Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Chairman’s Column 5-7-18

Whilst visiting the town council office this week, I read a note from a resident who told us she was disabled and who thanked the Council for inviting the circus to Collett Park. Since it was easy to gain access to the park, she said she could enjoy a circus in Shepton for the first time. It made her feel valued and part of the town. 

We know that the park was gifted to us by John Collett for the recreation of the townspeople. Collett always intended that special events like circuses should be staged in his park, but it’s comments like the one above that remind us that decisions by councillors can have direct positive impacts on people lives, and also honour John Collett’s written wishes from 110 years ago.

The town council are actively pursuing all avenues to keep our library in the heart of Shepton. We have held meetings with landlords of town centre properties and then worked up solutions that matchand improve on the financial case compared to Somerset County Council’s plan to remove the library from the Market Square and put it in the SHAPE office. 

The Town Council have worked closely with the Friends of Shepton Mallet Library and consulted with residents. We have supplied materials for people to be better informed to effectively participate in the County Council’s consultation, and have drawn up detailed costings for two different town centre properties where we can show better value for money and even make improvements to thelibrary service. We are trying to persuade Somerset County Council that we have exceeded their expectations for the library service, and now wait for a meeting with their corporate management team.

We recently had a book launch at the library for Cameron Dawkins’ latest publications, “They’re Demons”.  It never ceases to amaze me just how many talented authors we have living in Shepton!

Last week Police Constable, Neil Wolstenholme, retired from his beat in Shepton. I would like to thank him for all his hard work over the years and for the contribution he has made to our community. I hope he enjoys a long and happy retirement.

Finally, we welcome our latest Councillor, Phil Stevens, who was elected unopposed, thus avoiding yet another costly town council by-election.  This follows the resignation of Simon Davies, shortly after the election of 4 new councillors in May. 

Chris Inchley, Chairman, Shepton Mallet Town Council

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