In the 5-way battle that is spreading across Somerset in the run up to the County Council elections on May 2nd,eyes are focusing on areas where Labour can potentially make gains and Shepton Mallet looks like being a key marginal.
Chris Inchley is standing for the Labour Party in his home Town, Shepton Mallet. He is up against Conservative, Lib Dem, UKIP and Green opposition and is confident that people can trust him and his track record on the local town council to guarantee a safe pair of hands.
‘Shepton has been neglected’
Chris says “In these times of Austerity it would be easy to promise this or that, but what I can promise is that if elected i will work hard for Shepton and my fellow residents. My policy interests are education and the importance of early years intervention. If all children are exposed to language and literature in their early years those childrens educational achievement will be greater in later life.”
Chris believes that there is no doubt Shepton is badly served by public transport and that this needs urgent revision also that young people have taken the brunt of the governments cuts. He adds ” Shepton has no youth service provision and your county councillor needs to work to improve opportunities for young people. Shepton needs to improve it’s cultural services, sports, arts and community involvement. It is an obvious statement to make but Shepton has been neglected by local government, this is largely in the way that councils run their services.”
In the last 20 years or so, either Lib Dems or Conservatives have represented Shepton at County Hall. Chris says “In those 20 years public services has been lost from Shepton. Too many to list but access to services is harder, contacting your local police is harder because the loss of the police office, poor bus services for employment or to access out of Town entertainment and the services people depend upon are going and going fast.”
Is Shepton’s voice being heard?
Chris writes a regular blog on Shepton matters and recently commented on what he calls ‘The years of neglect in regard to safety around Shepton schools.’ In it he states “If elected I will promise to make Shepton’s voice heard!”
There is also a Mendip District Council by-election in Shepton West, which chris will be standing in also on May 2nd. Chris says “Mendip Council has failed Shepton in regard to housing, in getting enough affordable housing for rent and for sale. The need to strengthing Mendips policy on lettings and making sure only high quality housing is offered to people. There are too many examples of poor planning in and around Shepton, there is a need to beef up Mendips policy on quality of design so that new development is compatible with a historic market town. There is a need to protect our open spaces within Shepton, with the Mid Somerset Showfield and West Shepton playing fields being prime examples. Mendip District Council needs to do more to support business and business development to help create jobs.”
Proven track record
A victory for Chris on May 2nd would send a clear message around the county that Shepton’s voice is at last being heard. It would mean the town once again had people representing it at county whose words were backed up by a proven track record. Chris, who, as an example, was involved in Mendip’s selection of the new groundcare contractor says “We now have to ensure the quality promised by the contractor. I will be visiting many of Shepton’s residents in the coming four weeks and I look forward to meeting and discussing Shepton and our Council futures.”