Seeking views in Shepton Mallet, Chard, Castle Cary and Minehead

Somerset County Council’s public engagement roadshow will be calling in at four more towns this month.

Shepton Mallet (24 July), Chard (25 July), Castle Cary (28 July) and Minehead (31 July) will all play host to ‘Listening Learning Changing’ events, seeking the public’s thoughts on the Council’s priorities and other key issues.

This is the third year the authority has run its ‘Listening, Learning, Changing’ roadshows, asking people to try their hand at balancing its budget on a giant set of scales. People can also show their priorities by placing coins in our ‘Think Tanks’ and complete a short questionnaire.

The same questionnaire is also now available online (www.somerset.gov.uk/listening) so those who cannot come along to an event still have the chance to get involved.

More than 120 people came to speak to staff at the roadshow in Wells earlier this month, sharing their views as the Council faces up to the challenge of reduced funding and increasing demand for services. The authority estimates that it will need to save in the region of £30m from its budget this year.

“This year more than ever it is going to be a serious challenge for us to balance our budget,” said Councillor John Osman, Leader of Somerset County Council.

“Our funding from central Government is falling but the demand for what we do continues to grow as the population ages – it’s a difficult situation which leads to difficult decisions about where we spend the money we do have.

“I’m glad we had a good turn-out in Wells and hope that the events throughout July, August and into September attract many more people. We want to listen to what people have to say and  where possible take it into account when making those difficult budget decisions.”

The roadshows are visiting 14 locations across the county. With demand for services rising and central Government funding for the County Council due to fall by a further £42m by 2019/2020 at the latest, it has never been more important to hear people’s views.

Representatives from the Council will be on hand to answer questions and fun activities will be available to keep children entertained.

The table below details the full list of roadshow events.

Date Location Event Timings
Friday 24 July Shepton Mallet Town Centre Market 8am – 1pm
Saturday 25 July Chard Chard Outdoor Market 8m – 1pm
Tuesday 28 July Castle Cary Castle Cary Street Market 9am – 2pm
Friday 31 July Minehead Stand in Town Centre (Wellington Sq) 9am – 4pm
Saturday 1 Aug Axbridge Axbridge Farmers Market 9am – 1pm
Saturday 15 Aug Taunton Taunton Farmers Market 9am – 3pm
Sunday 16 Aug Shepton Mallet Mid Somerset Show 8am – 6pm
Friday 21 Aug Dunster Dunster Show 8am – 6pm
Saturday 22 Aug Bridgwater Junction 24 General Market 9am – 2pm
Friday 4 Sept Bridgwater Bridgwater Farmers Market 9am – 3pm
Saturday 5 Sept Wellington Wellington Food Town event 10am – 4pm
Sunday 6 Sept Wivelscombe 10 Parishes Festival 10am – 5pm
Friday 11 Sept Yeovil Stand in Town Centre (Quedam Centre) 9am – 5pm
Saturday 12 Sept Frome Frome Cheese Show 8.30am – 6pm