Agenda item

Discussion on future topics


Kate Hellard showed a slide highlighting the nine themes which had been raised at the first meeting of the LCN. In seven breakout groups, attendees were asked to agree their top three priority themes and whether any other themes had been missed. For each of the three priority themes, groups were also asked to consider what data may be needed, what do residents say and how could they be consulted, who else might the LCN need to talk to and what was already happening.




1.      Lack of public transport, Highways, active travel

2.     Environmental Issues, lack of public transport, Somerset Council

3.     Environmental issues, Highways (flooding), lack of public transport

4.     Highways

5.     Communications for residents

6.     Support for children and young people, environmental issues (resilience planning), health and well-being

7.      Services / environmental issues, Highways (including speeding and flooding), Transport


Some attendees felt that support for children, cost of living, housing, health & well-being, and crime & community policing were topics that possibly could be themes, but it was acknowledged these may be included under the ‘services’ theme.


Comments noted under each priority / theme included:



·       Lack of public transport especially in the rural villages

·       Lack of public transport links to social / rural isolation and difficulty accessing services – reliance on a car. Some people struggling to access medical appointments due to lack of transport.

·       Could there be discussions with Tesco about provision of transport to their local store?



·       Footpaths – many might be used more if better access – some have steep steps and are slippery. Need links for onward travel.

·       Disappointment about withdrawal of the parish ranger service – how might parishes seek an alternative.

·       Flooding linked to highways, plus drainage and sewerage.

·       Recent flooding - the Environment Agency had recently sent some useful information to Lopen with links to a reporting tool online and other information.

·       One parish had recently experience severe flooding – could the water companies be invite to the LCN so that a better understanding from both sides can be heard?

·       Believe a council somewhere has purchased a speed camera which can issues fines – is this an option?

·       Speed Indicator Devices (SIDs) – several parishes struggle with locations approved by Highways, there have also been issues with revenge vandalism.

·       Linked to communications – regarding contingency planning parishes need contacts for when highways blocked by flooding or fallen trees etc.


Active Travel:

·       Stop Line Way – used for pleasure but also commuting to Ilminster and Chard from some locations. Several outstanding issues regarding access and permissions in some areas which have been ongoing for several years and need to be resolved as there is the wider opportunity to link more parishes.

·       Has links to climate / environmental issues too.


Environmental issues:

·       Bins, grass, lighting and dog bins


Somerset Council:

·       Need effective communications from Somerset Council

·       For contingency planning - parishes need direct contacts for when highways blocked by flooding or fallen trees etc.

·       Parishes need a list of statutory services which have to be legally provided by Somerset Council, so that parishes can cost any discretionary services that may be wanted locally.

·       Could clerks have a separate point of contact for Somerset Council.

·       Points of contact for the public for Somerset Council need to be promoted.


Support for children and young people:

·       Cold weather – need warm spaces (links to health & well-being)

·       Are the population figures known in the LCN area?

·       Not much happening for young people.

·       The Somerset Youth Work Alliance (facilitated by Spark Somerset) were willing to help map youth provision as in the other areas.

·       No youth club in Ilminster due to lack of funding.



·       Housing – social housing is over subscribed – there is a housing shortage.

·       Cost of living – many issues with people having insufficient money for heating and food.

·       Stocklinch have a village Whats App group which works well for keeping residents informed of local issues.

·       Would be helpful to know which communication methods other parishes find successful for gaining input from residents on what is important to them.

·       Shepton Beachamp and Lopen would be keen to establish links with neighbouring parishes to discuss jointly contracting or accessing a replacement for the Parish Ranger Scheme.


In response to comments made during a brief feedback session, Kate Hellard (Service Manager LCNs) noted:

·       There was one contact phone number for Somerset Council
- 0300 123 224 – calls were then prioritised and the call or a message forwarded to the appropriate officer / department – this was the most efficient way for dealing with phone calls.

·       In an emergency people could also contact the Police via 111 as they have links to the out of hours teams.

·       Local emergency plans would provide some contacts for communities. A collective emergency plan for parishes within the LCN may be something that could be taken forwards if there was a wish to do so.


Note – the presentation slides for this meeting can be viewed at the end of the printed minutes pack or online at: Document Crewkerne and Ilminster LCN - Modern Council (


Supporting documents: