Another incredible week in Shepton Mallet! I attended the Shepton Mallet Branch of the Royal British Legion’s 90 th anniversary event on Saturday where I had the opportunity to meet Lester Holly of the Bowls and Tennis Club. I had a thoroughly inspirational chat with him about how the club is encouraging all sections of the community to grow their own produce on their allotments. The Tennis Club has a growing membership and now they are adding “touch tennis” to the mix. I understand that Lester is an ace player!
Then I visited the very well attended League of Friends of the community hospital’s summer fête at St. Paul’s School. Substantial sums of money were raised to invest in our local hospital. Congratulations to all who organised and attended this great event.
Mental health services are the sadly neglected Cinderella of the health service, so all praise to the young people who organised the Fun Day in Collett Park last Thursday when they raised over £600 for the charity, Mind. The incredible efforts of these motivated young people deserves our grateful thanks.
Shepton Mallet Town Council has been granted a Green Flag status for Collett Park. This national award confirms that our park is well managed, has good facilities and has a plan for future improvement and upgrading of the infrastructure. Remarkably, Collett Park is the first park in the Mendip District to achieve this honour, and our dedicated team at the Town Council, in association with our ground care contractors, deserves great credit.
It is wonderful that Collett Park has received this national recognition, but winning the award is just the start of a much longer process. We are conducting a feasibility study examining all aspects of the park. Already we have identified many areas that need to improve.
We have begun to evaluate responses from local people from the series of ongoing consultation days held at various recent events and Sunday Markets. For instance, we know that the toilet and ancillary block is in a dilapidated state and requires urgent attention. We know we will have to upgrade or replace these buildings in the coming years. We also need to establish an active Friends of Collett Park, and will be welcoming green-fingered folk to come on board to help develop the park. If you can help, please contact the town council for further information.
Winning Green Flag status is just a first step in delivering a park fit for the 21st Century. Winning this award gives us an opportunity to access external funding to manage and improve facilities, but we need to build a team of people and organisations to realise our vision that will allow Collett Park to continue to be a nationally recognised gem.
Chris Inchley, Chair, Shepton Mallet Town Council