Proposal for a Parish Plan
A Parish Plan for Compton Dundon and Littleton – Why? The government wants local communities to have more control of their own lives, to say what they want to be done in their own community and to work with other organisations to achieve it. A Parish Plan gives an opportunity for everyone in our community to have a say. They provide a way for you to say if you want e.g. more effective public transport, affordable housing better access to health care, a chance to buy local produce at local shops and to chose how your community helps everyone in it to relax and make the most of their social and leisure time. The suggestions for the Parish Plan will come from you not the Principal Council(s). The Principal Councils are South Somerset District Council [SSDC] and Somerset County Council [SCC].
Is a Parish Plan going to make any difference?
Since the 1970’s, over 4000 communities across the country have produced a Parish Plan. Their wide spread and continued use suggests that they really can make a difference to the communities. Locally, Barton St David and Keinton Mandeville have produced their Parish Plans to very good effect (they can be downloaded from the table opposite); Somerton are updating theirs. The Principal Councils encourage the production of Parish Plans and use them to influence their own decision-making for the area concerned. All councils now realise the benefits this can bring in terms of revitalising democracy, building strong and cohesive communities and spurring on local projects and enterprise that improve local places.
How do we go about this?
The project will be driven by a group of volunteers from the community – anyone can volunteer to be part of the group [we will call the Steering Group]. There are several important steps to take to ensure that the end-product really does represent the wishes and aspirations of the residents. The initial advertising and data-gathering will be implemented by the Parish Council who will reach out to all residents in any way they have at their disposal (e.g. via Newsletters, Councillors speaking at community group meetings, public participation at Parish Council meetings etc). When volunteers become available for the Steering Group they will take over the process assisted by the Parish Council and the SSDC both in terms of financial aid and officer time.
Phase 1 – Gathering of initial ideas/invite volunteers to serve on steering group
This phase of the project is about gathering thoughts and ideas about how the community would like to see Compton Dundon and Littleton develop over the next decade. We will at the same time invite people to volunteer to serve on the Steering Group. The following actions will be implemented by the Clerk and the council with help from SSDC.
- Devise a brief leaflet to inform people about the process of creating the Parish Plan and to ask for help in identifying matters which concern them most – deliver to all homes and email to secretaries of all community groups. Post the Questionnaire on this website (see Parish Plan Questionnaire opposite). Residents can send their ideas to the Parish Clerk who will collate the responses.
- Advertise the opportunity for residents to give their ideas gathered at the Public Participation slot at Parish Council Meetings.
- Parish Council representatives to attend community group meetings to explain the process and leave leaflets e.g. WI, Gardening Club, Church, Cricket Club etc.
This phase is not intended to lead or influence ideas but to engender open and creative thought, encouraging people to come up with their own ideas.