Agenda and minutes

Venue: John Meikle Room, The Deane House, Belvedere Road, Taunton TA1 1HE. View directions

Contact: LCN Team Email: 

No. Item


To receive any apologies for absence

To receive any apologies for absence.


An apology was received from Somerset Councillor John Hunt.


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 )


Somerset Councillors present at the meeting declared the following personal interests in their capacity as a Councillor of a Town or Parish Council or any other Local Authority:-


Somerset Councillor

Lee Baker – Cheddon Fitzpaine Parish Council

Tom Deakin – Taunton Town Council

Caroline Ellis – Taunton Town Council

Mike Rigby – Bishops Lydeard and Cothelstone Parish Council

Federica Smith-Roberts – Taunton Town Council


Notes from the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 115 KB

To approve the notes from the previous meeting.


The members of the Taunton Local Community Network agreed that the notes from the previous meeting held on 12 July 2023 were a correct record.


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.


No public questions were raised.


Highlights of themes discussed at the last Meeting

To discuss themes highlighted at the last meeting.


Officers from the Local Community Network (LCN) Team presented the members with some data gathered on the themes and priorities raised at the previous meeting.


An introduction to data


During the group discussions the LCN members highlighted the following points:-

·       Work on bringing the voluntary sector and the council together.

·       Somerset had the highest rate of exclusion and whether to include this as part of future work with the LCN.

·       It was highlighted that employment data had not been included in the slides.


Feedback from the interim meeting held at County Hall on 15 August 2023 pdf icon PDF 101 KB


The Chair gave an update on what was discussed at the interim meeting held on 15 August 2023.

As part of the discussion, the members of the LCN requested certain speakers attend the meeting to give some detailed information on youth provisions in the Taunton area.

The chosen speakers presented their slides as part of the following agenda item.


Presentations from partners on recent surveys, current services and projects for Young People pdf icon PDF 4 MB


The LCN members received a presentation from the following:-

·       Jeff Brown – Somerset Council – School Survey

·       Mark Nettle – Bridgwater and Taunton College

·       Richard Holt – CICCIC – Youth Arts Pilot Programme

·       Angela Bolitho – Somerset Council – North Taunton One Team

·       Richard Shadrick – Somerset Council – East Taunton One Team


During the group discussions the LCN members highlighted the following points:-

·       Members thanked the speakers for their presentations.

·       Members asked the representatives from the Police if they could give an update on working with young people in the Taunton area.

·       The Police Representatives highlighted the low number of young people that they had been working with to help them move away from a life of crime, a couple of which had injunctions placed on them.  Certain premises had also been closed in conjunction with the work carried out to minimise the anti-social behaviour.

·       The Safer Streets App was also highlighted, the link was displayed for members:

·       Members asked for an update on county lines.

·       Members highlighted the great work carried out by the Police in the area and thanked them for all their hard work.

·       Concern was raised on cases of ‘stop and search’.

·       Members suggested that the LCN engage with the many sports clubs within the town to assist with work being carried out on youth services within the town.  The town was proud of the sporting talent, football, cricket, rugby and more. The LCN wanted to invite the sports clubs to take part in the future work on youth provisions.

·       An online survey was highlighted which asked what people wanted in Taunton, a large proportion responded saying that ‘things for young people’ was lacking in the town.  Taunton needed to get the word out on what activities were available.

·       Members agreed that more communication on activities for children in the area was needed.

·       Concern on funding was raised and members queried what was available for the LCN to use.

·       Concern was raised on bullying mentioned in the update from Bridgwater and Taunton College. The students that completed the survey were probably not the ones to worry about and that work was needed to engage with those who did not respond.

·       Comments were made that suggested young people should be given the tools to build their own projects and activities.

·       Concern was raised on public transport for the wider area of Taunton.

·       Members queried what had happened to the North Taunton Woolaway Project Community Hub.

·       Member of the Public raised concern on the empty properties within the town and what action could be taken to let them out or make the shop fronts tidier.

·       The Chair mentioned the success of a youth club night at the Bishops Hull Hub and that if any parish wanted to know more about the event, they could speak to John Hunt who would put them in touch with the organisers.


Discussion: To discuss and agree what questions, challenges and opportunities the LCN is seeking to answer/address in relation to young people


The Chair of the LCN discussed the possible topics for future meetings of the LCN, which included flooding, active travel and setting up a working group to progress on the theme of youth provisions in the town.


During the group discussions the Local Community Network (LCN) members highlighted the following points:-

·       Members suggested that the LCN should hear from representatives on NHS Somerset and Mental Health Provisions.

·       Members requested that representatives from the schools in the area be invited.

·       Members highlighted that a forward plan for the next 12 months should be compiled to help focus the work of the LCN.

·       Members highlighted the Parishes as well as the work carried out in Taunton town centre.


The LCN took a vote on whether to continue with the focus of youth provisions at the main meeting or whether to set up a working group to carry on with the detailed work and they agreed that a working group should be set up for the detailed work on youth provisions in the area.


The remit of the working group would be to explore options on survey work, funding streams and how to engage with young people and sports clubs in the work. They would report back to the LCN each month.


The Chair advised members to make contact with the LCN Team if they were interested in being a member of the working group.


Date for the next meeting


The Chair of the LCN highlighted the dates for the next couple of meetings:-

·       Thursday 30 November 2023

·       Monday 5 February 2024


The Chair reminded members to contact the LCN Team if they knew of any venues available to hold the meetings.