Local Open Spaces: feedback from residents:
Local residents living around the open space on Brunel Way have asked for new dog waste bins, and litter bins, to help keep this area more free of dog poo and litter, so I will be working to get these installed as soon as possible. Residents are also concerned that this area be kept open and that any new facilities planned (by Frome Town Council who had ideas to improve the area) do not encourage anti-social behaviour here, as has happened in the past.
The little playgrounds:
Mums, Dads and grandparents living near the Acacia Drive ‘swing park’ have also told me that they really value this little playground as it is and do not want the swing taken away (as Mendip are thinking of doing). Residents would also really like more equipment for young children to play on locally, as younger children do not have much to do at the old Showfield playground.
Thanks to everyone who has responded to my street letters (see here), as I can now take these concerns with Mendip and Frome Town Councils.
Nunney Post Office is set to re-open on Thursday 12th. April in the Village Hall. It will be open every Tuesday and Thursday from 9am to 1pm and be looked after by the sub-postmaster from Mells Post Office.
“This is good news indeed,” said Gloria. “Local people have told me of their delight that the service was to be retained in the village and will be even more pleased now that a date has been set.”
The Post Office say that the there will be the same range of services and products, with the exception of Euros On Demand. This means that pensions and benefits can still be collected in cash using the Post Office’s everyday banking services or Post Office card account.
Like most people, I was appalled to hear that the County Council is considering cutting funding for young carers in Somerset. There are hundreds of young carers in Somerset, 341 of whom are registered with the County’s Young Carers project, quite a few of these young people live in Frome. At home, these young people, aged between 8 and 18, are looking after a parent, brother or sister who is disabled, physically or mentally ill. Young Carers’ caring responsibilities often begin before they are 8, but this is when they first become involved in the Somerset service.
I am pleased the Somerset’s Conservatives have finally bowed to pressure and extended the consultation period for young carers. Consultation about the proposed 50% cut will now finish on 15th March 2012, offering hope that the Councillors will take time to listen to the concerns of families and young carers, and to reverse its decision.
Almost everyone has direct experience of caring for a loved one, and to halve this small but absolutely essential service is an appalling abuse of power. I would urge everyone to make their views known to the County Council.
Savage cuts by Somerset Tories will leave bus services in our area decimated. Some villages like Batcombe, Trudoxhill, Upton Noble, Wanstrow and Witham Friary could be left with no buses at all.
The Council has to ensure school and college transport by Law, but the reduction in buses in rural areas and the possible withdrawal/rise in cost of the County Ticket will affect many.
“Rural areas are hit hard by cuts in bus services, which are already few and far between. The cuts will make the most vulnerable – young people, the disabled and elderly – even more dependent on others to get around or access shops and services, ” said Gloria Cawood. Here is what people say:
- Young people say lack of rural public transport is a ma jor problem. They are unable to access arts, sports and leisure activities or chill out with friends out-side school hours.
- Disabled people, already dependent on the Slinky bus are concerned it will be harder to book travel slots for services and to friends because of increased demand on the service.
- The elderly fear they will be even more isolated in villages with very few services and won’t be able to get to doctor and hospital appointments.
“Parish Councils are being asked by County to cover the cost of bus services from their precept. While cutting their own budgets, the Tories seem to be encouraging Parish Councils to massively increase theirs. They just don’t understand or care about rural areas, ” said Gloria.
“Some Parish Councils are thinking about starting car sharing schemes or encouraging neighbours to offer help with shopping, which many people in villages do all ready,” said Gloria, “But some people just don’t like to ask and want to stay independent.”
“For others the Slinky bus might be the answer. This is a door to door service for senior citizens, people with disabilites and those not living on a bus route. It runs between 9 a.m. and6.30pm Monday to Saturday.”
Ring 01749-344141 for further details. You can use your bus pass or County Ticket and validated carers and under-5′s go free. For more details on the Hospital Car Transport ring 01749-300100
In response to former councillor Thierry Chessum’s letter last week, I also attended part of the county councillors’ meeting [the Transport, Traffic and You’ public workshop at The Assembly Rooms, organised by county cllrs Maggy Daniell, Alvin Horsfall and Peter John], and thought that the workshop was a good way of identifying people’s traffic and transport problems in Frome, which the county councillors will take forward and try and resolve by securing funding and support from county. Surely, life is too short to be so negative all the time, and we need people to contribute ideas and to build support for positive changes instead from all our councils.
In response to the letter on flytipping and recycling last week, I agree with the author, in that Mendip District Council’s own data shows that amount of flytipped rubbish in the district doubled in April, May and June. This was straight after new charges and shorter opening hours at our household waste recycling centres were brought in by Somerset Waste Partnership, after Somerset County Council’s severe cuts to SWP’s budget. I and other councillors are asking both our Conservative controlled district and county councils to recognise the policy was a damaging mistake, as it has been counterproductive in putting people off recycling, something even Eric Pickles agrees with us on. We are therefore asking for the policy to be reviewed again, and for opening hours at recycling centres to be extended and chagres reduced. We are also keeping up the pressure for more action to deter flytipping and encourage recycling and good waste disposal behaviour for both household and trade waste. For more on this campaign, please see http://adamboyden.mycouncillor.org.uk/.
Liberal Democrat, Mendip District Councillor, Frome College ward