SOMERSET FLOODS: Our £10,000 grant as we back relief fund

Bridgwater Mercury: SOMERSET FLOODS: Our £10,000 grant as we back relief fund SOMERSET FLOODS: Our £10,000 grant as we back relief fund

THE County Gazette and its sister papers are today proud to donate £10,000 to a flood relief fund as it throws its weight behind efforts to help those in need.

The money comes from the Gannett Foundation, the charitable arm of Gannett, which owns Newsquest, publisher of the Somerset County Gazette series of newspapers and websites.

We’re donating the money to the Flood Relief Fund set up by Somerset Community Foundation to help channel cash to those who need it most.

And we’re urging others who want to help to do the same.

Newsquest Somerset editor Alex Cameron said: “Countless people have got in touch with our news teams asking what they can do to help people affected by the floods.

“The generosity of people in Somerset has been extraordinary so far, not just in terms of donations but in volunteers and neighbours pushing the limits of endurance to help each other in their time of need.

“Stories of people stricken by the floods carried in these pages and broadcast on TV and radio have touched the hearts of readers.

“It’s been a long time coming, but the political will seems to be there to fix some of the major issues in the long term - now what people need is immediate assistance and that’s why we are teaming up with Somerset Community Foundation to back their appeal.”

The Flood Relief Fund has already attracted donations of £200,000, including £25,000 from Prince Charles’ Countryside Fund and now hoping readers can help push that figure up to £250,000.

Other newspapers and community groups are also supporting the fund raising money for the cause.

Justin Sargent, chief executive of Somerset Community Foundation said: “We’re incredibly grateful to the County Gazette group for this donation – it’s absolutely fantastic.

“Money donated to this fund is already helping people who have had their lives turned upside down by this disaster and we know we can rely on the generosity of people in Somerset to continue making a difference.

“We know the effects will be felt for months to come so we need to build a fund that will be big enough to keep offering help.”

Somerset Community Foundation is a charitable trust that directs grants to local charities and voluntary organisations that make a lasting difference to the lives of local people.

The Emergency Flood Relief Fund was launched on January 8 with a grant of £50,000 from Somerset County Council.

To apply for funds from the foundation, click on www.somersetcf.org.uk or get them from parish councils, village agents, Flooding on the Levels Action Group (FLAG) or the rest centre in Bridgwater.

SCF is currently only accepting financial donations.

If you or your company would like to donate gifts in-kind (ie. furniture, clothing, accommodation, etc), register your offer with Somerset Direct 0345 988118 or post it on the FLAG Facebook page.

THE County Gazette-backed Somerset Community Foundation Flood Relief Fund will get money to those who need it – and quickly.

Here are some examples of the recipients:

  • Emergency relief grants to people whose homes have been flooded or who have had to evacuate their homes to meet the immediate financial burdens of moving out, pumping and drying, and emergency repairs. These are £250 and usually awarded within 48 hours of receipt of an eligible application.
  • Help those who face additional financial burdens as a result of the flooding, for example though loss of earnings, extended daily commutes and school runs.
  • Support for microbusinesses, charities and community organisations to ensure their survival and swift recovery as an essential part of the local community and economy through grants and, where applicable, loans.
  • Support for counselling and other community services to help people cope with the emotional stress caused by the flooding in the short and medium term.
  • Farmers – SCF is currently working with key agencies to establish the best way to offer help to farmers now and when the water has subsided.
  • Supporting volunteers to help cover the significant expenses being clocked up in fuel and other necessities to enable them to keep doing their vital work.

So why not hold a collection at your school, workplace, pub or sports club.

You could also consider a sponsored event or fundraiser for the cause - just stay safe!

And if you want some help publicising your fundraising, that’s what we’re here for, so just get in touch - and be sure to send us photos and information about all the things you get up to.

You can download a fundraising poster here

If donations exceed the needs stated money will go flood-affected communities to increase their resilience or be kept to help in cases of future flooding episodes in Somerset.

Donations can be made in the following ways:

ONLINE: Click here for full details.

PHONE: Call Somerset Community Foundation on 01749-344949.

POST: Send a cheque made payable to Somerset Community Foundation (write ‘Flood Relief’ on the back) to Yeoman House, Bath and West Showground, Shepton Mallet, Somerset BA4 6QN.

If you are a UK Taxpayer, please also use the gift aid form to add 25% to your donation.

TEXT: To make a £5 donation, text NOAH95 £5 to 70070. Texts are free but donations will be added to bills and must have payer's permission (you can alter the amount up to £10).

Comments (3)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

12:51pm Thu 13 Feb 14

Somerset;SocialistParty says...

Floods misery: Government cuts to blame

While thousands of homes and shops are waist deep in toxic water, and flooding hits new areas, government ministers indulge in a blame game.

Stand-in environment minister Eric Pickles blamed the Environment Agency for not dredging rivers, while the department's incapacitated minister Owen Paterson was reportedly raging to Prime Minister David Cameron over Pickles' attacks.

In reality, the entire government is to blame for a lack of preparation and its outrageously inadequate response.

After all, climate change scientists have been warning for years about the expected increased frequency of extreme weather events - including unprecedented rainfall - caused by human induced global warming.

Moreover, instead of investing in measures that have enormous potential to defend people, land and property against flooding, the government has pursued a vicious austerity agenda of public spending cuts.

These cuts have been borne heavily by the Environment Agency, including its budget for flood prevention.

Incredibly, on top of previous cuts, some 1,500 agency jobs (15% of the workforce), including 550 jobs in flood prevention, are due to be axed by October.

Yet the cost to people's homes and the country's ruined infrastructure will run into hundreds of millions of pounds.

The floods have exposed how this government puts the interests of a rich elite above those of a long-suffering public.

It's high time that these 'Eton millionaires' are booted out and an environmentally sustainable plan of flood defences and infrastructure is put in place.

Don't just get angry get organised!

For more information, or to join the Socialist Party, visit: www.socialistparty.o
rg.uk
Floods misery: Government cuts to blame While thousands of homes and shops are waist deep in toxic water, and flooding hits new areas, government ministers indulge in a blame game. Stand-in environment minister Eric Pickles blamed the Environment Agency for not dredging rivers, while the department's incapacitated minister Owen Paterson was reportedly raging to Prime Minister David Cameron over Pickles' attacks. In reality, the entire government is to blame for a lack of preparation and its outrageously inadequate response. After all, climate change scientists have been warning for years about the expected increased frequency of extreme weather events - including unprecedented rainfall - caused by human induced global warming. Moreover, instead of investing in measures that have enormous potential to defend people, land and property against flooding, the government has pursued a vicious austerity agenda of public spending cuts. These cuts have been borne heavily by the Environment Agency, including its budget for flood prevention. Incredibly, on top of previous cuts, some 1,500 agency jobs (15% of the workforce), including 550 jobs in flood prevention, are due to be axed by October. Yet the cost to people's homes and the country's ruined infrastructure will run into hundreds of millions of pounds. The floods have exposed how this government puts the interests of a rich elite above those of a long-suffering public. It's high time that these 'Eton millionaires' are booted out and an environmentally sustainable plan of flood defences and infrastructure is put in place. Don't just get angry get organised! For more information, or to join the Socialist Party, visit: www.socialistparty.o rg.uk Somerset;SocialistParty

1:17pm Thu 13 Feb 14

Somerset;SocialistParty says...

Question: How can Newsquest possibly afford this £10,000 'donation'?

Answer below:

From Press Gazette 22 March 2012

"A ballot of NUJ members at Newsquest found eight in 10 are prepared to strike if they are not given a pay rise this year.

The union claims that while Newsquest does not have an official group-wide pay freeze no chapel has yet reported being made a pay offer, with most being told the situation will be reviewed at the end of March.

The NUJ declined to reveal how many journalists took part in the vote, which was not an official ballot.

Newsquest has not given its staff a pay rise in three of the past four past years despite profits at US owners Gannett rising 15 per cent to £82.5 million in the same period, said the union.

The NUJ's ballot asked: 'Would you support your chapel taking strike action in a dispute with management over a refusal by them to make a pay offer for 2012?'

A total of 82 per cent of those balloted said yes and 18 per cent said no.

The chapels were also asked: 'Do you have confidence in Gannett Co. Inc. as the owner of Newsquest newspaper titles and associated websites on the UK?'



The vote was 95 per cent saying no and 5 per cent saying yes.

The union believes its ballot sends a message to management that 'staff are not prepared to put up with these conditions and also suffer the hardship of a pay freeze".

Journalists in Cheshire and Merseyside can earn as little as £14,500 and staff throughout the group are being asked to take unpaid leave referred to as 'furloughs", according to the NUJ.

It claimed Newsquest chief executive Paul Davidson, which it described as Newsquest's 'elusive UK chief", has a salary package worth £612,000 with an additional stock options bonus of £200,000 and 61,000 shares."

Source: Press Gazette
22 March 2012


The Socialist Party says that Newsquest should be taken in to public ownership, under democratic workers' control and management that includes participation of the Newsquest workers.

The press and society

The press was called the "fourth estate" by the 18th century conservative philosopher Edmund Burke. It has effectively a quasi-constitutional role in acting as a check on the activities of the main wings of the state but also defends them against challenges to their monopoly of power.

The capitalist class in Britain has long protected this institution as its exclusive preserve. Like the monarchy, the House of Lords and other state institutions that govern this country, working class people have virtually no influence on how the press's power is exercised.

The mass circulation press including Newsquest is 100% owned by powerful capitalist interests, referred to as "press barons" - itself an indication of their status.

While some media magnates prefer to support a pro-capitalist party to the left of the Tories most of the press barons support the Tories.

So when the Tories and the Tory press wail about the threats to "freedom of the press" they are really defending the free operation of the Tory press to act as the fourth estate in the interests of the Tory party and the capitalist class, fighting any threats to their interests.

Charlotte Church correctly dubbed it as "corporate speech, not free speech" on Question Time.

While an increasing stream of people are actually being imprisoned in this country for statements made on the social media, mainstream newspapers can print scurrilous attacks on labour movement organisations and individuals with impunity.

An independent inquiry into the activities of the press should be established by the trade union movement involving representatives of victims of the press like the Hillsborough Families Campaign, the families phone-hacked and others who have been harassed such as Tommy Sheridan, as well as the NUJ and print unions.

And socialists must campaign for a real free press. For the resources of the press corporations to be taken out of the hands of the press barons and opened up to reflect the views and needs of the 99% of the population, not just the interests and the whims of the top 1%, through democratic public control of the means of publication.



Don't just get angry, get organised!

For further information, or to join the Socialist Party, visit: www.socialistparty.o
rg.uk
Question: How can Newsquest possibly afford this £10,000 'donation'? Answer below: From Press Gazette 22 March 2012 "A ballot of NUJ members at Newsquest found eight in 10 are prepared to strike if they are not given a pay rise this year. The union claims that while Newsquest does not have an official group-wide pay freeze no chapel has yet reported being made a pay offer, with most being told the situation will be reviewed at the end of March. The NUJ declined to reveal how many journalists took part in the vote, which was not an official ballot. Newsquest has not given its staff a pay rise in three of the past four past years despite profits at US owners Gannett rising 15 per cent to £82.5 million in the same period, said the union. The NUJ's ballot asked: 'Would you support your chapel taking strike action in a dispute with management over a refusal by them to make a pay offer for 2012?' A total of 82 per cent of those balloted said yes and 18 per cent said no. The chapels were also asked: 'Do you have confidence in Gannett Co. Inc. as the owner of Newsquest newspaper titles and associated websites on the UK?' The vote was 95 per cent saying no and 5 per cent saying yes. The union believes its ballot sends a message to management that 'staff are not prepared to put up with these conditions and also suffer the hardship of a pay freeze". Journalists in Cheshire and Merseyside can earn as little as £14,500 and staff throughout the group are being asked to take unpaid leave referred to as 'furloughs", according to the NUJ. It claimed Newsquest chief executive Paul Davidson, which it described as Newsquest's 'elusive UK chief", has a salary package worth £612,000 with an additional stock options bonus of £200,000 and 61,000 shares." Source: Press Gazette 22 March 2012 The Socialist Party says that Newsquest should be taken in to public ownership, under democratic workers' control and management that includes participation of the Newsquest workers. The press and society The press was called the "fourth estate" by the 18th century conservative philosopher Edmund Burke. It has effectively a quasi-constitutional role in acting as a check on the activities of the main wings of the state but also defends them against challenges to their monopoly of power. The capitalist class in Britain has long protected this institution as its exclusive preserve. Like the monarchy, the House of Lords and other state institutions that govern this country, working class people have virtually no influence on how the press's power is exercised. The mass circulation press including Newsquest is 100% owned by powerful capitalist interests, referred to as "press barons" - itself an indication of their status. While some media magnates prefer to support a pro-capitalist party to the left of the Tories most of the press barons support the Tories. So when the Tories and the Tory press wail about the threats to "freedom of the press" they are really defending the free operation of the Tory press to act as the fourth estate in the interests of the Tory party and the capitalist class, fighting any threats to their interests. Charlotte Church correctly dubbed it as "corporate speech, not free speech" on Question Time. While an increasing stream of people are actually being imprisoned in this country for statements made on the social media, mainstream newspapers can print scurrilous attacks on labour movement organisations and individuals with impunity. An independent inquiry into the activities of the press should be established by the trade union movement involving representatives of victims of the press like the Hillsborough Families Campaign, the families phone-hacked and others who have been harassed such as Tommy Sheridan, as well as the NUJ and print unions. And socialists must campaign for a real free press. For the resources of the press corporations to be taken out of the hands of the press barons and opened up to reflect the views and needs of the 99% of the population, not just the interests and the whims of the top 1%, through democratic public control of the means of publication. Don't just get angry, get organised! For further information, or to join the Socialist Party, visit: www.socialistparty.o rg.uk Somerset;SocialistParty

1:52pm Thu 13 Feb 14

Somerset;SocialistParty says...

"Newsquest's new boss Faure Walker faces northern revolt over Welsh 'subbing super-hub'

Newsquest is facing 24-hour strikes on its daily and weekly titles in the North East in protest at plans to move sub-editors up to 270 miles away to Newport, in Wales.

Around 25 journalists are facing the stark choice of either moving to Wales or losing their jobs.

According to the NUJ there are 10 jobs at risk in Bradford, where the Telegraph and Argus is produced, five in York (The Press) and 10 in Darlington (the Northern Echo). Various weekly titles are also affected.

It is the latest in a series of moves by Newsquest to increasingly centralise subbing. In 2010, sub-editing of weekly titles in the Newsquest South division was centralised in Worcestor before moving again to Newport in 2013.

Production of the weekly titles published in Darlington was moved to York in 2011. Now it appears that the York subbing hub is set to close with work there moving again to Gwent.

The strike will start on Tuesday, 18 February.

Of the journalists who voted: 80 per cent were in favour of strike action in Bradford, 83 per cent in York and 75 per cent in Darlington.

The NUJ has urged incoming Newsquest chief executive Henry Faure Walker to institute “a moratorium on the plans to destroy the jobs of dozens of loyal and experienced local journalists in favour of an untested subbing super-hub”.

Faure Walker takes over from Paul Davidson on 1 April.

Regional publisher Local World has reversed a previous policy of creating regional subbing hubs and instead likes all journalists working on its titles to be based locally.

NUJ Northern and Midlands organiser Chris Morley said: “By now I suspect Newsquest realises the level of hostility and ill-feeling its reckless plans to export local journalism production to another country is generating.

“The management has a very limited window to avoid a hugely damaging united action by our three affected chapels on the same day. We have suggested a meeting with ACAS to open a dialogue and find a sensible solution. So far, we have not had a reply.

"I am now making a public appeal to Henry Faure Walker, the incoming chief executive, to show his staff he has a grip on reality and a willingness to think positively. I call on him to issue an immediate and complete moratorium to further work transferring from the regions to the Gwent subbing hub. The NUJ remains ready and willing to sit down with Mr Walker to thrash out a settlement that retains the maximum number of jobs where they should be - in the local centres."

NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet said: "These are very strong votes for action and the management must take note. Newsquest, an American-owned company, clearly has no loyalty to its readers or staff. Local papers should be produced in the heart of the communities they serve, not more than 200 miles away in another country."

Press Gazette contacted Newsquest for a comment and we were invited to email our inquiry to Davidson. At time of publishing he had not responded"

Source: Press Gazette 12 February 2014
"Newsquest's new boss Faure Walker faces northern revolt over Welsh 'subbing super-hub' Newsquest is facing 24-hour strikes on its daily and weekly titles in the North East in protest at plans to move sub-editors up to 270 miles away to Newport, in Wales. Around 25 journalists are facing the stark choice of either moving to Wales or losing their jobs. According to the NUJ there are 10 jobs at risk in Bradford, where the Telegraph and Argus is produced, five in York (The Press) and 10 in Darlington (the Northern Echo). Various weekly titles are also affected. It is the latest in a series of moves by Newsquest to increasingly centralise subbing. In 2010, sub-editing of weekly titles in the Newsquest South division was centralised in Worcestor before moving again to Newport in 2013. Production of the weekly titles published in Darlington was moved to York in 2011. Now it appears that the York subbing hub is set to close with work there moving again to Gwent. The strike will start on Tuesday, 18 February. Of the journalists who voted: 80 per cent were in favour of strike action in Bradford, 83 per cent in York and 75 per cent in Darlington. The NUJ has urged incoming Newsquest chief executive Henry Faure Walker to institute “a moratorium on the plans to destroy the jobs of dozens of loyal and experienced local journalists in favour of an untested subbing super-hub”. Faure Walker takes over from Paul Davidson on 1 April. Regional publisher Local World has reversed a previous policy of creating regional subbing hubs and instead likes all journalists working on its titles to be based locally. NUJ Northern and Midlands organiser Chris Morley said: “By now I suspect Newsquest realises the level of hostility and ill-feeling its reckless plans to export local journalism production to another country is generating. “The management has a very limited window to avoid a hugely damaging united action by our three affected chapels on the same day. We have suggested a meeting with ACAS to open a dialogue and find a sensible solution. So far, we have not had a reply. "I am now making a public appeal to Henry Faure Walker, the incoming chief executive, to show his staff he has a grip on reality and a willingness to think positively. I call on him to issue an immediate and complete moratorium to further work transferring from the regions to the Gwent subbing hub. The NUJ remains ready and willing to sit down with Mr Walker to thrash out a settlement that retains the maximum number of jobs where they should be - in the local centres." NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet said: "These are very strong votes for action and the management must take note. Newsquest, an American-owned company, clearly has no loyalty to its readers or staff. Local papers should be produced in the heart of the communities they serve, not more than 200 miles away in another country." Press Gazette contacted Newsquest for a comment and we were invited to email our inquiry to Davidson. At time of publishing he had not responded" Source: Press Gazette 12 February 2014 Somerset;SocialistParty

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree