Agenda and minutes

Venue: Tor Sports and Leisure, Street Road, Glastonbury, BA6 9EF

Contact: LCN Team Email: 

No. Item


Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence.


Apologies were received from Councillors Gail and Ashman.



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.


Minutes from the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 121 KB


The notes from the meeting held on 27 November 2023 were proposed by Councillor Simon Carswell and seconded by Councillor Chris Bennett and were unanimously agreed.



Our LCN Purpose and Mission

To discuss the purpose of the LCN and our mission.


The Chair read out the Mission Statement and invited the LCN members to discuss the purpose of the LCN and what it wanted to accomplish. There was a health debate and some of the questions and answers included the following:


  • The mission statement should say “Somerset Council” not “new Council”
  • The statement is too vague and unclear.
  • The information that was promised to be provided in the previous meeting and referred to in the minutes has not been delivered.
  • Can there be a more informal network within this LCN?
  • Is there any budget for this LCN? The Chair advised that there was no budget for this or any LCN and that there was still no permanent Officer support. However, recruitment was taking place soon.
  • The LCN needs to set achievable and feasible goals. It would be useful to know what other LCNs have been able to achieve. The LCN Officer advised that the 3 pilot LCNs had focussed on different topics. There was a plan to bring all LCN Chairs and Vice-Chairs together to share this information and she made a commitment to provide the information missing from the LCN website.
  • Feels like we are covering the same ground at each LCN and that we had already discussed what we wanted to do.
  • In the previous 2 meetings we should have had some Highways Officers attend but still none have attended. The LCN Officer advised that Highways Officers had agreed to join in a Highways Sub Group and suggested this LCN form one.
  • There needs to be better continuity between the LCN meetings. They should be more focussed on a particular challenge.
  • Need to know what things are feasible to achieve by an LCN and focus on those.
  • Core attendance needs to improve. Jenny Lawrence from SALC advised that they were trying to get representatives at each of the LCNS to help coordinate the needs.


The Chair then proposed that a Highways Sub Group be formed and asked for volunteers. The following people expressed in joining this sub group:


John Harvey

Indra Donfrancesco

Chris Bennet

David Heale

Jeff Barnet

Lyndsey MacDougall

Georgia Terry


LCN Officer, Kate Hellard, then delivered a presentation on the Highways Steward concept which had successfully been started in the Exmoor LCN area. She advised that the Steward could start as early as 1st April 2024 but could also be appointed later in the year. Stewards would have to be appointed for a minimum of a year and Towns and Parishes could share the appointment. There was a request that the PowerPoint presentation be shared immediately with the LCN and that further information be sent to both the Clerks and Chairs of the Parish/Town councils. There was a suggestion that if the bigger Town or Parish Councils appointed a Highways Steward, they could potentially “rent” time to the smaller parishes who may not have enough funds to buy into the scheme.



Discussion on Local Asset and Service Devolution

·       What are the concerns of our Parishes and Communities?

·       What can we do together?


During the group discussion, the LCN members highlighted the following:


  • Planning and enforcement – When needing to speak to a Planning Officer, unable to speak to the same person. No consistency.
  • Speeding within the village of Ashcott.
  • There is a Speedwatch group in Pedwell.
  • Will the new contractor, Kier, address basic works and safety issues?
  • Difficult to say what the Parish and Town Councils can take over in terms of devolution if it is not known what services are going to be cut.
  • Concerns over public safety. Who will undertake and pay for Health and Safety training, how often will it happen and what will it consist of?
  • Need to boost the volunteer network.
  • Important to keep people out of care homes.
  • Safety on the roads, in particular the A361.
  • Emergency planning – need to have a coordinated emergency plan.
  • Fear of the unknown – there may be compulsory adoption of services but we don’t know what yet.
  • Tree surgeons on a voluntary basis. Training required.
  • Fear of a rural and town divide.
  • Need to get some quick wins by taking on a simple service, such as grass cutting, bus shelter maintenance, and see what happens.
  • Consider dog waste bins and blocked drains as services that could be devolved.



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.


A question from a member of the public regarding the provision of a pedestrian crossing by the KFC in Glastonbury was raised. She said she had been trying to find someone within the Council to assist her with getting one in place which would greatly benefit all pedestrians but in particular, the residents of the Millstream Estate. She was advised to contact the Somerset Divisional Councillors Susannah Hart and Nick Cottle but said she had been trying for over a year to do this but had no response from them. She was advised to raise it through the newly formed Highways Sub-Group and also approach Glastonbury Town Council.



Update from the Health Working Group


Nathan Turnbull advised that the Health Working Group had not met since the last LCN meeting. He was keen to get more people involved and asked for volunteers to join the Health Working Group. The following indicated their interest in joining the Working Group:


Jon Cousins

Heather Shearer

Liz Leyshon

Michael White

Chris Meare

Paul Manning

Jacqueline Ross

John Dodson

John Harvey


Action and Next Steps


The Chair, Councillor Matt Martin, asked the LCN to consider what actions they wanted and subjects for the next meeting agenda. The following were the suggestions made:


  • A link to the details of the proposed Highways Stewards
  • A list of all the services that could be devolved to towns and parishes
  • A group to be established for all Parish/Town clerks from this LCN. This would enable a more strategic and structured approach to the question of devolution.
  • The lack of a pharmacy in Glastonbury.
  • Before next meeting of this LCN, the Health Working Group and newly formed Highways Working Group need to have met.
  • A review of the decisions made by the Executive and Full Council meetings held in February 2024.



Dates of future meetings


The date of the next Avalon and the Poldens LCN was given as Wednesday, 27 March 2024. Location to be determined.