It’s that time of year when we as a Town Council hold our Annual Town Meeting. It’s one of the very few activities we’re actually obliged to undertake. That’s hard to believe considering the amount of work we actually do!
It’s traditionally the time when the Mayor would host a review of the year and would usually include many events attended and much cutting of ribbons. Naturally, this year has seen very little of that activity but on reflection I’ve been amazed at the amount of interaction and engagement I’ve been lucky enough to encounter. Much of it has been from a distance and always with a view to safety and sticking by the rules.
It’s made me realise how many wonderful events the town council has been able to organise, like the Window Wanderlands, Light the Night, Tree planting and many other activities that have kept us all engaged and kept our spirits high.
A lot of my year has been spent going for weekly Walkabouts in the town meeting shoppers and businesses, checking how they’re doing and having the chance to ‘take the pulse’ of the way we’re feeling as a town.
I’ve been heartened to note that throughout this year we’ve remained resilient and optimistic, and been able to view the future with hope and a fighting spirit, ready to bounce back as we emerge from our many lockdowns.
Our neighbourhood networks are also going from strength to strength with people swapping ideas about how they can engage their streets, erecting sharing boxes, exchanging stories and planning street parties when we have the freedom to do it.
In Frome, we have an extraordinary number of volunteers who give their time freely across so many avenues of work, helping many groups and charities to support those less fortunate. I’m honoured, as Mayor, to be able to acknowledge some of those people with a Mayor’s Civic Award for services to Frome, and it will be my pleasure to publicly thank four such people at the forthcoming meeting this week.
Dougie Brown, for his extraordinary work with Active and In Touch, helping those who are isolated and lonely.
Terri Pitts, who selflessly manages the Community Fridge, dealing with contributors and making sure that the fridge is permanently stocked with food that would otherwise be wasted.
Katy Harris, who devotes so much of her time to Fair Frome by cooking for ‘Food at Five’, helping to feed those who might otherwise go hungry. And for her part in fighting to keep the Frome Market alive and kicking during the lockdown.
Frome Medical Centre, led by Dr. Helen Kingston, who have been instrumental in keeping us all advised, healthy and safe during this pandemic, and for overseeing an ambitious programme of Covid vaccinations, keeping us well ahead of the field.
A huge well done to all of them!
It’s also been an honour for me to receive, on behalf of Frome Town Council, a plaque from Active and In Touch, as a thank you for supporting them in their efforts. Thank you from all of us – it’s a touching gesture and much appreciated.
Happy Easter, everyone! Take care, and please stay safe.