The Council Meeting started with a welcome from Chair, Cllr Andy Wrintmore.
Following questions, Cllr Rich Ackroyd asked about the sculpture “Last tree Dreaming” at Frome College which has recently been taken down. Emma Reynolds, Principal of Frome College who was at the meeting explained that during annual checks the sculpture was deemed unsafe in its original state and a health and safety risk. The tree has been lowered to the ground in sections, and more students are now interacting and looking at the art, which is moving the sculpture into the next stage of its life.
Emma was first on the agenda to give an overview of the college which has just entered its centenary year. Emma explained how the last 18 months have been tough but when the college entered lockdown they focused on the positives and found an enormous sense of community, from the Rotary funding hot lunches to donations of laptops and uniforms. The college saw that attendance rates went up (of those attending) and more students are talking more openly about mental and emotional health and are asking for support.
Looking forward, the college wants to raise the standard of facilities, particularly for STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths) and are looking into ways of funding this. They are supporting students to progress given the past year and looking forward to the return of events in music and arts, which have been missed. Entering this centenary year, Emma explained that there will be a service at St John’s church and a garden party in July 2022. There is an exhibition at the Frome Museum and the college staff are proposing centenary projects such as rewilding, water fountains and developing outdoor spaces, the students will be involved with the projects and celebrations too.
Following the presentation, the Mayor of Frome, Andy Wrintmore, presented Emma with a certificate marking the centenary of the college.
Cllr Maxine Crawley and Paul Wynne, Town Clerk, followed with an update on Unitary Somerset project and a discussion on the Town Council elections and whether they should be in line with the upcoming unitary elections. Somerset Association of Local Councils is consulting its members on the parish elections to discuss whether or not the Somerset parish council elections timetable should be brought forward a year to coincide with the unitary elections. The majority of Cllrs agreed that it should remain in its current cycle and Paul will feedback to SALC.
It was also agreed by Cllrs to continue due diligence and discussions around assets and liabilities and work with other Mendip towns and Mendip District Council to explore whether some of Mendip’s assets and liabilities could be transferred before the dissolution of Mendip. You can read Paul’s full report here.
Kate Hellard FTC’s Community Development Manager opened the final discussion on the agenda surrounding fundraising support. Kate explained that FTC have been successful in securing external funding to support the delivery of FTC’s Strategy and associated work programme. Over the last three years FTC have secured funding to support the delivery of several projects totalling circa £20ok and there are significant funding bids currently being reviewed by funders. Examples of funding secured include: the Climate emergency funding for the LCWIP and resilience communications, lottery funding for the Green and Healthy Futures programme and the development of Neighbourhood Networks during the covid-19 related lockdowns.
Applications for funding have so far been secured by FTC staff, which take time and effort alongside an already busy work programme. Cllrs discussed using a freelance fundraiser, which is already in the budget, where appropriate for the right project should they be needed. Kate’s full report can be found 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.