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Issue 343 – Decision due on how to spend £50,000 at playing field

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FROME Town Council is set to make a decision on how to spend £50,000 on the Mary Baily playing field in Frome.
At a meeting of the town council’s internal affairs committee, members were presented with a report by council officers which collected ideas of over 200 pupils at Oakfield and Selwood schools.

The report suggested that a new shelter, climber and additional skate ramps should be provided.
However, councillors felt that there was insufficient evidence to make an informed decision on how to spend the £50,000 on improving the facility, and decided to defer the matter to a future meeting.
The funds have come as a result of a Section 106 agreement; funds put up for development within the community by organisations.
At the meeting, which took place on Wednesday 21st of December, Frome Town Council chief executive, Vernon Anderson, presented a report that could see £50,000 spent on improving the Mary Baily facilities.
Cllr Pippa Goldfinger commented, “I’m not sure why we have just consulted Oakfield and Selwood Schools. I’m sure if we consulted with Frome College there would be a different outcome to this consultation.”
Vernon Anderson commented that plans to totally redevelop the skate park should be “steered away” from the Mary Baily playing field. “We should perhaps look at enhancing what is there and find a more suitable location for a new skate park,” he said, “As a former member of a council who was taken to court over a skate park, I would suggest finding a location that is further away from housing.”
Cllr James Godman said, “Before we go ahead with deciding how to use this money, we should be consulting Frome College. There’s not a lot to do for the older children in Frome and we need to get them on board.”
Cllr Mel Usher said that he felt “uneasy” making a decision based on the report presented at the meeting. Cllr Helen Starkie requested council officers look at pricing of the equipment proposed for the Mary Baily playing field.
Councillors agreed to look at prices of different types of equipment and to work with local groups to see if any consultation has been carried out with Frome College students.
The item was then defered to the next meeting of the internal affairs committee, where it is understood that a decision will be made.

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