Somerton & Frome Conservatives

Introducing Somerton & Frome

Somerton and Frome (S&F) Conservatives are an active association within the County of Somerset Conservative Grouping. On here you will be able to find out about the work of local Conservative councillors and campaigners across the S&F constituency, as well as local fundraising events and how to join.

The Somerton and Frome constituency includes the market towns of Somerton and Frome themselves, as well as Castle Cary, Langport, Wincanton, Templecombe, Hambridge and Westport, Bruton and Martock. The constituency includes wards from Mendip District and South Somerset District Councils.

Local man David Warburton is the Conservative MP for Somerton and Frome was elected on the 7th of May 2015. 

As a vibrant and active local association, we rely on volunteers to help campaign across the constituency and we welcome people’s views on local and national issues.

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News from your Association Chairman (14th April 2021)

Remembering His Royal Highness, The Duke of Edinburgh

Last Friday, we heard the sad news that His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke  of Edinburgh had died at the age of 99. Prince Philip had given a lifetime of service  to our country and has been a rock and confidante of Her Majesty The Queen  through over 70 years of marriage. A veteran of the Second World War as well as  the longest-serving consort in British history, he will also be remembered for  demonstrating an extraordinary commitment to this country and for dedicating his life  to the service of others. As our nation mourns his passing, he will be greatly missed  by many. To a gallant sailor prince who has served with honour and courage, we  wish him “Fair Winds and Following Seas”. 

Out of respect for the Duke and his family, the Conservative Party suspended all  political and campaigning activities, probably until the beginning of next week.  However, as you may have seen, Parliament was recalled on Monday, when MPs and Peers paid tribute to the life of Prince Philip in the Commons and the Lords.

The Future of Local Government

Notwithstanding the temporary suspension of campaigning, many of you will have  received this leaflet in recent days. Although the Somerset Group of Conservative  Associations would not wish to influence the choice of individuals in submitting or  expressing their own opinions and preferences on The Future of Local Government  in Somerset, Somerton & Frome members will wish to be aware that this leaflet was  prepared by the four District Councils in our area, three of which are run by the  Liberal Democrats. 

As I said in my previous newsletter, it is the Government’s desire to simplify local  government, so Somerset is likely to become a Unitary authority. Two differing  proposals have been submitted to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities  and Local Government, the Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP, for how this can be achieved: 

1. Somerset County Council’s proposal is called One Somerset and would see the  four District Councils (Somerset West & Taunton, Mendip, South Somerset and  Sedgemoor) and the County Council replaced with a single new Unitary authority.  The County Council’s proposal can be found at www.onesomerset.org.uk

2. The District Councils’ proposal, called Stronger Somerset, would replace  Somerset’s existing five councils with two new Unitary authorities in the east and  west of the county. Their proposal can be found at www.strongersomerset,co.uk

There is no doubt that, whichever plan is chosen, there will be far reaching  implications for Town and Parish Councils as both proposals envisage varying  degrees of devolution. The current public consultation process concludes on Monday 19th April 2021. Town and Parish Councils have been asked to express a  preference and individuals can also make a direct personal comment. We expect a  decision will be made by late June or early July. 

If you wish, you can make your feelings known by submitting a comment on the  proposals at: https://consult.communities.gov.uk/governance-reform-and-democracy/some…

Within the Somerset Conservatives Group, of which the Somerset & Frome  Conservative Association is a member, three of our MPs, including David Warburton,  are supporting the County Council’s One Somerset bid, whilst the other two  Conservative MPs are supporting the District Councils’ Stronger Somerset bid. 

Election for Police & Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Avon & Somerset, Thursday 6th May 2021 

This is an important election for the Conservative Party in the South West. In Mark  Shelford we have an outstanding PCC candidate who is intent, if elected, on shaking  up the way in which policing is conducted in Avon & Somerset.

Last month, we started delivering Mark’s leaflets in Somerton, Castle Cary and  Frome, and we will continue to deliver his leaflets in both urban and rural areas  across the constituency when campaigning restarts next week. 

In the meantime, postal voting forms will be hitting doormats very shortly. Please be  aware that, unlike a General Election voting form, this PCC election will be run on a preferential voting system, with electors being allowed a first and second preference. 

If you wish to vote for the Conservative candidate, as I hope you will, whether  that be with a postal vote or in person on 6th May at your local Polling Station,  then please mark your voting card with a first preference only. Do not select a  second preference as this might lead to another candidate, probably the  Labour candidate, winning on a second ballot. 

Mark Shelford would be pleased to answer any questions you may have; he can be  contacted at via his email address: mark@markshelford.org.uk 

The 200 Club – April Draw 

The draw for this month’s 200 Club prize winner will take place at the end of a virtual  meeting of the Association’s Executive Council on Friday 23rd April, so I will publish  the name of the winner in next month’s newsletter.

Finally, I have again included a quick summary on the continuing road to freedom. With all best wishes, 

Julian Stapleton 

Chairman 

Somerton & Frome Conservative Association 

julianstapleton@hotmail.com 

01935 823915 

07990 533185

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The Continuing Road To Freedom – A Quick Summary Step 2: from last Monday, 12th April 

• Indoor leisure (including gyms) open for use individually or within household  groups. 

• Rule of 6 or two households outdoors. No household mixing indoors. • Outdoor attractions such as zoos, theme parks and drive-in cinemas. • Libraries and community centres. 

• Personal care premises. 

• All retail. 

• Outdoor hospitality. 

• All children’s activities. 

• Domestic overnight stays (household only). 

• Self-contained accommodation (household only). 

• Funerals (30), wakes and weddings (15). 

• Minimise travel. No international holidays. 

• Event pilots begin. 

Step 3: no earlier than 17th May 

• Indoor entertainment and attractions. 

• 30-person limit outdoors. 

• Rule of 6 or two households indoors. 

• Domestic overnight stays. 

• Organised indoor or adult sport. 

• Most significant life events (30). 

• Remaining outdoor entertainment (including performances). 

• Remaining accommodation. 

• Some large events: indoor 1,000 or 50%, outdoor 4,000 or 50%, outdoor seated  10,000 or 25%. 

• International review – subject to review. 

Step 4: at least 5 weeks after Step 3, no earlier than 21st June 

• No legal limits on social contacts. 

• Nightclubs. 

• Larger events. 

• No legal limit on all live events.

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Member of Parliament

If you'd like to find out more about David please visit his website.

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