Summer newsletter

by adamboyden on 15 August, 2020

Government guidance:

Government advice on the coronavirus pandemic remains here, and please see here for what we can and can’t do.

Help is available:

Anyone can call the Somerset Coronavirus support helpline 
0300 790 6275 to seek help from our district and county councils on: personal care and support including delivery of food and prescriptions, homelessness, transport to medical appointments, waste collection and disposal, support for businesses, and emotional and financial support. Mendip District Council’s advice is here, including on how services have been affected and the financial help available. Somerset County Council is leading public health efforts in the county and their advice is found hereFrome Town Council offers local advice and support here. Please see Citizens Advice hereMindline’s emotional support line 01823 276892, and Health Connections Mendip’s directory of local community and health support groups here.

One Somerset or Two?

It now looks like Mendip District Council and Somerset County Council will be abolished in the next few years – the remaining question is whether they will be replaced by one unitary authority for Somerset or two? Please see here for an important update.

Mendip’s car parks remain free for NHS and care workers:

Parking charges in Mendip District Council’s car parks (suspended since March to support communities and key workers during lockdown), recommenced on 7th August, but NHS and health and social care staff, and critical care volunteers who display permits provided by their NHS Trust, will continue to park for free – please see here.

Have your say on local car parks:

Thanks to everyone who responded to the survey on car parks – if you still want to have your say please see the questions here and please send me your answers by email.

Boyle Cross to be transferred to Frome Town Council:

Mendip District Council has offered to transfer Frome’s recently landscaped Boyle Cross open space and fountain to Frome Town Council so that the popular space can be owned and managed entirely by the Town Council. Please see here.

New homes and shops near Sainsburys granted permission:

In July, Mendip District Council’s Planning Board voted narrowly (8-6) to approve the outline planning application for 235 new homes (including 71 ‘affordable homes’) and retail and commercial units on land either side of Sandy’s Hill Lane, near Sainsbury’s supermarket – see here and the Board report here (item DM01).

Mendip grass cutting and rewilding:

There have been several comments raised about some areas of grass not being cut in our area – please see here for an update. Please do get in touch with any comments.

Mendip to trial community-led weed removal in Frome:

Mendip District Council is looking for volunteers in Frome to help improve the environment, following a decision last autumn by the Council to discontinue the use of the weed killer glyphosate (which has been linked to cancer in humans and is toxic to birds and insects). The council will begin trials of manual non-chemical weed removal, starting in Frome, so if you would like to help, please see here how to register your interest, or see here for more.

Please do sign-up to: enjoy being activity in the great outdoors, learn new skills, meet people, and take pride in your neighbourhood. You do not have to be a keen gardener, have the equipment or even need to be physically fit or agile – we need cake makers, flask fillers and general cheerleaders to join in the day too.

Frome’s arts and sports begin to reopen:

The Merlin Theatre has announced its summer programme of performances at the outdoor amphitheatre ECOS – please see here and here to find out more how to support one of Frome’s two theatres.

Fusion have also announced that Frome Sport & Fitness Centre will partly reopen on Monday 10th August, including the gym and group exercise classes (see here, and here for how to book). As Fusion manage and lease the facilities long-term, Mendip District Council has not been part of the decision-making (see here). An announcement on dates for the reopening of the swimming pool and other parts of the centre is expected shortly.

The Frome Half Marathon and 10k, 5k and 1k fun run, which was postponed from July, is due to take place on Sunday 27th September – see here on how to enter, and here for the timings of local road closures.

Frome Tennis Club has announced free coaching and membership for juniors from low income families – see here and here. Frome Cricket Club and Frome Collegians are playing again at the Old Showfield. Frome Rugby Club’s Chairman’s update in July can be found here.

More kerbside recycling and changes to bin collections from October:

Somerset Waste Partnership has confirmed the ‘Recycle More’ scheme will be rolled out across Mendip district in October. This means:

  • More items can be recycled in kerbside collections each week – plastic pots, tubs and trays, beverage cartons/Tetra Paks, small household batteries and small electrical items.
  • A new bag will be supplied to put plastics and metals out for recycling.
  • Rubbish bins should be emptier and will be collected every three weeks rather than fortnightly.
  • Expanded recycling for communal collections, such as flats, and from schools.

Full details will be delivered to every home well before it starts. This was delayed from the Spring due to the pandemic. Please see here for more. There is also a special offer on home compost bins for residents – see here.

Reducing air pollution from engine idling:

Idling a car for just two minutes creates enough toxic air to fill 300 balloons. Lib Dem councillors Drew Gardner and Barry O’Leary introduced the ‘No Engine Idling’ motion at Mendip’s full council in February (here). You will begin to see ‘No Engine Idling’ signs at recycling sites, schools, and community assets, and Mendip District Council’s offices will become ‘(engine) Idle Free Zones’ for staff, suppliers and visitors. This is a great move forward for clean air and public health – see here.

Frome Town Council news:

The next Frome Town Council meeting will be 9th September. FTC’s news is all here, including:

  • new Sharing boxes at the Old Showfield and elsewhere
  • Super Pirates play sessions (including at the Old Showfield on 31st August)
  • setting up a pop up ‘School Street’ around Oakfield, Trinity and Critchill Schools when schools return in September, to create safer, less congested streets around the schools, encourage more families to walk and cycle, reduce air pollution and enable social distancing.

Mendip District Council news:

Council meetings have continued in a virtual online form during the pandemic. A good update from Mendip’s first ‘virtual’ Full Council meeting in July, on what Mendip has been doing to support residents and businesses during the pandemic is here.

More on Mendip’s social housing plan, which could see the council develop social housing on its land for the first time in 20 years, is here.

Do look out for the annual canvass request for details to ensure you can vote next time – see here.

The next MDC Scrutiny Board meeting next Weds 19th August will consider the council’s response to the pandemic and the council’s finances, as well as updates on work on homelessness, climate change, social deprivation, access and policy.

Any Questions?

Please let me know if there are any questions by email to or and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Please get in touch if you need any support or have any questions. Drew and I are here to help. 

Best wishes,

Adam Boyden with Cllr Drew Gardner,    
Mendip District Councillors for Frome College ward

Adam – 07809284817, email
Drew – email /

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