Chair Cllr Sara Butler welcomed attendees to April’s Council meeting.
Questions and comments from the Cllrs and public followed, and then Nikki Brain, Frome Town Council’s (FTC) Resilience Manager, presented the first report. FTC has led on the production of a Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) for Frome, in partnership with Somerset County Council. The aim of the LCWIP is to create a planned network of safe routes for walking, cycling and wheeling to and from key destinations across town, to support active travel.
An LCWIP is a data and evidence led approach to developing networks for safe cycling, walking and wheeling as set out by the Department for Transport (DfT), and is now a requirement for Local Authorities wishing to bid for DfT funding for capital projects for active travel infrastructure. Frome Town Council engaged consultants Phil Jones Associates (PJA) on the project.
Active travel is a core pillar of Frome Town Council’s Resilience work, due to the enormous health, wellbeing and environmental benefits it brings to individuals and communities. Journeys within Frome are less than 2.5 miles, making it an ideal size for walking, cycling and wheeling. However, the reality is that lack of appropriate infrastructure such as dropped kerbs and safe crossings make some routes impossible to navigate in a wheelchair or while pushing a pram.
If the recommendations in the LCWIP were to be implemented, this would create a comprehensive network of safe, attractive and clear routes across town which would hopefully encourage much greater levels of active travel, reducing congestion, improving air quality, wellbeing and health outcomes. The full report with all recommendations for the LCWIP can be found here. Cllrs duly approved the recommendations.
Deputy Town Clerk, Peter Wheelhouse, provided the meeting with an update on the Council’s work to protect the Badgers Hill football stadium as a community asset. Peter provided a summary of the progress to deliver the various actions identified in the Council Plan.
The report also recommended that the Council exercises its option to acquire the freehold of Badgers Hill stadium for £1 before the deadline in July 2023, grant a lease to the Frome Town Community Benefit Society and incur expenditure to assist both FTC and the CBS to complete the transaction. Cllrs discussed this at length and then approved the revised recommendations. You can read the full report here.
Cllr Lisa Merryweather presented the next report, which proposed to establish a new Oversight Committee to ensure that the Council is fulfilling its scrutiny function of its core activities. It also proposes to formalise the appointment of Lead Cllrs and Cllr working groups and agree to re-invigorate Town Meetings. Cllrs approved the report and agreed that these proposals would be implemented at the Annual Town Council meeting in May. You can read the full report here.
Rob Holden, FTC’s Environment Manager presented his report, on the Plans for Nature Open Spaces programme which is part of the Council Plan. All projects listed in the programme are going ahead with no issues. You can read the full report and activities here. Cllrs agreed the two recommendations: one regarding a new CCTV to be donated to the Police for use in Victoria Park and the second is to consider the purchase of a new vehicle – details are here.
Finally, Cllrs approved the recommendation that FTC approve and adopt the National Association of Local Council’s Staff and Cllrs Protocol. Details 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 Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep updated on everything we’re up to.