What is a Parish Plan?
Government and local authorities have been keen to encourage local communities to become more involved with developing their requirements and take some responsibility to implementing these requirements. With this in mind Nuffield Parish Council were asked to develop a Nuffield Parish Plan with support from the Oxfordshire Rural Community Council (ORCC), South Oxfordshire District Council (SODC) and the Oxfordshire County Council (OCC). A number of other South Oxfordshire Parishes have been developing their plans and some are now in the implementation phase.
How did we start?
Nuffield Parish Council and the ORCC called a community meeting at the Crown in Nuffield to introduce the opportunity to develop a community plan and the high level process to be followed. Views were solicited at that meeting as to the main issues, these were a lack of community spirit and safety in terms of speeding traffic on our local roads. A small committee was set up from volunteers at that meeting to identify others issues to be put to the community via a questionnaire.
The Parish Plan process..
A questionnaire was developed by a small committee, then through some local events attendees were asked on an ad hoc basis if the issues were being identified as the questionnaire was built up. The questionnaire was redrafted several times following feedback and finally another community event was held at the Crown where copies of the draft were circulated for attendees to review and comment verbally as well as by written comments. The feedback received was used to finalise the questionnaire. As the results were to be analysed by some special software (SNAP) run by the SODC we worked with the SODC and ORCC to adapt the questions for easier analysis (essentially having ‘yes’ ‘no’ answers) as well as taking tips from other Parish questionnaires and how they formatted their questions. We also retained a number of questions which allowed respondents to write their own comments which would have to be analysed manually and recorded in spreadsheets. We also added a ‘volunteer’ sheet so respondents could add their own contact details to assist in particular events or working groups.
To have received sufficient feedback from the Nuffield Parish community to set up selected working groups to implement plans coming from the questionnaire. This feedback would be used to influence local authorities or service providers as to the needs and wishes on the Nuffield community.