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You choose who wins grant money from town council

FROMETown Council is asking the people of Frome to decide which local organisation will receive a grant of up to Ј10,000. 

The council has launched a 2012 Participatory Grant, where the recipient of the grant will be determined by votes cast by the people of Frome.

It is the first time that the council has run the scheme, chosen to give residents more of a say in how the town spends its money. If the pilot works well, the council hopes it can extend such participatory decision-making to other areas.

Councillor Peter Macfadyen said, “As a council, we want to get people more involved in everything. We’re looking at ways of really engaging the people with what we do, and this is a good opportunity to be involved in making a significant decision.”

Grants made by the town council are usually determined by a committee of six councillors, who score applications against a set of criteria. However, it will be the votes of the people of Frome that determine the outcome of the participatory grant.

Five organisations are bidding for the grant. The Merlin Theatre wants to put on a Festival of Children’s Theatre; Positive Action on Cancer would use the grant to fund 500 counselling sessions for Frome families affected by cancer; FromeFM want to take on a part-time worker to help charity and community groups make radio programmes to publicise their work; Selwood United PTA would use a grant to complete their fundraising appeal for a new minibus; and Frome’s Missing Links want the grant to complete a multi-user path from ASDA through town to Low Water.

The council’s newsletter, distributed with this issue of the Frome Times, contains a summary of each organisation’s bid. The information is also available online at

A voting form can be found in the council’s newsletter, which needs to be returned to the council offices at 5 Palmer Street by the 26th October.

The winner will be announced at the Mayor’s Charity Tea Dance at Trinity Hall on the 10th November.

Find out more about each of the bidders in a special radio programme, produced by FromeFM,and chaired by the Frome Times. Councillor Peter Macfadyen gives an overview of the new grant scheme, while a representative from each of the organisations is given the chance to make their case.

The programme airs on Friday 14th September at 10.30am and Tuesday 18th September at 10.30am.