As the evenings draw in and the days and nights get decidedly chillier, we were pleased to launch a ‘warmer homes’ initiative to tackle fuel poverty in Mendip.
Fuel poverty means not having enough money to adequately heat a home. This could be caused by having a low income, high fuel prices and by poor energy efficiency within the homes themselves. Nearly one in ten people in Mendip are considered to be living in fuel poverty, which is below the national and Somerset average. In stark terms, this means people having to choose between eating or heating.
I don’t believe that in 2020 anyone should be worrying about keeping their home warm. Of course, we now have the added worry and uncertainty of a national pandemic and we know people are struggling financially.
We want to do everything we can to support households living in fuel poverty. This could be by helping individuals get access to benefit entitlements, or by encouraging them to make the most of energy efficiency grants, loans and funding assistance.
Please get in touch with us as there is help available. For information on grants and loans visit: www.mendip.gov.uk/financialassistance. You can also get in touch with the Private Sector Housing Team on 0300 303 8588 or email@example.com and for information on saving energy and money, take a look at Mendip’s Home Energy Checklist pages: www.mendip.gov.uk/energyefficiency.
On to a topic which I know is close to many of our hearts, and that’s our Mendip Markets! They will remain open during this second lockdown, albeit for essential items only, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, fish, meat, etc. I am sure, like me, you are happy to hear this news.
Mendip’s distinctive and vibrant open-air markets provide a vital lifeline in offering essential goods to residents. All necessary steps have been taken to ensure customer and trader safety is front-of-mind, so you can shop with confidence. Stallholders will be open from 9am until 2pm on market days.
If you can’t visit a market in person, please remember you can browse through your favourite stallholders’ goods and shop online by visiting www.mendip.gov.uk/markets. Maybe you’ll find those perfect gifts for Christmas. Please let’s support our local traders and businesses. They need us now more than ever.
Finally, on Friday it is International Kindness Day. Probably a much-needed event in America this year! But closer to home, why not pick up the phone to a neighbour or friend? Catch up and make their day. May be it will lift you too?
Please do get in touch if you have any questions. I can be contacted through my Facebook page, @Ros.Wyke, or you can send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org. And remember, the Somerset Coronavirus Helpline on 0300 790 6275 is there if you need any help or support during the coming weeks.
Written by Cllr Ros Wyke, Leader of Mendip District Council
Please get in touch either on my Facebook page @Ros.Wyke or you can send me an email: email@example.com.