by adamboyden on 24 November, 2017
As one of your Frome College ward councillors on Mendip District Council, it’s my job to keep you updated on some local issues:
Parks and Recreation: I and other Frome district councillors (Damon Hooton, Des Harris) have been meeting and discussing with Frome Town Council how best to allocate £250,000 of ‘Section 106’ funding from a housing development to improve the parks and playgrounds across town. A draft list was drawn up for a recent Town Council meeting (see here) and following our meeting a revised list will be prepared – including potentially additional funding for toddler play equipment at the Showfield (as well as further footpath surfacing) and towards a new improved skatepark at Victoria Park (Mary Bailey Playing Field) – this will be for further discussion with officers and councillors before being formally proposed.
Showfield: Frome Town Council are working on improvements to the old Showfield – see here for details and October news. A new native hedge will be planted around new playground fence to create a dog-free play area – the community hedge planting day is this Sunday 26th November, so please see here or just turn up in appropriate clothing at any time between 10.30am and 4.30pm for any help you can give. FTC will provide tools and gloves (and biscuits), or you can bring your own. Parkrun is also planned on Saturday mornings in the near future. This is happening because FTC took over the Showfield in 2015, which I helped make happen.
Packsaddle park (and Tower View): Frome Town Council is taking long term leases of the Packsaddle play area and Chapmans Close games court (and Tower View park at The Mount) from Mendip DC so that FTC can invest in and improve these parks for, and with, local people who use and value these areas. I helped set this in motion at FTC and Mendip in 2014-16 but the transfer is taking a long time. I persuaded FTC to agree to apply for land transfers in December 2014, and with others (including cllr Alvin Horsfall, and with the Town Council) persuaded Mendip to agree (despite their assets officers wanting to sell the parks to a developer). Leases are still being negotiated, although both councils seem to want to reach a happy ending. When FTC has the leases, they will consult local people as they have already started to do (see here) and come up with a funded plan to improve and manage these areas, as MDC has been unable to do so. Thank you for your patience.
Frome Town Council relaunch community grants fund: Frome Town Council have decided to relaunch their Community Grants Fund, whereby local organisations running projects to benefit residents can apply for grants of up to £2000. This is in addition to running other funds including the Mayor’s small grants fund, Participatory Budgeting, and supporting Crowdfund Frome – see here for details. This is welcome as different local charities and community groups need support in different ways.
Changing Places: After funding was secured in October to provide a fully accessible Changing Places facility for severely disabled people in Frome town centre, plans are taking shape for the new facility. I await an update from the officers concerned and will provide an update when I can. Please see here for details.
Climate change: After I raised the issue last December, Mendip District Council has joined the Local Government Association’s Climate Local scheme, and is to prepare a Climate Action Plan. This will identify how the council can reduce carbon emissions in the district, to help meet the UK’s global commitments under the Paris Agreement. A briefing and discussion on the way forward is taking place at Mendip on 18th December. Frome Town Council adopted a Clean and Healthy Frome fossil fuel free strategy and held an EU-sponsored conference last year. I want to see the two councils work together to address this global issue locally, including by promoting renewable energy technology and takeup, and better insulating homes to reduce both energy waste and fuel poverty.
Gypsy Lane road closure extended to tackle flytipping: Mendip’s Cabinet have agreed to extend the temporary road closure at Gypsy Lane and Berkley Lane to continue to fight flytipping, for another three years. A report was taken to Cabinet (see here) setting out detailed proposals of a Public Space Protection Order for the area just outside Frome, which received 13 responses with one objection. The Council’s press release identifies a cost saving of £50,000 a year from the closure due to a reduction in flytipping clearances. I helped campaign for action on this for years on behalf of residents and am glad that Mendip are taking the issue seriously. Please let me know what you think.
Mendip District Council meeting – any questions? The next Mendip District Council meeting is on Monday 18th December in Shepton Mallet. Please let me know if you have any questions for me to raise, or ask a question in writing or in person yourself – it is a public meeting and the council is accountable to you all – see http://www.mendip.gov.uk/article/1791/Committees–Meetings
Pedestrian island proposed at Bath Road Heights: I await an update from Mendip on the status of the proposal to install a pedestrian island across Bath Road by the developer of 7 new houses at the old Mendip Lodge Hotel site, to satisfy the planning condition requirement for a ‘pedestrian crossing’ (planning reference 2017/0992/APP). Somerset County Council raised technical concerns about the proposals in September. Delays have been caused by problems – a lack of planning officers – at Mendip. Under the condition, the crossing needs to be in place before the houses are occupied. The development continues on site.
Mendip Local Plan Part 2: A preview of Part 2 of the Mendip District Local Plan was unveiled at the Cabinet meeting earlier in the month. Subject to approval at Mendip’s Full Council on 18th December, it will be published for consultation from 2nd January to 12th February 2018. The Part 2 Plan identifies additional site allocations for housing, employment and other uses, including land at the end of Packsaddle Way (Innox Hill, site FRO06) and a number of sites south of Keyford for new housing. It also designates Local Green Spaces which are safeguarded from development. I responded to the previous Issues and Options consultation in 2015, to object to the potential allocation of the site at the end of Packsaddle Way for housing and to propose open spaces for protection (see here). Further information on the emerging draft Local Plan and the report to Cabinet can be found here (see the draft written statement, and the Frome maps). I will let you know when the formal public consultation starts, but please let me know your views in the meantime.
Boxworks: I understand MDC are still considering amending the planning application for the Boxworks proposal – 20 shipping containers in the town centre car park which would provide start-up office premises for small businesses – to locate it at the Justice Lane end closer to the Black Swan, but have not submitted any changes yet. Any new plans will appear here. Frome Times’ most recent article can be found here. I and other councillors, and many residents, have raised issues and concerns on the current application adjacent to the Cheese and Grain, while supporting the concept for the town centre. I have also asked for MDC to present the proposals in public in Frome, and to fully consider Saxonvale as a potential location.
Boyle Cross/Market Place: please see here for previous news on Frome Town Council’s works to the Boyle Cross and Market Place, and Cheap Street businesses’ concerns, as highlighted by Drew Gardner.
Please see also
Frome Town Council news: http://www.frometowncouncil.gov.uk/news/
Mendip District Council news: http://www.mendip.gov.uk/article/5345/October-2017
Please let me know if there is anything that needs doing.
Thanks for reading,
Liberal Democrat, Mendip District Councillor for Frome College ward
07809 284817, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Twitter: @cllradamboydenLeave a comment