Adam Boyden

Mendip District Councillor for Frome College ward and Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesperson for Somerton & Frome Learn more

January 2020 news

by adamboyden on 27 January, 2020

Dear all,

Please see my Thank You to voters at the General Election here.

Hospital Forum:
the next Frome Community Hospital Forum is on Monday 27th January at 6pm to 8pm in the Moxon Suite upstairs. Please come along and have your say about your local hospital, even if you have just 5 minutes to spare. This will be a relaxed informal evening with members of staff from various departments. They would like your ideas, comments and feedback, and to share information about your local hospital and the services it provides. This could also be an opportunity to become a member of Friends of Frome Hospital and to find out more about volunteering and other local health services.

Fireworks cancelled:
Frome Town Council’s cancellation of the fireworks display planned on the Old Showfield for last Saturday, itself postponed from November, to protect the Old Showfield from damage and the safety of people attending was well publicised – see here for more.

Litter picking:
The litter picking at the Old Showfield after the fireworks was also cancelled, but Frome’s Litter Warriors still meet Thursdays and Saturdays elsewhere in Frome – see here for their diary.

Climate change action:
‘There is No Planet B’ – Please see here for the Climate emergency drop in community events which are being organised around Somerset, including at Mendip District Council’s Shepton Mallet offices on Saturday 15th February 10am-4pm. This is to give people the opportunity to get involved and find out how Somerset’s principle councils are working together to reduce carbon emissions by 2030. An online survey also gives every resident the chance to help shape a Climate Emergency Strategy for the county – see here. A report is to analyse Mendip District’s carbon footprint and identify key sources of emissions and priorities for action Mendip’s Cabinet (see here). Frome Town Council are also working on a local action plan (see here), and are hosting a local climate summit on Tuesday 3rd March in Frome Town Hall at 7-9pm to consult residents on our councils’ climate actions and plans.

Electric vehicle charging in Mendip car parks:
After much work from cllr Drew Gardner and officers, Mendip’s Cabinet will decide whether and how to move forward with commissioning electric vehicle charging points in council car parks, at a meeting on Monday 3rd February (see item 11 here). I am hoping we can move forward quickly to help encourage people to run electric vehicles to reduce carbon emissions and support Frome and other town centres.

Frome’s second fire engine saved:
In a victory for local firefighters and supporters, Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service has decided not to cut Frome’s two fire engines down to one in the daytime. The decision was made at a meeting of Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Authority on 10th January after the ‘Safer Together’ consultation last autumn led to overwhelming objections from the community (including from me and other councillors) to cuts to frontline fire and rescue services. The cuts originally proposed would have seen Frome’s two fire engines (crewed by on-call firefighters 24-hours a day) reduced to one engine crewed 24-hours a day, and the second engine crewed only at night. Please see here for my contribution to the campaign, here for the official news and here for the Frome Times news. A big Thank You to everyone who raised concerns.

What to do if you see someone sleeping rough:
If you see someone rough sleeping, please contact Streetlink on 03005000914 or see and complete an online referral. Streetlink will pass this information on to the local outreach service (Elim Connect Centre) to respond. Mendip has a Severe Weather Emergency Provision (emergency night shelters for rough sleepers in Wells and Frome) which aims to ensure no one dies on the streets due to severe weather, and support and engage rough sleepers. This is activated when the temperature is forecast to fall to zero or below for at least three consecutive nights. Last winter the Zero Nights scheme was set up in Frome (see here) and this winter is being provided by Elim Connect. Please see here for more information.

Former Councillor Carole Bullen:
I have just heard the very sad news that former councillor Carole Bullen died yesterday 22nd January. Carole served three terms at Mendip District Council as councillor for Frome College ward, from May 2003 to 2007, 2011 to 2015 and 2017 to 2019. Funeral arrangements will be announced in due course. Carole will be much missed by those who knew her.

Cider with Lilleys (updated):
The planning application for a new cider factory off Cuckoo Lane to the north of Packsaddle Way and Leys Lane could be withdrawn, as the applicants are looking at an alternative site. The original planning application was submitted early last year for a cider factory, farm shop/ cafe and community room together with two houses, and was amended in June to remove the houses and reduce the size of the factory (see here). The application has had 137 objections (including on access and highway safety, visual impact, noise, odour and the character of the area) and 36 supportive comments. In December, Lilleys submitted a planning application (ref. 2019/2906/FUL) for the change of use of the former Wessex Incineration site at Bunns Lane, near Witham Friary, to general industrial (B2) and ancillary shop use (A1) (see here). The application was validated by Mendip’s planning team on 20th January and could be determined by the end of April. A Mendip District Council source has stated that if the new site works out, the application at Cuckoo Lane is likely to be withdrawn (see here).

Future of Local Government in Somerset:
Over the last 18 months several options have been studied to find the best future for local government in Somerset (see here). The Leader of Somerset County Council wants to ask the Government to combine the county and district councils into a single Unitary Council for Somerset, but the leaders of the four district councils, including Mendip, prefer the option of further collaboration and integration (see here) although other options are being considered. Mendip’s Cabinet is considering a recommendation to pursue the collaboration option on Monday 3rd February (see here). Frome Town Council would like to see more services devolved to the local community level (see here) and the FOLGIS reports talk about devolution of services and powers to parish level where parish councils are competent to do so. Daniel Mumby explains it well here. There is alot of work to do before any real decisions are made. For example the main FOLGIS report states that a Somerset unitary council could see potential savings in the range £35-47 million but could cost £82 million to implement. I’ll keep you informed.

Fancy a street party?
Following the success of the Trinity Street Party last year, Frome Town Council is supporting residents who want to hold a party in their street which involves a road closure and more – please see here for details.

Selwood Garden Village:
Proposals for a major extension of Frome to the south of the town are being put together by a development team led by Land Value Alliances. There was a public exhibition about the Selwood Garden Village (SGV) project before Christmas (see here), and I attended a briefing of Frome councillors on this in November. At a Frome Town Council meeting last week the Town Council voted to take a role in engaging the community and informing the SGV proposals on what the community’s needs are (see here). The SGV team aim to submit an outline planning application to Mendip later this year, and it is also likely they will apply to have the land allocated in the Mendip Local Plan Review (see below).

Local Plan Review:
Mendip’s Local Plan is now being fully reviewed due to national Government guidance changing the way housing supply needs to be calculated (see here). Cabinet has agreed to update the evidence and review the adopted plan against revised policies and housing requirements in the National Planning Policy Framework (see here). This is likely to mean more land needs to be allocated for housing in and around Frome.

Mendip’s Local Plan Part 2 Main Modifications consultation:
Following the examination hearings in July/August 2019, Mendip District Council is now consulting on the Main Modifications to the Plan from 21st January to 2nd March  2020, in response to the changes recommended by the Inspector to make the Plan sound. Significant changes include: additional housing allocations in the north east of the District; a review of Local Plan Part 1 and to address cumulative highways impacts in and around Frome; and the withdrawal of proposed Local Green Spaces from the Plan to be reconsidered in the future Part 1 Review. Please see here for details and how to respond.

Recycle More in Mendip:
Mendip will be the first area in Somerset to have the new Recycle More service from June 2020, Somerset Waste Partnership (SWP) has announced (see here). This means that extra materials will be added to weekly recycling collections: household and food plastic pots, tubs and trays, Tetra Paks and other beverage cartons, small electrical items and household batteries, and other refuse will be collected every three weeks instead of fortnightly. Food and garden waste collections will stay the same. Residents will be fully informed well before the start.
Ever wondered what happens to your recycling and how much is (not) exported from Somerset? please see here.

Frome Leisure Centre disabled access:
I am pursuing the potential for improvements to disabled access in Frome Sports & Leisure Centre, working with a local campaigner and other councillors to seek funding for a new Changing Places facility and a pool pod there. Let me know if you would like to help.

Cheese & Grain broadband:
Drew and I also stepped in to help move new broadband connection for the Cheese & Grain forwards when things got a bit stuck at Mendip and the legal teams last month.

Meetings attended: In the last few weeks I have attended meetings of

  • Mendip District Council (Full Council), 16th December, including to hear reports on council finance, and to help raise the issue of people having difficulties with disabled blue badge parking bays;
  • Mendip’s Scrutiny Board on 9th January, including reports of the review of the Glastonbury Festival 2019;
  • MDC councillor briefing on Saxonvale, 15th January (by phone), to review progress and next steps;
  • MDC councillor Climate & Ecological Emergency working Group meeting (by phone), 21st January, to review progress in all areas; and
  • Frome Town Council’s full council meeting on 22nd January, including about Selwood Garden Village.

I’m also chasing action on a few other local issues you have raised.

Please see news from Frome Town Council here, from Mendip District Council here, Somerset County Council here and the Liberal Democrats here.

Please also pause to remember Holocaust Memorial Day today –

I hope this is useful, please let me know as ever if anything needs attending to.

Best wishes,
cllr Adam Boyden

Mendip District Councillor for Frome College ward

With Cllr Drew Gardner, Frome College ward, email

   1 Comment

One Response

  1. Sally Pillinger says:

    Just a thank you for all you do Adam. It’s reassuring to know that so much is being done for our area and that you have your finger on the pulse of all that!

    Best wishes.

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