Agenda item

Making the Most of Martock (M3) - Update


The Locality Manager introduced the report which gave a brief overview of what the partnership was set up to do, an update on the current situation with M3 (Making the Most of Martock) and provided members with an opportunity to consider the future relationship of SSDC with the local partnership. He explained the situation was unusual in that there were very few groups where SSDC involvement was as it was with M3. The report was before members to discuss the current arrangements and whether the Committee wished to continue supporting M3 at this level of involvement in the future.


Ward member, Councillor Neil Bloomfield, provided an overview of the partnership and gave some local insight. In his opinion things had changed over time and he felt it was no longer necessary for SSDC to be a core partner. Some of his other points raised included:

·      Last March he had been in a meeting with fellow ward member Councillor Louise Clark and with the County Council, and he thought that SCC, the Parish Council and SSDC had been withdrawn as core partners at that time.

·      He understood the Parish Council was no longer a core partner and they had now agreed to send a representative as an observer.

·      He no longer believed the partnership served any real local purpose. Plus, with the local authority structure changing to unitary was it still appropriate to be involved?

·      The partnership had served it's purpose in its time, but things had changed over time.

·      The Parish Council had since taken on much of the role that M3 had originally been set up to do. They also used to provide admin support for the partnership but that had ceased some time ago.

·      He felt some aspects of the partnership had become unconstitutional.

·      He recommended that SSDC withdraw completely from the partnership, as there was no longer any need for SSDC to be involved.


The Locality Manager explained that from an officer perspective SSDC were not committed to support anything, and had not been asked for any resource or involvement in the partnership. He responded to other points of detail raised by members during discussion, including:

·        the term 'core partner' might be interpreted that we may provide something, and is possibly more appropriate to an organisation local to the village.

·        The suggestion of becoming an advisory member was a possible compromise and might better reflect the active role that SSDC could undertake.

·        There have been communications with M3 previously when compiling the report, and they are aware the matter is being considered.

·        The January minutes for the group indicated that Councillor Louise Clark was in attendance as she had provided a verbal update.


During further discussion, comments made by members included:

·        The views of the other ward member who is also the Committee representative to the group would be useful, and also to hear the views from a representative of M3.

·        Having been professionally involved with the group back in 2004-2007, it must be noted that M3 has done much good work.

·        Councillor Clark had been involved in several communications about the report at a drafting stage and no comments had been received.

·        Concern about whether  'The Pinnacle' publication would be under threat if SSDC withdraw from the partnership.


It was proposed and seconded to defer the report until the next meeting, in order to obtain the view of Councillor Clark as fellow ward member and representative on M3. The Chairman expressed some concern about deferring the report as it would be the third time the matter had been raised at Committee. He believed that both the Parish Council and M3 were aware of the report but no one had requested to make representation. The Chairman advised that if Councillor Clark was unwell for a long period of time the matter may need to be progressed outside of committee.


The proposal to defer the item to the next meeting was carried 7 votes in favour and 1 against.



That the report be deferred to the next meeting of Area North Committee in order to obtain the views of Councillor Louise Clarke - who is one of the ward members for Martock and also the Area North Committee representative for M3, but was absent from the meeting of Area North Committee on 23 March 2022 due to being unwell.


(Voting: 7 in favour, 1 against)




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