Notes from WNP Steering Group Meeting held at Walton Village Hall on Tuesday 8th October 2013.
Helen Massey (Chairman), Liz Fairclough, Richard Fairclough, Libby Hall, Tim Howe, Philip Lee, John Leith, Sheila Leith, Colin Moran, Norman Parkinson, David Pickover, Phil Roebuck, Dave Rolinson, John Smith and Richard Tomlinson.
Nick Hall (Planning Aid) and David Plaut (Clerk to WPC).
Andrew Cousins, Steve Baker, Jonathan Bemrose, Alan Cottrell, Mick Dent, Jim Gervasio, Keith Shaw, & Mike Wylie.
1. Membership of Steering Group.
Following the decision reached at the previous meeting that all those who had so far attended Steering Group meetings be considered voting members of the Steering Group, Helen Massey reported on discussions with Planning Aid and the Parish Council who felt it was necessary to clarify the situation.
She explained the e-mail she recently sent out which asks members to confirm whether they wished to be voting members of the Steering Group. The aim is to establish which members are decision takers in the event that a vote on any issue is required. She will then compile a list of those who have agreed to act as decision takers. This does not preclude others attending and participating in the meetings.
2. Activity since last meeting.
Questionnaires have been delivered to virtually all the houses in the village (for which Helen Massey expressed her thanks). There have already been 125 responses which have been analysed and there are a further 15 or so waiting to be recorded.
The banners making people aware of the questionnaire have been taken down and one will be put up again near the deadline date as a reminder to return any remaining responses.
Spending on the project has been £2300, including £1500 for the website, and Helen Massey has lodged an application to increase the grant from Locality from £5000 to the £7000 maximum.
Helen Massey and Dave Rolinson held a meeting with Mike Dando of Planning Aid at which he gave the reminder that the support advice given by Locality runs out in January 2014. He is offering targeted support for the engagement being undertaken by John Smith with Walton Primary School.
The deadline for the return of questionnaires is 15th November and the Steering Group meeting on 10th December will be a workshop with Planning Aid to help reach conclusions from the questionnaire.
The target is to produce the first draft plan by the end of the year, then to consult on that and consider any controversial issues raised. After that, to produce a revised draft for final consultation in the summer before going to statutory consultation.
3. Questionnaire results.
125 questionnaires have been analysed for content. (No analysis has yet been done of the demography or the geography of the response to date.) In general, people mostly agreed or strongly agreed with the statements.
The most controversial topic so far is the issue of speed reduction measures. Comments on this range from agreement with the measures to requesting the abolition of the speed bumps and mini roundabouts.
Other issues raised concern litter and dog fouling.
Dave Rolinson feels that it is important to demonstrate that the Steering Group is taking notice of these comments by having some "early wins". He asks everyone, and also the Parish Council, to think of some examples for the next meeting on which the Neighbourhood Planning logo can be displayed to show that things are happening. (e.g. litter bins, litter picks, notice boards, new tubs at the War Memorial). Action: All
A suggestion to generate more responses and to keep the momentum going by publicising the results so far in the Wakefield Express, explaining that more questionnaires are available and can be downloaded from the website was agreed.
Other suggestions agreed included contacting Ridings FM and putting reminders on the collection boxes.
It was also agreed to make use of a person offering marketing and PR expertise at no cost.
4. Stakeholder follow up.
Those allocated follow-ups with stakeholder groups need to press on. Locality are offering support advice until January, and this could be used if any member of the Steering Group wants help in holding meetings with the groups that they are engaging with. There is no template introductory letter for these meetings, so members are encouraged to use any leaflets or other information to hand.
5. Follow-up with Schools.
John Smith reported he has had two meetings with Crofton Academy identifying students in the 11-16 year range who live in Walton.
He has met with the Head of Walton Primary and has proposed 4 workshops for the children and 2 for adults at the 'Visioning Day' being held on 25th October. He is awaiting a response from the Head. This prompted the comment that to get something from the schools, the project needs to give the schools something.
The issue was raised of engagement with youngsters who live in Walton but are not at these schools and also with those young people who have left school. It was suggested that for engagement to work, incentives are necessary.
6. Other stakeholders.
Norman Parkinson expressed concern that work is being duplicated as he is also engaging with the Primary School about the Heritage Trail. It is recognised that there may be some overlap, but that both projects are part of the same whole.
He also needs to know which stakeholders are in his group as none on the database is allocated to the Environmental Group. Action: David Plaut to re categorise.
He suggested asking Mark Cropley of WMDC to talk to the Steering Group about flooding.
It is hoped that Carole Crookes can help liaise with all the relevant functions at WMDC.
7. Engagement with young people.
It is recognised that engaging with young people is a major issue to be tackled. The conclusions from the questionnaire will demonstrate the lack of youth involvement.
There is a need to engage with the youth rugby teams and football teams that use the sports facilities in Walton.
Nick Hall suggests that since other groups working on Neighbourhood Plans will be facing the same challenges, it might be useful to see what they are doing.
He pointed out that it is of great importance to document any perceived lack of response by listing the groups that have been identified, what was tried and what resulted.
Next meeting: Tuesday 12th November at 7.00pm in the Village Hall.
Future meeting dates: 10th December (Workshop), 14th January, 11th February, 11th March, 8th April, 13th May, 10th June, 15th July 2014