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
Local MP Tessa Munt visited St Dunstan’s School in Glastonbury on Friday to present the a group of students with certificates following a visit to Parliament in December.
“It was great to see the students and staff again on Friday. I talked to them about what I do – both in Westminster and in and around Glastonbury, and as always, the group had questions about how our Parliamentary system works. Visiting schools is one of the most enjoyable parts of my job and I love welcoming students to Parliament to have a look round, explain my job and listen to their ideas.”
21st January 2014
Last week, local MP Tessa Munt requested that Sir Tony Baldry, who answers to Parliament for the actions of the Church Commissioners, attends a public meeting in Wells to listen to her constituent’s concerns about the Church Commissioners’ decision to move the new Bishop’s living accommodation away from the City.
The location date and time have now been confirmed as Wells Museum, Saturday 25th January between 12.00 and 13.30. Residents are invited to attend. Tea and coffee will be served and the meeting will finish at 13.30 promptly.
If you would like any information do not hesitate to write to or email Tessa at the addresses below:
Office of Tessa Munt MP
16th January 2014
Yesterday, local MP Tessa Munt met with Sir Tony Baldry MP, who answers to Parliament for the actions of the Church Commissioners, and Andrew Brown, Secretary to the Church Commissioners in Parliament.
Tessa took the opportunity to summarise her constituents’ concerns about the decision to move the new Bishop’s living accommodation away from the City, the historic home of the Bishops of Bath and Wells for some 800 years.Read more
Having tabled a Parliamentary Question, Tessa has since received an answer from the Church Commissioners:
Tessa has asked further questions which arise from the statement made in the letter.
“I’m meeting with Sir Tony Baldry and Andrew Brown in Parliament this morning. Sir Tony has also agreed to come to Wells to meet local people who are concerned about what is happening”.
I will of course keep people updated when I have a date in the diary”
15th January 2014
Local MP Tessa Munt has asked the Church Commissioners’ spokesperson in Parliament why the Bishop of Bath and Wells is to be moved from the modest flat within the Bishop’s Palace to a house outside Wells reportedly costing £700,000.
“The Church Commissioners made a decision on 28th November that moving the Bishop away from the Bishop’s Palace would help him carry out his ministry and mission with more “privacy”. We have been blessed with effective and engaging Bishops for as long as I can remember, and the Palace provides a unique, atmospheric and contemplative environment for those involved in its life, including the many visitors.”Read more
Somerset MP Tessa Munt is campaigning for new school kitchens to be as ‘child friendly’ as possible so they can double up and be used to teach cookery lessons as well as feeding hungry pupils!
Tessa was delighted by the news last year that from September, every single infant school pupil will sit down to a free school lunch. This means 16,766 children in Somerset will benefit from a free hot and healthy meal at lunchtime.
Tessa said: “I talk to parents every day in my patch and everyone is feeling the squeeze. During the course of a year, the average family spends £400 on lunches for each child, and we are determined to ease the financial burden for families. Research shows that guaranteeing a nutritious hot meal improves results, and it is right that every child has a fair start in their crucial early years.”
“Since the Coalition Government is providing additional funding for new kitchens, it makes sense for the kitchens to be accessible to children and teachers – so they can also benefit from learning how to cook healthy hot meals.”
If we teach our children how to cook healthily, they will lead happier, healthier lives”
7th January 2014
Following a packed and hugely successful public meeting in Brean before Christmas, Tessa is encouraging local people to become members of First Bus’s Customer Panel.
Panel Members will get the opportunity to represent local people, making their views known on a regular basis.
Commenting, Tessa said:
“Local people know their areas best and the meeting I chaired in December was packed to the rafters and lots of people had good ideas.
First Group are currently recruiting new panel members for this area and I think this is an important opportunity for local people to get involved and make an impact on the services we all rely on.Read more