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Frome is leading by example in bid to become ethical town

FROME should be an ethical town with the town council making ethically sound decisions and setting an example to individuals, organisations and businesses.

That’s the view of local councillors who have unanimously agreed to introduce a framework to help them make ethical decisions.

This will be used when choosing the council’s suppliers, when considering the council’s bank accounts and investments, and will be applied to the grant application scheme to encourage local organisations to take an ethical approach as well.

The town council will also include an ethical commentary in the Annual Report, and will investigate how to promote other ethically-based organisations.

Other measures include looking into the possibility of creating a Frome Energy Company, aiming to make Frome carbon neutral over time; a community food web; and the town council forming a new working party to look at poverty and the impact of austerity measures.

A number of initiatives –  such as Frome’s status as a Fairtrade town and the toilet twinning scheme – already exist.

Now a framework has been created by a working party, using the premise that ‘the mark of a good society is how it treats its vulnerable people and considers future generations in decision making.’ This could include considering sustainability, where things are sourced from, and the impact on poorer people.

Cllr Peter Macfadyen explained, “This came up because we believe in Frome looking out, not in, and punching above our weight.

“Toilet twinning is an example – why should we fundraise for African toilets through a town council-led scheme?  Because it’s a joined up world where we all have impact on each other.

“We see it very much as leading by example.  We already do most of our investment ethically and we will be bumping this up now.”