The latest from the Council Chamber

The Council Meeting started with a welcome from the Chair, Mayor Anita Collier; the online meeting was well attended by local residents and Cllrs.

Questions and comments from the public and Cllrs followed, and Paul Wynne, Town Clerk, gave an update on the Market Place improvements; the road will reopen on 25th September, and works will then continue as specified, for another 2 weeks and the whole scheme is expected to  be delivered within the original sixteen week time frame – by 12 October.

Next on the agenda was a guest presentation from Dougie Brown from Active and In Touch.  Dougie talked about the brilliant work the charity carries out.  Their aim is to tackle loneliness and their service is available to all adults aged 18+ in Frome and the surrounding villages. Their goal is to tackle isolation and loneliness in order to help improve the health and well beings on individuals.

Active and In Touch volunteers visit (pre-covid), call or arrange small group meetings and events to help and befriend people who have become isolated or out of touch with the community around them.  Dougie thanked Cllrs for the support the group has received from Frome Town Council and the Town Hall staff, particularly in the last six months.  You can find out more about their work on the Active and In Touch website

Following on from this we heard from Planning and Development Manager, Jane Llewellyn, whose report detailed the progress made to date on improved landscaping around the Boyle Cross in the Market Place Jane proposed a design for the area that included new planters and seating. Due to the sloping nature of the site all the seating and planters will be bespoke hence the estimated cost of £25k

Cllrs agreed the designs and delegated Jane to obtain any permissions required from Mendip and to also investigate other potential sources of funding. This project will be brought back to Council at the meeting on 18th November.  Here is Jane’s report.

Next, Jess Francombe and Hannah Stopford, both Children and Young People Projects Officers, and Kate Hellard, Community Development Manager presented. Over the last year great progress has been made in working with partner organisations, residents, children and young people to identify and fill the emerging gaps in services in Frome.

From roaming play with the SuperPirates over the summer, the Link & Learn training programme, to the Make it Happen youth conference to name a few, a whole host of activity has taken place over the year, across all age ranges.  You can read all the details here.

As for next steps, the team will be busy developing “Family Connect”, a support and information service for children, young people, and their families. They will continue with their training and networking for practitioners and interested residents.  They’ll also be commissioning a  play strategy for Frome and complete an audit of need post covid-19 as children and young people return to school when we expect  to see the  impacts of lockdown and where arising gaps in services might be addressed.

Wild about Trees Officer, Helen Viner was up next.  Her presentation detailed the work already completed and highlighted further proposed planting in the Mary Baily Playing Fields and Rodden Meadow. Comprehensive consultation will take place for both these proposals, the team will be talking to residents and community groups in late September/early October and this will be promoted through our website, social media to get as many people involved as possible to comment on the plans.

There are also plans to donate one or more oak trees to each of the schools in Frome. Helen is working with Frome Dissenters Ceremony who are keen to see more trees planted on their ground.  She also went on to discuss a new project, where residents, organisations and businesses can make financial contributions or donations to support the Wild about Trees project. Part of this will enable carbon offsetting.  The project will be developed, and further details will be available later in the year. Here is Helen’s full report.

Kate Hellard came back to present the next item which was a summary of the work to date supporting Frome residents through the first stages of the Covid-19 pandemic.  She went on to discuss the potential of further national or local restrictions in the face of a possible second wave of infections and how FTC is prepared to respond to that which includes working with local partners, Somerset County Council and Mendip District Council to ensure that Frome’s residents are supported.  Kate’s report recommends that the ShopForMe service that was created during lockdown is moved over to Active and In Touch, who are well placed to carry this service out, and Cllrs agreed for some funding to assist this.

The agenda and details of everything mentioned above can be found at https://www.frometowncouncil.gov.uk/meeting/council-26/ .

Following the Council Meeting, the annual meetings of the Mary Baily Bailey Playing Field Trust and Theordora Ann Le Gros for an Open Space Trust were held. Details can be found here.

Dates of future Council and committee meetings can be found here. Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram to keep updated on everything we’re up to.

Published 10th September 2020

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