The Parish Councils for Upton and Kexby have tried over a period of time to initiate the development of Parish Plans but have struggled due to lack of capacity to complete the process. With a population in Upton of only 455 and 205 Households and in Kexby a population of only 340 population and 145 Households it has proved difficult to find enough people and the skills needed to complete the work of a Parish Plan.
Still keen to know more about the needs and aspirations of their parishioners, to enable them to effectively represent their parishes, both Parish Councils agreed to undertake a Community Review which is a light touch consultation or mini Parish Plan. At a joint meeting of the two Parish Councils it was agreed to invite Community Lincs, who would work with the West District Council Community Action Officer, to support the delivery of a Community Review.
This Community Review sets out to:
- Identify the issues concerning the community
- Identify the priorities for action
- Recruit the support of local people to take actions forward
- Celebrate what the community like about where they live
The Community Review Practice
Consultation with both communities was undertaken through an event combined with their local Easter Fair to ensure the best possible turnout and maximise contact with villagers.
A wide range of ages were represented from the two communities and a whole range of issues were covered by the consultation. These included the Parish Councils and Communication in the parishes, Housing, Play Area / Community Park, Areas for Improvement, Graffiti Wall for young people, Identifying Support and Skills for Parish Activities and Prioritisation of Key Issues.
A range of consultation activities were facilitated by a team of Community Lincs staff. All those attending were given a range of topics on which to have their say, from Housing to Environment to Roads and Traffic. Through a range of practical activities people were able to express their views and highlight areas of local concern. The process ensured all age groups were engaged with a graffiti wall for younger people and a colouring competition for the under 8’s drawing a picture of what they like about where they live.
The consultation event captured the key priorities of local people and identified skills and volunteers that would be willing to help implement local action. The event also provided people with the opportunity to say what they liked about their community.
Community Lincs provided a detailed report to the Parish Councils including key recommendations. The report was presented to both parish councils with a follow up meeting to design an Action Plan addressing the key priorities and potential new services identified.
A total of 30 people offered support for activities such as litter picking and community planting, organising a Good Neighbour Scheme, developing walking leaflets and helping with funding applications. Additionally 19 people were identified as having specific skills they could offer including Committee Skills, Organising Events, IT, Office and Desktop Publishing. The parishes demonstrated how they could work together to put on an event that attracted in the region of 100 people as well as attracting stall holders representing a range of community groups.
In the Future
Community Lincs and West Lindsey District Council Community Action Officers will now support the implementation of the agreed Action Plan.