Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Chairman’s Column - 18 October 2018

This Sunday sees the return of our ever-popular monthly market.  At the event we will be celebrating the 700th anniversary of the charter given to Shepton by Edward II.  The Town Council gazebo will exhibit a range of historical materials researched by Alan Stone.  It will be your chance to gain an insight into the sweep of history that has led to the town we live in today.

Way back in 1318, Britain was in a constitutional malaise.  England was in dispute with the Scots, and had a load of trouble in Ireland and Wales.  On a more positive note, Edward and the Earl of Lancaster had managed to sign a treaty and resolve some of their differences.  I suspect Mrs May would very much like to have the same sort of breakthrough with the EU in 2018!

The Collett Park Charity met last week to discuss our recently commissioned feasibility study into the future of the park.  It’s a once in a generation opportunity to bring the park into the 21st Century.  We have now considered the results of the public consultations that were held over the summer at a series of events including Collett Festival. The vast majority of your responses were very positive.

A key aspect of this exercise was to gain your opinion on the state of the buildings next to the Park Road entrance, including the toilet facilities.  As a result, the charity has agreed to do additional work within its budget to plan a design that will make long-term improvements and increase community facilities.  It will give us the opportunity to reach out to funding bodies for their financial support to redevelop the infrastructure and make the park a haven for all age ranges and interests.

Your feedback in the summer reaffirmed the oft-requested call to make urgent improvements to the play equipment in the park.  Matt Harrison, a leading member of the FreSH group who were instrumental in raising funds for the skatepark and BMX track, now wants to help the Collett Park Charity raise money for an ambitious revamp of the play area.  FreSH has already enlisted a growing group of local people willing to assist with community fund-raising to replace and upgrade the facilities.

Often, we at the Town Council are approached by local residents wishing to donate trees to commemorate loved ones.  We have now agreed a Collett Park tree strategy that identifies the best locations for planting, and specifies the species that are compatible with the overall planting scheme.  We will continue to welcome these touching requests.

Chris Inchley, Chair, Shepton Mallet Town Council

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