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Frome has a new mayor

New mayor Peter Macfadyen.

New mayor Peter Macfadyen.

New Mayor of Frome, councillor Peter Macfadyen, has pledged to serve the people of Frome to the best of his ability after taking over the role from cllr Dickon Moore. 

He was elected at the recent annual meeting of Frome Town Council and will be aided by the new deputy mayor, cllr Cllr Tricia Golinski.

Mayor Peter Macfadyen moved to Frome from Cornwall with his family in the 1980s and went on to become a school governor, a charity trustee and run voluntary organisations in the town.

He said, “I hadn’t expected the warm glow of being elected as mayor.  I’m still in week one, but it’s been great so far.  All of my successors spoke of how they valued meeting people outside of their normal circle of friends, relatives and colleagues as mayor.  I’m really looking forward to that and better understanding the place that is home.

“There is a real buzz about Frome at the moment.  But, in my view there are three challenges Frome faces at present.  Firstly, Frome is exposed to massive housing development with very little money being put into the infrastructure to support this – such as better roads and shops. This forces us to live closer together with less room for parking, picnicking or shopping and brings change – this is a real test for the community.

Secondly, last winter’s floods were not – in my view – a one-off.  The weather is increasingly unpredictable.  For those of us involved in farming and growing, this presents a massive challenge, but it will also bring higher food prices, putting greater pressure on the less well off.  We need to be better prepared as a community for this.

Finally, I think that the new self- employment and small scale employment in Frome is not necessarily stable and also masks a high level of under-employment (low hours and low pay).  This is what the town council is working with the college and other providers for, to start apprentice schemes fit for today – and I look forward to seeing these get off the ground, along with other initiatives to build greater resilience in the wider community.

“During my time as mayor I want to achieve two things. Firstly, it’s often easy to get bogged down in the small stuff.  To forget that Frome is part of a world that is increasingly connected.  Slightly tongue in cheek I orchestrated ‘twinning’ most of the community toilets in Frome to others in Africa last year.  I think it is important we recognise that what we do here has an impact on other places – and what happens there will influence how we live our lives.  Of course how clean the street are; how good the carnival is; and how we can better cross the road are all important on a daily basis, but I also want to keep Frome linked to what else is happening out there.

Secondly, I think it’s easy to confuse solemn and serious.  The mayor can set the tone for how the council operates and is seen.  Over the last few years we have achieved a lot of serious business, and I am keen we retain the ability to do that in way that is light and accessible.  Town councillors are volunteers – for the town to get the best out of them we need them and the public to really want to engage.”