Reluctantly to the party
Boyles Cross is an area along Frome High Street that has over the course of 2018 been renovated and turned into a pleasant quasi market square. In any European city it would be a space to be celebrated. Indeed this is the approach that Frome Town Council have adopted. Looking to use the space to hold small events, the occasional market stall and to restore a water fountain that had ceased to function.
Well we are all supposed to be refilling our water bottles rather than adding to the plastic mountain aren’t we?
The problem is that the land around the cross is actually owned not by the town council but by Mendip District Council (MDC). MDC tried to object to the town’s plans to upgrade and expand the pavement area around the cross only to see their objections thrown out on appeal.
MDC does not always enjoy the best of relationships with Frome which it seems to regard with same frustration as a parent with an awkward teenager.
The problem is that the FTC initiative is in danger of generating revenues and being seen locally as a successful enhancement to the town centre.
The October Cabinet meeting of MDC saw members working hard to overcome what appeared to be an inherent desire to thwart the town’s plans at every turn whilst at the same time realising that there were revenues to be had and there might be some image issues if their objections appeared petulant.
It was almost comic as objection after objection to the plans was raised. Yet it was becoming ever clearer that the objections lacked conviction, they had to be spoken for the sake of good form. The Cabinet had already decided to agree to a partnership with FTC where going forwards revenues and costs at the site would be shared. And so it proved to be.
In the end money does talk.