What does your District Council do for you? The answer is ‘just about everything that keeps communities safe, protects the vulnerable, and helps economic recovery.’
The Covid pandemic has highlighted just how needed District Council services are. You, your family or your friends may have come into close contact with us in recent months. More than ever before.
Perhaps you’re one of the local businesses who have faced financial difficulty during the national lockdowns, and looked to us for help. We’ve issued £55 million in grants so far, and counting.
Or maybe you visited our council offices in Shepton Mallet which operates as a life-saving vaccination hub.
As a voluntary organisation, or community helper, you may have worked alongside us, at the frontline of the Covid response, distributing food and urgent medical supplies to residents.
I’ve been so impressed to witness communities come together. Also, at the way Council employees have flexed to best support residents and businesses during these uncertain times. Some staff were redeployed to assist their colleagues in the NHS.
Even during the height of the pandemic, with services and staff stretched to the limit, your District Council has continued its essential work; such as assisting those who are struggling financially through our hardship fund, and helping people ahead of becoming homeless to find a place they can call home.
We’ve offered our licensed taxi drivers child protection training, and sessions on how to spot domestic abuse and the signs of modern slavery. Our environmental health teams have been working with local businesses to ensure measures are in place to operate in the safest way. We’ve organised elections, and the counts, and installed technology in our Council Chamber so, just like Jackie Weaver of Handforth Parish Council, we could reach out to the public and allow democracy to continue, despite Covid.
Besides our statutory obligations, there are some surprises. Did you know your District Council run the ever-popular Mendip Markets? That we can empty and replace your dog poo bins? We litter pick verges, and clear animal carcasses from the roads. That we can help you change your house name and we grant permission to TV and film crews to use our spectacular Mendip as a backdrop to their lavish productions.
So, what does your District Council do for you? Well, hopefully this column has given you some insight into the breath of activities we oversee. Of course, there’s a shake-up coming, with an announcement on the future of local government in Somerset expected imminently. And that reminds me of another well-known saying – you don’t know what you’ve got, ‘til it’s gone.
As always, do get in touch with any questions via email: [email protected] or via my Facebook page @Ros.Wyke.
Find out more about the Little Eat: Festivals on our website: www.mendip.gov.uk/news
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 protected].