Some of you will have seen our first stall back in The Market Place on Friday, I’m pleased to say that the other stalls will be back this week and hopefully we will see the centre of town buzzing again. I know that most shops are getting ready to open as my window-cleaning services have been required after a lull of nearly four months. Cafes and bars, along with the antique and curio shops, have been getting spruced up and are eager to welcome customers back. For those of you not aware, parking is free in Mendip District Council car parks until August 6th to encourage you into town – so please take advantage and see what’s on offer.

Keep a look out for the social distancing measures that are in place during this time. I think we will have to get used to being allowed in to premises a few at a time for quite a while. Most cafes are take-away only but are trading. I have missed my oat-milk flat white coffee fix on a Friday morning! It’s time I use as my councillor surgery, where people can chat to me as I wander round, water-bucket in one hand and coffee in the other. I’m lucky being self-employed and can find the time to do this without a boss breathing down my neck!

Talking of The Market Place, after a long delay we hope to soon have news of the improvement to the surface – it is long overdue for replacement. Only today whilst working, I was looking at the tired paving and thinking that Shepton deserves better than this. One of my community spirited customers had weeded the paving outside his place, he said it was either that or get the cows in to graze Town Street!

Well that’s it, short and sweet again. See you all next week.

Edric Hobbs, Chair, Shepton Mallet Town Council