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Ofsted: Somerset Children's Services 'inadequate'

Two of Somerset's Children's Centres were judged inadequate by Ofsted Credit: PA

Ofsted has published a damning report into the quality of children's services in Somerset.

The education watchdog says the county council is "not providing good enough support for its most vulnerable young people and families".

One third of the 39 places inspected were seen as less than good with six of them judged inadequate. Somerset county council says it will make urgent improvements.

We looked at provision for 13,500 children - that's the number of children whose lives are touched by those children's centres and both those centres were inadequate. So really quite shocking statistics in terms of the number of children who are not getting what they need.

– Bradley Simmons, Ofsted Regional Director

Police seek men after theft of sparkly reindeer

The sparkly reindeer is worth £250. Credit: Avon & Somerset Police

Police have released images of two men they want to speak to in connection with the theft of a sparkly reindeer in Taunton.

The men entered the Homesense store on Priory Fields at around midday on Monday 27 October and left with the large gold ornament without paying.

The glittery deer is worth £250.

Anyone who recognises the men should contact police. Credit: Avon & Somerset Police

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Millions to be invested in Mendip leisure centres

Almost £2.8m will be invested in leisure facilities in the Mendips over the next 4 years.

The district council has approved 50-year leases to Sports Management Company Fusion Lifestyle for five centres beginning in June 2015. The not-for-profit organisation bid for the contracts with plan involving four years worth of improvements.

The legal agreement is expected to be signed before Christmas, and the programme of investment due to be completed by 1 April 2018.

The following centres are set to benefit:

  • Frome Leisure Centre - £2million
  • Wells Leisure Centre - £550,0000
  • Strode Swimming Pool and Fitness Centre - £100,000
  • Tor Sports and Leisure Centre - £75,000
  • Shepton Mallet Lido - £75,000

To appoint a partner to operate the district’s leisure facilities was a bold move by the council and one that has secured the future of leisure across the district for many years to come. If we had not taken this approach, there would have been a question mark over how long the council could have continued to fund leisure services in Mendip.

– Cllr John Parham, Mendip District Council

Opposition grows to Yeovil housing development

Plans for more than 700 homes on the edge of Yeovil are gaining opposition.

The site near Mudford is included in the district council's draft development plan for the next 14 years.

Villagers fear building the houses near Mudford will cause traffic problems and lead to flooding. A planning application is being processed and will be decided next year.

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Met Office issues fog warning for the West

The Met Office has issued a yellow warning of fog affecting Gloucestershire, South Gloucestershire, Bristol, Devon, Somerset, Dorset and Wiltshire.

It will come into force from 7pm tonight and last until 10am tomorrow, Tuesday 25 November.

Freezing fog is predicted tonight, which will reduce visibility and make driving more dangerous Credit: PA

Patchy fog is expected to form soon after dark tonight and then will become quite widespread and locally dense. It will freeze during the evening, reducing visibility to less than 100m in places.

It is likely to persist through tomorrow's rush hour but may begin to disperse as cloud increases from the south.

Transport could be disrupted so commuters should be prepared.

Health workers picket the BRI in Bristol

Health workers and ambulance staff across the region have been taking part in a four hour strike in a long-running dispute over pay.

They walked out between 7am and 11am today and will be working to rule for the rest of the month.

Health staff picket the Bristol Royal Infirmary as part of the national action Credit: ITV News
Staff are calling for a 1% pay increase, which the Government says it can't afford Credit: ITV News
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