May’s Council Matters began with a warm welcome from the Deputy Chair, Cllr Mark Dorrington, followed by questions and comments from those attending.Andy Jones recognised that this was the last formal council meeting before the election and wanted to extend thanks to the Cllrs standing down.
The first point on the agenda was Frome Town Council’s (FTC) Marketing and Communications Manager, Rachel Griffin. Rachel is also in charge of the Town Hall so provided the meeting with an update and was delighted to report that in the first month of this financial year we already have seen an astonishing amount of room bookings on the system, and the Town Hall feels back to pre-covid self. The building is busy and not only as a nice place to work it’s an all-round community offer – a hub of information, education & training and befriending, it is busy and vibrant with a lot going on, and the challenge remains to keep it looking its best and functioning smoothly. Rachel also informed the meeting of the new electric car charging points in the car park and the project to install the solar panels is almost complete. You can read Rachel’s full report here.
Paul Wynne, FTC’s Town Clerk, provided an update on the town’s parks and green spaces. As we head out of spring and into summer the workload for the Rangers focusses on grass cutting in all our spaces plus the watering of flowers and recently planted trees in preparation for a blooming summer.
Paul mentioned the reinstatement works to the grass and the ground in Mary Baily following the works at the tennis club’s new pavilion. The team have been working hard on the Jubilee project at the Old Showfield, plus busy creating new wildflower areas along the edge of the Mary Baily playing field. The team will be focussing on tree surveys in our parks and open spaces and community engagement at the Showfield so users of the area can have their say on the space before work commences on an updated plan. Paul also mentioned the improvement works to the toilets at Victoria Park, site meetings with design and build companies that specialise in public toilets are booked for early May. You can read the full report here.
Paul continued with the new Management & Improvement Plans for New Road, North Parade, Packsaddle and the Roundhouse. These plans replace the previous plans for these spaces, each plan is scheduled to be reviewed again in two years’ time in summer 2024. All plans were duly adopted and you can read the plans here.
Laura Flaherty, Executive Assistant to the Town Clerk and Mayor, next presented the reviewed Staff Handbook, and also presented the reviewed staff expenses policy.
Sarah Williams, FTC’s Business Manager provided the Financial Update and noted that FTC remains financially sound with adequate funds and assets. The report includes the Internal Auditor’s report for November 2021 to January 2022, disposal of assets, income and expenditure and balance sheet reports to 31 March 2022, a list of spending on items over £500 (January 2022 to March 2022), the status of reserves and any specific items to bring to Cllrs’ attention. The report also noted that the yearend accounts for 2021/22 including the Annual Governance & Accountability Return will be on the agenda for the Council meeting (Annual Meeting) on 18th May 2022. You can read the report here.
Next up Rachel Griffin, Marketing and Communications Manager presented an overview of the recent work of the Marketing & Communications team, who, as ever, have had a very packed calendar over the last three months promoting and delivering a number of projects, events and initiatives designed to engage the town, our visitors and promote the work of the Frome Town Council. Rachel explained that the work of the comms team is roughly divided cross three workstreams: The Town Hall, promoting and supporting the events that happen in it and ensuring good occupation rates; Discover Frome which broadly is the visitor offer element and which also segues with supporting walking and cycling, and the Arts; and finally, and arguably most importantly, delivering and promoting projects that support our residents and highlight the work of Frome Town Council.
Rachel gave an overview of the Frome Community Channels which consist of the FTC website, our community social media channels, our community noticeboards, events and newsletters, and plans for the next few months. You can read Rachel’s full report here.
The meeting ended with updates on staff matters and health & safety.
The agenda and details of everything mentioned can be found on the meeting page. For dates of future meetings visit the Council Committee and Meetings page. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep updated on everything we’re up to.