One of the ongoing challenges we face at Mendip is making sure we support and represent the differing needs of our communities across the district. From the 40 percent of people who live in rural areas, to those who live in the five settlements: Shepton, Street, Frome, Wells and Glastonbury.
Working together is key. When we listen and work together, we can achieve great things.
Take for example Glastonbury – a wonderful town steeped in history, myth and legend – but one which is not without its issues. Back in November 2019, Glastonbury was selected as one of 101 towns across the country to benefit from ‘levelling up’ funding, aimed at regenerating town centres.
A selection of hugely dedicated representatives from the community set to work together with local residents and businesses to define a unique vision for a unique place. The result was the submission of a well-thought-out Glastonbury Towns Investment Plan. And last week we heard the Government had awarded the town £23.6 million to turn that investment plan into reality.
This is fantastic example of working together to achieve results. This funding means the local authority, local community and delivery partners can now go full-steam ahead and deliver economic recovery and regeneration in the town, whilst addressing climate change.
An initial £500,000 Accelerator Fund was provided in advance of the ‘once in a generation’ Towns’ Fund millions announcement. Five projects were completed in Glastonbury in the spring of this year, including: improvements to the town centre, part-refurbishment of Building C of the Red Brick complex, new temporary parking facilities at Herbies Field, the refurbishment of St Edmund’s Hall and the upgrading of the 7.5-mile Glastonbury Way circular walk and pilgrimage route around the town – which I hope to do myself this summer! There’s a map leaflet available and The Glastonbury Way App too, which turns your smart phone into your own personal guide. www.facebook.com/TheGlastonburyWay/
As you can see, a lot has been achieved already, and I for one can’t wait to see further, continued progress and prosperity as the Towns’ Fund projects unfold in Glastonbury. You can find out more about the multi-million funding and investment plans here: www.mendip.gov.uk/towninvestmentplan
Other central government ‘levelling up’ funding packages were announced in March of this year to identify and invest in local infrastructure across our two Mendip constituencies of Wells, and Somerton & Frome. Mendip will be an active stakeholder in these bids, working together with our communities and businesses.
On the matter of constituencies, it’s worth mentioning changes could lie ahead on how the county is divided up. The Boundaries Commission for England will be presenting recommendations to Government before July 2023 of changes it believes are appropriate to the distribution, size, shape, name and designation of constituencies in England.
From current proposals, it looks like the number of constituencies in the South West would increase from 55 to 58, with every constituency including between 69,724 and 77,062 electors. You can take a look and make comments on the interactive map of South West here: www.bcereviews.org.uk/node/6489
Things happen when we work together, so do get in touch if you have a problem or any questions. I read and respond to all my correspondence. Contact me either on my email [email protected], or my Facebook page @Ros.Wyke.
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].