Part of: Community Area Profiles
The following sections include specific reference to issues affecting the Somer Valley Area;
- The Somer Valley Area has a usual resident* population of about 39,848.
- Lower proportions of people with high level of qualifications than the B&NES average.
- Lower proportions of households with no cars or vans than the B&NES and England & Wales averages.
- Radstock and Westfield are the only two wards with higher proportions of lone parent households than the England & Wales average.
- Lower proportions of people using public transport to get to work than the B&NES and England & Wales averages.
- Midsomer Norton North is the ward with the highest recorded drug crime rate in B&NES.
A usual resident* - is anyone who, on census day, had stayed or intended to stay in the area for a period of 12 months or more, or had a permanent address the area and was outside it, but intended to be outside for less than 12 months. School children and students in full-time education studying away from their family home are treated as usually resident at their term-time address.1
The Somer Valley Area
Somer Valley Area consists of eight electoral wards; two towns and six parishes, 2 3 and has a usual resident population of about 39,848. 4 It lies to the south of Bath and North East Somerset and has close links with Mendip. The area has strong historical characteristics from a Medieval Market town to the transformation during the industrial revolution. The strength in community and historical identity remains strong. The industrial landscape has been returned to countryside, and the former Somerset and Dorset Railway route provides a cycling route for access to Bath and Frome. 5
Figure 1: Community areas map with parishes
The Somer Valley Area is made up of the following wards and parishes:
Midsomer Norton North
Midsomer Norton Redfield
Peasedown St John
Peasedown St John
What does the data say?
Census 2011 6
Data from the 2011 census has been analysed at ward level for the Somer Valley Area.
To view interactive charts for each census data theme, please use the drop-down selector box below;
Age and ethnicity
Child population (0-15 years) – In the Somer Valley Area, Timsbury (16.35%) was the only ward in 2011 which had a smaller proportion of children than the B&NES average (16.80%). The proportions of children in Radstock (21.98%), Peasedown St. John (21.13%), Westfield (20.99%) and Midsomer Norton North (19.59%) were also above the England & Wales average (18.87%).
Older and much older people population (65 years and over) – In the Somer Valley Area, the wards of Timsbury (24.09%), Midsomer Norton Redfield (23.51%) and Paulton (19.58%) had higher proportions of people aged 65 years and over than the B&NES (18.08%) and England and Wales (16.45%) averages. The lowest proportion was found in Radstock (14.15%).
Main language is not English – Throughout the wards in the Somer Valley Area the percentage of people whose main language was not English in 2011 (between 0.87-2.18%) was markedly below the average percentages in B&NES (4.34%) and England and Wales (7.74%).
Black and minority ethnic population – The proportion of black and minority ethnic people in 2011 was extremely low throughout the Somer Valley Area wards (between 1.68 –2.82%). Even the ward with the highest proportion, Peasedown St John, had a lower percentage than the B&NES average (5.42%) and a much lower percentage than the England & Wales average (14.03%).
Self-employed population – Compared to the Chew Valley Area the proportion of self-employed people in 2011 was lower in the Somer Valley Area. Almost all wards were below the average percentages in B&NES (10.96%) and England and Wales (9.70%), except High Littleton (12.7%) and Timsbury (12.4%). Westfield had the smallest proportion of self-employed people (7.9%).
Unemployed population (16-74 years) – In the Somer Valley Area the proportion of unemployed people varied a great deal in 2011. Radstock (4.45) had a much higher percentage – even higher than the England & Wales average (4.38%) - compared to the other wards (between 2.06-2.94%).
Full time students aged 18 and over (at term time address) – Throughout the Somer Valley Area wards the proportions of full time students aged 18 and over in 2011 were very small and below the B&NES (9.05%) and England & Wales (4.43%) averages. The percentages differed by 0.77% with the lowest proportion in Timsbury (1.75%) and the greatest in Midsomer Norton North (2.52%).
High level of qualification - level 4+, equivalent to an undergraduate degree (16 years and over) – Among the wards in the Somer Valley Area in 2011, the proportion of those with high qualifications varied greatly. The greatest proportion of these people lived in High Littleton (29.90%), closely followed by Timsbury (29.20%). Both were lower than the B&NES average (33.40%) but higher than the England & Wales average (27.22%). The wards with the lowest proportions were Midsomer Norton Redfield (17.65%) and Westfield (15.83%).
No Qualifications (16 years and over) – Five out of the eight wards in the Somer Valley Area had higher proportions of people with no qualifications than the England & Wales average (22.66%). All of the wards had higher proportions than the B&NES average (17.17%), headed by Midsomer Norton Redfield (27.09%). Peasedown St John (20.18%) and High Littleton (20.96%) were the wards with the smallest percentage of non-qualified people.
Health and society
Limiting long term illness – In 2011 three wards had a greater proportion of those with a limiting long-term illness than the England & Wales average (17.92%), Timsbury (19.97%), Paulton (18.73%), and Midsomer Norton Redfield (18.57%). By contrast the smallest percentage was in Peasedown St John (14.74%).
Lone parent households: with dependent children – The only wards in the Somer Valley Area in 2011 that had a higher proportion of lone parent households with dependent children than the England & Wales average (7.94%) were Radstock (10.22%), and Westfield (8.22%). The smallest percentages were in High Littleton (4.89%), Timsbury (4.76%) and Paulton (5.58%), lower than the B&NES average (6.19%).
Carers – All except one ward (Westfield 9.43%) in the Somer Valley Area in 2011 had a higher proportion of carers than the B&NES average (9.99%). The other wards were between 10.05-11.85%, close to the England & Wales average (10.30%).
Housing tenure - owned – In 2011 the proportion of homeowners was above the England & Wales average (64.33%) in all of the wards in the Somer Valley Area. High Littleton (84.32%) had the highest percentage. Radstock (66.13%) had the lowest proportion and was the only ward in the Somer Valley Area which was below the B&NES average (67.25%).
Housing tenure - privately rented – The proportion of privately rented housing in 2011 was lower than the B&NES (16.93%) and England & Wales (16.69%) averages across all the wards in the Somer Valley Area. The highest percentage was in Midsomer Norton North (14.13%) and the lowest in Timsbury (8.00%).
Housing tenure – socially rented – All except one ward Radstock (20.70%) in the Somer Valley Area in 2011 had a smaller proportion of socially rented houses than the B&NES (14.44%) and England & Wales (17.63%) averages. Midsomer Norton North had the lowest percentage of socially rented houses (4.64%).
No cars or vans in household – Throughout the wards in the Somer Valley Area the percentage of households with no car in 2011 (between 9.44-16.43%) was markedly below the average percentages in B&NES (21.98%) and England and Wales (25.63%). Radstock (16.43%) and Midsomer Norton Redfield (15.82%) had the most households without a car proportionally. The ward with the lowest proportion was High Littleton (9.44%).
People who travel to work by public transport – Possibly linked to the fact the Somer Valley Area had low percentages of households with no car, its proportions of people who travelled to work by public transport in 2011 was also below the B&NES (10.19%) and England & Wales (16.40%) averages. The ward with the greatest proportion was Peasedown St John (8.10%), the fewest commuters by public transport was in Paulton (2.89%).
Crime data 2014 7
Recorded crime rates per 1,000 of the population for the Somer Valley Area at ward level for January 2014 to December 2014.
To view interactive charts for each crime type, please use the drop-down selector box below;
All crime – Overall, the rate of all crime per 1,000 residents in the Somer Valley Area in 2014 was low compared to the B&NES’s average rate (67.87). However, Midsomer Norton North (78.26) as well as Radstock (68.58) showed a slightly higher rate of all crimes than the B&NES average. Westfield (19.91) had the lowest rate of all crime.
ASB and public order offences – Compared to the other wards in the Somer Valley Area, Radstock had the highest rate of anti-social behaviour and public order offences in 2014, 32.34 per 1,000 residents, which was scarcely higher than the rate of B&NES (31.42). High Littleton (8.16) was the ward with the lowest rate.
Criminal damage and arson – The rates per 1,000 residents of recorded criminal damage and arson in 2014 were comparable with the B&NES average (5.81). The rates were between 2.03 in Westfield and 7.70 in Midsomer Norton Redfield.
Drug crimes – Only the rate of recorded drug crimes in Midsomer Norton North (22.96) was markedly above the B&NES average rate (1.91) in 2014. The other wards were between 0.07 in Westfield and 1.89 in Timsbury.
Thefts, robberies and burglaries – Throughout the wards in the Somer Valley Area the rates of thefts, robbery and burglaries in 2014 were below the average rate in B&NES (16.99 per 1,000). The highest rate of theft, robbery and burglary was recorded in Paulton (13.73). The lowest rate was found in Westfield (4.34).
Violence and sexual offences – Within the Somer Valley Area rates per 1,000 residents of violence and sexual offences were between 2.17 in Westfield and 10.25 in Radstock. Both Radstock and Midsomer Norton North (9.89) were above the average rate of B&NES (8.82).
Local assets and services
There are eleven primary schools, three secondary schools and the Norton Radstock College that serve the area. The three secondary schools and one primary school (Trinity – Radstock) are now Academies. Writhlington Secondary school accommodates a Community Sports Centre that is available for wider community use. 8
Health and wellbeing
There are seven GP surgeries:
- Peasedown St John
- Midsomer Norton (x2)
There are two leisure facilities in the area, one run by Writhlington School and the other by the local authority. Community assets across the area vary in size and offer a range of activities and events for local people. 11 In addition there are three public libraries, one of which, Paulton Hub has recently been developed and is run in partnership between the Council and volunteers. 12 The Hub offers a range of services including a coffee bar, WiFi and a meeting room to hire. The Hub also provides the opportunity for a range of other organisations to deliver their services in an accessible, central village location. The mobile library service also operates once a week in villages where there is no permanent library facility. 13
Levels of deprivation vary greatly across Somer Valley area from radstock in the most deprived 40% nationally...
...to High Littleton in the least deprived 20% nationally
There is a significant number of housing commitments already underway in the Somer Valley, future housing will be restrained and additional housing likely to be restricted to in-fill, windfall and brownfield sites. Greenfield development above existing employment and housing commitments will be limited. 14
Access by car and public transport to Bath and Bristol is reasonable but high levels of out-commuting, coupled with limited opportunities for large scale transport intervention has created high levels of congestion during peak times. Those people living without private transport in the more rural areas of the Somer Valley may be affected by poor public transport routes. 15 Community Transport is available for those unable to access conventional public transport and is offered by a number of providers including, Midsomer Norton Dial a Ride, Midsomer Norton Community Service Vehicle Trust and Midsomer Norton Community Minibus. 16
The community is very active with high levels of volunteering and community organisations providing a range of opportunities including, historical societies, gardening clubs, allotments, litter picking, environment groups, lunch clubs, community resources and support and advice groups. There are also community events organised throughout the year including village fetes and Christmas events. 17
A breakdown of how Council Tax is spent including the charges for the Police and Fire services, the Environment Agency levy for flood protection, and the Town & Parish Council precepts can be found at - Your Guide To local Council spending and Council Tax 2015 - 2016.
Surveys and Consultations
Health and wellbeing consultations and engagement events run by Bath and North Somerset Council in partnership with the Bath and North East Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group - http://www.yourcareyourway.org/get-involved
Priorities defined by the Somer Valley Area Forum 18
The Forum has identified a number of priorities that are of particular concern to the area which are set out below under seven common themes. The Forum will regularly review its themes in order to respond to new challenges and changing circumstances. The priorities include:-
Children and young people
Improve the provision of services and facilities for young people.
Developments and infrastructure
Ensure the impact of development maintains the identity of villages and provides sufficient improvements to transport infrastructure
Economic development and enterprise
Create more job opportunities to prevent out-community
Health and wellbeing
Reduce social isolation
Quality retirement accommodation
Community Services (eg doctors’ etc)
Health: childhood obesity, cancers, diabetes, poor child dental health, mental health
Reduce anti-social behaviour.
Reduce isolation especially in villages
Increase the health and wellbeing of those more isolated
Help reduce the impact of congestion
- 1. Office of National Statistics, Crown Copyright (2012) 2011 Census data
- 2. Bath and North East Somerset Council (2014) Your Councillors, http://democracy.bathnes.gov.uk/mgMemberIndex.aspx?bcr=1
- 3. Bath and North East Somerset Council (2014) http://democracy.bathnes.gov.uk/mgParishCouncilDetails.aspx?LS=17&SLS=3&bcr=1
- 4. Office of National Statistics, Crown Copyright (2012) In house analysis of 2011 Census data
- 5. Bath and North East Somerset Council (2015) Information provided by the Stronger Communities Team
- 6. Office of National Statistics, Crown Copyright (2012) In house analysis of 2011 Census data
- 7. Data.police.uk (2015) In house analysis of Avon and Somerset Constabulary recorded crimes in Bath and North East Somerset for January 2014 – December 2014, http://data.police.uk/data/ (04/03/2015 downloaded)
- 8. Bath and North East Somerset Council (2014) Find a School, http://www.bathnes.gov.uk/services/schools-colleges-and-learning/find-school
- 9. NHS Choices (2015) Find GP services, http://www.nhs.uk/Service-Search/GP/LocationSearch/4
- 10. NHS (2015) Bath and North East Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group, http://www.bathandnortheastsomersetccg.nhs.uk/
- 11. Bath and North East Somerset Council (2015) Information provided by the Stronger Communities Team
- 12. Bath and North East Somerset Council (2015) Library locations and contacts, http://www.bathnes.gov.uk/services/libraries-and-archives/library-locations-opening-times-and-information/library-locations-an (viewed 07/05/15)
- 13. Bath and North East Somerset Council (2015) Information provided by the Stronger Communities Team
- 14. http://www.bathnes.gov.uk/services/planning-and-building-control/planning-policy/core-strategy-examination
- 15. Bath and North East Somerset Council (2015) Public Transport, http://www.bathnes.gov.uk/services/parking-and-travel/public-transport
- 16. Bath and North East Somerset Council (2015) Community Transport, http://www.bathnes.gov.uk/services/parking-and-travel/community-transport
- 17. Bath and North East Somerset Council (2015) Information provided by the Stronger Communities Team
- 18. Bath and North East Somerset Council (2015) Information provided by the Stronger Communities Team