Agenda and minutes

Venue: Westonzoyland Village Hall, Cheer Lane, Westonzoyland, TA7 0EX

Contact: LCN Team Email: 

No. Item


Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence.


Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Adam Dance, Cllr Norman Cavill, Cllr Jo Roundell Greene, Fivehead Parish Council, Martock Parish Council and Muchelney 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 )


Cllr Richard Wilkins (Chair) declared an interest due to his membership of the Curry Rivel Travel Steering Group. 


There were no other declarations of interest received. 


Notes from the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 156 KB

To approve the notes from the previous meeting held on 19th June 2023.


The minutes of the previous meeting held on 19th June 2023 were approved as a correct record. 


Public Question Time (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.


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


Highlights of themes discussed at the last meeting


Kate Hellard, The LCN Development Lead, Somerset Council presented a slide to members, highlighting the key themes that were identified at the previous meeting.  

There were no questions or comments received from members regarding the highlights and themes from the last meeting.

The full set of slides shared at the meeting can be viewed here:

Document Levels and Moors Sept '23 - Modern Council (




An introduction to data


Kate Hellard, the LCN Development Lead presented a slide containing a variety of statistics for the Levels and Moors area, obtained from the Business Intelligence team at Somerset Council.

The LCN Development Lead asked members to consider what data they would like to see to help identify key issues and trends for the Local Community Network Levels and Moors.

 She invited comments and questions from members and the following were received and discussed: -

·         To analyze and evaluate the data, it would be useful to compare this data set with that of the other Local Community Networks in Somerset.  

·         Regarding the 8.3% of people with no car, this is a useful statistic in mapping out our public transport routes. 

·         The Office for National Statistics has data based on district wards, which is very useful when looking at areas of social deprivation. 

·         The data obtained by this Local Community Network should be relevant to the local issues that we can champion and influence.  

·         Regarding the 2.6% of pupils electively home educated in Levels and Moors area, this is very interesting and raises many more questions. 

·         It is important to look at this sort of data over multiple years to identify trends. 

·         Life expectancy is a key driver and would be a useful piece of data here.  

·         Regarding life expectancy in Somerset, this is 84 for women, 80 for men, and 40 for the homeless.

·         It would be incredibly useful for this Local Community Network to have access to other relevant data such as that held by the NHS, Citizens Advise etc... to help build a more accurate picture of current health, social and economic issues. 

There were no further comments or questions from members, and in conclusion the LCN Development Lead asked members to remember that analysis of data does not have to focus on deficits alone, but also on positives and any opportunities that this may bring. 




Discussion: to agree initial priorities, actions for each parish and the creation of working groups.


Kate Hellard, the LCN Development Lead asked members (in small groups of approximately six members) to discuss and agree the following:

1.     Initial priorities

2.     Actions for each parish

3.     Creating of working groups 

The discussion exercise took place for approximately 40 minutes and the following key points were recorded by groups: -

Priorities: -

·         Planning enforcement 

·         Drink and drug driving 

·         Speeding

·         Flooding

·         Lack of public transport

·         Social and affordable Housing 

·         Climate Emergency and the environment 

·         More active travel options 

·         Health and Wellbeing

·         Rural Isolation

·         Adults (social care) 

·         Transport issues i.e. HGV’s, availability of bus routes and trains. 

·         Mental Health 

Actions: - 

·         More use of village agents, family networks and job clubs, which are already in place in some areas and are very effective.

·         More bus routes in rural areas, with more frequent timings to enable passengers to travel to and from work.

·         Better Youth Services.

·         More joined up working with the Police to crack down on anti-social behaviour, drink and drug driving, and speeding (with a Speedwatch Team).  

·         Implementation of planning enforcement at a parish/town level.

·         Promote more connections between those that can access services, and those that cannot. i.e. between people with no car and those with a car, or those with internet access, and those without.  

·         Better drainage to mitigate flooding to homes and businesses.

·         More analysis of data regarding:

·         People living alone by age 

·         Age Demographics (us, Somerset and UK)

·         Deprivation Index

·         Trending of key statistics 

·         Occupation (ONS data)

It was also noted that in future it would be useful if the LCN team could issue data sets and other key information earlier, for parish and town councils to be able to discuss before the next scheduled LCN meeting. 


After some discussion and debate led by the Chair, members unanimously agreed to the establishment of two working group based on two key priorities, those being Active Travel and Health and Wellbeing: - 

1. Active Travel – Chaired by Cllr Gerard Tucker of Aller Parish Council.

2. Health and Wellbeing – Chaired by Cllr David Fothergill of Somerset Council

The Chair asked all members of the Local Community Network to consider joining one of the working groups, and asked members to submit these expressions of interest by email after the meeting. 




Dates of future meetings


The provisional future meeting dates are: -

·         Monday 13th November 2023 (Venue to be confirmed) 

·         Monday 15th  January 2024 (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 alternative suitable venues within the Levels and Moors area.