One thing I’ve learnt whilst being a Councillor is that it is nothing if not a role of communication and coordination. I’ve always been a believer that the best ideas don’t come from a small group of 16 Councillors but the wide community of 11,000 residents in our town. It’s then up to us as Councillors to plan the Town Council’s delivery in the context of the wider world in which we reside. Coordination and then communication then inevitably follow.

In the last two years, this Council has written a strategic plan, put in place financial resilience procedures and employed a Projects Officer to help deliver the specific elements of that plan.; but that was just the ‘low hanging fruit’. As we progress through our plan, we need to do a better job of (i) listening to residents (ii) delivering projects (iii) communicating what we are doing so residents are fully aware of the opportunities and changes around them. I’ve talked a lot previously about the profound change the wider local context is experiencing (economic, health, climate, local government etc.) so it’s even more important than ever we respond to residents needs and wants.

I’m very pleased therefore to announce that as of last week, our newly employed full-time Marketing, Communications and Community Engagement Officer has started work at the Council. Conor Ogilvie-Davidson had a baptism of fire ahead of his start date helping out at the open-air cinema a couple of weekends ago and has completed a comprehensive induction. Conor will be making contact with community groups, businesses, voluntary organisations and any other groups who contribute to town life to see how we can all best work together. And when we deliver projects, he’ll be making sure everyone knows about it!

Conor brings with him a wealth of professional experience from similar roles in other Somerset-based organisations, latterly the Somerset Football Association. He also brings experience as a Councillor in Peasedown St. John, so fully understands the role of a Local Council and how we can improve the local area for residents.

If you’d like to meet with Conor and find out more about what his role entails and how the Town Council can work more closely with your community group or space, please feel free to email the office and make an appointment:

Until next time.

Matt Harrison, Chairperson