Agenda and decisions

Special Meeting, Taunton Charter Trustees
Thursday, 2nd July, 2020 6.00 pm

Venue: Webcasting - Virtual. View directions

Contact: Marcus Prouse Email: m.prouse@somersetwestandtaunton.gov.uk 

Webcast: View the webcast

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies

2.

Declarations of Interest

    To receive and note any declarations of disclosable pecuniary or prejudicial or personal interests in respect of any matters included on the agenda for consideration at this meeting.

     

    (The personal interests of Councillors and Clerks of Somerset County Council, Town or Parish Councils and other Local Authorities will automatically be recorded in the minutes.)

    Additional documents:

    Decision:

    Members present at the meeting declared the following personal interests in their capacity as a Councillor or Clerk of a County, Town or Parish Council or any other Local Authority:-

     

    Name

    Minute No.

    Description of Interest

    Reason

    Action Taken

    Cllr L Baker

    All Items

    Cheddon Fitzpaine & SWT

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

    Cllr S Coles

    All Items

    SCC & SWT

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

    Cllr C Ellis

    All Items

    SWT

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

    Cllr D Fothergill

    All Items

    SCC

    Personal

    Spoke

    Cllr G Fraschini

    All Items

    SCC

    Personal

    Spoke

    Cllr Marcia Hill

    All Items

    SWT

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

    Cllr J Hunt

    All Items

    SCC & SWT

    Personal

    Spoke

    Cllr R Lees

    All Items

    SWT

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

    Cllr S Lees

    All Items

    SWT

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

    Cllr L Lisgo

    All Items

    SWT

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

    Cllr M Peters

    All Items

    SWT

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

    Cllr M Rigby

    All Items

    SCC, SWT & Bishops Lydeard

    Personal

    Spoke

    Cllr F Smith

    All Items

    SWT

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

    Cllr F Smith-Roberts

    All Items

    SWT

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

    Cllr A Wedderkopp

    All Items

    SCC & SWT

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

    Cllr B Weston

    All Items

    SWT

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

    Cllr R Williams

    All Items

    SCC

    Personal

    Spoke

     

     

3.

Public Participation

    The Chair to advise the Committee of any items on which members of the public have requested to speak and advise those members of the public present of the details of the Council’s public participation scheme.

     

    For those members of the public who have submitted any questions or statements, please note, a three minute time limit applies to each speaker and you will be asked to speak before Councillors debate the issue.

     

    Temporary measures during the Coronavirus Pandemic

    Due to the Government guidance on measures to reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19), we will holding meetings in a virtual manner which will be live webcast on our website. Members of the public will still be able to register to speak and ask questions, which will then be read out by the Governance and Democracy Case Manager during Public Question Time and will either be answered by the Chair of the Committee, or the relevant Portfolio Holder, or be followed up with a written response.

    Additional documents:

    Decision:

    Four members of the public submitted statements and questions which were read out on their behalf and will be included in full in the minutes:

     

    1)    Mr David Orr

    2)    Mr Chris Mann

    3)    Ms Catherine Herbert

    4)    Mr Roger House

4.

Unitary Proposal and its proposed impact on the Unparished Area of Taunton pdf icon PDF 555 KB

    Firstly, Councillor David Fothergill (Leader of Somerset County Council) to attend and present an update an overview of the One Somerset Programme.

     

    Councillor Federica Smith-Roberts to follow in her role as Leader of Somerset West and Taunton Council and provide an overview of the District Councils views.

    Additional documents:

    Decision:

    Firstly, Councillor David Fothergill (Leader of Somerset County Council) attended and presented an update and overview of the One Somerset Programme.

     

    Councillor Mike Rigby (Executive member for Somerset West and Taunton Council) followed and provided an overview of the District Councils views.

     

5.

Response to One Somerset Survey pdf icon PDF 97 KB

    The Charter Trustees will consider the Somerset County Council survey Questions and draft their response.  The SCC survey closing date is Friday 3rd July.

    Additional documents:

    Decision:

    RESOLVED that The Charter Trustees for Taunton at their meeting on 2nd July 2020 were to submit the following collectively agreed comments to the One Somerset Survey being conducted by Somerset County Council and sent to all Towns and Parish Councils;

     

    • Now was the completely wrong time to initiate this discussion and to be looking at the issue of a complete re-organisation of public services in Somerset, due to the effects and upheaval of the current Coronavirus pandemic crisis being dealt with at the current time. The economic effects of the crisis are not yet fully known and this issue should only be looked at when this situation had further stabilised.
    • There were mixed views on the issue, but without sight of the Business Case, the Charter Trustees were not convinced of the evidence of benefit at this time. Without having had sight of the Business Case, the Charter Trustees have not been in full possession of the supporting evidence on which to comment, and were therefore not in a position to consult residents on an informed basis.
    • The consultation was felt to be flawed, with elected representatives being given no time or opportunity to talk formally with their unparished area local residents to seek their views and feed this into the process. The process so far seemed confused, apparently involving two stages (pre-and post- publication of the Business Case?) with different questions asked of parish and town councils from those asked of the public in this first round. 
    • The Charter Trustees for Taunton were sent this survey 11 days after other towns and parishes were sent it, and the request for an extension to the 3rd July deadline was refused despite this oversight and this was disappointing.