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Frome For All response to Independence Day event

 

FROME For All, the town centre campaign group has explained why it did not participate as a group in the recent Independence Day event.

The Frome For All group said that the event was organised by Keep Frome Local which was originally set up to oppose a proposal by St. James Investments for a town centre development that would have included a supermarket, a range of other shops, free parking, leisure uses, art facilities, civic uses, local artisan studios and an adult learning centre.

 

Michael Rhodes, a member of the Frome For All co-ordinating team said, “A good number of people asked whether we were participating in this event.  We were not invited as a group to participate, although of course individual supporters could have bought a ticket and attended like anyone else.

 

“Frome For all has participated in other public meetings and discussions, but this event is different.   This is more a training day and conference for people with a particular agenda against supermarkets and other large retailers.

 

“We respect these views but would not have expected to be invited.   This is because we do not believe it is right to oppose in principle a development that would bring many shoppers back to the town centre, and significantly reduce Frome’s current heavy reliance on out-of-town stores and shopping trips to other towns.”

 

Jackie Adams, a fellow Frome For All campaigner said, “Many of us share concerns about the practices of some large companies and certainly do not condone unethical behav-iour by any business, big or small.  Many Frome For All supporters have been involved in campaigns to ensure farmers get a fair deal, promoting fairtrade and opposing environmentally damaging developments on the edge of town.

 

“I just hope that the many speakers from outside our area took some time to look at the unique situation here.  We already have out-of-town supermarkets and the opportunity now is to bring shoppers back to the town centre.

 

“The existing independent traders already compete with supermarkets by differentiating their offer of goods and services. The reality is not that most shopping by local people is done in the town centre or in independent shops.  We know, as local residents, and from independent research, that most shopping by Frome people involves a trip to an out of town store or to another town.

 

“A development of a town centre supermarket with a range of other shops could bring many people back to shopping in the town centre.  It could deliver significant benefits to local people and to existing town centre shops.  These include free parking, increased footfall, hundreds more jobs in the town centre and environmental improvements.”

 

Frome For All says it wants to see a vibrant, diverse and thriving town that meets the needs of all.   The group wants to reduce Frome’s over reliance on out-of-town supermarkets and regular trips to other towns by many residents.

 

The group would like to see a good range of new shops in the town centre, including a supermarket large enough to draw many customers back from the out of town stores.

 

Frome For All has identified five key priorities for any town centre development to help ensure benefits to the community, the environment and the existing town centre shops.

 

Further details are available from the group and can be requested via their www.fromeforall.org or by phone on 07714 460801.

 

 

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