The Keynsham Area Forum comprises the parished areas of Compton Dando, Corston, Keynsham, Marksbury, Saltford and Whitchurch (joint membership with Chew Valley Area Forum). View the Forum area on a map.
It is one of five Connecting Communities Forums within Bath and North East Somerset (the others are Bath Area Forum; Bathavon Area Forum; Chew Valley Area Forum and Somer Valley Forum). All the Forum meetings are open to the public and community group representatives as well Ward and Parish Councillors.
Bath and North East Somerset is a diverse area with differing needs and priorities. The Council and its partners recognise this and value the local information and feedback the Forums provide as these help to shape local services. The items discussed at Forum meetings include those the Council and its partners need to share or would like feedback on; items the Forum members themselves wish to discuss and opportunities for local organisations to share information and best practice.
The 'Connecting Communities' approach has been built around five key principles:
- work with you
- share ideas
The Forum will be invited to take part in the Council's budget engagement towards the end of 2023.
Dates for future meetings are:
Wednesday 21st February 2024, 6-8pm
Thursday 13th June 2024, 6-8pm
Tuesday 10th September, 6-8pm
Recent Past Meetings (Click on the date to view online meetings on the Council's YouTube Channel)
Thursday 28 September, 6pm - Community Space, Keynsham
The main theme of the meeting was Green Projects. Waterspace Project Manager, Siobhan Lamb, gave an overview of Green Infrastructure and Nature Recovery as well as the WaterSpace Connected Project. Chew Valley Reconnected Project Manager, Victoria Prescott, explained more about this initiative which involves working with communities, landowners and organisations on nature recovery, sustainable water management and enhancing public access to the landscape. The catchment area extends from the northern slopes of the Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty to Keynsham in the north east and Litton in the south east. Unfortunately, the Forest of Avon representatives were unable to join us but this will be featured at the Parish Liaison meeting in October.
Alan Hale said that he and other Councillors from Keynsham had been speaking with senior representatives from the Police about the Anti-Social Behaviour being experienced in Keynsham. PC James Evans was present to give an update and said that there should be fewer incidents of ASB as we move into the winter months. His report can be found here.
The Community Showcase came from Ric Davison - Director of Keynsham Town Community Radio, KTCR FM. They are currently seeking more volunteers and funding opportunities. Ric's colleague, Peter Smith, attended the Chew Valley Area Forum and provided some follow up information with contact details.
It was the Forum's AGM and we are delighted that Alan Hale (representing Keynsham and Saltford Dementia Action Alliance) and Adrian Inker were voted in as Chair and Vice Chair respectively. We look forward to continuing to work with them over the coming year.
Thursday 6 July 2023, 6pm - Community Space, Keynsham
The Forum met in person for the first time since February 2020. It gave people a chance to reconnect or meet some new attendees, including recently elected Ward, Parish and Town Councillors. The first presentation was from Cllr David Wood - Bath & North East Somerset Council's Deputy Leader (Council Priorities & Delivery) with an overview of the Cabinet Priorities. This was followed by an update from Avon Fire and Rescue with opportunity to ask questions - they particularly highlighted their Home Safety visits. The Community Showcase came from Matt Prosser of Somerdale Shed and Community Garden. The Forum also received an update from Adrian Inker on a recent consultation by Community@67. The Forum then received updates on the Local Plan from Richard Daone - Deputy Head of Planning Policy, B&NES along with an update on the Joint Health & Wellbeing Strategy from Becky Reynolds - Director of Public Health. The final presentation was on the Somer Valley Links and Bristol - Bath Corridor Projects from Nik Bowyer - Strategic Transport Projects Manager with B&NES. These aim to make using buses an easier and more pleasant experience as well as changes to walking and cycling routes. Somer Valley Link relates to the A367; A362 and A37 - major routes into Bath and Bristol. The consultation launched on 26 June and runs until 6 August 2023. The associated interactive map is useful for seeing the proposals by location. The main consultation page can be found here. The Bristol Bath Corridor consultation is due to launch on 14 August.
The Forum received an update on Voter ID and were asked to help promote this among their own networks. They also had an update on the Keynsham High Street Heritage Action Zone and Local Cultural Programme. The Forum welcomed Simon Allen, Chief Executive of Age UK BANES to hear more about a new Ageing Better project. They also heard from the Council's Head of Housing, Graham Sabourn on some of the challenges relating to housing conditions across the area. There was an update on the Local Plan and recent workshops held from Kaoru Jacques, Principal Planning Officer at the Council. The main agenda item was Public Transport and the Forum welcomed Phil Wright - Public Transport Programme Manager with the West of England Combined Authority (WECA), the regional transport authority, to speak about the new Westlink service.
The theme of the first part of the meeting was 'Preparing for the Future' with Richard Daone, Deputy Head of Planning Policy and Fedalia Richardson from Public Health giving a presentation on the Local Plan and Health & Wellbeing Strategy in preparation for further engagement on these important items. There was also a presentation on the potential to develop Liveable Neighbourhoods.
The theme of the second part of the meeting was 'Building Community Resilience'. There was an update on the cost of living crisis with details of where people can go now for support and ongoing work to provide Warm Places as the weather gets colder. The Forum was asked to let the Community Engagement Team know if they have any planned initiatives such as Warm Places, grants, food clubs etc. Please contact us at Connecting_Communities@bathnes.gov.uk. Daniel Noad from the Council's Emergency Planning Team also gave a presentation on community resilience and the importance of having local and personal emergency plans.
It was also the Forum's AGM and we are pleased to announce that Alan Hale was voted in as Chair of the Forum with Adrian Inker as Vice Chair. We look forward to working with them again over the coming year. All the presentations from the meeting can be found on this webpage.
Chair: Alan Hale
Vice Chair: Adrian Inker
Lead Officers: Sara Dixon and Alison Wells