by adamboyden on 6 November, 2014
I am pleased to be able to say that at last week’s Frome Town Council meeting, councillors agreed unanimously to purchase the main part of the old Showfield (the open area, the childrens playground and the Collegians football pitch, excluding the cricket pitch, car park and pavilion) and to take a long-term lease on the two fields behind Ashtree Road, Chaffinch Avenue and Linnet Way. Councillors also agreed by majority to make the purchase through a loan unless use of reserves was required in order to make it happen.
As I explain here, when the purchase goes ahead, the old Showfield will remain protected for recreational use, the improvements plan will be updated (with community inputs) and finally implemented, the legal problems that have stood in the way of progress will disappear, and it will be managed locally by the Town Council, working proactively with the local community. This is great news for everyone that uses the area, and for Frome as a whole.
Residents who responded to the autumn 2012 consultation have waited a long time to see any action. You should not have to wait much longer. Parents worried about their children playing in an unfenced playground should be happy once the fence is put in as a priority. Thanks go to Frome Town Council (Town Clerk Paul Wynne, Mayor Peter Macfadyen, and Leader Mel Usher) and the Agricultural Society for working on and agreeing the deal, to Frome Collegians and FROGS for their support, to Vision For Frome for previous work on the public consultation, to particular Mendip officers for their help, and to every resident who has raised the issues over the years and supported this decision – what you said made a difference here.
A new ‘Friends of the old Showfield’ or existing community group could also work with the Town Council on this. For further information or to get involved, people should contact the Town Council or me (email firstname.lastname@example.org or see www.adamboyden.mycouncillor.org.uk as one of the ward councillors here.
Update 8 December 2014
Mendip District Council has agreed to surrender its leases for the old Showfield, so that Frome Town Council can purchase, maintain and enhance the site as a community asset and give local residents more direct control over the popular open space – see here for the official statement. This was decided at MDC’s Corporate Asset Management Group last week. This is good news and the outcome I asked members of CAMG and MDC’s assets officers to agree on, as the licence surrender should be quicker than a formal transfer of leases (which may take over a year). It means that the purchase of the Showfield by FTC is progressing well, and should not be needlessly held up by bureaucracy.
Also please see here for all my previous scribblings about the old Showfield.
All the best,
Frome Town & Mendip District Councillor, Frome College ward (Lib Dem)1 Comment