The Council Meeting started with a welcome from Chair, Cllr Andy Wrintmore, followed by a proposal that moving forward all meetings of Frome Town Council (FTC) and its committees will meet in person and return to being formal meetings.
John Price of Frome Tennis Club was first of the agenda, John spoke about their new plans for the lights and the clubhouse and a shortfall in funding of £16000. The Tennis club also had a request for a connecting piece of land between the Tennis Club and the Mary Bailly community courts. It was agreed that plans would come back to the Council for discussion.
Councillors raised two questions: Rich Ackroyd wanted assurances around Mendip’s commitment to the tree preservation officers capacity to protect trees; Anita Collier wanted to urge the council to pick up the existing conversation around getting a speed indicator device installed in Frome with Somerset highways.
Jane Llewellyn, FTC’s Planning and Development Manager presented FTC’s position on the rollout of 5G. Following a planning application for a replacement telecoms mast to support 5G submitted earlier this month, FTC reviewed their previous position on 5G which was created in July 2019.
Jane noted that Frame Town Council has no power to permit or halt the rollout of 5G. It is a statutory consultee on all planning applications. After an interesting debate with passionate representation FTC decided that they will support now planning applications for digital communications infrastructure, including 5G masts, notwithstanding legitimate planning concerns around siting and design. You can read Jane’s full report here.
Rachel Griffin, FTC’s Marketing and Communications Manager presented a summary of the events that have taken place so far this work year and what is expected to take place next year. Some 58 events have been supported by her team and FTC since April 2021, and therefore several cross team objectives have been met through the shaping of a well-planned event.
Rachel explained that events are important to FTC as they allow engagement with the community in interesting and varied ways, are a valuable outreach tool for increased participation, they support economic development and help to maintain a high profile. They also help to make people happy.
Over the last six months FTC have delivered and supported a number of excellent events; some planned and in the current work programme, some not. New elements included Picnic in the Meadow, Play Day, Great Big Green week which featured over 40 events, including three large FTC events and, of course, most recently, Glow in the Park.
You can read Rachel’s report here.
Peter Wheelhouse FTC’s Deputy Town Clerk introduced the mid-year review of the 2021/22 Work Programme. FTC’s Management group have provided detailed summary, it highlights the many areas where there has been positive progress and explains what the challenges have been so far.
Peter’s report covered the progress against each area of work: Environment, Marketing and Communications, Communities, Resilience, Prosperity and Central Services.
Councillor Scot ward lead the congratulatory comments praising the entire staff team for their commitment and professionalism. The full and detailed report can be found here.
Laura Flaherty, Executive Assistant to the Town Clerk provided the exciting news that Frome Town Council has been awarded the National Association of Local Councils (NALC) Gold Award. According to NALC “The Quality Gold Award demonstrates that a council is at the forefront of best practice and achieves excellence in governance, community leadership and council development. Quality Gold councils provide leadership for their communities, bring people together, have excellent business planning processes, ensuring value for money as well as constantly seeking new innovations and opportunities to improve. They highlight the very best we, as a sector, can achieve for our communities.” You can read Laura’s full report here.
Finally, Kate Hellard, FTC’s Community Development Manager, presented a Unitary Somerset update. The Government has now published the draft structural change order which creates the legislative framework for the unitary council. It is expected that the decision on the unitary and parish elections will be confirmed by the end of November.
The team have met with other Mendip town to explore if there is an opportunity to work collectively with Mendip to transfer some assets and liabilities prior to the shadow unitary Council being established. The devolution of assets will continue to be incorporated into our wider work that FTC’s advisors to carrying out and will only progress following Council approval. You can read the full report here.
The agenda and details of everything mentioned above can be found at on the Council Meeting page. Dates of future Council and committee meetings can be found on the Council Committees, Meetings & Minutes page. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep updated on everything we’re up to.