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Friday, February 01, 2013

Somerset County Council Cuts , more info

News from the Somerset Wildlife Trust web site:   

Somerset County Council to axe conservation and natural environment services?

28th Jan 2013

Somerset Wildlife Trust was disturbed to learn this week of proposals by Somerset County Council which appear to indicate services for conserving our wildlife and improving the natural environment will effectively be axed.

In its Mid Term Financial Plan (MTFP) Somerset County Council lays out plans to make the majority of its staff who work on wildlife and countryside issues redundant. The posts affected include the two ecologists who are responsible for assessing impacts to wildlife habitats and species from possible new developments and major infrastructure projects.
All local authorities have legal responsibilities to conserve and protect important species, habitats and sites. Without the right expertise and skills in-house it will be very difficult for the County Council to meet these obligations to wildlife, and the alternative option of paying consultants to provide advice on ecology matters is likely to be more expensive.

Somerset Wildlife Trust is concerned about these proposals because we know our natural environment is important to people. It underpins our rural economy and well-being, providing us with special places to work, live and play, and gives us a range of services and goods, like clean water, crop pollination, fuel and much more. Our natural world is not a luxury, but a necessity without it, we couldn’t survive, and therefore Somerset Wildlife Trust is calling upon the County Council to play its part in looking after our environment.

The plan detailing the cuts will be debated by a group of County Councillors in the Scrutiny Committee meeting on Tuesday 29th January, and they will then make recommendations to the Cabinet who meet to make a final decision on Wednesday 6th February.

 You can take a look at the proposals for cuts to the environment by following this link to the Somerset County Council’s website

What can I do?
Write to the Leader of the Council, Cllr John Osman and tell him why you want to see your County Council protecting our natural environment. Your letter or email needs to reach him before the 6th February. A list of all County Councillors and their contact details can be found on the Somerset County Council website 

Not only but also on the Langport Transition Web site  they said:

Dear Transitioners,

Sorry to be the bearer of some very distressing news but we must work together quickly to save our environment and our wonderful countryside from the barbarians that are destroying our county..........I saw the beginnings of this happening over two years ago when the first of the environmental division at SCC was axed - now it looks like they are sabotaging the whole lot! Please stand up for our countryside, our wildlife, farming and what makes Somerset the beautiful county that it is - all down to years and years and years of caring for the countryside without which we wouldn't be here....

Best eco wishes,

Disturbing and shocking news from the County Council - it is axing its Countryside, ecology and environment services. Despite the results of the survey conducted recently by SCC own free newspaper to householders, Your Somerset, which showed that people wanted MORE investment in environment, flooding and planning (which was actually portrayed as a wish for more cuts for environment! - see attached)

Somerset will be the ONLY rural county with NO countryside service. The current leaders at SCC are without doubt anti-environment, despite it being one of the county's major assets and attractions....

For further info see:

The final decision will be taking at the (Tory) Cabinet meeting on 6 Feb. Environmental NGO's are asking people to lobby their Councillors about this. 


And more on the RSPB web site . Link here

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