The Town Matters meeting started with a welcome from the Chair, Cllr Andy Palmer who issued a statement regarding the much-welcomed reinstatement of the Saturday Market, thanking Mendip District Council (MDC), Frome Chamber of Commerce, and the market traders for all their efforts. Mendip District Cllr Janine Nash also welcomed the return of the market and informed the meeting that MDC and Frome Town Council (FTC) will work together to improve communications a view shared by many of the MDC Cllrs present.
MDC Cllr Shane Collins highlighted that The Retreat planning application will be going to Mendip Planning Board on 17th February. Cllr Collins also shared that the Bristol Airport expansion project was out for consultation until 22nd February and encouraged FTC Cllrs to email firstname.lastname@example.org with comments.
FTC Cllr Rob Collet requested an update on further consultation on closing King Street to cars. Peter Wheelhouse, FTC’s Economic Development & Regeneration Manager, commented that the proposed Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan would provide a strategic overview of schemes such as Kings Street and the grant application to pay for the plan to SCC was still to be decided
Cllr Paul Horton also suggested a “live” King Street Consultation and agreed that Cllrs need to discuss this further. Cllr Horton also identified that following the closure of the path at Willow Vale the diversion via North Parade was too narrow to allow pedestrians to pass without having to walk in the road, Peter Wheelhouse agreed to ask County Highways whether they would agree to put cones in the road to create a wider footpath.
Chair of the Vocational Training group Cllr Maxine Crawley let Council know that the next meeting will be on the 18th March at 3pm, there will be lots of young people attending and opened the invitation for all to attend.
FTC’s new Resilience Officer, Nikki Brain introduced the two-year Green and Healthy Futures Programme, funded through the National Lottery’s Climate Action Fund. The project is a collaboration between Frome Town Council, Edventure, represented by Johannes Moeller, and Frome Medical Practice, represented by Jenny Hartnoll.
The premise is that Healthier people make a healthier planet, and a healthier planet supports healthier people. The programme will tell a new story that engages people who would not normally get involved for climate reasons alone. Alongside storytelling and community development activities the project will deliver a catalogue of community-led climate and health initiatives that can work sustainably in Frome. Seven work packages will be delivered over two years; each work package will produce a toolkit to enable ideas to be shared and replicated in other towns.
To deliver this project, three part time posts have been funded by the Lottery:
- A Project Manager, based at Edventure, responsible for overseeing the storytelling and development project, working closely with the project leads, and overseeing all monitoring and reporting.
- A Green Community Health Connector based at Frome Medical Practice, providing training and active links with all green prescribing projects.
- A Climate researcher based at Frome Town Council to deliver the evaluation project, work with external evaluators, and support projects to maximise carbon impacts.
The project will be launched at an online event on 29th April and will be an opportunity to engage the community and share the vision of a Green and Healthy Future for Frome.
You can read Nikki’s full report here.
Rachel Griffin, FTC’s Marketing and Communications Manager, presented the final item on the agenda, looking at participatory budgeting for 2021/22 via the People’s Budget.
Now in its fifth year, the People’s Budget gives residents meaningful choices about how a proportion of the budget is spent whilst also gaining the positive effect of well engaged community supported events and projects. The proposal for 2021 is to continue to build on previous success to deliver both a People’s Budget: Events and to introduce People’s Budget: Town Vote to support individual areas or neighbourhoods.
People’s Budget: Events will have a budget of £25,000, applications can be made for up to £10,000, and proposals must show that the event will benefit the town and falls within FTC’s strategic objectives.
People’s Budget: Town Vote will have a different approach this year, there is an overall fund of £10,000 and FTC will ask for bids for projects of up to £1k from street level neighbourhood communities. The projects should be bought forward by residents or community groups who will work with our neighbourhood networks co-ordinator to support the project and help the group engage with other neighbours. The new approach is designed to complement the ongoing work FTC are doing in developing community networks and thereby building community resilience.
Cllrs unanimously approved to delegate authority to the Marketing and Communications Manager to progress both People’s Budget options. Rachel’s full report can be found here.
The agenda and details of everything mentioned above can be found on the meetings 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.