The Committee appointed by the Archbishops’ Council to hear an objection to a Church Commissioners’ decision to move the residence of the Diocesan Bishop of Bath and Wells has upheld this objection from the Bishop’s Council. This means that the the exchange of residence from the Palace in Wells to The Old Rectory in Croscombe will not now go ahead.
The Committee, which met in Wells from 28-29 April, issued its ruling today, having considered the grounds of objection, and all relevant circumstances, to the Church Commissioners’ decision to move the residence.
“I was honoured to have the opportunity to give evidence as a witness on behalf of the Diocese of Bath and Wells and I’m absolutely delighted that the Archbishops Council has been just and fair and made a common sense decision which will be welcomed and supported by the whole of the Diocese.Read more
Tessa was delighted to be asked to present the 80th Anniversary Show & Sale prizes at a packed gathering at The George Hotel in Wedmore.
This hugely successful event included a show of beef, dairy, sheep, pigs, poultry, handicrafts and much more besides. Church Street was closed to traffic in anticipation of the crowds, and to mark the 80th milestone, the Nat West Bank Chambers were used to host a special exhibition of Wedmore Young Farmers’ history, with an interesting display of photographs from across the 80 years of shows.
(Very) Young Farmer, Grace Willcox, won first prize for the Non-Member Stockjudging in the Yard competition.
James Hole stole the show – his last event as a Young Farmer – scooping Champion Dairy Heifer, Dairy Heifer Leading & Grooming, Champion Bird (with one of his chickens), Overall Joint Winner of the Best Kept Record Book (with Hannah Lukins), Senior Male – Best Sports Day Personality, and the Best All Round Member prize, awarded at the Dinner in the evening.
Louise Seymour, Wedmore YFC Advisory Chairman said:Read more
Local MP Tessa Munt ‘cut the ribbon’ at the opening ceremony on Saturday to celebrate the launch of the new-look Gurney Slade Post Office.
Sub postmistress Karen Weller organised a community day to celebrate the official re-opening of the Post Office and shop.
People were invited to Gurney Slade Post Office to enjoy wine and cheese, coffee and cake and to take part in fundraising for the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance.
The revamp came about as part of Post Office plans to modernise the network and extend hours for customers. Customers now benefit from opening hours being extended by an extra 21 hours and 30 minutes a week.
Tessa Munt MP said:Read more
Tessa celebrates launch of Renewable Heat Incentive ‘great news for bill payers and our environment’
Local MP Tessa Munt is celebrating today’s launch of a new and innovative scheme which will pay residents in Somerset for the ‘green’ heat they generate at home.
The Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is the world’s first long-term financial support programme for renewable heat, offering homeowners payments to offset the cost of installing low carbon systems in their property.
“I’m thrilled that this innovative scheme has now been launched. Many people in rural Somerset are either stuck with expensive oil or LPG
or are trying to find the money to switch to greener ways of heating their homes and water.”Read more
Local MP and Wells Lion Tessa was delighted to welcome her fellow Lions for a tour of the Houses of Parliament this week.
After making room for Tessa on the coach up to London, the group toured both the House of Commons and the House of Lords, before having lunch in the cafe. They then watched the Speaker’s Procession at the opening of the day’s proceedings in the House of Commons, and listened to questions from MPs to Ministers from the Department of Communities and Local Government.
The visit was popular and a huge success. Tessa said:Read more
Please have your say on the Somerset pre-submission Minerals Plan.
There’s one week left to comment on Somerset County Council’s pre-submission Mineral Plan Development Plan Document (DPD).
Having begun consultation on 3 March 2014, the closing date for comments is 6pm on 14 April 2014.
The Somerset Minerals Plan sets out the County Council’s approach to planning for sustainable mineral development in Somerset until the year 2030. The Somerset Minerals Plan includes information and policies on crushed rock, building stone, and peat. The Plan also outlines Somerset’s position on shale gas extraction, also known as fracking.
The Plan also outlines how Somerset’s communities, biodiversity and historic environment will be protected from adverse impacts of mineral extraction.
The pre-submission Minerals Plan, Response Form and a Statement of Consultation are available on the County Council website:Read more
The below statement was read at the Mendip District Council on Monday evening on behalf of Tessa Munt MP:
Thank you Mr Chairman.
Monies from Section 106 Agreements are not raised by billing Council taxpayers in the Mendip District.
The loss therefore of £500,000 – half a million pounds – of Section 106 funding for affordable housing for young people in Street by this Council is absolutely catastrophic.
But unfortunately, this is just one of a number of examples of failures relating to Section 106 funding. This particular mess stands out because of the huge amount of money involved, but when other cases are considered, it reveals systemic failure.Read more
Local MP Tessa Munt joined villagers and Parish Councillors at the weekend for the unveiling of a new life-saving defibrillator.
The equipment, used to guide bystanders through the steps which can save the life of a cardiac arrest patients, is sited on the wall outside the Memorial Hall in Binegar Lane.
Welcoming everyone, Gus Halfhide, said:
“We were faced with the task of raising £3,000, but thanks to the generosity of many people, we are now in possession of this new piece of life-saving equipment.”Read more
Tessa Munt: To ask the right hon. Member for Banbury, representing the Church Commissioners, what consideration the Church Commissioners gave to the historical or other interest of the residence at the Bishop’s Palace at Wells before planning alternative accommodation for the bishop in accordance with section 4 of the Episcopal Endowments and Stipends Measure 1943. 
Sir Tony Baldry: Section 4 of the Episcopal Endowments and Stipends Measure 1943 applies only where the Commissioners propose to exercise a power conferred by that Measure—that is to say, to transfer a house to the diocesan authority, convert it for use for other purposes, sell, let or otherwise dispose of it, or demolish it or part of it. The Commissioners have not exercised any of those powers in relation to the Palace, as the intention is that the Bishop will continue to work and worship there.
Tessa Munt: To ask the right hon. Member for Banbury, representing the Church Commissioners, if he will publish a complete list of the grounds considered valid for the purposes of an objection to the exchange of the house of residence of the Bishop of Bath and Wells by the Bishop’s Council and Standing Committee. 
Sir Tony Baldry: It is for the Archbishops’ Council, or any committee appointed by it to consider the objection, to decide whether the objection should be upheld or not. That decision will depend on the specific facts of the particular case. The Archbishops’ Council is required by virtue of the Ecclesiastical Offices (Terms of Service) Regulations 2009 to consider “all relevant circumstances”, which includes but is not limited to the grounds of the objection. There is therefore no such list in existence.
The Government has approved a rise in the National Minimum Wage to £6.50 per hour later this year, with more than one million people set to see their pay rise by as much as £355 a year.
The rise will take effect in October, as Tessa’s boss and Business Secretary Vince Cable has accepted in full the independent Low Pay Commission’s recommendations for 2014, including plans for bigger increases in future than in recent years.
The Low Pay Commission (LPC) has said the rise, the first real terms cash increase since 2008, is manageable for employers and will support full employment.
The National Minimum Wage rates from 1 October 2014, as recommended by the LPC, will be:Read more