The Somer Valley Forum comprises the parished areas of: Farmborough; Farrington Gurney; High Littleton; Midsomer Norton; Paulton; Peasedown St John; Radstock; Timsbury and Westfield. The corresponding members are Camerton and Shoscombe (B&NES); Chilcompton; Coleford; Hemington; Kilmersdon; Stratton-on-the-Fosse (Mendip).
The Somer Valley Forum is one of six Connecting Communities Forums within Bath and North East Somerset (the others are Bath City Forum; Bathavon North Forum; Cam Valley Forum; Chew Valley Forum and Keynsham Area Forum). The district 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. All the Forum meetings are open to the public and community group representatives as well Ward and Parish Councillors. The items discussed at 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: ‘listen, prioritise, join-up, work with you and share ideas’. As there is now much less public funding available, local people and neighbourhoods are being asked to help run services too. The Forums help to improve local engagement, encourage people to talk to each other and to share their skills and ideas.
The forthcoming dates are:
- Wednesday 11th November 2020, 6pm (This meeting will be combined with the Keynsham Area Forum and the theme is Climate Emergency)
Key Positions and People involved with Somer Valley Area Forum
Chair: Lynda Robertson
Vice Chair: Cllr Ron Hopkins
Lead Officers: Sara Dixon and Alison Wells
Tuesday 21st July 2020, 5pm
The Forum met via Zoom to discuss Response, Recovery and Resilient Communities with the Leader of the Council, Cllr Dine Romero and the Director of Public Health for B&NES, Dr Bruce Laurence. The purpose of the meeting was to speak with local communities on how the pandemic has been for them, to ask some specific questions on how the community has worked together and the support that it has been able to give. Also, to consider what might happen if there is a second wave and any further support needed. The meeting is currently available to view on the council's YouTube Channel here.
AGM - Wednesday 19th February 2020, 6pm, The Assembly Room, Town Hall, Midsomer Norton BA3 2HQ
The main theme of the meeting was Climate Emergency and the Forum was pleased to welcome a number of residents interested in the topic. Attendees received an update from Bath & North East Somerset Council on progress since it declared a Climate Emergency in 2019. They also heard from Bath & West Community Energy - a not for profit community benefit society working to decrease local energy demand while increasing local generation through renewables. There was also a presentation on Green Action North East Somerset - a community group set up to discuss green activities and forge links between people and businesses in North East Somerset. Farmborough presented on how they established their community shop and how they continually review their activities to be as environmentally friendly as possible. In addition to this theme, the Forum also had a presentation from the Council on the action it can take on Empty Properties; received a number of notices and heard from the local Police and Fire Service. As it was the AGM, the Forum approved several new members and voted for Lynda Robertson to continue in her role as Chair and for Cllr Ron Hopkins of Westfield Parish Council to be the new Vice Chair. The presentations given, AGM report and Police report can be found on the right hand side.
Wednesday 22nd January 2020, 6.30pm, The Hollies Council Chamber, High Street, Midsomer Norton BA3 2DP
This was a special meeting of the Somer Valley Forum devoted to the Council's Budget and Corporate Strategy. The Forum heard from Cllr Dine Romero - Leader of the Council; Cllr Richard Samuel - Cabinet Member for Resources and Will Godfrey - Chief Executive. The evening was very informative with many interesting questions from the floor. The presentation can be found on the right hand side.
Tuesday 24th September 2019, 7pm, Swallow Community Cafe, St Nicholas Church Centre, Radstock BA3 3QG
The Forum received notices relating to forthcoming Council consultations on the Care and Support Charging and Financial Framework; Local Council Support Scheme and Clean Air Zone. Also on the Chair's Community Awards; the Big Community Clean-up Litter Pick and a request from Farmborough to join the Forum. The Police gave their regular update and the Forum also welcomed Avon Fire and Rescue to give an overview of their work in the area. The main theme of the meeting was Young People and the Police also presented on the Peasedown St John Mini-Police. The Forum were welcomed to Swallow Community Cafe by service user Sarah and Chief Executive, Bev Craney, who explained more about the work of Swallow Charity. They also heard from the B&NES Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Partnership and from Off the Record on their work in the Somer Valley. Unfortunately, The Carers Centre were unable to attend but sent their presentation on young carers. The Forum welcomed the Leader of the Council, Cllr Dine Romero, who wished to introduce herself and present on the Council's priorities. The Forum also received an update from Cllr David Orme on the work of the BANES Rural Transport Group. All the presentations from the evening can be found on the right hand side.
Annual report 2019-20
During the year the Forum had a varied programme of presentations and discussions and the Annual Report provides a round up of these. It can be found on the right hand side.