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Big plans for 2015 for Frome Town Council

THERE’S  an exciting year ahead for Frome Town Council with a number of important projects coming to fruition.

“For all of us, the highlight early next year will be the purchase of the building on Christchurch Street,” says Paul Wynne, Town Clerk.

“Work on the Implementation Prospectus at Saxonvale is progressing well and we plan to share it with you all in the New Year.  This will set out a new way forward for making a success of this site.

“It will show how we can unite landowners and secure external funding and investment that Saxonvale and the town so desperately need.

Other projects that the town council is working on include:

Making the Town Centre more attractive to everyone: 

We shall be investing more resources into the town centre from next year,” says Paul. “As you know, the amount of litter and rubbish lying around varies but it is never as clean as we would all like it. Cracking this problem will take traders and businesses, the community and the public sector and their contractors to all pull together.

“We’ll be establishing a small representative group that will be charged with persuading the people they represent to get their act together, for the common good! In my mind’s eye for next year, I see monthly community litter picks, traders sweeping outside their shops and offices every morning, a step change in re-using and recycling and The Landscape Group and Somerset Waste Partnership being congratulated for doing such a great job.”

Implementing the Neighbourhood Plan: 

“Getting the Plan to referendum is an important objective that we will be pursuing with Mendip in early 2015,” continued Paul. “But the work doesn’t stop there.  We are already working across the Council on how we will implement the various policies in the Plan (see below for Green infrastructure and above for Saxonvale for a start).

“A report will come to our External Affairs Committee (EAC) meeting on Wednesday 25th February setting out a timetable for this work.”

New funding for economic development: 

“We have now received the good news that Frome will be eligible for EU LEADER funding for the first time ever. DEFRA has confirmed that the Heart of Wessex Local Action Group is set to receive just under £2m in funding over five years to support economic development in this rural area. We sit on the executive committee.

“At the next EAC, we will identify the projects that we think are important to the town and for which applications should be submitted.”

Further acquisitions, and co-ordinated management, of green spaces and corridors: 

“We all know that co-ordinated management of green spaces makes good environmental sense. It also makes perfect sense for the community who like to use them.

“However, while I am happy that FTC sites are moving in the right direction, next year will see a focus on green infrastructure. This is where all green spaces and the corridors that link them up are managed as a whole for the benefit of wildlife and our community.

“The potential for all parts of the community to get involved in this process is enormous and our new environment manager, Chris Stringer, will be taking forward this initiative in the new year (he starts at the end of January).

“We will also be taking on the Old Showfield, land at Henley Way, the river bank in the town centre and, hopefully, the play areas at the Mount and at Packsaddle and have just taken ownership of the Dippy.”

Promotion of the town to visitors: 

“Our External Affairs Committee will also receive a report on our approach to promoting the town in 2015. We will be building on the launch of the Discover Frome brand and website and some very successful events involving Visit Somerset and Bath Tourism.

Apprenticeships: 

“2015 will be a big year for apprenticeships in Frome with a new apprenticeship coordinator being recruited to work with local employers to grow the opportunities for young people.  We will be working closely with Frome Community College to deliver this programme. We will also be recruiting in January our fourth apprentice.”

Success in Frome:

“Crucial to the success of all of this is the way this council works successfully in the community with other organisations like the schools, the commercial and public sectors, the brilliant community groups in the town and the people generally.”

 

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