As we approach Christmas, I’ve been reflecting on what life has been like as ‘The Lockdown Mayor’ of Frome.

Like many other Mayors have no doubt experienced, there’s been very little in the way of ribbon cutting, attending school concerts and performances, and attending official functions, and there’s been a lot more time spent on Zoom meetings!

Im very proud of how Frome has come together during the pandemic and much of that has to do with the Town Council’s campaign to ‘Look out for your five neighbours’.

It’s created tight communities all across the town offering help with shopping, checking on wellbeing and generally offering support where it’s needed. Many groups in the town have come to the fore, like ‘Fair Frome’ who offer advice, and look after the food bank to make sure no-one goes hungry: Active and In Touch who befriend those who live alone: and Cafes and Restaurants offering a ‘Pay it forward’ scheme to provide hot meals or drinks for those in need.

As my services have not been needed in the usual way, I’ve chosen to do a ‘weekly walkabout’, chatting to businesses to see how they’re doing, offering support, highlighting ways we can help, and promoting the idea for residents to ‘shop local’!

Frome is a highly creative and resilient town with a desire to come through this with energy and positivity.

Businesses have shown enormous resourcefulness in adapting the way they operate, and I am extremely impressed by their ability to ‘bounce back’.

Together with my sixteen amazing colleagues and an incredible team of council staff, we’re pulling out every stop, chasing every opportunity, and as always, continuing to find ways to support the people of Frome, either directly or through so many extraordinary groups who work tirelessly to dilute the poverty, homelessness, the effects of social funding cuts, and the impact of climate change that’s all around us.

So, on behalf of the people of Frome, I’d like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and prosperous 2021!

Anita Collier

Mayor of Frome