THE ANNUAL TOWN MEETING was held on Wednesday 11 May 2022 at 7.00pm at the Tithe Barn, Church Lane, Nailsea.  The Chair, Cllr M Bird, welcomed everyone in attendance and asked Councillors if they would kindly stand for the audience. 

Forty plus people attended the meeting.


The Clerk informed those in attendance that the Notice convening the meeting had been displayed on the Public Notice Boards throughout the Town, on the Nailseatown.com website and on Facebook.  She read out the Notice, including the agenda and it was agreed that this had been displayed as required by law.


The minutes of the previous meeting held on Friday 28 May 2021 were introduced.  It was proposed and seconded that, because the draft minutes had been available on the Town Council’s website prior to the meeting, they should be taken as read. This was agreed.

The Chair asked if there were any queries over the minutes, which there were not. It was agreed they were a correct record of the meeting of 28 May 2021 and the Chair signed the minutes as such.


Thank you all for coming today to and for making the effort to come to Nailsea’s Annual Town meeting.

It’s been another strange ‘Covid’ year for all of us, as we’ve tried to move from the lockdown conditions of early 2021, to something approaching normal life in 2022 – that’s as if it could ever be the same again. Whilst some of us thanks to the vaccination programme, now begin to view Covid as something like a cold or Flu, the virus still remains dangerous and life threatening to others.

My year as chair started oddly, being the first chair to be ‘virtually’ elected via zoom. As well as chair, I have been a North Somerset District Councillor for the past 3 years. There were questions for me on how this could work out, but as I’ve not taken on any responsibilities within North Somerset and am simply representing Nailsea, I have actually found it an advantage as it’s given me direct access to North Somerset Officer’s in regards to Nailsea issues. My focus is as always, Nailsea.

In this last year I’d like to give my thanks to Cllr Emily Miller in her support of me during this last year as Vice Chair, it’s been a busy one. Also, I’d like to thank Jo our clerk and everyone in the office and Tithe Barn and my Chairs of committees for all their support.

You’ll also note the new adoption of the titles chair and vice-chair, rather than chairman.

On the councillor front, we’ve unfortunately seen Cllr Jane Holt step down after many years of service. But then we’ve also welcomed Cllr James Steel back onto the council.

Over the last 18 months we’ve sought to develop the role of a part time Communications and media officer within the council to improve our communication and interaction with you the community. Our first appointment Claire Cox was the perfect person to set the foundations of the role and help us develop it. Unfortunately, she was head hunted and left last year, but, her contributions were invaluable, including the formation and adoption of a Communications Strategy.

We’ve since had Sarah Lugg join us in that role, but has recently left for various reasons. Now this all could be seen as a failure, but I do think both Claire and Sarah have firmly helped mould and develop the role into what is going to be best for this council and its communication with the residents of Nailsea as we move forwards. We’ve now a much clearer idea of the longer-term role within the council. This is an increasingly important new type of role within town and parish councils, and because it is such a new role within the world of councils, gauging exactly how the role should develop has been difficult as the role differs depending on the shape and size of any Town or council.

Our other staff changes have included Emma Herriot, our Assistant Clerk, moving to a role in education at the end of her maternity leave and Lauren Moke stepping up into her role.

Over the last year we’ve seen a lot of projects started, underway and completed.

  • The Heritage Trail has been a huge success and is something we hope to further develop.
  • With the help of a Police grant, the flood lighting project for the skatepark is nearing fruition.
  • We looked at a feasibility study of The Grove and are working with the NPFA to secure the long-term future of the site.
  • We’ve done a lot of work with the Police, NSC and others to tackle the rise in Anti-social behaviour we’ve seen in the town.
  • We’ve a new High Definition CCTV system installed that will greatly enhance the security of our town centre.
  • We’re working towards an upgrade of the towns play equipment with NSC and the setting up of Outdoor Gym equipment in association with Suzy Riley, to the memory of her son Toby.
  • We’ve given a loan to Nailsea & Tickenham Football club to improve the facilities on their ground, which is underway.
  • By the end of the month work should be underway to finally see an end to the use of the High Street by huge articulated lorries, with the installation of a weight limit and speed restrictions.
  • We’ve seen the wonderful carving of the old oak tree on the village green, followed by the Horse Chestnut on Lions Green turned into a lion and cubs after storm Eunice tore down the tree.
  • We’ve seen the Farmers Market go from strength to strength and become ever more popular, drawing in people from around the area.
  • Hopefully within the next year should see a crossing installed on Clevedon Road, together with Traffic calming       and no, not any speed bumps!

A major event that has finally happened is the building of houses on Engine Lane after a 5 year wait. The delay caused by National Grid has been unfortunate as it’s seen a £100,000 rise in the average house price. Having said that the development does mean there are a good number of shared ownership houses available for younger people and the ‘locals’ waiting list the town council initiated with Barrett’s now numbers well over 40.

The obvious benefit from the development is the capital receipt that we will be able to spend on Nailsea. Nailsea Town Council are also seeking compensation from National Grid, which could be added to this receipt to spend on the town.

With all this in mind, we’ve just conducted one of the biggest surveys we’ve ever done in ‘Ask Nailsea’. Not only has it given us ideas on how to spend the Engine Lane monies, it has also given us an insight into what sort of future Nailsea residents would like to see for the town. We are currently working on a 5-year strategy and the Ask Survey will have a great influence on that.

One of the sad points was the loss of the argument to save the Uplands Public Open space, which both the Town Council and our District Councillors fought. The Town Council considerations have included whether to go to judicial review, but legally it was uncertain we would win – that doesn’t mean the process NSC used to appropriate the land was correct, just that a legal case would be difficult to win.

Personally, I think the ethos of the Uplands development is actually very good, it’s just totally in the wrong place!

On the positive side in the last year, I think the Town Council has enjoyed the most interaction and consultation with North Somerset than it has had in a very, very long time. As part of that, we have been working with NSC and Design West to look at a Placemaking strategy for Nailsea, considering all possibilities on how we take the town forwards, especially considering our expected influx of new residents.

Another positive for this town and something for the whole town to be proud of, is the success of 65 High street. It continues to make impressions literally across the country with others seeking to replicate it. It goes from strength to strength and is very much a community owned project. We’ve recently invested in more building improvements and seen the start of the Nailsea Arts Centre project successfully begin at 65.

This year Ian Morell finally stepped down from involvement (and we like to very much thank him for all the work he’s done since its launch). Trudy Hollow will now be managing 65 full time.

We also mustn’t forget Joel the town orderly who works out of 65, who has had his hours increased this year to cover more of the centre and its car parks – he does a great job keeping it all clean and tidy.

In a world where everything is measured by an accountant’s short term balance sheet, it’s important to remember that life is actually measured in more than just a simple profit and loss statement. To this end we’ve invested in what’s called “Social Value” software. To put it simply, the work 65 does, can be measured in ways other than it’s running costs – the amount it has saved the NHS and doctors practice in work, the Citizens advice it’s given that saved social services time and effort, the work the youth group did in stopping a child getting expelled from school – all have monitory implications that won’t be seen on the 65 high Street Profit and loss account.

We’ve also to remember the part The Tithe Barn plays in things like the Leg Club and the Memory Café.

I’m sure I’ve missed many other things that have happened this last year, but I’m excited to look forwards to what we can achieve together in Nailsea this next year.

Thank you.


The Chair introduced The Clerk to present the Statement of Accounts.

The Clerk reported that the accounts for the year ended 31st March 2021 were audited and certified correct on 19th September 2021 by the auditors, PKF Littlejohns LLP, in accordance with the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 and the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015. She said that copies are available in the meeting pack. Also included in this evenings pack is a document which gives an overview of how the Town Council spends its Precept, a detailed report on the Town Council’s Income and Expenditure and Balance Sheet for the financial year 2021/22, which has yet to be audited.

The Chair asked if there were any questions relating to these statements and none were raised.


The Chair invited questions or comments from anyone in attendance but caveated that with, if the answer to the question is not known can you please leave your details with the Clerk who will contact you with a formal response.


Cllr Bird invited the representatives of groups and organisations to make themselves known to the meeting by standing up. 

A list of all the organisations that receive a grant is listed below:

2022-2023 Grant Recipients & Patronages
2022-23 Grant RecipientsGrant Award
Nailsea Environment & Wildlife Trust£150.00
Friends of Stockway North Nature Reserve£150.00
Nailsea Lawn Tennis Club£336.00
Nailsea Memory Café£550.00
Nailsea Social Club£800.00
Nailsea Playing Fields Association£1,000.00
Nailsea Skateboarding Festival£1,000.00
1st Nailsea Scouts£1,000.00
2nd Nailsea Scouts Group£1,000.00
Friends of Trendlewood Park£1,000.00
Nailsea Community Trust£4,000.00
Wellspring Counselling Ltd£4,000.00
Nailsea Farmers Market£4,850.00
Nailsea & District Community Transport£13,000.00
North Somerset Citizens Advice£18,892.00
Nailsea Community Group£20,000.00
Total Grants Awarded   £73,228.00
2022-23 PatronagesPatronage
Nailsea Theatre Club£100.00
Nailsea & District Horticultural Society£100.00
Nailsea Choral Society£100.00
Nailsea Musicals£100.00
Nailsea Concert Orchestra£100.00
Total Patronages   £500.00

The meeting listened to presentations from the following organisations:

Phil Williams – Nailsea Skateboarding Festival

Louise Alison – Wellspring Counselling

Louise Hall – Somerset Farmers Market (Nailsea Farmer Market)

Any Other Business

Cllr Bird asked if there was any other business?

The Chair thanked everyone for taking the time to attend and invited everyone to join the Councillors for refreshments in the Hannah More Room and a networking event which will start shortly here in the main hall at 8.15pm.

The meeting closed at 8.01pm.

Chair’s Signature:                                                                            Date: