The meeting started with a welcome from Chair Cllr Andy Wrintmore.
First on the agenda was a short presentation from Bob Ashford, Chair of Fair Frome. Bob explained that the organisation currently provides Food at Five, Holiday Hunger and many other initiatives. However, since its formation 8 years ago, Fair Frome is best known for organising the Frome Food Bank.
He explained that the demand for their services has steadily increased, and their current building behind the Town Hall is no longer fit for purpose due to the increase in demand which means they need to relocate to bigger and more suitable premises.
To help in their quest for new premises, Fair Frome have now joined up with Rotary in Frome and Frome Lions Club in launching plans for a Legacy Project. They are asking individuals, businesses, developers and any other organisations to let them know whether they have or are aware of any site or building that may be suitable for their needs. Further information can be found on the Fair Frome website. Bob closed by thanking Frome Town Council (FTC) for their support and hopes the partnership will long continue.
Following Bob, questions and comments from Cllrs and members of the public. Cllr Rob Collet asked for an update on the tree preservation orders raised in the previous meeting. FTC have been liaising with Mendip and Peter Wheelhouse, FTC’s Economic Development & Regeneration Manager, confirmed that Mendip were recruiting to increase resources surrounding the tree preservation orders.
Gill Fone enquired about a Platinum Jubilee party at Foundary Barton open space which was agreed. The St Aldhems metal works from the railings in the town centre were also raised, Gill would like them in prominent positions in town. It was confirmed they are currently with the Rangers receiving some TLC and will be finding a place to reside in the town. Gill also mentioned that parking in Foundary Barton is still an issue and would like double yellow lines. Jane Llewellyn, FTC’s Planning and Development Manager confirmed that this issue is part of the car parking review already submitted to County and Jane will contact again.
Gill also asked for an update on the Post Offfice in Westway. Peter Wheelhouse confirmed that he is in regular contact with the landlords and unaware of any progression. Finally, Gill pointed out that the library is closing for refurbishment for 6 weeks and wondered where the police desk will go, FTC will liaise with the police and confirm.
For the next agenda item, Paul Wynne, Frome Town Council’s (FTC) Town Clerk, presented a report which highlighted a number of priority open spaces owned by Mendip District Council (MDC), and proposed that FTC enter into negotiation with MDC to acquire them prior to the unitary council being established in April 2023. The report suggests a phased approach and following a lengthy discussion, Cllrs agreed for Paul to try and take the negotiations further with MDC. You can read Paul’s full report here.
The work programme, budget and precept for 2022/23 was detailed out in the next agenda item. The full report can be found here. Paul Wynne opened with an explanation of the process taken and how it fits in with the Council’s strategy. Peter Wheelhouse then presented an overview of the work programme. Paul returned to explain the staff structure needed to deliver the work programme. Finally, Sarah Williams, FTC’s Business Manager, detailed the budget requirements needed to pay for the ambitious work programme, which when broken down, means that a Band D household will pay an extra 13p per week. The majority of Frome households, over three quarters, are in Bands A to C so will pay less than this. Cllrs approved and adopted all the recommendations.
Next up, Hannah Paniccia, Assistant Finance Officer presented her report regarding the approval of the Risk Register. Hannah explained that to help FTC to actively manage risk there is a Risk Strategy and a Risk Register with control measures and an action plan detailing risks that FTC face and how they will be managed. Every year Council must be confident that it is managing risk competently by approving these documents. Chair Cllr Wrintmore signed and approved on behalf of the Council. You can read the full report here.
Next Jane Llewellyn, Planning and Development Manager, provided an update on the costs for the installations of additional seating and planters to the area around the Boyle Cross, Market Place. Even though it is a small space, this part of the Market Place project has been a complex and time-consuming piece of work for all those who have been part of it. Jane explained that FTC are now at the final stage with installation clearly on the horizon. Following receiving quotes, Cllrs agreed with Jane’s recommended company to carry out the work which will take place following Town Council elections on 5th May. You can read Jane’s full report here.
Cllr Steve Tanner, Chair of the Planning Committee, asked Council to ratify the Mayday Saxonvale formal consultation response made by the Planning Committee on 5th January 2022, which Cllrs agreed. You can read the report and full response here.
Nikki Brain, FTC’s Resilience Manager provided the meeting with an update on the Climate and Ecological Emergency Strategy. Since the publication of the Strategy in 2019, there has not been a public update. The Resilience team has produced updated documents on progress against the actions and Nikki recommends that these are shared publicly in draft format to allow for feedback from the community and will be finalised after the Climate Action Group meeting on 25th January, which Cllrs unanimously approved. You can read Nikki’s report here
The final item discussed on the agenda was the future meeting calendar for 2022/23. This again was approved and adopted by all Cllrs.
The agenda and details of everything mentioned above can be found at https://www.frometowncouncil.gov.uk/event/council-30/. Dates of future Council and committee meetings can be found here. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep updated on everything we’re up to.