Unionist Hall public consultation

Unionist Hall public consultation

A public consultation on the future of the Bruton Unionist Club, its building and its site begins on 29 January 2019 and will run until 5 pm on Friday 8 March 2019. There are lots of ways you can take part:

Fill in our questionnaire

Complete our online questionnaire here.

OR Print off and complete a paper copy of the questionnaire here,

OR collect a paper copy from the Community Office, 26 High Street before 5 pm on Friday 8 March 2019.

Return paper questionnaires to either the Community Office or to Church Bridge Stores.


Come along and have your say:

  • Thursday 28 February, The Unionist Hall, Quaperlake Street. Exact times and details to follow
  • Saturday 2 March, 10.00 to 4.00, Clubroom downstairs At The Chapel. Further details to follow.

Quick comment

Leave a comment for us below. We won’t normally be responding, but you comment will be noted.

Why is this consultation taking place?

We are having this public consultation to ensure that there is an exciting future for the Club, its building, and its site. With your help the potential of the club to provide events and entertainments for Brutonians both young and old can be fulfilled.

The discussions between the Town Council and the Unionist Club are a once in a generation chance to make people’s wish for a modern multi-purpose community centre in our town a reality. We and the Club want as many Club members, residents and organisations as possible to take part in this consultation about its future, so that the Club can make the best decision for its members and for the town.


Who is paying for this?

The consultation is entirely funded by an Awards for All National Lottery Grant. You can read the text of the Town Council’s successful grant application here (the application is completed online, so it is not possible to share the completed form).

Background information

The Town Council’s Programme Plan: describes the Council’s overall plan for development of the Unionist Hall, including the work that will be done if the Unionist Club decide that they wish to go ahead. This decision has not yet been taken. The fact that we have a plan doesn’t necessarily mean that everything in it will happen.

The Stage Two Business Case: explains why the Council has decided to proceed to this stage of the Plan, (which includes the Community Consultation).

The Town Council thought it important that the consultation was seen to be independent from both the Unionist Club and the Council itself. We therefore ran a procurement exercise and have awarded a contract to Counterculture Partnership LLP to do the work.

You can read more about Counterculture on their website here.

You can read the procurement documentation here.

Brewham Road development: 111 residents give their views

Brewham Road development: 111 residents give their views

111 residents attended a consultation arranged by Acorn Property Group at the Unionist Club yesterday. This was the first public presentation of Acorn’s early proposals for development on land to the south of Brewham Road.

Bruton Town Councillors were invited to a separate earlier consultation (shown in the picture). The Council has not yet discussed the proposals, so it does not have an opinion as to their merits. However this development is on one of the sites that the Council has identified as potentially suitable for housing development in our 2017 Town Plan.

Although the Council has not yet formed an opinion on these proposals we think it important that as many residents as possible know of them and have the opportunity to comment. Those who were not able to attend can view Acorn’s presentation here.

To give direct feedback to Acorn email at info@origin3.co.uk.

The future of Bruton Library

The future of Bruton Library

There has been widespread publicity about Somerset County Council’s decision to close a number of its libraries, including Bruton, unless a Community Group takes them over. The decision has not come as a surprise, and the Trustees of Bruton Library have been working with the Town Council during the past year to ensure that Bruton’s Library does not close.

Bruton’s Library building belongs to the Bruton Library Trust, not the County Council. The Trustees have notified the County Council of their wish to run the Library as a Community Library, and have recruited a pool of volunteers to assist with this. The intention is that the County Council will continue to supply books, its electronic catalogue, membership and lending systems and the inter-library loan service, whilst the volunteers will staff the library. In the short term the Trust will pay the County Council for the services of a part-time senior librarian. Bruton Town Council has agreed in principle to give the Trust a £4,000 grant next year to assist.

The Trustees are keen to use the building for other activities and services, which would, they feel, make it more of a focus for the community and encourage more people to make use of both the Library and its facilities.

The Library remains open Tuesday 2pm–5.30pm, Friday 10am–1.30pm and 2.30pm–5.30pm, and Saturday 10am–1pm.

Additional volunteers are very welcome. Please contact Mike Streatfeild, Trustee, on 01749 813 275.

Bruton Town Plan one year on

Bruton Town Plan one year on

Bruton’s Town Plan was published in June 2017. One year later a lot has been done, but there’s a lot still to do. The table below shows what the Plan said should be done, what’s happened in the past year, and what the next steps are.

What the Plan said we’d do What’s happened this year Next steps
How the Town Looks
Do all that we can to influence South Somerset District Council’s review of its local plan We’ve responded to the consultation. Our feedback has been included in the latest version of the plan. See the next action.
If this does not give enough local control we will also go on and develop our own neighbourhood plan. Because of changes in South Somerset District Council we are no longer confident that the Local Plan will give sufficient control over development. The Town Council will consider leading the development of a neighbourhood plan for Bruton.
We will do what we can to provide suitable business accommodation in the town. Bruton Chamber of Commerce have been working with local businesses. Somerset County Council are considering setting up an Enterprise Centre on a site to the west of the Frome Road. Bruton Chamber of Commerce are leading.
We will identify and try and work with landowners to ensure that their decisions about developing land reflect residents’ views. We have identified all local landowners and are currently working with the owner of the site to the south of Brewham Road. We have also had discussions with the owner of the site to the SE of Cole Road. No further action planned at present.
We will consider raising funds to purchase land to protect it. The Town Council is in discussions with the County Council about leasing the so-called County Fields west of Frome Road, and with Kings School about leasing the Fishponds fields. Discussions to continue.
Getting around
We will commission a series of studies to:
…re-design the Library Junction Detailed proposals for the re-design of the junction have been produced, consulted and agreed by the Town Council. Somerset County Council will consider whether they support the proposals.
…redress the balance between the needs of pedestrians, people wishing to park and traffic passing through in the High Street Nothing (to be considered in future years). It now looks less likely than it did that the County Council will have funds to support future local traffic schemes like this. Town Council to decide whether and when to commission a study.
…develop proposals for a wider network of safe and easy walking routes to the town centre. Nothing (to be considered in future years). It now looks less likely than it did that the County Council will have funds to support future local traffic schemes like this. Town Council to decide on next steps, which are likely to include looking for alternative sources of funding.
Develop and adopt a transport policy to limit through traffic in the town and restrict heavy goods vehicles to that which is unavoidable. The Town Council has decided that the Town Plan itself gives sufficient direction and there is therefore no need for a policy. We are working with local haulage operators and looking at best practice elsewhere to develop proposals to control HGV traffic. Once we have completed our work with local haulage operators we will meet with Police and Somerset Highways to develop detailed proposals.
Do everything we can to support disabled access to the Westbound platform at Bruton Station. We have strongly supported this, but currently Network Rail consider that the proposals that they have developed are too expensive. Further discussion with Network Rail.
Work with partners to develop an all-weather surface walking route connecting Hauser and Wirth with the town centre. Hauser and Wirth have agreed to fund most of the construction costs, and quotes for the work have been obtained. The Town Council is in discussion with Kings School about leasing the Fishponds Field, so that the path can be constructed. Agreement with Kings School about leasing the field to the Town Council. The path can then be built.
Work with the County Council and District Council to create more short-stay parking in the town centre. Discussions are taking place about the renewal of the Station Road car park lease for sufficiently long for the car park to be properly surfaced. Reach agreement with the Station Road car park owner about a new lease. Consider introducing eight one-hour parking places at the eastern end of the High Street.
Leisure and Places to go
Continue the Jubilee Park Development Programme The Multi-use Games Area has been constructed and opened. Plans for an improved skate park are being developed. Continue to plan for an improved skate park.
Look for an opportunity to either redevelop an existing hall or build a new hall [to become a permanent community hall for the town]. The Town Council has been discussing the future of the Unionist Hall with the Club and has taken legal and surveyors advice about the building. A National Lottery grant will be sought to pay for a major community consultation exercise to agree how the Hall and its site might work as a Community Hall for the town. A charity will be set up to take over the running of the hall. The Unionist Club will make a final decision about whether or not to transfer its freehold.
Start a new ‘Friends of the River Brue’ group to enhance the river and riverside as an amenity for the town, and to seek to extend the Riverside Walk to the east. BrueCREW has been established as a charitable organisation and is using a donation from Hauser and Wirth’s fundraising to enhance the Riverside Walk. For BrueCREW to decide.
Start a community group to oversee and promote Bruton’s footpath network. The Town Council has granted £2,000 to Bruton Community Partnership to set up a community group. The new group has just had its first meeting. For the new community group to decide.
Living and Working in Bruton
Work with local businesses to develop a strategy for the Town’s Promotion. A simple strategy has been agreed. No further work planned at present.
Consider whether creating a ‘parish ranger’ post will assist in keeping the town tidy and looking good. The Town Council is using its various existing contracts to carry out minor remedial work in the town but is not planning to recruit to a parish ranger post at present. No further work planned at present.
Develop a local information centre that meets the needs of tourists as well as residents. The Community Office is now open on Friday mornings all year, and on Saturday mornings in the summer months. Bruton Community Partnership are planning an information screen for the Community Office window. For further discussion once the future use of the Unionist Club Hall has been decided.
Ensure that the Community Toilets Scheme is well-publicised on maps, leaflets and on the ground. The toilets are on the Step-into-Bruton leaflet and signed at the end of the High Street. Details of the scheme should be included in the Town website.
Replace the Welcome to Bruton signs No action. The Town Council does not currently see this as a priority for expenditure. No further work planned at present.
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