Agenda and minutes

Venue: Stogursey Victory Hall - Victory Hall. View directions

Contact: LCN Team Email: 

No. Item


To appoint the Chair of the Local Community Network pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Only members of the core membership are eligible to be nominated as the Chair. Either the Chair or Vice-Chair of the Local Community Network shall be a Somerset Council Councillor.


Only voting members can make nominations. The nomination must be seconded to be valid.



Somerset Cllr Mike Caswell was nominated by Chris Morgan (Stogursey PC), seconded by Somerset Cllr Brian Bolt.


No other nominations were made so Cllr Mike Caswell was duly elected.



To appoint the Vice-Chair of the Local Community Network

Only members of the core membership are eligible to be nominated as the Vice-Chair. Either the Chair or Vice-chair must be a Somerset Councillor.


Only voting members can make nominations. The nomination must be seconded to be valid.



There were no nominations forthcoming, so the Chair agreed that this could be deferred to the next meeting.



Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence.


Apologies were tendered from Peter Felton (Chilton Trinity PC) and Somerset Councillors Lance Duddridge and Gill Slocombe.



Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 59 KB

To receive and note any declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests, other registrable interests and non-registrable interests in respect of any matters included on the agenda for consideration at this meeting.

(The other registrable interests of Councillors of Somerset Council, arising from membership of City, Town or Parish Councils and other Local Authorities will automatically be recorded in the minutes.)


None were declared


Public Question Time (Items not covered on the agenda)

The Chair to advise of any questions, statements or petitions received that are not covered by items on the agenda for the meeting on which members of the public have requested to speak.


No public questions or statements were made.



To determine the priorities and areas of focus for the Local Community Network (LCN) for the next 12 months pdf icon PDF 224 KB

a)    What are LCNs and how will we work together.

b)   Discussion – What is important to residents and businesses in our area? (An opportunity to raise any local issues or concerns for LCN to consider).



Kate Hellard (LCN Development Lead) shared a presentation on the purpose of the LCN and how it would feed back into the work of Somerset Council. The presentation slides can be viewed here.


There is a dedicated page on the Somerset Council website which can be accessed via this link.


Attendees were asked to share what themes, issues and opportunities they wanted the Dowsborough LCN to explore over the next 12 months.


What is important to our residents and how do we know that?

Somerset Council

·         Service standards; Poor customer service, contacting the council, lack of accountability, lack of response. Too much bureaucracy.

·         Communication from Somerset Council to residents needs to be better. More consultation and information about local initiatives.

·         Better responses when it comes to planning issues and other regulatory services.

·         Lack of information on the website – not user friendly.



·         Lack of road maintenance around potholes, verge/hedge cutting, road markings and signage.

·         Flooding of highways during heavy rain due to blocked drains and culverts.

·         Traffic management to do with congestion and vehicle size, especially travelling towards Bridgwater.

·         Lack of parking.

·         Bridgwater Barrage

·         Speeding through the villages especially along the A39 corridor, and Enmore Road.


Communication / Connectivity

·         Better internet/broadband service needed.


Hinkley Point

·         Impact on the Environment. Issues such as Light Pollution need to be monitored and breaches dealt with.

·         Development of land for additional housing with little added infrastructure.

·         Planning Enforcement. Needs to be more proactive and not reactive. There needs to be more transparency.

·         Fly-parking in the villages.

·         Lack of affordable accommodation for young families. They have to move away to secure cheaper housing outside their local villages,


Rural Isolation

·         Lack of public transport / access to essential services. Heavy reliance on own vehicle.

·         Withdrawal of bus services on commuter routes between Bridgwater & Taunton.

·         Lack of community facilities – shops, post offices, GP surgery.


Environmental Issues

·         Climate Change – Flooding resilience, preparedness.

·         Dog Bins/Mess – more needed / better enforcement and awareness.

·         Managing habitats and biodiversity loss – not enough resource currently.

·         Hunting – not following designated routes, and lack of dog control

·         Litter and fly-tipping.

·         Hinkley Point.


Anti-Social Behaviour

·         Centred around play areas for young children. Teenagers make the area undesirable, or families feel unsafe/vulnerable.

·         Lack of police presence.


Employment and Skills

·         Young people move away as there are a lack of good quality jobs. They don’t return after university.

·         There used to be local trades such as butchers, poultry packers and farming, but this is no longer the case.


How do we know?

Speaking to residents; meeting/emailing local MP; Traffic surveys and meetings; social media. Living in the area and having direct experience of these issues.


Is there something we can do about it, and/or are there local examples already working?

Somerset Council

·         Implement new/better ways of working to achieve the required outcome.

·         More face-to-face communication and an active presence at local level. This also applies to the Police and other public services.



·         Parish pathways liaison officer/warden is a great  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.


The schedule of meetings for the next 12 months


It was requested that the next meeting was scheduled for September, and then followed bi-monthly after that. Thus, future meetings would fall in November, January, March and May.



To agree the frequency of meetings


It was agreed that the meetings should be held every other month and take place on either a Wednesday or Thursday evening. It was asked if the venues could be alternated so that all parishes with a suitable hall could host.


Other suggested venues are: Wembdon VH, Chilton Trinity VH, Nether Stowey VH, Holford VH and Stockland Bristol Social Club. The LCN team were advised that some of these venues would charge for use of their hall.