By Harry Mottram: Axbridge Town Council will decide on nominations for the next mayor and deputy mayor of the town at their meeting on Monday, March 13th, 2023, in the town hall.

The current mayor and town councillor is Paul Ham who has held the position twice previously and she follows in the footsteps of a long line of mayors and town officials dating back to around 1202 or earlier. Cllr Frankie Mitton is currently the deputy mayor. A Mayor Making ceremony is held in May in the town hall when the new officials are sworn in for a year.

The current position began in 1974 with Jack Todd who had a drapery shop in the High Street. That followed the then Conservative Government’s 1972 Local Government Act which introduced major changes such as introducing two tier levels of local government in Somerset and the abolition of the old urban and rural district councils. This ended Axbridge’s rural district council – which also removed the high status of the town – a position it had held since 1894 and before that due to its corporation and charters. This year Somerset reverts to the single unitary format – undoing some of the Heath Government’s changes to local government.

One of the most famous mayors of the town includes Richard Trew (1793–1874) who over saw many changes in the town in the 19th century including establishing a police station with his own money, building a school and founding the Axbridge Union Workhouse – that often misunderstood institution of part hospital, part orphanage, part social housing, part prison. And he was at hand when the future came to town in the shape of the railway.

A list of the names of recent mayors can be seen in the town hall. The photo is of the ‘chain gang’ on carnival day when various mayors from Somerset take part with our own mayor in the carnival procession.

Other matters to be decided at the meeting include a planning application for a house off Cheddar Road plus there is a chance for the public to speak and raise issues locally.

This is from the clerk:

ON MONDAY 13 MARCH 2023 AT 7.30PM.
Members of the public are welcome to attend.

  1. Apologies for absence – to receive apologies and approve reasons for apologies, if
  2. Minutes of the Council meeting held on 13 February 2023 (available) – to approve as a
    correct record
  3. Declarations of Interest and to consider application(s) for dispensations
  4. Public Participation
  5. Reports from Police, County Councillors and District Councillor(s)
  6. Written reports from members representing outside bodies and attending meetings on
    behalf of the Council
  7. Planning
    7.1 Draft minutes of the Planning and Licences Committee meeting held on 20
    February 2023 (available)
    7.2 Houlgate Way – Revised Plans (Planning Application 02/22/00021/DT) – naming of
    roads and any update
    7.3 Planning Applications
    TO CONSIDER, AS APPROPRIATE (including considering any recommendations from the
    Planning application number: 02/23/00004/AGE
    Proposal: Outline planning permission with some matters reserved, for the erection of 2no.
    self-build dwellings (revised scheme).
    Location: Kattegat, Cheddar Road, Axbridge, Somerset, BS26 2DL
    Please click here to view this planning application on Sedgemoor’s Planning Online website
    Planning application number: 02/23/00006/AGE
    Proposal: Outline planning permission with some matters reserved, for the erection of 1no.
    self-build dwelling.
    Location: Kattegat, Cheddar Road, Axbridge, Somerset, BS26 2DL
    Please click here to view this planning application on Sedgemoor’s Planning Online website
    APPLICATION DOCUMENTS ARE AVAILABLE FOR INSPECTION ONLINE at (click proceed and type in application
  8. Administration and Finance
    8.1 Report of the Group – March 2023 (to follow)
    8.2 Scribe computer system – update on package options and costs
    8.3 Payroll administration – update and any further action
    8.4 Risk Assessment (available)
    8.5 Memorial Plaque – any update
    8.6 Community Table
    8.7 Monthly Financial Report – (to follow)
  9. Highways
    9.1 Report of the Highways Advisory Group – February 2023
    9.2 Demand Responsive Bus Service
    9.3 Highways matters – to report any urgent matters
  10. Cemeteries, Allotments and Open Spaces Advisory Group
    10.1 Report of the Cemetery, Allotments and Open Spaces Group – any update
    10.2 Chestnut Avenue – update on works
    10.3 Open Spaces matters – to report any urgent matters
  11. Leisure and Recreation (to include Changing Rooms)
    11.1 Report of the Leisure and Recreation Group
    11.2 Play Area and Public Conveniences Logs
    11.3 Town Maintenance Report (to follow)
    11.4 Container – Shortlands
    11.5 Changing Room – Plumbing and Heating service/maintenance
  12. Personnel and Protocol
    12.1 Draft minutes of the meeting of the Personnel and Protocol Committee held on 27th
    February 2023 (available)
    12.2 Mayor’s Banquet – 29th April 2023
    12.3 Air Disaster Memorial Service
  13. Strategic Planning Advisory Group
    14.1 Report of the Strategic Planning Advisory Group – March 2023
    14.2 Axbridge Town Council Vision, Mission, Values and Strategic Objectives
    14.3 Old Station building –update and way forward (available)
    14.4 Potential small projects
    16 New Somerset Council – SCC Consultation Notification – Somerset Council Statement
    of Community Involvement
    17 Nomination of Mayor and Deputy Mayor 2023/24
    18 General Correspondence, Consultation and Diary Dates (available) including Food
    Training Champion Opportunity
    19 Town Council Blog – any further items

Axbridge News is edited by Harry Mottram and is published for the interest of himself and fellow residents

Harry is a freelance journalist. Follow him on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube etc

Mobile: 07789 864769