Posted: 12.01.21 at 15:17 by Mendip District Council
Mendip District Council has announced a three-point priority plan as it prepares to step-up its response to support the global health emergency, fight Covid and save lives.
At Cabinet yesterday (Monday), Mendip's leader, Cllr Ros Wyke, said the council would be resetting its strategic direction with a focus on three key areas.
- Saving lives through supporting the extensive vaccine roll-out and community testing
- Delivering statutory services, such homelessness prevention, environmental health, licensing, and planning
- Supporting the economy and local people
Cllr Wyke said: "This is a global emergency and the virus has, in one way or another, touched each and every one of us.
"We are fighting on all fronts here. Normal rules do not apply.
"Everything has changed. Nothing is the same.
"The great hope of multiple, life-saving vaccines has arrived - but they need to be rolled out, and fast. As does community testing.
"It's time to re-double our efforts in the light of the national need. The race to vaccinate is on."
Mendip has already been supporting health professionals with the vaccination roll-out. Council offices in Shepton Mallet were temporarily transformed into a medical hub during Christmas and new year with staff volunteers on-hand.
The council has also been supporting cluster activities for many months, assisting local communities in need, and supporting the vulnerable through food distribution, personal care, helping those with financial matters and mental health concerns.
Five different business grant schemes have been available to local organisations in need of financial help due to the lockdown. Some 4,000 payments have been made to date, totalling £34 million.
Where people can pay, the council has eased the pressure by staggering council tax and business rates payments, in addition to the hardship funds.
Cllr Wyke said: "We are proud of our Mendip residents, and our staff, in the way they are responding to the Covid pandemic.
"This district council has certainly played its part. We will continue to support our communities, one street at a time, one family at a time, one place at a time.
"In times of national crisis and hardship, people look to their council for help, guidance and leadership.
"We trust they will understand our decision tonight, to put the health of our communities first. Above all else."
The "new priorities" plan will be reviewed monthly.
If you need help, or know someone who does, you can call the Somerset Coronavirus helpline on 0300 790 6275. It's available 8am to 6pm, including weekends.