Agenda and minutes

Venue: The Clubhouse - Morganians Rugby Club. View directions

Contact: LCN Team Email: 

No. Item


Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence.


None received.


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 )


No further declarations of interests were made.


Appointment of Chair and Vice-Chair


The positions of Chair and Vice-Chair of the LCN had been contested due to issues with the core membership and therefore it was agreed that another election should be undertaken.


Councillor Brian Smedley proposed Tim Mander (Bridgwater Town Council) and this was seconded by Councillor Hilary Bruce.

Councillor Gill Slocombe proposed Councillor Diogo Rodrigues and this was seconded by Brian Kennedy (Bridgwater Without Parish Council).


Both candidates spoke in support of their experience that they would bring to the post.

The votes took place for each candidate which resulted in 5votes each in support (10 eligible to vote).

Scott Wooldridge (Interim Head of Governance) advised the meeting via Teams that the Terms of Reference stated that in the event of tie in an election, then it would be decided via an electronic Random Number Generator. This took place and Councillor Rodrigues was voted in as the Chair.


Election of Vice-Chair:

Councillor Brian Smedley proposed Tim Mander (Bridgwater Town Council) and this was seconded by Councillor Hilary Bruce.

Tim Mander was duly elected as Vice-chair as there were no other proposals.




Notes from the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 113 KB

To approve the notes from the previous meeting.


The notes from the previous meeting held on 21 June 2023 were confirmed as a correct record. Councillor Slocombe wished to put on record her apologies for any offence that was caused in the phrasing of a comment that had been made.

Members also commented on the core membership for this LCN and it was noted that the membership would be reviewed in January 2024 and additional organisations could be proposed then, however if there were specific priorities, then organisations/groups could be invited to those meetings.


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 from any member of the Public.


Highlights of themes discussed at the last meeting


Kate Hellard went through the highlights and themes from the first meeting, these were:

Communication                           Support for businesses

Active Travel                               Active Lifestyle

Access to Healthcare                   Affordable Housing

Planning and Enforcement           Anti-social Behaviour

Car Parking


During discussion, Councillors also asked that Highways and public transport including buses and trains under Active Travel, however it was clarified that active Travel related to walking and cycling.

It was confirmed that certain areas were common to other LCNs and these included Highways and Active Travel.

Councillor Slocombe requested that Dentistry & GP services also be included within access to healthcare.



An introduction to data


All LCNs will get the same profile areas and shows comparison to County and England, it was confirmed that agreement was needed as to what data was needed and for explanations and details to be provided.


It was suggested that people can come to specific meetings to talk through their areas and where the opportunities would be for each LCN.



To discuss the following topics:


a)    Wellbeing; Active Travel and Active Lifestyle

b)    Anti-Social Behaviour

c)    Support for Businesses


Members of the LCN were asked to consider how the group could further the following priorities that were established at the previous meeting.; these being:

Well Being & Active Travel

Anti-social Behaviour



There were a number of comments made from the 4 groups and these are listed below:


Anti-social behaviour:

Issues raised:

Need assistance from:


Speeding on Estate roads


Fly tipping

Gangs of youths

Drug dealing throughout the estates

Bad parking – especially around schools



One Team

Town Centre Wardens

School staff/PTA/




Youth Groups



Data can also be collected from Police, Youth Unlimited, Carnival Clubs (supporting YP), football clubs, Youth Groups



Wellbeing/Active Lifestyle & Active Travel:


Need assistance from:


Previous initiatives were popular “Beat the Street”

Health walks

Cycling routes using old train routes, need safe bicycle storage areas/locations, training to ride a bike, cycle mileage instead of using cars

Access to activities and getting to them, also need activity sessions to be made available to those that work


Local business for support and also to pay mileage

Slinky bus

“On your bike” who run a number of initiatives.


Community Sports Trusts


Bridgwater Area Cycling Campaign/Sustrans




Need assistance from:


Policing /ASB in the town centre

Need to revive the centre and encourage footfall

Disabled access

Engaging big businesses in the area to engage with the smaller businesses – create local supply chains

Inward Investment Team: share best practice & identify objectives – identify pain points (recruitment, finance etc)!

Identify sectors i.e. retail, manual etc

Bus services

Stakeholders and partners to be identified.


National and Local Government initiatives/grants

Industry Bodies

Police – Town team

Chamber of Commerce


It was agreed that a meeting should be set up with the Chair and Vice-chair to be agree the way forward on specifics and to agree other partners/organisations who should be invited.


Dates of future meetings


It was confirmed that the next meetings of the LCN would be :

Monday 20 November 2023 and Monday 22 January 2024.