Adam Boyden

Liberal Democrat councillor on Mendip District Council for Frome College ward Learn more

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December 2017 news

by adamboyden on 28 December, 2017

Dear all, As one of your councillors on Mendip District Council, I aim to keep local residents updated on local issues:

  • Grange Road mobile phone mast appeal – deadline 4th January for responses
  • Showfield improvement works
  • Mendip consults on continued closure of Gypsy Lane
  • Frome Town Council: meetings and Boyle Cross works
  • Frome Sports Forum meeting
  • Frome Community Hospital Forum
  • Question: Does Frome Medical Practice’s new appointments system work for you?
  • Changing Places news
  • Packsaddle roads to be resurfaced in February
  • Road safety improvements for Bath Road crossroads?
  • Climate Change
  • Mendip Local Plan Part 2 consultation – development sites at Packsaddle and Keyford
  • Waste and recycling collection days
  • Free parking
  • Mendip District Council meetings
  • Council news
  • Lib Dem news

Please do let me know what you think (email aomboyden@gmail.com or cllr.boyden@mendip.gov.uk).

Grange Road mobile phone mast appeal – deadline 4th January for responses: Vodafone has submitted an appeal against Mendip District Council’s refusal of prior approval of permitted development for the installation of a 15m mobile phone mast and 2 cabinets at the junction of Grange Road and Bath Road. Over 100 residents objected to the original application, and MDC refused it on the basis of the harm to the character and appearance of the area. At least one alternative site appears to be available. The deadline for public responses to the appeal is 4th January 2018please see here for details and how to respond.

Showfield improvement works: The improvements to the play area at the Old Showfield – see here for details – are underway. Frome Town Council’s contractors started to install new play surfacing and improve footpaths around the play area, and put in a rope up the slope of the slide, and they will also repair all the broken play equipment. But the soft wet ground in the last 2 weeks led to the contractors working in muddy conditions and they drove over the grass and made muddy ruts in several places. Complaints from a local resident led to work being stopped on 21st December to avoid further damage. I have been assured that the damaged areas of grass will be made good before the contractors leave site, and will be reseeded. Work will restart for a day or two when its safe and not too wet.  I have thanked the local resident for raising this issue. Please see here for more on this.

Mendip consults on continued closure of Gypsy Lane: Mendip District Council is consulting the public on its plans to continue the road closure at Gypsy Lane for another 3 years in order to tackle flytipping. A Cabinet meeting in February will consider the options to continue to restrict rights of way (except for pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders and other specifically exempted purposes) with either electronic bollards, hard barriers (such as concrete blocks), or gates, or a combination of the two, through a second Public Space Protection Order (PSPO). Please see here for the press release and here for the draft PSPO. Mendip’s Cabinet decided in November to put a PSPO in place for 3 months using a concrete barrier (see here). The road had been closed with a barrier in place under different rules since April 2016 (see here).  The council will be holding an open consultation session on the proposals at Frome Rugby Club on Tuesday 9 January 2018 between 6.15pm and 9.00pm. To respond to the consultation, please email neighbourhoodservices@mendip.gov.uk or write to the Enforcement Officer, Mendip District Council, Neighbourhood Services, Cannards Grave Road, Shepton Mallet, BA4 5BT. The deadline for responses is the end of 15th January 2018. To contact the council to report fly-tipping please call 0300 303 8588 or report directly online – Fly Tipping.

Frome Town Council have agreed a new strategy and action plan for health and wellbeing, and a new environmental policy, and have agreed to reduce the use of single-use plastics (to reduce pollution of the oceans) – see here for details and here for the press release.

Work to complete the Boyle Cross works, including completing the paving, and new seating, will continue in January.

The next Town Council meetings at the Town Hall are Planning Advisory Group on 11th January, and full council on 24th January – see here for details up to a week in advance. To ask a question just come along and raise a hand, its pretty informal and welcoming.

Frome Sports Forum: A meeting of the Town Council’s Frome Sports Forum will take place on Monday 15th January, 7pm at Frome Town Hall.  The meeting will discuss ‘progress to date and next steps for a fitter, healthier and happier Frome’. Please contact Nicola Cretney at cretneyn@frometowncouncil.gov.uk or call 01373 465757 to find out more.

Frome Community Hospital Forum: the next public forum is also taking place on Monday 15th January between 6.00-8.00pm at the Moxon Suite upstairs at the hospital. ‘Come along and have your say about your local hospital: Drop in any time, even if you only have 5 minutes to spare. This will be a relaxed informal evening with Hayley Hughes, Matron, and other members of staff from various departments. We would like your ideas, comments, feedback, or just a chat, and for us to be able to share information about your hospital and the services we provide. This could also be an opportunity to become a member of the Friends of Frome Hospital, find out more about volunteering at the hospital or to find out about other support services in the local area.’

Question: Does Frome Medical Practice’s new appointments system work for you?: In November, Frome Medical Practice changed their GP appointment system to ‘Patient Connect’ and removed the walk-in clinic, as explained here and in a FAQ brochure here.  Since then I have heard some concerns, so I want to get some initial feedback – Is the new system working for you? Are you and your family getting the access to a GP and primary healthcare that you need? Please take the survey here – https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/GFLXM96. If people have concerns I and others will extend the survey, so please let me know and I will collate responses and raise any need for improvements with FMP. Thanks.

Changing Places news: After funding was secured in October to provide a fully accessible Changing Places facility for severely disabled people in Frome town centre (see here), Mendip officers have informed me that work to install the facility will start on 8th January 2018. Gazebos are being relocated, which allows the first phase to start, which should last 2 weeks, and work on the final phase should commence in February. I am hoping that the work will be complete by early March in time for the first Sunday market of the year.

Packsaddle roads to be resurfaced in February: I have just had notice that the promised resurfacing of the Packsaddle estate, including Packsaddle Way, Pedlars Grove, Farmhouse Drive and Chapmans Close, will take place over a period of 5 days from 26th February 2018, and will involve temporary road closure (N.B. the works may start later than this). This is good news, residents have been asking for the road to be resurfaced for a couple of years now. For further information please contact Somerset County Council on 0300 123 2224 or ask me or your county councillor.

Road safety improvements for Bath Road crossroads?  The county councillor for the area has started to propose a small improvement scheme for the junction of Bath Road/Gypsy Lane and to slow traffic down coming into Frome, and discussed it at a Frome Town Council planning meeting in November (see here). I and local residents have been asking for action for years, and traffic speed monitoring since 2015 has shown traffic always over the ‘action level’ speed between the crossroads and Frome Community College. I look forward to finding out more and helping lobby for sensible improvements here.

Climate change: After I raised the issue last December, Mendip District Council has joined the Local Government Association’s Climate Local scheme, and will 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.  Frome Town Council adopted a Clean and Healthy Frome fossil fuel free strategy and held an EU-sponsored conference last year.

Mendip Local Plan Part 2 consultation: Mendip District Council is consulting on the Pre-submission Draft of the Mendip Local Plan Part II from 2nd January to 12th February 2018. The Local Plan Part II allocates specific sites for development or for other purposes in line with the intentions of the policies in the Local Plan Part I . The Council is also consulting on a Draft Supplementary Planning Document for Self and Custom build single-plot exception sites. 

Copies of the Pre-Submission Local Plan Part II are available: on Mendip District Council’s website at www.mendip.gov.uk/localplanpart2; at the Council’s offices at Cannards Grave Road, Shepton Mallet (from 8.30am -12 noon and 2pm – 4.30pm); and at the Council’s Access Point in Frome Library. Comments should be made on the response form (available online and in hard copy at the locations above) and returned: by post to: Planning Policy, Mendip District Council, Cannards Grave Road, Shepton Mallet, Somerset, BA4 5BT; or by email to: planningpolicy@mendip.gov.uk. There will be no consultation events or exhibitions as such, although I and other councillors asked for this.

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). More on this next month.

Waste and recycling collection days: are two days behind your usual day this week (25 – 31 December), and one day behind next week (1 – 7 January), and Christmas trees can be collected when garden waste collections resume on 8th January – please see here for details. To report a missed waste collection please call 0300 303 8588 or fill the form in here.

Free parking: Mendip DC has agreed to provide free parking in Frome town centre on New Years Day – see here.

Mendip District Council meetings: The last Mendip District Council meeting of 2017 was on 18th December. This included:

  • discussion on the Local Plan (see above);
  • a proposal to increase the borrowing limit from £40m to £80m or 100m in order to invest funds in profitable ventures to help plug a £5m funding shortfall. I and other councillors asked that funds be invested in local businesses and green projects, to boost the local economy and reduce carbon emissions.
  • a proposal to join in the Somerset and Devon ‘Heart of the South West Joint Committee’ to progress devolution of some Government funding and services. I asked that the Council do not turn their backs on Bath/B&NES, Bristol and Wiltshire councils/Local Economic Partnerships/devolution bodies, as residents and businesses in Mendip appear to have greater economic links with these areas than the rest of the HoSW authorities;
  • the adoption of role descriptions for councillors. I asked that the wording be changed so that councillors are primarily recognised as advocates of the ward and communities they serve;
  • proposed changes to the ‘5 Councils Services Contract’; and
  • a motion to phase out single-use plastics at the Council, which was passed in an amended and stronger form unanimously, following Frome Town Council’s and other councils’ resolutions, and the issue of plastic waste in the oceans being highlighted by the Blue Planet II programme.

See http://www.mendip.gov.uk/article/1791/Committees–Meetings for details.

The next meeting is of the Cabinet on Monday 8th January, the agenda can be found here.  Representatives from Fusion Lifestyle (who lease and manage Frome Sports & Fitness Centre and the four other leisure centres in Mendip) will attend the meeting to present an update of achievements and future plans and investments, and respond to questions – see the report under item 7.

Please see also:

Frome Town Council news

Mendip District Council news: November / December

Somerset County Council news

Somerton & Frome Liberal Democrats

Lib Dem news:

Parliament has taken back control and won a meaningful vote on the final Brexit deal.

Lib Dems call for ban on disability benefits testing by private companies.

 

Please let me know if there is anything that needs doing.

Thanks for reading,

Adam

Adam Boyden,

Liberal Democrat, Mendip District Councillor for Frome College ward

07809 284817, email aomboyden@gmail.com

http://www.adamboyden.mycouncillor.org.uk/

Twitter: @cllradamboyden

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