The Albury Parish Plan – an update from the Parish Plan Committee
It is now three years since the Parish Council put forward ideas for a “Community Enhancement Project”, which was subsequently withdrawn following strong objection from some residents. The Parish Council recognised at the time that the process that had been adopted to develop these ideas had caused unnecessary concern for some residents, and that there should have been more emphasis in building a clear definition of the needs of the Parish to ensure broad consensus and support.
As a result an independent Parish Plan Committee was formed with a view to producing a Parish Plan based on a comprehensive consultation process.
What is a Parish Plan?
A Parish Plan is a process that engages the people who live in our Parish in a debate about our local area, in order to improve the well-being of our community. The process should:
- Identify local needs
- Develop local solutions
- Empower our community to influence our destiny
It is important to develop a process that involves a high degree of consultation and debate involving as many people as possible so that everyone has an opportunity to have their say and influence the outcome.
The Parish Plan will identify:
- Actions we can take forward ourselves
- Actions that will need external support to achieve
- Actions that may be required to ensure that district, regional and national bodies do not adversely interfere with our community.
A Parish Plan is an essential building block of the Big Society. The government is committed to giving more power to local communities so that we can control our destiny. The Localisation Bill that was passed in November 2011 is an important step in implementing this policy.