Mendip Matters - 21st July


At the time of writing this column, the Met Office has issued its first ever extreme heat warning as temperatures rise across the country, including the South West. I know some people love the heat, but for others, especially the older generation, it’s very uncomfortable. It makes everyday tasks very challenging indeed. Do look after your elderly neighbours as best you can.

The heatwave certainly didn’t help me this Saturday – I climbed the Westbury-sub-Mendip tower as part of a local fundraising push for the church. It was my first venture up the tower, and pretty challenging in the weekend’s weather!

Speaking of local fundraising, I wanted to flag that the deadline for the ecological and community funding grants has been extended to 30th September. If you are part of a voluntary, community or not-for-profit organisation, or maybe involved with a city, town and parish council, please make sure you apply.

The Communities Fund aims to support project ideas that improve community resilience and promote wellbeing, as well as support communities recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic. The amount of money available for this is £350,000 in total. Groups can apply for up to £2,000 for smaller projects or up to £30,000 for larger schemes.

There is also a total of £50,000 for the Climate and Ecological Emergency Fund, where community organisations can apply for up to £2,000 to fund green projects. Applications for this fund must demonstrate how projects impact on net-carbon emissions and/or the ecological benefits to the community.

Details can be found here: www.mendip.gov.uk/cf and www.mendip.gov.uk/ccf. Why not get in touch with your local district councillor if you need help with the submission?

I wanted to provide an update on another topic many people ask me about –and that’s phosphates in the Somerset Levels and Moors Ramsar site. Currently, water quality issues will remain a barrier to housing delivery for several years and will undermine the Government’s ability to meet national housing targets.

As a district council, we have been working with the other Somerset authorities to start to address the issue – for instance, we launched a phosphate calculator which determines the phosphate load arising from developments, as well as offering nature-based solutions to demonstrate proposals are phosphate neutral.

We have reached out to central government, as clearly, we need a national response to address water quality. Protecting the integrity of the Somerset Levels and Moors Ramsar site is of the utmost importance – currently phosphate levels are three times higher than they should be.

Finally, I am looking forward to the third of our Eat Festivals which is taking place in Wells on Sunday between 10am-4pm – there will be 20+ food producers, music and street food – sounds like a laid-back Sunday!

Do get in touch if you have 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].


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