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Chairman’s Report December 2023


I hope that you have picked up this edition in time to see the Christmas Tree light up in the Square and the parents and youngsters lining up to see Santa in the Clock Tower, compliments of Mere Carnival.  I know that, these days, with the comings and goings throughout the day of shoppers, deliveries and passers by the Square can be somewhat fraught but it deserves our best efforts to keep it calm and polite.  The Museum has pictures of The Square over the years and they too are often busy but in other ways. The Square was the scene, on the 12th November, of an act of Remembrance and at a well-attended ceremony, poppies were presented by representatives of many groups.

I was at the AGM of the Friends of Mere Museum and it was pleasing to hear about the funds raised and to see the latest exhibition, featuring an informative display about six families of Mere.  Well worth a visit.  I was able to attend the AGM of Seeds4Success, my apologies for being late, where we were presented with the many accomplishments of young people in the area, ably assisted by the staff and trustees – my congratulations to them all.

An agreement has been signed between econetiQ, Wiltshire Council and Mere Town Council to fund and install a cutting-edge 120kW DC Fast Maxicharger in the Salisbury Street Car Park.  It is envisaged that this Electric Vehicle charger will get used by the community and will also be another facility for people to use when they are travelling along the A303 and looking for somewhere to stop off and charge their vehicle.  Hopefully, they will use other facilities in the town as well and help to boost the local economy.  It is expected that this ambitious initiative will come to life in early 2024, pending completion of work between econetiQ and the distribution network operators (DNO)

The Town Council meeting in November dealt with many of the regular matters but spent some time looking at setting priorities for the future.  Some of these will be funded by section 106 money received as a result of housing developments in the town but others will be funded through our precept, paid by residents of the town.   It is important that we get this right and make the best use of this funding.  Later in the month a group of councillors will look in detail at the spending and income forecast for the coming year and come up with a recommended precept.  This is a considerable task with over 400 budget headings and a report compiled by our clerk consisting of over 19 pages of information.  The meeting is managed by our Vice-Chair who prepares for it well in advance.  Separate groups of councillors have also met to look at the future of Mere Chamber of Trade and to look at the use of Town Council land for leisure activities and how to make it the best provision that we can afford.  I detail all of this to try and encourage you to put your name forward at the next election due to be held in May 2025. It is important work, and like all important work, worth doing.  In the meantime – do come along to a council meeting to see local democracy in action and, in the public session, put your point of view.

John Jordan

Chairman, Mere Town Council