President's Heartbeat – w/c 3rd December

Weston MercuryThe November 2017 arrival in Yeovil of a new Chief Inspector for Avon & Somerset Police is another pivotal appointment, contributing to the positive change occurring in Yeovil.  As usual, this is about the personality as much as it is the organisation they represent, a key factor in the recent success stories coming out of Yeovil.  CI Sharon Baker (pictured) is personable and passionate and wants to make a difference.  We have quickly established a dialogue, and Sharon’s presence on the Love Yeovil team has introduced her to the steadily growing number of shop owners and managers driving and embracing change, and attracting new businesses, investment, and footfall to the town centre.

Sharon already pro-actively works with Yeovil Chamber, Love Yeovil, town centre business groups, and the local authority.  In little more than twelve months, Sharon and her team has achieved much.  Prior to her promotion, Sharon helped secure the UK-recognised Purple Flag night time economy accreditation for Weston Super Mare in 2015, and on 20th November, Sharon chaired a stakeholder meeting, which I attended, to kick-off the Purple Flag application process for Yeovil, a move which can only bring positive benefits to the night time economy.


Evidence of Sharon and her team’s work has already materialised.  In the wake of recent County Lines drug-related knife incidents, arrests and convictions resulted in a total of twenty-one years’ jail time; some for offenders from Yeovil.  Also; look out for officers popping up at random locations on the street and in coffee shops, armed with iPads, creating a visible presence, and able to respond; their iPads allowing them to keep up with their paperwork, without the need to return to the station…which after much speculation is confirmed as staying, and will be refurbished to align the facility with 21st century policing methods, and show ‘where the police live’ in Yeovil.  Sharon and her team are on Twitter @ASPYeovil and at  PC Dan Crawford is already working on a regular newsletter for the retail and night time town centre community, and Sergeant Andy Whelpton will visit shops in the town to encourage businesses to link with social media and the police website, issue a paper copy of the police contact details and discuss how to interact with the police team.

If you are the manager/owner of a Yeovil business wanting to take part in what is happening in Yeovil, please email me at

Picture credit: Weston Mercury


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Released on 30/11/2018