Mendip District Council highlights commitment to Making Mendip Matter
Update from Mendip District Council's first 'virtual' Full Council in July.
Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, Mendip District Council has been working hard to support the city, towns, parishes and its diverse local communities. Councillors applauded the staff at Mendip who have quickly adapted in order to respond to the situation, learning new skills and some being redeployed to support a wide range of Covid-19 responses across the district.
Cllr Ros Wyke, Leader of Mendip District Council stated: "It is fair to say life has changed and nothing will ever seem the same again. On behalf of all Councillors, I would like to say a very genuine and BIG thank you to all the staff at Mendip. You have made things work. You have made the District matter. Alongside the staff, elected Councillors, of all parties and independents, have been working hard with, and for, their communities. Together we have ensured that help, in many guises, was available to those who needed it."
Being in touch with our communities means we can listen and we can also react quickly to their needs. The Council has been working constructively to make life better for the people of Mendip:
- The housing team mobilised quickly, moving the majority of vulnerable rough sleepers from the street into sustainable, long-term accommodation. The Council's homelessness prevention work has continued, anticipating that demands on housing services will increase in the coming months.
- The Council has supported local residents during the pandemic, listening to and being close to our residents means we were able to respond to some quite varying needs. Letters were sent out to all Mendip households and hundreds of phone calls were made by staff to check on people's wellbeing, offer advice and guidance and ensure they knew how to get support.
- The Council has issued Government grants worth over £30 million to local businesses, these grants have been a lifeline to businesses across Mendip. The Council has also been aware of the gaps in the scheme's criteria, and so additional discretionary grants have been awarded with great care by Mendip.
- The cross-party Scrutiny Deprivation working group have stepped up, are delivering their action plan, ranging from warmer homes to council tax support.
Acting now, at pace Mendip has set about making ambitious plans to provide much-needed social housing right across the district which promises to create jobs, boost skills and the local economy, while leaving a lasting legacy of social homes offering fair rents for residents.
In terms of re-balancing transport provision, the pandemic has raised everyone's awareness and support of more sustainable ways to travel. One of the Council's major projects is the provision of multi-use paths which are accessible and can be used safely by walkers, cyclists and horse riders, particularly along commuter routes. In addition, grass cutting, re-wilding, wildflower sowing and nontoxic solutions to weeding are all issues the Council is working on in order to make Mendip 'greener' as part of our commitment to tackling the climate and ecological emergency.
During the meeting, a motion was passed with unanimous cross-party agreement to ensure that Council resources are used to encourage and advise residents to apply and qualify for 'green home' grants to ensure the maximum number of Mendip residents receive vouchers to insulate their homes, to encourage a greener, fairer Mendip.
Cllr Wyke concluded: "We are close to and understand our local communities, the places where we all live, and work, and have chosen to make our homes. Our priorities of fairer, greener and more vibrant are more relevant than ever."