Sheila Gore welcomed all guests to the council chamber, and in the spirit of International Women’s day – introduced the “all female cast” conducting the meeting– herself, Planning and Development Manager Officer Jane Llewellyn and last but not least Laura Flaherty (whose job title is way too long and complex for an update), taking the minutes.
Councillor Tricia Golinski expressed her thanks to all the bus drivers for transporting people safely during the snowy weather, and Favbug (Frome Villagers and Bus Users Group) for their work in supporting bus services. Favbug member Tracey Harding has recently been instrumental in gathering information for a new combined and intergrated bus timetable leaflet, featuring all Frome buses. Look out for it in your letterbox soon.
John Price, from Frome Selwood Tennis Club talked about the chance for Frome to join a national LTA scheme. John is working with Environment Manager Chris Stringer to create more tennis opportunity in Frome
Elaine, a member of the public asked a plastic free question, “Does FTC have any plans to introduce public recycling bins in the Town Centre?” Jane confirmed that we are looking into this, and Councillor Pippa Goldfinger agreed – adding “We still have to negotiate this with Mendip, as it would be their responsibility to collect the waste.”
Steve Macarthur, General Manager of the Cheese and Grain updated the room on recent developments, including a new recording studio set to open in September. The new Bert Jansch Studio will use £300k from the Lottery and £130k of grant money from FTC. The venue is growing all the time, now employing 50 people. Councillors praised Steve for his hard work and entrepreneurship.
Up next, the People’s Budget Town Vote. This is different to People’s budget Events – which will conclude on the 17th March at Frome Football Club. At Wednesday’s meeting, the Councillors had to simply say yes to three possible projects, which they did. The people of Frome will vote in April – only one can win, and the project must be launched within 12 months of the vote.
FTC Community Projects Officer Kate Hellard presented a list of community groups who we’d like to give grants to, Councillors agreed. More details to be released in the coming weeks.
Project officer Charlie Orr then stepped up to the microphone to update everyone with what he’s been up to. Business Breakfasts, Discuss and Dos, Frome Busks, Soul Traders, all part of the day job. He has also been looking into travel, and after conducting a survey with Resilience manager Anna Francis, discovered that there is a real demand for a bus to Commerce Park. Discussions with Frome Minibuses are in progress. Charlie and Anna are also creating a plastic-free ‘community shopping’ checklist, to be filled in by small Frome businesses, as a way of bulk buying paper alternatives and distributing them throughout town.