Local MP Tessa Munt has secured permission from the Speaker of the House of Commons for a debate on Somerset Children’s Centres which are under threat from the leadership at Somerset County Council. It will take place during the evening of Monday the 3rd February.
After receiving a considerable number of emails, letters and surgery visits in local towns and villages about this matter, Tessa is extremely concerned about the future of Children’s Centres in Somerset. One of those under threat in her area is Cheddar Children’s Centre.
Some parents and carers have reported that they first heard of planned closures through other parents, that their questions to the County Council have been ignored by the Councillor responsible and that staff have been reportedly “gagged” and are directing all enquiries to County Hall. When a member of Tessa’s team contacted the county council he was directed to the Council website which wasn’t helpful as it has not been updated since 13th November 2013.Read more
Today I have replied to over a thousand constituents on the proposals for Hydraulic Fracturing, known as ‘fracking,’ in our part of Somerset.
It’s no secret that I am opposed to Fracking. Although fracking has been a fact of life in the UK for decades, the process intended for shale gas extraction is new and untested. Consequently, there should be an even greater duty to address worries about fracking raised by local residents and the scientific community. I believe that the greenhouse gases deposited safely inside shale rock over millions of years should remain there. We should be saving energy – investing in reducing our needs and in renewable technologies which already exist, not extracting every last bit of fossil fuel.
My chief concerns are the risks posed to our local and global environment; specifically, but not exclusively, climate change, water pollution and the storage, transportation and treatment of waste water.Read more
Statement from the Bishop of Taunton and senior staff of the Diocese of Bath & Wells re: Bishop of Bath & Wells accommodation
“The Diocese wishes to express publicly its opposition to the Church Commissioners’ decision that the next Bishop of Bath & Wells will not live at the Bishop’s Palace in Wells.
Despite ample time and opportunity, the Church Commissioners have failed to undertake effective consultation at a local level. Instead they have taken a unilateral decision which has, sadly, cast a shadow over the announcement of our next Bishop.
Based on the scarce information made available to us by the Commissioners, the Diocese cannot support their decision. If there is a persuasive case for the move, it has yet to be made.
We call upon the Church Commissioners to allow the next Bishop of Bath & Wells to begin his new role in residence at the Palace whilst a full and proper consultation about the long-term plans for the Bishop’s residence and office arrangements takes place.”
Rt Revd Peter Maurice, Bishop of Taunton
The Ven Nicola Sullivan, Archdeacon of Wells
The Ven John Reed, Archdeacon of Taunton
The Ven Andy Piggott, Archdeacon of Bath
Revd Preb Stephen Lynas, Bishop’s Chaplain
Preb Dr Catherine Wright, Dean of Women Clergy
Nick Denison, Diocesan Secretary
Harry Musselwhite, Chair of the Board of Finance