Mon, 25 Nov 2013
Date set for Neighbourhood Plan Referendum
On the 11th of November 2013, Harborough District Council voted to formally accept the recommendation of their independent examiner to adopt the Broughton Astley Neighbourhood Plan and put it forward to referendum.
The referendum will be held on the 16th of January 2014 when residents of Broughton Astley will be asked: "Do you want Harborough District Council to use the Neighbourhood Plan for Broughton Astley to help it decide planning applications in the Neighbourhood Plan area?"
If over 50% of the votes cast are a yes votes, then the plan will be "made" (or brought into effect) by Harborough District Council as soon as possible. This means that all future planning applications within Broughton Astley will be considered based on compliance with both the Neighbourhood Plan and the District Core Strategy.
This is the first Neighbourhood Plan to reach this stage in both Leicestershire and the East Midlands; and one of the first in the country which has allowed its community to allocate land in the parish for future growth.
Commenting on the latest progress of the Neighbourhood Plan towards referendum Clive Grafton-Reed chairman of the Parish Council said: "The Neighbourhood Plan is the result of nearly two years work, to develop a coherent set of policies which will be used to guide the development of Broughton Astley for the next 25 years. It reflects our resident's wishes in terms of where development will take place and will ensure the necessary community facilities are built in line with agreed housing development."
"What we need is for residents to exercise their democratic rights and vote. For the plan to be adopted we need over 50% of all those who actually vote to support it. Let's be clear this vote will be a defining moment for our community and it will be decided by our residents."
Having supported Broughton Astley Parish Council with community consultation, public engagement, and evidence gathering activity at varying stages throughout the process Sam Howlett, RCC Community Development Officer for the Harborough District said: "After all of the hard work put into the project in Broughton Astley, everyone at the RCC is really pleased to see the Neighbourhood Plan move into the final stage of the process."
For further information on the Broughton Astley Neighbourhood Plan please contact Christine Lord (Parish Manager and Clerk to Broughton Astley Parish Council) on 01455 285655, via e-mail Christine@broughton-astley.gov.uk, or by visiting www.broughton-astley.gov.uk.
Thu, 21 Nov 2013
Good Neighbour Schemes/Community Spirit
Tell the RCC what you think!
Good Neighbour Schemes are proving to be a great success within the communities that have established them. They are seen as a way of local people helping each other and have been very successful in Rutland within the Rutland Community Spirit project and within a few communities in Leics.
The RCC along with the 4 other RCC's in the East Midlands are intending to submit a bid to roll out more Good Neighbour schemes in each county.
We are looking for evidence of need to form part of this bid.
The RCC would encourage you to complete the Survey. https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/WTVJF2R Thank you very much for your assistance in this exiting initiative.
Mon, 11 Nov 2013
Welcome to Jane Taylor
I am the new RCC Community Development Officer and it is with considerable enthusiasm I return to working in Leicestershire on community development issues and this time from a new and exciting perspective. I first came to Leicestershire as a student (many decades ago!) and subsequently spent a lengthy career working on social housing development for a number of local authorities and housing associations focusing particularly on housing and community care.
During the 1990s, my area of work broadened to include community development and community safety responsibilities and I was Community Development Manager at Blaby District Council for over 10 years. I then 'migrated over the border' in 2005 to work as Head of Community Safety for Northamptonshire County Council. With the unfortunate austerity cuts looming, I took voluntary redundancy in 2011 and have since been enjoying an extended 'gap year' and a pleasant taste of early retirement which has allowed me to pursue new leisure and voluntary activities. But I decided it was time to return to work and was so pleased to learn about this vacancy at the RCC and be appointed to my new role which will allow me the opportunity to work in close contact with local communities. I'll be focusing my time on Blaby District (an old 'stomping ground' for me) and Rutland.
I've only been part of the team for two days but have been really surprised
and pleased to learn more about some of the really superb schemes that the RCC is spearheading and managing. There are so many more, very worthwhile, schemes in place now and I can see that the RCC has come a long way since I had my last professional contact with the organisation nearly ten years ago (with my 'Blaby District Council hat' on). It's very refreshing to now be on the 'other side of the fence' and in pastures new.
Over the next few months I look forward to working with new colleagues and community members and maybe renewing a few old acquaintances. In the meantime, please do get in touch with me if you think I can
assist in any way.
Mon, 11 Nov 2013
RCC Achievement Awards Survey
HAVE YOUR SAY
The RCC which conducts the Village Achievement Awards Competition would like to hear your views on the Competition. Whether you have entered before or have never entered we are very interested in you views to allow us to make the competition even better in 2014 for even more communities.
Please complete the very short short Survey Monkey www.surveymonkey.com/s/B7239LN
Survey closes on 29th November 2013. Thank you very much for your interest.
Mon, 28 Oct 2013
First Contact Rutland hits the road!
The RCC is delighted to announce that this innovative project has now gone live. Through the auspices of the Rutland Community Spirit team and a result of funding from the lottery, weeks of hard work have paid off and thanks to a team of dedicated staff and volunteers, the de-commissioned Council library bus is once more out on the road again. This time however, instead of carrying a wealth of knowledge through books, the mobile unit is kitted out to carry a raft of information about what services and support opportunities there are available to Rutland residents. Through close partnership work, the project team have focussed on ensuring that people living in rural areas will be able access information from agencies and organisations that may otherwise have been out of reach to them. These include the Police; Fire Service; Trading Standards; DWP; Social Services; The Alzheimers Society and Age UK. For younger adults, there is information available from Rutland Adult Learning and a range of other agencies that can provide appropriate advice and support as well as access to the Internet for more detailed research.
A specific timetable has been drawn up so that people will get to know when the unit will be in their area and it will also be seen at Uppingham and Oakham markets on a regular basis. With the help of staff from support agencies who will take it in turn to travel with the bus, there will be 'themed' weeks when individuals can look out for the bus to go and find
out about current issues. There is also a 'Latest News' board which will be refreshed regularly to encourage people to keep coming back.
Of the new project, Jeremy Prescott, Director of the RCC said,
"The recent launch of First Contact Mobile provides yet another exciting dimension for the RCC and other agencies in the support they offer in Rutland. With the generous provision of an old library bus facility from Rutland County Council we can now reach out to isolated rural communities and offer people direct support and information within their own villages."
Wed, 23 Oct 2013
Big Plan for Broughton Astley becomes first in Leicestershire to pass Independent Examination
Subject to some minor modifications recommended by an independent examiner, 'The Big Plan for Broughton Astley' has become the first Neighbourhood Plan in Leicestershire to be given the go ahead to proceed to a public referendum.
Following 18 months of hard work Broughton Astley Parish Council officially submitted its Neighbourhood Plan for independent examination early in September to determine whether or not it meets the required basic conditions and other legal requirements of the process. The examination, which took around 4 weeks, included an in depth review of the document itself (including all policies & site allocations), as well as all of the supporting
evidence, and the plan making process undertaken by the Parish Council. It also considered all representation received throughout two 6 week periods when the draft plan was published for statutory consultation, and evidence heard at a public hearing held by the independent examiner on 19th September.
Despite recommending some minor amendments to the document itself, overall the examiner was more than satisfied with the proposed plan. The evidence base and the process undertaken all met the basic conditions and legal requirements of a Neighbourhood Plan, resulting in the examiner commending Broughton Astley Parish Council for its work on, and robust, innovative approach to various aspects of the process.
The RCC has been particularly encouraged by the examiners view on the importance of effective community consultation and engagement throughout the Neighbourhood Planning process "A comprehensive and robust approach to public consultation is the best way to ensure that a neighbourhood plan reflects the needs, views and priorities of the local community" adding "Essentially, effective public consultation provides the foundations for a successful neighbourhood plan".
Having supported Broughton Astley Parish Council in these areas, the RCC was also pleased to read positive comments from the examiner in relation to the plans evidence base "The compilation and presentation of this evidence base should be commended to others as a way of bringing together a large amount of information and making it easily accessible"; approach to consultation "The consultation process has been demonstrated to have been conducted in an open and comprehensive manner from start to finish, with plenty of opportunities for engagement, involvement and feedback"; and the RCCs independent review of public comments and representation "Interestingly, and perhaps providing a good example for other neighbourhood plan-makers, an independent review of the comments received was carried out (by an officer from the Leicestershire and Rutland Rural Community Council), with the purpose of ensuring objectivity".
A link to a full copy of the examiner's report on the 'The Big Plan for Broughton Astley' along with a copy of the Neighbourhood Plan and all supporting evidence can be found here - http://broughtonastley.leicestershireparishcouncils.org/the-big-plan-for-broughton-astle.html.
If you would like to know more about Neighbourhood Planning, and the support available from the RCC and other partners with the process please do not hesitate to contact the Rural Action Team on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0116 2662905
Tue, 09 Jul 2013
Big Society Network's Successful Summer Celebration
The event 'Developing Local Solutions to Local Needs', on Thursday 27 June, showcased successful community-led projects from around Leicestershire and the City.
Cath Walker, Big Society Network Development Officer at the RCC, introduced the Big Society Project and its partners (RCC, Voluntary Action LeicesterShire and Voluntary Action Rutland) saying that 'Big Society' is not a 'new' activity as volunteering has long existed and is ever present in our communitiestoday.
The Community speakers' programme got underway with Ted Tann-Watson from Donisthorpe Community Fund describing how local volunteers re-established a, previously over-grown, community orchard and invigorated community spirit by organising various activities such as an Apple Day.
Members of Parks Pantry and Sue Dales from Voluntary Action LeicesterShire explained how the project supports residents of New Parks, Leicester City, by providing a weekly lunch club and food parcels, via surplus food from super-markets. Carl, a young volunteer, spoke about the benefits of the project to local people and the opportunity of volunteering. Zinthiya described how the Zinthiya Trust, supporting women with skills development and career guidance, is linking in with the project.
Steve Kendall, Dementia Cafe – Market Harborough, explained that the cafe was established by local carers who recognised the need to provide support both carers and the people they care for. The cafe now has 140 members with 35-40 regularly attending the monthly session. Activities have expanded to include a 'Singing for Memory Group' working in partnership with The Well, Kibworth, and local schools on dementia awareness.
Bob Bissell concluded the community speakers' session with the 'Heart of the Forest Festival'. The annual festival, held in Measham, is reportedly the largest street parade and community festival in Leicestershire with 8,000 participants. Key learning points included establishing 'the need' for the project, building relationships with all sectors; to be attentive to Health, Safety and legal requirements; to be inclusive and listen to your committee members and community.
The evening concluded with participants having the opportunity to look around the 15 display stands provided by partner organisations.
Jeremy Prescott RCC CEO said: 'This event was an opportunity to share and celebrate some of the fantastic achievements of community groups and volunteers – Big Society in action and flourishing in Leics and Rutland !"
Wed, 03 Jul 2013
Two successful Community Forum funding bids!
The Shepshed Community Plan group applied for two pots of money from the Shepshed & Hathern Community Forum and have been successful with both bids! They have received funding to start a Business and Community Group database, which will ensure that the community have an accurate database of businesses and community groups within the town. It will provide contact names, telephone numbers, email addresses and the address of the premises. The project will also include updating the Leicestershire Villages Website to reflect this information.
'Serenade' the ladies choir and an outcome from the Community Plan, requested funding towards website development costs. This will enable 'Serenade' to provide information about the group to a wider audience. It is hoped that members will be able to access music in both written and audio formats to ensure that all members irrespective of ability are able to practice. The choir are also keen to reduce their printing costs.
Mon, 01 Jul 2013
Return of Community Speed Watch
There have been two major consultations in the Wymeswold in the last 11 years; the Village Design Statement (November 2002) and Parish Plan (April 2005) both carried out in conjunction with the RCC. The findings of both consultations reinforce the parishioners concerns about volume, speed and noise pollution generated by heavy traffic.
Thirty one people gave their time to record information about speeding vehicles in Wymeswold for a second time over a period of 2 weeks last month.
This time the volunteers also borrowed a digital display from Leicestershire County Council which was connected to the radar gun to inform motorists of their speed and to give the opportunity to slow down. However, they still managed to record 547 vehicles in excess of 36mph, which is in comparison to 1076 for the four week period in September 2012.
The busiest time slot was Saturday 22nd June when 40 vehicles were recorded in excess of 35mph between 6pm and 7pm. The highest recorded speed within the 30mph zone was 56mph. Out of the 43 planned sessions, 3 had to be cancelled due to heavy rain.
Wymeswold Parish Council continue to keep the reduction of speed throughout Wymeswold high on their list of priorities. The Parish has had three visits from the Mobile Camera Enforcement unit since September and hopefully towards the end of September this year, the Highways Department will be installing a 20mph advisory zone to assist children and parents to cross the A6006 at peak times.
Based upon CSW results and evidence gained by the mobile enforcement unit, the Road Policing Unit will be holding a Wymeswold 'Fatal 4 Clinic' sometime this year. 'Fatal 4' is a term that is used by the emergency services which summarises the four most likely causes of fatal road traffic collisions: drink driving, speeding, driving while on a mobile phone, and driving without a seatbelt. Motorists will be monitored along the A6006 and those drivers seen to be committing one or more of the 'Fatal 4' offences will be dealt with in the appropriate manner, which may lead to prosecution by the Police. The date of the 'Fatal 4 clinic' has been embargoed for the obvious reasons!
Tue, 25 Jun 2013
Another successful litter pick for DE12 SK8 group
The need for youth facilities/ a skate park was identified by the Measham Parish Plan in 2005. DE12 SK8 Group is a proactive and dedicated group of young people seeking to develop a high quality purpose built facility for other young people in the 'Heart of the Forest' area. Formed in 2010 and based in Measham, there are 30 regular volunteers in the group.
The skate park project aims to respond to the young people's needs and others, by providing a meeting place/ social hub where people can meet just to socialise or participate; there are few options open to the young people at present, those which are, involve travel, are structured groups and financially out of reach for most of the young people.
They have carried out a thorough consultation exercise with residents to satisfy non-users, they have a 'face book' page and they launched their Website on 22nd April 2013 , they attend local events to raise the profile of the project. The group need to raise £350,000.00 for the 'build costs'.
The RCC signposted the group to Leicestershire ProHelp who brokered a deal with Landmark Planning consultants of Leicester for works associated with submitting a planning application for the skate park on Parish Council controlled land. The skate park received planning permission late last year.
To date the group have been successful with 3 funding bids totalling £2,900.00, which they have used for marketing/ promotional materials, in order to raise their profile of the group's project at local community events. They had been promised approximately £90, 000.00 of section 106 monies which they should receive later this year.
The group organised another sponsored litter pick in Measham on Saturday 15th July, starting at 10:00. On this occasion they worked in conjunction 'Age Concern' who ran a coffee morning on the group's behalf to link the young and the old. The weather forecast was for thunderstorms which deterred some people from turning out, but they managed to collect 7 full bags of rubbish and raised £50.00.