Mayor’s column 1 February

I’ve had the wonderful job of handing out money… not real wads of cash, obviously, but watch out in the paper for pictures of a big cheque and me with representatives from lovely groups well deserving of funds. I particularly liked chatting to Beryl and Emily who help run Songs for the Memory. The group meets at Frome Hospital on Wednesdays. They focus on promoting confidence and enhancing the wellbeing of those affected by memory problems, centred around the principles of music therapy and singing. They have been meeting fortnightly but will be running weekly now with the help of the Town Council grant.

If you’d like the chance of choosing who should get some of the funds the Council sets aside for community groups in town, then you can. The People’s Budget enables anyone in town, over the age of 10, to be part of the People’s Panel. The Panel gets to vote on the projects that community groups have submitted for funding. You need to register to be on the Panel by 5pm on Wednesday 28th February. The voting day is 17th March at the Football Club. In the morning all the groups tell you about their projects, you vote and while you are having lunch the votes are totted up and the winners are announced. A great way to spend a Saturday morning!

Last Saturday morning I was at Frome library listening to three brilliant authors summarising the books they have written with a link to Frome. I learned: something about the very early history of Frome (was there possibly a king here?); the textile manufacture was hugely important to Frome and wode – the source of blue dye – made the town famous; Selwood forest surrounded Frome forming a barrier to invasion from the east. Symbols of all this history are on the medallion of the Mayor’s chain.