Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Council Offices, Brympton Way, Yeovil BA20 2HT. View directions

Contact: LCN Team Email: 

No. Item


Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence.


Somerset Councillors Mike Hewitson, John Bailey, Wes Read and Graham Oakes

Emma Jayne Hopkins, Yeovil Town Council

David Neal, West Coker Parish Council

Anita Perry, West Coker Parish Council

Linda Snelling

Peter McNaughton


Declarations of Interest

To receive and note any declarations of 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: City, Town & Parish Twin Hatters - Somerset Councillors 2023 )


There were no declarations of interest from Somerset Councillors present at the meeting.


Notes from the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 154 KB

To approve the notes from the previous meeting.


The notes of the previous meeting held on 25 January 2024 were approved as a correct record by those present.


Update on Somerset Council's Financial Position


Kate Hellard, (Service Manager LCNs) gave an update on Somerset Council’s financial position.  The following points were noted:


·       Somerset Council had set a balanced budget for 2024/25.

·       The Council had received notification that a capitalisation directive had been agreed which meant that the Council would be able to use capital funding to support revenue costs.

·       There was a lot of work to do over the coming year to stabilise Somerset Council in order to set a balanced budget the following year.

·       A Voluntary Redundancy Programme was currently open for staff as an option.  There was a list of roles who were exempt from the process due to them being statutory services or extremely hard to recruit to. 

·       A Transformation Programme was also running in parallel to ensure a good operating model for Somerset Council that was fit for purpose in the coming months.


Public Question Time

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.


There were no questions received from any members of the public.


Talk from Civic Contingency Team (Responding to Emergencies)


The Chair introduced Paul Stevens, Senior Civil Contingencies Officer at Somerset Council and Bel Deering, Community Engagement Officer at Somerset Rivers Authority.  They provided the LCN members with a comprehensive presentation on their work in preparing for emergencies and how they could help communities recover from them. 


The LCN was informed that the Somerset Rivers Authority are part of Somerset Prepared which is a multi-agency partnership working closely with communities to deliver advice, support and training to help enhance local resilience to emergencies. The partnership is made up of many organisations able to provide advice, guidance and support to help develop local initiatives that enhance resilience to emergencies. ttps://


The Somerset Rivers Authority could provide advice and guidance to communities, training, resources and grant support. They were hoping to run Community Resilience and Emergency Planning roadshows across the County in partnership with other agencies during the year.


Questions raised following the presentation related to the procedures in place for emergencies involving helicopters and military aircraft, and the Council’s policy on sandbags.  It was noted that there was guidance available on alternative methods to sandbags on the Somerset Prepared website.


Talk from First Bus Group


Nathan Turnbull, Locality Officer reminded everyone of the objectives taken from the last meeting which included buses and bus cuts.  He said that there was due to be a representative in attendance from the First Bus Group to give a presentation but unfortunately, he was unable to attend.  He advised that the item would be on the agenda for the next meeting.


Update from Working Groups


Nathan Turnbull informed the LCN that a meeting of the Highway Working Group was due to take place on 4 April in the daytime with the venue to be arranged.  He said that this would be a good opportunity to meet with highway colleagues to discuss individual issues and topics.  He urged parishes/town councils to send a representative to the meeting.


It was noted that a meeting of the Connectivity and Transport Working Group had taken place the previous day but unfortunately there was a very low attendance.  He was keen to find out about the current issues and what parishes wanted.


It was noted that there was also a low attendance for the Anti-Social Behaviour Working Group.  He highlighted that the working groups would be where the work would happen and urged members of the LCN to get involved and to also encourage other parish representatives who may have a particular interest to also become involved.  It was suggested that Gareth Williams be invited to attend.


It was suggested that it would be a good idea to have details of the Working Groups on the Yeovil LCN webpage in addition to sending out emails about the meetings.


Table Discussion


In break out groups, attendees were asked to consider a number of discussion questions (sub-headings below):


Highways and Traffic

Ahead of our first Highways and Traffic working group meeting


1.      Please note all the issues you are experiencing in your parish/area?


Potholes, flooding, drains, gullies, parking

Road resurfacing


Ilchester By Pass Diversion Route

Localised flooding not being addressed

Blocked gullies/list of reported items

Price of Parish Ranger

Overgrowth of hedges

Speeding and there are particular hot spots. 

Pot holes - larger pot holes are being filled but small ones are not (even though sometimes they are next to larger ones) - they are getting dangerous as drivers swerve

Parking outside of peoples houses is often contentious - we would welcome more information about disabled spaces and what happens if residents cone off areas outside their own house


2.     What would you like to happen as a result of meeting with Highways colleagues?


Fill in the potholes

Future planning

A response and action


Re-connect Fix My Street

Will parish pay of no money available at Somerset Council

Would welcome an increased police presence at speeding hot spots - and an idea to work with schools during Road Safety week

Would welcome more information about enforcement, perhaps support to set up more community speed watch groups

Would welcome more information about disabled spaces and what happens if residents cone off areas outside their own house


3.     How can you ensure all parishes are represented – who should be included in the working group?


Direct communication from local parishioners

Social media

Anyone who has an interest or talent

Two representatives from all parishes

Not all day meetings – some evening maybe teams/zoom is preferable

A suggestion that we might look to have a parish roadshow to better understand what matters to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 35.


Date of Future Meetings


The Chair advised that the next meeting of the Yeovil LCN would be held on Monday 29 April 2024 at 7.00pm at The Manor Hotel, Yeovil.