Digest 7 Sep 7th 2017

It has been a quiet’ish week for us which, to be honest, comes as a welcome change. There are occasions when it is good to take time to catch breath and take stock before ploughing forward again. We held our Steering Group meeting last Monday and took time to ensure everyone was fully briefed on developments over the last month or so and to plan for the next few weeks. So…..

  1. “A little less conversation, a little more action please”
  • …so less, today, about meetings (although there are always those, as you will see) and more about the main activities we are working on over the next few weeks which include:
  • researching core data for our Area.
    It is important we gather evidence across a range of criteria to provide us with strong foundations to justify the policies we put in our Plan. We need to know, for instance, how many houses we have, the makeup of households (single occupants, young families etc), the type of houses (detached, terraced) so we understand the type we need more of.
  • The main research areas we are looking at, besides housing, include:
    • business and employment in our area
    • local transport services and traffic hot spots
    • leisure services such as sports clubs, libraries, youth organisations etc
    • education services, where we have already been very busy and now have a good understanding of the capacity issues they face.
    • updating our new website and refreshing content. We aim to announce our new site at the end of the month
    • liaising with our technical consultants – AECOM – to undertake a site assessment for our Area
  • a Steering Group meeting with our RCAN consultant, Jenny, to discuss community consultation plans for the next 6 months. One of the early outputs will be a detailed project plan to capture all activities in one place and make sure we keep track of progress
  • another Steering Group meeting later this month to discuss initial thoughts on the Local Plan and decide the best way to gather your views in October
  • attending (some of us) a 2 day workshop at the University to help students plan their workload to undertake visioning exercises for us
  • planning for our first AGM
  • So, as you can see, our workload is growing fast and we’ll need to call on you, our members, to help us in certain areas. We know a lot are willing to help so expect a ‘call to arms’ in the next few weeks once we have documented what it is we know and what it is we don’t know – the ‘known unknowns’?
  1. To become or not to become……incorporated
  • A topic we have been considering at Steering Group is whether we should look to become an incorporated body i.e. formally set ourselves up as a registered company and/or charity.
  • It is clear, given the unprecedented changes we are going to see in our Area over the next 10+ years, that the Forum will be around for a lot longer than the standard 5 years. The scale of the task means we need to raise significant funds to help undertake the work involved. Being a registered company/charity will provide a level of credibility not available to voluntary groups.
  • But there are pros and cons to becoming incorporated and so we have asked Ben, a solicitor on our Steering Group, to investigate and come back with a view and recommendation. Do you have any views on this? If so please get in touch.
  1. Neighbourhood Plans have been published by our neighbours
  • Both Stapleford Town Council and Bramcote Neighbourhood Forum have published their draft Neighbourhood Plans and they are both out for consultation by their residents. Both organisations have been going for a lot longer than ourselves hence they are now approaching the home stretch.
  • If you are interested to read their plans please follow these links:
  • They are both worth reading to understand the thoughts, ideas and plans of those living next to us. The Bramcote one is lengthy but it needs to be, as it covers a lot of ground. I like the style and layout and it clearly sets out its proposed policies for Bramcote.
  • However, if I have one observation of both plans, it is they seem short on firm evidence to underpin the justifications used to support their policies. But it may be I overestimate the value of hard evidence. Again, I’d be interested to hear your views……..

I’m off on holiday now for a week, so you won’t receive an update next week (is that a faint cheer I hear at the back!). I’ll be back in a fortnight with the next digest.

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