From time to time I’m asked, ‘what’s the purpose of Mendip District Council?’ In response I say, ‘to protect the vulnerable, and keep our communities safe.’ Because that’s it, in a nutshell.
Now if I’m honest, I don’t get asked about our purpose or our services quite as much as I used to. The Covid crisis has brought people closer to their Council. Many businesses and community groups have contacted us directly during the past 18 months to access business grants, or to seek help with household finances, emergency food parcels and medical supplies. Residents have visited our Council campus in Shepton Mallet in person, to receive life-saving vaccinations – and still do so today.
Throughout the pandemic Mendip delivered a Covid response, while continuing to deliver essential services. We protected the homeless, processed planning and licensing applications, and carried out enforcement measures, including fly-tipping fines and the subsequent clear-ups.
I’d like to focus on the work of our Community Health Services for a moment … It’s just one of eight service areas provided by the District Council, but their work is so vital and varied, it’s no wonder people get confused!
Community Health Services investigate complaints from the public, they carry out community health and environmental inspections, and conduct monitoring. They also advise on, and investigate, poor air quality arising from issues such as industrial processes, burning, bonfires and vehicle engine idling. They deal with noise nuisance complaints from late-night parties, barking dogs, and some antisocial behaviour.
During Covid, the staff worked flat-out advising businesses of the ever-changing legislation, ensuring premises were safe places for staff and customers during the numerous lockdowns and re-openings. They helped businesses adjust to social distancing rules, cleaning regimes and administered pavement licences to boost the beleaguered hospitality sector.
They protected our vulnerable, and they kept our communities safe. And they continue to do so, every day.
You can find out more about Community Health and all Council services by going to the relevant webpages www.mendip.gov.uk where you’ll also find links to online forms and can request, report or check things there.
And finally, a very quick reminder that the Council is exploring options for introducing a shared electric bike scheme and/or electric car club across the District to help tackle our congestion, parking and pollution problems. We are working with a not-for-profit social enterprise called Co Cars who have launched similar successful sharing schemes across the South West. Your opinion really matters, so please complete the survey by inputting this link into your browser: https://bit.ly/Mendips. By taking part, you’ll help us to gauge interest, and enable us to plan future transport options. Please hurry though, as this survey closes on August 31st. Thank you.
As always, do get in touch with me with your questions, queries or issues, either on my email address [email protected] or on my Facebook page: @Ros.Wyke. I am always happy to hear from you.
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].