This week many of our favourite pubs, cafes and restaurants were able to welcome customers back indoors. Some had been able to operate with outdoor seating but many had been eagerly awaiting May 17th to reopen. This is a significant milestone on the roadmap to recovery and while for many of us this is a welcome return to a sense of ‘normal’, it’s worth remembering that many around us will still be nervous and unsure about socialising indoors. Some of us have been vaccinated, others are still waiting or are unable to do so. Some of us can’t wait to hug our friends and relatives, while some of us will be more comfortable continuing with an elbow-bump. And while the regulations are lifting, all of us still need to exercise caution and continue to be mindful of others.

Another change to the look and feel of the high street is already well underway and in fact, should be coming to completion within the next 10 days. The resurfacing of the Market Place and Town Street has been taking place for 10 weeks, since mid-march. While this has inevitably meant some disruption to pedestrians and businesses, the results have already started to be felt and the feedback from the community has so far been overwhelmingly positive. Anyone who hasn’t had chance to see the new surface in place yet should visit the north entrance of Town Street. There will be a few further changes to the appearance of the area: we’re having the street furniture and bollards around Town Street and Market Place repainted and will be fitting a few new pieces of street furniture too. This is a chance to really spruce up our town centre and we – along with everyone else – are looking forward to seeing the final result very soon!

Until next time.
Shepton Mallet Town Council