Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Shapwick Pavillion, Northbrook Road, Shapwick, TA7 9LN. View directions

Contact: LCN Team Email: 

No. Item


Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence.


Apologies were received from Cllr John Corsan, Ashcott 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 )


There were none.


Notes from the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 80 KB


The notes from the meeting held on 29 January 2024 were proposed by Councillor Chris Bennet and seconded by Councillor Geoff Barnett and were unanimously agreed.



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 none.


Presentation from the Volunteers Network


Scott McMillan from the Volunteers Network was welcomed. He spoke about the work of the charity and detailed the following:


  • It is a Glastonbury based charity that has been in existence for approximately 20 years.
  • Originally it was a community volunteering charity but since Covid the demand for general support for people struggling with life in general has increased.
  • Now provide such things as arts and crafts, women’s allotment days, support for young parents and home workers feeling lonely.
  • People who are struggling can join in activities with others and eventually feel confident to open up about what difficulties they are facing.
  • Some of the issues are practical, such as completing Tax Returns or Housing problems, others include mental health issues, loneliness or coping with bereavement.
  • People are looking for a warm, friendly and welcoming environment which does not put pressure on them or single them out with having issues. Eventually, when they are ready, they will reach out for help.


In response to questions from the group, Scott confirmed that he would like help from the Parish Councils in terms of fundraising and providing safe and accessible places for people to attend the work of the Charity, eg, releasing areas of PC owned land for allotments etc. He would like to recruit more volunteers to help with running the charity and also raise awareness of its work. If anyone is interested in assisting Scott and the Volunteer Network, his contact details are:


Scott McMillan –



Table Discussion on Highways, Traffic and Civil Contingency


A round table discussion was held where members were asked to consider the following questions in relation to Highways and Traffic issues and Health issues. The results will be discussed at a future meeting.


Highways and Traffic

  1. Please note all the Highways and Traffic issues you are experiencing in your Parish / Area?
  2. What would you like to happen as a result of a meeting with colleagues from Highways and Traffic?
  3. How can you ensure all parishes are represented - who should be included in the working group?
  4. How often would you like to meet?



  1. What do we know about the needs of our residents, Children, adults and older people ? Some examples are - Mental Health, Physical Health and loneliness/ isolation.
  2. What partners do we have that might know more?
  3. How can we hear more from our residents?



Updates from Working Groups

·       Highways and Traffic

·       Health

·       Civil Contingency Working Group Options


Councillor Chris Bennetts provided a comprehensive update on the Highways and Traffic working group which included the following:


  • The group had met recently in Street in the Parish Council rooms.
  • The Highways Steward scheme was further explained and consideration given to Terms of Reference and Agendas for the WG.
  • Consider meeting with Highways Officers every 3 to 4 months.
  • Updates currently provided to Parish Councils should also be shared with the LCN.
  • These can be updated quarterly to show work completed, incomplete or not started and reasons for delays provided.
  • Somerset Council will continue to deliver statutory services but consider the use of a Highways Steward for providing additional aesthetic services.


In the discussion which followed, Councillor Tessa Munt suggested that this LCN could join with other Parishes and communities that had suffered with flooding recently and work with the Somerset Rivers Authority who would help co-ordinate flood defence work.


It was also noted that the working group meeting had occurred with very little notice. Nathan Turnbull confirmed he would schedule the next 3 meetings in advance.


A discussion was had regarding timing of the working group. It was advised that Highways Officers would not be able to attend evening meetings The Working Groups would have to find times that suited most members and a WhatsApp group was suggested as a good way to co-ordinate these, with consideration given to any member that did not use this technology.


The Chair requested that updates from the Working Groups be published on the LCN page. The link will be published in due course.




This working group had not yet been able to meet due to time constraints.


Civil Contingency Working Group Options


This discussion was postponed to the next meeting.



Action and Next Steps

·       Venue Options for Future Meetings


Kate Hellard advised that this was the opportunity for the group to consider next years programme. There would be no LCN meetings in April and May but hoped the working groups would continue to meet and report back to the main LCN.


She suggested a poll of the members of the LCN on the preferred frequency and timing of meetings. Also, whether members were happy for contact details to be shared. Action – Nathan Turnbull.




Dates & Themes for Future Meetings


The date of the next Avalon and the Poldens LCN was given as 10 July 2024 and will be the AGM. It will take place in West Pennard. There was a proposal to hold an unsupported meeting of the LCN in May.