Statement by Councillors representing Glastonbury on Somerset County Council, Mendip District Council & Glastonbury Town Council
As six of your local representatives for Glastonbury, we are united in making the following statement on 28th June 2021.
We recognise that the past 16 months have been particularly challenging for our town, for the whole country and most of the world. In Glastonbury we have seen issues and challenges that have been different from other communities in Somerset, partly due to existing factors from previous years and all exacerbated by the pandemic and lockdowns.
In response to the concerns of residents and businesses, the local authorities and the police have formed a Multi Agency Group to work through the challenges and seek solutions, both short term and longer term. We have all welcomed that development, the first time all agencies have worked together on behalf of Glastonbury.
The Multi Agency Group has also created specific working groups as there are specific skills and knowledge needed on the following areas:
- Highways, the roads, lanes in and around Glastonbury
- Land ownership and possible acquisition for traveller sites
- Housing services
- Enforcement where possible and appropriate
- Anti social behaviours in the town centre and in the countryside including the Tor
As local representatives, we are being kept informed of the work of the Multi Agency Group, including all the sub groups, and we support that work. The officers of each Council are working with specialist consultants, including on possible highways schemes and actions that can all have a positive effect while retaining the very special character of our town.
We appreciate that some actions will take longer to progress, due to the legal processes that are essential. We are strongly encouraging the officers and consultants to include short term measures as well as longer term schemes so that our residents, business and visitors see actions as soon as possible and thereby take assurance that their voices are being heard.
Glastonbury holds a very special place as a visitor destination, and a place of pilgrimage. We understand that we need to protect and enhance that reputation, and that damage to the town’s current reputation risks making the town’s future less special and less prosperous.
The Glastonbury Town Investment Plan has been well received by Government, with 12 project groups now working on their detailed business cases for a total of up to £23.6million. Those projects include the best of Glastonbury thinking and ambition, and they can all make a huge difference to the prosperity of the town as a place to live, work and visit. The opportunity the Plan presents is far greater than anything any of us have seen or worked on before – we must make sure that it is successfully delivered for us and for successive generations.
We ask residents and businesses to continue to communicate with the Councils through the Multi Agency Group email address firstname.lastname@example.org. We realise that people may prefer a more personal approach and response, but we can assure you that the generic email address reaches many of the different specialist officers working at the different Councils. Of course, every Councillor you elect is separately contactable by email, in person, by post and by phone.
As your representatives, we look forward to working with organisations and individuals and particularly welcome ideas for our town centre, and any offers of suitable land for temporary, transit or permanent traveller sites. We need a holistic approach to the future provision of living spaces in Glastonbury, our intention is to work and think as widely as possible.
Most of all we thank residents and businesses for your commitment, consideration and care for your town, and we offer our commitment to working on a better future for Glastonbury.
Cllr Liz Leyshon, Somerset County Council (Glastonbury & Street Division)
Cllr Terry Napper, Somerset County Council (Glastonbury & Street Division)
Cllr Jon Cousins, Mayor of Glastonbury, Mendip District Council (St Johns Ward) and Glastonbury Town Council
Cllr Nick Cottle, Mendip District Council (St Edmunds Ward) and Glastonbury Town Council
Cllr Lindsay MacDougall, Mendip District Council (St Marys Ward) and Glastonbury Town Council
Cllr Steve Henderson, Mendip District Council (St Benedicts Ward) and Glastonbury Town Council