June’s Town Matters meeting began with a welcome from Chair, Cllr Nick Dove who then moved on to questions and comments from the public.
Gill Fone, asked about the open space in Foundry Barton, she noted a few issues on the boundaries including hedging, residents are currently maintaining and planting in spare space, she also mentioned an ash tree which has ash dieback. Environmental Manager Chris Stringer will liaise over the points raised.
Gill also asked about the Post Office in the Westway. Peter Wheelhouse, Economic Development and Regeneration Manager at Frome Town Council (FTC) confirmed that FTC are working with the landlords of the Westway to find an alternative to take on that Post Office Counter.
Mendip District Council’s Head of Service for Planning and Growth, Julie Reader-Sullivan, gave a presentation on Mendip’s work on supporting economic development in the area. Her team have been working hard to support businesses during the pandemic and offering opportunities to recover. They have developed the Mendip Business Hub, which will bring together all the needs for business, alongside a community-based platform called My Mendip, a new tourism strategy, plus a Creative Mendip Grant fund is in development for the creative sector. A logistics hub, promoting skills updates, business seminars and a high street ‘welcome back fund’ will also provide support for organisations within in the Mendip District.
Project Officer, Vivienne Whitaker followed with a report on Frome Town Council’s engagement with the business community and the support and advice on offer during the continued restrictions faced by many. This included online business training and networking events such as a ‘Marketing for retailers’ workshop, Discuss & Do, Women Mean Business and plans for in-person events later in the year. She explained that Good Business visits would be starting again in order to learn more about local organisations and explore ways of helping reduce their social and environmental impact on the town and connect with the community.
Marketing & Tourism Officer, George Tomlinson, outlined support provided by the communications team such as the monthly Business Bulletin which provides regular, up to date information, events and funding opportunities for local businesses. Alongside this, they have been maintaining contact with retailers and the hospitality sector to ensure Discover Frome listings are kept up to date and created promotional content as restrictions lift and local organisations begin to re-open. The Discover Frome Facebook and Instagram accounts have also been relaunched to further promote tourism in the town. Read the full report more here.
The meeting continued with Cllr Crawley and Vivienne providing an update on the work to improve access to vocational training. The Vocational Training Group is planning to take part in the Carnival Fun Day event in Victoria Park on 25th September to promote Spring Forward, which highlights training opportunities in and around Frome. At the event training providers will talk about the scope of the courses on offer and engage with interested people regarding training opportunities. Vivienne also drew attention to the Kickstart Programme which FTC has helped to support and was launched last year. It offers young people who are on Universal Credit a 6-month work placement and training. Edventure who co-ordinate the programme has confirmed over 60 placements, including Frome Town Council’s new Trainee Ranger Phoebe!
Somerset Skills and Learning explained how they adapted their training delivery during the pandemic and the new training needs that have arisen such as wellbeing, digital skills and online courses. Find out more about Vocational training in Frome.
Community Development Manager, Kate Hellard, was next to present with an overview on the Children and Young People’s project work including finalising a series of projects over the summer for young people, offering training opportunities and working with partners to make play more accessible in our communities. She finished by introducing FIND (Family Information Network Directory) which provides essential resources for families and organises over 65 pages and over 500 entries into an easy to navigate and understand platform. It can be accessed on the FIND website. Read more about all the work here.
The meeting ended with the approval of the Grants Advisory Panel decisions on the latest Community Grants round, as well as a summary of Mayor’s Grants awarded since the last report at the Council meeting on 17 March 2021. 14 organisations applied for funding and 10 have been recommended for approval. Read the full list and information about grants awarded 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.