Sheila Gore welcomed councillors, staff and members of the public to the meeting in the Council Chamber, Frome Town Hall.
First, we heard from Frome College’s Principal Emma Reynolds and Chair of Governors Max Wide, who outlined the importance of ensuring good progress for all students particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds. There was much discussion about how we can engage the wider community, including local business, in making education a continual process and enabling young people to pursue successful careers within Frome.
We then received a message from Jane Sharpe, co-ordinator of the changing places toilet scheme. The project is making good progress, and contractors will be on site in the new year, projected completion for March 2018.
Julie Carey-Downes talked about the work being done by Health Connections Mendip, who are supported by FTC. They help to provide a range of non-medical health and wellbeing support for Mendip residents by establishing links between the local community and services. They were commended by councillors for their meaningful work. Find out more on their website healthconnectionsmendip.org.
Nicola Cretney, FTC’s Health and Wellbeing Manager then presented her health and wellbeing strategy and action plan. Nicola identified three priorities for Frome – healthy lifestyles (encouraging physical activity and healthy eating), improving literacy and young people’s mental health. She explained how we will continue to work alongside organisations and individuals to improve outcomes in these areas. Councillors agreed to adopt this strategy and action plan.
Anna Francis, FTC’s Resilience Manager, proposed to lobby Somerset County Council’s Pension Fund to divest from fossil fuels. The fund currently has £125m in oil, gas and coal. Anna went on to propose that FTC becomes a “single use” plastic free council. We have been talking to other organisations and businesses to reduce the overall use of things like plastic cups and straws in Frome. Councillors unanimously agreed to both.
Finally, Charlie Orr proposed exciting plans to begin an international work experience project between Frome and one of our twin towns in Murrhardt, Germany. Over 18s will be invited to take part and the project will begin next year. Councillors unanimously agreed.
Thank you to everybody who attended. All of our meetings are open to the public, you can find a full list of council meetings here.