Tuesday evening saw the last full council meeting of this Council, the next will be after the local elections on May 5th.
I will write the obituary of this Council before the election, but I thought I would report on that meeting.
The Police had requested to speak to the Town Council to outline the cuts to their service to Sheptonians, they did not attend, but the clerk told the meeting that the front office at Shepton's Police Station was to close, the only such cut in the area. I asked for clarification as the County Council removed funding for the PCSOs this would affect eleven officers and if Shepton would be affected?
The Mid Somerset Show Committee members attended to ask for support for the local development framework proposal to build houses on the showfield on Cannards Grave Road and this would allow the Mid Somerset Show to move along the Ridge Road, the Town Council decided to continue with it's recommendation to continue with it's policy of keeping this area as green space.
We had update on the Urban Design Statement (UDS) paid for by the Townscape Heritage Initiative THi, this was split into short term issues; improved lighting scheme, seating, painting street furniture and the setting of the Market Cross and the longer term aim of resurfacing Town Street.
We discovered the absolute neglect shown by our Conservative Councillors, this money to do this UDS could/should have been concluded three years ago, money was available through s106 Tesco planning gain money, this money should of been totally focused on the UDS, three years ago the County Council was spending Local Transport Funds to regenerate Market Towns, through Mendip Conservatives inaction, Shepton missed out on this opportunity, who knows when another funding opportunity will arrive.
We discussed the bus cuts, I have written three articles on the bus cuts, but I proposed that the Town Council should meet with Wells City, Frome Town Council to see if there is any way we can offer some relief to the bus cuts.
The Town Council has released the funding to the in bloom committee for the floral displays, Mendip Council will cease paying for the beds at Shaftesgate Ave, Charlton Rd, Millennium Stone and by the Fire Station, in Bloom with Quadron will take these beds on, and will plant fountains and railing plantings, the displays won't be so extensive, but with much hard work, the Town should at least bloom this summer.
I was not pleased the Conservative administration decided at the previous meeting to extend the Collett Park contract by 12 months on RPI inflation rate, I described that decision as bonkers, someone in the council saw sense and negotiated a 2% increase, I was happy to support that, but if they had taken my advice in the first place, a poor decision would not have been made.