Parish Council Strategic Plan
In 2023 the Parish Council developed a strategic plan to provide a focus for our work and make it easier for residents to engage with us on what we are (and aren’t doing). This report sits in front of all the previous work done on the Parish Plan and is available to view below.
There are five key areas of our Strategic Plan:
Our parish is made up of at least five distinct communities of different ages, and the depth of community life and resilience is reflected in those differences
Planning and Development
In 2022 our Neighbourhood Plan was officially approved. This was a huge achievement. Many people were involved, Vic Bussereau, Jim Boardman, Kevin Martin, James Robertson, Ron and Sarah Champion, James Robertson to name but a few, whose tireless efforts to formulate this plan resulted in both a plan and website.
Of note, is the work of councillors reviewing and commenting on every local planning application.
On the radar – Church Road and Old Sarum.
As a parish council we recognise the need to balance new houses with local planning needs and the provision of adequate infrastructure and facilities, and the protection of the environment and wildlife habitat, the plan by a developer to build 135 houses is being carefully monitored and residents views sought.
SID in operation. SID provides a visual warning, allowing monitoring of data. The data from our SID device is forwarded each month for analysis on the police database and will contribute to the identification of speeding hotspots not only within our parish but around the south of the county and thereby contributes to road safety initiatives within our parish.
Community Speedwatch- Cllr. Laura Jones has undertaken training and is currently building a team of volunteers to help address issues of speeding across the Parish.
We continue to work on cycle networks, Old Sarum to Salisbury, Ford through to Bishopdown. The PEAG are developing templates for walks and cycle routes as featured in the Parish Newsletter.
We now have eight Footpath stewards – these volunteers are making a visible difference to our parish.
Climate Change and Biodiversity
The Parish Environmental Action Group (PEAG) – led by Cllr Lainey Barker have planted 130 new trees and members have attended a climate change conference hosted by Wiltshire Council and the Centre for Sustainable Energies.
We are exploring the sewing of wildflower meadows
We have instigated a new mowing schedule in Linden Close
We are developing a Flood resilience strategy
During the past year the Parish Council has worked tirelessly to bring about major improvements across all areas of the parish. We are justly proud at the delivery of three flagship projects that have culminated in modern, inclusive designed play areas at St Luke’s Close, St Peter’s Road and an award of a contract at Sycamore Drive. These three play areas include some of the most up to date equipment, designed for children of all abilities. In addition to these flagship projects we are also working hard to modernize some of our older play area’s to bring them up to date in terms of their inclusivity and play value. Over the next three to six months we will take over the responsibility for the maintenance and management of a further five play area’s at Longhedge estate. In all the Parish Council will have a total of 33 play areas across all parish wards.
A new post is being recruited for an Operations Assistant to support the growing workload of our Operations Officer, which includes un-planned issues such as dealing with a rise in vandalism of parish assets and monitoring the collection of waste bins.
The Parish Council recognise the value of our natural environment and the need to protect those valuable assets for the long term future benefit of parishioners and visitors to the parish. We are currently working through the recommendations from a comprehensive tree survey to manage our tree stock to ensure, firstly that trees are in a safe condition and that, where we can, we take remedial action to save the tree, only felling when necessary on the grounds of safety and to allow the natural development of other trees within the vicinity.
Role of all Councillors
We meet once a month and have 3 sub-committees. Councillors are active within their wards (Bishopdown Farm, Ford, Old Sarum & Longhedge, Laverstock & Milford) and active in community groups such as Neighbourhood Watch and the Parish Environmental Action group. Their contacts are listed in the parish newsletter and on the parish website www.laverstockford-pc.gov.uk. From sorting out post boxes, to dealing with housing associations who have let public areas become run-down, to liaising with the Community Police team, organizing community events and supporting community spaces, councillors are not only at the heart of their communities but take time to provide vital checks and balances over the way we designate resources and manage finances to get best value for our communities. There is a growing need for more councillors at Bishopdown Farm (including Riverdown Park).
THE PARISH PLAN
The parish plan was about the aspirations of people who are residents of the Parish of Laverstock and Ford.
In 2007, and for a period of almost two years our Steering Group of Parish Councillors and residents surveyed and studied what residents told us was important; what was good and what was bad. They told us what they would like to keep and what they would like to change.
At a time when some people feel that public administration is becoming increasingly remote, our Parish residents told us that they want to retain control over their own lives; they want a Parish Council which has a local presence and can be seen, communicated with and held accountable.
If you have any queries or comments about our Strategic or Parish Plan, please contact the parish clerk at: email@example.com