There were three small fires discovered later in the area, which were also put out by the fire service.

6 August – a small fire was located on a path closer near to Collett Park Pond which was extinguished by town council staff.

Police enquiries into the fires are continuing. They would like to hear from anyone who was in the area where the fires took place. Did you see anything? Do you have information that might be helpful?

Anyone able to help is asked to contact the Police quoting reference 5219176465

Boys did A Levels too shock

Around the country today young people have had their A Level results. And we do of course wish them all every success both now and in their studies and careers ahead.

However having run a perusal of all of the national newspapers covering the results day you would be hard pressed to believe that any boys had actually sat A Level exams at all. The Daily Express bought a piccy of a couple of girls from Shutterstock which we can’t show you and the Sun also has protective software on its images which shockingly did actually include a picture of a boy. Admittedly he was pushed into the background but he was undeniably there.

How did the other national papers cover the A Level results?

Daily Mail


Daily Mirror


Daily Telegraph


Even the right on Guardian felt unable to give us a picture of boys with their results:


So let us give credit where credit is due. In all of the coverage of A Level results the only press that seem to have deigned to recognise that boys too might have had some results to think about were our local press in Somerset. Well done to the County Gazette and Western Gazette for at least having the temerity to include boys in their photos of A Level results day:

County Gazette

County Gazette

Western Gazette

Western gazette

I guess you’d have to say that this is how girls and women probably feel treated most of the time. So perhaps it is good to shine the light and make the point and try to remember to do it in reverse for all those other news stories throughout the year!

Excellent a grades

You have to take these things in context. This year we are told that 25.5% of A-level grades were A* or A. If that sounds good then think again. It is the lowest proportion since 2007.

The performance of Taunton’s Richard Huish College students is therefore something of an exception. The current cohort will be celebrating a very successful year of A Level and Vocational results. The Class of 2019 achieved an A* to B pass rate of 53%, and an A* to C pass rate of 78%. The overall A Level pass rate is again an outstanding 99%.

More specifically 72 students gaining three or more A/A*grades, 17 of these gaining three or more A* grades.  The highest achiever gained four A Level results comprising of 4 A* grades. Against the background of falling grades that is quite a performance.


Did you say that?

South Somerset District Council have just released the results to date of their public consultation on Yeovil. The plans under the banner Yeovil Refresh will draw on public opinion to improve the town centre.

  • You would like to see additional street tree planting and ornamental planting within the town centre
  • You would like to see more public space for events and entertainment and more areas for friends and family to gather
  • You would like better cycling and pedestrian access from Yeovil Country Park, with clearly signposted destination points
  • You would like to see enhancements to the front of shops so there is an overall better shopping experience
  • A water feature, increased level piazza and enhancements to the surrounding buildings are popular features for the design of the Bandstand area

And five questions to go with it:

  • Is this how you see Yeovil?
  • Is this the vision for the town centre you would welcome?
  • Does it go far enough?
  • Is it real change or just tinkering?
  • Is it a waste of public money or good value for the town centre?

Whether you agree or disagree there is still time to have your say. The consultation runs until 5pm on Monday 19 August. You can have your say here

Witnesses sought to Accident in Taunton

Avon & Somerset Police are appealing for witnesses or anyone who may have dashcame footage  after a road traffic collision in Taunton yesterday (13th August).

At around 4.05pm a Ford Ka turning right from Wordsworth Drive onto Hamilton Road collided with a Honda motorcycle.

The motorcyclists, aged in his 40s, sustained a serious leg injury. He was airlifted to Southmead Hospital, Bristol where he continues to receive treatment. The car driver was unhurt.

If you saw the collision or have any other information please get in touch with officers through or by calling 101, quoting reference 5219186350

Frome River pollution latest

The Environment Agency continues to investigate the apparent pollution to a tributary of the River Frome over the weekend. The waters of the tributary turned a vivid colour of turquoise. In a statement to The Leveller the EA confirmed “the contamination area is contained. We are still awaiting the results of the sampling.

EA river frome

This afternoon in an update on the situation the EA issued the following statement “We continue to investigate why a tributary of the River Frome in Somerset turned bright blue. We now know the cause of the pollution and who was responsible. We cannot comment or share any specifics as further action may be required. We will work with all parties to prevent reoccurrence. There are no reports of dead wildlife or fish. We continue to monitor the tributary and the River Frome and work with the responsible parties to remove the pollutant and ensure it does not spread further.

Earlier we checked the main course of the River Frome and there was no obvious sign of contamination.

River Frome (2)

Blue for you 2 (Update at 2pm)

In a statement to The Leveller the Environment Agency’s Paul Gainey explains the latest on the River Frome. Once again they have streesed there is no linke to the River Sheppey incident.

The Agency sent field teams to the scene yesterday to carry out tests and take water samples in a bid to establish the cause.

There are no reports of dead or distressed wildlife or fish at this stage.

Water samples taken have been sent to the Agency laboratories for tests and the results are expected on Monday.

Agency officers continue to monitor the stream today. A field team is on standby and a plan in place should the Environment Agency need to do any further clean-up in the tributary