February 2021 Edition
This is the first of what will hopefully become a monthly newsletter for Liberal Democrat members and supporters across North Somerset from your Liberal Democrat Group of councillors.
As you will know, our 11 councillors form part of a joint administration with independent, Labour and Green councillors that run North Somerset Council.
From left to right: Caroline Cherry, Patrick Keating, Huw James, Stuart Treadaway, Wendy Griggs, Ash Cartman, Mike Bell, Geoff Richardson, Mark Canniford, Robert Payne, John Crockford-Hawley.
Our councillors hold a number of leading positions within the council including:
Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Adult Social Care, Public Health and Housing – Councillor Mike Bell
Executive Member for Finance and Performance – Councillor Ash Cartman
Executive Member for Economy and Community Safety – Councillor Mark Canniford
Assistant Executive Member for Highways and Transport – Councillor Geoff Richardson
Chairman of the Strategic Planning, Economic Development and Regeneration Policy and Scrutiny Panel – Councillor John Crockford-Hawley
Chairman of the Children and Young People’s Policy and Scrutiny Panel – Councillor Wendy Griggs
Chairman of the Licensing Committee – Councillor Robert Payn
We hope this regular newsletter will be useful as an update on what we are getting up to on your behalf.
Thanks for reading.
Councillor Mike Bell
Leader of the the Liberal Democrat Group of Councillors Deputy Leader of North Somerset Council
Council budget for 2021/2022
Led by North Somerset Council’s Liberal Democrat Executive Member for Finance and Performance, Councillor Ash Cartman, the council has unanimously approved of an ambitious budget for the coming year.
Despite the enormous challenge of a Covid-19 inspired £26 million budget deficit in the middle of last year, your council have succeeded in introducing a balanced budget for the coming year.
Some of the budget headlines include:
Investment in North Somerset’s “great lakes” with funding for improvements at Marine Lake in Weston, Marine Lake in Clevedon and Portishead Lake Grounds.
Investment in cycling improvements, more 20mph zones and parking schemes.
An extra £150,000 to support climate emergency and green recovery work.
£1.7 million investment in the Sovereign Shopping Centre in Weston.
£300,00 for community investment in green spaces, access routes and public rights of way.
Continued investment in the MetroWest scheme to re-open the rail line from Portishead and Pill into Bristol.
£4.6 million of extra investment in adult social care services to support those most in need.
The £2.09 million pier to pier cycleway between Clevedon and Weston.
New zero carbon housing for local people in Nailsea and Weston.
£150,000 of extra investment in children’s services to improve outcomes for children and young people.
You can find out more about the budget and some of our council achievements this year by watching Councillor Mike Bell’s Two Minute Challenge video on Facebook or visiting the YouTube channel of Councillor Ash Cartman.
Managing the Covid-19 pandemic
Liberal Democrat councillors have been leading the local response to the Covid-19 pandemic. As Executive Member for Public Health, Councillor Mike Bell has been at the forefront of the local effort, overseeing work on local testing, tracing and health protection measures.
The latest 7-day Covid-19 case rate for North Somerset (based on a full week’s data) is 124.2. This is a decrease on the previous full week’s rate of 154.8. The data is from https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/cases.
There’s a lag of five days in case data meaning the latest information is for week ending 9 February 2021.
We expect the Government to announce the route map out of the national lockdown on 22 February with restrictions likely to be eased from early March through into the spring.
New Local Plan moving forwards
Plans for the future of development in North Somerset have taken an important step forward with the publication of the council’s response to the latest round of consultation.
North Somerset Council is in the process of developing a new Local Plan for the area. Once adopted, the plan will identify where development can and cannot take place in North Somerset as well as which supporting services and infrastructure are required.
Over 1,600 people took part in the six-week Choices consultation, which focused on the possible approaches to the location of future development in North Somerset.
The results of the Choices consultation will be used as a starting point for developing a draft Local Plan, which will be consulted on this autumn. To view the results go to http://www.n-somerset.gov.uk/newlocalplan.
Lib Dem councillors in the news ...
As leading members of the administration running North Somerset Council, Liberal Democrats are often in the news. You can read more about their work and that of your local council here.
- Cllr Huw James raises Fire Safety Issues in Portishead
- Cllr Ashley Cartman Speaks about Portishead Golf Course
- Cllr Mark Canniford praises 'most exciting budget in 18 years'
- Cllr Mark Canniford discusses exciting plans for Sovereign Centre
- Old Quarry to be transformed into Culture and Arts Centre, says Cllr John Crockford Hawley
- Cllr Mark Canniford backs initative for heritage shopfronts
- Cllr Mike Bell launches new Rapid Testing Site running for longer hours
- Cllr Huw James submits residents petition on Rainbow Crossing
- Cllr Mike Bell introduces new measures to deal more effectively with anti-social behaviour issues