One of the best things you do as Mayor is to be part of the outcome of the many fantastic community led projects that occur in Frome and to meet and thank those that have put in the hard work to make a successful outcome to the project.
This weekend I was really delighted to attend the opening of the Changing Places toilet in the centre of town. This is no simple toilet… it is furnished with the extra equipment for anyone with specialist disability needs and is the first in Mendip.
This has been a truly collaborative project lead by fantastically dedicated and gently persistent Alison Douthwaite mother of Ettie, who needs the extra facilities that this Changing Places toilet provides. Alison and other supporters raised awareness and lobbied both Mendip District Council and Frome Town Council to find a way to equip and maintain the toilet. This weekend she and Ettie cut the ribbon to declare it open.
At the opening were councillors from Mendip, Frome and other councils hoping to open such a facility in the near future. So there I was with my speech ready, chain on. Councillors from Mendip spoke and I fully expected them to hand over to me to speak on behalf of the town as we have co funded the project, but they didn’t. This has been a great collaborative venture and something to jointly celebrate so it was surprising to be unable to thank all involved on behalf of the town. This is one of the roles of the Mayor and it felt disrespectful to me, the role and the town.
Of course it was right to hand over to Alison to cut the ribbon and the outcome is the most important thing. We now have a fantastic new, needed facility in our town. However I’m left wishing that both councils could have been able to show their thanks last Saturday.