by adamboyden on 1 November, 2019
Autumn is definitely with us, with a change in the weather and the clocks going back, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, and we have a General Election too. So what better time for your latest local councillor newsletter…
Routes drop in centre closure – sign the petition
Last week YMCA Mendip & South Somerset announced that Routes, the drop-in advice centre and cafe for young people in Frome town centre, will close later this Friday 1st November. I have launched a petition to ask the YMCA to reconsider their decision while suitable alternative arrangements and funding are explored and secured – so please sign and share the petition here. Routes is an important part of our community support network and provides a safe, warm and welcoming environment for young people aged 11-25 seeking advice and support on a wide range of issues. When it closes, young people will hopefully be guided towards other agencies, but it is inevitable that many will not get the help and support they need. I’m hoping to discuss what can be done with other councillors. Please see here for more about this.
I also spoke about Routes on BBC Somerset radio on Friday 31st October morning on the Claire Carter show, you can hear me here from 1 hr 7 mins in (7.07am).
Councillors reject change to Commerce Park planning decisions
In a victory for the local community, councillors on Mendip’ District Council’s Planning Board unanimously rejected an official proposal to reduce scrutiny of Commerce Park developments close to residents on the edge of Frome. This was after we alerted hundreds of residents with a letter, and Board members heard from dozens of residents who responded, my strongly worded objection and impassioned speeches by councillors Drew Gardner and Janine Nash and Coalway Lane Residents Association chair Tom Hill. The vote means that the automatic referral of applications in the undeveloped zone close to residents will still apply, and “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it”. Please see here for more.
Cidery planning application deferred:
The revised planning application for a cider factory and associated development was supposed to also be determined at Planning Board a few weeks ago, but this was pulled from the agenda so officers could review the substantial information submitted by objectors to the development. A new date for the decision has not yet been set.
Fire services cuts delayed
Thousands of people responded to proposed cuts to the Devon & Somerset Fire and Rescue Service last month, and signed petitions including one from me here. Options being considered include removing Frome’s second fire engine in the daytime. Due to the number of responses received, the Fire Service have now delayed a decision until December – please see here. I hope these cuts will be rejected as they appear to be unsafe – see here for more.
Fireworks at the old Showfield – POSTPONED
I have been told by Frome Town Council that Saturday’s free Frome fireworks display at the Old Showfield has been called off, due to the weather warnings that predict heavy rain and winds. The Town Council are hoping to reschedule, and I will keep you posted.
It was good to see so many local people out at the Apple Day celebration at the Old Showfield. This is possible because the Town Council took over the Old Showfield several years ago. Please see here for the Town Council’s report.
Climate change – get involved in policy-making
Frome Town Council is hosting a series of free climate panels in November and December for people to develop ideas and solutions to enable the town to meet its climate emergency targets. Please see here for details. The first of these is Tuesday 12th November, 7-9pm, Frome Town Hall on ‘Energy, how can we reduce the amount we use and generate energy cleanly?’. Panels on 19th and 26th November will consider transport and resources, with a talk by the founder of the Transition movement on 5th December at the Cheese and Grain.
Somerset County Council and Mendip District Council were also planning events in November and December but these have been postponed due to the General Election rules. So please come along and get involved in Frome!
Frome Town Council’s People’s Vote
Voting has started for the Town Council’s People’s Budget. The People’s Budget is about local people voting to make direct decisions about how local public budgets are spent. £10,000 of the Town Council’s 2019/20 budget is available for a project to be decided on by the Town Vote. The projects that you can now vote on are: (1) an intergenerational project connecting the generations through the things that they love; (2) a youth workers project; (3) the Frome Bursary to support young people’s access to arts, sports and music opportunities; (4) an accessible community allotment; and (5) Frome Voice, a project designed to create community cohesion through face to face connections. Please see here for more details and how to vote. I am supporting option 2 the youth workers project, as many young people will need more support after the closure of Routes (see above).
Mendip District Council provides arts and cultural boost for Frome
The prospect of an arts and culture centre of regional significance being built at the Saxonvale development in Frome just took a step closer, thanks to Mendip District Council. Please see here for more. The Deputy Mayor of Frome is “delighted”, please see here.
I am still chasing Royal Mail about the missing postbox on Packsaddle Way. Please don’t forget Parkrun on Saturday mornings at the Old Showfield, and the Frome Independent Market this Sunday 3rd November. Frome Christmas lights switch on is Friday 29th November – please see here. Other Frome and Mendip news is here and here.
You may have noticed there is a General Election on 12th December. I am the Lib Dem candidate for Somerton & Frome, so I will be busy over the next 6 weeks persuading 80,000 people across 900 square miles to vote for me to be your next MP! If you think I would be a good MP and would like to help by delivering leaflets, displaying a poster or help or support me in any other way please get in touch with me on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07809284817. Thank you.
I hope this is useful!
Mendip District Councillor for Frome College ward and Parliamentary Candidate for Somerton & Frome
Email email@example.com, Cllr.Boyden@mendip.gov.uk
With Cllr Drew Gardner, Frome College ward, email Cllr.Gardner@mendip.gov.uK