FAQ

What is a Village Plan?

A Village Plan is a statement of how the local community sees itself. It’s a comprehensive statement, which addresses all the issues of concern to the community, together in one document.

Village Plans identify how the people want their village to develop – or not develop. They reflect the views of all sections of the community. They identify what people value about their village. They identify local problems and opportunities. And they outline plans about actions to achieve this vision.

The end result will contain an action plan which includes ways of addressing the needs identified by the community. This might include housing, transport, local green space, land use and amenities. The Plan will form a blueprint for use by the Parish Council and evidence for bidding for funds in the future.

What’s it for?

Nowhere is perfect. There are always things that we’d like to change and others we’d like to stay just as they are.

A Village Plan is a summary of all the main issues that members of this community are concerned about: things they would like to protect and things they would like to change.

Village Plans from an important part of local policy making. They are used as blueprints by the Parish Council (for example, as evidence of the community’s collective will when considering large planning applications). They can be as evidence for making funding bids (for example, if the community says that it wants an amenity, such as a shop, playground or allotments.)

What are amenities?

These are things like the Village Hall, playing fields, allotments, health and community care, businesses and employment.

Why do we need a Village Plan?

Several reasons

  1. Many of the villages in this part of the Borough have a Village Plan for projects and services that their residents want. Because we do not have a Plan, we are very vulnerable to aggressive planning applications. It’s important that we don’t get left out or left behind.
  2. A Village Plan gives everyone an opportunity to make themselves heard. It provides evidence of the community’s collective wishes and needs. This is useful, for example, when fighting to preserve things that villagers value highly, or when trying to raise funds for new projects.
  3. Village Plans have the potential to influence a wide range of organisations and processes which affect our lives. They can identify actions for us, the local community, to undertake – as well as for others to do. They can influence the policies and decisions of other bodies (such as planning policies, housing strategies, transport plans, social services and education arrangements) and they can help obtain funding for projects in the parish.

 

Will the Village Plan obstruct the development and extension of people’s houses?

A Village Plan is less restrictive than a Conservation Area and not as formal.  Several houses in the village already have listed building status, which imposes  greater restrictions than even a Conservation Area would do.

Under the Village Plan, a development proposal – whether from individual residents or a property development company – will be expected to fit in with the expressed wishes of the community as set out in the plan. This is one of the reasons that the steering group will be asking you to help by completing questionnaires, so that we can include in the plan the features that most residents would like to be added or preserved. It is probable that these aspects of the plan will only be fairly general in nature.

If a development clearly does not fit in with the wishes of the community as expressed in the plan, the Borough Council may ask for modifications rather than reject the proposal entirely.

Who writes it?

You do! Village Plans and Village Design Statements are prepared by the whole community working together – everyone in the village will be consulted about what goes in it and everyone in the village has the opportunity to help to write it. Village plans are based on information gathered by volunteer members of the village through surveys and consultation. At the moment, there is a group of six volunteers from the village working on the plan.

Who’s working on it at the moment?

There is a Steering Group, which consist of volunteers from the village, plus an advisor for Rural Community Action. The group contains six villagers: three people from the Parish Council (one of whom is also a member of the Village Hall Management Committee) and three other volunteers.

This is who we are and this is why we volunteered to do this work on this project:

Lucy Sargisson: I’ve lived at Kingston Court for about 4 years. I love it here and want to do what’s necessary to keep this a special place to live. I volunteered for the steering group because I want to help and I have good information-gathering skills, eg designing surveys.

Gill Aldridge: I’ve lived in the centre of the Village for 40 years. I have been a member of the Parish Council since its formation in 2000; I am also a member of the Village Hall Management Committee. I have seen the Village lose many of its services, including the Post Office and shop and the regular bus service. I have also seen many younger families move here and I would like to see the Village become a better place to live in, without losing its character.

Elizabeth Elders: I moved to Kingston just a year ago, and joined the Parish Council in May this year.  I worked in ‘community development’ for two years before I decided to return to university, and I’d like to see Kingston on Soar get some of the activities and opportunities that other communities have, as well as getting to know more of the people who live in the parish.

Richard Parrey: I’ve lived in New Kingston since 1985. I have been secretary of Rushcliffe Ramblers for most of that time and enjoy walking in the locality. I have also been Parish Clerk since 2007. I volunteered for the steering group so that relevant expertise I have gained in the various fields I have worked in can be used for the benefit of the village.

Alex Whiting: I live and work in the parish having moved here five years ago. We were attracted by the central location, having excellent road and rail access to other parts of the country, and of course by the lovely rural surroundings. I am currently helping to manage the web presence of the group, as light relief from the day job.

 

How do I get involved?

Just ask! Contact anyone of us on the Steering Group

Elizabeth Elders lizelders@yahoo.com

Gill Aldridge gill.aldridge@btinternet.com

Lucy Sargisson lucy.sargisson@nottingham.ac.uk

Richard Parrey richard.parrey@talktalk.net

Jonathan Golby golbys@btinternet.com

Alex Whiting aw@alexanderwhiting.co.uk

There’s a project I’d like to work on, but I don’t have much spare time. What should I do?

Contact us and tell us about the project. We may be able to put you in touch with other people who can work with you.

Do other places have Village Plans?

Many similar plans have been produced in the area. For example you can look at the Cropwell Bishop Village Plan here, or see a full list of plans in the Rushcliffe area here.

Can I suggest a question to add to this FAQ?

Yes please – just use the reply box below to suggest a question.

Does your organisation have a formal constitution?

Yes – here it is:

KINGSTON ON SOAR VILLAGE PLAN STEERING GROUP CONSTITUTION

Name: Kingston on Soar Village Plan Steering Group* (hereafter ‘the Steering Group’)

Introduction and Purpose:

We aim to prepare a village plan that can be used to promote quality of life in Kingston on Soar and New Kingston. This plan is developed by the community for the community. This is a voluntary and independent group, comprised of villagers, working in partnership with the community to carry out the following tasks:

  1. Investigate and identify support for the Village Plan.
  2. Design and organize survey and information gathering (in order to find out what people in (and around) Kingston on Soar value about living here and help them to do something about this).
  3. Take responsibility for planning, budgeting and monitoring expenditure on the plan and report back to the community on these matters.
  4. Identify sources of funding.
  5. Liaise with relevant authorities and organizations to make the plan as effective as possible.
  6. Analyze the findings of the information gathering exercise.
  7. Disseminate our findings with information about technical issues to the people of Kingston on Soar and the Parish Council.
  8. Protect the village from inappropriate development.
  9. Enable appropriate development of the village and its facilities, including tangible things, such as physical areas (eg play areas or allotments) for village use (if people want these) and also development of intangibles, such as community spirit and a sense of belonging.
  10. Investigate support for a village design statement to guide appropriate development.

Membership

  1. The Steering Group will normally include 6 members but may co-opt members of the public as appropriate, up to 15 members.
  2. No more than three of these members will be members of the Parish Council.
  3. A person may cease to be a member of the Steering Group having notified the Chair or Secretary in writing of his or her wish to resign.

Officers

At the first meeting the Steering Group will elect: a chairperson, a secretary and a treasurer.

Meetings

  1. The Steering Group shall meet every two months as a minimum, or as may be required.
  2. At least five clear days notice of meetings shall be given to members via email.
  3. Every matter shall be determined by consensus, where possible. If consensus is not possible a vote will be taken and the majority will shall carry. In the case of equality of votes, the chair of the meeting shall have a casting vote.
  4. The group will be quorate at three members.
  5. A record of meetings will be kept and minutes circulated to members of the Steering Group not more than 14 days after each meeting.

Working groups

  1. The Steering Group may appoint such working groups, as it considers necessary to carry out the functions specified. Each working group may have a nominated chair, but this person does not have to become a member of the steering group.
  2. Working groups do not have the power to authorize expenditure on behalf of the Steering Group.
  3. Working groups will be bound by the terms of reference set out for them by the Steering Group.

Finance

  1. The Treasurer shall keep a clear record of expenditure, where necessary, supported by receipted invoices.
  2. Members of the community who are involved as volunteers with any of the working groups may claim back any expenditure that was necessarily incurred during the process of producing the Village Plan. This could include postage and stationary, telephone calls, travel costs, childcare costs.
  3. The Treasurer will draw up and agree with the Steering Group procedures for volunteers who wish to claim expenses and the rates they may claim.
  4. The Treasurer will report back to the Steering Group and the Parish Council on planned and actual expenditure for the project, and liaise with the parish clerk to set up a petty cash system and enable cash withdrawals and payment of invoices to be made as required.

Changes to the constitution

This constitution may be altered and additional clauses may be added with the consent of two-thirds of the Steering Group present.

Dissolution of the Steering Group

  1. The Steering Group will be dissolved once the Final Plan has been launched.
  2. Upon dissolution any remaining funds shall be disposed of by the Steering Group, in accordance with the decisions reached at an Extraordinary Meeting open to the public in the area of benefit called for that purpose. No individual member of the Steering Group shall benefit from the dispersal.
  3. Any unused funding given as grants to the Steering Group should be returned to their source.

*This Village Plan refers to the civil parish of Kingston on Soar which includes the village of Kingston on Soar, the hamlet of New Kingston and the settlements at Kingston Hall, Kingston Court and surrounding areas.

26rd July 2011

 

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