Summer is well and truly here, and it has been fantastic to see so many people out and about enjoying our community and supporting our local businesses.

The inaugural Sea Shanty Festival in Weston-super-Mare has been a great success, despite the intervention of the weather, and the volunteer team and council staff involved have done a super job.

The event was a real boost to the town centre economy as well as providing brilliant entertainment for visitors and locals alike. And it has been great to see towns and villages across North Somerset able to hold their own local shows for the first time since 2019.

We’ve recently been pleased to announce more investment from the council’s ‘great lakes’ fund to support groups working at Clevedon’s Marine Lake and nearby Salthouse Fields.

Nearly £150,000 is being shared by five different community groups and charities to provide more facilities for sport, leisure and outdoor activities. Meanwhile, in Portishead, North Somerset Council and Portishead Town Council are working together on plans to turn the Lake Grounds into a regionally renowned park that is attractive, fun, safe and biodiverse.

As the Tokyo Olympics concludes it is great to see investment and encouragement for sport and leisure in North Somerset. The Olympics has proved another successful event for Team GB and an inspiration for young people across North Somerset. They need look no further than Amelie Morgan, who has been living and training in Portishead in recent years, and who won a bronze medal in the team gymnastics event. Congratulations to Amelia and her team.

We also want to say a big thank you to all the crews and staff from North Somerset Environment Company, the council-owned business that collects our waste and recycling. In rain or shine, they get out there and get the job done for us all. It's been an incredibly challenging 18 months for everyone and recently we've been really stretched by people off work with Covid, isolating and national HGV driver shortages.

Despite this, our local team have done a great job. In contrast to neighbouring councils, who have had to suspend garden waste collections for as long as 10 weeks over the whole summer, we’ve only lost the odd daily collection here and there. Another strong team effort.

Council leader Don Davies and deputy leader Mike Bell.