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Issue 318 – ‘A call for action to the people of Frome’

A new alliance called ‘Independents For Frome’ (IFF) has been formed to stand for the town council elections in May.

The seven founders expect that there will be sufficient interest amongst electors to ensure that all 17 seats can be contested. The IFF has five principles:
• greater independence of thought to deal with the future, not the past
• establishing a ‘can do’ attitude
• increased involvement and openness around decision making
• establishing new more effective ways of working in the council and arguing for more resources for Frome and
• producing a cleaner and greener Frome
Who’s involved?
The seven co-founders, all Frome residents, are Mike Bell, Graham Burgess, Sue Klepper, Peter Macfadyen, Richard Porteous, Mel Usher and Pip Utton. Together they have clocked up over 100 years as residents.
Why IFF?
Peter Macfadyen puts it like this, “Most people have had enough of old style party politics, it’s corrosive, time wasting and overall a pointless exercise. Who are the people of Frome going to vote for in May?
“For years the choice has been effectively between the Lib Dems or Conservatives. They are now virtually the same party, throwing away their principles on the bonfire of the coalition. Hiding behind these national political parties, we never get to know what their views are on local issues. We need more freedom of thought, to enable us to be more creative about a sustainable future. Not hidebound by petty party politics.”
Pip Utton adds, “The town council has tried hard to make a broken system work but we are going to need more than tradition to see us through the next few years when there will be a concerted attack on many of the elements of life we hold so dear. We need a root and branch look at how the town council works and how it relates to other players in the town, both private and public sector.”
Mike Bell is interested in the environment, he said, “Just look around you, are you satisfied with the way Frome looks, with litter and dog mess? I’m not, and I want to do something about it.”
Graham Burgess says, “I’m very concerned that large developers and even the district and county councils continue even now to think of Frome as a shabby place where no-one really cares what happens. We who live here know that this is not the case, but I’d like Frome to cultivate a fearsome reputation for refusing to accept poor quality solutions proposed for our infrastructure and built environment.”
Sue Klepper wants more thought given to the isolated and less well-off. She said, “These cuts are going to harm a lot of vulnerable people. There is a limit to what the town council can do but it is able to use its resources to help both its younger and more elderly citizens; so let’s make sure those making decisions use the Frome precept wisely and stand up for the townspeople, not hide behind bland party machines.”
What to do next?
“If you are in any way interested please attend a public meeting on the 20th January at 7.30pm upstairs at The Lamb conference suite,” adds Sue Klepper.
“IFF needs foot sloggers, web site designers, thinkers about the future, word of mouth supporters as well as people who want to stand as candidates. If you have ever moaned about ‘them’ but done nothing about it now is your chance. Come along and meet us, tell us what you think, help us to set a new direction for Frome.
“We will expect people to sign up to our five principles but after that …………….who knows?”
If you want to know more before then contact by email or tel. 01373 461 218 and ask for Richard Porteous.

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