'Fantasy football? Fantasy politics more like...'
Cllr Steve Bridger & Cllr Mike Bell
- Credit: PA
The football season will be kicking off again soon and many of us will be dusting off our fantasy football teams to try our luck at management.
This fantasy world is not limited to football, as we’re seeing plenty of fantasy politics too from the two contenders to lead the Conservative Party and become our next Prime Minister.
Government, whether local or national, is all about choices. Some are easy and some are hard, but nobody is helped by a political debate that seems to be driven more by telling people what they want to hear than any send of reality.
Britain had only just emerged from a decade of austerity when Brexit and then Covid-19 came along to add to the mix of uncertainty and challenge. Now war in Ukraine and international pressures are contributing to a cost-of-living crisis that is causing a huge strain on many people.
We need a government that is serious about the challenges we face as a nation and is straight with people about what needs to be done.
Fantasy politics, magic money trees and empty promises that will never be kept will just not cut it.
We know at North Somerset Council that we cannot set the economic weather. Inflation is high and still rising, driving up costs. Energy bills are set to rise further in October. The situation is going to get worse before it gets any better.
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We have to be straight with you that, as your local council, we cannot fix this. But we can try to make sure that local residents who need it can get access to the help and advice they need.
Together with local charities and other partners, we have formed a cost of living task force to draw together local action and get support to those who most need it.
The council has been able to direct additional funding to our local food banks in Weston and Clevedon.
We know they provide a vital emergency service to many local families. Although times are hard, please keep supporting them with donations to keep the doors open and the help getting through.
The council has been able to give some extra funding to Citizens Advice North Somerset to help them with their vital work.
Not only do they provide confidential independent advice for those in need, but critically they can also make sure that people get the benefits and funding support they are entitled to. If you are struggling, get in touch with them for advice.
We have also updated our council website with information about all the advice and support that is out there.
You can check it out at https://www.n-somerset.gov.uk/my-services/benefits-support/cost-living-advice-guidance
The website sets out the support from government, information about energy, mental health support and emergency assistance that you might be able to get from the council.
We will be continuing our work on the cost of living over the coming months to signpost people to the help and support that is available to them. Please keep an eye out for more news on our social media channels, website and in the local media.
Cllr Steve Bridger
Leader of North Somerset Council
Cllr Mike Bell
Deputy Leader of North Somerset Council