I hope you are all bearing up in the post-Christmas gloom. It’s been such a soggy start to the year with almost non-stop rain. The river has been extremely high, and there have been reports of flooded paths and broken banks around the town. People have shared their memories of jet skis near Asda, boats rowing through the Market Place, and the high-water levels that used to occur before the channel was created around the Blue House. Nonetheless, the levels of unpredictable and unseasonal weather we are seeing now is a very clear reminder that all of us across the world can no longer doubt the immediate threat of our warming climate.
We have seen fires across the country through the unprecedented heatwave last summer, and temperatures this winter that have felt like spring; these rapidly changing weather patterns pose a clear and present danger to so many of our precious species of wildlife, insects and birds, many of which are facing catastrophic decline in numbers and problematic changes to migration and mating patterns. Please do what you can to support mitigation of some of the worst effects of these dramatic changes, by looking out for wildlife where you can, looking into how you can help the environment both individually and by supporting organisations in the field. Have a look at Frome Town Council’s website, where you will find information about groups like The Wild Bunch, who help support local people and organisations to create and maintain wildlife friendly areas across the town, and many other sources of support and information about what we can do to help.
Equally challenging is our ongoing cost of living crisis, coupled with the genuinely terrifying problems facing the NHS and many other public services. People who work in these difficult front-line services do the most important jobs of all; saving our lives, teaching our children, looking after our elderly; they deserve a decent standard of living and reading about nurses and teachers using foodbanks should make us all angry. Foodbanks provide an amazing and vital service – I have worked with Fair Frome for years and would never underestimate the importance of the work they do – but the fact that so many of them are now necessary in a country as wealthy as ours is shocking.
So, if you’re someone who has time and energy to spare, have a look at some of the amazing organisations across town – you can find links on our website – and see how and where you may be able to get involved in supporting or contributing. Likewise, if you or someone you know needs support of any kind, there will be someone who can help. I bang on about it I know, but the incredibly resilient and supportive community in our feisty little town is one of our greatest strengths. Our website will point you in the direction of a wide range of supportive groups, and if in doubt don’t hesitate to contact me or my fellow councillors. Signing off as always, with the hope that we can continue to look after each other through this winter and beyond.
Please visit www.frometowncouncil.gov.uk as it has a host of information.