Planting Trees & The Future of Local Government in Somerset - Mendip Matters - 2nd December


I am a firm believer that in order to get stuff done – whether that’s to improve the energy efficiency of our homes to reduce climate change, or to support our communities during this global pandemic – we need to work together.

We are working in partnership with a parish council on a tree planting scheme to support the area’s flood prevention efforts. Up to 150 native species of oak, sycamore, beech, hazel and goat willow will be planted in the wonderfully named, Binegar Bottom.

The tree planting coincides with National Tree Week (28th November – 6th December), which is organised annually by the Tree Council. It aligns with both councils’ pledges to tackle climate change and support our wildlife in Mendip.

I know that other parishes in the district are equally as keen to identify areas of land where more trees can be planted, so do come forward if you’d like us to help. By working together, we can make a big difference!

We have been engaging with the Somerset Wildlife Trust who is so well placed to advise landowners on how best to care for and encourage wildlife across Somerset. They are supporting Mendip’s Parish Forum and are also helping us identify the best actions we can take on land owned by the district council – from tree and wildflower planting to support pollinators.

Looking now to an update on the future of local government in Somerset. This week we published the full business case for Stronger Somerset, Somerset’s district councils’ vision for a fresh start for the reorganisation of local government. It involves replacing the four district councils and county council and creating two councils instead. You can find out more here: www.strongersomerset.co.uk/case-for-change.

If you have been following the unitary discussions, you might be interested to know that, according to independent research company IPSOS MORI, twice as many Somerset residents said they would support a two-unitary Stronger Somerset, rather than the alternative proposal to create one single council, to cover the whole of the county.

Mendip District Council will be debating the business case this week at a meeting of the Full Council which will be live streamed for the public to watch and listen to, on Thursday 3rd December from 6.30pm.

I have been discussing Stronger Somerset at many parish council meetings over the past months, virtually of course, and I am really keen to discuss the proposal with more of the 53 parishes and other local community groups. If you’d like me to talk through how the plan could impact you and your communities, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I’d be happy to do so.

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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