As the days get shorter and the autumn leaves blow around the town, we start anticipating Hallowe’en, fireworks and our wonderful Carnival. Also at this time of year we reflect on the act of remembrance that is held on 11th November. 2018 is of course especially poignant as we commemorate 100 years since the ending of the First World War.
All the giant red poppies that have appeared in Shepton have been installed by Nick Chambers and Edric Hobbs. You’ll find them everywhere from the impressive display at St Peters and Pauls Church, to the one on the Babycham statue on Kilver Street. They make a real visual statement that reminds us that our freedoms have been won by the courage of others.
Next May, we will be asked once again to elect our Town and District councillors. Mendip Council will be holding an introductory session for people considering standing as District Councillors. This is an opportunity to meet a panel of district councillors and discuss their rôle and responsibilities. This event will be held at 7pm on 24th October in the Mendip Council Chamber.
Here in Shepton we will also be electing our town councillors. This will give local community-minded people a chance to stand, and if successful, play an important part in shaping Shepton’s future. In the last 4 years many new responsibilities have had to be taken on by the Town Council as the District and County Councils have reduced and cut their services.
The Town Council now provides the improved flower displays on the High Street and plays a full part in the monthly Sunday markets. We are leading the campaign to keep the library in the town centre and have agreed to part-fund the resurfacing of the town centre with Somerset County Council (otherwise the broken paving will remain hazardous and unsightly).
We have managed, procured and part-funded the rebuilding of the skatepark and also part-funded the newly resurfaced BMX track. The town council had to increase its staffing to address all these new challenges, and is about to appoint a Finance Officer to match the best practice of communities of our size.
Being a Councillor allows a key involvement at a crucial time where we are being asked to do so much more than in the past. I would be delighted if we get talented people willing to be active councillors bringing new skills to join the council next May.
Chris Inchley, Chair, Shepton Mallet Town Council