Last weekend I was told by a resident that the Town was a mess and getting worse and why is nothing being done to improve it.
To be fair, her dissatisfaction was aimed at me because she thought I was still a District councillor. the tragedy is that there are no Labour councillors on Mendip Council nor any Mendip County Councillors.
She could not believe that "a Town like Shepton could elect three of the four district councillors being Conservative." I told her through gritted teeth that Shepton had been Conservative or Yellow Tory (Lib Dem) for the previous ten years and the reason I was talking to her was to try and regain Labour representation.
The public realm in Shepton High street/ Town Street is unacceptable whilst all other Mendip Towns have had schemes to improve there public realm. The Town Council has project managed a set of plans paid for out of Tesco legal agreement money for plans for improved to the public realm, we now await funding.
There was concerns about the quality of cleanliness in the Town Centre, whilst I was procuring the Town Council ground care contract I included additional cleansing in the contract, this should improve the situation.
Four years ago the Conservatives told us that "it was imperitive" that a pedestrian crossing was installed outside the Infants school in Waterloo Road, well we are still waiting. The pedestrian crossing the Conservatives promised outside Whitstone School that was to be delivered in 90 days 8 years ago well we are still waiting despite McCarthey Stone having a legal agreement with their planning application.
The Shepton Mallet Police station is now closed and the office no longer accessible to the public.
The Shepton Mallet Youth Club and youth work has been closed down by the Conservative County Clouncil.
Shepton Mallet has the poorest bus services of any Mendip Towns and even many villages have better bus services. Working the other side of Street, I watch the Bristol to Taunton, the Bristol to Yeovil and the Bristol to Bridgwater, surely it is not beyond the wit of man to divert one of these services through Shepton to give a service to our principal city to the north.
The young of our town would of lost the Educational Maintenance Allowance, so transport costs to colleges need to be found, so not only have the young lost funding, they do not have a decent bus service.
Shepton has little in the way of leisure and the Arts cuts made by the Conservatives has restricted the access to community arts, if people do not own a car then the poor bus services are a very real problem.
Residents complain about the speeding traffic in their roads, yet the County Council offer little support and the roads budget has been cut by the Conservative Council.
And Shepton still has fight on to save our hospital beds and this due to a funding shortfall in Somerset NHS and to pay for a top down reorganisation.
The Conservatives have failed Shepton, both through local and national policy and what of the Liberal Democrats? The Liberal Democrats have supported the huge front loaded cuts from government to local councils.
Locally they have failed to articulate a different vision for the Town or district, surely their electoral appeal will sound more hollow then ever, we await their graph of only we can beat the conservatives here, conveniently forgetting their support of austerity when they promised not to; forgetting their objection to VAT increases; conveniently forgetting the no top down reorganisation of the NHS and then agreeing to it; conveniently forgetting their pledge on tuition fees; conveniently forgetting their support for EMA; conveniently support the Mansion Tax but supporting the Bedroom Tax and Council Tax reform; our Lib Dem has been 90% loyal to the Conservative Lib Dem alliance, from this we can say a vote for the Lib Dems is a vote for a coalition that cuts tax for millionaires on the backs of the millions.