Looking forward to a better new year for North Somerset

North Somerset Council leader Don Davies and deputy leader Mike Bell.

North Somerset Council leader Don Davies and deputy leader Mike Bell. - Credit: Archant

In any other year we would be looking back around now, listing achievements, and making plans for the next.

However, as you read this column the review of the Covid alert tiers will be being announced, vaccine rollouts advanced and more details on Brexit forthcoming (or possibly not!), so there is still much to cram into this tumultuous year.

One threat will remain constant until well into 2021 though, the prevalence of Covid 19 amongst us, so whatever your plans for the festive season, let us all remain aware of the Hands-Face-Space message as we celebrate.

For both of us, doing all we can to ensure we can celebrate Christmas 2021 with the ones we love is our key driver for Christmas 2020. 

Despite our pandemic focus, business as usual continues for your council and we have some immediate challenges to embrace.

One is funding; despite austerity allegedly being a thing of the past, we still need to save £19million over the next three years, added to which government is indicating that additional money for local councils for adult social care must come from higher council tax charges, so we are reviewing the way we work to see how we can deliver those key services more cost-effectively.

A second is waste; the council, having been let down by previous commercial contractors, unanimously voted to set up our own company to collect our waste and recycling.

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As a key resident-facing service we are working very hard to ensure that service levels are where they should be, that we work to reduce ‘black bin’ waste and increase recycling levels, plus reducing the overall cost of the service. 

May we wish you all a very Merry Christmas and looking forward to a better New Year. 

North Somerset Council leader Don Davies and deputy leader Mike Bell

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