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Author: Sonya Ward

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

Chairman’s Report January 2024

I hope that this finds you well and having realised, like me, some of your resolutions for the new year but with still more to do.  This is true for Mere Town Council also, where our biggest resolution is setting the budget for the coming year and the precept.   My thanks to our Vice Chair and the budget committee for carefully balancing the demands of ever higher prices for what the council needs and what it hopes to achieve against the cost to residents through their council tax. The whole council adopted the recommendation made by the committee.

On a personal note, I had the pleasure of joining 83 other walkers on New Years Day taking part in the New Year New Bottom walk.  As well as local walkers, I met people from the three local counties and hope that the experience brings them back to Mere to enjoy our town and its marvellous setting.  My thanks to the team who served up a refreshing drink at the end of the walk and to George Jeans for taking photos while walking and getting Mere some more publicity.

While the weather has been drier but colder our groundskeeping staff have been installing pathways to extend the cemetery.  We are fortunate to have staff who can do this ‘in house’ which means a considerable saving.  There is still much to do but we will have, eventually, quite a large cemetery with an entrance in keeping with the ‘old cemetery’ and certainly fitting for the people of Mere.

Wiltshire Council have shown some residents of Lynch Close a first draft of plans for Fives Court.  I am hoping that their plans will be available in the very near future, for the rest of the community to see how this asset will be developed and how it will serve the people of Mere.

You may be aware that 6th June 2024 marks the Commemoration/Celebration of the 80th Anniversary of the D-Day landings on the five Beaches in Normandy, France, which took place on 6th June 1944.  The Town Council will be considering how it may pay ‘tribute’ to the many, many thousands that sacrificed so much in helping to secure the freedom we all enjoy today.   We would welcome any suggestions, involvement and volunteer participation from community members on how we might commemorate this event.

Finally, a resident has written in asking for others to bring their various bins back into their own property after collection.  This is a good request – we do need collections but we don’t need to have our public spaces filled with bins for the rest of the week.  If you know you are going to be away, ask your neighbour to put your bins out and bring them back in for you. My thanks in advance for doing this small bit to make our town a more pleasant place.

John Jordan

Chairman, Mere Town Council

for information on Town Council activities, minutes, agendas, etc lindseywood@merewilts.org 860701 merewilts.org

 

Vacancy for Minute Secretary

Mere Town Council are looking for a freelance Minute Secretary or Committee Clerk.  Duties to include:

  • To attend meetings and take accurate and concise notes of the meeting, recording decisions and action to be taken and by whom. (Digital recordings can be made to assist)
  • To type up the notes of the meeting into Minutes to form an accurate record of the meeting, to the format agreed by the Town Council.
  • Liaise with the Clerk to agree the content of the Minutes.
  • Draft minutes should be available within a reasonable period following the meeting (usually 2 – 3 weeks)

Minutes can be compiled from home.  Full Council meetings are held monthly on the first Monday of each month and start at 7.00 pm and there may be one or two extra meetings throughout the year.  We anticipate that it is unlikely to exceed 14 meetings per year.

Please apply to Lindsey Wood, Town Clerk 01747 860701 or email lindseywood@merewilts.org

Recruitment of Firefighters in Mere

FIREFIGHTERS NEEDED IN YOUR COMMUNITY

If you live or work in Mere or the surrounding area, have you thought about being an on-call firefighter?

Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service is currently recruiting for the fire station in White Road, and the recruitment team will be out and about in the local area during the w/c 13 June – so look out for them!

There are also plans for a ‘Have a Go’ event at the fire station, and details will be on their Facebook page once confirmed – www.facebook.com/DWFRSMereFireStation

When the pager goes off, an on-call firefighter can be called to a wide range of incidents, such as fires, road traffic collisions, rescues from height or water, animal rescue or flooding.

In addition, Mere is a co-responder station, where firefighters can opt to support the ambulance service by attending medical emergencies ahead of a paramedic arriving.

If you want to support your community, learn new skills and earn additional income, get in touch! Look out for the team next week, visit www.dwfire.org.uk/on-call-firefighters, email oncallsupportofficers@dwfire.org.uk or leave a message on the 24-hour recruitment line, 01722 691444.