Parish Plans were first introduced through the Countryside Agency’s Parish Plan Grant Scheme, part of their Vital Villages Initiative. The grant programme enabled parish councils to apply for funding, of up to £5,000, to carry out community consultation, to gauge the views of residents on how the parish should develop or change (if at all), over a 5 to 10 year period. The consultation process is also intended to strengthen the links between a parish council and its community. To meet the grant criteria, it was necessary for any parish council that applied to contribute 25%, and this could include in-kind contribution (e.g. volunteer time) although it was necessary to have a minimum 5% cash contribution—£250, if a full grant of £5,000 was being applied for, as in this case.
A plan brings together information from the community consultation as well as agencies and local organisations in a realistic and feasible action plan. Often during the consultation process, a range of ideas come forward from small parish improvements to large-scale projects and it is necessary to work on the information gathered to help shape the parish action plan.
The Plan is essentially a tool for change and statement of parish intent and feeling. The Plan should take into account district and county plans and link in with these, where appropriate, as well as any other strategies e.g. the Market & Coastal Towns Initiative.
The Parish Plan is the process by which the parish set out their aims and objectives, giving voice to the community.
The Parish Plan is not just a document but a tool that should be used in a range of different ways:
- To set out and record the community’s vision for the parish, as adopted by the Parish Council, in a document that can be
circulated to a range of organisations, including the District and County Councils.
- To guide and assist local groups and/or the Parish Council.
- As a kick-start to projects—using the information contained within the action plan to get started!
- As evidence of need, when lobbying for services and improvements.
- As evidence of need, when applying for grant funding
- As evidence of what the parish residents particularly value.
You can download & read the complete Parish Plan by clicking on the button below.