by adamboyden on 11 April, 2017
Dear Frome Times and Frome Standard,
John Osman’s letter in the last issue was predictable, but as far as we can see the Conservative run Somerset County Council’s record over the last 8 years has not been great. He cannot justify his council failing vulnerable children with a Children’s Service rated “inadequate”since 2013 because of “leadership, management and governance” issues, or letting young people down by failing to support the Frome Youth & Community Centre, forcing the YMCA to pay for building repairs (despite the council being responsible) and trying to sell off its playing field (a battle ahead). He cannot justify failing to invest in new sports facilities, or the Missing Link cycle path project, or evening bus services (which people in Frome and the villages need to get home from work and college in Bath). Or hurting school pupil welfare services by cutting and charging schools more, when schools now also face Government cuts in funding per pupil. Some of this is borderline sociopathic. Yes John, your County Council has not borrowed a penny to invest in our communities’ infrastructure, but interest rates are at a historic low, so what a wasted opportunity to improve our communities. The massive difference between the current County Council and Frome can be seen in the opening of the magnificent Frome Town Hall last weekend – a bold statement of civic pride which will have practical benefits in bringing the community, the council, charities and businesses together. The Town Council saw the opportunity when the County closed its offices there, showed ambition and, yes, borrowed to fund the transformation into our Town Hall – we (Adam and Damon) remember voting for it as town councillors. Similarly the Cheese & Grain has been transformed with a loan and investment by the Town Council, and global superstars the Foo Fighters played a concert there watched by millions online. We would love it if the next Somerset County Council showed some of the same ambition.
On May 4th there is really only a choice between the same old county council administration and a positive Lib Dem one that will be more in tune with Frome. The local elections also give people the chance to send a clear message to the Government on Brexit, the NHS, school cuts, the environment, and what sort of country we want to be. May the fourth be with you.
Please do get in touch with us if you can help us take back control.
Adam Boyden, Damon Hooton and Alvin Horsfall, candidates for Somerset County Council’s Frome North, West and East divisions, and Mendip District Councillors,
Alex Shingler, candidate for Mendip District Council byelection for Frome College ward, and
Mark Blackburn, Parliamentary spokesperson for Somerton & Frome,