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Local Community Network

Local Community Network – South East Somerset (Wincanton)

The purpose:  There will be 18 LCNs rolled-out to every corner of the Somerset Council area.
Their purpose is: ‘To be the focus for the new Council for community engagement and development, within an ethos of local partnership working, looking to improve outcomes for residents through establishing strong connections between Somerset Council, our communities, and our partners.’

The principles:  The development of LCNs was informed by a specific set of principles agreed by the Council’s Executive in November 2022, outlined below:

  • Respect the rurality of Somerset and find ways to work with differences between rural / urban priorities within an LCN area, and across LCN boundaries
  • Respect the diversity of Somerset’s landscape character
  • Work across Somerset to better align with the Integrated Care System and other partners, recognising the benefits of partnership working
  • Observe town and parish boundaries
  • Consider unitary councillor division boundaries
  • Consider equalities implications

The role:  LCNs will:

  • Be a forum for community voice, engagement, and influence
  • Be a means for enhancing participation in democracy and local decision making
  • Enhance collaboration by bringing together at a local level, representatives from partner organisations, City, Town, and Parish Councils, community groups and residents
  • Identify evidence-based community priorities; across economic, social, and environmental issues
  • Create plans to reflect how the priorities will be addressed
  • Identify and secure resource opportunities for local projects

The meetings:  LCNs will meet in local areas six to eight times a year. They will discuss what is most important for their area and work together to agree how best to achieve it. Locally led groups will pursue their goals between meetings.

Core membership:  Each LCN will comprise of the following core membership:

  • The elected Somerset Council councillors representing the electoral divisions covered by the LCN
  • A councillor from each City, Town, or Parish Council within the area covered by the LCN
  • Representatives from the following groups or organisations:
    o Local Neighbourhood Policing Team
    o Somerset National Health Service
    o Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service
    o Education
    o Representatives from Voluntary, Community, Faith, and Social Enterprise Organisations
    o Representatives from Businesses or Trade Groups

Some of the core membership will be determined locally by each LCN. All meetings are open to the public and to representatives of wider community groups.

The role of parish councillors:  A member from each City, Town or Parish Council and Parish Meeting within the area covered by the LCN is included in the core membership – and will have a vote.
The named local representative from each parish council (elected or co-opted) is encouraged to attend the LCN meetings and represent their area and feedback to their local council.
Clerks cannot be the local representative, and Clerks cannot vote. However, they are welcome, and indeed encouraged, to attend if they have capacity.

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