CCS supports people who live and work in Somerset communities.
We do this through a range of diverse projects which bring
together people who care about local community life in Somerset. We focus our energy on
helping you and your community.
See our work to see what projects are running across Somerset.
Get to know our board members...
Learn more about the people behind CCS...
And how we support local action in the community
We are always grateful to our funders, members and supporters for their financial support. We are pleased to work closely with a range of local and national partner organisations.
What is CCS?
The Community Council for Somerset (CCS) is a Charitable Company Limited by Guarantee, No. 3541219 and a Registered Charity No.1069260, established in 1926.
CCS is part of the Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE) Network. ACRE is our national body and there are 38 county based Rural Community Councils in the Network.
We want vibrant and viable communities with healthy, happy people and strong, sustainable businesses – the perfect place to live and work.
We exist to support action in Somerset’s communities enabling them to be vibrant, viable and resilient.
How are we funded?
We are funded through a variety of means including central and local government. In addition, we gather funding from a number of sources – trusts, grants and sponsorships. In order to deliver specific projects and services we generate income through our consultancy services and we gratefully appreciate the funding from our subscribing members, without whom we would be unable to deliver to the people of Somerset.
We deliver to the highest standard
We are proud to hold Level 3 of the ACRE Good Practice Quality Standard – the highest level – which is endorsed by The Charity Commission as showing the ‘hallmarks of an effective charity’. This standard was successfully re-awarded following reassessment in January 2015. The standard is also endorsed by DEFRA and demonstrates the organisation’s commitment to consistently monitor and review its operational procedures, providing the assurance that CCS is fit for purpose and effectively managed.
After the First World War, Somerset, like most counties, was recovering from the conflict of 1914-1918 and the government withdrew its promise of support to rural communities. In response, local people joined forces and this resulted in the formation of the Rural Communities Councils movement. Somerset Rural Community Council was established in 1926 but was later renamed the ‘Community Council for Somerset – CCS’ .
The concerns of the newly formed organisation don’t differ wildly from those that we encounter today- although the style of language may have changed! In 1931 the community council formally set out for the first time its objects:
CCS has been supporting communities ever since working on a variety of projects which many of you may have encountered or benefited from at some point. To see how we are working today visit the our work page.
Patrick Keating is communications and public affairs professional, with many years experience working on a range of issues, including tobacco, oil and gas, transport and consumer affairs on behalf of large corporates, trade associations and agencies.
After spending 12 years working in Brussels, Patrick now currently lives in the village of Blagdon with his wife and beagle, and enjoys exploring the beautiful Somerset countryside on foot and by bicycle.
Jim Claydon is a town planner with over 40 years experience in the profession, and was elected Chair of the Community Council for Somerset in November 2016. He has worked in local government, higher education and private practice in Leicestershire, Devon, Bristol and Bath. He has lived in Somerset for over 30 years. He was Chair of the Royal Town Planning Institute in the South West in 2000 and national President in 2007. He was a trustee of Creating Excellence (SW) from 2008-14. Recently he has examined applications for offshore wind farms for the Planning Inspectorate. His main interest is in supporting communities and improving the environment for future generations.
Tess lived as a child on dairy farms in the Mendips. She has a wide experience of the voluntary sector, and was Chair of One World Action, an international development Charity, before becoming Chair of the Community Council in 2011. Prior to becoming a barrister specialising in discrimination and equal pay she was a solicitor and then the Legal Officer of a major trade union. She has been a Commissioner for the Sustainable Development Commission advising the Government on environment and community issues and is currently a part-time Employment Judge.
Tess was Chair of the Community Council for Somerset between September 2011 and November 2016, and is a current Board member.
Peter is a Chartered Accountant and has worked in the accountancy profession, in industry and finally in the charity sector. His final job was head of finance and deputy chief executive of a naval charity.
He has been involved in most aspects of charity management, especially financial management and governance. Peter is a board member of a wildlife trust, a heritage trust and a Parish Councillor. Peter has visited family in Somerset annually since 1951 and lived here since 2005.
Nick is a mathematician by training. He held computing and management services posts with British Petroleum, the Central Electricity Generating Board, Philips N.V., University Hospital of Rotterdam, the Department of Health and the Department of Trade & Industry.
He was appointed a magistrate to the South Somerset Bench in 1993 and was Bench Chairman from 2003-2005. He was a Board Member of the Avon and Somerset Probation Service from 1995-2007.
He has been Treasurer of Tatworth Memorial Hall for 25 years. He served on the Community Council`s Village Halls Committee for many years and was Chairman from 2006-2010 during which he was involved in the development of the Hallmark quality standards for community buildings. He has been a CCS Board Member since 2006.
Rachel’s career has developed through the service and education sector.
As an educator she has worked with vulnerable and disadvantaged young people and young adults. Over the past 9 years Rachel has been working within this industry at a more senior and strategic level within several for-profit companies and a not-for-profit organisation.
She has been recognised as a Fellow and a Professional Trainer by the Institute of Leadership and Management. Rachel also uses these skills to train or consult with other business owners and leaders.
Having lived most of her life in Somerset, she values the importance of sustaining resilient and supportive communities.
Andrea moved to Somerset when she was 7. After studying at London and Manchester Universities, she qualified as a teacher of the deaf. She taught in Bristol, Grenada in the West Indies and met her future husband! She settled back in Somerset, where Andrea, now a mother of five, became involved in village life.
She served on the Parish Council for 20 years: it’s Chairman for 16 years. She was a Governor of Berrow Primary School for 20 years : its Chairman for 8 years. She served on the Village Hall Committee for 10 years and led its fundraising Committee.
In 2009, Andrea was awarded an M.B.E for her services to the Community of Berrow. Andrea has been a keen supporter of CCS since 1986.
Jill’s career as a senior manager in the UK Civil Service in Taunton has provided experience in a wide range of managerial, networking and business opportunities. A 2-year secondment to the Charity Commission gave insight into how charities should be governed to maximise the contribution to beneficiaries.
Living in a small village in Somerset, she understands the challenges faced by rural communities. She is passionate about using her work experience to make a difference through the Community Council for Somerset.