Agenda and minutes

Venue: Buckland Dinham Village Hall, High Street, Buckland Dinham, Frome, BA11 2QD

Contact: LCN Team Email: 

No. Item


Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence.


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Martin Dimery, Claire Sully, Alex Wiltshire and Helen Kay of Somerset Council, Cllr Sally Foster Mells Parish Council and Cllr Karen Punter Nunney Parish Council. 


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 received.


Notes from the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 124 KB

To approve the notes from the previous meeting.


The notes of the previous meeting held on 27th July 2023 were approved as a correct record.  


Welcome from Buckland Dinham Parish Council


The Chair, Cllr Max Wide of Frome Town Council welcomed all to the Local Community Network Frome meeting and asked all those present in person and online to follow the slides on screen throughout the meeting. 


The full set of slides used during meeting can be viewed here: 


 LCN presentation 5.10.23 - Modern Council ( 


The Chair introduced Cllr John Reckless, Chair of Buckland Dinham Parish Council who welcomed all those in attendance to the village of Buckland Dinham. He advised that; like many other towns and villages in the LCN Frome area, there are some issues and concerns in Buckland Dinham i.e speeding, highways, large scale house building and the impact of this on rural infrastructure, lack of affordable housing, particularly for those with a local connection.   


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.


Two questions were received from a member of the public in attendance as follows:


Name: Debbie Rigby


Question 1: Is there is a GP surgery in Buckland Dinham?


Response: No there is not a GP surgery, most people look towards Frome and Beckington for health services. 


Question 2: Does this LCN have its own budget?


Response: The Chair advised that the LCN does not have its own budget, but it can certainly influence and persuade budget holders. The LCN Development Lead added that LCN pilots have shown that LCN’s are able to deliver change at a local level by drawing down grants and funding from various sources.  




LCN Governance: The Name of this LCN


The Chair advised that following feedback from a number of members, he felt that this Local Community Network (LCN) should be renamed to reflect the fact that the LCN boundary is wider than Frome alone. He asked all members to offer their suggestions, and the following were received: - 


·         Frome & Mendip East


·         Quarry Hills and Frome


·         Frome Rural 


·         Frome and East Somerset


·         Frome and Selwood Forrest


·         Vale of Frome




After a brief discussion led by the Chair, it was concluded that the Local Community Network - Frome would be renamed Local Community Network - Vale of Frome.


Update on process for identifying themes for the Local Plan


The Chair advised that the LCN steering group had begun work on a survey that will be issued to all town and parish councils, to identify common issues and themes for future LCN meetings. He added that by engaging with parishes in this way, the work of this LCN would be reactive to the needs of the LCN Vale of Frome area as a collective. 

The following comments and questions were received from members: - 

·         Is this LCN beholden to Somerset Council, and can the NHS influence this work as well?

·         It was felt that members of the LCN should review a draft survey before it is sent out to all town and parish councils. 

·         How are we going to prioritise the key issues for this LCN, and is there an opportunity for the establishment of smaller working groups to be made up of representatives from the parishes that have the same issues? 

·         What is the LCN steering group? - The Chair advised that the LCN Vale of Frome steering group consists of a small group of LCN core members and Somerset Council officers who meet to discuss agenda setting for the LCN meetings, and that these meetings are open to all. Anyone who wishes to be involved in agenda setting for the LCN should email the Chair or Kate Hellard. 

The Chair advised that the outcomes of the survey would be brought to this LCN at the next meeting in December 2023. 



Introduction to the data available


The Chair invited Kate Hellard, LCN Development Lead to give members a brief overview of the LCN Vale of Frome data set (slide number 7), explaining some of the key findings and the complexities and constraints surrounding the data that is currently available. The LCN Development Lead asked the LCN to think about what data they would like to see, adding that there was much more work to do to build a bigger picture of the LCN Vale of Frome’s strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and challenges. 


Preparation for a discussion on Road Safety across the LCN


The Chair advised members that there would be an agenda item regarding road safety at the next LCN Vale of Frome meeting. To this end he asked members to work in small groups to recommend any key issues or aspects of road safety that they would like to see included under the item, and to record these on the flip chart paper provided.


The following recommendations were recorded by members: -


·         Bypass – speed, particularly at the Asda Junction.


·         Safer Streets


·         Speeding and appropriate speed limits not being enforced/applied


·         Improved cycleways


·         Prevalence of fatal accidents in the Frome area 


·         Visibility on roads – parking and hedges


·         Illegal numberplates


·         More accident and speeding data for Frome and surrounding areas (including near- miss data) Some of the current data is conflicting. 


·         Heavy HGV traffic on rural routes 


·         Fly tipping


·         Avon and Somerset Police and Somerset Highways to be invited to the meeting


·         Winter readiness – gritting


·         Flooding on roads


The Chair thanked everyone for their contributions and advised that these would be used to plan the Road Safety agenda item coming to the next meeting in December 2023.




Update from Somerset Council on Education in the Frome Area and preparation for a discussion


The Chair welcomed Richard Selwyn, Head of Education Places at Somerset Council to give an update to the LCN concerning current challenges and potential opportunities for reform of the education system in the Frome area (slides 8-16). The Head of Education Places advised that a survey of all headteachers had taken place, and that this had identified a need to explore options for a two-tiered education system in Frome. He added that there would be more engagement with headteachers to talk about individual challenges and opportunities for improvement.


The Chair thanked the officer and referred to slide number 16, asking the LCN to consider three fundamental questions: -


1.     How do we influence the scope of this work to encompass the poor educational outcomes that Frome has?


2.    Given the fracturing of the Frome system, with schools increasingly belonging to diverse MAT’s, how do we ensure that the system works for the area.


3.    How do we meaningfully involve the people of the area in the debate?




The Chair invited comments and questions from the LCN and the following points were discussed: -


·         One member felt that schools are becoming more businesslike, and therefore are not as familiar with the educational needs of the communities in which they serve, adding that surveying school leaders (headteachers) may not be the most appropriate method of engagement. The member felt that it would be useful to engage with those families who have chosen not to be educated in Frome. 


·         The pro’s and con’s of a 2 tier and 3 tier education system.




The Chair asked members of the LCN Vale of Frome to consider forming an ‘Education in Frome’ sub-group to represent the LCN Vale of Frome in further discussions with Somerset Council and other stakeholders, advising that anyone who would like to volunteer to sit on this sub-group should email himself or Kate Hellard directly.  


Dates for the next meeting


The Chair advised that the provisional future meeting dates are: -


Thursday 7th December (venue to be confirmed)


Thursday 8th February (venue to be confirmed)


 The LCN team have worked hard to avoid diary clashes but please contact them on if there are any issues. The team would also like information on suitable alternative venues within the Vale of Frome area.