I am a retired Chartered Engineer and having lived and worked on the Mendips for most of my life, I am well aware of the importance of agriculture, numerous industries both large and small, and the infrastructure that makes this splendid area work. I was a member of Doulting Parish Council for 6 years, always with these principles in mind.
My general aims for Mendip Central and East are supporting the local economies of agriculture and the diverse businesses that are vital to the area’s well-being and ensuring that the new Unitary authority’s finances are transparent, effective and prudent.
Agriculture must be encouraged to produce foodstuffs and land should be used to reduce the reliance on imported foods. Farmers must be helped to offset the reduction in their income as a result of leaving Europe and not rely on heavily-subsidised wind turbines and solar farms for their income.
Businesses must be supported where appropriate and particularly encouraged where they take on young people and apprentices. In some industries, the average age of employees is 58 and this does not bode well for the future if the trend continues. Rural businesses need help to ensure that they do not just disappear.
Our way of life with increased traffic and delivery lorries, requires highways infrastructure that is fit for purpose, which sadly in many areas it is not. Our local A roads require initiatives to reduce accidents and improve journey times. The A 361, for example, was promised a bypass many years ago and still needs it today.