As we emerge – hopefully – from Covid, there are long standing issues which are putting pressure on people, and on local services.
I know my inbox is always full of people contacting me with different questions on topics such as benefits, council tax and education, as well as issues with planning, enforcement, and environmental health issues.
Issues with rubbish collections are thankfully starting to improve as Somerset Waste Partnership are actively recruiting new staff. I know many people were relieved to see the re-start to the garden waste collections.
We are making progress when it comes to addressing the climate emergency.
One of these important aspects is to work with our famers in the district to reduce the impact of farming and to support them as best we can too, something we take very seriously as a mainly rural area.
Farming as a sector is responsible for 10% of the UK’s overall greenhouse gas emissions, so clearly finding ways to reduce agricultural emissions is critical. We believe that we need to work with farmers to find ways to increase carbon sequestration via their land with the added bonus that we can enhance local biodiversity and ecology at the same time.
Part of our strategy will be to develop a specific training and engagement programme to support local farmers actively reduce emissions from agricultural activities and become more resilient to the threats of climate change.
We are also looking at ourselves too and at the campus at Shepton Mallet. Very recently new windows were installed to improve the energy efficiency of the building.
We can all do our bit by looking at our own homes too – it’s always worth reminding landlords and tenants that there is help available for properties with a low energy performance rating. Take a look at www.mendip.gov.uk/energyefficiency for more information. There’s also a Home Energy Checklist to help us all save energy.
There is so much going on across all our service areas. We are working with and supporting the Somerset Wildlife Trust with projects such as the Nature for Climate Fund & Peatland Discovery bid looking at reclaiming peatland in Mendip.
Looking at our air quality, we are continuing to improve air quality across Mendip through the ongoing monitoring of industries to ensure their compliance with air emission legislation, and anti-idling signs are being distributed across the district in key idling areas
We are serious about addressing the climate emergency – and to bolstering and supporting wildlife and our delicate ecosystems. And we are tackling the issues from all angles.
If you have any questions or suggestions for me, then do get in touch on email [email protected] or on my Facebook page: @Ros.Wyke. I look forward to hearing 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].