Agenda and minutes

Venue: Bridgwater Town Hall - Bridgwater. View directions

Contact: LCN Team Email: 

No. Item


Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence.


Apologies were received from Cllrs Andy Dingwall, Gill Slocombe and Robbie Davies.


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 )




Notes from the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 123 KB

To approve the notes from the previous meeting.


The notes of the meeting held on 25 September 2023 were approved as a correct record.


Update on Somerset Council's financial position

To receive an update on Somerset Council's financial position.


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 the public.


Updates from mapping workshop - Youth Provisions


It was explained that there was a need for data to find out where the gaps in provision were as well as a need to talk to young people.


Everyone could help with the mapping of the current youth provision which could be in the form of clubs, youth groups as well as facilities e.g. skate parks.



Task Skully then gave a presentation on Spark’s Somerset Youth Work Alliance highlighting:

·         Who they were

·         Their vision

·         Their shared values

·         What they wanted to achieve


It was commented that one of the issues facing small groups were the formal hoops that they had to go through such as DBS forms, training etc. and it was confirmed that the Somerset Youth Work Alliance could assist with some things such as youth work training.


It was explained that Bridgwater Town Council already had a youth forum and were bringing back the Re-creation building in Hamp, the Rollercoaster in Sydenham as well as supporting youth provision in the Art Centre. Their youth portfolio holder Cllr Jacqui Solomon, part of the working group, was helping with the mapping of Bridgwater. Additionally she would be looking to see if a directory of youth provision in the area could be hosted on the Town Council’s website. The Clerk confirmed that he could arrange for it to be done.


It was acknowledged that as a collective everyone had a responsibility to help with the mapping.


It was also commented that:

§  Youth groups were at capacity

§  There was a need to do things together with young people – not to them

§  Signposting – helping people to help themselves

§  There was a pilot project taking place to look at how information can be made available to young people and Luke Jackson would provide details of this

§  It was important to know what young people wanted

§  There was a need to raise young peoples aspirations


The Police representative Lora Bray then explained:

·         They saw the gaps in youth provision – it was the gaps that they had to deal with!

·         Children hung around in groups and this often caused concerns in the community. However, of the 3,166 incidents reported to the Police in Bridgwater over the past 3 months only 107 were youth related.

·         The Neighbourhood Policing Teams provided early interaction/intervention and worked with other services e.g. and the Youth Offending Team

·         They built relationships with young people and worked with them and their families helping with signposting

·         They got into schools at an early stage

·         Their Violence Reduction Unit was mapping areas of antisocial behaviour to see if there was anything they could do

·         Youth justice was very slow

·         The Police operated campaigns – this week was Road Safety Week

·         Whilst they wouldn’t be able to provide funding they had considerable expertise which they could bring




Action and next steps for Youth Provision


There was a breakout session to consider and feedback on three questions – shown below with the responses given.

1.    What do you feel will be a useful youth provision in and around your local area/business?


Ø  Useful provisions – It would be good to look into different areas, depending on the area’s needs. One point that could be good for most areas is teens being pointed in the right direction to access adult services, e.g. mental health, making their own appointments

Ø  Consistent funding – cost must not be a barrier

Ø  Town Council moving forward with Recreation – Hamp

Ø  Bower – outdoor activities

Ø  Kingsdown Pavilion – indoor youth club

Ø  Building based youth provision – a safe space

Ø  Yth United

Ø  Carer support – contact supervision

Ø  Building in Sydenham – will be

Ø  VPCC – existing provision and venue available


2.    What is the single most important provision every young person should have access to?


Ø  A youth centre, a place of fun activities and a safe environment for natural conversations to occur, an opportunity for a full circle e.g. kids grow up learning and then when they are older they can help and direct the younger ones so that they can grow and do the same for the new younger ones. A place to have a qualified youth worker to help with more of the difficult issues

Ø  Permanent provision

Ø  A place to go, teens don’t like to be in the house they need a place to go and be there selves and have as their own. It will be a challenge due to the different wants of each age

Ø  Woolavington have managed to obtain an old building which is being turned into a community hub, this has been done by the local community football club, they will be providing different service to all ages, and even turning one end of the hall into a giant screen

Ø  Engaging with schools

Ø  Youth shelters (close to the road – far from residents)

Ø  Easy access to mental health services (Barrier – CAMHS wont deal with you until you attempt suicide)

Ø  Multidisciplinary/One-stop shops

Ø  Schools are very important – pastoral support


3.    How can we ensure that all young persons will have access to the provision?


Ø  Signposting – mapping to support

Ø  Affordable – not necessarily free to access

Ø  Hamp, Sydenham and Victoria estates – deprivation (families in poverty); impact of home (Homes in Sedgemoor the landlord has resources)

Ø  Sydenham and Bower – Bower has no provision but Sydenham has the focus

Ø  Co-ordination and collaboration of services – Communication

Ø  LCN needs to have all the players – housing association > focus on disputes

Ø  Raising aspirations – positive role models – homegrown heroes, opportunities to see different things. “Nuggets of Awesome”.


LCN Communication


The meeting was asked how and what it would like to communicate and the following points were raised:

·         Consistency over what the LCN agreed – a core summary of what was discussed could be circulated

·         Any press releases agreed between the Chair, Vice-Chair and Somerset Council Comms

·         A wider engagement piece with partners was important

·         There needed to a focus on who we need to engage with. Who have we spoken to and were there any barriers to them engaging?

·         We need to ask everyone - who we should involve?

·         Bridgwater Town Council was already engaging with people through a number of forums


Luke Jackson gave a quick overview of Connect Somerset’s early help intervention. He explained that it was a way of working to provide early help for people in Somerset by getting people to know how to signpost. He agreed to provide details of the service which the LCN Team would circulate.


Dates and topics of future meetings


It was confirmed that the following would be on the agenda:

Ø  A report from the Youth Group, who would be meeting again shortly.

Ø  A new topic – Active travel and active lifestyle


The dates of the next meetings were confirmed as:


Monday 22 January 2024

Venue to be confirmed but probably at the Bridgwater Cricket Club


Wednesday 20 March 2024

Venue to be confirmed