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Latest from the Chamber – Council Meeting, Wednesday 12th July

Chair Cllr Philip Campagna extended a warm welcome to July’s Council meeting.

First on the agenda, Cllr Usher presented the report on the work being carried out to invigorate the town centre. It noted that there have been several attempts to improve the town centre over the last decade, from grand designs along the riverside to improvements at Boyles Cross and to small environmental enhancements. There have been varying degrees of success. The changes in shopping habits, rise of internet shopping and vacant shops in the centre of Frome all affect how the town looks.

There are many challenges as high streets adapt. Shop occupancy in Frome is down from 100% pre pandemic and currently there are approximately 16 premises vacant in the centre (8%).  Footfall is also down by roughly 1.4%.

Cllrs discussed the ‘quick wins’: recruiting a dedicated Town Centre Ranger, revamping the Discover Frome website to improve the user experience of the “what’s on” section, and starting the discussions around a Town Centre Partnership Officer.  The report also recommended to support ID Verde in carrying out Somerset Council’s cleaning contract and write to the owners of vacant properties asking them to support the effort to ensure that our town looks and feels vibrant and open for business.

The cllrs agreed to the recommendations.  The full report can be found here.

Cllr Mark Dorrington introduced the next report and Rob Holden, Frome Town Council’s (FTC) Environment Manager and James Hamilton, the project initiator, presented the details regarding establishing a community woodland near Spring Gardens. Increased tree planting in this type of place makes a significant contribution to FTC’s commitment to mitigate climate change and the ecological emergency. It was proposed that FTC would be the leaseholder of the site and would further support James’ community group to establish the woodland and then work in partnership with them to manage the woodland in the future. As in other open spaces owned by FTC, they would provide a safety net to ensure that the site is well managed. Cllrs unanimously agreed the recommendations, full details can be seen here.

Next on the agenda, the Grants Committee’s remit and membership was discussed.  It was established the committee will be responsible for a review of the design and content of the applications forms and T&Cs, set the criteria that applications must demonstrate, set the rounds and scoring system and so on (the full remit can be read in the report here)  It was agreed that the committee should consist of at least six Cllrs, the proposed members being: Philip Campagna (Chair), Anne Hills, Andy Jones, Lisa Merryweather, Steve Tanner, Andy Wrintmore

Cllrs duly approved the remit and the membership of the Grants Committee.

Following suit, the next report approved the proposed membership of the Oversight Committee. Members are Cllrs: Tracey Ashford, Fiona Barrows,  Mark Dorrington (Chair), Nick Dove, Anne Hills , Andy Jones, Polly Lamb, Ben Still, Steve Tanner and Mel Usher.

The film of the meeting can be found on our YouTube channel. And the agenda and details of everything mentioned above, along with dates for future meetings can be found on the Council Committee and Meetings page. Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram to keep updated on everything we’re up to.

14 July 2023
Last Updated
14 July 2023
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