What is a Parish Plan?
A Parish Plan is a community led plan that sets out a VISION of how the community wants to develop, and identifies the ACTION needed to achieve it.
A Parish Plan is produced by the community, and for the community. It is based on a detailed consultation involving the whole community. Based on the views and opinions of the people who actually live there, it sets out the needs and aspirations of the Parish
The Parish Plan identifies what actions the community would like to be taken, who should take each action forward, and what time scale should be set for each one.
A Parish Plan is a statement of how a local community sees itself developing in the future.
Who Creates and Manages a Parish Plan?
A Parish Council launches the Parish Plan process and supports the establishment of a Parish Plan Steering Group, formed of leading volunteer members of the community, who manage the process from then onwards.
The Parish Plan Steering Group may or may not include Parish Councillors, but it operates independently of the Parish Council.
The Steering Group organises and conducts public meetings, raises questionnaires within the community and analyses the responses. The Steering Group consults outside bodies as appropriate before drawing up a draft Parish Plan which the Parish Council formally agrees. The Steering Group then elects a Management Committee or Parish Plan Action Group to drive things forward from that point.
How long does a Parish Plan Last?
As and when actions are completed the Parish Plan will be updated .
The Parish Plan Action Group will continually seek to respond to the community’s needs and aspirations as they develop, and in this way the Parish Plan becomes a living document.
Who benefits from a Parish Plan?
The Parish Plan process provides the community with a continuing opportunity to think about the future of their village; to determine for themselves if they want to improve or change things; and to identify local solutions to local problems.
The Parish Council finds out what the community wants, and what might be missing from the village. The Parish Plan gives them information about what facilities would be used if they were provided and by how many people.
Parish Plans stimulate local interest and a community spirit, and the community as a whole is provided with the means of helping to shape the future of their village.
Parish Plans also help fund those local organisations shown to have evidence of need, and also provides public service providers with an insight into how they might deliver services in a more efficient way
The Welwyn Parish Plan
The Welwyn Parish Council launched the Parish Plan process at their Annual Parish Meeting on May 19th 2005.
The Parish Plan Steering Group subsequently presented the first draft Parish Plan to the Welwyn Parish Council, who formally adopted it on 29th April 2008.
John Roper, (at that time the Chairman of the Welwyn Parish Council), recorded that:
All of us in Welwyn should be proud of this first draft Parish Plan.
It is an historic document which illustrates life as we experience it in the Parish in the first decade of the 21st Century.
This Plan does document things as they are, but most important of all, it records how we would wish them to be. This Parish Plan puts forward realistic and exciting proposals for achieving those goals, and presents us with a way forward that can be managed and monitored.
For a more detailed report of the background and approach taken for the Welwyn Parish Plan, go to the WPC website.