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Participation Frome

Participation Frome was a Frome project aimed at engaging the people of Frome, in all things Frome. 

It took the form of a week of events and workshops geared towards generating conversation and increasing involvement in local projects and issues resulting in a positive change in Frome. More than anything the series of events were a great forum to really listen to the people of Frome, to hear what is important and to get a feel for what could be done to better the town.

There is  a distinct feeling of ‘US’ and ‘THEM’ in the town, of people who were born and have lived in Frome their entire lives and new people in the town who have perhaps moved in during the last 10 years, from places like London and Bristol.

One of the key challenges is to work on integrating these groups of people in Frome and planning activity, which unites these groups. Events like the Christmas Extravaganza seemed to do this with ease and prove that if an event is exciting and engaging enough it will bring people together, Frome Town Council are delighted to have been able to facilitate such a cracking event.

An important message learnt from Participate Frome, is the things that the public said they would like to change about Frome; More for young people and for young and old to do together, removing short stay parking charges, increasing the range of shops, improving the town centre for pedestrians more community cohesion, safer roads, better signage, better transport, improvements to the Westway, new pubs in town, cleaner streets, no dog pooh, better access to the river and Saxonvale.

Whilst Frome Town Council will actively report on what they are doing to address these issues in the up coming months, Participate Frome also started local residents talking about what they can do to address these issues.

It was suggested that communication could be more clear, open and honest. There are many cases of misunderstanding in Frome due to lack of freely available information, the council are already looking at ways to improve this and to find ways to communicate with people which extend beyond the usual tried and tested methods.  Participate Frome will continue to work with organisations across the town to improve this, including Frome Town Council.

The council will  be launching a  beefed-up community website in the new year, continue to use Facebook, poster campaigns, and explore how school newsletters and a great number of community/church notice boards can be used to communicate key messages to the people of Frome. If you can think of anywhere else you would like to see information please let them know by emailing Laura at admin@fromtowncoun cil.gov.uk

There is a great deal of value in listening to all the diverse people in Frome, and having places to meet and discuss ideas together, there were many examples during Participation Frome week where, through conversation with two parties, people were able to communicate their thoughts and ideas around particular issues, reaching a common understanding of the issues and constructively consider the potential ways forward.

Participate Frome encouraged lots of thought and talk but it also saw a week of action with events ranging from a Young Peoples Question Time to a series of community-led litter picks across the town.  Frome residents of all ages got involved, had their say and started to think about what they ‘Can Do’ to make Frome an even better place to live and work.

First and foremost Participate Frome is an ongoing process, if there are things that you want to discuss, hear more about or simply just have an ear to share your thoughts on life in Frome, then get in touch with Frome Town Council or Participate Frome, on Facebook, through their website or by emailing Laura at  admin@frome towncouncil.gove.uk