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Mayor’s column – 3rd July 2024

I hope everyone enjoyed Great Big Green Week, with its river festival, walks, talks, workshops, clothes swaps, bike rides and so much more. Although the weather wasn’t great, the energy and joy of these celebrations was more than enough to fight off the grey skies. As I write, the Big Green Summer Meetup, which had to be postponed due to especially un-summery weather, has been rearranged for Thursday 1st August – do look out for the booking link from the FTC team and come along to discuss green initiatives with like-minded people.

Pond Dip and Allotment Explore, Great Big Green Week 2024

Great Big Green Week was closely followed by Refugee Week, from 17th to 23rd June. I hope many important conversations happened as a result of the week’s events, helping displaced people feel welcome in our town and celebrating the creative and cultural contributions of some of our own refugee community. And I hope everyone had fun at the No Direction Home comedy night at the Merlin, the ‘Ukrainian Soul’ concert at 23 Bath St and the fun day in the park. Thank you to the Welcome Hub for their work setting up all the events and the individuals and groups who helped to make them a success.

In addition to being your Mayor, I chair the Grants Committee and we’ve just concluded the first round of Community Grants. It’s always a great reminder of how many amazing volunteers we have here, doing a huge amount of work in so many different areas. Applicants in this round include organisations that offer grief counselling, mental health support, and access to the arts for young people, to name just a few. Frome Town Council has increased the grants budget but it’s never enough, so we try to focus on applications that can become self-sustaining over time, and we avoid repeat funding for the same projects. Even so, as usual we had far more requests for funding than we had grants to make, so we had to make some tough decisions. Some applicants will have been reasonably happy at the outcome, but I know others were disappointed. There will be another opportunity before the end of this year, but it’s becoming increasingly clear that we need to put more effort into consolidation, with a tighter focus on specific areas of need rather than support ever more new organisations proliferating around Frome.

Resurfacing at Frome Hospital (photo Friends of Frome Hospital)

There was a wonderful example of our local business community working together on 15th and 16th June, when surfacing company IMS Ltd responded to a request from the Friends of Frome Hospital to tackle the potholes and the condition of the road surface around Frome Medical Practice and Frome Community Hospital. Between IMS and a group of aggregate, plabt and haulage, companies, this much-needed work was complete in a single weekend, saving the local NHS trust around £40,000. Many thanks to everyone involved; it shows what fantastic things can be achieved when we share resources and work together for the common good.

3 July 2024
Last Updated
3 July 2024
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