Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Council Offices, Cannards Grave Road, Shepton Mallet BA4 5BT. View directions

Contact: LCN Team Email: 

No. Item


Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence.


Apologies were received from Somerset Councillor Barry Clarke and Parish Councillors Alan Townsend and Chris Pearce (Coleford), Nick Ham (Kilmersdon).



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 none.


Notes from the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 116 KB

To approve the notes from the previous meeting.


The notes from the meeting held on 11 January 2024 were proposed by Councillor Martin Lovell and seconded by Councillor Edric Hobbs and were unanimously agreed.



Police Update with Q & A


The Chair advised that the representative from the Police was ill and unable to attend the meeting, so unfortunately this agenda item would be postponed to another meeting. Councillor Hobbs was disappointed that an alternative representative did not attend as it was an ideal opportunity for the police to meet the Parish Councillors present.



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.


Mr Joe Pearce stated he was a local haulier and asked whether anything was being done to improve the safety at the roundabout at Long Cross. He said that there had been 5 lorry accidents there in the last 12 months and it was dangerous.  The Chair responded that it would be discussed in a later agenda item.


No further public questions or statements were made.



Updates from Working Groups

To receive an update from the following two working groups:

·       Highways Working Group

·       Flood Working Group




Councillor Martin Lovell provided an update on the Highways Working Group (HWG). The first meeting had been held on March 4th. Craig Gowan from Somerset Council Highways had given the working group an overview of how Highways could help with the provision of Highways Stewards and the pilot of the scheme already in Exmoor LCN. Going forward it was going to be a very useful forum and said that Mr Pearce’s earlier question about the dangerous roundabout at Long Cross would be added to the next agenda. Other subjects for the next HWG would be HGV routing and weight restrictions. A parish crisis list would be sent out to all parishes to complete and would be the basis of future discussions.


The Terms of Reference for the HWG would need to be approved. These were proposed by Councillor Martin Lovell and seconded by Councillor Iain Kirby. All approved.


The timing and frequency of meetings was to be agreed and Councillor Lovell said that attendance at the meetings was not restricted and that LCN member could attend.




Councillor Claire Sully advised there were Flood Cafes held at the Somerset Museum which were drop-ins for all those affected by flooding or wanted to raise concerns. It was important to get co-ordinated implementation of flood prevention and preparedness moving forward quickly. LCN Officer Terena Isaacs advised that once the flood drop-ins had been completed a Flood Working Group would be established for the Shepton LCN and would be in place before the next LCN meeting.


Paul Elliston from the Somerset Rivers Authority said there were some quick wins that communities could do to build their own resilience – such as emergency plans and training of flood wardens.


Shepton Councillor Matt Harrison proposed a member’s motion to set up a flood action group for Shepton parish and added that any flood alleviation done within Shepton Parish would also affect Croscombe. Pilton Councillor Nick Hall supported the idea saying the problem of flooding had gone beyond the Parish Council’s capabilities and they need to learn about legal issues and co-ordination and implementation of emergency plans.


LCN Officer Terena Isaacs advised when the Minutes of the meeting were distributed, stakeholders would be sent an invitation for interest in formation of a Flood Working Group. All would then be invited to attend that working group.



Health and Wellbeing Presentation


Sue Place ( from Balsam Centre in Wincanton gave a presentation. Some of her comments were as follows:


  • She wanted to raise awareness about how much thinking was done within the Parishes about health and wellbeing.
  • Somerset has an aging population with a heavy reliance on NHS resources.
  • There are a high level of permanent exclusions and suspensions within schools and some with low attendance, particularly since Covid.
  • There is a higher admission level to hospital due to self-harm which is way above the national average for other counties with a similar demographic.
  • Asked Parish Councils to think about how they could embed Health and Wellbeing in all they do as Councillors.
  • There will be an Area Champion for Health and Wellbeing appointed imminently. The details will be available on the Council website.


The next presenter was Nicola Tanner ( from Mendip Country Practices in Coleford. She mentioned the following:


  • Health Connections is a GP practice social prescribing and health coaching team.
  • People can see a Health Connector for a one-to-one appointment, they can join a group, use the online directory to find out about support available or find out about training and getting involved in the community.
  • It comprises a number of GP practices across Mendip.
  • Social Prescribing is for things that cant be treated by doctors or medicine alone.
  • Examples include loneliness, debt, financial stress.
  • Hybrid solutions such as social prescribing and health coaching result in better health outcomes.
  • An estimated 20% of all doctors appoints are spent on non-medical issues.
  • There are many different access points to the service, according to peoples needs, including a directory on the website that provides information on local groups and services in the community that could help improve health and wellbeing.


Finally, Gail Norris ( from the Filo Project gave her presentation. She gave the following details:


  • The Filo Project was a small group day care facility available across Mendip (and many other areas) which provide an enriching day for people living with dementia and other older people.
  • Hosts welcome approximately 5 people into their homes for a day and build a rapport with them. The same group attend each week.
  • A typical day would include morning and afternoon activities, a home cooked lunch, which guests can join in cooking.
  • If someone is eligible for adult social care funding this can be used to pay for the service, or it can be paid for privately.
  • The service started 10 years ago and was initially for people suffering from memory loss and dementia. Now it is for anyone that is socially isolated.
  • It provides respite for the persons usual carer.


In response to questions, Gail advised that the project was only just taking off in Mendip and there were hosts ready in Frome and Evercreech. They were looking for hosts within Shepton but meanwhile Shepton residents could attend Frome if they could be get transport. Also, anyone could make a referral to the service by using the referral page on the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 33.


Actions and Next Steps


Members were asked what they would like to discuss at future meetings. The following were suggested topics:


  • Rural transport depravation.
  • Rural fuel poverty.
  • Park Runs
  • Youth engagement in sports


The Chair said there had been lots of useful information provided at the Chair/Vice-Chair LCN meetings and would like this shared to Members of the LCN, in particular the presentations.  LCN Officer Kate Hellard advised a summary would be distributed.



Dates of Future Meetings


Monday 29th April – probably in Croscombe.

There was an offer from Batcombe Parish Council to host a future LCN meeting.