We have been receiving quite a lot of communications about missed waste collections. SSDC have asked for residents to report any missed collections online.
There appears to be a nationwide driver shortage as well as what has been called 'local pressures' due to Covid, which has delayed training and the departure of many EU drivers, and although there have been some improvements Somerset Waste Partnership stress there is no quick fix and disruption is likely to continue for some time.
The 'My Waste Service' feature on is available 24/7 and the quickest way to report an issue. The crews will do their best to return within two days but if they do not then the collection will happen on the following week's collection day.
The phosphate issue continues to impact on planning in our area with SSDC trying to define the types of mitigation that can be brought forward. Such interim measures are likely to include woodland planting and fallow land schemes with the intention of developing a 'blended credit' of planning obligations and land mitigations.
This is a solution but hardly a long term one. For starters it will involve a change of use of significant areas of land to, as well as design wetlands which take longer to provide functioning mitigation. It will also involve taking land out of agricultural use which appears a very short term vision for planning with a long term loss for food sustainability. Having read the letter in the CRN last month we were slightly surprised to read that the blame was 'squarely at the feet of our local politicians'. Alas, this situation is a Government on.
A private company, Wessex Water, is accountable for the management of waste in our rivers and we pay our rates accordingly. However, their investment in infrastructure and resources to ensure the water quality is maintained has be found lacking and have openly said that further investment will take until 2024 to get their own mitigation factors in place. This is unacceptable level of time for the applicants as well as builders and supply chains to wait with many now starting to lay off staff. The Government either takes over the situation or loans the company the money to sort the issue out. Wessex Water is by no means the only water company in this situation. We are in touch with the local MPs to act fast to get this matter concluded.
Tiffany (District Councillor) and Claire (County Councillor)