South Somerset is a local government district in Somerset, England. The South Somerset district covers and area of 370 square miles ranging from the borders with Devon and Dorset to the edge of the Somerset Levels, it has a population of 158,000. The administrative centre of the district is Yeovil; the district was formed on 1 April 1974, was known as Yeovil, adopting its present name in 1985. It was formed by the merger of the municipal boroughs of Chard, along with Crewkerne and Ilminster urban districts and the Chard Rural District, Langport Rural District, Wincanton Rural District and Yeovil Rural District; the district covers the whole of the Yeovil constituency, part of Somerton and Frome. The district is governed by the South Somerset District Council, it is Liberal Democrat controlled, has Beacon Council status. Its main towns include: Bruton Castle Cary Chard Crewkerne Ilminster Langport Milborne Port Somerton Wincanton Yeovil The electoral wards include: Camelot and Wessex. A30 A37 A303 Bruton railway station, First Great Western Castle Cary railway station, First Great Western Crewkerne railway station, South West Trains Templecombe railway station, South West Trains Yeovil Junction railway station, South West Trains Yeovil Pen Mill railway station, First Great Western Chard Branch Line, former Great Western Railway line between Chard and Taunton Yeovil Railway Centre County schools in the five non-metropolitan districts of the county are operated by Somerset County Council.
For a full list of schools see: List of schools in Somerset Grade I listed buildings in South Somerset South Somerset District Council
Liberal Democrats (UK)
The Liberal Democrats are a liberal political party in the United Kingdom. They have 11 Members of Parliament in the House of Commons, 96 members of the House of Lords, one member of the European Parliament, five Members of the Scottish Parliament and one member in the Welsh Assembly and London Assembly. At the height of its influence, the party formed a coalition government with the Conservative Party from 2010 to 2015 with its leader Nick Clegg serving as Deputy Prime Minister, it is led by Sir Vince Cable. In 1981, an electoral alliance was established between the Liberal Party, a group, the direct descendent of the 18th-century Whigs, the Social Democratic Party, a splinter group from the Labour Party. In 1988 this alliance was formalised as the Liberal Democrats. Under the leadership of Paddy Ashdown and Charles Kennedy, the party grew during the 1990s and 2000s, focusing its campaigning on specific seats and becoming the third largest party in the House of Commons. Under its leader Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrats were junior partners in a coalition government headed by Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron, with Clegg serving as Deputy Prime Minister.
The coalition damaged the Liberal Democrats' electoral prospects: the party was reduced from 57 to 8 seats at the 2015 election. Positioned in the centre ground of British politics, the Liberal Democrats are ideologically liberal. Emphasising stronger protections for civil liberties, the party promotes liberal approaches to issues like LGBT rights, education policy, criminal justice. Different factions take different approaches to economic issues; the party is pro-Europeanist, supporting continued UK membership of the European Union and greater European integration. It calls for electoral reform with a transition from the first-past-the-post voting system to one of proportional representation. Other policies have included further environmental protections and drug liberalisation laws, while it has opposed certain UK military engagements like the Iraq War; the party is a member of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe and Liberal International. The Liberal Democrats are strongest in northern Scotland, southwest London, southwest England, mid-Wales.
The Liberal Democrats were formed on 3 March 1988 by a merger between the Liberal Party and the Social Democratic Party, which had formed a pact nearly seven years earlier as the SDP–Liberal Alliance. The Liberal Party, founded in 1859, were descended from the Whigs and Peelites, while the SDP were a party created in 1981 by former Labour Party members, MPs and cabinet ministers, but gained defections from the Conservative Party. Having declined to third party status after the rise of the Labour Party from 1918 and during the 1920s, the Liberals were challenged for this position in the 1980s when a group of Labour MPs broke away and established the Social Democratic Party; the SDP and the Liberals realised that there was no space for two political parties of the centre and entered into the SDP–Liberal Alliance so that they would not stand against each other in elections. The Alliance was led by Roy Jenkins; the two parties had their own policies and emphases, but produced a joint manifesto for the 1983 and 1987 general elections.
Following disappointing results in the 1987 election, Steel proposed to merge the two parties. Although opposed by Owen, it was supported by a majority of members of both parties, they formally merged in March 1988, with Steel and Robert Maclennan as joint interim leaders; the new party was named Social and Liberal Democrats with the unofficial short form The Democrats being used from September 1988. The name was subsequently changed to Liberal Democrats in October 1989, shortened to Lib Dems; the new party logo, the Bird of Liberty, was adopted in 1989. The minority of the SDP who rejected the merger remained under Owen's leadership in a rump SDP. Michael Meadowcroft joined the Liberal Democrats in 2007 but some of his former followers continue still as the Liberal Party, most notably in a couple of electoral wards of the cities of Liverpool and Peterborough; the then-serving Liberal MP Paddy Ashdown was elected leader in July 1988. At the 1989 European Elections, the party received only 6% of the vote, putting them in fourth place after the Green Party.
They failed to gain a single Member of the European Parliament at this election. Over the next three years, the party recovered under Ashdown's leadership, they performed better at the 1990 local elections and in by-elections—including at Eastbourne in 1990 which saw the first success by a Liberal Democrat standing for parliament. They had further successes in Ribble Valley and Kincardine & Deeside in 1991; the Lib Dems did not reach the share of national votes in the 1990s that the Alliance had achieved in the 1980s. At their first election in 1992, they won 17.8 % of twenty seats. In the 1994 European Elections, the party gained its first two Members of European Parliament. Following the election of Tony Blair as Labour leader in July 1994 after the death of his predecessor John Smith, Ashdown pursued co-operation between the two parties becaus
Green Party of England and Wales
The Green Party of England and Wales is a green, left-wing political party in England and Wales. Headquartered in London, since September 2018, its co-leaders are Jonathan Bartley; the Green Party has one representative in the House of Commons, one in the House of Lords, three in the European Parliament. In addition, it has various councillors in UK local government and two members of the London Assembly; the party's ideology combines environmentalism with left-wing economic policies, including well-funded, locally controlled public services within the confines of a steady state economy, it supports proportional representation. It takes a progressive approach to social policies such as civil liberties, animal rights, LGBT rights and drug policy reform; the party believes in nonviolence, basic income, a living wage, democratic participation. The party comprises various regional divisions, including the semi-autonomous Wales Green Party. Internationally, the party is affiliated to the European Green Party.
The Green Party of England and Wales was established in 1990 alongside the Scottish Green Party and the Green Party in Northern Ireland through the division of the pre-existing Green Party, a group, established as the PEOPLE Party in 1973. Experiencing centralising reforms spearheaded by the Green 2000 group in the early 1990s, the party sought to emphasise growth in local governance, doing so throughout the 1990s. In 2010, the party gained its first MP in former leader Caroline Lucas, who represents the constituency of Brighton Pavilion; the Green Party of England and Wales has its origins in the PEOPLE Party, founded in Coventry, Warwickshire, in February 1972. PEOPLE was renamed The Ecology Party in 1975, in 1985 changed again to the Green Party. In 1989 the party's Scottish branch split to establish the independent Scottish Green Party, with an independent Green Party in Northern Ireland developing shortly after, leaving those branches in England and Wales to form their own party; the Green Party of England and Wales is registered with the Electoral Commission as the Green Party.
In the 1989 European Parliament elections, the Green Party of England and Wales polled 15% of the vote with 2.3 million votes, the best performance of a Green party in a nationwide election. This gave it the third largest share of the vote after the Conservative and Labour parties, although because of the first-past-the-post voting system it failed to gain a Member of the European Parliament; this success has been attributed to both the increased respectability of environmentalism and the effects of the development boom in southern England in the late 1980s. Seeking to capitalise on the Greens' success in the EP elections, a group named Green 2000 was established in July 1990, arguing for an internal reorganisation of the party in order to develop it into an effective electoral force capable of securing seats in the House of Commons, its proposed reforms included a more centralised structure, the replacement of the existing party council with a smaller party executive, the establishment of delegate voting at party conferences.
Many party members opposed the reforms, believing that they would undermine the internal party democracy, amid the arguments various key members resigned or were dismissed from the Greens. Although Green 2000 proposals were defeated at the party's 1990 conference, they were overwhelmingly carried at their 1991 conference, resulting in an internal restructuring of the party. Between the end of 1990 and mid-1992, the party lost over half its members, with those polled indicating that frustration over a lack of clear and effective party leadership was a major reason in their decision; the party fielded more candidates than it had done before in the 1992 general election but was deemed to have performed poorly. In 1993, the party adopted its "Basis for Renewal" program in an attempt to bring together conflicting factions and thus save the party from bankruptcy and potential demise; the party sought to escape their reputation as an environmentalist single-issue party by placing greater emphasis on social policies.
Recognising their poor performance in the 1992 national elections, the party decided to focus on gaining support in local elections, targeting wards where there was a pre-existing support base of Green activists. In 1993, future party leader and MP Lucas gained a seat on Oxfordshire County Council, with other gains following in the 1995 and 1996 local elections; the Greens sought to build alliances with other parties in the hope of gaining representation at the parliamentary level. In Wales, the Greens endorsed Plaid Cymru candidate Cynog Dafis in the 1992 general election, having worked with him on a number of environmental initiatives. For the 1997 general election, the Ceredigion branch of the Greens endorsed Dafis as a joint Plaid Cymru/Green candidate, but this generated controversy with the party, with critics believing it improper to build an alliance with a party that did not share all of the Greens' views. In April 1995 the Green National Executive ruled that the party should withdraw from this alliance due to ideological differences.
As the Labour Party shifted to the political centre under the leadership of Tony Blair and his New Labour project, the Greens sought to gain the support of the party's dissafected leftists. During the 1999 European Parliament elections, the first to be held in the UK using proportional representation, the Greens gained their first Members of the European Parliament and Jean Lambert. At the inaugural London Assembly Elections in 2000, the party gained 11% of the vote and returned three Assembly Members, althoug
A library is a collection of sources of information and similar resources, made accessible to a defined community for reference or borrowing. It provides physical or digital access to material, may be a physical building or room, or a virtual space, or both. A library's collection can include books, newspapers, films, prints, microform, CDs, videotapes, DVDs, Blu-ray Discs, e-books, audiobooks and other formats. Libraries range in size from a few shelves of books to several million items. In Latin and Greek, the idea of a bookcase is represented by Bibliotheca and Bibliothēkē: derivatives of these mean library in many modern languages, e.g. French bibliothèque; the first libraries consisted of archives of the earliest form of writing—the clay tablets in cuneiform script discovered in Sumer, some dating back to 2600 BC. Private or personal libraries made up of written books appeared in classical Greece in the 5th century BC. In the 6th century, at the close of the Classical period, the great libraries of the Mediterranean world remained those of Constantinople and Alexandria.
A library is organized for use and maintained by a public body, an institution, a corporation, or a private individual. Public and institutional collections and services may be intended for use by people who choose not to—or cannot afford to—purchase an extensive collection themselves, who need material no individual can reasonably be expected to have, or who require professional assistance with their research. In addition to providing materials, libraries provide the services of librarians who are experts at finding and organizing information and at interpreting information needs. Libraries provide quiet areas for studying, they often offer common areas to facilitate group study and collaboration. Libraries provide public facilities for access to their electronic resources and the Internet. Modern libraries are being redefined as places to get unrestricted access to information in many formats and from many sources, they are extending services beyond the physical walls of a building, by providing material accessible by electronic means, by providing the assistance of librarians in navigating and analyzing large amounts of information with a variety of digital resources.
Libraries are becoming community hubs where programs are delivered and people engage in lifelong learning. As community centers, libraries are becoming important in helping communities mobilize and organize for their rights; the relationship between librarianship and human rights works to ensure that the rights of cultural minorities, the homeless, the disabled, LGBTQ community, as well as other marginalized groups are not infringed upon as protected in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The first libraries consisted of archives of the earliest form of writing—the clay tablets in cuneiform script discovered in temple rooms in Sumer, some dating back to 2600 BC; these archives, which consisted of the records of commercial transactions or inventories, mark the end of prehistory and the start of history. Things were much the same in the temple records on papyrus of Ancient Egypt; the earliest discovered. There is evidence of libraries at Nippur about 1900 BC and those at Nineveh about 700 BC showing a library classification system.
Over 30,000 clay tablets from the Library of Ashurbanipal have been discovered at Nineveh, providing modern scholars with an amazing wealth of Mesopotamian literary and administrative work. Among the findings were the Enuma Elish known as the Epic of Creation, which depicts a traditional Babylonian view of creation; the tablets were stored in a variety of containers such as wooden boxes, woven baskets of reeds, or clay shelves. The "libraries" were cataloged using colophons, which are a publisher's imprint on the spine of a book, or in this case a tablet; the colophons stated the series name, the title of the tablet, any extra information the scribe needed to indicate. The clay tablets were organized by subject and size. Due to limited to bookshelf space, once more tablets were added to the library, older ones were removed, why some tablets are missing from the excavated cities in Mesopotamia. According to legend, mythical philosopher Laozi was keeper of books in the earliest library in China, which belonged to the Imperial Zhou dynasty.
Evidence of catalogues found in some destroyed ancient libraries illustrates the presence of librarians. Persia at the time of the Achaemenid Empire was home to some outstanding libraries; those libraries within the kingdom had two major functions: the first came from the need to keep the records of administrative documents including transactions, governmental orders, budget allocation within and between the Satrapies and the central ruling State. The second function was to collect precious resources on different subjects of science and set of principles e.g. medical science, histor
Citizens Advice is a network of 316 independent charities throughout the United Kingdom that give free, confidential information and advice to assist people with money, legal and other problems. The twin aims of the Citizens Advice service are "to provide the advice people need for the problems they face" and secondly "to improve the policies and principles that affect people's lives"; this research and campaigns agenda known as "social policy" is more preventative in nature and designed to stop problems arising in the first place. Citizens Advice organisations emerged in the 1930s linked to the emergence of a fledgling social welfare service and the outbreak of World War II. Public funding for the organisation was cut following the war but restored during the 1960s and a government grant in 1973 allowed the National Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux to expand the charity. Citizens Advice has grown to be the largest independent advice provider in the United Kingdom. There are a number of Citizens Advice organisations that base themselves on the United Kingdom advice charity in parts of the Commonwealth including Australia, New Zealand, Gibraltar.
In 2013 the Citizens Advice Adviceguide website was visited by one third of United Kingdom's online population and Citizens Advice's own research shows that four in ten of the British population contact Citizens Advice at some point during their lives. In 2014 Citizens Advice celebrated its 75th anniversary and in 2015 the charity was named Charity of the Year at the 2015 Charity Awards. Under the leadership of the current Chief Executive Gillian Guy Citizens Advice has expanded its remit taking on the contract for the Witness Service and the face-to-face advice element of Pension Wise; the origins of the modern Citizens Advice service can be traced back to the Betterton Report on Public Assistance from 1924. This report recommended that advice centres should be set up to offer members of the public advice to help them with their problems. During the 1930s, as preparations and plans were drawn up for the possibility of war, the role that the voluntary sector should have was determined; the National Council for Social Service called a meeting in 1938 in which plans to establish'Citizens Aid Bureaux' were devised in the event of war.
The first 200 bureaux opened on 4 September 1939. Many of these initial bureaux were run by'people of standing' in the community. In The Story of The Citizens' Advice Bureaux Brasnett states that the typical bureau would include "a committee chairman the editor of a respected county paper, as treasurer a local bank manager. Brasnett describes a range of groups running provincial bureau including Toc H, Rotary Clubs and Soroptomist Clubs. Brasnett states in The Story of the Citizens' Advice Bureau that these first bureau were offshoots of established organisations in London and other large provincial cities; these organisations included the Charity Organisation Society and the London Council of Social Service, the Liverpool Personal Service Society, the City of Glasgow Society of Social Service, the Birmingham Citizens' Society. By 1942, there were 1,074 bureaux in a wide range of improvised offices such as cafes, church halls, private homes and air raid shelters. Sheffield set up in the cloisters of Sheffield Cathedral after its premises were bombed during World War II and another bureau worked in Chislehurst Caves.
Mobile offices became important in ensuring that people could access advice. Many of the issues dealt with during that time were directly related to the war; these included the tracing of missing servicemen or prisoners of war, evacuations and other allowances. The Independent describe Citizens Advice at this time as "clearing houses for family and personal problems that abound from war conditions" with common issues being lost ration books and debt issues as men went off to fight in World War II. Many war time bureaux closed at the end of the war, although it was apparent that there was still a need for the services, established. A particular problem was the chronic housing shortage in the years following the end of the war. In the 1950s, the funding was cut and by 1960 there were only 415 bureaux; the Citizens Advice service continued due to charitable support from groups such as the Nuffield Foundation, Carnegie Trust and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. In 1972, The Citizens Advice service became independent.
Before the national organisation was part of NCSS and most bureaux were run by the local CVS. In 1973, the government funded NACAB, the National Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux, to enlarge the network; the 1984 afternoon television drama series Miracles Take Longer depicted the type of cases that a 1980s branch would have to deal with. David Harker became CEO in 1997, he led Citizens Advice during that time oversaw a massive IT overhaul. Since 2003, the operating name of the National Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux changed to Citizens Advice and Citizens Advice Cymru or Cyngor ar Bopeth in Wales. In the same year Citizens Advice became the first advice sector organisation to begin to audit the quality of their advice. In 2008/9, there were 416 member bureaux offering advice from over 3,300 locations in England and Wales and a further 22 bureaux in Northern Ireland all of which are independent charities. Despite the large number of volunteers working for the organisation, level of
Somerset West and Taunton
Somerset West and Taunton is a local government district in Somerset, England. It was established on 1 April 2019 by the Somerset West and Taunton Order 2018; the council replaced the Taunton Deane and West Somerset councils, which governed the same area from 1974. In September 2016, West Somerset and Taunton Deane councils agreed in principle to merge the districts into one subject to consultation; the new district would not be a unitary authority, with Somerset County Council still performing its functions. In March 2018 both councils voted in favour of the merger and it came into effect on 1st April 2019, with the first elections to the new council in May 2019; the new council was approved by James Brokenshire the Secretary of State for Housing and Local Government on 30 May 2018. The merger is expected to save £3.1 million each year. West Somerset is a local government district; the council covered a rural area, with a population of 35,300 in an area of 740 square kilometres. According to figures released by the Office for National Statistics in 2009, the population of West Somerset has the oldest average age in the United Kingdom at 52.
The largest centres of population are the coastal towns of Watchet. Taunton Deane was based in Taunton; the district was formed on 1 April 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, by a merger of the Municipal Borough of Taunton, Wellington Urban District, Taunton Rural District, Wellington Rural District. Taunton Deane was granted borough status in 1975. Taunton Deane includes the town of Wellington and surrounding villages. Taunton Deane had an estimated population of 102,600 in 2001; as of 2019, the Conservative party ran the council. 2019 structural changes to local government in England Somerset West and Taunton Shadow Authority
North Somerset is a unitary authority area in England. Its area covers part of the ceremonial county of Somerset but it is administered independently of the non-metropolitan county, its administrative headquarters is in the town hall in Weston-super-Mare. North Somerset borders the local government areas of Bristol and North East Somerset and Sedgemoor; the area comprises the parliamentary constituencies of North Somerset. Between 1 April 1974 and 31 March 1996, this area was the Woodspring district of the county of Avon; the district of Woodspring was formed from the municipal boroughs of Weston-super-Mare and Portishead urban districts, Long Ashton Rural District, part of Axbridge Rural District. Though the government proposed that the new unitary area be known as "North West Somerset" from 1 April 1996, the council voted instead to adopt the name "North Somerset" and so the name "North West Somerset" was never used. There remained some legal doubt as to whether the council had validly changed the name to "North Somerset", but in 2005 the council passed a resolution to put the matter beyond doubt.
North Somerset Council, a Unitary Authority, is elected every four years, with 61 councillors being elected at each election. Since the first election to the unitary authority in 1995, the council has either been under Conservative party control, or no party has held a majority. Most the Conservatives gained a majority at the 2007 election, as of the 2011 election the council is composed of the following councillors: The principal towns in the district are the coastal towns of Weston-super-Mare and Clevedon, the commuter town of Nailsea. Abbots Leigh Backwell, Barrow Gurney, Bleadon, Brockley, Butcombe Cambridge Batch, Christon, Clapton in Gordano, Clevedon, Congresbury Downside, Dundry East End, East Hewish, East Rolstone, Easton in Gordano Failand, Felton, Flax Bourton Ham Green, Hutton Icelton Kenn, Kingston Seymour Leigh Woods, Lodway, Long Ashton, Lower Langford, Lower Failand, Lulsgate Bottom Maiden Head, Milton Nailsea, North End, North Weston Portishead Pill, Puxton Redcliff Bay, Regil, Rickford Sandford, Sidcot, St Georges, St Mary's Grove Tickenham Uphill, Upper Town Walton in Gordano, West Wick, West End, West Hewish, West Town, Weston in Gordano, Weston-super-Mare, Wick St. Lawrence, Winscombe, Wraxall, Wrington Yatton North Somerset's natural environment and coastal towns attract visitors from the nearby cities.
Notable geographical features include: Gordano Valley Mendip Hills – the ridgeway forms part of the district boundary Sand Bay and Sand Point Worlebury Hill Burrington Combe, Goblin Combe, Brockley Combe North Somerset LevelsThe district is noted for the religious buildings at: St. Paul's Church, Kewstoke Woodspring Priory North Somerset's economy is traditionally based on agriculture, including sheep raised for wool on the Mendip Hills and dairy farming in the valleys; this is celebrated at the annual North Somerset Show. During the Georgian era tourism became a significant economic sector in the coastal towns, most notably Weston-super-Mare which grew from a small village to a large resort town. Though tourism declined in the mid to late-20th century, in common with most British coastal resorts, this sector of the economy has stabilised. In the 19th century the major port city of Bristol found that modern ships had outgrown the narrow river approach and the Port of Bristol company began seeking locations for new docks on the coast.
The first of these was Portishead Dock, which handled coal from South Wales, though this too has seen shipping outgrow its facilities. The newer Royal Portbury Dock is noted for the large volume of car imports; this is a chart of trend of regional gross value added of North and North East Somerset and South Gloucestershire at current basic prices by Office for National Statistics with figures in millions of British Pounds Sterling. ^1 Components may not sum to totals due to rounding^2 includes hunting and forestry^3 includes energy and construction^4 includes financial intermediation services indirectly measured North Somerset covers an area of around 145 square miles and has a resident population of 193,000 living in 85,000 households. The population of North Somerset has doubled since the 1950s and is predicted to rise by 6,184 or 3.0% to 2011 and by 17% to 2026. Whilst the proportion of people in North Somerset who are under 45 is lower than the national average, population growth is predicted to be strongest in the 2034 age group.
Conversely North Somerset has a 4.2% higher percentage of older people than the rest of England and Wales. This disparity increases with age with the percentage of the population over 75 years 30% higher than the national average, resulting in a aged population. In 2001 there were 134,132 people of working age living in North Somerset and 91,767 were in employment; this is close to the economic activity rate of the West of England sub-region, 68.8% in the 2001 census. The 2001 census stated that 1.38% of North Somerset residents identified themselves as belonging to a visible ethnic group and a further 1.27% identified themselves as'white other'. The Unitary Authority of North Somerset, provides support for 78 schools, delivering education to 28,000 pupils. Weston College is the main provider of further education in the area. University Centre Weston offers higher education courses in conjunction with Ba