Parish Plan

Great Salkeld Parish Plan – you can download a PDF of the original document below.

An illustrated and bound copy was produced and made available on publication.

What is a parish plan?

Parish plans grew out of the Government White Paper ‘Our countryside: The future’, published in November 2000. It offered grants and advice to help communities take action for themselves on issues important to them.

They are produced by volunteer members of the community and are a way of capturing the ideas of those who live there. What they like, dislike, want to change and also, importantly, what they want to preserve.

They are about how people would like to see their community develop over the next few years and beyond. They are also about turning people’s thoughts and ideas into actions that will make a real difference.

Parish plans don’t work on their own – they need to dovetail with the wider range of services and organisations active in the area.

What’s the background to Great Salkeld’s plan?

The idea of Great Salkeld producing its own parish plan was initially raised by the parish council. In October 2006 a small steering group of interested volunteers met to take the idea forward. Advice was sought from Voluntary Action Cumbria (VAC) and a decision made to hold an open meeting in the village hall.

A letter was circulated to all residents in the parish, inviting them to attend a meeting in November 2006. Over 40 residents attended, ideas were discussed and the Great Salkeld Parish Plan Group was formed, comprising 15 volunteers.

The group met on a monthly basis and, supported by VAC, was successful in applying for a grant from DEFRA to cover the cost of producing the plan.

How was this plan put together?

The first step for the parish plan group was to form a number of working groups in the following areas:

–       A demographics group assembled statistics and background data on the community.

–       A community working group sent out a questionnaire to all the different clubs, societies and organisations within the parish to find out what was important to them.

–       A youth group encouraged the younger members of the parish to express their opinions in art workshops. These were held in conjunction with the youth club, and they produced some wonderfully informative and vibrant work.

This work helped inform what should go into a questionnaire to be sent to all households in the parish. Expert advice in compiling the questionnaire and how to conduct interviews was also sought from an experienced professional interviewer and, again, Voluntary Action Cumbria.

In July/August 2007 members of the parish plan group took to the streets of the parish with the anonymous questionnaires. The response was fantastic, with 77% of households taking part.

The data from the questionnaires was computer analysed and the results presented at an open meeting in the village hall on the 8th December 2007. This meeting was also an opportunity to display the wonderful art work the youth group had completed and a presentation of the demographic data that had been collected.