Latest from the (online) Chamber – Council Matters July 2020

July’s Council Matters meeting started with a welcome from Chair, Cllr Sara Butler.

Rodden MeadowFirst on the agenda, Chris Stringer, Frome Town Council’s (FTC) Environment Manager, opened the meeting with his report on the proposed changes to the management and improvement plans for Rodden Meadow and Millennium Green.

The highlights planned  for Rodden Meadow include more tree planting as part of the Wild about Trees project (this will be presented and reviewed at a future meeting), new seating, exploring the idea of a natural pond and working closely with the Friends of the River Frome and Froglife. There are no new plans for Millennium Green, but the team will follow up any recommendations that come from the tree survey that is being completed currently.

Cllrs approved the plans and they will be reviewed again in summer 2021. Read the full report here.

Chris continued with the next item agenda, by providing an update on our parks and open spaces, even with lockdown due to Covid-19, a lot has been happening. The report included the following: Ranger Phil joining the team, Helen Viner becoming Trees Project Officer, new floral planting around the bandstand in Victoria Park, a Wild about Frome grass spiral at the Showfield, and Ranger Dave has made benches.

Next up Sarah Williams, Business Manager, provided an update on the finances of the Town Council.  It included the Income and Expenditure report to 30th June 2020, and a year-end forecast to March 2021.  Sarah’s report included an anticipated the financial impact of the pandemic. An application is being made to MDC for additional support. You can read Sarah’s full report here.

Rachel Griffin, Marketing and Communications Manager at FTC, provided the next report, giving a flavour of what the Communication and Marketing Team has been working on in the past few months.  Since lockdown, the team has been focussed on the Covid-19 emergency response, starting with a “Check in with your 5 nearest neighbours” campaign, which included signage and a town wide leaflet distribution.  The team have supported the set up and promotion of the emergency food delivery service and the “Shop for Me” volunteer shopping service.  The website was repurposed to be a central hub of information and Discover Frome focussed on the retail offers in town.  Alongside this there has been the writing, collating and supporting of numerous newsletters and updates, plus the What Next for Frome Survey to feed into the recovery work. You can read Rachel’s report here.

Rachel next presented an update of the Town Hall.  While this is still closed to the public and staff, and all tenants have been provided with rent holidays, the has resulted in lost revenue.  With the exception of the Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group who has temporarily hired the downstairs café area for antibody testing for NHS and social care workers.

While the Town Hall has been closed there have been a number of maintenance projects taking place and a deep clean to ensure the building is ready to open when advised.  You can find the full report here.

Finally, there was a brief staff & training update and a Health & Safety review to round off the meeting. You can find these reports here.

The details of everything mentioned above can be found at www.frometowncouncil.gov.uk and the next meeting is Town Matters on Wednesday 5th August. Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram to keep updated on everything we’re up to.

Published 17th July 2020

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