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(UK) Somerset: Plans for 10 new children's homes; cost: $4M

Mar 16, 2022, Somerset Live: New children's home to be created near Mendip Hills following council vote
Ten new children's homes will be delivered across the county by 2026 Young people with special needs living near the Mendip Hills will soon be able to be cared for locally after plans were approved by district councils.

SW England Bromsgrove resident Matt Wilkinson applied for permission to convert Burwell House in Badgworth, near Cheddar, into a children's home, providing specialist accommodation for those in need. Sedgemoor District Council's development committee gave its backing to the plans when it convened in Bridgwater on Tuesday morning (March 8), with the conversion likely to be completed by the end of the year. This comes less than 12 months after Somerset County Council announced its intention to invest in up to ten new children's homes across the county by 2026, ensuring young people get the best possible start in life. Burwell House lies at the corner of Badgworth Lane and Quarrylands Lane in the village of Badgworth, around six miles from Cheddar. Care staff will live on the premises, with two carers being on-site at any one time working on 48-hour shifts and a full-time residential manager. Jackie Hipwell, who sits on Badgworth Parish Council, said the limited amount of parking provision on the site made it inappropriate for use as a children's home.

She said: "We recognise the need for children's homes in the countryside. … Councillor Bill Revans - who also sits on the county council - added: "This facility is hugely needed in Somerset. The number of our children that are accommodated outside of our county is eye-watering, and the cost of that is massive as well." After a short debate, the committee voted unanimously to approve the plans. The county council's cabinet agreed in June 2021 that it would be creating up to ten new children's homes over a five-year period to combat the rising cost of residential placements for children in care. A total of £3million [$4M] from the council's capital programme has been committed to delivering these new homes, each of which will have no more than four children living there to ensure care can be "personalised and individually tailored"….


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