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National Highways has once again put the planning process on hold, providing very limited information on the background to this decision. However, we are beginning to be heard by local politicians as the following two quotes by the Taunton Deane parliamentary candidates illustrate:
"I know that some will be disappointed and concerned following the announcement that National Highways, with the support from Government, will not be submitting the Development Consent Order application for the A358 Taunton to Southfields Duelling Scheme planned this year with the continued uncertainty that this will cause. I am meeting with the Roads Minister, Guy Opperman, to discuss the next steps before Christmas. I will explore opportunities to tailor future proposals for this stretch of road following discussions I have had with local people in the Hatch Beauchamp and West Hatch areas many of whom had reservations about the routeway. There is, however, a clear case for a bypass for Henlade. I shall be putting all these points to the Roads Minister and will report back." - Rebecca Pow (MP)
"The priority should be the bypass for Henlade and Thornfalcon - something LibDem ministers secured funding for in 2014 - and I will keep pushing for that as hard as possible.
But frankly there is no need to dual the road all the way to Ilminster with the environmental damage that would cause, so there’s a real opportunity to reduce the scheme’s impacts and save money. Villages like Hatch Beauchamp and West Hatch are rightly concerned - if Government reneges on its bypass plans it will be a kick in the teeth for residents living on one of the worst polluted roads in the county” - Gideon Amos
Airband "Information Superhighway"
You will be aware over the last few months of road closures, notices on telegraph poles and other activities that Airband are installing fibre broadband. But who are they and what does it mean for broadband in the village? Airband is a wholesale network provider on contract to CDS (Connecting Devon and Somerset) to install FTTP (fibre to the premises) to households in the area that aren't already able to get superfast broadband (more than 30Mbps). Because this is a contract that has been subsidised by CDS, they will have to offer services through other retail ISPs in the same way that BT's OpenReach network does. Hopefully this will not only make faster broadband available more widely but also offer more competition and better deals. However, the overall picture of which services are available is complex and it will vary from house to house. For more specific information, fill in the form here : Connecting Devon and Somerset
FREE Bus Travel Day
Bus of Somerset routes 25, 28, 54 and 58/58A are offering free services on Tuesday 19th December (next week). Although sadly no bus services pass through Hatch Beauchamp the 54 (Yeovil - Taunton) passes relatively near at Wrantage. If that's too long a walk do contact the Hatch Community Car Scheme to take you to the nearest stop
There have been reports of this antisocial behaviour in the area. If you discover such an incident on public land, report this to Somerset Council . If its on private land the council will not act but please do gather evidence (e.g. photos, number plates) and pass on to the landowner or the Parish Council