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From play parks to benefit services – what you get with SSDC’s share of the Council Tax bill

| District

Bins - That’s really not all! It’s a common misperception that the only service you get for your Council Tax is a waste and recycling collection. But there’s plenty of other services that South Somerset District Council provides to you for our share of the Council Tax bill.

Many people believe that because we send the bills and collect the money, we keep all your Council Tax money. When in reality, the average Band D property in South Somerset pays just £175.26 for SSDC services out of a £1,962.00 average bill.

So where does the whole total of the Council Tax bill go?

Not only are you paying for South Somerset District Council’s services, but you are also paying for services from:

  • Somerset Rivers Authority
  • Somerset County Council
  • Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner
  • Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Authority
  • Your local Town or Parish Council

What are the services SSDC provides?

Here are some of the fantastic wide range of things we provide:

  • A planning service that deals with around 2,000 applications a year on average, offers building regulation advice and approvals, plus much more
  • A waste and recycling kerbside collection service to around 72,000 households in South Somerset – this includes dealing with kerbside waste and recycling collections but also providing a garden waste service, bulky waste collections, assisted collections, clinical collections plus providing assistance to the Somerset Waste Partnership to manage missed collections and implement Recycle More across South Somerset and beyond
  • A benefits service that can help you pay your rent or reduce your Council Tax – we offer help and advice if you are getting benefits and have a change in your circumstances and we also help you to report someone you think might be falsely claiming benefits. We offer a fantastic welfare benefits advice service
  • Council Tax collection – as well as collecting our part of the Council Tax bill, we are also the charging authority for Somerset County Council, Somerset Rivers Authority, your local Parish Council, Devon & Somerset Fire and Rescue service and Somerset & Avon Police. We offer discounts and exemptions depending on your circumstances and we have a team of dedicated staff who can help you
  • Leisure facilities – As well as our cultural offerings of The Octagon Theatre and Westlands Entertainment Venue, we also provide facilities such as Wincanton Sports Centre, Westlands and Goldenstones in Yeovil. As part of our Chard Regeneration Scheme, we are also providing a new leisure facility with swimming pool in Chard. Don’t forget the fantastic range of play equipment in most towns and villages that we also provide or fund
  • Recreational facilities – Yeovil Recreation Centre, Ham Hill Country Park, Chard Reservoir and Yeovil Country Park are all areas that we own and maintain for your pleasure and enjoyment
  • Street cleaning and horticultural services – We empty litter and dog poo bins across Somerset. We sweep your streets and litter pick them. We cut many parts of grassland across the district and maintain the flower beds; producing beautiful displays such as our award winning display in St Johns Churchyard in Yeovil
  • Environmental Health – We deal with a wide range of environmental health issues including nuisances, food related issues, pest control services, dog related issues including stray dogs, business inspections, air quality and pollution monitoring and enforcement action
  • An assigned environment team, with experts working to deliver our environment strategy and accelerating actions to mitigate the effects of climate change and extreme weather. We’ve set out environmental targets that we want to achieve to reach carbon neutrality by 2030. Green initiatives such as supporting communities to be more sustainable, decarbonising our own SSDC buildings and increasing tree canopy cover across our estate and wider districts – we’ve planted over 4000 trees this year already, and we will strive to keep the environment at the forefront of everything we do.

There’s lots more that we provide or fund including Health Walks, grants for improvements, off-street car parking, plus much, much more. You can visit our website at www.southsomerset.gov.uk and browse the services we offer. We even run and manage all elections within South Somerset!

But let’s set the record straight – we don’t fix potholes… that’s Somerset County Council alongside other matters related to roads, social care, education and libraries.

What support has been offered by SSDC during the COVID-19 pandemic?

We have played a major role in supporting communities and individuals during the pandemic and have:

  • Provided mandatory and discretionary Business Support Grants to businesses across South Somerset
  • Created a Wellbeing Hub during the first wave of the pandemic to deliver vital food and supplies to those who were shielding and the most vulnerable
  • Created a Coronavirus self-help-hub for residents to keep up-to-date with the latest information
  • Assisted with Track and Trace payments for those who are eligible
  • Provided over 40 family activities for residents to keep themselves and their littles ones busy during home schooling and half terms
  • Provided a safe alternative to PlayDays by providing PlayBox in the Summer Holidays
  • Given business support to those who need advice on being COVID-compliant as well as providing support and training to businesses who have needed help

What are the Council’s priorities?

We have five themes in our Council Plan which all of the work we do fit in to. These are:

  • Protecting Core Services - Ensure a modern, efficient and effective council that delivers for its communities
  • Economy - Assist businesses to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic whilst supporting growth within the South Somerset economy
  • Environment - keep South Somerset clean, green and attractive and respond to the climate and ecological emergency
  • Places where we live - enable housing and communities to meet the existing and future needs of residents and employers
  • Health, Self-reliant Communities - enable healthy communities which are cohesive, sustainable and enjoy a high quality of life

Each year we set our priority projects. For 2021/22 there are five. All of these help to meet our core aims, but primarily help to make South Somerset a better place to live, work and leisure in.

Our priority projects are:

  1. Lead the recovery and revitalisation of our economy and communities to be stronger, more resilient and more vibrant than before Covid-19
  2. Continue to deliver Regeneration Programmes
  3. To develop proposals to accelerate the delivery of key housing sites and associated infrastructure
  4. Address child poverty, social isolation and low levels of social mobility across the district
  5. To accelerate action to adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change and extreme weather

You can find out more about our Council Plan, our priority projects and when we expect to deliver key elements or pieces of work behind each of the priority projects, on the SSDC.

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