by adamboyden on 4 May, 2016
A quick update for you on news for Frome College ward, Frome and Mendip. I hope you find it useful.
How can I help? Please get in touch if you have any issues you need help with.
Frome Leisure Centre to reopen on 1st June: Fusion have now announced that the revamped Frome Sport and Fitness Centre will open to the public on Wednesday 1st June, after over 7 months of work, over £2 million spent, and delays due to asbestos, drainage and the pool plant. Please see here for details from Fusion, and the story in the Frome Standard and Frome Times. I am most relieved that finally the children (and adults) of Frome will be able to swim and get fit again, and I am assured that the wait will be worth it! I look forward to seeing the new centre when it opens. Please see my previous news on this here and older articles on the redevelopment and Fusion lease here.
Showfield improvements: Frome Town Council have installed three new litter bins at the Old Showfield, and are planning two more (at least). The resurfacing of footpaths (the paths behind the surgery and the back of Ashtree Road (towards Forest Road), and between the cricket club pavilion/car park and the Health Centre) should happen in May. Repairs to and resurfacing of the children’s playground, new seating, a fence and hedge around the playground, and meadow-making, are also planned for late spring or summer. A new Community Projects Officer at Frome Town Council is planning the installation of outdoor gym fitness equipment in August/September. This is all part of the Old Showfield Management and Improvement Plan approved by Frome Town Council in March (see previous news). To sign up to direct email updates from Frome Town Council for the Old Showfield please email Chris Stringer (Environment Manager) at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01373 465757. The Town Council’s recent press release is here. A new Showfield Residents Action Group is also being set up so that residents can get more involved on the improvements and site management in future – please let me know if you would like to join or find out more. Previous Showfield news, and how I campaigned for years for the site to be transferred from Mendip to the Town Council so all this could happen, can be seen here.
Flytipping: the 18 month closure of Gypsy Lane to through traffic is now in place as part of Mendip District Council’s action plan against flytipping there. There were various delays and hitches in the first 2 weeks, I have been told. Please do keep letting me know what you find. Please see here for previous news, and here for Mendip District Council’s most recent press release.
To contact the council to report fly-tipping call 0300 303 8588. You can also email email@example.com or report directly online – www.mendip.gov.uk/streetclean. You can also contact Crimestoppers to make an anonymous report of the fly-tipping you have witnessed. Call 0800 555111 or go to www.crimestoppers-uk.org. This has been a long time coming, please see here for my many previous articles on the campaign here.
Planning and development news:
Fromefield Co-op: As a result of ongoing complaints from residents, I am still in discussion with residents and others about the design and appearance of the new (Radstock) Co-operative store in Fromefield, and what could be done to improve it, and will be meeting Radco soon. If you can help in any way, or have any issues that need to be raised, please let me know. The much more sensitive design of the new Badcox Co-op (by the Southern Co-operative) gives a bit of a contrast.
Commerce Park update: On 20th April, Mendip District Council’s Planning Board resolved to approve planning application 2015/2871/FUL to allow Acheson & Acheson to extend their successful beauty products factory closer to the boundary of the Commerce Park with the residential area of Wellow Drive and Priddy Close, despite my request to defer the decision until the public consultation period had ended. A full update can be found here.
Frome Neighbourhood Plan: The Frome Neighbourhood Plan has been accepted by the appointed Examiner to go to referendum, but only if nearly half the policies are deleted from the Plan (including on Saxonvale, open spaces and tree protection). Mendip officers recommend that MDC’s Cabinet (which meets 11th April) approve that the modified Plan progresses to a public vote. See here for MDC’s detailed report, and here for FTC’s summary.
Unconventional gas development being investigated on Wiltshire/Somerset border: As part of its policy of promoting ‘fracking’ for shale gas, the Conservative Government offered licences to South Western Energy (SWE) for potential unconventional gas exploration in Wiltshire and around Beckington near Frome. I asked SWE and Mendip District Council for a meeting, which took place as a meeting of the MDC Fracking Working Party in February.
The MDC Fracking Working Group was set up in 2013 when Lib Dem cllrs successfully negotiated a strongly worded cross-party motion which agreed the Council could not support unconventional gas exploration in Mendip due to environmental concerns, including to Bath’s hot springs. Partly as a result, the former licences covering most of the district were dropped.
We learned that SWE are taking 12-18 months to examine available seismic and geological data to see if it is worthwhile applying for planning permission for exploratory drilling in the area (nost likely in Wiltshire rather than Somerset). I understand that South Western Energy have now accepted the Government’s offer – see here for a map of ‘Eastern blocks’ ST84, 85, 94 and ST95 to the east of Frome. I and other councillors are keeping an eye on this and the environmental issues involved. Who are South Western Energy? there is some info here.
Please do not forget to vote tomorrow Thursday 5th May for your next Police and Crime Commissioner – see http://www.avonandsomerset-pcc.gov.uk/Official-site.aspx for what it’s all about. Polling stations are open from 7am to 10pm, and you can vote for your first choice and second choice candidate.
Paul Crossley (the successful former Bath & NE Somerset Council leader) is the Lib Dem candidate – please see http://www.libdems.org.uk/paul_crossley for more about Paul.
The full list of candidates is also on Mendip’s website here.
Frome Town Council news:
Please see here http://www.frometowncouncil.gov.uk/news/ for news of:
Mendip District Council news:
Please see here for news of:
MDC’s next full council meeting is on Monday 9th May, and the agenda (see here). Items to be discussed include the annual renewal of committee memberships, Scrutiny Board’s annual report, and a memo of understanding with the Somerset Rivers Authority.
MDC’s meetings calendar is here – http://www.mendip.gov.uk/calendarmeeting
Lib Dem news:
Treasury Report is a stark warning, says Lib Dem leader Tim Farron.
See here for more news, on refugee children, vulnerable tenants, and the EU Referendum.
Please note I shall be away until 11th May, and will attempt to answer queries and take up issues of concern when I return.
Thanks for reading,
Mendip District Councillor for Frome College ward (Liberal Democrat) www.adamboyden.mycouncillor.org.uk
Frome Town Council – 5 Palmer Street, Frome, 01373 465757, www.frometowncouncil.gov.uk
Mendip District Council – 0300 303 8588, www.mendip.gov.uk
Somerset County Council – 0300 123 2224, www.somerset.gov.uk