Those of you who regularly read this column, will know how important protecting our natural environment is to me and to Mendip District Council. I know it concerns many of you too as I frequently receive emails and phone calls about it. Indeed, one of our major priorities at Mendip is to deliver on our climate and ecological commitments.
This week at our Cabinet meeting, an important decision was made that will support and bolster our natural and ecological environment. A sum of £10,000 will be awarded by Mendip to Somerset’s Local Nature Partnership (LNP) which is leading on the Natural Environment workstream within the Somerset-wide climate strategy. The money will be used to fund a co-ordinator role.
Photo - Peter Bright
The workstream has four main objectives: 1) protecting our existing habitats, biodiversity and carbon stores, 2) restoring nature at scale, 3) involving and engaging people in the decision-making process, and 4) finding additional funding sources to deliver the Nature Recovery Network.
The other district councils in Somerset are being asked to contribute too and the Somerset Wildlife Trust will be running the LNP to identify and support a coordinator to drive forward priority ecological actions regarding the natural environment.
I believe this is an important step for us and one that will go towards addressing the ecological emergency we all face. Part of the LNP coordinator’s role will be to identify funding to find natural solutions to carbon removal and storage, and natural flood management, which is so important to us here in Mendip as we address the impact of flash flooding and surface water run-off.
We will all need to work together effectively if we are going to meet the Government’s pledge of reducing national carbon emissions by 68% in fewer than ten years.
Have you ever considered switching energy supplier to a renewable energy tariff? Last week we launched our annual Big Community Switch so residents can sign up for simple, easy switching of energy providers. It’s free to take part and people can group together and pay less for their energy.
This year for the first time, 100 percent renewable energy tariffs from wind, biomass and solar are available for electricity at competitive market prices. It takes five minutes to register – find out more here: https://www.mendip.gov.uk/bigcommunityswitch.
Finally, here’s a reminder for small businesses to sign up for an Additional Restrictions Grant scheme to give extra support for local businesses. There is a two-week window to apply, and the closing date is Monday 14th December. You can apply or find out more here: https://www.mendip.gov.uk/businessgrants.
Do let me know if you have any questions or concerns, I am always happy to hear for you. You can contact me through my Facebook page, @Ros.Wyke, or you can send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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@example.com.