Agenda and minutes

Venue: Frome Town Council Town Hall - Frome. View directions

Contact: LCN Team Email: 

No. Item


To elect the Chair of the Local Community Network


Frome Town Councillor Max Wide was nominated by Councillor Adam Boyden, seconded by Somerset Councillor Helen Kay.


There were no other nominations.


Frome Town Councillor Max Wide was duly elected of the Local Community Network – Frome Area.


He thanked the network for electing him.  He said he had enjoyed being part of building the network thus far.  He said it was very important and he looked forward to creating a network which worked for everyone in the area including the villages, not just Frome Town.


He hoped meetings in the future might be themed in line with the priorities in the LCN Plan.


He said he had a background in local government and facilitation.  However, he said he wanted to break free from a formal committee structure, covering all that needed to be covered but in a less formal, workshop style.


He said the network was in a good position to have a great deal of influence on local issues and could report directly to the Somerset Council.  


To elect the Vice Chair of the Local Community Network


Councillor Adam Boyden was nominated by Councillor Claire Sully, seconded by Councillor Helen Kay.


There were no other nominations.


Councillor Adam Boyden was duly elected as the named Vice Chair of the Local Community Network – Frome Area.


He thanked the network for electing him.  And he looked forward to working with Councillors Dawn Denton, Helen Kay and Claire Sully on the new Steering Group.



Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence.


Somerset Councillor Michael Dunk (Core Member)

Vicar Ian Snares, Holy Trinity Church, Frome (Core Member)

Karen Leafe, Spark Somerset (Core Member)

Somerset Councillor Val Keitch

Somerset Councillor Alex Wiltshire (Core Member)

Somerset Councillor Martin Dimery (Core Member)

Buckland Dinham Parish Councillor John Reckless

Nunney Parish Councillors Simon Clegg and Paul White.



Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 67 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.)




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.


Jackie Wheeler from the community group called People for Packsaddle was invited to speak.  She said the group had in the region of 200 members.  Their aim was to save 8 acres of green space in the north of Frome.  She said People for Packsaddle had a vision for the green space.  She asked if the LCN could help them with discussions to get the land devolved from the Somerset Council to Frome Town Council. 

The Chair thanked the speaker.  He said, in the first instance, LCN, would be establishing its main priorities on wider issues.  LCN was a good place to raise issues of local concern.  In this instance, he suggested that devolution to Frome Town Council was a matter for that Council who the group could approached directly.

In the discussion that followed one Somerset Council Member said they would be happy to facilitate a discussion about the devolution of Packsaddle to Frome Town Council.

In response, another member suggested that the discussion for the LCN should include the broader issue of how Frome needed to grow and where any new housing would go.   Assets, land and infrastructure was likely to be a theme of one of the meetings.

Parish Council Members hoped the LCN would help parishes speed up the resolution of local issues.

Members said it was important that the LCN should help the Somerset Council develop its strategies.  The Chair commented that The LCN would have to choose carefully which strategies to concentrate on. 



Agree the minutes from previous meetings pdf icon PDF 343 KB

The meeting will be asked to consider the minutes of the previous meeting held on 30 May 2023.


The minutes of the previous meeting held on 30 May 2023 were agreed.

Members requested that minutes and other important documents be sent to parishes as early as possible so they could be given proper consideration.  It was important that parishes felt engaged with the discussions being held by the Network.



To consider the summary of work to date


Kate Hellard, Lead Officer explained a draft report had been forwarded to members in advance of the meeting.  It gave an overview of what had happened during the pilot.  Issues had included children’s services in the area, and funding. 

The Officer asked that members give particular consideration to the section about lessons learned.  Members were encouraged to send their feedback directly to the Lead Officer, who would report back to the next meeting. 

The Chair said it was important for everyone to bring their skills to the Steering Group.  Frome Town Councillor Lisa Merryweather volunteered to join the Steering Group.

Members said they would welcome a forward plan showing the themes for the forthcoming meetings.



To determine the priorities and areas of focus for the Local Community Network for the next 12 months pdf icon PDF 366 KB


The Chair said it was important for the Network to achieve the following tasks:


  • Re-engage with parishes across the area.
  • Establish how they think the LCN could best be set up to be appealing and successful.
  • Consider what the issues were that could form part of an area plan.
  • Consider whether they wished to be part of making the case for the devolution of assets.


The Chair said the LCN steering group would engage with the parishes so that we could determine priorities.  He asked each table in the room to discuss the type of questions which should be asked of parishes in the first instance.


The questions included:


What are the strengths of your local area?

What are the challenges your local area faces?

What are the assets in your local area?

What are you aspiration for your local area “how would you like things to be”?

What data evidence do you have to support these views?

What are the priorities for your local community?  


During the discussion that followed members agreed:


  • The LCN needed to ask the parishes what was important to them. 
  • Parishes may wish to hold workshops in the communities.
  • It was important to know what the urgent issues are, such as particular forms of crime.  If clear urgent priorities emerge that was the case then the LCN would need to invite representatives of the Police to the next meeting.
  • Confirmation of the questions should be sent to parishes as soon as possible so they could make an early start.
  • Representatives of the LCN would ask for the opportunity for  a slot at parish meetings to gather answers to the questions.
  • The LCN would give an opportunity for parishes to ask for and provide additional professional advice and support.  For instance Selwood Parish Council would have appreciated professional advice when they came to consider an application for a solar farm within the parish.


The Chair encouraged members to contact him directly with any further suggestions they had for the survey of parishes. 


He said once the local issues had been established across the area, then the LCN needed to pick up the issues which were relevant to all.


Members of the Steering Group agreed to meet to give further consideration to the consultation exercise.  They would report back to the Chair.



To agree the frequency of meetings


The Network hoped to meet every other month.  They hoped the next meeting might be held in Buckland Dinham Village Hall.



The schedule of meetings for the next 12 months


Following the consultation exercise, a forward plan for the LCN would be drawn up.  It was hoped that each meeting of the LCN would have a theme in order to focus discussion on top priorities.