The last Community plan was in 2010. The exercise was repeated with a printed questionnaire going out to every household and business in Clare in September and October 2016. It was distributed and collected by councillors. With so many replies it took a long time for the results to be analysed and a complex series of actions drawn up by councillors, involving many hours of discussion.
Why did we do it again? What’s changed since we last did it?
The town has changed: new housing, new residents, ownership of the Park. Local government has changed: reduced services & facilities. National government has changed: new planning rules, the NHS, social services provision……
One of the functions of a new plan will be to see a way forward within the planning and development setting that is upon us. If we wish to have a strong input into how Clare develops in the future, we must have a development plan. This involves expenditure on behalf of the town and must follow government guidelines as to its structure, community support and legitimacy. This survey is the first step to achieve that aim. We need to have it in place as SEBC is starting soon on its own development plan – otherwise our views will not be given as a priority. If it is in place in the near future, it will influence planning decision from that point. The government has just published a new bill on Neighbourhood Planning, complied by LCPAS, one of the Council’s advisory bodies, a new framework which we will respond to.
The results has helped the Town Council to work on its own 4 year plan; it’s a way of getting our thoughts together and then monitoring how well we do.
But it’s not only about development, it’s about what we as a community think is important, how the town council can best provide support for initiatives, how we can best support ourselves, how we can encourage volunteers, how we can step and help those in need. We need not just to talk the good talk, but actively work with our neighbours, our shops and services, with each other.
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