24th May 2021 Annual Town’s Meeting – Draft

Minutes of the 47th Annual Town’s Meeting held on Monday 24th May 2021 at 6:30pm at King Alfred’s School, Burnham-on-Sea

Present: Cllrs Mike Facey, Town Council Chairman & Mayor

                        10 members of the public (including 7 councillors)

with Sam Winter, Town Clerk, Lorna Williams, Deputy Clerk, Sally Jones, RFO in attendance.

  1. Approval of minutes from Tuesday 28th May 2019

The minutes of the Annual Towns Meeting held on Tuesday 28th May 2019 were received and signed by the Chairman as an accurate record.

2. To note the Town Council’s Annual Report and Accounts 2020/21

The chairman presented the Annual Report of the Town Council and thanked the town clerk, RFO and chairmen for their reports. The chairman commented that he has very much enjoyed his last year as mayor and hoped to be given the opportunity to attend even more events during the coming year.

3. To receive reports from the police or other emergency services

The meeting received a report from the Police, who were unable to attend the meeting in person due to changes in staff shifts following the protests in Bristol over the weekend.

It was reported that, “Avon and Somerset over the past 12 months has recruited a number of new Police officers and as part of the uplift in numbers I am happy to report Burnham on Sea will once again have response officers stationed at the Police station. This will be the first time in 5 years that response officers will be based at Burnham Police Station, in that time calls to 999 were serviced from Bridgwater Express Park. From 1st June response officers will be working from Burnham 7 days a week 24 hours a day. The Neighbourhood team who have always been working out of Burnham we greatly benefit and will mean we can spend more time on patrol and dealing with problem solving in the area.

County lines drugs is always a major focus for the Neighbourhood teams in and around all the Police forces up and down the country and Sedgemoor is no different. I am pleased that we have a fantastic joint working approach in our area with local council, housing and other emergency services allowing us to prevent lines getting into our area and target those that make attempts to cause problems in the town. Only last week in Highbridge we were able to get a closure order on another problem address and remove problem individuals from the area.

Travellers, as discussed at the previous meeting we have done a lot of work with Sedgemoor District council on a protocol for using both council and Police powers for dealing with unauthorised encampments. I am happy to report this has been working very well for us since the beginning of the year and we have been able to move encampments on and close them down in a timely manner.

Covid – finally as the restrictions further ease we are getting busy again with people being out and about. We are working closely with our partners in Brean and have a number of patrols in the town centres and around the holiday parks to ensure every is kept safe. So far I am happy to report calls for service have been lower than expected but then again the weather has been great either!”

4. To receive information from Seed on its work in Highbridge.     

The meeting heard from the Director of Seed who gave an overview of the Creative People & Places project in Sedgemoor that offers participatory art opportunities. He stated that Highbridge is the focus for the remainder of the term and that a youth theatre and a youth dance & drama group have been set up, with classes offered either free of charge or at a modest £2 or £3 fee.

The meeting heard that Seed is embarking on an event themed ‘Come Together’, to be held this summer and involving 2 roving bands who walk the streets, one starting in Highbridge and the other in Burnham, and who meet together to celebrate at Apex Park.   

Seed is seeking expressions of interest for other activities that accord with the findings of its Accelerator report. It is in partnership with Buses of Somerset to create visual art and poetry that will be displayed in and on buses during June & July. The ‘Front Garden Music Festival’ is an opportunity for people to host performances for the benefit of their neighbours.

Attendees were advised that they can sign up for bulletins on activities through seedsomerset.com

5. To discuss any matters relevant to the local area brought forward by registered electors of Burnham-on-Sea and Highbridge           

A member of the public thanked the council on behalf of the local heritage group for the financial support towards the ‘past & present’ leaflets, which the meeting heard have proved very popular.

As there was no other business the chairman closed the meeting at 19:13.

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