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The Parish Plan

 

Hand pulled ferry

 

Ferry between Symonds Yat East and West

Parish Plans arose from the Government’s White Paper on Rural development which encouraged communities to influence the development of their surroundings; they are designed to be evolving documents which outline how a community would like to develop over the next ten years. Hundreds of Parish Plans have already been completed which have enabled better development in rural communities.

The Whitchurch & Ganarew Parish Plan is a summary of the views and aspirations of those who responded, enabling us to identify how local people would like the Parish to develop over the coming years. It highlights what people find good about the Parish as well as what irks and what is important if the Parish is to flourish.

Why then?

It was eight years since the previous plan and both people and issues had changed.

How was it done?

In the winter of 2012 at a community meeting the process of Parish planning was outlined and a Steering Group was formed from volunteers. Funding for the Parish Plan came from Herefordshire Council, the Parish Council and fund raising events. In the summer of 2013 we held a weekend of Planning for Real (PfR) events to enable opinions to be canvassed. A comprehensive questionnaire was developed, based on the information gathered there. The questionnaire contained:

  • Requests for background information on respondents’ age grouping and area of residence (maintaining strict anonymity).
  • Several External Agencies.
  • Questions covering all major aspects of parish life.
  • Extensive opportunity for additional comments and feedback to be made. Questionnaires were delivered and collected by hand. Their results were professionally analysed and the Steering Group summarised the Key Findings to create a five year Action Plan, which will form the basis for working in partnership with both county and national bodies and with our own volunteer community at the core.

Next steps?

The Parish Plan took 18 months to develop and reflects the concerns of residents and their ideas for the future development of our community. The Action Plan should be seen as a joint enterprise between:

  • All parishioners, especially the many parishioners who responded to the Parish Plan Questionnaire and notified us of their willingness to help as volunteers on the task groups proposed in the Action Plan.
  • The Parish Council with key roles both to work with the task group volunteers in implementing agreed actions and in driving forward issues that are its own responsibility. Several external organisations and agencies, such as Herefordshire Council and the Highways Agency are responsible for matters beyond the remit of volunteers and the Parish Council.

The Parish Plan is available as a PDF document and can be viewed or downloaded here.

 

Symond's Yat and the River Wye. The Birthplace of Tourism

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