Parish planning is a step-by-step process that can enable a community to take action and make their local area a better place to live. 4000 communities across the country have already produced similar plans since the late 1970s.
A parish plan is an in depth survey of a community undertaken by that community itself for its own benefit, to find out how it wants to see itself develop over a five to ten year timescale. It includes an action plan to make sure that this actually happens. It provides an opportunity for people to take stock of their community and to decide which aspects of their community they like and wish to preserve and perhaps enhance and which aspects they do not like and want to change. There are three core principles that define parish planning and distinguish it from other methods of community engagement. These are:
- Plans are owned, managed and led by the community. This is different from other consultations where people in a community are asked for their views by local authorities and other service providers, largely on pre-determined projects or programmes. Parish planning provides a community with the opportunity to set its own agenda and bring about positive change without the need to wait for others to get things done.
- Everyone in a community should have an opportunity to get involved and have their say. This will enable a high quality and robust plan to be produced that has the support of everyone locally and delivers actions that are based on a sound understanding of local needs and aspirations.
- Actions are based on evidence and address a range of different issues important to a community. Parish planning can cover social, economic, environmental and cultural issues. You can produce a plan which covers anything you want, within reason!
In August 2004 a questionnaire was sent to every household. A Parish Plan resulting from the results of the questionnaire was published in March 2006.
In February 2014 a survey to update that Plan was again distributed to every household.