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Latest from the Chamber – Council Meeting, Wednesday 15th March

Mayor of Frome,  Cllr Sara Butler extended a warm welcome to attendees at March’s Council meeting.

Bharati Pardhy and Mendip Cllr Janine Nash of The Friends of Easthill Field gave a presentation, they provided a status of Easthill currently, including a wildlife report and let the meeting know about their contribution to the Nature Recovery Network.  The group highlighted the educational value of the site and provided a view from CPRE (The Council for the Preservation of Rural England) which highlighted They finished with their vision for Easthill moving forward which includes gaining consensus the from councillors to support the project.

Questions and comments from the Cllrs and public followed, including a question from Rich Ackroyd regarding the lights out in Cheap Street – this appears to be an electrical fault rather than a bulb and assurances have been made that it will be fixed by the end of the month.  Cllr Nick Dove again commented regarding the issues around cleanliness of the town and looks forward to there being one point of call (the new Somerset Council) responsible for all bins and street cleaning.  Alison Murdoch spoke about the success of the Kindness festival, acknowledging the funding from The People’s Budget and requesting whether there be a similar pot next year. Cllr Steve Tanner asked Mendip and Somerset Cllr Adam Boyden about a short response time of a planning board consultation and said that Frome Town Council would be asking for an extension. Cllr Boyden gave a brief update re the new unitary authority and said that it was his intention moving forward to produce a monthly update for the council.

The team from Green and Healthy Frome including board member and councillor Fiona Barrows, and Frome Town Council’s (FTC) Resilience Manage Nikki Brain, presented the next stage for the project.  The meeting heard the partnership has recently been successful in securing further funding from the National Lottery’s Climate Action Fund to accelerate health and climate action in Frome. The partners – Edventure Frome, Frome Medical Practice and Frome Town Council – have been awarded just under £1.7 million over three years to expand and deliver a number of pioneering projects which promote people’s health and wellbeing, whilst also reducing carbon emissions. They have dropped the “future” from their name as climate change is happening now, there’s no time to wait, and the project is delivering an immediate and tangible impact on the people involved.

Their mantra for this next phase is “whole town, everyone in.” They want to reach the people they haven’t been able to yet, hear new voices, and encourage more people to find ways to create green and healthy outcomes with Frome. They are building a positive and inclusive movement for real change, and we invite everyone in Frome to get involved.  You can read the full report here.

Next up Sarah Williams, Business Manager & Hannah Paniccia, Assistant Finance Officer provided an update on the finances of Frome Town Council for the past 11 months from April 2022 to February 2023. Sarah talked through the Income and Expenditure, the payments over £500 and the balance sheet, plus the variances report.  Hannah discussed the Asset Report, along with investments and savings. Cllrs decided to keep the investments where they are whilst investigating investment opportunities more in line with the ethics of the council You can read the full report here.

Paul Oster from Mayday Saxonvale was next up, pointing out that with the new Somerset Council taking ownership from Mendip of the Saxonvale site, they have launched a declaration to ensure that Frome’s expectations of the handling of the site once handed over.   The declaration reads: “  We call on the new Somerset Council to compare the Mayday and Acorn schemes for Saxonvale fairly and transparently to ensure the right plan for the future of Frome is taken forward.”  Cllrs agreed with the declaration and Paul Wynne FTC’s Town Clerk, will officially respond on behalf of the council in support.

Leader of the Council Anita Collier asked Council to ratify the plans for the Coronation celebrations and to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Cheese and Grain which they duly did.  Previously, interested Cllrs and the Communications team met to discuss the plans laid out by the Royal Palace to celebrate the King’s Coronation. The message from the palace is to promote community and volunteering on Monday 8th May and members of the public in Frome will be invited to take part in The Big Help Out, which will encourage people to try volunteering for themselves and join the work being undertaken to support their local areas.

FTC will launch a campaign to highlight the work of community groups in the town with a flag project. Local artists Mel Day and Aliss Vaas who have delivered a flag project before for the Working Memories project, are co ordinating this project. They are working with Everybody Needs Pockets and the Women’s Shed as well as self-selecting community groups to design and make their own flags, these will then be hung in the town utilising the Christmas tree holders on shop and business fronts. The flags will use the same style and fixings as the Frome Festival who have kindly agreed to loan us theirs and so our thanks go to their team for agreeing to share their resources. The use of flags in place of bunting, will hopefully be a welcome and colourful addition to the town during the coronation.

Anita also added that the 25th anniversary of the Cheese and Grain is this September, and FTC will work with them to support and promote a series of birthday events and put on a civic open access event where all are welcome, with its roots firmly in the community. They would also like support from FTC to help collect and collate an archive of people’s experiences and images of the Cheese and Grain which FTC hope to support in partnership with the museum. Cllrs ratified the report, which you can read in full here.

Laura Flaherty, Executive Assistant to the Town Clerk and Mayor presented the Community Grants and advised that the Grants Advisory Panel (GAP) met on 27th February to consider twenty applications for the final round of the Community Grants for 2022/23. Fourteen applications were proposed for approval, including Mind your Music providing music and drama mental wellbeing workshops, Wessex Counselling providing a youth space, the Frome Festival and Dorothy House Hospice and the provision of a Community Palliative Care Team. The Town Clerk previously approved them, and Cllrs ratified them. The GAP also recommended to fund the Purple Elephant application through the remaining substantial grant funding as the project aligned with the cost-of-living work, which was also agreed. The full report with all the details can be found here.

Laura rounded the meeting off with a staff update, which can be found here.

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.

16 March 2023
Last Updated
16 March 2023
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