Frome Town Council employs one of the only sustainability officers at town council / parish level in the country. Anna Francis joined the team in April 2014 and since that time has set up a range of projects, supported groups to cut waste and carbon and raised over £150,000 in external funding. The aim of the role is to secure greater resilience and self-reliance in energy and resource-use, support the creation of jobs and training opportunities, enhance wellbeing and to build upon the community’s support for sustainability.
Here are a few things you can do in Frome to help reduce carbon and costs:
1) Consider switching energy supplier, this saves on average £200 a year and the green energy companies such as Good Energy and Ecotricity are now very competitively priced – they also do green gas now too. You can compare prices impartially at www.uswitch.com/gas-electricity/. FRECo are also planning on launching a local community energy tariff in winter 2016.
2) Contact the CSE’s home energy advice line on 0800 082 2234 to find out about any grants or to ask any energy-related questions. Frome also has a team of energy volunteers – if you, or someone you know, are struggling to pay energy bills do get in touch
3) Join Frome’s solar-powered community car club – affordable, convenient and low carbon. Perfect if you need access to a vehicle now and again: www.co-wheels.org.uk/frome
4) Pop into the UK’s first Share shop on the Bridge and see what you can borrow. The average drill is only used 13 minutes in its lifetime, so sharing tools, toys, leisure, catering and other equipment is a great solution. Most items are only £1 or £2 to borrow for a week: www.sharefrome.org
5) Join lift-share to cut journey costs and carbon: https://somerset.liftshare.com/
7) Join Sustainable Frome’s mailing list to find out what green events and projects are happening each month – they also have free workshops on the first Thursday of the month exploring each of the One Planet principles.
Key areas of work
The resilience role focuses on the main objectives in Frome Council’s strategic plan, and links in with the One Planet Living theme that underpins Frome’s Neighbourhood Plan. Key activities include: Reducing Energy Demand and Costs, Cutting emissions from transport and reducing waste. Recent activities and events have included Switch to a Renewable Future as part of our European thematic twinning programme and Clean Future for Frome which the ex-President of the Maldives spoke at.
Cheese and Grain Case Study: Frome Town Council has invested in the Cheese & Grain to generate energy (through installing solar panels) and save energy (by improving draught-proofing, creating more natural light, installing LED lighting and tap sensors).In recognition of this investment, the project has been awarded a prestigious Green Apple Award for Environmental Best Practice in 2014.
Transport: key activities include securing funding and lobbying for better public transport services, setting up and promoting Frome’s car club which cuts carbon, costs and pollution, promoting walking and cycling and helping to establish a volunteer driver scheme for Frome.
For further information on these activities or if you have any ideas to cut carbon and costs please contact Anna Francis, Resilience Officer at email@example.com