With Christmas just 3 weeks away, remember that we have our very first three day Christmas Market in Shepton running from Friday 14th to Sunday 16th December. In partnership with Mendip District Council and a very active community team, the town council continues to support our monthly markets and is now proud to be associated with this event too.
We are organising entertainment to accompany the stalls and to welcome locals and visitors to the town. Lucy, the amazing ice queen, who so royally entertained us last year at our Christmas Victorian Market, will be with us again for two days this year. Loads of enthusiasm and a lot of effort has gone into the planning to make this a very special three days, with a host of stalls offering a whole range of imaginative festive gifts.
Also, there is the annual Christmas Tourist Information Centre draw with still plenty of time to buy your tickets. The draw itself will be held on Monday 17th December. Unlike the National Lottery, your chance of being a winner is remarkably high!
TIC Manager, Lorraine Pratten, has once again gathered a wide range of wonderful prizes donated by many of our local businesses. Lorraine is an amazing and tirelessly enthusiastic supporter of our town. She, with her very professional staff, do a magnificent job promoting Shepton and providing a year-round service that delivers a wide range of information about the whole area.
After a lengthy discussion the town council has decided to hold a stand-alone Collett Park Day in 2019 without other festival events. Councillor Jon Hardy held a series of Scrutiny Panel meetings on the future of Collett Festival and reported back to the full council on Monday evening. We have supported many of the recommendations contained in the report, but have not handed the Collett Festival over to an outside group. The council felt this is an event that should remain, as it always has been, a council managed celebration of the gift that John Collett gave to his community.
Collett Park Day 2019 will be the same great opportunity for local community groups and charities to fundraise for their members and causes. With local elections coming up in May, it is hoped that the new council will look at the way any future extended Collett Festival is managed and grant a four year licence to allow for secure long term planning and sponsorship. We need to agree a way forward that delivers a high quality sustainable event and the best way to serve our community.
Chris Inchley, Chair, Shepton Mallet Town Council