Eccleshall Community Plan
Towards a sustainable community
In 2003 the people of Eccleshall & surrounding villages contributed to the Parish Plan, giving their views on life in the Parish and the key issues locally. Since then, much work has been completed by Eccleshall Parish Council and associated organisations to address the issues that were raised, including the completion of the High Street repaving Scheme, installation of the Pedestrian crossing on Stafford Street and a VAS Sign on Stafford Road. The Market Towns Partnership also helped to fund a vehicle and bicycles for use by PCSOs locally.
The Council continues to liaise with local Police and work is progressing on a scheme for young people in the area. Discussions continue with the County Council with regard to the possibility of providing recreational facilities at the rear of the Community Centre and a scheme has been prepared by the County Council to improve visibility at Green Lane Junction on the Newport Road and reduce the speed of traffic.
Stafford Borough Council has recently introduced a Sustainable Community Strategy, which identifies four key aims:-
- Promoting Economic & Sustainable Development
- Promoting Community Safety
- Improving outcomes for Young People
- Promoting Health & Wellbeing
Sustainability means that something is capable of being maintained without exhausting the resources available. With challenging economic, environmental and social times ahead, maintaining the standard of life we expect is as much a local responsibility as a Government one. It is clear that we will all have to think much more about energy, the environment and social support in the future.
Eccleshall Parish Council is proposing that the town and parish of Eccleshall should adopt the principles of the Sustainable Community Strategy as the next stage of the Parish Plan and map out a ‘Community Plan’.
However, this is not something deliverable by any single organisation. The aim is to bring together local people, groups and businesses in the Parish to put together a practical plan of action to take our community forward. In doing this, those organisations which meet the aims of the plan can be rewarded by the community. It is important to involve as many groups and individuals as possible to input into the Plan.
The Parish Council suggests the following strategy:-
- Community engagement to collate local views and suggestions for the ‘Eccleshall Community Plan’.
- Local groups and organisations to be invited to put ideas forward and join a Steering Group to develop the work, with a number of public consultation opportunities to follow.
- Organisations, businesses and individuals that are instrumental in delivering ideas to be consulted to gain their agreement.
- Ideas would be summarised to produce a first draft inviting comments which would be circulated in spring 2009. This would be the final opportunity for the submission of comments.
- Finally, in summer 2009 the Eccleshall Community Plan would be produced, identifying aims and how they could be achieved.
We want to hear your views on how Eccleshall and the surrounding area should prepare for the future. Practical ideas are always the best, especially when combined with a vision of where we should be going. You can fill in the form to submit your responses, there are a few examples included.
There will be a box available for comments in Eccleshall Library Alternatively you can submit suggestions of aims and aspirations for the Parish to the Clerk, in writing or by email.
A questionnaire is available for submission of responses:-
Mid West Stafford Market Towns Partnership
What is a Parish Plan?
A Parish Plan is a way of summarising what local people think about the area they live in, and what they believe are the priorities for change and improvement in their town or village and the surrounding villages and rural areas. It is not an 'official' document - it is produced and designed by local people. Views were gathered between May and October 2003 in a questionnaire survey and then endorsed through public and parish meetings.
Most importantly, however, the Parish Plan sets out actions that should be taken to tackle these priorities, and it indicates who and when the actions should be taken by.
The Parish Plan covers the areas of Chebsey, Eccleshall, Gnosall, Stone and Swynnerton, with the five Parish and Town Councils working together as the 'Mid West Stafford Market Towns Partnership'
|Key issue across the Parish Plan area||Percentage of respondents who said issue was important|
|Shops and other retail services||70%|
|Crime and safety||60%|
|Public transport services||50%|
|Health and personal care||48%|
|Traffic, parking and access||43%|
|Social activites, leisure and recreation||38%|
|Noise, waste and other nuisances||32%|
|Wildlife and natural habitats||31%|
|Community buildings and spaces||29%|
|Housing and buildings||22%|
|Historic sites and features||15%|
|Businesses and employment||15%|
|Tourism and visitors||7%|
What will this Parish Plan achieve?
This Parish Plan, and the constituent plans for each parish, will:
- Provide a base for community action and pressure to get things done
- Give a set of measures or targets so people can see what progress is being made.
- Inform the planning process - local authorities and others will understand more clearly what local people's priorities are. Parish Plans are used by many different local government and other agencies.
- Help attract funding for agreed actions - funding bids will be supported by information and priorities in the Parish Plan; and,
- Inspire people, organisations and local agencies to think of new solutions to new and old problems.
The main actions focused on in the plan were:
Included in this are concerns across all five parishes about speeding; heavy goods vehicles using narrow roads or village high streets; increasing volumes of traffic and congestion; access to business parks; particular problems related to ‘improvement’ schemes recently undertaken in the centres of Stone and Eccleshall; fear of accidents and fatalities; specific issues regarding certain junctions and roads; and, many people in Eccleshall want a by-pass. Related to this are concerns about pedestrian dangers. Enhanced street lighting is seen as essential in certain locations.
A desire for improved retail facilities and a wider range of shops, in particular DIY stores, clothes shops, and teashops. The loss of some traditional retail services, such as bakers and butchers, is a concern. Some feel that there are too many pubs and restaurants in Stone, but a greater range of eating places is desired elsewhere. Many people would like better accessibility to shops for the disabled and those with pushchairs, together with longer opening hours for village shops. There is a demand for post offices and boxes where they do not exist and an opportunity to develop the market and farmers’ market in Stone. Many young people want some form of ‘fast food’ outlet in their area (and as a meeting point).
Additional facilities (and activities) for young people
Older people generally want ‘something for the young people to do’ so as not to be hanging around the streets, whilst younger people want greater choice in leisure and recreation activities. Both groups highlight the need for youth activities and facilities of all types, including community centre developments and improvements – particularly for teenagers. This issue links to enhanced public transport services to Stafford and Stoke, to access opportunities elsewhere
Fear of crime, and prevention of criminal or illegal activities are prominent concerns, particularly in Swynnerton and Gnosall. More visible policing, including community policemen on the beat; a greater night-time police presence; the use and proper enforcement of Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs); neighbourhood watch schemes; and wardens - are all mentioned as ways forward.
In Eccleshall top of the list of priorities was Traffic Management, followed by Parking, Youth Facilities, Crime issues, Pedestrian issues and Public transport provision.
- Since the document was produced the A519 Route Strategy has been published by the County Council and the Parish Council has submitted comments and continues to pressurise for improvements to be implemented, especially at the junction of Green Lane with Newport Road.
- Speedwatch Groups operate regularly in Croxton and Eccleshall.
- Waiting restrictions are enforced by the Community Support Officer. The Partnership partly funded the purchase of a vehicle and bicycles for the use of Community Support Officers in the area.
- Completion of the High Street paving was undertaken in 2005.
- Work on the new the Co-op store is due to commence on June 19th 2006. A zebra crossing is being designed by the County Council and should be installed on Stafford Street prior to the completion of the development.
- Work to compile a booklet detailing activities available for young people in the area is currently being carried out by the Partnership.