In 2004, Brightwell cum Sotwell was one of the very first parishes in the country to publish a community led plan setting out a vision on how the whole parish should evolve over the next decade. The main priorities identified ten years ago included a new shop, a parish website, a restored post office, a desire not to be joined up with Wallingford, a new community focus at the church and better pedestrian and bus connections for Shillingford Hill; aspirations that have mostly been started or wonderfully completed.
It is now time to make a new Parish Plan so in April, David Fox, Chairman of The Parish Council and Celia Collet (District Councillor) organised an Open Meeting at the Village Hall to discuss how this could happen. The meeting was well attended and agreed unanimously that the new plan should go ahead and look to the period of 2014 to 2024.
Community Led Parish Plans are a Government initiative and though they lack formal status, County and District Authorities are encouraged to take note of them when forming their own strategies, policies and services. There is no standard format for a Parish Plan nor is there a prescriptive list of the subjects it should address. It is up to all of us who live and work in the parish of Brightwell cum Sotwell to decide what is important and through a questionnaire to determine any priorities for action. This can include anything that is relevant to us, be it transport issues, the local environment, housing, development or playgrounds.
Our Parish Plan will look at the whole parish not just the ‘village’ part, embracing Mackney, Sires Hill, Shillingford Hill and Rush Court. It also includes all those bits in between – the fields, footpaths, hedgerows and river banks that make up the wider landscape and connect us to our neighbours.
We have already made a start: at the Village Hall meeting last April and at the Village Fete, people were asked to list their “Likes and Dislikes” about living in the parish and to raise any issues. A request for volunteers was made to help put the plan together. From this a Steering Committee has been established to move the process forward. Should you wish to suggest any issues that you feel should be included in the plan or would like to volunteer to help, in whatever capacity, please contact a member of the committee or the Committee Secretary Ann Brooker on firstname.lastname@example.org
Look out for further information in the Villager Magazine, The Shillingford Hill Residents’ Association Newsletter, at events, meetings, on the Parish Web Site and through door to door ‘neighbourhood surveys’.
It’s your Parish Plan so please let us hear from you!
Parish Plan Committee
Jason Debney (Chairman), Tony Windsor (Treasurer), Anne Brooker (Secretary), Rob Thompson, April Thompson, Vera Carter (Shillingford Hill), Margot Shawyer, Helen Connor (Sires Hill), Jo Spicer (Shillingford Hill), Andrea Frost, Russell Govan, John Acton (Mackney),Robert Seatter, Gill Dexter.. Advisors: District Councillor Celia Collett, County Councillor Lynda Atkins, Trevor Morgan, and Anton Nath, ORCC.
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