Mayor’s column 8 March

Round about this time last year we were getting ready for the first event when Frome residents could directly say how some of the council budget could be spent.This was called Participative budgeting, but try saying that more than once, let alone type it in a piece like this and you’ll see why it’s now called the People’s Budget. This year some changes have been made to streamline things and will be taking place again on March 17th at the Football Club. There are 7 different community events pitching for funding and they will outline their project on the day from 10.30 till 12.00. Lunch will then be on offer and the result of the vote will be announced at 12.30. You can still sign up to take part on line on the Town council website or see the link from the council facebook page.

Last year one of the groups that won funding through the People’s Budget wanted to look into the problems of housing in the town especially housing for those on low incomes. They ran several open meetings to find out what were the issues in town and raise awareness of the problems. On the back of this research they have now applied and been successful in raising more funding from outside the town. They are going to use this money to put into action some of the ideas that the group explored. So from the relatively small amount of People’s Budget funding the group has brought extra money, the potential for employment and fresh ideas to help develop local affordable housing solutions for our town.

With housing plans being in the press both locally and from central government, let’s hope this group can shine some light on the complex issues that stir up emotions and are tricky to solve.