Chaired by Cllr Sara Butler, the Council Matters meeting began with the usual signing of the minutes and questions and comments from public and Cllrs.
It was then straight into an update on the work of the Marketing and Communications Team. Rachel Griffin, Communications and Marketing Manager, began by giving an introduction of her team. Each team member then gave a brief outline of the area of their work ranging from website improvements and artwork to social media, press and weddings. Learn more about the team and their roles, in the Team Overview.
Next, Business Manager, Sarah Williams outlined FTC’s financial position at the end of September. She explained that the external auditors had completed their audit and were satisfied, she then moved on to the income and expenditure and highlighted any payments over £500. Finally, she informed Cllrs that despite the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic, FTC remains financially sound with adequate funds and assets, we have heard that we will be receiving £35,000 of Government support via Mendip District Council (MDC), as a contribution to the overall estimated expenses and loses due to the coronavirus pandemic. Here are the details of the Financial Report.
A presentation from Environment Manager, Chris Stringer was next, and he talked about the Town’s parks and green spaces. He focused on what has been completed, what is ongoing and what is lined up for the immediate future. Highlights included a significant amount of bulb planting ready for the spring, and the repairs and refurbishment to a number of play areas. There was also a discussion around the recent spate of vandalism which has been taking up a considerable amount of the Rangers time. For a full update of the extensive amount of work happening in our outdoor areas take a look at Chris’ report here.
This was followed by Management and Improvement plans for The Dippy and Tower View for the Cllrs approval. The main notes for the Dippy were the plan to re wild the culvert to improve the habitat and landscape in the area, pending the outcome of a funding bid, as well as tree planting as part of the Wild about Trees initiative. Tower View will be part of the wider upcoming play strategy for the town as well as measures being planned to prevent vehicle access around the green which is proving problematic and school drop-offs and pick-ups. The site risk assessments were also noted, and Chris explained that they now reflect the current Coronavirus pandemic and as such will likely need to be updated and changed as things continue to evolve. Read the management plans here.
Rachel Griffin came back to give summary of the Town Hall including occupancy and a year-end income forecast. She explained that the building was beginning to settle into its new routine with rigorous Covid measures such as additional cleaning and track and trace being put into place as well as ongoing risk assessments to ensure the safety of staff, tenants and visitors. She also emphasised that this approach filtered into marketing messages where the focus is on ensuring people feel as safe as possible and although many bookings are still not possible a number of weddings have taken place. Town Hall Steward, Sean Powell then informed Cllrs about the projects he is undertaking to ensure the maintenance and safety of the building such as windowsill renovations and roof quotations. Read more in Rachel’s full report.
Next there was a short Health and Safety update and meeting ended with an update on staff changes, with a Marketing and Communications team member adding hours to cover increased workload and three job opportunities including a Weekend Clearer, maternity cover for Children & Young People’s Project Officer and a new position of Resilience Officer. Find out more about these roles in our job opportunities page.
The details of everything mentioned above can be found at www.frometowncouncil.gov.uk and the next Council meeting will be on 18 November. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep updated on everything we’re up to.