August is traditionally a quieter month for Mayoral activities, but generally Frome Town Council’s work is continuing at an even busier rate than usual, due to the extra work that’s been generated by Covid-19, and with the ongoing discussions around the possibility of a Unitary Authority in Somerset. It’s also the month when many families choose to take holidays in order to work around school breaks. Some of you may have chosen to still travel to your pre-booked destinations abroad, and many will have chosen to stay in the UK this year, but whatever your activity, I hope you have found it safe and relaxing. It’s just a shame the weather has been so unpredictable of late, and it doesn’t seem to be settling any time soon.
The school holidays will soon be over, and with that in mind, and after overwhelming feedback from the local community, Frome Town Council is planning to trial a pop up School Street in September to help to create less congestion, reduce air pollution and enable social distancing around Oakfield, Trinity and Critchill Schools.
I used my walkabout last week to talk to some of the many residents who live in and around those streets to understand more about what their thoughts are. The majority of those I spoke to, which covered all ages from young mum’s with children to much older residents, were generally in favour of making the school streets safer for all those who walk or cycle to schools, both adults and children alike. The pop-up trial will begin in early September (the streets will still be open to residents, disabled drivers and school buses) and will be reviewed regularly to see how effective it is, while at the same time gathering local feedback on how it’s working.
If you’re interested, you can find out more here: https://www.frometowncouncil.gov.uk/school-streets-frome-pop-up/
Mendip District Council is currently banned from using Round Up on our streets. Round Up is a cheap and effective weed killer, but it’s now known that it can cause cancer. The option of hand weeding by the Mendip is inordinately expensive and would probably result in increased council tax as a result. If we don’t want the District Council to reintroduce Round Up, then one option is for us to work together with our neighbours and take care of it ourselves.
Mendip are organising a community weeding event on the weekend of 26th & 27th September. All it needs is a hoe, broom, shovel, plus you and the neighbours, so if you’d like to make this a community effort to be proud of, let’s get together and do it! To let them know you’re interested, just leave your name, street and email at the following link and they’ll be in touch. https://www.mendip.gov.uk/communityweeding
One of the news items you may have come across this week refers to our twinning arrangement with Rabka-Zdrój in Poland. Last month we at Frome Town Council were made aware that the county of Nowy Targ in Poland had passed a county wide anti-LGBTQ resolution. As one of Frome’s twin towns, Rabka-Zdrój, resides within this county, an immediate investigation was launched to determine whether Rabka had adopted this resolution.
As the Lead Councillor for Twinning, I’ve been working closely with the Frome Twinning Association on this, and they have communicated with our other twin towns, Murrhardt and Château-Gontier, as well as twinning community representatives at Rabka. They have confirmed that while they fall into the region, the Rabka Council have not adopted these measures within the town of Rabka.
Part of FTC’s strategy is to work with our twin towns, to utilise best practise across the board. Frome Town Council is resolutely committed to equal opportunities and any affiliation we have needs to adopt this too. Working with the Twinning Association, we will be keeping a close eye on any developments with the other twin towns and should we discover that there is systemic homophobia and issues with gender identity within the administration at Rabka, we would then have to look at the future of the relationship.
For the full statement, please go to https://www.frometowncouncil.gov.uk/response-to-anti-lgbtq-resolution/
Last week it was wonderful to hear that the exam results have gone back to being based on Teacher assessments. Frome College students have achieved some great results, so well done to everyone who has worked so hard to get their results. It’s disappointing for all those students have been made to go through such anguish over potential university places, but I hope it will all come good for you.
For all those excitedly out buying and trying on school uniforms ready for their long-awaited return to their classrooms, it’s not long now, and I’m sure all your teachers are working hard to make it safe and fun for you to go back.
Please remember that local businesses still need your support, so whenever you can, they’d really love to see you shopping in the town. Whatever you do this week, have a good one, and please stay safe!