Hello everyone, I’m delighted to be writing this week’s column on a very rainy day! Very welcome it is too, but I’m also pleased that it has been dry and sunny for some of the lovely town events I’ve been to recently.
Last week I was invited to a small neighbourhood get together in Stonebridge, which is in the ward of the town that I represent, along with Cllrs Tracy Ashford and Andrew Jones. It was a small and perfectly formed little gathering with simple games and activities for kids, and deckchairs and tea for the grownups, with the idea of bringing together neighbours and families who may not have met and to make use of a lovely community green. I obviously picked up the first available hula hoop, and also got to cuddle an extremely cute 11-day old baby. These types of very local gatherings are a great way to bring people together with their local communities and the council to encourage conversations about what the area might need and how we can support local residents.
At the other end of the scale was the wonderful Children’s Festival, which was voted for by residents as the best thing to spend the Peoples Budget on. It was a very special day, organised brilliantly by Purple Elephant with input from Frome Rotary, Young People Frome, Frome Town Council and so many other wonderful volunteers and helpers. There was so much for everyone, including performances and plays, workshops by Aardman productions, woodland den building and a zip wire. Fair Frome, amongst others, provided food and drink, and it felt like a lovely little town festival all along the river. My highlight unsurprisingly was getting to ride Drucilla the Vegan Dragon, created by local puppeteer Greg Stephens. Loads of people came along and it really showed some of our local talent at its finest, a lovely and joyful celebration of our town.
I’d like to finish up with Saxonvale; to the delight of so many people, the Mayday plan was granted outline planning permission by 12-3 votes at the Mendip Planning Board on 17th August. All the hard work put in by the team and those working behind the scenes felt like it had paid off. However, in what appears to fly in the face of the needs of the town and the wishes of residents, a second stage approval has now been granted to Acorn. Sadly, this will result in challenges which will take up valuable time and resources, and result in further delays. We must continue to argue the case for employment and commercial space in our town centre to secure our economic future. Onwards.
Keep well and safe, and as ever do drop me or any of my fellow Cllrs a line if there’s anything we can help with.