Parish Plans were announced in the Rural White Paper ‘Our Countryside, Our Future’ and are intended to set out a vision of how the community wants to develop over next few years and identify the action needed to achieve it.
The Parish Plan is important because it is intended to influence a wide range of organisations and processes, which affect the lives of our village community.
In February 2007 14 people met for the first time to form a steering committee with the objective of developing a Parish Plan, together with an action plan and presenting it to the Parish Council for approval before publication. The steering committee is well supported in this process by officers of the Rural Community Council.
The key task of the steering committee during the summer months was to identify and gather the views and opinions of as many people, groups, organisations and businesses as possible. The involved the production, distribution, collection and subsequent analysis of a questionnaire aimed at every household in the village.
The effort was worthwhile because by the deadline 146 questionnaires were returned by the deadline, and analysed by the Rural Community Council.
Following this analysis a ‘Summary Report’ was prepared and distributed to all households, groups, organisations and businesses in the village.
Next, a successful ‘ Community Planning Day’ was held on 12th January 2008 when more detailed presentations were made on the findings to residents of Gunthorpe. The following priority items are listed:
- Improved access to the A6097 from the north end of Main Street
- A revised plan regarding flooding and its implementation
- Renewable energy and conservation initiatives
- Improvements at the riverside
- A new or improved village hall / sports pavilion
- A village web site (and here you have it!)
Third parties, such as Newark & Sherwood District Council, the Environment Agency and the Highways Agency are to be invited for further consultation at the next stage to take place during February 2008 – the ‘Community Action Planning Event’.
It is essential that they participate so that actions agreed really are actionable and that the Parish Plan when published is able to realistically influence their future plans and decision-making processes.
The steering committee will use the Parish Plan to encourage the District Council, County Council and others to work on their action points. When the steering committee is satisfied with the content of the Parish Plan it will once more take it back to the community for final consultation. The Parish Council are involved at each stage of the process and will approve the final Parish Plan before publication and adoption as policy.
For any further information, please contact the Secretary to the Parish Plan committee LenSimmonds@aol.com