Tag Archives: recent

Appeal to trace 16-year-old Luke Mulcahy, missing from Stoke-sub-Hamdon

Avon & Somerset Police are appealing to the public  for help to find a 16-year-old boy missing from Stoke-sub-Hamdon who disappeared two weeks ago. His family are concerned for his wellbeing.

Luke Mulcahy left after a family disagreement just before 7pm on Friday 18 January.

He’s white, about 5ft 9ins tall and slim with straight blond hair and blue eyes. He was wearing a black padded jacket, khaki bottoms and black trainers and took some clothes with him.


Officers believe Luke has been ‘sofa surfing’ and want to hear from anyone he has stayed with. He’s thought to have travelled by bus between Stoke sub Hamdon, Yeovil, Montacute and Langport.

Luke has been in touch with relatives and friends since going missing. However he doesn’t have a mobile phone.

If you know where Luke is now, call 999 immediately. If you have any other information which could help officers trace him, ring 101, quoting reference 5219012008.

Bridgwater rape – appeal

Avon & Somerset Police have just released a new CCTV image of a man they want to talk in connection with an ongoing rape inquiry. The original incident took place in Bridgwater on New year’s Day.

The assault took place between 4.45am and 5.20am when a woman was walking home from a night out. She was attacked by a man, not far from the Malt Shovel Pub on Wembdon Road where it joins North Road and Victoria Road.

Police describe the man as being aged in his 40s, with a bald or shaved head, wearing jeans and a large white hooded jacket which appears to have a distinctive large number seven printed on the front. Detectives are keen to hear from anyone who was in the area at the time, especially if they were driving and may have dashcam footage available.

Meanwhile the victim is being fully supported and given access to any help she may need.

Bridgwater rape CCTV

Anyone who recognises him, or who has any other information which could help, is asked to get in touch through www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/contact, or by calling 101, quoting reference 5219000407.

Kingsbury forklift incident

Avon & Somerset Police have just confirmed that they have arrested two men in connection with an incident involving a forklift which left a third man in critical condition. The victim, a 26-year-old man is believed to have fallen from the vehicle as it was driven along Folly Road in Kingsbury Episcopi at around 4pm yesterday (Sunday). The exact facts are far from clear, Police have suggested that a yellow Caterpillar Telehandler they believe to have been stolen was being driven in convoy with another vehicle. The man sustained life threatening injuries and remains in hospital.

Police have arrested a 49-year-old man on suspicion of causing serious injury by dangerous driving, failing to stop at the scene of an accident and theft of a motor vehicle and a 27-year-old man on suspicion of drink driving, failing to stop at the scene of an accident and theft of a motor vehicle.

Both have been released under investigation while further enquiries take place.

Can you help? The Police are keen to speak to anyone who saw the forklift driving in the Martock area on Sunday afternoon, particularly between the areas of Kingsbury Episcopi and Coat.

If you witnessed the incident, or have information which could help the Police, please call 101 and provide the call handler with the reference 5219014045.

More people in Middle Street, Yeovil

You may recall from previous articles in The Leveller® that South Somerset District Council has been working on plans to pedestrianise and upgrade parts of the centre of Yeovil. Initially the idea was that Middle Street between the current pedestrian zone and the junction with the High Street would be a pedestrian zone for shopping hours only with time before and after for lorries and vans to be able to deliver to businesses. This includes WH Smith which is likely to become the home of Yeovil Post Office if the review of the Crown Post Office underway at the moment recommends closure (as it is widely expected to do)

However Somerset County Council have stepped in and dictated that it is all or nothing. Because Middle Street is not on a bus route “it would not be possible to use enforcement cameras to restrict vehicle movement at certain times of the day and therefore completely shutting the route to all traffic would be safer.”

Which sounds like good news for shoppers, but what do businesses think. Bearing in mind the confusion that has surrounded Taunton Deane’s efforts at consulting with business and the public over similar issues, we take SSDC at their word until proven otherwise. They claim that they have consulted with all impacted businesses and the feedback they have is that they don’t mind “We’ve reconsulted with businesses that will be affected by the complete removal of all traffic to Middle Street and the general feeling that has come back to us is that they will make it work because they see the benefits that pedestrianising the area will bring.”

It is certainly true that if the top of Middle Street is pedestrianised then those businesses stand to gain from more footfall. Even if it does make restocking their shelves a bit of a logistical nightmare.

However there is still a process to go through. SSDC have submitted a new Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) to remove all traffic from the top of Middle Street at all times of day. That goes in to Somerset County Council and in due course will hopefully be approved. But don’t expect an answer for a few months yet!

County Councillor “defects” to LibDems

Independent County Councillor for Bishops Lydeard (more properly Lydeard Division) announced today he is to join the LibDem group on Somerset County Council. I am not quite sure if defect is the right term. Can you defect from being an Independent?

Without taking anything away from the LibDems (or any other political party on Somerset County Council) this is a sad loss. Cllr Rigby provided a firm, intelligent, non-partisan voice in the Council Chamber. Sometimes it looked like the lone voice crying in the wilderness. To lose that independent voice will surely be to the detriment of the council as a whole.

However Cllr Rigby has clearly weighed up the pros and cons. He says “I have reached the position where some of the things I want to achieve for our community can best be delivered as a member of a major political group.” And as he decided the LibDems were pretty closely aligned to his own views, in particular on Brexit, he has joined them.

Massive loan to SSDC Opium

South Somerset District Council is making a loan to SSDC Opium Power Ltd of £1,351,649.84. The decision was made by the Chief Executive in consultation with the Council Leader and Portfolio Holder for Property, Climate Change and Income Generation. That decision now has to be ratified by the South Somerset District Executive on Thursday.

SSDC Opium Power Ltd is the joint venture company set up when SSDC granted a contract to Opium Power to build a battery park for energy storage. It is 50:50 owned between SSDC and Opium.

As we reported at the time, Opium Power was a shell company with no track record and no substantial assets.

Now it appears that between SSDC and Opium there has been a misunderstanding of the VAT rules on importing the batteries from China.

The company has been advised by the shipping handlers and transporters importing the batteries that VAT is initially payable on the 18 battery storage containers. The containers cannot be released until the VAT is paid.

SSDC Opium Power Ltd believe they can reclaim the VAT on the containers at least by the end of March.

SSDC are now stuck. Of course the joint venture company has tried to find alternative sources of finance. But given that Opium was a shell company, unsurprisingly the only funding available came with conditions where “the security terms are unacceptable to SSDC

So now SSDC is putting up the money itself.

And SSDC have got a letter from their accountants who “have provided a statement to support the requirement of this loan for short term VAT cashflow requirements.”

It would be nice if they had also obtained a letter from the same accountants to reassure the council that the VAT could indeed be reclaimed the following month. But they do not appear to have done that.

The loan is being offered by SSDC on proper commercial terms, at 5.25% interest, which is certainly a tick in the box for the deal.

The question that SSDC have not asked themselves is how on earth did those involved in the contract not know something as basic as the VAT treatment on the only major asset required for the project?

And now taxpayers are being asked to loan over £1.3m to cover that lack of basic knowledge.


Burnham Beach Concessions

Sedgemoor District Council has a variety of beach concessions at its beaches at Burnham on Sea, Berrow and in Apex Park. These are now on offer for tender for the next three seasons.

At Burnham-on-Sea beach the following concessions are available – Seafood, Donkey and Pony Rides, Children’s Inflatables, Crepes, Ice Cream, Trampoline, Punch and Judy as well as Refreshments at Marine Cove Gardens.

At Berrow Beach the following concessions are available – Refreshments, Children’s Inflatables, Beach Requisites, Deckchair Hire and Ice creams.

At Apex Park, the following concessions are available –  Ice creams and Refreshments and Food.

If you or anyone you know may be interested in one of those concession you need to think about it right now. Contact Finance and Property Services on 0300 303 7800 or email sarah.richards@sedgemoor.gov.uk.

The closing date for submission of concessions is midday on Friday, 15th February 2019

Do you have what it takes?

It is that time of year again. At the start of each calendar year Avon & Somerset Police undertake a recruitment drive to get more Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) into our local Police Force.

Candidates can bring skills from a variety of life backgrounds. They may come from a career in customer service or they might have worked for another blue light organisation. Parents returning to work after taking time out are welcome, with flexible working patterns around school times considered by the force to help balance work and personal life commitments. They’re also keen for candidates with the ability to speak other languages.

PCSOs are part of community police teams. The job involves building relationships with local communities to provide reassurance and understand the policing issues that matter most to them. Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens is a big fan of PCSO recruitment “PCSOs help promote community safety and reduce the fear of crime with their proactive and visible presence. I continually hear considerable praise for our PCSOs from residents and how they are making a real difference to their local communities.

Successful applicants can expect a starting salary of £19,719, a government pension scheme and the opportunity to make a real difference to local communities in Bristol, Somerset, South Gloucestershire and Bath.

Applications are already open and close on Monday 14 January.

Those unsure about applying are advised to get the application form and fill out the first stage, so that they can do the second stage, and main application. Once you have filled out the first stage have the opportunity to attend a Discovery Workshop at the St Werburgh’s Centre in Bristol, on Tuesday 15 January from 9pm. Prospective applicants will be able to find out more about the role and have practical support filling the application form if needed.  However given that this is apparently 1 day after applications close, applicants would be well advised to get in touch with the Police and find out quite how that works. If you are interested

in joining a workshop need to book a place in advance by emailing Representative.Workforce@avonandsomerset.police.uk

Applications open on Thursday 3 January and close on Monday 14 January. You can find out more about the role and apply here: https://www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/jobs-and-volunteering/roles-within-avon-and-somerset-police/police-community-support-officer-(pcso)/ utm_source=Social_media&utm_medium=Corporate_accounts&utm_campaign=PCSO_Recruitment

Shape Mendip Hub loses a major partner

The brand new concept launched by Mendip District Council four years ago in January 2015 has just lost one of its partners. The concept of the hub was that public services such as Police, District, County and Town councils, Citizens Advice and a whole raft of services could all be found in one place. New purpose built offices were prepared at Cannards Grave Road on the edge of Shepton Mallet

Today the Police have announced that they will be leaving the Shape Mendip Hub for premises in Shepton Mallet. A new police station will open in Shepton Mallet, based at Hawkins Retail Centre in the town centre that will also be the base for officers on patrol covering Street and Frome too.

A spokesperson for Avon & Somerset Police explained “Shepton Mallet police station will house an enquiry office open to the public as well as a base for the local neighbourhood policing team and the patrol team for the Mendips.  It is expected to open in summer/autumn 2019. This move confirms the commitment to keep the local neighbourhood policing team in the heart of the community. The new police station will replace the current neighbourhood police base at Mendip District Council.

The move does however call into question the value of the original hub concept as clearly it has not worked for the Police who found they were too remote from the community they serve.

The new Shepton Police Station will open during the summer.

New plans for Frome

Much excitement in Frome over the possibility of action over Saxonvale. An old industrial area near the Frome River, the decayed buildings have been a bit of a blight on the town for many years. So much so that in a rare moment of unity, Mendip District Council and Frome Town Council have found common ground. In August MDC bought most of the site and appointed Acorn Property Group to draft up plans to redevelop a site that has seen at least 3 potential developments come and go over the last 20 years. Now Frome Town Council are close to agreeing to add their land in the area to the overall development scheme which will comprise some 11 acres.

Cllr Kate Bielby, Leader of Frome Town Council noted “Enabling a comprehensive regeneration of this important town centre site has been a longstanding ambition of the Town Council.  From the moment we heard that Mendip had succeeded in their bid to acquire land at Saxonvale, we were keen to explore how the Town Council’s land could make a contribution. Talks have gone well and we are now working towards a disposal of our land as soon as possible.”

With developers and architects (Nash and Co) already appointed an outline vision for the site has been drawn up for public consultation. Acorn Property Group who are promoting and developing the scheme are inviting all to attend a public drop-in event at the Silk Mill Studios and Gallery in Frome to share their views on the future development of the Saxonvale site. The event will take place on Friday 11 January from 2pm-7pm and Saturday 12 January from 10am – 3pm.

The initial plans are for mixed use, but with the emphasis on housing close to the town centre with landscaping along the river front. There is clearly potential to make a lot more of the river bank and we await the detailed plans for this with interest.


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