For us the residents

Your Parish Plan

The Steering Group and Activities

The design, implementation, analysis and publishing of a survey of the whole parish is a substantial task. The Parish Plan Steering Group is a team of volunteers that have been working together on the task since February 2006. The group, independent but working with the Parish Council, holds monthly meetings at the Queen Elizabeth Village Hall. New skills, contributors and fresh ideas are always very welcome (see below).

National and Local Government Backing

Worstead Parish Council, Norfolk Rural Community Council and ultimately the Government through Defra (the Department for Food and Rural Affairs) , are all sponsors of the development of Parish Plans. These bodies believe that rural communities need stronger, more effective voices; more democratic influence over the governance and development of their community. A Parish Plan, compiled and maintained by the whole community, is a highly favored element of that stronger voice. Grants, advice and assistance are provided; your Steering Group is glad to be working closely with Carolyn Heydon from Norfolk Rural Community Council. The Parish Council (10%) and Defra (80%) have awarded grants to meet the costs of the Plan, it’s compilation and publication. A small additional funding (10%) will be needed to complete the task.

Phase 1 – The Pin Board Events

A survey of the whole Parish, without prior knowledge of the key issues and concerns in the community, would result in a very large and un-focused set of questions. The Pin Board Events, held in the QE Hall and Meeting Hill Day Care Center during September, were designed to identify the key issues that need to be addressed in our survey and ultimately within the Parish Plan. A summary of the events, the polling method and the results is available as a .pdf download.

Visual Survey Summary (211kB).pdf

This rather larger file includes appendices containing plots and records of all the data collected.

Visual Survey Full Report (3.3MB).pdf

Interim Parish Plan

Out of the Phase 1 results it is hoped that an initial set of actions, an interim Parish Plan, will be defined. The steering group, the Parish Council and other community groups will work together to initiate response to the Phase 1 data and apply the findings to existing routine decisions and priorities (planning applications for instance).

Phase 2 – The Whole Parish Survey

The challenge of Phase 2 is to gather the views of the whole community and to interpret and reflect these in the Parish Plan. It is expected that this will involve a questionnaire based survey of every individual (approx 900) within every household (approx 390).

Phase 3 – Compilation and Publication of the Parish Plan

The data and the resulting action plan belong to the community as a whole. Whilst the Parish Council will no doubt take a lead role in managing the Parish Plan, it will be community groups and individuals that drive many of the actions forward. The collected data and action plan must therefore be published and be accessible to all in the community. The Plan will therefore be published as a booklet, delivered free of charge to every home in the Parish. Naturally, the booklet and supplementary data will also be published here on the community web site.

Phase 4 – Action and Maintenance of the Parish Plan

Publication of a Parish Plan is only the beginning. A Parish Plan should then become a live document, updated as the needs and desires of the community are addressed and change. In addition to regular review and updated It is expected that further community surveys (more events and questionnaires) would be necessary every 5-10 yrs

Your Parish Plan Needs You ! – Feedback and Getting Involved

The volunteer Steering Group, as ever overloaded by work, family and existing community commitments, needs strengthening for the Phase 2 task. Survey design skills, spreadsheet and database skills and, as you can see, web and community communication skills are particularly valuable, but any and all enthusiasm for your Parish Plan will be welcomed with open arms. Please contact Mark Ashcroft, Chairman of the Worstead Parish Plan Steering Group.

We also welcome your feedback on these web pages and the Phase 1 results here published.

Mark Ashcroft, Honing Row, Worstead
Tel: 01692 536418 or email to [email protected]

Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 February 2012 12:26

General Information

What is a Parish Plan?

A summary provided by Carolyn Heydon of Norfolk Rural Community Council

A Parish Plan is prepared for the community by the community. It describes the village’s assets – all the features which are valued by members of the community. It identifies economic, social and environmental issues affecting the village and sets out the aspirations for the community for the next five or so years. The Plan could identify actions in relation to: –

  • local development e.g. a possible affordable housing site
  • improvements to village hall
  • local newsletter
  • working groups to conserve the environment
  • implementation of traffic calming
  • social enterprise e.g. village shop
  • community events and festivals
  • local history and heritage project
  • Home or Neighbourhood Watch scheme

Why do a Parish Plan?

A Parish Plan reflects the unique characteristics of a Parish and demonstrates that local people are the experts on their community and its needs. A significant feature of the Parish Plan is that it provides the community with essential evidence of needs, when applying for grants or when lobbying authorities and agencies with issues of concern (E.g. County Council Highways Department over road and traffic safety; District Council Planning Policy Department over suggested sites for affordable housing.) The Parish Plan is available for any community group to use in this context; it is not limited to being the exclusive tool of the Parish Council.

How will community members be involved?

Everyone in the community can be involved in preparing a Parish Plan. Open meetings provide the opportunity for people to give their opinions and ideas – often by participating in hands-on activities, such as mapping with flags and prioritisation of actions with coloured stickers. Those willing to help with the production of the Parish Plan can join a steering group and help to organise events; deliver leaflets or questionnaires; or offer specialist help, such as design or computer skills.

What are the spin-off benefits to the community of being involved?

By taking part in the consultation and receiving feed-back, community members are often enlightened regarding services which are already in place – but whose publicity hadn’t reached all residents previously. This has actually occurred on several occasions in Norfolk, in relation to dial-a-ride bus services for example. Through forming working groups, community members widen their local friendship and support network and also learn new skills from one other. By seeking the appropriate guidance and support offered by outside agencies such as the Rural Community Council, the total skill base of the community is strengthened, enabling new projects to be undertaken with greater independence in the future.

For more information

These government and local government sites provide a dazzling wealth of supporting information:

Or please contact the Chairman of the Worstead Parish Plan Steering Group:

Mark Ashcroft, Honing Row, Worstead
Tel: 01692 536418 or email to [email protected]