One of the Council’s key priorities is to help make Mendip greener and cleaner. It runs through everything we do. But we know it’s not enough just to say it. We must also take action. We must ‘walk the talk’.
Only by working together with our residents, businesses, our partners and staff, can we encourage behaviour change and reduce our carbon emissions. Which is why I am happy to share some great news with you regarding the Somerset Waste Partnership (SWP).
You may remember Mendip was the first of the Somerset Districts to change to increased roadside recycling. It was called 'Recycle More’ and it dramatically reduced the amount of waste collections. Over 100 extra tonnes of recycling is now regularly being collected every week. Levels of everyday rubbish have fallen substantially too.
Your Council is helping SWP continue its green ambition to take the carbon out of their operations. We’re covering the up-front costs of an all-new 11-tonne electric collection truck. The vehicle looks the same on the outside, but is much quieter and miles better for the environment, saving around 38 tonnes of carbon each year and £8,000 in running costs!
We’re supporting residents in their desire to improve the environment and their health too, by pushing forward with our multi-user path programme to connect communities. This will allow people to walk, to horse ride or cycle - for exercise, fun, or to commute – using safe travel routes.
I have always had a passion for cycling, but whether you are learning or returning, you may need a confidence boost to get out on the roads. I am delighted to tell you one of our Mendip councillors, and fully qualified Bikeability trainer, Edric Hobbs will be working with Lifecycle to extend the existing ‘Get Somerset Cycling’ programme to the Mendip area next year.
The sessions are free to attend and cover general bike care, on-road skills, and help finding those cycle-friendly routes, amongst other things. Trial sessions for Mendip staff are starting soon. We expect they’ll prove extremely popular!
There are so many positive initiatives happening across the district that all interconnect to achieve the same goal of a greener, cleaner Mendip. But to make real change happen, we have to look at how we do things in all aspects of our lives.
If you want to take action today, why not start with our Climate Action Pledge Card? It suggests lifestyle swaps, such as buying local produce, planting bee-friendly flowers, and switching to a green energy supplier. Every pledge you sign-up to will make a difference to your carbon footprint, and to Mendip's emissions overall. You’ll find a downloadable version here: www.mendip.gov.uk/article/8650/Climate-Action It's time to 'walk the talk'. Together.
As always, let me know if you have any questions on email:[email protected] and Facebook: @RosWyke.
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].