As I’m writing this, I’m very hopeful that the next Government announcement will tell us that we will be able to get together with friends and family for Christmas. If that’s the case, for many of us this will help to ease the feelings of loneliness and isolation that’s been so difficult for so many during these periods of lockdown.
It looks as though vaccines are making great progress too, so there is hope for the future that very soon we’ll be able to see protection for the vulnerable, our care workers, and ultimately all of us against the deadly consequence of this virus. We must be cautious over the Christmas period when it will be so tempting to use the opportunity to meet up with groups of friends, please let’s not undo all the good work that’s been done. If we’re sensible, and follow the guidelines, we’ll soon be out the other side and so I urge you please to all take care.
A little while ago, Frome Town Council sent out an invitation to all the junior and middle schools in Frome to design the Mayor’s Christmas card along the lines of theme I suggested. I proposed the idea of ‘Frome’s Green spaces’, focusing particularly on our trees. There’s so much work being undertaken to promote our ‘Wild about Frome’ work, looking at allowing meadowland to grow, and thinking about lots of tree planting under the scheme we’re calling ‘Wild about Trees’. The card entries have flooded in and this week I’ll be looking at them all to try and find a winner which will be used as the printed card sent out from me to so many individuals and businesses who all contribute to the economy and the wellbeing of our wonderful town.
While we’re in the festive spirit, in an effort to support all our small businesses who are missing being at Christmas fairs this year, the team at the Council have created a virtual Christmas market – there are two spaces that allows makers or sellers in Frome to showcase their wares and allows you to interact with them directly to purchase any gifts that may catch your eye.
There’s a space over on Discover Frome which showcases items such as stunning handmade glass work, to gorgeous bespoke jewellery or a hand-crafted Christmas sack – why not support your local makers this Christmas, all the details can be found: https://www.discoverfrome.co.uk/fromes-virtual-christmas-market-2020/
There’s also a group over on Facebook just search and join for the Let’s get Christmas wrapped up in Frome group, you will see several stalls all you simply need to do is browse the main feed and find some festive gift ideas – you can ask for recommendations too if you’re stumped for ideas.
This year, more than ever, we need to support our local small businesses, so please do take a look and get your Christmas shopping started!
It’s quite apparent in all the work I do for the Council, how hard the staff work in every area. In Finance, a team headed up by Sarah Williams, we’re on target to be within budget thanks to some great work, in Sustainability, currently managed by Emma Parker, the team looks at what’s environmentally acceptable, energy saving ideas, walking & cycling promotion, all of which focus on becoming carbon neutral by 2030. Economic Regeneration, headed up by Peter Wheelhouse, is super important if we’re to keep Frome buoyant. The Planning department is run by Jane Llewellyn, who has an amazing array of knowledge, and she works to influence Mendip in all decisions relating to Frome planning applications. Our Community team under Kate Hellard, works with Neighbourhood groups, residents, children, police and they also set up all the support for the town during the pandemic. The Communications team managed by Rachel Griffin, is constantly finding ways to communicate with residents in the town about how to stay safe, what’s going on, information about where to turn for help during lockdown, setting up events (when they can happen), and a million other jobs besides. They communicate through the Frome Town Council website, Facebook, Twitter, posters in the town, leaflets, door drops, newspaper articles, and so much more. I don’t think many people realise the amount of work undertaken by the whole team to keep Frome ticking over. Whatever we Councillors decide in our strategy at the beginning of each year, the staff are there to put it all into action, and I must say their expertise is invaluable and they make a great job of it.
As you know, I’m gradually introducing your Councillors to you. This week, it’s the turn of Cllr. Sara Butler-Bartholomew who is one of three ward Councillors for Keyford Ward. Here’s what Sara has to say:,
“My main passion as a councillor is the environment and care of our wildlife. As a gardener, I’m very aware of the decreasing biodiversity and destruction of habitats that we see happening all around us, and I intend to fight that fiercely wherever I can. I’m also committed to making sure that residents of Frome not only get their say, but that they are genuinely involved in the future of the town. I’m acutely aware of the many people struggling in these anxious times and want to see good commercial property and decent social housing developed in the right places. I love the town with all my heart and am committed to making it a fair and thriving community.”
So, as you can tell, we’ve got passion from staff and Councillors alike, and I consider myself very lucky to be working with such a talented, committed and dedicated team.
I hope you all have a good week, stay safe and well, and please take care of yourselves.