Basildon and the Parish Plan
Basildon’s first Parish Plan was published in 2008 following a period of consultation with residents and discussion. Now, in 2015, the plan is being re-visited and updated to bring it in line with current thinking in the Parish.
So, what is a Parish Plan?
Parish Plans are documents developed by local communities. They set out a vision for the future of the community and list what actions will need to take place to achieve this vision. A Parish Plan is not just limited to planning policy but can cover every aspect of the framework supporting a community. West Berkshire Council (WBC) put significant weight in Parish Plans because they represent a clear statement of public consultation. The original Basildon Parish Plan can be downloaded here (PDF, 2MB)
As part of the original Parish Plan, a questionnaire was distributed to every house in the parish. The number of questionnaires returned was extremely high and ensured that the Parish had a very representative survey of people’s opinions and priorities. This information was reviewed by a steering group and further groups were formed to take responsibility for identifying potential areas of action. This was then fed into the Parish Plan via a list of tasks that represented the will of the Parish.
Following formal adoption by West Berkshire Council on 23rd April 2008, the Parish Plan moved into the implementation phase with actions against the plan coming from the steering group initially and later from the Parish Council and West Berkshire Council.
Fast forward to the autumn of 2014 and it was time to start the process again. The first action was to review the old plan and explore what had been achieved versus what had failed to get off the ground. Key achievements included the support of the Post Office service and the new children’s playground at Wakemans. It was noted that a number of areas had seen little progress since the plan was implemented: examples of this included traffic calming measures and the establishment of a community shop.
Following this review, a public meeting was held on the 25th March 2015 at the village hall to kick off formally the Refresh. The response was excellent and 140 suggestions were made across a number of areas including:
- More use of the village hall, including clubs, café etc
- Pop up Lower Basildon summer café
- Make more use of St Barts church
- Road changes to improve safety , eg a footpath on Aldworth Road
- Create a ootpath between Wakemans and the church
- Address speeding issue: new limits and enforcement
- Kids’ clubs and facilities
- More rubbish bins
- Protect our trees
- Respect the village character
- Affordable housing
- Heritage walks
- Free access to Basildon Park grounds for residents
- Establish a Village Shop
- Improve transport
- Improve Broadband speeds
- Better mobile coverage
- Encourage mobile shops
- Greater support of local business
- More Community events
The Parish Council was at the Clubs and Societies Fair at St Stephens Church in April to share output from the Launch event and to see if there were further ideas for the new plan. Feedback from this has been added to the master ideas list and the first steering group meeting held with a chairman elected and strategy discussed. Minutes from this meeting can be found here