Connecting Frome

1 April 2018

Cllr Martin Dimery (Frome East) writes:

One of the issues we frequently encountered on the doorstepsbefore last May's County elections was the sense of detachment people in Frome felt from County HQ in Taunton. Since being
elected, John Clarke and I both agree that the geographical distance between Frome and Taunton has been to Frome's detriment in the past, and we have been working to ensure Frome people get equal access to services and also get their opinions heard.

The Green Party council representatives on County and District Council have been diligent attenders at Frome Town Council meetings and at the Frome Councillors Forum to ensure that local concerns are taken up at their respective councils. A good example of how this has worked is the agreement by County Highways to allow Frome Town Council to remove redundant, broken and inaccurate street signs. Left to County Council, such tasks may take much longer and not be prioritised, due to budgetrestrictions and County-wide workload.

Cllr John Clarke (left) and Cllr Martin Dimery (right) with Somerset council CEO Pat FlahertyRecently, we helped arrange a meeting between Patrick Flaherty the Chief Executive of Somerset County Council and representatives of Frome Town Council. One of the matters that arose was the apparent reluctance for Taunton-based officers to hold public consultations in Frome. There were three examples where these consultations were arranged in Glastonbury or Street and intended to be convenient to all Mendip residents. I'm pleased to say we managed to arrange for the consultation on Sure Start Centres to also happen in Frome and had Pat's assurance that Frome residents will receive the same access to consultation in future.

Along with Frome North Councillor Linda Oliver, we have submitted a joint application to the County Council in co-operation with Frome Town Council to financially support the second phase of the Market Place renovation. This will involve re-paving, but more crucially, replacing the bus stops and re-angling them, so buses do not obstruct traffic whilst stationary. Courtesy crossings for pedestrians will also be provided. This is intended to make the Market Place a safer area for pedestrians whilst allowing the continuous flow of traffic at a sensible speed. We are optimistic that this money will be released in the near future.

I have also been attending Selwood Parish Council meetings when possible. Like Frome, our neighbouring villages have many problems with speeding traffic and road signs. Indeed, issues of road safety and management take up a lot of our time as Councillors. We have been successful in ensuring many site inspections, and in some cases improvements are made, despite limitations on budgets. Many of these issues were discussed at length at our most recent Green Party "Connecting Frome" meeting. We will be holding other sessions in the future so please check the local press for details.