COLUMN: 'Continuing the deliver for the common good in North Somerset - together'

North Somerset Council leader Steve Bridger and deputy Mike Bell write for the Mercury and the North Somerset Times

North Somerset Council leader Steve Bridger and deputy Mike Bell write for the Mercury and the North Somerset Times - Credit: NSC

On her 21st birthday in April 1947, then Princess Elizabeth declared: “That my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service." 

As we come together as a North Somerset community, nation and Commonwealth of nations to celebrate The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, we are reminded of those words and of the importance of service. 

It takes many forms, of course, with Her Majesty’s 70-year reign just one, remarkable example of a life led with dedication. 

Many North Somerset people serve in less high-profile ways whether as part of their jobs in the emergency services, local councils, education, or as volunteers for so many good causes in our community. Many too, live a life of service and support to their families and friends. 

As we give thanks to The Queen for her record of service, let us also thank all those upon whose efforts our community depends for so much. 

Just this month we’ve seen some great examples from across the district. 

The news from the volunteers at Clevedon’s Marine Lake, who are continuing to make improvements, with council support, to this important asset. 

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Then there are many communities across North Somerset who have been providing support to people fleeing the war in Ukraine and other conflicts. 

It was brilliant to hear about the Friends of Trendlewood Park in Nailsea who have been helping to maintain this open space for others and support biodiversity and our natural environment. 

Home-Start North Somerset, based in Weston-super-Mare, secured a lottery grant to help its work to support new parents and families with young children, a real boost to the service of their staff and volunteers. 

We’ve even had the brave volunteer crews and lifesaving work of Portishead RNLI providing the inspiration for an exhibit at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show! 

It shows the breadth of service that we see in North Somerset every day of the week.   

As we write this column, we are reaching the end of Steve’s third week as the new leader of North Somerset Council, having taken over from former leader Don Davies. 

Don was a good leader for the council, very firmly rooted in public service and always doing the best that he could for the people of North Somerset. 

We thank him for his hard work and dedication and know that he will continue to work for the people of his own ward of Pill and the wider community. 

Now, under new leadership but with the same partnership administration of Independent, Liberal Democrat, Labour and Green councillors working together, we will continue our efforts to deliver on our commitment to be open, fair and green.   

Over the coming year we will maintain and accelerate our work to tackle the climate emergency, invest in our communities, develop our Local Plan, do our bit to help address the cost of living crisis, back our children and young people and deliver better and smarter services. 

We have shown over the past three years that we can work hard together to deliver for the common good of the people of North Somerset – and we will continue to do so.   

Cllr Steve Bridger, Leader of North Somerset Council  
Cllr Mike Bell, Deputy Leader of North Somerset Council